Closet Creature

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Lightening illuminated the room as Kevin began to count,

“One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…”

A roll of thunder signaled the approaching storm. The ten-year old boy wasn’t as afraid of storms as he use to be. However, lightning always brought an eery view to his room. Perhaps it was the split second revelation followed by the sudden darkness that led to his overactive imagination. Was that shadow my coat or a dark creature? He was certain that it was his jacket hanging in the closet. He clearly remembered hanging it there.

Another flash of lightning revealed his jacket was indeed hanging there next to an unknown shadow that seemed to be staring at him. All features were hidden, but he was certain something was standing in his closet. The thunder crackled as the creature moved, ever so slightly. It moved! I saw it move. There is something in my closet and it just moved. Focusing his attention to the closet he could hear the creature breathing. But, what is it? Kevin slowly slid out of his bed and slipped across the carpet; taking care not to make a sound.

The creature appeared to be short like a goblin. No identifying features were revealed as Kevin got close.  Holding his breath he got within inches of it. He could still hear it’s rapid shallow breathing. There’s no such thing as monsters. If there are, I’m about to catch my first one. Raising his hand towards its head he slowly began to exhale.

“Kevin.” a small voice called out.

A fear struck him as the creature seized his hand with its cold pale fingers. Lightening struck illuminating its screaming face. Kevin’s scream was eclipsed by the explosion of thunder. His backwards leap pulled the creature from the closet. The two fell to the floor as fear gripped them both. Before Kevin could move his unknown fiend wrapped it thin arms around him.

“I’m scared.” his sister whispered.

A flood of revelation brought an onslaught of relief to Kevin. Realizing it was his little sister the whole time, he hugged her back.

“It’s OK. That lightening was scary.”

Reaching up, he pulled his pillow from his bed for them to share and covered up with the blanket she brought from her room. The two slept on the floor as the storm passed over. Every now and then his sister would jerk from the thunder, and he would comfort her. He knew this was all part of being a big brother, even if she did scare the living daylight out of him.


Five A.M.

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Five a.m. came quick for Chris. It wasn’t a late night with the boys, or an argument with his wife that brought the morning on so quick. No, he was just worn out from his new carpentry job. Setting in his favorite chair, he realized he had fallen asleep with his work boots on. A small quilt covered him; a sure sign his wife took care of him.

Slowly making his way to the kitchen his body ached. Every joint popped like a bowl of milk and rice-crispies. Setting at the kitchen table, he untied his boots and kicked them off. Pulling his socks off too, he placed his feet on the cold hardwood floor. The cool flat surface brought relief as he made his way to the coffeepot. First the a precise measurement of grounds, then a pot full of water was added. As the first drip of coffee fell, Chris began to stretch. How could he be this young and feel this old? His hands still felt tight from gripping a hammer all day. Hand cramps were a sign of learning. Gotta let the hammer do the work. He told himself as he stretched his fingers out. The morning fog cleared from his thoughts as he stood there watching the pot fill. I could be getting ready for the day.

A quick shower and fresh clothes helped him face the morning. Moving with more ease, he poured his first cup. Not sure if it was his youth, inexperience or the excitement of learning a new trade, but he was actually excited to go to work.  His career choice was the foundation he was building his life on.

Life didn’t come with instructions. It came with those before us showing what works and what doesn’t. Like Chris, we have all stepped out with uncertainty. But our youthful vigor perpetuated us all to achieve our greatness. As our work kicks back with pain, we are reminded five a.m. comes quick for us all.

40+ (what I have found)

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Two things have been working against me; running 12+ miles per week and age.

I am one of the few that actually loves getting older. I love watching my white hairs grow in. Although most of my hair is still brown, the whites and greys will take over.  I have more laugh lines around my eyes. They accent my smile. I’m not as quick to temper. I’ve learnt that it’s important to assess the root of a situation. I have also learnt that having a good attitude is better for my health. I have become a source of positivity amongst my peers.

With each day that I wake up, I am getting older. Yes, I am slowing down, but I haven’t stopped. People around me have changed their attitude towards me as well. I have noticed the word “Sir” when I am addressed. With age comes others respect. I find myself watching what I do and say because I am placed as a role model. My muscles move slow. They don’t hurt, they just move slow. I have to stretch more in order to get my body ready for the day. I watch what I eat. It seems that 41 is the age that my metabolism finally slowed down a little. I monitor my weight everyday; along with my heartbeat and stress level. I have not cut junk food out of my diet. I do ,however, monitor my quantity of junk food. Rarely do I drink soda pop or sugar drinks. I love ice tea and water, but most of all coffee. Chicory coffee has become my favorite coffee. Upon doing some research I found that chicory coffee allows the body to absorb iron more efficiently. This means my recovery time after a long run is quicker. Trust me when I say it is. There are also immune system benefits to this coffee as well. None of this has been proven by modern medicine. Doctors of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were not idiots. A lot of what they discovered were written in books. Then came commercialization. Discoveries were not publicized as much. And now, I sound like a conspiracy theorist. I think that comes with age too. 🙂

I am far from hitting my prime. Mid-life for me will be late 50’s or early 60’s. I know, at this rate, I will be here on this rock for a good while. But, tomorrow is never promised. Yep, I’m getting older and slowing down. But, I haven’t stopped.

Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always enjoy getting older.