Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

Words? I Know Dozens Of Them


Oh, The Creative Process. It’s not as simple as those three little words might indicate. It is a delicate and fragile thing – a lot like a soufflé, one jarring moment and it all falls as flat as a three week old Dr. Pepper.

On a good day I can sit down and knock out enough to fulfill my daily blog requirement in less than an hour. I try to keep it between 500 – 700 words. That is enough to make my point (If I have one) or at least get to the punchline. That’s all I ask. I don’t try to push my Muse too far. Of course there are those other days when it all hits the wall like wet spaghetti.

Lately (the last couple of weeks) have been like a family fight in an Italian Restaurant. It has been a struggle to scrape together 500 words that make sense and/or are entertaining to some degree. Why has it been like that? I have given that question some thought. Have I come up with an answer?


The period of time of this inability of mine to be Creative has coincided with some of the coldest temperatures in recent years. Here in sunny Terre Haute (That’s French for “I’ll make another pot of tea.”) the thermometers were indicating that it was Minus 9 Degrees outside our door. That’s just freakin’ ridiculous. I saw that the Wind Chill factor was down at about 45 degrees below zero. That didn’t bother me because there was no way in hell that I was going outside. I felt a little sympathy for the squirrels (None for the raccoons) that were out there hunkering down trying to survive, but this boy was not going anywhere.

When things get that cold there is no way I can stay warm. I may be in the house. The furnace may be working. I may be sitting on top of one of the furnace vents, but it gets into my bones anyway. And when I am cold I turn into a mindless piece of furniture.

As the Mercury drops, so does my IQ and my vocabulary. At Nine Below Zero my IQ is at about room temperature and my personal lexicon crumbles until I have command of only about a dozen words.

When we were going through the worst of that cold I was putting on more and more sweaters, hoodies, and turtlenecks. I had more layers than a Dobosh Torte. I was starting to look like the Michelin Man. It didn’t help.

When I reached the limit of how many clothes I could wear and still walk I had to go technical. During my last trip to the Super-Duper Mega-Store I stopped by the Sporting Goods department and picked up a fistful of those little chemical reaction hand warmer thingys that hunters and professional protestors carry to fend off frostbite. Those little things are great. They are only about 2” X 3” in size, but they generate enough warmth to make me smile for 4 to 6 hours. They are not enough to make me feel like I’m sticking my toes in the sand in Palm Springs, but they help. I also have a solid state plug into your USB port hand warmer. I charge up that gizmo and it gets hot, not warm, but hot, for about an hour. That can cut through the chill in my bones long enough for me to heat up some soup.

Right now it is a nice balmy Zero outside. We are supposed to hit 20° degrees this afternoon and I will have to go out. I am going to prime myself with some spicy Mexican food and those little hand warmers. Hopefully I will survive to write again.

Wish me luck.

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One thought on “Words? I Know Dozens Of Them

  1. Balmy zero. You are so funny, John! February is the pits with weather and gloom. It’s a wonder any of us can write a thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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