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Welcome to my website. I hope you will enjoy the eclectic collection of short stories and essays. They are all very close to my heart, in whichever genre. I always welcome comments and feedback. Once again, I hope you enjoy my site. Thank you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Gift I Gave

The best Christmas gift that I ever got was one that I gave.  I was in high school, living with my mother, my sister, and my young nephew, Michael.  It was the first Christmas for my nephew.  He was nearly 1 year old, being born at the end of December the year before.  I can recall the memory very clearly.   It was very special occasion for me as it was for my family.  We did not have a lot of money, but we hoped that his first Christmas would be very special for him.  We all woke up early that Christmas eager to share the first Christmas with Michael.  We opened his first gift first.  We unwrapped a couple of our presents and then we opened a small, push tricycle for Michael.  He sat on it as if it was the chariot of a 1 year old child.  We quickly opened another of his  gifts.  It was a green choo-choo train. 

Michael did not want to get off of his chariot, but we were eager to share with him his next gift.  He gazed upon his green choo-choo without much interest, yet we wanted him to enjoy that gift as much as he did his last.  We lifted him off the push-tricycle and he immediately began crying.  We placed him on his green choo-choo and, within an instant, he stopped crying. The small child’s face smiled with delight.  It was this gift that I gave which was greater than any gift that I ever received.

The green choo-choo had two pieces.  It had a green engine with a red horn and his had a red caboose perfect for a small child to ride around in.  I can recall my young nephew enjoying his favorite Christmas gift for the next year.  He did not grow out of it in a hurry.  He enjoyed the gift all year long.

We were all living in a small house in a nice part of the suburbs.  The dining area of the kitchen was large.  Sometimes me and my sister would sit down in the front of the train and put Michael in the back of it.  We would ride him in it around the kitchen while the small child smiled and laughed with glee. 

I can recall gifts that I received as a child.  When I was very young I collected Star Wars toys.  I had an extensive collection of small wax figures in hopes of collecting every one that could be found in the original trilogy.  After the novelty of Star Wars wore off I collected Transformer robots.  Once again I wished for an extensive collection.  When I was a little older I collected Nintendo video games.  I enjoyed these childhood gifts and toys that I received, however none of these gifts were as special to me as the choo-choo train that I gave to my nephew on his first Christmas.
My nephew is now an adult with a son of his own.  We are not as close as we were when he was young.  Yet, the special memories that I shared with my nephew when he was a child and especially at Christmas are often reflected upon.  I can remember the gifts that I received as a child, but they seem to be trivial in retrospect.  There were other gifts that I gave to family members and friends but they seem to be insignificant compared to the joy that I was able to give to my young nephew all those years ago.   Looking back at all my Christmas’s it is clear that the best gift that I ever received was one that I gave.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Smile of a Bright Morning

  • Inspired by the song "Look Heart, no Hands" by Randy Travis
Sitting at the coffee shop along the beach, they watched the waves break against the shore.  The tide crashed upon the rocks to welcoming the early morning.  They sat enjoying their coffee as they did most every morning.  Later that day, as they walked along the beach, the cliffs rather than being ominous created a picturesque morning for them to relish.  And, the sun, although risen for hours, portrayed beautifully as it reflected in their view.

Hand on hand, they smiled upon the world as it smiled back at them.  He walked along the beach, slowly, while she playfully smiled and flirted jumping around him side to side.  Her smile invoked a feeling of deep, heart-felt love in his soul.  He could not help but smile back although the trivial nature of their relationship was still in its youth.

Their love had already grown strong. 

He would often let himself know that it was better to let the relationship lead where it would than to worry.    “Don’t take it seriously, just sit back and enjoy what you have,“ he would say to himself as he awoke each morning with a smile.

Although they both were young, engaging in their first true relationship, they both had such maturity to be aware of the sentiments.  She felt the same as he did, and though neither of them spoke of it aloud, they had a silent agreement on the mood which edged into a meaning.

The next morning, as such was their routine, they met once again at the same coffee shop.  He enjoyed an amaretto cappuccino, as she enjoyed a caramel-vanilla cappuccino.  Their conversation created the quiet, soft emotions of tranquility and wonder.  She would smile at him, as he would return the smile, mutually appreciating the feeling that warmed their hearts.  As they sat at the coffee shop this morning overlooking the ocean, the elation they felt touched every part of their life. 

Waking up this morning in her own apartment, she looked forward to her meeting with him.  She let herself wake up and get ready for the new day slowly and quietly. 

She glanced at the rising sun, and as she captured the morning breeze with a deep welcoming breath, she could see that all was right with the world.  As she stood alone outside her apartment, the wonder she felt with anticipation for their next meeting was still new and refreshing.  She readied herself for the day and walked a distance which was less than a mile away to the coffee shop where they were to meet once again. 

They sat there together at the coffee shop after a short walk upon the beach.  As he walked closely with her, her coy manner refreshed his senses and stirred feelings of a carefree youth.  Light-hearted in their liaison, they both silently entertained thoughts of something more lasting.

Alone he awoke in his apartment enjoying such liberty that living alone allowed.  His mind did not wander far away from her and his feelings for her did not diminish when she was away.

He did not work, and neither did she.  They were both full time students at this university which kept their lives very busy.  As sophomore in their second year at this prestigious college they were both far from home and the limitations of home life.  His day did not revolve around her, and neither did his, her.  But, when they would meet with each other, they both considered it to be a highlight which kept them both wanting more. 

They shared the same friends.  They spent much time together alone, but also spent much time in a crowd.  They would go to karaoke bars with a group of friends and walk upon the beach alone.  They would go to extravagant dinners at the nicer restaurants in town with their entourage and they would see the latest movies at the theaters with nothing but each other’s company.  However, the feelings which were captured and kept for many years after were their moments together at the coffee shop overlooking the ocean.  The simple sentiments which they were lucky enough to partake in with effortless conversation would last for many years to come. Although unknowingly the relationship would not last forever, the reminiscences would.

Her smile which brightened his world every day was lasting, and his appreciation of that smile would always be remembered.  The relationship ended, as most do.  However, at solitary moments they would both remember the times fondly with undying warmth in their hearts and a deep sigh.