Tag Archives: writing

The Adventures Of Toad – Part 1

Photo by Slawek K on Unsplash

“I can’t do anything right,” cried the wood toad to the frog.

“What do you mean?” the frog licked his eyeball and looked up from The Daily Flypaper.

“People are always upset at me for something or another. They call me slimy and warty and all these other names.” The toad rubbed a foot over his soft leathery skin that was neither slimy, nor warty. “I’m never wanted, and if I breathe in the wrong place someone tries to run me over with a bicycle or a car.”

“Have you tried not being in the wrong place?” Said the frog as he looked back down at The Daily Flypaper. His tongue ricocheted off an unsuspecting gnat mid-flight and re-entered his mouth.

The toad filled his bellows and let out a croaking sigh. “Why? Do you think I haven’t already tried that?” The toad hopped a little farther along his path, though he didn’t know where it went. “I don’t know why I’m always in the wrong place.”

The frog hopped closer to the pond. “Well, maybe you haven’t found the right place where you belong. I belong in the pond and no one tells me I’m in the wrong place.”

“Lucky you.” The toad rolled his eyes and flicked his nictitating membranes. “It would help if I knew more toads and fewer frogs.”

The frog left the flypaper on the ground and without a word proceeded to the pond.

“Great,” the toad thought aloud, “I’ve chased another creature away. So I’m friendless and always out of place.”

“I know someone that might be able to help you.” The shuddering leaves and branches above him said. When the toad looked up he saw a large owl perched with a raven.

“And why would you help me? Don’t you both eat toads?” The toad gulped, ready to dash for the holes near the roots of the tree.

“That depends – I hear miserable creatures taste awful.” The raven looked at the owl, ruffling her feathers.

The owl in kind hooted with laughter. “I’m not interested in eating anything that doesn’t taste good. Maybe I’ll eat you if you ever come back here happy.” The owl preened a bit and observed her surroundings as the dusk continued to fall. “There’s a witch on the edge of the woods. That witch will help you find true happiness. Follow the walking path from the pond to her stone cottage to her garden. There you’ll find her and be able to ask for help with your problem.”

The raven let out a low, mocking laugh. “Yes. Your problem. Not ours. Now, on your way.”

The toad turned to the path ahead. He was going to have a long night.


I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of The Adventures of Toad. Feel free to like, comment, or share. The comments section is reserved for readers to share their thoughts on the story with me and please have fun! I try to get comments read and posted quickly – moderation helps to prevent spam.

Prima – A Poem

Prima

She listens to the world move
[beat,
two-three,
beat]
like old people listen to talk radio.
And flutters in her own world,
wild thing,
she programs an image to her brain:

reality

it crashes.

Much like a ballet,
she falls when she fears the music is stopping.
[pressing her cheek against her knee]
Then valiantly she jumps and spins,
[twirling
two, three,
spinning
two, three]

But eventually, all music ends;

fallen on the stage

alone.


If you connected with this poem, the comments section is for you to share your thoughts and/or experiences. I am grateful to anyone that chooses to share – I make that space for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this poem today.

New Poem on Coffee House Writers: “Stolen”

This is an antique book of poetry from Scholastic – if you’re curious what super early Scholastic publications from the 1910s looked like.

My new poem “Stolen” is live on Coffee House Writers.

This one addresses how dementia interacts with emotional processing.

I can’t think of a single person that cares about the past generations that hasn’t been impacted by dementia in some way.

I don’t like writing too much about the meaning or inspiration behind my poems. Honestly, I prefer to leave it open for those that need it to be whatever they need in that moment.

If you have struggled with losing a family member or loved one through the slow process of dementia, I’m sorry. Please feel free to comment your personal experiences openly and freely below – I reserve the comments section for that. While I can never truly know your experience, you’re not alone.

How To Shop For A Sextant Online During A Global Pandemic

Or… Shopping For My Spouse’s Birthday Gift

I shake my head and stare at the screen.

“I want to feel the brass and hold it. Feel the movement of each piece and know I’ll be able to calibrate it for him,” I whine to the cat. The autumn winds blowing down from Alaska drown out my words as they wind their way over the Rockies.

Staring at the pictures, I imagine the heavy brass of my family’s sextant balanced in my clumsy hands as my father lets me look at it. His calloused palms poised to catch the instrument should I falter.

“This one won’t do.” I toss it into the mental pile of surveying and mapping equipment I look at; never purchase.

Who can afford to spend over a thousand dollars on something like this over the internet? I mentally discard another with a fancier, more modern black finish.

I call my parents. “I want to buy Jacob a sextant for his birthday. What’s the story behind ours? Does Dad have any advice?”

Thousands of miles of static and telephone lines crackle. “The one your dad has was your great grandfather’s from the maritime academy. Why do you want one for Jacob?”

I pause and shrug into the phone. “To record our locations for dark sky photography. GPS can’t be trusted out here.” I grasp my forehead and castigate my own thoughts. But I’m the one that knows how to use one for surveying, navigation, and astronomy – that would be a terrible gift.

I stare out at the horizon hidden by mountains and try to find the ocean beneath the curvature of the earth. Jacob doesn’t care about the difference between a mile and a nautical mile. What does he care about?

I catch him and ask about his feelings around flying and clouds pass over the sun – visibility down to less than 5 miles and he gives me a look that says VFR ain’t going to fly. He never got a seaplane rating and this dream is about to try a water landing without pontoons. “I don’t know when the next time I’m going to fly is. Please don’t get me anything that could be related to flying.”

I decide against getting him a sextant and reminisce about when we spent hours talking about the intersection of history where airplanes and ships used the same navigation systems and why. I stare at the stormy sea of sky lapping against the mountain sides and remember our last aerial photography trip. I order his birthday cake and continue to brainstorm better gifts.

Montana now has the highest rate of transmission of any state. Distracted, I stare at the news and try to process how dangerous it is to step outside. This was all predictable based on the behavior patterns of 1918.

Birthdays have to remain special in the face of COVID, so I order wine and check our reservation for the weekend. I check that his favorite decaf pop and breakfast cereal are in the pantry. I try and decide what else we should do to make it a special day about him.

While most of the United States has been living with this since March, Jacob has been living with COVID since it first hit obscure global news last autumn and I brought it home by explaining how diseases follow human behavior patterns. In February I set up forecasting models and told him how to prepare before the preppers drained the stores of paper products, resulting in channeled anxiety and full isolation.

My incredible husband and love of my life sits with me in my mind while I wonder how to celebrate someone as amazing as him. I think of bonfires, quality time, adventures, and our daily lives. I think about these acts of preparation and foresight and how they are gifts and acts of love in themselves.

I buy Jacob 2 books and 2 glass vessels for his birthday following the theme: Scientific Magic. I write a blog post about not buying a sextant and realizing that was a dumb gift idea. I refuse to spoil the surprise while I continue further preparations and celebrate his existence everyday.


Happy Birthday to my amazing partner and best friend, Jacob. I have many best friends, but you are the one I married and the one I celebrate today. My forever partner in adventure 💕