Girls Without Shoes

September 29, 2008

Heroin Charly

His name is Heroin Charly and he helped to kill my husband. I don’t mean that my husband is physically dead, at least not yet. It was only a matter of time in my opinion. I mean how many 60 year old junkies do you see walking around? Not many if you think about it.

Charly was not really the blame, at least not by himself. He was killing himself too. You can always blame the “Pusher Man” (remember that old song?), or you can blame the drug itself. You can even blame genetics if it makes you feel better, after all it is a disease. You can blame your wife, your life, your job or your God. It really comes down to choice. Blame the choice, and that is all.

Not being an actual addict, you would think I could not possibly understand. Oh how wrong. I have lived with it in my life for 35 years. I have watched it change from a “softer” drug to the hardest possible. I have helplessly watched those choices change. I have watched the man himself change, slowly morphing into someone else, with only occasional traces of the original guy left.

I watched it, fought it, despised it, and cried over it. I intervened. It worked for a very short time. Then along came relapse, an ugly monster. I was no match for any of this and I knew it. I was tired.

Away, he went. I sent him away from me. Out of my face. I cannot watch it anymore, cannot live with it in my face anymore. For some years I was told , “You hold the key.” When I used the key, I was told, “you can’t bail out now.” “Oh watch me,” I cry, “just watch me.” …… “But it is a disease, he needs your support…..” “Where was my support for 35 years?”, I cry.

I enjoy the quiet, enjoy the air smelling sweeter. I take back my home and hang new curtains, change something, anything. I feel more relaxed. I write and then write some more. I find something inside of me awakening, almost blossoming. No, not mid-life crisis, just………possibilities. That is it. Hope. I feel giddy sometimes with hope and possibilities for my future. I also feel selfish, but know that is the demon side of his addiction. It is not my addiction, though I played a role. Now I have stepped out of my designated role. That is what my best friend told me. She is right.

When I see him, he looks sick. He looks like crap. I feel sad for him, so very sad that he has wasted his life. I feel sad that his possibilities are squashed, like a bug, by The Choice. My heart wrenches some, but my heart does not have too many wrenches left in it. A heart can actually become “wrenched out”, so to speak.

A good captain goes down with his ship. I am not a captain and he is not my ship, but captain of his own ship. I do not hold the “Key”, at least not for him. Only for myself. He holds his own “Key”. Now it remains to be seen what he chooses to do with that “Key”.

I saw Heroin Charly yesterday. I tried not to look at him, but he approached me. In his hand, he held a long stemmed pink rose that he had picked from someone’s yard. He reached out his hand and offered me the rose. I hesitated, and then took the rose. Charly said, “Be careful, watch out for the thorns.” His eyes were full of meaning. Maybe it was guilt, or sadness, or understanding, after all he did not ask to be an addict either. I looked at him square in the eye and said, “Thank you Charly, I always watch out for Thorns.” I took the rose and turned and walked away. I deserved that rose. I am, after all, a Heroin Widow.

September 28, 2008

Princess Witch Woman

Filed under: fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized,Yarns — girlswithoutshoes @ 5:02 am
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There were two witches who lived in the woods, one of them bad and one of them good………………………”

She is part Princess and part Witch. The Princess part comes not only from her good looks, but from certain things in her soul. The Witch part comes out with her very quick temper and her sharp tongue, which can result in a Princess Witch’s wrath being turned upon you in an instant. The shrieking and flinging of her body at you is in complete opposition to the beautiful Princess side of her nature.

The Princess and Witch side both come in with the men. Men love them. Young and old. It does not matter. Young ones would follow her around drawn to her, sensing the magic that she holds inside. Old ones would propose to her. Others would fall under her spell, becoming obsessed with her, though she may not ever give them another thought. They just cannot help themselves. She would just look at them in a certain way, or crook her finger and they were helpless against her powers.

Now, let me explain more to you about Princess Witch Women. They are delicate creatures in some ways and very strong in others. They will cry at the drop of a hat, or fight you tooth and nail for their families, for their rights, or for your love if necessary. Princess Witch Women crave love and affection. It is necessary for their very existence, for them to even feel alive. Without it, they can wither and die inside and it is not pretty.

Princess Witch Women need extra tender loving care for their souls to thrive. I am not talking about in a material sort of way. They will give you their all, their everything special in return with no regrets as long as their needs are being met in the ways needed. It does take a Special Prince. One with integrity, a deep thinker. One compassionate, strong, with a passion for his woman, and family. Sounds like the perfect man to me, what do you think?

Ahhh, if only there were a Man Store to be had, we princess witches would have no problem. Just order up. There would be no fighting with your mate, no insecurities, no hidden feelings, or secrets of evil nature. The Special Prince would be the spiritual leader , making all things as they should be within that family. It sounds too good to be true, too perfect, like heaven. Maybe it is heaven. I hope that is there also.

A Princess Witch Woman can be the most idyllic lover, friend, wife and mother , given the other half of her soul is there . Special Princes tend to quiet the witch side of us, nourishing our princess side, bringing forth all the beauty within.

Many Princess Witch Women are missing this other half of themselves, are yearning for it. Many are so disappointed and disillusioned ,that they give up their quest often settling for less than is meant for them in their lives. It is a complete shame when this happens as all are affected. Robbed of what can and should be. This makes Princess Witch Woman very sad, often very bitter and angry. Some even living their lives looking and becoming more and more the Witch part, the Princess part being tucked away a little more each day.

Ohhh, if only our men knew…. They believe Princess Witches are so complex, which is true, however what we need from them is so simple . We women get it, why can’t they? The most horrid part of it is that we are aware of the loss, even if we never had a glimpse of it. We just know. We just sense that special part is missing. We grieve and cry and yearn for it. Such a silly shame, such a loss. If a Princess Witch truly finds her Special Prince, she will never take him for granted, but treat him with oh, such love and respect befitting a King.

Yes, in my heaven there will not be a Man Store, but that Special Prince that is chosen just for me. That Special Prince who will respect, encourage, love, cherish and nurture me , leading and providing for me in the ways that are necessary. It will not matter if he is good looking on the outside. On the inside the specialness will be there, bringing forth all the possibilities and inner beauty that this Princess Witch Woman holds inside, awakened and released with just one kiss…………………….

This is for all of my Princess Witch Sisters out there, you know who you are…………………………….

September 26, 2008


Filed under: fiction,short pieces,Yarns — girlswithoutshoes @ 7:08 pm
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I first saw her at the general store, hanging around the phone booth like she was waiting for a call. She was very black, extremely pregnant and obviously had been on the road for quite sometime. Poor little homeless thing, I thought. My heart went out to her, as I passed her and went back to my home. I sent a silent prayer up, “Please Dear Lord, please help her”.

I could not get her out of my mind, thinking she looked sickly. Aw, not my problem, besides I was not in a position to help financially. But still and all, she crept back into my mind. I kept seeing her face and I worried that she was hungry.

I became so obsessed with the fact that I finally went back to that phone booth to see if she was still there. Maybe, I could just give her a little bit to eat and that would help her to her next destination.

She was still there hanging around the phone booth. The way she looked hungrily at each person that came out from the store broke my heart. The look on her face was of expectation, like they had a prize for her or something. Several people stopped to say a few words to her, others just looked at her and turned their backs, not caring to look further.

I sucked in my breath and stepped over next to her. Her hair was pretty dirty and had a few weeds tangled in it like she had been sleeping in a field. Good thing it was still summertime. Her feet looked pretty worn. Her face was strained looking. I said, “Hi there sugar, you poor little thing, do you not have a place to go?”.

I was really thinking, “Oh you poor little thing, all knocked up and no place to go”. I wanted to hug her as she turned to look at me, but instead put my hand out to her, which she took, and surprisingly she wrapped her arms around my neck. I could not have been more shocked. There was something desperate about her.

I made her come to my house and fed her lunch and milk, (mostly for the baby, ya know)? She then went and washed up, looking fresher after some of the road dust came off. She was really quite pretty in a sort of exotic feline type of way. Street smart was written in her eyes, surely necessary due to her experiences.

She ended up staying with my family for quite some time. My husband was not too thrilled about the idea of a new guest in our home but was won over eventually by the sweet side of her nature. Sugar became a fitting name.

She was interesting. I wondered about her past. I never found out anything from her. I could not tell her age and she did not offer it. She had a timeless look about her, young looking in one way, yet old and wise in another. She really did not need anybody, though the day I found her she was weak from hunger. She was a survivor.

She quickly fit into our family’s routine and our neighborhood. Everyone seemed to be her friend. She began visiting the hardware store, befriending the men that hung out there telling lies to each other. Sometimes she would be gone all day. She was a friendly girl that is for sure.

My little girl loved her so much. She called her “Mama Sugar”. Sugar loved her too and was very good with little children. She could get my daughter to quiet down and take her nap. She was comforting to her I guess.

There was something wrong with her labor and the baby or should I say babies. There was more than one, one that did not make it. It was so tiny, not quite formed as it should be. We buried the wee thing on our property and marked it with a headstone carved out of wood. I believe the lack of proper nutrition during her pregnancy contributed to that. She did have a huge appetite, but it seemed like I could not fill her up. Miss Sugar did become a wonderful mother though to the surviving.

I found that Sugar did have a penchant for collecting socks and gloves and scarves. Maybe it was a providing type thing that came over her after the pregnancy, a nurturing type of thing, collecting things for her offspring. I am not sure. Maybe she just wanted to be warm.

I began finding gloves of all sorts placed around the house. I just thought they were mine, that I or my baby girl had dropped them. I would just shake my head and pick them up and toss them into this huge basket I kept in my kitchen for odds and ends. I thought it was the same gloves that I was picking up over and over as they were the same color. This was not the case.

A neighbor lady came to my door one day with a story of missing gloves. Many pairs of missing gloves. She described the gloves and the footprints left in the neighborhood gas station which she owned. She showed me the footprints left, and they could very well have belonged to Sugar. Oh my goodness, she was a thief! I looked into my big basket and found 6 pairs of gloves, all matching, all fitting the gas station lady’s description. They belonged to her. What the heck did Sugar want with all of these gloves? I gave them back and apologized and gave Sugar a lecture about stealing from others and how wrong it was. The lady did not press charges, thank God.

Sugar stayed with us a while longer, and then one day just moved on. We did not know where, she did not tell us, she just disappeared. I missed her terribly, missed her company, I wondered what had happend to her and hoped and prayed that she was alright. I figured she just one day got a ride with a stranger to her next destination. Apparently she had itchy feet. Her name should have been Gypsy.

I never heard from her again, but a few years later, I picked up the local newspaper and saw this article about a black cat in a neighborhood with missing gloves and socks. A lady had put up a clothesline in her front yard for the neighbors to claim their missing items.  It sure sounded like Sugar, though I could never be sure. I left it alone as it sounded like if it was her she was extremely happy and doing well in her new diggs.

I wonder from time to time if she had moved on again, which I suspect she did. Keep your eye out, watch your gloves and your socks and scarves too. If you suspect a shortage of these particular items, Sugar may have moved into your neighborhood for a time. Just long enough to move into your life, stealing not only your socks and gloves, but stealing a piece of your heart too.

September 13, 2008


Filed under: short pieces,Yarns — girlswithoutshoes @ 11:33 pm

” Hello please leave a message after the tone”. Mimmy thought the default voice on the answering machine was a real man in her cousins house. She didn’t get it. She had called the same number at least 5 times and always the same man’s voice came on . “Who is this? I’m trying to reach Polly and what are you doing in her house?” She was getting mad and really worked up now. She had always heard Polly’s voice on the machine when she had called before, she did not understand that there was a pre-recorded voice already on these answering machines.

She decided to walk down to her cousin’s house and see what this man was doing there. How dare Polly not tell her she had a man friend ? It kind of made her jealous. It had been a little while since Mimmy had been divorced and the last man friend she had was the maintenance man in her old apartment building. She pronounced it “Maintmenman” all one word.

Mimmy only developed so much mentally and emotionally after the age of 11, when witnessing her Mother’s death at the old homestead. It was of natural causes, however it did quite a number on Mimmy’s young mind as she was alone with her when it happened. It was kind of like it stunted her in the head. The children in her family were farmed out to different cousins to be raised after that.

Mimmy went to her cousin Polly’s family. She and Polly were like sisters. Later after the teenage years, Polly was looked at more like her older sister, almost a mother figure. Mimmy could become jealous of Polly’s relationship with her husband wanting the same for herself. She called Polly’s husband “Big Daddy”. Sometimes this annoyed Polly, especially when Mimm would drawl it out in an almost sensual way, “Hey Big Daaaaadddy.” Polly knew it was an ignorant innocence on Mimmy’s part, but you can only have so much patience. She loved Mimmy dearly, but sometimes, oooohhh Mimmy could really drive her to want to drink (not that she was a drinkin’ woman ).

Mimmy grew up to be quite beautiful to look at and brought plenty of male attention her way without trying. Polly and her husband felt the need to protect Mimmy, but Mimmy got pregnant ( pregum” in Mimmyspeak) anyway by a young man who neither cared about her or wanted their unborn baby. Polly’s hubby introduced an older man who was a drinking buddy of his at the tavern, and they ended up married very soon after that. He was about 30 years older than Mimmi, but was a father and husband to her and her son Lee-Lee. He was quite an odd one also, being a cast off from some gypsy family.

Mimmy was the babysitter of Polly’s children and some of the grandchildren in the years following. You could not ask for a better babysitter. She was so childlike in someways and the kids loved her. She had a saying “I watch them like a hog” (though she meant hawk). She and the kids would play and dance around and have the greatest time while their parents were gone. The kids loved it, they got to do lots of things they would not normally do, like have sword fights with curtain rods and run through the house. Their father was quite strict and never let them leave the yard, so Mimmy time was fun time for them.

Her emotions were not easily controlled, and when the grandmother of the family died, Mimmy fell on the floor screaming and pulling at her hair. You would have thought she was either possessed by a devil or by the holy spirit himself the way she carried on. This made Polly so mad, she kicked at her ordering her up off the ground. No one but Polly could make Mimmy get back in control. It was quite a sight.

As Polly’s children grew into young adults, Mimmy seemed to get a crush on one of the handsome young sons, Jiggs. She would make excuses to stop by many times during the day to ask where he was. Polly put a lid on that nonsense right away. Poor Mimmy she seemed to crave male attention whether from young or old, it did not matter. Polly and her husband watched over her and her son after Mimmy’s old man husband passed away 12 years into the marriage. He was in his 80’s when he died and she was just barely 50 years old.

Mimmy would from time to time have some man move into her house, most of them were as repulsive as she became in her older years. Her body shape changed to mostly belly, very thin hair with bald spots, sores on her arms and legs due to extreme diabetes and skin disorders losing her eyesight eventually. Her son Lee-Lee took care of her to the best of his ability, in between fly fishing, and flying his kite.

One summer day it was over 100 degrees and Mimmy could be seen sitting cross legged in a child’s wading pool in front of her home cooling herself off. This was Lee-Lee’s answer to no air conditioning.

Mimmy left this world with some bright spots though. She had the funniest way of saying things. She loved to go camping and would recite every bit of food that she brought along. She would say “we got onion, we got potato, we got sketti and we got noodos too. ”   “Sketti- noodos” came to take on more than one meaning to the family later on. If someone was labeled as crazy, they were also known as “sketti-noodos”. It fit perfectly.

There were lots of other things. At a family birthday party, Mimmy had brought her tea-cup sized poodle with her. A friend asked her what the tiny dog ate.  Mimmy ticked off  “Oh he eat everything, he eat onion, and tomato and lettuce too. ” The friend asked “What is he a vegetarian?”.  Mimmy replied very seriously, “Ooh no, he a tea-cup poodo”. Many laughs at her cute innocence were had over the years.

She also had a little dog whose name was Blackie. She was once overheard yelling at the dog , “Blackie on three, or your hide is purple”. She was trying to get the dog to go outside to potty. “On three” became a staple with the family also.

Mimmy also “cheezed her freeze” speaking of the free government cheese handed out during President Reagan’s regime.

She would get “tipsy” at family holiday parties on one sip of punch, even if there was no alcohol in it, and would laugh and dance herself silly.

Her make up left something to be desired, as it was a little clownish in nature. Eyebrows were drawn on darkly , giving her a very surprised look, almost freakish in nature. Eyeshadow was in the most garish blues and greens and way too dark. Her cheeks were always too red. At times she wore a goofy looking wig thinking she looked so nice. Still you could see that she was once a pretty young girl if you looked hard enough.

She often smelled of cooking oil as she liked to fry everything and not open her windows or doors. It was tolerable unless she had cooked fish the night before. She liked to spray cheap perfume on over it, the odors being be quite incompatible.

Mimmy was big hearted and generous to a fault. She had a charge account at the local hardware store and bought the family expensive gifts at Christmas from there, though she had little enough money. You would also see her every so often carrying a big bouquet of flowers down the street for Polly.  She always told Polly “I love you”.  A day would not go by with out Mimmy saying “I love you” to Polly, at least by telephone if not in person.  Her sing-song voice would grate on Polly’s nerves as she heard from Mimm for the 7th time that same day.

So today, when the man kept answering Polly’s phone for her, Mimmy set out to see who he was and the nerve of him answering her cousin’s phone.  The nerve of Polly for not telling her she had a boyfriend (they were both widows now).

Mimmy stopped to pick some huge purple and white lilacs as they were blooming all over their lane and smelled so good. Polly and she lived on the same street so it did not take her long to get there.  She knocked on Polly’s screen door, first stopping to fluff her wig a little bit, then trying to see inside. Polly came to the door and Mimmy said, “Where is that man you are hiding?” “Oh for cripe’s sake Mimm, do you really think I have a man in here? I heard your silly messages, that is the voice that comes on the answering machine.” Polly replied in disgust.

Mimmy just looked at her sweetly and said “are you sure there is no man in here?”, patting her wig again (she did so love the men). “I was worried”.  She handed Polly the big bouquet of lilacs, and said with a little lilt in her voice “I looovvve you”……………..

Purple represents first love

White Lilacs represent innocence.

September 11, 2008

Dodging the Paper Girl

Filed under: short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 10:07 pm
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I recently had the experience of riding along on my daughter’s paper route. Her route could begin anywhere from between 1:00 a.m. , when the papers arrived, until as late as 5:00 a.m. If, by 6:00 a.m. there were no papers, the phone started ringing at home and continued until their arrival. People could be quite passionate about their morning paper. It was right up there in importance with their coffee and eggs!

This was my second excursion with Sally on the route, however this morning was different than the first. Today we left at 5:00 a.m. , the procrastinator’s hour. Oh sweet sleep that does not want to give us up!

As I shut the door to her pickup, I noticed the stars and the Big Dipper. I prefer a later waking time myself, but there was a quiet beauty this time of morning. Sally had already picked up her papers and slapped a pile on my lap. She turned on a C.D. ,some of that rap stuff, and we were off.

First we putted along the river road. Sally would pull over on my side every so often. I would quickly fold the paper, crank down my window, and slip it in the blue paper box with the pink flagging. Sometimes the boxes were very close together. I would slip one in, then Sally would inch the truck forward until I could reach the next box, slipping in one after another. Usually 4 in a row were the most at one stop.

Her route began at the river road, back across the bridge to the rural highway that ran out of town. Next would come Sam’s Creek, a dark, curling dirt road that went part way up the mountain. I was wondering who the heck Sam was, half expecting to see bear up there, or cougar at least. Instead we spotted a skunk scurrying away with his feathered tail stuck up high like a flag. Glad we didn’t hit him. I did not have enough coffee in me yet to deal with skunk perfume.

Sally backed the pick up down and turned onto one of the creek’s side roads that led back down to the highway, stopping here and there at the boxes, sometimes on my side, sometimes on hers. She pulled back onto the highway, crossing over from time to time to the left side boxes. Once as she was backing up a little, getting ready to pull into the highway, a motorcyclist came flying around the corner. He panicked at the sight of us and swerved scarily away. He then pulled over like he was going to back up and give us what for, but we just locked our doors and continued on. Whew, that was a little hairy.

Sally explained to me the downfalls of leaving later in the morning. Garbage trucks could be another problem, especially if they were in front of you. Sally avoided passing them, as she had heard tales of the robotic arm of the garbage truck ripping through a school bus. She was not taking any chances with those beasts. The garbage cans could also get in your way.

We drove out in the valley past barns, and pastures. We passed the area where the Elk could sometime be seen crossing the road. Elk were so large, they could be pretty startling. It would not do to hit one of them. Great damage could be done.

I noticed my daughter’s keen eye sight as we turned into a gated community’s winding drive. Sally pointed out deer and jackrabbits to me more than once. Raccoons and possums were frequent fliers also.

Occasionally some early bird would be waiting impatiently for his paper at the end of his driveway, while other folks waved as they left their homes early for work. Sometimes turning around on a sloped area would make Sally’s truck stall.

I was impressed with my daughter’s prowess in weaving in and around the back country roads, shifting up, shifting down, backing up and avoiding hitting fences, mailboxes and the like. Her patrons like her, and tip her often.

As we finished and headed back to town, Sally’s truck picked up speed nicely, smoothly sailing back towards home. We passed a sign that said “Adopt a Highway”. By then we only wanted to adopt some biscuits and gravy and head off to bed for a while.

Ah, the secret life of a paper girl…………. Maybe, when you are out in the wee hours of the morning, you will think of it, remembering that she, could be my Sally-O, my daughter, my heart. Maybe you will think of how she swiftly weaves back and forth from box to box, quietly slipping the morning’s news to you, dodging different obstacles from time to time. Maybe you will remember that you may even have to dodge the paper girl yourself………………….

Little Boy of the Mountains

Filed under: short pieces,Yarns — girlswithoutshoes @ 8:51 pm
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There was something about Toby Tom. He had red hair that stuck up in unruly cowlicks. His enormous green eyes gave him a look of innocence. His cheeks were chubby and his grin quite impish.

Toby Tom was about 10 years old the first time I laid eyes on him. He was slight in stature, but mighty in mouth. I have never heard a little boy cuss like him. He had the foulest mouth on a child that I had ever heard. Toby could cuss a blue streak that would have made any sailor proud, that could make a mother grab her bar of soap up in a hurry and clamp her hands over little ears.

Still, he was so adorable. You know, those kind of little boys who reel you in with their cuteness, and you just fall in love with them. That kind of boy whose big grin melts your heart, who could wrap you around his finger whilst slipping a frog down your back at the same time, and you don’t even care.

He was and is to this day a real “rascal”, born after his time I believe, and grown too soon. Toby had one of those laughs that you caught and must join in with, helplessly gasping for breath after.

Hunting was Toby’s idea of fun, along with necessity. He seemed part boy, part mountain lion, stealthy in the hunt , providing much fresh game, fish and wild mushrooms to his family’s table.

Toby could mimick a turkey’s call perfectly himself, and had more than one turkey in love with him. Little did his turkey lovers know, they were destined for his Mother’s dining table!

At times Toby seemed fearless, like the time he shot a black bear many times his size that had been tramping around his property. The small boy later became known as “Toby the Bear ” around his parts.

Toby and his father would go into town every few weeks. While his father was having a beer at the tavern, Toby was hanging around the general store, swapping stories with the other young boys. He was quite an instigator, telling so and so that his older brother (who later became my husband), would kick their butts, taking bets on it. More than one fight was started in this manner. Toby would get it going, and his brother would have to step in and finish it. Toby always left town with a few coins more in his pockets.

Toby and I grew quite fond of each other as the years went by. I watched him grow from a small boy into a fine man. When he married, he brought his bride to the family’s “mountain”.

There was a stubborn streak in him and he would badger a person until they wanted to go crazy! He could be relentless like a dog with a bone, or a little dog that nipped at the cow’s heels, growling and carrying on about something that bothered him.

One day, I had put a pan of cornbread in the oven and Toby just kept after his wife about something until he had her in tears, badgering her to death so that I could not even stand it! Before I could think twice, I had picked up the empty batter bowl and slung it hard, just missing his head and hitting the kitchen door.

Toby just looked at me in surprise, laughed and walked out the door. I was so shocked and upset by my actions, that I ended up crying and feeling the fool.

We had many go ’rounds over the years. We were family by marriage, and friends by choice. I found that I would always be able to count on the Little Boy of the Mountains, my brother-son, my Toby Bear to be there when I needed him.

Red Haired Boy
R. Arbo

If I was a red-haired boy, tell you what I’d do
I would kiss all the girls before I got to you
If I was a red-haired boy, never go to school
I would spend all the day down at Codfish Pool

Red haired boys will trick you
Red haired boys are mean
Red haired boys can make the girls do most anything

Except one red haired boy I knew, many years ago
Way up in the mountains where the preachers never go
Eyes as blues diamonds, he walked barefoot through the snow
And that red-haired boy would follow me most anywhere I’d go

Red haired boys will trick you
Red haired boys are mean
Red haired boys can make the girls do most anything

September 8, 2008

Girls Without Shoes

Filed under: short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 7:12 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Maybe if I’d had a sister, things would have been different somehow. Maybe if I’d had someone to share my feelings and problems with, I would not need this “sisterhood” so intensely, so passionately.

However, I did not possess this but instead a brother who was a bit of an “odd fellow” to say the least. He and I did laugh and have some fun times together however he was not my confidante, and he also beat the hell out of me whenever possible just for good old fashioned “boy fun”. To this day I have one front tooth shorter than the other due to one of these episodes. Chester was very sorry after the fact, mostly because he was afraid of the trouble he would be in when our parents came home Yes, I did even love my brother, though I would have fought tooth and nail regarding this matter as a child. But a brother no matter how close, is not a sister and every girl needs a sister. Especially when she was a shy introvert, as I was.

The “sisters” came into my life in later years, one at a time and by the time I was in my 40’s I could not imagine my life without them, Vonny, Miss Lucy and Kenja, (pronounced Kenya , named after her Father’s Homeland), being the 3 closest women beings to me, these Sisters of my Heart. I did have a good and loving relationship with my sister’s in laws also, but there was not the same kind of deep bond and unconditional love we all had for each other.

Vonny I had known since high school but actually became friends afterwards. We were quite different from each other, she was a short fiery haired temptress, (especially with the guys and they had a few choice names due to her red hair), and I was a young mom with a controlling husband who did not want me running around with her. Though some questioned her morals, she raised her son to be a most respectful gentleman, with a gentle and compassionate nature towards humans and animals. She did like to party some in her younger years and went through a few different men in her young life. There was one who was particularly abusive to her son , violating their trust and scarring their lives forever after. She also went through 2 different house fires during these years and there were always the rumors of her burning her homes down, (which did not help her fiery namesake}. Not true, both were accidents. The first one was caused by her young son playing with a lighter unbeknownst to Vonny while sleeping. She escaped with only her “birthday suit” and her son. She must have been quite a sight to the elderly gentleman neighbor who had to battle her back door to let her out and I imagine his heart was not only dangerously racing but also skipped a beat or two when he laid eyes upon her in all her glory!

Her son later blamed it on the “Big Bad Wolf”. Guess that meant that Vonny was “Little Red Riding Hood” . She moved into my place for a little while after that. Over the years, Vonny was my most loyal friend and biggest fan besides my mother. She seemed to think I could do no wrong and she had a heart of gold never judging me in all of my emotional battles within myself. Vonny spent many years in and out of bad relationships and when they ended she never had a place to go, no family in her life to count on, no ace in the hole. I think I may have become that to her in some ways. At one point she lived in a tent with her son. At other times she went back east with her family, but always longing for her home in Oregon, she always returned.

Kenja came into my life through a very dear friend whom my husband had known since the kindergarten years. She was blonde and had the shortest, craziest hair I had ever seen, though gorgeous and a head turner even in ugly old sweats. More than once in our friendship I felt the need to “protect her” from men’s leering glances, something she did not really need from me nor always noticed but I did. An admiring glance can be, well flattering to a woman, but there is a point that goes beyond that, a once over if you will, a disrespectful look that always makes my quick temper come out. I knew that my friend had the soul of an angel and I felt that she did not deserve those ugly type of admiring looks.

Kenja was different than other girls I had known. She was a deep thinker, intellectual, philosophical and had more life experience in her younger years than I had ever had. She was a recovered alcoholic at a very young age, had been through many different waitress jobs, boyfriends and had come to our town to recover from a devastating breakup with her husband, one that left her feeling as if part of her were literally dying. She said she always had felt “different” than other folk, even as a child her family was different, her father was a transplant from Africa, and though he was white in color, had a different accent and different customs than the other children’s families. Kenja was always taller and ganglier than the other girls, and had a different look about her with her cat green eyes and high cheekbones. I had never met anyone who could talk like her, could think like her, could put my feelings into words for me and could soothe my soul as she still does to this day. There was a strength about her and also a delicate fragility just under her surface that could leap out at the most unexpected times. She is the one I run to when I am the most upset. She is the one that encourages me and gives me wisdom and spiritual insight . She has a way with animals and all things green and growing. She has a passion for community and has been known to give of her time for many things, once even working along side others placing sand bags all around our town when the river flooded. She would go the extra mile to help a suffering animal or elder person.

Kenja and I have been through thick and thin together. Many adventures and heartaches. We shall always be friends even into our 70’s or 80’s if we survive that long. We have an understanding of each other that goes beyond words. She also was very instrumental in the building up of my extremely low self esteem and has witnessed many changes and growth in my life.

Enter Miss Lucy, my other soul sister. Miss Lucy was a co-worker at a little deli-grocery where I worked for a short stint when my husband and I separated. It was a difficult time in my life, where I was just awakening to some hard facts about the life I had been living and the idea that there were many choices and possibilities out there in the world available to me. Stepping out of my comfort zone has always been a terrifying experience for me and Miss Lucy was quite a comfort then as she was also going through her 2nd painful divorce. Miss Lucy was short and round and had a soft spoken Mississippi twang to her voice and we became friends quickly, almost over night. We also learned to drink tequila, a short lived past time for us both. Women and tequila are a dangerous pair.

People were always drawn to Miss Lucy, as she had counselor type qualities which she dished out as needed, along with sprinklings of understanding, encouragement and non-judgmental unconditional love. Her ears and shoulders were always open to young and old, drunkard and businessman, (even our boss whom yelled at his wife in front of us) , it did not matter, she oozed compassion and people hungered for it. Eventually these people hungered for it to an extreme and forgot about Miss Lucy when she had need herself. That was a bitter time for her, not sweet at all.

There was one point in her life where her home burned down, (wow 2 of my friends with house fires), due to a candle left burning and she was without a place to live. She did stay for a while in her truck and at other friend’s homes and eventually slept in my daughter’s bed. She would comfort herself reading Winnie the Pooh stories when insomnia nearly drove her mad.

Eventually Miss Lucy left to live with her son, and later on made a nice life for herself with a super best friend husband. It nearly broke my heart when she left, I grieved for quite some time. Lucy and her husband went through the corporate world, later became disillusioned with it all and became a truck driving team together. They are to this day traveling America with their dog Molly and are still madly in love with each other. We do visit every 1- 2 years when they drop by, as a matter of fact our last Christmas Eve was very special as they spent the night in their semi out side of my house. I shall always remember that Christmas. I love Miss Lucy with all of my heart. She taught me that I am a lovely human being and never to be ashamed of who I am and for that I will be eternally grateful to her. Too bad you can’t package and sell that!

So in my mid 30’s through my 40’s, and now my beginning 50’s, my ” sisters” were and are an important part of my life, always there in the background, waiting to help me or catch me if necessary. The intensity of our friendship has moved me to tears more than once. It is never a problem if we go for months without writing or a phone call, they are and will always be there in this life, my lovely, wonderfully golden, “sisters of my heart”.

September 4, 2008

A Most Important Job

Filed under: short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 9:32 pm
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I received a 4:00 a.m. phone call on Saturday from my son saying he needed to take his wife to the hospital as she was having some sort of low blood sugar seizure. Scared the crap out of them both. They needed me to come stay with my grand baby while they went.

I grabbed my “Grandma Cape”, and headed out, driving a little too fast of course. very worried for Daughter In – Law and Son and Baby, but glad to babysit, as have not had opportunity to yet, though a little nervous as my grand baby has never woke up without his parents there, and does not know me as well as I would like.

I got there in record time I think. The paramedics had come and gone and had encouraged them to go to hospital. The worried couple gave me instructions for the baby and after hugs and reassurances left.

I sat there for a while, very sleepy not sure what to do with myself as baby was still sleeping. After about 15 minutes, went to the bathroom and when opening the door on my way back out into the hallway, found that I couldn’t open the door! I wiggled the door knob, then remembering it sticking a little another time. “Oh shat”, I cried.

Of course I said, “oh no this cannot be”, “Oh God help me to get out of here”, fighting down panic big time.

No way is this happening to me, my first shot at helping out with baby and here I was locked in the damned bathroom. For crying out loud, literally.

I began wiggling the door knob every which way, trying to remain calm. Up and down, sideways, turning the knob, in every position it could go as it became loose. Finally I realized it was not going to budge, so tried taking screws out of the inside of the lock, but they would not come out all the way.

I thought wish I had a credit card, isn’t that what burglars use? Tools, I needed tools, so shame of shames, I searched my Daughter In-Law’s drawers and cupboards and found nothing. Aha, I spied her make up kit on the counter, every woman will have some sort of implements in there! Yes, there were manicure scissors, tweezers and big hair clip that I might be able to use.

I went to work, first trying inserting all of these at different angles inside of the door knob hoping to open it that way.

I tried everything, nothing worked, I started to panic for a minute and got a hold of myself. Oh yes, the hinges, I used the tweezers to pry out the pins on the door. Got both of them out, but could not get the door to open still.

Then I used the pins out of the door to carve away at the door area between the knob and the plate thinking if I could make a little room, then I could get the tweezers or something in between and open it. I carved and carved away until my hands were sore and covered with rust from the pins. My legs were very tired from squatting down, and then I was on my knees, which were extremely sore later. Hey I have a few years on most of you guys.

I went back and forth from the door knob, to the pins thinking I could open the door that way, No there was not a window inside the bathroom or I would have crawled out and called my son to let me in the house. I just kept praying, ” please God don’t let the baby wake up so he won’t think he is all alone” over and over and praying for a way to get out.

After close to 2 hours of this frantic activity, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted, that I finally gave up realizing I had done what I could to get out. The manicure scissors were broke, the beautiful hair clip was bent, so were the tweezers. Spoils of war I tell ‘ya.

I lay down on a towel with toilet paper rolls for a pillow and tried to relax and lightly doze, and prayed for son to return and baby not to wake up.

The phone rang and I heard my son’s voice. He called again, then nothing for about 45 minutes. Then the phone again 4 times, and it was him.

I knew he would realize something was up and come back then. The baby had just started to wake up, I could hear him making noises and getting pissed that no one was getting him. When he started to cry, I started to cry because I felt so bad for him, that I could not get to him.

During this time I had all kinds of crazy thoughts, like at least I won’t be here all weekend, or what if the house caught fire, later switching to imagining how it must have been for prisoners to tunnel out of jail. (Drama Queen again). I also thought what a great story to tell baby when he grows up.

I was getting pretty cold, but hopeful as the baby really started howling, when I heard their truck pull up, thank God I was so relieved. They came in and I yelled I was trapped in bathroom. He said stand back and kicked the door in. I am sure he could have opened it easier, but his adrenaline was pretty high by then, worried about his wife, traumatized by the seizure, worried that his mom had a heart attack and his baby alone. Oh, my hero, thank God.

I told grand baby it wasn’t my fault as he looked at me with his big eyes full of tears, and we talked and played a little after that. My Son said” Geez mom your big debut babysitting”.

My friend told me I should take my cell phone everywhere I go. Guess I will from now on, oh and everyone keep a screwdriver or butter knife in one of your bathroom drawers just in case I visit you.

P.S. My legs felt like I had done 500 squats for a couple of days after, dang i gotta go back to the gym for some Grandma training.


Filed under: short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 8:39 pm
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Shorty was almost 60 years old and had lived in the same small town his entire life. Shorty got his name as his right leg was considerably shorter than his left.

He attended the local school until he was needed to help out on his parent’s farm. The cows and fence mending would not wait for Shorty to finish school. That was ok by him, he hated going to the one room schoolhouse where the other children teased him because of his funny leg. He did not really take to “readin’ and writin’ and all that stuff anyway.”

Shorty never married, though there once was a girl with red hair whom he loved, or so he thought. her name was Betty Lou and he once got up his nerve to invite her to the barn dance. Betty Lou said she would be there, but never came, at least not with Shorty. She came to the dance with one of the local boys who used to make fun of him as a kid. Shorty never asked a girl to a dance again after that. “Girls were too much trouble and well useless, unless they would bake you a cake”, which is all he said to her the next time he saw her.

The next 35 years were spent mostly alone on his inherited “farm”. Shorty did not have too much time to think about being lonely, though sometimes he thought it would be nice to have a friend.

He never went to the D.M.V. to get his driver’s license and got tired of the town police stopping him for this when driving his pickup to town for supplies, so instead Shorty just drove his green lawn mower everywhere he needed to go.

When driving down the Highway, folks would see him and wave and say, ” there goes that Shorty feller on his lawn mower again”. Shorty would tip his hat.

One day as Shorty was heading into town he spied a small red tractor coming towards him, right towards him. Driving this tractor was a woman. As she got closer, Shorty could make out her faded red hair and a soft roundness in light blue overalls. “Hmmpppfff….” he thought , “haven’t seen her round these parts before”, and proceeded to pass her by, but wait! The woman was waving and smiling at Shorty and hollering at him to stop for a minute, so he pulled his lawn mower over alongside the road, wondering, “what the heck?”.

She pulled up beside him and they said how-do-ya-do’s and Shorty discovered that this was The Betty Lou who had stood him up all those years back, now 35 years older, and abandoned by a man whom she had been madly in love with and married. He had abandoned her with no warning, so Betty Lou packed her things and moved back to her child hood home where things were simpler.

Betty Lou invited Shorty to coffee and they met in town for a cup of joe. Shorty was able to talk to Betty Lou real good, and they found they liked each other quite well.

Too soon, it was time to head home, so Shorty got on his lawn mower and Betty Lou got on her tractor and they rode part way home side by side as traffic permitting, chatting very loudly along the way. They said their good byes and each went to their homes, alone.

Later that evening, there was a knock at Shorty’s front door and he rose from his comfy chair to answer. There was Betty Lou, with her faded red hair, with a 2 layer chocolate cake in her hands and a big grin on her face.

Shorty smiled sweetly and leaned to open the screen door for her………….

Sophia, Queen of the Gypsies

Filed under: short pieces — girlswithoutshoes @ 6:47 am
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Her name is Sophia, Queen of the Gypsies.

She misses days gone by as a Traveler in her horse drawn vargo. She misses dancing around the campfire and the lively chatter with family and friends.

She misses telling stories of how her family came to America to have freedom and prosper, and how in America they still were not able to stay in one place for very long, as the good townspeople would run them off fearing that their children would be kidnapped or that they would be robbed in the night.

She craves to feel the wind in her hair and the sun on her cheeks again. She craves to feel the sway of her vargo and horse and hear the children talking and laughing and playing as they walk and run alongside her wagon.

Sophia‘s dream before she passes from this world into the next is a trip to the desert to meet with her long lost Romnichael family and friends who work there as entertainers. Sophia‘s grandson wanted her to fly there because of her age, but Sophia had had enough of being confined and lacking a good wagon, or vargo as they were called in her day, she insisted that her grandson drive her there in his horseless one.

Sophia would not take no for an answer, and her grandson, loving her with all his might, would do anything to please her. So away they went.

Maybe you did not see the little smile on Sophia‘s face and the twinkle in her eye as she began her journey! She hears the music, sees the firelight………………………..

How’s that for her story?

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