Winter Vibes

After School

“I’m home Ma,” I said loudly as I threw my books on the couch.

I walked toward the kitchen where she was stirring the spaghetti sauce that had obviously been simmering all day, I knew because of the wonderful smell. I really love that warm, comfortable aroma.

“Isn’t the snow beautiful, mom? You can’t complain about today’s weather. It’s 27° almost freezing.”

Freshly fallen shroud of snow.....
Freshly fallen shroud of snow…..

“You don’t know me very well, I can complain about it if I want to, remember I’m from Louisiana where it’s always warm or hot!”

“But Ma’…they also have hurricanes.”

“Every spring we get tornadoes, three months of summer, and then it’s freezing again.”

“What about fall Mom? Autumn is my favorite time of year.”

“Too cold! It’s either freezing cold out, or snowing. I don’t know which I hate more – yes I do – I hate the cold more!  These winters are so darn long! Everyday for seven months it’s either freezing cold or snowing and almost freezing. I know why the bears hibernate now. They have some sense about them. We’ve got months of this crap!”

“Ma…the sauce smells great, can I get a piece of “Dago” bread and dunk it in?”

“You just wait for supper it won’t be long. Besides, your dad will be here in about half an hour.”

“Wow, that’s early for him.”

“Yeah well, you’d better get out there with a shovel…you know how crabby he gets if the walks aren’t shoveled.”

“I know. How about a cup of hot chocolate?”

“Oh crap, why don’t you wait until you’re done shoveling?”

“Okay, sheesh, sorry.”  

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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