Thursday, February 28, 2013

Exposed; A Gnome’s Destiny

   He sat on the table, his face still sticky. At least the temperature was comfortable in here, opposed to what he was subjected to last winter with the cold air outside. The snow, that was the worst part of it. The cold, wet, penetrating snow, which seeped into his every nook and cranny, and froze him to the bone. It snowed so much last year that it reached above his hat rim. The white film would cover his eyes for weeks. He missed the sun during those times.

    It bothered him also, how they would come outside to shovel and not bother to clean him off. He could hear them talking about him. Always the same thing, “Poor Oscar, we should really bring him in.” or “Look at Oscar, he’s a mess”. Never the less, they never did bring him in.

    Then, as if overnight, the winds changed, coming from the south now, bringing warm salty air to brush off the layers of white firn. The sun emerged, growing warm at first, but with each passing day, it grew hotter and hotter. His skin grew dry and brittle and his beautiful green hat began to peel. He could feel the rosy circles on his cheeks fade away, while the soft white of his beard sun-bleached out and the original dull wood shone through. Once again, he prayed for a change in the weather.

     There had to be more to his life than this. Back at the shed, where the old man sat every day, creating his cousins, they all knew that joy filled days lay ahead. As the old man sat, lovingly painting a face, a hat, a coat, he would tell them stories of past friends who had gone off to join other families and sit in beautiful gardens filled with honeysuckle and sweet roses. He promised that life would be filled with laughter and the warmth of a family’s love. He told them that they were the magical ones, who healed lonely hearts and who brought happiness wherever they traveled.

     Here he sat, dry, peeling and scorched, Oscar, the shunned gnome. This family has humiliated him and he wanted nothing more than to complete the cycle and rot away. They didn’t need a gnome; they needed a pet rock. Although, he has witnessed this family, sitting on the large rock across the lawn, laughing and sipping cold drinks during the hot days. If only they had remembered him, sitting over here in the overgrown daisies, parched and praying for a bit of cool water.

     Even his attitude was beginning to rot. Magical gnomes were always happy (at least that is what the old man said) that is why their cheeks were always so rosy and round. Then why was he left standing in the dirt, alone, on the worst of days and nights. Once, during a big storm, a strong wind lifted him right off the ground. It twirled him round and round then spit him out in the middle of the family’s fields. They found him days later, front hand broken off, his little gold bell, missing. The mother carried him back to his spot, all the while telling him, he was due for a washing and a paint job. That was…actually, he could not remember when that was.

     He was giving up hope. Seriously, anticipating the next big wind, to pick him up and blow him straight into the next county. He could not handle another hot summer or cold winter, he just couldn’t.

     Then yesterday, yes, it was just yesterday, when the colossal miracle happened. The mother came outside with her son. They went straight over to Oscar. They were discussing his ragged appearance, but they were walking towards him. “Oh no!” he thought, “Was this it! Was he going to end up part of the fire wood pile?” Oscar’s heart raced and he felt more paint peel off as he tried to contain himself.

     Gently, the mother reached down and picked him up, cradling him in her arms. “Poor Oscar.” She said sympathetically “We are going to get you back in shape”. She began to brush the dried dirt off his face and looked deep into his eyes. “Sorry, we let you get so rundown.”

    Oscar tried to smile but his wood was so dry he was afraid of cracking. Then he saw the boy open the back door and for the first time in his life, Oscar entered the house.

   He sat on the table, his face still sticky. He had been washed, dried, primed, and painted. The mother and son had done the whole thing in two days. Two whole days, of absolute, attention and loving for Oscar. When they finished, he had a beautiful, blue coat with a black belt, pewter trousers, and handsome black shoes. His warm little cap had also been painted pewter to match his pants. The best part was his smile and round rosy cheeks were back. He was happy.

   They had discussed putting him back in the garden, but changed their minds when the father came home. He was so amazed with Oscar’s transformation, that it was he who decided, that Oscar becomes an indoor gnome. “After all,” he said, “Norman is an indoor gnome”.

   Oscar didn’t know who Norman was, and he did not care. Never again, would he suffer the wilds of the great outdoors. Never again, to have extreme temperature changes. He was going to be an indoor gnome.

   The family invited friends over that night for dinner and the house filled with laughter and happiness. Everybody noticed Oscar and admired his new garments. He thought he could not be any happier, until later that evening, he was lifted from the table and brought over to a windowsill. There on the sill sat a small gnome in green and red. This was Norman and they became friends instantly.

   The old man had been right. His life, from then on was filled with laughter and the warmth of a family’s love. They were the magical ones, who healed lonely hearts and who brought happiness wherever they traveled.

Exposed; A Gnome’s Destiny by E. L. Gross copyright 10/3/2012

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Word To The Wise

   I would like to leave a short note - everything that I post on this blog whether it is cover images, stories or my personal posts is copywritten and recorded. The books and their covers have recorded isbns and can not be reproduced without my permission. Thank you. E. L. Gross

Sunday, February 24, 2013


   It snowed again today, but I truly do not want to discuss this. We stayed in and decided to check out the movie Argo. Wow!
   I have to tell you that I am not a fan of Ben Affleck. As of right now, he has gained so much respect from me, not only as an  actor but as a director also. This movie was so intense, scary with its realism and deep that I actually found my self holding my breath in the last 15 minutes.
   Ben Affleck portrays Tony Mendez  a CIA operative,who led the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. I remember watching the news with my dad and so many of these scenes brought back the horrors and fear that we felt for those people who were being held hostage while Iran retaliated for the U.S. giving shelter to the deposed Shah.
   Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber and Bryan Cranston are some the other big name actors in this movie, but every actor deserves recognition for an  amazing job. Affleck as a director pulled their strengths and has created a very impressive movie.
   Here is the synopsis from Wikipedia;
   Militants storm the United States embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, in retaliation for the US sheltering the recently deposed Shah. More than 50 of the embassy staff are taken as hostages, but six escape and hide in the home of the Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor  (Victor Garber). With the escapees' situation kept secret, the US State Department begins to explore options for "exhiltrating" them from Iran. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), a CIA ex filtration specialist brought in for consultation, criticizes the proposals. He too is at a loss for an alternative until, inspired by watching Battle for the Planet of the Apes on the phone with his son, he plans to create a cover story that the escapees are Canadian filmmakers, scouting "exotic" locations in Iran for a similar sci-fi film.

Great Film!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Winter Wonderland?

   Today is February 21, 2013 which means that in one month it will be March 21, which means it will be the first day off Spring.
   I have always been a true lover of the Winter, Spring and Fall but never of Summer. Winter is gorgeous with fresh snow and crisp temperatures. I live on the side of a mountain in a tiny town in New Hampshire, this to many means glorious, sun filled days of skiing down mountains filled with fresh snow. To me it means, sitting by the fire, watching a great movie and watching the snow fall.
   I love winter so much that my dreams of retirement in 10 to 15 years (sounds like a jail sentence) was to move to Alaska. Alaska is fabulous with its small towns, plentiful wildlife, and multitude of majestic views. We traveled there and I fell in love. I am writing a book that takes place in Alaska and one of my favorite shows "Northern Exposure" (watch this show if you have never seen it, a real keeper but hard to find) takes place in Alaska. My husband is always willing to try anything, my son said he would never visit except during the summer. My dream has always been there and to me it made sense.
   It made sense up until this winter. We were having a horrific snow storm, with lots and lots of snow, crazy cold temperatures and howling winds. My husband was sick but was still determined to start the shoveling. Our shoveling is not just the front path, it means the back porch so the 3 dogs can get out, it means the path to and around the hot tub including the cover so that it doesn't break, it means doing a path to the generator so it will work if we lose electricity, it means clearing an area in front of the horses stalls (if you can get down to the barn) so you can open their doors and let them out. As I said, my husband was determined to shovel, so we bundled up and headed outside.
   After four long hours of this, we were achy, cold and very tired. I put my shovel down and looked at my husbands frozen face, huffing and puffing, he asked me if I was alright? I just looked at him and told him straight out that there was no way in hell that I was moving to Alaska.
   He laughed and said how about the Florida Keys (he knows I would never live in the state of Florida, but the Keys, I can deal with). I picked up my shovel, smiled at him and said "The Keys it is!"
   Thank God, Spring is only one month away! If it snows again, I am staying in bed till it melts!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'll always love you (food that is)

  After five years of not traveling, my family is finally going away. We are heading to Cancun during a school vacation and I thought it might be nice if I tried to lose a bit of winter weight.
   As I have mentioned in older posts that I LOVE to eat. Doesn't matter much what it is, healthy food, junk food, in my mind, food is food and I just want to eat. So I put a moratorium on myself and have convinced myself that eating Special K for breakfast, snacks and lunch truly fills me up. Obviously, I am crazy, because my brain is actually yelling at me to have a cheeseburger.
   I also decided it was time to get back into doing my yoga routine and my Wii Fit. The Wii Fit almost had a stroke when I got on it and did a body test. It gave out this horrible "OH" and then proceeded to tell me just how overweight I am. It also informed me that by carrying this much weight brings me to the age of a 57 year old. NICE, since I just turned 50 last month this made me so depressed, I wanted to go eat!
   For three weeks I worked out five out of seven days, watched what I ate (yes, Special K), and made very healthy dinners and no bad snacking. When I did my body test again, I had lost 2 pounds. The next day, all I did was work out and drink water and I gained one of those pounds back.
   I quit! If someone knows of one of those fabulous miracle weight loss tricks, let me know, I really need to be able to fit into a bathing suit come vacation time.

Meanwhile, I run around the house singing Fat Girl to the tune of Batman. Take care!