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What makes me shine? This is one of those prompts that gave me very little to work with. Like others have said, I’m just an ordinary person getting through life as best I can. BUT! There is one area in my life that I can be quite sparkly in — creative organization, if there is such a term.

I’m constantly saying I have no imagination, but as I realized during a discussion with Bridget from The Happy Quitter a week or so ago, I can do CONCRETE visualization well. What do I mean, you may ask. Let me give you an example…

simon the shortOne of the most fun and creative organizational tasks I have undertaken was an unusual birthday party for Bran when he was around eight (the years just blur together these days…). He was fascinated with pirates at that time, so I wrote him a story called The Strange Tale of Simon the Short. Now Simon was a pirate wannabe. The only problem was he was so short that no one took him seriously. It was kind of hard to round up a crew of cut throats when everyone looked down on you!

So Simon left the western coast and moved inland where he took up residence on a pirate ship in the Great Salt Lake. His was a motley crew (this IS Utah after all), but they had some success. They traveled up and down the huge lake pillaging villages and burying their spoils. And over the years Simon’s mates found he was a really GREAT pirate even though he didn’t keel haul anyone or toss them to the brine shrimp! In the end, they even forgot that he was short. (The moral of the story, as you can guess, was overcoming adversity.)

According to the story, Simon had buried part of his booty somewhere in the town where we live. AND we’d found the map! His lordship had taken an old wooden jewelry chest that had belonged to my grandmother and we filled it with all kinds of junk from Oriental Trading Company — trinkets galore for the boys at the party. Then he buried it in the backyard. Of course that was the whole point of the party, to find and share the treasure. They had to follow the clues on the map from spot to spot. The invitations were fabulous (if I do say so myself) as were the pirate hats. The day was a great success, just like Simon!

And as the years passed I used that same sparkly talent for things like vacation Bible schools at church, women’s retreats, a store for my kindergarteners to shop in with their bonus bucks for being good for the month, graduation parties… Only once did I ever blow it, and that was for a Sweet 16 party for Stef. I had a young man with a marvelous voice show up at the party with a huge bouquet of roses and sing Neil Sedaka’s Happy Birthday Sweet 16 to her. She was NOT amused. Never quite figured that out! (Have it all on video tape though! I keep thinking she’ll laugh about it someday…or maybe not!)

So I guess I can say there is ONE thing that makes me shine. I love using that creative talent to make others happy. (But always from behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz!)

(In response to The Sandbox Writing Challenge 7 — What makes you shine?)

(Picture Credit: www.dreamstime.com)