You know the feeling you have when you're about to do something that might get you in trouble? That fleeting "Should I or shouldn't I?" just before you know you will?
Well, I've found something that could spell trouble with a capital "T" for me. You see, I have a passion for words. I love stringing them together for you to read each week, I love gobbling them up or savoring them, depending on what I'm reading, and I especially love witty or inspiring quotes. I have quotes squirreled away in notebooks, tucked under the glass on my desk at work, and copied and pasted into computer files for future use.
What I've recently noticed though, is how this passion is evident throughout my home. This shouldn't come as a great surprise -- I once framed an entire poem about Humpty Dumpty and hung it in the kitchen of my humble apartment. No, not "the" Humpty Dumpty poem, but a multi-stanza ode to the over-sized egg by Carl Sandburg. All 42 lines of it.
Other people put great art on their walls. I'm just drawn to words. That's a thing that could be easily overdone, so I try to exercise some restraint. I do not have a "Drop your pants" sign in the laundry room, nor do I have the popular "chunky dunk"saying displayed in my home.
What you will find though, if you visit: In our catch-all place for outgoing mail, lists, etc., hangs a chalkboard with a saying by George Bernard Shaw -- "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Amen to that, George.
Not far from Mr. Shaw's observation hangs a green and white striped plaque, author unknown, but our weekend visitors always seem to get a kick out of it: "If we get to drinking on Sunday and ask you to stay over, we don't mean it."
In the kitchen -- "Beware of pickpockets and loose women," plus some reproductions of vintage New Orleans advertisements.
On my all-time favorite picture frame, created by a Michigan artisan: "I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days and spent them lavishly." A quote by Thoreau and the perfect sentiment to go with a photo of my husband, my best friend and me at Lonz Winery. I'd fill every room in the house with this woman's work, they're all beautifully embellished with words. Again, restraint is in order...
In my "getting ready for the day" spot -- "Breathe." That's it. Just a daisy on a clay tile and "Breathe." Always good advice.
Some more good advice? On a glittery gold and white plaque, and one of the first things I see in the morning: "Laugh out loud and laugh often." Who doesn't need more laughter?
Same room, propped on a dresser -- "Aging, she discovered, was just another word for growing and she was (finally!) at last, growing into the woman she always meant to be."
So what's the problem, you say? What's the trouble? Are the police now serving "excessive use of words" warrants?
Well, not to my knowledge but I recently received a WallWords catalog. If you're not familiar with these products, they're vinyl letters -- and WallWords is just one company that offers them -- that can be applied on practically any wall surface. They offer hundreds of standard quotes about family, the kitchen, the garden, love, pets... authored by everyone from Snoopy to Socrates. And you can choose from a rainbow of colors and all kinds of fonts, even add some international flair. You might for example, express yourself in French -- "Mangez la glace et courez tout nu." That's "Eat ice cream and run naked!"
Or -- if you have a family motto or some words that are meaningful only to you, you can customize your order. All the letters come pre-spaced and computer cut, and (the catalog says) are an easy DIY job.
Now do you see what trouble this might be for me? I lie awake at night and plan song lyrics for the bedrooms, a line from one of my favorite movies on the bathroom mirror, a Tao te Ching quote for the porch, Carl Sandburg (again, but a different poem) in what will soon be my reading room... Look at that -- I'm putting words on walls in rooms that don't even technically exist yet.
The possibilities are endless and the word police are probably getting their pencils sharpened right now. I think I'm in trouble.