Ted and Trudy

Ted and Trudy had been married forever; four years, in fact. Each still said he or she was in love. Still, each found himself or herself dreading the drive home after work.

Their marriage counselor tried. “What you need is to find and speak each other’s love language,” she said.

Ted and Trudy tried.

Physical intimacy didn’t touch on the issue. Spending quality time together made the evening drag on and on. Neither received gifts presently. Words of affirmation didn’t speak to either of them. And we won’t even mention how self-absorbed each became when performing acts of service.

It wasn’t until Ted finally snapped and complained about it all that Trudy felt an unexpected spark.

“Ooooh. Say that again, Ted,” she cooed.

Ted blinked. “Uhhh… the counselor’s charging way too much for something that’s not working?”

“Yes, Ted! Yes! What else isn’t working?”

“Uhh…” he thought for a minute. “That plumber we hired this morning was late, incompetent, and left a mess.”

Trudy sat up and perked up. “What else??”

“No one knows how to drive anymore?” He was starting to get excited as well.

“Yes! Yes!”

“Whenever I go shopping, I can’t ever find a good clerk! How difficult is it to know where the polos are?”

“Ohhh, Ted.” She drew right up to him. “What else?”

“The governor’s an idiot and this country’s being run by imbeciles!”

“YYYYYESSSSS!”

…..

Their counselor was surprised to see them practically bouncing at their next (and last) appointment.

“We did it!” Trudy gushed. “We found our love language!”

“Oh?” the counselor asked, intrigued. “Which is it?”

Ted and Trudy looked at each other, smiled; then, in unison, answered, “Complaining!”

©2021 Chel Owens

Oh, the Blog.

Y’know, I never thought I’d feel this way. I read others who wrote about leaving blogdom for one reason or another and thought, “Why?” Why leave when you have followers, a creative outlet, and interesting posts from all your friends?

Now I know: life.

Granted, my life has not been interesting before this point. I haven’t had much to do. Further, I had no one to talk to about it. I can’t say the same is true anymore -which is, actually, a very healthy thing. No longer alone in a large house with only my dishes and children; I now have a smaller house, a job, at least one friend to whom I can say anything, a good marriage, and waaaaay too many things to do all day. Oh, and I still have the children.

…In terms of organization, this post is getting ahead of itself. Let’s start with an updated list:

  1. I’m still pregnant. As far as I know, the baby is doing swimmingly. Perhaps he’s doing kickingly.
    Thanks to my delivery history, I will schedule a C-Section. We’re looking at November 2. This date draws ever nearer each day.
  2. We’ve moved house and sold our other. I don’t talk about where I live, specifically, much. I’d like for angry mobs to not be able to find us. It is very important to tell you all that our new digs are much less finished or updated than our last, however. In fact, our last house was BRAND NEW and this one is more along the lines of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, pre-remodel.
  3. I still work as a lunchlady assistant but will be retiring soon due to being due.
  4. I have even less time for blogging than I’ve ever had before.

In light of these facts but despite what I said at the beginning of this post, I will not be running away.

Repeat: I’m staying.

Out of necessity, I will be changing my writing schedule. This, sadly, includes not running a poetry contest. I feel the greatest loss at this conclusion, since I love encouraging poetry and love all the excellent writings you have shared.

And for you, Carol: fajita, frijole; hickory (in my defense, you and your followers named every food that has ‘k’ in it); galia (melon), scallion; edamame, jambu, mamey; tinda, ortanique, pignoli, uni; (and for this week) mahonia (berries), roe, and acorn….

©1948 RKO Radio Pictures

©2021 Chel Owens

Kelly’s Shopping Trip

Kelly was claustrophobic.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Of course, she didn’t know that. She didn’t even know what claustrophobic meant.

Not-very-blissfully unaware, she simply avoided the subway, most alleyways, rooms without two exits, corners, small grocery stores, compact cars, buses, airplanes, and -for her entire life- the game of Hide and Seek.

It was when Kelly mentioned how even seeing skinny jeans made her hyperventilate that a sales clerk clued her in. “Skinny jeans make everyone short of breath,” he explained, “Especially those wearing them.”

Kelly smiled in relief, purchased a muumuu, and walked the five miles home to her open floor plan house. She felt happy.

©2021 Chel Owens

“Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is yours alone to sing
falls into your open cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world so worthy of rescue.”

-“Clearing,” by Martha Postlethwaite

Hey! Wilhelmina’s Back, and Matt’s Reading Her Aloud!

I’m still on break, so don’t tell anyone, BUT my good friend, Matt Snyder of Prolific Potpourri, has started reading my Wilhelmina Winters series for his Short Story Saturdays.

Wil was the first series I wrote; I even started her on Twofacebook before I found the better world of blogging. She’s what I always wanted my imagination to be like, what I experienced in middle school, and an attempt at my understanding one of my sons.

https://aprolificpotpourri.art/2021/07/31/short-story-saturday-wilhelmina-winters-chapter-one-from-the-desk-of-the-mouse/

I’m so excited for Matt to read these! Enjoy!

Blogging Break. Oh, Baby.

This is it: my official post marking my break from blogging for a while. I couldn’t even officially officialize the break back when I said I would, which might clue my loyal readers in to the extent of my attention, energy, and current workload.

Speaking of:

•#6 Pregnancy is going well. We’ve double-checked, and this one is most definitely a boy. Again.

It’s aliiiiiive.

•The house move is progressing slooooowwwlllly. It’s like I have no energy and feel sick all the time or something. I keep -optimistically- telling people we’ll be out of this house and into the next within a month or two. Problem is, the house we’re aiming for is a fixer-upper. We’d be more motivated if, say, the swamp cooler were working.
…Yes, I said “swamp cooler.” Yes, I said it’s not working. Don’t even get me started on the pages and pages the house inspector gave us when we were in the purchasing process…

My poetry post is going wonderfully over at Carrot Ranch. It’s a monthly installment, titled Anyone Can Poem. No matter your perceived skill level, I encourage everyone to try any of the challenges. Thank you to everyone who has visited already.

•I tried my hand at the new-fangled audio-posting option with “I Cannot See My Feet No More.” Check it out if you’re curious how I sound.

•I will visit all the blogs I can over the next few days.

•Finally, as is my tradition, here are some of my friends you ought to visit (and follow):

  1. Hobbo of Hobbo’s Poems. A very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very (etc.) good poet of silly, whimsical types. He really, really, really, really, really, really needs to publish because his work is better than what makes it to print. I’m serious, Hobbo.
  2. My new friend, Bossybabe. She’s hilarious to read and I love her comments on my (few and far-between) posts.
  3. Willow, another very nice friend, who writes a variety of stories and prompts and poems.
  4. The excellent proprietor of Opal’s Farm, Gregory Joel. Besides details about that community garden, Gregory slips in the occasional post about life.
  5. Denny the caffeinated athlete. Someday, I’ll be back to running as well.
  6. Rethinking Scripture -who is really a dude dealing with life and advancing the cause for mental illness awareness.
  7. Frank Hubeny, another excellent poet who likes mixing religious themes in his work.
  8. The ever clever Obbverse, who mostly bends his wit to poetry.
  9. Pete Springer, whose book I discussed a bit ago. He’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.
  10. Herb, another great, down-to-earth guy.

And, actually, many more! Visit my Awards posts for more, or stalk my comments sections. I couldn’t ask for a better group than the friends I’ve made through blogging.

©2021 Chel Owens

We are writers.

We are writers.

Our innocent country walks; our grocery trips; our meditations -are narrated. “Lush greenings brush against…” “So stands the stoic milk…” “Thus, she found herself…”

We can subsist on very little, although it must be a consumable accessory to a keyboard or notebook.

It’s perfectly normal and reasonable to find we’ve only left our desk to curl up somewhere, muttering about a “block” or “wall” or “J.K. Rowling.”

Time does not exist. Dishes do not exist. Why are you asking about the dishes?

Words are all that matter.

Therefore, we are also readers. Don’t bother us during or after a book. Blinking blearily, we’re likely to assume you’re less real than the world between the words. And we’ll bite.

To those still wishing understanding or attention: practice a straight face, prepare encouraging remarks, clean the kitchen, bring something chocolate, and stay away until THE END.

Sometimes, we are human again.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

©2021 Chel Owens

“It isn’t about reading the words [with books]; it’s about reading the smell, which wafts from the pages in a cloud of dust and wood pulp. It might smell expensive and well bound, or it might smell of tissue-thin paper and blurred two-color prints, or of fifty years unread in the home of a tobacco-smoking old man. Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow