A Good Samaritan

I went into the gas station today to fill my gas up. I didn’t really need any gas, I was 3/4 full, but gas was $2.16 today so I thought I’d top off my tank. I went in to pay for my gas and when I came out, this older man was standing next to my car washing my windshield. I approached slowly, unsure of what this man was about. Was he seeing if my doors were unlocked so he could grab my bag and any other valuables? Maybe he wanted to kidnap me or even take my keys and run away.

“Hello,” I said as I approached. I went to my driver’s side and opened the door. I had to get in there to press the button to get into my gas, anyway. He turns towards me and smiles and says hello. I look at him a little confused as I slowly bent down to push the button.

“I was just sitting in my car waiting, so I thought I’d come over and wash your windshield,” he says before heading over to his own vehicle.

“Well, thank you,” I said as he departs and I turn and fill my car up. It was kinda weird but awesome at the same time. I was just thinking only this morning that my windshield needed to be cleaned off at some point in the near future. It made for a good story anyway.

Side note: Today’s my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 66 if he’d been alive. Maybe this other man was my dad’s way of saying he was still watching out for me even on his birthday. It’d make sense if you believe in the afterlife, which I do. It’s a good thought to have, at least. Maybe we’ll do something special since it’s my dad’s birthday and everything. We’ll see how it goes.

Monday Music.

I haven’t updated my iPod in several months. This is due to the fact that I wanted more room on my laptop so I deleted all my music and files. Then a couple weeks ago I decided I wanted to change my music up again and tried to download the iTunes folder and it wouldn’t let me because I don’t have Windows 7 or later. That has nothing to do with my music, but I wanted to share the first 10 songs that I had on my last Playlist that I made and I’ve been listening to them frequently in recent days, mostly because I like the songs. Well, maybe Michael Jackson and Amy Grant not so much, but they made it on my list for today.

  1. I’m Going Home — Sacred Harp Singers at Liberty Church
  2. Stuck Like Glue — Sugarland
  3. Wagon Wheel — Darius Rucker
  4. Compass — Lady Antebelum
  5. Any Man of Mine — Shania Twain
  6. We Were Us — Keith Urban with Miranda Lambert
  7. Come Back Song — Darius Rucker
  8. Ruby With the Eyes That Sparkle — Stuart Duncan on Cold Mountain soundtrack
  9. Say You’ll Be Mine — Amy Grant
  10. Thriller — Michael Jackson

A Decision of Indecisiveness.

I’ve made the realization that I’m not blogging as much as I was, both on my book blog and on here. But what I wanted to discuss was my book blog. I haven’t written anything about books in over a month, since the beginning of July to be honest. I’m not the reader that I once was; in fact, I haven’t been much of one in about 3 or 4 years (perhaps even longer). I thought that when I created my book blog that it’d inspire me to read more by writing about what I’ve read and everything related to reading in general. It worked for a short while, but obviously, I’ve just given up. I’ve been toying with deleting the book blog for the pat month but I haven’t done it yet for a variety of reasons. One, because I spent a lot of time on it and created a little reading corner that a lot a people enjoyed stopping by to read and another because it’s a nice thing to mention in interviews. Another reason is that if I did want to start up a book blog again, I wouldn’t be able to use THAT domain on WordPress again.

After much toying, I was almost ready to delete the blog altogether when I realized that there is an option to hide my blog. It doesn’t delete it and people can still go on there and read what I’ve written (believe me, I checked), but it hides it from my “My Blog Sites” list so that I don’t have to look at it every day and feel guilty for not posting in it. And it’ll give me time to decide whether or not I want to permanently delete the whole blog. Maybe I’ll end up deciding I still want a book blog, but want a different domain name. Maybe I’ll end up not having one at all. In the mean time, I hope I get my writing juices running again and write more here at Ordinary Travels, mainly because I love this little niche I created and don’t want it to fall by the wayside like so many other blogs that I’ve created and abandoned over the years.

Death is Hard.

I never know how to write about death, especially when it’s the death of someone so young and had a lot of life left to live. A week ago, someone I knew in college died unexpectedly at the age of 34. She left three young children and her loving husband and to me that is the worst tragedy. She’ll never see them grow up and become the people they were meant to be. They’ll never have their mother to comfort them when they’re sick or feeling down or guide them through the difficult times. Her husband will be alone without her, to raise their children without his loving partner. I don’t have a significant other, so I can’t imagine the pain he must be going through. But I did lose a parent a couple years ago, so I know how the children are feeling and it sucks.

Death is never easy at any age. You would think after thousands of years, we’d come up with a way to comfort those left behind and help them get through the aftermath, but we haven’t. Some countries and cultures have a better way about dealing with death, but I don’t think we Americans have quite figured it out yet. After all, we have magazines, actors, and models that idolize looking young. Our fashion and medication makes us look younger, rather than to appreciate the process of aging.

I wish I had a more cohesive thought today, but I don’t. Sometimes writing is just plain hard.

Written Desperation.

It’s hard to write sometimes. There are so many topics that float through my mind and all of them are worthy to examine and publish, but a lot of the time I feel like I don’t know enough about it or have a strong enough opinion so I don’t write about it. Other times I just don’t know what to say and I stare at the blank page for so long that I get frustrated and walk away. In the meantime, time passes away and soon there is a long time between my last post and the new one I’m trying to write. In desperation, I try to write something, anything, just to get something written down and out there for people to see. But then, to my utmost horror, I realize that what I’m trying to write is saying nothing at all. And with that desperate knowledge, I go back and press the delete button. Nobody needs to know what my inner turmoil of forced writing looks like.

And so here I sit with my head hung low, my hands held out in front of me in surrender. I have nothing to give you: nothing from a new perspective, nothing that will make you laugh, nothing that will make you gasp with the brilliancy of the prose. All I can tell you is that my mind needed a rest. My fingers couldn’t turn my thoughts into anything meaningful to make your day that much fuller. My mind, in its complicated essence, needed a break from producing creative words.

I hope you haven’t left me, disappointed in my lack of writing. I hope you saw my hiatus as an attempt to bring back what I used to be so that I can have a clearer mind in my future posts. If you were one of those so patiently waiting for me to get my act together, I thank you. I want to come back to my space full of thoughts and written meditations for you to read and appreciate.

My Blog Reading List.

I read different blogs for a variety of reasons: to learn something new, to see what others are up to even if I don’t know who they are, to gain perspective of others’ lives, to laugh, cry, think…the list could on and on. I’d like to take a minute to share some of the blogs in my reading list. These aren’t all of them, of course, but some that I click on fairly frequently. I hope you stop by and visit yourself!

  1. The Bloggess
  2. Raising My Rainbow
  3. Papaya Pieces
  4. Andilit
  5. From My Brain to the Internet
  6. Surrounded by Imbeciles
  7. Coming East 
  8. Writing For Myself
  9. Kelsey L. Munger
  10. Mysterious Heartland
  11. The Captive Reader
  12. And this is why I will die alone surrounded by cats
  13. A French American Life
  14. Bottledworder
  15. Hedgers Abroad
  16. The Captain’s Speech

The Need for Superheroes: Guest Post by Krista

Krista is a good friend of mine who studies creative writing at a college in New Hampshire. She enjoys books and movies of all different varieties including, but not limited to, Harry Potter, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, and superheroes. She works at her local library where she discovers new books and ideas for her writing. I’m lucky to share her piece on superheroes and why we need them in our lives. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.

With the release of the new Superhero movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, it occurred to me that the popularity of Superheroes has grown to a heroic proportion. Bad pun, I know… But, the idea of having super powered heroes to save the world, or displaying astounding moral fiber, has become a larger theme in many recent films and novels. These fantastical, powerful heroes have existed in the world’s mythology and folklore for thousands of years, and we still use their heroic themes today.

The themes that come from these Super films and novels have become less focused on the “perfect” heroes, such as Superman, and have focused more on flawed heroes and anti-heroes. Heroes such as the Avengers have a combination of flawed and broken characters that create a functioning single unit. Even redeemed villains have a more prominent place in films and novels in today’s pop culture, such as the new adaptation of Loki in the previous Marvel films. Another example is an upcoming Disney Channel movie “Descendants”, which focuses on the Disney villain’s children in their possible search for redemption.

Themes in movies and novels that promote the Hero’s Journey is something that has always interesting me, so the big Hollywood interest in Superheroes has had me excited. It’s sometimes hard to except facts that we’re either not strong enough, brave enough, or we keep making wrong choices. Watching characters portray those flaws in ways that explain the message while also giving us something to admire, is fantastic. While some people may have an issue with all the Superhero films, TV shows, and novels, I for one am grateful to still see them around. Superheroes are large moral motivators because they are not perfect and they need help sometimes to get through hard times. The need for superheroes has grown since their creation and I don’t see them ever disappearing. They’ll just adapt to the culture, and that makes me super excited!

“You only have your thoughts and dreams ahead of you. You are someone. You are something.”

– Batman

“You’re going to make a difference. A lot of times it won’t be huge, it won’t be visible even.  But it will matter just the same.” – Commissioner James Gordon