Words for this week’s edition of Three Word Wednesday are:
Heartache Jangle Reckless
An Undeniable Love
My husband and I have a wonderful relationship, at least at this point in our marriage. Like most couples, we had our years of struggle finding a balance between the highs of our physical attraction and the lows of our emotional and financial needs. I find it interesting how our priorities have evolved as we have aged. Most days our biggest worry is keeping his cholesterol down. Now it is not so much about romance or that tingle I used to get, but how healthy we eat and how often we exercise. I have never considered myself a “cheater” but I must confess, I have not always been faithful . . .
I started this relationship many, many years ago. Although my dearest friends had no idea, I never really thought it was wrong. Well, maybe a little. Clandestine meetings for lunch were a treat. Once in awhile we would have dinner together. But mornings were my time to savor the passion he brought into my life. His smell before my shower was always enough to keep me going all day. Sometimes I would have to hold onto that memory for days before we could be together again. Holidays were out of the question. I knew my family would find his presence completely unacceptable. Although I was single, living in my own home, I had to keep my love a secret and endure the heartache of living a lie.
Then I met Tim. The magnetism between us was undeniable. Our physical attraction soon blossomed into a deep love. I found myself torn between a man who offered security, love, and daily companionship, and the one who had taken me to the highest peaks of passion for many years. Tim knew about my other relationship. As a couple progressing to the point of commitment to each other, we shared our pasts and our secrets. After several discussions, Tim said I would have to give up my first love for us to have a future together. I knew he was right. And I tried. I really did try.
A morning came when Tim showed up unexpectedly. I heard the jangle of his keys in the door and I froze. He walked in to find us sharing breakfast, with me wearing only a robe. To say he was disappointed in me is an understatement. I cried and pleaded with him to understand how difficult it was to just end this relationship. I even suggested that we all three could be together once in awhile. Other couples had that type of relationship and their marriages survived. But Tim said no. I had to choose. If I wanted to be with Tim I would have to give up my first love. After much soul searching, I knew what I had to do. I said goodbye and married Tim. I said goodbye, but I never forgot him.
The years went by and our marriage settled into one of contentment. I would sometimes think of my lost love but quickly pushed his memory aside. Then Tim changed jobs which required extensive travel. He would be gone days at a time, sometimes even the entire week. I am ashamed to admit it, but I could not resist the temptation of my long lost love. It all began innocently when I ran into him at the grocery. I knew at this point in my life rekindling our relationship would not only be wrong for my marriage, but would be harmful to the person I had become. But alas, my willpower to resist was just not there. We started to spend some evenings together. It wasn’t long before my forbidden love was staying for breakfast. All the passion of our past came rushing back. I was finally able to put a limit on our reckless involvement, but I know one day Tim will come home early and find us together. Sometimes the guilt overwhelms me. But for now, I continue. I keep telling myself I will give him up, but I don’t. How can I? After spending an evening together I wake to his salty taste still on my lips. His sweet smell still lingering… he always leaves me wanting more.
Yes, I am weak. I can not walk away from him again. But now Tim is getting ready to retire. What am I going to do? I will no longer have the opportunity for our secret rendezvous. But I truly love Tim and I don’t want to lose him either. The torment of my deception engulfs me as each day passes. I have to find a way to end this madness. I know I have to tell Tim. I have to confess my deceit and beg for his understanding. He has to understand how deep my love is for both of them. Even our dog loves both of them. Surely he will be able to see my affair has not harmed us. Yes, moderation has been the key. And Tim and I have always been responsible. We are in good health. Maybe, just maybe, he will be willing to accept my weakness and join me, if only occasionally, in my undeniable love of . . . BACON.
Sunday Scriblings writing prompt this week is “Junk”. Now we all have junk, we all want more junk, and my post is about how you can give away or get more junk free!
One Man’s Junk
An old adage states, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” and no organization has proven this more than The Freecycle Network. Beginning in 2003 in Tucson, Arizona, with 30-40 members who had a passion to keep usable items from landfills, the organization has grown to include 4,831 groups with over 6 1/2 million members all across the world. I joined our local group over 2 years ago and I am always amazed by the wonderful items that are given away by perfect strangers to perfect strangers. Of course, that is the organization’s mission:
Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.
Membership is free to belong to a local chapter/group in your area. Each group is moderated by a local volunteer who processes membership applications and moderates postings of items offered free or items wanted by a member. I will admit I have become more than a little aggravated when I see someone asking for a large screen television or becoming very specific in detailing what kind of couch they want, but all in all, most members requesting items are very humble and obviously in need. Freecycle estimates the giving and taking of its members keeps over 40 tons of items a day out of landfills. Now that is a lot of junk!
I have personally given away small appliances I no longer use, clothes, a bed, and a dog house. I have received a very nice wooden cradle for my niece, clothes for my nephew, a couch for my brother, a doll house for a neighborhood girl, and wind chimes for myself. I have seen through watching listings how fast items go. It has been a fun organization to belong to, and I would recommend everyone to sign up for a membership in your area. You just never now when the junk you have in your garage, closet, and basement would put a big smile on someone’s face. For more information, check out http://www.freecycle.org/ Our world becomes a better place to live when one man’s junk becomes another man’s treasure.
The words for Three Word Wednesday this week are:
Frustrate, Indecent, and Understand
A Comedy of Misjudgments
Sophia Loren, a sultry Italian sex symbol of the early 60’s, once said, “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” I agree with Miss Loren. I believe to have a full life one must understand it is the good times and wise decisions intermingled with the bad times and misjudgments that creates a full life, as long as we do not become overzealous in celebrating the positives and paralyzed through frustration with our negatives. I have found that being able to see humor in our mistakes is often the tempering agent that allows us to view these misjudgments as only parts of our full life. And sometimes, seeing the humor in the mistakes made by others also helps them overcome their embarrassment and frustration with themselves.
Yesterday was a day of misjudgments. In the late afternoon, I was frosting a sheet cake which I knew would probably go to waste even though we have two temporary houseguests staying with us. I glanced out the kitchen window and saw our neighbor Buzz mowing his lawn. Buzz lives across the street from us, with his home and two city lots sitting on a small knoll above street level. Our property slopes down from the street and our home sits at the bottom on two picket-fenced city lots. I was putting the finishing touches on the cake while the others in the household were watching the early evening news when I heard something on the news that caught my attention. I walked into the living room to catch the story, when I happened to look out the front windows and saw this riderless riding lawn mower back down over Buzz’s yard, cross the street, bump its way down over the bank, break through our picket fence and heading for our porch. One of its wheels caught the side of our flowerbed in the middle of the yard and turned the mower over on its side, sending it rolling down the yard. As soon as I saw it cross the street, I yelled, “What the hell!”
Everyone’s attention diverted from the television screen to the front windows in time to see the mower crash through the fence and eventually turn over and roll to a stop in front of our porch. We all burst into uncontrollable laughter! It was just not something you see everyday. We gained control of our laughter and walked outside to get a closer look. My 83 year old father quickly announced, “I’ll be damned, that’s Buzz’s lawn mower!”
He had no more than said that, when Buzz came walking around his house with a gas can in his hand. He stopped where he had left his mower, looked around and starting scratching his head. Although we could not hear him, the expression on his face told us he was thinking, “Now ,I know I left that mower here.” We stood on our porch, each trying hard not to, but finally broke out into indecent, howling laughter. Buzz looked in the direction of the noise and saw his mower, lying on its side in front of what had to appear as four laughing idiots. He ran down his knoll, crossed the street, and walked through the broken picket fence. By the time he reached his mower, he was laughing also.
So there we all stood, or I should say, there we all were, bent over and holding our sides to ease the pain of such a long and hearty laugh, when another neighbor came riding by on his bicycle on the street above us. Chester is a wonderful little man of 68 who lives further up the street and takes an evening bike ride almost everyday. Once he came within ear shot of our howling, he looked down to see the mower on its side in front of our porch with now five laughing hyenas moving about holding their sides and bellies. And yes, he was distracted too long and crashed his bicycle into the driver’s side door of a car parked on the street just past Buzz’s property line. Upon impact, he fell to the ground, bringing our laughter to an abrupt halt, but only momentarily. He was on the ground only a second or two, and then jumped to his feet like a spry thirty year old would and walked over to look at the broken fence. He raised both of his arms in the air, and yelled down, “What is so funny? You have a hole in your fence. Do you have holes in your head too?”
Well, that only proved to reopen the gates of hysterical laughter to five hyenas, which became contagious and overtook Chester. About that time, a woman I vaguely recognized came running out of Buzz’s neighbor’s home. She ran to what turned out to be her car and began to scream, “What’s so funny? There’s nothing funny in this. Somebody’s paying to have my car fixed!” – which only made everyone else laugh even harder, including her son-in-law who was on her heels but took a look at the entire scene before him, put the pieces together in his mind and immediately joined in the laughter.
It was like a scene out of Laurel & Hardy or the 3 Stooges – a chain reaction of stupid stuff nobody could ever dream would happen. I laughed so hard I wet my pants! And although they wouldn’t admit it, I think a few others did also. Within minutes, I think everyone who lives on the street was in our front yard, all laughing at the re-telling of the chain of events, except, of course, the visiting mother-in-law who stormed back into her daughter’s house. I figured she went to call the police, but I guess her daughter stopped her.
It was the funniest evening we have had in our neighborhood in a long time. Several of the men worked together and got Buzz’s mower turned over and pushed it back up to his yard, while two others helped Chester get his bike up and running. Then everyone got together and fixed the fence with the extra picket pieces and 2×4’s dad had in his workshop, most of which were already painted because he said you never know when we were going to need to replace a few pickets. That’s my dad, the original Boy Scout – always prepared.
And although I was never a Girl Scout, and not known for being overly prepared for the unexpected, I brought out my freshly baked sheet cake and it was gone in a matter of a few minutes, washed down with yet another retelling of the chain of events and cups of hot coffee to ward off the cool briskness of an October night. Yes, it was a hysterically funny evening in our neighborhood. We need to have a few more of them because, even though mistakes were made by a few, no one got hurt, everything got fixed, and everyone had so much fun, everyone that is except the visiting mother-in-law whose car door will be fixed by Chester’s homeowner’s insurance. I feel sad for her. While everyone else involved last night will look back and see how much fuller their lives were to be a part of this comedy of misjudgments, she will only remember her car door got dented in a neighborhood of laughing fools.
Monday Movie Meme gives a movie topic each week which readers may write about memories of a movie the prompt inspires. This week’s movie prompt is “True Romance”.
One of my all time favorite romantic movies is “On Golden Pond.” Although the movie came out in the early 80’s, and I was only in my 12th or 13th year of a twenty-two year marriage, it struck a cord in me, like a life-affirming valentine making promises of love ever after. I believe it was Roger Ebert, movie critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, who said at the time, “Watching the movie, I felt I was witnessing something rare and valuable.” That’s what I thought as I watched the interaction between Norman (Henry Fonda) and Ethel (Katherine Hepburn) – a love that endured the hardships of the early years of marriage, survived the disappointments of the middle years, and lived to fight in the golden years when the ravages of time becomes the enemy. That kind of love is rare and extremely valuable. I have been divorced from my first husband for almost as many years as we had been married, and it has been difficult to forgive him for many of the horrible and cruel things he did to our family, the least of which not being crushing the promise of love On Golden Pond.
Night of the Stalkers
The old woman, badly crippled from years of enduring the affects of rheumatoid arthritis, finally succumbed to exhaustion from many trips hobbling between the front and back doors of her home. She could not make another trip. With the resolve of a cornered cat ambushed by a pack of wild dogs, she pushed the heavy oak door leading to her porch wide open. She stood dead center under the muted security light, presenting an easy target to the sinister stalkers that had been circling her house for more than a half an hour.
“You want me? Come get me!” She screamed into the cold autumn night knowing she had no where to run and couldn’t even if she did.
“What are you waiting for? Not so tough now are you?” She taunted as the menacing shadows rustled through the leaves in her front yard.
“Cowards! You’re all gutless cowards!” She accused her faceless stalkers as they crept closer to her porch.
“Geez Mrs. Wilson, if you didn’t want to pass out candy you shouldn’t have left your porch lights on.”
The woords this week are: fallow, limit, vocal
An Encounter with Destiny
Lisa fidgeted with her drink, taking a sip and then stirring it aimlessly with the stir stick. She wondered why it was called a stir stick when it wasn’t a stick at all, but rather a miniature straw. She realized her thoughts were becoming fragmented. She had decided to take a break from her holiday shopping to gather her thoughts and relax with a short one. She needed to check her list and organize her plan for the stores to visit next. Her heart wasn’t in the holiday spirit this year. Her life had become fallow, empty and meaningless since the discovery of her husband’s affair last summer. A short one soon turned into three, verified by two sticks lying beside her napkin and the one in her drink. She had learned months ago to keep the sticks. Four sticks were her limit. She felt the tension draining from her shoulders, maybe she would only need three sticks today.
Brian sat across the bar, watching the attractive brunette become lost in her thoughts as each drink penetrated her troubled soul. He saw her come in almost an hour before and knew instantly she would be the one today. She was tall and thin, dressed in an expensive tailored suit, quite the contrast from the pudgy blond waitress five days before, and the auburn librarian ten days before who wore an unneeded girdle. He had become quite good at reading their signs; a stiffness in their stride breaking the natural swing of their hips, slight furrows etched across their forehead from the disappointments in their lives, the anxious fumbling for money in their purse as they ordered their drink thinking the relief would come quicker if the money was ready. He gave himself a private salute as he watched her take the first sip. Her eyes closed and only a slight tremor was noticeable as the cool liquid slid down her throat. A glance at his watch told him she had denied herself the relief she desperately needed for a full half hour, it was 12:30. He resisted the urge to laugh at the rationalizations they used. If they didn’t have a drink before noon, then they did not have a problem. If they gave themselves a limit, they didn’t have a problem. Brian’s intuition was rewarded when he watched her place the first stir stick beside her napkin as she pushed her glass forward on the bar for a refill. He figured her to be a four drink limit. He would wait until she was half way through her third drink before making his move. His had perfected his pattern. He would take a seat on her right, engage in quiet small talk, insist on buying her a drink, and discretely remove one of the sticks as he distracted her attention. She would accept his generous offer three more times, thinking she still had one more drink before her limit was reached. She would then be ready to meet her destiny.
The bartender placed drinks in front of them. He never tired of watching men move in for the kill. He had picked up a few moves himself from watching bored housewives be seduced by afternoon don wans. Most were very vocal, loud and obnoxious. But this one was a smooth operator. He chuckled to himself as he watched the slight of hand movement remove one of her stir sticks. “Yes, this guy was good,” he thought to himself as he picked up the morning newspaper to ease the boredom of a slow afternoon and began reading the headline story:
Authorities Deny Rumors of a Serial Killer in our Mist
This week’s prompt is “First Kiss.” So much happens throughout a lifetime, it is hard to remember all the good times. But, there are some moments that you never forget. My first kiss was one of those. I wrote this story a year or so ago for Slice of Life Sunday, but decided to pull it out of the closet and dress it up a bit. I hope it brings back wonderful memories for you as it did for me.
This Magic Moment
The summer of 1963 was a summer of discovery for me. We had moved from the country to a small town with a population of 200, although to me it was like moving to New York City. We rented a house that was located next door to the VFW and directly across the street from the drug store, the hardware store, and the post office, thus, giving us access to all the comings and goings of everyone in town. I had attended the local elementary school for six years so I knew all the town kids but had never interacted with them outside of the school day. Now I was able to ride my bike all over town and discover all I had missed being a farm girl.
I spent much of my time those hot summer days with my friend Loretta. Loretta lived at the far end of town and had a playhouse of sorts in the barn located behind her house. We would hang out in the barn and listen to 45’s on her record player. Loretta taught me that a scratched record could still be good to listen to by taping a nickel on the arm of the diamond head so it could play through the scratches. Loretta also introduced me to roller skates, the silver metal ones that attached to your shoes and could be adjusted and tightened with a turn of the special “skate key.” As hard as I tried, I could not master roller skating. I didn’t do too badly if I held on to Loretta’s hand, but as soon as she let go, I fell instantly to the sidewalk, usually skinning an elbow or knee on the way down. I didn’t mind the bruises though because Loretta’s mom would bandage my wounds and make us grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup for lunch. I loved this new sandwich, and it is one of my favorites to this day. Yes, Loretta definitely broadened my horizons that summer, especially since she also introduced me to her older brother Terry.
Terry was one year older than us and he had gone to the junior high school the previous school year. Terry would come out to the barn and tell us all about junior high. I was a little apprehensive about going to the new school in the fall as it combined students in seventh and eighth grade from three elementary schools. Although I was interested in getting some insider information on what to do and where to go, I soon became more fascinated by Terry for other reasons. He had black hair like Elvis. He was quite the show off when he sang along with the Elvis records. Needless to say, I developed quite a crush on Terry and I was soon to learn the feeling was mutual.
When I first moved into town, Loretta and I would meet on Saturday night at the local movie theatre. It was not important what movie was playing, regardless of what it was, we always went every Saturday night. By the middle of July, Terry came with Loretta and we would all sit together to watch the movie. I sat in the middle since it was not cool for Loretta to be seen sitting beside her brother at the movies. The second Saturday night Terry joined us, Alfred Hitchcock’s, The Birds, was playing. I was not fond of scary movies, but, it was Saturday night. During the movie, Loretta whispered to me she was going to the restroom and would get us some more popcorn while she was out. I knew she didn’t like scary movies either and figured she was just using this as an excuse to escape. After she left, I whispered this information to Terry. It was about this time in the movie when the school kids are sent home and the birds start attacking them. I, along with others in the theatre, screamed. Terry grabbed my hand and I held on for dear life. At some point, he put his arm across my shoulders and I took full advantage to bury my head into his chest during the remaining scary parts of the movie. After the movie ended, we all walked outside talking about how scary the movie was. I lived just down the street and could see my house as we stood in front of the theatre. Just as we said our goodnights, with Terry and Loretta leaving in an opposite direction to their home, I huge flock of birds flew over. Everyone, and I mean everyone, regardless of age, began running and screaming. I think I ran all the way home without taking a breath. As I crawled into bed an hour or so later, I was trembling, but not because of the birds
My fear of the birds had subsided and a new anxiety took their place. I remembered how Terry pulled me close with one arm when I buried my head in his chest. I remembered how he smelled and how safe I felt in his arms. I had never been that close to a boy. I had crushes on boys before but not like the one I was feeling for Terry. My body tingled as I remembered how strong his arms felt wrapped around my shoulders. I remembered how he placed his hand across my eyes to shield me from the picture on the big screen and I could almost feel his hand on my face. I began to giggle as wondered if this is what love felt like. I finally fell asleep saddened that the next day was Sunday. I could hardly wait for Monday to come so I could visit Loretta, or more correctly, because I knew I would see Terry again.
Monday was always laundry day. I had to do my chores before I was allowed to go out to play. That seems silly to say now since play was about to take on a whole new meaning. I finished hanging the last load of clothes on the line just after lunch. Despite the heat of the day, I removed my waist-length hair from its ponytail and brushed it until it shined. I hopped on my bike and headed towards Loretta’s house. I could feel my hair flying in the wind as I pedaled as fast as I could. Once there, I went straight to the barn as I could hear the music playing. I walked in and saw Terry getting ready to put another stack of 45’s on the record player. Loretta was not there. I said hello and asked if Loretta was in the house. Terry shook his head no and said their mom took Loretta to get her hair cut. He said they should be back soon and I could listen to records with him while I waited for her, if I wanted to.
“If I wanted to? Was he crazy?” my adolescent hormones screamed in my brain while I outwardly replied, “Oh, sure,” and calmly walked over to see what records he had selected.
We looked through the records together, our fingers occasionally touching as we passed the records back and forth between us, sending little bolts of electricity to my toes. “That sure was a scary movie the other night” he said. “Yes, it scared me half to death.” I replied. “Yeah, I noticed,” he said smiling as his eyes met mine.
I started to look away in embarrassment but something inside me made my eyes return to his. “Yeah, I was pretty scared. I hope I wasn’t too much of a bother.”
“Oh no, I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind at all” he assured me.
“Well, I hope my being so scared didn’t ruin the movie for you. I know boys like that kind of movie. They like being scared, but girls don’t.” I stammered.
“Oh no, you didn’t ruin the movie for me. I like sitting with you at the movies. You are very pretty you know” he replied as he set the stack of records he was holding down on the table without taking his eyes from mine.
“Ummm, no, I didn’t know that. I mean I guess I am ok looking.” I stammered again.
“No, you are very pretty. I think you are the prettiest girl I have ever known.” he said as he stepped closer to me.
At that moment I became stricken with terror as I realized he was going to kiss me. I had never been kissed by a boy. I had seen it done in movies and wondered what it would be like. I even practiced kissing my pillow a few times. But this wasn’t my pillow. This was Terry with the black hair like Elvis. Terry, who had the aroma of a summer rain. Terry who held me close to protect me when I was scared.
All of these thoughts were swirling in my mind as I watched his face come closer to mine. I heard the changer on the record player drop the last record and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” began to play. He put his fingers under my chin and pulled my face up to meet his. Just as his lips touched mine, he closed his eyes. I closed my eyes and felt the tenderness of his lips.
Our “relationship” lasted a few more weeks until Terry gave me a ring he purchased at the drug store. I was so excited to be his “girlfriend” that I did not consider what my parents would think. My mother was not pleased and made me give the ring back. I was no longer allowed to sit with him at the movies. School started and we rode the same bus to the junior high but we did not sit together. He soon moved on to another girl and forgot all about me. Although we live in the same area today, and run into each other from time to time, I would be surprised if he remembers our brief encounter with young love. But, I do. The innocence and sweetness of that first kiss was a magical moment I will never forget.