Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The First Time I Was Charmed

Yesterday brought back many memories. I saw friends that I have not seen for 40 years.

We talked about games we played, other children we knew, and how life is different now.

We spoke of a family that lived behind us that was touched by the tragedy of losing a child, and how we all shared yards like they were our own.  No fences divided us and the area we played seemed endless.

We were all different ages.  My sister was probably one of the youngest at three years old, and Karen, our neighbor, was a mature woman of ten.  Roy was in high school and was totally out of our league.  He did not hang around with us, but we watched him in awe as he played his drums and got to have his own room.

Bruce was younger than Roy, but was still a much older man to me.  Playing with his younger siblings was always fun, but when he was there something exciting and new was added to our younger group.

One overcast day we were swinging on his swingset, and he got bored and started to dig for worms.  The girls kept swinging, and Bruce was telling us he was finding some big fat ones.  Then he said the terrible words, "And I found an especially juicy one for you...PENELOPE..." I froze.

I could not swing but I could not get off the swing either.  Something bad was going to happen--so I covered my eyes with my hands.  I think I was shaking a little.  I heard the others girls yelling ewwwwww!!!! and no no no!!  I was imagining a worm nightmare behind my closed eyes. Would he put the worm in my hair?  Would he throw it at me? Then I heard everyone telling me to look and open my eyes!  Open your eyes!! 

And there, about a foot from my face, was a daisy.  And about a foot behind that stood Bruce, with a simple grin on his face.  He held it there for about two more seconds, then said,


Part of my mind remembers him saying something almost wise after that like "see, things aren't always what they seem..." but I can't say for sure.

I took the daisy and smiled non-stop for the rest of the week.  I did not fall madly in love with Bruce or even think he liked me, but something was new and different in my life.  Not everything turned out bad that I imagined would.

Today I look for the magic in everyday life.  Many times the smallest things contain the biggest wonders.  Did the daisy event with Bruce have something to do with this?  I don't know for sure, but maybe it did.

One thing I DO know is if you want to find something, you actually have to look for it.  :)


  1. Thanks for sharing this, it made me want to go back in my mind of childhood treasured memories and if even for a brief few moments be in a place where life was simpler.
    How nice it was for you to reconnect with old friends.
    Much Love,

  2. XO
    It was so nice.
    The new owners of their old house let us all in too look around. It was really neat.
    The memories really are treasures, right Heidi :)

  3. What a great story, Penelope! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for reading Sandy :)
      You are very supportive.

  4. This is lovely. Not everything is bad, not every encounter will bring pain. This is a nice counterpoint to the dulling sluggishness and pessimism that tends to come in with the last of Winter's winds.

    1. Thanks Aniko-
      Friends just bring out the best in us all :)

  5. "I was imagining a worm nightmare behind my closed eyes." LOL!!! That was fun! :-)

    1. Thanks Mina!!
      I was so relieved to see that daisy I don't even think worms bothered me after that :)

  6. I love this, both how the story itself, and how you used it metaphorically.

    Such a nice moment. Very visual. Hope you have a nice weekend.

    Paul D. Dail
    www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  7. Thanks Paul :)
    I love how you care to find the metaphors and occasional attempts at a double entendre in my writing.
    The weekend was very nice--always a bit fascinating to me how a short car ride can take you from 57 degree weather to two feet of snow. To be honest--I'm happier AWAY from the snow...


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