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Showing posts from October, 2015

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 31 - Almost

I did it - I completed this year's 31 days!!!! I almost feel like a writer.

It was a little scary doing the prompts above and some days I had absolutely no clue what I was going to write. But I am so glad I pushed myself and took the leap without the safety net of controlling the theme of this exercise. I think some of my best posts were the ones that gave me the most trouble in the beginning.

So maybe I'm not almost a writer - maybe I am a writer. I hope to be more consistent with my blogging and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone with my posts. I hope someone out there read something they liked, something that gave them some hope, or even just something that made them laugh. I hope this little spot on the interwebs continues to do one or all of those things.

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 30 - Bacon for Five Minute Friday

Whenever I smell bacon cooking, I always think of a fun Tribe trip many years ago. My friend is from Yellville, Arkansas and every year the town celebrates Turkey Trot, a weekend full of activities that are the best of a small town - a parade, a beauty pageant, and a turkey calling contest. This weekend is the stuff of legends so the Tribe all traveled across the border to experience the festivities first hand.

As with any Tribe gathering, there is always so much good food. We divided up the cooking chores and I made my chilaquiles for breakfast one day and along with the chilaquiles, you have to have bacon. Well, I cooked a whole pound of it in the microwave. I don't know how many batches I made;  everyone was really enjoying it so I just kept cooking it. Everyone except the one vegetarian in the group. Poor Mercedes, she was trapped in the house with the smells of delicious pork wafting through the air. We tried open the doors to the house to fill her lungs with non-baconated o…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 29 - Sea

Several years ago, my mother, sister, and I took a trip to Corpus Christi, Texas. There they have a seawall that lines the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, protecting the city from the waves. Along this wall are gazebos that cantilever over the water. I think my mother could have stayed there for hours, listen to the sea rush to the shore. It was such a peaceful place to be.

I have a white noise machine that I turn on at night. One of my favorite settings is Ocean. There is something so comforting about falling asleep to the sounds of waves. It is like I'm transported to another place other than my land-locked state right in the middle of the US. The sound of the sea takes away my cares and helps me doze off.

One of my favorite stories from the Bible is the tale of Jesus and the disciples in the middle of rough seas. I love that Jesus is peacefully sleeping while the disciples are scared to death. When I think about this story, I picture Jesus standing up upon being awake…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 28 - Hope

I have the bracelet, I have earrings, I have artwork. What I don't have is hope in my heart.

That drives me crazy. I keep thinking that I'm so deficient in faith because I don't have hope but for the life of me, I can't find it. When I think of the future I see blackness, not hope. I try to think of the places I want to see, the things I want to do, but without hope, those things catch in the back of my throat, my dreams dead in their tracks. I don't believe that they will be realized.

I believe in Jeremiah 29:11, God has a good plan for me. I'm just tired of waiting for it. I believe I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. In God's eyes. But without the world seeing that, there is no hope for my future.

This drives me crazy and drives me to fear that my lack of hope is keeping me from my future. But after 8 years of waiting, my hope is running low on fuel. I will go ahead and say it, my patience with God is running thin.

Why is a four-letter word so hard …

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 27 - Perhaps

Tonight at book club, a young woman came to tell us about her trip to Spain and her travels along the Camino de Santiago. She and a lifelong friend spent 21 days walking an average of 15 miles a day. She brought along a scalllop shell, the symbol of the trail, because, as legend goes, St. James' coffin washed up on shore after a terrible storm, covered in scallop shells.

As she talked about how meaningful her journey was, I thought, perhaps I could do that one day. She told of the Sunday she sat in a small church, at the same time of day as her church family was sitting in church, and a song that is often a part of our service started playing in that church in Spain. She said it was so powerful knowing that thousands of miles away, people were hearing the same song and prayer for her as she made this journey.

Perhaps I could have that experience, to know that I'm not alone, that thousands of miles away, people are with me on a journey of a lifetime.

She also told of a part of…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 26 - Whisper

I walked into the amazing 850-year-old building, taking it all in. There were people sitting in the pews, crying. I wondered if they were realizing a lifelong dream to be there or were living out a loved one's dream and remembering them as they sat there. Even though it was full of tourists, everyone spoke in whispers, showing the respect that this beautiful house of worship deserved.

I whispered prayers as I stood there. I thanked God for letting me come to Paris and to see this wonderful Notre Dame. I asked Him for answers, thinking, surely, in one of the most beautiful monuments built to Him, He would whisper back to me, revealing what I wanted to know. Nothing, just the whispers of those around me.

I often wonder if I miss the whispers. Maybe I don't take time to be quiet enough to hear them. Maybe the whispers aren't in the silence but they are in the noise, in the situations that I am in or the people who cross my path.

I don't know that I'm bright enough fo…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 25 - Crash

This is me today at my church's Fall Carnival. The unicorn wig was a huge hit! This was my first attempt at anything on the scale of this event. I had a co-chair, but unfortunately, she had foot surgery a week ago and was pretty much stationary. The festivities were a success I think, with over 200 people attending. I hope we spread some Halloween cheer to these children and their parents and showed them that our church has open doors for all.

By 6pm, I had crashed on my couch. I had registered 10,000 steps on my Fitbit around 5pm. I haven't slept well for many nights worrying about how this was all going to go. So I hope that when I put my head on the pillow tonight, I crash there too.

The thing about today was, it gave me such a feeling of accomplishment. It terrified me but it was so awesome to see my church's courtyard full of people enjoying a beautiful sunny day with their children. I hope that when their days are cloudy, people will return to my church for help in …

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 24 - Silence

I live 45 minutes away from the terrible tragedy that happened today during a college homecoming parade. I went to the rival school, the University of Oklahoma, but today, everyone in Oklahoma is on the side of Oklahoma State University.

They held a moment of silence at the beginning of OSU's football game today. The same was done at OU. I'm sure there were other places that held a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims.

But what is striking me is the silence in the homes of the victims. Four people died, most recently a 2-year-old. How silent will that house be after today?

And what about the silence in this 25-year-old woman's jail cell tonight, sitting alone with her thoughts. What made her get behind the wheel and cause this awful, awful event?

My heart goes out to everyone touched by this accident. I may be Sooner born and Sooner bred but tonight, my thoughts are with the Cowboys in Stillwater.

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 23 - Joy for Five Minute Friday

This is joy to me. I'm standing on the top of the Arc de Triomphe with the Eiffel Tower in the background. I know I keep writing about Paris on this blog but it is my second favorite place on the planet, after my hometown. Both my sister and I feel a pull to this city. Neither one of us speaks much French but the City of Lights feels like home to us. We can't wait to go back and wander its streets, eat macarons, and take in the beauty that is Paris.

I search for joy at home. I like my little bungalow but there it is hard to look past the incomplete projects and those that need to be started. I doubt I'd have grass to worry about in Paris, which would suit me just fine. I feel safe in my home, which is very important. For now I am not worrying about paying my mortgage, which is definitely important when you have a job that is impacted by the oil industry. It just doesn't bring me joy, not like a hotel room in the Latin Quarter that is convenientely located across the s…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 22 - Value

I have thought a fair amount lately about my possessions and what I value. A friend's mother recently survived the devastating wildfires in Northern California. She spent days wondering if her house was spared from the flames, thinking about the treasures, like a box of recipes in her mother's handwriting, that were left behind. Luckily her home was still standing and the recipes are still an heirloom to be passed to her children and grandchildren.

Living in Tornado Alley means you see a lot of news footage of people sifting through the debris that was their home, looking for anything of value that wasn't destroyed by the house falling on it or ruined by the rain that always follows tornadoes. You hear stories of family photos found counties away and returned to grateful people.

When my city is under a tornado warning and looking at the radar I fear that I might be in the path of a twister, I walk around my house thinking about what I will need if my house is leveled. I …

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 21 - Wave

Today has been full of waves of emotion. My co-worker told me that she is going to take the early retirement package offered to her by my company. At first I was hit by waves of happiness for her. She now has two extra years to accomplish the things she wanted to do in retirement. Then the waves of panic hit - how will I do her work and my work? Then I felt guilty and tried to let the waves of happiness wash over me again. Then panic, then happiness, panic, happiness.

It's T-4 days until my church's fall carnival. The one that fell to me to organize when my co-chair had to have foot surgery. First waves of stress in how it would turn out. Then waves of calm, knowing that if the inflatables stayed inflated and the candy doesn't run out, the kids could care less how the rest of it goes. Then questions about plans brought waves of stress. Go to my happy place - waves of calm.

Then I go to Target. I'm shopping, buying the bridal shower card that goes with the gift bag. Fi…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 20 - Temporary

I hate that we look at so many things as temporary. My city was in the center of an oil boom in the 1920s and 1930s and so many of the buildings in its downtown are in the Art Deco style of architecture. Beautiful on both the outside and inside, these buildings are monuments to an age when even appliances were works of art. Unfortunately, many people find the appeal of these buildings temporary and so many of the treasures in my city were torn down to make way for taller, glass boxes of buildings and for the worst reason imaginable, parking.

I look at old photographs and I can't believe the history that is no longer standing because of the temporary vision of people. There was a building just blocks from my home that used to be the neighborhood grocery store that someone demolished recently to make room for a more modern facility. Their temporary desire for something new destroyed a part of a community's history.

The photo above is the ceiling of the lobby of a building in my…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 19 - Honor

I really should honor these people more. They are my wonderful parents and I wish I did them prouder than I do. They are kind, giving people who do more for others than any people I know. They certainly have done more for me than I ever deserved.

My father took such loving care of his mother after her stroke, taking weeks off of work to be by her side while she recuperated. My grandmother always thought there was a chance that she would be able to return home because of my Daddy's loving care for her.

My mother also cared for her mother when she fell and broker her hip and then her knee. She then took her friend to her cancer treatments, which allowed her children to save their time off to be with her in her final days. Her friend's children appreciated her so much that they gave her a figurine from their mother's prized collection, a loving tribute to my mother's kindness.

I wish I was more like my parents. I want to honor them by being selfless, just like they are. …

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 18 - Worth

Oh how I struggle with worth. I've never had a lot of self-confidence or self-esteem, but after my divorce, they really took a hit. Having someone leave you tends to do that. For awhile they were on the uptick, as I was losing weight a few years ago. They were probably at an all-time high when I reached my weight loss goal of 50 pounds. I felt comfortable with my body for the first time in a really long time.

But then the weight came back, and I have felt myself withdraw again. I don't seek out seeing old acquaintances, I skipped attending a funeral because what can I say about myself. I'm single, I have no kids, I have no worth.

I know that's not true. I can't tell you exactly where my worth comes from but I know I have it. I know I have worth as a daughter and a sister. I know I have worth in how I serve my church (even if I did mess up a couple of times this morning while serving as liturgist). However, I don't see worth when I look in the mirror.

All of th…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 17 - Offer

When I started this blog, my intent was to offer myself to the readers, to guide them through a difficult time of their life, specifically a divorce like I was experiencing. I haven't always done the best job finding my voice. Now this blog seems more of a cautionary tale as to how NOT to go through recovery. I feel as though I have taken steps to move forward but I have also taken my fair share of steps back. Some would say my progress has taken far too long.

But here is the thing, no one can tell you how fast you are going to recover from something. Every situation is different, every hurt is different, every heart is different. Especially when it is something like a divorce - every story is different.

So if you are reading this today, know that there is no wrong way to go through something difficult. There is only one way - your way. Please do not let anyone offer you the wrong advice and tell you that you should be over it by now. Your heart will know when it is right to be o…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 16 - Green for Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is Green.

We will soon be saying goodbye to green. The trees in Oklahoma have already started changing colors. They are filling with reds and yellows. This is my favorite time of year. After the brutal, hot summer, the air becomes crisp and outdoors is the place to be. My utility bills have been mercifully low - no need for heat or AC. That means more green in my checkbook.

I try not to think about the leaves falling to the ground and the snow falling from the sky. But I remember something I heard once, without the leaves falling off the trees, we can't have a new start. The dead leaves are our deeds from the previous year, the buds are the promise of good deeds to come in the next year.

So with the green comes hope. New chances, new promises, new life.

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 15 - Laugh

For some reason, when I thought about the word laugh, the song from Mary Poppins came to mind. It is so true that laughter can raise our spirits, almost like it raises the kids in the movie to the ceiling along with Bert's uncle. Sitting around laughing with friends or family is one of the best experiences. But it can be pretty fun when you are home alone. The Subaru commercial with the jealous dog got to me one night, until tears ran down my face and I almost couldn't catch my breath. It was an instant mood enhancer, like a boost of adrenaline to laugh at something as simple as an ad for a car.

One of my favorite memories is of looking through a box of my father's childhood belongings and running across a story that he had written when he was a kid. We read it out loud and as my father heard the words he had written so many years ago, he started laughing. When he could talk again, he told me and my sister that he was proud of us that we didn't laugh at hi…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 14 - Fly

I just bought this book and last night I counted how many of the 500 places I had visited - 25 out of 500, 15 of which I saw in one trip to Europe.

I want to fly to every place in this book. Thinking about traveling excites me and making plans like this is the one thing that gives me hope in my future.

I want to quit my job (after winning the lottery) and travel most of the year.  I want to be a part of the world, not just watch it on TV. I want to see the beautiful places that fill this book. I want to fly so much that a pilot who looks like Sam Elliot sits next to me and congratulates me on my 1,000,000th mile. Traveling with someone who looks like George Clooney would be nice but for so long, I've had the desire to take a trip by myself. I've never done that. I've flown to visit friends by myself, I've flown by myself to a conference where I made friends or met up with people I knew. But I have never dropped myself in a strange town and explored it on my own.


31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 13 - Patience

Patience - you are my nemesis. I have often said when they were passing out patience, I was holding the door for everyone else. I have no patience. This is an enormous clock that not only tells the time but it also shows the constellations and other measures of time. Patience means you have to use all kinds of time measurements when waiting for what you want/need/think you need/think you want. I hate that.

My times are trying my patience. My company offered early retirement packages to 20 people and those 20 have several more weeks to decide their future at the organization. I am very glad that they were gracious enough to give them 30 days to make their decision. However, those decisions will affect my department and we all are having to test our patience while awaiting the outcome. Will we lose some of our friends we've made over the years? Will we all be taking on additional duties? Will we be the next to lose our jobs?

I find that I live my life in increments. If I'm pati…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 12 - Storm

This photo was taken from a bus window as we made our way up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. It was a gloomy, wet day and the rain storm had brought with it fog. It was pretty scary being on a twisty mountain road in such dense fog. The tour guide assured us that our driver had been through worse fog and delivered all passengers safely to their destination.

I often forget that when I go through storms in my own life that I have the best driver at the wheel - God. I get scared and wonder how I will make it through it but all I have to do is trust that He will bring me through the storm. I can relax knowing that He won't leave me in that storm, that He will deliver me safely to the right destination. Why do we fight that knowledge? Why do we insist on trying to grab the wheel and navigate these storms ourselves? I marvel at how I try to dog paddle through the storm, thrashing at the water like crazy, when all I have to do is lean back and float to the shore.

I love the s…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 11 - Rest

Today wasn't much of a rest day. There was Sunday School, then worship service, an hour-long committee meeting, then three hours later a church council meeting, then Bible study, then the grocery store.

But in the those three hours, I visited with my parents and my sister. It is a Sunday tradition that meant a little more today because three men I grew up with were spending their first Sunday without their mother. She passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning.

Every Sunday I take a break and I rest with my family. We go out to lunch or bring lunch in, we watch football or maybe a movie. No elaborate plans, just some time to reconnect with my favorite people that is spent in the home that my parents brought me home from the hospital to, the home that they have rested in for the past almost 57 years.

It may not seem like a long time but those three hours spent with my family did more to recharge my batteries than a whole day of rest on my couch. It gave me the feeli…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 10 - Ready

This photo was taken in a London hotel room two years ago. My sister and I had dropped our stuff off and we're getting ready to see the sights of a city I had dreamed about for so long. Ready to start the three-week adventure of our trip to Europe. The hard airplane ride across an ocean was behind us and we were ready to hit the ground running, jet lag be damned. We were going to make the most of our time there.

That's what I feel like today. I am ready to take on life. The hard part of mourning the end of my marriage (mostly) behind me, I am ready to hit the ground running and make the most of my time on earth. Ready to take on the home improvement projects, ready to spend another year as co-chair of a committee at church, ready to go to work each day and do my job, as well as perhaps another one, depending on how the early-retirement packages shake out. I am ready.

Yesterday my Facebook status was the "One of life's hardest lessons is realizing that the thing that …

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 9 - Trust for Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is Trust.

Trust is the perfect word for this Friday. Today would have been my 22nd wedding anniversary. So many days it has taken everything I have to trust that my marriage ending would not be the end of me. So many days I have looked at Jeremiah 29:11 and strived to believe that God has a good plan for me. Trust is so hard.

You would think it would be the opposite. Why isn't trust easy? We fight so hard to figure it all out, to find the answers, when trusting would be so much easier. Trust is so much easier when it comes to everything in our lives. Why don't we trust that God is carrying us? Why do our brains insist on figuring it out?

I sat in a Starbucks today writing in a Moleskin journal (is it just me or do things seem more profound when written in a Moleskin?) and the words gus…

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 8 - Purple

Purple is my favorite color. I guess that's kind of obvious by the design of my blog. My birthstone is amethyst and it has been a jumping off point for some of my decorating choices, like this wall. That is a wall in my bedroom, painted with Garden Pansy by Behr. The link has a much truer representation of the color than this photo taken with my cell. My bedroom is the second room I painted after X moved out. The first was my tiny bathroom, which is painted Honeydew. I started out small and it didn't seem like as bold a choice as a purple bedroom. I think painting my bedroom purple may have been my way of admitting to myself that X wasn't coming back. I spent a Saturday peeling wallpaper off all four walls. It took me an entire college football game. Then I got really brave and patched a couple of places on the wall. I'm not sure what used to be there, maybe a heater or the aftermath of an angry fist going through the wall. Then I started painting. I love the color an…

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 7 - Love

This post on love probably won't take me 5 minutes to write. It's pretty simple - I don't believe in it.

I do believe in God's love for me and the love that it took for Jesus to die on the cross for me.

I believe in my parents' love. They've been married almost 57 years and still hold hands.

I believe in their love for me - I've never doubted that for one second. And I've messed up in some pretty big ways.

And I believe in the sisterly love between me and my younger sibling.

But that's it. I don't believe in romantic love, the kind you see in movies or the kind that people gush about on Facebook. I believe gone are the days where people overlook someone's quirks and push through to a 57th wedding anniversary. It is a sad existence to feel that way but after being on my own for 8+ years, I've given up on love. I've tried to fill my days with church activities and lunch out with friends but when it comes down to it, I still go home to …

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 6 - Possible

Is it possible that this could be my home in Paris? I have written before about my desire to live in Paris. I am building a library of books about the City of Lights to look at and imagine myself as a part of this wonderful place.

Is it possible that this could be my home church - Notre Dame? Who wouldn't feel closer to God in a place like this?

Is it possible that this could be my view while writing my blog? Think of the wonderful words I could come up with while sitting on a bench in Luxembourg Gardens.

While St. Genevieve watches over me.

Is it possible that I could buy some macaroons at this wonderful bakery?

Because I'll need a snack after climbing these steps to Sacre Couer.

Is it possible that if I lived in Paris, I could see every piece of art in the Louvre?

And the possibilities are endless of the treasures I could find on the shelves of this wonderful bookstore.

Is it possible that after dinner, I could stroll down to the Eiffel Tower and gaze up at its beauty?

Oh …

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 5 - Home

This is my house on a lovely winter day. Before the awning above the front door shredded from the years of sun, rain, and snow. Before the shutters on the right were painted a pea green as a test for all of the windows and trim. Before straight-line winds took out the tree. With all its imperfections, this little 1200-sq-ft bungalow is home to me. It is my haven. Even though it holds some sad memories, it is the place I want to be in more than any other. (Well, besides the Hotel Minerve in Paris).

I have grand plans to replace that awning, one full of vibrant colors instead of the muted greens and reds it held before. I have plans to match all of the shutters and windows with a bright gold or yellow. And I may even plant a new tree to provide the shade that would keep my west-facing house so much cooler in the summer.

I have so many plans for this house. To finish all of the projects started before he left. To cover all of the white on the walls with cheerful hues. To finally install…

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 4 - Embrace

Today would have been my bulldog Molly's 18th birthday. She crossed the rainbow bridge about 6 1/2 years ago and I still feel the void in my life that she left. Molly Josephine was the first dog I had ever had. As a child, we never had a dog and never really spent much time around dogs. But X had always had a dog so when we moved into our own home, we started talking about getting a dog. I wasn't sure about it but once we brought home this little wrinkly pup, I embraced being a doggy mom. Actually, I think she embraced us as the people she wanted to go home with. She came and sat down in front of us and we fell in love instantly.

She had the best personality and was constant entertainment. She could clear a room with her silent but deadly farts. And when I cried, she would come set her chin on my leg.

I am so glad I embraced the opportunity to have a dog in my life. She was just a blessing and even though she was only with me for just shy of 10 years, she brought some much jo…

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 3 - Capture

I went to Europe with my sister in 2013 as a celebration for my 50th birthday. The photo above is the moment it fully hit me that I was in London. We had been there two days and for some reason, as we crossed the Millennium Bridge it hit me - I am in Europe. I captured the moment and grasped that I was realizing a lifelong dream. I. was. in. London.

How often do we ignore these moments in our life and neglect to capture the preciousness of them? It doesn't have to be a major trip to a far-off land. It can be time spent with a parent who is telling you about his days in college some 65 years ago. It could be sitting in a book club gathering when you realize that you have found a group of people that you can completely be yourself with. It could be when you wake up one day and don't feel the longing for the life you thought you would have.

When I graduated from high school, my family took a trip to Hawaii as my graduation present. It was a magnificent trip full of beautiful sig…

31 Days of Five-Minute Writes: Day 2 - Family for Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a writing event that has writers spending five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing them at This week's word is Family.

This is my family, many years ago on Easter Sunday. So much about this epitomizes family to me. Here we are all dressed up in new clothes made by my mother, me and my sister dressed alike as we did for so long. Matter of fact, we still often meet up for dinner dressed alike because our mother often buys us matching items for Christmas. This photo was taken at my maternal grandmother's house, where we gathered every Sunday after church. After time, moves across the country, and increasing age, we stopped this tradition and I still miss it to this day. There was something about touching base with everyone once a week that was so wonderful. I still have lunch every Sunday with my parents and my sister but it just isn't the same as the extended family being together - kids in th…

31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes: Day 1 - Calling

The photo above is what I picture when I think of "Calling", a heavenly inspiration of divine proportions that let's you know what you are supposed to do. I keep searching for that in my life but so far, there have been no burning bushes. The closest I've come is starting my charcoal grill too close to my roses. So for lack of a Moses moment, I have to go with what nags at me - you should be writing on your blog. It's the feeling that hits me when I look at my inbox and see all of the blog posts I've subscribed to. It is confirmed in the joy I feel when I do sit down and write. And it is the ache in me that wishes I could help people heal broken hearts like mine.

For the next 31 days, I'm going to do my best to honor that calling and write. Since I haven't come up with something that speaks to me as a theme, I'm going to push myself out of a comfort zone and write on the Five-Minute Free Writes topics. For the past couple of years I've come u…