Friday, October 30, 2009

Freaky Friday: Dolly Dearest


About three years ago,
I bought a new doll.

She had green eyes,
long dark hair,
and her name was Devil.

What started out as
a ten dollar Halloween prop,
Devil Doll has become
the nucleus of our
October festivities.

My daughter Erin and I
have unwittingly created
a strange Halloween tradition.
We take turns playing with
Devil Doll.

And when I say "play",
I mean hiding her somewhere
so that the other person
gets freaked out
when she's unveiled.

These shenanigans go on
for most of October-
starting the minute
our dolly comes down from the attic-
until the minute she's
put back in the Rubbermaid tote
for another year.

I've put Devil in the shower,
the front seat of Erin's car,
under her blankets,
and in her favorite chair.

I've stuffed her in the dryer,
under the bed,
in the car trunk
and inside the cabinets.

I've hidden her in the closet,
and the fridge-
and hung her on the front door
when I knew Erin was getting
ready to leave.

And, I must say,
Erin has come up with some
great hiding places herself.

One night I slept with our doll
without even knowing it.
And then, at midnight,
while fluffing my pillow,
there lay Devil Doll-
all creepy and scary
beneath my head.

That was a good one, Erin.

One morning last year
I scared Erin really good
and she swore she'd get even.
But she left for work
before she could take
possession of little Devil.

All day long I tried to think
of someplace better that
I could hide her.
I sat her on the couch-
her blank eyes staring at me-
her long white fingers
pointing at me in ridicule-
her bloody fangs
ready to taste my flesh...

Then- the electricity went off.
The house went silent and dark.
I heard noises.
And Devil Doll just seemed to smile.

I'm a grown woman, for heaven's sake!
But I grabbed my purse and cell phone
and proceeded to walk quickly
(and I mean sprint)-
to the front porch
where I could see in all directions.
Nothing could get me there.

A few minutes later,
Erin pulled up in the drive
and asked why I was sitting outside
with my purse.

She laughed so hard,
I blushed.
It was the work of Devil Doll,
no doubt-
tired of being used as a
simple toy.

Over the years,
Devil has started to go bald,
lost some of her spring,
and her dress looks
a bit more ragged than usual.

But she's still scary.
And fun.
And part of our yearly tradition.

Sounds corny,
but I know that someday
when I'm old and pass on,
Erin will remember
these days fondly.

She'll smile at the memory
of finding Devil Doll
in the freezer-
wrapped around a box
of Hot Pockets.
Or the time Devil popped out
of a shopping bag
that should have held
only new jeans.

I think Devil Doll
with be part of our
Halloween memories
for a long time.

Now...
Where can I hide her today?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Buffy Buys


The recent interest in vampires
has triggered a rise
of vampire related items
in auction houses
and internet bidding sites.

There are actually
vampire kits available-
wooden boxes full of all
the necessary items
to ward off those pesky blood-suckers.

Kovel's Antiques say that
most vampire kits
were probably made after 1897,
when the book "Dracula" was first published.
People began to fear this
night-walking creature and
prepared themselves with these weapons.

Kovel's describes one such box:
"Last year a kit in an American walnut case sold for $14,850. It held stakes, mirrors, a gun with silver bullets, crosses, a Bible, holy water, candles, and garlic. This Saturday, October 31, 2009, another kit will be auctioned. It's in a rosewood case with mother-of-pearl inlay in the shape of a cross. The required pistol and silver bullets are in a small coffin-shaped case. There are also holy water vials, a prayer book, a cleaver, and a mirror." Another auction claimed to have the following, circa 1900:

"...the box is solid mahogany, the hinged lid with a copper cross to the front, opening to a compartmentalized interior comprised of an ivory inlaid crucifix-shaped gun bearing the date 1591, lead bullets, a small glass bottle, a small power keg, a metal bullet mold, and a mahogany stake..."

Deanna of Collector's Quest wrote about 19th Century vampire killing kits:

"These are expensive kits, made for the wealthy; not some cheap and cheesy plastic novelty items. Such luxury concedes a seriousness -- a deadly seriousness. These items were made to address deep, dark, primal fears. And then, like our fears often are, they were not thrown away but stored in equally dark and out of the way places... Antique wooden killing kits in the attics of old houses, just waiting for the day when the creatures creep from the attics of our minds."






Yeah, well...just in case...
I've gathered up some garlic bulbs,
a sharpened tree branch,
an Avon mirror,
a Yankee candle,
and a cross.

I had a hard time finding holy water,
so I just made some.

How do you make holy water?
You just boil the Hell out if it!

So- to all you vampire slayers out there-
Better get 'cha some!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Exclusive!


Several letters of historic importance
were recently unearthed and only
now made public.
This is the first time they have been
in print and I offer them
exclusively in my blog today.

*************************


This is a farewell letter written by
a mummy to her boyfriend.

Dear Tut,
My bones ache as I write this letter and I am stiff from sitting up all night waiting for you to resurrect from Club Pyramid. Why do you feel as though you must always be on exhibit?
You are so wrapped up in yourself
that you seem to have forgotten all the centuries we spent together. And lately you've been wound up so tight that I barely know you anymore. In reality, you are just a dried up old man who has no heart.
It is sad to see our love decay, but I'm afraid it's time to split the sheets.
Don't visit my tomb or text me any chants.
I'm burying myself in my esophagus and may not emerge for decades.
Go home to your mummy. What we had is dead.

Mimi


This letter was written by Mrs. Jekyll
to her husband:

Dearest Husband,

I grow more fearful each evening as you retire to your office and only emerge once the sun is rising the next morn. It pains me to say that lately you seem as though you are two men- a split personality that I cannot seem to acquaint myself with or totally devote myself to. You've become a drinking man. I see all the potions you consume and we know how that can turn one into a monstrous soul.
I have declined to suggest that there may be another woman, but more and more it seems that is perhaps the sad truth. You come to the breakfast table worn and tattered with nary a kiss to my cheek or an exchange of pleasantries. You sleep all day and seem pale and withdrawn.
I feel that it is necessary that I return to my homeland until such a time that you find yourself and become one with the world. Please take care and post me often.

Your Loving Wife

The following letter was written
to the Werewolf from his eHarmony date:

Wolfy,

Since I can't seem to get past your incessant howling, I figured I would write a letter explaining why I can't see you again.
First off, how we were ever matched up is a mystery to me. I prefer clean cut men who enjoy strolling in the moonlight and who love tropical weather.
Your nails need groomed and you left lint all over my white sofa.
And, another thing- I am a vegetarian and could not stand to see you put that poor sheep down in one fell swoop.
Please don't come near me again or I will resort to buying silver bullets. Go back to London where you belong.

Polly


To the Invisible Man
from his personal trainer:

Dear Invi, This is to inform you that I will no longer be responsible for your physical health and your training workouts. I cannot possibly do my job when you are never present- or so it seems. I think it was rude of you to stand on the scale when my other clients were weighing in yesterday. I have lost most of them due to the fact that they all gained 195 pounds overnight! I also wasn't aware how much weight you had gained. Just because you're invisible doesn't mean you can stop taking care of yourself. Your heavy breathing gave you away when you were standing on the treadmill with my best customer. Plus, the cake crumbs easily led me to your house, where I am leaving this letter for you. You are heartless, shallow and undependable. I should have seen through you the first time we met.
Sebastian






Tuesday, October 27, 2009

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Trick-or-Treating


The stores are packed nowadays
with self-help books and
novel-sized instruction booklets
on how to face life's ups and downs.
People pay good money to read
what has been obvious since
I was a kid.

All I ever needed to know
I learned from Trick-or-Treating:

1. Be yourself.
Even with a disguise, people
usually know who you are.

2. Share with those less fortunate.
Don't be selfish.
But give them the black licorice
and hide the chocolate.

3. Dare to be different.
If you feel like being a monster-
then by all means, be one.
But if you feel like being
a sweet, tiny ballerina-
then get some help.

4. Carry a big purse.
Don't carry a quart sized baggie
for gathering a gallon of treats.
It's always better to have too much
room in your bag than not enough.

5. Be alert.
If you run into a vampire in broad daylight-
there's probably something wrong.
Fine tune your senses to detect danger.

6. Vent your feelings.
Your old English teacher probably
deserved those twenty five rolls
of toilet paper, and you'll feel better
having released your inner anger.

7. Clean up after yourself.
Especially when you wear those three layers
of warm costume,
feel your stomach roll,
and don't make it back home in time.

8. Money isn't everything.
Sometimes those rich neighbors
give the crappiest candy
when the poor ones go all out
to see you smile.

9. All things eventually die.
And that pumpkin you carved last week
will probably kick the bucket long before
Halloween.

10. Life is scary.
But you just have to make your way
through the blood-suckers
and the ax-murderers
and the wanna-be's...
and come out a better person
with a giant sack of happy.

Have a great Halloween!
Hope you learn something!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Madness: It Comes For Me


I taste winter.

It touches my tongue
like a bitter snowflake-
like a season of poison
that weakens me.

I feel winter.

It runs its fingers through my hair
and caresses my face with icy fingers.
It kisses me with frozen lips
and leads me into
December's cave.

All the while,
I kick and scream-
try to hold on to sunshine-
grasp at butterflies and blue birds-
plead with all my heart
for winter
to let me loose.

I hear winter.

It beckons me
with whispers in the pine trees-
begs me to love its inky skies
and frigid winds-
forces me to watch
its blizzard of madness-
laughs when I shiver,
roars when I complain.

I see winter.

Rolling like a snowball down the hill-
aiming for my summer heart-
ready to stab me with ice sickles
and shoot me with frosty bullets
that hurt like hell.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freaky Friday: The Visitor


There are some things in this world
that just can't be explained.
There are plenty of theories
and partial explanations
and scientific reasoning
behind eerie events,
but nothing to explain
"The Visitor".

My youngest daughter Becca is
usually very level-headed,
independent,
and strong.
There isn't much that
can phase her or
cause her imagination
to flare up.

That's why on one particular night,
I believed her outlandish story.

It was a typical night.
The three kids were all tucked in.
My husband and I were
sleeping soundly-
when all of a sudden,
Becca slides in bed next to me,
hyperventilating, sobbing,
shaking, and unable
to talk at all.

"What's wrong?" I asked,
pulling her under the blankets
with me.

Her voice was broken at first-
interrupted by heavy breaths,
but finally she spoke well enough
that I could understand
why she was so upset.

" There's... a ..man in- the- hall..way,"
she whispered in terror. "I've been...
laying in my room---for---an hour--
waiting for ...him...to leave. He just
went----- into-- Jake's room."

Goosebumps rose on my skin.
The hair stood up on my neck.
But my motherly instinct kicked in.

"Honey!"I cried, shaking my husband awake,
"I think someone's in the house!"

He awoke slowly, heard the story,
and blamed it on a bad dream.

"All the doors and windows are locked",
he assured us." Go back to bed."

The seconds ticked by slowly.
What if there was someone here
and he was standing over my son's bed
and danger was imminent?

Well, you know how you sometimes
talk to the people in scary movies
and tell them they are retarded for
going down in that dark cellar
or taking a walk through the haunted woods?

No one was there to tell me that.

I got out of bed
and forced Becca to follow me
through the entire house-
turning on every light possible.

All the kids were fine.
All the doors were locked
and chain locked.
All the windows were locked.
Nothing was disturbed.

I turned the porch lights on.
No one was there.
Nothing was out of place.

I know in my heart that Becca
wasn't sleep walking
or having a nightmare.
What she saw was real to her
and utterly horrifying to me.

The next night I told the kids
that I was going to sprinkle
baby powder on the wood floor
of the hallway.
That way- if there really was a man-
or ghost- or whatever-
we would see his tracks
the next morning.

There was none.

And they all slept better after that.

But every once in awhile,
I'll awake at night
and imagine I hear footsteps
in the hallway.

I just cover my head-
hyperventilate, sob,
and shiver-
and hope the visitor
won't stay long.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Funky Monkey Love



I was about eight years old
when I first fell in love.

It was at my Grandma C's house
and it was with a sock monkey.
Oh, how cute!
How adorable!
And how affordable!
Grandma could just make me one!

And that she did.

He was soft, cuddly,
didn't talk back,
and required no batteries.
And he weathered the
roughest storms
and the meanest brothers.

A few years ago, I made a sock monkey
for my grand daughter-
it's ears a bit lopsided-
it's crooked red lips
stuffed a little too much-
it's tail a twisted mass of
thread and bobbin gone wild.

But it was loved.

And that's what counts.

Those red heeled socks
aren't just for makin' monkeys
anymore.
They've exploded into
a variety of home made creations
that retain that simple cuteness
and pure monkey love.

There are other monkey sock animals:





















And all sorts of other cool sock stuff:

































And just in time for Halloween!













I don't know whatever happened
to my sock money.
But no doubt it probably became soiled,
the stuffing began to peep out,
and the tail was twisted off by baby brothers
or angry pets.

So- wherever you are,
my old sock monkey-
I still love you!

And that's what really counts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thoughts



Yesterday was a perfect autumn day.

At first the air was cold,
but by afternoon it mellowed
into a sunny leaf-tossed day
meant for long walks
and Kodak moments.

I took advantage of the weather
to mow the lawn.
Perhaps for the last time this year.

It was my time to reflect.
To breathe.
To dream and sing and plan.

But, yet- what a whirlwind
passed through my mind!
I thought of everything
and of nothing-
sang songs without knowing
the words,
and regretted destroying perfect red leaves
that fell beneath my blades.

I thought about the trash man
and wondered if he was expecting a check
and if he'd cuss because I put
out eight bags instead of the
five allowed.

I thought about the
pumpkin/pecan coffee I had left in the pot
and hated to think of it going to waste.

And then I thought about
how delicious it would taste-
warmed up- with a handful of cookies.

I thought about the
new fleece sheets that I bought
and hoped they came out of the dryer
smelling like kiss-scented Snuggle.

I thought about my eight pumpkins
and wonder if I'll even carve them this year
or just leave them bald and faceless.

I thought about my back fat
and wondered if passersby
could see my tee shirt riding up
in an uncomfortable sort of way.

I thought about the garden
and how that last green tomato
keeps hanging on
even though everything else is dead
and there's no hope of ever
getting red.

I thought about my scarecrow, Samuel-
and how he definitely needs to
get out of those disco threads
and into bibs, a flannel shirt
and some really freaky mask.

I thought about pork steaks
on the grill
and red baked potatoes
with sour cream and chives.

I thought about my garage
and how in the world I'm ever
gonna get it clean.

I thought about my husband playing guitar
and I smiled and felt warm.

Then I thought about me learning to play guitar-
and then I let that thought
just slide away really quick.

I thought about my sister
and I cried with her.

I thought about my grand kids
and I laughed with them.

I thought about my husband's smile
and my heart grew full of love.

I thought about Bob
and wondered if he is in Heaven.

I thought about the years
and how they have grown
like a thick cocoon around me-
and I thought that how someday
it will crack open
and I'll fall like shattered glass-
and God will sweep me up
and put me back together
and take me to a better world.

Where everyday is autumn
and red leaves
dance in the wind.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How Will You Celebrate Mole Day?


This morning I saw where Friday
is National Mole Day.

"Hey! It's National Mole Day!"
I exclaimed to my family.

They curled their lips
and rolled their eyes
and asked the loaded question.

"Just what is Mole Day?"

"Well, I'm not sure myself,
but I have a few pretty good
ideas", I said, trying to sound
not only super intelligent,
but also interesting.

"This celebration might refer
to skin moles- which are simply
caused by a collection of cells
called melanocytes." I told them
in my genius tone of voice.

"Melanocytes are part of skin
pigmentation, but sometimes
they occur in clusters, which forms a mole."

They stared at me in wonderment-
(Or concern. I don't know which.)

"So, I would take a guess that Mole Day
is probably celebrated by dermatologists.
They probably give free screenings
and laser removal and sell tons of
sunscreen and stuff," I declared.

"Of course..." I pondered, "It could very well
be a holiday for that little blind mole
that borrows in the ground . Also
known as a mole rat.

There are eight species of moles
and they weigh around 100 to 570 grams.

In reality, these creatures are not
rodents at all. They belong to a group
of mammals known as insectivora.
Thus, closely related to the shrew,"
I smiled smugly.

About that time my husband
tapped a few keys on the
computer and shouted,
"Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
National Mole Day doesn't
have to do with a skin mole or a
ground mole at all!

I slanted my eyes
and looked at him angrily.
He was stealing my thunder.

"It says here:
Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.
For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro's Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death."


The room was silent for a moment.
And then I said-

"That was my third guess."

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Dozen Scary Things



I seems strange to me that people
will spend their hard earned money
this time of year,
just to let a bunch of people in masks
scare the poo poo out of them.

Lines flock to the haunted houses,
the spooky corn mazes,
-the wicked woods.

And me-
Well, I find scary things around me
every day and they are free.

Here's the scoop.

Twelve Scary Things:

1. Swiping your debit card for $123.70
when you know perfectly well that you
only have $71.02 in your account.

2. Running out of coffee at 5 a.m.
on a day when you are ready to
kill anyone that looks at you sideways.

3. Stretch pants on strange fat women.

4. Stretch pants on me.

5. Hearing the car make a "ca-chunk"
sound when you are twenty miles from
the nearest town or rest stop.

6. Seeing a mouse getting ready to
run across the room when you've got
company sitting in there.

7. Having your hair done by a girl
with tats, piercings and purple hair.

8. The guy who changes my oil.

9. Planning meals.

10. WalMart on Black Friday.

11. WalMart on Senior Citizen Day.

12. WalMart when you've run out of coffee
at 5 a.m. on a day are ready to kill any one
who looks at you sideways and you
bump into ladies with stretchy pants on
while you're searching for mousetraps
in aisle ten when they are actually in aisle four
and having to go back to the Tire and Lube
because some weirdo is paging you that your
service is completed and your debit card is declined.

So, see folks-
Put away your money.
Just follow me on an average day.

Scary is always free.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Freaky Friday: Dear Daddy

























Dear Dr. Frankenstein,

I am writing you this letter because my therapist said in must be done in order to bury the past. Not to sound sarcastic, but I do confess that I dig up the past occasionally, but I sure as heck don't go around digging up people! For a smart doctor, you were pretty stupid to let Igor pick out a brain, don't you think?

Anyway- I have forwarded to you the proper forms that demand your attention immediately. The psychiatrist says that I must provide a detailed synopsis of my birth and early childhood. He doesn't believe me when I tell him I was born a grown man!

Apparently my intense fear of electrical storms has caused unhealthy
stress-not only to this stolen heart inside my chest, but to my mental stability as well. I have tried on various occasions to explain that a direct bolt of lightning was responsible for my being,
but my doctor refuses to accept my outrageous chronicle of my creation. Imagine me- an eight foot man hiding in a seven foot closet when a storm begins to brew!

I'm sure you can understand why extreme shyness has manifested itself in my persona. Eighteen-thousand, one-hundred and fifty two stitches leave quite the scars. And, for crying out loud- what what with the neck bolts anyway?! Even the best turtle neck sweaters from Lands End will not cover those rusty appendages.

My bride left several years ago. She got that hideous streak in her hair dyed and started covering up her scars with some fantastic makeup. Pretty soon there were men flirting with her.I realize they found her attractive- in a sick and perverted sort of way. And I suppose they could give her things that I couldn't. (That is another bone I need to pick with you. Why did you ever exhume the body part of a man with ED?)

However, despite those setbacks, my life is improving as time goes on. I got hooked on Phonics, was awarded my GED, incurred a job washing airplane windshields, and finally got rid of those frightful lead boots. I have started running ( in my new Nike's) and am in better shape than the ten men that I am composed of.

I have no regrets of my amazing birth and no animosity toward you or your lab assistant. There have been so many breakthroughs in science in the past century- that I can help but wonder how things would have been if I had been born fifty years later.

But- excuse me- there I go again- reflecting on the past. My doctor would not approve of my clinging to things that cannot be changed.

The best to you and yours. Please sign the papers in duplicate and return in the prepaid envelope.

I will see you Halloween night.

Sincerely,

Your son Frankenstein




Thursday, October 15, 2009

Excuse Me- I Think Your Badge Is Showing



It's that time of year again
to start picking out costumes
for trick-or-treating
or your neighbors
Halloween bash.

The choices can be overwhelming,
to say the least.
But, kids costumes
are basically ready-made
and easily chosen.

I bet this year there will be
a lot of New Moon vampires,
Transformers and Harry Potters.

But I'm here today to
help guide grown adults
through this exciting-
yet stressful-
October event.

For you men out there,
a Zombie is usually
the number one choice.

Easy stuff.

Just throw a little bbq sause
on your shirt,
stagger a little,
stare into the TV
and slobber over chicken wings.

You know-
like real life.

No effort or change involved!

The top costume choice
for women is a Queen.
'Cuz, believe me, girls-
it's the only chance
you're gonna have to be one!

Milk it for all it's worth.
Halloween night ends way too soon.

I suppose the whole idea
of a costume is to be someone
or something that you're not.

That's why most guys
choose to be something like
a football player,
(-especially since the only thing
they've ever tackled is
a sub sandwich)-

A Gladiator,
(when the only thing they've ever
battled is a hangover)-

or a Muscle Man-
(Because the last time they did a sit-up
was when the TV remote was
at their feet).

Same goes for the gals.
A lot of you want to be
vampires
because you can stay out
all night long-
sleep during the day-
and stay young forever.

Not gonna happen.
You are aging as you read this.

Another popular choice
for women is a sexy cop.

And, from what I've observed-
if you are neither sexy or a cop-
forget this one.

There is no way on earth
you could ever chase down that thief
in your stilettos,
your skirt up your crack,
and your boobs hanging out!

Same goes for the sexy gangster,
the sexy Dorothy, the sexy pirate,
the sexy soccer player, the sexy witch,
and all things short, tight and sexy.

If you are naturally sexy and beautiful,
why not change it up for Halloween?

Do all us other women a favor.

Come to my party
as a bearded fat lady,
a Christmas tree
or a pig.

Please.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Thinkin' About Love


Sometimes I look back at
my early married life
and am amazed at some
of the experiences I had.

Most newlyweds today
already have a house and
the entire household set up,
two cars,
and clothes and gadgets
and high-tech toys.

I came into my marriage
with a paper sack of clothes,
a $50 stereo,
and a pillow.

We rented an old farm house
for $100 a month.
But realize this-
my husband's take home pay
was about $125 a week.

Our electric bill was
about $12,
our phone- $6,
and if I spent more than $40
a week on food,
I was sick to my stomach
about it until pay day.

(And by the way,
it was $7 for a bounced check!)

Most of our furniture was
either donated, borrowed
or salvaged.
Our dishes were few.
Our car had tread peeling
from the tires,
and our only solace
was that great little
turn table of mine
and the stack of 200 albums
and an old guitar
that my husband contributed
to the love nest.

Just when things were looking
a little strapped,
my husband went hunting one day
and shot a red fox.
He got $40 for it.
Forty dollars!
Oh my gosh! So much money!
So needed! How fantastic!
God sure works in mysterious ways!

And even though we watched our money,
we somehow became soda drinkers
when the kids were born.
( We only buy the stuff for parties now).
That's back when soda came in bottles
and little cardboard carriers.

After we saved a bunch of bottles,
I would put them in the trunk,
load up the kids and the baby
and head to the IGA to get
a bottle refund.
(I can still picture it).
One time I got almost $30!

I was so excited!
I went and bought
some good food with that money.

We didn't have a VCR,
a microwave,
a cell phone,
or a computer.

We just had each other,
good music,
cold beer
and hope.

Hope can get you through
a lot of rough times.

Of course, love can do
amazing things, too.

We are living proof of that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kilroy? Are You There?


I started blogging over a year ago
because my family encouraged
me to write.

I've got stacks of poetry,
half written short stories-
and personal notations
that are housed in
wilted cardboard boxes
and stuffed amid
piles of dog-eared keepsakes.

At least on the computer
they have a home
and stay organized.

But what started as a way
to speak my mind,
Blogging soon became
a way to speak my heart.

I found emotions that
were stifled by every day pressure.
Love that was overflowing,
depression that was suffocating...
joy that was unstoppable.

It didn't matter that anyone
read them-
just that I wrote them.

But then, there were my sisters
who would faithfully
read my daily ramblings
and always comment kindly.
It made me persevere
on days when I just wanted
to go back to bed
or simply do nothing.

Soon family came aboard-
my brothers and nieces
and in laws
and aunts.
And sometimes my kids.

Then, as if by magic,
I started making friends.
Blogging friends-
modern style pen pals, if you will.

Margaret, Mrs.C., Cathy, Gail,
Anne, M.A. Fat Woman, Christy,
Deborah, Teena, Barb,
and all the others that
I know are there,
but have never heard from.

You don't know how
wonderful your comments are!

They validate the hours of
pecking on the keyboard
with two fingers
at five a.m.

You are the reason I look,
and see, and smell, and feel
and taste and touch-
so that my observations
will somehow plant a new
idea for a blog post.

Today I've been thinking
about the little
long-nosed guy named Kilroy.

He shows up on all sorts of things!
Brick walls, sidewalks, train cars,
city streets, and abandoned houses.

Kilroy is everybody
and nobody.
He's anonymous.
He's universal.
He's the silent watcher
that leaves only
his trademark signature.

Most Kilroy's want to
protect their identity.
They're shy,
or afraid,
or private people.
They don't know what to say
or how to act,
but they want their presence known.

Are you a Kilroy?

I think it would be fun
if all the Kilroy's out there
that read my blog
would just sign in anonymously
and leave a comment
that simply says:
"Kilroy was here."

I'd love to see how this
experiment pans out.

But, no matter.

I will write.
I will continue to write.
I will write forever.

Because
my heart
never stops speaking.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Expedition


It warms my heart to know
that we are still observing
Columbus Day after all these years.

At least we know who he was-
(Can't say the same about that
Pulaski fellow).

Except-
I can't help but think
history might have turned out
differently if Christopher would have
had a wife to help him sail
the seven seas.

(Video daydream begins...)

"Chris! Are we going or not!" yells
Mrs. Columbus," I haven't got all year, ya' know!"

"Yes, yes, I'm coming!" Chris assures her,
kicking the stern one more time
and checking the sails.

The Mrs. slaps her velvet purse in his face
and continues the tirade.
" The Santa Maria- the Nina-the Pinta...
would it have killed you to name
a ship after me?"

"Honestly, Perdido," Chris moans,"
Your name is the Spanish word for lost!
Can you imagine one of
my ships named Perdido?
Not good for business at all."

"Well, how long till we get there?
Perdido sighs,
"My corset in diggin' into my boobs
and I can't wait to shed these
thirty-eight eyelet boots and this
freakin life jacket!"

"According to my calculations,
I estimate five weeks or more,
depending on the celestial bodies
and the directional wave of
the ocean's tide, and considering
the output of all crew members
and the sturdiness of our ships."

Perdido rolls her eyes.
"Hope we got plenty of rum,
that's all I can say!"

"Before you go to your cabin,"
Chris requests, "hand me over my good compass."

"Compass? I didn't bring your compass!
You were supposed to pack the compass!
I had to load up enough salted meat
and sardines for ninety men, plus those
heavy casks! Where were you when those
hearty, dirty, evil-lurking men were staring
at me through their eye patches?"

Columbus wilts.
"Okay, then. The map."

"Nix-a on the Map-a."
Perdido says, squirming
out of her shoes.
"For heaven's sake, Chris!
Just stop and ask directions!
How hard can that be?"

Through stormy seas,
mutiny by the crew
and scurvy abound,
they finally reach land.

"It's about time!" Mrs Columbus
says indignantly," Now-I sure hope we're
all getting the day off!"

(Video daydreams fades away...)

Have a fun Columbus Day
and do something great!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Freaky Friday: What Would You Do For a Boo?


Years ago, Halloween brought out the
brave in all the local teens-
and what better way to prove
that you aren't scared of ghosts
than to visit the cemetery after dark.

The most famous place
in these parts was Peckerwood.
(Honest. That was the name
of the cemetery.)

Legend had it that if you
visited Peckerwood around midnight
you would see a ghost
walking amid the monuments.

Loads of teenagers would pile up
in their cars and head west of town
to wait for the apparitions that
were to manifest themselves
like a puff of ghostly smoke.

However, most times it was
just a good place to park
and to drink
and to raise a little hell.

Not that I was there or anything.

I didn't have a car.

Plus, Mom wouldn't let me
stay out past midnight,
even on date night.

Yet, somehow I managed
to visit Peckerwood Cemetery
one dark evening with a few friends,
(Oh, the power of slumber parties!)-
and the scenario was a lot like
the Blare Witch movie.

We were cold.

Scared enough to pee our pants.

Ready to scream at
the drop of a leaf-
and pretty sure that the
Peckerwood Ghost
was lurking over our shoulders.

I never saw a ghost,
though my friends claimed that
they saw the white lady
drift beneath the oak trees,
howling in eternal unrest.

Once the excitement of Peckerwood
waned into simply a stupid old graveyard,
the stories about the Fortune Teller
began to make their rounds.

This was the new "Boo".

The place to go for a thrill.
The weekend destination for
those who weren't afraid of
the supernatural, the occult,
or old ladies with crystal balls.

My sister Jewel had always
told us about a supposedly true story
that took place on prom night
when she was in high school.
Apparently a young prom
queen candidate went to
the fortune teller that night
and was told she didn't have a future.
Later that evening,
she was killed in a car wreck.

The Fortune Teller was popular
for many years and was even on
the "scary list" when I got to high school.

Some of my friends and I
once made the long journey
out into the country
to fetch our fortunes,
but only managed to pull into
the drive and turn around.

No use tempting fate.
Who really wanted to know
if there was a tomorrow or not?

Peckerwood has been forgotten.

I'm sure it's hidden in the woods,
grown up with ivy and moss.

And the Fortune Teller has
long since passed away.

Funny thing is-
her house is less than
a half mile down the road
and I pass it every single day.

The old barn creaks,
the trees hang low,
and the weather vane spins
erratically with screechy music.

And inside...
there are secrets never told.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Sweet Teacher


I think my grandson Jackson
has a crush on his
kindergarten teacher.
Other than the stars in his eyes
when he talks about the
day at school,
he's been carrying around
a purple construction paper heart
with her name on it.

Teachers.
They're a lot like men.
You either love them
or hate them.

A teacher can make quite
an impact on your life-
some positive,
others negative.
But no matter how they
effect our lives,
we will always remember them.

I remember my third grade teacher
better than any teacher I had
in high school.
Her name was Mrs. Irvin.
She was young and pretty
and made everything fun.

In fact, everything about the
entire year was fun.

It was the year that they were
building a new cafeteria,
so we had to take a packed lunch
to school everyday.
My mom would cook all us kids
a little Jeno's pizza
and wrap it in foil.
It was the best pizza ever.

The other kids could keep their
fancy cartoon lunch boxes and
cool thermoses!
We never felt jealous of anyone
who was forced to eat bologna
or peanut butter.
We had pizza!

Third grade was the year
we learned telephone etiquette.
One rotary phone was placed
in the classroom,
the other outside the door
on the gym bleachers.

We were taught how to answer
properly, take a message, and
how to say goodbye.
Back then everything was
pretty much a party line,
so we were also taught not
to stay on the phone for
long periods of time or
to invade others privacy.

Spelling was my favorite class.
And Mrs. Irvin would give
a piece of candy to anyone
who made a 100 on their
weekly test.
Sometimes I would
sweat over that test-
study all night-
wring my hands in anticipation
of that single piece of candy.

Mrs. Irvin also said that
if everyone in the class got 100,
she would bake a
German Chocolate cake!

We waited a long time,
but finally it happened.
I think maybe she rigged the test
with easy words that week.
But, as she promised,
we got our cake.
Delicious!

One time she brought in
a deep fryer and
let us make biscuit donuts.
We took a paper sack
full of sugar and cinnamon
and placed the hot dough inside
for a good shake.

She sure made going to school
everyday a treat.
And, looking back,
maybe that is where
I acquired this sweet tooth.

She had us all bring a bar of soap
to school and we carved fish
out of them.
Then they took them to
the locker rooms for gym showers.

We made puppets out of
paper mache' and old light bulbs,
put on plays, took field trips,
and listened to a song about
the multiplication tables
over and over and over.

I sometimes wonder
about Mrs. Irvin.
She's got to be old now.
Probably not so pretty
and her memory not so clear.

But, once upon a time,
by her kindness,
she made learning fun.

And I've never forgotten.