Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Right Combination

Years ago when I had a real job—managing a fast food restaurant—okay, that might be an inaccurate characterization of a real job. Let me start over.

Years ago when I was managing a fast food restaurant, we went through about a three month period of changing the combination to the safe quite frequently—every few days it seemed. Actually, I think it averaged about once week.

This was due mainly to managers quitting, or getting fired as the case may be. Anytime someone stopped working there, who’d had the combination, we changed it. Normally, this was only an occasional occurrence but for some reason, we went through a lot of swing managers that summer.

As you can imagine, having to memorize a new combination so often was a little frustrating for some of the managers. According to the rules, no one was allowed to carry the combination on them and we did not post it anywhere in the store—for obvious reasons. So, it had to be memorized.

One morning, at about five o’clock, on my day off, I got a phone call. It seemed the swing manager who was opening the store, had forgotten the combination. It was almost time to open, people were waiting in the parking lot, and all of the tills were in the safe. I could have given her the combination over the phone but, that too, is against the rules—you never know who may be listening.

So, I got up, got dressed, and drove the five miles to town. By the time I arrived, I was all prepared to give the manager a lecture about how important it is to pay attention to these kinds of thing, and maybe offer a mnemonic device of some sort to help her remember in the future. But when I walked in the office, I immediately forgot about all of that.

Why? Well, because I noticed the safe was open. The door was closed but the lever was in the open position. All that needed to be done was to pull—the door would swing right open.

When I pointed this out, the manager was of course very embarrassed and apologized profusely for making me get out of bed and come in on my day off. But I wasn’t concerned with any of that. First, she would have needed the combination anyway, to run the shift, but more importantly, the safe had been left unlocked—all night.

A check of the schedule quickly determined which manager had closed the night before. (No, it wasn’t I, if that's what anyone is thinking)! Later that day, I had a little chat with that manager. My goal was simply to remind him to double check everything before leaving the store, particularly the locks on the doors and maybe, just maybe, the safe. That would have been the end of it because (contrary to some people’s opinion) I’m really a nice and understanding guy. People make mistakes. As long it doesn’t become a pattern, I can deal with it.

But then, this not-so-bright manager spoke up. “I didn’t forget to lock the safe. I couldn’t remember the combination so I just left it unlocked for my shift. And then I left it that way for the opening manager in case she couldn’t remember the combination either.” Then the kicker: “But I pushed the door shut so nobody could tell if they broke in.”

My response? Well, let’s just say the safe combination had to be changed again. ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Road Signs

I saw the sign. In fact, I saw all the signs. Speed Zone Ahead. Reduced Speed Ahead. Construction Zone. 50 MPH. And, although it irks me to no end to slow down, I did.

And apparently, I was the only one on the road that day who could read. No one else was the least bit fazed by the signs. I don’t even think most of them turned off their cruise. Me, I don’t like tickets.

As they all went zooming past, some frowned at me, some honked, others gave me wild hand gestures—at least one finger, anyway—and a few felt compelled to yell what I assume were obscenities—it’s nearly impossible to hear anything in a truck so I can’t be sure.

I did hear the sirens though, and saw the flashing lights coming up from behind. And then brake lights ahead.

My first thought was, “There’s no way the cops can pull over all of them.” (There must have been twenty or more vehicles). Then I realized the cops weren’t after the speeding motorists. They were on their way to the wreck. The wreck that blocked the road ahead of me.

Well, seeing that, I immediately took the exit. The exit that had evidently been built just for my convenience, and also the exit everyone in front of me had already passed. I drove alongside the freeway for a few blocks, and then got back on—bypassing the wreck in the process.

As for all those people in a hurry, the ones who passed me, well, they got to observe a crash site response first hand! I heard from other drivers that the show lasted about an hour before the police finally decided to let the traffic stuck behind the wreck turn around and go back to the exit. The drivers said I was really lucky I’d missed it.

Lucky? Really? Nope. All the signs were there. And I do know how to read! ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Crabgrass

First, the name makes no sense: it’s not a crab and not really grass either. What it is, is annoying for anyone trying to grow a nice lawn. It should be called Annoying Grass.

I’ve lived in my current house for 16 years and up until last summer hadn’t had much of a problem with crabgrass. Then, almost overnight, I noticed my “pristine” lawn was being overrun by the stuff.

I did some studying up on the weed and every place I looked said basically, the same thing: Don’t pull it. Pulling it will only re-seed the “grass” for next year. The best approach, the articles claimed, was to wait for the germination period the following spring and try to kill the crabgrass with an herbicide. If applied at the right time the weed killer/preventer will eliminate some of it but it was not effective once the crabgrass had started to grow. And, it further stated, once the grass reached about thirty percent of the lawn, you might as well take out everything and start over. Well that sounded promising, or not.

Since I’m stubborn, I decided I would pull it despite the warnings. My lawn was at thirty percent or better but I was convinced I could win this so-called unwinnable war. I started pulling. And pulling. By the end of the summer, I had big dirt patches in my lawn. But... No Crabgrass! Well, none that was visible anyway.

This last spring, I went to the store looking for a weed preventer. Something to kill all the little seeds I’d planted by pulling the Crabgrass. Instead, I found a product that claimed it would kill adult Crabgrass—along with preventing new growth. It also said it would eliminate all other types of weeds like; Dandelions and such, all without harming the real grass in the yard. I was a bit skeptical. And at twenty-five dollars, it was a little expensive—about twice what a normal weed and feed product would cost to do my lawn—but, I splurged. And then I started spraying.

I re-sprayed every few days. It took a few weeks to see any results. But as we got further into spring, I noticed there were absolutely no weeds in my lawn. Then, the start of the growing season for Crabgrass came with no sign of the Annoying Weed. I decided the stuff had worked. This is the best my lawn has looked in years!

I have noticed a few little sprigs sprouting up here and there. I pull them the moment I see them. Don’t need any more of that stuff. Or any other weeds: Dandelions, Milkweeds, Foxtails, clover, or thistles, which I’ve decided should all be called Crabgrass. They all ruin my grass and make me crabby. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, July 6, 2015

The Wind Is Blowing Again

U-haul on the side of the road—on its side, unattached to any other vehicle—the contents scattered all along the shoulder. Smashed boxes, broken lamps and other fixtures, and some very wrinkled clothing, decorated the right of way. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how those trailers were designed to be used. At least that’s not the way I’ve done it. Just doesn’t seem that efficient to me.

I considered stopping to offer my enlightening bit of wisdom but I doubt the people standing around with a lost look on their faces were interested in my advice. I guess I could have helped pick things up but with the two officers and wrecker there, they probably had enough hands. So, I kept driving. Besides, it was a bit windy. More than a bit, really.

Welcome to my world—The Columbia River Gorge, Home of the Great Wind. The wrecked U-haul was just the latest casualty. It happens a lot. It’s been known to blow loaded semi’s off the road and loaded boxcars of the tracks. The wind blows almost every day, although some days are worse than others. This day was a particularly strong windy day—even by our standards.

Five hours later, when I came back by, the U-haul was still there. The trailer had been set back on its wheels and reattached to the pickup. The family’s belongings that had been randomly strewn down the side of the highway appeared to have been shoved back into the trailer. The doors were lashed together with a ratcheting strap.

Leaving on my second trip of the night, I again passed the spot where the wreck had happened and this time they were gone. But a few miles down the road, I saw them again. The driver was apparently now a little gun shy. He was driving on the shoulder about 10 mph. At first I thought that might be due to the trailer being damaged but as I approached, the guy pulled off the road into the dirt and stopped. Once I’d gone by, he steered back onto the freeway.

A couple of days later, I talked to one of the officers who had responded to the wreck and found out why the driver was so squeamish when I passed him. Apparently, a passing semi is what caused the U-haul to turn over. He said he’d been fighting a side wind, steering into it hard just to keep going straight. When the semi pulled alongside, there was a sudden stop of the wind. He corrected his steering—just in time for the semi to move on past—and the wind to hit again. He’d been caught steering the same way the wind was blowing. When he tried to correct it again, he went a little too fast and the trailer protested by turning over.

“Technically,” the deputy said, “the accident was due to an inexperienced driver not paying attention.

“Did you give him a ticket?” I asked.

The deputy rolled his eyes. “I’m not that cruel. The poor guy had just had most of his belongings destroyed.”

That made sense. It was good to know the deputy wasn’t completely heartless.

“Besides,” he added. “It was way too windy to stay out there any longer than I had to.” ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Peaches

Down the road a few miles from where I lived as a small boy was a fruit stand. It wasn’t much of a stand really, I don’t recall any buildings, just a few farm trucks backed in among the shade trees at a little clearing near the junction of two highways. Even on a hot and humid summer day, the gentle breeze coming through made it feel nice and cool. I remember the little wooden baskets in the back of the trucks filled with peaches. And we always got to pick out our own peach! They probably had other fruit too, I’m not sure.

My family stopped there a lot. The peaches were delicious—juicy, plump, and sweet—the best I’ve ever tasted. Occasionally, we met my Grandma and Grandpa there and somehow, in my mind, peaches got associated with my Grandma. It probably didn’t help that once when my grandparents picked up my brother and I for an overnight visit we stopped there on the way to their house. I remember my Grandma peeling and cutting up the peaches for us, while my Grandpa frowned and shook his head, muttering that she should just give us the peaches, we’d learn to eat them like everyone else in the world had. (Hmm. Starting to see why everybody says I remind them of my Grandpa). To this day, I think of my Grandma every time I eat a peach.

We moved from the area when I was six and while I have been back there a few times, I’ve never gotten another peach out of one of those baskets. In fact, the last time I was there, the place had changed—and quite drastically. Sadly, there were no shade trees. They had been cut down. Nearby was a convenience store. While I’m sure the store was air-conditioned, I missed the shade trees. And there were no peaches. Well, that’s not true. The sign outside said they sold peaches but that’s just not the same.

I still haven’t tasted a peach like the ones I got back then. I’ve tried to find one and while some are good they just don’t compare. Maybe it’s because my grandma didn’t peel it and cut it up.

~ ~ ~
HBB!


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.



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Friday, June 26, 2015

Bethany Turner Pay It Forward Week - Laurie Finkelstein

Bethany Turner Pay It Forward Week!


I am happy to host Laurie Finkelstein today as par of the Rave Reviews Book Club Pay It Forward Week! But first I should thank Bethany Turner, Rave Reviews Book Club member and board member, as she is the one who came up with the idea for this promotion! You can find out more about Bethany Turner and her books here. For more information on how you can join Rave Reviews Book Club and become a part of the Pay It Forward program click here.

And now, I’d like to welcome Laurie Finkelstein. Laurie is a supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club and a new author having just written her first book, which will be available soon. She is also quite an accomplished artist as you can see on her website.


About Laurie (taken from her website)
“Laurie Beth Finkelstein has studied at various institutions, including USC School of Music and the Arts, Idyllwild, California, Otis Art Institute, California State University, Long Beach, California, and through private instruction, Laurie has explored a variety of medium including clay, metal, oils, pen and ink, pastels, and watercolors, ultimately choosing acrylics and mixed media as her medium of choice. In 2008, Laurie dedicated herself to finding her voice and honing her skills to create what is now her individual style and focus.”

While we wait for her book to be published we can enjoy her many works of art, here are just a few examples of Laurie’s remarkable talent.






These are awesome! I especially love the paintings of the rocks! You can see more of her realistic paintings on her website. And don’t forget to follow her blog and sign up for her newsletter.

As you can probably tell, I am truly impressed by her artistic ability the detail is stunning! I’m sure her new endeavor of writing will carry the same attention to detail. I'm looking forward to the release of her new book!


Where to find Laurie Finkelstein:




Twitter: @lauriebethart



Authors and Readers: Join Rave Reviews Book Club today for awesome support and a great selection of books!

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Watch Band

It’s been ten years since I’ve worn a watch—about the time I started carrying a cell phone. (Yeah, I got into the cell phone thing a little later than everyone else). Up until that point, I’d worn a watch almost constantly since about age six. I only took it off occasionally to look at the pasty white mark on my skin that never saw sunlight.

Not sure why that was important, other than it showed how dark the rest of my skin was, which usually wasn’t that dark.

But after getting a cell phone, I couldn’t really justify buying a new watch when my old one broke. So, I just stopped wearing one.

The first summer without my watch, the white band on my wrist began to go away. I’ve never really had a problem with getting sunburned, my skin just slowly darkens. So, I didn’t worry about the bleached skin burning and thought by the end of the summer it would be completely gone. But it wasn’t. And it was still there the next year too. And the next. In fact, it’s still there, ten years later. It is pretty faint now but  noticeable. Enough that people have asked me if I forgot my watch that day. They never seem to believe me when I tell them I don’t wear a watch.

I don’t know why the skin doesn’t get darker there. It’s almost like the pigment is gone and there’s nothing for the sun to bake.

I also thought I would get used to not wearing a watch, and I sort of did. If I need to see the time, I usually reach for my phone. But, occasionally, when I catch sight of the slightly whitened band around my wrist, I still find myself checking for the time. Crazy? Maybe. And maybe in another ten years or so, the mark will go away and I won’t be checking my arm for the time. Or, I could actually figure out that I don’t wear a watch by then, you never know!

~ ~ ~


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, June 15, 2015

I Need A Longer Vacation

The worst part of vacation—the end. It wouldn’t be so bad but the end always comes too soon. Before I even get used to the idea of vacation, it’s time to go back to work.

Yes, as some of my gifted readers may have guessed, I was on vacation last week, one of three that I’m allotted per year. Getting a day off any other time is not likely—unless a hospital stay is involved. Since that’s not my idea of a day off, I generally just go to work!

On this occasion, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary by visiting her family in Wisconsin. (I can hear the groans now of all those who think visiting their spouses family is a horrible way to spend a vacation). But, it’s okay, I actually like my in-laws!

One thing that made this vacation memorable was we took our one and a half year old grandson along with us. The kid is quickly becoming a seasoned air traveler as this was his tenth plane ride, I think. At more than one every two months, he is well on his way to joining the frequent flyer program. (That may diminish somewhat when he actually has to start paying to fly).

It was a fun week—at least for me. I guess I can’t speak for my wife, or the grandkid, or the in-laws for that matter! I think we all had a good time, relaxing, catching up, and enjoying the summer. But ultimately, my vacation was too short. And here it is Monday already and time to return to the daily grind.

I think I need a job where I work three weeks out of the year and vacation the other forty-nine. The opposite of what I do now. That, I could handle. Maybe. Although, it probably wouldn’t take that long before the forty-nine weeks would just not be enough and I’d be complaining my vacation had ended too soon!

~ ~ ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Joint Effort

My wife and I are working on a project together. A book. A children’s book to be precise.

During our project, I’ve learned something: I don’t do well writing for kids. I like words too much. I like having many words to choose from and not worrying if it’s going to be misunderstood. That’s not really an option with a kid’s book. Too many unfamiliar words and they will lose interest. (Probably a lot of adults like that too).

It is frustrating though to have to curtail my word usage. By the end of it, I was saying to myself, Well, if they don’t know this word by now, it’s about time they learned. See why I maybe shouldn’t write children’s books?

But that is the approach I always used with my own kids. In fact, I’d specifically choose words I thought would be new to them. When they asked what the word meant, I’d say, “Look it up.” I did try to use context so they weren’t always at a loss for a word’s meaning, but quite often they were looking up words. Once they had a basic definition, we’d discuss the word so I could give them a fuller definition—connotations and meanings that the dictionary had omitted.

I don’t think it’s possible to do that with readers though. Even if it were, I doubt the practice would be advisable. Not really a good way to attract readers.


Back to our project: The book is about my wife’s cat—when she was growing up—and some of the rather stupid things he did. In fact, that was his name, Stupid, which is actually an endearing term. Really! Okay, that wasn’t his real name, it just sort of came to be; borne quite naturally out of the shaking of the head in disbelief at some of the things the cat did, mostly as a kitten.

I knew the cat, he was still around when my wife and I started dating, and he was far from stupid. And that’s saying a lot coming from me considering I really don’t like cats. Dogs are so much more relatable!


My wife took care of writing the initial story, and all the illustrations. She says she’s not a writer. She says she’s not an artist. Yet, I have indisputable proof that she is both.

Me, I got to do all the re-writes, to put the story in the voice of the cat, then more re-writes, formatting, cover design, and publishing.

We should have had the book done by now. Or, more to the point, I should have had it done by now. My wife’s part has been finished for quite some time. But as I like to say, art can’t be rushed! Well, unless you’re one of those speed painters, which I’m not. But it will be done soon; in a few days or so. And it might actually be out by the time this post goes live.

One other thing I’ve learned during this project; my wife and I make a good team! But then, this coming Saturday will be our 28th Anniversary so we probably should have figured out how to work together by now! I did have fun working on this project with her. Good thing, I think she’s already planning a sequel!

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, June 1, 2015

Penny Candy

Does anyone remember when stores sold penny candy? A single piece of candy for a penny. They had other candy too, some was priced at two cents and some even up to five cents! I guess they still sell the same candy, it just takes more than a penny to pay for it these days. It’s more like dollar candy now.

I was always a cheapskate. Even as a kid, I didn’t like wasting my money. I would only buy the penny candy. Sometimes, I got lucky and the store would be having a sale, three pieces of candy for two cents! Yay! Time to stock up!

Problem is, I didn’t really like candy that well. I did eat it occasionally but it wasn’t what I craved and I could easily do without it. I always thought it looked good in the store but by the time I got home, I usually didn’t eat it all. So, I would save it. I had a big bag in my room that no one knew about. Wasn’t sure what I was saving it for but as it turns out, it was for a good cause.

When I was a kid, we had a lot of people stay with us. Once, when we had visitors, they had a boy about my age. I don’t think you could say that we were friends though. He was a little too annoying for that. I tolerated him; only because my dad said I had to. But the day I came home from school to find the kid had eaten ALL of my candy, my tolerance sort of faded. (More like flew away at the speed of light).

But before I could get myself into trouble, I learned the kid had come down with something and was sleeping—after having puked his guts out and moaning that his stomach hurt. Apparently, eating an entire bag of candy that had been accumulating for years tends to make a body quite sick! I wasn’t sure if it was the fact the candy was old or that he’d eaten all of it that had done him in but either way, I was happy.

I never told his parents, or mine, what he’d done. They just figured he’d gotten a bug and become sick. I did mention it to the kid though—indirectly.

While he was still sleeping, I’d made a trip to town with my mom—and replenished my candy supply. When we returned, the kid was up and feeling better. But, not for long. “Want some candy?” I asked, opening the bag so he could see my stash.

He just shook his head as his eyes glazed over and he looked like he was going to puke again.

Ah! Penny candy. Cheap Thrills!

~ ~ ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Joys Of Truck Driving

First, the bad news: I’m writing this blog post from the side of the road at 3:30 am. I hit a deer with the semi and it took out the radiator, and the bumper, and the grille. Another driver is on his way to get the trailer and a tow truck is coming to take the tractor. And hopefully, they arrive in that order. Since the other driver is my ride back to the terminal, I’d really like him to get here first. Otherwise, I’ll be sitting on the side of the freeway—literally—or, standing, I suppose. In any event, with no vehicle, the freeway doesn’t sound like a fun place to be.

I could have gotten a ride earlier but company policy says the driver must remain with the vehicle until it is picked up. That way if someone comes along and runs into the truck, the driver will be sure to be injured! (Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to us either). But if the tow truck hasn’t arrived by the time the next driver gets here, I’ll be leaving the tractor sit all by it’s lonesome.

Now, the good news: It was the semi that got damaged, not my pickup, and I’m still getting paid. So, I hit a deer and get three hours of extra pay! Not a bad deal. Only thing is, I have to sit here with nothing to do for, well, three hours.

I’ve hit deer before but it never really dawned on me that my job description included hunting! I should do this more often! It’s a much cheaper way to hunt. Unfortunately however, there will be no venison going in my freezer. Deer do not tend to fare well after being run over by a semi and from the looks of the right side of my trailer, I got him with the full length of the truck.

Oh, just got some great news! I’ve been informed that I have about another forty-five minutes to wait. So, with nothing better to do, I think I’ll take a nap. Maybe. As long as nobody runs into the back end of my trailer!

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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Monday, May 18, 2015

My Mother

I know that Mother’s Day was last week but this post is about my Mother. Just ignore the fact that I’m running a little behind.

Recently, my Mother remarked that she can’t remember doing a whole lot for me and my brother when we were young. She knows she probably did, but it’s just hard to remember specifics. Well, yes, she did do a lot. And I have a few specifics.

Obviously, she fed and clothed me, and took care of me when I was sick—you know, all the things that a normal mother does. But my Mom was, and is, far above the norm.

I remember going to friend’s houses when I was a boy and when lunch or supper time came, everyone was expected to eat what their mother prepared. Really! Everyone ate the same thing, always. A few times, I mentioned how strange that was to me. My friends thought I was the strange one. They told me that’s how most mothers were; they fixed one meal and expected everyone to eat whatever they cooked. Well, that may be the case for most mothers but not my Mom!

My Mom would make us whatever we wanted—different things for everyone! She’d say something like: “I’m fixing soup for me and your dad, and fried potatoes with eggs for your brother. Do you want either one of those or something else? I can make fried chicken or warm up some spaghetti. Oh, and I’ve got some left over beef and gravy if you want that.” To this day, when I’m at my parents’ house, she still does that. And it’s still pretty great!

She’s the one who instilled in me an absolute love of singing, and music in general—well, as long as the music is country. I’m not too impressed with rock, pop, rap, or any other name you want to give non-country music. When I was six or seven years old and trying to learn to play the guitar, she would play the piano and I’d play along. When I didn’t hear a key change, she’d interrupt her own singing long enough to say “change.” I would change, usually just in time for her to call out the next one that I’d missed. To this day, when I’m listening to people play music, and they miss a key change, I still hear a voice in my head, my Mother’s voice, saying, “Change!”

Back before the days of the Internet, there was mail order. When she could, my Mom saved up box tops or whatever else was required and sent off for items she knew we would like. I remember when we got a set of Kool-aid cups in the mail. They were awesome and we were excited! My brother got the Grape one, I got the Strawberry cup.

On long car trips that we made halfway across the country, numerous ones, she taught my brother and I little games to play to keep our minds occupied. I still do some of those to this day since, as a truck driver, I seem to find myself behind the wheel for hours on end.

At home, she would spread a quilt on the floor, a patchwork quilt with blocks that we pretended was a town with roads. We’d drive our cars on the roads and Mom would help us play by setting up various objects from around the house to represent buildings.

When I was real little, I remember her reading to me (Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn or The Little House In The Big Woods, for example), taking me to the swings in the park, taking me to see the horses behind our church, making homemade toys out of paper and tissues, or putting a big stack of records on the stereo so I could listen for hours.

She had a huge collection of buttons that she used to let us play with too, and scraps of material. Not sure why that was fun but it was and even more so when my mother would join in.

As I got a bit older, the activities changed. My Mom sold Avon and when the shipment would come in, I got to help sort it and fill the orders! The games we played also changed: Life, Payday, and Trouble. And, she let me help her bake, which really meant eating lots of dough and licking the beaters.

She taught me to cook, showed me how to break beans, shuck corn, and a whole host of other cooking related things. Oh, and how to churn butter in a jar! Some people may not look at these things as fun but I did. And there were lots more of them. In addition, I developed a like of drawing, a love of singing, and a passion for writing songs—all of which I got from my Mother.

If you notice, most of what I’ve mentioned are not big or expensive things. They’re not even what most people would consider significant. Yet, it’s things like these and so many more that I remember. I think of them from time to time and get lost in my memories.

In essence, what my mother gave me was the safe feeling of a comfortable and loving home. And that is priceless! So, thanks Mom, for everything you did!

~ ~ ~

Note: I will be interviewed by Radio host John Fioravanti on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:00 CST. You can listen to the interview here.


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Amazon Profile - http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice-President of Rave Reviews Book Club.

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