And the Message Is . . . ?

27 Feb

childhood homeYou get to be my age, you spend a lot of time thinking about the “good old days.”

Truth be told, I’m not sure they were any better days than today’s days, but I think we always want to think things were “better” at one time or another, right?

I was thinking about the house I grew up in on North 18th Street in Tacoma, Washington.  We moved there when I was five.  I lived there until my mother remarried when I was twenty-four.  Almost twenty years in that home and yes, there are some great memories associated with it and yes, there are some painful memories as well.

I think when I was about eight or nine my dad put a basketball hoop in the back yard.  The hoop was attached to a sheet of plywood, and he attached the whole thing to the back porch.

Allow me to set the scene for you:  the basketball hoop attached to the back porch overhang, above the cement patio.  At each corner of that patio was a fruit tree.  I remember we had an apple tree, a plum, a peach, and a pear, and when that basketball hoop was originally hung those trees were maybe five years old and not an obstruction at all.

That changed with each ensuing year.  Each year saw more and more branches stretching skyward, sometimes at odd angles, so eventually it became necessary to either cut off some branches or learn to shoot the basketball around or over them.  I chose the latter.  I learned to shoot at odd angles.  I learned to shoot with a higher arc. And I learned trick shots which came in very handy when friends of mine would come over and we inevitably played competitive games like “Horse.”

I was practically unbeatable at home, the ultimate home court advantage, thanks to those four trees.

Yes, that all happened, but it could also be used as a metaphor for those of us who are writers and/or creative types.  The interesting thing about metaphors is they quite often mean different things to different people.

Think about it!  There’s no need for me to state the obvious to you very smart people.

Have a great week unless you’ve made other plans.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

20 Responses to “And the Message Is . . . ?”

  1. Janine Huldie February 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm #

    Perfect metaphor if you ask me. Oh and even though I am a bit younger than you, I do think back more and more now to when I was a kid. Things might not have been perfect, but still I feel like I more or less was lucky to have a pretty descent childhood. So mostly good memories still prevail. Thanks for sharing and Happy Tuesday once again now 🙂

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

      You and me both, Janine! I lucked out with parents and I loved my kid days. Happy Tuesday, Janine!

  2. Mike February 27, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    Hello Bill – At twenty-four, I had just served three years for good old Uncle Sam. The basketball story is great, and that home court advantage remarkable.

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm #

      Mike, I’m damned glad you made it through safely. Thanks for all you do.

  3. Greg Boudonck February 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm #

    I love it Bill.

    We all can win with our home court advantage.

    You have yours and I have mine and there is really no need to play away games.

    Great post!

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

      I love it, Greg! Love the way you said it. Thank you!

  4. susanzutautas February 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm #

    Writing can sure be a challenge Bill and I love your metaphor.

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

      Thank you Susan! I had fun writing this one.

  5. Kathy February 27, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

    While I enjoyed many parts of my younger days, I, too, enjoys the days I have now. And the new horizons still opening for me as I start a new exciting part-time job at our local university. Maybe this new adventure will bring more fodder for writing…

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

      Aww, thank you Kathy. I appreciate you stopping by with a comment. Have a great week!

  6. Sarah Potter Writes February 27, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

    Yes, a great metaphor, Bill. If you have obstacles put in your way and they make you reach higher and think your way around them creatively, you can achieve greater things than if everything is too easy.

    However, obstacles are not so good, if you have a lazy streak and give up easily!

    And yes, I keep on finding myself talking to people of my own age, or older, about how much better some things were when I was young than now. Of course, this wasn’t the case with some things, but the things loom large that were better, such as people walking along the road together or sitting in a cafe actually talking to each other, rather to someone at the other end of a mobile phone. There I go … can’t help it.

    Wishing you a wonderful creative week, my dear friend.

    • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

      I’m the same way, Sarah! Yes there were obstacles back then, but I much preferred “back then” to now.As a society we need to change things. I’m just not sure how we go about it.

      You? Lazy? I simply don’t believe it!

      Have a superb week my talented friend.

      • Sarah Potter Writes February 27, 2018 at 5:56 pm #

        LOL, I wasn’t talking about myself. I’m someone who doesn’t know when to stop! You should have seen me a week or so back, when my husband’s computer got trashed by a Windows 10 update and the Microsoft techies said they couldn’t fix it. I was like a dog with a bone for most of two days, thinking my way around things, up and over them, until Bingo, the solution came to me. He now has a fully functioning computer instead of one condemned to the electronics graveyard. No, I never give up and never give myself time to be lazy. It’s exhausting though. sometimes. I’m sure it’s because I drive myself
        that I have such a low BMI, and this, despite having a borderline underactive thyroid!

        You and I will keep reaching for those goals, won’t we Bill, my also talented friend?

      • Billybuc February 27, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

        Sarah, I don’t know how to stop. Seriously, I go full-speed until dinnertime and then crash. LOL And I also believe it is my drive to stay busy which is partly the reason for my good health. I don’t have time to be sick. 🙂 I have too much I want to do.

  7. Emese-Réka February 27, 2018 at 11:39 pm #

    This is a great post, Bill. We need to learn from those trees. Especially if we are educators or parents. Your trees were growing slowly, adding the challenges little by little. Which was perfect, right? No challenge, you get bored and stop. But if the trees would have appeared suddenly full grown, adding too much challenge where there was none before… well, you get the picture. I am going to try to be like your trees, Bill, at least when it comes to challenging my kids. 🙂

    • Billybuc February 28, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

      I love it, Emese! The beauty of stories and metaphors…different meanings for different people. Thank you for your kind comment and best wishes to you.

  8. Sageleaf February 28, 2018 at 3:09 am #

    I like the way you improvise, Big Bro. 🙂 And I like your metaphors and similes. You are wise, Grasshopper. I used to play Horse from time to time with my dad, but the apple tree we had was about 10 feet away. The most action I’d ever seen from that apple tree was when two bear cups sat under it one night after getting home from school and they were munching on apples. My dad told me to get inside immediately because he suspected mama bear was nearby. We never did see her, but I still think about the crunchy eating sounds those to cubs made behind the basketball hoop and you made me smile as I read your story – it brought back memories of playing basketball with my dad.
    Hope you’re having a great Tuesday, Big Bro. Sending hugs!

    • Billybuc February 28, 2018 at 2:39 pm #

      That’s the beauty of stories, Lil Sis: they bring back memories for us all, strong memories to reflect upon..and emotions bubble to the surface…all because of a story!

      Keep on keepin’ on, my friend!

  9. 1authorcygnetbrown February 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    I certainly get it. We always have options. In many ways we have more options today than ever. If queries don’t get you where you want to go with traditional publishers, there are small press publishers or even self-publishing. Some of us may even make one of those choices on purpose.

    • Billybuc February 28, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

      Yes indeedy, Donna! We always have options. These are exciting times in publishing and writing. Challenging for sure, but exciting nonetheless.

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