My 1980-1981 column collection is finished and is up on Kindle for purchase. The paperback will be in production as soon as I get my proof and check it over. I’m supposed to get my proof copy by next Tuesday.
Stories from these two years include three children: Robby, Becky, and Russell–Rachel came into the picture in 1982.
Here’s a romantic story form this book in honor of Valentine’s Day:
“Oh, Rats!” to those bats
August 5, 1981
He came out of the house. We sat by the picnic table, a full moon above our heads. It was so romantic, a fragile evening.
The work noises of the day had faded. I was no longer overpowered by the roar of the tractor being tuned up near the shop. It sat quietly nearby—in pieces—not to roar again until a needed part was shipped in.
Birds swooped about the yard in silent precision, eating hundreds of juicy insects. The sound of a muffled train whistle sounded in the distance.
It was an evening all the money in the world couldn’t buy. It was an evening worth waiting for, for weeks… for months.
He whispered into my ear, “You’re alone?”
I sighed, “Yes.” And thought, “Oh Boy! Here it comes. Here comes one of his priceless romantic statements.” (They are so priceless because they’re so rare. Anyway, it had to be one the evening called for one; it yelled for one. And so did I, silently, of course.)
So I waited and waited for the words that were sure to come from his lips—words I would cherish for another five years, until the next time, when he’d again stumble over another few.
“I’m surprised you’re sitting out here like this,” he said.
“The night was made for it… for us.” I thought a few words from me would help him spit out a good line.
“I’m just surprised. I know how much you hate them,” he said with a yawn.
Somehow it wasn’t quite what I expected him to say. I wanted romance. Instead I got a puzzle.
“What are you talking about? What do I hate?” I had to ask, knowing his answer was sure to blow the evening for good.
“Bats… you hate bats.”
“Those happen to be bats flying around the yard,” he said, calmly.
“Bats? No…. BATS? Are you sure?” (Why I asked him if he was sure I don’t know. He’s always sure. And with one more look up so was I.).
“BATS!!! I thought they were birds.” I jumped up and ran to the house, my head tucked under my arms.
“Where are you going?” He remained sitting on the bench, in the moonlight.
“But it’s such a nice night…. I thought you knew they were bats. They weren’t hurting you.”
“They didn’t hurt me when I thought they were birds. They might now that I know they’re bats.”
For a man who claims to love me so much, he can be cruel. He stole away the night and the promise of romance, with one word – “BATS!” “Oh, RATS!”
I hope you enjoyed the story I shared.
I also hope that you would consider buying this kindle book or the paperback when it comes out.
Copyright © 2020 by Susan Manzke, all rights reserved