February 2014

Page 5

44 articles in February 2014

Aan impending feeling of doom encroached in my bones, as I approached the bridge. It looked as if it had been there for years. It was in a bad state of disarray, and I almost turned back but it was the only way across, and I did not want to go back, and have to make the long trek around.

That would set my journey back days and it was important that I arrive on time. I began by shaking it and as soon as I started, loose boards began to drop. This did nothing for my confidence in the ole fellow. It creaked, as it swayed in the high winds that were predominant in this neck of the woods. As I looked down into the gully below, and what it offered me, a sudden chill over took my thoughts. It was a great ways to the bottom and I doubt survival was an option.

I could barely see the river snake thru the fog, for the distance had the effect of making it look like a tiny trickle, as it meandered, in and out of the patches of mist. The jagged cliffs that dotted its side assured me of one thing: It would take a while to fall and not without great pains. I collected my thoughts and, after much prodding from the side of my subconscious that maintains a death wish, I placed my foot on the bridge.

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Aanother year has come and gone. The one thing I have learned about time is the more time one has behind him the faster the future arrives. I remember, when I was young, thinking time was something I could only understand from a clock. It never felt like it was flying by.

In fact, time always took too long. It seemed like an eternity until I was allowed to drive. Christmas night felt like a century as I lay in bed waiting for the morning so I could run down to our Christmas tree in order to open presents I always knew were waiting for me. Today it seems like only yesterday when my wife and I celebrated the beginning of a year that is soon to be a part of our past. We rarely go out anymore on New Years Eve because after a month of celebrating the Christmas season we are partied out and in need of some quiet time at home.

Since there is some time between Christmas and New Years I started thinking of ways to tell time that had nothing to do with a clock. Ever since BJ’s Wholesale Club came into being, my wife and I shop there to buy things we know we need a lot of. One of these items is brown paper bags that hold my lunch I take every day during the school years. I remember laughing at my wife when I tried to pick the thing up. It was huge and I never thought we would ever have to buy another bag again. The other day I grabbed what was the last bag. A strange sensation enveloped me with the knowledge the last of something I never thought I would ever have to buy again was taken away by time.

Another means of feeling the concept of time, instead of just telling what it is, is having one’s favorite pen run out of ink. In my youth I never had a pen run out of ink because I usually lost it or it was relegated to become part of an arsenal of pens that were pushed into an old beer mug that was once a present from a person who was obligated to give me something. Working on my bills a few days ago I was shocked to see my pen was actually running dry.

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Tthe thunderstorm that had been threatening finally unleashed its deluge of rain. We abandoned our horseshoe game, in the nick of time, to gather under the large green umbrella over the picnic table. The first order of business was to make sure that we all knew who was ahead in the game, ready for when we resumed play.

Then there was a lull as we listened to the rumble of thunder and watched the pouring rain shrink our backyard into a gray circle of about 50 feet. I sat on my little bench and looked around at the damp, disheveled group that I was with. There were nine of us, all men; one happened to be a builder who had moved to York a few months before I did and married my wife’s twin sister. Next to him was a giant of a man who also lived in York.

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Wwinter brings different things to different people. Some enjoy this time of the year by throwing themselves into winter sports and injuring themselves, to which I say, serves them right. Others enjoy the serenity and warmth of their homes with their families, a good book, a faithful pet and the occasional case of whiskey.

I, on the other hand, become emotionally attached to food. This winter I acquired a taste for Popsicles. Not your ordinary kind because my wife, in all her wisdom, managed to get me hooked on a type of Popsicle that has only10 calories in it. I assume she wants me to retain my teeth as long as possible and not degenerate into a body type that looks like a bowling pin. Because these are low calorie Popsicles, in my mind, this means I can eat all I want, anytime I want, which happens to be all the time.

This particular obsession started innocently enough. My wife picked up a box of six multiple flavor, low calorie Popsicles from Hannaford’s. It was also the beginning of a polar cold wave that engulfed us from Christmas through mid-February. I remember my furnace kicking in on Christmas Eve and do not believe it has shut off since. This made the inside of my house especially dry, thus the necessity of a cold, fruit-flavored ice on a stick to break the dry clammy feeling in my mouth. I loved them.

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