On Choosing the Best by Letting Go of Some Good

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Tomorrow is my first day back to teaching after my late summer/fall break.

I’m nervous.

After thinking about juggling teaching, writing, family, and critters, I’ve decided to cut back on blogging for a stretch.

I have the usual reasons which you might have, too, when too many things call out to you to be done:

I want to have enough left of me for the best stuff so I’m scaling back on some of the great good stuff like blogging, getting creative with cooking dinners, and maybe even the joy of having folded laundry.

For the next few months, I’ll be posting only my words as a reader columnist for The News Tribune every six weeks unless time and space otherwise allows.

In the meantime, here are a few gratuitous kitten photos I hope will bring you a smile.

My ‘cat lady starter kit’ (so named by my most excellent sister-in-law) is definitely something ‘best.’

May you find the courage to let go of some good to have time for what’s best. 

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A Story Comes to My Kitchen

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Water and Oars

Last spring, I read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown for Pierce County Reads. The story wrapped me up, and I couldn’t help but tell my hubby.

I told Phil of the rowers from the University of Washington. I told him about the rower Joe Rantz and the odds he beat after taking care of himself from the age of 15 in rural Sequim, Washington — a place where I once lived.

I told him, also, of the amazing craftsman named George Yeoman Pocock who constructed the shell the team used to win the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Pocock used huge cedar planks to create boats that commanded high prices across the country for the sport that was so popular at that time. 

One day, my husband came home to tell me of what happened to the wood Pocock had but did not use for the shells. His family, apparently, sold it to a carver in B.C.

More recently, one of the Phil’s woodworking customers had bought the cedar from the carver.

“Oh! Do you think I could get a few scraps?” I asked. He often brings me small treats from his customers. A couple in Elma even sent me blueberries from their garden this summer.

My husband told me I must be kidding. With the popularity of Brown’s book, the wood is worth hundreds of dollars per board foot.

Listening to his good sense, I let that little idea die and moved on, tucking that rowing story into the back of my mind. I satisfied myself with my new The Boys in the Boat library card.

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Two things every writer needs: a pen and a gorgeous library card.

Then my birthday happened this last week.

Phil pulled out two bookends and told me his customers had made them for me out of Pocock’s cedar stash.

My husband rocks.

And stories live. One is sitting on my kitchen table now, in fact.

May you find your own stories coming to life.

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