Five Word Weekly Challenge- Leaving Your Mark

Mark, who was appropriately named, was the ‘black sheep’ of the family. Every family has/needs one and like they say, if you can’t identify your own family’s ‘black sheep’, it’s probably you. Black sheep are not necessarily ‘bad’ but they do stand out against the ‘herd’.
Today is Thanksgiving and Mark is standing outside his family’s home, still wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, on a special furlough from prison. He’d toyed with various alternative outfits, but all would be hard to manage with the barrier of an ankle bracelet so, in his usual style, he decided to “keep it real” in order to lift the awkward fog over what everybody already knew.

Mark needed to pause a bit longer on the step to regain his composure from a fit of ‘the giggles’ after slipping on a homemade green hat with a pumpkin stem. He’d made up his mind that he wasn’t going to allow everyone to be sullen when he had the opportunity to make them laugh. His time left was 8 months for a crime he’d committed but wasn’t a bit sorry for. The “whys” differentiate “bad guys” from “good guys” all of the time.

Once Mama wrapped him in the tightest hug and wiped tears of joy from her cheek, he knew he was indeed Home. The family got a big laugh over his costume with many of them saying with a shrug, “Some things never change.” and “Leave it to Mark.”. It became the best day, and the food was amazing!

That evening he reluctantly went back to prison. Mark had made friends with most of the prison guards and staff, so proper prison protocols were frequently suspended just for him. As he re-entered the prison after the holiday furlough, he wore the green hat again prompting audible laughter from every guard tower.

Eight months wouldn’t be so bad a wait after all.

Simply 6 Minutes- Fathers Know Best

Today’s photo prompt:

“To him that will, ways are not wanting.”
Ajit’s father’s oft repeated words were etched into his brain. His name, after all, was from Sanskrit meaning “unbeatable” serving as further proof of his father’s lifelong devotion to that mantra.
So, when Ajit’s wagon wheel came off while he lugged the foundation for his “wedding shed” toward home, he borrowed the closest vehicle he found to complete his cumbersome task. Putting his Engineering degree to good use, he was able to stack every brick on a commandeered bicycle and unsteadily crept homeward.
With his view mostly blocked, he didn’t notice his father gaining on him from behind.
“Well! What do we have here?”
His father’s commanding voice startled him and the delicate balance he’d been artfully managing, fell apart. Bricks littered the worn path as he fell face-first into the dirt!
The elder could not contain his laughter!
“Son, I’m certain you could have found a better way. Attempting to outsmart the basic rules of Physics leaves engineers with dirt on their faces every time. Remember that! “

[with edits, this took closer to 15 minutes]

Comedy: The Life and Times

2545117188_9b70af77e5_bWhat makes something or someone funny?

If we could “put our finger” on that, most of us would choose to become comedians. It is fun to be funny!

I was watching my 7 year old granddaughter make her 5 month old sister laugh. A delightful engaging scene. The first thing that I noticed and, had always known, slapstick comedy is ageless. Even infants know that falling on your face is funny and, the addition of surprise to that equation, makes it hilarious.

The puzzle that I am searching to solve is, how do some people make us laugh by their presence alone? I have a giggle reflex that starts when my sister enters the room. The same reflex happens with a few friends of mine too. The immediate solution seems to be that we have an on-going comedy act. Maybe a history of funnies that come to mind or, at least, are lurking in our subconsciousness. That might well be true BUT I have had the same comedic stirrings with new kids/babies in my day care program. One of my long remembered kids and I locked eyes for the very first time and laughed. We each just felt a bubbly energy when we were together.

Which now begs the question, where does that energy originate and what inspires it? Have you ever been in line at a grocery store and felt that connection with a complete stranger? I have. It always surprises and delights me. It’s often been said that dealing with the “public” is a chore. Yes, there are also people who can “put us off” at first glance. Is it their posture, lack of eye contact, facial expression? A fascinating psychological puzzle for sure.

Whatever the chemistry may be called, it makes the world a happier place knowing that comedy is alive and can be found when, and where, we least expect it. Surprise!

Sharing Happiness

Why do we remember some things and not everything?

Except for a few unique individuals, most people “weed out” their memories. We don’t remember what the weather was on a specific day unless it connects to another saved memory. For example, we may remember that it rained on the 4th of July because we spent that weekend feeling miserable living in a tent. Special events are remembered and just what we consider a “special” event can vary greatly. If you are a pessimist by nature, your memory of that soggy 4th of July would be about the miserable weather and the plans unrealized. The optimist may well remember the same event but have very different feelings. The way the coffee tasted better or the fact that the rain kept your family inside where they played games or talked more than they may have if outdoor pleasures were available.

What we “choose” to remember says so much about who we are. Whether our memories are primarily pleasant or not,  says more about our attitudes and less about what actually happened.

The whole of this discussion comes down to our personal capacity to experience happiness. A subject that really fascinates me.

Can we learn to be happy?

It sounds so simple, but in my opinion, happiness is relishing ordinary things and remembering them positively.

My Aunt was surprised at a special memory I had of her reading her favorite poem to me when I was a kid. (The Raggedy Man)

I can picture her on a bed where I was tucked in cozily beside her. I was looking out of the window as I listened to her.  I still remember the farm scene and can hear her soft voice. The love and appreciation she had for those written words filled the room.

My mother read to us when we were kids. She loved what she read and the stories and moments stay with me as well. They are among my calm happy memories which I choose to visit much more often than any other kind. Both my parents laughed readily and often.  🙂

I guess what I am trying to say is to share yourself with kids, as often as you can. Show passion for what you love freely and turn every moment possible into a happy memory for yourself and those around you. Don’t ever forget to laugh!

Going home…

I was so glad it happened…

I was at my house last night. It was the one where I grew up.

I still remember our phone number.

The place was just as it was the day that I left it. My brother had told me that the wall was gone. It was there and in perfect repair. He tries to trick me all the time.

I walked up and down the cement steps. They felt familiar all right.

Owning it again and having it the way it had always been gave me such a sense of peace. I remarked, “This hasn’t changed. Now it is mine , whew, I have waited for so long.”

When I woke up this morning, memories came flooding back. That visit did me well.

Wes and Willy, the modern-day Abbot and Costello, had done the finish carpentry in our “new room”. The addition will always be known as the ” new room”.

Before the addition, there had been no parking lot. That side of the house had tiger lilies along it. The real tiger lilies, bright orange with black freckles. A stone wall held the bank up.

I was glad to see my two friends, the white pine trees,  still waited there for me…I thanked them for their patience. Good ol fellas. I climbed them so often and they never “let me down” as pine trees often do.

The back door opened and our old dog Bosco stood there confused. Ah, the day he went blind and had to be put to sleep still haunts the back porch. That’s ok…it happened.

I giggled to myself. The cellar stairs were just the same. My sister made me stand on the top ones when she ventured to the dryer. This way she felt safe from monsters. She could see my feet. I never had the heart to put on the monster feet I had imagined scaring her with…HA! Funny idea though.

The main hallway remarkably had the very same banister! Very cool. That is where my baby brother peaked through the wrung and made my mother laugh. She was angry with him. He just said,”Boo”, and her anger was replaced with laughter.

Those stairs were the ones that had broken my wrist. Untied shoe laces and an arm full of clothes, I tumbled.

There’s the coat closet. The “principal’s office” where my brother sat as Donna and I played school. Yes, there were gender issues when I was 10 but they took on such an ironic justice. Proved to us that it was lonely at the top. He sat in his closet, all alone. Ha!

The den was the place where my cat had scared the life out of me! He startled me while I was mesmerized by a haunting movie.

Yes, it felt so good to be home.

32 years have passed and I still could visit it! It is still mine.

This is why I have never ever gone back there…

The place is 2 miles from my house, in the same town, on a dead-end street.

I prefer going home in my dreams.