A Red Front Door
Home is a red front door A welcome mat and a big brass knocker To knock on the red front door Home is the smell of fresh cookies in the kitchen
The Boy Under the Pear Tree
I remember the day we first met. It was early in the morning, and while the birds began their joyous greeting to the sun, the rest of the world was just beginning to stir. I was with my mother and you with your father. There were other kids in the park, but you were sitting alone, reading a book under a pear tree, the pear tree. Everyone knew that pear tree, it was the only one in the park. Year after year, it would produce the most delicious fruit you would ever taste. My mother sat down next to your father, who was sitting on a nearby bench. I took a cue from my mother and decided that you needed a friend. You did not look lonely so much as inwardly thoughtful. If that even makes sense. We were eight years old, and I knew you were my best friend. I had heard of love but certainly did not understand it, but that day, I was certain that I loved you. It was not hard to talk to you or to listen. From that day forward we were almost inseparable, I am not sure our parents understood, but we did not need them to understand. Every morning and every afternoon we would meet under the pear tree, parents in tow, and that is how time passed for us.
The Pond that is Always Frozen
Growing up, all the kids had their own ideas about what lived in the frozen pond a mile outside of town. The pond was never given a name, it was simply known as the frozen pond. Charlie Sims said it was full of pond snakes. Lane West said it was full of demon spawn. We would terrify each other with stories of what could be lurking in the depths of the frozen water. Stories filled with unsuspecting victims lured to the water's edge, only to be plucked from our world and dragged down into the next. In every story, the pond was always frozen, or icy, or ice cold. But it was not just the stories; one of the many curious things about the pond was that it was always frozen, or, in some months, filled with large chunks of ice. Anyone who dared walk close to the edge of the pond would find the ground slowly growing colder with each step. Of course, if you took it upon yourself to investigate the claims, you would find no one who could confirm them. But everyone in the town has seen the frozen eeriness of the pond from afar, summer and winter, it was always frozen there. One could argue that the pond was more like a lake, it did have quite a large island almost smack dab in the middle. Three large fir trees dominated the island, their icy needles always shining in the sunlight. It was the new year festival; the celebrations were always held in sight of the pond. It was a tradition, the origins of which no one could remember, yet it was done, year after year. And so, every person young and old, big and small was brought forth to see the frozen oddity in our otherwise warm world.
Simply put, it was a bad day
I am not one to rely on horoscopes or follow astrology in general, but I will admit that my sign is most aptly prescribed to me. Taurus, the bull. That is the first thing you should know going forward. The second is that my father was a lawyer. And so, being a Taurus and the son of a lawyer, I inevitably became what my mom lovingly describes as bullheaded. Honestly, I have quite a genial nature and have always thought of myself as an affable person. But sometimes, a bull can only be a bull.
Part 1 – His Father’s son “The oddest tail I have ever heard?” The man was drunk. All the men sitting around the table were drunk. But he was certainly the drunkest.
Part 1 – What's inside the box? “So, what’s in the box?” Alice asked with a grin. “You know the rules dear Alice,” replied the man sitting across from her. He was also smiling. “Don’t ask...”
This was it. In a matter of minutes, Edward Tanner, or as he was known around the circuit, “Eddie the Eater” would be the champion. He had worked hard for this, a life's journey through misery and enlightenment, culminating in this glorious week-long competition of all things related to consuming food. It had been a hard-fought battle throughout. There were times when he thought he was done for, the title put beyond his grasp. He would wonder how it would have felt to reach the top, yes, left forever to wonder. This was not a thought he wished to dwell on and vowed then, to never think or feel that way again. He was a winner, he persevered, defeated his foes one by one and now, here he was, one last slice of chocolate cake between him and glory. It was a difficult piece of cake, not at all living up to the adage he grew up with. No, this was no piece of cake.
The Day I Met Dan Cooper
Occasionally, when I think back on my childhood, I find myself feeling nostalgic for the early mornings in the big red barn. I live in a big city now, convinced in my teens that the farming life was not for me. It was hard, rewarding work, and my body aches at the memories. I am who I am today because of my life back on the farm. I was fourteen years old when a singular and profound thing happened in my simple farm life. I met a man. It is not what you think, trust me. I should explain. My story begins in the big red barn.
Authors Note: To my return readers, this will be familiar to you. For any new readers, please read carefully and fully, consider my advice and follow my guidance as you see fit. While these are my personal journal entries, they are written as to be published for the wider world. You should consider these entries to be fiction. The stories are from other worlds and in other times and so it would only make sense to stay on the path of comfort and contentment. Do not burden yourself wondering what lies beyond your sight and ability to perceive.
A bedtime story, a goodnight song, and a sweet sleep
What I remember most about bedtime is a story and a song. After the customary bedtime story, my father would sing me to sleep with Puff the Magic Dragon and he would slip in the names of my two older sisters and myself. In my head, it was always Zach the Magic Dragon. Thirty years later and those memories still make me smile.
Strike A Pose
I have spent my fair share of time outdoors. Hiking through the woods, exploring mountain lakes, and looking for that perfect shot. I have found that some of my best and favorite photos have come from just being in the right place at the right time. I have been fortunate enough to be able to work outside for a job and I spent many years working with the United States Forest Service. I always had my camera and would often stop throughout my day to take photos. Sometimes it was a tree, sometimes an old sign and sometimes my favorite, wildlife. Being able to work in the forest provided ample opportunity to catch wilderness being wild, but I have come to realize that subjects of these best and favorite photos that I mentioned above, are completely aware of my presence. And sometimes, even seem to enjoy the spotlight.
The Cottage on the Cliff
I shouldn’t be writing this, it’s just so dangerous. I could always burn the pages when I’m done, but I probably won't. My therapist said it would help me to write it all down. If she only knew. I couldn’t tell her the whole truth, for her own protection. She said she understood, but I doubt it. I was asleep for two days, two! My body ached and my mind was confused, but slowly, all of the memories started to come back. At first it was like a trickle of water, then it turned into a flood, and I was drowning. So maybe this will help, or maybe not. At the very least, it is a good story.