543 Day Writing Journey

My Commitment. Day 78.

Homemade cranberry sauce is so yum.

We started early this morning, running around Wallace about eight o’clock when everything opened. Sammy went to work and Max, Doo, and I went to the store to get extra butter, because, butter, a longer tablecloth for the eight-foot fold-up we have, and a basketball that we won’t keep in the dog yard. Pop.

Continue reading “My Commitment. Day 78.”
543 Day Writing Journey

Holidays Change. Day 69.

It was Thanksgiving and the kitchen in Nana’s small house in Laurel Park in Northampton was split down the middle with long, rectangle tables lined up to make one large seating area for over twenty people. Oversized antique serving dishes were filled with mounds of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and bright orange butternut squash, and there was a table setting for each person including the good silver and a wine glass for the family toast. The air was warm to contrast the cool November, and the low murmur of people talking quietly within their circles wafted around the room. Nana was wearing an apron over her clean white blouse and dark slacks, and on her face was a smile showing her pride for her very large, blended family.

After we ate dinner at Nana’s, we would make our way over to my paternal grandparents’ house in the next town over to have dinner there, also. Margie, my grandmother, would serve turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and her special dressing. Their house was crowded, too, and aunts, uncles, and cousins drank Budweiser Beer, and everyone checked in with each other and asked, “What’s new with you? How is school?”  The meal was buffet-style, but the mood was the same holiday cheer. They were grand celebrations with no phones or other distractions, and we were all genuinely happy to see each other. Babies were passed around the room and at times, people would become emotional.

One day, it all stopped, but I can’t recall or detail that exact minute, and I wish I had not taken those moments for granted. People pass, relationships break up, people become estranged, and for other Ob‐La‐Di, Ob‐La‐Da reasons, things don’t stay the same. For so many decades, though, we celebrated the holidays the same way, with no changes, and I leaned on it, relied on it, and I miss it. It’s a reminder, I suppose, to live in the present, and appreciate the moments that will surely flee.

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543 Day Writing Journey, poetry

The Warren Snack. Day 66.

This is one I revise each year during November. It’s a sweet, fun little story about a man named Warren and a weekday meal, the perfect story to read on the days between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Enjoy.

(Tomorrow, something new.)

His fluorescent orange hat was menacing against the warm yellows and browns that autumn offered the eye as he hunted for his Thanksgiving feast. Rules never mattered to Warren, and he just loved baby turkey meat. His shotgun rested heavily on his fat-cushioned shoulder as he waited for a chance to shoot it. The tall man walked carefully and tried not to create a cacophony of cracking with the crispy twigs, Mother Nature’s warning. Off to Warren’s side, Tom sang a ballad to his ladies, and produced a feathered rainbow of tans and browns, grabbing Warren’s attention. Using only the balls of his feet, he turned his boots like the Black Swan. They made a little crunch on the tiny pebbles as he progressed towards the flock. His yellowed eyes saw them in the sunny field, dust bathing in the sand and familiarity. He maneuvered his lazy body their way, catching drool on the corner of his ashy lips. He must have stepped on a dry stick that blew his cover because the bony birds sped to the woods and over the shallow brook. They mimicked mannequins and stayed the color of the forest, then spread amongst the downed trees and dancing orange tape. Warren jumped over the brook and his size fourteen boot caught on a willow root, disrupting its drink. He landed hard on his right foot and knew instantly it was broken. He heard his gun crack as it fell from his reach, and watched the filtered water carry it close to its sand. Instantly, the feathered figurines began making their way towards him, smirking and slowly tilting their heads like tiny velociraptors. Back and forth. Back and forth. They were accompanied by friends who brought friends. Their lemon-sized heads swayed to the left. Then to the right, in perfect syncopation with The Blues on a cloudy Monday. The downy babies jumped on him first as he shooed them away with his meaty hand. They plucked at his orange vest with their sharp beaks, removing the down. The wild poultry snickered, and more friends came along. A female came from behind and chomped on his ear, rolling her beady eyes and shaking her head until half of it was in her mouth. She tilted back and quaked until it slid down to nourish her, then reapplied her red lipstick. Another Tom showed up with his girlfriend and the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. They drank white zinfandel and choked down green bean casserole with extra dry onions while they continued to nibble on him. They made their way through his too-tight LL Bean vest and portly white belly, seeking out his intestines to make a nice sage gravy.

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