Linda Leigh Hargrove

Of Faith and Fiction

Word Lover

I love words almost as much as I love numbers. This dual love explains why I’m an engineer that loves to write. People who love words have favorite words. Okay, that was a broad-brush statement and I normally do not like broad-brush statements but I’m breaking the rules today.

So … (drum roll, please)

My 5 most favorite words are:

  • Superb: I used to pronounce it super-b
  • Their: in high school typical class it was the word I messed up the most
  • Dogleg: as in sharp turn in another direction
  • Catty-corner: don’t ask why
  • Concentric: had to have one that pointed to geometric things

Best Friend

My first best friend was the child of a migrant worker. I met her in first grade. I remember standing beside her in the cafeteria line. Looking into her brown eyes and thinking ‘she’s brown-skinned but not as brown as me.’

We were only friends for a season and then she (and her family) were gone.

My next best friend was a chubby white girl named Ginger. I loved her stubby pale fingers so much that I had her pose like a hand model so I could draw her hands. I still have that picture. We parted ways after high school over an argument over faith. I broke my heart. I haven’t talked with her since. I hope she’s forgiven me for believing the ‘fables in the Bible.’

That mysterious best friend connection has a way of sneaking up on you. At least that’s what I believe. One such connection took me by surprise on the way to the Port au Prince airport back in the spring of 2003. A smile led to a quick journey into the proverbial land of kindred spirits. In an instant, I was back in first grade.

Over the years I’ve had very few best friends. None of them are in my life now. They were seasonal. Or rather, I suppose I should say that the physical proximity was for a season but I will always consider them one of my best friends.

I miss having a best friend close by. How about you? What are your thoughts on best friends?


Practical is my middle name. (Actually it’s Leigh, rhymes with ‘see’, but you know what I mean.)

I am not the person that you would mistake for the impulsive daredevil. Don’t get me wrong I crave adventure like the rest of us crazy Americans. Ok, maybe crave is a strong word.

Adventure is over-rated. We need more stability and predictability in our lives. Stop it with the drop-of-a-hat body piercings and half-body tattoos. Enough is enough.

The cure to all these excessively showy displays is writing. In particular creative writing. Kids today (that includes you 40-something kid/person reading these posts) can find inner satisfaction by writing about aforementioned dastardly deeds.

Don’t experiment with smoking weed; create a character who’s a pot head. Don’t get a (regrettable) picture of a lotus flower inked across your ample breasts; write about the grandmother who leaves her job at the Wal-Mart to start a band called Lotus Mama.

The possibilities are endless. Why do it when you can write about it?

Ok. I’m kidding of course. Well, sort of.

I do wonder though if there is some truth to my conjecture. Could it be that some of our Western fixation  with edgy outward extremes is a symptom of our  dissatisfaction with what we consider boring fulfilling lives? Lives that long to do something beautiful and unforgettable. Lives crying out to make a mark.

I make my mark in the predictable world an an engineer. But I also venture out (on impulse even) into the worlds of paint and prose. Both worlds feed the daredevil in me. Even a daredevil needs gravity.

How about you? What fine line are you walking along?


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