Girls Without Shoes

November 27, 2008

Clarence and the Turkey

My Brother In Law, Jiggs was always getting into some kind of shennanigins. He liked to drink and raise a little hell at times. Jiggs was always amazing his family with his wild adventures. Once he had been out a good part of the night carousing. My husband and I woke up the next morning to a strange noise, a kind of whirring noise, like a motor of some kind. We followed the noise down the stairs and out the front door. There was Jiggs’ old white plymouth with it’s nose facing our front yard fence, resting there, The motor was whirring up a storm as the car was still on and stuck in the drive position. Jiggs was passed out at the wheel. Nice.

He had a couple of drinking buddies in town. One was an old man named Clarence. Clarence’s family were some of the original pioneers in our small town. They were into gold mining from way back. Clarence and his two brothers still lived in their family home. I don’t know if they all left, married and raised families and then moved back, but they were all in their latter years and once again lived together.

I had noticed Clarence as he wore a silver hard hat, similar to what miners wear, around town. I also noticed that many mornings in the wee hours, he would have breakfast in the local cafe. He usually looked a bit rough around the edges, possibly hungover from a late night’s bout with the bottle. I thought it odd that he would order Steak and Eggs, with the steak so rare that I could not look at it. Steak tartare anyone for breakfast? Shiver me timbers I say.

Jiggs used to like to sit in the tavern with Clarence and listen to his stories about when he worked at the cement plant in our little town. Back in the 60’s the cement plan was a major source of work for the towns’ menfolk. You could count on hearing the “booms” off and on throughout the day as they blasted away with dynamite. The south side of town was always covered with a fine coating of white cement dust, while the north side had less. I imagine the housewives in those days really hated all of the dusting they had to do.

Yes, Clarence had some stories, and he and Jiggs drank together and “storied” together. Jiggs would sometimes visit Clarence’s house and they would really tie one on. Clarence would often pass out on his couch while Jiggs was “visiting”.

Jiggs rented a spare room at our home back then, so needless to say, he sat at our table for many meals also. One particular day right before Thanksgiving, he had brought me a beautifully fat but frozen turkey to cook for our dinner. It was his contribution to our meal that year. Since money was tight then, I was grateful to have it.

I began the preparations for that year’s feast. It would not be a large gathering, just my husband, myself and our little boy and Jiggs and another friend of ours. The night before, Jiggs had mentioned having Clarence come down for Turkey Dinner the next afternoon, and we said “why sure”. I put another place setting on our little dining room table. Nothing matched, but that was ok, the food was smelling great.

Clarence appeared and the boys began their talking and lying to one another as men do. I swear there was not even a “fish story” going on out there in the living room, but you would have thought so. They say women get going in their talking, but geez. Finally everything was ready and we all sat down at the table, gave thanks and dove in. Delicious turkey, very moist they all said. Clarence, especially seemed to appreciate a hot meal.

It was a pretty nice day all in all. When Clarence turned to leave, he stopped and thanked me for the meal and said it was the most delicious he had had in years. I said, “My pleasure”, and he was gone. I felt pretty good about serving some lonely old guy a Thanksgiving meal.

I would have felt much better about it, had I not later learned, that ,that very same moist delicious turkey had been hijacked by Jiggs right from Clarence’s very own freezer! You see Clarence and Jiggs had become drunker than a couple of skunks the night before, and they had both passed out in Clarence’s living room.

Jiggs had woke up hours later, very hungry and looked through Clarence’s refrigerator. Nothing to eat there, but in the freezer he spied that frozen turkey. Jiggs being still in a drunken state, grabbed that turkey and brought it home thinking he was going to cook it that night. Of course he passed out in his room and found the defrosting turkey next to him the next morning and Clarence’s boots upon his feet! Mortified that he had stolen his friend’s turkey, he gave it to me and invited Clarence to dinner. Jiggs, being the scoundrel that he was, not only invited his friend to a dinner that he had stolen from him, but also served it to him wearing a pair of his heisted boots also!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow bloggers on WordPress, I am off to Fred Meyer’s to pick up a delicious already prepared Thanksgiving Dinner for only $59.99. This is the most relaxing Thanksgiving ever, as I sit in my p.j.’s drinking coffee and writing my crazy story. Hmmmmnnnnnn…………………

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November 24, 2008

Once Upon A Thanksgiving Morn…………

cookingturkeyOnce upon a Thanksgiving Morning, I went last minute shopping. We had a payday the day before, and due to other circumstances, I could not get to the store until thanksgiving morn. Yes, I thought the same thing, I must be crazy to do this this morning. Actually had thought of canceling the dinner and all due to ungrateful wretches that I live with! dry.gif

Come on I know there are other women out there, who instead of looking like June Cleaver with her pretty starched white apron and beautiful table, smiling clean faced children and doting husband, who actually resent having to do all the work. I mean it is over so quickly after all the preparation and hubbub.

I am sure there are others who like myself feel ashamed, oh the shame of it all, at resenting their families for not helping more. I try, really I try to get more help, but years of doing the same thing, you know it is the way it is. sad.gif

So after spending the day before cleaning the heck out of the house, making sure I have a decent tablecloth and dishes etc., going through numerous emotions, i.e. ” I should cancel the damned thing, no one appreciates me, etc…”, or “I should be loving this, my mother in law did, “. or ” I want it to be perfect etc. “, all the ridiculous things that go through our brains and on and on , and clean and clean, and haul out garbage, wash more dishes and plan the menu, blah blah blah……….

I finally make it to Food 4 Less at 7 am – ish thinking ” I can do this”,, ” I wonder how others manage to work full time and do all they do”, oh well I can do it, no problem. I fill my shopping cart with all the picked over necessary items for a wonderful feast. There were only turkey breasts left, oops, that will have to do, that is what I get for waiting so long. There is still a small crowd of people there shopping at the last minute, losers like me, oh the shame of it all! blink.gif

The next stop is the check stand where I wait in line, you know how it is, load all the food up on the belt, knowing my ungrateful family is home sleeping peacefully dreaming about turkey and pumpkin pie, yum.
The food rings up around $80.00 oh well could have been worse there. I load it in the trunk, drive home feeling stressed over my last minute mess. I make it home safely and haul the food and turkey to the kitchen, put it away, begin cooking all, turkey, potatoes, stuffing the works. My feet hurt so bad I cannot stand it. What a wimp I have become. Still much more to do to get this wonderful feast ready.

About 3:00 p.m., all is ready, the house smells like turkey and bread, mmmmmm, the table is set with fresh flowers that I always buy for the cook, (geez should have bought wine too huh? Maybe would not be such a B…tch), looks very pretty. Cream cheese and deviled eggs abound, am so hungry!

We all come to the table and stand around it and hold hands for a minute, and I pause and reflect and Thank God for my family and that they are here together and all of his blessings! biggrin.gif Whewwww…..

Everyone have a super day, gotta go do it all over again right now! ohmy.gif

November 19, 2008

Bye-Bye Coco

Filed under: Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 4:56 pm

Bye-Bye Sweet Coco, for now. Coco loaded up her truck today. She loaded up most of her belongings. Clothing, books, personal items, and more books. The most important things were taken with her, including her assortment of boots, (extremely important!), and her pets, a dog and cat and 2 birds.

Leaving the home that she had built was a gut wrenching task for Coco, as she had cared so much for it, but necessary in order to move on, which is what she was doing. Moving on to a new home, a new location, a new life. She was moving towards her love, the one that made the music beat inside of her head and her heart. The one that had picked her up when she fell and declared “You’re Safe!” and kissed her passionately. The one who smelled of the earth and outdoors.

It was a decade later, and Coco and the woodsy guy had grown somewhat older, somewhat wiser, somewhat softer and refined. The thing that had not changed in Coco was the music inside that she longed for, that she had come close to, but not quite. Time had given her a comfort about herself and who she is. She knew that she was “enough”, maybe too much for some.

As she drove down the road towards her life she looked in her rear view mirror. She could see her huge dog’s ears flapping in the wind, with a doggy’s smile upon her face enjoying the freedom of the road, enjoying that she too was going. Coco could hear the cat in his crate, meowing and moaning disgustedly at his plight. A couple of birds in cages accompanied the cat in the rumble seat of her truck. Coco started singing, “Would you like to swing on a star?………. or would you rather be a fish?” The birds started chirping and singing along with her.

A sigh of relief hit Coco. She would be there in a few hours. She would be greeted by the woodsy guy, the one who had told her she was safe, the one who had made her question herself at one time all of those years ago. The man who had grown a little older, a little softer. The man that she was now “enough” for, and not “too much”. The man who had written her love poems on his keyboard, tapping it out with one finger. Her Love who had asked her to say “Yes” and now they would say, “I Do”.

Bye-Bye Sweet Coco for now, “Go Home”. Go Home and my love and prayers go with you girl!

November 16, 2008

East Coast Smile

Filed under: non-fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 1:34 am
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Did he make it? I think he did, I rejoice in him when I see him. There is a look of caring about him. His eyes are brighter, clearer. The color of his skin is healthy. His teeth are new and white and even. They accent the big smile of triumph and happiness on his lips! There is a twinkle in his eye and a lilt of excitement in his voice. There is complete joy and gratefulness in his heart. There is a sense of freedom that surrounds him. It is fresh and catching, that feeling of freedom and newness that oozes from him.

It was the hardest thing he ever had to do, this gaining freedom. He had been captured. Yes, captured and wrapped up tight. So very tight. He and his loved ones had thought the knots would never be able to be loosed. They had given up. He had even given up all hope of a cure as he knew there was none. Or a reprieve from it and the road to hell it had led him and his down.

He began as a child. He folks’ were of a notorious biker group. They were the rough and ready type, not just recreational bikers. The bikers of the 60’s. He was raised around the partying and drugs and became addicted to heroin as a pre-teen. They allowed it. They allowed him access to it and did not care. They were in their own little world then and did not look to the future. Someone shot him up, I don’t know who as he never said. He learned to do it himself. He smoked it. It was the number 1 most important thing in his life. He fought at different times to come “clean” and stay that way. It never seemed to work, for long anyway.

When I first met him, my impression was that of a rough guy with an East Coast accent. Nice looking guy, except his teeth. I was introduced to him at one of my husband’s rehab meetings. They became friends. They connected. They were both clean and sober.

Over the next few years, my husband relapsed. But his friend did not. The East Coast guy went to every meeting and even started going to church and praising God in every way for his freedom and new life. His wife and family life were happier, he was happy too. His work was coming along well. He had more money. He got a beautiful new set of teeth. His smile was even prettier!

He had made it. It gave me hope that somehow my husband would again, “make it.” I was happy that he called him a few weeks back, thinking good, he is a good influence. My husband looked up to him. I was happier still when he phoned again, thinking maybe he is getting through to my husband. I was doubtful when the next time he called, my husband left the house. A week later, when he called our home 3 times in a row, I was skeptical.

An hour later the phone rang. As he spoke with my husband, I looked out the window. Rain was coming down hard and I saw East Coast leaning up against our front fence talking on his cell phone. Then my husband went outside in the pouring rain, wearing my pink rubber shoes on his feet to meet his friend underneath a tree that shaded them like an umbrella.

It really struck me! When my husband came back inside, the anger poured out from my heart and mouth. “What are you doing?” and “Don’t you be a part of his relapse!” and “Oh, my God!” The grief that followed surprised me.

East Coast with his beautiful new smile and freedom had relapsed. I thought he wouldn’t. Somehow his sobriety had become a symbol of hope to me. Now that was crushed. Did he make it? I thought that he had, but not this time. I sincerely hope and pray that he does again. I hope he makes it for good next time. I hope there is a next time.

November 9, 2008

I’m Just Small Town……..

Filed under: fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 6:13 am
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I was small town and she was big city. She is leaving me behind. She will be leaving me behind for her new life. She is leaving for her new love that once was and now is again. The leaving part for her will not be easy. It hurts her heart to think of it . It hurts my heart to think of her leaving the location where our friendship first began.

I know the friendship will always exist between us. She is not leaving the friendship, it will always be there. I know that most of it has been by telephone. I know that we have not had to be face to face to have that bond. But, still there is something very sad about the distance in miles that will be between us that tears at me. It tears at my heart and the tears stream down my cheeks. Just like a little child.

She is the last of them to go. The last of my “heart sisters”. They are still in my heart too, and we still talk by phone, but the distance makes it difficult for me to be there physically, to actually visit face to face. Now, I regret all of the times when I could have been there face to face, but was too busy, and I really was too busy most of the time. I was swept along by too much to do in my life to make time for that friendship as much as I wanted to, as much as she needed me. There were many times when she needed more of me than I could give. We both had our times for different reasons, but always had that connection.

I guess the sadness is due to knowing I cannot just get in my car and reach her in 15-20 minutes if I want to. Weird, since more time has been spent on the phone than in person. But knowing that will not be there makes me extremely sad. I have been through this grief before with my other 2 “sisters”. I am sure that I am being overly emotional as it is not the same. I am not the same now as I was when I first met her. I have grown in so many ways, that I know I will not allow distance to …….. distance us.

I think other aspects of the sadness have to do with my failing myself in going through enough of the hard times to break through to better. I have always dug my heels in when faced with a huge life change. I have balked. I have chickened out. I know that life is shorter for me everyday, and it scares me. I guess it scares me that I will be alone in the middle of all of this muck of my life.

My sadness is selfish. My sadness is also fear. Fear that she won’t need our friendship as I think she has finally found something, a love that takes her home. For that I am extremely grateful to God, that she will have some “peace” in that area of her life. Finally. I am so happy and excited for her! It just occurred to me when I was researching the distance that will be between us to see what her new diggs will be like that it struck me. Really and truly struck me. The grief washed over me uncontrollably and now as I write.

Our friendship has seen much over the years, and we’ve been through lots together. I am sure we will go through more in our lives together. She is big city, I’m just small town. We are different in many ways, and much the same in others that no one else understands but us. So yes, she is leaving me here, but not leaving me behind as parts of our soul-sisters hearts go with each other.

So, she is leaving me here, for a new beginning. Yes, she is, but I know she really is not leaving me behind…………….

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Just Say “Yes”

Filed under: fiction,short pieces,Uncategorized — girlswithoutshoes @ 5:57 am
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She was nervously waiting for her plane to land. She checked her hair and lipstick. She had to look perfect for him when she got off of the plane. After all, she had not seen him in 10 years. Way too long. She never dreamed that she would even be seeing him again, at least not on purpose. Who would have thought this would happen and in this way? It was just so surreal in some ways. She had to pinch herself every once in a while.

They had started talking again by phone last month. What they thought was going to be just a single conversation between them, became 1 more and then more, until they could not stop talking through the night. That was a first, as he was not a talker, at least he did not used to be. She had always been the talker and very good at it she was. It was a need that she had, to be able to express so many things with words, so many pent up feelings she had. Communication was extremely important to her in both ways. Not just to be listened to, but to really be heard.

This was new between them. This had not been there before. Much had changed over the years, significantly so with him. They were older and yes even wiser. It does happen you know? Even to those of us who swore off age. Ahhh…., aging a little is not necessarily the bummer that we all thought it would be. Yes, it would be nice if our skin, hair and health stayed the same or at least pretty good. It would be nice if we stayed as “purty”, but that aspect does change some. It is not so bad as you think once you adjust. That is what happens, you adjust a little here and a little there. Then just when you get used to this new stage in life, more changes happen, and you adjust some more. You deal. You are aware of a “purtiness” inside also, that was not there before. That isn’t just pretty, that is beautiful!

In one of their late night talks by telephone they decided to meet in person. Just to look each other in the eye and talk. Face to face. He asked her to come to where he was living for a visit. She said, “Hmmnn, I would love to but, I am not sure if I can.” He said, “Just say that you will come, just say yes.” She hung up the telephone and thought and planned and called him back. “I will be there”, she said breathlessly.

The next day, she was packed and on the plane traveling miles through the air to see what she would see. Her hopes were high, but her feelings were careful. There was something different in his voice, in his words. There was something that was not there before. Maybe it was humbleness. She was not exactly sure as he was never a humble sort of guy. Whatever it was, was definitely not a bad thing, but something very very good. Everything in her being told her this was true. She had learned to trust those instincts long ago.

As the plane got ready to land, she felt a butterfly or two in her stomach. Then they were on the ground and she was walking down the stairs into the airport terminal. She spotted him very quickly. He was leaning against a post. She spotted the silvery hair underneath his cowboy hat. He did look somewhat older, a little softer, but there was still that strength there, and those blue eyes.

They spent a few days together. It was the most amazing time. They talked until the sun came up. They could not get tired of saying the words to each other. So much time to make up for. They realized they had never stopped loving each other.

It was time for her plane to leave. Time for her to return to her home. Time to deal with the other heartbreak in her life that was necessary for her to move on. It was time to put that other love, that other heartbreak in it’s proper place. It was time to let go and no it would not be easy, but it was necessary. That was the extremely sad part. It grieved her to tears. But yes, it was indeed necessary.

Her plane took off with her nose pressed to the window until he was out of sight. She had never dreamed that this would be happening. Who would ever have thought this would happen and in this way? She still had to pinch herself every one in a while. He had asked her on bended knee to marry him. He had asked tears in those blue eyes of his. He had asked her to “Just say yes.”

And she did……………………..

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