October 26, 2014

Haunted Blog Hop, Part I

Last year, my friend Gina invited me to join her for a haunted blog hop. It was so cool. None of us knew what we were to write until we got the piece before us. It's was a very cool event! This year, I didn't hesitate one moment to join in again. And, I'm starting! snuggle in, dim the lights and enjoy!

Ruby limped. The fact that both of her halluxes were half the size of her second toes was to blame for this awkward movement. It was also the reason she never took off her socks in gym class. Her feet stank. They truly did, but she couldn't bear to have her classmates laugh at her deformity when they didn't even talk to her under normal circumstances.

On any given day, she was content being the limping girl that no one talked to. It wasn't that she was happy with having so few friends, it was that she would rather be ignored than teased and mocked. So, it was with great concern as well as excitement that she accepted Eli's offer of a clandestine meeting on Saturday night. She stared incredulously at his beautiful penmanship on the parchment paper, which had been carefully folded and handed to her as she left school for walk home on Friday afternoon.

Eli was the smartest boy in their class. She was certain that he'd be named most likely to succeed, and he was quite possibly the most handsome boy in Douglas County. And now, he had asked her to meet him at the County-Line creek. In the back of her mind, she knew that this could easily be a set-up. But, her heart, the one that had never held a love for another, told her that this may be her one and only chance to have a boy ask her out.

She didn't tell her mama where she was going. She was certain that her mama would never approve of her meeting a boy after dark by herself. And since her papa had left and never returned several years before, mama rarely let her out of the house except to go to school. And she only let her go to school because Pastor Timothy encouraged her to let Ruby get as much schooling as possible.

Ruby waited until mama was asleep on the couch in the parlor and was snoring loud enough for Ruby to hear in her room before she tiptoed down the stair, painstakingly skipping the third from the bottom step. It always squeaked. She held tight to the rail but found herself falling to the floor when her left food wouldn't cooperate. She pulled off the finial from the bottom of the rail. Mama snored on, and Ruby blessed the fact that mama often sampled a little Vanilla Elixir before going to sleep.

It was mama's sound slumber that allowed Ruby to leave the house and walk as quick as her deformed feet would let her travel to her meeting with Eli.

To be continued tomorrow with Gina...

October 19, 2014

Learning to Fly

"Move, little birdie," I uttered in vain as I drove the minivan carefully beside the baby bird who was perched in the middle of the road.

"Momma!" Daughter 1 cried out looking back at the birdie still in the middle of the road. "He's hurt!"

"I don't think so," I assured her. "He's just young as learning to fly."

"How do you know it's a he?" she argued.

"You just called it a he," I reminded her.

"Yeah, but, he might be hurt," she said still looking through the back window, rolling her eyes at my gender pronoun choice.

Despite my confidence that it was just a smallish bird who was on his first solo flight, I turned the van around.

"Are we going to get him?" she squealed as I pulled over beside the tiny winged thing who still had visible down on his body.

"No," I said. "We'll just help him get to the side."

We carefully approached the tiny thing and I snapped a picture. Daughter 1 giggled at the sight and then the birdie awkwardly took off flying into the wind. This is to say that he flapped his wings as if he were trying to power a small village and floated backward, finally landing with the tiniest of thuds in the still-green grass.

"Oh my gosh, Momma!" Daughter 1 continued her giggling. "You were right!" She sounded incredulous.

We darted to the spot in the grass to check on the little guy.

We determined after closer examination against the green lawn that he was probably a she. She was probably a cardinal. She was beautiful nonetheless. I named her Rosie the redbird. My camera clicked, Daughter 1 giggled, and Rosie took off again.

She flew longer and father and higher than before. Daughter 1 and I chased after her just in time for her to come chasing back at us, tweeting, as if she were saying, "Where are the brakes on this thing?" She battled the wind and twisted and turned before she landed in neighbor's decorative grass. Or weeds. Or garlic bed. Wherever.

We giggled some more, and she took off yet again, tweeting.

"I think she's telling us thanks for helping her learn to fly," Daughter 1 said as we walked back to the van, confident that the little bird wouldn't be sitting in the middle of the road any time soon.

"I think so too," I smiled.

"I still wish we could have taken her home," Daughter 1 sighed.

My mom, who was sitting in the van watching the shenanigans of her older daughter and oldest granddaughter said, "If you love something set it free..."

Because Daughter 1 is sorta a smart a$$ (no comments about genetics, y'all) interrupted her Nana and said, "Then I set my momma free."

"That's okay," I smiled, "I'll always come back to you."

October 17, 2014

In The Next Life

My dad, prior to accidentally blowing up a basement science lab at OCU in Oklahoma City, was a theology/religions major. Apparently, he had an explosive minor. He was raised Catho-bapti-methodentul. He settled as a Methodist when I was about three years old because it was the closest church with the most open mind. 

He loved a good religious conversation. He liked to cuss and discuss scripture. He was confident in his faith and nonjudgmental about yours. 

At some point during my teen years, he opened the door to find the Jehovah Witness parishioners on our stoop. Actually, he was probably tinkering in the garage when they approached him. 

He discussed faith with them and soon they actually became friends. My dad's thought was that if they needed to put in time witnessing in order to get into heaven or whatever, who was he to stop them?

And, while there were a few Saturday mornings that my dad was out when his friends showed up which resulted in my mom, sister and I crawling around on the floor whispering, they were very nice people. When my dad had his stroke, they brought groceries to the hospital. When he was released, they brought groceries to our home. Nice people indeed. 

Because of my dad's desire to not stand in they way of anyone's journey to an eternal paradise, I find myself being sympathetic to the plight of the ill-times door knockers. 

Yesterday morning found me answering such a knock. I had been wide awake since an ungodly hour but had just put on some yoga pants with my frumpy pajama top. When the doorbell dinged, it was only after I'd answered that I considered my attire.

"Good morning," the older lady belted at me. "We'd like to talk to you about your spiritual- ness."

I nodded my head and kicked toward the cat who thought he was going to escape. 

"Are you firm in your beliefs?" She quested. 

"Yes," I answered, noticing that my pajama top was misbuttoned."

"Are you firm in the afterlife?" She asked, and I imagined she was actually smirking.

I stopped myself from rebuttoning my shirt and said, "Oh yeah! I believe that well all be completely healed when we get to heaven. No more flab on this body."

Wordlessly, she handed me her literature and left. 

I realize now that she probably wasn't making a comment about my appearance. 

My dad was so much better at religious conversations. 


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