Hi! Welcome to “What’s Your Story?”, the occasional Tuesday space where I invite YOU to participate in the writing. Thanks for everyone who contributed to “Your Name Story.” There are about 10 good stories there for you to read at your leisure. For each Tuesday, I offer a writing prompt. In 200 words or less, YOU get to practice telling YOUR story.
In Episode 32 of “Living in a Body,” I mentioned my recent purchase of a 3-wheel electric mobility scooter. I’m so happy with this purchase. I’ll tell you more in the comments, but having been mostly housebound for last year, what a treat it is to be cruising on the bike trails with the wind blowing through my hair. Who’s up for a bike ride? :)
So… what’s a good purchase that you’ve made? It could be anything… at any time in your life — a particular brand of dental floss, an antique rocking chair, a 1972 Oldsmobile or the house you’ve been living in for 60 years. Tell us the story! We can’t wait to hear.
Tip of the Week: The more I do it, the more I discover how difficult writing is. I’ve developed a regular writing practice and I regularly want to give up. It’s just so hard. My tip for you this week is to practice. Writing is a muscle and it needs to be worked. Writing 200 words on “your good purchase” will work that muscle and when you’re done, your brain will thank you for it.
Keep it 200 words or less! (Word Counter) Be honest. Have fun. Don’t hold back. Leave your contribution in the comments. I’ll go first.
Because I live with moderately severe ME/CFS, I haven't been able to ride a bicycle in over a year. It takes too much physical exertion. On Thursday, a shipping truck showed up at my house to deliver a three wheel electric mobility scooter, the "Excalibur." Fortunately, my caregiver Mango was here to help put it together. Within minutes of completing the job, I was zipping along the Cuyahoga River testing out the new ride.
On Friday night before bed, I took it out for another spin. Within minutes, I was downtown in the middle of a city wide music festival. Feeling a bit conspicuous with my three wheeler that has lights under the hood, I was amazed at how many positive comments I got from the people I passed: "Awesome!" "Cool Ride" and "I want one."
On Sunday afternoon, I called in to my neighbor’s side door. “Hey Merl! Wanna go on a bike ride?” After an enthusiastic "Yes!", Merl and I rode all the way to Middlebury Road on the bike trail. It was fun to ride side by side -- except for the times when I opened up the throttle to top speed. From now on, I'm wearing a helmet.
As an intrepid gardener, I absolutely love my small garden clippers. I love it so much I have purchased FIVE over the last two years. As I trim , cut back tree limbs, remove spent flowers, I have sadly misplaced/lost every one of them. I imagine they can eventually be found deep in my compost pile in years to come. Every time now when I go out to work in the garden, I promise myself I will keep track of the clippers. Nope, it happened again last week. I wish I could post a pic of the 6th one I just bought at Ace’s. It has bright red handles and is guaranteed to ‘be found!’🤗
I know there is a lot of “adulting” in this purchase, but the sump pump system I purchased about ten years ago was the best thing I ever bought. I apparently live over a shelf of limestone that doesn’t drain very well, so water doesn’t just come in from the outside – it can bubble up. The wet basement made me dread rain, and I LOVE a rainy day! I used to have deck shoes specifically for basement excursions, and of course there was drywall down there getting wet. Add the loud cacophony of fans. If you listened closely, you could also hear the electric meter spinning. When the crew dug the trenches they tore out all of the walls, too. No mold = miracle, or a house actively breathing. Now I hear water flowing into the trenches around the perimeter of the basement and wait for the lovely whirr of the pump, then the whoosh that will propel the offending liquid back out into the backyard in the great circle of water life. It’s not as sexy as a lot of purchases, but it was a good investment in a happier life.
When I divorced and moved into my little house, it came with a very small fridge. I'm tall and love to cook but felt endlessly frustrated with having to crouch down to see what I had to work with and losing food buried in the back. Six years of swearing at my fridge every day was enough. I spent nearly a year saving for a larger fridge with a bottom freezer.
It's stainless with a single fridge door, not the double door style, and roomy and bright. The freezer has an ice machine so I don't feel annoyed with my kids for never refilling the trays they endlessly emptied. I can see most everything on hand by simply opening the door and standing in front of it. No more down on knees to dig things out of the back and I find it so much easier to do food prep as well as to keep the fridge clean. It's been over a year since I got it and it still feels like a daily miracle. Here's hoping I bought one that won't fail early like so many appliances these days because that was a big expenditure.
When I had COVID last year and spent 2 weeks in bed, I discovered I NEED A NEW BED!!! So I bought a new bed. But that's not the purchase I want to tell you about. It was the bedding, inspired by my niece Hallie, that I love. I got the luxe Brooklinen bundle, including sheets and new pillows and comforter.
I am very persnickety about my pillows. They can't be too hard or too soft. If my pillow is not just right, I can't sleep. I love my mom but her house is full of shitty pillows. (Hi mom <3) I'm happy to say I found THE PERFECT pillow. The sheets are yum yum and every time I wash them they get yummier. As someone who has sometimes let the washing of my sheets go way too long, I wash these sheets frequently because I want more yum. And the comforter. Oh the comforter. It's the perfect weight of warmth and wonder.
Every night I am excited to crawl into bed because I LOVE MY BED SO MUCH -- the sheets I curl up in and the pillow I rest my weary head on. Someone once told me "Don't skimp on your shoes or your sheets, since that's where you spend most of your time." I'm happy to say I did not skimp and I have no regrets.
I like small purchases. At the dollar store I find a net with a wooden handle, a metal ring and a quality cotton/nylon weave. This gives a kinetic grandchild a way to spend three-year-old energy racing back and forth in the shallows of Brady Lake hoping to catch a minnow from the swarms. Thoughtful on the way home, he says, “Uncle Larry uses a fishing pole.” So I find a sturdy stick, attach a string and a bright red bobber. He sits quietly on the shore and waits. On the way home, he says, “Uncle Larry uses a hook.”
The net becomes a way to fish tadpoles from our small pond in the spring and the pole becomes an eternal sword named “Elkinor.” Soon, we have a severe winter with deep snow that creates “fish kill,” a complete die-off of the bass and bluegill, eaters of tadpoles. After the thaw, thousands of bullfrog tadpoles swarm onto the grass at the rim of the flooded pond. Easy pickings. When tadpoles are easy, the net is revived as practice in patience. He holds the net steady, an invisible presence, and snaps up minnows with a flick of the wrist.