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
He came out of the house. We sat by the
picnic table, a full moon above our heads. It was so romantic, a fragile
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
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
He whispered into my ear, “You’re
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,
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
“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!”
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.
I’ve been blogging about working on a book consisting of my first two years of columns. Words in My Pocket from 1980-1981 is just about ready. Still, I need help. I’m not printing anything out and wasting paper and postage. Instead, I’m looking for editing from across the Internet.
I tried sending my book WORD file via email to my friend Joyce in Illinois, but I kept getting error messages saying the file was too big.
I cut the file in half and managed to email part 2 to Joyce, but my Internet balked when it came to the first half. I don’t know why. (Being in the country, my internet is DSL. That means it is slow compared to cable, but it’s what I have.)
We finally used Google Documents and shared the whole book file. It took us a little while to figure this sharing out, but after finally connecting we’re going gangbusters.
Now if Joyce has time to check over my manuscript and find mistakes, I can see her comments right away.
This modern way to connect with the Internet is great.
It won’t be long when this is off the computer and in book form.
Since I’m working on my column collection, I’m coming across stories about Bob. This one was written in January 1981. I think it shows how Bob never changed. Over all his years on earth, he had an odd sense of humor.
Here’s misery in perspective — January 22, 1981
Days don’t come much more miserable than this. Outside, the wind howled, whipping snow and sleet into a cold lather.
I anxiously waited
for my husband to return home. I expected him to be equally as miserable as the
weather — cold, wet, and disgusted. So, thinking of him, I warmed some hot
chocolate and turned up the thermostat.
Finally, he came in
the door. But instead of stomps, groans, and grumbling about the weather, I
“What’s so funny?”
I asked. I figured I could use a good laugh to brighten my day, too.
“I blew the
van’s radiator hose,” he giggled as he shook the snow off his jacket.
“Oh, that’s too
bad…. but what are you laughing at?”
hose, on the van… It split right in two… Rotten clear through.” He
continued laughing as he removed an icicle from his chin.
Had the pressure of
the day finally taken its toll? Had Bob popped his cork, causing everything in
his head to come babbling out?
Not wanting to upset him
further, I said, “Why don’t you come and sit down. Put your feet up. Rest
for a while. And tell me all about it. Start at the beginning… the very
“I was going to
town to get a tractor part when smoke started pouring out of the back of the van.”
“It got worse as I drove. By the time I reached town I couldn’t see out the back window.” He laughed again. “I thought the engine had blown.
hose broke… just the hose. Not that bad and I was right by the hardware
store… I even had my tools with me and money in my pocket.”
waited patiently for him to get to the funny part.
“So, I bought a
new hose and fresh anti-freeze and fixed it right there… right in the parking
lot.” He smiled.
must be a punch line in all this.
don’t you get it?”
“No. All I
understand that you had trouble with the van. But somehow I don’t think that’s
“Don’t you see?
It could have been worse… much worse… It could’ve been the engine… or it
could have gone out halfway to town… or when we were broke… or when my
tools were in the truck… or when YOU were driving alone…”
laughing,” I told him as I lowered the thermostat.
understand. The hose… the parking lot… Our luck’s changing… I guess you
had to be there to appreciate it.”
so.” I nodded as I drank his hot chocolate. “I’m glad I wasn’t. I
might have laughed myself to death.”