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How Life Evolves

by Erika Hoffman

Connection! Part of the reason I write is to connect with others—unknown humans whom I might not encounter in my daily life; yet they might be soulmates with mindsets more akin to my thinking than those homo-sapiens I do meet up with on my everyday sojourns.  Besides performing mundane gathering chores and hunting errands like buying very reasonably-priced chickens at Costco weekly, I don’t stray too much from “chez moi” — unlike my modus operandi during my younger years.

As a kid, I rode my bike with a gang of other unsupervised youngsters or played savage dodge ball in the suburban New Jersey streets until the streetlights came on or our parents formed a search party. While a teen, I strolled my neighborhood and even a manure-spotted cow pasture that led to the banks of a babbling brook with my BFF Kathy. As she chain-smoked Virginia Slims, I babbled on and on. When I was a young co-ed, I thought my raison d’etre for heading to college was to socialize. Late night card games, like Hearts, took precedence over learning.  Married in my mid-twenties, I, along with my spouse, liked to go to the cinema, out-to-dinner, or party with other young couples every weekend after a long tedious work week.  In my thirties, I strolled my babies in carriages around our rural North Carolina town, paying the utility bills in-person, withdrawing money from the bank while gabbing with the tellers, stopping later at a pharmacy soda counter for a refreshment and to jawbone with other customers, young and old, seated on round stools that turned. My offspring grew. I took them to sports activities, church, school outings, birthday parties, lessons. I mingled with the other moms on the bleachers or those praying in the pews.  I joined the PTA, bridge club, garden club, an art-for-the-hospital organization, the historical society, et cetera. I sought to connect with the community.

Now, many folks my age exercise to procure their dollop of serotonin. Women of a certain age play pickle ball—fiercely. Me, I receive my endorphins by connecting through my writing. By penning personal anecdotes and “astute’ observations, I share my wisdom and judgment gleaned through encounters with others, life’s hard knocks, its disappointments, and survival strategies learned along the way. I try to provide value to my readers. Sometimes, I make them laugh. Humor raises the level of serotonin for them and me. My purpose is to make my reader curious, convey a bit of joy, and form a bond.  With a little luck my stories resonate.  We connect. Not long ago, I read a good metaphor about how fishing is like life: You do your prep; you do your thinking; you put your bait out; and you wait. You’ve done the groundwork: A lot of success in fishing and in life boils down to luck. You have an idea. You know how to structure it. You compose your thoughts, put them out there in a sea of prose hoping to lure a reader, and you wait. With a little luck you get a tug, a nibble. You hook up with a fish. You connect. Bingo!

Life is about the connections you make—how you relate to others.  Writing is a “savoir vivre.”  In other words, it’s a way to give purpose to your life because it’s a way to unite with others in this journey we share called “living.” Another not-to-be underestimated advantage of writing is that, unlike pickleball, it rarely results in knee replacements!

And still one more reason I write is to connect with future generations.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get a modicum of notoriety, but maybe someday when my great-great grandchildren on Mars try to untangle from whence they came, they will find copies of Sasee and say about me, “Well, that old ancestor seemed a friendly type, but I sure wish I understood her allusion to a “pickled ball.”


  1. So glad you are back on Sasee ! I have definitely missed reading your stories! I especially enjoyed this one and you certainly connected with me! ! I love your wit and humor that you always incorporate into your writing! Kudos to you, Erika!

  2. Erika, you never fail to make me smile when reading your candid wit & wisdom. I always learn something

  3. Definitely a connection here. I remember so many of the same memories you have and I write to connect with others. Many of my friends now-a-days (my senior years) are email friends. I enjoyed your essay and the wisdom you dispense., especially your thoughts on the future generation using genealogy to find you.

  4. Connections are so important, especially as we age. Human connections keep us going. Bravo to Erika for finding HER way to connect.

  5. Just delightful. Loved the way you closed and it ties nicely to your essay on finding your ancestors. I hope your descendants will be as eager to find out from whence they came as you were.

  6. Fun article and I loved the stroll through life stages which definitely created the connection Erika sought. The analogy with fishing was spot on and the references to pickle ball were perfect! Please offer more of her work!

  7. Erika, Right on as always. Loved how you summarized a lifetime is a few short lines. Keep sharing. Elizabeth

  8. I loved this article and hope we will see a lot more from this witty author Erika.

  9. So glad to see Sasee is back and so are you. Loved this piece and the final sentence with “pickled ball.” Here’s hoping we can all reconnect later over the moon.

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