"A book is the best of friends, the same today and forever." ~ Martin Tupper

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Trouble with Bows

Five lovely ladies with five quirky cats lived at the end of Gum Drop Drive where each year they tried to have the most decorated house at Christmas time. They had blinking lights and streaming tinsel, large glass bulbs that glowed brightly in the Evergreens and a plastic Rudolph with a light-up nose stood ready to guide Santa’s sleigh right into the front yard!

Inside, the house was just as festively decorated; red and silver garland gracefully adorned the walls and stairway, tiny blue bells tinkled softly from every opened door, and the five lovely ladies had done a wonderful job creating a Christmas tree masterpiece to overlook ten tattered stockings which hung expectantly at the hearth.

The five quirky cats loved the treats they got for Christmas more than anything, and the cheerful displays were just too hard to resist. Banjo, the Tabby batted at bulbs on the tree, Sammy, the Calico kept getting wrapped up in tinsel, Raymond the ragdoll kept tugging at the stockings and Tin Man, the baby Russian blue chased penguins around in a snow-globe. The five lovely ladies had quite a time fixing the mischief, caused by all the quirky cats, except for stuffy Miss Muffin, the pouty-faced Persian, who lived under the rocking chair and wanted nothing to do with Christmas.

But alas, the one weakness the five lovely ladies had was wrapping the gifts. In fact, they were terrible at it and couldn’t tie a pretty bow for all the sugar in Candyland! One year, the oldest of the five lovely ladies had the perfect solution – stick-on bows! And soon, their packages looked just as delightful as the rest of their home. 

One morning, two days before Christmas, the five ladies awoke to find that all of the shiny, sparkly bows had disappeared! The ladies looked everywhere, including at each other.

“Where could they have gone?”

“There not outside, either.”

“Did you take them?”

“Did someone peek?”

It made for a very quarrelsome day but by evening the five lovely ladies agreed that they would just put more bows on the packages. 

But the bows were once again, gone without a trace by morning and with no bows left to put on the packages, the five lovely ladies had heavy hearts until the youngest one spoke up

“We can’t fix things now with Santa coming tonight, but I’m sure he won’t mind.”

Deciding the youngest one was probably right, the five lovely ladies set aside the trouble with bows and enjoyed a splendid Christmas!

It wasn’t until mid-January when the five lovely ladies put away all the fabulous decorations and moved the rocking chair back where the Christmas tree had been, that they found the twenty shiny bows that stuffy Miss Muffin had stashed in her hideaway!

Do you have pets that ‘help’ at Christmas? Do you know which automobile manufacturer was born on Christmas in 1878? Do you know what Sugarplums are made of?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Winter Fingers

What good is the warmth of summer, without the winter to give it sweetness” ~ Unknown

Old Man Winter; a curious phrase to describe an ageless season that is at once beautiful to behold, and menacing to endure for many. Though changes out here are subtle at best, as winter fingers begin to tingle across the southwest desert I can’t help but reflect on our recent summer days when lizards panted in the shade of Mesquites, dogs were only walked at dawn, and although it’s never scrawled on cardboard signs, beggars were just as grateful for a bottle of water on a scorching summer day as they were for a dollar to squander away. 

Isn’t the change of seasons one of the greatest inspirations for ponderings? Perhaps it’s the idea of change in general that invites the burning questions: What if? Or How come? A few of mine are why wouldn’t they include a parachute along with the floatation device under your seat on a plane? Why are there braille dots on drive-up ATM keypads? And how is it that I can expertly stab in a post earring; first try, without a mirror, but I need a ruler to draw a straight line?

Of course, it’s understandable how folks who may be hunkering down for the season’s first snowfall could imagine that we desert-dwellers have nothing to look forward to, but quite the contrary! Nearly all of the pesky flies, bees, migratory bats and sneaky snakes have gone away, and as the brilliant sun gleams in a deeper blue sky, we all venture back outside to reclaim our yards and patios, rejoice in the cooler days and relish the burnished red sunsets of fall in the desert.

And oh how creativity flows! Characters plead on windswept whispers for one more captivating chapter as revisions emerge with tinkling bells in the back of your mind at a stoplight. I’ll give in, I always do. Won’t you?

Read often, write well!