From Our Writers

Tell Me a Story

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker, based upon the prompt, The Roles We Play.

“Why can’t a woman be more,
More like a man?” he said.
“Because then you wouldn’t be here,” says I.

Would I trade having kids,
Watching them grow,
Laugh, learn,
For the hard labor of a
Construction site?
Or sitting in an office all day?
No.

Would I trade the warm scent
Filling my kitchen
As I take loaves of fresh bread
Out of the oven,
For the oil and grease
Of a mechanic, a factory,
Or the dry sterile atmosphere
Of a skyscraper downtown?
No.

Would I like to be an astronaut,
Like Peggy Whitson,
Out there, exploring the stars?
Yes!

But the time is not,
Nor ever was,
For me to fly to the moon,
Discovery electricity,
Romance in Paris,
Dance across the Great Wall,
Or pet a tiger.
But I can.

I can do whatever anyone
Throughout time has ever done,
Feel what they’ve felt,
See what they’ve seen.

So, show me, storyteller.
Where have you been?
What have you done?
What have you seen?
Tell me a story
So I can go, too.

8 May 2017

Broadening Travel? Well, Depends.

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker.

I’d be much skinnier if I lived in Germany.
Cabbage, sauerkraut and beer are not my thing.
I know why Brits are such avid tea drinkers,
There isn’t a decent cup of coffee in the whole island.
I’m addicted to cheese.
I’d have to find a substitute if I lived in Scandinavia,
(Not that there is such a thing)
Their’s smells like sewage.
But how all those French stay so slim is beyond me.
Chocolate, creams, and pastries!
I gain ten pounds just looking in a bakery window.
Open the door, get a whiff, another ten.
Dare to go inside?
You’re a goner.

Determination

The following is by Writers in the Grove member Patti Bond.

Determination is pressing on when you feel like you can’t go on.
Determination is persevering through life.
Determination is not giving up on your dreams and goal.
Determination is a sense of success when you achieve something you want to do.
Determination is a sense of power.
Determination is reaching for the prize that is from above.
Determination is joy that overflows your heart to others around you.

The Body In The Bathtub

The following submission is by Writers in the Grove member Ann Farley for a suggested one line prompt: The body in the bathtub was not one she recognized.

The body in the bathtub was not one she recognized. Doris inched closer, clasped her hands behind her back so she wouldn’t touch anything, and leaned forward.
He was naked, all right. All the way to his toes.

Not bad looking. Give him a shave and comb that wavy dark hair and he would be a fine looking specimen. Well, his color could be better.

Doris straightened and shuffled back from the claw-foot tub. Better make a call or two. She tottered into the kitchen, lifted the yellowed handset, pressed at the buttons.

“911 dispatch. What’s your location?”

Doris stepped back in surprise. Lordy, that woman was loud, startling. Down-right rude, actually.

“I’m in my kitchen,” she snapped.

“Your location, ma’am. Where is your emergency?”

“Well, you see, I’m not sure it’s quite an emergency, really. It’s just –” Oh, how she wished everything wasn’t so automated.

“Ma’am, what is your location? Your address?”

“Oh,” Doris stammered, “Why, I’m out Mercer Road, just about two miles down from the high school. It’s the yellow house. Can’t miss it.”

Doris was still annoyed at her oldest boy, Marty, for picking such a bright, garish yellow. She had asked for a soft buttery color.

“I repeat, what is your emergency?”

“You see, I’ve been trying to tell you, I’m not sure it’s quite an em –”

“Ma’am, do you have a medical emergency? A fire? An intruder? This is 911 emergency dispatch.”

Doris sighed. “Oh, never mind. It’s hardly an emergency. I’m pretty sure he’s dead already.”

She hung the handset back on the wall unit.

That, thought Doris, didn’t go especially well.

Hands on her hip, she studied the clock above the sink, the one that made bird calls on the hour, a silly thing, but she rather liked it. A couple minutes after 10:00. She had less than an hour to get to May’s bridge luncheon at 11:00, and she still had a cake to frost. The undertaker, Samuel Walters, that’s who would help her. He did just fine when Harold passed a couple of years ago. Let him come and get another one.

Halloween Memories

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Patti Bond.

I enjoyed the time going to door to door saying “trick or treat” as a child. Sometimes my family would go out to eat then Dave and I would have to hurry home and get dressed in our costumes. I really liked dressing up. The only thing I didn’t like was going trick-or-treating in the rain, but that’s what living in Oregon is all about.

I loved the year I was Little Red riding Hood. I was a pretty one that year. I’d be so anxious I would be waiting for trick or treat time, dressed in a cape with a scarf on my head.

That Halloween, after going around several blocks, Dave and I came home and emptied our bags on the living room floor to see what all the neighbors gave us. I remember putting the candy in our piles and thinking “Wow!” My favorites were Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, and bubble gum.

After Dave and I saw our treats, our mother would say, ” Okay, you can have two but you have to put the rest in a bowl and put it in the kitchen.”

We weren’t allowed to have the bowl in our room. Did she think we would eat all the candy at once? If we did, we would get sick, then that would spoil all the fun for next year, as I’d learned in the past. We’re supposed to learn from our mistakes, right?

Our Holiday Disaster

The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Debby White. She is an active member of the Vernonia Library group in Vernonia, Oregon.

Gertrude blew a strand of hair from her face as she peeled the small mountain of potatoes destined for mashing. She gave a quick glance to the clock on the oven. Ten a.m. The day’s agenda ran through her mind as the peeler continued to work it’s way through the mound. The turkey will be ready in an hour, kids and grandkids should arrive any minute. Dinner rolls should go in the oven in about forty five minutes. Harry, her husband of 30 years, was watching a loud Thanksgiving day football game in the living room, making an appearance in the kitchen only when he needed a warm up for his coffee.

Outside the wind whipped the rain around frequently throwing it against the windows, tree branches swaying as if throwing a tantrum.

“Quite a storm out there.” Gertrude jumped. Harry chuckled behind her. “Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, reaching for the coffee pot to fill his cup for the fifth or sixth time.

Gertrude sighed, “I hope we don’t lose power. The turkey still needs almost another hour in the oven, then there’s the dinner rolls. Lots of food in the fridge that could go bad if the electricity’s out for a long time.”

“Don’t panic, honey,” Harry patted her shoulder. “Remember that’s why we spent all that money on the generator. Out here in the boondocks we lose power at the drop of a hat. With the generator life goes on as usual.”

They both turned at the sound of voices in the entryway. Seconds later they had little grandchildren arms wrapped around their legs. Sadie, their oldest daughter, planted a kiss first on Gertrude’s cheek then Harry’s. “Jack and Nikki drove up behind us,” Sadie said of her brother and his wife. “Nate is helping them carry stuff in.” Nate being Sadie’s husband.

Minutes later the women and children were gathered in the kitchen and the guys convened in the living room to finish watching the football game. Gertrude finished peeling the potatoes and Sadie and Nikki set the table while dodging little Nate and Jillian. Suddenly, everything went black. From the living room a chorus of “Hey, what happened?” was heard as the TV went blank. Gertrude raced into the living room, with a panicked look on her face. “We’ve lost power!” she exclaimed. (more…)

Ode to a Potluck

The following is a holiday piece by Writers in the Grove member, Bev Walker.

There’s peas in my apple pie
The spaghetti’s a glutenous ball.
It’s that delicious time of year
My plate overflows with it all.
There’s salad in my pudding
And pudding on my mac and cheese.
And mac and cheese in my jello
And jello in the “What are these?”
Succotash spills into whipped cream,
There’s cream on my sour pickle.
There’s always a “Wonder what that is?”
It could be a cranberry frickle!
There’s mystery in what I’m eating.
Who knows? I could even die! But –
It’s amazing how delicious it all is
Even peas in apple pie!