Todd Dillard made a great suggestion when I asked for help with blogging. He said, "... take photos of interesting things you're doing, see, etc." And then Stephen Woodfin suggested, "Find something you can offer that is different." Well, here is a photo of something interesting and different. I see this everyday when I pass the window to my backyard. What is it, you ask? It's "creativity off the page." As a writer, I put so much of my imagination on the page, and yet this visual reminds me that life is full of opportunities to use imagination off the page. It's a lesson my outside-the-box thinking husband has been teaching me over the years. And so here's the story:
Our backyard is just a modest size. That never stopped my husband from making it awesome. When our kids were young, he built a planter where our Guinea pigs could roam around and the kids could play with them. After a few years when the pigs were gone, our kids got into a new phase--remote control race cars. The planter came out and our backyard was transformed into a dirt race track. Kids would come over with their cars and the races would go on for hours. When that phase passed and both of our kids got into volleyball, turf was put in and a net was put up. Most days after school, from junior high to high school, kids came over to play mini tournaments on the small 2-man court. Our little backyard always had a lot of action-- until this summer.
Both of our kids have just moved off to college. My husband and I are empty-nesters for the first time and adjusting to the quiet around here. I'm spending more time writing, and my husband has taken up golfing. As I should have expected, he has changed our modest backyard to fit this new phase in our lives. It's not a drastic change, but it does the job. He took an old shower curtain and hung it over the volleyball net, then set a small golf mat to practice hitting balls. A shower curtain in the backyard is an odd look as you can see, but it reflects the creative approach my husband has always taken as our family has gone through changes. It's actually kind of nice hearing the whack of the golf ball in the late afternoon--complete quiet there in our backyard makes me miss the kids too much. So while I'm continuing to use my creativity on the page to make the best of my fictitious stories, my husband continues using his creativity off the page to make the best of our real story.