HERE YOU GO: THE FOURTH EPISODE OF A NORMAL DAY IN THE LIFE:(if you missed the first three episodes you’ll have to see my previous posts on my webpage @gailleecowdin.com or to my authorFB page at Gail Lee Cowdin)
Hank needed to pay for the Schwann’s order, and left the man standing at the door as he went to the entry closet to retrieve my purse. At the time, I didn’t give it a second thought, being preoccupied with the baby I was holding while trying to corner and contain the dogs, Mel (for Hormel) and Oscar (for Oscar Mayer). I shooed them into the den and with an elbow, flicked the door shut. Mel and Oscar set up an even louder indignant ruckus, but at least they weren’t going to be escaping out the front door again.
When I returned, I found Hank handing some cash to the Schwann’s guy and accepting an armload of frozen pizzas, meats and ice cream. He turned quickly toward the kitchen. I supposed he was headed to the freezer. As he walked past me, he said, “You and I need to talk!” Well, the jig was up, I guess. He’d found the money stash, because he’d just been digging in my purse. So much for the surprise I’d planned.
I watched him walk away and was just turning back to the door when a head with a green and gold knitted Green Bay Packer’s hat popped around the corner. It wasn’t the Schwann’s guy. I saw the Schwann’s guy beyond him climbing into his truck and pulling away. This Packer’s hat guy kept his head tucked, squatted down, quickly reached around the corner, and deftly grabbed the strap of my purse. He slid it toward the open door, gave it a sharp tug to flip it over his shoulder, and took off high-stepping it through the snowdrifts in the front yard. It had to be the man from the pick up! He zigged a bit to circle a tree, jumped over some low shrubs and headed straight for the truck. I had to admit, he might have made a good runner in the Olympics.
I screamed after him. I think I might have even called him a few names. The Grands were all present, so I did have to watch my mouth. I do know I used the “B” word, though, and I think the guy knew I was pretty mad! Hank came hurrying back and stood at the door with me. There we were, two inept grandparents, letting a puny Packer thief abscond with my savings. I was so angry! There was no way I was going to put up with that! I turned to Hank, and said, “You’d better get your coat, Grandpa!”
©Gail Lee Cowdin 2020
This just popped up in my brain today…
A DAY IN THE LIFE…Continued >>>
The remainder of the day was quiet by comparison. Three little ones needed to be occupied, and Hank and I did our best. We tried to follow the advice and admonitions our daughter and son-in-law had left with us before they departed. Keep the children calm, plan a quiet time, limit television, only healthy treats twice a day, meals at designated times, and naps required each afternoon. “Structure, structure, structure, and quiet is most important,” Beth advised. She specifically said, “Don’t let Dad get them riled up!”
However, when it came to dealing with a one-year-old with a soggy, dirty diaper, and a three-year-old desperately hanging on Grandma’s leg while sobbing, “I want Mommy”, plus a five-year-old slamming doors because she’s not allowed to watch a PG13-rated movie starring her ‘favorite’ monster, the wisdom of elderhood took precedence.
We worked together to clean up the squiggly, stinky baby and then gathered the other two munchkins into the living room to take turns sitting in the clothesbasket. Grandpa had placed a fluffy towel in the bottom of the plastic basket, and looped a belt through the webbing on one end. After seating the child in the ‘in-house sled’, Grandpa pulled the basket and child at Mach 1 speed (for a Grandpa that’s fairly fast) through the kitchen, dining room and back into the living room with the child-filled basket careening around the corners behind him. Squeals of delight and demands of “my turn!” and “I’m next!” continued for several rounds. Even the dogs got into the action, chasing after the basket and nipping at the bits of towel trailing out the bottom webbing. After a few such runs, though, Grandpa Hank sank into the leather recliner panting.
“I can’t do anymore!” he explained. I handed him the “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” book and settled into the other chair with the baby and a bottle while the two older kids crawled into Grandpa’s lap to listen to the story. The picture was like a deceptively peaceful Norman Rockwell grandparent/grandchild painting. That was what it looked like. I knew it wasn’t going to last.
In those moments of comparative quiet, I got to thinking about the fireman who had called me Ma’am. I’d I wanted to hit him just then, but I had to admit it wouldn’t have set a good example for the children. My blood pressure rose a bit just remembering his look, and I took a deep breath as I tried to push the thought away. Then I remembered seeing not only the fire truck parked at the end of the driveway, but another pickup truck parked just beyond the drive. Someone had been sitting in that vehicle watching the entire debacle at our daughter’s house. That truck didn’t leave when the fire truck pulled away. I wondered who would be crazy enough to be sitting out in their vehicle in the middle of winter watching my humiliation? Why hadn’t they just left immediately? That had all happened more than two hours previously, but the thought of the pick up drove me to struggle out of the chair, baby and bottle clutched carefully to my chest, and walk to the dining room window that faced the street. The truck was still there! And so was the man sitting in the truck! I rushed to the front door, checked the lock and this time, remembered to reset the security alarm. I must have looked like I’d seen a ghost when I returned to the living room because Hank took one look at me and asked, “What’s the matter, Josie?”
So…being bored and locked away is not a good thing for most people. But I’m a writer. Gotta find some humor in the situation, I thought. This little story came to mind yesterday. Thanks to a friend who shared her ‘grandma’ story with me a while ago. I embellished and it may be the start of something new. Read on! What do you think?? Share my page if you like.
A NORMAL DAY IN THE LIFE
It began like any other day—a normal day, that is. I had gotten up early thinking that it’d be a nice treat for me, Grandma Josie, to fix a special breakfast for our “Grands”. Our daughter and son-in-law were soaking in the sun in the Caribbean for a week. Grandpa Hank and I were staying at their house in Wisconsin.
With three preschool children.
And two little, irascible dachshunds.
Actually, by that third day, we were all already a bit irascible! A winter lock-down with small children plus animals requires creativity, patience, and imagination.
So, I’d thought I’d do a blueberry, French toast bake in the oven for breakfast. It’d be a nice treat, a nice way to begin the day. That’s how it started. I’d gotten the oven warming when suddenly there was a swirl of gray smoke seeping out around the edges of the oven door. I peeked in to see odd bits of pepperoni baking—and smoking—in the bottom of the oven.
Grabbing a towel, I swatted at the smoke, hoping to diffuse it. Too late. The smoke detector screamed in warning. I quickly opened the front door and slid up the dining room window, and rushed back to the kitchen flapping the towel to disperse the smoke and quell the noise of the smoke detectors.
Unfortunately, in my panic and determination not to waken the house, I’d forgotten about secure home alarm system our daughter had installed. In all fairness, I must say, she’d told me. She’d warned me that I must enter the four-digit code to turn off the alarm system before I left the house each morning.
I’d forgotten about it. And I forgot the code, too.
That was probably because I was distracted when I saw two long, brown fur bundles racing to freedom out the open front door.
I knew I’d be in even more trouble if those little Weiner dogs got away. Excitedly yapping, they quickly slowed to begin gingerly tiptoeing through the belly-high drifts of snow they’d blindly plunged into. I clutched my robe close over my flannel gown, and pulled on the only shoes I could find by the front door…my granddaughter’s Minnie Mouse slippers that barely covered half my foot!
I had just taken three giant steps and stopped mid-calf in a pile of the white stuff, to retrieve one of the little mongrels, when I heard the jarring fog-horn blurp of an emergency vehicle, and looked up to witness a full ladder fire truck pulling into the circle. I stood frozen in spot, not only stunned by the cold, but also by pure horror. Of course, the truck came to a stop at the end of the driveway. I was mortified! There was no place to escape. An agile young man in black and yellow fireman’s gear jumped down and walked up to greet me with a semi-concerned smile.
“You doing all right, maam?” He was obviously trying not to display a condescending demeanor. Actually, he looked like he was trying to hold in a huge belly laugh. He wasn’t being successful, I’m afraid. He broke out into a grin as he ended his question.
“Yes! I’m fine!” I assured him. I shook my head and gathered up the second dog in my other arm, while trying to pull my robe closed around the two wiggly dogs.
“Your alarm went off. It notified us,” he explained.
“Yes, I see,” I said, impatiently looking around to see my husband coming out the front door and pulling on his overcoat. “It’s all a big mistake. Sorry.”
It took another ten minutes while standing in the freezing cold, trying to explain who we were and why I’d forgotten the alarm code, before the young man and the truck slowly pulled away from the curb and headed back down the street. We settled back in to the house to salvage a normal breakfast with the children giggling about the exciting start to their day, and my husband carefully avoiding eye contact with me. –Gail
STUCK AT HOME? WE CAN DO THIS! Need suggestions for good binge-watching? This is an eclectic mix! Feel free to add your favorites to the list:
The Irishman (Mafia and the Union)
Avengers Infinity War
Hell on Wheels (building the railroad west)
Harlen Coben’s Safe
Locke & Key (Scary Thriller)
A Place to Call Home – 5* Australian power family Bosch -5* – detective from Michael Connelly novels.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The ABC Murders – British Detective series
Murdoch Mysteries – British Detective series
Jack Ryan -5*
Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence
Acorn: (thru Amazon Prime) British mysteries
Britbox: (thru Amazon Prime)
Shakespeare & Hathaway
Shetland – 5*
DID YOU SEE the article in this week’s Weekly Vista? I’ll be sharing my writing story and a reading from Dark Deceptions. All 3 of my novels will be available for purchase, too.
FROM THE BELLA VISTA WEEKLY VISTA NEWS:
BELLA VISTA — The Bella Vista Arts Council will honor Gail Lee Cowdin as the February 2020 Artist of the Month. Cowdin will be honored at a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Bella Vista Country Club, 98 Clubhouse Drive.
Cowdin grew up in the small community of Janesville, Minn., and moved to the Minneapolis area after college where she taught English and English as a Second Language in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. Upon retirement in 2003, she and her husband Theo moved to Bella Vista.
She is the author of two popular detective crime thrillers: “Deception and Redemption” and “The Final Deception,” both set in Minnesota. Her recently published third novel in the Deception series, “Dark Deceptions,” brings the action from the proposed copper mining protests in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota south to Oklahoma and Missouri and finally into Bella Vista and Gravette, Ark. Readers are introduced to a variety of scenery and several new characters along the way as they follow detectives Quay Thompson and his partner, Samantha Atwood Thompson, on another thrill ride down the highway of crime in the page-turning adventure.
Cowdin currently lives in Bella Vista with her husband and their golden retriever, Tilly. All three Quay Thompson Deception books are available on Amazon. Learn more at her blog: www.Gailleecowdin.com.
• • •
The Bella Vista Arts Council, an advisory board to the city council, was created by the city council in February 2016 to help promote the arts in Bella Vista. The board established an Artist of the Month program, in which selected artists and their work will be showcased to the public. Three volunteers serve on the selection committee — Sara Parnell, Sara Bainbridge and Margaret Correll. The committee will choose each month from qualified artists, who must be residents of Bella Vista.
To submit your name or other nominations for consideration, contact the Art Council through the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community on 02/05/2020
A QUICK WRITE FOR November 13th:
The shift has begun. Summer ends. Fall showers of leaves circle us with whirlwinds of color. Winter pushes at us with spits of sleet and fingers of cold. Throughout these days, it is the shift from daylight time to central time that is the hardest. I’m not ready for this shift.
All THREE Quay Thompson Deception books by Gail Lee Cowdin are now available on Amazon. Look for Quay Thompson Novels to find:
Deception and Redemption $14.95 paperback and $8.99 eBook
The Final Deception $14.95 paperback and $8.99 eBook and…
The NEW Dark Deceptions $15 paperback and $8.99 eBook.
SEE Quay Thompson Novels on Amazon.com
Just running through some stuff I’d written about ten years ago. Found “Giggles”. Still makes me smile…Hope you will, too.
We were sitting in a restaurant last night having dinner when giggles erupted from a young child behind us. At first, it didn’t catch our attention. Then the giggles bounced out again in a longer string. And again. And again. And again.
It brought to mind the times in the past when we’ve been attacked by the giggles. Do you remember ever having a giggling fit?
They come out of nowhere sometimes. You can be perfectly serious, perfectly sane. Then someone says one thing that hits your funny bone just right. The giggle begins as a smile, expands to a small chuckle, then an outright laugh and finally expands into a long waterfall of giggles. And suddenly you can’t stop. You just have to laugh and laugh and laugh. Tears roll down your cheeks, you catch your breath for a moment, manage to put on a serious face, and then suddenly there it is again. That giggle just forces its way out! And you start allover again.
Our daughter was (and I think still is) a giggler. She began with that particular infection when she was about six-months-old. She’d begin giggling over a little tummy tickle. She has always had a deep, full-bodied giggle, so it would begin in her tummy and rumble out with a burble of laughter falling all over itself. She’d giggle so hard, she couldn’t stop. Before long we’d find ourselves giggling right along with her. Over who knows what?
Shelly continued giggling right into her toddler years. Our neighbor dubbed her Giggles. It was a fitting name. She giggled when he said, “Hi, Giggles.” She giggled when she made something cute. She giggled when she saw a dog or a cat. She giggled when she was tossed into the air. She was a giggler.
Laughter is so contagious. And it feels so good. It lifts weight you didn’t know you had right off your shoulders. It brings tears to your eyes. And unfortunately in the case of some people, it brings moisture to other parts of their bodies!
But isn’t it great to just let out a belly full of giggles? We enjoyed the giggler in the restaurant last night. We found ourselves giggling a bit, too. And we reminisced a little about all the great giggles we’ve had in our family. What a wonderful gift it is to laugh.