Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Visit From Saint Nick by Clement C Moore

Last year before Christmas, I posted one of my favorite Christmas stories, The Gift of the Magi. This year I would like post another favorite that is more well known.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
‘Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound,
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
and laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Bird is the Word

   So I haven't written in awhile, with running the elections in November and Tax Billing, work has been busy. Home life is just as busy. My son is going to driving class alot, and we have to practice with him, alot, Thanksgiving, well, I do not have to tell you how life keeps you busy.
   I do hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, especially now that the next holiday season is upon us. We haven't even had a chance to get our holiday cards done (the picture that is).

   I am going to backtrack to Thanksgiving though. Our neighbor raises white turkeys. So we decided that we would provide the bird for the Thanksgiving feast at my sister-in-law's meal. This bird was a 30 pound bird. He was enormous! He wouldn't fit in my sink so that I could Kosher him. My husband, ran to the store (which is a good 35 minute drive) and bought this humongous bin. We put it out on the deck on the table and filled it with ice cold water and kosher salt.
   Now when you Kosher a bird, you have to make sure all the extras are completely out and off of him. Namely, you have to cut the wings off, the extra skin by the neck, lungs, heart, gizzards and anything else that truly doesn't belong. This ain't no Perdue, baby!

   So, the next morning after he had soaked overnight, I took my special shears and my largest pan outside to the porch. Now, you might say that a 30 pound turkey, only weighs 30 pounds, Wrong!!!!
A 30 pound turkey, that has been submersed in ice cold, salted water weighs alot more. I had the worst time getting him out of the water bin and draining him. Thank God he was outside, because, everything was soaked with salted water, everything. I kept having to run into the house and defrost my hands under warm water.

   I finally finished cleaning my bird, emptied the water bin, and filled it up again with ice cold, salted water, and got that miserable son of a b---- back into the bin. He sat for another 24 hours in the water and then once again, I had the joyous job of lifting/draining him and placing him in my fabulous pan standing up. Have you ever tried to make a 30 pound bird stand up? I then covered him inside and out with Kosher salt, like a blanket of snow. We both got to rest for 3 hours. After all the blood had drained from the sucker, I managed to get his butt back into the bin full of fresh cold water and let him sit for another six hours.

   Koshering is a pain in the neck, and much, much easier with a small bird, but it is worth every painful memory. Once he was done koshering, I brought him inside, prepared him for cooking and at midnight, popped him in the oven fully stuffed. I have NEVER messed up the cooking of a bird and I believe this to be because of the whole koshering process and the fact that I am anal about basting Every half hour.

  Needless, to say, when the bird went into the oven at midnight, my husband and I took turns every half hour basting the miserable thing. It was almost like having a newborn baby again, but not all the joys that come with it. At 8:00 the next morning, I took him out, let him sit for an hour and then covered him up nice and tight for the long trip down to Massachusetts. We even had to put a seat belt on him.

  To wind this whole thing up, he was Yummy! perfectly cooked and Yummy!

   I hate Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sixteen Candles

For my son's upcoming 16th Birthday I wanted to share my favorite video again. It was made three years ago but it's still my favorite video and hope you enjoy it also. It does have music so turn on your speakers!





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Cut Above The Rest

   Back in August, my husband and I went away for our five day vacation in Great Barrington, MA. This year we decided to have a day of us. We planned haircuts, shopping, a manicure for me and he enjoyed his very first pedicure.

   It was a great day but something happened that day that I have had to live with for the last two months. A very BAD haircut!!!!

   My husband made the appointments at a place that we had been to once before and received great haircuts. He was with the same guy and because the girl who had taken care of me had left, he took the word of the salon and scheduled me with a girl named Anna.

   I was a bit nervous going in, first of all, it wasn't with my usual hairdresser (back home), Jen, and second of all, who was this Anna?

  We went to the salon for the appointments and Paul was taken immediately while I waited for Anna to show. Shortly after my scheduled appointment this girl walks in. She looked about her, said "Hi" to the receptionist, looked at me then proceeded to head to the back of the salon.

   As soon as I saw this girl, I knew it was Anna, and I wanted to either throw up or cancel the appointment. When she walked into the store, she was a mess! Her hair hadn't been brushed or washed in what looked like several days. Her makeup was streaked down to the top of her cheeks. She had a kinda Kiss (the band) after a bad night look. She was yawning her had off (from sleeping on her friends couch the night before) and complained of a bad headache (let me guess, hangover?)

   I went through with the haircut because my husband had kept saying to me before we arrived "that she may be the best stylist, I've ever had!" Wrong!!!! There I sat in Anna's chair while she hacked at my very thick, curly hair with a razor. No scissors, just a razor!

   When I was done, my hair was so butchered, that it stood pretty straight, very thin and very Brillo pad, dry. I was very upset, but you can't report a rape of the head to the police. So we paid and left.

   Today, I went back to my hairstylist, here at home, Jen. She, of course, couldn't believe that I had cheated on her and then couldn't believe what this girl had done to my head.
   Thank God for Jennifer! After a half hour (not counting the color) Jen had my head full of waves and a cute shape!

   Thank you Jen, you have saved my head!


Thursday, September 27, 2012


So here it is, the reason I have not written in my blog for so long.

I have become a victim.

A victim of the TV! It was like being trapped in a deep dense pool of quicksand. As soon I stepped in its path, I was quickly sucked in and no matter how hard I struggled, it was to no avail, I could not escape, the shifting mass formed around my body and smothered me. Finally, I stopped fighting and succumbed to my fate.

Revenge! My fate is that I have become immobilized by the TV show Reven8e!

My sister-in-law has been telling me for a year now to watch this show. I of course, didn't. Then two weeks ago, she finally won! Reven8e had hit Netflix and there was no reason for me not to at least watch the first episode. Oh Dear God! One episode and it was over for me, I had to immerse every free moment (ask my annoyed husband) whether it be on the big screen TV, my computer or even my Ipad, I had to watch Reven8e!

There are 22 episodes to the first season, and I watched each one as if my life depended on it. Not only that, after each episode, I found the need to call my sister-in-law and discuss the episode in detail!!!

Sunday night at 9:00pm, I know where I will be, in front of the big TV, with my sister-in-law on the phone watching the best show on TV!!!!!

If you haven't seen it, here is the link
Watch it, I dare you not to get stuck!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Good Year

    A few years ago, I was home sick with the flu and bored to tears with the TV. I finally found the movie "A Good Year" on one of the stations. It was probably halfway into to the movie when I came across the channel but decided to watch it anyway.
    I have to tell you that after I finished watching the movie I immediately went on to and purchased the movie. Even though I had missed most of the movie, I knew it was a keeper! It is based on Pater Mayle's book "A Year In Province" and is one of the most enjoyable movies to be watched. The best part is - it's not a chick flick, men love this movie also!!!!

    Directed by Ridley Scott (whom I love) "A Good Year" stars Russell Crowe (Yum) as Max, a no holds barred London bonds trader who has never heard of the word vacation. When his Uncle (played by Albert Finney, again, whom I love) dies and leaves him his estate, a vineyard in the south of France, Max decides to travel back to the vineyard where he spent much of his time with his uncle. But alas, it is not for rest and relaxation that makes Max travel, he plans to sell off the estate and make a bundle.

  The glory of this movie is how Max is given a chance to live life at a less manic pace than which he is used to and finds a beautiful woman and American cousin to boot.

   I have watched this movie a hundred times since I first bought it and have lent it out to others even more! A Good Year, A Great Watch!!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Girl With No Shadow

The Girl with No Shadow: A Novel (P.S.)I just finished reading this book and wanted to share it with you! The Girl with No Shadow is the sequel to the book Chocolat by Joanne Harris.
     It takes place four years after Chocolat ended with Vianne and Annouk living under the new names of Yanne and Annie. Many new characters are introduced in this book, Rosette (Vianne's four year old daughter) and the enchanting Zozie.
    Vianne is again making her wickedly delicious chocolates and with the help of her new found friend, Zozie, they turn the Paris chocolate shop in to a thriving business.
     Safe and comfortable in her new life, Vianne soon begins to learn that mischief is a foot and Zozie maybe casting some poisonous spells.
    This story is a real page turner that makes you lust after homemade chocolate truffles with each page (I actually made my husband stop at a chocolate shop and buy a Big box). If you haven't read Chocolat - then read it or see the movie, with Juliette Binoche and Johhny Depp (ooh la la) and go straight on to this one.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Old Cape Cod

   Good Morning All,
   As soon as Friday afternoon hit, my husband and I thought that we would skip out of work early and head down to Cape Cod to visit his sister and brother-in-law. We had both packed the night before so that getting out of the house would be quick and easy. After saying goodbye to the house sitter and warning the 3 dogs to be on their best behavior, off we went.

   I have to back up for a moment, on Weds night my husband had surprised me with tickets to the Red Sox game and dinner down the North End. It took us (normally an hour and half ride) three and a half hours just to reach Boston and by then we wanted to kill ourselves or get drunk. We chose skip the game get a drink then head off to dinner.  I hate driving in Boston now (and this coming from a girl who lived, worked and drove in Boston most of her younger life).

   So, on Friday, when we were deciding which route to take to get to the Cape we chose the slightly longer route to avoid Boston during rush hour. As soon as we hit the highway (rt 495) we were thrilled to see all the cars lined up going 5mph. So it took us about 4-1/2 hours to get to the Cape.

  But it was worth it. Yesterday we were on the beach all day and last night had a great dinner! What to do today!

Happy Sunday All!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Guard

   If anyone is looking to spend a nice quiet Sunday watching a movie, check out the movie "The Guard".
   It stars Brendan Gleeson (Safe House, Harry Potter series) as an Irish copper, Gerry Boyle, who chooses to take the easier way, by wisecracking his way through life.
  Don Cheadle (the Iron Man movies, Ocean's 11,12 and 13) plays FBI agent, Wendell Everett, sent to Ireland in pursuit of some international drug dealers.
   When Gerry's partner is murdered, Wendell and Gerry are swept up the the detective work of finding the murderer and the the drug dealers.
  Very entertaining! Action filled plus a nice comedic script.
  Watch it, you'll love it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yay, The Weekend!

     Today, as a Justice of the Peace, I will officiating a wedding down by the lake. This is very exciting for me. The Bride and Groom have chosen to take their vows on the rocks of Lake Massasecum. (Let's pray that I don't fall in!)
     I have designed the ceremony around their vows, exchange of rings and the joining of sand with a special sand ceremony.
     This isn't the only special event this weekend. Tomorrow, My husband and I will drive with my son's 4 friends down to my son's camp on visiting day. Yay, it has been a month and mommy is having child withdrawals.
     I wish we could bring his dog, who also seems to be suffering from Harry withdrawals. Our friend is coming to spend the day here at our home to keep all the animals company and take them out every once in awhile.
     Hope everyone else has just as an exciting weekend and keep your fingers crossed that I don't end up swimming in the lake today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross (Finale)

Stopping abruptly, John wiped the sweat from his forehead. He peered backed at Lilith, who seemed to be sleeping soundly. She must be heavier then he thought for him to sweating so profusely. He looked up at the blue sky that had appeared through the small crack of tree line above. “Thank god, the storm had stopped, and it was beginning to warm up,” he thought. Then he noticed the trees that surrounded him were quickly dropping their heavy masses of snow. Water droplets fell to the ground all around him like a soft shower.
    Dropping the rope of the sled, he unzipped his jacket. The temperature had risen considerably in the last hour. He removed his hat from his clammy head and again wiped his forehead. Looking around him, he realized the snow on the ground was also shrinking. It was now only ankle deep. He heard birds chirping nearby and smiled.

“Lilith, are you awake?”
    She opened her eyes, agitated that he had disturbed her concentration. “Yes John, I’m awake. Keep going, we are almost there.”

Picking up the rope, he looked at her again. “How are you feeling?”
    “Better. Please keep going.”

    He was hoping that the cold snow that he had applied to her burns had helped ease the sores, but she was right he had to keep moving. “Funny,” he thought “wrapped up like that; she looks like an old lady.” He saw her eyelids twitch suddenly and he turned to push on.

The slight breeze that brushed his face smelled sweet and fresh, like the smell of freshly mowed grass. He pulled on the rope and the sled seemed to slide gently forward. He looked towards the light that peeped through the treetops ahead. The sun, it had to be the sun! With great hope, that filled him with a renewed energy, he began to walk faster.
    He could see the end of the tree line. “We are almost at the road. Hold on Lilith, we’ll be there in just a few seconds.” Now, John was running. He didn’t care anymore if the sled was bumping around too much; he knew that they had finally reached the road. The opening up ahead grew wider and wider as they approached. It was so bright with sunlight that John began to squint. He ran towards the glittering light with growing excitement. Reaching the end of the woods, they were encompassed in a luminous halo of sun. The heat warmed him instantly and he was blinded from the extreme brightness.

John let the rope drop as he cupped his hands around his eyes. Green, so much green, then he realized they were on a dirt road and fields of grass spread out before him. Sweet smells of honeysuckle, lilacs and grass mixed in the light wind and John instinctively drew in a deep breath.
    He tentatively took a step forward and then another. His eyesight was adjusting and he took in the scene before him, the large white farmhouse, and the rolling fields with grazing livestock. He could see scattered fruit trees laden with fat ripe apples and pears. He knew this home. He had grown up in this home.

He saw the front door of the house open and a man stepped out onto the porch. They starred at each other from across the distance. The man turned and yelled back towards the door “He’s here, come on out. He’s here!”
    John smiled as clarity reached his mind. The man who came down the steps and was now racing across the grass towards him was his father. His father, who had passed away five years ago of cancer, was running to meet him. He saw the women come from the house. His Mother, Gran and of course, his Leslie, his beautiful Leslie, they were all smiling as they quickly descended the stairs.

John heard a noise to his right and quickly turned. Lilith stood next to him watching the sight before them.
    “Lilith, what are you doing up?” He turned to look behind him but the sled was gone. Only a small thicket of trees where the driveway disappeared into lay in their wake. He again looked at Lilith. “Who are you?”

She smiled her queer little smile and pointed towards the fast approaching man. “Go now, I have brought you home.”
    He took a step. “Are you an angel?”

She laughed at this. “I am Lilith.”
    John paused for only a second, and then ran towards the loving arms of his family.

    The five men, led by the State Trooper had reached the sight of the dilapidated cabin. There lying deep in the snow, against the remains of the doorjamb, was the man. His head tilted back against the pack on his back, his eyes lay shut as if he had just sat down to rest. Clutched in his arms was a thick notebook. Bending down the Trooper pulled the book from the man’s frozen clutches. Brushing the snow from it, he saw the neatly printed words “The Perfect Story”.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Perfect Story - Part Six

  Lilith watched as he pulled the sled through the knee-deep snow. He had wanted to head back the direction he had originally come from, but she had wailed that going north was the quickest way to the road. He was struggling with the rope on the sled. Maybe it was time. She had never had this much difficulty changing someone but he was different. His circumstances were different.

  Shifting in the tight blankets he had wrapped around her, she concentrated on his thoughts. He was exasperating, always thinking about the silly book he was writing. She needed to know more about him, not the story he was writing. Funny how his thoughts drift so much, now he is thinking about her and her wounds. Why does he care?
  Then with a sharp clarity, she began to see deep within him, beyond the book. Like a twisting maze, his life began to unravel in front of her. The cloud that had hid his thoughts from her began to clear, and she could see the profound love for his parents and the childhood, full of warmth and security, spent at the family farm in a small town.
  There was the large, white home with its wraparound farmer’s porch, and a two person swing gently rocking in the breeze. Acres and acres of land spread out to left and right of the home while cows grazed unobtrusively among the horses. Behind the house, the woods reached far up the mountain. Syrup buckets and taps could be seen scattered throughout the trees. A large red barn and sugar shack were down the path towards the right fields. A long twisted driveway led away from the home towards another thicket of trees.
  Three women held baskets, full of raspberries, in their arms as they meandered up the path towards the house. The older woman, whom he called Gran, swatted the bugs from her basket. His mother, in the middle adjusted the basket on her right arm and with the left wrapped her arm around the younger woman’s shoulders. A beauty, this one was. With her long blond hair swaying to and fro as she walked. Her dark brown, eyes lit up as she smiled towards his mother. She said something and the three women laughed in harmonious unison.
  When she concentrated on the younger woman she could feel the dull stab of pain cross his heart. The pain of someone who had loved then lost that love very abruptly. The woman’s name was Leslie and she remembered her. Lilith remembered her from the car crash several years back. The young woman had died instantly, and with no remorse, had gone on to her final destination. She and John had been sweethearts through high school and college. They had been engaged to be married when the accident occurred.
  At once, Lilith realized that she had struck gold. She had found the way and it would be so easy. John had stopped pulling the sled and turned to look at her. She feigned sleep and he once again tightened his grip on the ropes and continued the trudge through the snow.
  It must be an easy transition, not this awkward footslogging. She checked to make sure that John was watching the woods ahead then she thought about spring.  The melting of the snows that filled the brooks and lakes, the warming of the earth as trees and everything around them began to come alive again. She thought about the animals coming out of hibernation and preparing to bring forth new life. She thought about the lovely little insects busily trying to pollinate all the newly bursting flowers and spread the wondrous colors throughout the fields. She worked hard to bring this closer with each of his steps, not as hard as forming the storm, but it had always been easier for her to procure more destructive powers, then creating beauty.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Typing Day

As you can tell by the Title of this post that today was indeed typing day. Yesterday, I was able to get some good writing done and planned on finishing it today. Key word in that sentance is Planned! My darling husband came in and asked if I would take the day to help him clean the boat and get it into the water.
So, my writing has been pushed off till Saturday (a rain day).
To all of you who send me notes, or stop me on the street, I'm sorry this has taken so long but at least I finally have the computer up and running again (only took two weeks on that!)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Virus vs Part Six

This small note is coming to you from my darling Ipad. I will have to ask you to please forgive me for any missing words and spelling mistakes since sometimes the Ipad likes to take matters into it's own hands.
My computer of only a few months has become infected with a lovely virus and will now have to spend a few days at the doctors. Until then, I have decided to write Part Six of The Perfect Story on paper (the old fashioned way) and then will transfer when a healthy computer is returned back to me.
Please reread parts one thru five and don't give up hope on John and Lilith!
Thanks, E. L. Gross

Friday, April 6, 2012

Patience Really Is A Virtue!

Hi Again, So sorry not to have posted Part Six of The Perfect Story but I have been very busy with my new position at work and attending classes. I do have two...count them TWO days off next week and plan to write (and clean house).
I have been thinking about it and I guess you could say writing it in my head. Thanks to all who keep checking back to see if it is posted.
Happy Easter and Passover to all! Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Please Be Patient

Dear Readers,
  I ask you to bear with me in waiting for Part Six of The Perfect Story. I have been very busy tending to other matters and have not had a chance to put Part Six down on paper. I also, want this to be a great addition to the story not just something that was plastered in too keep my following. So please be patient, Part Six will be forthcoming shortly! Thank you so much, E. L. Gross

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross (Part Five)

  At last, John grabbed his notebook and intently began writing. Lilith watched as he went from erratic storyteller bouncing his ideas off her to focused writer. Chuckling to herself, she went back to stirring her stew. As she watched the swirls, the spoon made in the pot another image formed in her mind. Men, at least five of them were coming. She could see them in her mind, clear as day, in the woods. They were searching, the storm had finally lightened, and they were searching for a man. The lead male was wearing a trooper hat; he bent down in the knee-deep snow and then turned to the men behind him. Pointing further into the woods, they trudged forward. They were coming and they were only a few miles away.

  Lilith turned from her vision and starred at the man sitting in her cabin, absorbed in his writing. "It is time." She thought. With a deft hand, she flipped the pot so that the boiling contents spilled out onto her. With a loud screech, she stood, huddled over in pain, grasping her hands to her lap, all the while screaming in agonized cries.
  John rushed to her side. Seeing the blisters that were already forming on her hands and arms he scooped Lilith up and placed her over his shoulder. Swiftly he ran to the front door and pulled it open with his free arm. Laying her down softly at the front door, he gathered up some snow and tried to pack it on to her arms. He lifted her wet skirt gently and saw the ugly red welts covering the lower half of her thighs. Again, he grabbed snow and covered the area.

  Lilith's cries slowly turned to soft mewls. John again lifted her body, brought her inside, and placed her on the pelts. "Lilith, do you have anything here for burns?"
  Through the intense pain, she shook her head back and forth. John left her side and went to the nook. A small basin of water, some roots, and cooking utensils were the only things he could find. Shaking his head and swearing under his breath, he tore through her belongings one more time. "Lilith, I have to get you to a hospital. You have second degree burns." Grabbing the small basin and some cloths, he returned to her side. "Lilith, did you hear me, we have to get to a hospital."

Stay Tuned for Part Six
(Copyright 2012 by E. L. Gross)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross (Part Four)

  "Lilith, that's a pretty name."
  Her obsidian eyes looked deeply into his. "Interesting, I have never heard anyone say that before."
  "Lilith, I appreciate everything you have done for me but I must be getting back to my home and job." He squirmed a bit and then heard her soft, melodic laugh. Did he amuse her? He realized then, that she was still watching him.
  As John looked back at her, again he felt as if he was being pulled and spun about. Her pupils seemed to grow larger, rotating, pulling at him. Everything around him grew blurry, he felt trapped in a vortex of spinning, black water. The whirlpool seized him, sucking the breath from his lungs. Down he fell in to the dark cylinder. He flung his arms trying to claw his way out. Nausea swept over him and he closed his eyes tight to stop the spinning. In the background, he heard her pleasant-sounding laugh, at first so soothing but then it changed and grew deeper. Opening his eyes, her face appeared within the blackish vortex, smooth and sweet. Her long blond hair was waving about her face while her lips were slightly parted. As her laugh took on the gruffness and deepness of a man, so did her face change. Small lines appeared and quickly became deep wrinkles. The soft contour of her jawline seemed to stretch and become more pronounced and the hair that blew around her was now white. Only the eyes remained their deep, black pools. Her laugh became deafening and the spinning blackness increased speed. Squeezing his eyes tight and clamping his hands tightly to his ears he felt that his head was about to explode.
  Then everything went black.
  When he awoke a few hours later, he once again lay on the bed of pelts. "What the hell was that?" He thought. He sat up and looked around the room. Lilith was in the small kitchen chopping something with a knife.
  When she saw him sitting up, she quickly put the knife down and rushed to his side. "John, Oh my, you had me worried. One minute, we were chatting and then you suddenly looked very sick."
  She reached out a hand to touch his arm but he flinched and swiftly pulled it away. He could not look at her face directly but had noticed her skin was smooth and lovely. Rubbing his head with both hands, he tried to clear his head. "What happened?"
  "Oh, John, you fainted! You were chattering on about something, but you seemed to be growing green in the face the more you talked. Then you pressed your hands to your ears, let out a horrible scream and fainted dead away. I was so frightened! Are you feeling better now?" Her hand still hovered close to him but she did not try to touch him again.
  This time when he looked up at her face, he saw only true concern written all over it. "It was so odd. I mean, it was like I was having a nightmare but I was awake."
  "I am making a rabbit stew; maybe you just need a good meal." This time when she placed her hand on his arm, he did not flinch. "Let me go finish putting the stew together, so I can cook it." She stood up and rubbed her hands together.
  John watched her head back to the kitchen. He could not understand why at times she made him so tense and off-balance but at other times, she was like a mother hen, comforting and safe. His strange dream, or whatever it was, had felt so real, so horrifying, but now thinking back it had to have all been a dream.
  She came back with a medium sized pot filled with her stew. Removing the pot with the tea from the stand, she placed the stew pot on it and began humming, quietly to herself as she stirred the stew slowly.
  Curiously, he watched her. "How long have you lived here?"
  Lilith stopped stirring and thought for a few moments. "I'm not sure how long it has been. It seems like an eternity!" With this, she gave a lilting laugh and went back to stirring.
  "Where is my backpack? I haven't done any writing since the snow started and would like to work on it a bit if you don't mind?" John stood up and looked around.
  Lilith pointed towards the bed. "I tucked it underneath the bed. Go ahead the stew will take a bit. What are you writing about?"
  John began to tell her the work he was creating. She laughed as he became more and more animated with each twist and turn of the story. She was the only person he had shared his idea with and found it exciting to get them finally out of his head.

Stay Tuned for Part Five
(Copyright 2012 E. L. Gross)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross (Part Three)

  John sat upright to study her closer. Her hands seemed less wrinkled as they cupped the mug closely to her chest. "A trick of the light" John thought. Shaking his head to free any cobwebs he leaned back on one elbow.

  "Is something wrong, John?" She turned her face directly towards him and for the first time he noticed her dark, onyx eyes. So large and so dark, deep pools of obsidian that pulled at him and engulfed him with the mystery buried within.

  Startled, he looked away. "No. No. Well, actually, yes! Could I have my clothes? I feel awkward sitting here naked like this." Again, he pulled the pelts up, closer to cover his chest.

  She placed her mug on the floor beside her and slowly got up. Again, the fragility and stiffness seemed to creep into her movements as she stood. He watched her as she crossed the room, slightly hunched and murmuring quietly to herself.

  It was a small room, fit for one, which held a tiny bed, a dresser and in the right corner; there was a small nook, which appeared to be a kitchen area. Besides the rocking chair next to him, he noticed only one other piece of furniture, a chair. Dried herbs hung from the beams, giving off a slightly sweet fragrance. Pulling open the top drawer, she removed a small bundle from it and made her way back to him. As she approached the light of the fireplace, her posture slightly improved. She placed the bundle on the rocking chair and then headed towards the door.

  "I will go get more wood while you dress." Taking a fur pelt from a hook by the door, she draped it around herself.

  John turned his upper body towards her. "Is the storm over?"

  "No, it has been raging for days now. Don't worry; I keep the wood in the lean-to right by the door." As she opened the door a blast of cold air and snow rushed through the opening, pelting everything in its path. Quickly, she went closing the door behind her.

   John jumped up and grabbed his clothes. They were clean and smelled sweet like honeysuckle. "How long have I been here?" As he dressed, he looked around the room for the wash bucket. He realized that he too smelled sweet. Had she bathed him? He reached a hand to his chin but found that his skin was smooth. It disturbed him that she not only bathed him, but also must have shaved the growth that had started from his few days in the woods.   

  The door opened and the rush of the storm once again forced its way in. Quickly, he ran to help her. As he pushed hard on the door to close it, he saw the that the snow was at least two feet deep. The winds whipped the snow back and forth creating a blinding whiteout. Shoving, with all his strength, he got the door shut and placed the latch on it.

  "This storm is insane! How long has it been snowing?"

  She straightened from placing the wood and began to remove her pelt. Her blonde hair filled with static and crackled as she pulled the pelt from her body. "It had stopped for two days while you slept but it started up worse last night."

  "So, how long have I been here?" Clenching his fists he shoved them deep into the front pockets of his jeans, he walked towards the fireplace. "And why did you bathe and shave me?"

  "Five days. You had a horrific fever, when I found you. I bathed you to bring it down. Since, I was cleaning you I decided to get your face all freshened up also. Really John, you seem to be getting a bit agitated."

  "That's another thing!" He yelled. "How do you know my name?"

   Laying her pelt over the rocking chair, she turned towards the fireplace and placed more logs on to it. Taking the cloth from its peg, she picked up the pot and poured more steaming liquid into their mugs, and then motioned for him to come sit. "You spoke aloud quite often while you were sick. Now come, you are still weak from the fever, sit, and have more tea."

  Feeling foolish, John slumped down to the pelts. "You're right. I'm…I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I guess I am just out of sorts. One minute, I'm outside stuck in a storm the next, I'm here in your cabin." Shaking his head, he picked up his drink and drank a long slow sip. "Well, you know my name so what is yours?"

Peering at him from above the rim of her cup, her eyes twinkled. "I am Lilith."

Stay Tuned for Part Four
(Coyright 2012 E. L. Gross)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross - Part Two

  Fireworks were going off somewhere in the distance. John could see the muted glowing bursts and then they would fade. With such clarity, he remembered being on the sandy beach of Cape Cod and watching the 4th of July fireworks display with his parents. With every explosion, his mother hugged his little body tighter and whispered "oohs and aahs" in his ear. He had been six years old and the bursting of the colorful spirals made his head spin in excitement. As they spread out in to the night sky, lighting everything up, they would change from reds to blues, then yellows and greens. Then slowly, they would trickle to the earth and disintegrate in to nothingness. His mother's lap had been warm and secure and he felt safe from any wayward sparks that might float down and land on them.

  He twisted his body and realized that he was laying down and something very soft was under his naked body. Burnt, orange, light warmed his eyelids. Opening his eyes, he saw that he had been lying in front of a large, stone fireplace. A radiating heat flowed from the flames that stretched out towards the chimney grasping for more oxygen.  There was a loud crackle, and then a pop as a log with its scorched underbelly gave way. The flames readjusted themselves and grew taller from the fresh burst of air.
  He almost dozed again from the overwhelming heat when his mind suddenly came back to life "Where am I?" Heavy pelts were covering him making it hard to turn his body. As he surveyed his surroundings, he became cognizant that he was in a tiny log cabin.

  "Ah, you are awake!" A melodic voice floated towards him and he perched himself up on to his elbows to see beyond the rocking chair that was to his left. An old woman was coming in from a doorway, holding a stack of wood.
  The woman walked towards him and gently placed a stack of wood on the ground by the fireplace. Brushing the chips off her clothes, she stood up straight, and smiled at him. "How are you feeling?" she said.

  John pulled the pelts to cover his chest and smiled wearily back at her. Confused, he said, "Where am I?"
  Again, the old woman smiled, and then reached on top of the mantle and took down two mugs. "You are in my cabin. Don't you remember getting lost in this storm?"

  All of a sudden, John remembered his trek through the woods. He remembered his frozen body, the bitterness of the storm, and his desire to give in to the cold. "The cabin, I'm in the cabin."
  Inside the fireplace was a cast iron stand placed to the left of the fire. Sitting on top of this stand was an old pot. The woman picked up a cloth and gently lifted the pot from its place by the fire. Pouring the steaming liquid into the two mugs, she returned the pot to its stand and placed the cloth on a peg on the bricks. "Yes, you are in my cabin. You had collapsed at my door, so I brought you in and placed you by the fire. Your clothes and body were frozen solid. In fact, I had to use a knife to remove your backpack and that was not an easy task. I felt it was best to lay you between the pelts for extra warmth."

  The old woman knelt down next to him and handed him one of the mugs. Picking up the metal poker, she poked the fire, giving it more life. Then she settled on the corner of his pelt and drank from her mug. "Drink the tea while it's hot."
  John took a sip from his mug. The liquid was hot but did not scald his mouth. It had been lightly sweetened and had a light fruity flavor. "Thank you, this is delicious. Actually, thank you for everything. I guess you can say you saved my life."

  The old woman chuckled, as she brushed a stray hair from her face the light from the fire made her glow. John noticed that her hair, which at first, he thought was gray, was actually blonde, with silver threads flowing through it. Her face, which had appeared to be old and withered, was really much younger than he originally assumed.

Stay Tuned For Part Three!
(copyright 2012 E. L. Gross)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Perfect Story by E. L. Gross (Part One)

   The white storm was unrelenting as the wind whistled and whipped unremittingly at his frozen ears. Snow had begun to cling to his eyelashes making it harder and harder to blink. He had given up on removing the heavy falling snow from his face since his gloves already coated with the heavy slush made it worse. Each step forward, grew heavier and heavier, making his legs ache and his body grow increasingly more tired.  The backpack he wore was becoming substantially heavier under the weight of all this snow. The path he had been following had disappeared hours ago and now he pressed slowly forward through the blinding whiteness, hoping and praying for the road or a camping hut to appear before him. The layer of sweat that had originally been keeping him warm was now chilling his body and dulling his senses. If he could just sit for a moment and rest but the raging storm around him would not permit an opportunity.

  This was going to be his breakthrough into the book publishing industry. All he wanted to do was publish the perfect story before he turned thirty-five next year. He had gotten this great idea in his head six months ago about a man's journey northwest through the woods right after the Civil War. He planned for it to contain all the special ingredients, excitement, adventure, mystery and a bit of romance. He had already completed much of his research but this trip through the woods would give him the feel he was missing for living in the great outdoors.
  Everything had started out so flawlessly when John decided to take this camping trip through the Notch. His boss at the Verizon store let him have his two weeks of vacation later in the year. The man at the outdoor store was extremely helpful in packing his backpack. The writing was going smoothly so far and he knew this trip would be the clincher in getting the details correct.
  He had done overnighters before with friends climbing the trails and heading home the next afternoon, but this was his first trip alone. He had checked the weather, which was supposed to stay cool but calm. Now here he was caught in the middle of a blizzard and it wasn't even mid October.
  Things had turned bad yesterday when he had lost his footing on the trail and slid quite a ways down a slope that lead to a small pond. He managed to stop the skid but not before his legs entered the water. Trying to wiggle out of his backpack, he slid on a rock and again lost his footing and fell back first full into the pond. Dragging his wet body and soaked backpack out of the water, he made the last miserable mile to the campers hut where he was able to get his things partially dry. He hadn't run into any other campers and for the first time since he had started his trip three days ago, he felt as if he had made a terrible mistake.
  The wind and snow tore at his body as it tried to push him backwards. Gritting his teeth, he leaned ever so slightly forward hoping this would detract  the onslaught of the storm, but this lessened his gaze of the evil white goblin trees that were perfectly camouflaged in this wintery mess. His hands and feet were on fire with prickly cold and he kept trying to wiggle his fingers and toes as he trudged on.
  For a fleeting second, he thought he caught a whiff of burning wood. "I'm going insane," he thought. There was no way he would be able to smell anything out here in this storm, not with the wind blasting and ripping at him from every direction.
  John tripped over something under the snow and managed to keep his balance by grabbing for the closest tree trunk. Although the trunk saved him from falling in the shin deep snow, it did deposit a large clump of snow onto his hat and shoulders. The snow on the tip of the coats neckline slid into the warmer folds to his neck and made him cry out in anguish. His leg muscles were burning, making each step forward seem like his last.
  He could not go any further. He knew his body was shutting down from the cold. If he just sat down, right here in the snow, he could mercifully go to sleep and let the elements have their way. He had read that with hyperthermia, there was pain at first, but as your body froze your mind took over and put you quietly to sleep. The pain had already started, so maybe he was already halfway frozen.
  The smell of burning wood hit him full in the face like that of ammonia being waved under someone's nose after fainting. He peered through his ice-crusted eyelashes but could only see the white torrents pelting back and forth. Pushing harder forward, he heaved his throbbing legs ahead one-step at a time. Then he saw the outline of the snow-covered shack. He saw the curling fingers of smoke climbing out of the small chimney. It was twenty feet away but he had made it. Warmth and safety from the storm lay straight ahead.
  With all his might, he willed his legs to keep going. His breathing was erratic and dizziness began to swirl about him like a drunkard. Stretching his arms painstakingly forward, he reached for the door jam and pulled his body closer like a lead weight. With enormous relief, John coughed, sputtered, and then slid to the ground.

Stay tuned for Part Two
(copyright 2012 E. L. Gross)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

  Today is my birthday and I turned 49. No big deal, next year is the scary one, but there is something I miss very much. Every year when my Dad was alive, I would call him as soon as I woke up and say "Today is a special day! Do you know why today is a special day?" He would spit out some crazy answer and laugh.
  I know this is very childish, but I loved to do it every year on my birthday. It was our thing. He has been gone for 7 years now and I miss doing that so much! I talk to him everyday (when I am alone - otherwise I would look crazy) but I wish we could do our shtick again.
  Anyway, Dad where ever you are, today is a special day, do you know what day it is? I love you. I miss you and you will always be the "wind beneath my wings."
Love, your #2 daughter!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


OK, So I have no excuses for not writing except that I had been sick for almost three weeks and the holidays are exhausting. Oh Yeah, one more thing, I have been feeling exceptionally lazy.
My son and I were laughing about that last night when I returned home from work and he from school.

My husband had to go to a meeting and we were trying to figure out what to do for dinner. I spent so much time during the last two weekends cooking and washing dishes that I wanted nothing to do with the kitchen.

It was decided that subs from the local pizza place was the quickest and easiest way to deal with the situation. So down the mountain we drove (in slippers) in the freezing cold.

Is anyone else as lazy as this?