Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cloudy Crystal Ball

Sometimes my coworkers make me shake my head.  My crystal ball has been a little cloudy lately.  I didn't see this coming.

Earlier this year our school counselor and I spoke.  I asked her if she had any books that she wanted in the library.

"Yes", she did.

"Send me your list."

"Yes, I will."

Fast forward to today.  I took the secretary a copy of my last book order.

"Here is what I spent.  It is the last one for the year."

The counselor was standing by the secretary's desk.

The counselor, "Remember when we talked about the books I wanted for the library?"


"Can you order them?"

Shaking my head, "I just finished spending this year's budget."

"Oh never mind then."

"If you send me your list I will put it on next year's order."

"Yes, I will."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wrong Number

I was reading Missives from Missouri's post about a wrong number.  My mind began to recall wrong number calls over the years.  One of those calls stands out in my mind even though it happened a quarter of a century ago.

I was home from college and it was about 9:30 at night.  The phone rang.  I answered it.  The lady on the other end said, "I need help, I've fallen and I can't get up."

I tried to ask her name and her voice began to fade.  I quickly refocused and asked her where she was.

Her response, "I'm at my house."

Worry and frustration made me firmly ask her for her address.  Was there a family member or neighbor I could call?

"No.  I'm all alone."

"Can't you come?"

"How will I get in?"

"Oh I never lock the back door."

Then I hear the phone fall.

We lived in a small town.   I quickly found the house and went in.  Calling to her as I entered the house.  I found her laying on the floor near the bed.  I realized that I couldn't lift her by myself.  So she told me to call the fire station.

While we waited, I asked her who she had been calling when she got me.

"I was calling my minister.  But I couldn't misdialed the number."

The EMTs at the local firehouse came.  They knew her.  She had called them before.  Gently they lifted her into bed.  Wished her a good-night as they left.

I have often thought of her and the night she called the wrong number.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dark Prose

I recently saw these three lines in a card game.  How could I use them in a poem?  A character sketch.

The devil himself.
Children on leashes
Dark and mysterious forces beyond our control

Here is my lead.

Demonic deeds
Discouraging, deadly, depraved
Dark and mysterious force

There was an older blue Ford with out of state plates parked at the edged of the playground.  The man sat watching, occasionally his phone could be seen in his hands.

Children running back and forth, swinging, laughing.

His eyes followed.  Orbs so dark I felt entombed when he looked at me.    The stench of animal decay seemed to ooze out of the open window.  Hurrying my mind tried to brush away fetid breath of the soulless one.

Memories of another time shifted around me.  Screams of despair linger and cling to me.  Who will dance with the devil tonight?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Who Am I?

I love the back stories of people and books.  I thought for this post I would create a list of clues.

Can you discover who I am?  Leave your prediction in the comments and then click on the link for the answer.

Clue 1:   During World War II, I was a flying ace.

Clue 2:  I wrote books for adults as well as children.

Clue 3:  I was born in Wales.

Clue 4:  During World War II I was a spy for MI6.

Clue 5:  I was named after a Norwegian national hero.

Clue 6:  I was very tall, 6 foot 6 inches.

Clue 7:  My children's books are said to have dark comic elements.

Clue 8:  I attended Repton School in Derbyshire.

Clue 9:  I helped develop the WDT valve  to help my child who had secondary hydrocephalus.

Clue 10:  I dreamt of being praised by Mr. Cadbury.

Remember go put your prediction in the comment section.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chocolate Bunnies, a Family Comedy in Three Parts

I admit I was unabashedly eavesdropping in the grocery store today.   I was coming down an aisle when I noticed a a family vignette, Papa, 4 year old brother, and sister (probably a 1st grader).  Sister was sitting in the cart.

Sister:  "I don't like the ones with peanut butter."

Brother - grabbing a bunny and putting it in the cart.

Sister - "No that one has peanut butter."

Papa retrieves the box and puts it back on the shelf.

Brother has moved on to another box.  In it goes into the cart.

Sister reads the box and says, " No that one has peanut butter."

Papa picks a bunny from the shelf reads the labels and checks the sale price while retrieving the bunny in the basket.

Brother chooses a different colored box puts it in the basket.  Sister again sees the offending peanut butter on the box.  Sister again vetoes it.

Brother says. "How do I know what it says?"

 Papa takes the box and shows him the picture of a jar of peanut butter.

Then says "This one is for dipping it would work."

Sister firmly states, "I don't want the ones with peanut butter. I want one of the others."

Papa tiring a bit says, "Well what do you expect when your 4 year old brother tries to shop for his sister."

Brother chooses another, Papa grabs it before it reaches the basket.

Papa:  "Buddy, this one has Crispies in it.  You don't like these."

Again the rabbit goes back on the shelf.   Papa is reading the sizes and prices and finally finds what he is looking for.  Success in the basket goes the bunnies!

Papa is beaming on having achieved a victory!

I am trying very hard to keep a straight face as I watch the comedy routine.  I am about to leave when the play continues.

Papa, "Now we need to get some for the neighbors."

Brother "Lets get them the same ones we got."

Papa, "I'm not spending that much money on the neighbors that I'm spending on you."

Brother watches as Papa chooses some large bunnies from the shelf and in the cart they go.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the performance, I tell him how impressed I was with how he handled the whole shopping experience.  From the corner of my eye I notice brother putting another bunny in the cart.