May 06, 2018

Child's Play

Child's Play
By John R. Greenwood

I can assure you that the term "child's play" does not refer to the assembly of children's play equipment. It looked simple online. In the confines of my already burgeoning side of the garage I foolishly bit off more than I was ready to chew this afternoon. The rain drops were spaced just close enough that I was afraid to test my dark-cloud luck, so I cleared a swath big enough to build a one room bungalow and dug in. 

After not reading the directions first--I started with the foundation. 

All you had to do was unfold the walls and throw on the roof, right? Umm, slow down Scooter. There was a package of assorted wood screws in the bottom of the box that had more screws in it than my side porch. There were strips of wood and bags of plastic pieces/parts that looked like they might have fallen off a Home Depot delivery truck. I was not deterred. I had a hard time getting in my assemblage rhythm but as the bungalow began to take shape I began to imagine my grandsons scooting in and out of the door, ringing the door bell and stuffing their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the mailbox. I picked up my pace. It wasn't long before I realized the reviews regarding assembly time must have been based on a full "This Old House" crew. Or, they organized an old fashioned Amish barn raising and used the participants to put it together. Nevertheless, I was confident I could have a certificate of occupancy before the dusk-to-dawn lights on the garage clicked on. 

On a more serious note. These are the spring and summer projects we so desperately needed. This winter wore all of us down to a nub. We all need an outdoor activity other than snowblowing. It will wear off in a month when the grass is knee high and the ticks are running off with the patio furniture, but for now it felt good to be outside again. This will be a short post because I'm running out of steam and the alarm is set at 4am when Monday will arrive and the race for the weekend will start all over again. 

If anyone is interested in renting a one room bungalow Monday-Friday for $25 per day, give me a call. Un-housebroken pets of any species are allowed, it's a dirt floor. 

February 24, 2018

Side Effects

Side Effects 
By John R. Greenwood 

The climate of our society has given me the same side effects that would accompany a prolonged migraine. A migraine can last as long as 72 hours if untreated. 

During a migraine you may experience:

Pain on one side or both sides of your head
Pain that feels like throbbing or pulsing
Sensitivity to light, sounds, and sometimes smells and touch
Nausea and vomiting
Blurred vison 
Lightheadedness; sometimes followed by fainting

Before a migraine even starts you may have vision loss, difficulty speaking, or uncontrollable tremors. Even once the migraine subsides you may feel drained and washed out. During a 24 hour period post-migraine you may also experience confusion, moodiness, and dizziness. 

The side effects above may also be caused by watching a present day newscast. I know in my case in addition to the news and social media, even overhearing a conversation at my local convenience store may likely result in all of the side effects associated with a migraine. 

With that pleasant thought in mind I thought I would find a way to vent my frustration, anxiety, and fear of the current state of affairs in a semi-silent format such as photographs and poetry. Here is my alternative to running into the streets screaming. 

What's Next?
by John R. Greenwood 

If only we knew what was around the corner
Where did all that hope that once lined my street go?
I thought things would be different by now
Did we take a wrong turn?
Someone poured cement and we stepped in
now we're stuck swaying from the ankles up
unable to run away
maybe we should have saved time
and dove in head first

 Frozen In Silence 
by John R. Greenwood

silent behind the glass
a shattering sound

clearly visible
causes my mind 

to race 
back in time

shots fired 

Angry Men
by John R. Greenwood

Angry men still exist
they blame everyone else
never pausing to glance in the mirror
Anger kills
from the inside out
look closer men
before your hearts rot away

Left Behind
by John R. Greenwood

No words needed

February 21, 2018

The Art Of Being Happy (Bottle #7)

The Art Of Being Happy (Bottle #7)
By John R. Greenwood

I’m sick and tired of being happy. It’s getting harder and harder to find optimistic friends to play with. Everyone is too busy running around hating on each other. Because my job and my life take place on the double yellow line between the right and left lanes I’ll refrain from making this a political commentary. I will say my glass was a lot more full two years ago. Lately I feel every time my glass gets near the top someone comes along and kicks it over. 

I’ve spent my life extracting happiness from every common moment I could wring from life’s dishtowel; from that new car smell to my morning’s first sip of coffee. It’s been sixty-two years and counting, collecting bits and pieces of happiness. My greatest joy today will come from out of the blue. It might be a pure and genuine thank you from an appreciative coworker or stranger. It could come in the form of a Labrador’s wagging tail or a grandson’s infectious giggle. It might even come in the last 30 seconds of an otherwise heart wrenching newscast. 

Like a fish-less bobber I keep popping to the surface hoping things get better. If you’d told me back in the 60’s and 70’s that this country would be struggling with color, gender, and abuse in 2018 at the level we are now I would have laughed you off the street. I would have hoped by now our brains and our neighbors would have found a way to level the playing field so we could all take a shot at the net. I was sadly mistaken, but I’m not giving up. I’ll keep doing my part, spreading my optimism and handshakes wherever I go. I’m not a quitter. 

Oh, I almost forgot, there’s a town hall gun debate coming on in a couple of hours. Let’s see if I can extract anything out of that—he said smiling. 

Bottle release update: No feedback on anything I’ve placed back in the wild yet. Here’s a couple pictures with some hints of where the latest two bottles were set free. 

"Be The Reason"
Hint: You'd be able to get more "Information" if they were open right now...

I thought you'd enjoy this amazing coincidence. My wife had not yet read the piece on Bottle #5. I shared the story and photo with her after I'd already posted it. When she got a chance to read it she sent me this photo of her desk at work. You must believe me when I tell you neither one of us had discussed this quote at any time before I wrote the piece or set the bottle free. It did send a warm-chill up my spine.  

  At My Age Bottle #6
This just seemed like a happy place to be set free...

Bottle #7 “The Art Of Being Happy” will be out there roaming the world by the time you read this latest piece. 

Happy Hunting