Nineteen Containers of Buttons

To Texture or Not!

Creepy Joe

            So many things have come and gone in my life, but there was one true love that lasted a century. This love was part of numerous profound, meaningful, and questionable moments of my life.
Friends asked me if I found a new religion. Family asked if I need to “speak with someone”, which we all know is a polite question if I need to see a shrink. During this moment, I was extremely appreciative over any concern regarding the recent demise of yet another relationship.
            It was time to make a change. What kind of change could I make that I haven’t already tried? This would be a love like no other. I was determined not to repeat my wrongs. How long would this love last? Would I survive another heartache if this relationship failed?
I decided to go for it. I accepted the responsibility of the new relationship. When the new stimulant, arrived I was wanting to completely change the colors that enveloped my life. I confirmed my new love could accept all my colorful personalities.
I was gleaming with inquisitive future planning. I could bring in a splash of excitement with color to change my mood every week. An experimental position change could vamp up a humdrum evening into a whirlwind of excitement.
            The luxury of having this new love revealed my internal desire to have my own little piece of heaven. Whether I was having the best day ever or the worse day yet, my new love was there for me.
            Most of my belongings were sold at a big yard sale, before I moved to Oklahoma. I surprised myself when I couldn’t separate myself from my love. My love was brought into my new household. I once again felt a home could be made with a bit of furniture and decorations on the walls.
            I think it was more wishing than thinking. I accepted the fact two and a half years later, I had failed at another relationship for myself. I realized I married for the wrong reasons.
            Marriage works for some people. I should’ve known it wouldn’t work for me. I packed up the remaining items in a borrowed pickup truck and moved into a rental house until I could figure out what to do. I moved again, and my love followed me during my troubled times. Once, again in my life, the love that held my feet comforted me on numerous nights.
            This love is no longer with me. We parted ways when I moved into a smaller household and didn’t have room to spare.
            I miss my ottoman. The ottoman that held my tired, worrisome feet for over eleven years. So many books have been read by the comfort and accommodations of my ottoman. So many worrisome thoughts were shared with my ottoman.
But I know the one question that is on all of your minds: “Why would she buy off-white furniture?”

America: The Great Future...

                The trail leads into the vast tree line. I follow the trail and notice oddities along the barren route. I slow my steps because I have heard about the Grounders that frequent the area. I know I have walked far away from the Ice People. The snow Capped Mountains protected me for numerous centuries.  The Grounders would never believe I lived right outside of their compound. I watched with curious eyes as their present queen was born. The present queen is no twenty years of age. Two centuries watching the Grounders felt like a lifetime. The City of Light wasn’t an area I wanted to reside in very much longer. I lived there for a half a century.
                I wanted to believe they would’ve learned their lessons of war. But there is the smell of gun powder and blood in the air, I walk towards the valley that will present the dead of such stomach retching smells. I warned them. Do they notice the small remnants of earth’s wonders lying around in pieces? I continue my walk along the dirt path.
                The Grounders, Ice People, City of Light people and Sky People are all visitors here. I am the true resident of Earth. These puny people are allowed to occupy the grounds under their feet. I feel they old ones have forgotten my wrath. They must have forgotten to educate the young on punishments of disrespecting Mother Earth. 
                I hear rustling sounds coming from the forest around me. I look to my left and then to my right, and I spot her, she’s a kid. Not a young child, but maybe a teenager, sixteen or eighteen years of age. Her hair is fire red, she must have used the baca-berries to color her hair. I can tell red isn’t her true color.
                Hello. I greet.
                I hear the swishing sound of a blade barely miss my left ear.
                Nice throw. I compliment her.
                I stare at her. she stares at me, and in seconds she disappears into the trees and bushes.
                I walk over and remove the weapon that is wedge deep into a tree that was behind me. The blade would’ve easily removed my head.
                All I said was hello.
I continue my walk. She must not know. These children of the Sky People will have to learn the ‘TRUE’ history of earth.
                War is a word not to take lightly. They use it frequently in their council talks and lectures. The word is used to describe the demise of earth. If they only remembered the demise of the earth is walking along a dirt path towards them.


Coalminer's Hell

He creeps me out. The moment I shake his hand I’m creeped. I’m trying to be hospitable, and kind, but there is something about this man that creeps me out.
Trish is one of my best friends. She’s been traveling the world and has stopped by to visit for three days, with me. I thought the man next to her was waiting for someone else to pick him up at the airport, not my luck.
His name is Joe. He creeps me out.
I can’t argue with my friend that she’s supposed to be visiting with me and me alone. She’s not supposed to have some strange creepy man with her while we do our girl lunches, and massages. He didn’t want to go into the dress shop, so he sat outside on a bench. Should I ask her? Ask her why?
She seems to be happy, but there’s something.
Yep, there was something. He’s waiting for his wife to die. How many words can be used to describe the DO NOT’S in this kind of relationship.
“It’s not right Trish.” I comment to her.
“I know, but he’s kind of nice.” She quietly answers, knowing it’s wrong to be with him.
Two hours later we are taking him to the airport and sending him home on a plane. Trish is standing by my side.
Trish begins laughing hysterically. “I just wanted someone to travel with.” She blubbers out.
“I will travel with you.” I whisper. I slowly look over my shoulder as the plane takes off. 
I wave at the plane. “Good-bye Creepy Joe. 

          I wake and shake the dirt off of my white fur back. I drag my black furry belly along the dry hot sand and then stretch my long stock body. The deep hunger within my empty stomach informs me there is one thing to do, and that is to hunt. I’m constantly scouring the Kalahari Desert for food.
     I immediately smell the air for scents and catch the scent of a rat. I follow the scent and corner the rat in a hole. I eat the rat. After the rat, I begin my journey to the next meal. I pick up a scent of another animal; only this is a king cobra. I follow the scent and it leads me to a very high tree. The snake has taken refuge up in the branches of the tree. But those branches won’t stop me. I climb to the top of the tree. As I struggle with the king cobra, the temperamental serpent drops down to the ground. I quickly lower my body down to the ground and confront the king cobra. Its quick strikes are no use on my loose skin. I grab its head and bite down waiting for the bloody liquid to nourish me.
            My next meal will consist of dung beetle larvae. I sniff the ground to find the precise area of the nest and dig up the dug beetle nest with my long claws. I devour each larvae until all are eaten. Just as I leave the dung beetle nest, I mark the dung beetle nest.

            I smell another rat. I chase it down and eat it. I don’t need too much water as I get a lot of my fluid intake from the blood of my kills. But once in a while, I will eat some fruit for the fluids. I found a tortoise near a tree and I break the shell with my teeth. Allowing me to eat all of the flesh of the tortoise and not waste any meat.
            As I decide to take a nap, I get the scent of another animal. I follow the scent and find yet another snake. This one is a puff adder and it has killed a rat for himself. I pull the rat out of the mouth of the adder and eat the rat with voracious hunger. The adder does realize I have taken his meal and comes at me. I am not afraid. I would like to have the adder as a meal as well. The adder strikes me once on my back and the pain is there, but I need to eat first. I grab the adders head in my jaws and clamp down with all my might. The adder is dead. But I feel the venom slowly going through my body. I slowly drop to the ground and darkness takes over.
            I feel tingling in my muscles as my eyes open and I regain movement in my limbs. I see the dead snake next to me and I begin my delayed dinner with a voracious appetite.  The snake is over five feet long and I take about fifteen minutes to eat the reptile’s entire body. I then lay on the sand to get away from the hot afternoon sun. I kick sand onto my white fur back and roll my black underbelly onto the sand.    
            I wake in the late afternoon with hunger again.  I follow the scent of some jackals that lead me to numerous rat holes. I dig at each hole to retrieve the rodent within. Some of the rodents escape and the jackals are able to eat my hard earned meal. After a while though I find a nest full of rats and devour each one right in front of the jackals. They know not to disturb me as I eat my well-earned meals.
            I begin to dig again, but something in the air stirs my senses. I follow the strange scent and leave the rats to the jackals. The new scent is a fresh and strong kill. I find the cause of my over load of hunger. There’s an antelope carcass in a tree. Apparently, a leopard thought by putting this antelope in a tree, the antelope carcass would safe from others. Not me! I will get that leopard. Even if it kills me to do so.
            I haven’t had much luck getting to the tender flesh of the antelope carcass. I’ve been able to get only a few tendons from the back legs. I can’t get my body high enough to get the juicy meaty flesh.

The leopard has woke from his nap and spotted me in the tree. I will fight this cat for as long as I can, to get some of that succulent antelope flesh. The leopard is unable to get a grip on my loose, rubbery skin with his deadly jaws. My body is so limber, I can spin around and bite that leopard on the nose to free myself. I defend myself with my teeth and claws. The leopard leaves me and goes high up into the tree to eat more of the antelope.
            I patiently wait for scrapes of the antelope to drop down to the ground. The jackals wait in the tall grass for my scraps. I leave no scraps.
            I’ve finished with my antelope scraps. I return to the rat holes and dig out six more rats for myself.  I find three more cobras and eat them as their bodies wriggle in the sand. I decide to call it a day. The sun is setting and I have a full day of hunting tomorrow.
            I dig a den by scratching the dirt out of an old rat hole. This is my home now. I need to sleep and think of what will be my meals tomorrow. This is a great day to be an African Honey Badger.


100 1/2

     The time of the year when people wear the lease amount of clothing.
     There’s no limit to what people will or won’t wear when the sun is smiling upon you.
     Pack away the Carhart wool lined jackets and bring out the sparkle embellished tank tops. Store those fuzzy, Ugg boots and pull out the nine pair of flip flops kept neatly in a box labeled, summer shoes.
     Do these items of clothing change your outlook?
     Damn straight they do!

     Slip off your shoes and make contact with the cool green grass, or even better, walk on the warm sand along a tropical beach.

      She watches Mr. Birdwell stop the truck and dump the coal into the four buckets along the side of the road. She wants to walk down that road and never stop. Never turn around, and never wonder if the laundry is done, never worry if the chickens are fed and the cow is milked. She just wants to leave this God-forsaken place. Jenny walks over to the buckets, picks up the coal bucket and walks up to her house.
      Picher, Oklahoma the cesspool of boredom. Jenny feels she can’t breathe, she can’t walk, she can’t live in this little coal miner town. Jenny loves her family, but hates this town. She blames all her frustrations on her father. She would tell him she’s unhappy but he’s not home. He’s never home, he’s always working in the coalmine.
      Jenny dumps the coal into the metal drum. She kicks the metal drum with her worn out shoe.
      The explosion rocks the ground and their small clapboard house shakes violently.
      Jenny turns around and looks in the direction of the coal mines. That is where the explosion came from.

          As I live and breathe there will be that moment when I will be organized in my life. Some people call me a hoarder and some other people call me a collector. I call myself a person that may need eleven washboards one day. When you think about it, if the Zombie Apocalypse happens we will have to wash our clothing on something. And I have enough washboards for everyone in my family.
            I stand in the doorway of my garage. The garage is really a metal building that measures twenty by thirty feet. The building can hold three cars side by side, but right now there are no cars parked in my garage.
            There are however, totes that are color coordinated and marked of contents. This way the New Year’s Eve resolution I declared on New Year’s Eve to “downsize” my garage items will be easy. I just have to go through each container and decided what I need and what I don’t need. I have to stand firm on what I truly need and what I don’t.
            Does one truly need nineteen peanut butter jars of assorted buttons? I have this awful habit of removing the buttons from clothing before I donate the clothing to various agencies. I know there must be some rule that the donated items need to have buttons, but one day I might need eight black shiny face, one and an eighth buttons for a project I’m working on. I do feel bad now that I think about donating items that are almost useless. Back to the cleanup of the garage.
            I have to admit that most of the mechanical items in the garage are from my late husband. He too was a collector of items as I am. He left behind nine tool boxes that are completely overflowing with tools of various size and purpose. One can never have enough Philips screw drivers, and serpentine belt adjusters. There are even tools in one of those boxes that are made out of magnetic metal so they can grab onto what you are working on. I myself have never used one, but I’m sure one would be handy for something.
            Now you can’t tell me you don’t have several boxes of holiday decorations. I have three Christmas trees that I assemble every year for the inside of the house and then there are two more trees that are specifically made for outside. All very useful items for the presentation of holiday spirit. One has to keep up with the multiple light displays during the holiday season.

          And one can never have enough Christmas lights. The three totes I have are all organized by color for the sets of light that are in the totes. My holiday decorations will not be included in the reorganization of my garage. On to another holiday.
            Halloween isn’t much in the small town I live in. I guess I can part with the twenty four plastic pumpkins I have accumulated over the years. My grandkids are twelve and ten now, so I guess I don’t need to purchase anymore plastic pumpkins for their trick or treating adventures. I have found a handy way to place battery powered tea lights in them and place them along my walkway. If I throw the plastic pumpkins out, then what will I use all those tea lights for? The pumpkins stay.
            Easter totes total to just four. That’s not a bad count when considering there is an inflatable bunny in one of the totes. I do know for a fact though that I have filled almost three thousand plastic easter eggs one year. And the plastic egg count grows every year. to stand on the patio and see all the bright colored plastic eggs on the green grass, waiting for eager little hand to pick them up. Well, it’s just something you have to see for yourself. The eggs stay.
            Oh, those dreadful work clothes my husband use to wear. Mud all over them, and not to mention the horse poop that was all over the legs. I am not knocking the fact that we made a wonderful living on cattle, but the smell can go. The coverall are going. I don’t fit into them. I will need to check the buttons.
            Valentine totes are few. My husband was a last minute man. He would grab what he could at the last minute for me as a gift. If it was a plastic rose with a chocolate heart attached to the plastic rose, then so be it. Gasoline was more important and the convenience of having the plastic rose at the register when he purchased his lottery ticket was a bonus. So I do have the totes full of red roses and maybe a stuffed teddy bear in there too.
            Now when we went to mardi gras, I had the assumption that we could just show up and we would receive enough beads to wear. I was wrong! The first year we went I ended up with four strands of beads. I was deteremined to make sure we had enough beads to wear and hand out the next year we went. So I now have five boxes of beads. Each box contains two hundred beads. I haven’t been to mardi gras since my husband passed away. That was eleven years ago.
            There are three other totes that indicate just PARTY DECORAITONS on the totes. I will keep those because I have parties every now and then. A luau is fun in the summer time, and the fourth of july is always a day to celebrate with he red, white and blue. Picinics down by the lake, I love the checkered napkinsand matching table coveres. Oh, and of course tose fun noise makers for New Year’s Eve. Next tote!
            One cannot judge another person for reading. Books are the souls into adventure and more. To read a book is to travel to another demotion or bexome entangled in a mysterious romance. I will keep the seventeen totes of books for now. Some of those books my late husband purchased at an auction as a spontaneous gift for me. I havent’ read all of them but that’s not the purpose. It was the thought that counted.
The only books he read were heavy equipment operational and repair manuals. Those manuals are in black totes over by the tool boxes. I am sure I will find a nice place for those somewhere. You never know when you will need to look up on how to repair a swather.
I am making great progress. I have finished one section of the garage. Now on to the larger items. Just how many lamps can one person have? Oh, I found the hand blown glass lamp my grandmother gave me. it is so delicate. Why is it out here in the garage? This needs to be in the house. I also found the matching doily set that the lamp would rest upon. As a child, visiting my grand mother was always a new adventure and story.
One question about one item would get my grandmother talking about he good ole days, and fill my ears of nostalgia and history. She would fix a cup of cocoa and tell me about he child hood and how money was always tight back then. Somehow, someway she would always have nice trinkets from the early nineteen hundreds til the day she passed away. Which was in nineteen eighty-two. I still have all of her hippie clothes somewhere in a tote.
Clothing is something that will never be tossed. Clothing styles come and go, but a classic look of jeans and a t-shirt will forever be in fashion style. I was just reading a magazine about how the seventies look is back in style for the today’s look. That is a thirty five year gap, but I can pull out my old clothes and still be looking stylish.
My late husband built me portable closets to keep my old clothing in. He was kind like that. Always wanting to preserve the items we had spent so much money on. And you never know, my granddaughters may fit perfectly into my pink satin disco pant. So, the clothes stay.
I can make it back to the old newspaper and magazine holders. The six sewing machine cabinets are in the way. I do like the fact that three of my filing cabinets match three of my sewing machine cabinets. I didn’t plan it that way. It just happened. Oh, I remember when I use to use my knee to get the sewing machine to sew. Those were busy days back then. Sewing lap blankets for all the veterans returning from the war.
My uncles military items are stored up in the rafters of the garage. Those are stored in his original military foot locker. His name and rank painted on the top and sides of the foot locker metal trunk. I have his flag on display in a special glass box. I will have to look through his items again. maybe I can get a larger shadow box to display more of his history.

      How long has she sat in the chair? Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years.
     The mahogany wood is strong and holds her wright with ease. The red/brown colorations in the wood blend together to create a marble effect. The sun has absorbed some of the natural moisture from the chair, but it still holds true.
            Her favorite memory of sitting in the chair was on a day like this one. The sun peeking through streaks of clouds, her hair flowing loosely around her face. The sand massaging her bare feet. The warmth easing her young thoughts. She rolled her pant legs up because she knows the surf will reach her soon.
            On that day, back when, it was announced she was accepted into a college. She didn’t want to be around family or friends right now. She wanted to share this moment with her chair and the sun.
           On this day, though. The wind brings her back to the present. Her aged hand gently placed in her lap. All her favorite things; the sun, the chair, the sand are there with her. The chair is one hundred years old, she just turned ninety-nine.


                I stare at the price for a good forty seconds. Thinking, maybe even wishing, the price will change before my eyes. Alas, the price does not change. The numbers clearly reveal to me that a mere one ounce jar of anti-aging eye cream will cost me ninety-eight dollars. Is it true? Am I worth it? Can I really be worth that?
                I have been shopping for anti-aging creams for thirty-three years now. And you would think after trying jar after jar after jar, and even after jar of anti-aging creams, that at one point I would’ve found one that works. I mean that really works on preventing those little wrinkles that seem to appear overnight around my eyes.
                And if my eyes don’t give a youthfully, revitalizing appearance, my fingertips should look years younger. I know that applying the creams daily help the wrinkles around my eyes, but what about my fingertips that touch the creams as I apply the cream. These questions rack my brain each morning and evening during application. Does this stuff really work?
                I have purchased so many bottles of anti-aging creams that I feel I could’ve paid for a face lift, in cash. The promises and testimonies of advertisers pull me into the stores that sell these amazing age fighting creams. I know down deep in my heart the moment I purchase the cream I will be ever so disappointed. I sign the charge card receipt and walk away with my new and amazing anti-aging cream.


Rick and June

       Rick is watching the door, waiting for his girlfriend of seven months, June. June will never show up.
       Candy watches Rick’s uneasiness as he waits for June. Candy rubs her hand over her left thigh, reminiscing how the knife went into her soft flesh, but not deep enough to cause damage.
      Candy was much stronger that June.
      Candy will wait with Rick for as long as it takes to get him.

       Nestled on the out skirts of Yale, Michigan is a playhouse, but not the “ordinary playhouse”… In order to describe this playhouse you would use two words: Hobbit Hole. The small Hobbit community is called Morrishire.
       The owner of Morrishire claims he built the structure for his grandkids, yet he smiles faintly as he makes this claim. Michael Morris wanted to build a place where memories can be made. The memories created at a Hobbit Hole are grand indeed.
       The Hobbit Hole in Morrishire measures seven feet by fifteen feet. The highest center inside the house is five feet - four inches high, the sides are four feet - eight inches. The round bright green welcoming door measures a lovely four and a half feet and a simple life is presented (and expected) as you walk through the gate that reads: No Admittance, Except on Party Business. In the springtime, daffodils and day lilies adorn the sides of the yard, and the quaint picket fence is complimented by a stone walkway to the doorway.
The fun I experienced on Halloween night while handing out candy, seeing the smiles, hearing the laughter and sharing the fantasy, was a once in a lifetime event. Even though Mother Nature blessed us with less than favorable weather, the misty rain didn’t keep trick or treaters from venturing down the path and graduated steps, to the big round green door of the Hobbit House. Where indeed, I was eagerly waiting.
       Each group of trick or treaters were greeted by the owner of Morrishire, Michael Morris. He walked each group of guests down the wooden steps to the gate, where they met me. I sat patiently in the doorway of the Hobbit hole with a treasure trunk full of silver and gold chocolate nuggets, and foil covered chocolate coins. Each bag of goodies had a small note thanking them for sharing the treasures of Morrishire. 
       Even though the weather was gloomy, and yes, our costumes almost soaking wet. The evening was memorable. When people ask me, “What did you do for Halloween?” I proudly answer, “I was transported back into a fantasy some might call Middle Earth, and into a Hobbit Hole, where I handed out Morrishire treasure.”
       Handing out candy to children was fun, but to watch their awestruck expressions as they ventured up to the door of the Hobbit Hole was more rewarding than a treasure trunk full of chocolate. (And this adventurous woman most certainly, loves chocolate.)
       Yet, even after the smiles, laughter and happy children, I truly believe more enjoyment of the Hobbit Hole came from the grownups. There are millions of people who have grown up reading the series of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. The movies brought those books to life for us to see, enjoy and experience in person. (As we never forget a great book, nor a great movie)
       Michael Morris has confirmed the next phase of Morrishire has already begun. The ground work has started for the next Hobbit Hole. His plans are to have three Hobbit Hole’s displayed on the property in order to bring a bit of local life to the glory of the books and movies.  So, if you are ever in the area of Yale, Michigan, take a drive down South Main Street and enjoy your own adventure of a lifetime. Experience Morrishire, and create a memory you’ll cherish forever.



          she hears her son playing in his room. His laughter echoes down the hallway and she laughs to herself. As a single mother she’s worried that he won’t have that brother or sister to keep him company, as he grows up. She continues to fold the laundry.
            “Your turn,” her son gleefully states.
            “Oh, you missed it,” he adds with a giggle.
            She stops folding the big yellow towel, places the towel in the folded stack of towels. She walks to her son’s bedroom door. Glancing into the room she saw her son sitting on the floor, with a checkers game set up in front of him. She smiles and returns to the fold some more laundry.
            “Your turn,” her son repeats after five minutes.
            “No, no. You have the red ones,” he giggles again.
            She places the Auto-bot shirt down into the laundry basket with shaky hands and walks into her son’s bedroom, again.
            “Are you playing checkers?” she asks.
            “Yes, mama.” Her son answers with pride. “I set the board up, all by myself.” He smiles.
            She reaches down and gently smooths her son’s hair and exits his bedroom. She mentions, “I will fix lunch in an hour.”
            “Yummy.” Her son cheers.
            As she enters her own bedroom, she hears her son ask. “Will you have lunch with us?”
She freezes in her stance. A cold chill runs up her spine. She slowly walks into her son’s bedroom again and with a shaky voice she asks, “Sweetie, who are you talking to?”
            “The lady, mama.” He happily answers.
            She can’t breathe. Her body begins to shake, tears form in her eyes.
            “Mama, are you okay?” her son’s caring voice inquires.
            “Yes, baby. I need to take out the trash. You stay in your room.” She smooths his hair one more time with a shaking hand, as she walks out of his room and into the kitchen.
She picks up the empty trash can and walks out the back door. She places the empty trash can on the patio slab as tears flow from her eyes.
            The fear of having her son taken from her and locked away, eats at her soul. She looks up at the blue sky above her, “Please help me.” She pleads. “How can I tell anyone my son’s is playing checkers with a ghost?” She lowers her head and continues to cry.

                The bamboo trellis caught Breanna’s eyes as she walked in the garden department of the store. The bright yellow paint called to her buying weaknesses. “Could I get one of those in my car?” she wonders out loud.
                The eight foot yellow trellis was neatly placed into the trunk area of her car, with the small stakes fitting in between the two front seat head rests.
                Breanna placed the yellow bamboo trellis in her back yard, near the gate. She could view the morning glories as they climbed toward the top of the yellow trellis, in the early spring.
                The bright blue morning glory blooms enhanced the brightness of the yellow on the trellis and in two months the yellow trellis and the blue morning glories had bonded into one beautiful accent in her backyard.
                That memory holds a place in her heart and mind. The long ago memory motivates her to roll her wheelchair over to the big window that faces her back yard. The yellow has faded from the trellis, but the vibrant blue morning glories make each day brighter and brighter for her.



The Love that Held my Feet


         “You don’t have enough points, sir.” The airline clerk announces loudly, pulling my attention away from my cell phone screen.
I can’t hear the man’s softly spoken words, but the tone of the airline clerk is annoying. The six people in front of me begin their own personal complaints and sighs of frustration after hearing the airline clerk’s words.
         “No, sir, you don’t have enough points to travel to that destination.” The clerk states.
            I lean a little to my right, to get a better view of the gentleman that is currently being treated rudely by the airline clerk.
            THERE IT IS!
           In perfect view of every person standing in line. Can I be the only one seeing this? My mind is whirling of the words I want to shout out. Due to the fact I don’t need my name on the Homeland Security no fly list, I decide to approach this delicately. I immediately clasp my hand on the handle of my suitcase and walk pass the six irate people in front of me.
            The World War II Veteran jacket stands out more than any high school, college or NFL jacket.
            “I, will pay for his roundtrip ticket to wherever he is trying to get to.” I place my charge card upon the counter and glare at the woman wearing the blue airline dress.
            “Miss.” She begins.
            I held one finger up to my lips, praying she doesn’t say another word. Once again, I visualize me having an encounter with a Homeland Security Officer.
            “Can you print his boarding passes, so he can get to the designated terminal on time?” I suggest.
            The World War II veteran stands next to me, waiting for his boarding passes to print. He gently touches my left hand as we wait. I lean toward the veteran and give him a hug. No words are exchanged between me and the man that fought for our country. No words need to be said. He is a Veteran of the United States military, and he deserves more respect than what he is receiving from the airline clerk.
            As I slowly jogged to my flight, I saw the World War II gentleman waiting in the area of gate 17A. The sign above 17A waiting area indicates the flight to Honolulu, Hawaii will be boarding in twenty seven minutes. Today’s date is December 4th, 2016. It has been seventy-five years since Pearl Harbor.
God Bless America to all the military men and women, that’re serving and who have served in the United States military. 

      Netta Sooleawa walks solemnly along the walkway, her hat intricately placed on her head. Her shoes have gathered some mud, from her walk along the wall of rocks. She plans to get a new pair of shoes.
      Netta didn’t plant for the fire to get so out of control. Thank goodness, the horses weren’t attached to the buggies. Although, to have transportation right now would be a blessing, indeed.
      Netta’s father kept on with the rude comments, and innuendos. “Why must he say those words?” Netta mumbles to herself as she walks on.
Her father was a cruel oppressive ruler, a tyrant. In the business of making everyone’s lives miserable was his goal every morning in the house she grew up in.
      She stops to look at the trees reaching up to the heavens above, “Why did he say those words?” she mumbles again, as her shoes slush through the mud.
      Netta blocked the screams coming from the house by exiting though the two mahogany double doors. She knows there is no one alive in the twenty room mansion. “Twenty rooms of rubble now,” she chides.
No more, will she hear those words. She has grown up with those words from her father, mother and eleven brothers and sisters. No more ridicule from the servants either. No more secrets in the house of Sooleawa.
      “You little fairy!” are not words from his fairy tale books. The venomous power his father released, caused a contagion effect from his brothers and sisters. Fairy tale books always ended with a happing ending.
      Born, Nathaniel Frances Sooleawa he never understood why he was so different. Those words constantly thrown at him growing up can devastate a mind and soul.
      A buggy approaches Netta. She stops and turns towards the young driver. The driver of the buggy smiles at her and asks, “Miss, are you lost?” 


The Windows of Jealousy

My Day as an African Honey Badger

Michael Morris Knives


            Sharon was eighteen years old when she approached the voting booth with pride and honor. To choose who she wanted as President is an overwhelming sense of belonging. Belonging to a country that allows you to vote for whom you want to see as President.
            She was thrilled to vote for her candidate that will change the country into a new independent, super power, once again. She remembers pulling the curtain around her for the privacy of voting. She entered her vote into the computer system and received her I VOTED sticker. She peeled the back off the sticker and placed the sticker onto her t-shirt that states, I LOVE AMERICA.
            IT DID HAPPEN! Her candidate won. Americans were amazed of the promising words the winning candidate spoke during his campaigning. Those words came true to pass, every one of them.
            Her candidate’s campaign promises were clear and precise to understand:
                        Free medical / dental and vision insurance
                        Free education (a mandatory course was foreign affairs)
                        Free tax preparation, because the IRS was abolished
                        Funding for schools
                        Funding for military
                        Jobs created and sustained
                        Borders protected and patrolled
                        Immigration under control at 89% in her candidates first term
                        And everyone has the same tax (upon agreement of possible relocation at time of retirement)
                        Four-term candidacy terms were abolished to assure everyone receives the promises of the candidate.
            The promises were kept by the candidate that she voted for and life was great. She no longer has to worry about college loans, medical bills, taxes or the stress of finding a job. All of the necessary things you need in life are given to you, when you are ready to accept them and the contractual conditions of the agreement, through the United States Government.
            Sharon was shopping for a new outfit to wear to her graduation. She decided to get the Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts. The system is set up to accommodate everyone and their employment for their educational classes. Some of her classes are in the building she works in so she doesn’t have to travel far. But even if she did travel, all of her expenses would be tax deductible on her tax forms. And everything is recorded under her identification number, so she doesn’t even have to keep track of these expenses. The system works perfectly.
            That was so long ago. Sharon is now forty-five years old and will be receiving her diploma at tomorrow’s ceremony. She is so excited to be a college graduate. She’s retiring at a prime age, as well. Her father worked until he was seventy-two. Sharon wants to be young enough to enjoy retirement. She has been preparing for this moment since she was eighteen. The money set aside for her retirement life is a very nice six figure amount. She will live a good retirement.
            Sharon woke with so much excitement she almost forgot to check her morning message. She held her wrist against the computer screen, so the screen could read her implanted ID card.
            Immediately her emails popped up onto the screen. She has nine hundred and seven emails congratulating her on her graduation. And she has two hundred emails congratulating her on her retirement. Social media is the best. She doesn’t care what anyone else says about it.
            Sharon finds the one emails from her CEO. The email is titled: RETIREMENT PACKAGE. She raises her shaky finger to the screen and takes a deep breath in. As the package downloads she blows out with a relaxing ease.
            “I finally did it. “She tells the glaring screen.” I am a college graduate and a retiree on the same day.”
            The computer dings, letting her know the Retirement Package has completed the download. She nervously looks down at the Italian marble flooring. She takes a deep breath, and slowly looks up at the screen.
            The information is in bold red letters:

The Free taxation retirement and relocation act is basically this”
            America joined ISIS in 2017 and ISIS financially backed the new President with seventy trillion dollars. After working for a Free America for twenty-seven years one ‘HAS ‘to be relocated. For every person relocated, one hundred ISIS rebels are moved into America.

Sharon doesn’t remember her candidate revealing this important factor when she voted for him.


By the Ounces

          I have been employed as an office clerk for over thirty three years, and at the age of fifty two I would’ve never believed I would be faced with the possibility of learning a new trade, or even hobby. You take it with stride that you will do your best at learning. I became an apprentice to learn more about home repairs and/or remodeling. I will admit this: I could barely hang a picture on the wall. Now, I do have the confidence to approach any contracting project. I will not lie and state I have been doing this for years. I have learned it’s not how long you have been doing your work, it’s the pride you put into your work. I give salute to the electricians, plumbers for the work I just can’t understand.
          Enclosed is a poem I created from some of my personal thoughts, as I was learned to install drywall. (I apologize for not indicating the correct names of the tools. This as I said, was my first job.)
         The first day of my apprenticeship.
          Scared, no knowledge of the tools that are displayed before me.
These tools are more frightening than tools used in an emergency room, but each tool has a purpose and each tool is useful.
The measured and cut drywall
Lesson learned: measure twice, cut once.
This should be engraved on all measuring tapes, and cutting tools.
The mixing of the joint compound
            Using the correct tools are the key points in consistency of the compound mix.
The covered screw heads
            Simple, but a very important step.
The taped corners
            Taping corners can test one’s nerves on perfection. 
The first coat
The first coating hid the tape, the screw heads,
And the small imperfections that I accidently administered to the drywall.
The first sanding
Once again, the correct tools for this process can save so much time, and air flow. Remember to self: always wear the protective masks, and gloves.
The second coat
I learned this step was easier that the first step, but still realizing I wasn’t finished yet was discouraging.
 The second sanding
Now, when accidents happened, I laughed.
What else could I do?
 I am learning this stuff as I go.
The final coat
            The revelation after the final coat is applied,
brings a feeling of accomplishment.
The final sanding
            Okay, I’m just saying this: sanding is sanding…
Wear the protective gear.
 The construction site clean up
            Clean up was easy.
I’m one of those neat freaks anyway.
Every tools has its place in the tool box.
Walls wiped down, windows cleaned, doors wiped down, plastic removed from floor area, and new plastic laid down for painting process.
Every speck of dust and dried joint compound is cleaned up.
Primer and painting was the hard part.
The finished project is my home.
The removal of joint compound from places on my body that should never have been exposed to joint compound was the humorous task. 

            Reverend Theo Tyro stands in the doorway, chewing on the nicotine gum that has lost its nicotine kick, six hours ago. He wants to know where they got those windows and how much would something that elaborate cost.
                Can his perish raise enough money to pay for such a wanted décor. What would they cost? He must have them. He removes the over chewed gum from his mouth and sticks it under the entry railing. This is his own reminder to leave his bad habit outside.
                He spotted the elaborate windows last week as he went to counsel a young couple getting married. Wow, that was a wild counseling session, but the memories of the young girls confessions didn’t lead his mind to stray from his Lord and Savior.  Her past along the Las Vegas strip didn’t concern him, once he saw those darn windows of the church his thoughts began to turn into a thousands of shades of green.
                How can a parish have such elaborate windows in such a small church? Why can’t his parish have those windows? He must get those windows. His church is much larger and has better parking. How can a small church have such immaculate windows?
                Maybe if he contacts some politicians he can persuade them into donating some money so he can get the windows and then he can get some contractors that will donate the time and material to install the new windows into his church.
                The Reverend Theo stomps down the aisle of his church. He wants some stained glass windows in his church. Why can’t he have stained glass windows? He kneels down to pray.

                He’s lost without them. The tall fifty foot eucalyptus trees reach high above the brick wall. He wants to be where they are now. He doesn’t know how to get there. The ladder holds his weight, barely. He wants to believe they are waiting for him, but deep down he knows this is wishful thinking.
                He started working at the bank when he was twenty-one. He met her by accident when she came in to deposit a check from her trust fund. She was nervous, he could tell by the way she held the pen to sign her name. He smiled, and informed her it will be alright.
                That was eleven years ago. Now, he watches from a ladder propped up against the brick wall covered in ivy. He leaves the ladder on the ground each evening when he’s not using it. He should’ve petitioned to have the damn wall removed. Too late now.
                He watches his family as his feet balances on the third to the top step. He’s positive he may fall off the ladder at any moment and break his neck. Wouldn’t that be funny? Maybe not, he thinks again.
                He can spot the agapanthus’s blooming near the family site. His wife loved the bright purple flowers that bloom one a year. The tree, near his family, display several whimsical wind chimes. No, doubt his daughter’s doings. He’s sure their laughter can be heard on a clear evening.
He lowers his feet off the steps on the ladder. He takes hold of the wooden ladder and lowers it carefully to the ground. Extra careful, so he won’t disturb the ivy growing along the wall. He steps backwards onto the grass. Putting caution into each step. He doesn’t want to disturb the grounds keepers when they do their work.
                He plans to visit tomorrow. Maybe he will bring some agapanthus and place on their grave. The grief of losing his family places an ice coating on his heart. He shouldn’t have mentioned his family to anyone, especially his boss at work.