Showing posts from September, 2013

Three Blank Pages

I’d rather a room dripping with paint like a Jackson Pollock. This classroom felt sterile and prisonlike. The walls were bare, void of anything inspiring. The lingering smell of newly painted walls mingled with burnt steak from a restaurant nearby and fogged my head. Maybe I was in the wrong room. This had to be where juvenile delinquents earned a diploma, not where art was taught.    A woman glided in draped in what looked like large scarves for a skirt. A twisted one in a different paisley pattern wrapped around her head, securing her dreadlocks in place. Tassels swung as she moved, and her cheeks caved into two dimples when she smiled.   She passed out packets of four papers: the first one had the directions; the next three were blank.   The woman swooshed to the front of the room. “You will have two hours to finish three drawings. Be creative and demonstrate your drawing skill as well. There’s a lot of competition this year, but you’ve made it this far. The judges f

A Home Again after the Storm

  Long Beach Boardwalk destroyed in Hurricane Sandy 2012 I like Long Beach, and I’m thankful it’s home. Last summer, as I rode my bike along the red path overlooking the bay, I thought the same thing. Living in between the Atlantic Ocean and the bay is like living at a vacation spot. The beach is beautiful with soft sand and rushing waves. The boardwalk is great for running, biking, or walking with a picturesque view. I can bike anywhere and don’t need to depend on a car; everything seemed perfect in Long Beach. Then Hurricane Sandy flooded our town. The ocean met the bay and filled our homes. Water filled our basement and continued to rise two more feet on the first floor. Those who stayed, like my husband, lived through a scene from Titanic. Well, almost . Like many Long Beach residents who evacuated, we returned to a ruined home. Everything wet had to be tossed out to prevent fast growing mold; the streets became lined with ten-foot mountains of garbage. Brand new wa

Where's My Kitchen? 3rd place Winner of Faithwriter's Best of the Best 2013

Fragments of “Clair de Lune” mingle with the steam of boiling noodles. My quiet kitchen is transformed into a music classroom as Stephen, my oldest son, practices his keyboard and classical guitar in his favorite room of the house. The gentle notes transport me to the scene of a foreign movie. I sit on a wooden stool in a stone cottage and shell beans. Sunlight streams through the open window until a beep pierces the air . . . the fire alarm jolts me back to reality and I bang it off with a broom. His steak is done.   The reality is that this is not my kitchen anymore.   I used to like eggs. Ever since my nineteen year old aimed to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger I’ve had to endure the smell of eight eggs boiling every morning. Sulfur gases spiral through my nostrils as he peels the shells, leaves six yolks to roll around the plate and pops two in his mouth. Stephen devours eight egg whites, a bowl of oatmeal, and a bowl of bran flakes, and I wonder if he is really m

Family Fun Day

  Gene's birthday at Eisenhower Park   Could every day be today?   A day at the park with husband and kids, swinging a wiffle ball bat at wind swept pitches until we tire of the outfield heat.   We switch to soccer under the cool shade of the oak trees and kick the ball to win; shins collide, elbows meet ribs, accidents, of course. We remind the young— this is not the playoffs.   Eventually one side wins, And we collapse on the crunchy grass. A strong gust tosses leaves across the field And our faces. Foreshadows of fall.   Sweat soaks our shirts, drips down bare backs, and calls for ice cream sundaes with extra toppings.   This day with our family Is another memory to remind me Of God’s blessings.