I Remember Stuff Like That

Why Is Sunday Longer Than Monday?

Every Sunday. Always the same. No one ever moved. Like they ate glue and got stuck. It was so boring.

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Why is Sunday longer than Monday?

At six years, Sunday proved the longest day of the week. Once home from church, the hours passed so-o-o very slowly.

Dad napped on the sun-room divan wearing his Sunday suit pants, white shirt rolled up to his elbows, and his tie draped over the maple lounge chair nearby. The Sears and Roebuck catalog lay on the floor, inches from his fingers. Mom was somewhere in the house doing Mom things.

Oh how many more hours before the end of the day?

The neighborhood kids vanished. They had been at church, dressed up fancy, boys with leather shoes, crooked neckties, buttons showing. Girls in dresses with pretty flowers and petticoats and shiny patent shoes. This fancy clothing was not for running around at the park up the street from our house where I spent nearly every day of the week. Were the kids pining to be out of doors too or did they have company?

Sitting alone on the front porch, watching cars drive by, what would I do?

One Sunday I decided to wash clothes.

wolverine waching tub and machine

I filled  my tiny washing machine with water, begged Mom for a little Tide detergent then gathered my doll’s clothing. There I sat, rhythmically cranking the miniature plungers up and down, dislodging the make believe filth from my sedentary doll’s clothes.

The glass faceted wash tub sporting a mini-wringer,  squeezed water from the wet laundry. With laundry suitably clean, I filled the washer with fresh water, rinsing the soap from the fabric. One more wringing and I was done. Afterward, I scattered the wet clothes on the porch floor near the sudsy and rinse water puddles.

Well, I made a mess of the porch. But the sun would take care of that for me. Besides, I had something else I wanted to do. I wasn’t sure what that was yet? It had to be something fun to make this gosh-darn-long-Sunday go away.

The dog. Where was the dog?

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Sorry, kid. Sunday is sleep day. Go wash some doll clothes or something.

“Tiny!” I called, leaving my naked doll sun-bathing, patiently waiting for someone to pick her up, perhaps dress her in her nice, clean clothes. I suppose Mom did her Mom thing, cleaning up the front porch while I searched for Tiny. Don’t quite remember that part.

Never knew what happened to the little wringer washer. It disappeared somehow.

 

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Leave me naked one more time and I’ll… !

wolverine washing machine toy

Anybody out there remember those long Sundays or perhaps that little Wolverine washing machine? I found a picture of it tonight. It is just as I remembered.

I hope my memories last longer than those gosh-darn-long-Sundays of long ago.

Sleep well my friends.

I think tomorrow is Monday. Yess!

Please leave a comment and share.

Thanks.

A House Full of Boxes – Where Is That Key?

The world’s greatest packer here.

All boxes taped solid, each box marked—contents, how to handle and where to deposit.

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I like order!

Contemplating the move from New Hampshire back to Maine, advice came in from all quarters:

  • Hire a mover.
  • Get a large box truck.
  • Sell it all.
  • Have an auction.
  • Hire my friend—and his truck—and his friends.
  • Pack books by theme and organize them—like a library.
  • I’ll be there, just call me.
  • Buy moving boxes and white wrapping paper. No newsprint!
  • I got a trailer you can use. It’s an open trailer, pack it all at once and move everything in a day—just be sure it doesn’t rain.
  • Move it all into the garage and move it out later.
  • Rent a storage unit.
  • Leave it all behind.
  • $9-10,000 is a good price for all you got to move. That should be the worse case scenario.

Sheesh!

Hubby and I stopped talking and got busy.

  • What! You’re moving it yourself?
  • Hire someone to pack. You don’t have to do that.
  • You’re too old to do all that work.
  • Hire a mover!

No one asked what we wanted.

Our concern? Others packing would be a disadvantage—our not knowing where things were. That “good price” was too steep. We’d moved before—no one helped unless we begged at the last minute. Those buyer walk-through days had been met each time. We were successful this time too! The house was empty in ten days!

Day two, we packed an open trailer and a relative hauled it leaving it in our new yard. Arriving a few days later with a very heavy load in our box trailer and pickup, Hubby and I unpacked both trailers and truck. The next day, we were off again to NH.

What made it work for us was a special condition agreed to by the buyer—leasing the garage at closing. We moved out of the house ten days, in time for closing. Now we had thirty days to clear out the two-story, four bay garage. We made it in twenty-nine days! We now have thirty days to clear out the sawmill building. At the end of this month, we will be home free! Done! C’est tout finis! Finiti! Terminado! Back to painting and writing!

Okay! Calm down.

Why so long? Hubby and I were the crew. We spent days sorting, packing and going to the recycling center (I call it “the dump”) to dispose of unwanted stuff. We sold a few big items by hauling them to dealers for consignment. Each trip was three hours, sometimes more. Back pain was excruciating. It was difficult and exhausting.

Advice was replaced with “I told you so” comments! A few poked fun at how we just loved to move the hard way. Why not be happy for us? Why not congratulate us for what we accomplished—by ourselves?

We didn’t know how in the world we could carry the heavy furniture into the house and up a flight of stairs. We had struggled to move it to the trailer from the house. While dreading how to move our last heavy piece of furniture to the trailer, our young neighbor volunteered! He was fantastic. Later, he informed us of his bad back gotten while on duty in Afghanistan, but not to worry! He was glad to help. Bless his soul. At the other end, we hired two high school boys who gladly moved furniture upstairs and down with ease! Youth and strength go hand in hand. One hauled lobster traps with his dad, that explained his ability to pick up what we could not. Bless their souls! And very nice too.

My step daughter is very good at cleaning out barns and selling ‘stuff’ of interest to

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Time for a break.

collectors. I snapped several photos to help promote the sale of the ‘stuff’ left behind.

One of the items we decided to sell was my old snow blower. They ignition key is packed in one of the boxes labeled KEYS. She needs that within a few days.

“Hmm. Hun, have you seen the box marked Keys?”

Hubby stares at the jungle of boxes.

No response.
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Share and tell us about your moving experiences.

 

 

I Had To Put It Into Words

What is River Fork?

A coming of age YA story.

Why did I write it?

As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. One  particular assignment required an autobiography titled: “Fact, Fiction or Fix-it Autobio.”  Over the years my students, because of the title, felt comfortable enough to share stories I would never have been privy to.

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comment to beta read

I empathized at how much some had suffered in their short life. In particular was the loss of a parent, sibling or  a friend.

My mother died in a fire — my sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, my sister was seven. Needless to say, we never forgot. It is indelibly etched in my memory. So much detail for such a young mind.

Being aware of my students’ stories, a story evolved in my head for two years. My brain cranked out scenarios. At first it was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry and still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

Since I am an artist, I began with cute pictures and stories. Then the story grew. It didn’t need to be cute — loss is not cute. I needed honesty and a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

I had to put it into words. As I began the writing process, I adjusted the length and breadth of the story. Years later, I found time in my retirement to finish the MS.

These last four years were devoted to researching the writing craft, improve my writing skills and understanding the different publishing options. Needless to say, the times have surely changed the publishing process since I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1957
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: fictitious town of River Fork, NH.
  • Characters: Three neighboring teens who live in  a farming community.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith, budding romance.
    • It contains a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)
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Are you a beta reader?

The MS has been line critiqued and gone through several revisions

Presently, I need a critique from a few beta readers willing to give me an honest review. Comment if interested.

If you wish to work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and I will gift you a digital copy of my YA novel once it is published.

 

I’ve since begun a sequel—Roach’s story.

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Thanks.

 

Okay, I’ve Finished the Manuscript

Writing

I’ve written a story. Twelve years in the making.

First it was an idea, then it just grew from a children’s book to “Oh no. Not possible. This is too much information for little kids.” So I decided to keep writing and see what happened.

Twelve years? Well, I was working full time as a teacher, and I also built my own home—with my own hands, sweat and blood. Then I got married, moved out of state, built two more houses and got another job teaching in my new geographic location. But my unfinished story haunted me. So I kept writing whenever I had a chance.

At one point, I got stuck. Or I should say, the children in my story were really stuck and I put them there. How could I get them out without killing the whole story? Writer’s block? Yeah. That was what it was. The symptoms fit.

Then one day, I decided I needed another character just to make it more interesting. Should it be a boy? No. How about a girl? Then I had to give her a name. What name. It was like having a baby all over again—without the labor pains or stretch marks. So I did re-writes to fit her into the story. Much later, the same thing happened. This time I added two more characters and had to fit them in with a re-write.

Eventually I felt the children needed to be older. Teen and pre-teen. I learned that is referred to as “tween genre”. Then the title no longer fit the story. Decisions were always being made and I wonder if I made good decisions for the story.

Photograph shows a young girl dressed in a fur...

Photograph shows a young girl dressed in a fur-trimmed coat and hat, carrying her doll. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Isn't she cute?

An idea came as I ate dinner at a restaurant. A pretty, little girl walked to a table with her mom. She had a cute outfit and a beautiful hat. I had to complement her on her hat as I left. I thought, I’d like to paint her. Then it occurred to me. Here was a young girl wearing something special her mom gave her. It was a perceived sign of love by the little girl. My story’s girl needed something to hang on to until her mother came home. So I chose a necklace for my character. It worked for me and for my ‘girl’.

I retired from teaching earlier than planned. My husband was ill once too often and I worried being away all day. Now that I’m home with my happy husband, I have finished my manuscript and have had it reviewed by a critique group. That represents an added two years of critiquing. It was a great experience. The people in the writer’s group were honest and very helpful. I  learned so much more in the last two years. Now my story is so much better thanks to their help and that of a friend who also read the manuscript and made a couple of suggestions.

Now what do I do? Research. I started it a while ago, but had to put it aside to fulfill my obligation to produce new paintings for upcoming art showings and possible  sales. Go to my website at jomorise.com to see my portfolio.

Meanwhile, another story has been brewing in my head for about two years now and I’ve already started writing that as well.

Wish me luck.

Jo

Smile in your mirror every day.