On Recognition of Inspiration

tan and white basset hound near the christmas tree
Photo by Maximiliano Ignacio Pinilla Alvarado on Pexels.com

I’ve said for a long time that if a writer is lacking inspiration they need only take a look around from wherever they’re currently sitting. If something in your own environment isn’t in some form or other inspiring, I daresay you perhaps should find another occupation. Case in point…

When husband’s retirement was T-11 months or so, we purchased a home. It’s an older home. With an older home comes old house problems. We don’t mind these problems at all because slowly but surely we’re busy making this old house our very own (in spite of the entire town constantly introducing us to everyone they can find as “the people who bought Mrs. (redacted)’s house”). There are days I feel as though this house will never be “ours” as it will forever be Mrs. (redacted)’s house. I digress.

Along with the main home, we also acquired a carriage house in the backyard which we’re working toward renovating into a creative space for me to not only spend my days writing, but getting my quilting business off the ground. Inside the main house, I’ve rearranged several times already. (I promise this is going somewhere…tangent time again!) My dining room is currently my quilting room and the living room is so large it serves now as the living area as well as my office and the dining room to boot. I recently decided to purchase a new dining set, something a tad smaller than what we did have, and move the larger table to the carriage house to set my sewing machines on. The new dining table came yesterday and it required a bit of assembly. Husband got the table in working order and this morning while he was away participating in Wreaths Across America, I assembled the chairs. I thought the hardest part of our day was done with the chairs now usable. Then…this!

I present to you a typical Saturday morning around the Jackson household.

After I got the new chairs assembled, I rang my mother up, because that’s what good southern daughters do on Saturday mornings, only to discover that her Christmas box had not arrived yesterday as promised by our fine postal service. Now, in fairness, I get it. I do. We just had snowmageddon and it is the holidays. The promises of efficient delivery might as well be written on toilet paper at this point…which is almost where I found the receipt for the postage purchase for said package. I searched my desk over to no avail for the receipt so I could track the package only to discover I apparently had discarded it with the trash when I cleared my desk yesterday afternoon. I sent husband outside to the bin to go through the bag I believed the receipt to be in. Donned in rubber gloves, he went to work. While he was outside in the muckety-muck rummaging, I figured I could go ahead and finish cleaning the living/dining/office area. I dusted and got the vacuum out. Things were going fine, until…

I found one of our fine furry, four-legged friends left us a dandy unwrapped Christmas present right beside the tree! But not before I ran it over with the vacuum.

AAAArrghhhh!!!!

I stopped my chore and went outside to find that husband has yet to locate the postal receipt and is elbow deep in coffee grounds and leftover chicken and something else unidentifiable, which is amazing to me because it had to have come out of my house at some point. No receipt! He believes it to be in the trash still in the can in the house. Great! I tell him not to dispose of his gloves yet because I have another chore for him to tackle…getting the unwrapped present out of the roller bar on the vacuum.

Folks, he did not look happy at all at this prospect and actually looked as though eating glass would have been preferable. I digress.

While he took the vacuum apart without saying one cross word, except to the pooch we are pretty sure left the gift, I dug through the trash bin in the house and under what felt like five pounds of coffee grounds, I found the receipt! Clear at the bottom of the can.

I’ve since checked on the package and found it’s somewhere between K.C. and Springfield and that’s as much information as the tracing service is willing to pony up at this point. At least it’s still in transit. The poochy gift is now disposed of properly and all the pooches are in time out for various transgressions. Not a cross word has been spoken over the garbage, trash cans, and presents in the vacuum between husband and I.

I write romance. If going through this without clawing each other’s eyes out isn’t the very definition of true love, I’m not sure what is. What I am sure of is that at some point, some of my characters will be subjected to a Saturday morning like the one I’ve just endured because, hey, I believe in sharing the misery with my imaginary playmates.

Inspiration. It’s all around us. My theory? Find it. Use it.

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