The Beauty of a Woman

woman-570883_1280 CC0

 

I think there are some things that are universal with women. Feeling beautiful to someone is one of those things we all seem to desire. As a teenager, I turned to magazines for definitions for what the world wanted women to look like. That created some ideas that have really bogged me down over the years.

We all know that the world and media’s view of beauty is warped. Still, I think all too often we women fall in line with these views and are too hard on ourselves. I know that I do.  How many times have I listened to a friend say, “What’s wrong with me? Am I not pretty enough? Interesting enough? Smart enough?” How many times have I said those words myself?

Then along comes Audrey with this gem…

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.                     ~Audrey Hepburn

 

 

 

Therapy Can’t Help Everything

Marta pulled her skirt taut and lowered into a chair across from her patient. She crossed her legs and tugged the blue material down over her knees. Her patient watched every movement as if trying to capture them on film. She watched as his eyes made their way down her calf to her ankle. The whole thing unnerved her.

She raised her hand, clicked her pen. The patient’s eyes snapped up from her ankle. A slight smile wavered over his face.

“Tell me Mr. Culicoidea, what brings you to my office today?”

He settled himself deeper into the plush brown couch. “Please, call me Joe.”

“Okay, Joe.”

couch 690174_1280_CC0

“Well, doc, life is just tough. I thought by this time in my life things would be different.”

Marta stifled a yawn behind her hand. Really? Another client in a midlife crisis? What kind of career had she built for herself if this was all she got? She should have gone into obstetrics instead of psychiatry.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Culicoidea, I missed what you said.”

“Agh. How hard is it to remember to call me Joe? I’m just a simple creature. I just want to do my job, get some respect.”

Joe rose from the couch and flitted nervously around the room. “I am so tired of being hated. Doc, that’s what I need you to help me with.”

“Well, why don’t you sit down and tell me why you feel everyone hates you?” Was this hour over yet?

The patient hovered in front of her. He stared. She stared. Finally she blinked. Ugh, what was with this guy.

“I don’t need to sit down.” He stared down at her calf again. “Why don’t you tell me, Doc. You seem to have developed the same distasteful look that everyone does when I’m around.”

Marta rose from her chair. She threw her legal pad and pen on the chair. Moving to her desk she grabbed a card and turned back to Joe. “I don’t think I’m the right doctor for you. Let me give you a referral to my partner, Dr. Black. You’ll be much more comfortable with him.”

She turned back to Joe. Anger flowed off him in waves. The look on his face caused her blood to pound in her temples. He moved right up to her until they were eye-to-eye.

“You’re dumping me?”

“No, I’m suggesting you see someone who will be better able to help you.” She took a step back.

“I disgust you, don’t I?”

“No, I wouldn’t say —”

With a quick dip, Joe sank his proboscis into her upper arm.

Marta sucked in a breath. “You want to know why everyone hates you? Because you do stuff like this. Try being nice sometime and not sucking everyone’s blood.”

Joe looked up at her. “I’m a mosquito. What did you expect, a nice little handshake?”

“You greedy little pest.” With that Marta slapped her arm, squashing her client. Guess I won’t be getting paid for this session.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Are You Weary?

The pace of life these days is frenetic. We rush from one thing to the next, until finally dropping into bed at the end of the day.

I’m just as guilty as the next person. It always feels like there should be more time. I’m constantly saying, “I thought I had plenty of time. This just snuck up on me.” But that’s not really true. Things don’t typically just sneak up. We—I—put things out of my mind so that I can do something more pressing. Then that one thing sneaks up on me.

I think we can only blame part of this on our society and the push to do more and be more. For me, the lions share of the blame lies squarely with me. I listen to society’s lies and push. Or, I feel inadequate and put off. Either way I end up paying for it in the end.

The thing is, I know the answer for this. I’ve known it for a long time. I just often forget the answer.

This is the answer:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

If we—I— would just remember to rest in the Lord I wouldn’t be so apt to over schedule, be paralyzed with indecision, or push too hard.

So, here, in the middle of the week, won’t you join me in seeking the rest the Lord promises?

 

Wordless Wednesday

What’s Behind the Locked Door?

locked door-349663_1280_CC0

 

Life has been a little busy these days, and I didn’t get a story finished for today.

But, I’ve had lots of questions about my story from last week. It seems inquiring minds want to know…

…what was behind that locked door in the rental house!?!

So, let’s hear it…what do you think?

Since I didn’t get a story done for this week, I decided to run a little impromptu contest. The rules are simple…

  • Post a comment telling us what you think was behind that door
  • Make sure you comment between now and 11:59 pm Mountain Time on Friday, July 17th

On Saturday morning, I will randomly draw one lucky commenter and send them a $10 Starbuck’s Gift Card.

 

 

The Locked Room

You know…there is nothing more tempting than a locked door.

 

doorknob-349663_1280

When I moved into the house, the door to the extra room was locked. I tried to pick the lock with a hair pin to no avail. I know, you’re wondering, why a guy like me has a hairpin, but that’s not the point of this story.

I called the landlord. “So, the extra room is locked. I can’t get the lock opened. Can you bring me a key?”

“You don’t need a key. The room will remain locked.”

I ran my fingers through my hair, blew out a breath. “Look, I rented the house. I should have access to the whole house. I’m going to have a locksmith come out and change the lock on that door.”

“No, the contract is for a two bedroom house and that’s what you got. The extra room is of no concern to you. A locksmith can’t help you.”

The dial tone thrummed in my ear.

What the heck was this guy’s problem? I rented a house, I wanted all the rooms. I dialed the number of a locksmith and waited while the phone rang in some business a few blocks away.

***

The locksmith peered at the door knob. He scratched his head. “I only seen sumptin like this once before and it weren’t good. I can’t help you.”

“Seriously, dude, you’re a locksmith. I just need you to remove the door knob and put a new one in. One that I have a key for.”

He dropped his flashlight into his bucket full of tools. “Sorry. I just can’t help you with this one. I’d advise you to leave it be.”

“You know what, just get out of my house.” I pushed him towards the door.

“Don’t go gettin’ pushy on me. I’m leaving. If I was you, I’d leave also. Find a new place to live.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” I yelled the words as he made his way down the walk.

When he was gone, I closed the door and returned to the locked room. One way or another, I was going to get in there.

***

The next day, I dialed the landlord’s number again as I stood in front of that locked door.

“Listen. This is stupid. Just unlock the door.”

His sigh whispered across the airwaves and tickled my ear. “No. Let it go.”

“Fine. Then I want out of my lease. Give me my money back and I’ll move out today.”

“Well, now, we have a contract and that says if you break it, you’re responsible for full payment of the complete year of payments.

“But I signed a lease for a house and you won’t let me in all the rooms. You’ve broken the deal, so I can leave without paying you.”

“Well, if you read the paperwork, you’ll see that room isn’t part of what you rented, so I haven’t broken anything. Move out if you want, but you’ll owe me for all the monthly payments plus you’ll lose your security. I’ll take you to court.”

I threw the phone across the room.

“If you want to play that way, I can play along.”

In the garage I found my old ax in a box marked “outdoor tools.” The heavy ax head swung slightly by my side as I went back to the room.

Taking a deep breath, I swung the ax against the wood grain of the door where it stuck. A few wiggles back and forth released it from the door.

“Take this you ornery old coot.” I screamed the words knowing the stupid landlord couldn’t hear me, but the feeling of success warmed it’s way through my core and I put the ax in the door again.

After a few good swings I was able to push through the door and grab the handle on the inside. I turned the knob and pulled the door open.

I felt my jaw drop open. A scream bubbled up in my throat, but caught on my Adam’s apple.

The old man was right…I should have let it be…

 

Fire

An obnoxious blaring rang out in the night. Elizabeth jolted awake, heart beating wildly. Heat surrounded her, enclosing her like a wool blanket. She opened her eyes, but an acrid smoke stung them and she squeezed them shut again.

She reached out to turn the alarm off, but the cacophony continued. Nothing was making sense. Why wouldn’t the alarm stop?

In the hall, a loud crack resounded. Putting her feet on the floor, she peeked around the door frame into the hall.

A scream caught in her throat.

fire-770109_1280 CC0

Flames danced on the little landing between her room and the stairs. Fear bubbled up in her stomach. She pulled back, grabbed the door handle, and released it as the metal burned her palm.

Her eyes welled up with the noxious smoke that swirled around the room. A little voice in her head whispered to her, “The good air is low. Get down.” Isn’t that what the firefighters had just told her first graders last week?

Obeying the voice, Elizabeth dropped to the floor. She’d have to try to get down the stairs. The window looked out on the parking lot, a two-story drop to the hard asphalt.

Please God. I need some help. Send me an angel.

A lot of good that would do. She hadn’t trusted anyone since her parents died when she was 10. Where was God then? Probably the same place he was right now.

Absent. Unwilling to help someone like her.

No, if she was going to survive, she had to do this herself.

The carpet scraped against her knees as she inched into the hallway. She stopped to make a plan. She’d have to get up onto her feet and try to step over the flames that were eating away at the top step.

Inhaling a deep breath brought smoke into her lungs instead of the burst of courage she’d hoped for. Coughs racked her body and she dropped flat on the floor.

Just give up. The fire swirled and taunted her. You can’t win against me. I’m too powerful.

No, she wouldn’t give in. Pushing up off the floor, she grabbed the banister. The warm wood didn’t burn as bad as the metal door handle. A large step forward and she was able to put her right foot on the second step.

Fire swirled around her left ankle and seared her pajama pants. Elizabeth swung her foot up and over the flames to land both feet on the step. Smoke whirled around her, tickling her nose.

Elizabeth turned to face the nightmare on the landing. She put one foot on the next step behind her, then the other, and then dropped her hands to the step above her feet. She’d have to go down backwards to keep low enough to find fresh air.

She reached her foot back, toes slipping past the edge. She tumbled backward. Head over heels, her body bumped down the stairs.

With a thump she hit the landing at the bottom. She could see the front door wavering in and out in front of her. If she could get to the door everything would be okay. Her lungs ached from breathing the smoke.

Wonder if this is what mom felt as she died in that car?

Get a hold of yourself, Elizabeth. You need to move.

She reached a hand toward the door. The rest of her body refused to respond. Tears flowed down her cheeks. Please God. I need help.

Darkness folded over her mind. This must be what it feels like to die. Her hand dropped to the floor.

Out of the darkness a hand reached out to her.

Elizabeth felt her body being lifted off the floor.  Within minutes she felt the cool night air washing over her. She was laid gently on the grass. Her rescuer pulled his mask off and she saw him for the first time.

“Are you an angel?”

“No, ma’am. I’m Emmanuel. I’m a firefighter.”

“I thought God sent you. I should have known he wouldn’t help.”

“Dispatch sent me. Sometimes God works through Dispatch.”

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

How Much Time is There?

My momma loved to watch the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. There aren’t many shows that she enjoyed that I can watch these days. Most of them make me sad because it reminds me how much I miss her laugh.

The other night, my aunt and uncle were in town so I spent the evening with them at my dad’s house. When I got there, the TV was on and back-to-back episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond was on while we chatted about life, family history, and various and sundry other topics.

At one point the dialog caught my attention. I’m not sure exactly what was going on or even who said the words, but I heard this…

“I always thought there’d be more time.”

“How much time is there?”

That’s the question of the ages. How much time is there? None of us knows the number of our days.

Still we humans put off for tomorrow all the time. We keep the good china in the closet until that special dinner. We dream of traveling to exotic locales, but put it off until we retire, or have more money, or fit better in a bikini. We hold our love inside because we’re afraid of being hurt. We hold back because we thought there’d be more time.

How much time is there?

Only God knows the answer to that.

All we’re sure of is today. So, use the good china on a week night just because it’s Wednesday. Travel even if it’s just to another part of your state. Love completely because broken hearts heal, but losing someone without them knowing how much they mean to you is irreparable.

How much time is there?

Never enough. Don’t let it go to waste.

 

 

Time Flies

Excuses, Excuses

So, it’s been a little crazy lately with family in town. I planned to work on a story on my day off yesterday, but I came down with something and spent most of the day sleeping. I’ve been trying to get ahead on some stories so this doesn’t happen, but I just don’t have anything but sorry excuses today.

Instead of words, I invite you to enjoy this picture worth a thousand words…

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words