Nosy Neighbor?

I really don’t consider myself a nosy neighbor but when you peek out the window to the dock on the easement next door and notice a high school neighbor setting up a blanket at 7 o’clock in the morning you take notice. I was intrigued, not nosy, right?

In the far corner sat two soft coolers. He placed one cooler on the right side of the blanket and the other cooler on the left side of the blanket. In the middle he placed a large bouquet of white roses wrapped in paper. He stood up and surveyed the scene, picked up one of the bags and moved it to the right side of the blanket so that both were close to his side. He checked his watch and peered down the path towards the road. Was his guest late? He looked at the set up again, rearranged the layout once more, and then began unpacking the bags: plates, napkins, silver. This kid had gone all out to impress someone. He positioned each item carefully and strategically in the middle of the blanket. I could sense his anxiety and his nervous anticipation from afar as he fiddled once again with the set-up. Of course I continued to watch.

He stood again, looking at his watch, then gazed down at the picnic area, up the path, fidgeting and re-adjusting the little niceties he brought along. Another check of his watch, and the path, and a peek into his bags, possibly to ensure nothing was forgotten. The tension drew me in so yes, I continued to watch.

He looked up the path towards the road again, except this time I saw a smile cross his face. He picked up the roses and waited at the end of the dock for his guest to join him for his lavish breakfast. I noticed her step onto the dock and accept the flowers gracefully from him. They sat and chat as he gingerly removed the feast from his cooler one item at a time. It was a lavish spread and my mouth watered as I ate my cereal. And yes, I continued to watch while they enjoyed their morning feast on a beautiful summer morning on the lake.

I am not so certain what her reaction to this whole event was, as her back was towards me. I only hope his extensive efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Actually his efforts didn’t go unnoticed because I for one was impressed with his attention to detail and his desire to impress. I smiled most of the day thinking about this teenager’s obvious planning and his desire to bring joy to a friend.

So… maybe I am a nosy neighbor. I was entranced and did watch this sweet event for a full 45 minutes. But wouldn’t you?

It’s Tuesday! That means I am joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my slice of life story. Take a peek and consider joining on.

Cold Remedy

After months of practicing it was decided that today was the big day! A case of the sniffles kept my oldest grandson home from school so his dad decided that after nap time a trip to my lake house for some one-on-one fishing time was in order.

The four grandchildren, all under five, had been practicing their casting far and wide, sometimes too wide. They had become quite adept at pressing the right buttons at the right time, and reeling in their lines to begin the process over and again. For all of our safety, and unbeknownst to them, the hooks had been removed from the lines. Being preschoolers, they didn’t quite understand that hooks were a necessity for catching a fish. It didn’t matter to them, because despite those hook-less lines, their giggles of delight kept us all smiling and safe! In all honesty we weren’t sure how the four would react to the sight of a wiggling fish at the end of a line.

But today was the day that a hook would be added!

I think we can call the day successful with four fish caught – and released – despite having the sniffles!

It’s Tuesday and I am sharing my slice of life writing with the community over at Two Writing Teachers. I am so grateful for the support of this writing community. Check it out!

The Folding Chair

I received the message on my phone last Saturday about a dear friend who was losing his battle to cancer and had only a few days to live. My heart sunk for I know all too well the pain of loss. The news weighed heavy on my mind and so I made the decision to head to a local shrine to walk the grounds to pray and reflect. I drive by this property often and my favorite bike path passes through the backside of this shrine but I rarely stop long enough to walk the grounds.

The grounds were large and with a variety of options from fields to shade. I chose the rosary path with large boulders inscribed with prayers in languages from around the world. Around the path stood enormous trees of maple, pine and larch. I sat on a cool stone bench under the shade of those trees. The towering trees seemingly touched the billowing clouds overhead and I couldn’t help but think how this image mirrored the strength and love of my dear friend. As I stood up to continue on the path I looked into the woods and spotted a bright beam of sunlight shining down on a folding chair in a small clearing far beyond the trail. It was an odd scene and I immediately wished I hadn’t locked my phone/camera in the car. I so wanted to capture the moment, as the sunlight gleamed off the random metal chair placed in the woods.

I wasn’t sure if I could get closer without walking through brush so I continued to walk and wonder and kept looking back at the scene. As I neared the end of the rosary path I came upon a grassy path leading towards the chair. I decided I had to take that road less traveled.

The walk along the path was shady and cool and quite refreshing on this hot summer day. It was truly a respite from the heat and stress of thought. I approached the open grass area and noticed it was a spot dedicated to the deceased priests of the order. Several small stones were placed along the edge of the clearing, along with a large beautiful marker containing a scriptural reading and engraved listing of the names and dates of the priests and brothers. Next to the monument stood a simple cross created out of two pine trees. In the center of this grassy area stood that shiny metal folding chair with the back facing the monuments. I stood in awe and wonderment at the odd scene as my mind whirred with questions. What was the chair doing here? Why was it facing away from the stones? Who put it there? Was it supposed to have been left here for me to sit on? And should I sit in it?

I could only guess at the answers but I left that grassy area with a clear and focused thought. Life is fleeting. Take time to appreciate the view and people around you.

I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers for their Slice of Life Writing every Tuesday. Won’t you consider joining in?