Member Monday: Recycling, by Dale Angel

This week’s surprisingly poignant Member Monday contribution is from Dale Angel. Dale remains a crowd favorite at the semi-annual Read Arounds, and has become something of Redding’s Erma Bombeck.

dale-angel

There’s a consistent recycling program going on in my back yard. It runs on its own power. It makes me feel good when I volunteer piles of beautiful dead leaves, weeds that have served us all by holding the earth together, garden debris, useful kitchen peels, coffee grounds, cantaloupe rinds. It doesn’t need my assistance…but I get to help…like a bee that brings a small drop of flower juice to the hive…a gift he shares with us. He’s contributing to something bigger than himself.

My back yard is a small world. I walk on the violets, mint, oregano, and whatever else is hiding among the weeds. I have lots of weeds. The unrestrained strawberries produce delightful little flowers that turn to berries, then returns back to the earth for another recycling season. Undemanding little laborers work quietly under my feet preparing and repairing to make us happy for next year’s surprises.

The pear tree is parading its treasure at this time of year, knowing as soon as it gives birth and yields its beautiful golden fruit, it will drop its leaves that return to nourish the earth that allows it to live here. It pays its rent.

It can be interrupted by adversity. If death interferes with its ability to be productive, a new tenant will move in. A consistent recycling program keeps our earth alive. Most all life are producers in some way. I’m not sure that humanity is all that faithful to build. A closer look in our backyards is a good place to begin practicing appreciation on our part.

When I visit the dark corner of my yard with little sun, there are always white impatients greeting me. This is unearned beauty. They flower, if not for me, then for the angels.

Soon the earth will move a bit and you will find their spent life returning to nourish our place in the Universe. Every time I pile leftovers of plant life from a wild summer, placing the pine needles to keep the white Azaleas happy, I’m paying my rent, because in the spring, my son will visit. Although he’s asleep in the earth, his gift of them to me…as they flower, he revisits.

When we close our eyes to sleep, it’s comforting, quietly moving life is replenishing our home without disturbing a dew drop.



 

If you would like to contribute an original piece to Writers Forum for posting on the blog, please submit to writersforumeditor@gmail.com .  Please note ‘Submission’ in the subject line. All submissions are considered, but shorter pieces of 500-1500 words are preferred. We will consider all original works–poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, essays, humor, and memoir. We would also love to run your short pieces on writing as well. Share your writing insights with us. Thanks!

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Another Opportunity to Read From Your Work

If you enjoy Writers Forum’s semi-annual Read Around, then tomorrow night (Monday, June 18) you will want to head over to the Bohemian Art Loft on Bechelli Lane for Spoken Word Night.

Spoken Word Night is back after a year-long hiatus. It is “an evening for serious poets, writers, playwrights, storytellers, comedians, actors of all genres. No censorship.   Audience welcome. ”

Unlike the WF Read Around, there is no five minute time limit on your piece.

Bohemian Art Loft is located at 3304B Bechelli Lane Redding. The program begins at 7:00 PM. Spoken Word Night will continue on the third Monday of every month. There is no charge for the event, but donations are accepted.

Member Monday: Larry Watters

Today’s Member Monday piece was read at last Saturday’s Read Around. Thank you, Larry, for sharing. Thank you, Vickie Linnet, for the photo.

Other Writers Forum members can submit the pieces they read to writersforumeditor@gmail.com , and they could be published in a future Member Monday.

Larry Watters

Vending Machines Are Evil…

Vending machines are evil. When you have severe food addictions like I do, they should put the vending machines out of reach. Maybe up a ladder would work, ‘since I can’t do ladders.

I don’t care how fancy my salad is, how many carrot and celery sticks I bring in (I store them in my shirt pocket, poking up like pens and pencils), or how weird some of my seaweed rice cakes are to other people (I like them), I still find myself drawn to the vending machines here at work. We have a whole wall of evil.

But our machines are not only evil, they are tricky. The ones that take paper money are the ones that don’t have any items over a buck, most being 60 cents or so. We have one that has sandwiches, etc, and they run you over 2 bucks. But that machine doesn’t take dollar bills!

We have another that if it repeatedly refuses your bills, you can reverse your dollar and it works. That one continually surprises people when I tell them to try flipping it around. They have a look of doubt about my sanity, looking as if they decided to humor me (which most do, since I am the favored idiot). But that goes away when it accepts it.

I am the ruler of the vending machines here, a fitting title for my “Life without Clots” style.

 

Vending Machines-Revisited…

It has been quite some time since I blogged about the evil vending machines here at work. One reason is that I have been managing to avoid them, so I have no thoughts about them.

But today I succumbed. And naturally, it generated a thought.

Wouldn’t it be nice if one could read the nutrition label before plunking in the quarters? Our Wall of Evil recently added Sconza’s Yogurt Pretzels to the mix. Hoping against all odds, I decided to buy a bag on the premise of, “Pretzels are good, yogurt is good,” knowing all along that yogurt as a sweet is not all that good for you, no matter how fancy the wrap, nor the claims of the company (Sconza has organic, kosher and other products).

Well, the bag proved me correct in my inner thoughts: The first ingredient was sugar and no fiber. Sigh. But they still tasted good, and hopefully, my “Life without Clots” will forgive my slip.

 

Larry Watters

It’s Time to Read!

It’s time for our semi-annual Writers Forum Read Around.
Both members and the general public are invited to the Writers Forum to read a selection from their writings.
To remind everybody…
  • Readings are limited to five minutes. This includes any explanations for your piece you think you made need. If it takes you two minutes to set up your piece, you only have three minutes left to read. The clock starts when you get up in front. Plan accordingly!
  • Everybody is welcome to read, but Writers Forum members have priority and will read first.
Our Read Arounds can be the most popular meetings of the year. Writers have shared poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, essays, memoir, humor, and non-fiction. We have a diverse group. Come and support one another!

Read Around is also a potluck! Bring a finger-food to share. Remember…bring items ready to serve. We do not have access to the refrigerator or the microwave.

Writers Forum meets at All Saints Episcopal Church, 2150 Benton Drive, Redding, CA. The meeting runs from 10:30-12:30.