Winter in St. Louis, Missouri… The year was 1976…It was cold…how cold…cold enough to need long underwear. The snow was piling up on the sky light and the battery in the car froze. Too cold and too far to walk to a store when between the pages of the Sears and Roebuck Catalog there they were… Women’s long underwear; I ordered a top and bottom in pink. Not a very monumental order, but at the time it saved my “hide”… literally.
… Fast forward to today… I just read that Sears will close its last store in Chicago, a city the retailer has called home for over a century. A part of me is feeling sad…perhaps it’s nostalgia… As such a tribute to Sears and Roebuck Company seems in order… it wasn’t the most glamorous place but it sure fit the need of many.
And so we say good-bye to a friend; a mail order company started in the 1880s that came to the rescue of many small towns. An American staple like apple pie, it grew into a retail chain of stores that feed the buying appetite of a growing nation.
Labor Day is a time to reflect on those who came before, those who worked in conditions that were feeding the demand of a society at a time the country was embarking on a revolution… the Industrial Revolution.
Labor Day is a celebration for those who stood up and fought for the rights of all workers, and although we continue the battle for equal wages and protection for all workers, Labor Day is a reminder and a time to say, Thanks for your hard work.
The 21st century has changed our lifestyles in many ways; from the virtual world of social media to the free form spaces where we work. And not only have humans seen a change, but the communities we live in are much more animal aware catering to our pets. We have dog parks, comfort animals sitting on planes, and even daycare for our fur babies.
Today’s work place for some have become a bit friendlier, to pets that is. There are those who spend their day in the office with the companionship of their best friend… which is often not human. So, just to drive the point home, I have taken time to draw you a picture…literally… !
Who among us can resist the beauty of water; it takes a multitude of forms and allows our senses to go through as many sensations and emotions as there are ways. The oceans’ shores are mesmerizing with their soothing churn of the tide… where eyes gaze out onto a distant horizon line and then our curiosity leaps over and steps beyond. The thunder of the river foams as though boiling in anger, crashing and cascading over rocks pounding and pummeling all in its path. The misty rain can be as gentle as an atomizer or as harsh as a hailstorm of pebbles. It can put one to sleep or wake us out of a sound dream.
And so, water holds great power over humanity, although most do not think much about it taking its existence for granted that it will always there, available, and clean…yet like all things in nature, the Earth is in a constant flux; changing ever so slightly as with erosion or with one grand natural disaster, as in an earthquake. Nevertheless, what does not change is the simple fact about water… we are beholden to it…
Being succinct is often more difficult than being lofty. This is the realm of the short story writer; for the task of such an author is to come full circle; to satiate with a satisfying balance of beginning, middle, and end… all the while maintaining a full and open throttle…driving the plot in a degree that it sustains the interest of the reader while not diverging off course. Take no side trips, no matter how lovely a place they could lead you, for the short story is like the plane on a scheduled fight…we don’t wish the pilot to deviate from the flight plan.
And so I must confess that this blogger likes to read and write the short story even though it sometimes appears to have lost its momentum in the 21st century… yet I maintain that it is still alive and kicking…you just have to go and get them…
With summer upon us I wish to invite your to a pre-order The Fortune Teller and Other Short Works. (yes, it may be shameful of me to promote my work to some…but we’re among friends!)
If you read on a device or like paperback, it will be in the wild on July 1st…Happy reading!