There’s a certain moisture in the air of my house, and it’s a little irritating. It makes the doors tight in their frames, and the fruit in the wicker basket on my kitchen counter ripen way too fast. I grocery shop one day, and then I’ll have brown bananas and moldy bread by the very next evening. Sometimes, on days that it’s really hot outside, there’ll even be a damp sticky soap film on the floor. It’s caused by the re-wetted Pine-Sol from mopping in the morning while it’s still dry, and then the humidity shows up and by early afternoon it’s taken over, consuming the once cleanliness of my house. I hate swamp coolers.
Every summer it’s the same thing. I swear if I ever move again, it’ll be to a house with a gigantic yard and no swamp cooler. My friends and family claim they don’t notice how muggy the air is, but honestly, I think they’re just being dirty little liars. I mean, really, how could you not notice? Oh well I guess, no harm no foul. I suppose I won’t hold their attempt at kindness against them.
Today is one of those extra hot days, and I can even taste the dankness of the air’s moisture as it rolls into mouth with each breath. My three year old runs past me through the living room, I can hear the thomp, thomp, thomp sound of his feet sticking to the hardwood. I can’t do this, not today. I can’t allow myself to sit around the house and pass my time by listening to the loud water pushing cooler force cold air into the few rooms in it’s range.
I stomp to the large window of my living room that takes up the majority of its wall, and I yank open the tall maroon colored curtains. Light pours in causing my husband, Carlos, to squint his eyes together tightly and a crease to form in the bunched up skin between his brows.
“Why? Wife? Just, why?“ He sarcastically moans.
“Get up, and put your shoes on.” I demand, with my toes tapping impatiently on the sticky floor. An amused smirk grows across my face. “We have to go out and do something today, or I’m gunna’ lose my shit.”
“Well, nobody wants that,” He teases. “Did you really have to open the curtains without warning like that? I think I’m blind.”
Just as I’m about to retort with some smart-remark about how it was utterly necessary to make him uncomfortable in order to get the ball rolling, he’s saved by the sound of tires pulling into our driveway. I turn and look through the very window that I’d just used to disrupt my husband’s comfort. The tall window just so happens to be all that separates us from the driveway, so it offers a clear view.
“Yes!” I proclaim. “Todd and Maria are here. I was starting to wonder if they’d ever show up. Maybe they’ll wana’ go fishing or something.”
Carlos leans forward and kicks the extended foot rest of his recliner back to its rightful up-seated position.
“What about the kids?” he asks with a pinched face. “ You really wanna take ‘um fishing again this week?” There’s a real emphasis on again.
“Maybe,” I respond with utter honesty. “Probably not though, it’s kind of a pain in the ass. Plus your mom said she’d take um’ today if we want her to.”
Our kids are three and eleven months old, and taking them on extended adventures really is kind of hard, especially fishing. The amount of necessities to be carried from the vehicle to the water, no matter how far it may be, seems to quadruple when they’re involved. There’s diaper bags, snacks, bottles, milk and juice cooler, chairs, and blankets.
Every item needs to be at an arm’s length at all times, and that’s not to mention the crying, whining, poop changing on hard rocky grounds, and of course the tangling or snagging of fishing lines. Granted, seeing those thrilled little faces when they get to reel in a fish is the cutest and most exciting thing arguably on the face of the earth, and although it usually make all the hassle worth while, I think the mood of today is leaning more towards freedom. A good well-rounded break from the kidoes is a luxury that’s not to be taken lightly.
Carlos and I knew his brother Todd would be coming over at some point, but wasn’t really sure exactly when, and don’t even ask about obvious conflict of their names, that’s a mess all in it’s own.
Now strutting to our front door in front of Todd is my close friend Maria. Her legs are long and bare, aside from the levi jean shorts and the tall black and turquoise cowboy boots that stretch nearly to her knees. Todd drags his feet slowly behind her, there’s obviously no hurry in his step. In his arms is her beautiful, yet fairly mean, pure white Jack Russell dog Sophie. In no time at all, Maria comes bounding through the door.
“Hey Dani.” She beams.
“Yo.” I respond, before dramatically plopping myself on the couch.
She glances back and forth between the two of us, the wheels clearly turning in her head. It doesn’t take long for her to pick up on the restless look in my gaze, nor in the playfully irritated up-turn of Carlos’ lip. No sooner than Todd comes traipsing in behind her, Maria waves her arms in an exaggerated circle around herself and says with a gigantic grin.
“Who’s ready to embrace the day!?”
Todd steps past her, rolls his eyes, chuckles, and then gives her a wink. After a somewhat heated exploration of options, the four of us put our heads together and make a plan. Ultimately I win out, as usual, and we decide to fish, at a lake not river, and without the kids. The area we live in is beautiful and our options truly are amazing. We’re very blessed to be able to enjoy an outdoorsy lifestyle. The air of our nearby mountains is pure, and an incomparable red-sanded desert is just as close, and equally as majestic.
The six of us squeeze into Carlos’s trusty F-150 amongst diaper bags and fishing gear, and with Sophie in tow. For being a mid-sized truck it’s surprisingly spacious. Carlos drives with Maria and Todd at his side in the front seat, and I squeeze into the backseat with all of our stuff between the two kids in their luxury car seats.
Normally I’d offer to hold Sophie in the back seat with me and the kids, as not to distract the driver, but I don’t because she hates me. Sophie practically hates anyone who isn’t Maria. I really struggle with this dog. But Maria loves her like a human baby, and she’s loyal, so I guess I’ll give her a pass. Sophie is jumpy with strangers and a nipper. She also isn’t to particularly fond of kids, so having my not so cautious toddlers pawing at her in a tightly enclosed area may not be the best idea.
No sooner that my children are safely in the arms and home of their grandmother, I resume my rightful place in the front seat and crack open a beer. I’m determined to have a fantastic day in the sun, by enjoying a few ice cold ones and hopefully catching the holy-mother-loving-monster of all fish. If nothing else, than I had better at least catch something bigger than Carlos, because that dick out fishes me every single time. I’m really looking forward to not having to chase around the kids today. Now I can actually cast my pole out more than one stinking time.
It’s about a forty five minute drive from the in-laws house to the lake. We blare the type of music mix that honestly should be admired by any and everyone. Everything from sixties country, to eighties rock, to nineties rap, to current pop is shuffled through and blasted out of the speakers. Whether it be awkward, or well-rounded, either way it works. Maria belts every word from the back seat, twanging or pitching her voice as necessary. I never can decide whether I am more impressed or jealous by Maria’s ability to retain. This girl could hear a song one time and then turn around and sing every word a week later.
The second small town between home and the lake is passed, and we round a corner that leads to the mouth of a winding canyon. Tall pointing mountains range on either side of the road, we’re separated from them by a few hay fields. The edging where hay fields meet mountain bases are full of cedar trees, vibrant tall grass, and a few spread out patches of violet wildflowers. Off the drivers side, there is also a small flowing river. I look to my left and spot a mama mule deer and her fawn a couple dozen yards from the road. It’s beautiful, I absolutely love where I life.
“You know I’m gunna’ catch the biggest fish today, right?” I turn and smugly announce to Carlos, hardly able to hold back a smile.
“My ass.” He retorts with a stone face, not missing a beat.
The Time Wasters Series are several compiled short story adventures based on true stories. This book contains the first three in the series. They’re all titled Super Short prelude because they ARE just that – super short stories that lead up to big life concepts or events. Designed to help pass short spouts of time, most of the Time Wasters stories range from 8 to 15 pages. Each mini-book in the series actually contains an entire story that will draw you in, make you laugh, and then allow you to move on with your life. If you want to read, but don’t have the time or are in no mood for a Novel Commitment, then a Time Waster is just what you need.
In Love or Low Places: Dana is young wild careless and free, that is until her entire world is turned upside down by a man she meets at karaoke night. Is there really such thing as love at first sight? You be the judge.
In Sabotage by Hook and Dog: Dani convinces her husband, brother-in-law and friend to go on a fishing adventure, only to have a disastrous turn of events completely take over.
In Trampling Beast: While spending time on her cousin’s farm, Diedra finds herself making an effort to help guide an escaping animal back to its rightful place. What started out as a slight fear quickly forms into a lifelong phobia of this particular farm animal.