Friday, January 30, 2009


Most of my regrets come from things I said that offended someone. and most of those times I wasn't trying to be offensive. I was trying to say things in a more subtle way or a way that implied that I was just joking. It would have been better for me to have just kept my mouth shut.

But I wonder if right now, I'm not doing something I'll regret later. Maybe it's because I read too many mysteries, but I need to know: Did my neighbor just murder his wife?

Last night I clearly heard a gunshot. Well, I was sleeping, and suddenly awaked with a sense that someone had dropped a bomb on our peaceful little town. Then my husband said:

"Did y0u hear that gunshot?"
Ah, so that's what it was. "I think so; something woke me up. Was it a rifle?"
"Sounded like a pistol to me."
So I ran to check all the doors; they were locked. Reassured, I went back to bed noticing that the time was 3:34 A.M.

At around 8:30 this morning, as I carried out some garbage, I heard my neighbor's door open and saw a man come from the back door with a large lunch pail. I couldn't see his face clearly enough to know if it was the neighbor or someone more sinister.

This morning, Turtle dropped me off at the gym and drove out of town to visit a parishioner who was ill. I told him I'd walk back. On my way back, I stopped at the police station and reported the shot to a gently reproving white-haired gentleman; he said I should have called last night when I heard it, so they could have sent a squad car around. I looked properly abashed and gave him my name and address. Then, he decided to allay any regrets I might feel for the delay by letting me know that there is a man who lives northwest of me who sometimes shoots armadillos that get into his garden at night. Surely that must be it...but my bedroom window faces south...still.

When I got to the creek that crosses our road, I looked up and down it, both ways, not wanting to see a body...but you know, those mystery stories again. I walked north a ways checking the little creek--or what I could see of it through the winter-bare trees, and that brought me to the alley that runs behind my house.

Passing by my neighbor's house, I noticed a woodshed he has out back. A couple cords of wood
shield the view from my house, but from the alley, I saw a large, rectangular hole dug in the ground. About that time an ambulance siren went off, and a neighborhood dog set up a howl to match. I sped up and reached the safety of my locked house.

Do you think I will regret not going to look in that hole a bit closer?
Maybe, I should slip back over there.

Our Sunday Scribblings prompt was "Regrets".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Imaginary Friends

We keep a little red dress hanging in the guest room closet. It's my granddaughter Mim's dress, and she insists on wearing it the entire time she is here. Last Saturday she also found a pair of antlers laying on the couch (I'm not sure where they came from, but perhaps they spawned in the attic) Anyway, Mim is a real video enthusiast, and wants to perform every time she sees my camera. Here are a couple of cute interviews. The first one is about doll babies and imaginary friends.

In the second, she says the books of the New Testament and sings Amazing Grace. If you know Mim, you might like to see them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whatever happened to Jeanine Burnside?

Once, when I was young, I lived in Puebla, Mexico, on a farm outside the city. A visiting family came to church one Sunday morning, and Jeanine was in my class--a little girl, outspoken and laughing and so very American. Whether they lived in our city for a summer, two weeks, or a couple of days--that I don't remember. I just remember that right away, we hit it off. She was freckled, and funny, and full of ambition, and we played together for hours. That was the summer my little sisters and I had turned our camp trailer into an orphanage for lost dolls--all the cabinets were bunk beds with blankets hanging down and an occasional plastic foot. So when Jeanine came over we all played refugee camp. Outside we traveled--by foot and by bike-- on perilous foothills along the wide "river" and under the pines taking the longest detour around the edges of the farm to bring the wretched, abandoned doll babies to the safety of our home. There we fed them and swaddled them and put them to bed where they lay contentedly while we "adults" discussed world shaking events and gave them an occasional pat. Jeanine had just read a new book and was raving all about it. I still see her great green eyes and the dramatic way she moved her little hands in wonder. Such stories! Such lands! Such dangers far removed from our world!

Later, of course, I sought the book in the English speaker's library--a tiny room tucked behind a metal gate midst the three and four story buildings downtown. And the miracle was that I found it, for there weren't too many books on those shelves, particularly not children's books, not by the incomparable CS. Lewis.

I've often wondered what happened to Jeanine. She grew up, I suppose, and only faintly remembered that pine-fenced farm on the outskirts of a foreign city where little girls saved starving doll children from the evils of the world, while listening to tales of Aslan and Dragons on the Lone Islands far from Narnia.

Written for Sunday Scribblings

Sneezes, Sniffles, and Sinuses

That would be a catchy little name for a medicine shop that specialized in cold and flu remedies. And there are enough of those kinds of products out there to fill one.

Sometimes I give a quote to my seniors for interpretation; then we discuss what it means. Here's my quote for the day:

"If many remedies are suggested, it means the disease is incurable."

I feel like crawling back to this is a short little post. I'll write more when my head stops throbbing. Here's hoping all my itis's don't turn to oses's.