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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Knots in the Dark

Half a dozen bats exploded from saguaro nests, providing opportune shelter for weary sparrows at sunset. Haphazardly balancing warm dishes as she hurried across the yard, Tara needed no reminding that she was late with her grandpa’s evening meal. It had not been a star-spangled day.

Beginning with overheard whispers of “the chubby girl” by someone she thought was a friend, to the almond-eyed boy avoiding her gaze, her rotten day continued with an embarrassing C- on the US history test; which she hadn’t yet told her grandma about because they’d been busy arguing about why she, Tara was not permitted to wear make-up like the other girls at school.

She’d stuffed a pocket full of chocolate for grandpa Hawk and would have popped another one in her mouth, had her hands been free to reach for one. She wondered if maybe she’d been having too many of those as she dove coo-ed at the heavy wooden door.

The door creaked open immediately, reminding her that she was late and Hawk was probably starving by now. Oh, great, another failure. But the darkness of her mood was somewhat lifted by the familiar heady scent of sandalwood, wafting from within the hut.

Dressed in his usual attire of moccasins, jeans, and an old western shirt, her grandpa still looked much like the brave Apache leader he’d been in his youth, though his hair was now silver and trailed halfway down his back. He didn’t smile, but his black eyes danced with delight as he nodded and stepped aside.

 “The day grows dark, Tara.” He said without malice.

“I’m sorry I’m late, Hawk. I was um, talking to grandma.” She busily set the table where a single candle glowed softly in the waning light and tried to change the subject. “Only a month till summer break, I can’t wait.”

“You disagree with the old woman’s experience?” his eyes never left her face as he seated himself at the table. He stabbed his fork pointedly at her side of the table, where she hadn’t set another plate of food for herself.

Smiling at his ‘old woman’ term for her grandma, she shrugged. “I’m not really hungry tonight.”

He munched appreciatively on green corn tamales while she fidgeted; swinging a foot, drumming her fingers on the table. By the time she cleared the table, the sun had long since dipped behind Cat’s back Mountain. “Ready to lose another Skystone?” she challenged.

Reaching into a worn leather bag, Hawk shook his head. “Knots,” He said.


“Tonight, we play Knots. Sit.”

Once she was seated, Hawk handed her a two-foot length of rope, knotted at one-inch intervals. Tara gave him a quizzical look and he explained

“Untie each knot.” He held up his own length of rope and blew out the candle, immersing the room in total darkness.

“But,” she stammered “in the dark? Where do I start?”

“At the beginning. Solutions are better when found in thoughts not distorted by sight.”

For a time the only sound was the serenade of crickets as the two worked their knots in the dark. Tara found herself thinking about her gloomy day as her fingers felt and tugged and finally loosened the first knot.

“Got one!” she exclaimed proudly.

“Just one?”

Under cover of darkness, Tara rolled her eyes at Hawk’s remark. “Hey, I’m just getting started!” she continued “I didn’t do well on my history test.”


“No. Well, I guess so. I was anxious to finish the test and be in time to meet up with friends between classes. Funny, I remembered the right answers on that last knot I untied.”


“Done! Last one, Hawk. I’m done!”

He struck a match and relit the candle, beside which lay his unknotted rope. A victorious grin on is sun-leathered face, he thrust out a hand; palm up.

“I win. Candy is prize!”

Smiling, she filled his waiting palm with all the chocolates in her pocket “I concede,” She said, “you win.”

She gathered up dishes and was at the door when he spoke again.

“There is one candy missing.”

She tugged on her pocket to show it was empty and shook her head as Hawk pulled the heavy door open. “Don’t know where it could be.” She said.

“On your breath.” He gave her a knowing grin.

“Oh!” averting her eyes sheepishly “Well, thanks for the game!”

“Goodnight, Tara.” He closed the door behind her.

Lit by a nearly full moon, the carefully tended yard lent a feeling of peacefulness she hadn’t realized she’d been missing as she made her way with a skip in her step to her grandma’s back door.

dee Kay
Lands End ©2012

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pickle Patch Picnics and Tacos

Tully was glad his Mom wasn’t in the lunch room to see him trade his sandwich for a cupcake. But he wasn’t giving up his carrot sticks, not even for cheese puffs! Everybody traded items of their lunch each day, it was kind of like shopping only much more fun.

Another thing the kids traded at lunch was thoughts on important issues like bed time and the newest video game or latest movie at the theater. One freckle-faced kid was upset that his parents wouldn’t let him see a new movie because it was rated for older kids and might be too scary. A pretty girl with long black braids said it wasn’t fair since a kid could be scared by more than just a silly movie.  Tully knew she was right but he wasn’t ready to tell his story, it was just too terrible.

It happened one night after his parents wouldn’t let him watch a show because it might give him bad dreams and he had to watch a boring baby show instead. Tully thought the commercials were better than a polka-dot hippo having a picnic in a pickle patch and he thought he might die of boredom. Instead, Tully fell fast asleep.

It smelled like someone had spilled a jar of hot sauce in his room. When he opened his eyes in the darkness he could just barely see a giant shape leaning over his bed and it sure wasn’t his mom or dad! 

Tully leaped from his bed just as a long skinny green piece of lettuce tried to wrap around his arm. He saw black olive eyes glaring at him and a gigantic taco shell body blocked the way out of his room so he jumped out of the window and ran down the street toward the playground.

But the terrible taco followed close behind, dripping hot sauce and dropping little tomato turds as it chased him! Tully ran for the swings and swung one really hard at the taco but all it did was lose a little shredded cheese. He scrambled up the ladder to the slide and sat at the top to catch his breath. The terrible taco waited at the end of the slide, smelling like hot sauce and missing one evil black olive eye.

Just when Tully was about to give up hope a sweet new smell came on a gentle breeze. It was a Saturday morning in your jammies smell, the kind that makes you wake up smiling. And so he did.
Tully woke up smiling but his heart still hammered in his chest from his terrible taco dream. It was just a dream, only a silly scary dream that faded away with the delicious smell of cinnamon rolls in the kitchen. 

It would be a long time before he ate another taco, but Tully hopped out of bed with a smile on his face, ready to have a terrific day!

dee Kay


 Do you dream about food? Did you know the average American eats 9 pounds of pickles per year? What is your favorite part of a Taco?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dream Doodles ~ Red Glass

 Under the bright yellow sun, a big wide shadow creeps across the soft green grass and disappears in the shade of a towering oak where a girl in a blue denim dress holds a piece of thick red glass. The glass is not sharp but heavy, as it weighs on her heart for a lovely red bowl, now broken. Brushing dirt from her dress in the moonlight, she leans against the oak until awakened by the chatter of joyful sparrows exclaiming in wonder, as red glass flowers glisten in the new morning light.

Shera Trist

How’s your summer going? Do you save time for dreaming?  How about a fun summer recipe?

Puddin’ Cones:
1-1/2  Cups cold Milk
1 (3-4 oz.) pkg. Instant vanilla Pudding
2 envelopes Dream Whip
8 small Ice cream cones
Chopped nuts and/or color coated toppings

In large bowl, mix milk and pudding mix on low speed for (2) minutes. Fold in whipped topping mix, cover and refrigerate at least an hour. Spoon into cones, sprinkle with toppings and enjoy!