"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Riding my bike on the Boise Greenbelt, I’ve peddled farther from home than I’ve been before. The day is hot, flirting with 100 degrees. In the distance, mirage-like, I see light glinting off what looks like — from this distance — a ginormous set of braces.

Maybe it’s the heat inside my helmet, but my mind conjures visions of a lemonade-type stand with ice-cold beverages for sale. (I’m wearing a one-gallon CamelBak full of cold water, but this makes for much better reading)

Hard-packed dirt on many long stretches, the greenbelt is not all smooth blacktop. Streaks of sweat trail my dust-covered calves and ankles as I pedal closer to what I’ve confidently determined is a sanctuary for refreshment…

…only to discover that the shimmering flashes of light I’d seen earlier are from sun ricocheting off razor wire surrounding a storage facility. Oh, the disappointment!

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Like fools gold, just because something looks alluring doesn’t mean it’s genuine or valuable.

Have you ever experienced “all that glitters is not gold?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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Clinging Vines

When I was a little girl my mother would sometimes take me with her to shop for groceries at FedMart in Escondido, California. Before we entered the store she’d remind me to “Stay close” — encouraging me to “cling” to her so I wouldn’t get lost.

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Before long I’d be mesmerized by the wide variety of items within easy reach and wander off. One time I remember looking up at a strange woman and in astonishment gasped, “You’re not my mother!” Mom knew I’d separated from her and was watching the scene unfold from behind. She reminded me — yet again — “Stay close.”

As an adult, I no longer have to “stay close” for fear of getting lost, but I do live close to certain ideas — Namaste‘ being one. I embrace the idea that there is a divine spark in each of us that deserves recognition and respect.

What do you cling to?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Blushing In Seattle

Last week Len and I drove to Seattle where my friend, Shirley Hershey Showalter, was speaking about her book, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World, an engaging memoir that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Having only ever met online, it was a distinct pleasure to listen—in person—to Shirley read one of my favorite chapters from her book to an attentive audience at the ever-popular Third Place Books, and then get to know her a bit better over coffee afterward. It’s abundantly clear that she still has the same ready-grin and twinkle in her eye that’s evident throughout her book.

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Laurie Buchanan and Shirley Hershey Showalter

If you were to write a memoir, what would the title be?

© Laurie Buchanan

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As a writer, I love words! A slight change in spelling can mean a world of difference. A recent walk to the Idaho State Capitol building in Boise triggered my thought-process for this post.

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Capitol — with an O in the last syllable

  • The building in which a legislative assembly meets. I love this spelling tip: the o in capitol is round like the dome of a capitol building.

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Capital — with an A in the last syllable

  • A city that serves as the seat of government
  • Money, property, asset, or advantage
  • A capital letter (i.e., used at the beginning of a sentence or someone’s name)

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My personal favorite is when Capital is used as an adjective — That’s a capital idea! — Meaning excellent, jolly good, or spot on!

What was the last capital idea you had?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Finnegan’s Fancy

Before the ink dried on the contract for the home we currently lease (while we look for one to purchase), we were adopted by a cat. Not just any cat. A tortoiseshell cat. Different from calico cats, “torties” have no white in their coat. And though she’s a female, we call her Finnegan.

Finnegan - blog

Drawn to traditional Japanese Haiku since elementary school where it was introduced to me by my fifth grade teacher — Mrs. Kline — I love the simplicity and direct expression found in three stark lines for a total of 17 syllables:

5 syllables in the first line
7 syllables in the second line
5 syllables in the third line

With that in mind, here’s my nod to Finnegan:

Eyes closed satisfied
back arching on tiptoed paws
into affection.

Do you Haiku?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Hitch Your Wagon

Established in the mid-to-late 1800’s, we live in the Historic East End of Boise, Idaho where many relics of days gone feature prominently in the current landscape.

Back in the day, it was customary for a horse drawn carriage to pull up parallel to a perfectly spaced hitching post and set of steps. Once the reins were secured in the iron loop on the hitching post, the driver would open the carriage door and the occupants would descend the steps.

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Hitch your wagon to a star” — the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson — means to aim sky-high and follow your dreams, with the implication that you can achieve anything!

What have you hitched your wagon to?

© Laurie Buchanan

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June is Idaho Wine Month. Never ones to shy away from a celebration, we did our part by visiting 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards in Eagle, Idaho — a picturesque 28 mile drive from our home — and enjoyed tasting their wines, paired beautifully with their artisan elk salami and cheese tray.

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“We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born.” — Carl Jung

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Especially true for red varieties, wine gets better with age. That’s because with time, the tannins (bitter and astringent when young) dissipate and blossom into what wine connoisseurs call the “bouquet” — the aroma and essence of the body of the wine.

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Tannins — a natural preservative — have been known to keep a wine delectable for 40 years or longer, blossoming more and more each year, ultimately leaving the aged red wine with a smooth, rich flavor without the astringency of a young red wine.

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“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” — Galileo Galilei

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For you, what has gotten better with age?

© Laurie Buchanan

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