May 21, 2015

Hotel Room At Exit 37

Hotel Room At Exit 37
By John R. Greenwood

The variation of engine sounds captures my attention as I sit at the half open window in Room 204 at the end of Exit 37. 

Souped up Honda Civics play pretend as the throaty four-cylinder's rpm's reach a boiling point entering the interstate. 

A mud-caked logging truck, loaded high with pulp the size of a Buick, grumbles to an abrupt stop as the light turns red and causes a change of yellow light plans. 

Giant men with scrubby beards and shiny new Ford 150's stomp the peddle to the floor pushing a twenty dollar bill into the carburetor and forcing it out the Pep Boy's after-market tailpipe. 

Dirty haired girls with their arms out the window flick their cigarettes into the air-the red glow of ashes spraying across the blacktop.

A boisterous Harley with all the fixin's sings in the distance-- insisting everyone in Clinton County pay attention. 

Grandma and grandpa ooze onto #87 South--with any luck they'll reach Florida by fall. 

I take another sip of coffee and put my feet on the window sill. 

A slicked up red Mustang leaves the light like he has someplace to be. 

My head bobs, the noise isn't noise it's sleeping pills wrapped in horsepower. 

I push off my untied shoes with my toes. 

I'm at peace. 

My heart and my feet breathe a sigh of relief. 

May 01, 2015

April Departs

April Departs
By John R. Greenwood

April departs by gently backing away into the woods leaving sprigs of green and mossy oak. Her quiet exit requires no fanfare. Soon the deep woods nakedness will be clothed in the thick underbrush of summer. It’s not hard to imagine myself lost in the vast Adirondacks as I reach the furthest point of my walk. The loud blow of a passing Amtrak train reminds me how close to home and a Walmart I really am. It doesn’t matter though, I am here, alone, my mind free to breathe and wander the way it likes. This is an evening walk and I realize the setting sun peeks differently. It’s a softer sun, tired from a hard days work. Unlike the eye opening shouts of an eastern sunrise, the western sunset falls over you like a mother pulling a blanket over a sleepy child. Relaxation sets in as I sit there listening to moss growing in the shadows. My walk along the Neilmann Trail reaps the rewards of a fresh May start and an April departure. 

I feel better now. 

I knew I would.  

April 12, 2015

Mother Opened The Door

Mother Opened The Door
By John R. Greenwood

Mother opened the door and let me back in the house today. I felt like she'd abandoned me. I know she has a job to do. She can't kowtow to every special request for a sunny Fourth Of July or snowy Christmas Eve. She doesn't work on commission or by the hour--she operates on mother's instinct. Just when we think she going to go soft on us she shifts gears and hits us with an Arctic winter. No amount of planning can out guess the queen of deception. 

I'd almost given up hope of ever seeing that snow pile disappear from the foundation of the house. But, maybe out of pity, or maybe lack of refrigeration the old girl let the sun come out to play with us and turned everyone's cold frown upside down. Maybe she did do it on purpose? We get spoiled easily and have a tendency to take our mothers for granted. This might have been a subtle way of reminding us how much of an impact a mother can have on us. 

I am certain of one thing; how much I needed a leaf rake in my hand instead of a snow shovel. Oh, it won't take long for us to start complaining about high humidity and tall grass, but personally, I will tread lightly. 

I felt so much better today. I saw moving water instead of frozen water. Birds were singing instead of stuffing their beaks with sunflower seeds. Squirrels had a chance to chat with each other about Jordan Spieth winning the Masters instead of worrying about filling the pantry with acorns. I could hear the little boys across the street pretending to be superheroes instead of cringing to the sound of a behemoth snowplow scraping the blacktop and sending slush flying into the side of my mailbox. 

It was a good day, a spring Sunday brimming with optimism and a light wind of better temps ahead. 

Maybe better times too?