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  • Do you remember this?

    2011 - 05.14

    This is my first blog entry this century. Okay, that’s a teensy bit of exaggeration but I’m a fiction writer (as well as nonfiction) and we do that. I tell people I’m lucky because I get paid to lie. Since I don’t know what the cool kids are blogging about right now, what’s new and hip, I’m just going to write what crosses my mind. Gosh, I feel sorry for you right about now.

    I was chatting with someone on Facebook earlier (yep, I’m on there so go look me up and for the sake of my pride, “FRIEND” me!!) and the conversation meandered into the past. Now, the past has been good to me, in many ways; one of those being the subject of my book, Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge, a book about a child of the 50s living in the south. I’ve even gotten great reviews so it must be okay. But it led me to a story from my life, about a hundred years ago (remember I lie now), about being a little girl and watching my favorite show. (I lied about it being 100 years ago but the truth is, I DID watch the show and I was, in fact, a little girl.) Bet you figure out what the show was as you read this. If you don’t, you’re too young to “get it”, anyway.  So-read on!

    Mirror, Mirror

     “Hurry, Mamaw, hurry!  My show’s coming on and I have to watch it!”

     I wondered if her nose itched when I saw the corners of her mouth twitching.  “You won’t be able to watch it if you choke to death on that sandwich!  Slow down; you have plenty of time.”

    “No I don’t!  You just don’t understand, Mamaw!  I hafta be there in case she says my name today!  We sent her that letter, ‘member?”

     Because Mamaw had turned on the TV to let it warm up, I could hear the opening strands of “Pop Goes the Weasel”.  It sounded like a heavenly orchestral movement to my five year old ears.

      “Aw Mamaw…”

    “Okay, just this once, you can take your sandwich…  Slow down!”

    I slid across the cabbage rose linoleum, skating to a halt two feet from the TV.  Without breaking stride I transferred my sandwich to my left hand, threw my right hand across my heart and repeated the rhythmic cadence.  “I pledge allegiance to the flag…”

    This had been a summer-long dream of mine: getting Miss Kathy to finally see me in my own living room, politely as Do Bee warned, watching the show.  I was loyal, never missed an episode, and stood ever so close to the television each day so I could hear her say the names of those good children she could see through her magic mirror.

    “Do Bee wants us to put on our wings and fly all around the classroom.  Fly, fly, all around the sky!  What did you say, Bobby?  Oh yes, I see those birds up there.”

    Stupid Bobby; even I knew they wouldn’t let birds fly around Romper Room.

    “Now class, let’s pick up our balance sticks and chase those dark clouds away!  Come on, help me sing!  ‘Bend and stretch, reach for the stars, there goes Jupiter, here comes Mars.  Bend and stretch, reach for the sky, stand on tippy-toes oh so high’ …oh, there they go!  Maybe the sun and wind will help us just push those heavy clouds away. Do you think we chased the rain away?  Yes, I do, too.”

    The last two months had been hard ones for me.  Not yet knowing how to tell time I had to suffer through hearing Mamaw sigh about a hundred times a day when I asked what the clock said.  She wasn’t even funny when she told me, “The clock said for you to go outside and play.”  Then I had to exercise every day with Miss Kathy because I didn’t want her to think I was a Don’t Bee.  I’d even had to learn the pledge of allegiance, whatever that was.  I knew there were a lot of kids that watched the show but I just knew Miss Kathy would see me in my living room because I had long red hair.  Mommy said everyone noticed my red hair.

    One day I’d tried to increase my chances of Miss Kathy seeing me by jumping up and down in front of the TV, singing as loudly as I possibly could, waving both my arms over my head, but only when Miss Kathy wasn’t talking because I didn’t want Mr. Do Bee to think I had bad manners.  It made no difference other than Mamaw coming in the room to stand over me with her hands on her hips, with a deep line between her eyebrows.

    I was reduced to taking the next step: bribing Miss Kathy.  It wasn’t nice; it wasn’t something I was proud of, but as Mamaw told Mommy, “Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.”  Though she was talking about Mommy finding me a daddy since mine had died, I thought it would apply to the Miss Kathy problem.

    “Mamaw, I need your help.”

    “What is it, honey?  You know I’ll do whatever I can.”

    “Well, I believe it’s them desperate times you been talking about so I got a desperate plan.  I don’t know if Miss Kathy is paying attention or not, but I gotta do something to get her to see me in that magic mirror of hers.  Now, I don’t know if anybody else has thought of this, but I saved up a dime and I want to send it to her.”

    “And you think that’ll make her notice you, do you?”

    I nodded my head.  “Yep, I’ve give it a lot of thinking and I believe that’s what I need to do.”

    “Okay sugar, that’s what we’ll do then.  But why don’t we just send a nickel and you can get a candy bar with the other five cents.”

    “Well, if you think a nickel’s enough…”

    That had been two weeks ago and each day that went by, the more sure I was that I should’ve just skipped that Reece’s peanut butter cup.

    I’d sat down to rest a minute in Mamaw’s rocking chair when I heard those words, those wonderful yet dreaded words.  I jumped from the chair and stood so close to the TV I could feel the static from the screen.  Maybe today…

    “Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic mirror, tell me today. Have all my friends had fun at play? I can see Earl and Cindy and Patricia and Libby and Susan and…”

     This is it, I just know it!  C’mon, come on, Miss Kathy, just say it one time!

                “… and I see Gloria!”

    The world came to a screeching halt.  It had to have at least tilted on its axis.  Something this monumental, something so extraordinary that my heart skipped a beat and my breath was captured in my throat had to have a huge impact that the rest of the world could feel.  I slid to the floor and Mamaw, who had been standing in the doorway, rushed over to me.

    “Honey, are you alright?”

    “Lord ha’ mercy, Mamaw!  Miss Kathy saw me, she really saw me.”

    Mamaw reached into the pocket of her apron and pulled out a nickel then put it in my hand.  “Yes sweetheart, she really did see you.  We plain forgot to mail that letter so I just got the money out of it to give back to you.  Now you know Miss Kathy really did see you today.  It just took awhile, honey, because of all those other kids that are bigger than you.  You’re so little she couldn’t see you standing behind them.”

    “Oh Mamaw, just wait until I tell my cousins about this.  Won’t they be sorry they told me that Miss Kathy couldn’t see me?”

    “Oh, they surely will be sorry.  Now, how about we walk to the store and get us a Reece’s peanut butter cup?”

    Miss Kathy had seen me, said my name on TV and I didn’t even have to pay her.  Yeah, life was good.

     Want to read more like this? Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge is available in print and Kindle http://tinyurl.com/3zxqnn9

    If you’re more interested in reading stories about people that were hovering at the edge of death and only a miracle could save them, Beyond the Surgeon’s Touch-One Miracle Away from Death, is filled with true stories.  http://tinyurl.com/3ngtpgm 

    And visit my home page, maybe even leave a comment in the guest book? 

    Thank you for spending time with me. I hope I made you smile.

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