Saturday, November 28, 2015


I walked out into the kitchen to find my son Max with a brick of cheddar cheese in one hand and a knife in the other. He'd just sliced a piece off and was ready to pop it into his mouth.
“DON'T EAT THAT!” I screamed. “That's for the fruit and cheese platter I'm serving our company tomorrow!”
“Fruit and cheese?” he asked. “I'm thinking the grapes I just ate were for that too, huh?”
“Oh come on!” I cried. “Of course those things are for company. When do we ever have bricks of cheese laying around?”
“I know!” Max complained. “Everybody in this house likes cheese and you only buy it when we're going to have company.”
“So if you know that why are you eating it?” I asked.
Another slice of cheese was halfway to his mouth when he stopped. He was caught, but he wasn't going down without a fight. “If you know how much we like it why don't you buy extra so you won't get mad when we open the package.” he countered.
“Because I've already tried that and you just eat two bricks of cheese instead of the one.” I answered.
“I do like cheese.” Max said in his defense.
Just then my husband Steven came into the kitchen. “What's all the yelling about?” he asked.
“I'm eating cheese.” Max said popping another piece in his mouth.
“STOP EATING THAT!” I yelled, then looked over at Steven “I was saving that for our company tomorrow.” I explained.
“You're going to have to go out and get more cheese now anyway.” Max reasoned. “So why can't I have this one?”
“He got a point.” Steven said as he shrugged his shoulders.
I looked at Steven, ready to hurt him too. “Because I wasn't planning on going to the grocery store again.” I complained. “Today was clean-the-house-to-get-ready-for-company day.”
I'm pretty sure the look on my face said plenty because it wasn't more than a moment before Steven suggested, “Why don't I run to the store for you?”
“Good idea.” Max said, popping another piece of cheese into his mouth. “You might want to get some more grapes too.”
“Make a list.” Steven said as he picked up the car keys. “You're coming with me Max.”
“Why do I have to come?” Max asked.
I'd already grabbed a paper and pen and had opened the refrigerator to do a quick inventory. “You ate the whipped cream too!” I cried. “What did you do, dip the grapes in it?” I asked.
“No.” Max looked confused. “I ate it by the spoonful. That stuffs good.”
“I can't believe you!” I slammed the refrigerator door closed and began going through the pantry.
“Where's the box of crackers I just bought.” I turned to stare at Max.
“Don't look at me!” he cried. “I didn't even know we had crackers.”
That's when my other son, Alex walked into the kitchen with his hand in the box of crackers that was tucked under his arm.
“Are you kidding me!” I took the box from him and shook it. “It's almost empty!”
Alex looked confused. “They weren't for us to eat?” he asked.
“They're for company.” Steven and Max said in unison.
Alex looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry. I was hungry and that's all I could find to eat.”
“Maybe you should come with us.” Steven said as he took the list from me.
“Where are you going?”
“To the store.” Max said, then looked at me as I just stared at the three of them. “If any of us stays here I'm pretty sure she's going to explode.”

“I'll get my shoes.” Alex said as he backed out of the kitchen.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


It was time to call it a night and Steven walked over to our bedroom window to close and lock it
before putting on the heat.
“Why don't we just leave the window open tonight?” I asked.
“But it might rain.” he said.
“I was just watching the forecast and it's going to be a cool crisp night with no rain.”
Steven seemed to hesitate. “I don't know.” He still had his hand on the window.
“It's such a beautiful night out. Why waste the electricity?” I reasoned.
We'd spend so many months with the air conditioning on and we had some many months ahead of us with the heat that I just wanted one night of fresh air. But Steven didn't look convinced. “I guess we could try it for one night.” he said.
I smiled as I put an extra blanket on the bed. I could hear the rustling of the leaves. “Doesn’t that sound nice? All the pretty fall sounds will lull us right to sleep.”
Steven climbed into bed. “All I hear is a motorcycle gunning its engine.”
At first I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but once he'd mentioned it I could hear one way off in the distance. “Try to focus on the rustling of the leaves.” I said. “You'll be sleeping like a baby in no time.”
Steven is a pretty light sleeper so I can understand why he'd gotten used to blocking out the sounds with the air conditioning. But there comes a time when some fresh air needs to come into the house.
We were both sitting up in bed reading when one of the neighbor's dogs began to bark.
I tried to pretend I didn't hear it but Steven had put his book down and was staring at me so, it was hard to ignore him.
“I'm sure they'll bring him in soon.” I explained. “It's probably that last run of the night.”
“I'm not sleeping like a baby yet.” he complained as he closed his book, turned off his light and put a pillow over his head.
Once he seemed settled, I took the time to enjoy the fall sounds a bit more before I turned out my light and let the sounds lull me to sleep.
Halfway through the night we were both jolted out of our sound sleep.
“What's that smell?” I said as Steven jumped up to close the window. I felt as if I was choking.
“It's a skunk! Something must have scared it right outside our window.” he said.
We were both feeling sick as our room filled with the noxious odor.
Steven grabbed his pillow and a blanket. “I'm going in the living room.” he said.
“I'm right behind you.” I grabbed my pillow and blanket and headed down the hall.
“Well, you were right about one thing.” Steven said as he put on the heat and made sure all the windows were closed.
“What's that?”

“We are sleeping like babies.” He grabbed the television remote and began channel surfing. “Weren't our boys up every two hours for feedings when they were babies?”

Sunday, November 15, 2015


It was early morning and I was enjoying a cup of tea as I looked out my kitchen window and watched a gust of wind swirl a pile of leaves up into the air. They reminded me of a flock of starlings taking flight. Those swirling leaves also made me realize winter was coming. I pulled my robe closer around my neck as my husband, Steven came into the room.
“Good morning.” he said, as he grabbed a cup from the cabinet.
I pointed out the window, ready to show him the wind blown leaves, but when I opened my mouth to speak only a squeak came out.
Steven quickly looked over at me, “Are you sick?” he asked.
I cleared my throat, ready to tell him I felt fine. But when I went to speak again, still nothing came out but an odd sound.
I sighed as I put my cup on the counter and shook my head no. But that wasn't completely true. I had laryngitis. I didn't feel sick. No fever, no sore throat but losing my voice was something I'd had happen to me many times before.
“You're sick.” Steven stated as he slowly stepped away from me. “Are you staying home today?”
That was hard to decide. If history repeated itself, my voice would be gone for days. Did I really want to miss that much time at work? I looked at Steven as I shrugged my shoulders, then opened my mouth to give my answer, only to have my squeak come out.
“I have no idea what you just said.” Steven said. “Just shake your head yes or no.”
That's when Alex came into the room, “What's wrong with Mom?” he asked.
“She's sick.” Steven said.
I watched as Alex back away from me, “What's wrong with her?”
That's when my other son, Max walked into the kitchen. “Something's wrong with Mom?”
Alex wasn't sure there was enough distance between us so he backed up some more. “She's sick.” he said.
“What's she got?” Max asked.
“Why is everyone talking like I'm not here!” I yelled, but what came out was a bunch of tiny noises.
“What's that girl?” Max said with a laugh. “Timmy's in the well?”
Now all three of them were laughing and I was feeling like I had the plague.
“She's got laryngitis.” Steven answered for me.
“Is she contagious?” Alex wanted to know.
“She's got something.” Max answered. “I'd stay away from her.”
I was looking from one of them to the other wondering, once again, how I got into a household full of guys that made me feel like the den mother to a frat house.
“I'm still standing here!” I croaked.
“Did anyone understand what she just said?” Alex asked, then laughed.
“Nope.” Max said, then looked at his Dad who also shook his head, “Not a clue.” Steven answered.
They were all still laughing as I stomped off, frustrated.
“Do you think we pushed her too hard?” I could hear Alex ask Max and Steven as I went down the hall.
“I'm pretty sure we're on our own for dinner tonight.” Steven answered.
Now it was time for me to smile.
I was staying home from work, when I really didn't feel sick. I'd spend the day curled up on the couch, watching television and napping. Then someone was going to bring me dinner to my door.

It sounded like a perfect day for me, except for the fact that I couldn't tell anyone about it.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


It was a beautiful fall afternoon, the sun was at it's peak and I was once again admiring all the color in my backyard.
My husband, Steven walked in the room and stood next to me. “What are you looking at?” he asked.
“The trees are so pretty this year.” I said, sipping my cup of tea. “But my favorite one is our tada tree!”
Steven looked confused. “Tada tree?”
I pointed to the little tree on the side of our yard. “All our other sassafras trees turn yellow and a few turn orange. But that little guy is the only one that turns a brilliant red! I just love it!” I gushed. “I'm so glad we decided not to cut him down.”
When we first moved into this house, two summers ago, we were in the back yard with our tree guy trying to decide which trees should stay and which ones needed to go. When we got to the tada tree it seemed a given that it would be taken out. It was small, crooked and a little too close to the fence. But something about the tree, maybe because it had so many reasons why it should have come down, became the very reason I felt it needed to be saved. “That one stays.” I said.
I remember how surprised and our tree guy was. “Really? Are you sure? Your yard is full of sassafras trees and that one doesn't look like it's in very good shape.”
“I like it.” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “It reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.”
Now Steven looked confused. “What?”
I shrugged my shoulders again. “Someone just needs to show it some love.”
Steven just sighed and shook his head, then moved on the the next tree and it's fate.
I smiled, oddly happy that my strange little tree was staying.
Now Steven and I were standing at the window admiring it's brilliant color. “I feel like every fall that tree is thanking us for keeping it.” I looked at Steven and smiled. “It's saying “TA-DA!” with that burst of red. Reminding us what we almost gave up.”
“Is that what it's saying?” Steven asked.
“I'm serious.” I said as I bumped him gently with my hip. “Sometimes you just have to follow your feeling.” I explained. “Clearly I was getting a good feeling from that tree, it needed to stay, and now it's thanking us in the only way it knows how.”
“So are you getting any special feelings for that dead pine?” Steven asked as he pointed to the pine right behind the bird feeder. “I was planning on having the tree guys back to take it down.” Steven started to laugh. “I just wanted to make sure you weren't getting a vibe that maybe it should stay.”
“Laugh all you want.” I cried. “But I also fought for the lilac bush you and the tree guy thought should go.” I placed my tea cup in the sink then looked back at Steven. “Remember how beautiful it was this spring?”

Steven nodded in agreement then shrugged his shoulders. “It was nice.” he admitted.