February 2014

44 articles in February 2014

Mmy wife dragged me out of our house the other day to do some grocery shopping. I had been off from school all week and since I’ve not been out of my house for five days she thought it best to air me out.

When we entered the store she knew exactly what to do and where to go. I, on the other hand, wandered helplessly through the store hoping to find some new product to astound me or some free food they were giving out for people like me. Walking around an assortment of red and green canned goods advertising every sort of vegetable known to mankind I glanced over to a woman staring into her partially-filled wagon.

It didn’t seem like she was looking at anything special. Her eyes were fixed on something that must have been in her mind and not in the cart. I then looked at her eyes. There were large black rings demonstrating how the stress of life pushed her face toward the center of her forehead thus forcing extra skin to accumulate under the part of her face that was the windshield of her soul.

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Tthe bushes were running so fast and I secretly wondered if they had suddenly developed legs. However, that was a stupid thought and I brushed it aside as I knew that all plants had their roots in the soil. Then, in sudden comprehension, I realised that it was the bus that was moving fast and not the bushes on the roadside.

I looked around the bus and I saw the yellow-skinned girl stealing glances at me again. I stuck out my tongue at her and she frowned and turned away. I felt so happy that I didn’t mind being a little nasty. I chuckled aloud to myself and my uncle smiled down at me and gave me a pat on the head. I grimaced silently and gritted my teeth. I didn’t like to be petted or touched like that. That was for babies and girls. My father had always told me that I was a man and men are always strong.

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Wwe live in an era of convenience. Whenever we need something done there was someone in The United States who would invent something and then it would be manufactured in China that made what we had to do simple.

I used to think this was a good thing until I discovered that convenience comes with a price. That price is a whole bunch of aggravation. For example, last Christmas my wife bought me a coffee grinder so I could have the freshest of coffees before my day began. The idea seemed functional and I looked forward to the morning when I could begin to taste what coffee is supposed to taste like.

The day after Christmas I woke up a bit early yet not too early because of the festivities of the Christmas day. I set up the grinder and added the fresh beans. Turning the machine on was like walking into a hanger full of jet planes waiting to take off. My head evolved from a hangover to a full fledged aneurism. The sound was something I would never want to wake up to again. Plus the coffee tasted the same as it did when I quietly took it out of the can.

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Iiam in awe of the fact I am looking out my office window overlooking my neighborhood and all I see is everyone’s lawns growing like it was early September.

Heading into what used to be considered the dark hole of winter I should be looking out at a winter wonderland where anything less than 12 inches high should be covered by a thick blanket of white. I have to admit I am not a great fan of winter and its weather but I also have to confess I kind of miss the snows of winter’s past. I remember, not so long ago, when the Thanksgiving holiday was a time to get out the skis and the snow blower because it was a time when winter reared its frosty head.

Today, looking out my window I see a time that can’t be defined by any season because nothing looks like winter including the deep greens of the grasses that surround my home. So what does one do during this season that has no name? I guess I could pull out my lawn-mower and cut my ever growing lawn. In fact, I laughed when I was putting up my Christmas decorations this year because as I was stringing up my lights my next door neighbor was mowing his lawn. In my lifetime this has never happened to me before.

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Aall I wanted to do was get my garden planted, mow my lawn, and basically clean up my yard. I had a lousy week because nothing was going well. School was stressing me out and when the weekend finally arrived, the clouds and the rain did the same.

My garden and yard became mud-pits with the gray and dampness of a New England summer holiday eliminating any enjoyment I was supposed to have doing what were necessary tasks. I was hoping that working out in the mud would reduce some of the stress, or at least take my mind off it. The ground was wet and still very cold. Every plant I pushed into the ground was probably destined to die because of the lack of sun. Great! What I hoped would reduce my stress level was actually increasing it.

As I bent over attempting to drive some bean seeds into a mound of mud I was surrounded by a large red-colored dog that had nothing better to do but run around my garden and kick what was once mounds of soil that once contained the seeds that I had just planted. Knowing that all the work I had just done had to be re-done, I screamed at the dog that just produced the damage. Instead of running away he swaggered over to me in a way that was unfamiliar to me.

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Tthe snow is finally going away. The crusted mounds of snow and ice that have besieged our homes since mid-November have finally been reduced to a few filthy piles of frozen mud. I actually saw a little green the other day as I ventured out into my backyard to survey the damage.

As I walked down the side of the garage I noticed that many of the bulbs I planted years before were sprouting and the air had a different texture to it, a feeling of newness because it was touched by the promise of spring. For a second I was filled with optimism at all the new season had to offer and I found myself smiling. Then I saw my backyard!

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Mmini’s house was in turmoil.

Everyone in the house including her half-deaf grandfather, her father, mother, and brothers and sisters, and her extended family, which included two cats, a rabbit and a cur, was agitated. Even her parrot, which had a vocabulary as colorful as the feathers on its back, was merely prattling today. The goldfish, which would otherwise have concentrated on the feed that Mini’s sister had dropped a few minutes ago, were conferring excitedly among themselves, on this sudden and unexpected tragedy.

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Ssome friends joined my wife and I for a light dinner last Saturday night, at York Harbor Inn’s lounge.
This was the first time we had visited the Cellar Pub since the renovations. The pub now looks like the galley of a ship.

After a few beers I actually felt as though I was on a ship but that is another story! Everything was going well until I noticed that the popcorn machine that I had always enjoyed in the past was no longer perched by the entrance to the pub. I asked the waitress what happened to it and she told me it wasn’t worth the bother.

Many of the patrons left messes that made cleanup at the end of the night literally impossible. As she said it, I remembered all the times that I had missed my mouth as I tried to navigate a handful of popcorn toward my face. I decided not to tell her I was responsible for most of the mess. That started me thinking about other places I used to take for granted. Places I enjoyed visiting and assumed would always exist.

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The backdrop is azure, like a deep blue sea, then slowly
drifting across the stage come gracefully, gowns of white, billowing
and floating light.
That breath of skill in every flight.
But alas, too soon,the line begins to waver and right there
before my eyes, dissolving slowly into strands of silk,
the ballerinas leave the sky.

Gathered Visions by Wendy R. Chapman.

She can be contacted at: thetalewagger@hotmail.com

Copyright reserved. No part(s) of these publications may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any form by any means without the written permission of the author.

Eeach day he calls, sleek and dark, decked out so smart,
But nature alone bestowed the mode,
a formal joy  the looks impart,
and expert valeting bought its reward.
That ‘snappy’ touch of yellow zest
for added warm compliments the rest of his attire.
What a dandy he proclaims to be!
That blackbird in the apple tree.

STYLE by Wendy R. Chapman.

She can be contacted at: thetalewagger@hotmail.com

Copyright reserved. No part(s) of these publications may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language in any form by any means without the written permission of the author.