31 May 2013

Five Minute Friday: Imagine

People will always surprise you with their awesome if you’re paying attention.


At the check out line, in your Zumba class, along the side walk. It’s like we’re longing to love each other and sometimes that can’t help but spill out of the business man in his perfectly pressed suit when the baby girl with the blonde curls waves at him.

Last week I met three kids who added a whole new level of awesome to Five Minute Friday for me.

Three girls ages 8, 6 and 2 who have been taking the writing challenge with you all. Their mom, Tina, has been linking up their writing.

It kind of blew me away. My three kids have no clue we host a writing workshop here every week. And it’s never occurred to me to invite them.

But it occurred to Tina.

She and her girls want to invite any other kiddos out there to join a kid’s edition Five Minute Friday link up over here at Desperate Homeschoolers.

How fun is that! I figured those girls could pick us a good writing prompt this week and sure enough they did. Imagine was all their idea.

So if you’re new here, and want to know how Five Minute Friday got started? All the details are here.

And every week I’ll pick a post that caught my eye and share it down there in my side bar – see where it says “Featured Five Minute Friday”? Yea -that could be you!

Because, as we all know, the most important rule of Five Minute Friday is leaving an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. So getting to feature one of your fine posts is like frosting as far as I’m concerned.

So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::



It’s purple October. There’s a tree blooming at the top of a steep cobbled drive and a carpet of petals that smell the littlest bit sweet when the tires crush over them. Rolling uphill and home again she needs to watch out for the swing strung across the drive. Little boys fight for their turn; wait fitfully, impatiently in line.

Parking at the top of that steep lane is an art and a science and her dad will helpfully hang out the top window and yell down directions in both English and Afrikaans if you like. She can hear him from across the Atlantic. Almost.

Jasmine blooms, whispers, comforts, remembers her a season of home.

The kids that burst out the front door come in all shades of human. Her sons will go to bed too late tonight, be up too early tomorrow. Her baby daughter doesn’t know how to hold all this new wonder in her hands. The family hold her long.

Someone somewhere is serving melktert. Someone is pouring tea into Spode. Someone is restraining sticky fingers from grabbing at the delicate cups and saucers and pouring smaller portions into studier mugs. Sentences begin and end in different languages. Bath time is a long ritual. Cats have to be fed. And dogs. And fish. And always one more mouth.

She closes her eyes and they’re all there. Only one long, Southern Cross wish away.


If you’re reading in an email – just click here to come over and join us.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    You got me with that Southern Cross again. Tears.

    Always so lovely. Always so tender. xx

  2. 2

    Such vivid, alive writing. I was right there, too, on both sides of the Atlantic. Hushed, smiling… content.

    THANK YOU for being you and encouraging all of us to become a community of women who meet, write, and share with grateful hearts.

  3. 3

    Thanks for sharing about my girls. You have seriously made their week! Here’s the link for today’s link-up: http://desperatehomeschoolers.com/2013/05/31/five-minute-friday-kids-edition-1-imagine/

  4. 4

    I read your posts every week, but I don’t think I’ve commented on one before. I usually post around 9 or 10 am PDT which puts me somewhere between #180 and #200. Anyway, I love the imagery in your writing. You have a gift for setting.

    • 5
      Lisa-Jo says:

      Thanks David, appreciate that. There’s no place like home to make you see all the details in your imagination, is there?

  5. 6

    I loved this one! My Little 6 year old lives in a world entirely of her own creation. I think that I will try to get her to try to put her ideas on paper. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. 8

    Oh that is too awesome. And I do believe, when my boys are old enough, they too will be doing Five Minute Fridays. Oh yes they will. :)

  7. 10

    “Sentences begin and end in different languages.” I love that – it reminded me of my dad’s family and my brother’s wife and her family. They are all Russian immigrants, and one of my favorite parts about getting all together (although it doesn’t happen enough) is listening to them talk in mixed English and Russian. There is something so intimate about them sharing their “secret language” in our presence.

    • 11
      Lisa-Jo says:

      It drives my husband crazy that he’s always missing out on half the conversation – I’ll be sure and let him know others find this endearing :)

  8. 12

    such true validation to have touched those young girls and their writing. You’ve touched my life as well. I so look forward to these writing prompts. Thank you.

  9. 13

    OH thank you for letting us know about the kids link up, my kids they love to write and honestly they write better than me, I am okay with that, really I am, okay maybe I am jealous;) any hoo thank you they have been asking me to write and now they can!! And I love all your work, your writing it is just beautiful and it always seems that whatever you write touches me, and it is like I am going through that very same thing. Thank you Lisa-Jo.

  10. 14

    Wow! What a post! Such beauty. I can’t get this out of my head, “purple October”. Thank you!

  11. 15

    I haven’t started doing this yet, but I am enjoying your posts–especially the ones about Africa. I have a friend who is Afrikaans, and she baked us a melktert last year. It was lovely! My experience was all in East Africa.

  12. 16

    Really beautiful and so descriptive! I felt like I was transported to your home. Your purple October sounds breathtaking!

  13. 17
    Jennifer Harris says:

    I don’t have a blog so I hope it’s okay to do an entry here:


    I sometimes sit down and imagine what it would be like to not be a blended family. Imagine how it would feel to be married to same man forever. Imagine how we would have dated and things we would have done. Imagine how deep our love could be instead of both of us starting over with scarred hearts. Imagine our 3 kids only having one set of parents instead of 2. Imagine giving birth to my beautiful daughter instead of meeting her when she was 3. Imagine never having to share my kids with other people. Imagine being able to shield my daughter from the pain that she will one day experience when she learns the truth about her birth mom. Imagine my son being able to have just 1 house instead of 2 very different ones. Imagine not having to cry tears for and with them because I know how hard growing up in a blended family can be.

    • 18

      Jennifer, thank you for sharing your imaginings at FMF. I left a comment after you, so thought I’d do the FMF community thing and let you know I loved your thoughts. You should start a blog to write with us! That’s why I started my blog and I just did my 25 post today!!! As I read your writing, a picture came into my head of a flower making her courageous way out of a crack in the pavement. I don’t know what that might mean to you but I just thought of how you are growing your precious, beautiful family in a place and a way that you didn’t imagine. And yet, the beauty you are nurturing there may bring what our world needs in a place you never imagined, with the tears and joys and fears and hopes and brokenness. I hope you keep writing, whether you share it here or not.

  14. 19

    Beautifully written, Lisa-Jo. You make me miss Africa even more than I already do. Sigh and smile, at the same time. I just had to say that my spiritual formation teacher uses the phrase “attend to awe” all the time. I love your mother-of-boys, blogger translation of “paying attention to their awesome”! I’m taking that one away with me and I’ll be sharing it with my formation class when we start meeting again in the fall!

  15. 20

    Awwwwwwwwww – many hugs and I do know that feeling of feeling a bit homesick – Have a wonderful weekend :)

  16. 21

    Love all of your descriptions…what is melktert? a type of toast? Happy Friday, Lisa-Jo :)

  17. 22

    Love the blog! New follower and really enjoy the link up!



  18. 23


  19. 24

    Ah, I can so relate to your writing. Thank you for it — I don’t comment and say that enough!

    Lovely post. In my ‘imagine’ are all those friends in far off places held together by the bonds we shared, phone cords, and our sometimes distant memories.
    I like your purple October.

  20. 25

    Lisa Jo – When linking up to this post on Monday I accidentally put your blog post as the url for my link (#279). I added a new link with the correct url (#286) but wanted to delete the incorrect one. Could you help me with that? Thanks!

  21. 26

    Hi, there! I;d be 287 but I missed the deadline. Will catch this week with a live link. But thought I would share my post anyway.

  22. 27
Hide me
Free eBook for Blog Subscribers!
Just enter your email & you'll receive a welcome email with a link to download the eBook. Easy Peasy!
Show me