I’ve been having a great time at the UAEMT conference in St. George this weekend as I’ve learned plenty about all kinds of subjects from ambulance safety to triaging at multiple casualty incidents to hands-on experience in a mock disaster at Tuacahn High School—which was a really great experience for everyone I spoke to from the most seasoned participant to the brand-new EMT who passed her final tests earlier this month I’ve also loved that the schedule is quite a bit more open than at other conferences, like my regular writer’s conference which keeps us hoping from dawn until well past dusk (it is held in March, though, so the days are still pretty short then).

Tonight we made a side trip to Staples to pick up a few supplies and browse. I’m a fabulous browser. I can browse for hours and never buy a thing, or well, not much of anything. Of course, I drifted to the notebook section. I don’t know what it is about notebooks. They’re just sheets of paper with lines (usually) and sometimes they have colored paper. What’s so exciting about that, anyway?

I haven’t been able to figure out my obsession for them, but every time I end up in a store that sells them, from Staples to the dollar store, I always end up wandering down the notebook aisle, pulling them out, feeling the covers, flipping them open to check and see what they look like inside. Are the lines light blue, purple, or green? Do they have flowers or other decoration on them? It doesn’t seem to matter; I always want one.

If you think about it, blank paper is full of possibilities. It can become a shopping list, a character sketch, a drawing of monkeys and elephants (The drawing could be nearly anything if I’m the one wielding the pencil as the scribbling is practically indecipherable), or a to do list. I can do almost anything with a blank piece of paper. However, I’ve nearly stopped buying the little notebooks.

It doesn’t seem to matter how careful I am, after I use a dozen sheets of paper, or fewer, I always lose the things and somehow they stay in that hidden abyss of socks and left shoes for months. When it’s somehow deposited exactly where I put it last, eons later, the information in it isn’t going to do me any good, even if I could discern the cryptic notes that made so much sense when I wrote them down.

And if I do know exactly where it is, it’s never where I am when I want to make a note. It’s in my purse at home when I’m at work, or I left it on the desk at work when I’m downtown, or maybe it’s sitting in the back of my car when I went somewhere with my darling husband in the truck. Tonight I bought a couple of tiny composition notebooks that will fit in my back pocket so I won’t be without them day or night. We’ll see how long it is before they end up in the washer.