Long Pond

This piece was written in response to the photo prompt at The Red Dress Club: RemembRED.

Your assignment this week was to write a memoir piece inspired by this picture of a garden hose. In 700 or fewer words, show us where your memory takes you

 
I watched the spray from the hose rise in a twinkling arc over the tomato plants. Fat drops of water rolled from the end of the sprayer and splashed onto my bare feet. The water was shockingly cold in the heat of the morning sun. I looked down and watched the cold, almost painful drops land on my foot. A puddle formed around my toes and made the soil of his garden muddy. My feet were dirty, but he didn’t care. I dug my toes into the earth and absorbed its muddy warmth.

I reached over and plucked a ripe, red cherry tomato from the vine and popped it into my mouth then followed with another. When I’d arranged a tomato in each cheek, I called to him and flashed a beaming smile. He turned from tying a tomato plant to its stake and laughed at the sight of my bulging cheeks. His laugh was magical, spreading warmth and washing me with happiness.

“When are we going to go fishing?” My voice sounded muffled and hollow as my words pushed their way around the tomatoes filling my checks. I stood holding the hose in one hand, watering his tomato plants, and poked at my puffy cheeks with the index finger of my other hand. The skin on my cheeks began feeling like it was stretching, so I bit down on the tomatoes, breaking through the skin and washing my tongue with their sun-warmed sweet and sour interiors.

He never yelled at me and his hands never hurt. He shared his time and paid attention.

“You want to go fishing, huh?”

“Yup, and I’m gonna catch the biggest fish ever!”

He laughed, and then left the garden to enter the cellar. The dirt interior was like entering a cave. The ceiling was lined with fishing poles. He knew just where mine was located and pulled it down, along with his own. The tackle box and oars followed and were pushed into the bed of the truck. We always drove the short distance across the street and down the hill to the boat.

At the shoreline, I stood with the gear and watched him turn the boat over and unlock its chains. His moccasins squished into the damp weedy shoreline as he slid the boat into the water. “Come on,” he’d say, “Watch the mud.”

I gingerly stepped to the boat, walking along the clumps of grass and trying to avoid the blackened mud that sucked at my sneakers. The boat shimmied as I stepped onto the rear seat and made my way to the bow with my arms out in an attempt to balance. He’d pass the oars into the boat, then push off and climb in just before his feet met the water.

The water slapped against the side of the boat and the lily pads dragged at the bottom, trying to slow the momentum of his push. We’d pause there while he arranged the oars and I’d pull at the flowers growing from the lily pads, finally pulling one of the long slimy stems from the water and allowing my fingers to drag through the wake as he rowed me around Long Pond.

Those short summer weeks – always too short, were strung together by days full of nothing that were everything.

Our last day spent fishing together happened in 1998. I was no longer a little girl.

I watched his hands flip the boat and unlock its chains. His moccasins squished through the damp weedy grass of the shoreline. His progress had slowed over the years and, that day, his feet didn’t escape the water when he pushed the boat from the shoreline.

My throat tightened and my eyes burned with the threat of tears so I turned and plucked a flower from among the lily pads. I dragged my fingers through Long Pond and realized that I was beginning to say goodbye.

Thank You Blogger Friends (What I write on NyQuil & Wine)

For shits and giggles I Googled my blog yesterday and came upon a random review by some random jackass. Apparently, I suck because I use Blogger which sucks because it is connected to Google which sucks because…well, to be honest I zoned out a bit on her rant because it sucked. Note to self: eDee2.0 abhors anything associated with Google but who really gives a shit?

This won’t win me any fans, but don’t even get me started on the cut-throats over at Top Mommy Blogs. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get in the way of the ladies hell bent on delivering a daily recipes along with a review of the latest and greatest in baby leashes on their quest to reach the coveted No. 1! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some awesome and funny fellow bloggers there. Kitten at Mumsyhood and who doesn’t love Jill at Yeah. Good Times.

I’ve never been entirely sure why I joined Top Mommy Blogs in the first place. Sure, I blog about my family but I’m more about the writing part as opposed to mommy blogging. I’m thinking it’s time to say goodbye to Top Mommy Blogs and worry fine tuning my writing instead of trying to win a popularity contest. I already competed in high school. No offense to my fellow blogging friends who participate, I just don’t think that some of my posts really fit that audience. I’m trolling for the right networking site for Narragansett No. 7.

So where does one go to network your blog when you are a mommy who happens to write? For starters, I’d recommend For The Love of Blogs. There are a whole bunch of different blogging niches there and one is dedicated to writers!

I like that For the Love of Blogs frowns on the “follow me and I’ll follow you” bullshit. I want people to follow me because they enjoy reading my words, not because they’re trying to collect a large number of followers. Mostly, I’ve found a really supportive community of people at FTLOB.

If you have a chance, go check out some of my favorites and friends. Take a minute to introduce yourself. This is a fantastic group of women, every one of them is both talented and supportive. They’ve taken the time to read my blog and comment with thought. So thank you, friends! I don’t always have the time to comment when I stop by and I hate writing something that sounds as if I haven’t taken the time to read your words or admire your beautiful photography, but I do.

Of Woods and Words – If I lived in Ada’s neck of the woods, I’d stalk her and make her be my friend. She is an incredible writer. A real writer. Maybe she doesn’t know, but some days she inspires me.

Mommy used to be so pretty…. Her blog’s name made me giggle one day. Then the banner on her blog made both me and my husband chuckle. Another talented writer who keeps me coming back with her humor and touching posts. Check out her recent post titled “and a naughty girl too…”

 

Rub Some Dirt On It I think she might just be my northern New England soul sister. It seems that her talent never ends…she’s obsessed with french fries and a blue barn door. She lives in the middle of nowhere, with lots of snow and dirt roads. I “get” her.

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Midnight Oil Momma. I really like how she writes, her twins share my birthday and she makes a killer meatloaf! I can’t wait to read more.

Another Cookie, Please! What can I say about Patty… I’ve known her for nearly 20 years but didn’t really get to “know” her until we started blogging this year. She’s been one of my biggest supporters, she’s boosted my self-esteem and encouraged me to chase a dream. She’s made me laugh for a long time and now she inspires me. Patty took time out of her busy life to write me a recommendation for graduate school without hesitation. Thank you, friend.  On a side note, she has also had the pleasure of waxing my nether-regions ..isn’t she lucky?

Tales of a Hockey Wife makes me laugh. Without fail, she provides me with at least one chuckle per post. Her hockey mask photos are genius. She is training to be a Zumba instructor and pole-fitness classes. She shares my love of singling out annoying people and writing funny blogs about them, only she’s smart and does it anonymously.

Tales of a Hockey Wife

Chicken Noodle Gravy I am completely addicted to the comfort of Chicken Noodle Gravy. Katie whips up some delicious posts. Her writing style is really engaging and keeps me going back for more. I’ll be honest, I just discovered Chicken Noodle Gravy about two weeks ago, but Katie is an instant favorite. She shares the dream to be published. I think she’s on her way.

My 3 Little Birds Yet another recent discovery and instant favorite! She is an aspiring writer too. Do you notice a theme here? I can’t get enough of My 3 Little Birds. We kind of stumbled upon one another over a shared blog title. “Crack is Whack!” What can I say, she had me at crack.

The Fancy Flea. Amazing photography of her beautiful country/life/random moments. She loves books. I love her.

The (Not Always) Happy Homemaker Diary. Missy has been a constant reader for a while. She never fails to comment and always manages to take the time to say hello via Twitter. I’m so bad at Twitter. I think Missy might be the only person who really talks to me there. We share many similarities and have both spent time lamenting over them. Sometimes it’s nice to know that you aren’t alone in the world.

Rancher Mom’s Realm makes me laugh a lot. It doesn’t matter if she’s commenting at my blog or if I’m reading hers. I giggle. She’s real. Her posts are genuine and I like when other women drop F-bombs as much as I do.

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OK in UK has the best sense of humor ever. I love Mollie. There, I said it. I think I’m weird until I go to her blog and then I realize that I’m not alone in the world. It’s the rest of the people who are weird and not funny. If you’re normal, Mollie will make you laugh. She will also entertain you with her talent for writing. Run..run to to her blog!

I didn’t forget anyone. I’m tired and I have a raging sinus infection so if I didn’t give you a shout out please don’t be angry with me. Take pity on me and my bum sinuses. I still love you. I do, really…I do. I’m simply jacked up on pinot grigio and NyQuil Sinus PM and should probably stop before this takes a turn toward freaky.