Grandma made them all aprons as a gift, like they’d one day become domesticated. It just wasn’t in the cards, though, much to their father’s surprise. The troika instead grew into independent non-cooks and bakers who didn’t fastidiously keep house. With better things to do, nary a homemade muffin would emerge from their ovens.
“If that shit’s going to get done, hubs can do it himself. Make his own damn sammich,” the youngest protested. “He’s got two hands.”
No wonder Mrs. Bray warned her mother at first-grade parent-teacher conferences, “I can just hear her griping at her husband one day.”
Jim Earl headed to town bright and early, his patience waning at getting Ginny to her doctor appointment. The antiquarian white-knuckled the wheel at “2” and “10” as if loosening his hold would end disastrously.
Passing drivers never suspected that cowboy hat brim covered a dome with only a few remnant hairs. Jim Earl kept laser focus on the road ahead, his love’s ailments outweighing his own.
An undetected stroke brought on oxygen-deprived dementia, except Jim Earl never went to the doctor himself. Not even his beloved realized. Getting lost that day was the first of many times to come.
Daddy and Junior got that coon off the road before it started to stink. The July rain they’d gotten and high temperatures four straight days made a quick inevitability. A virtual certainty. It was gonna reek.
Albert would eat it nonetheless. Anything stood fair game on his half-barrel BBQ grill. Leastways without too many flies or ticks.
Them rescuing road-pizza for Albert prompted little chatter around town, as people were used to their quirkiness.
He might draw the line at maggots. They got to his gut one time. Otherwise, his seasoned stomach took it. Some sauce made all the difference.
Travelling up the dirt road stirs feelings almost as much as the frequent stops made along the way. I’d like to look back and count how many were gravel opposed to paved ones, which brought bumps.
I tripped over big rocks, even a copperhead once, but each helped build and avoid neuroses nearly simultaneously. Retrospect enlightened what got kicked up, perpetuated by inertia, and what circumvented superannuation.
One lifetime melds into another, that’s for certain, all within a given time span. I’ll be spiking even more boulders before I reach burnout, fade out, or maybe even feel like checking out.
100-word challenge: DIRT
Merv moved south from a meager beginning outside Lake Huron. He’d grown crestfallen from eating nothing more than corn in Farmville, Iowa, after an upbringing of butter tarts.
She who rescued him named the stone figure after a pervert destined for prison. His legacy followed suit, a life, albeit a still one, in the Midwest much like incarceration?
Only the path through Chicago, a few drinks and a smoke along the way, quelled his sentence, a future with a pipe smoker and frog sidekick. He’d rather live with a spotted blue skink. It would be better company than elfin kind.
100-word challenge: lizard
“I thought you died, stupid cur,” Marie muttered as she walked Woody past the house next door. She hated and cursed it since the bulldog mix attacked her Lab. He’d simply tried to make friends, invisible fence or not. Its instinct taught Woody canine manners and territory.
Just like his owner.
Another neighbor said Tom wasn’t such a bad guy. Marie couldn’t deny what Robert Frost claimed about fences and neighbors.
“I’d sure hate to beat you both with a plastic bag of shit …” She flashed them the side-eye and brought Woody to heel.
“Great, here we go again,” Anna lamented, kicking at the dirt with her sneaker toe. She unfailingly let Louise get under her skin, with disappointment seeming to seep from her. “Why do I allow that jackdaw to get a rise out of me?”
The woman glanced to her right, where Ken and Francie both cast her a sidelong glance. “Holy shit, did I say that out loud? Sometimes I don’t realize when I talk to myself,” Anna chuckled, embarrassed, as her cheeks became crimson.
“No worries,” said Francie, shrugging. “We just wondered if we might see that old crow somewhere.”
“Owww, dammit!” Glenda howled, hopping on one foot and landing to limp on the other. “I’m gonna feel that later.”
Kicking that cedar stump was one way to take out frustration felt for Don. “It ain’t hurtin’ him none, though,” she told it. Controlling his behavior came as easily as conquering invasive plant infestation. Chopping at it soothed her feelings little though.
“I may never forget what he said, but I better get over it or cut him out of my life. Just like this non-deciduous crap I’m fighting here.
Except the Kudzu of her heart she fought even harder.
“The most bitter irony of my situation,” Kelly told the intake counselor at the homeless teen shelter, “is that Roderick broke up with me. Now I’ll have to live on what strangers give me.”
The social worker’s face seemed genuinely compassionate, as far as she could tell, doubting her instincts now. Her father supposedly loved her but sent the girl packing after finding her ex-boyfriend’s text message.
Dad knew his family though they were from the other side of town. “My daughter will not mix with blacks,” he’d said. “You’re no longer my child.”