I’ve often wondered what if. It’s what makes me write, when I ask myself a question like, “What if a ghost were following me around?” I can then take it a step further: “What if the ghost following me around was my ‘soul mate’ and we never connected in life?” From that premise and April Kihlstrom’s Book in a Week course, “Worlds Apart” was born. (Excerpt on the tab above, in case you’re curious.)
Another What If has to do with real life, and I’ve talked to people about this one (whereas I don’t usually talk to people about my WIPs). What If–God forbid–the house were on fire? Assuming John and the boys and the cats were already safe outside, and I had a minute to run back and grab something(s), what would I reach for? Which made me think about my 5 Favorite Things:
1. My laptop. It contains all the music on my iTunes and all my manuscripts (and a whole lot of knitting/crocheting patterns on OneNote). In the “For Better or For Worse” cartoon a few years ago, Mike Patterson’s apartment was on fire not long after he finished his first manuscript, and he ran back into the fire to get it. I understand completely.
2. My Knit Picks Options needles that John gave me for Christmas. I love these things. Some day I’m going to work them into a manuscript and then let the Knit Picks people know, so maybe they’ll pay for my book tour (or at least, send me some free samples). They’re smooth as glass and the tips are perfectly pointed so I can pick up stitches easily. I used to think Addi Turbo needles would be The Thing, but I was SO wrong. Thank you, Laura, for letting me test-knit on yours, and thank you, John, for my favorite Christmas present!
3. Photographs. As many as possible. There’s the picture of John and me in Cozumel, kissing Titan the dolphin, or the black and white photo of my great-grandparents, or the nice pic of my parents that’s in Ryan’s room. The boys’ baby pictures on the dresser in our room. The box with all the boys’ school portraits (that I need to hang up one of these days). So many memories. I could live without them, but if I don’t have to, I don’t want to.
4. Yarn. Sure, it can be replaced, but I’d probably try to throw as much of it out the window as I can. Yarn is the embryo of something beautiful and useful. (If you don’t think I’m obsessed with yarn, you missed that picture at the top of this page.)
5. My teddy bears. They’re on the closet shelf right now, only because the guilt was eating at me every time I saw them stuffed in a trash bag on the shelf. At least now they’re stacked neatly, and even though they sit in the dark most of the day, they still smile down welcomingly when I open the closet door every morning and afternoon. I just love ’em. Soft and warm and comforting, always ready to love and be loved. The world needs more people like that.
Come to think of it, I’d have to grab Ryan’s white bear with the green sweater (with the heart on it), too. There are more memories wrapped up in that one bear than in any of the cuties I own. It’s the bear that my friend Barbara in Washington (NanaBear97; bless her sweet heart, she passed away in 2001) sent to comfort us before Ryan had his last major surgery at Shriners. That bear went everywhere with him the entire time he was in the hospital, pre-, post-op and therapy. He wouldn’t go anywhere without it, ’til he was known as “the boy with the bear”. He rarely let go of it for almost 10 years. It still has a place of honor in Ryan’s room. I’m not sure who’s more sentimental about that bear, Ryan or me. Probably me. But I’m sentimental about the silliest of things.