The Share Your World Challenge (SYW) hosted by Cee Neuner, gives writers a place to congregate and “shoot the breeze.” Each week, on Monday, Cee proposes four questions and welcomes us into her cyber living room to discuss and share our unique answers. I would like to give a “heads up” or an “alert,” if you will, to all my fellow writers…come on in and let’s chew the fat for a while!
So, here we go!
This week’s four questions are:
- Since we are approaching the hottest part of our summer in the northern hemisphere, what’s your favorite ice-cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet flavor? As a child growing up in rural North Carolina, the summers were long and days were hot. Most of the time my hair was in pigtails like Pippie-Long-Stockings, and my feet were bare from sun-up to bedtime. My days were care-free, romping around the neighborhood with my numerous “Heinz 57” hounds, or playing “Hide-and-Go-Seek” and “Cowboy’s and Indians” with my cousins who lived on the same dirt road. Every now and then my mom would interrupt my play with a surprise visit to our local Tastee-Freeze. I would always get a cone of soft serve vanilla ice cream. Usually, we would sit outside at one of the scattered picnic tables to enjoy this rare treat. The coldness of the ice cream was so refreshing, making the hot days just a bit cooler. So to answer the question, I would have to say my favorite frozen treat is still a big cone of soft serve vanilla ice cream. Now, you may think soft serve vanilla ice cream to be boring, but I beg to differ, for every time I pause to enjoy its soft sweetness I’m transported back into the world of hide-and-seek, cap-guns, and bow and arrows.
- How often do you people watch? Do you remember the old television show, Bewitched? Elizabeth Montgomery played the lovable neighborhood witch who could twitch her nose to make things appear, disappear, or to even clean a nasty house. (Damn! Sure wish I could do that!) Growing up I always had a major crush on this pretty lady. (Kind of still do) This loveable witch and her handsome husband, Darren, lived beside a nosy busybody who hid behind her curtains to spy at them with binoculars nestled to her nose. This year for Christmas, Corinne, my wife, thoughtfully gave her bird-watching wife (me) a wonderful set of binoculars. Now, you may think you know where this is going…but, I’m nothing like the busybody in Bewitched. I never hide behind the curtains to spy at my neighbors. No way! Instead, I sit on the front porch, behind of the cover of our overgrown hedges to watch the goldfinches eating at the feeder beneath the maple tree in our yard. The thing with goldfinches, though…they flitter and fly away to visit someone else’s birdfeeder. In their absence, I tend to get a little bored and find my binoculars swaying to the left or swaying to the right. It’s not my fault if the neighbors just happen to be in my field of vision. Just saying…
- If you had a choice which would be your preference saltwater beaches, freshwater lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? Oh wow, this is an easy one. Saltwater beaches all the way! Growing up poor my mom didn’t have the money to take us kids on vacations to the beach, however, we had family living in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Since we could stay at our beloved Aunt Bessie’s house we were able to get away and visit family while at the same time relaxing in the serenity of the mountains. I loved it and part of my heart will always walk those hills. I was much older when I first saw the ocean in all her glory. I remember feeling fear, reverence, and love…all three mingled together and my sight fell helpless into the wild torrents rolling water. I was smitten, and I remain smitten some 40 years later.
- What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? The smile and kiss from an old woman was the best thing that happened to me this week. Her teeth were stained and worn, and she reminded me of the old Eskimo women I’ve seen in photos and television. I’m not sure of her ethnicity but I could sense she knew little English. Maybe she was a refugee or an immigrant…it’s possible. I was volunteering at the food bank, busy greeting and helping those needing food. I always try to smile and ask them how their day is going, and most smile back and say “fine” or “good” and continue their shopping. I was in the process of doing this when I noticed an old lady slowly pushing her cart my way. She paused by the rice, reached for a bag and put it in her cart, then she walked a few more steps, paused and slowly reached for a bag of oatmeal and put it into her cart. Finally, she reached me and I smiled and said hello. She smiled creating a multitude of lines that seemed to frame her face within a set of parentheses. I looked at her smile and at that moment I became an esthete, a person who notices amazing beauty. Her smile was the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. She walked with somewhat of a limp, closing the distance between us. Then she took me into her arms and kissed me on the neck…she was short and couldn’t reach my cheek. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry…so, I did both.
A Love Note to my Readers: I don’t say it often enough but I’ve fallen in love with each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read my ramblings. You are a blessing to me.