Friday, July 21, 2023

PLEASE NOTE: This blog was created as a result of a session held by the Writers Guild at Bowers House, where the topic of discussion was blogs. This is the fourth post in the blog, it includes a story written by one of our members for a writing exercise associated with the theme of a Guild meeting. Moving forward, we plan to feature stories by members regularly in future posts. –Enjoy.




        Jake let the car bump the curb, bringing it to a jolting halt. Jauntily he swung the door wide, exiting the car in his rumpled khaki shorts, red shirt and UGA cap. His unconcerned swagger propelled him along, his large belly leading the way, toothpick drooping from the corner of his sagging mouth.

        “Mama, I sure hope this marriage counselor can talk some sense into you. Of course, I guess everything will be my fault, her being a woman and all.”  Swinging his arms in a carefree football stadium style strut, Jake continued in the direction of the entrance.

        By this time, Sandy was trailing three steps behind, clutching her handbag to her chest. Her eyes dreamily focused on the beautiful, peaceful lake in the distance, her mind absorbed in thoughts known to her alone. Sandy was oblivious to Jake’s idle chatter and did not respond.

        A smiling Dr. Merritt welcomed Jake and Sandy into her office, seating them in comfortable upholstered chairs positioned to the front of her desk. After a brief shuffling of papers and the customary menial conversation, Dr. Merritt inquired as to which party wished to speak first.

        Without hesitation, Jake, in his sprawled position in the plush chair, announced with a gap tooth grin and a slap of his thighs, “Doc, I’m here to get some help for Mama. I’ll explain what’s going on.”  With a conspiratorial narrowing of his eyes and a hushed tone, he proceeded. “She’s just not herself lately. Why, last Sunday, she left the bananas out of the banana pudding and later in the week she told me, ‘If you wanted clean underwear, you had better learn to use the washing machine’.” A drawn, anxious look creased his face as he shook his head and wrung his hands. “Doc, do whatever it takes to help Mama. Money is no consideration.”

        After a lengthy interval of pen to paper, with an encouraging smile Doctor Merritt turned to Sandy who was sitting erect on the edge of her chair, eyes glaring at Jake, hands fisted in her lap, “Sandy, I would be interested in hearing from you now.”

        There was an edge, what you might call a quaver, in her voice as she began to speak. “Let me say to begin with, my name is Sandy, not Mama,” as she pounded the cushioned arms of the expensive chair with both fists. “I have made banana pudding every Sunday for the past forty years and I have no intentions of ever making another one.” An ugly sneer marred her attractive face and a pointed finger waved in Jake’s direction, stirring the air close to his face, causing him to shrink in fear of being struck. 

        “I have begged and pleaded for attention; a play, the symphony or just a dinner date with dress clothes and maybe a glass of wine, but no, that was too much to ask, according to Jake. I have prepared meals without so much as a thank you from him. I listened to him suck his teeth, slurp his food and wipe his mouth with the back of his hand, only to have him ask what I was fixing for the next meal before he even left the table. People at church think I am widowed because I am always alone.”

        Slack jawed and squirming, Jake said, “N-n-now Mama, we can work this out. Y-Y-You know I come to church on Easter and Christmas. Tell Doc Merritt about that.”

        Dr. Merritt nervously stacked and unstacked papers, her eyes flitting from Jake to Sandy. “When may I set up another appointment? I can see this is a complicated situation requiring some extensive counseling.”

        With poise and grace, Sandy stood, shoulders back, head held high, a smile on her face and announced, “There will be no need for another appointment. Jake, I have found someone else to share the remainder of my life; someone who knows my name and loves me for who I am, and does not expect me to cook a damn banana pudding every Sunday. I will not be home tonight or any night in the future.”

         Jake’s pleading, conciliatory outstretched hands danced in the air. “N-n-now wait, Mama. W-w-what has come over you? I-I-It won’t hurt a thing if we lay off the banana pudding for a few weeks. Doc, see what I mean?”

        Heels clicked across the wood floor and the door slammed with a conclusive jar as Sandy exited, leaving Jake and Dr. Merritt wide eyed and opened mouthed.


Linda Dye is a seasoned member of the Writers Guild at Bowers House. She is a lifelong resident of Elberton, Georgia and published her first book in November 2020: “Of Our Times” subtitled: A melding of memories and imaginings. It’s a wonderful collection of forty-seven fun-to-read s that evoke a delightful array of smiles, laughter, and nostalgia.   You can purchase a copy of her book from Amazon, Barns & Noble, or at this link: ClickHere

Monday, July 10, 2023

 Grandpa Herzig

          In my neck o’ the woods in Independence County, Arkansas, back in the day, there lived an old gentleman we called Grandpa Herzig. He was not really anyone’s grandpa; he was just an old man who lived in that part of the country for so long and knew so many people and so many people knew him that everyone just called him Grandpa Herzig, a title he bore with a pride as mighty as the Ozark hills. No one knew more about anything than Grandpa Herzig. He was a storyteller and freely offered advice on any subject, often without you even asking.


          Once, a lovesick young man came to him for advice. He explained he was madly in love with Molly Bee, who he believed would never give him a second glance. He wanted to ask her to the dance on Friday night. But he couldn’t think of the proper words to say and was almost certain she would reject him.

          Grandpa Herzig said, “First let me regale you with a yarn, my son,” he spoke, his voice tinged with a touch of antiquity, “a tale of misfortune befalling a man on a lonesome path as nightfall settled its dusky veil upon the land.”

         Old Grandpa Herzig, his face lined with wisdom and experience, began his tale. “Once upon a time, the protagonist of our narrative emerged—a certain Jeffrey Pierce, a man of refined disposition and scholarship, though his occupation proved to be a thorn in his side. A peddler of agricultural wares, he lacked the innate knowledge and toil of a true farmer. 

          As the week drew to a close, bearing little success, young Pierce set forth upon his journey homeward. Alas, fate’s cruel hand reached out to him, and at the very moment when the sun bid its farewell to the horizon, a punctured tire beset him. Weary and vexed, he steered his vehicle aside, and, with great exertion, unloaded the spare wheel and, extracted a lug wrench from the depths of his trunk. Yet, to his profound dismay, a vital instrument was absent—no jack to raise his carriage. As twilight deepened into darkness, a shroud of solitude enveloped him, with no respite in sight, no benevolent passerby to hail, for the road lay desolate and void of traffic.”

          He set forth upon his journey, traversing the winding road with resolute steps. Before long, a flickering glow caught his attention in the distance, resembling a radiant beacon stationed at least two leagues away. As he trudged wearily along the path, his ruminations centered on the inhabitants of that abode, for he pondered who among them might provide relief in his hour of need. Would they possess a jack, perchance? Yet, would their benevolence extend to aiding a stranger? And if assistance were granted, what remuneration would they exact? Perchance, the thought fluttered, the fee might be tolerable, but with naught but solitude surrounding him, the odds inclined toward an exorbitant demand beyond his modest means. 

          The farther he ventured, the more his thoughts dwelled upon the prospective cost. At length, he summoned the courage to rap upon the door, and as the farmer emerged, their gazes locked in a confrontation fraught with ire, he tersely declared, “I have no desire to employ your jack, sir!” Swiftly pivoting on his heel, he retraced his steps toward his carriage, leaving the perplexed farmer in his wake.  

          “What do you think of that yarn, my boy?”

          “…And now, what was the nature of your quandary?”