The Cherry Popsicle

By Edna Coulson Hall

 

I was ten years old when My Grandma Coulson died, my mother’s mother. I was told death meant Grandma was gone far, far away from this life, our life, all the way to Heaven where she would live with the angels, and we would never see her again until we went to Heaven ourselves one fine day. I said I understood.

At the funeral I stood by Mom while she talked to my aunts and uncles and other people who seemed to start every sentence with “She was.” It made a buzzing sound in my head. My Aunt Mildred said Grandma was in a place now where her heart was strong again and where she didn’t hurt anymore and never would again. She didn’t call the place Heaven, but I was sure that was what she meant because when someone said Grandma was with the angels now, Aunt Mildred smiled and
nodded.

Afterward, when we were home from the funeral, I looked at my picture book Bible and studied the images of angels there in their long flowing robes, their great white wings, their glowing halos. I had rarely seen Grandma except in a cotton house dress covered over with a long bib apron made from flour sacking. It was impossible to imagine Grandma among these dainty beings each strumming a small gold harp.
The only musical instrument I had ever known Grandma to play had been a pocket comb wrapped in waxed paper.

Before Grandma got sick, she would write Mom every week, ad her letters always came on Tuesday. The first Tuesday after Grandma’ funeral I was sitting on the front steps of our house sharing a homemade cherry popsicle with our dog. The mail man came and left mail at the end of the lane. Dust rolled up from the road.

I heard the kitchen screen door open and slap shut as Mom rushed out and started down to the road. As she neared the yard gat, she suddenly stopped and bent forward as if something had kicked her in the middle of her body. I watched and waited. Then she straightened and walked slowly on down to the mail box.

When I put the popsicle back in my mouth I could taste the dust from the road. I held it out to the dog.

“Here,” I said. “You can have it. My grandma’s dead.”

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It Was One of Those Days

By Janet Clark

 

Today I ‘d waited longer than I should have to drag Lurch, my old and battered Honda lawn mower, out of the garage. Now the sun was high and after only two rows I began to sweat. There were a million other things I’d rather be doing. “Keeping up appearances” is what I call mowing. I tell myself I need the front yard to look well-groomed for the neighbors and that I don’t really give a damn. An attractive landscape makes people in the neighborhood believe that I am a good person. Intelligent, clean — trustworthy. What a bunch of rot. At my age, I could kill myself mowing this enormous lawn in the heat of the day. Sometimes I feel resentful that I’m one of only three people on my block who doesn’t have a gardener. The other two have strapping husbands who love gardening while poor little old me just can’t afford yard help.

Right in the middle of my “woe is me”, I spotted something shiny in the grass a fraction of a second before the mower gobbled it up. I’ve learned to react quickly because Lurch has been known to pick up things and spit them out at my knee caps like shot-gun blasts. Not needing anymore scars, I stopped the mower in the nick of time. It was half-buried in the grass. Turning it over, I discovered the sparkling object was a name plate – black plastic with white lettering. It had a shiny silver magnetic clip on the back, which apparently hadn’t worked very well.

Elder Thomas
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Now what in the hell had he been doing in the middle of my lawn?

Slipping it into my pocket, I resumed mowing with much more enthusiasm. Aided by my imagination, I walked Lurch back and forth across the grass thinking of various ways Elder Thomas’ name plate could have ended up on my property.

Possibly it fell off as Thomas was being carted away by a huge bird of prey.

Or maybe while canvassing my neighborhood, passing out religious literature, he was mugged by the Devil himself.

More than likely, my neighbor Jack got pissed off when Elder Thomas knocked on his door and threatened to hose Elder Thomas off the front porch. This name plate probably flew off the poor kid’s tie as he ran for his life.

Whatever.

It’s a lot of fun being a fledgling writer. You can find stories almost anywhere. If it isn’t book-length material, it might just enough to blog.

Today was just one of those days. Found a story while out mowing the lawn.

Treasured Memories

By Joan Wahl Countryman

 

Grammy’s Cookies

Take Four Grandchildren One By One

A High Stool

The Kitchen Aid Mixer

Brown and White sugar

Butter

Vanilla (enjoy the smell)

Add

Flour

Baking Soda and Salt

Chocolate Chips

Hersey’s English Toffee Bits

Mix gently with love, laughter, mess and disaster

Joyous memories held close as children grow too old to join me in the kitchen

Where treasured memories reside

Pick Up

By Joan Wahl Countryman

 

In February every year a hardy group of tennis players from Lamorinda join together for tennis in Palm Desert:

The youngest is around seventy five

The oldest is eighty eight

Levels of tennis from very good to not so good

All levels are accommodated with encouragement with good humor

This year my husband Jim and I decided to fly down instead of drive, we rented a car from Budget – a Toyota Yaris.  Upon our arrival the following ensued:

“Sorry Sir we don’t have the Yaris.  How about a VW Bug?”

“I do not want a Bug or a Ford whatever – I ordered the Yaris a month ago.”

“We have a Mustang which we will discount.”

After much wrangling we said yes to the Mustang. With keys, paperwork, suitcases and Jim’s cane we headed out to find parking spot E5.  That was the easy part.  Electric Green, two door with barely enough room to hold our suitcases in the trunk.  A not too happy Jim tossed his cane in the back seat and we were off.

Driving to the motel we began to notice people staring along the way – I gave a wink to a truck driver.

In the motel parking lot there was a team of young Lacrosse players getting ready to leave on a bus for a game – they stepped aside as we drove to the nearest handicapped parking spot.

The young men gave the car the once over while speaking among themselves.  As we alighted from the Mustang, they took a second look. Smiling, I said:

“Didn’t expect a couple of old fogies to be driving this – did ya!”

“It’s very cool,” one said.

“Great pickup,” Jim said.

During our stay, we made more friends because of the green machine.

Never lost it in the parking lot.

Every trip out was an opportunity to have a good laugh and talk to some young buck who wished he could be behind the wheel.

Jim, my old buck, enjoyed the green machine’s pick up – sure you are never too old to laugh and play!

Jim and the Green Machine

Jim and the Green Machine