Ask me. I Dare You

Ask me. I dare you.

[But I forgot… ]

I soak color from the walls, brushing it into pictures, twisting it into wool afghans.

All these against leather sofas on wood floors.

Charged with sunlight from unveiled windows.

Smells of  home cooked food linger over an old sad body draped in beautiful clothing.

I walk every day, unless I dance wildly to whole-hearted red-blooded music.

Long tub baths go best with sweet-smelling oil.

And books.

Meaningful conversations with loved ones emanate laughter, tears and hugs.

A house full of children, music, and dance…  where all join in.

[can you hear it?]

And the first one to get there…

[wins]

Pride comes before….

you see, I patted myself on the back.

After all, my neighbor told me about her day over the phone. She lived on a farm. Her husband farmed for a living. On this day, his birthday, she surprised him with a large farm-style dinner. Since he was harvesting, she brought it right out to him in the field… hot and ready.

Dinner on the tractor or combine happened regularly. But, it rarely measured up to this one. Turkey, and all the trimmings…. and iced tea plus dessert. She pulled the big bird out of the oven, slicing it up… and fixed plates full. Covering them carefully, she headed out the door to run dinner up the road to her hungry and happy husband.

In haste she failed to account for a few details. One in particular….Upon returning home, she walked into her kitchen to find something much more like a massacre than Thanksgiving. You see, while she went out, the family’s golden retriever took note of her inattention and managed to make the most of the situation. The remains of it all lay strewn all around her kitchen, and then some….

What a horrible end to her exceptional intentions.

I sympathized with her and then hung up the phone. I returned to my household. Inwardly I congratulated myself on being wise enough not to own a dog of any kind. I turned from the kitchen where I had anchored for the last half hour—phones were tethered to a wall back then. Hearing silence, I quickly investigated my children’s whereabouts.

I found them…. three preschoolers in one bathroom. Together they enthusiastically cleaned my bathroom using all the washcloths and towels they found at hand….

….. and toilet water.