Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shelley Was Here

Sometimes I take for granted what a nice neighborhood I live in. It's not a rich neighborhood by any means, but it's a cute, cozy suburban one. Also, it's perfect for walking and jogging, and I walk/jog around town daily. (Trying to work my way to jogging a 5K in September, but something tells me I'll only be walking that 5K.)

As nice as my town is, I don't know my neighbors too well. I do tend to notice which houses have kids, and which have expecting mothers (more than one on our block), mostly because I like to work with kids and always keep an eye out for babysitting opportunities on the side.

On my usual walk/jog last week, I passed by a house whose residents I didn't know. They must have had kids (or grandkids) though, because on the sidewalk in front of the house was a brontosaurus drawn with green chalk.

(FYI, the brontosaurus is -- and always has been -- my favorite dinosaur. T-Rex is overrated.)

I didn't know that children lived in or visited that home, but that chalk dinosaur practically shouted, "A child was here!"

It got me thinking... what objects or creations in my life would tell others, "Shelley was here"? Since this is a writing blog, some easy choices are my manuscripts, stories and song lyrics. But then there are smaller, more everyday things: my bulletin board of post-it reminders to myself; my colorful purse left carelessly on a kitchen chair; most obviously, the displayed photos of me with family, friends, and favorite celebrities.

They all say, "Shelley was here."

What things in your life let others know YOU were here?

24 comments:

Joshua said...

I prefer the ninja approach. I do things and people don't even know I was there; they just find things done.

I was so sad when they told us that the Brontosaurus never actually existed. Apparently the guy who "discovered" it took the body of an Apatosaurus and put a different dinosaur's head on it, and called it something else.

And thus crushed my childhood. :o(

Lynn Proctor said...

used napkins or extra paper towels are likely to be near me--they call me the napkin queen--and usually a half gone can of diet soda---i love the green dinosaur!!!

Loree Huebner said...

I collect beautiful rocks and flat stones from Lake Michigan. I get creative with them. You find them all over my house - in a jar on the counter, windowsills, shelves, the bathroom, on the deck. Sometimes I'll put one in my hubby's briefcase. He knows that I'm thinking of him.

Emily R. King said...

Great post! I often wonder if I've left my mark on the world. Perhaps I should start drawing brontosaurus' on dirty cars. :)

Meredith said...

Aw, how sweet! Brontosaurus was definitely the best dinosaur. :) My mark? Probably something along the lines of scribbled-in journals and worn out running shoes.

S.P. Bowers said...

What a great question, wish I had a great answer. I'm not sure, maybe used notebooks and a certain type of pen. But I don't really scatter them around, I keep them pretty close, and I never leave them behind.

Julie Dao said...

Such a cute post! I guess my drawings would let people know that I was here... I make sketches for each story I write (not good ones, mind you) that range from maps to characters to just about anything that inspires me.

Christine Rains said...

What a wonderful post. I notice little things like this too. I leave whatever book I'm reading at the time lying around on the couch or table. A cup with my water, or a water ring from that cup.

Jemi Fraser said...

I leave pens EVERYWHERE! Apparently I'm secretly urging people to write! :)

Nas said...

A great post Shelley, I also often wonder what mark would I live on the world? Maybe if I'm lucky then the good deeds of my daughter?

Kim Van Sickler said...

Hmmm. My backpack would be a dead giveaway. Ever since college I've shlepped one around. I found it much more convenient than a diaper bag when I had young children and then even as they got older it seemed like a good way to carry all the stuff that they didn't want to carry but we needed to have when we went out. Plus it's a good way to tote around the book I'm reading, a notebook, my camera, my suntan lotion. (You get the picture. Never know what you might need when.)

Mina Lobo said...

I think I'm known for being in my own head a lot. At least, I'm guessing I am, seeing as I'm in my own head a lot. :-)

Some Dark Romantic

Kathy Collier said...

I love the dragonfly and collect them in jewelry or glass objects, and a few drawings. My kids have said, "Mom, when you are gone, every time we see a dragonfly we will think of you.
So I suppose they will have me in their thoughts often, as we live in Florida and dragonfly's (also known as mosquito hawks) love mosquitoes.
My whole life I have been fascinated by them. Their eyes, their bodies, and their awesome colors are so intriguing to watch. "What unique creatures they be. Aye?"

Kathy Collier said...

Oh forgot to tell you, I'm just dropping by to say hi. You're on my members list, and I wanted to visit everyone. I'm loving your site.

Romance Book Haven said...

My writings online would probably be here long after I'm gone.

Interesting things to ponder.

Caryn Caldwell said...

That's so funny; I was JUST thinking about that earlier today as I looked around our bedroom! Of course, houses are easy to leave their mark on, so I'd say the gifts I've given to other people.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I remember drawing on the sidewalk with chalk when I was a kid. That was fun. I guess my manuscripts would let others know that I was here too. And my journals, though I don't know if I'd want everyone to read those. I once accidentally left my journal in a cafe. When I came back to get it, the employees joked that it was very interesting reading, but I couldn't help feeling very embarrassed nonetheless.

Missed Periods said...

A cup of coffee and bottle of sparkling water. I am always drinking one or the other.

Nick Wilford said...

I guess the biggest one would be my daughter. She's a smart cookie and I get the feeling she'll achieve a lot more than I ever will! Nice post.

Susan Fields said...

Great question! I think I leave a trail of writing books, notebooks, pens, and pencils (and of course my laptop) wherever I go.

Carolyn V said...

I hope I leave my mark with my kids (a good mark). Second, my writing. ;)

Janna said...

I'm not sure. I know what it would be for my kids and my husband, but when I stop to think about myself, I'm stumped. Sounds like a fun conversation at dinner time.

sjp said...

Sometimes we strive too much to make our mark, without realising how we affect lives of friends and family who definitely know we are here.

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