Thursday, July 10, 2008

The beginning of a short story

Once upon a time in a land where the dirty laundry grew ever so lushly and abundantly, lived a 30-something woman who was just realizing the importance of wrinkle cream. The woman loved her life in her small cottage at the top of a hill. Her humble haven was filled with things that made her most happy.... her 4 darling daughters, her forgiving husband, her king sized bed and body pillow, recorded episodes of her favorite dance show, jars of peanut butter, more books than she could count, and orange scented candles. Pink zinnias from her garden found happy homes in vintage blue mason jars, stealing the show from the scratched dining room table they sat upon. Cherry tomatoes finished the last leg of their journey toward ripeness in a bowl perched on her kitchen windowsill. Photos and love notes from her darlings overlapped all but a small corner of her icebox. Swimsuits hung jauntily over every doorknob, evidence that the time for book learning had given way to the carefree days of frog catching and afternoons spent in the cool pool. The high pitched yet somehow pleasant sounds of made-up princess songs flowed effortlessly from her darlings' lips, filtering thru the home's many windows onto the sidewalk below. On weekends after the sun had set, the sounds escaping the home became more boisterous, as the woman loved to throw parties involving poker and various competitive board games. Life was good and the woman knew she had much to be thankful for.

But there were days, days when her darling daughters found it impossible to get along. They would fight about forks and magic wands, who got to sit nearest the youngest darling at that scratched table, who got to swing on the spinniest swing, who got to measure the flour for the homemade cookies, who got to use the powder room first. There were days when the woman was pulled in so many different directions at once she felt as if her sanity would be severed beyond repair. There were days when the woman's cupboards were bare, yet she couldn't manage to get herself and her children showered and ready for market before the youngest darling needed to be settled in for a nap. Those days the woman relied on peanut butter and jelly spread over buns verging on moldy. There were many days when huge puddles were found escaping into the hallway in front of the bathroom from the darling's bath time antics, days when entire gallons of milk were dropped above the obstacle course of shoes at the back door, days when no matter how hard the woman worked, her beloved home spiraled downward into a vortex of chaos and whining. 

It was on those days that the wrinkled woman felt an overwhelming desire to escape. Her king sized bed and body pillow beckoned her from the crunchy cereal covered floor when the dustpan was nowhere to be found. The quiet guest cottage (camper) in her private backyard seemed to constantly whisper, "Peace. Peace. My peace I offer you. Peace with Cottage Living magazines, a gentle breeze, and peanut butter eaten in secrecy." The woman, for the most part, was able to resist these temptations, for she knew that her forgiving husband would soon return from a long day of bread-winning and rescue her from the unending barrage of questions and demands, giving her a chance to breath. Although more difficult, the woman tried to remember to count her blessings on even these most stressful of days.


joolee said...

"grew ever so lushly and abundantly" doesn't sound quite right. Should it be lush and abundant....lush and abundantly? I'm open to any and all critiques.....

heather said...

I like adding "ly" to pretty much any word so I'm all for keeping it the way it is.
I have no grammar skillz.
But I do love this post. Too funny and oh so true. It's just HARD sometimes, no matter how often you remind yourself to be positive and remember you're blessed. It's hard.
Now go hide and eat peanut butter, funny lady.