The New Contract

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January MorgueFIle b73d79db023d064c929f24196dc3383c

I had been a rather lean year for Taylor Brothers Gardens and Fencing.  The new contract was going to be a boon for them.  In fact, Jake thought it a good time to bring his son-in-law, Steve on board.

Steve was “between jobs,” and it had been that way ever since Jake had known him.  Oh, there had been a few interviews, but Steve always came back still jobless with phrases like, “It’s a tight economy,” and such on his lips.

“Okay, this is going to be your big chance to prove yourself,” Jake told his new hire.

“What is it exactly that I need to be doing?” his son-in-law inquired.

“Really, simple.  You will go to the address on the front of the file and replace the rotted fence posts and run some new wire.  It really is as easy as that.  You start in the morning, and I will see you on Memorial Day.”

“Memorial Day?” Steve queried.

“You’ll see,” Jake said with a contented smile.  He never did care much for that boy.

 

Padre

 

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2020: WEEK #14

Homeward: A Shadorma 

Image by Alessandro Danchini from Pixabay 

Homeward bound
Thoughts like me adrift
Gone so long
Kith and kin
Now to me unfamiliar
I’m now a stranger

 

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge  is to write a syllabic poem on a theme of the poets choice.  This week I thought I would give the shadorma form a try.  Colleen’s site notes that,  “The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables.”

With the winter holidays approaching many people will be making a homeward journey.  Some to familiar friends and family, and others to more distant childhood homes.  For some these reunions are a mix of confusion as well as joy, and I hope I have captured that in the poem.

Unfortunately, I will as like most years will not be able to return to the land of my upbringing and the loved ones there.

Padre

His Future

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image – Winsome Woods

Ernie sat in the corner and pouted.  He couldn’t believe the unfairness of it all.  He had his dreams, and now they seemed dashed.  Okay, Dad was a plumber, and Mum was from a long line of electricians, but why should that matter?  After all it was his life wasn’t it?  But no, his father had put his foot down, and Ernie was going to enter an apprenticeship into a building trade.  Yet, all he ever wanted was to go to university and become a librarian.

 

Padre

 

Photo Challenge #291

A Chance Meeting

 

Wallet, Table, Business, Office, Computer, Notebook

Pixabay

A chance meeting while seeking help

No thought of what it might become

Discussing with strangers the issues of life

And then we became as one

 

How odd, our meeting was while far away

In a help room for sharing advice

And then we would click, bond, and grow

And you agreed to become my wife

 

So simple a meeting,  no thought of a link

Lone parenting our only aim

But it all came together faster than you’d think

Our destinies proved the same

 

Padre

 

My wife and I “met” in a chatroom for single parents.  This was no “online dating site.” It was a Christian site with the purpose of discussing being single parents and coming up with advice and strategies for dealing with the responsibility of that role.  We seemed to have much in common as far as approach, and that in turn showed other things we shared.   Our online contact moved on from that and about 3 months later we met for the first time face to face.  God works in wonderful ways, and through such an unexpected medium, I found the perfect partner and wife.

A Chance Meeting

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It was in the dwindling days of empire, and the sun was beginning to set upon Britannia’s global claim. Yet, the parties continued.  Into one of these strode a tall, strong jawed farm boy from Old Kentuck.  He was far from home – this Marine guard of the US Embassy.

On the dance floor was a small gathering of Britain’s roses.   Young and pretty in their party dresses.  They too were far from home – these servants of the Queen.  Among them was an Irish lass, off duty from her base where she too served the people of her Ulster birth.

There were smiles, and then flirtation.  Thousands of miles from their family homes – in Singapore a love would blossom.  Yes, that is how my parents met.

 

Padre

*A true story

 

What Pegman Saw: Singapore

Lullaby (SSgt Barry Sadler)

Lullaby - SSgt. Barry Sadler

1966 Album Cover

One of the most moving scenes of Mel Gibson’s We Were Soldiers is the depiction of Col. Hal Moore tucking in his children on the night before his deployment to Vietnam.  I have often told my students that one of the hardest aspects of being a warrior is leaving your family while you go to an uncertain future.  Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler released a song in 1966 which captures this, well before Gibson’s film, or my own military service.

Lyrics:
Go to sleep
It’s getting late
My watch says
It’s half past eight
In an hour
I must go
When I’ll be back
Well, I don’t know
While I’m gone
You’ll be the man
Help your mama
When you can
It’s a big job
I can see
For a boy
Just pushing three
Son can I have
A little kiss
Just a small one
You won’t miss
That’s right close
Your sleepy eyes
You shouldn’t see
Your daddy cry
So go to sleep
It’s getting late
My watch says
It’s half past eight
In an hour
I must go
When I’ll be back
Well, I don’t know
Source: Musixmatch
Padre
YouTube Video Link:  Lullaby
Shazam Audio Link: Lullaby

The Appointment

Full Moon, Waxing, Setting, Mountains

Pixabay

“When?”

“When – what?” Audrey asked.

“When, do we look?” Amy responded.

“You are really confusing me,” Audrey replied.

“Okay, one step at a time,” Amy said.  “You said, ‘We should climb and explore where the mountain meets the moon’.”

“Yeah – and.”

“Okay, I know that you know that the mountain and the moon don’t literally meet, but they appear to touch sometimes,” Amy said.

“All the time, at least every day,” Audrey challenged.

“No not every day.  Some days are New Moons and you can’t see the moon, some summer nights the moon is already really high in the sky before it gets dark, and for a couple of months a year the moon rises a little to the right of the mountain and clears it without touching,” Amy said slowly so her cousin could follow her.

“All I wanted to do was climb up see the place where they meet – most of the time.”

“Even that varies slightly with the season,” Amy said.

Audrey pointed to a spot on the peak overlooking the farm and said, “There.”

Amy looked at the spot for a moment, deep in thought.  She then got out her tablet and fiddled with it briefly without speaking.  “Okay,” she finally said.  “If my calculations are correct we will climb the mountain at about 7:43 PM on the Third of November.”

“You know sometimes I hate having a professor for a cousin.”

Padre

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Reunion

Reading, Men, Newspaper, Sitting, Pipe, Smoking, Yellow

Pixabay

Family gatherings were always tense and bit awkward for Heidi and Don.  It seemed it had always been that way.

They had met in ’68 when Don was stationed in Ramstein with the Air Force.  Heidi worked at a little bakery not far from the main gate and he was smitten with her from the moment he first entered the shop to buy a pastry.

Heidi’s sparkling blue eyes and soft braided brown hair captivated him, but better still she was fun to talk to.  Her English was good, and she had a dark sense of humor which appealed to him.

After several weeks and dozens of pastries he worked up the courage to ask her out.  They went to the cinema and  a drink afterwards.  It was a perfect date for the young Airman.

The relationship bloomed.  Eight months later Don handed in the paperwork to his commanding officer so that he could take a German bride.

The wedding was going to be there in Germany and it took a lot of preparation to get his mom and dad over, but in the end they arrived two days before the ceremony.

Don introduced Heidi to his parents and his mother, Dotti made a tremendous fuss over her soon to be daughter-in-law.  Even the usually hard to please dad was taken with the pretty, sweet girl.

Then came the wedding dinner. Introductions were made of both families and all seemed cordial enough.  The meal was good, and everyone seemed happy.  Then the two fathers had a few moments to chat alone.

For those observing the conversation, there seemed to be a transformation.  What started as smiles, soon turned to sternness, and then to disgust on both parts.

From that time on the pair would never speak again.  Oh, the wedding went ahead and Don and Heidi would have a wonderful life together and bring up three beautiful children.

But at family gatherings their fathers would sit, often together, but without a single word being uttered.  It was the way it was for the former Sergeant Tom Miller, 82nd Airborne  and Oberleutnant Karl Becker of the Panzers.

Padre

Tale Weaver # 224 – Estrangement