I just finished listening to a radio reading of “I’ll Cook For You”, one of the longer short stories in the paperback “The First Gathering Of The Break Time Stories” and in the Kindle collection, “Yet More Break Time Stories”. I recall when reading it at the Milltown Library a couple of years ago there was an audible “whew!” at the story’s finish and it is a story with some suspense set in Korean War era southern California with Old Hollywood glitter that is long gone. Like a number of my stories, it is “layered”, with multiple impulses, motives and reactions.
Wolf Creek church services continue on Zoom, shared from there on Facebook and You Tube. I spent several hours today in a workshop about how to include everyone when we do return to Sunday services in the church building. We are a small congregation and do not have “the horses” for fancy stuff, but there are some things we can do so that we don’t lose anyone, whether it’s people attending in person or joining us virtually or even later on their own schedule via YouTube. I’m limited in how much I can do, as I’m just quarter-time as pastor, but I expect that we will be modifying things in order to include as many people as possible.
I’ve spent many hours–and will spend many more–cleaning, scrubbing, and repairing a small house in downtown Luck that Marina and I acquired the last week of 2020. We plan to use it as a rental. The place was the victim of poor land lording and there has been plenty of neglect. One symbol of “neglect” was that I had to evict Harold, “Harold” being Harold W. McCarthy, who had been quietly down in the basement since 2016. I discovered Harold while sorting through things to throw out. I was able to look him up on the internet and found he was born in 1938 in Minneapolis and that he had a sister three years older. The box with Harold’s ashes came from a funeral home in Portland, Oregon, so either he was shipped here or brought here–and then left behind. What is the story behind that? Did someone hate his father’s guts so much that he just left him behind when he/she moved? Or was it just too painful to cart around the remains of a person loved so much? You should have seen the size of the eyes above the masks of the asbestos removal crew when I advised them to ignore Harold as they worked. In any event, we will give Harold a Christian burial in the Spring in the woods behind our house. Meanwhile, he’s in our shed, where it’s cold, so yeah, he’s pretty stiff, in all respects. I may even get a short story out of this someday.