Not Obvious to Me


When I was four, my worried mom took me to an eye doctor. He asked her why she thought I couldn’t see, and she explained that I didn’t color between the lines in my coloring books. I sat there thinking, “Oh, that’s what those lines are for.”

What was obvious to just about everyone else was not obvious to me. No one had explained that the object of coloring books was to color within the lines. To me, coloring books offered exciting pages of opportunity to create magic with my favorite colors. Lines were unimportant.

When I was in first grade, my teacher scolded me for not coloring tree trunks brown and the sky blue. I feel vindicated now in not noticing the brown-blue fact that was obvious to my teacher: do you know how few tree trunks in Scotland are brown and how rarely the sky is blue?


When I was six, my grandmother ordered me to quit climbing up the hill to play with the children there. They were my friends and I didn’t understand the edict, especially after Grandmother’s long-winded explanation ending with, “Why do you think we fought the Civil War?” I had never even heard of the Civil War. When I sought clarification from Mom, she explained that the children up on the hill were black. I had never noticed. Friends are friends. Color is unimportant.

At my last newspaper job, I got sent to interview a visiting Scottish minister because the person who had been assigned the story missed work. When I asked with concern what was wrong with her, the boss fixed me with a hard stare and said, “You don’t know she’s an alcoholic? Everyone knows. Where have you been?”

As usual, I had been sheltering from the obvious. Obvious is not always joyful or friendly. This time, being clueless proved a blessing. The subject I interviewed is now my husband author Alan T McKean who writes exciting, historically accurate time travel novels. (


More recently, we were invited to “tea.” Being Texan and accustomed to iced tea on the porch, I found myself eating three complete meals that evening: one before leaving home for what I assumed would be hot tea, once at “tea” which proved a complete meal, and the third at a friend’s house who had invited us for dinner that night. Not observing the obvious can be fun…but filling.

humming bird

I have learned that being oblivious to the obvious frees the mind from contentious thoughts about things that are wrong in this world which we are powerless to fix. Besides; I’m in good standing with Job, my hero of faith who proclaimed, “From where then does wisdom come? It is hidden from the eyes of all living, but God understand its way and knows its place.” (Job 18:23-23)

I’m content to leave hidden things to God (things hidden to me) Who made a way for the rain and a path for the thunderbolt. Obvious has never been my friend.

16 thoughts on “Not Obvious to Me

  1. I tend to see things differently to most people, so much so, that I try not to talk about anything other than the mundane… Good to know there are others like me out there…

  2. What a lovely read, thank you for brightening my evening. I couldn’t help but laugh at you going for ‘tea’. I was brought up to have breakfast, dinner and tea. It all to do with my working class roots. Cut me in half and it’ll say ‘working class’ all the way through me like a stick of Blackpool rock.

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