".... yes, it's in the eye ...."

David sat on a soft-cushioned chair, across the narrow table from the fortune-teller. A decorative candle in the shape of a pear was placed in a shallow bowl between them. She wasn't a real fortune-teller, but that was her task tonight at the annual charity get-together sponsored by David's firm.

"What a beauty she is, done up in that gypsy gear," thought David.

"The candle burns bright for your future," murmured the attractive secretary from the purchasing department. "Lean closer and look into the candle flame. It's very bright, and it reflects your thoughts from the lens in your eyes."

"A real beauty and yes, it's in the eyes." David suddenly realised that he had spoken his thought out loud and blushed visibly.

She smiled a little and leaned forward. "Now you must inhale the aroma of the candle's incense. It will make your mind clear, and let you share my vision of your future."

As David lent forward, eyes fixed on hers, he inhaled deeply and set fire to the hairs in his nose.

"Yeow!" screeched David as he leapt backward, upsetting the table and sending candle wax flying.

"What's happened, is everything all right?" called out a colleague standing nearby.

"I'm covered with hot wax," moaned the fortune-teller.

"I'm dreadfully sorry," said David, as he picked up the fallen candle and set it back in its place on the table, at the same time rubbing furiously at his scorched nostrils.

"Darling, what has this stupid buffoon done to you?" demanded a large man in a clown suit. "If you have hurt my fiancé I'll break you in half."

David recognized the production manager behind his large red nose and paste-on ears. He had a reputation for being a bully in the manufacturing operation, was both disliked and feared, and David was no match for him physically.

"Oh, stop it with the hero act! I'm NOT your fiancé. Get over it!"

David was both surprised and delighted at her response to the clown's words. "Look, it was simply an accident, entirely my fault, and I'll gladly pay for any damage I've done to your clothing."

The clowns stomped off, obviously unhappy with the rebuff.

"Oh, I'm all right, but what about you? You burned yourself and that was all my fault. What can I do to make up for the pain I've caused?"

"Just be the most important part of my future," said David, as she reached out for her hand.

© reserved Fredric C 'Mickey' Benefiel

People and houses in their later years

I have come to the conclusion that older people and older houses, have a great deal in common. As I have grown older, there have been increasing numbers of visits to the GP and occasional to see Medical Specialists.
A General Practitioner is to the human form as a Handy Man is to the house.
The GP may prescribe a diet or medicine and, infrequently, even carries out very minor treatments to sores, sprains, ear aches, etc.
A Handy Man may clean the leaves out of gutters, mow the lawn, and haul rubbish to the tip. Occasionally he will mend a fence, do small paint jobs, help plant or remove a tree.
The specialist operates: brain surgery, heart, lung, liver transplants. By pass operations and appendices are standard practice these days.
The house also has it's specialists.
My house recently had a full 'Kitchen Transplant'. Cabinet makers, electrician, plumber, plasterer, tiler, and a volunteer painter (me), formed the operating team. The patient not only lived; but is far better now than ever before in the 44 years since it was created. (There is some reluctance on the part of the others involved to acknowledge that the paint job fits into the "better" category.)
This could easily be compared to a heart-lung transplant, as the kitchen IS the heart and lungs of the home. Without it, there is no sustenance, hence, no life! It also costs just about as much.
The "patient" was totally incapacitated for over 3 weeks. The planing and scheduling took 10 months. (A child would involve less time and no where near as much cost.)
"Ah", you say, "but the child will go on costing for many years".
The kitchen will consume more money for food, drink, gadgets, replacement appliances and maintenance than the child in the same period of time. Not counting university. By the time the child has reached University age, the house will have been replaced in full, and it will be time to start all over again.
Our next house surgery is scheduled to take place on November 20th. At that time a team of highly skilled (and paid) specialists will remove the existing bathroom, remake it in a 'modern' form; then transform a short hall and toilet into an ensuite. Recovery time is expected to be 3 weeks, (isn't it always?) and the 'patient' is assured that this will transform life for the occupants.       Again, the corollary with a highly complex medical event. Plastic surgery could not possibly be any more difficult than trying to turn 2 smallish dreary spaces into 2 large delightful rooms.

©  Mickey Benefiel

Where the Wind Comes From

A little boy sat watching the leaves being swirled in the air by a Dust Devil when his Grandfather came and sat beside him. "You look very thoughtful, what are you thinking about?", asked the old man.
"Where does the wind come from, granpa?"said the boy, squinting to keep the dust from his eyes. And why does it make such a mess?", he continued.
"Mother Nature owns the wind, but she doesn't always do a good job of making it behave. Some days it just gets out of hand and runs wild.
Pointing to the sky the boy asked "Does it blow the clouds around too?"They watched the thin layer of scratchy cloud, strung out in long streamers across the horizon.
"Sometimes it does, other times the clouds and the wind are just playing chasings.
"Does the wind make it rain?"
"Oh no, the clouds own the rain, and the wind is jealous about that, Sometimes they don't get on very well at all, the wind and the clouds. The wind will make the clouds angry and that's when they get all dark and cover the sun. If the wind gets too pushy the clouds throw rain and roar with thunder and lightning to try and scare it off, but the wind just keeps on blowing and that's when we get bad storms.
"Does the wind do any good, ever?"the boy asked.
"It certainly does, it makes peoples windmills work and sailors are always needing the wind make their yachts go. Sometimes the wind cools the land after a real hot day, but that's when it just puffs up a breeze. It dries the washing on the clothes lines and helps you fly your kite. The wind can be really good when it wants to. It just does try very often.
"They sat in silence for while, thinking about the wind and clouds, then the boy looked very seriously at his grandfather and said "when I act bad mum makes me stay in doors and I can't go out and play. If I fight with my sister she makes me sit in the corner. I wish I was the wind, then I could do whatever I wanted to, and no body could boss me around.
"Now don't get me wrong son, the wind doesn't always get it's own way. Mom Nature has her own punishments she hands out. She gets angry and makes the wind spend days out blowing the water into waves. Hard work that. Then another time she gets cranky with the clouds and makes them SO cold, that the rain freezes into ice and snow and the clouds can't hang onto it and they dry out, loose their thunder and lighting and sometimes just turn into fog.
"Wind can be real cold too", said the boy. "Does she cause that as well? Because I don't like it when it gets real cold.
"Yes she does, but to make up for that she lets us have the fire place to get warm again. She owns fire too.

©  Mickey Benefiel