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What is love?

Love has many meanings. It can the pride a mother has for a child. It the strong physical and emotional bond between baby and mother. It is the beauty in a flower, sunset, mountain tops or dress. Love can also be the euphoria of tingle when a puppy nestles up under your neck.

Love is the desire to want to know more about someone. To stay up and talk all night. To read the books they love, listen to the music they enjoy. Watch the movies they like. It is looking forward to celebrating their birthday with them. It can be wanting that person to succeed so much that you are willing to sacrifice all for them.

Love can be the tenderness of the familiar. The sight of home. The comfort in your favorite chair after a long day. It can be the excitement after receiving a long desired gift.

Love can be touch. It is the bond of a child nursing on a mother. Love can be a hug from a teacher, pastor, friend, father, mother, sibling, or spouse. Love is the tenderness of ones lips touching your own. Love is physical. It is soft. Love is gentle never aggressive.

Love is respect, care, kindness, sadness, curiosity, happiness, tears of loneliness, tears of happiness, touch and desire to want to know all about the one you love.

When you no longer care to understand the other person. You no longer want to touch, kiss, or hug love is missing. Love that hurts is love that is gone. Love can only be taken away by betrayal.

There are many types of betrayal. The most popular sexual cheating, emotional cheating, drugs, alcohol abuse, lying, physical abuse, gambling, shopaholics, sabotage, and deceit. Betrayal can come from your lover, mother, father, uncle, aunt, grandmother, grandfather, teacher, doctor, friend, pastor, enemy, or more.

What if your lover is smart, has a great job, goes to church, comes home every night, and takes care of you, but constantly betrays you? Maybe your love for that person is so strong that you stay with that person no matter how often they betray you, even if they do it every single day.

Betrayal is the only thing that can poison your love for another. When one betrays you so much that your own self-worth is destroyed it is time to find a new love, a love for yourself.

Love for yourself is the greatest love of all. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Learn about yourself. Care for yourself. Celebrate yourself. Most of all, no matter how many people betray you, never betray yourself. You are one of a kind. Your love should be one of kind too.

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The dog that bit the shit out of me

It took time to get to where we were.

Molly, our 17 year old senior dog, was depressed. She laid in bed all day, she would wet in bed. She refused to eat and would bite us if we wanted to give her attention. Life was bad for Molly. The breaking point for Molly was one night I step in the kitchen where she stood with pee all around her. I bent over to tell her no with my finger pointing and shaking it at her muzzle.

Molly could take no more. Whatever reason it was, Molly saw that finger as an opportunity. She watched it like it was prime rib flapping before her chops. That was the moment in a instance that senior dog jumped up and latched on to my finger like a tick on fat warm skin. I yelp, “Help!” I wiggled. I shook my arm up and down and that dog went up and down with my finger holding on for dear life. “Fuck’n shit! Help me!” I cried. The first one down the stairs was my Spanish speaking mother-in-law in her see through pajamas without a bra.

“Javi! Fucking help me!” My mother-in-law stood there with her hands over her mouth. I was still standing in dog piss as my dog hung from my finger. My husband finally came running down stairs to see me crying. My face red. The dog and I both wet from the piss splashing every time I lowered my arm to shake her off.

Javi ran to Molly and picked up her body to where it was level with my finger and she released the grip she had. My finger was torn just a little. The problem was part of her tooth broke off into the skin.

“I’m taking you to the hospital.”

“No, I’m fine.”

“What the fuck did you do to that dog?”

“Molly? Now you care more about Molly than me?”

“You had to do something.”

“Yeah, I did. I told her no. She peed on the floor and I’m tired of it. I said bad dog and shook my finger at her.”

“Well, don’t. Let her do what she wants. She’s a dog. She’s old. Leave her alone.”

“No. I’m sick and tired of everyone in this house doing what they want. For once I want her to pee outside.”

The blood from my finger was all over my arm. Tears down my face. “You don’t give a shit about me. Look at this blood. There is something in my fucking finger and you’re yelling at me.”

To be continued……

Confession of a Naked Shoe Thief


I was a typical boring housewife. I worked as a teacher once for a small private preschool, but when the economy turned for the worse in 2008, enrolments dropped and I was let go. My husband felt that teaching was more work than good. I only earned minimum wage, so technically most of my check went towards my wardrobe of khakis and cotton shirts, lunch and gas money.  Jobless, I became a homemaker. I spent my days making organic homemade dinners, cleaning, going to the gym, organizing the home, and spending more time with my family.  Spending time with my family was great but that was the only spending I was doing. Not earning a paycheck anymore meant I was forced to stop spending except on essentials.

Now, two years later unemployed, when I should not be facing drama or stress I found I could no longer sleep. Insomnia sucks!  Typical Saturday night, my husband was fast asleep snoring, and my adolescent child laid tucked in bed with his dog and I was awake laying in bed. Bing! I rolled over to reach for my cell phone. It was a text message. I won the opportunity to test an iPad. Really? At 2am the telemarketers are texting me? WTB (What the Buck not What the F**k). You see, I gave up cussing years ago when my child started picking up words.

I decided to take a Lavender oil bath to put me to sleep.  Sitting in the tub with my eyes wide open I stared down at my cellulite rolls. The daily trips to the gym were not even putting a dent into the four inches around me. I heard my neighbor pull into his driveway. There was loud techno music, the slamming of car doors followed by laughter, lots of laughter. I stood up and gazed out the window watching the bachelor accompanied by two young women that could be models.  Water from my body was dripping on the floor, but I stood there peeking out the blinds thinking about those women in the small skirts with slender legs and small waist wearing beautiful shoes. The kind of shoes one would never wear to church, let alone to teach preschoolers or for housewives to run errands in.

Then one of the beautiful ladies tripped on the stairs leading into the neighbor’s house. She took off her shoes. Then she crawled to the edge of the patio to throw up. The man helped her up and carried her into his house. The shoes were abandoned, left on their sides on the cement steps. I looked around for a towel. Buck! It was laundry day the racks were empty. I looked for my robe but I had left it in the bedroom. My dirty pajamas were soaking with water on the floor where I had stood dripping. I felt my heart race and my loins awakening inside me. I wanted something for the first time in a long time. I wanted those shoes. I feared waking up my family, so if I were to go I would have to go naked. Time was against me. I tiptoed to the door.  I slipped out of the house and I cautiously hunched over with my naked obese body to snatch up those beautiful pink heels. My toes sank into cool thick grass.

Holding my breath, I made it to side of the patio. I reached up for the shoes. Without warning, the sprinklers went on. I jittered, but I withheld any screams.  I embraced the suede leather pink shoes against my sagging naked breast.  The soft leather felt soothing against my skin.  The cold droplets of water from the sprinkler encouraged me to run. I ran with pride clutching to those shoes as my buttocks flopped with each stride. For the first time in my life I felt liberated.  I smiled with joy as I reached my home with my bounty in hand.

Inside, I stood still drenching, but I slipped into those beautiful five-inch heels. My calves tightened, my legs lengthened, my stomach sucked in and buttocks sat perched as I walked around the living room naked in the stole pink leather shoes.  I felt sexy. Yes, I was still forty pounds overweight but the dining room mirror told a different story as I stood there in those fantastic heels. I looked delicious. I was hot and for once in a long time, I felt sexy! The insomnia I had awakened the naked shoe thief inside of me.

Whisper

Whisper lived in the countryside of Oklahoma with her mother. On Sunday afternoon she was helping her mother on the farm. Then her mother called out to her. “Whisper, clean the spider webs off the house.”

“I thought you were going to spray them?”

“I should of, but I forgot.”

Whisper took the broom and swept under the window and door trims around the house. She noticed a very large daddy long leg spider. She didn’t scream, because she knew he would not hurt her. When she finished she went into the house. Her mother was now making dinner. “Whisper, I need you to sweep up the leaves on the porch. Every time the door opens the leaves come in. That Sooner wind.”

“I thought you were going to fix the screen door.”

“Well, I should of, but I forgot.”

“Fine, I got it.”

Whisper went back outside. A huge wind gust came. She turned her back against it. The wind was so forceful that rubber band on her braid came off. When the wind slowed down Whisper’s long red curly hair was in her face. She was so distracted by her hairs flying about she didn’t notice the small black spider that landed on her red locks. When she finished sweeping she went back inside to eat dinner.

“Thanks for doing that. Those leaves are such a mess.”

“It’s fall. They’re supposed to be everywhere. You should of just fixed the screen door.”

“I’ll get to it soon enough. You need to do your homework.”

“I wanted to shower first.”

“Well, you don’t want to be a procrastinator like me.”

Whisper didn’t say anything. She finished her dinner and then went to her bedroom to do her homework. She was sitting at her desk when her head started to itch. She scratched it. She finished her algebra. Her head was starting to hurt, so she rest in bed. Her mother came in the room to check on her. “I thought you were going to take a shower?”

“Yeah, my head hurts. Can you look at it?”

“Later, go shower.”

Whisper took a shower and then went to bed. By now the small black widow spider was safely resting under her pillow from when she had lay down before. Not knowing about the spider Whisper went to sleep for the night. In the morning her scalp warm to the touch. “Mom, look at my head. It really hurts.”

“Ok, ok” She looked closely at her scalp and sure enough she noticed the two small red humps. “I think you got bitten by a mosquito. You’ll be ok.”

“What if I’m not?”

“If it’s not better tomorrow, I’ll call the doctor.”

Whisper went to school. All day she had a throbbing pain on her head. When she came home she did not do her chores and went to sleep instead. Her mother came home. She was upset. “Whisper you need to do your chores.”

“I don’t feel good.”

“You said that this morning. I told you I’ll call the doctor tomorrow.”

Whisper did get up and finish her chores. Then she went to bed without eating. In the morning her head was warm to the touch. Now instead of two bumps she had three. “Mom, I’m really sick. I can’t go to school. Look at my head.”

“I told you I will call the doctor today. Go to school. I’ll get to it.”

Whisper went to school. Her teacher could tell she was ill so she sent her to lie down in the principal’s office. The secretary called her mother, but Whisper’s mother never called back. Whisper went home and lay down in bed. This time her head, neck and back was hurting. She fell asleep in aching pain. When her mother got home she saw her. “Whisper, you look terrible. Are you ok?”

“No” She was too weak to talk or open her eyes.

“I was so busy at work I forgot to call the doctor.” Her mother noticed the bumps on her neck and back, but thought it was more mosquito bites. “I promise tomorrow I’ll call the doctor.”

“Ok mom, love you.” Whisper went to sleep and never woke again.

“DPchallenge/ doompocalyptic-resolutions

Here’s the backstory for this week’s challenge: The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT!

They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Past once and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?

Fuck you 2012! Gone are the old days of weepie tears, fat thoughts, binge eating, self-destruction.  The world is ending in three months! I’m tired of being nice! I’m tired of being sorry for shit I didn’t even do. Quite honestly I don’t even like the puss-puss I’ve become, so watch out World, I have three months to live! My three months start now.

My new beginning starts now. I call my peep in NYC.

“Whaz up?”

“Ni-hao”

“Shirley!”

“Wey?”

“Shirley! It’s me Cheese!”

“Cheese…Why you talking funny?”

“You owe me bitch.”

“Wey?”

“Sorry. No, I’m not sorry. No more apologizes. It’s the new me.”

“No good.”

“Ok, you’re not a bitch. I need a ride.”

“You in China Town?”

“I’ll be there tomorrow.”

“Ahh, you come visit and shopping? I find you good purse.”

“Shirley! The world is ending. That crap is crap! Let’s travel.”

“Wey?”

“Paris! Where else? My passport is no good. I need you to hook me up with one of those guys.”

“What guys?”

“You know the pimps that brought you over here from China. The ones you had to work off your freedom with hardcore sex.”

“Nooo, I virgin!”

“What about those stories you talked about hiding in small places in the dark cold and listening to people call your name. You said you almost wanted to cry in pain.”

“That was the story of me playing hide-n-seek as a child. I’m American. I’ve never been to China.”

“You can’t be an American. You’re not smart like all those other Asians in school and you talk funny.”

“So, you stupid and talk funny too.”

“You’re Chinese!”

“You’re a dumbass!”

“Ok fine. I’ll be a dumbass,  but can you help me?”

“Yes, stop watching CSI, 24 and all those television shows, oh and try getting off the caffeine. Are you still on your way to NYC?”

“Yep, the bus is still moving. I guess I’m screwed for the last 3 months of my life. I sold all my stuff.”

“No you didn’t. You too lazy.”

“Fine, you’re right. I was in a hurry to leave. Talking about it makes it sound kind of stupid. I just thought with the world falling apart I should run off and live my dream and travel around France.”

“You can stay with me in China Town. It might only be NYC, but I can show you China, Russia, Italy, Poland and the world for that matter without ever leaving the country.”

“Shirley, syeh-syeh.”

Wrinkles

Beth finished applying her second coat of mascara. Then she smiled back into the mirror to check her teeth. Her cell phone began to buzz and vibrate along the counter. It was her alarm. The alarm she set to leave the house to pick up Wendy. They had RSVP for the fall trunk show at their favorite boutique. The owner had scheduled a live performance from a new men’s a cappella group. The singing sensations were famous for not only their romantic songs but for the eye-candy of a show with muscle-toned arms, six-pack abs and bulges in all the right places. Beth sprayed one last puff of cheap perfume.

Beth arrived at Wendy’s house. Wendy was home alone. Her husband, Bob, was one of those beef eating animal hunters. Wendy refused him to hang any of his trophies, but that did not stop him from chasing the hunt with his bow and arrow. He just donated his catch to friends and coworkers. Tonight, was the eve of deer season. While Wendy was to be spending money on fashion and enjoying the show, her husband was to be camping with old fraternity brothers.

Beth knocked on the glass door and walked in announcing herself. “Wendy, are you ready? You should see my new mascara. It’s supposed to be thick lash. I had to put two coats on. You would think at thirty-five dollars a tube, it would take less than two coats to give me same effect as the five dollar drug store brand.” Beth stopped in the living room. Wendy was sitting on the ottoman crying. Her makeup was smearing as she wiped off the tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Honey, what’s wrong?”

“That bitch…” Wendy pointed towards her window.

“Your neighbor?”

Wendy nodded in agreement. “That stupid bitch is ruining my life.”

“What happened?”

“The grave, remember the grave for Wrinkles?”

“No, I never knew you had a pet.”

“Well, I did. I loved my Wrinkles. Then that woman comes along to ruin it for us.”

“Shut the front door! You think your neighbor killed your dog.”

“No, not my dog. Wrinkles was my hamster.”

“I didn’t know you had a hamster. I’ve been your friend for last five years and you’ve never told me about a hamster.”

“He was a childhood pet. He died when I was eight. I was like really upset when he died, so my mom let me have him get stuffed. Then I put one of those little voice recorders in it with a recording of him playing in his cage. I could push on his chest to hear the recording. I loved having stuffed Wrinkles. It was like he was still alive without having to feed him or clean his poop.”

“That’s sick Wendy.”

“That’s what Bob said, so when we moved here last year he made me bury it. I went out and buried it. Then I ordered a tombstone for him. It was so beautiful. I held this small private ceremony.”

“Apparently, I wasn’t invited.”

“What does all this have to do with your neighbor?”

“That bitch decided to dig it up.”

“Yuck! Are you kidding me?”

“No, I’m serious. The tombstone is gone. There was a hole in the yard.”

“How dare that woman to dig up your hamster tombstone. Where was it buried?” Beth asked as she looked out the window.

Wendy got up and started to point. “Over there”

“Where?”

“Over there, next to the new patio.”

“Wendy, you don’t have a patio.”

“I know. It’s my neighbors.”

“Wendy, are you telling me that you buried your hamster,Wrinkles, in your neighbor’s yard?”

“Of course, why would I want to bury it in my new yard? Bob pays a lot of money to landscapers to keep our yard amazing. I don’t want to mess our yard up, so I notice that the neighbor never went in her back yard. That’s when I decided to plant my dear sweet Wrinkles there.”

“With a tombstone? How big was it?”

“It was small, like the size of a medium pizza box. Don’t forget I also planted daisies beside it. Before me, that woman had no flowers in her yard. Now, she decides to build a patio right where my Wrinkles was resting.”

“Wendy, that yard belongs to her.  She can dig up any grave you place there. Look at how happy she is sitting there reading a book.”

“I thought you were my friend, not hers.”

“I am. I’m just saying that maybe your neighbor is not such a bitch because she dug up a grave you placed on her property.”

“I guess.”

“Are you ready?  We’re going to be late for the musical performance if we don’t hurry.”

“Sure, but one more thing; when we get back, can you help me dig in her trash to look for Wrinkles?”

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Confession of a Naked Shoe Thief


I was a typical boring housewife. I worked as a teacher once for a small private preschool, but when the economy turned for the worse in 2008, enrollments dropped and I was let go. My husband felt that teaching was more work than good. I only earned minimum wage, so technically most of my check went towards my wardrobe of khakis and cotton shirts, lunch and gas money.  Jobless, I became a homemaker. I spent my days making organic homemade dinners, cleaning, going to the gym, organizing the home, and spending more time with my family.  Spending time with my family was great but that was the only spending I was doing. Not earning a paycheck anymore meant I was forced to stop spending except on essentials.

Now, two years later unemployed, when I should not be facing drama or stress I found I could no longer sleep. Insomnia sucks!  Typical Saturday night, my husband was fast asleep snoring, and my adolescent child laid tucked in bed with his dog and I was awake laying in bed. Bing! I rolled over to reach for my cell phone. It was a text message. I won the opportunity to test an iPad. Really? At 2am the telemarketers are texting me? WTB (What the Buck not What the F**k). You see, I gave up cussing years ago when my child started picking up words.

I decided to take a Lavender oil bath to put me to sleep.  Sitting in the tub with my eyes wide open I stared down at my cellulite rolls. The daily trips to the gym were not even putting a dent into the four inches around me. I heard my neighbor pull into his driveway. There was loud techno music, the slamming of car doors followed by laughter, lots of laughter. I stood up and gazed out the window watching the bachelor accompanied by two young women that could be models.  Water from my body was dripping on the floor, but I stood there peeking out the blinds thinking about those women in the small skirts with slender legs and small waist wearing beautiful shoes. The kind of shoes one would never wear to church, let alone to teach preschoolers or for housewives to run errands in.

Then one of the beautiful ladies tripped on the stairs leading into the neighbor’s house. She took off her shoes. Then she crawled to the edge of the patio to throw up. The man helped her up and carried her into his house. The shoes were abandoned, left on their sides on the cement steps. I looked around for a towel. Buck! It was laundry day the racks were empty. I looked for my robe but I had left it in the bedroom. My dirty pajamas were soaking with water on the floor where I had stood dripping. I felt my heart race and my loins awakening inside me. I wanted something for the first time in a long time. I wanted those shoes. I feared waking up my family, so if I were to go I would have to go naked. Time was against me. I tiptoed to the door.  I slipped out of the house and I cautiously hunched over with my naked obese body to snatch up those beautiful pink heels. My toes sank into cool thick grass.

Holding my breath, I made it to side of the patio. I reached up for the shoes. Without warning, the sprinklers went on. I jittered, but I withheld any screams.  I embraced the suede leather pink shoes against my sagging naked breast.  The soft leather felt soothing against my skin.  The cold droplets of water from the sprinkler encouraged me to run. I ran with pride clutching to those shoes as my buttocks flopped with each stride. For the first time in my life I felt liberated.  I smiled with joy as I reached my home with my bounty in hand.

Inside, I stood still drenching, but I slipped into those beautiful five-inch heels. My calves tightened, my legs lengthened, my stomach sucked in and buttocks sat perched as I walked around the living room naked in the stole pink leather shoes.  I felt sexy. Yes, I was still forty pounds overweight but the dining room mirror told a different story as I stood there in those fantastic heels. I looked delicious. I was hot and for once in a long time, I felt sexy! The insomnia I had awakened the naked shoe thief inside of me.

Vern meets Susie

It was Saturday. Vern woke up early. She threw on her sweats and went downstairs. She made breakfast for her father. He sat at the table reading his newspaper eating his eggs. Vern sat down beside him drinking a cup of coffee. “Daddy, after I clean the kitchen, make the beds and vacuum the house I’ll be heading out. I’m meeting Susie for lunch.”

“Who’s Susie?”

“She’s my old college roommate. She got into pharmaceutical sells in the nineties and made a fortune.  She’s in New York this week for her annual visit to corporate. Now do you remember her?”

“Yes, she’s the sexy, skin and bones girl with the red hair.”

“Yep, that’s her.”

“Am I coming with you to lunch?”

“No, no, no of course not, Susie wants to meet up with me for lunch at one of those stuffy restaurants. The kind that makes you wear shoes, shirt, and pants.”

“I wear pants.”

“Yes, sometimes you do. Then there are those times I find you wandering about the VFW in those running shorts that look rather similar to skimpy male swimsuit.”

“Hey, I don’t complain about what you wear.”

“True, but I don’t wear the type of clothing that anyone could complain about, unlike you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Anyways back on topic daddy. I’m just letting you know my plans for the afternoon. I’ll bring you back something to eat.”

“Yes, yes, I got it. You are going to lunch with some yuppie friend of yours from college and you want to gossip about things I don’t give a crap about. Just make sure you bring back a pasta dish, with bread, don’t forget to make sure they put extra sauce on the side and if it’s no trouble get me a dessert. Better yet, you should get two desserts in case I don’t like one.”

“Daddy, I’ve never seen you not like a dessert.”

“There is always a first.”

“Never mind, I need to get busy or I’m going to be late.” Vern went about cleaning up the kitchen. She cleaned the table and put the breakfast dishes in the washer. Then she stripped off the sheets and put clean sheets on the beds. Then she started the laundry. She cleaned the bathrooms. Then she folded the clean linens. She started a new load of clothing in the washer. Afterwards, she vacuumed the house. Over two hours had passed while Vern cleaned the house. The timer went off on the oven.

“Vern! Vern! Vern!” Vern’s father hollered from his chair in front of the television.

“Got it daddy.” She went into the kitchen to turn off the oven cleaner.

“Are you going to town like that?”

“Oh no, I set the timer, so I know it’s time change. I’m going back upstairs now.” Vern hobbled up the stairs.  She got into the shower. She went in her closet and looked around for an outfit. She fumbled around until she found exactly what she was looking for. She got dressed. Then she put her wet hair in a low bun. She slipped on her favorite old pair of tennis shoes. They were those toning shoes that looked super cool with the little bumps on the bottom of the soles, but now, they were old and the shoelace on the right shoe was so frayed that she had to tie it in a knot. She made her way back downstairs. Her father was in the kitchen getting some juice.

“Vern you look like shit.”

“Thanks daddy.”

“No Vern, I’m not kidding. You look worse than you did when you were cleaning the house.”

“I know.”

“Why? Why are you going into to town looking like that?”

“Daddy, Susie has never had children. She got a tummy tuck last year. She just got a facelift this year. Susie has a personal shopper at one of those stores that forbids you and me from entering. She gets her hair done every week; in hence, she’s perfect.”

“You look like you are wearing a garbage bag and those shoes are falling apart. What the hell does that have to do with you wearing that black plastic workout suit?”

“Everything, I can’t compete with Susie. No matter what I do, I will look like trash compared to her.”

“That’s your excuse for dressing like trash?”

“Yep.”

“Vern, just don’t go if she makes you feel that way.”

“I want to. Susie is full of fun stories. I love meeting her and listening to her gossip about her life. I just get tired of trying to compete with her, so I give up.” Vern replied standing at the front door.

“Sweetheart, I will never understand you or any women for that matter.”

“That’s the grace of age, you don’t have too anymore.” Vern was walking out the door.

“Vern, don’t forget to get my food!” shouted her father.

Canary

I apologize for my absence from the world of blogging. 

 Last Friday, my grandmother passed away. 

 I dedicate this short story to my grandmother.

There once was a little girl named Sara.  She lived in an apartment building in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.  Her mother was busy with social engagements while her father worked many hours as a pilot. During the war, Sara’s father flew commercial jets for the military transporting soldiers to the battlefield in the Middle East.

One day two pristine dressed military men arrived at the apartment.  Sara’s mother sat solemnly in the living room talking to the two men decorated with ribbons and medals pinned to their chest. Sara was curious, but she stayed in her room till the men left.

Over the course of the following week Sara attended her father’s funeral, assisted her mother with packing all their belongings and moved from New York City to a small cabin in the Rockie Mountains of Colorado.  The house had no internet, no cable or satellite television and no telephone except for her mother’s cell phone.  It was summer time so Sara spent most of her time coloring or playing with her dolls, but she missed her father, her friends and looking out her old bedroom window watching Central Park.  New York City glistened with lights, sidewalks were full of people and streets are adorned with rows of traffic.  Now, in the mountains Sara was feeling incredibly lonely without her father, the quietness of her mother and her new view from her cabin window.

One day from Sara’s window she watched humming birds dance around the flowers.  Attracted by the small birds Sara went outside to play near the rocks of the Colorado River.  She tossed rocks into the water, chased a frog and watched birds play.   As Sara was getting up to walk back home, something glistening in the grass caught her attention.  She walked over to the object.  It was a very small bird egg.  It was partially covered by broken pieces of what looked like a bird’s nest.  Sara looked around for a mother bird.  There was no sign.  It was getting late so Sara picked up the little bird egg and gently wrapped it in some leaves to carry it home.  She showed the small egg to her mother.  Together they  made a small home for the egg in an old shoe box.  They borrowed a heat lamp from the veterinarian to shine on the small abandoned egg.  Sara and her mother were  now busy taking care of the small egg. One day they noticed the egg beginning to hatch.  The next morning a baby bird was born.  Sara and her mother fed the bird with food drops from the local veterinarian.

Before long the small baby bird began to walk in the box.  Sara and her mother bought an antique bird-cage from the flea market to make as his new home.

“Momma, the bird’s feathers are turning yellow.”

“Let me see.  Hmmm, they do look rather yellow compared to the gray they used to be. I’m still not certain what kind of bird it is, but in time we will know.”

Over the following days the baby bird grew more and more yellow feathers.  “Momma, I think the bird is a Canary.”

“Sara, I don’t think Canaries are native to Colorado.”

“Can I name it?”

“Sure.”

“I’m wanna name it Lemon Drop.”

“That is a very odd name.”

“I know, but It’s yellow feathers remind me of daddy’s favorite candy, lemon drops. Will that make you sad?”

“No honey, I think Lemon Drop will be fine.”

Lemon Drop grew in to a strong beautiful Canary.  Through out the year, Lemon Drop sang songs,  talked, and perched on her Sara’s shoulders.  Lemon Drop brought joy back in to Sara and her mother’s life. The two of them were once again happy.

The following fall, Sara went to bed with the window open.  A rain storm with gusting winds blew into her room chilling Lemon Drop.  The next morning he had a cold. Lemon Drop sat at the bottom of his cage looking ill instead of singing, talking or perching. All day long he did not eat or drink. Sara and her mother took Lemon Drop to the veterinarian.  She prescribed him medicine drops.  The following days Sara and her mother gave the medicine to Lemon Drop, but his health was not improving.

“Momma, is Lemon Drop going to leave us like daddy did?”

“Sara, daddy did not leave us.  He passed away.”

“I don’t want Lemon Drop to pass away. I miss daddy.  I’m going to miss Lemon Drop.”

“Lemon Drop is not going to leave us.”

“Then where is he going?”

“Lemon Drop is going to shed his wings for larger wings. His new wings will be so grand he will fly above the clouds and among the stars and back down to us.”

“But, I won’t get to hear his song.”

“If you listen closely you will hear his song among the whistling winds.”

“But, I won’t get to feel the warmth of him perched on my shoulders and the tickles of his feathers on my neck.”

“If you go outside the rays of the sun is the warm touch of his love.”

“Momma, I’m going to miss Lemon Drop like I miss daddy.”

“Sara, Lemon Drop might be fine.  Give the medicine time to do its work.  Your daddy never left us.  Your daddy like Lemon Drop has grown wings to soar the sky and stars.  His love is in the warm touch of the sun’s rays.  Daddy’s voice is scrambled in the winds.  Daddy never left us, he ascended. He is above us.  Daddy is here and will always be here for you.  Let’s go to bed.  Tomorrow Lemon Drop may feel much better.”

The next morning, Sara woke up to find Lemon Drop perched on his swing singing.

Daddy’s Lips

Vern’ s father looked frantically around the house. He just could not find it. He called Vern at work. “Daddy, this better be important. It January, busy season, I don’t have time for phone calls. There are people staring at me as we speak.”
“Screw them. They can wait. It’s going to take more than a few minutes to lose weight. I’m suffering here. I can’t find the chapped lip stuff.”

“Lip balm?”

“No, the stuff I use on my lips when they are cracked.”

“It’s called lip balm daddy. You probably left it in one of your pockets. The doctor is coming, I’ve got to go.” She hung up the phone.
Vern’s father licked his lips. The dry cracked skin burned from the salt of his saliva. He looked around the house. He tried lotion, but that burned too. Then he used ice but as soon as he removed the ice, his lips burned again. Then the cold from the ice started to make them throb. He went snooping around the bathroom cabinets for anything that could make his lips better and using it.  At last, he found some eucalyptus spearmint lotion. He rubbed a hefty amount on his lips.  At first, his lips tingled then as seconds turned into minutes his lips began to burn even more than before.  He used the sleeve of his robe to wipe it off. Frustrated he called Vern at work again.

“Dr. Slim’s office, how can we help you tone up and slim down?”

“Vern, Vern”

“Daddy, what are you doing? I told you I was slam busy.”

“It’s my lips Vern. They’re killing me.”

“Again, you are calling for the lip balm.  I’ve already told you I don’t know where it is.”

“I give up. I looked everywhere.  Can you come home at lunch time and bring me some?”

“Noooo! The house is almost an hour’s drive.  Are you kidding me?”

“Vern, you’ve got to help me.  I’ve tried ice. I’ve tried butter. I’ve tried conditioner and your eucalyptus lotion.”

“You put all that crap on your lips?”

“Yes, and they still hurt. That smelly lotion makes my lips feel numb and burn at the same time.”

“Daddy, how about you walk to the store and buy some medicated lip balm?”

“I don’t want to. I want you to bring it to me, plus, you know what I need. I’m clueless.”

“Noooo! I’m working. I have to get off this phone before I have another outburst from new clients in the lobby.”

“Fine.” Daddy hung up the phone. He decided to heed Verns advice and walk to the store. The sun was shining. It was fifteen degrees above normal in the small New Jersey town. He walked to the gas station. He felt good from the walk but the wind made his lips burn a little more, so he went to the refrigerators to get a cold soda. He stood there gulping down his 20 ounce when he caught a glimpse of two of his friends from the VFW. They were standing at a counter scratching off lottery tickets. Daddy waved to them.  His lips were so dry that he could feel the skin cracking more when he was talking to Vern, so he did not feel up to talking to his friends. He walked up and down the aisles looking for the lip balm. He did not want to ask the cashier, because he did not want his friends from the VFW to know he wore lip-gloss or whatever Vern had called it. He paid for his soda and left without anything for his lips.

Outside the store, daddy thought about just walking home, but if he didn’t get something to soothe his lips he would not be able to attend tonight’s VFW nacho dinner. It was once a month. It was one of his favorite days of the month. Vern would never approve of him eating a plate full of tortillas piled high with cheese, beef, chicken, jalapeno peppers and lots of salsa. Damn it! I’m going to have to walk on base. It’s my only option to find something to repair my cracked sandpaper lips, or I just won’t get to go to the nacho dinner.

The base store was only a mile from the gas station. He was a little out of breath once he got inside. When he walked into the store, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a medical counter. He could not see well because he forgot to wear his glasses. He found a woman wearing a  white lab coat over a dress. She looked like a pharmacist. He walked up to the counter.  His swollen, cracked, burning lips were throbbing and he did not want to open his mouth full when he talked so he mumbled.

“My lips” He said while pointing to them.

“Excuse me Sir?”

“I need something for my lips.”

“Ok, our lip products are over here?”  She led him to a bar stool at a countertop with mirrors. “Is there any color you are looking for today?”

“No, I need it for the puffiness.”

The woman smiled. She pulled out a small tray of samples. “I know exactly what you need.” The woman put on some lip-gloss on daddy’s lips. He felt an odd sensation, but it was better than it felt before. “Do you like it?”

Daddy shook his head in agreement. Then he took the container to the cash register. The cashier looked at him with surprise.  Daddy shook his head. “My lips…”

The cashier nodded in agreement.  Then she handed him his change. Daddy walked back home. He made himself a sandwich and played video games till Vern got home. Vern came in the door as usual with her hands full of groceries. Daddy continued to play his video game. After Vern sat her bags down in the kitchen, she came into the living room.

“Daddy, I got you some lip balm.”

“You’re too late.”  He looked up at Vern.  She started to laugh.

“What in nation’s name is on your lips?”

“Lip stuff from the store on base.”

“Lipstick?”

“Noooo, I got it at the medicine counter from the nice girl in the white coat.”

“Did you wear your glasses?”

“Nooooo”

“Did you tell the girl you are color blind?”

“Noooo.  Why are you asking me all these questions?”

“Because, you look a little draggy”

“Draggy”

“Yes, like a drag queen. Where’s the tube of lip stuff?”

“In my coat pocket”

Vern went to get the lip product her dad bought from his coat pocket. “Daddy, you bought red raspberry  lip volumizer lip stick.”

“That explains a lot.”

“What do you mean?”

“I thought I heard the girl helping me chuckle. Then the cashier was a bit surprised when she saw me. Then I thought I saw the mailman blow me a kiss.”

“Daddy, the store does not have a medicine counter. It was a makeup counter. I hope you learned your lesson.”

“Yeah, you should stay here and take care of me instead of sending me out into this sick world looking for lip stuff.”