Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Thankful, by Ash Reynolds

“Got no checkbooks, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks – I’ve got the sun in the mornin’ and the moon at night.”

― Irving Berlin

Thanksgiving Square, Dallas, Texas

From my blog (I called it an “Online Journal” then), The Daily Epiphany, Monday, March 01, 1999.

Lunchtime

It’s lunchtime on Monday, the first day of a new month.

The calendar might say it’s still winter but you’d never know by looking around. The temperature might get to eighty today but it’s ’round seventy-two right now, as perfect as can be. Candy gave me a dollar and I found seventy -some cents in the floorboards so I could afford two bean burritos. So I drove to the little park near my work and am sitting at my green picnic table. The winter sun burns down through the leafless trees, warm on my skin. It also washes out the screen of the laptop, hard to see, hard to type; but that might be my only complaint. Even my pager, my ever present belt-bee, is quiet today, I hope he stays that way for awhile.

Two little girls are at the new playground with their mom. It’s sort of a cheap, little playground, but the girls don’t seem to mind, they’re giggling up a storm. There is this green spiral pipe, set vertically around another central pipe. I think it is intended to be used as a ladder. The girls are small enough that they can slide down this spiral, spinning ’round and ’round.


“OK! Here I go!” one calls out and twists down, spinning like a loose wingnut on a bolt.

I wonder what about this day these little girls will remember when they are my age. The spiral will be a tall tower, not a six foot piece of pipe. Will they remember the weather? Of course not. I never thought about the weather when I was little, never thought about if it was hot or cold or raining or snowing. Well, I guess I thought about it if it was snowing. That was something special.

I splurged yesterday and bought myself an insulated-stainless-steel-spillproof-tapered-on-the-bottom-to-fit-most-cup-holders drinking cup. It was an impulse purchase, on a display in the aisle when I went out to buy some drain cleaner. When I found out it cost twelve dollars I almost put it back. I can afford it, but I’ve been well conditioned to the “thousands of starving third world children that can’t even afford a plastic spill-proof mug, let alone a stainless-steel one,” feelings of guilt about spending more that five dollars on something that I don’t actually need.

But I bought it anyway.

There’s a little blue paper, a flyer, on the ground by the trash can, let’s see what it is.

It’s from a local church, the Praise and Prayer Notes from yesterday. The scripture on it is from Revelation which is usually not a good sign, but this little note is fine.

A list of things to be thankful for:

  • C… N… is back from Russia and feeling better,
  • D…K… is recovering from a triple bypass,
  • J…A… has been accepted at Multnomah Bible College,
  • B…E… says that L… has been seizure free for 6 months and is driving again.

This is followed by a list of things to pray for:

  • M…S… is six months old and may need surgery, pray for the doctor’s appointment on March 15th,
  • R…P… has had an asthma flareup,
  • S… W… needs sale of property and finances for a wedding,
  • J… B… died in a skiing accident ten days ago.

I think I’ll praise this warm, quiet hour. The feel of the sun, the sound of the birds. The cheap, spicy burrito. My steel cup of ice and Dr. Pepper that doesn’t leak.

I think I’ll pray for those two little girls, pray that in forty years they remember how happy they were sliding down that green spiral. I pray they don’t lose those giggles.

And a piece of flash fiction for today:

Thankful, by Ash Reynolds

from love letters magazine

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