10th Anniversary Reflections

While Arnie and I waited, we talked and looked out of the restaurant window. Hot and sweaty people were walking across the sweltering black parking lot toward the entrance. Our waitress soon came and took the order and brought us coffee.

Overhead, a spinning fan indiscriminately scattered icy gusts of arctic air. A nearby diner, who was wearing a sleeveless top shivered convulsively. I hunched down inside my collar and encircled the coffee mug on the table in front of me with cold fingers. Visibly carried on a thin vapor of steam, the delightful aroma of creamed coffee found my nose.

I smiled at Arnie and said, “You thought I was being silly when I brought a sweater along tonight, didn’t you? I’m glad I’ve got it with me!” Leaning forward, I said in a tell-all whisper, “I’ve heard that the ladies room in this place is so cold…that the management has hired a POLAR BEAR to be the bathroom attendant.”

Arnie grimaced at my silliness.

A man approached our table. He stopped and self-consciously asked, “You’re Kathy Richardson…the lady who writes the column in the Buyers’ Guide…aren’t you?”

I nodded.

He exclaimed with a big grin on his face, “I TOLD my wife I recognized you! When you first walked in…I said, ‘That’s Kathy Richardson!’ …I want to tell you how much I enjoy your columns! Have you ever thought about writing a book?”

This month marks the tenth anniversary of my “Life Lines” column for the Marshfield Buyers’ Guide. To my delight and enjoyment through the years people have frequently approached and talked to me about the topics I have chosen.

Anniversaries are good times to reflect on what has been accomplished. The following are a few thoughts I’ve had:

Some people ask me, “Where do you get the ideas to write about?” I have to admit…I once worried about running out of ideas, but after ten years…they are still coming to me fairly easily. My topics are the stuff of everyday life. They are things that most everyone can relate to.

To my great amusement, one of my most popular topics has been about the mice in my house. I had one reader tell me that she enjoyed the mouse stories…but that SHE would NEVER admit that there were mice in HER house!

My dental hygienist told me that my column, “Beast from Hell” made her laugh so hard that she cried. She knew where I was coming from because she was going through house remodeling herself!

Other columns like the one about Flicker, our faithful, much loved pussycat’s death, or the one about going with my daughter to buy her wedding dress, made people cry. One woman teared up as she talked to me about her own experiences. I am humbled by the effect that my words have on people!

Several readers tell me that they cut out my column and send it to relatives in other states. I wish I had kept a journal to record all of the places mentioned. One woman told me that after her relatives finish reading my columns, they take them to the small local library, where they are put in a scrapbook and out for others to read.

It is with pride that I am able to point out how I have not missed a single weekend column during the entire ten years. SOME writers…like Irma, Ann, or Abby…take vacations!

There are 52 weeks in a year. Multiply 52 by ten years, and the answer shows I’ve put out over 520 columns since June of 1990. Each column is 600 to 850 words long. That means I’ve written over 365 THOUSAND words. (And THOSE are just the ones you’ve seen! I’ve thrown out many more than THAT!)

“Have you ever thought about writing a book?”…The answer to that question is, “YES!” Lacking the time to do it has held me back…until now! I am MAKING TIME. My first step into the book world will take place this fall!

My gift book titled: Christmas Life Lines is a collection of nineteen Christmas essays. There are fourteen seasonal recipes tucked between the stories, photos, and bright colors throughout.

This book would never have come to life without the kind encouragement given to me by my faithful readers. To all of you who have stopped to tell me how much you enjoy my column, I say a very grateful, “Thank-you!”

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