Honoring Short Story Month With a Little Yellow Book

 

In honor of short story month, I am sharing an excerpt from one of my very favorite short stories of all time.

I wish I could get well faster.

But I must not think about that. This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had!

There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down.

I get positively angry at the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breaths didn’t match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other.

Brilliant, right? The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a masterpiece. I first read this story in college. Many years later, in a small used book shop, I stumbled upon a small copy from a small press which was printed the year I was born, proving my crazy connection to this story was real.

Now, my little yellow book is a cherished possession, like a worn stuffed teddy bear from childhood.

It completes me.

 

The Yellow Wallpaper

First published in 1892, the story is available here and, if you have not read it, you really must. I insist.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

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You Don’t Write Me Love Notes…Anymore

 

My husband had to work this weekend. That’s when it occurred to me.

He doesn’t leave me love notes around the house anymore. I sat and tried to remember when I’d seen the last one.

Months ago.

The ones that used to say “Hope you have a wonderful day” or “Your purple is gorgeous” (I have a purple streak in my hair) or “You are beautiful”. Or simply “I love you”.

They’re gone—the post-its that used to be stuck to my mirror, my nightstand, my favorite coffee cup.

Where are all the notes?

Oh. There they are. On my phone. “Have a great day” and “Love you” and “I made you iced coffee—it’s in the fridge” with tiny, smiling emoticons or cute flowers.

Wow.

The love notes I used to get are little electronic bubbles on my frickin’ phone. It’s weird. Still sweet, of course, but like a sterilized version of what I had. Is this called a “love text”? (If that is some crude, new term, I apologize.)

I appreciate that my husband still writes these messages but there’s something special about a handwritten note.

Plus, I can’t use a text as a bookmark. Just saying.

 

Love Notes TextingLove Notes Texting 2

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

Love Note Thought Bubble

 

 

Mother’s Day Dilemma

 

I wrote the following post last year and, while I still believe there are two approaches to Mother’s Day, this weekend I am firmly in column B. I am going for a pedicure at a spa where I can order a glass of wine while my feet are scrubbed and polished.

Because.

I’m the mum and I say so.

This tree (which blossomed basically overnight) is what greeted me when I walked out the front door. I took it as a sign that mother nature herself was giving me flowers—and I’m taking them.

Happy Mother’s Day

mothers day2015

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

There are two schools of thought regarding Mother’s Day:

  • I am spending every second of this day with my children.
  • I wouldn’t go near my kids today if you paid me!

A) It’s Mother’s Day. That’s me! I’m a mother. And I want to celebrate motherhood by being with my kids– playing games with them, talking to them, going out to eat with them, and hugging them. A lot. After all, my children are the reason I get to celebrate this day in the first place.

B) This is my day. I am going to soak in a bubble bath, pick up the book I’ve been meaning to read for two months, drink a glass of wine on the porch, and relax. After all, it’s a day meant for me so someone else can take care of the kids and house today.

For some, this is a simple decision. For others, we bounce between the two options.

Notice the “we”? Because I’m one of those moms who want a little from column A and a bit from column B.

I want to be around my kids. I want to play cards or Candy Land with them. I want to play win at Wii. I want to look at old photos and see how much they’ve grown. I want my annual handmade crayon cards with hearts and flowers and smiley faces all over them.

I also want to be a little spoiled. I’d love to get a massage or a pedicure. Some sushi and a nice glass of Pinot Grigio would be wonderful, too. Sitting outside, alone, listening to the birds chirp and just relaxing, is a beautiful way to spend the day.

Here’s what I did. I dipped my little toe into column B by having my husband take care of the crappy things like cleaning toilets, making lunches, sweeping crumbs, and wiping noses. All this while I slept in late, read a good book, sipped some Sam Adams Summer Ale, and took a long shower during which I actually shaved my legs and used that incredible strawberry sorbet scrub that’s been staring at me from my bathroom counter since December.

And then I embraced a bit of column A. I hugged and kissed my kids. I told them stories they’d heard before about when they were little. I teared up quite a bit. I felt my heart grow like the Grinch’s when I opened the cards they drew for me. I played games with them and read to them and spent some time outside enjoying the day with them.

That was a good mix for me. A very happy Mother’s Day.

 

Where are you? Firmly in column A? Column B? Somewhere in the AB area? What did you do for Mother’s Day?

 

What Am I Searching For?

 

On a walk yesterday, I had my phone out snapping pictures of new plants poking out of the earth and fresh, green leaves sprouting from dead-looking brown branches.

ThoughtBubbleI was also moving leaves with my feet to find rocks for my children. They love rocks. Actually, so do I. Rocks are awesome—all different shapes, sizes, colors. Some sparkle with mica, some glisten with quartz. Plus, they feel nice in your pocket. They’re grounding.

So there I was, stopped on my little walk, when an older gentleman in jogging pants came walking up to me. “Are you searching for something?” He looked a bit like he was approaching a badger.

I smiled as brightly as I could, “Just enjoying the spring weather and looking for pretty rocks for my kids.”

He shifted, clearly uncomfortable. Then just stood there.

“Oh,” he finally managed. Then he shook his head and started walking again, saying “okay…” as he got up some speed.

Am I searching for something? Yes. The energy and clarity I get from walking. And gifts from nature for my children.

But, clearly, I need to get some of those workout clothes I was thinking of buying last season.

 

Searching for Spring

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.