🎋Blank Page🎋… by JoAnn

A woman sitting at her computer looking bored.

As I sit here staring at my blank computer screen, trying to come up with another missive for all of you, I’m dumbfuddled. My mind is racing with memories galore and words that rhyme like a tornado of letters in my brain. So many letters that I cannot piece together to form sentences. Sentences that will hopefully bring a smile to your face, a chuckle from your belly, or a kind compliment to pass your lips. I so enjoy knowing that my readers get something from my writing, that my stories and poems mean something special to someone other than me.

My father-in-law Tommy Hale first asked me to write a short story for his web page about six years ago. I remember feeling excited at the thought of finally putting some of my thoughts down on paper. It was something that I had always wanted to do. You know, one of those things you have lingering in the back of your brain for years but never get up the gumption to do? Like picking up a guitar and learning to play or taking a watercolor class and learning to paint (wink to Tommy). Writing was mine.

When I was a child and first learned to read, I remember being so excited over books and all they held between their pages that I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm. So I decided to sit down and make my own book. I did the illustrations in crayon, numbered each page, added the story in pencil, and took each page and punched holes for yarn to hold it all together. I was so proud of my book! I told my parents I wanted to grow up and write children’s books someday. That sweet memory still lies inside my heart, coveted like a golden trophy.

Here I am, all these years later, and I’m writing by typing on a computer keyboard instead of paper. I never imagined that as a child. Sometimes I have missed the crispness of a new pack of paper and my favorite pen to write down my thoughts and memories. But these arthritic hands of mine are thankful for this keyboard. Most of the time, I can type as fast as the words come to my mind. My handwriting would get sloppy when I used a pen and paper. My fingers couldn’t keep up with my racing thoughts. Good thing I took all those typing classes in high school.

This missive is #199 of the ones I have had the privilege of sending to “Dad” for his approval. When I get the thumbs up that he will post it to his page, I feel a sense of pride. I am elated if he tells me he enjoyed it and thought it was well written. Only he and I know how much I have improved over the years in my writing. Those words of encouragement mean the world to me. I have learned so much about myself and him through this journey. Our relationship has grown by leaps and bounds through this mission, and I am incredibly thankful. He is a pillar in our family.

So yet another missive is in the books, or my computer’s folder, and it’s on to writing #200. I feel as though I should celebrate #200. It was a huge challenge to me in the beginning, and there were times that I did not enjoy writing. With the experience, I have learned to really appreciate it, and it leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment with each missive I finish. I think Dad knew that would happen all along. I’m happy I didn’t give up.