a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Friday, February 21, 2014

31 THINGS day twenty-nine

I am participating in a class with Ali Edwards through Big Picture Classes called 31 Things.  Every day includes a word, writing prompts, dig deeper prompts, a writing tip, Ali's example, and a photo challenge.  In addition to the prompts, templates for a physical album and/or digital album are included.  I am creating a digital album and plan to share the results here over 31 days.

created with Photoshop Elements 9 and tools from 31 Things with Ali Edwards

day twenty-nine | smell

We never walk in the front door.  We park along the curb, taking the sidewalk to a narrow path that runs alongside the house, around to the back.  Francesca with a bright red bandana that Grandma calls babushka is peering out the window.  I wonder if she is ever allowed outside because every time we see her, it is through this window.  Always a flash of red covering her braided hair, as if she is from an earlier time—perhaps a leftover playmate from Mom’s childhood.

Along the narrow walk between Grandma’s house and Francesca’s window, tomato plants grow tall enough to look me in the eye.  I barely pay them any attention.  The delicate tangle of leafy stems vining amongst wire support frames cannot compete with the mystery next door.

We round the corner behind the house, climb the wooden porch steps and head into Grandma’s kitchen.  As soon as I step foot inside, I steal a peek behind the open wooden door, hoping to see the little birdie I am often told lives there—the one who tells Grandma my secrets and reminds her about special events, like birthdays.  I have a vague sense I am being teased when Grandma talks about her little birdie, but I can’t stop my eyes from sneaking behind the door to be sure.

All it takes is the smell of a tomatoespecially a tomato freshly pulled from a vineto take me back to Grandma’s house. 


  1. I enjoyed this peek into your memories, Christy. That little bird was in my childhood too! My smell is baking-always baking. Thanks for perking my memories too.

  2. For me, it's my mother's rarely-made-but-oh-so-delicious apple pie with from-scratch crust. More the smell of warm spicy stuff as the filling baked...

  3. Oh, how I loved reading this entry. Your words are sweet.