Individual Style

We each have our own style–and what a happy thing that is! This way, each of us contributes a new form of expression. We can look at the faces around us and see, in each, reflections of all these different ways of being–different thoughts, different responses, different feelings, different ways of appreciating.

The Boughs offer a wide range of perception, response, and expression. Let’s ask them about their individual styles.

Hey, Aspen! What’s your style?


“I like to find the humor in everything!”

Huh, me? I don’t really think about that much I guess. I just like to be kinda funny, wear stuff that makes you laugh or go, huh? Mix and match. I like to be me and have a little fun doing so.

I find there’s always so much to laugh about! Even though I’m sometimes a little gloomy deep down, why lead with that trait, you know? I just let the gloominess settle in the background–like the bitter in chocolate–as I go through finding bits of humor and joy in every day.


So much to be thankful for every day.

I mean, there’s always something great going on, right? Even if it’s just a sunny morning after the chores are done, and I’ve got a moment to enjoy a cold glass of soy milk.

I just find that everything and everybody responds better to encouragement–even my mom’s plants! 


These things are heirlooms!

So I guess that’s my style: be me, be funny, encourage others, let the gloominess settle in the background, and find joy every day. There’s always room for gratitude.

How ’bout you, Niko? What’s your style?


“You’re looking pretty sweet there, out of the corner of my eye, Aspen.”

Oh, I dunno. I think I’ve got kind of a sideways style. You know, approach all issues from the side.

If I’m gonna share secrets, I might as well share them with a dollhouse doll, right? That way, if she talks, she’ll just be talking to other dolls!


“Hey, if I tell you this, and you tell it to that other doll, you gotta make her promise she won’t tell it to Sugar, ok?”

Even my food–and I do love a good meal–I don’t like to approach right straight on. I like to take my time. Smell that aroma. Engage all my senses. Snap a photo for my Simbook page. Really approach it step by step–and then, finally, once I’ve got it cornered, I’ll take the first bite.


“Ah. The aroma! Tomato! Lettuce… is that basil? And oregano! Wait! There’s cilantro, too!”

So that’s me–always coming in from the side, taking my time, appreciating every little detail.

What about you, Salix? You seem like you’ve always had your own style.


“Salix, I just wanted to say that I’m so proud of you for earning an A. You work so hard, and that’s what counts!”

I guess you could say that. I’m not so sure, though. I think I’m just starting to discover my style. Like underneath this creativity and inspiration and confidence I feel? Underneath that, I’ve got all these feelings! They’re kinda subtle, and kinda hidden–but they’re there. And I think they very much inform this new style I’m starting to move into.


Confidence, focus, and inspiration make an awesome mix for any teen!

One thing I’m finding is that there’s a lot more to me–and my style–than just one flavor. I kinda like that! For example, I can enjoy expressing myself on the piano…


The piano hasn’t been played like this since Mesquite lived here!

Or I can enjoy just the simple fun of running barefoot in the early morning when the flagstones are still cold from the night time…


Gosh, I love our courtyard!

Or I can enjoy sitting quietly outside in the afternoon sun, alone and peaceful. I’m finding that, even though it’s not an official trait of mine, I adore being outside. And alone. I guess anywhere I can feel peaceful is good for me.


“It’s so cool that I can practically live outdoors!”

I guess under all my moods, even my show-offy ones, when I like to show my new outfits to my aunt Poplar or kinda show off a new joke I learned or a story I made up–even under all that, I guess my style is sort of quiet. Sort of me. Like I guess, in my style, I like peacefulness even more than all the other layers I might have going on anytime in my very teenage body and personality. There’s all that, all that commotion of being a teen–and then there’s peace. That’s my style.


“It’s like there’s a million things going on! And then there’s just this one thing inside of that.”

And, Poplar, how about your style? Has it got peace at its core?


“Shhh. I’m not meditating. I’m concentrating.”

Excuse me? Did I hear you right? Peace in this crazy mixed up world surrounded by idiots? Yeah, maybe if you’re a dustball!


“Dang! I come home from work angry every single day! Don’t those idiot programmers KNOW that a single line of code beats 20 any day?”

My style’s always been more about expression, right? Like if you’re an idiot, I’m going to express it! Probably to your face! Consider it my public service announcement. You’re welcome.

But that’s just when I’m around idiots.

When I’m alone, I’ve got a different style altogether!


“Finally. A moment when I can think.”

I wouldn’t exactly call it “peaceful,” like my oh-so innocent niece does. Let’s just call it–the silence of solitude. I mean, if there’s no one to yell at, I’m not exactly yelling. Out loud, that is!

Nah. I’m just teasing. I am mostly a thinker, that’s the whole deal, really. And I do my best thinking when I’m alone.


“I wonder if I used an array there, rather than calling up each individual variable…”

It’s not like I don’t help out–I do! I wash dishes. I fix the stuff that breaks. I’ve got a lot of apps earning royalties. I take on sideline programming jobs. All in addition to my project manager job in the tech field.

I may be mean, but I’m not lazy.


“I like wearing pink and baby blue to the office because I think it will keep my mood mellow. Right.

And when I’ve got my mind wrapped around a programming puzzle, and I suddenly see the most elegant two-lines-of-code solution, why then, I’m not even mean. I’m blissful. Or maybe I should say, I’m a lean, mean, blissful programming machine!


“Absolutely, brilliantly perfect. If I do say so myself.”

And this brings us to the newest family member, little Sugar Maple Bough! Shug, what’s your style?

Sugar Maple

Sweet as syrup from a sugar maple tree

I guess I’m like my name–sweet as syrup. That’s what Dad says, anyway.

But I’m not so sure. I can stand up for myself if I need to, like when that evil weiner-head-boy Tomas starts making fun of my dad.


“My dad is not a peacock nose! You are! You’re a llama-footed peacock!”

It feels pretty good to know that even if I’m half Tomas’s size, I can still stick up for my family if I need to. I may be small, but I’m tough. That’s my style.

Sugar Maple

“I told him!”

I’m good at helping, too. That’s style, right?


“Everybody does the dishes. That’s what Mom says.”

And I’m pretty smart. At least I’m working on it. I know it takes a little while to get an A. But I’ll get one. Just like I’ll figure out how to win at chess one of these days.

Don’t worry about losing, that’s what I say. Lose maybe 100 games, and then suddenly, you’ll start winning.

Sugar Maple

“So I lost this game. It’s no big deal. I’ll win sometime!”

My cousin Irving, he’s got this cocky style. Like ’cause he’s a geek, he thinks he’s the one who should always win at chess. But I say, we take turns. We take turns cheating, and we take turns winning.


“Who cheats? I don’t need to cheat. I just didn’t want you to miss that unicorn that was prancing by.”

But I guess, mostly, it’s just my style to be me. My dad’s a crazy guy, and my mom is like awesome superstar athlete, and my aunt Poplar’s kinda got her own universe in her mind, and my sister, she’s really neat. And then there’s me. I guess I’m the normal one of the bunch. So you could say that’s my style. Just to be me and be normal. Like somebody’s got to be, right?

Sugar Maple

“Mom, is Dad’s story for real?”

So, there you have it. The many styles of the Boughs at Cradle Rock. Which brings us to one last question: what’s your style? (You’re invited to share in the comments below!)