Writing Class


You may remember in an earlier post I mentioned I used to go to the Benson Senior Center with Mormor.

We took a Creative Writing class there. I was not really interested in this class and was far from a devoted participant.

I didn’t care about learning to write creatively. I didn’t do the writing exercises the teacher gave us because I didn’t comprehend what was being asked.

I listened to the stories of others and paid attention here and there. I wasn’t in to writing.

I was capable of writing a decent business letter and the occasional simple pleading in my work life.

My favorite class in high school was Journalism. The teacher who taught the class oversaw the school newspaper, The Chieftain. She asked me to be on the newspaper staff.

I was so flattered and so badly wanted to do it. Unfortunately, my schedule prevented me from being available at the necessary times. This was as close as I ever came to writing — except for English papers!

It was a huge letdown, but yet I realize life is made up of big and little disappointments.

After much cajoling by the writing class members, I finally succumbed and wrote something. It took me awhile to select a topic and to begin writing.

I was a pure beginner. Several of the people in class were longtime writers. At least one of them had published a book.

Hence, my hesitancy in writing something to share with the class. Judgments galore. My insecurities. Just didn’t want to put myself out there.

When we finished a piece, we were to read it out loud in class. Another lady in class read Bruno’s Porch for me. I knew I could not get through it without crying.

I wrote this in 2015 while Bruno was still with me. (It is minimally edited and graphics added.)

Tabby — Collage by me

Bruno’s Porch

What can you say about a screened-in porch that would make it special? After all, it is just wood, screen, and Astroturf. But it’s more really, just ask my cat, Bruno.

More than anyone else in my family (which includes my husband, Paul; me; our dog, Daisy; and our other cat, Clem), Bruno loves spending time on the porch.

When we were looking to buy our first home and deciding what we would like in a house, the only thing I wanted was a screened-in porch.

Paul wanted a basement, a yard with possibilities, and a place for a vegetable garden. He got those, and I got the screened porch.

The first thing I bought after closing was a set of white wicker furniture. I hadn’t unpacked many of our belongings, but the porch was ready come what may.

Through the years we have had a couple of dogs. They have entertained themselves quite well here.

Our first dog, Buddy, managed to chew the wicker table in a bad way. It took Paul’s skill at repairing things to return the table to a semblance of what it was supposed to be.

Our next dog, Daisy, loved the pillows on the settee. She had a couple of fun hours shredding the pillow stuffing to pieces.

I actually have the classic picture you have seen where the dog is sitting in the middle of the mess it has made. What a blast she must have had.

There was the day my next-door neighbor came over for a visit wearing a cute black dress. I was sitting in the wicker rocker while she shared the settee with Daisy.

We talked and had our lemonade. It came time for her to leave. As she stood up, she discovered Daisy had chewed a substantial hole in her dress.

Yes, it was ruined. We had a great laugh about it and she bore no ill will.

Bruno & Clem

Unfortunately, there have been times when the porch served as a resting place of sorts. Our cats still bring home some little wildlife they have stalked and place it on the welcome mat for safekeeping.

Just the other day, Clem, who I refer to as the huntress, brought us a present of a cardinal who had met its demise. This was not a happy event on the porch but it was part of life.

We had our wedding celebration on the porch. We were married three months previously at the courthouse and wanted to celebrate with family and friends.

The porch was a great place to make that happen — naturally, spilling out into our peaceful backyard. Our wedding celebration is a great memory.

Another event was a family get-together at Easter. I am not one for entertaining.

I did manage to have a ham, two large tables with chocolate Easter bunny centerpieces, and plastic grass.

Family members brought dishes — we didn’t eat just ham and chocolate bunnies! The lunch went well. I survived being hostess.

Promotional Material sent to me by ASPCA

I remember my in-laws coming over and how much they enjoyed sitting on the porch with their wine and conversation.

My father-in-law was relaxed on the settee, looking out over the yard, particularly enjoying the dahlias in their colorful bloom.

It was at that moment I thought one day when he was older Paul’s dad might live with us, a pipe dream really.

I think he would have enjoyed spending some of his days on the porch. I loved my father-in-law.

There was the time my dying brother-in-law stopped by for a visit. It was great seeing him, and he enjoyed sitting in the wooden rocker and visiting.

He never came by our house so it was special that he did. This was the last time I saw him. Some memories of the porch are sad.

Part of what makes Bruno’s Porch so wonderful is the view of the backyard. Paul, to my mind, is a master gardener, although he has never taken the test.

Kind of like Mother Teresa being a saint and yet she has never been officially declared one. (Author’s Note: Since the writing of Bruno’s Porch, Pope Francis proclaimed Mother Teresa a saint on September 4, 2016.)

One time I had a friend at work ask me if my yard was landscaped. I replied it was a nice yard.

Another friend standing there who had been to the house replied, “Don’t let her fool you. Her yard looks like the botanical gardens.” I’m spoiled.

Photo by me

On Bruno’s Porch, I like to rock in my rocker, sip cold wine, and reflect and contemplate.

The porch is a great place to be during a thunderstorm as the thunder sounds, the lightning bolts, the wind chimes chime, and a cool breeze passes through.

It is the best place to read and to journal.

This is what brings me to Bruno. I have not seen anyone, myself included, enjoy the porch more than my Bruno, especially in the hot, humid days of summer.

He can sleep for hours, barely moving except for the occasional change to the settee or the glass tabletop to cool his furry belly.

He becomes drunk with sleeping in the sun. So at peace, as though he were on the Serengeti.

I hope to have the feeling that Bruno must have as he relaxes. I shall be a happy soul indeed to luxuriate as Bruno does. To enjoy the porch and his kingdom beyond the porch door.

The One and Only Bruno Uno



    1. Good morning, Christie. Maybe at some point I can get some decent pictures and post them. Thank you so much for reading. Appreciate you leaving a Comment. 🌷🌷

  1. I love my porch too!! Mostly because it has a rusty under roof that my husband and daughter put up for me, my grandmother’s sink that works with a pass through window and it is an excellent spot for relaxing and entertaining (what did we do without it). Our yard doesn’t have your master gardener, Paul, but it’s peaceful and we need that. Your Bruno so looks like our Betty “the hood” kitty! Must be the colors, beautiful. She was an outside kitten when she first came around and had two litters of kittens and I finally convinced Karen (across the street neighbor) that she was beautiful – Karen only saw a poor little skinny cat (which is unusual for her, she love animals) but we had her fixed and turned into one of our favorite pets. Love your blogs, all of them. I guess we could all use a creative writing class if we would just slow our roll, probably talking about myself mostly. Karen does color and watch the birds…. Please keep those blogs coming Yvonne – love you buddy 🙂

    1. First off, we can’t even compare porches — yours offers so much more than ours. I love your porch. Since I know you, yours is just perfect for you and all your entertaining. Love all kitties. It is great that you and Karen rescued Betty. To me, there’s just something about having a cat around. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and friendship. Thank you for reading. I always appreciate your Comments. Love, me

  2. Hi Yvonne. As your past pet sitter and current friend I enjoyed your yard and porch VERY much. I would hide dog treats around the porch and then let Clem find them. Do you remember that? It is a little slice of paradise.

    1. Hi Cheryl, you are the best pet sitter ever! Actually, I did not know you hid treats — what a neat thing to do and how generous of you to go the extra mile in caring for our animals all these years. So glad you enjoyed the porch and yard. Thank you so much for reading and really appreciate you leaving a Comment. Trust your furry family is doing well. Much love.

  3. A kitty cat and a screened-in porch – it must be summertime in the south. Thank you for giving us this beautiful word portrait of Paul’s garden as seen from your wicker bedecked porch.

    1. Thank you for the kind Comment, Charlotte. Paul just couldn’t exist if he couldn’t get his hands in the soil. It is just part of him. Me, having a cat around makes a home. Much love 💗

  4. I put off reading this because I was leaving town and wanted to make sure I read it leisurely, not while in a hurry to pack. Life happened and I forgot about The Bruno Papers (can you forgive me??!!) until scrolling through emails.

    As I read it this morning, I wondered if I would appear along with my black dress and laughed out loud when I saw myself mentioned. I also remember getting hysterical when it actually happened; here I thought Daisy was just sitting leaned up against me and she was actually snacking on my dress!

    I’m certain your class enjoyed this piece once you gave in and did it, and it’s good you let someone else read it!! And look, now you’re doing this blog. You go girl!

  5. Hi Yvonne. I enjoyed reading this very much. Your porch sounds like a peaceful place to hide out once in awhile. I too enjoy my porch a lot. I love to sit out there and watch the birds gather around the feeder and birdbath. I have a lovely old oak tree that adds shade and serenity to all. Now that I am retired I love spending time out there with a good book. Thanks for sharing these great memories and Bruno stories!

    1. Carol, your Comment is written so invitingly that I want to sit on your porch with you right now with a glass of lemonade. Who knows, maybe one day that could happen. Thank you for reading and really appreciate the comment. 💟

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