Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter

“Alice you know we HAVE to get the yard ready before the snow comes”

Begrudgingly she replied, “Yes, I know. I know. We will, we’ll do it this Saturday.”

Saturday arrived. The couple looked out over their yard full of perennials that needed chopping, after all the chopping, there would be raking after all the raking there would be a big haul, which would require a truck and a visit to the local dump. Five hours later they had chopped, raked and dumped. The only problem was the entire backyard was left with all the same obligations and their Saturday was gone.

Alice volunteered, “I’ll do the backyard this week, honey, while you’re at work.”

Wednesday rolled around; Alice put the baby down for a nap and faced the perennials. She began chopping the plants back. Her body flooding with anger. She began to hack the plants with more speed then with more vigor. On this cool fall day she began to sweat. She could not get the sound of his voice nor his painful confessions to rid her mind. His words like a fly kept annoying her work ethic, each time she tried to swat it away the same devastating thoughts seemed to come at her with more persistence. Periodically she would be interrupted with a string of tears. She was grateful her assignment was in backyard.   

This post was prompted by Write on Edge we were asked to focus on house cleaning. Either in the literal or metaphorical sense. Remember to evoke the feelings and emotional subtext from the act of cleaning. (I had to opt for yard work instead of house work..hmm what does that tell you?)


  1. The undertone is so very masterfully done here.

    I love that you went for the backyard, where hard work {which feels so good when you're angry} could play out.

    {Is this fiction or non fiction? I must know- so nosy! :) }

  2. I am looking over your posts to learn more about Alice...There are so many posts on WOE, that I don't believe I have read one of your posts before, so I don't know about Alice. Are the confessions she heard somewhere else?

  3. Katie, you are right I was not clear on the confessions. She had heard them days before and they were luming in her mind. Thanks for the tip.
    All my WOE pieces are fiction though they seem to be laced with my reality. Alice is just a name maybe someday she'll be an entire character. We'll see.
    Thanks for reading

  4. Loved every word! I could totally relate to gardening being a physical release, a way to bring those pains to the surface. I like how you kind of balanced interior descriptions with environment.

  5. Yard work is strenuous, definitely a place to channel some anger. I, too, was confused about the nature of the confession, although with her aggressive hacking, I assumed it had to be pretty bad, dishonest or deceptive. I like Alice's character. I can relate to her. She feels very real.

  6. Although technically RRED is supposed to be limited to memoir/creative-non-fiction, I truly adore this piece.

    I love the character, and how the act of backyard aggression so perfectly symbolizes her emotional state of mind.

    The language is lyrical and so lovely to the ear.

  7. Oh man. If only the challenge was LONGER!!

    I just caught up on all the latest entries... I L O V E these!!!!

    Thank You