It has been said, “The early bird gets the worm.”
I say to you, “The late owl gets the rodent.”
The initial phrase was coined to encourage getting up early as a measure of success. I can see that being the case in an agricultural environment.
We moved from agriculture to manufacturing to technology where time is fluid, electricity is plentiful and success is no longer measured by how early you rise.
I will continue to be the bird. You continue being the owl. I’ll see you before the sun rises.
Once upon a time in life lived long ago, there was a darling little girl. She lived her life as care free as any at her age. As most people do, she was turning a year older and excited about her birthday.
There were only two things she really wanted. Those two items were a bicycle and a Raggedy Ann cake. Since she loved dolls, of course she would want a doll cake.
Her father promised he would bring the cake and bicycle to her party and he did. When he walked in the house with her cake she could barely contain the enthusiastic, muffled shout of glee. He didn’t look as excited as she was.
He knelt down and said, I’m sorry baby. I accidentally dropped your cake. She looked him in his eyes, smiled and said, it’s okay. I love my cake.
He thought he ruined the party but she was happy to have her cake, her new bicycle and her dad. She still remembers that day so many years later.
Night night punkin
I’m ready for school to start. I miss my friends. I can’t even believe I said that. But I am. Since we moved to this new neighborhood away from my BFF I’ve been bored to tears. I really did cry yesterday after my mom said I couldn’t spend the night with Jessica. Why do I have to stay home to take care of their kid? I deserve a life. I’m only twelve!!!! I should be biking to the ice cream shop with Jess instead of sitting in this stoop again while the little brat watches Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and plays stupid video games. At least out here I can write without him bugging me.
Mrs. Pauley is the best thing about this street. She makes the best cookies ever. She’s the reason why I haven’t run away from home. Well, those cookies are. She offered me some cookies one day. I was all like stranger danger at first but all she wanted to do was talk. I can’t leave my stoop in case the brat breaks his leg pretending to be superman and jumps off of the top bunk again. I need to listen for his landing. Anyway, Mrs. Pauley comes over here every morning at 10:30 and leaves at 11:25. She has to get home in time for her stories which is some tv show that’s been around longer than I have. She’s tried to get me to watch with her but I reminded her of my invisible barrier.
I’m not sure how much of her stories to believe. She says she and Mr. Pauley have six sons. They all moved away from this place a long time ago. I understand why. I’ve never seen one of them. Who doesn’t come visit their parents every once in a while? They are always walking to the corner store together. They make a cute couple. Man, I wish Jason and I could be a cute couple. He’s definitely got the cute part down. But he’s 14 and thinks I’m a kid but I’m not. I’m officially a woman now. Which is kinda scary. What do I know about being a woman? But I can’t go up to him and say, hey Jason I’m a woman not some kid. Who does that?
Last night I heard sirens and saw these lights on my wall. I looked outside and saw an ambulance. All I knew is it was parked outside their building. The next morning when Mrs. Pauley didn’t wave at me on my way to school I got scared. I thought something had happened to her. She’s always in the window in the morning and on the stoop when I get home. I run extra laps during PE so I don’t gain weight eating all those cookies she greets me with after school. But it wasn’t her. It was Mr. Pauley. Nosy Rosey told me after the second day of no Mrs. Pauley. Who names their kid Rosey? When Jason and I get married I’m naming our kids Katherine and David. Who can make fun of those names? Mr. Pauley died. Mrs. Pauley would not answer her door. I watched neighbor after neighbor go to her door with food or flowers but she never answered the door. Guess what? She really does have six sons. One of the other neighbors told my mom the bums didn’t show up for their dad’s funeral. I’ve never been to a funeral. Well let me tell ya just take the f-u-n out of that word. There was nothing fun about it. I cried for Mrs. Pauley. She looked so sad.
It’s been about a week but when I got off the bus yesterday there she was. Cookies in hand. Really on a plate but you know what I mean. I gave her a big hug when I saw her. She talked until dinner time that night. Mom let me stay out longer cause she knew Mrs. Pauley was probably lonely without Mr. Pauley. So she told me that she’s never worked before. She spent her years being a wife, mother and volunteer. Now that Mr. Pauley is gone what is she going to do? I hope he stuffed the mattress full of money or invested in Apple. Maybe her boys will come to her rescue like Jason did on Wednesday. Jess and I were walking down the hall when that stupid Roger bumped into me making me drop my homework folder. Ugh!!! Papers were flying everywhere. But I looked up and Jason was there with a handful. His hand touched mine and I wanted to scream, cry and kiss him all at the same time. Instead Jess said thank you cause apparently all I could do was look at him like a dork. What woman does that? I need to work on my surprise face in the mirror. I’ve been working in my, hi Jason but I guess practice doesn’t make perfect.
I’ve been crying all day. The dumb police came and took Mrs. Pauley away. She couldn’t pay her rent since Mr. Pauley died. I offered her my runaway fund but she said no. I can’t believe they threw her stuff on the curb and put her out. All she did was hold on to a picture and her cookie sheets as she watched that jerk of a landlord change the locks. It was so sad. I can’t believe she’s gone. She lived in that apartment since before the Internet. Her son’s ain’t loyal. She said she and Mr. Pauley invested in them hoping they would help take care of them when they were older. Now she’s living with her sister in another state. Mrs. Pauley sent me a letter and a care package, she refuses to text me. Guess what? She sent my favorite cookies.
*****The neighborhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write it in the first person.*****