Misunderstandings, in Short

I found a bit of parchment on the sie of the road. It wasn’t old: the paper was clean with little dirt on it. Curious, I picked it up and began to read. I nearly dropped it in shock. The letter was apologetic, full of love. “I hope you come back and forget what’s lost.” I smiled, cried, then laughed some more.

I turned and there he was. I started foreword, then stopped. A woman ran to him, their hands clasped amorously. He didn’t love me after all, I fumed.

I took him in stride, pulled him away, and slapped him across his face. “I loved you too you jer”

The couple looked at me askance. I stepped away, embarrassed. “Are you Rosie?” I asked, “Here’s your letter from Paul.”

I turned and ran as fast as I could towards home.

Furry Companions: The Story of My Dog Part One

When I was about 8 or 9, I was bitten by puppy love. No, not for the boy next door (there’s no younger people in my neighborhood with kids my age at the time, still isn’t) no did I have any crushes for any of my classmates. No, I longed for a furry tailed, four pawed, wiggling little dog to call my own. I didn’t care what kind of dog I had as long as I had one to play with, my companion.

During my third grade year, I’d write in my assignments that what I wanted most in the world was a dog. I’d explain my favorite breeds and discuss what names I’d give my dog. (These names were usually characters of out of my favorite books, the Babysitter’s Club being the first that comes to mind). It got to the point where my teacher told my parents to get me a dog already; she was tired of reading about it from me.

Every time I saw a dog, I felt a sense of loss. There were so many dogs around me and everyone seemed to have one except for me. My parents probably didn’t get one right away; dogs were and are expensive. Of course I didn’t see it that way at the time. Little kids don’t understand how much work and effort a pet needs in order to be taken care of.

Then, towards the end of the school year, shortly after my birthday, my mom found an ad in the newspaper for a cock-a-poo. My heart soared with hope. There was a small chance I might meet my future pet after all.

Stay tuned for the next parts in this mini series!!

Down Through the Music

Music flows softly through my ears, building slowly up to a crescendo. It calms me, encourages me, and builds me up as I trudge through this world of uncertainty. I hear Josh Groban’s song “You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)” and I remember the dark, frustrating days of my life, those bad days that everybody has occasionally that drives them crazy. On those days, it really feels like the weight of the world on our shoulders. Josh Groban reminds me not to give up because everybody’s loved, and everybody’s heard. They can support you no matter what.

“Country Roads, Take Me Home,” by John Denver reminds me of the simple life, the country life. I drive down faded to blue roads with cornfields on either side of me, blue skies stretched out to infinity and I hear, no feel, this song well up in me. For a moment, I’m lost in my surroundings, the spotted cows my only companions. I could live like this forever in the middle of nowhere, admist the fields, trees, and hills. This is America’s heart and soul, the heartland of good honest work with sweat on the brown and dirt between the toes. I year for the South where life is slow and methodical, where everybody has a smile, a front porch, and a tall glass of lemonade. All too soon the houses crowd back around me as I jerk back into the reality of city and suburban life of Ohio, but still I year, even if it I’ll be back soon to where I feel I belong for another brief respite.

“Modern Love” by David Bowie makes me want to dance and pick up the pace. Probably not one of his better known songs, but easily relate-able to me. Modern love is something that changes like fashion. If you’re stuck on how it should be, then it’ll “walk on by.” And that’s why I don’t “believe in modern love,” even if the song’s supposed to be interpreted differently from mine.

“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban brings out my inner romantic. I imagine a couple waltzing to this song, oblivious to everyone but themselves. They’re completely in love. They’re soaring through the clouds with it. If I ever decided to marry, this would be the song I’d dance with my husband to for the first time. Because “when you say you love me, do you know how I love you?”

There are many more songs with a special significance to me, but it’s hard to list them all and explain how special they really are to me. It’d be nearly impossibly, to be honest. But maybe if you’ll walk down that “Red Dirt Road” with me long enough, you’ll find out soon enough.

If I Could Turn Back Time

When you have the option to go anywhere, anytime, right now, it’s hard to decide just one place to go to. I think of all the places I dreamed of going: Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Romania and I think how wonderful these places would be: the hard, red dirt of the deserts, the lush great mountains, the ancient buildings that age timelessly stuck in the past. But then I think, as much fun as that would be, it wouldn’t be fun because I wouldn’t be able to call home and tell my dad about it.

My dad died almost a year ago. He never got to see me get a new job or watch movies that we used to watch together, among many other things. I still catch myself stowing away things I want to tell my dad only to remember that I can’t tell him about it because he’s not here anymore for me to tell. When I go hiking, I see the vibrant reds, greens, yellows, and browns that make up the hiking trails that we used to walk leisurely down and I feel a pang of sadness; he used to enjoy these things too. When I read a book, he’d ask me what I’m reading and when I’m writing he’d ask me if I was writing a story about him.

I don’t watch Doctor Who, nor do I believe in time machines, but if either one showed up in my living room, so stark and out of place  admist the antiques, I would make them go back in time so that I could see my dad again. I’d take more hikes, watch more movies, go the amusement park often. And knowing what I know now (and even what I suspect about what happened about my dad’s death), I would have my mom and I be more insistent to the doctor’s about my dad’s health that they chose to ignore for a week. Then maybe, just maybe, he’d be around a whole lot longer.

Stephen King and Humor

In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of Stephen King. I don’t necessarily like every book I’ve ever read by him, nor have I read a good number of his books (there are a lot of them). But what I admire about him is his writing ability and dry sense of humor. Even in the darkest, most horrific stories, an author can write a scene or two that lightens the mood and makes you smile. For example, in The Shining, the main character is sitting in front of the man who owns the Overlook Hotel and thinks “Officious little prick.” I don’t remember too many details from the book as I wasn’t a fan of the novel (just the main points of the story, to be quite honest) but I do remember his smart ass response. I think with Stephen King, having a dry sense of humor is a necessary element to his books. If you don’t have the occasional wisecrack, you just keep getting blacker and blacker until you find yourself in the black hole with nowhere out. Not to mention that it makes you connect with the characters that the author wants you to connect with. Even if you totally hate the characters being presented, at least you have that minimum expectation of why you dislike him.

The reason I mention Stephen King is because I watched part of the movie Rose Red, a movie to which Stephen King wrote the screen play for the directors. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a traditional scary story with a haunted house and a group of people who (unwittingly) go into the house to seek answers about why the house is haunted. Of course, there are ulterior motives from the professor and a common thing amongst the group: They all can sense the dead in one way or another. At one point in the movie, the doorbell of the house rings and when the professor opens the door, Stephen King is there holding some drinks that she has ordered. He cheekily says “Oh, is this house haunted?” before the professor rolls her eyes and closes the door.

I’ve no doubt in my mind that he purposely did that to be cheeky and to lighten the mood before the darkness truly descended. It foreshadows what will happen, but in a lighter way as if giving you the sense to not take anything seriously just yet.

It just goes to show how in control Stephen King is of his writing, even if it’s a screenplay. He utilizes all kinds of writing styles to move the story along and develop characters. Yes, his stories are long and drawn out at places, but if you’re a writer, his books should be at the top of the list to study how he creates his scenes and stories.

‘Til September

August said goodbye yesterday and this morning September said hello. Fall doesn’t really hit me ’til September when the mornings start later and the evenings get darker; the cornstalks are turning brown and the air wavers between sweltering hot and a crisp coolness. There are people who love the fall. They can’t wait til they can break out the sweaters and blue jeans, the boots and pumpkin spices and fall festivities.

I myself am not a fan. I can’t deny that the colors are vibrant and the air vibrating with movement. But at the back of my mind I’m always aware of what’s coming next: the dull browns and grays and blacks, the bitter cold and dreary days of winter. Knowing what’s coming up ahead only taints what fall could become for me. I feel my energy drain as I withdraw into myself each day. 

I won’t begin to feel myself until the spring when the days grow longer and the sun gets warmer. And each day my energy grows just a little bit more. Spring is my element because it brings me hope that each day will be better; the promise of summer coming back to say hello and visit for a while. 

And maybe in that sense fall and winter are good. Without the winter, spring can never taste so sweet. If it was spring all the time we wouldn’t realize it’s hope and potential. It’d become stagnant and distasteful. But it doesn’t make me love the winter any better. Knowledge can sometimes be usurped by ones emotions and experiences. But until then, hello September. 

I Wouldn’t Choose the Rain

Many people love the rain. Somehow they find it calming and rejuvenating at the same time. I’ve never been this way. Rain has always brought my energy down, making me want to snuggle on the couch and read or watch a movie or even write. I look out the window and I sigh for I only see the dark gray drab of the world outside. I look out and wish the sun would shine and warm the earth so I won’t feel stuck.

But then, perhaps this is God telling me I need to stop and relax. I don’t need to feel compelled to be constantly on the move. I don’t need to constantly be doing something. And it’s nice to be able to relax, read and basically do nothing. But if given the choice, I wouldn’t choose the rain.