Finding your Whimsy: As you Wish



Whimsy: pl noun.

  • Playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.

"the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing"


Synonyms: unconventionality, unorthodoxy, singularity, oddness, queerness, strangeness, weirdness, bizarreness, quirkiness, freakishness, extraordinariness, peculiarity, irregularity, abnormality, anomaly, foible, idiosyncrasy, caprice, whimsy, quirk, nuttiness, dottiness, screwiness, freakiness, wackiness, crankiness, zaniness, kookiness


When I was a young girl, I loved playing with my forever best friend Anne Hogan. She lived across the street and her father was indeed full of whimsy, combined with kindness and love for his daughters. We simply called him “Hogan”.  


He taught us the wonder of just being who we were -  not having to “be” or “do” anything to receive his love and kindness. And he planned out his strategy, every detail, which made his shenanigans that much more endearing.  One of my favorite memories of his whimsical ways was our picnics at Stow Lake in San Francisco. I use the word picnic lightly as it was so much more….


He would pack us up in the car, six or more neighborhood kids off on an adventure with “Hogan”. It didn’t matter where to took us – the ocean, on his yacht, or even making homemade fudge in his kitchen - we knew our every wish would come true before we could even wish it.  This picnic day was a festive blend of running, skipping rocks, being pirates on an unnamed island, and being allowed to act our age. At some point, we would be hungry and ask Hogan if we could get some lunch.


“Hocus, Pocus, Domi Nocus”, was always his response. We would then have to search the grounds for something magical, and he would rate us as “hot or cold” getting close or not to the treasure that awaited us.


Can you even imagine the delight, the feeling of being planned for and taken care of?  

Eventually, we would find a fabulous picnic basket behind a tree or next to a shrub, full of sandwiches, chips, sodas, and dessert – all for us.  And there was always enough and more for as many of us as showed up.


He was magic, he found his whimsy and shared it with us. A sparkle in his eyes (two different colors) and a playful laugh and hugs for his daughters.


Although there will only be one “Hogan”, I treasure his playful ways and emulate his whimsy with my grandchildren, reminding them that, when we are together, whatever they want is, “As you wish….”.


To date, they have not taken advantage of this magic and so it continues and reminds me to find and share my whimsy. It is so easy to hide it away like good china and bring it out only for special occasions.  


I know now every day is a special occasion, every treat is one to be grateful for and shared.  

Hogan let us be kids in a world where children were heard and not seen. He took the time to unconventionality allow us to explore a world bigger than the neighborhood, a world where each of us mattered and was allowed to dream.


Thank you, Hogan

© 2018 by Nancy Ballard.

Branding by Bianca Broos.

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