Depending on where you live, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “comfort food.” For my husband, it’s a plate of melted Gouda with crackers. I particularly gravitate toward Italian dinners (and I rarely turn down chocolate) when I’m stressed. Give me a garlic roll or a piece of pizza and I’m ready to tackle my next project. Another phrase featuring comfort is “comfort zone.” Personally I can handle a writing convention with hundreds of other writers, but you won’t usually find me at a hot yoga class although I really admire those who love that particular activity. And this made me think about "comfort hobbies." My mother-in-law can take scraps of material and create beautiful quilts. When my mother was alive, she enjoyed crocheting and made several afghans. I’ve tried to branch out into both of those hobbies. One time I was at a quilting bee at a high school where a home economics teacher, who’d taught many students how to use a sewing machine, tried to teach me. I broke three needles. After the third, she said I might do better helping with the refreshments. Another time I was at a retreat where women who knitted beautiful shawls were teaching beginners like myself how to knit. Three experienced knitters all came to me with a determined gleam in their eye that they would be the one to teach me to cast off and all three shook their head as they walked away as I couldn’t figure out how to knit. And you know what? It’s okay. I’m never going to be a knitter or quilter, but I do get to “ooh” and “ahh” over other people’s finished products. But this led me to think about what are my “comfort hobbies?”
Classic movies. I am your person on some future trivia night about classic movies from the 1930s and 1940s. I love screwball comedies from this era, especially the ones with Rosalind Russell and Irene Dunne spouting witty dialogue as they portrayed newspaper reporters, judges, and romance writers. In Theodora Goes Wild, Irene Dunne plays a mild-mannered woman who uses a pseudonym and catches the world by storm when her romance novel becomes a bestseller. Watching funny movies is one of my “comfort hobbies.”
Baking. My husband usually beats me to the springform pans or Bundt cake pans, but I also love to bake. My grandmother made the best apple pie. Even now, the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg always takes me back to her home. While I don’t have the light hand with pie crust like she did, I do bake cookies. I love the whir of the beaters and the smell of the kitchen. And I especially love the finished product! This was one of the cupcakes my twins and I baked for my husband's birthday in July.
Walking. While some may not consider this a hobby, I love day hikes and walks. The University of Georgia (my college alma mater) required PE credits for graduation when I attended, and I chose the walking class (much to the delight of a friend of mine who attended rival Georgia Tech). I still remember having three different routes for the three days of the week, and I remember throughout the quarter forming a story inside my head and adding to the story with every step. It took me a while to transfer those stories to paper, but I credit those walking classes for giving me a way to brainstorm story ideas.
And, of course, for me there's always opening a good book and reading. What about you? Are you a gardener? An artist? A birdwatcher? What hobbies have kept you busy over the past few months?
She fell from grace…
Before falling for him
When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…