On a rainy morning a fiction post. beginning of a story?? Very rough

witnessing life

The ground was anvil hot. Burning the bare feet of the two boys walking the dirt path to the rodeo grounds announcer’s booth perched above the arena. Paint brushes and paint pails were piled in the wagon. They discussed their luck in getting this job. It was good pay. They had scraped the old paint blistered from the wood expanding in the wet snow of winters and contracting in the heat of South Dakota summers. Today they planned on beginning the actual painting. Cowboy Carnival was less than a week away, and they had to be done before the event. This was not an hourly wage job. They would get their paycheck when the last brushstroke was dry.

Nearing their goal a sweet smell began to feel the air. It was sweet but not pleasant. Farm boys that they were, they knew it was the scent of decay and assumed…

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On a rainy morning a fiction post. beginning of a story?? Very rough

“ No , No he is not in Rapid.He Is”

“ What do you mean he is not in Rapid. He left yesterday and he should be home soon with the paint.”

“ Mrs. Richards your husband is dead. He was found this morning in the announcer’s booth at the arena.”

“ He was found; he is dead. How ? What… What happened?”

Bet waited for the shudder the tears that such words resulted in. She had been right the woman did not shatter, but it was not acceptance either. Disbelief maybe or was it relief. An iron control kept the woman’s emotions unreadable. Bet made a mental note of the reaction or she guessed the lack of it even as church members walked over to investigate.

“ Sheriff   , tell me. Please I have to know. Evans was … was not an easy man but he was a righteous man.”

“Mrs. Richards”Bet began.

“ Margaret, please.”

“Margaret, your husband”s death is suspicious.”

“Suspicious, what do you mean?”, Margaret interrupted once again.

“ Perhaps we should go somewhere private?”, but a firm negative head shake denied that so Bet continued. “ We have to investigate deaths from unkown causes. Mr, Ricahrds was nude with not visible wounds. And I am sorry but I have to ask, did he, did he have affairs?”

Now Margaret’s eyes filled with the shock Bet had expected from the death notice.

“ No. he was the Lord’s man. He did not have affairs. Why would you ask that?”

“Mrs. Evans he was found nude as I said except for “

“Except for what?’

“ A neon green condom.” , Bet replied.

The ground was anvil hot. Burning the bare feet of the two boys walking the dirt path to the rodeo grounds announcer’s booth perched above the arena. Paint brushes and paint pails were piled in the wagon. They discussed their luck in getting this job. It was good pay. They had scraped the old paint blistered from the wood expanding in the wet snow of winters and contracting in the heat of South Dakota summers. Today they planned on beginning the actual painting. Cowboy Carnival was less than a week away, and they had to be done before the event. This was not an hourly wage job. They would get their paycheck when the last brushstroke was dry.

Nearing their goal a sweet smell began to feel the air. It was sweet but not pleasant. Farm boys that they were, they knew it was the scent of decay and assumed some animal had died or had been ditched nearby.. The odor was so strong as they entered the arena they glanced over the ground to see if they could spy the carcass to remove it. Nothing was visible so they climbed the ladder to the booth.

Jace was the first to enter and what he saw nearly made him fall backwards on the last rung of the ladder. Ryan just few rungs below glanced upward and leaned to one side to avoid being hit with vomit spewing from Jace.

“ Hey doofus, what the heck. You nearly upchucked all over me.” He angrily shouted at his partner.

“Sorry. You got your phone. Didn’t bring mine. Call the sheriff. There’s a body up there. I think its the pastor of that holy roller congregation outside of town”

“Are you pranking me? Nope guess not that vomit was real enough. Hang on . I’ll call when I get off this ladder. You coming down?”

“Ryan, I sure as heck ain’t staying up here. It isn’t pretty. He’s naked except for a neon green condom!”

Less than half hour later they were giving the details to the deputy as the new sheriff pulled off her gloves and paper slippers. Bet Kistler was new to the job and this was not what she wanted to deal with in her first term but it was what she got. She took off her Stetson and shook her ginger colored curls out. They were damp from the heat. The ambulance and coroner arrived as she replaced the hat.

“ Bet, what have you got for me?” Doc McKane asked as climbed form the ambulance’s shot gun seat.

“ What do you think Doc? A body, of course. It ‘s up there waiting for you.”

“Know who it is?”
“Yep, Pastor of the Angels On Earth congregation outside town. Name ofEvans Richards. And Doc, he’s naked except for a neon green condom if that will help you

in your exam.”

“You don’t say. Well I’ll be dinged. Let’s get to it.”

“ Are you going to be okay getting up there?”

“ Bet, I might be older and have a bit of a game leg but I am not yet dead. “

“Okay, Doc.” Bet nodded toward the ladder and followed the older man to the arena.

She watched him go up to the booth slowly but he did go on his own power. She climbed after him not wishing to see the body again but knowing she had to do so.

Doc knelt by the body and began dictating notes in to his phone. Evans Richards age fifty or fifty five, rigor leaving the corpse, lividity indicates that the death occurred at the site. Cause of death to be determined. No visible trauma.” He turned to Bet. ”Can we get him down and to the clinic? “

“Yes, we have a tractor with a bucket loader waiting. Now, Doc he does weigh a bit over average. That ladder is not going work to take him down. What? Why are giggling , Doc?”

“ Just think Bet. You have been Sherriff three months and your big case is Widow Running Dog’s chickens being stolen. Now you have a murder—the murder of a naked neon condom adorned pastor that has be taken from the scene in a front loader cause he is a big load.”

“ Thanks for the insight, Doc.”, Bet snapped following the man down the ladder. She needed to suggest they do stairs to the booth for safety and ease. Maybe a ramp would be better for ADA regulations. She watched the body being loaded into the ambulance. Wiping her forehead, she climbed in her car and hit the air conditioning turning it on high.

Bet stopped at the door to her office. Her name was finally under the title sheriff. Beata Kistler in gold leaf looked good. She had never liked her name. Beata was odd enough to cause classmates to tease her. More often it was mispronounced as Bee at a instead of Be ah tah . Now after a hard won election, she felt it had the strength for a sherriff.

“Bet –er sheriff. I heard the call. Is it true? Richards is dead?”

“Yes, Clara. Do you have his address? I need to notify the widow.”

Clara pulled a sheet of paper from her notebook. Handing it to Bet, she apologized, “ Not really an address. More of a map. He and many of his members live out near Wilson’s gully. Might try the church first. I heard they were going to paint the church this week.”

“Family?”

“ At least one wife. Couple of kids.”

“ At least one wife?   Polygamy here. Are you sure?” Bet looked at Clara with eyebrows raised. Her middle aged office manager nodded causing her ginger curls to bounce.

“ Well no proof. No complaints. Chet let them alone as they keep to themselves and nothing bad came on the old ladies hotwire.”

Bet took the post it note with the address. The old ladies hotwire was never far from the truth of the matter. During her five years as under sheriff, she had learned to listen to their tales with an ear tuned for the truth it contained.   This multiple wife thing was new but then how long had this group of believers been part of Limon. No more than four years she thought as she walked out the door.

The church a renovated quonset was about two miles south of town near a narrow creek. Bet wondered if they did immersion baptisms. Clara was right about the painting crew. The church yard was full of people with paint buckets and ladders. She parked under a lone tree for shade and stepped out of the county’s suv.

“Hey Sheriff. You come to help us paint the inside?” one the crowd yelled as she walked toward the group.

“ Fraid not. Is Mrs. Richards here?”

“ Over by the main door. Blue dress. Is something wrong?”

“ I need to talk to Mrs. Richards first.” Bet answered and walked past the man.

The older woman stopped setting donuts on a long table and watched the sheriff approach. Her hands on her hips as she leaned backwards as if to release tension.

She was a substantial woman taller than average, muscular rather than slim. Her attitude was calm unsuspecting, and Bet wondered how she would take the news.

Remembering the three other times she had been the messenger of death and the shattered response to the news, she sensed this time it would be more acceptance than a breaking of spirit.

“Mrs. Richards,”

“Yes, sheriff. If you want my husband, he is in Rapid getting more supplies.”

“ No , No he is not in Rapid.He Is”

“ What do you mean he is not in Rapid. He left yesterday and he should be home soon with the paint.”

“ Mrs. Richards your husband is dead. He was found this morning in the announcer’s booth at the arena.”

“ He was found; he is dead. How ? What… What happened?”

Bet waited for the shudder the tears that such words resulted in. She had been right the woman did not shatter, but it was not acceptance either. Disbelief maybe or was it relief. An iron control kept the woman’s emotions unreadable. Bet made a mental note of the reaction or she guessed the lack of it even as church members walked over to investigate.

“ Sheriff   , tell me. Please I have to know. Evans was … was not an easy man but he was a righteous man.”

“Mrs. Richards”Bet began.

“ Margaret, please.”

“Margaret, your husband”s death is suspicious.”

“Suspicious, what do you mean?”, Margaret interrupted once again.

“ Perhaps we should go somewhere private?”, but a firm negative head shake denied that so Bet continued. “ We have to investigate deaths from unkown causes. Mr, Ricahrds was nude with not visible wounds. And I am sorry but I have to ask, did he, did he have affairs?”

Now Margaret’s eyes filled with the shock Bet had expected from the death notice.

“ No. he was the Lord’s man. He did not have affairs. Why would you ask that?”

“Mrs. Evans he was found nude as I said except for “

“Except for what?’

“ A neon green condom.” , Bet replied.

FRESH AIR

My windows are open. It is cool  and I am allowing the house to flush with fresh cool natural air, I know later today The windows will close as the heat blooms but for now new air renews the interior of my house.  It is raining and  the air is full of the  smell of rain. The house is renewed.

Our spirits also need fresh air, to be washed clean of old thoughts m and  to be renewed, It is all too human to allow worries and  past events to overlay our center with the smog of grudges and despair. Laden with the grays of such stale burdens progress is never easy and the effort to make it through the greyness is difficult and joyless. For years i left the past dim the future as I stuggled with my divorce , the onset of diabetes and the increasing decline and death of my mother. All of these came in the waning months of 1992. The joy of life was gone and though I smiled at weddings, at work etc., in reality my I was just going through the motions because after all I was a strong woman. What a lie that was;inside  I was a trembling bitter mess.

My world had shattered. I felt a failure in life. My classroom was the only place where I felt in control. A  few friends I am sure knew how I was struggling but they  also sensed rightly I was not ready to deal with it. They supported me by being silent and being there. Then one day I just broke down and decided not to struggle any longer. I let go and let God. Gradually the greyness lifted and the fresh air began to flow into my spirit.

First ,I began to enjoy what time I had with my mother and not regret she was no longer the rational feisty dynamo who had loved  and counseled me. When she died the Tuesday before Thanksgiving  that year, I was sad at  the loss but happy  that in those last few months I had enjoyed her as she was. Being present with her in the moment had returned to me the joy of simply loving her,

Second I forgave my ex-husband.Our divorce had been tough because I had tried to save it but he was a silent man who could not discuss the break down and search for a solution. I began to understand it was his upbringing more than   anything which had created this inability. I began to acknowledge that he had been and was a good father, a good provider and a good citizen. I  also recognized that my upbringing had essentially created an independent woman ; something his  upbringing had difficulty  accepting. The bitterness  that had been building and tainting my life. began to fade away, I forgave  both of us for the errors that ended our marriage. Did I tell him? No. There was no need to tell him but when I gave him forgiveness, more fresh air entered my spirit.

Since then i have found that mediation and writing bring fresh air into my soul. I am able to work through any greynness by writing about it and thinking it through. I let go and watch the burden go away. I worry less about what I can not control and deal with the things I can change. Result? A lighter spirit and much more joy in just being.

the windows of my house will close when the heat comes but the windows of my soul are constantly open  letting in the joy of just being.

Tuesday July 28th,2015– quick Good morning

Dog walked and fed. It is cooler outside and breezy– a  hint of fall my favorite season. So this will be short as  I am going to venture out for coffee and knitting as soon as I get dressed for public consumption. One can not wear sleeping togs everywhere. Once my grandson told me that if I retired I would don pjs and wear them until they fell off my body in rags only to don a new set.  Yes,  he exaggerated  but we shall see.

Yesterday friends saved me once again. Not able to find my regular keys and wanting to get errands done i grabbed my spare sets and took off. When I came home, i found my regular set but left my spares in my purse. A few hours later I walked out to check the mail and  to get some dog treats from the car, and out of habit locked the door without being aware of it. The click  of the lock sounded the alarm. Sure that I had left the deck door unlocked, went to it. Nope it too was firmly bolted. my phone was in the locked house.

Action needed but what. Decided to run to Miss Patty’s and phone a pal who had a spare key.  she was gone but Harod let me in.  Several phone calls later, Karrie was contacted and headed to her business tog et the key, Miss Patty followed her and brought it to me and in minutes I was home. A network lie this is valuable  for a person, a hope someday to be  able to do something for them.

Bonus I met Harold and  Brody their scottie.Some good out of a odd moment of my life.

So now to dress and go to knit,

Back

I missed blogging yesterday and to be honest not just blogging.I wrote not a single word on my projects. This not the usual way I go at things but such days happen. Today will be different . It is Sunday and there are no must do  items for today. So I am going to post something from earlier writing.Bear with me. I will be original  here soon,but today other projects call me.

So  because it is Sunday  here is a piece with two priests in it.They impressed me early on and remain vivid memories. Maybe they  are part of the reason I became Catholic later in my life.

Father Kaz highlighted most of my tenure at ST. T’s. He laughed, giggled and slapped my mother’s butt to get her attention when she was pulling weeds. Why did he do it? To make sure she and only she would pack his lunch for the school picnic. He was a Hawaiian shirted, khaki pants priest who made life and religion joyful if not very serious. However, all that was to change when his assistant pastor arrived in my sixth grade year.

Father Ritz was an escapee from behind the curtain where practicing any religious faith could mean death. Perhaps that, though we students did not think of it at the time, explained the man who was a polar opposite to Kaz. Father Ritz, to this day I cannot shorten his title, wore cassocks so starched the edges looked like knives, and only during mass was the berretta gone from his head. He walked so quietly he was behind you before you knew it. If you were “sinning “, his hand would go to your shoulder and he would march you to the chapel where you and he would sit in silent contemplation of your error. Not one word of displeasure or reprimand just silence until the words “forgive me” issued forth from your lips and several Hail Mary’s were assigned. That silence was more forceful than all the laughing, “do not do agains” from Kaz.

Friday confessions were fraught with wonderment and fear. Who was the priest in the booth? As a protestant I sat in the Mary row (yes we had ten Marys in my class and we had our own pew) closest to the booth. The Marys expected me to check out the shoes beneath the curtain. Loafers or sandals peeking beneath the scarlet drape and they breathed a sigh of relief. If the shoes shone like patent leather and were laced oxfords, they began to reduce the things they would confess.

Ritz was not feared, but he was not attainable. Silence surrounded him. Idle conversation was not his style. When he spoke, it mattered. The only time I feared him was the day I asked if Mary had had other children after Jesus. His hand slowly rose with a finger pointing to the door as he quietly said,” Out, protestant.” Yet to give him his due, he was also the one whose hand on my shoulder brought me back into class whispering a quiet forgive me. An adult who could admit his error, I was stunned.

But the image that still moves me is one again of near silence. Having forgotten my school bag in the chapel, I ran across the street after supper to retrieve it. Going down to the chapel stairs, I stopped when I noticed someone praying. Father Ritz knelt in a pew, evening sunlight streaming on him from the stained glass window. His hands so long lean and strong were moving his wooden rosary beads as tears flowed down his cheeks. I stood for a moment in a silence broken only by the clacking beads and then I tiptoed up the stairs. My schoolbag could wait; I was sure I had seen a saint.