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Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Memories - Packy

Thought I'd share some of Christmas memories with y'all.
I’ve always been a sucker for my boys when they wanted something. One summer, while we were window shopping at thepet store on vacation upstate, Stevie, my younger son, fell in love with an Ornate Horned Frog, also known as a “Pacman” Frog.

This exotic frog cost a fortune, $15 about 12 years ago. But he turned big eyes on me and I caved. We brought “Packy”, Stevie’s name for him, home with us. Stevie was ecstatic, picking up the frog often – Packy tolerated this well – and talking to him. Trips to the pet store to buy crickets to feed Packy were a regular event, not for Stevie, who was only six but for me and my husband. I admit I enjoyed the beauty of the frog’s exotic coloring and his cute frowning face.
 Packy thrived until October. Being a tropical frog, he couldn’t withstand the northern cold overnight in our New York City apartment. The pet store man didn’t advise us to buy a heat rock. Our ignorance brought about Packy’s early demise. Stevie was crushed. Though only in second grade, he fully understood what it meant to lose someone you loved intensely – even if that someone was only a small frog. He cried like his heart was breaking and was despondent for weeks. 
Christmas rolled around. With a growing family, I often cut corners, including trips to the local remainder or dollar store, as some call it. I never knew what would turn up at Weber’s. I was hoping to find a small gift or two for the kids. Strolling down one aisle, I turned the corner and BLAM! There it was! A whole bin full of stuffed “Packy’s”! Yup, they all looked like Packy, too. Not the mild, funny, smiling face frog of cartoons. Nope, these frogs had the same wide-mouth, frowning, serious look as Packy did. The soft treasure lifted my spirits about twenty feet. What a Christmas surprise!
That Christmas, it wasn’t the boxes of Lego sets that excited me with anticipation, but the stuffed Packy hiding under the tree. Stevie was overjoyed to find him. They became inseparable. He slept with the new Packy every night. Stevie is now Steve – 21 years old. Packy still lives in the bedroom, one leg dangling, one eye missing, but otherwise
intact. Finding stuffed Packy was our Christmas miracle that year.  

Please leave a comment, share a funny or touching present you gave or received for Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Brand new story this week from a book idea that has been edging its way into my head. Hope you enjoy the 300-word piece.

Beck Langley’s feet and hands tingled from the frigid temperature. Frostbite? He approached the house and hesitated for a moment, before knocking quickly while he still had the courage. The door whipped open as if Lark had been waiting for his arrival. She pulled him inside and quickly shut the door against the subzero temperature.
  “Come, sit by the fire.”
She wore a long, white flannel gown, with a tiny flower print in shades of pink. Her honey hair was flowing down just past her shoulders. She looked like a goddess from the ‘60’s.
“Nice an' warm in here,” he said, removing his gloves and kneeling down by the fireplace.
“I love a big fire on days like this. I’m so glad you decided to come.” She touched his shoulder.
“You have a lovely home.” Just like you. The golden color of the wood walls blended perfectly with the peaches and light reds in the fabrics and curtains. A sectional sofa facing the fire looked inviting. Lark sat down and patted the cushion next to her. Beck joined her, enchanted by her sweet lilac scent and relaxed by heat from the fire. My place is always so damn cold.

“Puts my place to shame.”
“You should do something with your house. I’ll help.”
I would but I never know when Carol and the kids’ll…”
“You keep saying that. Your sister has a new life now, a husband. She doesn’t need you.”
“She’ll always…”
“I didn’t mean it like that. It’s time to have your own life.”
“It’s too late.”
“It’s never too late for love.” She practically whispered the words.
Beck heard her loud and clear.
“You’re not over the hill at forty-two, Beck.”
He gazed at her lovely face and a tiny glimmer of hope began to grow in his chest.
Tuesday Tales is on a break until January 8, 2013. I wish you A happy holiday.