Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)
- TITLE: Why in the World
By Janice Cartwright
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There is an upside, though. Ever so often, maybe once a year, glasses, plates and tableware come out sparkling, bright and grit-free. My husband says, “Aha. See there.”
But my quandary isn’t about sandpaper dishes on a day to day basis, rather why there is any exception at all to the ordinary. I think a household almost as mysterious as the universe.
Since the missing sock theme has been much examined, I’ll try not to spend too much time there. But I have these socks: about five pair. They’re white, light-weight, comfortable, and my favorites. I’m trying to remember how many times when after the fourth pair got used up I was able to find more than one (of said socks) in my drawer. In the two years I‘ve owned them, I think a few.
On those rare occasions I rejoice so much more than a sane person would think appropriate. If I could leap I would. But my body probably would be too out of whack. Have you ever tried bending way over, sticking your head in a clothes dryer, then twisting around like a pretzel to see if the missing sock is lodged anywhere inside? Have a good grip on something solid if you do this.
And then there are pet odds. Or maybe I should say oddities. I have a cat: her name is Minnie. Unlike most cats Minnie actually comes when I call her. A good estimate would be 99 times out of 100.
But once in a big while she does the strangest thing. She comes… almost. Within a yard or so of where I sit, she stops. She stares at me with her big, beautiful eyes. I call again, “Come to Mommy, Minner.” At this enticement she rolls to her back and stretches out like a sunbather at the seashore. Or she sits down and starts to clean her toes. No amount of coaxing after that makes a smidgen of difference to Minnie. If I try to fetch her, she’ll dart out of reach like I’m the cat eater.
Again the mind-bender isn’t, why doesn’t my cat behave like your normal ‘take a number’ cat, rather why on earth did God wire her to resemble one about once in an earth age?
The kicker though is my mother and the gift thing. Since as far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to give my mom a gift she didn’t give back. I used to dread gift time. I would sweat and wrack my brain. I’m talking about more than 40 years of gift giving.
I have given her, for example: pot plants; perfume, jewelry, and sweaters; scented soaps and popular cosmetics; lace-trimmed sheets with matching blanket. Not one passed muster.
Now you have to know my mother. Not many would guess she snubbed her gift. But her kids know. We just know.
I’m going to tell you this and I lie not. I have pleased her. Twice. Long ago when my own kids were small we went to a garage sale. On the way home we stopped by Mom’s to show our finds. Along with some other items, I purchased for a couple bucks a black iron trivet with grape leaves painted on top.
Not intending it for a gift, I asked if she liked it. Mother latched onto my trivet. After I recovered, I was ecstatic. I loved seeing it there on her kitchen wall.
The second and only other ’pleaser’ occurred years later. I procrastinated, for obvious reasons, a Mother’s Day gift. At least I had sense to pray. On the way to Mom’s apartment, I ran by the Dollar Store, grabbed a plaster Boy and Girl statuette set. Maybe she can use these on her patio. But I didn’t have much hope.
Not only did Mother fall in love with them, she insisted they were too sweet to go outside. She stood the pair on her drop-leaf table with the fancy gold cloth, “…where I can sit and look at them.”
Only Heaven knows.
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