Your favorite vehicle of all times + your favorite color + your favorite season + that old pet + a stain.
It was in the fall of ’68 I was packing my new pickup to go hunting up on Hi Tor. I was just about to load up old Boo, the dog, when the excitement started. Grandma, whose last lucid moment was somewhere around 1953, was spotted running through the barnyard half naked. Oh the bottoms were intact alright but her top had become dislodged on the barbed wire fence. She insisted on going out everyday and checking the camels. Of course we never had any camels, but that never stopped grandma from checking on them. The dog had never seen the human condition in such a natural state of being. Terrified and yelping, he jumped into the truck, hunkered down on the seat and covered his eyes.
Grandma made it back to the house and I went to retrieve the traumatized dog. That’s when I noticed the stain he left on the seat. It was my turn to be traumatized; my brand new big red pickup with a dog stain on the seat. I yelled at Boo, “You son of a….you’ll have to be shot.” Being a hunting dog, old Boo knew exactly what that meant. He took off for the cornfield. I fired my gun but the bullet missed old Boo, glanced off a water pail, went through the kitchen window and lodged in grandma’s buttocks.
She figured it was grandpa getting frisky again. “Get your hands off that Harold, I’m busy fixing breakfast,” grandma said.
Grandpa was in the bedroom at the time and immediately pulled his hand away. How in the world did she know? Grandpa thought.
Hey, thanks for the laugh, Waldo. Boo is having a really bad day, but not as bad as Grandpa! Have you been writing anything lately?
I had my first little story published at Elder Story a couple weeks ago. With the proceeds from that I plan to buy nothing, which is what they pay. I write a lot with the group we started from BWW.
“I’m having chest pains!” the old woman hollers at me as I stagger past with three feet of folded laundry in my arms. Dear old pet, she thinks that’s the only way to get my attention. And, of course, I am dutiful, if not wildly enthusiastic to be running my feet off for her.
“I’m coming, hon. Just let me put down this laundry.” I plop the pile down on the chair by the bed and sit down next to my mother-in-law, Ada, who is propped up with four pillows and covered by three blankets. I turn the volume on the TV down. The Waltons again; it looks like John Boy is out for an autumn turkey hunt. That is definitely a California landscape—not Virginia. Ponderosa pines all over the place. “Okay, let’s try the stethoscope and see what’s going on here.”
Ada beams. She loves the stethoscope. To her it is serious medicine. She thinks I am a genius to be able to use it, and I encourage that belief. I stick the ends in my ears, unbutton two buttons on her pajama top, and place the listening end on her chest. I assume a studious expression and look at the ceiling, listening and blinking. Regular and steady, as usual. I smile. “Ada, I think you’re going to live a few more days. Your heart sounds good. Have the pains gone away?”
She considers this. “I want an ice cream cone.” She eyes me hopefully.
We take the old Buick, the ’58 Roadmaster with the stick on the column. I like to take off from the stop sign in town, rev the engine up high in first gear and then listen to that amazing whine as I coast to the ice cream parlor. Since Ada is in her pajamas, I make her stay in the front seat while I go in. She hasn’t gotten to the wandering stage yet, knock on wood. I get her vanilla so the inevitable drips won’t stain her Buddha green pj’s. Me? I get a joint wrapped in a napkin from Randy who’s working behind the counter since that’s my fee for tutoring him in English. Gotta love a small town.
Hum, this sounds uncannily familiar, at least the first part. And a joint wrapped in a napkin – who wouldda thought! Brilliant!
Lady Linquist…YOU ARE THE CHAMPION OF GALUMPHING. Why don’t we come up with Weed Ice Cream, there is more profit potential in it than in writing.
The Day at the Beach.
Friday, June 08, 2012
When I awoke this morning I got the idea to go to the beach. I consulted Teddie he said only if he can come too. So off we went to the sand and surf.
We talked about which beach to go to and what we would do when we got there. Should we park at the dunes? There were many choices. We chose to park at the dunes since my pride and joy, the first car I every bought, my 1966 Chevy Super Sport convertible may only like the dunes . I loved the fact I could put the top down if I wanted to. Teddie and I discussed if we should, the agreement was not yet, maybe when we got near the beach. The salt air would smell so good. The wind may be a bit much but time would tell.
As we crossed the bridge the wind changed, was this a bad idea? We continued on our way. The ocean called, we could not resist. Teddie was smelling the salt air . Looking off the canal bridge we watched an oil tanker was making it’s way up the canal. So on we went.
The beach was deserted you would think more people would be here. We loved the beach in winter. The top came down and we rode the rest of the way with the salt and sea air in our faces. Having a seven mile long parking lot is grand. We rode up and down till we were freezing.
The top went up and we put the heat on trying to get rid of the chill.
We were thrilled to have gone to the beach in the cold winter air mixed with the salt air and sea spray. We sat and enjoyed a bit of lunch. The seagulls were hungry so I throw some bread and they hovered over the car trying to catch the pieces.
Well one got made, he thought he should get more so he gave me a gift on the convertible roof. Well the stain will be a reminder of my day at the beach.
Teddie sat on the dash the whole time looking out the window. He always rides there just him and me on our outing. He is my pet teddy bear since I can’t have a real pet. He is better than a real one. No night time walks and wet floors.
Well back over the canal bridge and home before the snow comes. The ocean is grand just before the storm. We’ll have to do it again.
You make me want to come too. I promise to sit quietly on the dashboard if Teddie doesn’t mind. Great ride!
You can come anytime it would be a pleasure. thanks for not pointing out my few mistakes. I caught them after i posted. I still need to review my work a lot more than i do. It will come in time. I’m just happy and in a hurry to post things. I have to slow donw.
Yosemite park is calling my name for a first time visit. My pals from California will be camping there for a week. I’ll be back here to play when I return to Alaska. So much for my resolution to stay home and save $$$ until I go to Antarctica in November. When you’re called, you’re called.
enjoy yosemite is grand. so much to see. many idears to write aboout there. Have a good time
When I learned to ride well enough, my dad bought me a 20-inch bicycle from the second hand store in town. It was the summer of 1958 and I was ten years old. The bicycle looked rusty and well used, but with some elbow grease, as my dad used to say, we fixed it up. Dad and I washed it and oiled the chain. We painted it bright blue, my then favorite color in the world, added streamers to the end of the handlebars, and a shiny bell at the top. Playing cards were clothes pinned to the frame to make a shuffling sound as I rode. It was the best looking bicycle in the neighborhood.
One of the challenges that summer was to ride your bicycle down the steep hill of Greenwood Street as fast as you could, and brake before you ended up in the yard of the house at the bottom of the hill. The other kids waited there to watch for traffic and signaled when you could start.
When my turn came, I started slow but soon picked up speed. Just as I got going, my old dog Waggles decided to run beside me. Distracted, I took my feet off the pedals and lost control. When I got to the bottom, my bike hit the curb and tossed me over the handlebars onto the grass. I slid forward scraping my hands and staining the knees of my pants. All the kids ran over to see if I was okay and Waggles slunk up beside me, licking my face in apology.
Luckily, only my pride was damaged. I rode that bicycle every day and finally conquered Greenwood Street by the end of the summer.
Early bike challenges are a great memory for many of us. It had great fun reading this one and remembering my own first bike–home painted blue like yours!
I gratefully grabbed the empty parking space facing down the steep hill, curving my tires into the curb. I’d need that hill to bump start the ‘56 Pontiac. It ran okay, but it had a cracked block so that whenever I had to stop at a light, I had to throw it into neutral and gun the engine so it wouldn’t stall. I needed that downhill to pop the clutch. I was heading for the consignment store, Clever Threads, where they’d show my homesewn clothing and hopefully sell it. I had made a flowy lavender skirt with many layers and a deeper purple vest to match. Maybe it would catch someone’s eye. I could use a little money.
Thanks goodness spring had arrived in Wisconsin. I was exhausted from the chores of making wood to heat the house and heat the water. It wasn’t just that; I was pregnant. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time—I’d decided I wanted to be a lady with babies, and Billy and I had been together over two years. But he was travelling with the band a lot, of which I was no longer a member, and I was alone more than half the time. We’d rented an old farm house and traded our old pickup for two baby calves. But now I had to mix formula for them twice a day in a five-gallon paint bucket and hold my fingers underneath the surface so they’d get the idea of sucking and then be able to drink on their own. Problem was, I was scared of the barn. There were spiders in there, maybe mice or other bad things. And the calves were two more animals that pooped and pee-ed wherever and whenever they wanted, trusting me to keep things cleaned up. Their noses were always wet, and they seemed to enjoy wiping them on my jeans leg, leaving wet stains. They were not sweet old pets, but colossally dumb and needy baby cows.
As I climbed the hill back to my car, I decided to trade them for something else. I was going to need a washing machine.
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle