“You can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone,” Nate’s ghost whispers to Claire when she wants to photograph her family in the series finale of the HBO television show “Six Feet Under.”
When I was a child, my parents remodeled our Little Green Bungalow by tearing out walls to open more space. Before the wall was sealed with drywall, I placed a letter to the future in the new wall of the kitchen.
I was all of about 9 or 10 at the time, but the letter detailed the house’s history (my parents purchased it brand spanking new in 1948), our family’s history and our current family members and dogs names. I don’t know where I got the idea; millennium time capsules weren’t even on the radar in the early 1970s. Perhaps I had heard of some other time capsule project or maybe I got the idea from all of those archeologist books I scanned in my childhood (my mother wanted me to grow up to be an archeologist in the worst way!)
Whatever gave me the initial idea, it was renewed last year watching a show called “If Walls Could Talk,” a show that documents people finding cool reminders of their home’s history. Old bottles, children’s toys lost in floorboards and dropped into unsealed walls, even letters and photographs hidden away for decades and even centuries.
On this show, the walls really do offer a window into the past.
When we were building The Belle Writer’s Studio in 2008, I decided to write another letter to the future and drop it into an unfinished wall of my office.
If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to learn how to tap into your own experiences to write, then you might want to join us on Saturday, January 16 at the Bel Arco Resort in Bull Shoals, Arkansas for a writer's workshop.(Bull Shoals is about 1.5 hours south of Branson, Mo.)
My workshop, Write What you Know, which I originally developed for Johnson County Community College in the Kansas City area, will include pointers and lots of exercises to help you tap into your own passions and life experiences to write for business or just for yourself.
We'll be writing from 9a.m. — 1 p.m.
The cost is only $10, but you have to be registered by January 8.
Send your check or money order to:
Mary Nida Smith
c/o Bel Arco Workshops
162 Stamford Dr
Lakeview, AR 72642
I hope to see you there!
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a very Merry one, and I hope, if you had the opportunity for some time off, that you enjoyed some down time with family and friends, hearth and home.
The thing about having a small space and celebrating Christmas is that you have to find the room to put the stuff you just got. Granted, we didn’t get much stuff, I asked for things I needed from Dale – a bottle of good smelling burning oil, some lotions, and sweats (my work wear). We also got a few other things and lots of candy and various food items. Still, all of this stuff had to find a home in the pantry and closets to keep to my mantra of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
I couldn't resist getting up this morning and snapping photos of our first white Christmas at The Little House. We caught a dusting last night of the storm that battered the Midwest.
Here is a photo of Sade (left) and Emma on the road leading away from The Little House. It's a bitter cold Christmas morning here in Arkansas, so I'm not so sure the dogs didn't think I was a little crazy taking them out on the road in the pre-dawn.
Merry Christmas, everyone!