A Day For Smelling the Roses
Sometimes we need to take time to stop and smell the roses. I had the opportunity to do just that a couple of years or so ago. It was when I still lived in Idaho. I belong to a small writer’s group made up of writer’s from Pocatello and Idaho Falls in which I still maintain my membership from afar. The group usually has a couple of outings a year, a summer picnic and a Christmas party.
That year’s summer picnic was hosted by one of our members at his “Home by the Snake.” It’s a beautiful setting reminiscent of what one sees in the most up-scale garden magazines. Beds of flowers representing an array of different varieties were tastefully located around the grounds. There were multiple trees to provide shade, a beautiful manicured lawn running down to the bank of the mighty Snake River where a small flat bottom skiff was moored patiently waiting to transport its owner on yet another fishing excursion. A vegetable garden in raised beds flourished in the back yard next to the greenhouse and two compost piles.
Our host’s wife prepared a delicious lunch that not only titillated our palates, but was very pleasing to the eye as well. We partook of our lunch outside on the back patio while our eyes drank in a fabulous view of the Snake River lapping at the grounds just a few yards in the distance. A gentle breeze provided respite from the summer heat, and a Basset Hound puppy of 13 weeks named Lizzie entertained us with her antics.
Our regular meetings are usually spent critiquing our work. This day was a bit different. Our host had pre-warned us that the entrance fee to the party would require that we bring something fun of our own writing to read before the group, or something of interest written by someone else that we could share with the members.
I shared a piece I had recently sold to IDAHO magazine about canning bees at Grandma’s house when I was a youngster. Another member read a short essay about the pre-winter season in southeast Idaho. A couple of other members read excerpts from their latest novels. Our host read from one of his short stories, and another member shared some information about the difference between writing mystery and suspense stories.
All in all the day was a glorious respite away from this century’s harrowing world. It was a day of relief from the corruptions of government from the White House and Congress right down to the lowest level of local government. It was a day of relief from listening to every TV and radio news station report bombings in Bagdad, shootings in Colorado, earthquakes in Japan, typhoons in China, and hurricanes possibly heading for our own shores.
Yes, it was a good day; a day of meeting with friends, enjoying good food, a little wine, and a great deal of camaraderie. Truly a day of smelling the roses. Something we all need to do once in a while.