Learning to Love What It Takes

Sometimes what's left behind also tells a story

Read time: 4 minutes

My daylilies are blooming. And for the first time, there’s no one to tell.

My Granddad had a backyard full of daylilies. He’d gotten into them when vegetable gardening became too much work, and when I say into them, I mean INTO them.

He and my grandmother would take road trips to nurseries and small growers, and he’d buy boutique varieties for $50 or more (sometimes much more).

After a few years when they were flourishing—which they always did—he’d divide them and give the extras away.

He loved giving them away.

When we bought our house, he gave me several that I’ve had ever since.

And when he passed away in 2013, it became a habit every summer to send my Grandmother a picture when they first bloomed.

But we said goodbye to her last August, and now it’s just me and the lilies.

I’m not a gardener.

I have no skill with plants and, to be truthful, not nearly enough patience.

But I understand something. The lilies aren’t just lilies. They’re love, and the memory of shared things.

What things are like that for you?

  • Photo: surely this was someone’s locket. Whose? When? How often did they open it, and what did they see in the face of the person inside?

  • Quote: the online writing journey, summed up

  • Book: currently reading

  • Story: Pop Tarts and your midlife crisis, and some great advice from Michael Thompson on story craft

Currently reading. When I started on Medium in February 2023 my chief goal was to develop a writing habit.

Now that I’m further down the road, it’s time to expand my thinking.

Too many online writers are looking at the wrong things.

It’s holding them back.

Confession time, y’all.

I haven’t finished the Baymax story yet that I told you last week I’d share. I’m halfway through it, but as can happen with personal stories the writing is a bit slow.

Rather than rush it and give you something half-baked, I have two pinch hitters!

  1. My latest boost on Medium: Relax—Pop Tarts Are Older Than Your Midlife Crisis. Focus On This Instead.

  2. And a gem from Michael Thompson. If you like writing, or stories, or writing stories, you should follow him. The Future Belongs to Storytellers—Here Are 9 Ways for Your Stories to Beat the Machines

  • Come across a story or idea you’d love to see included? Let me know!

  • Join Medium with this friend link to start your own journey and to support other writers through the Partner Program, for just $5 a month

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