Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Winter (11/14/05)
TITLE: A View from the recliner: A Winter's "Souls"tice
By Kenny Blade
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“ A Winter’s “Soul”stice
I have to be straight with you right out of the gate:
I love winter!
Ok, so it’s not so difficult for me to say that. I live in central Alabama. It’s the second week of November. I have friends who just returned from the Gulf Coast with a tan.
I used the leaf blower this weekend to blow the dead leaves off of my roses, which are currently blooming.
It’s always been a little crazy living here. Not for me, mind you. I couldn’t be happier. Sure, we have had some bitter winters in my lifetime. I remember the winter of ’93.
We got a foot of snow some places. My brother lost power for a week and had to resort to bar-b-queing Vienna sausages with his blow-torch. The local weatherman, who committed to staying on air until the sunshine melted the last flake resembled Marcel Marceau by storm’s end. (There are only so many ways you can tell someone not to drive because the roads are impassable. He managed to create a few new ones) The lunacy inherent in living through winters in the south comes from never knowing from one day to the next if it’ll be long johns or short sleeves.
Each day is different. 80 degrees today and everyone on the street is grilling some previously hoofed animal on an open flame just beyond the deck in the back yard.
Wake up tomorrow morning and you’re using the wife’s blow dryer to unthaw the door handle on the pick up. I always ask for a new CD for Christmas. Air Supply or 50 Cent, it doesn’t really matter. I just need the CD case to use as a window scraper between January 20th and around February 3rd, when the really harsh part of winter blows in.
I once traveled to Detroit Michigan in May. You need to know that by May, I’m already haggling with the freckled kid on Acorn Street about grass cutting prices. My mower’s in the shop, and the guy said it isn’t worth repairing or I’d do it myself. My wife’s garden makes our house look like a Rose Bowl parade float. I’ve used Roundup on everything but the neighbor’s dog by mid-May. The blow up pool has been in service for almost two months. It’s different in Detroit. It’s like being in a black and white movie. Everything is dead. I’m still wearing an overcoat. I couldn’t believe it. The people there were great. I had heard how wonderful this city was since I was a kid. I was in the city where Motown was born. How could that kind of inspiration come from a town that is frozen like a Mrs. Paul’s fish stick ¾’s of the calendar year? To quote a soul legend, “Mercy, Mercy Me”! Now I know why the Temptations and the 4 Tops had all those fancy moves: They were trying to keep warm!
I stayed there for 5 days. That was 6 too long. Like I said, I loved the people, and they may be more progressive than us hicks down south, but I can’t remember a time when I wore mittens in June! The trip wasn’t a complete waste. The Saturday after I arrived back, I put a little Stylistics in my portable cassette and cut my own grass. I bought a push mower off a guy in Detroit for a song. It was 20 years old, but it was in great shape. It had only been used 11 times. I just hate it for that freckled faced kid over on Acorn.
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