Robin Hood I Wasn’t

The smell of freshly turned earth added a pungent aroma to the mild Spring afternoon. Mom and sister worked extra cow manure into the plowed garden furrows as my brother and I practiced archery under the apple trees.

I nocked another practice arrow against the bowstring and pulled back once again. When my hand reached my cheek, I held my breath, let a little out, then released. “Thwang!” went the bowstring. “Pop” went the arrow into the cardboard target. I smiled in satisfaction.

My brother trotted to the tire swing to pull the arrow out of the cardboard we had inserted in the middle. “Give it a little shove,” I told him. “I want a moving target.”

He pulled the arrow, pushed the tire and ran back to me. I took the arrow from him again and prepared to shoot. He had given the swing a big heave that made it move a lot from its former center position. It also had a slight twisting motion that made aiming even harder.

I pulled the bowstring back to my cheek and followed the tire swing’s movement. “Thwang!” went the bowstring, but this time there was no clean “Pop” sound from the arrow into cardboard. Instead, it went inside the circle and missed the square target. The arrow went through the open space at one edge and bounced off the inside of the tire as it passed.

The twisting tire caused a trajectory change we had not anticipated. The arrow glanced from the tire and took a sixty degree course change and hit my sister in the side of her stomach. She screamed in pain and surprise as my brother and I stared in horror at the accident. Fortunately, the arrow had a blunt tip and did not break her skin.

Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.

Love Creates Beauty

Absolute Beauty

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? is all beauty contingent on a subjective point of view?

They met on New Year’s Day 1986. Tim was a young US Navy sailor on holiday leave and visiting his hometown. His older brother, Jim, invited Tim, and younger brother Dave to go over to his college girlfriend’s home for board games. They agreed.

Jim led Tim around the house and made quick introductions to the parents and Claire’s younger sisters. Tim just smiled and nodded to each one in turn before moving in to the living room for the games. He figured he was meeting his future in-laws since it looked like Jim and Claire were headed for marriage after they finished college. The right thing to do was make a positive impression.

Three pairs played Trivial Pursuit that evening.

  • Jim and Claire were too distracted with each other to concentrate on the game for more than fifteen seconds at a time.
  • Claire’s parents were not trivia buffs but politely played along.
  • Tim and Dave were two bachelors with voracious reading habits and minds that retained enormous quantities of useless data. They dominated the board.

At some point in the game, there was an interruption from Claire’s younger sister as she roughhoused with another visitor. The commotion spilled into the room almost upsetting the board pieces before ranging back into the kitchen. The living room group finished the game as Dave named the only native North American marsupial (Opossum) for the win.

Shortly thereafter, Tim and Dave made their exit and headed home for the night. It had been a pleasant enough evening with laughter and giggling (mostly from Jim and Claire), light snacks, and getting to know the future in-laws a little. Good people, nice family, becoming related would be okay.

Fast forward five months and Tim asked her after the movie, “Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“What?” he said, “Are you serious?”

“Are you?” she asked.

“Yes,” he answered more confidently.

“Me too,” she declared.

It was the younger sister. What began so casually had grown through letters and phone calls. They shared hopes, dreams, and plans. Distance was irrelevant. Their hearts knitted together.

He was fascinated with her. She was so different from everyone else; so joyful, creative, and beautiful. The way she looked at him emboldened him. He could tackle the future with her strength and support.

She made him more confident. He had always been cocky, this was better. She believed in him and his purpose became to live up to that faith, to be worthy of it and never fail.

27 years of marriage so far. People ask how we’ve made it.

“It’s easy when you’re married to your best friend.”

Hayride Gone Wrong

Celeste giggled as she chewed a piece of grass taken from the hay bale she sat on. The hay wagon bounced its way down the road pulled by the powerful green Oliver 1650 tractor. We loved bringing in a load of hay. It was the best reward to follow the hard work of throwing the heavy bales on the wagon, the careful stacking to fit a full load and not lose any on the way home. The ride on top of the load was our favorite part of the job. It was a ride no carnival or parade could match. The summer sun tanned your back while a cooling breeze in your face wiped the sweat away. The view of the countryside from thirty feet up on a moving stack of bundled grass made the work seem worthwhile. Continue reading