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Wednesday
Apr132011

Connection

There was a path stretching from the edge of my aunt’s driveway in rural Tennessee, and just behind the chicken coop, about a quarter-mile through the thick woods and spilling out onto the graveled driveway to the house where my cousin and her family lived.  The path was one of many twists and turns, with uneven surfaces and slippery-sliding ridges.  I would begin the short walk on an even plane, taking in the smells and sounds of the chickens, until the rich musky odor of wet pine commanded my senses.  As the path took a downhill slope, I was forced to watch my footing, but rarely did as a girl, and instead made a game of trying to see how fast I could maneuver the challenges of the terrain.

After entering the thick forest and while making my descent down the steep hill, I made still another game of counting the huckleberry bushes.  I had to touch each one that was within my reach without leaving the trail, and made a mental count each time my fingers touched a new bush.  There were hundreds of huckleberry bushes in those woods and the summer brought many a trip off the trail for picking and filling a coffee can full of the delicious berries to sell at the local gas station up by the state line.  We kids could rake in a dollar for each can of berries picked.  Of course, we always ate more than we picked.   Tummy aches abounded, especially for us city kids who visited the mountains and their sweet treasures infrequently.

About half way along, the path dipped to its lowest level, and during the wet season, a small trickling stream ran through, which I easily hopped over and began my climb up the other side of the ravine.  The mid-way point was the darkest and deepest part of the woods, and sometimes I would become a bit frightened and nervously try to scamper myself up the other side as quickly as possible, in order to stave off any dark, impending doom that followed behind me.  Other times, however, I simply enjoyed the climb, and often continued my huckleberry bush counts along with trying to make my steps as long as I possibly could.

On the occasions I would not be alone during my trek along the path, my cousins and I would most likely make a race of it.  I came in last most of the time, as most of my cousins were boys.  However, if my sister came along, I delighted in the fact that I could outrun her every time.  Of course, she was four years younger than me.  I remember sometimes making her cry when I’d leave her behind on the trail and she became frightened.  I caught heck for it when Mom found out, too.

As the years went by, the summers came and went, and we grew into adolescence, the path took on a whole new meaning and adventure.  At 16, and the product of a dysfunctional family, I lived most of my world within myself, especially when we would visit the country relatives.  I found my boy cousins to be annoying and tedious and I grew impatient and bored with their inability to entertain me to the level I felt they should.    We were too old to play in the red mud and run and hide among the trees and bushes of the forest.  Now I would take the path by myself, and sometimes three or four times back and forth, just so I could be alone with my thoughts and dreams.  I walked that path and made plans for leaving Georgia and Tennessee and my parents and the life I was sure I had outgrown.

The years moved forward to the summer I was 28 and I walked the path with my husband and son, while visiting the country relatives for a family reunion.  That was the last time I ever walked that path and I recall it looking so much smaller and different than I had remembered.  The huckleberry bushes were still there, along with the pine trees.  Nothing about the forest had changed except for the size and thickness of the trees.  I had changed though.  I had seen many things, been many places and had experiences that altered my perception of everything.  I would never again view the path in the forest as I had in my childhood.

Now I can walk through a lovely park with big trees and be transported back to that little path in the Tennessee mountains.  I didn’t appreciate the beauty back then, as I’m sure I would now.  However, I did accomplish something much more important.  I experienced the same path as a child and later as a teenager, and then an adult, but each time I took a separate journey.  A journey that connected not only two properties, two houses and two families, but one that connected me with myself.

 
Sunday
Apr102011

Knowing it All

Picture an adorable 5-year-old little girl, with a big toothy smile and long golden curly locks, giggling and chattering on and on about everything from “favoritest color in the whole wide world” to “Mom bakes the biggest, best cookies ever!” to “I bet the President’s daughters like to play Barbie’s, too”.    Cute, huh?  There’s nothing these pint-sized princesses don’t know, and if you don’t believe it, just ask them.  Little Miss Know-it-All.   You gotta love that.

However, there are some ‘Know-it-All’s that are not so cute, but rather make you want to pour cement in your ears to get a little peace and quiet.

Once upon a time, there was a very annoying woman who worked for me.  She would come into work, usually early because she knew it was important to catch all the latest information before everyone else on the shift.  That way she could be the ‘communication device’ from which such vital tidbits flowed as new candy supply in the sales department, third stall from the left had overflowing toilet, so and so had a better mouse than she did, training guy’s pants were too tight, office manager’s cleavage was showing, and even the boss was in a bad mood.   Yea she knew it all.   No need for my input.  She had it covered.    Sometimes it was laughable and sometimes I wanted to slap the ‘information’ right off her mouth.  I didn’t, though, because I was a professional, you understand.  I had to remain calm at all times.  And if you believe that……want to buy a bridge?

Another example of a conduit for all things chat worthy was a woman I had to work night shift with years ago.  Night shift in the computer room was supposed to be a time for reading, surfing the internet or leaning back in your chair while checking your eyelids for pinholes….from the inside.   Oh but Little Miss Know-it-All vocalized ad nauseam her vast knowledge-base all through the night.  I heard about the guy in accounting that scratched his ass, picked his nose and farted, and sometimes simultaneously, with apparently no remorse as to the gross meter he was tilting.  I learned how much the president and all the VPs were making.  I learned all the freaking words to every country song since the beginning of time, or the beginning of country music, whichever came first.  I learned how she invented a new type of urine-collection cup (sprinkle free if memory serves) and had it patented.   And finally, I learned that if I started both the big printers at the same time, it would almost drown out her incessant drone.   I could still see her, though.  And smell her……but that’s another story for another day.

Not wanting to leave the guys out, equally as ear-straining was a man around my age who also worked for me.   He would come into my cube (a lot) and sit down (without being invited) and start talking about all the gay people he knew.   He wasn’t gay, as he informed me on countless occasions, but “some of his best friends were gay”.  Where have I heard that before? It seemed he wanted to connect with me on a gay level.  To this day, I have no idea why.   It seemed important to him to relate to me, so I went along with it.  That is, if you call going along with it, staring at him in silence while he shared tales of visiting the different types of men’s bars in the city.  Quite admittedly, I did get a bit of an education, as I had no idea there was a bar just for guys in leather.  Wow, the odor that must permeate in such an establishment……the beer, the sweat, the leather, the bodily…….oh never mind.  I think you get the picture and you may  have vomited by now.   Sorry for that.

And finally there’s the “I’ve done that, too” and “Not only have I done that, I’ve done it better”, and “I can top that!”   kind of Know-it-All.  Don’t you just love that kind?    Everyone has a relative or a friend of a friend or a (God forbid) next door neighbor who has done it all and much better than you.   These are the kind of people you avoid like the plague, yet they find you.  You don’t want to “talk story” with these folks because you are going to lose.   For example, you very well may have been a hero and saved an 80-year-old man from drowning in the lake, but I guarantee you that Mr. Know-it-All will have saved an 80-year-old man, his 75-year-old wife and their 3 Chihuahuas from atop their old Buick that was floating away in the big flood.  You see?   You can’t win.   It’s best just to back away slowly until you reach your door, then turn and run inside and bolt the door while saying you’re not feeling well.  Of course, he would just yell through the door that his cancerous acne was acting up.  Silly you, only having a headache.  Had enough by now?  Just purchase some pepper spray.  It wouldn’t be unheard of.  Just sayin…

I love Know-it-All’s.  My Dad used to call me that when I was a kid (along with a couple other names I so deserved).   I don’t think I was ever really a Little Miss Know-it-All.  I couldn’t help it if everyone I talked to was stupid.




(Images from Google Images)
Thursday
Apr072011

Pia voted off...What the ?

Well, I’m not happy.   I just finished watching American Idol, and thanks to America’s gazillion 11 year old girls, another talented young woman gets voted off the show.  Actually, we can’t really blame the 11 year old girls, now can we?   They carefully take their time to frantically vote over and over and over and over and over and over.  They are accustomed to all that texting and tweeting and their little thumbs can go 150 miles per hour on those cute little pinkly bedazzled phones they got for their birthdays.   We sit back all smug, pretending not to watch Idol, yet making our opinions known to anyone within yelling distance….but do we Vote?  Hell no, we are too mature for that silly stuff and we don’t “really” watch American Idol anyway.  The kids or the grandkids have the TV on is all.  We just happened to be sitting there, checking our financials on our fancy smart phones, reading or writing a thought-provoking novel, or dozing off because we had too much supper.  Meanwhile, those tweenies are just voting away.   And do you know who they are voting for?   I’ll tell you who they are Not voting for.   They are Not voting for the women.  They probably don’t even notice it’s a singing competition.  No, those hormones are raging and all they see is Dreamy Dude in his tight jeans and curly hair.  It’s just part of growing up, people.  Hormonal Hula.

American Idol is not meant for us.   It never was.  It was invented to make money.  Everyone is invited to vote, but the tweenies are actually hypnotized right through the television…. to vote for their favorite over and over and over and over and over again.   And of course, their favorite is going to be their idea of Dreamy.  It’s like a fever….a Justin Bieberish Plague, if you will.   And if you ladies don’t believe me, just take a minute to think back to when you were 11, 12 or even 13.   Not old enough to date, but you had these strange and wonderful  urges feelings about the cute guy in the back row.  You know, the one with the crooked smile and the dreamy blue eyes and the ‘just don’t care’ attitude.    Yea that guy.   Or maybe the guy that lived across the street from you who had a rock band and they practiced in the garage every night……and you probably sat out on the curb in front of your house with your best friend, and stared at him.   And then after the band went home, you sat there just a little longer, just in case he decided to come  out and ride his skateboard down the street. Because he might have noticed you and said hello.   Wouldn't want to miss that.........uh, where was I? Oh.  Yea that guy.

Lovely Pia didn’t have a chance.   She doesn’t look a thing like Justin Bieber.  Oh she’ll get a record contract and she’ll do just fine, and American Idol will go on.   I’m heartbroken, but what do they care?

American Idol belongs to the tweens, bless their little irritating hearts.   Let them vote!  Let them be young!  Let them use their thumbs voices!  Hear them roar their mighty tween roar!

OR…


You could send the little brats to bed early so the rest of us could enjoy the freaking show.




(Images from Google Images)
Tuesday
Apr052011

I Should Have Done That

Have you ever passed up an opportunity to do something and then regretted it later?  For example, did you ever turn down sex with a handsome officer when you were a young enlisted Air Force woman over in Turkey?  You both may have been on the same military plane from Germany to Istanbul, in route to your Air Force Base in Turkey. You may have landed in Istanbul, and still had a three hour ferry boat ride to your base.  But it’s too late in the day for a ferry boat ride, so you may have checked into a hotel in Istanbul, and so did he.   And while you were standing in line to check in, Major Handsome (who you knew was married but you were not) smiled at you and asked if you’d like to save a little money and just get a room together.   Of course you blushed as your thighs went up in flames, but you declined because you were a lady (or you may have been, way back whenever).  To this day, you’re probably punishing yourself, saying, “I should have DONE that…..er, I mean him”.   You snooze you lose, sister.  That kind of offer doesn’t come around very often.   Would I ever pass up an opportunity that involved the inflammation of my thighs? Uh…let me think…NO.  That’s just wrong.

There were many things I should have done, too.  I lived in Colorado Springs for 10 years and never hiked up Pikes Peak.  I should have done that.  The first time I saw anyone bungee jumping was in San Antonio and I couldn’t take my eyes off them.  I should have done that.  Oh gosh, and the lifeguard in Hawaii!  I should have done that.  Ok, I’m lying.  There was no lifeguard in Hawaii.  There was a cute cab driver, though, who flirted with me incessantly.   And if you’re wondering (and you know you are), if I finally broke down and “done that”…. I did not.  Even if she did have an awesome collection of bobble head dolls lined up all across her dashboard. (That was not a metaphor, I swear)   It’s hard to resist someone with a good bobble head collection.  Sadly, even with all that temptation, my thighs remained flameless, so I had to pass on that opportunity.  I have to stick to certain criteria, you understand....standards, if you will.  And as I’ve said so many times before, I still have my wine.

Seriously now, this past year, I decided to begin doing things I’ve always wanted to do.  I started on my Masters and that was a big “I should have done that”  step for me.   I also began a diet and exercise program that was long overdue.  “I should have done that” years and years ago.  But I’m doing it now, so it’s all good.   I’m sketching.  I’m writing.  I’m renewing old and dear friendships.

My life has actually been pretty freaking amazing so far, but it would have been even richer and fuller if I’d only given myself permission to do more.  I’m not talking about more cab drivers or lifeguards (although…hmm), but rather about giving myself permission to be good enough to do whatever I want to do.  I’ll bet some of you go through the same thing at times.   You naturally set limits on your life that you don’t really need to set.   I’ve learned a lot the last couple years, and most of it because I opened up my mind and heart to that knowledge and to those experiences.    I may not take that hike up Pikes Peak and I most certainly will not bungee jump, but I have a few more dances in me, I can promise you that!   And this old girl Loves to Dance!

So here I am writing to you with a little wit, a little wisdom and a lot of heart.  Writing is another one of those wonderful things I gave myself permission to do.  Thanks for coming back and reading what I have to offer!






My very own John Elway Bobble Head Doll. See, No Metaphors!



Sunday
Apr032011

I Got Nothin'

Several times over this past weekend, I sat down at the computer to write a post, and each time with the same results….which was No Results.   So finally I decided to concoct a mishmash of virtual nothingness that floats around in my brain, for your reading enjoyment.  I really have absolutely nothing to talk about, but I will forge on, albeit aimlessly, because I am stubborn.  I am amazing.  I am funny.  I am woman.   And I am a writer.  Hear me roar.

So the first thing I will touch on is the end of Spring Break.  Sadly, I didn’t make it down to Cancun for bikini watching and the drunken bash, but I did manage to get over to Wal-Mart for a couple bottles of merlot.    I had to have me a little libation while catching some riveting TV shows like I shouldn’t be Alive and Hoarders and Pawn Stars.   At one point, I thought my pleasure meter would explode, I was having such fun.  We 57 year olds are real party animals, or haven’t you heard?

Joan just gave me that look she gives me (you don’t want to know) and called me Weird…….have I been talking aloud while typing this?   Oh lordy.

Tomorrow is the first day of my 2nd semester in grad school.   My classes are ‘Change Leadership’ and ‘Innovation and Creativity’.  I was to have read two books for this week’s assignment, and I’m about half way through the 2nd book.  Why am I not reading, you ask?   Uh…..   I should be reading.   But America’s Funniest Videos are on now, and I don’t want to miss yet another Dad being hit in the balls with a baseball bat by his blindfolded kid trying to hit a piñata.  Yea, that’s some funny stuff.  Can’t miss that.  Or the dumbass who rides his skateboard down a handrail, and……..yep, lands on his balls.   Are you sensing a theme here?    Oh I like the kids with snot streaming out of their noses after they sneeze too.  Awesome.   Balls and snot.  Can’t get much better TV than that.

Funny thing is, for months I haven’t watched much TV except for my prime-time favorites.  The rest of the day, the TV is usually turned off.   But lately, I’m a TV watching freak.   I may need some medication to go along with that merlot.  Something’s wrong with me.   I think I took the whole ‘Spring Break’ concept and applied it to my common sense, or lack thereof.

I can feel my brain cells dying.   Oh lordy.

I don’t have time for Hoarders.  I don’t even like Hoarders.  I should be writing that novel that I keep talking about.    Or practicing my sketching……or reading……or anything but watching this crap.

Well, I gotta go now.  Secret Millionaire just came on and WOW, it looks interesting!


I’ll get to that novel tomorrow.



(Image from Google Images)

Thursday
Mar312011

Integrity


This week the ladies of the Red Dress Club challenged us to try something new:  Is there someone who drives you crazy?    Someone who really gets under your skin?  Now, write a first-person piece - as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there's a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.
Please remember, I am not myself in this piece.  I am writing as if I’m someone else.


****************


I didn’t feel like going to work most days, but I knew I had to go in because I didn’t want to give that bitch the satisfaction of taking me into the boardroom and counseling me, again.   She’s had me in that damned boardroom more times than I can remember, and for what?  What did I do that was so bad?  Everyone else gets by with murder in that place.   I was the best phone tech she had and I knew my stuff.  Still, she would find a way to counsel me on something.

I got my revenge, though, in my own way.  Two new people started work last week, and I met them on break and told them all about her.    I told them she would stab them in the back in a heartbeat.  I told them not to be alone with her because she’s a lesbian and will probably try to come on to them.   She never came on to me, but I’m sure with a little encouragement from me, she would have.

A couple weeks ago, I was called into the boardroom.   She started out nice enough, but then she got serious.  She said my technical skills were good, but then complained about my call volume.  Apparently, I didn’t take enough calls to satisfy her.  Then she asked me if I’d been taking food and soda that were not mine from the break room refrigerators.  How’d that bitch know I took the food?   I was always careful that no one was around.   It wasn’t hurting anyone.  But the bitch caught me, I denied it, then she said someone actually saw me.   I stayed noncommittal and again denied ever taking anything.   She finally told me to go back to my desk.  I decided right then and there to get back at her if it was the last thing I ever did.

Yesterday I arrived at work and there was a note asking me to meet her in the boardroom at 4:30 pm.   Right on time, I walked in and she was sitting there looking through several printouts that had been strewn about.  I wondered what was going on, and I sat down while she continued to look at the printouts, in silence.  I also stayed silent, not giving her the satisfaction of saying anything.  After a few minutes, she looked me right in the eyes and said, “I ran call reports for the last month and you had 47 dropped calls.  Everyone else averaged only 2 or 3.  How do you explain that?”

I was dumbstruck.  How could she tell from those reports that I’d been hanging up on people just as they called in?  I had no idea anyone could see that.  I gaped at her as if in disbelief, and commented, “I don’t know what you mean.  I was doing my job.”

Her face got pretty red, but she didn’t raise her voice.  She just looked at me and said “I’ve also had two technicians report to me that you’ve been hanging up on people consistently, during the time I go to lunch.   I would like an explanation.”

That really pissed me off, so I glared at her and snapped, “I didn’t hang up on anybody”.

She came back with, “I’m going to give you one more chance to explain, as we both know that’s not the case.”

“I didn’t hang up on anybody,”  I said.  I really just wanted to shove my fist down her throat.   I didn’t get paid enough to take as many phone calls as they wanted.   And so what if I stole a few things?

She calmly collected the printouts, stood up and stated, “Your integrity and work ethic come into question here, and there’s proof.   I’m done.”    And she walked out.

Today I was fired.    She had one of the techs drive me home because I would have had to take the bus.  Her boss said she wouldn’t have been that nice.

I wonder if I’ll be able to get unemployment.
Wednesday
Mar302011

Perspective, Where For ART Thou?

Inspired by today’s airing of “The View” (yes I’ve hit a new low), my thoughts involuntarily wandered to the subject of Art.  What is Art?  What constitutes something as a piece of Art?  Is it safe to say that Art is Art depending on one’s perspective?  Or is it as personal as that?   Are you getting annoyed that I am asking so many questions? I just want to get my brain around this whole confusing and beguiling world of expressionism.  And that sparks still another question.  Are all forms of expressionism considered Art?  Is expressionism the same thing as Art?  Ok, now that I’ve listed more than enough ponderous questions, I will attempt to force my opinion on the masses (well the 5 or 10 of you that actually read this stuff).

Dictionary.com defines the noun Art as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”.    I would like to take issue with part of this as I don’t believe that Art has to be beautiful or adhere to aesthetic principles.  Beautiful is relative to one’s own particular view.  That which is beautiful to Jethro from the sticks would most certainly differ from that of Barrack from the White House, right?  And what about Stevie Wonder?  His ‘beautiful’ must be different from everyone, as he is blind.  And yet, Stevie finds beauty in the music and his craft.  Does dictionary.com’s definition fit that kind of beauty?    Actually, it does, with the catch-all phrase at the end of the definition, “or of more than ordinary significance”.   I’m a little confused here, because, given that phrase, wouldn’t most anything out of the ordinary be considered Art?  How can that be?

Does your brain hurt?  Mine is beginning to cramp.

Going back to my original inspiration to blog about the subject of Art, “The View” showed a performance art piece where a guy was sitting inside a grand piano, and playing a classical song backwards, while the piano was moving.  When asked how this could be considered art, the guest said that normally, we view a piano player from the back, and the piano is not moving.  Since the piano was moving and the piano player was, indeed, facing the audience, this was considered Art.

Oh yea, I’m convinced.   Uh huh.

I like to think I am a liberal, open-minded, educated and somewhat worldly woman.  That being said, I will accept dictionary.com’s definition of Art.   As long as no one gets hurt.   While abhorring violence in any form, I must agree that horrible things, by our definition, could be considered Art.   What if someone paints a picture of a car accident, with people’s brains spattered all over the pavement?

Is this where my open-mindedness is supposed to kick in?

Yes, that would be Art.  Not beautiful or esthetically pleasing.  But certainly “of more than ordinary significance”.      Does that make you rethink your next trip to the art gallery?    You never know what you might see there these days.  Apparently, it’s called Art when the artist takes a seat in a chair in the middle of the gallery, and stares at people, one by one, for hours at a time.   I wish I could get a gig like that.  I’m really talented in the ‘sitting’ area.  I can sit for days.   Why am I wasting my time writing and sketching my brains out, when my money-maker could very well be my sitting-down place?

Or maybe my open-mind closes up a bit upon the entering, stage left, of the fucking ridiculous.

I’m going with a more delicate, simple and poetic view of Art.   I believe that Art, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.   And the beholder can be the artist or the interpreter of the Art.  So baby, if you don’t think a pile of dung in the middle of a dirt road, or a pile of naked bodies in the middle of a still-life orgy, or a giant ball of toxic waste material featured on the news is Art, then it’s not.  Keep in mind, though, that if enough people disagree with you, somebody’s making a lot of money somewhere.  Loosen your mind up any?   I’m still working on that.

Disclaimer:  No marijuana plants were injured during the making of this post.

Saturday
Mar262011

The Little Cabin

Rose awoke at 5 am, as she did every day, got dressed and headed down the stairs to the kitchen.  The coffee had been pre-set and was brewing, making chugging and popping sounds and emitting an inviting aroma.  The sounds and smells of a promising new day not going unnoticed, Rose managed a smile as she began packing lunches for the grandkids.  Methodically, she put together their choices:  yogurt and fruit for Kellie, ham and cheese on wheat, no mayo, for Sara, and peanut butter and jelly on white bread for Chad.  After putting everything back in the fridge to keep it fresh, she poured herself a cup of coffee and had a seat at the table.   She had about 30 minutes to herself before the Pearson family morning chaos began.  Rose cherished this early quiet time where she could sip her coffee and think her morning thoughts without interruption.

Rose had never been much for crowds or even a lot of kids.  Her grandkids, in fact, sometimes got on her last nerve.  They never knew it though, as she also wasn’t one to outwardly display emotion.  Oh, she provided the grandmotherly hugs and kisses, smiles and encouragement, and it was all genuine.  There was just so much more underneath, however, that she never dared let escape.  Those were, and had always been, her private feelings and thoughts.  No one had ever had the privilege or permission to enter except her husband.  A tear slowly trickled from the corner of her eye as she poured a second cup of coffee and stepped out onto the patio for a quick gulp of fresh air and a little perspective.

She was doing ok, living with her daughter and son-in-law and their three teenagers.   After Jack died the previous year, everyone had insisted that selling her house and living with her oldest daughter was the best possible move she could make.   How she missed her home, with the peeling wallpaper, creaking floors and even the leaky faucet.  Had she been too quick to listen to everyone else?  She and Jack had lived on that property since she was pregnant with Kate, her oldest.  Jack’s father had given them the land as a wedding gift and they’d built the house with the help of family and friends, and moved in just before Kate was born.  Both her daughters were raised there, and played among the beautiful trees and landscape which graced the homestead.  The house had sold quickly and for much more than she needed to live out her days comfortably.  Still, she would gladly give up every penny to be sitting in that house, having coffee with Jack at their kitchen table.  She smiled thinking about how he buried his face behind the newspaper and slurped his coffee just to annoy her.  Jack always did like to tease her.

Rose stepped into the kitchen to put on a fresh pot of coffee and began preparing breakfast for the family.  Not ready to let her precious memories go for the day, her thoughts shifted back to one afternoon in early summer many years ago.  She and Jack had taken a picnic lunch and set out for a lovely walk through their property.  They owned 20 acres and hadn’t seen most of it, so enjoyed an occasional walking adventure to discover what their land offered.  After about an hour’s walk along the northern most edge of the property, they made a most delightful discovery of an old cabin, sitting picturesquely in a meadow, adorned with beautiful trees.  Rose remembered thinking it was likened to a scene out of a storybook.   Their afternoon was spent exploring the cabin and surrounding grounds, and having their picnic lunch right on the little porch, while making up stories of who must have lived in that cabin so long ago.  She remembered looking at her husband over a lunch of chicken sandwiches and little bottles of wine coolers and feeling her heart swell with love.   She couldn’t imagine anyone being happier than she was at that moment.

Rose wiped her eyes and blew her nose.  She missed Jack so much.  How did she get here?  She felt so alone.  She wanted to hold him.  She wanted to feel his strength, his love.  She wanted to smell his scent.  She wanted Rose and Jack again.  It wasn’t supposed to be Rose.  It was supposed to be Rose and Jack.  Jack and Rose.  She had to stop crying because her family could not see her like this.  These were her private, precious feelings and she was not ready to share them.  Maybe someday, but not today.

Rose finished cooking the oatmeal and took the rolls out of the oven.  She set the table and made sure the jelly and butter were out.  She poured the juice and refilled the creamer cup.   All set.  The Pearson family began stumbling down the stairs, one by one.   Everyone was talking at once.  Rose served up some coffee to Kate and her husband, who were discussing finances.   Just for a quick second, Rose saw a glimpse of Jack in Kate’s eyes.  Jack was there in Kate’s dimples, in her smile and in her kind eyes.   Kate looked up and noticed Rose’s gaze and smiled questioningly, but Rose quickly turned away and tended to the kids’ needs.  Sara and Kellie both looked so much like their mother, and consequently, like their grandfather.   Both girls, although restless with that teenage angst, had Jack’s kindness and patience.  Chad looked just like his father, but she could see Jack in some of his movements.   Chad would be a strong man like her Jack was.  So strong.

Lunches doled out, coats, purses, brief cases and book bags located and dispersed, the Pearson family was out the door and headed on toward their perspective destinations for the day.   Rose closed the door, grabbed her coffee cup, and headed for her bedroom.   She took out her old sketching pad and sharpened up her pencils, then let her mind take her back to that beautiful little cabin while she sketched.  She would draw a picture of a perfect afternoon, then she would gather her grandchildren and tell them the story.  After all, Jack was a part of all of them and it was her responsibility to share his memory.   The memory of a lifetime.  The memory of the love of a lifetime.


This beautiful cabin is an original sketch by my dear friend Mary Barker.  I was so enchanted by the sketch (and Mary's talent)  that it inspired me to write a story around The Little Cabin.    The story I wrote is completely  fiction and everyone in the story are fictional characters.   I wanted to honor my friend with a story fitting such lovely art.  I hope I succeeded.