Tag Archives: writing

Penny for your thoughts

Growing up on the edge of a strawberry field, I thought I had a pretty happy and safe existence. Living was easy. I wanted my childhood to last forever.

As I grew older, it was hard to know my true identity and purpose though. I didn’t want to hang around the same bunch and area my whole life. My parents had also passed, which made it difficult to understand if I was part of something bigger.

Always hanging around with absolutely no purpose, a woman with a love for baskets and cooking finally took me into her home. Glad to belong to someone again, I thought I could build a better life away from the strawberrry field. After only a few hours in her kitchen, it was clear, that was not going to happen. The grass is never greener. She and her husband started torturing me with boiling water.

In time I was set aside, wounding my psyche even more and preserving only my helplessness. Daily life was almost what I would call sweet once the boilings stopped but I was cloistered, and could not even breathe easily in their environment. I always feared what unexpected events would come into my life next.

It seemed hopeless for me, so I wished for someone else’s happiness. I begged to myself; make sure this wasted life matters. Use your misery to make someone else happy. My life, I thought, had meaning when the jobless, widower neighbor came to visit.

I inhaled deeply, listening to him with bated breathe. How could I help? “Be careful what you wish for” was my next thought, when his accomplice appeared and the neighbor drew a knife.

The scene happened quickly, with the knife coming down on my head like sliced butter. He continued to cut through me, with a huge grin on his face, staring through me like an old lost friend. The old man spread sections of me all over his smooth brown accomplice.

This grown man took great joy consuming all of me. Ultimately the peanut butter and I did not survive but my life had mattered. Our neighbor was no longer hungry.

He took me down. Nothing is real. Nothing to get hung about. Strawberry fields forever.

Writing prompt – Tell me about the last time you were in a jam

True Yankee

Up the hill to Harrisville, down the hill to Peterborough, take in the beautiful autumn landscape of Southwestern New Hampshire. The views paint oils from gold to crimson over the rolling hills of Dublin, sandwiched in between. Another layer of serendipity added to an autumn excursion in this quiet town of literary New England history.

In the shadows of Mount Monadnock, after shopping the yarn mill in Harrisville, we discover this Cheshire county village as we continue to leaf peep in mid-October. The leaves on the tips of the trees have fallen away but those that remain reveal a beautiful canvas. We fall into the center of town and country life pauses to appreciate the culture of a modest red building across from the Dublin Town Hall, noting an establishment of 1882. The seasonal drive in this Region reveals the Northern home of Yankee Magazine. Alongside the parking lot is that of Yankee Publishing, also turning a personal page into the Old Farmers Almanac. Nothing could Robb one from stopping to take in the editorial air and photo opportunity. Surreal to be upon a setting that has transported millions to so many other New England travel experiences.

Saturday ambiance abundant with the people of Dublin at the General Store, just up the road. The first to greet is a 6’ wooden cigar Indian. His doorway reveals the perfect blend of history, antiques and modern deli.

Salads and delectable foods flicker behind glass under the light of an antique punching bag.

Fresh fruit beams from another display near a hanging vintage scale. Well past thirsty and hunting a beverage, coolers appropriately locate near an old metal lifesaver display.

Historical charm decorates the store as locals arrive for their staples or a bite to eat, under the watchful eye of a mounted deer, humored by the sweatband around his head.

Beyond the still dial-up checkout, to have survived the recent power outage, is a seating area at the front of the store. Makeshift tables with cast iron sewing machine bases and old desktops await. The outdoors continues to beckon, dining near the long-paned period windows.

Nice conversation is had by local area schoolteachers, as warned by the nearby mounted phone with a sign stating “Be nice or leave”.

Leaving is not an option with chicken breast of apple and Brie and zesty macaroni and cheese. The comforts of home abound amongst memorable time spent and ambiance of days gone by, nudging us, reminding us that old Yanks are here too.

Departure is bittersweet as the afternoon is lived like the exploring pages of Yankee Magazine. Like any solid Yankee town, farewells include a bid to have a good day under the watchful eye of an Indian. Crisp fall air meets warm bellies, continuing South to a festival in Peterborough and Yankee homes in central Massachusetts where cherished issues of a local magazine await. ‘Twas a day of outdoor magical theatre, so let it be written.