Humor, connection, opennes, a bit of “awww,” and, of course, brevity. A pretty tall order for an opening post on a brand new blog. Toss in the stage performer idea that one should “leave them wanting more,” and it’s darn near impossible. So I’ll breeze right past that and go into writing.
Yesterday a new acquaintance was talking with me about working smarter, not harder, a phrase I had heard several times before. it’s wise advice, so in the spirit of even more efficiency, my first snip of writing will be today’s entry on a writing site called http://www.thinkingten.com . It’s a wonderful free site on which a writing prompt is posted each day, and the writer is supposed to “write, just write,” for ten minutes. Today’s instructions were to write a piece using the following words: rust, milk, tree.
So here we go, climbing up the treehouse for the first time….at least in this blog.
I tried not to allow milk to slosh out of the metallic tumbler as I climbed the ladder to the tree house one-handed, no small feat for one who tended to trip over her sandals and was always picked last for kickball. I watched Bill’s feet and put mine in exactly the same place; after all, he was the expert climber, and it was his treehouse. And it was Tuesday.
I had known Bill since….well, for as long as I could remember. At the very grown-up age of nine, he had been one of my few lifelong friends. I had pictures of him at my second birthday party, we had discovered that we had different parts at the age of four, and he had rescued me from bullies at the age of six. He was my hero, and for some reason he thought I was great….and he didn’t even qualify it with, “for a girl.” Bill spent a lot of time at my house, and I spent a lot of time in his treehouse. Our father worked together, but his dad was much older. Bill was what people referred to as an “accident.” I didn;t really understood what that meant, but I did know that his two sisters were much older and wiser – at least sixteen – and he was free to do pretty much whatever he wanted. And that meant that as long as I was with him, so did I, an empowering kind of freedom I did not experience in my own house.
On Tuesdays, we participated in dangerous adventures. Our wits were pretty evenly matched, and so were our levels of courage. So it was not uncommon for one of us to try to either outwit or outscare the other. Today the outscaring fell to Bill. And he knew what to do. It was time to hide in the……forest, which meant that we would be hiding in his neighbor’s large bed of sunflowers.
Don’t ask me to explain why I was afraid of sunflowers, but if I place myself back into my childhood body, I can still feel that “totally creeped out” shiver that raised the hair all over my head. I was the tallest girl in our grade, and those flowers were taller than I was. That was unnatural. It was like being in that Gilligan’s Island episode where the fruits and vegetables grew to ridiculous proportions. Add to that the fact that sunflowers…….moved. Their sinister faces tilted toward the sun and made a slow path as the day progressed. Only Bill knew about this fear, of course, and he did not hesitate to make regular use of it. Luckily, on this Tuesday, he was merciful, and he lent me a rusted metal bucket as a helmet.