Day: July 15, 2004

A story

I recently saw an invitation to write and submit a story of 200 words or less.  I decided to undertake the challenge.




            Alex had always been a very literal child, so his mother should have known better than to say “Go lose yourself in a book.”  But she had important guests coming and needed him out of the way.

            Alex obediently left the spotless kitchen, careful not to leave fingerprints on the gleaming banister. He went to the small section of shelf with children’s books all carefully lined up by size.  He looked through each book, carefully replacing each one on the shelf.  Mother didn’t like messes.  Finally he selected the one he wanted.  He liked this book, it was old and ratty, the pages weren’t glossy and the pictures had no angles, only curves.  Alex carefully turned pages at the corners as he’d been taught.  He found the perfect page.

            When bedtime came, Alex’s mother looked up from her lists and felt the silence.  Alex was nowhere to be found.  His mother remembered her words and ran to the bookcase. A single book lay on the floor.  She snatched it up and rapidly scanned pages for signs of her boy.  There he was among the Whos, joyfully singing with no Christmas at all. She’d never seen him so happy.




Thank you Howard

It is the pattern of life for the Taylers that Howard works all day at Novell and then spends significant portions of his evenings and weekends working on Schlock and sometimes decompressing with movies or videos.  This means that the lion’s share of the childcare and housework is my job.  It is a division of labor so that we can jointly accomplish the things that are important to us both.  The major reason it works for me is that I know that any time I really need Howard he’ll drop everything to help me.  I’ve seen him do it time and again.  The knowledge lets me manage just a little bit more and hang on longer without help because I know that the moment I ask, he’ll drop his stuff and help me with mine.

All of this comes up because he’s doing just that for me in a big way twice this week.  Yesterday I hosted part of a garden party for the women’s organization in our church.  30 women in our neighborhood descended on our backyard to eat and visit.  I’ve been prepping the yard for this for a month now.   Inevitably yesterday arrived with a list of tasks still to-do rather than done.  Despite the fact that I told Howard I wasn’t counting on help from him, also despite the fact that he’s sick, Howard came home from work early and pitched in to help.  Because of his help the party went much more smoothly.  I was able to relax and enjoy the party because Howard took care of all the little things like directing traffic and keeping the water pitchers full.

Tomorrow morning Howard is again taking time off of work to drive me for my MRI.  He gets to sit in the lobby and be bored for an hour or more.  Then he gets to load his druggy wife into the car and drive her home.  Not a lot of fun for Howard, he’s got unpleasant memories of my past MRIs to dodge as well.

Both of these events combine to create a hit on the buffer right at the time when he is trying to get it back to a healthy level.  I know that adds stress to his life for which I feel really guilty.  And grateful.  Because I’ve really needed him this week and he’s been right there.  So I guess this entry is the best way I can think of to show him thanks.  I’m telling his friends what a great guy he is and how much I love him.

Thank you Howard!