Monday, September 24, 2012

Three Minutes at the Table

Normanday #47: Please pass the story.

Describe sitting down for a meal with somebody.

Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of the day September 30 (put “Norman has a Recurring Dream About Square Dancing with Giraffes” in the subject line). I’ll post as many of my favorite entries as I want next Monday. Include your first name (or, even better, use a pen name) and age (unless you’re tortoise-old). If you’re a published children’s or young adult writer, include a biography to be posted with your entry.
Here are the entries from last week when I asked you to write for three minutes…
…about spending some time outside before summer ends.

Tren Rewy Steb
The two beagles roam freely. They don’t bound joyfully or run in circles like some other dogs do. Their noses lead them meticulously through tall grasses. The white-tipped flags of their tails are like snorkels visible only in flashes between choppy waves. One swims through white clover for an instant, then his black back dips back under the surface. The other beagle scavenges in an open area of dirt. Occasionally her head lifts slightly, then she returns to a dirt-covered scent and stops to chew some smelly morsel. Suddenly the two dogs meet amid their separate wanderings and play.

Roy Tep
There’s something cheery about the way a duck walks, his feathery butt swaying from side to side to some music I can’t hear. Or maybe I can. Maybe it’s the sound of the birds calling to each other across the park and the squirrels chattering from their acorny perch. The water laps to shore, a soft rhythm. Bees buzz around the opening of a pop can. Sunlight darts between windblown leaves—nature’s strobe light. The duck dances there, and sings, too. Wak-wak-wak.

Maurice’s Ice Cream Truck End of Season Sale!
Everything must go!

ice cream sandwiches (hero, regular, or finger)

ice cream (cone, cube, or pyramid)

snow, sleet, or fog cones

snap-, crackle-,or popsicles
(sarsaparilla flavor SOLD OUT!)
Hurry while supplies last!

The end of Summer in the Second City
It certainly feels like Fall is here in Chicago, Illinois. The temperatures are dropping, especially at night! The air condition is off at our first floor apartment. The problem with Chicago, though, is that there is pretty big temperature swing during the day. Yesterday the day started at 40 degrees and went up to 70 degrees by noon. It’s hard to know what to wear on days like that. Footwear is a particular challenge.
Right now, at my office, we have the window open. They turned the heat in the building on too soon. It’s sunny and a soft breeze floats over to my desk. Inspired, my friend and I decided to go for a walk at lunch.
Sunny and breezy is the best description for today. Some of the leaves are starting to fall off the trees. The weather is so lovely—not too hot and not too chilly—that so many people are out and enjoying the day. Because the weather is confusing, clothing styles range from shorts and sandals to fall boots and coats. Lots of people are pushing strollers with sleepy little ones leaning back, tired from climbing and running at the park. The sky is a soft blue, the color dampened by a thick layer of white and soft gray clouds. As always in the city, you hear cars zooming by, people chatting, construction tools in action. Some people walking are on the phone. There is a baseball game nearby at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are playing the Cincinnati Reds today. I see lots of people wearing Cubs shirts and walking toward the stadium. People are usually laughing and friendly, despite the very real possibility that the Cubs will lose today. They played the Cincinnati Reds last night and lost. But no one minds. People just are happy to enjoy the lovely day at the stadium.
We stop and buy some lunch to take back to the office. We only get 30 minutes for lunch and it is a 10 minute walk to most restaurants and a 10 minute walk back. So we have to be quick. On the way back to the office with our bags, we pass by a lady walking her very large puppy. I say “puppy,” despite the fact that his big gray head came all the way up to the top of my thigh, because he was full of puppy enthusiasm when he saw me and my friend walking by. He was sniffing a tree and then he spotted us and starting jumping and wiggling his body and stuck his tongue out. We asked if he was a puppy and his walker said yes and we asked if we could pet him and the answer was also yes. He was jumping and wiggling so much, it was hard to even pat his head. He licked our hands as his walker tried to keep him from jumping on us. There are usually lots of people walking dogs in this neighborhood. They range in size, but usually they are pretty small. It’s difficult to have a big dog in the city because people usually don’t have yards for the dogs to run and play in.
We continued around the block to the street in front of our office building. We have beautiful flowers planted in the boxes that surround the smaller trees in front of the building. The flowers change as the seasons change. Right now, they are white and deep red, matching our white and red company signs. In the Spring, we had colorful yellow, orange, and purple tulips and when they started to wilt under summer’s heat, the “Green” Company pulled up the tulip bulbs and offered them to the employees to take home and plant for next Spring. That’s when they planted the red and white flowers. As the temperatures grow colder, they will plant hearty greenery and pine and add small white strings of lights to make the area look more festive for the Holidays.
So it’s a lovely day today in Chicago. I am happy I only have 2 more hours to be indoors.

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