Author Archives: Kim Peterson

Have You Hugged Your Tree Today?

Why do I love trees? Maybe because I was born where a tree flourishes on the town’s courthouse clock tower. No, I am not making that up. The town fathers of Greensburg, Indiana, keep the mulberry trimmed, but they can’t bring themselves to remove it.

I also come from a long line of tree huggers who celebrated them when “green” was only a color. Not that I loved my parents’ endless Tree Tours. We lived where poplars, maples and beeches zigzagged cornfields’ edges. So why take everlasting Sunday afternoon drives, incarcerated with siblings, just to look at trees? My parents oohed and aahed about spring dogwoods and redbuds as if at a fireworks display. Dad bought us icy cold bottles of Coca Cola — if we spilled a minimum of blood during back seat battles.

Photo by Kim Peterson.

A contractor, Dad avoided tree removal. Rather than chop down a dogwood, he constructed our house’s wooden deck around it. Friends chuckled, not realizing he was setting a major landscaping trend — a few decades early.

I didn’t realize I’d absorbed my parents’ tree fanaticism until we moved to the Oregon desert. Tawny hills surrounding our town looked indecent, bare except for scrubby little pines. Our Midwestern family wondered if we would die of tree starvation. My parents nurtured fast-growing pin oaks like newborns. But I left for college, so they couldn’t grow fast enough for me.

What a relief to return to Indiana University’s wooded campus that exploded into a thousand bouquets every spring! My husband and I later lived in married student housing on aptly named Redbud Hill (aka Roach Hill, but we tried to think positive).

Later, in our house’s backyard, a crabapple’s rosy blossom clouds celebrated our younger daughter’s birthday.

Every spring, I visited a gracious, aunt-like apple tree on our block who, dressed in her fragrant, flowery Sunday best, waved whenever she saw me.

One day, she vanished! I circled the area, hoping by some magic she would emerge among new house studs.

“You expected somebody to build his house around a tree?” Hubby tried to delete his thankfulness that I hadn’t known about Aunt Apple’s removal beforehand. He wouldn’t have relished dragging me away from bulldozers.

I can’t rescue every tree that takes a fall. But this tree hugger can’t help growing grouchy, because it takes even God decades to grow a tree.

Baby trees now flourishing outside my window are, as the biblical psalmist says, clapping their hands at my speech. Thank you, thank you.

Hey, I clap with them. Because the applause belongs to the God of green, without whom none of my forest friends would be possible.

He’s kind of a tree hugger, too.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite springtime tree?

Here Comes the Sun

Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay.

“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun.”
                                                —The Beatles

Decades ago, a science book convinced my brother Ned the sun was a star.

I scoffed. How could the big, round, yellow sun and white, diamond-chip stars be one and the same? Anybody with a brain could tell the difference.

Besides, had anybody ever suffered from star burn? Huh? Huh?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Eventually, my teachers forced me to admit Ned was right. However, this April, I find myself playing cynic again. Despite Indiana’s strong evidence to the contrary, scientists insist the sun is still there.

Whether you believe the scientific or my sensible view, one important expectation remains: with May’s imminent arrival, here comes the sun! Let sun rituals begin!

North American ceremonials are less all-encompassing than ancient Aztecs’. They believed they perpetuated the sun by sacrificing human hearts. But we do follow the sun’s dictates year after year — despite protests from dermatologists, who prefer we live in subterranean caves.

Nope. No ritual is more sacred than sunbathing. Women will pay big bucks for the smallest amount of fabric they’ll wear all year, then don cover-ups and hats. When quarantine’s over, we hope to set up beach umbrellas and tents. We’ll slather ourselves and our kids with gallons of sunblock. A fog of its fragrance, similar to fall’s smoke from burning leaves, will fill the land. All to protect ourselves, at any cost, from the sun, for which we have yearned the past six months.

However, that’s not the only odd chemistry set in motion by the sun’s advent.

Grill addicts will barbecue every meal outside, including romaine (which is wrong on so many levels). Picnics will dot the land. Despite sun worship, everyone calls dibs on shady spots.

All part of the love-hate rituals we keep religiously with the sun’s advent.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

We also up our junk food consumption to proper warm-weather levels. Dieticians, citing the availability of fresh produce, delude themselves that we will eat healthy.

Seriously? In six decades, I have yet to encounter a single concession stand that sells carrot sticks. Unless they’re deep-fried. And dipped in chocolate.

Unfortunately, when the sun gleams through dirty windows, we sense a moral obligation to wash them. Our cars, too, as the slush excuse won’t work anymore.

We also fertilize grass we don’t like to mow and bushes we hate to trim as well as plant flowers we hate to weed.

Amazingly, we don’t avoid these rituals. On a lovely spring day, we may even embrace them, because here comes the sun, ready or not!

I think we’re ready.

Even if we get star burn.

Image by jplenio from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite sunny pastime?

Thumbs Rule

Recently, I discovered my thumb.

Well, I always was a late bloomer.

Seriously, I learned afresh this odd appendage accomplishes far more than catching rides.

My breakthrough resulted from a nutritious lifestyle. While slicing veggies, I sliced the tip of my right thumb.

I hate the sight of blood — especially mine — so I won’t describe the gory scene. Once the bleeding finally stopped, I sought bandages. Ours were antiques. Though left-handed, I couldn’t open the packaging, let alone apply the BAND-AID®.

Hubby to the rescue. However, the old BAND-AIDs® wrinkled, crinkled, then stuck only to his thumbs.

“When did you buy these? During the Depression?”

“Why should I buy BAND-AIDs®, anyway?” I retorted. “Aren’t you the doctor around here?”

Hubby tossed the latest attempt into the trash and turned back to his computer. “Actually … I’ve retired.”

Hmm. I could a) press this paper towel on my thumb for a week; b) go to the ER; or c) be nice. Though distasteful, the last option appeared simpler. And cheaper.

A few “pretty pleases” later, he had sealed a BAND-AID® over my thumb.

Now, I could return to my regularly scheduled program.

Nope. My thumb yelled in pain when I typed.

Didyouknowspacebarsareveryimportant?Andthethumbthatpressesit?

I couldn’t turn a key without blood. My wimpy fingers pressed the remote in vain. Couldn’t open a medication bottle. All because of a cut on my thumb.

I soon was to discover more tasks it had performed for years without complaint. Joining socks. Turning pages. Tying shoes.

I tried to persuade my index and middle fingers to work together to zip my coat.

Why, when I was left-handed, did this mess with my life?

I discussed the issue with Left Hand, soliciting more help until Right Hand healed.

Lefty, however, turned thumbs-down: “I’m good for writing. For feeding you. For six decades, I’ve covered the important stuff. If you think I’ll unscrew saltshakers and insert earrings, too, you’re nuts.”

So the week continued, with cooking, showering and playing euchre more complicated than advanced robotics.

Lefty, Righty, and I tried not to vent our aggravations on Hubby, who extended a frequent helping hand.

My thumb is mending. Recently, I inserted earrings without stabbing my ears. Or jugular.

Soon, I will return to life as usual.

Disabled veterans, minus more than a thumb, will not. Neither will my friend with multiple sclerosis and her husband. With a faith in Christ that staggers me, they daily invent new ways to cope.

I discovered my thumb this week. Overall, did the experience reap dividends?

I think so. Gratitude is priceless.

Though Righty took the hit, she agrees.

And even Lefty gives it a thumbs-up.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you rediscovered a reason to be thankful?

Off to Israel: A Holy Pilgrimage

Do you find a visit to another locale revamps your life?

My husband and I did, when we postponed our house’s new siding and, instead, journeyed to Israel.

The city of Jerusalem. Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay.

Overseas flying resembles being locked in stocks. Announcements ending with, “A pleasant night to you and dear children. We are hoped oxygen-air work” did not reassure us. Still, flight attendants gave us menus. We Americans, accustomed to toss-pretzels-to-the-masses treatment, exchanged wide-eyed glances. Steaming hand towels preceded exotic meats, vegetables marinated in spices and oven-warm bread.

“You’re eating eggplant?” I stared at Hubby.

“Mmm.” He munched away.

“Would you eat eggplant at home?”

“No.”

Even a holy pilgrimage can exert only so much influence on a husband.

We landed in Tel Aviv and, wobbling from jet lag, began a week-long feast of scenes straight from our Bibles. We saw where Joshua watched Jericho’s walls collapse. Where Deborah, Israel’s only woman judge, advised generals. Where David defeated a giant, hid in scorpion-infested desert caves from his insane father-in-law, and finally triumphed as king.

Our guide said the Sea of Galilee’s waves could morph into 12-foot monsters if the wind changed moods. They could sink a boatload of disciples, past or present, without the help of a walking-on-the-water Storm Specialist.

Perhaps Jesus and His disciples, as our group did, swam in the Dead Sea, guffawing as they struggled to anchor their floating feet.

We experienced the ancient buildings of Jerusalem, its narrow, crooked streets, and tunnel-like marketplaces, a seeming combination of mall and dungeon; Cana, where Jesus partied and turned water into wine; and the Mount of Olives, where He cried and prayed.

We stood inside two possible sites of His burial, tombs where Jesus carefully folded the cloth that had covered His dead face before exiting — then scared the daylights out of His disciples!

Some scenes we viewed, though, were never seen by Jesus. Veiled women wearing earphones. Camels tied outside filling stations. Souvenir shops selling Cubs shirts with Hebrew characters. Hard-eyed young men with machine guns in Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.

Fortunately, most memories call up different images:

A waterfall at the En Gedi oasis.

Gushing waterfalls in a deadly desert.

Rowdy bar mitzvah processions celebrating skinny 13-year-olds under canopies surrounded by boogying relatives, drummers and virtuoso clarinet players who ritually run down tourists.

Market booths boasting Israel’s favorite fast food, falafel, consisting of deep-fried chickpeas.

“You’re eating that?” I stared at Hubby.

He chomped away. “Mmm. Could you make this?”

“No.”

Even a holy pilgrimage can exert only so much influence on me.

Still, a visit to another locale can revamp your life. Crammed in an 11-hour ride home, you find yourself dreaming of when you can return.

The view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever walked where Jesus walked?

Playground Justice for All

Though adorable, little people firmly believe the cosmos revolves around me. I’m first, while the rest of humankind stands in a Disney World line, applauding such wisdom.

As shoe sizes grow, though, so does the unwelcome conviction that other people matter.

My parents and teachers mercilessly preached that we should take turns. So, on the playground, we pondered how to settle who was “it” in tag and hide-and-go-seek. Who would go first during world championship four square and hopscotch tournaments? Who won the right to the highest monkey bars (and most likely trip to the ER)?

Teachers suddenly abdicated. “Work it out.”

Crying — which worked during early grades — now roused irritation. Scathing cries of “Baby!” ensured the weeper would never be allowed to lick someone’s red licorice whip.

So, we clobbered each other. Then discovered recesses in the principal’s office weren’t fun.

Eventually, junior diplomats introduced oral traditions whose influence has rivaled the Constitution’s. A future Secretary of State — or mother — gathered playground barbarians in a circle and chanted a rhyme. On the accent of every poetic foot, she pointed to each tennis-shoed foot:

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,

Catch a tiger by the toe,

If he hollers, let him go,

Eeny, meeny, miney, moe.

Federalists advocated emphatic law enforcement. Those leaders bumped our fists:

One potato, two potato, three potato, four,

Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more.

Jeffersonians advocated individual input:

Bubblegum, bubblegum, in a dish,

How many pieces do you wish?

With each rhyme, the person matched with “moe,” “more,” or “wish” would be “out” or “it,” as determined beforehand.

Rock-Paper-Scissors prevailed in later years. Participants simultaneously shaped their hands into a rock (fist), which beat scissors (two spread fingers), which beat paper (a flat extension of the hand), with paper triumphing over rock.

This tool currently rules playground games and restaurant checks, even aiding our judicial system. According to a 2006 CNN report, a Florida federal judge ordered two lawyers to settle their ongoing dispute through Rock-Paper-Scissors on Tampa’s courthouse steps.

Purists argue that Rock-Paper-Scissors is not truly random. Tournament players study which gestures are favored by opponents. During competition, they may confuse rivals by shouting, “Rock!” while giving a “scissors” gesture.

Playground rhymes didn’t always prove just, either. Smart little number nerds like my husband, often leaders in “Eeny Meeny,” “One Potato” and “Bubblegum,” exerted definite influence on outcomes.

Life wasn’t and isn’t always fair. We still should promote the best justice possible, right?

Perhaps the President and Congress should follow the Florida judge’s example. “One Potato, Two Potato” or “Rock-Paper-Scissors” might help settle governmental stalemates.

A little playground justice might even solve the current toilet paper shortage.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What was your favorite playground-justice tool?

Hidden Treasure

Image by guvo59 from Pixabay.

When you hear the word “treasure,” do your ears perk up like a kitty’s at the whirr of a can opener?

My ears wiggle, too — though as a child, jewels, in particular, fascinated me.

When I was a preschooler, a kind lady, aware of our family’s poverty, offered to buy my sister and me Easter clothes. She was rich, so I reveled in fantasies of princess dresses of red velvet, encrusted with precious stones.

Instead, we wore blue-and-white gingham. Not a single sapphire or diamond on them anywhere.

At sandy beaches, I buried quartz pebbles, marking their hiding places with an X. Someday, I would dig them up and sell them for millions. Then I’d wear princess dresses and eat Dilly Bars every single day.

In my heart of hearts, I knew few found for-real treasures in Indiana cornfields. Jesus told a story about a man discovering a “pearl of great price” in a field, but I never found one.

Still, I tried to hide my everyday treasures, with limited success. My younger brothers, who couldn’t find their shoes if their lives depended on it, possessed sophisticated built-in systems that detected all candy bars within 50 miles.

I also loved fruit — another commodity that disappeared quickly at our house. When my mother brought home ruby-red apples or golden oranges, I sneaked several and hid them in my bed’s headboard for secret indulgence while I read Little Women or Black Beauty.

Much later, I learned that I came from a long line of fruit pirates. My Southern grandmother treasured apples as if they were made of gold. When Dad brought her bags of apples from the Midwest, they vanished. An even better treasure detector than his sons, Dad found them under her bed. Once, while visiting my parents, I was vacuuming bedrooms when I discovered his apple stash as well.

Thus, my toddler grandson’s precocious ability to hide treasure shouldn’t have surprised us. He mostly spirited off other people’s valuables. When car keys, remotes, or backup flash drives vanished, his parents immediately identified the chief suspect. After extensive treasure hunts, they might find their billfolds nestled in 50 pounds of cat food.

Or maybe not.

They still considered that little larcenist a treasure — and Grandma certainly agrees.

I’ve never dug my fingers through piles of gleaming doubloons or gems, but the ring of precious faces around my table glow with greater worth. The only diamonds I own are small solitaires that shine on my left hand and on a silver anniversary necklace, courtesy of the shy, loving guy whose once-hidden treasures have taken a lifetime to discover and enjoy.

Makes my ears wiggle just to think about it.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What do you consider your treasures?

Dancing with the Wind

Clutching my second grade reader, I watched cars and semis whiz past on the highway, but my school bus didn’t appear. Only my imagination kept me company.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay.

My imagination and the wind. It swirled, breathing earthy spring smells and twittery bird songs.

What do you do when you’re seven years old with no agenda?

You dance with the wind, of course.

I skipped and leaped more like a spring calf than the ballerina twirling in my head.

The porch light went on. Mom poked her head out. “Honey, are you all right?”

What kind of question was that? “I’m dancing with the wind.”

“Oh. Okay. Just don’t get dirty.” Mom closed the door.

The wind and I resumed our dance until the bus arrived.

Eventually, I learned to keep my performances secret, though spring’s Chinook, as Laura Ingalls Wilder called it in The Long Winter, and I continued joyous rendezvous.

However, watching evil Miss Gulch of The Wizard of Oz during a cyclone gave me second thoughts about Mr. Wind.

My own stormy encounter at age 18 confirmed the wind’s erratic moods. Trees fell around my car, power lines sparked, and a nearby chimney exploded. Had the wind gotten up on the wrong side of the continent? Still, I loved its gentler caresses.

My husband never has understood my wind fetish. One sultry night during our early marriage, even the open window above our pillows didn’t cool me. I moved mine to the foot of the bed. Ah, the ecstasy of wind on my toes!

Hubby, who awoke to feet in his face, wasn’t ecstatic.

Ceiling fans help keep us together.

Lately, I’ve winced as the wind has powered trash cans and downspouts past my window. I don’t relish the prospect of spreading Weed & Feed® mostly on me — and Rhode Island.

If we camp this spring, we and our camper may follow Miss Gulch to Oz.

At home, you might find me and my laptop in the bathtub, a refuge reminiscent of the tub where I once read to three antsy little children until an all-clear siren sounded. Thankfully, our bathtubs were/are of the literary variety.

Despite grown-up reservations, the wind still holds a fascination for me. The force that spins windmills like pinwheels recalls Jesus reminding rich, powerful Nicodemus that the wind — and God’s Spirit — are way beyond our control.

Image by TheOtherKev from Pixabay.

The spring wind still burgeons with life. Some dark, early morning, I’ll answer Chinook’s call. We’ll dance while no one watches, turns on a porch light, or calls the police.

Why do I want to dance with the wind? Possibly because my grandmother passed down her Native American heritage.

Her middle name was Zephyr.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever danced with the wind?

Ahhhh … Ewww! or Aaa-chooo!

Image by Peter H from Pixabay.

Say the word “lilac,” and ghosts of perfumes past waft through me. Bushes pour their lush scent through an open window into my teenaged soul. My toddlers take turns carefully sniffing purple blossoms along a neighbor’s fence. My husband plants a lilac for me on Mother’s Day.

Say the word “lilac” to my allergy-ridden friend, and she thinks “dynamite.” She once considered sneaking into her churchyard at night and blowing up bushes that every spring swelled her nose to clown size.

The beauty of a scent is definitely in the nose of the beholder. For one conscientious church custodian, ammonia spelled righteous spring cleaning that should characterize God’s house. However, my office faced a restroom door. Ammonia’s powerful fumes wiped out this choir director’s brain cells — critical because she owned so few.

Cultural factors play major roles in olfactory opinions, too. Many Frenchmen eat Époisses cheese. Southeast Asians consider the hedgehog-shaped fruit durian delicious. But because of their, er, distinctive smells, laws in both areas forbid taking these foods on public transportation.

And you thought your Uncle Archie’s garlic breath reeked.

Thankfully, many scents imprint positive impressions. Hubby’s marriage-long aftershave. Vanilla tippled into birthday cake batter. Autumn’s smoky, smoldering leaves. Plump baby necks. A new book with crisp, untouched pages. (Kindles will never replace that.) An old book with its mellow air of wisdom. (They will never replace that, either.)

A tiny tinge of flavor in warm spring air proclaims, “ice cream.” My husband says I can sniff out any ice cream within 50 miles. (Ice cream trucks, take note: add extra guards.)

Perhaps your nose, like mine, shifts perspective per experience. The smell of June roses may recall an evil prom date who handed you a corsage one night and, the next, dumped you for Bambi LaBody. Contrariwise, the return of a familiar bison ambiance to your college-age son’s bedroom fills your heart with joy.

Image by Kirsi Kataniemi from Pixabay.

Given the power of smells, shouldn’t we be grateful our Creator did not design us like dogs? Their noses are 10,000 to 100,000 times as sensitive as those of humans. I am doubly glad I am not an elephant — and not only because that nose might mess with family portraits. According to a Baltimore, Maryland, zoo, this pachyderm’s trunk can outsmell any canine nose, anytime!

In heaven, someday, perhaps mine will surpass them. My allergic-to-lilacs friend, Uncle Archie, and I, sans furry nose or undulating trunk, will together inhale the beautiful fragrance of Christ. No more “ewwws!” or “aaa-chooos!” Only “ahhhhs.” Our holy noses’ sensitivity will make those animal buddies’ olfactory talents compare to stuffy-sinus flu.

Even better, every smelly memory will be a perfect one.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What are your favorite smells?

Umbrella Magic

Image by Dr. Georg Wietschorke from Pixabay.

When I was a preschooler, my mother said umbrellas kept high-wire performers from falling. Would carrying an umbrella atop a swing set morph me into a lovely lady wearing a sparkling bathing suit? Then, perhaps, the world would see the magic me.

But the umbrella didn’t turn into a parachute. I fell like a rock.

Nevertheless, umbrellas continued to enthrall me. Why wouldn’t my mother buy them?

I understand now.

First, what five kids can do to a helpless umbrella staggers the imagination. When my mother gave in and bought one, all umbrellas in the store bowed in a moment of silence. During initial roughhousing, someone raised the newcomer inside the station wagon, resulting in broken ribs.

Sometimes, a lucky umbrella survived and took refuge in the front closet, buried among mittens, hats and boots. If not so fortunate, it found itself in a fencing match with a broom, both wielded by little brothers.

Occasionally, a foolhardy umbrella permitted itself to be discovered. It faced more fencing matches at the bus stop and a school bus ride among 40 passengers intent on poking each others’ eyes out. However, after occupying a dusty corner of the lost-and-found, it eventually vanished into the Alternate Universe where half of all children’s possessions abide, never to be seen again.

As a preteen, I decided to purchase my own umbrella. Because awkward Jo March in Little Women found true love under the umbrella, I thought I might, too. But umbrellas cost three whole dollars. When a friend from Indianapolis offered to buy me one for only one dollar, I requested red with polka dots. Instead, she bought one covered with old-lady pink and yellow flowers. Mom made me smile, thank her, and pay her $1.25.

Still, it possessed a magic of its own. On rainy Saturday mornings, I ventured into our slumbering village, rendezvousing with imaginary loves who shared my umbrella and the rain’s gentle, percussive music.

When did the magic disappear? During college in Bloomington, Indiana, which boasts more rainfall than your average Amazon jungle. I often left my umbrellas in classrooms. Skipping lost-and-found, they entered the Alternate Universe, leaving me to empty my tiny bank account to buy another. I also shared elevators with 30,000 other umbrella-wielding students. My love affair with umbrellas might have ended forever — except that a special young man raised his below my dorm window to signal his approach. We have shared umbrellas for 45 years now. …

This chilly March day, as I again walk a college campus, umbrellas bloom like spring flowers, sheltering laughing, shivering students on their way to class.

Do they feel the magic, too?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do you like rainy walks under an umbrella?

Saga of the Sofas

I flop on our sofa after a busy day, thankful it’s comfy and fairly presentable.

Unlike its predecessor, Old Plaid.

I don’t remember Old Plaid’s original hues. After a quarter century, it could only be described as kid-colored, a motley mix of Kool-Aid tints. Rubbed with greasy popcorn, anointed with salsa, its cushions had been shaped into forts, castles and stair sleds, its creaky hideaway bed ravaged for M&M’s.

Call it a record of family history.

Call it a mosaic of life.

I called it butt-ugly. Its saggy condition reminded me of my own losing battle with gravity. I would have sawn Old Plaid in half rather than move it to our new house.

I delayed calling The Salvation Army, afraid they would turn it down. So, I made my husband call.

When their workers loaded Old Plaid into their truck, I wanted to kiss their feet.

I also wanted to throw myself into their path: “Stop! Don’t you understand a mother’s and grandmother’s heart? My babies puked on that sofa for decades!”

I had to move on. After waving a sad goodbye to Old Plaid, I forced myself to seek a new, pukeless sofa. Sensing my pain, Hubby stayed by my side. He also went sofa shopping because it involves lying down and taking naps.

We found the perfect couch. At least, I thought so.

“Red?” Hubby stared.“Red?”

I gave him credit. Although his very DNA rejected it, he went along with me. 

Unfortunately, the poufy, red sofa also was a sleep machine. Every time I sat, I would lapse into a week-long coma.

A neutral shade might work better, anyway. We examined a few hundred brown sofas. One’s fabric resembled a quilt made of old bomber jackets. I liked it. Hubby, in the last stages of terminal shopping, agreed. Our grandchildren couldn’t damage it; the sofa already looked like they had shaved it with driveway rocks. Plus, we would look cool. However, our children, who don’t appreciate our Old Hippie ways, would have us committed.

So, we made a responsible, boring decision. I turned down the red sofa. We ignored Big Bomber and bought a different brown couch.

This sofa of destiny belonged in our family. Solid and great for a long nap, but not fatal. It made friends with our carpet and drapes. We christened its teddy-bear-soft cushions with Sunday afternoon naps.

Occasionally, I recall Old Plaid. Maybe another young family’s toddler soaked it with his Sippy Cup and made it feel at home. Or some unsuspecting in-law has spent tortured nights on its hideaway, never to straighten again in this life.

I still miss Old Plaid.

But not that much.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What “Old Plaid” do you miss?