Significant Other Ideas

I don’t usually do a traditional blog post, but tonight I was struck by a conversation I had at the grocery store with the cashier.  We were discussing that even though it was New Year’s Eve, neither of us were really celebrating it.  He had a two year old at home, and of course I have four girls all under the age of ten, so that is the obvious excuse, but on the ride home I thought about it some more.  I mused on why I did not find New Year’s Eve exciting anymore.  I joked with the cashier about my lack of sleeping habits, so staying up past midnight is life, not a something to be celebrated.  That still didn’t seem to be the answer, but it was related to that.

I didn’t find significance anymore in the change of the year.  If you don’t find something significant it just floats on by without much fanfare.  On the converse, when others discuss it, it begins to annoy you.  Why make such a big deal out of something so insignificant?  It began to make sense to me.  I see the change of day, every day, the change of month to the next, why is the changing of a year so much different?  Why attach the significance of making life changes because of the change of a calendar year?

I realize that everyone places a different level of significance to all sorts of things.  That is part of the diversity that is wonderful and frustrating.  It should be celebrated and accepted, even when you don’t see why.  It is the very essence of what makes you who you are.  I think now that marriage is finding someone you love who places a lot of the same significance on things you do, and you can accept, or ignore, where the differences are.

So what does that leave this post?  I hope it is a gift of simple words of almost wisdom from a man who is more of a wiseass.  In this next year, contemplate what is truly significant to you and then celebrate it.  Do it.  Create with it.  Make that an important part of your life.  Live it.  If you do so, then when the crap happens, and you know it will happen, then you will know its proper place in your life.  This is just a piece of advice from someone who found writing this significant enough to do so.  Happy New Year!

Finding Christmas

Thomas put the rest of Pops’ clothes into the closet, returning the hamper to the foot of the bed.  The small room was cozy and filled with knickknacks from Pops’ life as well as pictures of all eight of the grandchildren.  Thomas put away a couple of magazines before sitting next to the bed.

Pops gave a chuckle.  “You never amaze me.  I would yell at the top of my lungs to try to get you to put anything away when you were a kid,” Pops said.  “Now you can’t stop yourself.”  Pops pointed at a picture of Thomas posing with a woman holding onto two young boys who didn’t have a lick of hair out of place.  “Dorothy must have put the fear of God into you.”

Thomas leaned back in the chair and when he spoke he took on a conspiratorial tone.  “She actually put the fear of Dorothy into me.”

That gave Pops a chuckle.  “Well I hated when you would just keep leaving all that crap out, even when I threatened to throw all of it away.  It was hard enough after your mother was gone.”

Thomas reached out and gave Pops’ arm a gentle squeeze.  “You did good Pops.  It just took a while to sink in.”

Pops smiled and nodded his head.  “I know.  You’re a good man, Thomas.  I must have did something good.  But I want to know one thing.  Was it because of your mom leaving us?”

“Was what about Leslie leaving us?” asked Thomas as he crossed his arms.

“That’s your mother we’re talking about,” Pops said.  The silence stretched out a bit.  “Look, was you leaving all your crap out about your mom leaving?”

Thomas stood up and walked over to then picture of his family to give it a closer look.  “You really waited all these years to ask me that?  What difference does it make now?” Thomas asked to the picture.

Pops shrugged his shoulders.  “An old man’s prerogative?”  Pops broke into his best Jack Nicolson.  “Tell me the truth.”

Thomas turned back to Pops.  “That was Tom Cruise’s line, not Jack’s.  His was…” Thomas switched to his best Jack Nicolson, which wasn’t that good.  “You can’t handle the truth.”

“Whatever,” Pops said.  “Well?  What’s the truth?  I can handle it.  At least now.”

Thomas stood there silently.  Finally he said, “Yeah.  I was mad I didn’t understand why Leslie…”

“Mom.” Pops said softly but forcibly.

“Why Mom,” Thomas corrected, “left me behind.  I blamed you for so much of the pain I felt.  You were there, and she wasn’t.  It wasn’t fair, but nothing was then.”

Pops let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding.  “That’s fair.  Nothing much more a nine year old would understand.”

“But I did all that stuff up to when I moved out to go to college.  It wasn’t till I was explaining it to her,” Thomas pointed back to the picture, “that I realized how much of an idiot I was.”  There were tears in Thomas’ eyes.  “I still am an idiot.  I’ve never said I’m sorry.”

“I always did like that girl.” Pops said.  He pointed to the closet and the magazines.  “And you have said I’m sorry many times over the years.”

Thomas wiped at his eyes.  “I love you, Pops.”

Pops nodded in response and smiled.  “Well turnabout is fair play.  Your turn.  Anything you want to ask?” Pops said.

“Really, anything?” Thomas asked.  Pops just gestured him on.  “Okay, this is going to sound stupid, but where did you hide the Christmas presents each year?”  Pops began to laugh.  “No really.  I tore that house apart.  I looked in the closets, the attic, the basement, Grandma’s, Jake’s place down the street.  I never found a single one.  I’ve always wanted to know,” Thomas said.

Pops was now in full belly laughter.  He finally came out of it long enough to wheeze out, “Are you sure you tore the house apart?”

“Come on.  It’s not that funny,” Thomas complained.

“You really want to know?” Pops said as he calmed down a bit more.  Thomas was about to complain again, but Pops cut him off.  “I put them where your toys should have been.”

“You mean?” Thomas asked.

“Yep, if you had put one blessed thing away you would have found everything.  I never hid a single thing.  I just tried to put things back to normal the best I could.” Pops said as he began laughing again.

This time Thomas joined him.

The Tides of War, a 200 word fable

The waves ran onto the shore, advancing the front line, and establishing a beachhead under the watchful eye of the old man who was beaming in his full glory.  Inch by inch, soaking the ground with their being, they advanced.  Alas, after reaching a high point, the water retreated mere hours later, fleeing from the unseen enemy, morale broken.  Wave after wave of reinforcements ran into the remnants that had been holding their ground, but those remnants were now fleeing back into the depths.  This caused the reinforcements to crash helplessly short of the position the waves had previously attained, giving up precious territory that had been taken at considerable cost.  The remainder of those that had taken the beach rested, their souls released to the sky to be born again in the heavens above.  The retreat continued until the old man once again rallied his troops, hurling them towards the shore anew.  Wave after wave poured their being into retaking what had been lost, the battle not finished.  Over and over the battle was waged, but till this day no victor has been anointed, and the many tears shed for the fallen is why the ocean is so salty.

Ten Revamped Movie Quotes

Ten revamped movie quotes for today’s world:

  1. E.T. Snapchat home
  2. Luke, I am your mamma’s baby’s daddy.
  3. You textin’ to me?
  4. Show me the Bitcoin!
  5. Robinson, you’re trying to Netflix and chill. Aren’t you?”
  6. Houston, we have no budget.
  7. Too big to fail, for lack of a better word, is good.
  8. I feel the need—the need for faster data!
  9. I just passed my background check and got off the no fly list, so say ‘hello’ to my little friend!
  10. If you build the porn site, he will come.

See if you can place the movies they came from.  The link to where I found the quotes is here:…100_Movie_Quotes

Depression (a 100 word diatribe)

Emptying everything out of the depths of my soul, finding the places where sorrow pools, and I try to pump that out too.  The calming feel of numbness would make me “happy”, but yet it seems the more I pour that bitter water out, the more they fill up.  Is there an end to those salty depths?  I know the simple answer, but I am past simple answers.  Simple is Saccharin.  It is artificially sweet, leaving my emotional palate overloaded and underwhelmed.    The complex is too much for my mental state right now, so I am left in purgatory. Selah

Pile of Regrets

Jasper walked into Earnest’s room and almost stepped on a large pile of clothes piled near the door.  It was a huge contrast to the rest of the room with the abundance of books and sketchpads that filled every shelf, including where a TV would normally be.  Earnest looked up and chuckled in a dry raspy rattle that had seen too much laughter, shouting, cigarettes, and not necessarily in that order.  The old man threw another pair of pants on the pile that he had taken out of his large dresser.

“Earnest my man,” Jasper said.  “What’s gotten into you?”

Earnest took another shirt out of a drawer and added it forcibly on the pile.  “Life,” he replied.  Earnest sat down on the bed, his many years etched heavily in his sagging skin and wrinkles.  The only thing not sagging due to age and gravity was the twinkle in his faded blue eyes.  “Do you like my masterpiece?”  Earnest asked.

“You’re masterpiece?” asked Jasper.  “Where?”

Earnest gestured to his pile of clothes.  “That.  That is my masterpiece,” he said with quite a bit of satisfaction.  Earnest got up and began to go through another drawer, throwing its contents onto the pile one at a time.

Jasper crossed his arms.  “Did Mary forget to bring you your meds this morning?” he asked.

Earnest turned back to Jasper.  “Ha!  You’re quite the joker.  Yes she did,” he said before turning back to his piling task.

“I’m not trying to be funny,” Jasper said as he scooped up a few of the clothes and held them out to Earnest.  “And this sure isn’t funny either.  Do you expect me to pick up this mess?  I’m your aide, not your maid.”

Earnest didn’t turn around this time.  He just shook his head as he added more and more clothing to the pile.  “I’m not expecting you to pick it up.  I’m expecting you to appreciate my masterpiece for what it is.”

“I don’t understand Earnest,” Jasper said.  “Clue me in please.”

Jasper finished the drawer and shuffled to his closet.  “That pile of clothes is my life in a nutshell,” he said.

“One more time, please.  Give me the YouTube version,” Jasper said.

Earnest added a bunch of shoes and a jacket or two to the pile.  “YouTube?” he asked.  “What in God’s good graces is that?”

Jasper shook his head.  “Sorry, I forgot you don’t believe in computers.”

“Those things suck your soul into the screen for the promise of empty entertainment,” Earnest said, “and I do think the use of entertainment is dubious at best.”

“Okay, so I won’t tell you what happened last night on Marvel’s Agents of Shield,” Jasper said, “but seriously, what gives?”

Earnest finished cleaning out his closet onto the pile, except for a classic navy blue pinstripe suit, a white dress shirt and a pair of black wingtips with such a shine that they would be blinding at night.  Those he laid reverently on his bed.  “A man,” Earnest began, “a real man knows he is the sum of what he wears.”

“You mean his style?” asked Jasper.

Earnest shook his head, adding his raspy laugh as punctuation.  “Style is what you young folk have corrupted from what this used to be,” he began.  “Not that I blame you.  It’s just what happens when time passes.  The ideas change, become corrupted such that the new generation can make it their own.  I get that.”

Earnest lifted the suit off the bed and held it up in front of himself.  “A good suit makes a man,” he continued.  “You just feel different.  A good pair of pants that fit, a jacket that you fill out, shoes that can cut the floor like buttah, that’s what I’m talking about.  They make you feel ten times the man that you thought you were before you put them on.  If the military could ever come up with a suit you could fight in like that, well we could conquer the world.”  He punctuated his sentence with a fist pump.

“Okay pops, but why the pile?” Jasper asked.

“That crap is who I was since I gave this up,” Earnest said pointing to the suit.  “That’s me without the power.  Now look at me.  I’m just a shadow of my former me.”  Earnest was beginning to shake.  “I’m an old shadow of a shadow of myself.  All that crap there,” he pointed at the pile of clothes, “that’s me wasting away.  That’s the kind of stuff your mother bought for you from Sears and Roebuck when she had saved enough green stamps that she could afford it.  You didn’t choose those corduroy red pants, they were just the cheapest things to cover your bare ass to go to school.”  Earnest slumped onto his bed next to the suit.  He looked as messy and crumpled as the pile of clothes that separated him and Jasper.

“So what do you want to do about all this?” Jasper asked.

“I don’t know,” Earnest replied with a very small voice.

Jasper paused for a moment of silence.  It was soon interrupted by the sound of a bed call button.  The intercom on his belt said in a slightly muffled monotone voice, “Jasper, can you check in on Mr. Stapleton.  He can’t find his teeth.”

“Look,” Jasper said to Earnest, “why don’t I help you get into your suit.  You hang out in it for a bit, and I’ll come back after finding Lewis his teeth.”

Jasper perked up again.  “That would be swell.  Thanks,” he said.

Jasper helped Earnest get dressed and he had to admit, even though Earnest had deflated since the last time he had worn the suit, it still looked damn good on him.  “There you go old man.  You enjoy and I’ll be right back.”

Earnest grabbed onto Jasper’s arm.  “You’re a good man,” Earnest said.  “Thank you for helping me to remember who I was.”

“Who you are, Earnest.  Who you are,” Jasper said.  Earnest gave Jasper a smile and a nod through tear filled eyes as he let Jasper go.  Jasper gave Earnest a pat on the back as Jasper headed out of the room.  He paused in the doorway and watched Earnest lay down on the bed, those shoes twinkling in the setting sun.  Jasper smiled and headed down the hall to find some teeth.


Jasper came back through the door, a smile on his face and a story on his lips.  “You should have seen where Lewis left his teeth this time,” he said.

Jasper’s words met the empty stare of eyes that were looking at infinity and would never blink again.  Jasper hit the call button, but knew that the Earnest had gone on, his clothes having made the man.  Jasper looked at his scrubs and wondered what kind of man it made him as the emergency crew rushed into the room.

He Thought/ She Thought (an experimental story)

The story below is an experiment in word counts.  Each side of the story follows the following pattern: 100 words, 50 words, 25 words, and finally 15 words.  Just in case you were wondering that is.  🙂


The rain washed away her blood from his hands.  He looked at the sky, feeling the water seep into his deep wrinkles on his face, diverting them into large rivers flooding off his cheeks.  He was trying to figure out if he was crying, but the deluge of water purged any bodily sensation of possible tears.  He lowered his head and began to shuffle along the game trail between the tall pines.   Their evergreen arms scratched at his skin, pulling at him, almost begging him to go back, but he refused.  She was dead.  Nothing could change that now.  Nothing.

She awoke to thunder that bragged about the lightning that had spawned it.  She had blacked out after the knife had cut both her arms.  That was a blessing, passing out before the end, but here she was still alive, or was she?  She looked at the front door wide open and realized he wasn’t here.  He must have fled into the night.  She could not let him get away.  Not after what happened.  She gathered her splayed limbs back under her and lurched after him.  She wanted to see the look in his eyes when he saw her again.

He stumbled and fell, the cold from the rain seeping into his old bones.  Maybe it was better for him this way.  He could pass away quietly and not have to deal with the ramifications of his actions.  With his face away from the rain, he knew he was crying.

She ran through the pines, growing stronger with each step.  The rain matted her blond curls against her bare back.  She had discarded her bloody dress back at the cabin.  She felt primal, alive for the first time in years.  Up ahead she saw him floundering, wallowing in the mud.

He heard her feet pounding just before she pounced on his back.  He tried to roll her off, but he knew he was too old.

She laughed as she sunk her teeth into the base of his neck.  The taste of his coppery sweet blood made her growl with hunger.

He had wanted to save his daughter, instead he had changed her into a zombie.

She felt him shudder just before his skull exploded with the help of a rock.