A female cardinal sits in the branches
of my magnolia tree niggling at something—next
year's flowers or a bit of this year's fruit, suddenly exposed. She
turns upside down in order to reach her treasure before fluttering
her wings to right herself again.
Small buds adorn the branches, promises
neatly bundled and held tight until spring. Like a kid awaiting
Christmas, I'm anxious to see the tree in bloom: It will be my first
spring in this house.
On Saturday, I went to the fabric store
to get some thread and elastic to finish the pajamas I'd promised my
children and husband. This promise of pajamas was made in a weak
moment, brought on by the feel of soft flannel beneath my fingers and
the vision of what it could become. But I am not a seamstress of any
note, unless you note the errors that I make.
I'd stepped into the midst of a
three-day sale, a nightmare of customers, kitsch, and complaints. The
cutting counter announced it was "now serving number
thirty-two." An employee pointed a woman to the sewing machines.
Women considered rolls of wrapping paper, on sale for ninety-nine
I grabbed two spools of thread and a
package of elastic before joining the line that extended halfway to
the back of the store. In order to placate customers, a manager
walked along the line, extending a basket of candy canes and mints.
"Yes," she reassured a woman. "The sale ends at noon,
but we'll keep it going as long as we have people in line." A
wide-eyed man stood near the cash register, hands in pockets, waiting
for his wife.
The perennial season of consumption had
Grey Cat leaps onto the window ledge
and stares in through the window, meowing. The cardinal flies away.
The promises of spring are freely given
and eternally kept.
I could sit here for hours, watching.
But it's time. I need to get my tush in gear. My sewing machine
"This week we wanted to do something to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, and we foolishly thought that would be easy. There are so many amazing Yiddish words that found their way into the English language, and we thought it would be great to highlight one. To find one with a third definition, however, was not so easy. We thought all was lost until we stumbled upon this gem.
1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse's canine
2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach
3. buttocks (slang)
Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. Now let's all write our tushes off."
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: Creative non-fiction, essay, Trifecta Writing Challenge