Tag Archives: imagination

Oh Frabjous Day!

Today’s post is brought to by “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol and by James.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the jubjub bird and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

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He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

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And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

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One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead , and with its head
He went galumphing back.

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“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

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‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.

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The Fly

Jacob is scared of bugs. Anything from spiders and big beetles to the common house fly. I think it all started with his sisters squealing over bees – anything time something flies around him he looses it.

He has gotten better, but we recently had a conversation that went something like this:

Dad: It’s a fly. There is nothing to be afraid of.

Jacob (a very earnest look upon his face): Yes there is it will hurt me.

Dad: Son, flies can’t hurt you

Jacob: Yeah. They land on your arm and go like this (he grabs hold of his arm and lifts it up ward). They don’t let go and they take your arm and fly away.

Dad: Flies are tiny. They can’t pull your arms off.

Jacob: Yes they can. They stick to you and go like this. (He once again mimics the fly grabbing his arm and flying away with it)

I don’t know that we ever convinced him that flies can’t rip off his limbs and fly away with them, but he definitely gets creativity points 😀

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No Husband, Late Nights, and an Imagination to Boot

I tend to have an overactive imagination. Usually it doesn’t kick in until the kids are in bed, the husband is gone and all is quiet – but not quiet.  My spidey senses kick in and every creak and groan of the house is magnified. I manage to combat the spooky creeks with movies to a rather late hour – between 11:00 and midnight.  Usually by them I am gauranteed to fall asleep rappidly so my imagination doesn’t get carried away as I lay in a big bed all by myself in a dark room.

So a week or so ago, Friday evening came along and I was watching an old musical when I heard a loud thumping at about 10:30 that even the movie couldn’t mask.  I immediately recognized it for what it was – Jacob was still goofing off in his room.  I went back to check on him and caught him pearing out the window.

“I someone out my window.”

Immediately my mommy radar kicked in. Did he say out or at?  And vivid images of a face smashed up against the window peering into his room plagued my brain.  I looked out the window nothing was in sight. Logic told me her heard a car driving by, and peaked by curiosity looked out to see some people passing by on the sidewalk a ways out from our house.  Logic told me that he had probably just seen his reflection. Logic told me a lot of things – but my imagination rarely listens to my logic.

I asked him if he wanted to say a prayer and he nodded his head yes. So we knelt and prayed for protection while daddy was gone. After that he hopped in bed and snuggled down for a nice pleasant sleep.

I check on the the girls, made sure the house was locked up tight and returned to my movie.  Between it and my computer I managed to keep any vivid imagings at bay until I was falling asleep in my chair and it was nearing 1:00 in the morning.  I checked the doors and the kids once more and headed to bed.

My brain just wouldn’t turn off. I even tried reading some Nancy Drew books to get me to think of something else. I chose Nancy Drew as I knew they wouldn’t capture my attention so much that I would want to read for hours on end. Finally between 2:30 to 3:00 I bit the dust – thankfully my prayers were answered and I managed to avoid any nightmares that would have had me gasping for breath and charging into my children’s rooms to check on them.

Morning dawned and all was well. We spent a fun Saturday, and then the evening came and the nighttime nerves with husband gone began. It wasn’t as bad  – no little boys claiming to see people out the windows, but I still had to ban my imagination from taunting me, and while sleep came earlier, it still didn’t hit until about 1:30.  Those two nights didn’t make Sunday a very good day. In fact it was a disaster. Lets just say I really appreciate my husband and all he does.  I was so thrilled to have him home that night and finally get a decent night’s rest.

An imagination is great when you feel like writing stories – but late at night when you are home alone with your kids – it’s not such a good thing.  *shudder*

 

***  Totally off topic: I have started a new page called “Here’s What’s Cooking” – I am posting some of our family favorite recipes complete with photo as I make them. Feel free to use and enjou.

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Sounds in the Night

Deb wrote a really cool story (as she usually does) and asked what our scariest or funniest memory from our childhood was. I’ve written a lot of them already, so it was a bit challenging, but there was this time when . . .

I didn’t need horror flicks to spur my imagination, or put a face on my fears that lurked in shadow. I just needed an empty old farmhouse in the dark.

I was ten, maybe eleven, when I flipped the lock on the door behind my father as they headed out. I turned around and scanned the ranch style farmhouse. It was all one level with stairs leading down to the basement, where my bedroom was housed. I snagged my book from off the table and flicked on the basement/stair light. I looked down the stairs and into the darkness beyond, my imagination starting to tug at my spine. Taking a deep breath turned off the warm, safe kitchen light and started down the stairs. Thump *thump* Thump *thump* Thump *thump*. I froze midway and spun around expecting to see someone behind me. No one was there. I continued a little further. After every slap of my bare feet against wood I swore I heard another. Someone, something, was following me down those stairs. I spun around again, my heart beating so hard I thought I could see my chest moving with its force. Again, there was nothing. I quickly descended the remaining stairs, diving for the light at the bottom. Just as the basement sprung into brilliance I saw a tall shadow out of the corner of my eye. Looming, and then, I thought, it moved!

All intellectual thought fled from my brain as my terrified heart seized my body and drove me into my room. Slamming the door behind me I leaned up against it my panting the only sound in the awesome stillness. *Creek* “It’s just the house. It’s just the house,” I chanted to myself. *Creek* *shuffle shuffle* I squeezed my eyes shut. *Scrape Scrape* “It’s just the house. It’s just the house,” I prayed. I walked over to my desk and fumbling with the switch on my radio I turned it on and then cranked the volume high enough to drown out all other sounds. I grabbed the flashlight hidden in my desk drawer and turned on my lamp. After looking in my closet and under my bed, I crept into the safety of my bed and drew the covers over my head. My hand snuck out for just a moment, seizing my book and drawing it in. I flicked on my light and began to read.

That was how Dad found me when he got home. Basement light, stair light, and every light in my room on. Radio blasting, and me cowering under my covers, fast asleep with a dead flashlight in my hand, and a book laying half open beside me. He asked why I left all the lights on when I went to bed the next morning. I just mumbled something about, “footsteps on the stairs.”

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of Robin Hood and the Monkey Tree

I picked up a long straight stick; it was just shorter than my shoulder and about ½ to ¾ inches round. It wasn’t yew, but it would work just the same. I pulled out my pocketknife and proceeded to whittle off the bark and the knotholes. Finally notching both ends of the stick, I drew out my piece of string and firmly wound and fastened it to one end. Then pulling the string taught I bent the wood, winding and fastening the string to the opposite end of the stick. I tested it. It didn’t quite twang, but it was pretty good for such a quick job. I scavangered for some small sticks and then whittled them too, forming a point at the end of each one.

I ran inside and scrounged for a green shirt, threw it on atop of the others and charged outside, hollering something about important, be right back, before my mother could give me a list of chores to complete. I went down the hill to the barn where my brothers were waiting, with their green shirts on. “Ready?” they asked and I gave a nod of my head.

“Then off to Sherwood!” they shouted and we began to tramp past the barn and across the pastures to our little wood. Had we been toting our swords and the shields of King Arthur’s nights we would have battled the dragon at the edge of the forest. On tree rose far higher than the rest and the top of it was curled and bent into the shape of a dragon. It was appropriately named the dragon tree and on some nights, when it was silhouetted against the red sky as the sunset, it would almost come alive. But that was not our destination this day. We were headed into the heart of the wood to a tree we had dubbed the “Monkey Tree.”

It was twisted and gnarled and charred near the top, having been struck by lightning some time in the past. It was the perfect tree for play and climbing with branches leading out in all different directions and sloping up or down. Someone had made a tree house at one point, for there was a ladder nailed to the tree. Dad had made that the stopping point. We couldn’t climb higher than the bottom slat of the ladder. We understood and didn’t mind, we still had most of the tree to swing from and climb and eat apples in its recesses.

We hushed our riotous laughter as we neared Sherwood and swung our bows from off our backs. We each knocked an arrow into place. Snap! I whirled around searching for the unseen enemy. Kimball whispered what we all knew, “Sherwood has been discovered! There is a spy among us!” Our arrows flew sure and true striking the enemy and taking many of them down. But there were too many and we found ourselves pressed back to back against the tree. “Climb! We’ve got to climb, it’s our only escape!”

We frantically began to make our way up the tree until we were well above their heads, showering arrows down upon them. We were standing on a branch. Kimball pointed to our only escape route, a branch just a ways above and in front of us. My eyes alight with fire I nodded to show I understood. I slung my bow on my back and we prepared to jump. “One! Two! THREE!” We leapt across the gap and grabbed hold of the branch, soldiers shouting below us warning of our escape. We swung once, twice . . .CRACK! The sickening sound filled our ears as we fell through time and space until we crashed to the forest floor. Kimball landing upon my head, or at least something of his colliding with my head. The world exploded into a myriad of color. Groaning I tried to sit up. “J, you dead?” I heard him mumble as Paul came running up to us laughing.

“If I’m not dead yet, I will be soon. We’re surrounded and my bow is broken.” I held up my pitiful bow the two ends hanging limply from the once taught string. My brothers shook their heads and laughed as we staggered back to the house.

Some years later our adventures were ended permanently when the tree was struck again by lightening and it went down in a blaze, scorching a good portion of our little wood along with it. Sometimes I yearn to see the places we played and imagined as children, but then I am afraid I would find it so altered by time and nature that I would only see the ghosts of memories racing through the trees.

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Shiver

Weekly Anamnesis #18

I was nestled in a cozy chair in a secluded corner of the public library buried deep in a book I had taken from off the tower of shelves. Suddenly the lights dipped and I jerked out of my book looking around, bewildered. The lights slowly brightened, “The library will be closing in ten minutes, please bring any books you wish to check out down to the circulation desk.”

I gasped and jumped out of my chair looking frantically at my watch. It was nearly 8:00. As I neared the glass doors I realized that the sun had long since retired and night had descended. I had arrived at the library at 3:30 with the intent to only stay for an hour or so. My family’s rule echoed in my head, “You can go where you like on your bike as long as I know where and you are home before dark.”

It didn’t occur to me to call; I just checked out my book and charged to my bike. My fingers fumbled with the lock as I tried to remember the combination and jerked it free. I didn’t notice there was no moon that night, and the lack of street lamps on the way home had never been apparent to me before. I hopped on my bike and began to pedal through the dark streets. It might as well have been in the dead of night the way my heart was pounding and the emptiness of the streets. I heard the crunching of gravel behind me and shiver ran through my spine fusing into my feet sending them pedaling faster. There were no headlights; images of all the possible things that made gravel crunch that close behind me filled my mind. I could feel it breathing down my neck, reaching out to grab my hooded sweatshirt. My shoes became flying feet of fury; the Flintstones had nothing on me! Too terrified to look behind and see what was following I raced on swinging around the corner unto my street; I zipped into the driveway. I hadn’t even stopped when my feet hit the ground running and I stormed into the house. I didn’t take the time to see that nothing was chasing me besides my imagination.

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Big Red and Secret Agent J

It was 6:00 a.m. when I was blinded by a bright flash of light. I dove for cover under my cozy blankets and cringed as dad whipped them off me. With a teasing grin he grabbed my toes and tugged. At times I thought he may tug on them so much he’d pull them right off. Maybe if he did I wouldn’t have to get up so early today. No such luck, all my toes were still intact when he returned again to see if I had made any progress.

“Hop to it!” He said cheerily, tickling my feet.

I groaned, even at the age of nine I hated optimism in the morning.

“Ah dad, can’t we sleep in just this once?”

“The animals can’t sleep in, they need their breakfast, and we have a lot to get done today.”

I nodded my sleepy head to show him I understood and stumbled out of bed. My brothers and I usually slept in our clothes to minimize the time it took to get ready for the day, and the feeling of cold jeans in the morning was just terrible. I ran my fingers through my short hair and went upstairs.

My stomach growled as I smelled breakfast cooking. “Make sure you bundle up, it’s really cold out there,” mom called to me.

“Okay.” I grabbed my boots and yanked them on; they sure were stubborn on early mornings. Just as I grabbed my coat, my older brother, Kimball, came up behind me bopping me on the head, “Come on squirt, I’ll race ya.”

I grinned, not being able to pass up a challenge, “You’re on!” I shrugged on my coat and raced out the door. The snow was up past my knees and it wasn’t long before I firmly planted my face into a drift. Kimball came up behind me, picked me up, and set me on my feet once again. Then he raced ahead, “Last one to the barn is a rotten egg!”

I laughed and raced after him, trying my best to step only in his footsteps. I stumbled and fell in the snow a few more times. Finally Kimball turned and came back for me. He picked me up and lifted me onto his shoulders. Then he ran and turned in circles all the way to the barn. Our laughter echoed over the quiet fields, and the sheep looked at us sleepily to see who was disturbing their breakfast.

My job was feeding and watering the chickens and gathering the eggs. Kimball would break the ice out of the bucket for me and gathering the eggs wasn’t too bad, except when it came to Big Red. Big Red was true to her name, a big fat red chicken who had the meanest streak and a terrible liking for little girls’ fingers. She was almost always sitting on her nest. I dreaded trying to shoo her off. I closed my eyes and opened the door, hoping with all my heart that she wouldn’t be there, but sure enough there she was on her usual roost. I gathered all the other eggs first, putting of Big Red for as long as possible. The beady black eyes stared at me with a hatred that seemed to say, “Today is the day I’ll get you.” I cringed. I could hear the evil laughter; the gloating; I was scared and I knew Big Red could sense it. I took a deep breath, “Okay Big Red, you aren’t going to get me this time.” I reached out a hand to try to shoo her away.

Something came flying at my face. I could feel the chicken’s claws and beak. Its wings were batting at my face. I could feel the feathers sticking through my shirt. I screamed batting and hitting at it trying to get it away. I was gasping for air when suddenly I stopped and looked down. There was hay all over me, sticking in my shirt. I could taste particles of hay dust on my lips, and as I ran my fingers through my hair I found a clump of hay sticking to my head.

“Huh?” I muttered confused, there was no sign of a chicken attack; in fact Big Red was still resting peaceful in her nest. Then I heard laughter, I turned around only to see Kimball holding his sides laughing. My great battle with a deadly chicken was only a battle with a flying pile of hay.

“Look out J, the big bad chicken might be coming to get you. You should have seen your face, you were positively terrified. Your arms were wind milling and you invented a great new dance! By the way, you screamed like a girl.”

“I am one, half wit. Besides it’s not funny, Big Red practically eats me alive every time I try to get her eggs.”

“Don’t be a poor sport; I was just having a bit of fun. You’re not really mad are you?”

“Not so long as you get the eggs from Big Red,” I said laughing. “You can sacrifice your fingers to her this morning.”

I grinned to myself as we carried the eggs inside; the teasing was worth not having to get eggs from Big Red.

Once we were thawing out in the warm kitchen, eating up our yummy breakfast, Dad announced that we would stay up a bit late that night so we could gather up the stray chickens that had flown the coop. I smiled this was a favorite.

The appointed time arrived and I became: “Secret Agent J: Chicken Catcher.”

It was dark outside and pitch black in the barn. Dad toted along a flashlight so we could see where the chickens were roosting. They usually roosted in clumps for warmth. We found a batch of them on the wall of one of the stalls. My sisters, brothers, Dad and I snuck quietly up behind them with great stealth tracking the fugitives. We all kept an eye on Dad waiting for the hand signal to attack. We were in position. The fingers came up, a silent 1, 2, 3.

Everyone pounced at once. The barn was instantly filled with the din of squawking chickens and flapping wings. There were legs, arms, wings, and chicken feet flying in all directions. My first grab wrapped around Lisa’s ankle, “J! I’m not a chicken!” Finally I hit my mark. I latched onto the skinny legs and hung on for dear life. “I got one, I got one!” I could feel the wings flapping into my head and face. I was spitting feathers and laughing at the sight of everyone battling their renegade chickens. I suddenly saw my self with one chicken in each hand taking flight over the farm, “Super J!!”

“What are you laughing at, J?” Heidi asked as we carried our fugitives to the chicken coop. I flushed; I hadn’t realized I had laughed out loud. “Ummm, nothing.” That was definitely one day dream to keep to myself. We deposited our chickens and then stood in the snow comparing our trophies and battle wounds by flashlight.

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The Great Escape

“There, it’s finished!” I shoved the last hay bale into place and looked up at our golden castle. “What do you think?” I asked searching my brothers’ faces for any signs of approval.

Kimball nodded and smiled, “It looks really great.”

“Yeah, ” Paul agreed. “We had better take cover before the enemy attacks.”
We dropped to our hands and knees and slithered into the secret tunnel on our stomachs. I had only gone a few feet when Paul reached out and grabbed my shoulder, “Shhh. Footsteps, do you hear them?”

I froze, straining to hear; my eyes grew wide as I nodded my head. The attackers were in the room above us. We remained motionless; afraid even to breathe for fear that they would discover our hiding place. Finally the footsteps faded and I looked at my brothers.

“Go on,” Kimball mouthed not wanting to speak in case they were within earshot. I continued to crawl through the tunnel with my companions at my heals. We came to the end of the tunnel; we were almost ready to enter the banquet hall. Paul drew his sword. Motioning for us to do the same, he waved us forward. Holding up his fingers, he silently counted to three. On three his foot lashed out connecting with the door, sending it flying. We leapt into the room with our swords raised, ready to free our castle from the enemy. We stood back to back fighting the guards and monsters off with all our might.

“There’s too many of them!” I cried. “We have to retreat!”

“We can’t, ” Paul shouted, his eyes wide. “The entrance to the tunnel is blocked, we’re trapped! ”

“Wait, we can climb up the rope by the wall over there! ” Kimball pointed across the room.

We fought through the enemy making our way to the rope. Paul got to it first and started climbing while Kimball and I fought to drive the enemy away.

“Kimball, look out! ” I screamed as a sword narrowly missed his ear. “Hurry Paul, climb faster! ”

“I’ve made it! Hurry J, start climbing,” he called.

“No. Kimball, you go first. You look like your getting tired and you’ve been wounded in the leg. I can still fight a while longer.”

Kimball started climbing up the rope as fast as he could. I gasped, as the throng pressed harder against me I found my self being pushed away from the rope and against the wall.

“Kimball, help me! ” I screamed as I felt the guards seizing my arms. My companions could only watch helplessly as they dragged me to the dungeon. The guard kicked the door open and threw me to the ground.

“I’ll be back for you later, ” he growled.

I scrambled away from him and tucked my knees up under my chin. Cold and scared, I found myself dosing when I heard voices, “J, J, look up.” Looking up, I smiled when I saw my companions grinning. Eagerly they lowered a rope. I grabbed hold of it and started climbing, but just as I reached the top the guard threw the door open.
“They’re escaping! ”

“Quick, jump! ” Paul yelled.

I grabbed the rope and jumped, swinging across the courtyard. Letting go of the rope, I fell into a large pile of hay. When I landed there was as a crack and a nauseating stench and our magical world disappeared.

My brothers started laughing, “You landed on rotten egg! ”

“Those stupid chickens,” I groaned, letting myself fall back onto the hay.

I believe I met the hose again . . .

(A little background: One of our favorite places to hang out was in the hayloft – the upper story of our barn. We would stack the bales and create grand castles and secret tunnels. Many of the bales got broken in the process, much to my father’s chagrin, though he admits now were he do it again he would let us break all the bales we wanted. The broken hay was shoved into a big pile. From the rafters we had tied ropes with footloops to swing on. We would pile up 4 or more haybales put our foot in the loop and swing away. Most often we would swing and do amazing leaps into the hay pile. Sometimes our chickens would fly the coop (I’ll do a chicken post one of these days) and lay eggs in hidden places and we always had to check the hay pile and other such places for eggs. Every once in a while we would miss the inevitable egg . . . )

p.s. Today is my one month mark, I have now been blogging for one month!! Yippee!! My posts may not be great or even very interesting to anyone else but I am having much more fun than I ever thought I would. 🙂

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