I’m part of a writing group. I did it to challenge myself to write on a more consistent basis, learn creative writing skills, and mainly to make me more confident in writing.
Most sessions we have a challenge given to us for the next week’s gathering. This week it is to write about these three words: bluebird, butter pecan ice cream, and rye bread.
Here’s my story.
Jim was working in his garden on this hot summer morning in the upper Midwest, taking care of his vegetables and proud of his hard work. He enjoys seeing the fruits of his labor produce big tomatoes and peppers that he’ll use to make salsa, heirloom squash he can enjoy all winter, zucchini he’ll get his fill of and share with his neighbors…
He carefully pinches off dead leaves and stems, pulls weeds, tills between the rows, and so on while tenderly caring for the plants for producing the food that nourishes him and his wife, Vicky, and that they enjoy cooking with.
Jim has a lawn chair in his garden where he loves sitting for hours and watching over the plants and watching the birds. Bluebirds are his favorite because he loves the color blue. To attract more bluebirds to his garden, Jim hung suet for them to eat and they also peck away in the sumac trees at the far end of his garden.
Today, Jim brought along a corned beef and swiss sandwich on rye bread that Vicky made for him. He doesn’t really care for the crust so Jim shared his rye bread crusts with the bluebirds; he thinks it will be a special treat for them today.
More than occasionally Jim will take a little snooze falling asleep to the soothing sound of chirping birds. The garden is his purpose and solitude during these golden years.
What Jim was really looking forward to on this particularly hot day was the butter pecan ice cream that Vicky picked up at the grocery store the day before! It was a special treat to find his favorite flavor at the store because they don’t usually carry it. Jim thinks it must not be a popular flavor anymore since it’s harder to find in stock. Cookie dough, salted caramel, and other fancy flavors seem to be what those young people are buying nowadays.
He thought to himself, “I’m just going to finish this row and then I’ll head in for some of that butter pecan ice cream.” But then he stood there for a moment. Jim couldn’t remember where he was. This has happened before but then it comes back to him a short time later. After a couple minutes he realized he was in his favorite place and that it was time to head home.
When Jim walked in the door Vicky knew just what he wanted. After all of these years together she knows Jim’s sweet tooth and that he was really excited about the ice cream she bought the day before. Since it was a hot day and he was working in his garden, she knew he’d like a bowl of butter pecan ice cream when he came in.
Jim got cleaned up and Vicky scooped him a bowl of his favorite ice cream, letting it melt just a little while he was cleaning up, just the way he liked his ice cream – a little melty. Jim felt refreshed after cleaning up and gave Vicky a kiss on the cheek then took his bowl of ice cream onto the porch to enjoy. Vicky followed him out there with her bowl too.
They enjoyed their ice cream in silence for a few minutes before Vicky asked “How’s the garden looking today?” Jim didn’t answer. “Did you see any bluebirds this morning?” “You didn’t share your sandwich with the birds, did you?” No answer. Jim’s bowl was empty and he stared out into the yard, his eye empty too.
Comment below and let me know your thoughts or how you interpreted the ending.