Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wordzzle Saturday

I'm trying the Wordzzle challenge from Raven's blog again. :)

The words for this week's ten word challenge: parasite, meals on wheels, crows, it's my fault, everything but the kitchen sink, on sale, patriotism, the love of my life, library card, common sense

I never wanted to be a parasite on society, but here I am, one tired, dependent old lady. I don't get out anymore, so the high points of my day are visits from people society pays to come. Our mailman arrives before noon, with his circulars, junk mail and bills. The bookmobile, every Tuesday, enticing us with a bus full of large print to check out with our moth-eaten library cards. At least it isn’t just me. Every day, the three of us old widow-women are waiting outside on our front porches, like crows in a row on the telephone wire, wrapped up in our sweaters against the nip in the autumn air. You’d think we’d have the common sense to wait inside where it's warm, but no, we’ve become slaves to our routines. Each of us has our quirks.

I pick up my binoculars and turn to the left. Ellen’s front porch looks like it holds everything but the kitchen sink. She often has carloads of tourists stop and ask if things hanging there are on sale. Wind chimes and mobiles dangle from every crosspiece or beam. She finished one made of old silverware yesterday, and now tiny pickle forks clank dissonantly against the butter knives and spoons. Ellen doesn’t like my binoculars, she says I am a nosy old spy. I wave, but she doesn’t wave back.

As loud as I can, I call over to Mildred, next door on the right. She's a little deaf, but too vain for hearing aids. “New flag, Millie?” Her husband was a Navy veteran, and she kept both her flagpole and her patriotism, even though he's gone. Today she glares and turns her back to me. I had the love of my life a full ten years longer than she had her husband, and she resents me for it. Not that it’s my fault, you understand. I hadn’t held my Larry’s hand as we walked past her porch to make her jealous, but because those last few years, cataracts made him feel more secure if he held on to me when we shuffled round the block. This morning, I shrug my shoulders at her rebuff, because I know in ten minutes, she’ll forget. Millie doesn't remember things so good anymore.

Here comes the Meals on Wheels volunteer, driving her van around the corner, loaded with those pre-packaged dinners. She had the gall to try to get us to eat our meals together, once, but Millie and Ellen refused. I drag my walker closer, and smile. I like the Meals on Wheels lady. She talks to me.

13 comments:

Akelamalu said...

I love this line

like crows in a row on the telephone wireand your whole description of the widow-women absolutely brings them to life. Great use of the words, I really enjoyed this. :)

Mine's up too.

Reston Friends! said...

Poignant and charming! I'll have a complete different perspective about the older ladies today when I visit the Farmer's Market!

Dr.John said...

Wow! I know those woman. I used to visit those ladies. You certainly are a creative writer and with those words. Wow!

bettygram said...

You show the day to day life of a few of the elderly.

Raven said...

Beautifully done. Three interesting characters.

Fandango said...

You must have spent time on our block because we know those three old ladies. They are a hoot. You have captured them perfectly.

Dianne said...

while I laughed at the crows line and the imagery I also felt so sad and lonely - and that make it great writing

this is a beautful piece about how being older or frail can make you invisible

well done!

Richard said...

What a lovely and touching story. A wonderful slice of life piece including pictures. Wow, you really knocked it out of the park this week.

Please continue with this kind of writing, it is obvious how much empathy and talent you put into your offerings.

Thanks

gabrielle said...

what an intimate portrait of aging! I feel as though I have been handed a set of binoculars.

3 solitary crows, maintaining a socially prescribed distance. Eagerly awaiting daily circulars, but too proud to turn to each other for comfort.

“tiny pickle forks clank dissonantly”. .

Stephen said...

I liked your story about the three old widow women. It seemed very real and true to life.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
http://stephen-has-spoken.blogspot.com/

julieQ said...

Hee!!!!

becca said...

Such writing talent stirs the imagination and wants to know more of the story; what happens next? You have a gift of writing as well as gardening and a lovely delivery.

Nessa said...

Avery entertaining and unusual story. Great use of the words.

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