Sunday, September 4, 2011

Magpie Tales: we can do it

Photo prompt provided by Magpie Tales
The old truck was up to its rusty rear axle in gravel, but Dad wasn't about to ask for help.
"Come on," Mom pleaded, "if you won't let me call a tow truck, at least let me call the guys down the road. You know Ed and Elroy have that big tractor. In low gear, it could pull a diesel locomotive."
"And I know Ed and Elroy have better things to do with their big tractor than pull me out of a hole I got myself into," Dad replied. "Sure, I know they can do it, but they'll laugh themselves silly at the same time. Now look," he said, "I have an idea."
Mom rolled her eyes as if to say, "Here we go again!"
Dad picked up a stick and began drawing in the dirt. "Now, if I..."
"Never mind sticks in the dirt. Come into the house, have a cup of coffee, and show me on paper. Kids!" she called to us, "you two come and help me understand what he's saying."
We had been observing, and talking amongst our two selves, and had a couple of ideas of our own, so we happily went along.
A pot of coffee, several glasses of milk, and what seemed like a ream of paper later, Mom was no closer to understanding than she had been when Dad was drawing with a stick. However, we had been watching, and listening carefully, eventually producing our own pencils and pointing out places where we thought Dad's plan could be improved upon.
"Hey," he said once, "that's a good idea."
And, "Well, I should have thought of that," he said a while later. "Now, if we put this here, instead of there, what do you think?"
"Right!" we said, together.
"Now this will move this way," I added, "and then the truck..."
"Then the truck will come out," said Dad.
"Okay!" we yelled, "let's go! Let's get 'er out."
"Wait a minute," Dad said, and walked over to Mom, who was stirring something on the counter. He kissed her on the cheek.
"Thanks, honey," he said. "You were wonderful. If you hadn't insisted I come into the house, I'd still be out there scratching in the dirt like a cave man. I don't know how I'd ever manage without your help."
Mom smiled, closed her eyes and kissed him on the forehead as he winked at the two of us.
"Let's go, kids. We'll have 'er out in a jiffy."
It wasn't quite a jiffy. The preparations took a lot of time, finding just the right materials, getting them into just the right places. However, we finally got the old truck out of the gravel.
We went back to the house, smiling and congratulating one another for ingenuity, talent, skill, brainpower, and anything else we thought might have contributed to the operation.
"I've just taken an apple cake out of the oven," Mom said as we trooped in. "So you get cleaned up, George. And you get into some clean clothes, you girls, then we'll taste some. Maybe one of these days, you two scientific females might even want to learn how to bake."

Fiction posted for Magpie Tales hosted by Willow.
To see how the photo, which Willow provided, has inspired other writer-bloggers this week, please click HERE!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful memory of times past (whether true or not)!!! I'd want some of that apple cake too!

R. Burnett Baker said...

Wonderful story! Goes hand-in-hand with my comment to Tess and the ideas of teaching the newer generations how to survive, Ed and Elroy notwithstanding!


Jim said...

Science pays better than baking, Kay. Good baking might find a sugar daddy pretty fast if one worked it right.
You 'stuck in the gravel' idea is great.

thingy said...

Yeah, fiction though it is, I would love to be in their kitchen. Lovely story. : )

Tess Kincaid said...

This is a wonderful story...I can smell that cake...

Reflections said...

Truly inspirational piece... fond memeries of this precious moment.

Morning said...

what a special one.

intelligence, talent, patience, and love win.

bless you.
keep it up.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a lovely tale you have woven, a little patience and brainstorming can solve any problem.

Your story reminds me of my dad and a couple of similar situations. I'm still not much of a baker.

Jackie Jordan said...

It's always a pleasure to see a short-fiction response, and a wonderful story, at that.

Brian Miller said... read and def rings with some memory...can i have some of that apple cake now...smiles.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Kay: Love the flow to your writing; reminds me of a movie. It's a very natural style which is quite readable and uplifting!

jabblog said...

This has a nice feel to it, Kay, and proof that working together can solve problems quite satisfactorily.
Nice family!

Tumblewords: said...

Where there's a will,... I love this story!

Jo Bryant said...

What a great story. It bothers me though - that I assumed these were boys all the way until the end. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

Good story... The family that think together, and execute it together will surely get it done together... Nice one here!


Trellissimo said...

Can't beat brainpower...

Lucy Westenra said...

What can one say but "Mmmmmm . . . "

ShonEjai said...

Excellent story! Very well written!

Margaret said...

What a wonderful father and husband... thanking his wife and listening to the ideas of his daughters. Very heart warming.

Anonymous said...

Very cool and well written story. I know that guy, by the way. Except the guy I know probably doesn't have the scientific mind; he's just too stubborn to ask anyone for help. Well, he used to be like that, anyway.
My entry for this prompt: