Memory (an acrostic poem)

Musing about the past

Engaging mental muscle

Moving past the cobwebs

Opening the sealed vault

Reaching for that wanted moment

Yet grabbing the wrong one!


Grandpa’s Advice

My grandfather tucked me into bed one day.  The big fuchsia comforter matched the rest of the fuchsia walls.  To this day I still shudder when I see that color.  There was way too much of it at my grandparent’s house.

I asked my grandfather for a bedtime story.  In reality I was just trying to eke out a few more minutes of consciousness, but what he left me with is this:

“I don’t have a story to tell you, but I have a three pieces of advice.  First, always eat your vegetables.  It will impress your future wife that you are more than a carnivore.  It will probably be the first time she meets such a man, and that will keep her interested.  Second, always finish whatever you are drinking.  If you do you will impress your future wife even more.  She will know intuitively that you will get things done, and you won’t put off things just because you were happy with how they are now.  You made a commitment and you followed through till the end.  Lastly, always volunteer to do the dishes.  If you do, your future wife will know you will be a partner in everything you do together.  She will know you are a strong believer in sharing all burdens, to make them lighter for you both.”

Once grandpa was finished he looked at me, waiting for me to say something.  Being only seven at the time, I tried to figure out what he was talking about.  Finally I just agreed.  “Okay Grandpa.  I will begin tomorrow.”

The old man smiled a broad smile and rubbed his hands together in anticipation.  “Don’t let me down, boy.”  He patted me on my head.  “You make sure you do that.”


Many years later, while getting ready for my wedding, my grandfather came in to see how I was doing.  I gave him a huge hug.  “Grandpa,” I said.  “That advice you gave me so many years ago, you were right.”

My grandfather looked at me weirdly.  “What advice was that?” he asked.

“You told me when I was seven that I should always eat my vegetables.  It will impress my future wife, and keep her interested.  Second, always finish whatever I’m drinking.  She will know intuitively that I’ll get things done and won’t put off things.  I will follow through till the end.  Lastly, I always volunteer to do the dishes, letting her know you will be a partner in everything we do together.  She knows I believe in sharing all burdens, to make them lighter for both of us.  That last part really sealed the deal.  Without your advice, Amanda and I wouldn’t be getting married today.”

My grandfather looked off into space, trying to remember when he had given such sage advice.  He then started laughing so hard I thought he was going to pass out.  When I finally steered him to a chair and got him a drink of water to help him catch his breath, Grandpa had me kneel down next to his chair.  He leaned over and patted me on my head, just like that night twenty years earlier.

“Do you remember now?” I asked him.

“Yes my boy, I do,” Grandpa said.  “And that advice is the reason why you’re getting married?”

“Yes Grandpa,” I said.  He threatened to begin laughing, but I stopped him with my stare.  “What’s so funny?”

“I told you to eat your vegetables,” Grandpa said through a toothy grin.

“Yes, Grandpa,” I replied.

“I told you to drink all of your drink,” Grandpa said as the grin got larger.

“Yes, Grandpa,” I replied getting more annoyed.

“I told you to do the dishes,” Grandpa said, slapping his knee.

“Yes, Grandpa!” I exclaimed.  “I just told you that.”

“Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Your grandmother was getting flustered at your eating habits.  She bet me I couldn’t make you eat all your vegetables and drink all your drink.  If I lost I had to paint the barn that ugly fuchsia color she loved.”

“This was part of a bet?” I asked, the color draining from my face.  “Wait, what did you win?”

My grandfather blushed a little and made an almost impossibly large grin.

“Grandpa!  No way!” I said, sinking the rest of the way to the floor.

“Best damn week in a long time,” he said with a little bit of longing in his voice.

“All this time,” I said, shaking my head, smooshing my wedding haircut into the thick pile carpet behind it.  Then I had another thought.  I sat back up and looked at the man who used my naiveté to get lucky with my grandmother.  “You also made me promise to do the dishes.  I’m almost afraid to ask this, but what did you win from Grandma for getting me to do that?”

Grandpa waved me off.  “Grandma never bet me anything about doing the dishes.”  I was relieved, but confused.  Grandpa then continued. “It was always my chore to do the dishes after dinner.  I just wanted a break.”

Consent! (a 100 word diatribe)

I am at war with nature.  I have had to watch numerous videos about how sex is only allowed with sober consent, and yet Mother Nature is jumping my immune system with her reproductive junk without even taking me out for dinner and a movie.  I am so abused in this relationship I want her to be locked up, or at least go to counseling.  When I say no, it should mean no.  Even when I sleep she is up to her nefarious tricks.  Don’t you ever get enough, Mother Nature?  I can’t wait till you take a cold shower!

Seeing Red

Gail was completely flustered.  She had been writing crap, without an idea where her next novel was going to come from, so she decided to give up and go to the grocery store.  That ended up being an unmitigated disaster.  On the way over three appointments popped up that she had forgotten and consequently missed.    Also her agent had called wanting to know where his next pay check was coming from.  Okay, that wasn’t fair, but she really didn’t need to have him riding her so hard.  She did that just fine on her own.  Besides, didn’t three best sellers give her a little bit of wiggle room?

Of course just walking into the store reminded her of a couple of other things she needed to do.  “Death By Checklist is going to be the title of my next novel,” Gail muttered as she checked her phone.

A petite skinny man dressed in all black, but sporting a red beret, looked up from the amazing selection of canned beans.  “Did you say something to me?” he asked in a much deeper voice than should have been physically possible.

Gail felt a quiver in her stomach.  Okay, maybe it was a bit lower than her stomach.  “Just hate it when my checklist is longer than one page on my phone,” she replied.

“Your grocery list?” the man asked.

Gail smiled despite the topic.  That voice was magical.  “Oh no, my to do list.  I had to add a couple of things I remembered on the drive over here.  It’s the only way I can get all of it done.”

The man looked at her in thought.  Suddenly a smile bloomed on his face.  “May I see your list?” he asked.

Without even thinking Gail handed over her phone.  “See, so much to do and no time to get it done,” she quipped.

The man scrolled down a bit, smiled, and made a few more gestures before handing back the phone.  “You are right, so much to do, but now it’s all done,” he said.

Gail was confused.  Her list was now empty.  Voice or no voice, this man had just destroyed her only repository of what she needed to do.  “You deleted them all?”

“I completed them,” he replied.  “A gift to you.”

“But but,” she stammered.

“You’re welcome,” he said and began to walk down the aisle.

Gail was practically in tears.  She began to stab frantically what she could remember into the phone, but after only four entries her mind was blank.  “Maybe my next novel should be Death By Base.” She muttered.  She typed that into her checklist.  This trip was productive after all.

She was going to enjoy taking that red beret off that man, along with his head, voice be damned.

A Math Home Run (a 100 word story)

Facts and figures spun and danced in front of Maryann’s eyes.  She was great at math, but she hated it.

Her father tried to convince her that math could be beautiful.  She wouldn’t believe him.  After all, why would someone like math who worked on making sure the grass in left field was trimmed to the perfect height.  He showed her the analytical side of baseball, how she could use her ability to simulate games, just like this one.

As the ump called strike three Maryann smiled and settled back in her seat.  Okay, maybe hate was a strong word.