Monday, June 24, 2013

The Old Ways

Red elderberries, sambucus racemosa.  There they were, growing along the shaded roadway.

Gertie snipped a cluster and put them into the basket of the ancient Schwinn.  She’d found the last item on her list and could head home where Granny waited.  Granddad had the shingles again and these berries were needed to make a poultice to treat the fierce boils.

Granny was half Chinook Indian.  Her only medicines came from the forests and the sea.  Her only foods, grown or gathered by her own two hands.    

Ninety-seven years, give or take a few, were proof that the old ways worked.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keep Out

She sat.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Like every other weekend.  For them to visit.
Dressed in her Sunday best.  Food ready.  Table set for ten.

Four children.  Long gone.  Moved away.  Living life.  Apart from her.

Grandchildren, she’d never met.  Spouses, she’d never know.

Estranged from her rules.  Her wrath.  Her cold.

It had never been a home there.  They left when they were grown.
Lazy.  No good.  Burdens.  She’d said.  Get out.  Earn your keep.  Find your way.

They had.  For good.  Forever.

Strangers.  Trespassers.  Outcasts.  
Decades passed.  Still she sat.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Like every other weekend.  

For them to visit.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The future is overwhelming, the list of tasks…insurmountable.  I leave it all behind for a walk, to think, but find myself not thinking at all.  The air is cool, the sky overcast.  A perfect day to escape.

A weed pushes through the impervious surface of the asphalt trail.  Not because it wants to but because it has to.  With a singular purpose to grow, it does.  I walk by but circle back and snap a picture of its effort.

It’s time to get home.  There’s work to do.
A lesson learned on a walk.  A lesson learned from a weed.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

They be monsters

I’ve written here (and in my unpublished story) about how I believe that everyone had a good side and a bad side.  While most are able to forever sequester the bad and never indulge it, there are a rare few who cannot…and some are worse than others.  Despite this knowledge, I was still surprised to learn I had come face to face with one in real life.
In my book, I briefly honored a man I met a few years ago and recently wondered whatever became of him.  Unfortunately, I found out.
My first impression of him was that of a kindhearted soul with a self-effacing demeanor and a subtle yet enchanting smile.  I consider myself a good judge of character and immediately labeled this exceptional artist as a “good person.”  But, I was a fool…or was fooled.  Either way, I was wrong. 

Anyway, I was trying to discover what he had been up to since I last saw him but couldn’t find a trace of him or his fabulous artwork.  Thanks to modern technology, though, no one can hide for long and I eventually spied him, or at least his mug shot.  He is in jail and has been for the last year for crimes to heinous to write about here.

The main character in my book works to defend the defenseless – an endeavor I hold in the highest regard.  This man, this monster, did the exact opposite.  He preyed upon them.  To say I am sickened by him would be an understatement. 
But, I said it best myself.  Everyone has a bad side…most of us don't let it show, but some do and...THEY BE MONSTERS.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ode to Gorey - in 100 words

"Everyone has a dark side - a depraved edge held at bay through concentrated effort, religious beliefs, moral fortitude, or some combination of all three." ~Me  

Children experiment with inflicting pain.  Adults dream of road rage fueled battles to the death.  Even the sweetest, silver-haired grandma has fantasies about poisoning the church choir with arsenic dusted cookies if she hears that wretched hymn just one more time.

From birth to death we fight the urge to succumb to these desires.
Unthinkable deeds normally only committed in the deepest recesses of the mind make for horrific crimes, terrifying nightmares, or…

…great writing.