|..."I've seen wild turkeys before and these birds are definitely not turkeys. They don't have those things under their necks, combs or something?"
"Hmm, I thought combs were only found on chickens?"
"I don't know," I said. "Well, I gotta go, someone is knocking at the door."
"I hope it ain't Merlethem, he he," mom said.
I hoped it wasn't my crazy neighbor, either. However, I wasn't too surprised to see her standing there on my porch, shotgun in hand. "I'm thinking about going after those turkeys, you wanna have a go with old Winston, here?"
"Well, I'm not sure. Why do you call it Winston?"
"Oh, heehehehe, you silly girl, after Winston Churchill, of course. He's saved me arse on more than one occasion."
"Who? Winston Churchill? I didn't think you were in the war?" I asked. As many times as it has happened in the past, I should have known better than to ask Merlethem any questions.
"Well, back in '44, I was just a wee lass and we had just come through the roughest winter. It seems we spent every other hour down in the bomb shelters hiding from those blimey Germans. Whenever we ran into the shelters, we were always told to bring any form of weaponry we had. And this is how old Winston ended up in the Shatz family. Watch this!"
When Merlethem said that, I stepped back and watched in complete disbelief as she raised old Winston to her shoulder and got off two rounds from the double-barrelled beast. "Holy Crap! What in the hell are you shooting at?" I yelled.
"Look there. Look down there." I followed her gaze down to the old chicken house and saw the birds again. Or what was left of them.
"Well, I think you killed 'em," I said. As we walked down the hill to inspect the damage (two birds were dead) we were surprised when the last remaining bird flew over our shoulders and landed near his friends. "Well, Merlethem, it ain't a turkey, that's for sure."
"I guess not. Wretch! Thy God hath lent thee--by these angels, he had sent thee..."
"Huh? You're tripping again. You killed these birds, I hope you're gonna dispose of them." I said and started to walk away when I heard something behind me.
"Nevermore," said the last remaining bird to his friends. Then he turned to us and said, "I'm a turkey buzzard, you nitwits! Now, leave me alone. It's time for my dinner." he said.
And then he dug in...
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
|...Anyhow, the next few weeks passed uneventfully without any sightings of the birds or my wacky neighbor until one early morning. It was barely daylight and I was outside packing up the car to head out to the flea market when I heard an eerie moan and the following from somewhere near my neighbor's house.
"Whhhooo, prithy, once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. While I nodded, nearly napping, SUDDENLY there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door..."
"Merlethem, is that you?" I asked. "Who are you talking to? You scared me a little bit." At that point, in the early morning light, I heard a whoosh and a flapping of wings as something very large took flight just over my head. "What the hell is it? Are those buzzards back?" I yelled.
Melethem, whom without my noticing was now standing directly behind me. "Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; 'Tis the wind and nothing more."
"What are you talking about..."
"Open here, I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter..."
"Flirts and flutter, are you drinking again? Man, I gotta go. I'm going to the flea market."
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing..."
"I know one thing, you're making me wonder," I said as I got in my car. As I was pulling out of my driveway I glanced up at my rear view mirror and there was just enough daylight to see Merlethem standing there, watching me leave, alongside a very strange looking black object that I hadn't seen before.
What was that, I wondered to myself as I drove away...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
|I'm sort of a pack rat, I guess. I've mentioned before that I like to go to the flea market and go to yard sales where I pick up all sorts of crap.
One thing that I will normally not purchase used are clothes. I'm not sure why, maybe it stems from childhood when mom was a frequent visitor to neighborhood yard sales where she tried to find clothing for her ever growing kids at a cheap price.
I'm not proud or anything (maybe, a little) but the thought of wearing the neighbors' used clothing really gives me the Eeewwwwwws. None of my neighbors on Cherry Fork Road had the cooties or anything but I'm sure Missy really didn't want to see me walking around in one of her 'Alexander' shirts.
All of this brings me to present day. During a recent surge of physical activity (not sure where it came from) I decided to root around through some old boxes and see if I couldn't get rid of a few things. The first box that I opened contained a varied assortment of green and yellow colored shirts in different sizes with different monikers on the front and back. What I had found was the box that contained all of my old t-shirts and jerseys from when I was a child.
As I looked through the box and read the names on the backs of the shirts I was transported back to my childhood. At one point in time I had been called the following names: G.G., 1st grade; Strawberry, 5th grade basketball; G-whiz, Tom Downing called me that; MyMy, junior high; Mia, still called that; G, still called that; Palmer, never liked being called by my last name and lastly, Gianetta. I had shirts monogrammed with all of these names.
It's been 35 years, do I really need to keep these mementos?
After a few moments of thought and reflection, I decided it was time to let the old shirts go; they were in good shape so I thought I would donate them to the local thrift store.
A few weeks later I had stopped at the park by my house to go for a walk when I noticed a group of small children playing on the jungle gym wearing a familiar looking color. When I approached closer, I was surprised to see four little kids wearing four of the t-shirts that I had donated. I struck up a conversation with the mom and discovered she was just overjoyed to have found these shirts. She home-schooled her kids, ages 8-11, and when they went to the park she liked to dress them in similar colors.
Everyone seemed to be having a good time except one little boy who was upset and kept trying to read the back of his shirt. Intrigued by his actions, I approached him with this question, "What's wrong? Don't you like your new shirt?"
"It's okay, I guess. Except my name isn't Palmer, it's Alexander!"
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
|I spent Labor Day waiting on the rains from Tropical Storm Lee to make their way up from the Gulf of Mexico. I also enjoyed the cooler weather. I know people get tired of me complaining about the heat and all but I've been sweating steadily for the last six months and I've been listening to that noisy air conditioner in the kitchen so much that my head seems to vibrate all the time.
I felt like cooking and had just settled down to a nice meal of beef and potatoes slow cooked in the crock pot when I got a text message from Mom. TORNADO WARNING was all it said. I didn't know if it was for her or me so I flipped on the television and sure enough, my county was under a tornado warning. Nice. I thought we'd already been through this for the year.
Within a few minutes I felt the rains get heavier, my lights flickered, and I was in the dark.
What's up with all of this wacky weather?
Earthquakes in the Northeast of all places.
It makes me wonder if somebody isn't trying to create a diversion of some kind. After all, when is the last time you saw a report on the wars, the health care debate or the dismal housing sector.
And don't even get me started on the upcoming National election.
I only had an hour or so to ponder my diversion theory before the power came back on and the television started blasting out the latest damage reports. Luckily, my area was okay, but there was no mention of those topics that I mentioned above; gives you something to think about...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Growing up on Cherry Fork Road provided me with many memorable experiences. One memory that stands out today is when the school system decided to change the bus routes. This wasn't necessarily a good thing. I had ridden the same bus, Number 7, and had the same driver, Don Vogler, for at least eight years. I knew what I could get away with and also knew when to shut up and get back in my seat.
Bus Number 7 and I had been through several harrowing bus rides together. It was on that bus that Sister and I had clung together while Don rushed us home to see if Brother had burnt the house down. You can check out that story here.
It was also the bus that sent me flying in the air and off to the hospital which was a really scary and cool thing when you're in the sixth grade. (I haven't shared that remembrance yet.) I liked riding that bus; I knew everybody and everybody knew where to sit.
The bus that I was now assigned to was Number 23, driven by John Smiley, or Smiley as we called him. He was an older gentleman, kind of gruff and silent. He didn't seem to be too excited about getting a new route either.
The first day on my new bus I was nervous. I was in ninth grade, a lowly freshman and I now got on the bus midway through the route instead of being one of the first kids on like I was on Bus Number 7. That meant that most of the empty seats were taken and I had to sit with the kid that nobody wanted to sit with.
Not to be mean or anything but every bus had a kid like that: the nose-picker, the one that smelled like poop, the bed-wetter that hadn't bathed, the kid that always seemed to have shaved areas on their head because of frequent bouts of head lice, the fat kid, or worst of all, the empty seat where someone had just thrown up and now reeked of leftover puke and sawdust.
I knew it was going to be a long year if I had to ride in the puke seat every day...