by Linda on July 27, 2016

in Hump Day Shorts

Unexpected small things. The tiniest juxtapositions. They feed my soul. And inspire Hump Day Shorts.

Saturday I went to my local farmer’s market. Despite the 95-degree humid morning. Even if I don’t need cheese, corn, or fish, I go. I find cheese, corn, and zucchini. But no fish this Saturday. The people at the market are there by choice – vendors and shoppers. Present by choice makes for a light-hearted, friendly atmosphere. In the middle of this little buzzing commerce, I saw a girl sitting across from a woman. They were close together, and I thought it was probably a face painting stand. Moving in to see the artwork, I saw the woman was drawing a henna design on the little girl’s foot.

While I don’t have a bucket list on paper, having a henna design on my hand is something that often rumbles in the back of my head. I haven’t searched out a henna artist; rather she just appeared on this hot sticky morning. And even though this was intended to be a quick corn and zucchini stop, I sat down and ordered my design.

My henna artist grew up in India. She kind of chuckled when I asked how she learned to do this. It would seem while a little girl growing up in Iowa makes great mud pies from the rain and good, black Iowa dirt, a little girl in India creates henna paste from plants that grow in her backyard. Henna powder, lemon juice, sugar, and eucalyptus oil create the paste used to make these temporary tattoos. Henna design is a finer art than that of globbing mud bowls together.

HennaIn ten minutes, I walked away with a piece of art on the back of my hand. And little bits of knowledge about this person and her culture. I love Indian food; she still cooks Indian food every day. She makes her own cheese for sag paneer — spinach with cheese, and she suggested a new Indian restaurant for me to try. As a follower of Jainism, she is a vegetarian, and the mainstay of her religious beliefs is the honoring of all life, plus absolute peace. Quite contrary to my growing up on a farm where our livelihood relied fair and square on the animals we raised to eat. Absolute peace. Did she fight with her brothers and sisters? I wondered but didn’t ask. She was she and I am me.

Honestly, I never go to the market just for vegetables.


Narrow Boat Navigation through Stratford Canal Bridges & Locks

Hump Day Shorts July 19, 2016
what.do.i.do.NB resized

Boats with rudders are steered from the stern of the boat, from the back end. Instead of a steering wheel like we had while sailing with friends 20 years ago in the Caribbean and in the Greek Ionian islands, our narrow boat on the Stratford Canal in England had a three-foot horizontal piece of wood, […]

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The Red Rain Coat

Hump Day Shorts June 28, 2016
red rain coat

I’m heading off the grid for a couple weeks. And taking the family with me. The three of them will probably find a way to stay connected to the dish in the sky, but I’m going to do my best to remain unplugged. Last Sunday, I went Amazon shopping for travel gear. All four of […]

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The Circus after the Circus

Hump Day Shorts June 22, 2016

For Bill’s Father’s Day treat, we took him to the Cirque du Soleil show, Kurios. It ended at 7:30 p.m., and we decided to stop at Uno’s on the way home. Uno’s is a family favorite: buttered pasta for Liam, Kraft mac’n’cheese for Will, and a Numero Uno for Bill and me. Actually, Uno’s is […]

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Big Boys

Hump Day Shorts June 14, 2016
pirate sheet torn

In a Creative Writing seminar some 25 years ago, the instructor gave all of us the first line of another author’s story, and we each had to write a short story using that sentence as the lead-off. I thought of this exercise after reading a Facebook post from one of my cousins last week, and […]

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Coupons Are Not Gifts

Hump Day Shorts June 4, 2016

We are speeding down that spring slope toward summer. I’m letting go of tasks that are not vital and hanging on to the rest in my tightly-gripped paper calendar. Coupons were the first to go. I’ve been an on-and-off again coupon clipper my whole life. Clipping coupons from the Sunday paper is therapeutic. My grandmas […]

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