Here’s Your Roses…

Hello Readers,

This is my Dad’s story. This is my history. I have heard these stories so many times I joke I could tell them better than him.

So we’re going to test it.

 

Here’s Your Roses- They’re Dead!

I had just been married to Amy for a year or so, and Valentines Day rolled around. So, what did I do?

What I thought any new husband should do.

I ordered a dozen red roses. However, what I did next was not the smart thing to do.

I left them in my car, because I didn’t want the guys at work to make fun of me. I rolled the windows up and left them on the seat. Now, this would have all been fine and well if it hadn’t been a burning hot day.

But it was.

After a long day of working, I got in my car, preparing to drive home and present my wonderful wife with a dozen red roses. Then I happened to glance over and see what had happened to them while I was working.

Turns out, leaving them in a hot car in any season is a bad idea. Who knew?

They were as dead as dead can be, wilted and brown, looking nothing like the wonderful bouquet I had envisioned. They were also pretty darn expensive, so my money and my pride had both taken a turn for the worst.

I drove home, getting madder and madder with every stoplight I passed. Finally, I got home, and by then I was so mad I had a scowl to rival my old gym teacher’s.

I opened my car door, grabbed the dead roses and marched up into my house.

I strode in and threw the roses on the couch, the scowl growing deeper on my face.

“Here’s your roses! They’re DEAD!”

“What… what does this mean!?” Was the response from my startled wife.

Amy started sobbing, and it took about fifteen minutes for both of us to calm down.

We laugh about it now.

~Rubix

New Look!

Hello Readers,

If you’ve been here for a bit, you probably noticed the new layout of the blog and the sad absence of Sam.

Well, school, driver’s ed, and music have just been really busy for him lately so he decided to take a bit of a breather, so I’ll just be maintaining and writing the blog for the foreseeable future.

But because of school and transition, it’ll probably be pretty sporadic.

~Rubix

 

Everything Begins Somewhere

Hey there Readers,

Every once in a while, I’ll get an idea for a random scene or a random story beginning, so I thought I’d write a couple of them down and show you.

The first time I saw fireworks, I was six years old. It seemed as if we were at war with the night, sending bursts of raging swirls to combat the icy blackness that threatened to swallow us. I watched the war that raged between man and nature.

The colors bloomed across my vision, sending bright spots dancing across my eyes like wayward fireflies. I heard cheering but it sounded muted, having become white noise to the explosions that littered the sky like confetti on a dirty street.

I think it was those bursts of color, streaming fearlessly to combat the inky dark that I was told was where the monsters and bogeyman lived that first inspired me to be great.

Other people have heroes, but I just had fireworks.

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The lights flickered on and off, reflecting off the slightly bruised watermelons in the cart. The odd chatter floated through the air, clashing with the loud Taylor Swift single playing.

I suppose it was an ordinary day, but I thought something could happen. Something always does, doesn’t it? Something odd that makes us wonder and marvel.

I guess you could say I live for these odd moments, these conversations, the things that make this world seem more alive, more colorful for a brief moment.

Today, my burst of color was a conversation. Tomorrow, it could be a person.

Who really knows?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laughter, the smell of hot koolaid, and an impromptu reading of “Phantom of the Opera” filled my senses as I looked in the mirror at my dyed hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A frantic phone call, worried I had messed it up, only to hear a reassuring low voice on the other end. All was well, I was forgiven, and it ceased to exist.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cold snow fell, dewy on her black hair as she stood and laughed at the world that had scorned her for so long. It was not a bitter angry laugh but a laugh of pure joy, of knowing what and who she was. She was not afraid anymore. What was there to be afraid of?                                                                                                                                                                                              

  For she was loved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I met him on the old playground, remembering days spent there as a kid. He sat beside me on the swings without a word, the rusty chains squeaking under him as he sat on the cracked green seat. 

“I heard about your friend…” He said, his brown eyes wide with sympathy that I don’t know if I wanted to see or not.

I sighed a little, determined not to cry this time. “Yea.”

“I’m sorry.” He said, looking back down at his feet. Mine still dangled. Cons of being short, I guess. 

“So am I.” I finally looked at him, standing up and he followed.

He hugged me as I cried. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I held him tightly before handing him back to his mother after cleaning him up, looking down into his baby blue eyes and soft black hair, knowing that this was a miracle.

“You’re a mother now.”

She cried and I held her hand as she smiled at her new baby boy. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Rubix

 

The Little Storm Child

Hello Readers,

So I was inspired to write a bit of a short story today after I watched the storm that rolled into my small town. I hope you enjoy it!

She was standing in the middle of an old concrete parking lot when I first saw her. The cracks spread through the concrete, past her discarded dirty pink flip flops and right under her bare feet. Her hair was what I first saw, tangled up in flowers that flowed down her back. She had her arms outstretched towards the sky, laughing like there was nothing bad in the world.

I parked my old pickup truck in the gravel, turning the broken handle and muttering about what an antique it was. I don’t know why I walked over, because ever since I’ve turned 80 I didn’t really want to see small children. It reminded me that I had no grandkids, and I was all alone. But this time, I went over to the blonde haired girl. 

“What’cha doin’ there, honey?”

She turned to look at me with these bright blue eyes, full of laughter as she pointed up to the sky. “I came out to watch it rain.” Like it was obvious and something everyone did. 

I laughed a bit, the first time I had laughed that day as I agreed with her. “I guess I did too.”

She laughed with me, and began chatting at me, talking to me about butterflies and such nonsense that I didn’t understand half of. She told me her name was Lilac though, and her favorite color was the color of storms. She told me her Momma drew storms and hung them in her bedroom.

“I’m Becca. Where are your parents, hon?” I looked around, worried that this poor little storm girl would be alone on such a day. She noticed my worry and smiled, as if she understood. 

She pointed towards a store where I saw a young couple talking animatedly. The woman had short spiky blond hair, and her hands were on her hips as she laughingly rolled her eyes at the taller man with bright blue eyes. I knew immediately that they were the parents of the little storm child. “There they are. They said I could come out and watch the rain. Don’t worry, I asked.”

“It hasn’t rained yet, sugar.” I got down on my old dark wrinkly knees to look up at the sky with her and wait for it to rain. I hoped that it would, just for her. I didn’t think about driving home in the rain, I didn’t even remember that I had come all the way out to town to get some fabric for my new curtains, all that existed in that moment was me, the storm, and Lilac.

“It will.” Lilac shrugged, spinning around again before sitting down beside me.

She turned toward me again and cocked her head. She studied me for a minute, and I unconsciously tangled my hand in my hair, something I hadn’t done in ages. I guess the gaze of the young make me nervous. Then she said the oddest thing, smiling like I had handed her diamonds. “I like your hair, it’s the color of lightning.”

“Really? I always thought it made me look rather plain.” 

“Momma says nobody is plain.” She smiled like that was something everyone knew and took my wrinkled knobby hands in hers. “I think you’re beautiful. I wish you were my Grandma.” Then she looked away and picked a flower as if she hadn’t said something that rocked my very foundations and brought tears to my antique gray eyes. 

And then it began to rain. It started off softly at first, and then it began to pour. Lilac stood up, and laughed. She laughed so much, that little storm child. She pulled my hands toward her and grinned widely. “Come on, let’s dance in the rain. It helped you find me.”

We carefully danced across the cracked concrete, a slow waltz that I scarcely remembered from ages ago, that I don’t know how a five year old knew. I think it was the happiest I had been for years. I didn’t want to stop my slow rain waltz with the little storm girl. 

Her parents came all to soon to end it. Their eyes sparkled like their daughter’s and they laughed as she told them about me excitedly. They invited me to their house for supper after Lilac proclaimed that it was storming and that old ladies shouldn’t be left alone in storms. 

I told them about how lonely I was, about how hard it was on the farm all by myself now that Earl had died, and how cats are lovely but they can’t talk back. I talked more than I had in a long time, and I cried and laughed more than I knew possible. All the while, the rain spattered against the windows. I learned to love the rain that day.

That was the day I met my granddaughter.

The Walls Saw It All

‘Lo Readers,

Imagine for a minute with me that you are a fly on a wall. If you were, you would see people at their absolute rawest. You would see humanity as it really is, and not what we portray ourselves to be. Take a dive with me into this world of being unseen.

A taller man wildly animates a story, his man bun flying side to side as he acts it out, the rest of the people gathered at the kitchen table laugh, some shaking or rocking back and forth. Photo albums are open at the table, and the stories continue to flow as the night goes on. Their voices break over a couple of names, but they laugh in the end, remembering what they all used to be and who made them who they are now.

The scene changes to a small red car parked outside a coffee shop. Two girls seem to have gravitated towards the middle of the car, the younger one shaking with quiet sobs and the older one murmuring quietly as she hugs her. It’s an odd mixture of love and heartbreak.

The scene changes to two little boys screaming and streaking through the house like hyper bolts of lightning, clothes forgotten and their hair still wet from the bath. Their words are indecipherable, but they are filled with an almost musical sound of laughter. You laugh along even though you don’t get the joke.

The scene changes to quiet conversations in the kitchen. An older looking man sits at the head, talking quietly while the others interject every now and then. Though they don’t always agree, you sense a level of respect towards the older man.

The scene changes to that kitchen table again, games being played with laughter and teasing involved. Every once in a while an irritated shout fills the room while the other players laugh and the irritated person chuckles in the end. 

The scene changes to an old fish restaurant where an entire table communicates with wild gestures but no words because the quiet game is in session. 

The scene changes to two young people playing Coldplay on their cello and piano, the adults poking their heads in every now and then and grandparents smiling quietly in the kitchen as music fills the house from corner to corner. 

The scene changes to irritated sighs and stomping away, computers left open on mine craft tabs by two young boys. 

The scene changes to four people huddled on the couch under a blanket watching a black and white TV show. One of them screams and the others jump wildly. 

The scene changes to a drive around the lake, stories flying around the car. The man driving is telling these stories, circling around old neighborhoods and remembering the people who shaped him. He’s not just telling these stories for fun, but he’s teaching lessons, hoping that some of it will sink into the young people in the car. 

The scene changes to off key singing and a piano and cello banging out “Don’t Stop Believin'”. It’s a little off tune and extremely off key but it is carefree and happy for that moment. 

The scene changes to discussions over huge mugs of coffee, filled to the brim with steaming liquid caffeine.

The scene changes once more as you manage to rip your eyes away from this raw and open state of life as you watch them around the kitchen table again, some talking loud and some talking softer, others just listening. And you smile to yourself then, because you know something now.

This is what real life is like.

~Rubix

 

 

Coming ‘Home’

Hello Readers,

How does it feel to be home?

Ah, I hear this question so much. What people are asking is how does it feel to be back in familiarity, in a house that I know, where the food is familiar and the language is mine.

But home isn’t that for me.

Home is my aunt hugging me goodnight like she can’t believe I’m there. Home is binge watching British shows with my cousin. Home is trampolines and pizza and avoiding trips to Walmart.

Home is sarcastic quips and jokes that take too long to get to the punchline. Home is waiting on my Gramma to hurry up and blow dry her hair already.

Home is this weird bunch of people that I love in the living room telling stories.

And what stories we have to tell. I could write a whole series of them, but I don’t think I ever will. Part of me is selfish and wants to keep these stories hidden away for myself.

I don’t want to share my home.

Because home isn’t a big red house with a white picket fence. Not for me.

Home is butterfly wings and cicada shells in my hair. Home is screeching laughter and bike rides. Home is a crazy wild thing that I do with the people I love.

I suppose it’s all perspective, isn’t it? My home is my stories of long summer days and cold winter nights.

And maybe one day I will share them, but for now, I’ll be selfish and keep them hidden away to keep me warm.

~Rubix

 

The Sea’s Calling

Hello Readers!

 

I’m sorry for the long hiatus, and I wish I had a good reason for it. I simply couldn’t think of what to write.

I don’t know how to write what I am feeling because I do not understand it completely myself. And if you can’t understand it, how do you explain it to other people? How do you explain things that you don’t know?

I’m scared. I’m happy. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I feel like a walking contradiction.

I’m moving, as some of you know, and I know it’s time to go. But the thing is, knowing it’s time to go doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad.

Lots of people think that kids like me, moving around a lot, don’t really care when it’s time to pack up and move because we can feel the sea calling. But we do.

I miss things, I’ve missed things my whole life, and that’s fine. It’s the way it goes, and for everything I miss there is something different to discover. Something new, something exciting, maybe something better.

It’s always scary walking out into the unknown, leaving what you do understand behind. You don’t know if this new world will accept you, or if you will accept it. But I have learned that there is always beauty to be found, always wonderful people to meet, and that everywhere you go there is God.

It all happens so fast. You talk and talk about moving, and you know it will happen, and then one day you wake up and somebody is moving your couch out, you’re taking down posters, and then you know. And it’s not a bad thing, knowing it’s time. It just shocks you for a bit and then you realize that you get to go out into the world again. You get to meet new people, make a difference in a different way.

I believe moving is a good thing. I know this next move will be good for my family. And I know it’s time to go, because I can feel it.

Missing things is like listening to the sea. It’s there and you know it, and sometimes you can sit there and listen to it, but other times, you have to move beyond the warm beach and dive into the freezing water. There are things that must be done and you can not listen to the water forever. You have to get out there.

I am excited for a new opportunity, I am excited for a new house, a new schedule, a new way of doing things.

But I will not forget the old ones.

~Rubix