Archive for Stories

Don’t Buy That House!

Yard 9-2019I’d just finished the yard—which is looking pretty good, if I don’t say so myself—and was sitting in a lawn chair cooling off, when I noticed a guy looking at the house behind ours. He was about my age and looked to be very interested in the house. He must’ve walked around it five or six times. As he finally seemed to be finished and started toward his pickup, I went over to the fence and said howdy, then asked him if he was looking to buy the house or paint it. He caught my sarcasm and chuckled, then said, “Buy it. The realtor hasn’t shown up yet. She’s late. You know anything about the house?” I said, “No, but I do know the nearest neighbor’s kinda mean and can be pretty difficult sometimes.” He glanced around then asked, “Which one?” I threw a thumb over my shoulder at my house. He grinned, frowned, grinned, frowned, then looked at me like we might be fixin to fight. I laughed, put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Don’t worry ‘bout it though. Her husband’s a real nice guy.”

Leave a Comment

Who’d A Thunk It?

IMG_20171016_150100797_HDRDay number 25,202 started like most of the last 1000 or so; about three cups of coffee and some sweet cakes—always have to have something sweet with my coffee—been doing that every morning for about 35 or so years. That said, I then read our morning devotional, and Sherry and I talked about God and our many blessings for a bit. We’ve been doing that for almost 24 years now. After that, I did a four-minute plank, then Mom called and we talked about God, which is mostly what we talk about in our weekly chats. And then, I put on my shoes and was about to walk out the door and take a quick five-mile walk, when son, Bill called. We talked for a good while—we always do—but I had to smile after we hung up. I told Sherry I knew it was my birthday, because Bill let me talk quite a bit. We laughed, because she knows when Bill calls, he usually does most of the talking. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I love to listen to him and get the low down on what him and his boys are up to. When Trevor and Nathan were playing football in high school, Bill would call on Saturday or Sunday and literally give me a play by play of Friday night’s game. Being so far away was hard—never getting to see the boys play ball—but Bill’s account of the games took away some of the pain. So, anyway, after we talked, I went for that five-mile walk, then came back and fixed me and Sherry a PB&J on some of my grilled homemade jalapeno bread. (Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.) Now—it’s straight up noon—I’m going to run to the store, then come back and mow & trim the yard. Probably take it easy the rest of the day, then go out for a celebratory dinner this evening. Early evening, of course. I mean, after all, I’m 25,202.5 days old, ya know. Who’d a thunk I’d last this long?

Comments (2)

No Tall Trees For Me!

A tornado tore through Longview, TX on May 8, 2019, doing an incredible amount of damage. I’m guessing the number of downed trees was in the thousands, many homes and autos were damaged, and some residents were without power for two weeks. We lost no trees–we don’t have any large ones in our yard–but we were without power for six days. However, damage was severe all around us. Six weeks later, the tree trimming and removal crews, and city crews, and the residents, have almost completed the cleanup, and now it seems some homeowners are taking steps to see that they don’t suffer damage should another storm come through. I’ve seen several within a few blocks of us having large trees removed from their yards—most of them are tall pines. Only thing is, some of there nearby neighbors aren’t doing the same.

storm 5-8-19 2

And, by the way, when we were shopping for a house in Longview, tall pine trees were on the “absolutely not” list. And that included the houses around the ones we were interested in buying. We don’t needs no tall trees!

Leave a Comment

What Did He Say!?!?

angelI don’t think anyone will argue when I say, Charlie ain’t no angel. I don’t have time to list all the bad things I’ve done, said, or thought. Take the “said” thing for instance. I’m not proud of some of the language I’ve used and let me assure you that though I use the past tense, it’s more recent than I want to admit. Like, oh, an hour ago. Yep. My daddy wasn’t no sailor, but when it comes to cussin’, I couldn’t have had a better instructor. Or worse, depending on how you look at it.

My most recent outburst occurred this morning (twice), when I messed up the jalapeno bread (twice). In retrospect, it was comical. Except for the water and jalapenos and cheese, I put the ingredients in the bread maker last night. Then, at 6:00 A.M., I added the cheese and jalapenos, and started the machine. It takes four hours to complete the cooking cycle; rest, mix, rise, mix, rise, mix, bake. But as the machine began to mix for the second time (two hours into the process), I noticed it didn’t sound like it normally does at that point. As I was opening the lid, I saw the water, still in the measuring cup, sitting beside the machine. I didn’t use all the words the old man taught me, but I think I got most of them in.

So! Off to the store I went to get another jalapeno! Got home, cleaned the machine, and put in another batch. Thirty minutes later, when the first mix began, something—AGAIN—didn’t sound right. I opened the lid, and it was apparent the mixing blade was nowhere to be found. I’m fairly sure I got all the words in that time. Dad woulda been proud! Or, not.

Finally found the mixing paddle in the trash with the first “dry” ingredients, and put it in, started the machine again, and I’m hoping the bread will turn out okay. We’ll know in about three hours. And if doen’t, I’ll put together another batch. Won’t be no more cussin… today.

Like I always say, “I’m gettin’ better.” But I sure ain’t no angel.

Comments (3)

Time

Cliff Patterson, the father of my childhood and lifelong friend, Barry Patterson passed away yesterday, after a well-spent 92+ years. I only saw Cliff a few times after I left Buckeye, Arizona when I was about 18, but he always held a special place in my heart. He teased me mercilessly from the time I was 10, until I got out of high school, but he did it in fun, and I always took it as such. He was my little league coach for a couple of years, and he taught me to throw a change-up. He’d signal me to throw it at those times he thought it would work, by giving me a “secret” sign. And when it worked, twisting the batter into a knot, as he swung wildly at the floating pitch, Cliff would split a big grin. That’s what I remember most, that beautiful grin. Rest in peace, Cliff Patterson. You made us laugh, you were loved, and we will forever carry you with us in our hearts.sunset (4) poem

 

 

Comments (2)

Live and Learn

Back in the mid-eighties, I was building a grocery store in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and came across something on the plans that wasn’t right. So, I drove to the architect’s office and told him we had a problem. He smiled and said, “There are no problems, just situations that need solutions.” I smiled right back at him, and said, “Okay… we have a situation that needs a solution.” He said, “So what’s the solution.” I stared at him for a few seconds, looked down at the plans on the table and then told him what I thought should be done to correct the “situation”. He agreed, we did the necessary paperwork, and as I headed for the door to go back to the job, he stopped me and said, “When you have a situation, don’t bring it to me until you have a solution.”

That simple lesson served me well in my career but, it also helped me in almost every facet of my life. I learned not to focus on problems but rather to search for the solution. And then, if I needed help or confirmation, to seek out someone who could advise or approve my ideas. Oh, of course I plowed forward without help many of those times, and made a lot of mistakes, but those mistakes also taught me valuable lessons. In fact…

live and learn

Leave a Comment

Blood On The Moon ~ the story

This is a short story and poem I wrote when I first started writing. It’s one of my personal favorites. Read it if you have time. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

001 Blood On the MoonBlood On the Moon was the first short story I wrote when I decided I wanted to try and write. This is the 2015 rewritten version (I hope it’s better than the original). It’s 2170 words long (5 single spaced pages), so print it and read it later if you want. I’ll even email it to you, if you can’t print it off the blog. Click the picture to enlarge and read the poem by the same title.

View original post 2,158 more words

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »