Posted in flash fiction

That’ll teach you!

“You son of a…”

From my backyard I could hear the volume go up with each expletive and each futile tug on the starter rope. My neighbor was reaching the end of his rope but wouldn’t give up trying to revive the expired lawnmower.

I climbed into the backyard kids fort to watch the kicking, screaming, and frustration reach the point of no return. Suddenly, with surprising strength and the wrath of Khan, he picked up the mower and angrily snapped it in two over his knee! “There! That’ll teach you!”

Now it sits out in front of his house, a memorial to his rage,

Posted in joy

Just like new!

I was making one of my frequent trips to Home Depot and had my grandson Elijah with me. As we approached the entrance he was impressed by the selection of lawnmowers on display. Some were walk behind, some were riders.

I told him that I had a lawn mower at home, and I had a little lawn mower just his size, too. We had stored that toy mower up in the attic about a year ago and being out of sight, it had faded from his three-year old memory. He was so excited to hear that I had one his size, and couldn’t wait to get home!

When we got back home, I let the ladder down from the attic and brought it down for him. It was just like getting a new toy. He pushed it around and around the back yard, as the little balls on top popped around. Then he said, “I need my leaf blower and a gas can.” He had a toy leaf-blower at his house and he remembered that the toy mower had a little gas can that went with it.

I wonder if grown-ups like me can get the same delight from things that we’ve stored out of sight for a while and brought back out? I suppose Christmas decorations would qualify. I get renewed delight from ornaments and nativities I haven’t seen for a year. I’ve got a spiral cutter that I don’t use that often that can make zucchini noodles and curly fries. It’s always fun to get it out. Or the ice cream maker, which we don’t think much about until the fourth of July. I’ve got a couple of boxes at my office filled with props I’ve collected for children’s sermons over the years. There is much in them that I have long forgotten about. Oh, and I’ve got a tweed wool sport coat I only wear when the weather is close to freezing, which is hardly ever here in Florida. I put it on and think, “Hey, this is pretty nice!”

So it does work for me. I don’t have to buy something new. I just need to unpack something that’s been stored away for a while, and my heart feels and my mind thinks that it’s new again!

After we found the gas can.