Tag Archives: short story

Road Trippin…..

Road Trippin

 

There’s the rumble of the tires on the asphalt road, the wind blowing across the car with deafening sound and sweaty hair stuck to faces, as kids in the back seat ask, “When are we going to get there?”

There’s a stop for gas and a Polaroid camera, the station with a general store attached to it has salt water taffy and I am happy; all the flavors are my favorites! The man came out and began to fill my dad’s car up with gas and he washed the bugs off the windshield too! He and my dad chatted as the man pointed here and there as they were both looking at the atlas.

My mom sprayed her hair with hairspray and went back to reading her romance paperback. I don’t know why she keeps doing that we’re all choking back here! Also my mother thinks we can’t read too, it’s a book about kissing I am sure of it!

My brothers argue and wrestle, but me, I just peered out into the sky above me. I’m watching the clouds; they somehow look different out here. I suppose being out in the middle of nowhere means there just might be a little more sky!

I see there is way more room to play, but it doesn’t look like there are any kids around, just miles of corn and behind that  miles more of corn!  By the time my dad has gotten back into the car, I have already spotted an entire zoo worth of animals in those clouds, and I can even swear I see my grandmother’s face there too!

Time to go back onto the humming road now and count the thwamps and rumbles on the different pavements and undoubtedly I will fall fast asleep and miss the Native Americans on the plains that I think I might see.  I will also miss the license plate game my mom will play or 50 guesses question game, but who cares I’ll have my dreams of being a prairie girl like in my story books.

I’ll dream of what could be in the next town and the town after that!  And from this day on I will always have a sense of wonder, of what that next town will bring, more flavors of taffy pulled; I hope, or maybe just maybe, how many more miles of unfound zoo animals or grandmothers faces will be in the sky above me.

Dunes Beach Party

 

Oh how I remember those fun times so fondly, where teenage hanging out reigned supreme!

Summer was always so short (i.e. having fun), so gather your friends and get it together! Parties, bonfires in the woods and of course beach party flings were filling the calendar quickly and soon I’d be a senior in high school. There wasn’t a minute to waste, no not thinking about even making future plans like college or classes to take, but I mean getting to the mall (yes even back then there was one)!  There were new bikinis to buy and lip gloss and records (yes I’m that old, also shut up!) and possible concert tickets! Oh those were the days when the minimum wage was low and stuff cost less and I was skinny enough to make a halter out of knotted together bandanas and shoes were always optional!

Within two days of the last day of school car loads of teens made mass exoduses out of their respective subdivisions and out into the wanderlust of their souls. The forest preserves back then were filled with excellent music blasting and super championships of Frisbee, and if one wanted to, there was a guy in a van that would give you an excellent tattoo! How innocent were those that actually did that kind of stuff (no, I didn’t) but actually one never heard of blood borne diseases just yet. Nor did anyone actually die of such an adventure, that we were aware.

So the Frisbees flew and the days were long and the music was as hot as the pavement and it was all good. Especially if one could pack in at least six friends at one time into your car or jeep or special guy’s muscle car and cruise anywhere!  There were nice beaches along Chicago’s lakefront, but the older one got the further from home we wanted to go.

So, the Dunes of Indiana or Michigan called our names. Plans were made, cars were loaded with Styrofoam coolers of Pepsi and bags of Lays chips and with Coppertone oil and chewing gum, sunglasses, cigarettes, transistor radio and towels were filled. As our parents waved a quick goodbye, a virtual parade of cars gather at the station to fill the tanks with gas and on the road we went!  Our heads and arms hanging out open windows, bare feet on dashboards and smiles from ear to ear. The parade proceeded following the one and only guy who knew how to get there! (No google maps people…just handwritten directions or yes an atlas/map was used). The car I was in had one because my dad threw it at me before I left; dad telling me to “give it to the guy driving” because you will get lost!

We arrive! Fabulous expanse of beach lay before us, the weather was hot, we scoped our spots and laid down our blankets as far from people as we could. We nicknamed our spot Camp Beach!  We had the best time, all of use sunburnt tan lines and happiness tired; the girls decide to go to find the beach house to use the washroom. When we came out with freshly rinsed feet (shower was free) we headed back to our blanket camp. Dunes contain ups and downs and they sometimes go for miles and miles but your feet were baby smooth (no pedicures needed the sand provided them) we four were nearly back when we realized we were being followed by four guys we did not know! When we approached our blankets, the followers tried to talk to us and we expressed that we were taken by these guys here, they said oh ok. But they proceeded to park themselves right next to us! Well yes, you guessed it a horrible fight ensued and punches in our honor were thrown. A melee of sand was tossed and naturally a park ranger happened by, all was ended and everyone went their separate ways. We had enough of sun and fun and packed up Camp Beach. As we did this the boys were getting in their respective cars to drive and asked me for their wallets (the boys put their wallets into my beach bag for safe keeping so they didn’t lose them or get them wet)!! But when I reached into the bag, they were all gone! Every single wallet was stolen by those creepy guys! It was the worst ending a beautiful day could have. Not one of us ever recovered any of our wallet contents and lessons were learned that day!

We all could not wait to get home, and now with sunburn all I wanted was my mommy! So much for growing up!

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

The forest calls me by name and asks me to hike within it. As I travel slowly breathing deeply

of its rustic scents, I am energized. I’d love to walk here forever. I continue into the still heavily

leafed area, where I feel enveloped with hugs from the trees above me. I guess if you can see me

right now, you’d see a happy smile and lifted heart and a joyful spirit. For it is here, around this

crag and near the natural small waterfall that is fed off the river a long way away, that I chose to

sit.

I am not known to meditate, in fact, some will ask me, and do you ever sit down? Yep, here.

I could do this every day, but life has a way of getting in the middle of my happy place and me.

So, when I can, I’ll go here, even if it’s just in my mind. Now I rest; I sit on this old

withered timber that has fallen due to age and forest disease, because it was needed to house the

squirrel or the beaver or even provide winter housing for the small fox family, each of these

I have seen in my little forest.  I’ll close my eyes and I will breathe listening to the little waterfall

before me. I can hear the rustle of the winds and you as you call me and my brothers’ home to eat.

I can hear you call my name as I did not do my chores. I recall the way you answered the phone.

I know that my mortality is now being challenged. I am nearing past mid-life and I ask you

that when that day comes that you’ll be standing and waiting, calling me home to dinner; not

because I’ve missed you~ But there’s so much I want to tell you about!

Shoes of Dreams

The door tumbler turned, a key inserted into the lock,

where can she hide? As her legs shook instantly and her knees

began to knock uncontrollably, the door began to move now.

She leaned against the wall of bookcases in hopes to disappear into

them, she spotted it, the closet!

Inside the master closet she suddenly felt safe. Being amongst its size and finery

from around the world, the little girl of ten was delighted!

There were shoes of all kinds and colors. There in the corner, an overly worn pair of ballet shoes

hung by a wisp of ribbon. She assumed the ballerina was once a very gorgeous woman, twirling

and dancing and dreaming. There were delicate and dainty dress shoes, perhaps Cinderella danced in

those.

But there were also shoes of a hard working woman. They were scuffed black and terribly worn

and some had crooked heels. All in a neat little row, seven pairs in all. She was sure these had all

walked at least a hundred miles or so!

And so unlike the fancy and delicate shoes of dreams, these are the only one’s she’s ever

seen on her grandmother’s feet!

Merry-Go-Round Memories

Merry-Go-Round Memories

 

Memories; lifetimes should be filled with them. Memories should make us giggle with delight

like when recalling your 12 year old self at the carnival. Do you rememeber the pure

enchantment you felt as you now spot the carnival in the distance? You see the lights and your

heart leapt!

Giddiness begins to happen, as you approach closer still, and now the music is softly sounds,

there are thrill screams from rickety roller coasters, and throngs of people sounds closer, closer

still and then there’s whistle of the man directing you to a pay booth with policeman’s flashlight

that causes us to jump and giggle again, as your parents follow the car packed with as many

children as will fit in it, in front of you while my two brothers and I sit quietly and smile feeling

extremely lucky to have arrived at this wonderland. My mom and dad share passing smiles

together that they were happy of their surprise vacation choice. We enter and the world warps

into a fantasy. The smells of a carnival are fabulous, the lights off the noisy rides and then there

are elephant ears dusted with white sugar, cotton candy a mile high, and corn dogs on a stick.

There were ropes of licorice in red and black….oh I want one of everything I see! There, I want

to ride the merry-go-round, I want to jump on a unicorn horse; but no I take the brown one with

the tongue sticking out weirdly. My brother is two ahead of me smiling with glee he is on a black

stallion, my younger brother is beside me and he is on a tiny white pony with blue eyes and he is

afraid.

My parents station themselves standing between us children, my dad a hand on my brother and

my mom between myself and my little brother, her hand on each horse. We begin, the music is

bellowing, the operator gives us a few rules, now spinning quite quickly, my sweaty hair is

in the breeze. My brother ahead of me thinks we are racing; he is slapping the red strap like

a rein and is smiling and laughing gratuitously. I glance at my baby brother next to me and my

mom is now holding him entirely as the pony pumps up and down. I look above me and I now

realize that my horse is just a stationary one. Just a horse on a pole and now I no longer am

smiling somehow I feel I’m having a less than experience. I want to get off of that goofy horse

anyway! I am dizzy, my baby brother is crying and my other brother is smiling crazily asking to

do it again when we exit the merry-go-round. Secretly, I hated it. But, do you remember how

much you wanted that damned stuff bear? It was deemed the top prize on the runway that year.

Every time I looked up some adorable little girl was sweetly hugging one, except I knew I was

not ever going to be one of them. (father thought games were a waste of money)

 

That night continued, and our little family trudged forward into Never NeverLand, finding a fun

house with fabulous goofy mirrors and hard to walk up floors (they were tilted), but I got scared

because of the freaky clown standing next to the funhouse; he looked directly at me and asked,

“did you have fun little girl?” ugh really? Dad bought us cotton candy and I forgot that freak for

second. We rode all the tiny rides because of my little brother and my parents

hated rollercoasters; that made me happy though. I love a little train and I rode a car that looked

like a ladybug! Back then no one cared if you were 12, they saw you were having fun, they left it

alone. Well, it was getting late and we were getting ready to go home, we were getting crabbie.

By the time we got to the car, my little brother was already asleep on my dad’s shoulder. Both

my other brother and myself were asleep before we left that parking lot.

That night our merry-go-round dreams turned into magical memories, stuffed bear or no; I thank

you mom and dad.

A Light at the End of the Hallway

Normally I reserve this spot for rantings and ravings….and for things that tick me and most likely you off too~ But since I’ve let this site mellow down a bit as I pursued other things, I thought I’d start back by a simple memory post; a short short story. Just a feel good vibe thing, because you do know that I’ll get back to the ranting shortly!  In the meantime, enjoy my trip down memory lane.

The Light at the End of the Hallway (A Summer Memory)

A Simple Essay of Sorts

The perfect summer day, the glorious heat fueled by the sun and along with squiggle waves that

move off the pavement to burn the bottoms of your feet. The pool swimming was all day and

sunburnt shoulders feel like they’re on fire and eyes dry as a desert hurt from scratching.

Tummy round and puffing out filled to the brim with good grilled ears of corn in charred husks

buttered and salted, fresh strawberry shortcakes made from farm day trips, hand-picked

strawberries, by us and bought by the bushel full and mom’s sweet iced tea with lemons floating.

Running barefoot at sundown, wet dewy footprints in the stark green lush freshly cut blades

where you cannot giggle enough and there aren’t enough fireflies. The nightlights made

from mason jars and pickle jars; hope they live long enough until I fall asleep. I gave them sticks

and leaves and extra air holes. Shall I name them I put six of them in there. I think for certain at

least one must be a girl firefly because her light shines the brightest. I’m getting dreamy.

The moon coming in streaming with odd blue shadows making my teddy bear seem deadly

instead of cuddly. Getting the shivery willy’s and now I’ll never sleep! It’s a hoover beneath the

blankets time with my trusty flashlight in hand. I slowly stick my hand out from underneath the

blanket to grab the nearest book by the bed. I grab it by feel only; I’m not looking out there!

The creaking floorboard tells me that one of my parents is up and walking near my bedroom, I

am sure it is my mother. I am sure she has seen the light at the end of the hallway. I cringe and

wait quietly; barely breathing. She draws slowly my door but it creaks loudly. I continue to fake

sleep. I peek with one eye jutting out from under. I see my mother’s head peek in. Quickly I

close my eyes. She says nothing until she’s about to exit my room when she says “please don’t

stay up too late” She shuts the door behind her; I heard the smile in her voice.

I know the sense of wonder and awe. Exploring a book with a flashlight in the height of summer,

sweating beneath the blanket~ this excitement I felt dawned on me that mine was also once my

mother’s too! And now I smiled.

The perfect summer was happening down at the end of the hallway~