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It is said that Leonardo da Vinci gave his apprentices a diabolical assignment designed to stimulate creativity. Students were to wonder about one hundred things a day. One hundred? Leo, that’s harsh. But I decided to give it a try. I figured I might come up a few short of the hundred. I settled into my beloved Barcalounger and wondered. Then I wondered some more. The best I could come up with is five wonderings:

• Cranberries, tapioca and capers, oh my. I’ve seen cranberries in cans at Thanksgiving and fresh cranberries in the produce section. But I haven’t seen them actually growing. I must rely on pictures provided by Ocean Spray in their commercials to portray the life and times of the holiday-colored berry. The cranberries are shown floating in a bog while two cranberry sitters, wearing thigh-high boots, stand in the middle of the bog. I still don’t know if those cranberries actually grew there or are picked off trees and tossed into the bog for some R&R.

On another food-related topic, I wondered about tapioca. What is it? Do those little round things that look like little eyeballs grow on trees like apples? Do they hire wee garden gnomes with tiny hands to harvest them? Or do tapiocas grow in bunches, like grapes. I’m not going to waste any more time wondering about them as I consider them disgusting.

I wonder, too, about capers. They are tiny and a bilious green, which reminds me of something a bunny rabbit would leave behind.

• Empty bookcases. Now that many books have been replaced by digital books, we have gotten rid of most of our real books (are they called analog books?). Once gone, we realized that a bookcase without books is a pitiful, forlorn sight.

Maybe if we had truckloads of trophies, they could be displayed in the now-empty bookcases. That really doesn’t work for us, due to a lack of trophies.

Ah-ha! How about indoor plants? I figured I could fit at least four plants on each of my 33 shelves, for a total of 132 plants! That would look amazing!

And then I remembered that I’m a notorious plant killer. Our house probably won’t be featured in Architectural Digest if it is decorated in the Dead Plant style.

• Digital clouds. I’m not talking about those beautiful puffy clouds in the sky that look like our favorite dog or a hippopotamus or a head of cauliflower. No, I’m talking about those digital clouds.

Computer people assure me that I have my very own cloud, but I don’t know what it looks like, where it is, or what it contains. My Kindle tells me that many of my digital books are archived in my cloud. If you ask me, this is just another case of The Emperor Has No Clothes.

• Lost socks. Many a stand-up comedian has wondered about socks that go missing between the laundry basket and the dryer. How do they escape? Where do they go?

Here’s my theory. Millions of years in the future, a volcano will erupt and spew out thousands of unmatched socks of different hues and patterns: argyle, stripes, polka-dots, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Minions.

But what if our future relatives don’t wear socks? Or maybe they don’t even have feet. Maybe they’ll look like giant feathered dragons covered with glitter. In any case, Future Man loved these socks, which they called “klugeroos.” They hung them on houses, used them as decorations, wore them as amulets, and tattooed their bodies with their images.

One chap found a klugeroo with a minion on it. In his travels he found other people who had minions, and they formed friendships. These friendships became communities. Little squabbles occasionally broke out. The Minions fought the Argyles, the Hello Kitties fought the Polka-Dots. But these conflicts were quickly resolved.

All that changed, however, when the White Crews invaded and took over the whole territory.

• Toilet paper holders have been around for a long time. Early pictures of outdoor plumbing always show a Sears catalog hanging on a piece of rope and nailed to the wall of the outhouse. Hundreds of years have gone by and now we have a roll of toilet paper that is placed on a roller that hangs on the wall of the indoor bathroom. Their evolution has moved slowly.

This all just goes to show you that if you want to dream big, you must wonder big first. I suggest getting comfortable in your own Barcalounger with a nice merlot, some relaxing music on your Echo. Then just start wondering about this and that, anything and everything. Wait! You do have a Barcalounger, don’t you? If you don’t, you might wonder why you don’t. That would be a good place to start.

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Linda Hamner is a published author and former soap opera writer who won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 as part of the "Santa Barbara" writing team. She has lived in Philomath since 2006.

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