Call me Dylan–
The instructions are simple:
- Post a caption to the photo
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My week in review:
This past week, the strongest, bravest woman I know had one of the toughest times of her life. She entered the hospital last Monday, for what should have been a two to three day stay, for a routine (albeit major) surgery. The actual surgery went well, but she suffered a couple of major setbacks. Although she is finally on the mend, and scheduled to be released tomorrow, she has a long way to go in her convalescence. I’m not well when she’s not well, and those closest to me know this all too well. Thank you, Sister Agnes Delores, my run away nun, for simply walking into the room. Thank you, TT, my laugh out loud partner, for working tirelessly to help me keep the tears at bay. Thanks, LarKay, godmother extraordinaire, for looking out for me and my littles and thank you, thank you, thank you, my littles…for being…MY LITTLES —!
P.S. special note: Thank you to my super man, Chuckie, who outgrew his cape when we were kids, for hanging in there and doing all the things I couldn’t do, and his Lois Lane for always being ready with hot tea and hot towels and for taking such great care of Sir Finn.
When we were old enough to attend school, our parents sent us to what I can only describe as “the little schoolhouse on the hill”. Seriously, it was a big white building that sat on top of a hill. Thinking back, it truly looked like something from “Little House on the Prairie”. Lunch was the same thing every day… English peas, with an orange slice and a piece of cornbread. I can vividly recall the teacher constantly saying “Ro- Shellllll, don’t fork your bread”. As if spending your day in a hauntingly scary looking house wasn’t enough, we had to look at and listen to “Mrs. Congeniality” all day, too. Luckily, my brother and I were in the same classroom since she was the only teacher.
I’ve mentioned before that I followed my brother everywhere. One day, just before dismissal, the sky turned dark and a torrential rainstorm pummeled the area. My brother and I stood inside the building looking out for our parents. A fellow classmate, who just so happened to be Mrs. Congeniality’s kid, approached us, and for lack of a better term, baited us. The little demon dared us to walk home, in the rainstorm, all alone. Here’s where I have proof that my dear, sweet, older brother loved me from the start, he grabbed my hand, and led me out of the building into the storm. He told me that we would be okay and that he knew the way home.
I suspect, had I looked back, I would have seen that evil kid and her mother laughing at the poor little drenched idiots who were trudging along holding onto one another for dear life. The rain was coming down so hard I could hardly see what was going on in front of me. We made it down the hill and to the main street, which was generally a very busy two lane street. On this particular day, traffic was almost non-existent, probably because the entire area was under a tornado warning. Anyway, as we made our way in the direction that my big brother assured me would get us home, we approached a bridge that was completely unfamiliar to us. That’s when an older model blue car drove past us then pulled over on the shoulder of the road. We held on to one another and kept walking when suddenly the driver’s door opened and a very tall, thin man stepped out into the rain, basically blocking our way. When he bent down and spoke to us, we, being brought up to be polite and respectful, stopped and greeted the man. He smiled and told us that he was our “Uncle Jeff” and that we should get into his car so he could take us home. I was so happy that “Uncle Jeff”, whom I’d never met nor had I heard of before, happened to be in the neighborhood that I gladly let him pick me up and put me in his trunk., I guess my big brother was happy too because he allowed “Uncle Jeff” to pick him up and put him in there with me.
To our horror, he wasn’t really our uncle and he didn’t have a clue where we lived. He had lied… and so have I, but only about the trunk. He didn’t really put us in the trunk, and by the time my big brother remembered that we didn’t have an uncle named Jeff, the man was pulling into the driveway of that darn little white schoolhouse. He had taken us back to the scene of our escape. “Uncle Jeff” parked, opened the back door, picked both of us up and carried us to the front door of the school. Mrs. Congeniality stepped out and acted surprised to see us in the arms of that stranger. I heard her thank him for saving us as she closed and locked the door behind him. She immediately called our mom and dad, and I specifically recall sitting in a chair in front of the open oven door eating cookies when they arrived. Was the pilot lit in that stove? Was it set on 500 degrees? Was she trying to kill us with gas fumes or make chocolate chips out of our little drenched bodies?
Mom and dad arrived and mom cried when that crazy old lady told her what happened. They carried us out to the car and took us home.
To this day we don’t have any idea who that man was, where he came from or where he went. Needless to say, that was our last day at the little schoolhouse on the hill.
My young teen and I are at it again and I’m winning!
A pitiful looking stray dog wandered into our yard several days ago and per the norm, my young teen wants to keep it. You know how kids love puppies and kittens and baby bunnies– right up until they become dogs and cats and adult rabbits? Well, that’s exactly how my girl is. You see where I’m going with this? Yep, she loves em either until they outgrow their cuteness or until it wears off or until they become adults. So, she asked if we could keep the pup and of course I said no. Here’s the conversation that resulted in my taking the lead:
Young Teen: “Ma, can we keep her?”
Old Mom: “No”
Young Teen: “Ma, please, I’ll feed her”
Old Mom: “No you won’t, I have to force you to feed the one we already have”
Young Teen: “I promise I’ll feed her. If I don’t you can take my phone”
Old Mom: While laughing hysterically–“Girl, I can take you phone anytime I want, what else ya got”
Young Teen: 1 Old Mom: 2
(This is the third chapter of this short story. Follow the links below to read the previous chapters)
http://wp.me/p5AbPX-Ox chapter 1
The den (as only I remember it)
Obviously, I survived that little accident (incident). My eyes began to adjust to light much better, but only after the bandages from the second surgery were removed. That first pair of cadaver eyes were no match for those boiling hot, steam baths mama gave me the first time I was released from the hospital. She felt really bad about the way my head and hair smelled since she’d tried to clean my eyes. The judge added a “no contact with hot water” clause to the paperwork the next time I went home, so my skin stopped peeling off and I was able to stop drooling so much, too. I remember the doctor saying that my tonsils were darker than the other parts of my throat. That was probably because of all that hot ass funny, sweet, frothing tea they were giving me. Oh, well, believe me, it gets even more interesting as I look back even further into my own mind. Let’s take a walk into and through the den.
Picture this if you can, burnt orange, thin, carpet with flicks and flakes of some colors I don’t remember. Being a smart ass isn’t a very cute attribute. Yes, I forgot the colors, so what? That’s not the important part of this memory… again, you get what I give you and you know the rest…
Now this was the room that was most lived in. It had a long chocolate colored leather couch that sat facing north, which was where the sliding glass patio door was. Through it, we had a picturesque view of the cinder block fence that daddy and his friend, Mr. Dunston, built with their own hands. I would have said with their own four hands but Mr. Dunston had a hand and a hook so technically that wouldn’t have been a true statement.
On to the memory:
I think I mentioned earlier that the utility room was just off the kitchen, which connected to the den. I always, always followed my mom around. When I was half blind (from the black pepper incident) for that year and a half or so, I discovered that her scent was easiest to follow early in the morning. I had fewer trip and fall and walk into wall accidents before 11 a.m., which is probably how I became the morning person that I am today. I know it’s how I almost got run over by my own mother. No, not in the car, she was running… from a mouse. See, she was in the utility room doing laundry and I was standing next to her. She (apparently) saw a mouse and without any warning whatsoever, she bolted out the door into the kitchen and through the den—and this is where it gets tricky— she leapt,over that chocolate ass couch, lengthwise, with my country ass daddy sleeping on it. She never checked up. She moved at warp speed, and I, running as fast as my little braced legs could carry me, threw up everything I’d eaten for at least the last week. I would imagine my screaming is what woke daddy and when he got mama’s shoe dislodged from between my shoulder blades the lurching finally subsided. Oh, yes, I realize this is the first mention of, my braces but they were of no real consequence. Mama was moving so fast I couldn’t have caught her if I’d had jets tied to my shoes. I eventually crawled down the hall where I fell asleep knocking on her locked bedroom door.
Memories, memories, memories… where shall I start?… Ok, how about this…The playroom… the time my dad and his friends hired a “hit man from Detroit” to come down and “take care of a situation”. To this day, I still remember wondering how the hell “Uncle John” was gonna take care of anything without ever opening his mouth. He never uttered a single word. He just sat there with an oversized Stetson on his head and an extra long trench (Godfather looking overcoat) with his hands hidden deep inside his pockets. Wait…I guess he had hands… to be honest I never saw them so he could very well have been handless… which would make the fact that he never spoke even more of an anomaly for a man hired to “take care of a situation”.. Shit… was this real life? It had to be. I can still see those damn near thigh high, shiny, black boots he was wearing in my mind’s rear view mirror.
Unfortunately, I have no further recollection of what ever came of “Uncle John” and his silent self. However, I have vague memories of sipping that sweet, fruity tasting, warm tea with the funny smelling froth on top and my granddaddy’s old pocket watch swinging from side to side in front of me as I dozed off.
(up next: Chapter 2– The Kitchen)
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