IT MIGHT BE SPRING . . . And Then Again . . . .


If Winter and Spring were two of Mother Nature’s four children, I’d picture them as twins, boy and girl.

Winter, the only boy of the four, is mischievous and teasing, sometimes rough and unkind, in everybody’s face, testing his powers during the season given him by his mother.  I can see him sculpting ice fantasies one day, snow castles the next, tiring of it all sometimes, allowing his sister Spring’s sun to burn through the cold, but never for long.

Spring would have her hands full, keeping her brother within his boundaries, out of hers, practicing patience while waiting for her turn to rule. As the seasons begin to merge, she tests his waning strength, subtly encouraging snow melt by increasing the warmth of the sun.

Winter responds with tantrums that explode into late snows and icy rain, and the new sprouts who’ve answered Spring’s call, curl back into the ground. Spring doesn’t cave. She boxes Winter’s ears with warmth and blue skies. Finally, Winter yawns and sinks into his cozy corner to sleep until his sister, Autumn, wakes him.

It’s fantasy, I know, but the give and take of winter/spring this time of year is maddening, with seventy degrees one day, dipping to thirty the next. The roses think it’s spring, and I wonder if their tender new leaves will survive this late surge of cold. Daffodils, hyacinth, crocus, and snowbells brighten gardens today, but a late snow will destroy the blooms. Our meteorologists say this dip won’t last but also warn that the roller coaster ride of warm/cold is probably not over yet.

So giving the seasons personality and building a story around them . . . well, that’s what writers do, right? Besides, It helps make this unsettled weather pattern more acceptable.

But I wish Spring would get on with it and send her brother to his corner to sleep.

Sometimes Learning Comes Hard . . . Very Hard!


Just so you know — writing a blog is easy. Making the blog look appealing is another whole ballgame. There’s a strange, new language to translate into understandable words. Widget? HTML? Codes? Tags? Categories? Stats?

In the beginning, it was all about the words. Blogging was fun, sort of putting thoughts about things that mattered into an open diary that anyone could read and go “uh-huh” or not. It was good.

Then came the learning about STATS. I learned that each one of my blogs had a page full of statistics. How many people looked at my posts? Read them? Liked them? Commented about them?

Oh. My.

My blog is a free one, through They do all the right things, like giving help and advice and nudges to help along the way. They do blogging courses, online, that help new people like me get started, and they try, really try, to make blogging fun and, well, to make blogs interesting and invite followers.

Back to Stats. I like to blog. I love words. I like to share my thoughts. The stats showed not much sharing going on. Must be something I’m doing wrong?

Well, yes. For starters, how about the title? I could probably improve on “CBrodtrick – Writing Senior.”

I spent an afternoon playing with phrases, finally choosing “Affinity For Life.” After checking other people’s blogs, I found they almost always used a tag line. So I added “Everything Matters – Some Things Just Matter More.”

And since it’s pretty certain my mind does wander all over the place and some things do matter enough to write about, I decided the title and tag line might just work.

Then. . .my blog looked pretty blah. Not much color. A lot of words on white. Back to WordPress for some searching. I found I could customize my free site to a certain extent – add some color and a favorite picture of one of our gardens. It did improve things a bit. However, there was more learning to come.

What were widgets?

I found out they’re those things you add to make a blog more interesting, like an author bio and favorite bloggers’ blogs and — well, I’m still figuring widgets out.

And that’s where I am now. Still learning. The stats will tell me if you like the improvements you see, and comments always help.

Future blogs will have more changes, I’m sure, as the language of blogging gets easier to understand. But, old fashioned as I am, I still do believe it’s the thoughts behind the words inside the dressed up blog that entice a reader.

Yes. Some Things Do Matter More.

Wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, and considerate, full of mercy and good fruits –Jas 3:17

When bad things happen, we’re never prepared. Maybe that’s because God, in His wisdom, wants to keep us from dwelling on a future we cannot change. We live with the fact that tomorrow is a question mark, even while we hope it will be pleasant and productive and good. So when bad things do happen, we can only ask for the words and actions that will comfort and soothe those they happen to.

I pray for that wisdom now as I pray for the family and the soul of a young man who died just yesterday. It was a senseless death and one he would not have wished on all who loved him so much.

It is right that we love our children beyond full. That we love them so much we don’t even think about it. That it’s just there, day in, days on end, forever. We love them and hold them tight inside us even when we don’t physically touch them.

So when sudden, unexplainable death stops the breathing, douses the spark – the light of inner being – there is no way forward. There is now. There is this. And there is realization that the laugh, the teasing, the tolerated hug, the birthdays with candles and cake and the years ahead when his never to be born babies call you Nanna or Gramma, or Grandy, will never be. There is no answer to the question that keeps repeating itself: Why?Why?Why?

I pray for all who share the grieving and am grateful that there is solace in prayer, though it can be sharp at first, filled with recrimination and anger.

Anger because we couldn’t prevent it. Anger that this child, our beloved child, did not understand the danger of drugs. Anger that God allowed it to happen.

But acceptance does come. And with it comes a plea for help, for wisdom.

I pray especially for the family – this special family who has been so much a part of my own. For you, I pray that this gift of the Holy Spirit folds itself around you, layer upon layer, so that you feel the prayers of all who grieve with you. I pray that all our prayers wrap you in a cloud of comfort.

It’s All About Me

birthday weekend #5pg

Yeah . . . this time it is all about me. I just enrolled in Blogging 101 and this is an introductory post about why I blog and who I am and the kinds of things I want to blog about.

For starters, I am on the upper side of “older.” Try eighty. I’ve been a writer for most of my life, beginning back there as a high school sophomore writing my first published words in an ongoing teen column for one of our hometown newspapers. In college, I majored in Journalism and then Communications. After college I began a career in television as a copy writer, winning some awards for the station before trying my hand at writing TV scripts. From there I went into Advertising Agency work and later moved into Public Television, where I spent the rest of my career until retiring.

Words captivated me early on. Choose them well and they motivate, teach, energize, soothe, create – always create – a mood, a happening, a story.

So now, on the other side of youth, having stored so many words and thoughts in journals, I want to share what it’s like to be “older” but not sitting around waiting for life to end. I want to encourage others to embrace life no matter the age, to express thought, no matter the possible contentiousness of the subject, to remain a participator because life does not pass any of us by unless we allow it to.

I choose to blog because it’s a way for me to connect with others, with you, to hear what you have to say. I also have a middle grade novel to finish, a family history to edit, and a finished novel to market. I never want to stop writing or playing with words. I never want to stop learning and honing my craft, either.

Which leads me to the end of this “me” saga. Except to say thanks for the opportunity.