It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rocket Ride: Part One

Jane was about her normal business for the day when a funny old man came up to her and asked her for some spare change. Feeling lighthearted this day, Jane reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of change: quarters, nickels, dimes, just a couple of pennies and two wadded up dollar bills. She looked at the pile in her hand and thought immediately that her mother would be shaking her head in disapproval at her unladylike treatment of her money and her pockets. One had to wonder what the heck her mother thought a pocket ought to be used for as you were not allowed to put your hands in your pockets lest you spoil them or cram things in them that really belonged in your wallet or purse.
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Looking back to the scruffy little old man she broke her thoughts of the training her mother tried to instill in her and that she just couldn’t get and attended the man’s request.

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“Here you go,” she said kindly to him. “I’m headed home, instead of having lunch out like I thought I wanted to, but I really need to open my windows soon or my house will be too hot when I finally do get there. But I suppose you didn’t need to know all that about me now did you?”

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She held on to the bills with her finger tips made a funnel with her hand and poured the change into his hand. The scruffy little old man closed his hand and shoved it into the pocket of his shabby sport coat or suit jacket, she didn’t know which it was, she was never really clear on how you told one from the other except that one came with pants to match.

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“Thank you,” he began to say but was interrupted by a quick giggle from Jane.

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“No wait, these are for you too, I just wanted to straighten them out before I gave them to you.” She finished uncrumpling the bills and found that one of the bills was actually two mashed together, a one and a ten.

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“So that’s where that ten was after all.” She said mostly to herself as she handed them to the man. “Here take it I would have just blown it today anyway.”

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As she spoke she felt even lighter. She mused that it was the first time she ever really attended to what Scripture said about giving to those who ask from you and to take care of the poor you meet on the street, her paraphrasing of course. Before today her generosity was always much more calculated and through what some would consider the proper channels, charity organizations that are trained and understand the poor’s needs better and distribution issues that the common folk did not. But this certainly felt better than those other times, well maybe not better but for sure it was a very different feeling.

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“Thank you. And I have something for you.” The scruffy man said to her.

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“Oh you don’t need to give me anything.” She began to say but bit off her words and just looked kindly at the man as he fumbled through his various pockets. She thought of his dignity, something that already must have been compromised by his appearance and his asking for spare change, she thought it would behoove her to not completely steal it away by refusing to take what small token he may have to give her to show his gratitude.

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“Here it is.” He said proudly as he handed her the small card he had fished out of the breast pocket of his outer most jacket, for he had two on and those on top of a cardigan. He must be very hot under all that; Jane wonders if turtles get hot in their shell.

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“Thank you very much.” Jane received the card from his hand and began looking at it and turning it over and back again to get acquainted with it. It was just bigger than a business card with queer little drawings on it and printing that gave you the immediate impression that it was a ticket to something.

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Before she had time to decipher what it said or where or to what it was a ticket for, he spoke up. “It is for the amusement park on the river side of town. But it is for a specific ride, you’ll find it in the far west corner; don’t bother asking anyone where it is, all the other ride operators will want you to take their ride instead. They will gladly take any ticket for their ride but this one only takes these particular tickets,” He said tapping the card with his finger.

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“Wow, thanks, it has been a while since I went on rides at an amusement park.”

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“You have a nice day, young lady. I hope we see each other again.”

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“Me too,” she claimed brightly, wondering at her own enthusiasm.

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As they waved back to one another walking off in opposite directions, the breeze picked up and the tender spring leaves on the trees waved with them, cherry petals fell all around softening the early spring heat. Jane felt as if she could not feel any lighter than she did at that very moment. A few blocks and a turn brought her home and her front door greeted her as never before, she nearly skipped into the living room to open the windows. As she threw up the window the breeze caught her eyelet curtains and pulled them out the window to flutter amid the azaleas and then the breeze blew them back in again with a roomful of sweet azalea fragrance drenched in spring light. Jane stood a moment swelling with gratitude for the beauty she could hardly take all in.

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The old refrigerator kicked up with its familiar groan and broke her reverie. She smiled to herself as she crossed from the old wool rug to the linoleum floor and pulled open her old faithful refrigerator to grab out some lunch fixings.

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She pondered what it would be like taking a frivolous trip over to the amusement park in the middle of the day all alone. There would be stares for sure and questions if she ran into someone she knew, which was more than likely. In spite of her slight misgivings of going against her usual way of doing things she felt compelled to go and to go this very afternoon. The old man didn’t say how long the ticket was good for so she decided then. She would go right now; there was no need to delay.



Let me know what you think Dear Reader, but now I am out the door and down the driveway. The girls will be here if you need anything, cup of sugar, a spoon of yeast, some fertilizer for your flowers... I'll be back a little later.

8 comments:

Susie said...

Loved it and can't wait for the next part!

Tipper said...

What I think-I want to know what happens when she goes to the park to ride the ride!!! You left me hanging.

deedee said...

can't wait to read more

nursesusan said...

I enjoyed the story and look forward to more. I think the lady was kind and accepting of someone less fortunate so I think it will have a happy ending

Mildred said...

I love it...don't keep us waiting too long!

fishing guy said...

Lanny: Okay, I'm hooked. Very neat plot heading in a great direction. So many questions. Is the ride really special? what will happen if she goes on it? Where did the old man get the ticket?
I'm waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am waiting also!! Great story:)

Daisy said...

I'm sure it will be a great ride. Lovely story, Lanny. I'm smiling here. :)