Tag Archives: marriage


thPZQKCGJCAllen drug himself into the bar and pulled himself up to his favorite stool next to Zander.

“Whoa,” Zander said. “It looks to me you’ve been run through the ringer twice. There ain’t enough left of you to bury.”

“It’s been a bad week,” Allen said.

“Couldn’t have been that bad,” Zander said.

“My wife left me for another man. My dog got ran over by a car. My son will be in juvy for six months. My daughter told me she’s pregnant. I’m three months behind on my house payment. My car was repoed in the middle of the night. I got fired today. The IRS wants to audit me.”

“You need to have positive outlook on things,” Zander said. He slid his half-full glass in front of Allen.

“I suppose you’re going to pull that is the glass half full or half empty crap on me,” Allen said.

“No,” Zander said. “That’s how pessimists think. They want you to think its water. The optimist pours his glass half full or half empty of vodka. It makes no difference.

Just remember it’s not how much is in the glass, it’s what is in the glass.”

Allen smiled. “You mind if I have a sip?”

“No,” Zander said. “Take a good one.”

Allen slowly wrapped his fingers around the glass. He brought it toward his lips and as he did his eyes shifted to Zander. Allen smiled appreciatively. He downed a quick swig. “It’s water!”

Zander smiled. “But for moment or two you felt pretty good didn’t you?”

“Yeah, Zander, you know how to lift a guys spirits,” Allen said. “Things will work out.”

“Sure,” Zander assured. “You’ll get a new dog. Your son will get out of juvy. You’ll have a beautiful grandchild to hold. That house was too much for you anyway. You’ll get another car. You’ll find another job. Make a deal with the IRS to take your house.”

“What about my wife?” Allen said.

“Just have her mail sent to my place,” Zander said.



Filed under Short Stories






th5H8STDET“This conversation is pointless,” he said.

“And your point is?” she said.

“That it’s pointless,” he said.

“Now we’re finally communicating,” she said.

“That’s it?” he said.

“You still don’t get it, do you?” she said.

“Well, I almost did,” he said.


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Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

A Meal With Millie (short fiction) and The Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Tainted Love

Ever been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend? Was it a total surprise, or something you saw coming? Tell us your best worst breakup story. Never been the dumpee, always the dumper? Relate the story of a friend who got unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Change the names to protect the innocent if you must.

My short story for the day is closely aligned with this subject. Sometimes being dumped is a blessing. It sure beats being carried around for who knows how long while somebody looks for a convenient time or place to dump you.

th02YFJCSFA Meal With Millie 

Millie accounted for every penny. Food and ingredients were stretched to take advantage of everything. She once remarked, “I thought of pizza sauce on cardboard so the cardboard wouldn’t be wasted.”

Chuck, her husband was shiftless although a talented man. He could build a house from top to bottom. The problem was when he got a job something happened on the way to the work site; the call of the wild, the smell of the hunt, the freedom of the open country – call it what you like, but often Chuck would take off and go hunting or fishing. And not necessarily those things; anything that brought him pleasure and entertainment.

The family lived near poverty and he seemed to care little as long as he had ammunition for his vast collection of rifles.

It was a Friday when he left the house early. He planned to spend an hour in the dessert shooting jackrabbits before heading to a job site. But wouldn’t you know, he was having so much fun he lost track of time and before he knew it, it was near noon and he was hungry.

At a little past noon he pulled into the driveway and climbed down from his four-wheel drive truck.

He burst through the door like a hungry farm hand.

“Ya got somethin’ for me to eat?” Chuck said.

Millie was in the kitchen and mouthed his first words; “Ya got somethin’ for me to eat?” Because she knew them so well.

“I’m hungry,” Chuck added crudely. “I spent the morning shooting jackrabbits. It helps the ranchers.”

“I think we could used the help around here,” Millie said. “And what about the job?”

“Too late to start today,” Chuck said. “I started something out on the range. I’m going to finish it up. What did you fix me?”

“A ham sandwich and potato soup,” Millie said.

Chuck grabbed the paper and quickly looked through it. “You missed some coupons. I told you we got to tighten our belts around here. You better go through the paper again.”

Chuck sat at the kitchen table. “Where’s your sandwich?”

“There wasn’t enough for two,” Mille said.

Chuck lifted the bread. “Where’s the meat? There’s hardly any meat. Ya gotta have more meat than that. A man’s gotta have meat.”

She pressed her lips. “Start bringing home some money and maybe you can afford more meat,” Millie said.

She waited a long time to say that.

Chuck chomped into his sandwich. Millie sipped her soup. That was her most satisfying meal ever.



Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

What Ever Happened To My Connies? (Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars)

My Connies

My Connies

Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking

Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.

My son and I were about to start another basketball season. During the winter we meet with some friends and rented a gym. I looked in the closet for my ‘Connies’ (white canvas Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars) They weren’t there. I looked in the garage. “Hey, Honey, have you seen my basketball shoes?” I said to my wife.”

“Those old white ones?” she said.

“Yeah,” I said. “Those are the ones.”

“I threw them away,” she said.

I went to the trash can and started to rummage through it. “Are you sure?” I said. “They’re not here.”

“I threw them away months ago,” she said.

I walked into the house as if just hearing of the death of a close friend. “Do you know what you have done?” I said. “Those were my game shoes from my senior year. My sweat was in those shoes. I had good times with my teammates in those shoes. There were great victories and heartbreaking defeats in those shoes. Those shoes tell a history of a bunch of boys that were predicted to have a bad season, but we persevered and worked hard and a had a good season. Those shoes told a story. They were history.”

“I’m sorry,” she said. “They were just old and smelly. I had not idea they meant so much to you.”

“It’s like a knife to my heart,” I said.

I found another pair in my closet to wear and gave my wife a kiss before leaving to play. “Don’t worry about it. They were only shoes. I can’t live in the past.”

A few months later my wife picked me up from work. She handed me a shoe box and said, “Happy anniversary.”

Inside were a pair of ‘Connies’ exactly like my old game shoes, minus the wear and odor.

“I didn’t know they even made these anymore,” I said.

“I found them in a catalog,” she said. “And I just had to get them.”

After getting home I laced them up and tried them on. They felt just like the old ones. There’s something about those old tennis shoes, when they are brand new they feel like they’ve been worn for years.

What I thought was a thoughtless and selfish act on the part of my wife turned out to show how thoughtful and selfless she really is. I’d rather have that experience than those old ‘Connies.’ Yet even when lacing up those shoes I think about all the guys from that team; the players, the coaches, the managers – good times, good guys, good memories. Thanks, Honey.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays, Sports

Friendships Are Lived Not Talked About

Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need

Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”

My closest friend is none of anybody’s business, but for the sake of this challenge it is my wife.

She is the only one who will take my side when all others don’t see it my way and the only one to tell me I’m wrong when everyone else agrees with me. She’s where I can go for honesty. She knows when I need healed and when I’m being a heel.

I’m writing this with reluctance. I’m completing a challenge and nothing more. A closest friend is obvious. It doesn’t have to be talked about or exploited. I see no compelling reason.

We live in a time and world of insecurity. Everyone must make declarations about themselves for fear they will go unnoticed.

A person may declare, “I am honest,” or “I have integrity.” That’s exactly what crooked politicians say. It works. The guy who can declare that the most times wins an election. It makes no sense to support a process fueled by lies.

I come from a time and environment that it is difficult to make declarations or brag about themselves. It’s more important to live them. Sure, you want to feel good about yourself, but why is there a need to tell others? Why is that important?

The phrase is often uttered, “That’s not who I am,” or “That’s not what I am about.” When that is heard I always envision that person before a special Senate hearing saying, “That depends on what your definition of ‘am’ is.”

Many friendships, close acquaintances, and trusts are based on nothing more than:

“There goes Tom. He’s a good guy. I know because he told me so.”

Followed later by, “Hey, you can trust Tom, cause Pete told me so.”

Then followed by “Lets, make Tom a trustee. Pete and Frank said he’s okay.”

Eventually it comes to, “Where’s Tom. Let’s go get Pete, Frank, and Harry. They gave the okay on the crook.”

My wife is my closest friend and that is that.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Dream Home

Daily Prompt: Dream Home

You win a contest to build your dream home. Draft the plans.

Over the years my wife and I have moved about; Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, and now Idaho. We have lived in apartments, duplexes, mobile homes, basements, and houses. On each occasion my wife has been able to make it a dream home, not only with her flair for cozy and cleaver designs and decorations, but mainly with her presence.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

Believe It Or Not There Is A Normal And An Abnormal

Daily Prompt: The Normal

Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?

The manner in which the Daily Prompt is framed is leading or dare I say misleading. It seems to be asking one to explore or define their own ‘normal.’

Certainly there are aspects of life we are allowed to set our own ‘normal.’ Getting up at five in the morning is ‘normal’ for me while others prefer eight.

I have just used an analogy which some use that allows for people to establish any conduct as ‘normal;’ After breakfast I like to go down to the corner and scream obscenities at squirrels while my neighbor watches the southern skies with binoculars waiting for the next Martian attack. Neither is ‘normal.’

Several years ago my wife and I agreed to care for a couple of boys for a short time. The father was undergoing a bone marrow transplant and the hospital stay would be at least a week. The mother gave a whole set of instructions and described bizarre things the boys might do and explaining that it was their ‘normal.’ It suffices to say that for that week the boys experienced a whole new ‘normal.’ You don’t listen to Guns and Roses at breakfast.

Indeed ‘normal’ does change in some things, but that does not give a license to change all things.

Let me illustrate something and I’m only illustrating a point and not making any sort of judgment. When I was in the fifth grade there were about thirty students. Of that thirty only one of them had a parent that was divorced and remarried. Of those thirty only one was from a single parent home. Since then somebody changed the normal. It is rare today to find a child in the fifth grade living with both biological parents.

And even though that is now the new ‘normal’ it is not healthy or okay. I’m not saying that it is completely wrong. I’m saying it is not really ‘normal’ or the standard to which we should aspire. Such families can thrive and do well, but with more obstacles and difficulties.

Somehow many are left with a label that if you don’t accept everything as ‘normal’ you are not tolerant. The entire scenario creates a conundrum: “I refuse to listen or tolerate anyone who is not tolerant. And by the way, I set the standards for what is tolerant and what is not.”

It sometimes goes back to the principle behind the argument of what is pornography? Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart said ’he knew it when he saw it.’

Artist and writers are always exploring the boundaries of what is ‘normal.’ I tend to think that is a cop-out for running out of ideas so they must drift the macabre, bizarre, or perverse.

I like being ‘normal.’ What is ‘normal?’ Can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

There is a TV series. It may even be off the air now. It’s called The New Normal. I’ve only seen the promos for it. Trust your instincts on this one and programs like it. It’s packed full of lies meant to mislead. Sitcoms are not the place to go for moral guidance and ‘normal,’ neither is Hollywood.

I think the Bible is a reasonable guide to ‘normal.’ Now before some get all in a snit, it does not promote the subjugation of blacks or women. It doesn’t promote wars or nationalism. It offers a normal way of life. It is as if to say ‘here is the way to live and please God. If others choose to live differently, let them live. Live your life in such a way they will see your joy.’

There is joy in being normal.

Normal bloggers:

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Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays