Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Boy and the Pine Forest

One day, his parents drove him several hours outside of the city and the place that he knew as home. They passed by meadows, farms and forests on the way to his grandparents’ house. As soon as they pulled into the driveway, Ricky was mesmerized by the thick forest that came right up to the edge of grandma’s yard. He stared…a bit fearful, yet very curious. He had never seen so many towering pine trees before.

After saying his hellos, he announced that he was going outside to explore. Ricky slowly walked over to the looming trees. He looked them up and down, trying to gather the courage to enter and run around beneath the canopy of branches.
He peered between the trees, looked for anything that might scare him and then took his first step into the pine forest. Beneath his feet was a soft bed of dried pine needles. It was like walking on a gigantic pillow. He smiled. Slowly walking, looking at the tree bark, the slow dripping streams of sap oozing from most of the trees, admiring the green needles high above and lightly bouncing on the crackly pillow of brown needles under his feet.

He, wanting to be careful, turned to look back over his shoulder to make sure that he could still see the house behind him, saw nothing but the immense trees in every direction. Instantly he became afraid. He thought that this inviting forest had lured him in and then swallowed him whole.

As he started to panic, turning his head back to the forest in front of him, his fear instantly turned into excitement.

There was a gap in the furry branches above and a radiant light transformed the ominous forest into a glowing kingdom in which birds and butterflies danced in the air above his head while teams o squirrels and chipmunks scurried all over the cushiony ground, playing what seemed to be the best game of tag ever.

He walked into the middle of the golden circle on the forest floor, sat down and took in the sights and sounds of what was now the happiest place in the world. After a few minutes, he lay back, resting his head on a pillow of pine needles and closed his eyes. He felt a magical peace that he never wanted to fade away.

Ricky dozed off into a peaceful sleep.

His dreams were filled with all of the sights and sounds of his new found kingdom. From beneath his eyelids, he could see the animals dancing about and he could fee the light brush of butterflies fluttering by his cheeks. Ricky then heard the chirps of birds and squirrels becoming more and more clear. At first he thought that they were just chattering back and forth…until he began hearing chirps that sounded like his name. Amazed by this, Ricky strained to hear. Again he heard, in little chirpy animal voices, “Ricky, Ricky”. Startled and amazed, he quickly sat up. He listened. And then from a distance he heard his mother’s voice calling his name.

He stood up, disappointed that he would have to leave his enchanted land, Ricky looked around and could not figure out which direction to go…everything looked the same. He heard his mother’s voice again and he took a few steps in the direction of her voice. All of the sudden, he could once again see the house…and his mother at the edge of the lawn.

He turned to look over his shoulder to say goodbye to the forest and the dancing animal friends he had made and, as he walked, he saw the glowing golden light begin to fade.

Ricky knew that this had to be his secret and that adults would not understand the magic that lived inside this great pine forest. With an eager anticipation, Ricky looked forward to he next chance to visit his kingdom in the woods.

Monday, April 26, 2010

People In Glass Feathers Don’t Fall Far From The Goats

I am going to take you all on a short journey through time. You ready? Seatbelts on?

About a year ago, Manic Mariah and I were sitting at our favorite coffee shop enjoying a fun game of Scrabble (There will be a post on Scrabble) while eavesdropping on everyone around us. Now, I have to say that what the eavesdropping sparked was a long and drawn out competitive yet collaborative venture that we enjoyed for months to come.

At the coffee shop that day, we heard some of the most ridiculous pick up lines, witnessed horrifying first dates and a plethora of odd people having conversations with their, clothed, dogs. But the funny thing was that what caught both of our attention was when a woman, sitting with her friend made a comment regarding it “raining cats and dogs” and if that was not enough, she followed that, a few minutes later by saying something about a goose and a gander.

Manic Mariah and I, at the same moment decided that it was extremely important to put together a list of all of the sayings that really “got our goats.”

As we began this list, we attempted to not only figure out what some of them meant, but why they became sayings and what their origin was.

Our list was somewhere between 50 and 100 …..and now I can’t find the list. All that time, effort and “important” research …down the drain.

So here is what I am asking of you.

Please post a comment with a saying that really “gets under your skin”, why it bugs you and what you think the origin is.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Where Have The Years Gone?

I have to say that this whole getting old thing is getting under my skin.

I was having a conversation with our 14 year old son (big hockey fan) yesterday and I proceeded to tell the story of going to my first hockey game. Bruins vs. Penguins. I continued saying that I was so excited because Bobby Orr was playing and I had seats right behind the bench.

He threw me an odd look and said, “who the heck is Bobby Orr?” I, feeling old, said, “what?! He was like the …Pele of hockey.” Then I got…”and who is Pele?” I said, “OK…he was like the Tiger Woods or Kobi Bryant of hockey.” The response to that was, “Oh…he cheated on his wife with prostitutes?”

This conversation went on for a few more minutes, until I finally got through to him with comparing him to Michael Jordan and Wanye Gretzky.
It is sad to me how many of my sports heroes are not known by today’s youth.

The one good thing about my …aging is that Mariah has a ‘thing’ for little old men. I think that I am going to give in and invest in a walker.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Human Mind Is A Mean Fucker

Now I know that everyone ages differently, but I have to say that I think that the human mind is a devilish little fucker.

As many of you know…today is my birthday. I turned 42. SHIT!!!!

For the most part I feel great…when speaking generally. I can run around with the kids, love roller coasters, camping, acting foolish at the beach, ridding in the cart at the grocery store…you know…a typical man who acts like a kid.

On the other hand, my mind has been playing some god awful tricks on me over the last few months. Maybe it is from all of those stupid commercials that spotlight an aging man with his joint pain, or the ones for Viagra or the Hover-round…maybe it is from watching TV and movies with aging men…who know?

What I do know is that I wake up most mornings with a sore back. I get a stiff neck when the is a chilly breeze. I (even though I live in Southern California) even get literally chilled to the bone when it drops below 55 degrees. I get joint pains. I need to rest and massage my shoulder after throwing a football with the boys…and I am now at the stage where I NEVER pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

I really believe that most of it is in my head (seeing as I had a physical not too long ago where I was told that Cholesterol was the only concern.)

I woke up this morning to find that …one of our kids had taped up notes all over the house, such as: the one on the coffee pot that read, “all old guys need coffee to wake up…” or the one that was in the stairwell the said, “Careful old man…you don’t want to throw a hip coming down the stairs” or the one on my computer asking (in very big letters) if I needed glasses to read it.

Bless the kids for their sense of humor…but F them for reminding me of what is to come…and reminding my brain that this is a great day to make me feel old.

Well…this is a lot of writing…I think I need a nap.


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