Wednesday, November 30, 2005







Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Peace-Short Short by Lisa Braendle

Tall, wet grasses brush against my old cotton sweats as I run, slipping and sliding on the slippery trail. Branches from large old trees bend and twist as I make my way alongside the stream, which is partially frozen with water still flowing.

The scene of the stream, the glistening trees and squirrels scattering as I press forward should comfort me. I yearn for comfort. I race to find it. But, peace does not come to me. Instead, I picture strands of cobwebs filling a deep empty abyss that should be a normal functioning brain. My eyelids feel as if lead weights have been attached. I stop running and wipe beads of sweat off of my forehead. I close my eyes and take a deep breath filling my sore lungs with sweet, fresh air, exhaling to the point of a sigh.

Why can’t I escape my body and rise high above the trees to the heavens and leave this pain behind? I wonder. And, I want to continue my run. I want to scream-the kind of scream that hurts your throat and takes your breath away. Instead, with heavy tight shoulders, I fall to the hard, icy ground. I sit in a pile of coldness and look at the whiteness and wonder how it can appear so bright when all I really see is a blackness that won’t go away.

An imaginary mass of misery and darkness swirls above, through me and finally rests on my shoulders. I can’t touch it, but sense its long, sharp teeth ready to devour me like the big bad wolf in an old nursery rhyme, which actually reminds me of another time and place-my youth and happiness, now a thing of the past. The powerful pull of restlessness takes over. A single tear falls down my face. No more will follow. Tears won’t take it away. I know.

This thing of unrest and heaviness consumes my thoughts. I want to grab and shake this endless stream of emptiness and loneliness. I want to place this crazy ball of destruction into a sling, fling it over my head and watch it sail.

I stand and spin round and round, hold my head and yell, “Move on! You can’t have me. I have so much to do.”

Only silence follows. This is all too familiar.

Little gray and white sparrows flutter in the trees and bushes next to me and somehow, I know the cloud of gloom will not pass until it has dumped its ugly contents on me. I shudder and feel goose bumps rise and scatter across my skin.

I sigh and remember I’ve run into the forest near my home and know much time has past as I see the moonlight peaking through the snowy twigs. I notice puffs of my breath steaming the air around me.

A light crunching sound nearby behind me causes my whole body to stiffen. I hold my place, too afraid to move. And, suddenly I see them. A wide-eyed doe and her fawn nearby standing motionless and staring at me. And for just an instant, the burden once weighing on my shoulders has been lifted. Once again, I remember what peace feels like, if only for a brief moment in time.

The end

Saturday, November 19, 2005

One of those weeks!

Boy Oh Boy, when it rains, it pours...all when my hubbie is on the road making feel just a little bit vulnerable. I can't even tell you the day it all started, (possibly Tues), but the week started to go downhill quick. And, I don't just mean the number of days left in the week.

I grumbled to myself as I looked at the clock and it read, 7:00am. Oh no, I thought, as I strained to hear any signs of noise in the house. My son was not up yet, which meant he would mostl likely be late. I probably didn't wake up as normal because we had 50-60 mph winds the night before, which made the bushes scratch the window on the outside of my bedroom window that kept me awake.

I rushed to his room, rustled him up, and he rushed to the bus stop. I hopped into the shower thinking all is fine since my fourteen-year-old doesn't come back so I thought he made it to the bus stop on time. But evidently he thought he had missed the bus and came back home the same time as my twenty-year-old daughter was leaving for a college class so she took him to school. He realized there was no school because of a power outage. A good Mom would have checked the TV for any closings, right? To my defense, I don't ever remember this school system ever closing for a power outage. In any case, my daughter drove by school to get him as she realized the power was out also, and we saw each other just as we drove away. We stopped to talk with one another. She spouted off about our needing to check these things better, she now was late for class, and stated angrily that she had a test. I raced home to drop him off at home so I could get to work by 8:00 am. Yes, this is all happening before 8am.

I got to work at 8:10am, and I saw the Consumers Power trucks out and realized that my work building was too without power. Now at that point, I know I should have stayed in bed. I told my colleague that I was going home and since he was staying anyway, he could call me when the power came back on. So I went home and had a cup of tea and breakfast. No problem, the day went all right after that.

The next day, I awoke at my usual time and was actually on schedule until I looked outside and saw 7 inches of snow outside, which meant my car also had 7 inches on it. So I trudged along and tried to open my car door and realized quickly that the door was frozen shut due to the icy snow mix on the car. So...I tugged, I pulled. I cussed. I stomped. I pulled again. And, finally the door opened. Of course, I had parked close to the grass on the side as I pulled into the driveway the night before so I could maneuver the trash can up to the house, making the whole scraping of the car a wonderful experience as I stood in a big pile of the white stuff, which was obviously high enough to get into my shoes, soak my socks and drench my dress slacks. Again, all before 8 am. Well, okay, I biggie. The day goes without a major catastrophy, but as I go to leave, I noticed that once again my car was covered in an a icy-snow mix. I scrapped a little of my car, but it was really cold so I blasted defrost to help with the front windshield. Forgetting the ice had frozen the blades to the windshield, I turned on the wipers full blast and watched in somewhat of a daze as my wipers broke off at the end and flopped back and forth in what I thought to be a mocking motion, like ha ha.

There was more, but the icing on the cake from hell was waking up on Saturday morning and deciding to go to the store and library with the son. Upon starting the car, it only whined and would not start. So, I called my Dad to help. And he does what needs to be done to troubleshoot the problem, which I had surmissed was the battery, and thankfully that's all that is needed. (Thanks, Dad!) So, it is busy charging now, and I think, boy, do I need the same thing!

Today I've been thinking that instead of trying to battle everything on my own. I need to call on the Lord to rejuvinate my wearied soul. I can once again handle the stress of the day. Most times, I try to handle everything on my own. I think God might be reminding me that I can't do it all. And, I need to ask others for help! (My Mom tells me this, too :) (Thanks, Mom.)

So when you're having a day or week like mine, remember to ask for help when it's needed and most importantly, seek out the Lord for help and for strength!

Please feel free to share some of your own "fun" stories for the week!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Inner Child-Short Story-REVISED

As I watch a television program with a cup of soup in hand, I suddenly hear the rustling of leaves outside my little house. I push myself up from the couch and stand slowly to check on the noise. There better not be any hoodlums out there. I hobble to my large kitchen window and peek out to the yard below.

I see tree branches stretching and swaying to the wind as if dancing for the moon. And, there is a dark-haired girl with a porcelain like face illuminated in the moonlight staring back at me. Even from a distance, I recognize something familiar about her.

As I look around the yard, I hope that I’m imagining things-not unusual a woman of my age. But as I turn back, I have the little one in my sight again. She looks as if she’s waiting for something or someone when suddenly she points in my direction and motions me with the wave of her hand as if to say, “come to me.”

I squint to see her wave more insistently and take a step out the side door. What am I doing? I think as I walk out onto my old wooden deck and swing open the squeaky door to steps leading me to her.

Breathing hard, I approach the little girl. My heart races like I’m seeing the birth of my first-born. Yet, I know this isn’t my child. As I stand only a few feet away, she sets her eyes upon me, and tears stream down her rosy cheeks.

Cool breezes blow through my thin, gray hair, and for some reason, I sense we are long lost friends who have been out of contact for a long time.

“What do you want little one? Are you lost? I ask as I push strands of hair out of my wrinkled face.

“It is you who is lost.”

“No, honey, I’m home. How did you get here?”

“You know.”

“I don’t know. Do you know where you live? Where do you belong?”

“You know,” the little girl replied.

I wrap my hands tight across my chest for warmth and to stop the goose bumps from spreading. She walks toward me-this little one who is only four or five years old. And she reaches for my hand with her tiny warm hand, soft like a baby’s bottom. And her young, smooth hand intertwines with mine, which is now old and hardened.

She and I walk across the yard and smirk at each other like we can read each other’s mind. We see the playground at the school about fifty yards away, and this little friend of mine leads me down the sidewalk to the swings there. In the still of the night and with leaves falling all around us, we each hop on a swing pumping our legs back and forth reaching higher and higher like we’re trying to reach the moon. While in mid air, we glance at each other and giggle. And as I smell the crisp smell of dried leaves, I figure it out.

She stops swinging for she knows that I know who she is. She jumps off the swing, runs and jumps on me, hugging me. And not one of those polite hugs you give your Aunt, but the kind that takes your breath away. And as I gaze into her little hazel eyes that are just like mine, I say,

“You are me, and I am you.”

“I am you,” the little one whispered.

“I needed to see you again, didn’t I? I had forgotten about your pureness and your free spirit. We parted ways many years ago.”

She takes my hand and leads me this time to the slide, and we climb up. She slides down first, and I go next feeling the wind rush over me as slide down. I smile. My heart leaps for joy as I plow into myself. We became one.

And as I skip little steps back up the hill to my house, I breathe in the cool damp air reminding me that fall is here. I walk through the dewy grasses of my yard, and remember everything about her. Suddenly, I am young at heart once again.
Flash fiction Written by Lisa Braendle

December Contest!

My monthly contest will be up and running for the month of December starting on the 1st of Dec. so keep an eye out!

Here's a quick refresher how the contest works: First person to post a comment on my blog AND links to my blog in the month the contest is running will get a free book.

I will be posting the name of the book that I'm giving away shortly! Ask Dave and Dana-I keep my word!

And, if no "newbies" post & link, then I'll give the book away to the first "regular" who has linked to my site and has commented in December! I hope this makes sense. I have other posts on previous months if you have any questions. I need the snail mail address of the winner at the end of December!

Happy Holidays and God bless!

Fellow Bloggers!

A few of you have noticed that I haven’t been posting on my blog lately, and I apologize! I have been focusing on family.

As I have posted in the past, my hubbie has been out of work, but he decided to get his CDL license and become a truck driver! So, he’s been busy with this, and I’ve been busy getting him ready to go out on the road for training. After training, he’ll be off on his own for a week at a time. It will be quite a transition for our family, but it’s what he thinks will be best for him and our family at this time. We are praying it works well. So…with all of this being said, I will be back with bells on since he’ll be on the road soon.

I apologize for my absence! Thanks for stopping, and know that I’ll be posting on a regular basis again!

Thanks for all of your support!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm Back!!!!

Is Absence a good thing? ROUGH DRAFT OF ESSAY WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO TRIGGER: "ABSENCE." I will be revising this periodically, as I find the time ;)

Some say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, please excuse the tired ole cliché; but I don’t think this is true. Absence is like a hole that grows bigger and deeper as time passes-a hole that takes away your heart and soul if you let it. This is not to say that a certain amount of independence and time apart isn’t healthy, but counting on distance to help heal a relationship is like asking for a kiss through a telephone conversation or putting a band-aid on a leaky faucet.

When times get tough in relationships, some say couples should take some time away from each other. But, I don’t think this is the best answer for everyone or even for the majority.

Why? Well, as time goes on without communication, the mind begins to play tricks. When you are able to communicate, your mind must process new information instead of referring back to the old, useless information that only threatens to break open old holes and gaps. The new information, if processed correctly, can fill in any holes that are festering as well as repair any old wounds that might start to open again. To quote Pearl S. Buck, “The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.”

Communication fills the gaps of conflict like cement fills a hole in the road to move forward without dropping into the pit of insecurity. Once in the pit, it’s hard to get out. More and more dirt is added to the plight and when trying to take flight, the hole grows wider and deeper until the light is shut out. Hope is lost. Without the sun, the soul starts to whither and dies.

But, the disparity can be healed with love, kindness and communication. How can this be shown from a distance? How can time apart accomplish this? There might be a way to fix the gaping holes from a distance for a short period of time, but soon the hole is exposed to elements once again when the rain and the storms pry at insecurities and once again, it is open and oozing like a wound that just won’t heal. And, like a wound, you must also apply the salve and the medicine for healing power to begin.

The best medicine is time together, time to laugh and play, time to even work hard together and duke it out through the rough spots. Difficult times will follow a person wherever he or she might travel. There is no escape. A final resolution should be strived for as the pain of the situation begins to mend.

There are so many useful tools to help the healing process of the heart in relationships. First, don’t create the hole in the first place. Take time to enjoy each other, laugh together and forgive each other. Think back to a time when life was good and why you fell in love with that person to begin with. Second, if you start to dig a hole, come up for fresh air and sunlight to fill your mind with goodness and love. Instead of letting anger consume you, reach out to forgiveness. Thirdly, if you do not achieve this all seems to be lost, don’t give up. Keep reaching for the light. Work on forgetting that nasty past that sneaks up and threatens your peace and your love. Once you crawl out of the darkness to reach for goodness, evil will leave you.

Peace with your partner can be achieved by spending time together. Reach for the things that made your relationship work in the first place. This is different for everyone so what works for one couple might not work for another. It takes time and patience. There is no right or wrong way to find what works. No relationship is perfect. It takes time to work on the compromises necessary to help smoothly roll over the patches like the problems never even existed.

To be continued and revised and then probably delete ;)