Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


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That’s Just Weird

Image Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Growing up, I put peanut butter on my pancakes. The taste and the smell of syrup made me sick to my stomach. It still does. Come to think of it, I didn’t like any breakfast foods when I was young. My poor mother had to deal with my finicky eating habits for years. Sometimes I would eat leftover chicken or pasta for breakfast. She wanted me to get something into my stomach, besides a sugary cereal, before I headed off to school. My sister called me weird.

Each year, during the first weekend in November, I ask Derek to go up into the attic and bring down all of our Christmas decorations. Since the autumn decorations have been up since September 1st, by early November, I’m ready for Christmas. My dad says I’m weird.

Whether I’m working a five hundred or one thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, I never use the picture on the box as my guide. In fact, my box is always turned face down on the table. I use the shapes and the colors to work the puzzle. Derek and my good friend, who are both puzzlers say, “That’s weird.”

After years of hearing people say that I’m weird, I’ve concluded that might be true. But aren’t we all weird in one way or another or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

Do you have any weird (strange or unusual) behaviors that you would like to share?


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We’re Free!

Image courtesy of morguefile.com

Image courtesy of morguefile.com

Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
~William Wordsworth

Growing up, I loved recess. The elementary school I attended had morning and afternoon recess. Each session lasted at least twenty minutes. I remember I watched the clock in anticipation of that moment when we were set free.

Once the clock struck that magical hour, we were off, like a swarm of bees. It was a time to release our pent up energy. We didn’t have to be quiet, sit still or pay attention. We were able to just be kids.

Sometimes we’d take off running toward the swings or maybe the jungle gym. We’d organize games of Kickball or Red Light Green Light. The activity didn’t really matter, what mattered was, we were free.

On those dreaded rainy days when confined to the classroom, one of my favorite indoor activities was the game “Huckle Buckle Beanstalk.” The rules were simple. Without peeking the class would wait, with our heads down on our desks.  A chosen student then hid an object, usually the chalkboard eraser. When the hider said, “Ready,” we wandered around the classroom in search of the eraser. Once you spotted it you didn’t touch the eraser or draw attention to it; you quietly went back to your desk and only then shouted, “Huckle Buckle Beanstalk.”

This would go on until everyone was finally seated. The object was not to be the last student wandering around the room. I don’t recall ever being the last one standing.

It’s funny, the vivid memories I have of playing this game. I remember the sound of the rain hitting the windows and the muffled giggles of my classmates. Life was simple.

Did you have recess growing up?


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Don’t Worry…Be…

Image Courtesy of morguefile.com

Image Courtesy of morguefile.com

If you want to be happy, be. ~Leo Tolstoy

Like my Mamaw, I’ve kept a journal for many years. At times, I’m diligent about writing my thoughts every day. But when life gets in the way, weeks can go by without an entry. When that happens, I try to recall past events and play catch up. I realized this is probably why many people don’t journal, they don’t have the time.

 

During the holidays, a friend gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Since I do most of my reading on my Kindle, I headed to the stationery section to check out their journals. Among a sea of leather bound books, I was thrilled when I discovered this.

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The one sentence journal; it was perfect. After all, if I couldn’t record one sentence a day, how could I be a writer?

Similar to a gratitude journal, it’s a great tool to gain insight as to what really makes you happy. What I like the most is it forces me find something to be happy about, even on those days where anything that could go wrong, does.

Last week for example, after I started a load of laundry, the machine stopped working in mid-cycle. I was left with a full load of wet clothes, floating in detergent. We spent the next half an hour up to our elbows in icy water rinsing and wringing out the clothes.

Later when I sat down with the journal, through my frustration, I tried to think of something to be happy about. I wasn’t happy we were going to have to spend money on a new machine. Or that we would have to wash clothes by hand until a new machine was delivered.  Yes, there are Laundromats in the area, but I’m a germaphobe. The thought of putting our clothes into a common washing machine…well, that’s a whole other post. After some reflection, my entry for that day: “I’m happy the washing machine didn’t create a flood, like the pipe that burst last year.”

Each day this little blue book makes me realize that my happiness doesn’t have to be based on what’s happening to me at the moment. I can find happiness in all situations. After all, life is so much easier when we’re happy.

What makes you happy?


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Make a Wish

Imagine courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Imagine courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to visit my grandmother in West Virginia. Prior to construction of the interstate, we would travel twisting mountain roads to get to Mamaw’s house. My mother always gave my sister and I Dramamine, but one or both of us usually got car sick. Still, we always enjoyed the journey.

One thing I remember most about my Mamaw is she could never pass a fountain without stopping to make a wish. Even though she’s been gone for over twenty-five years, I have a vivid picture of her standing in front of a fountain. She would squeeze her eyes real tight before she made her wish and tossed the penny into the water. Sometimes she made two wishes.

As a child, I knew if you told someone what you wished for, the wish wouldn’t come true and so I never asked. Last year I was blessed to be given Mamaw’s journal, a tattered and torn record book. She started the journal after my grandfather passed way. It wasn’t something she wrote in every day, in fact, a year or more might pass before a random thought or worry was recorded.

Although Mamaw wrote about the happy times, visits with her daughters and their families, I sensed sadness escaping from each page. She wrote about the death of siblings and worries about the economy. As each year passed, she mostly wrote about my grandfather. She missed him so much and looked forward to the day they would be reunited. Reading her journal provided an answer to a little girl’s question about her Mamaw’s wishes. Her one true wish was to be with my grandfather again.

Is there something you wish for in the new year?


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My One Word

002Time…like taxes and death it’s inevitable and it will pass. We can’t stop it, nor can we slow it down. For me, 2014 passed in an instant. I thought about time a great deal over the holidays. Each of us has twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week and three hundred and sixty five days in a year. How we manage our time determines what we’re able to accomplish.

During my unplugged period, I discovered the more time I had, the more time I wasted. I’m a creature of routine. I need my routine and I’ll be honest, when it’s disrupted, I’m not the most pleasant person to be around. My problem, I’m unable to stay focused without my routine. As Derek often says, “Slow down, you’re too hyper.”

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions years ago. Instead, I chose one word that will make a positive change in my life. This year, my one word will be focus. I plan to fight off the daily distractions that try to steal my focus. I will be dedicated and committed to make progress in an area that matters to me, my writing.

I hope each of you and your family have a year filled with peace, joy and accomplishing your dreams.

Do you have one word for 2015?