Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introducing Chip

With Halloween upon us, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce you to one of the residents of our otherwise normal home.  I know last month I wrote in The Final Box that our home has only five occupants, but this month I discovered that a member of the previous household did, indeed, follow us to our shiny new home.  I suppose that if I'm going to confess I must also add that I left him off the roster of the previous abode as well.  At least, he wasn’t mentioned by name.  I did share one of his antics without giving him due credit.  Perhaps that's why he's decided to make his presence known now.

In I Collect People, I told you how I collect the people I see for characters.  Well, in this case, we were the ones collected.  I know, you're probably thinking, "He's been in that house for four months and he just noticed someone else living there.  Not the sharpest knife in the drawer."  I understand.  It's odd, Real Genius odd, where the guy lived in a tunneled-out room under the dorm.  But this resident was easily hidden.  He didn't eat, never showered that I know of, and yet, never reeked of body odor.  You rarely knew he was ever there mainly, because Chip doesn't have a body.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and Coffins

When it comes to pumpkin carving, I'm like Charlie Brown when he made his Halloween costume.  Instead of a ghost with two eyes, he resembled pale Swiss cheese.  I'm just not good with knives.  Whittling was a total catastrophe as I couldn’t even make toothpicks or sharpen pencils.  I can’t even use box cutters properly to open packages.  I shudder at the thought of malpractice suits if I had become a surgeon.  Of course, I get squeamish just watching Bones so playing doctor is as far as I will go in the medical field, but still, it's a nerve-racking thought.  Jack-O-Lanterns should be scary, though, so I suppose my lack of skill works in a Friday the 13th sort of way.

Yet, I envy those people who can carve the entire nativity scene on the face of a pumpkin.  I can't even accomplish a simple triangle.  Seriously.  It comes out half trapezoid and half pentagram, which is somewhat fitting for Halloween, I suppose.  At least, halfway.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Change Doesn't Scare Me

Change doesn't scare me.  For over twenty years I've been a part of churches where most members screamed if you changed the brand of toilet paper in the stalls.  However, I grabbed change by the horns moving forward and left the churches behind.  Change keeps you alive, breaths fresh air into a stagnant routine.  Change forces you to grow and stretch, which is why most probably avoid it at all costs.  "We never did it like that before," rings out in every church and business around the world.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I've Found Him!

Some things just aren’t funny.  An Amber Alert is one of those things.  My gut clenches every time I hear one and my heart fills my throat as that droll monotone voice breaks into the music and describes the child.  It always starts the same, “Last seen wearing…” – hair, weight, eye color, clothing.  For way too many, those words, “Last seen”, are sadly prophetic.  It’s a parent’s worst nightmare - the thought of a child missing.

It happened to me one Sunday after the evening service. At the time I was the church’s custodian and usually the last to leave as it was my job to lock up.  My three boys would play on the playground or soccer field until it was time to take our exhausted bodies home.  The grounds were always swarmed with children as parents were absorbed in their own conversations.  No one really thought twice about the children running around.  It was church, after all, a safe place.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where'd That Body Come From?

The girls think I’m quirkier than normal and give me the looks that tell me so.  Like the other day when I left my study in total frustration, walked to the kitchen and dropped into the bar stool at the counter.  The girls looked at me wondering what idiot pissed me off in the webisvere where I spend way too much time as it is.

"I thought you were writing," Char ventured.  “Was I making toast too loud again?”

"I was.  Now, I'm not."

Teri stared at me cautiously.  "What happened?  You were by yourself."

I’m a writer.  I’m never by myself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Politically Incorrect

We are too damn sensitive!  That statement alone probably offended someone.  Truth is, however, we are. Everything has to be worded so as not to upset the gentle sensitivities of a weaker majority.  Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Personally, I say we speak out and hit them over the head anyway.  I'd kick a few in the seat of their pants except they wear them so low, I'd only hit air.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We Celebrate Everything

We have way too much time on our hands as is evidenced by Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I wasn't really sure what was going on until I saw people posting like Jack Sparrow online and my kids, who are all adults by the way, went around saying, "Argh, ya matey.”  Of course, it was quickly followed with "Yes, Mighty Father.” It was then I realized that as a people we will celebrate anything.  We just love to party.  We aren’t satisfied with Christmas, Easter and July 4th.  We need more to look forward to than Labor Day and Bosses Day.  We crave celebration as much as the companies who make streamers and glitter.

As my kids in adult bodies swashbuckled their way through the house, I grew curious as to what other events cause our party hats to be put on.  So, I opened up my web browser and prayed to the god of Google to reveal its infinite wisdom to me.  I was amazed at the various causes and celebrations listed.  Some even made sense to this twisted mind.  Since it is October, I focused there and was dazzled and baffled by the subject of such jubilees.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It All Started With Squirrels

He's staring at me, his tiny sharp claws gripping my porch screen as his fluffed out tail shakes like a silent tambourine.   A few days ago I discovered that when their tails do that it's their way of sending a warning.  He did a 180 on my screen, tail now up in the air, his head cocked and staring.  He was definitely sending out his warning.

"Hey, Moron, put food in the bird feeder or the pool float gets shredded,"

I know he's not joking.  He'll do it.  The noodle is proof of that.

When we moved into the house awhile back, I hung a small, yellow bird feeder on a two-foot shepherd's hook and filled it with the best Wal Mart had to offer.  I, then, lounged on my back porch, sipping coffee and awaited the arrival of grateful feathery fowls rejoicing in the abundance of free food on a mesh platter and chirping my praises.  Not one bird flew in.  I had even added a birdbath in the guise of a giant sunflower so they could splash and drink to their tiny hearts’ content.  Still, no takers.  However, a pack of squirrels swarmed the free buffet faster than senior citizens at a church potluck.