City Fish

The restaurant I work for gets their fish delivered fresh daily.

Everyday at 11:00 a.m. the phone rings.

Everyday, including Sunday, and they call at 11:00 a.m. like clockwork.

You can count on it.

I answer the restaurant line to hear a voice on the other end say, “City Fish!”

“Good morning, City Fish!” I reply.

“Just calling to see if you need anything today.” The voice on the other end of the line states.

“Hold on.” I say, as I walk into the restaurant’s kitchen with the phone to my ear.

“City Fish!” I announce. The chef stares at me as if the idea City Fish is calling to get our order comes as a shock to him.

The kitchen staff begins scrambling through the coolers and discussing what we may need to order.

I wait.

The man from City Fish waits.

To break up the dead air I say, “You know, maybe if you called at the same time everyday, we would be prepared for this.”

I hear him laugh into the phone.

Finally, we manage to get our order together and I am able to repeat it and hang up the phone.

The following morning at 11:00 a.m. the phone rings.

“City Fish!” I hear a voice say as I pick up the phone.

“Good Morning City Fish!” I reply, “Let me get to the kitchen.”

“Guys, City Fish!” I call out, as everyone stands like deer in headlights.

“One minute.” The chef states, as the usual conversation and commotion among the staff ensues.

“Okay, we’re working on it now.” I say with a laugh, “Do you like to fish?”

“Yes, I do.” Replies the man on the phone.

To kill some time I ask, ” Have you every heard Brad Paisley’s fishing song, “I’m Gonna Miss Her?”

In the background, the kitchen staff is flustered, talking and opening and closing cooler doors, trying to figure out our order.

I can do a pretty good southern drawl as I begin to sing into the phone…

Well I love her
And I love to fish
I spend all day out on this lake
And hell is all I catch
Today she met me at the door
Said I would have to choose
If I hit that fishin’ hole today
She’d be packin’ all her things
And she’d be gone by noon
Well I’m gonna miss her
When I get home
But right now I’m on this lake shore
And I’m sittin’ in the sun
I’m sure it’ll hit me
When I walk through that door tonight
That I’m gonna miss her
Oh, looky there, I’ve got a bite!
By the time I finish two verses, the guy from City Fish is laughing his ass off.
“Do you get sung to by all of your customers?” I ask.
“No, that was a first!” He replies, with a chuckle.
I give him our order and we end our call.
I know I’ll be ready to talk to him again tomorrow, at precisely 11:00 a.m.
As for the kitchen staff, well, I’m not so sure…
I’m guessing I may have to provide some more “Live” hold music.
And, you know what?
That’s okay.
Life is too short not to have fun!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9aaEDzzW2E

 

I Love It When Karma Makes You Laugh Out Loud!

Today we went out for lunch with my mom. We always have fun with her because my mother is just amazing and a delight to be around… today wasn’t any different.

During lunch my mother shared a story that made me say, “I’m totally blogging about that!”

The story took place many years ago when my mother’s Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Frank both worked as toll collectors on the Connecticut Turnpike (I-95).

They had to drive their own vehicles to work because they worked opposite shifts.

One morning, my Aunt Evelyn woke up to find that her red Ford had been stolen from their driveway.

They reported the theft to the local police but the car was never recovered. Not being in a position to purchase a new car, they had to come up with another plan.

Everyday, Uncle Frank drove Aunt Evelyn to work in the morning, picked her up from work in the afternoon, then went to work his shift at night… only to repeat the entire process the next day.

Aunt Evelyn knew that this was a lot on my Uncle Frank. After a few weeks, she told him, “You don’t have to drive me to work anymore, I’m going to take the bus.”

And take the bus she did!

Back and forth on the bus from home to work and from work back home.

Weeks passed and turned into months.

On her way to work one morning, the bus slowed to stop at a red light.

Aunt Evelyn was sitting at a window seat, watching the morning hustle and bustle outside.

“Wait is that my car?” She thought, as she noticed a red vehicle parked on the side of the street.

She got off the bus to get a closer look and read the license plate.

It was her car!

She reached deep into her pants pocket and pulled out the car keys that were still on her key chain.

Slowly, she slid the key into the door and it unlocked.

Aunt Evelyn moved into the driver’s seat and put the key into the ignition.

To her surprise, the engine started with a roar.

You could say, my Aunt Evelyn “stole” her car back that day, or just “reclaimed” what was rightfully hers.

Feeling victorious, she drove to work in her own car.

I would have loved to have seen Uncle Frank’s face when Aunt Evelyn returned from work driving her red Ford and recounted that incredible story.

I think the only thing that would have given me more pleasure than that, would have been to have seen the look on the thief’s face when he walked outside and realized that the car he stole, had now been stolen from him.

Karma! I love it when it comes full circle… and I love it when it makes me laugh out loud!

 

 

I’ve Been Nominated for Humor Writer Of The Month!(Please Read, LIKE And Share From The Erma Site… I Mean, Help A girl Out.” Thanks In Advance!)

I am so shocked and excited to be nominated for “Humor Writer Of The Month” on Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop! If you’re too young to know who Erma Bombeck is, please Google her, she is a legend! I promise that she will make you laugh!

I’m not sure how you actually win this title but I’m calling on all my family, cousins (I’m Irish Catholic on my father’s side, so I have a lot of cousins) and friends. Please click on the link below, read, LIKE and share from the Erma site so I get credit.

Here’s the link:

I’d like to check you for ticks

Many thanks and much love,

Erin Cooper Reed 🙂

Men Of The World, Seriously?

Please don’t take this personally, but I have a bone to pick with you…

If you think that I’m about to say, “Please put the toilet seat down,” I’m not. I’m smart and actually capable of doing that myself… just sayin…

I live with four men, not to mention my son’s friends, who frequently sleep over, especially during the summer months. That being said, let me point out that all of you lift the cover and toilet seat during many bathroom visits.

If you’re following along thus far, let me ask you one question, “How is your vision?”

Let me answer that… Pretty damn poor.

I can not for the life of me understand why in the world you wouldn’t feel compelled to clean the rim of the toilet as well as the underside of the toilet seat for the next person.

ARE YOU BLIND, or are you just waiting for me to make it pristine for your next bathroom experience?

Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m pretty sure that you are as grossed out by your “bathroom experience” as I am.

What gives, and what is behind this power struggle?

Can we possibly call a bathroom truce?

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If not, I’m planning on starting my new diet by stopping in the bathroom and lifting the toilet seat before every meal.

Check back with me in a month when I’m thin… I think I might be onto something here.

You are ALL pissing me off, no pun intended.

Erin Cooper Reed

Note to self: Seeing that I’m raging right now… If I had to lift up the toilet seat EVERY time I went to the bathroom, you’d be able to lick it with no repercussions after the sanitizing I would willing do on your behalf. That’s just common courtesy.

I just don’t get it… and maybe I never will…

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take That, “Garbage Can Nazi!”

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You may remember my post about the garbage can wars with my next door neighbor, whom I call the “Garbage Can Nazi.” If you missed it, here’s the link below, just to get you up to speed.

https://mylifeiswear.com/2017/06/09/the-garbage-can-wars/

Just for the record, he never moved my garbage cans again.

Unfortunately, during our three-week battle, the Garbage Can Nazi did weed-whack all of my sunflowers… well, all except for one.

Did I mention that sunflowers are my favorite flower? There isn’t another flower that truly replicates the appearance of the sun. Just like a sunny day makes your mood brighter, so does a beautiful sunflower.

My one surviving sunflower has grown to be at least 8 feet high with a trunk as thick as a baseball bat.

Personally, I think this little sunflower, grown from seed, is with me and flourishing just to spite the Garbage Can Nazi.

Here is the photo I took today.

 

Take that, “Garbage Can Nazi!” I win!

 

And in the future, never piss off someone who writes a blog or underestimate the power and beauty of a single sunflower.

Just sayin…

Erin Cooper Reed

 

Write Late, Sleep Hard, Dream Weird

Have you every had a weird dream so powerful, it just kept going on even after you woke up to hit snooze and to fall back to sleep?

I had one early this morning… and it left me running late for work.

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This doesn’t mean the dream was good or even made any sense, it just means it was too strong of a dream to just shut off, or for it to fade away.

In my dream, I snipped off one of my fingers with something resembling wire cutters. There was no blood, no pain, and I simply held my unattached finger in my opposite hand.

Not only was I not upset, I really didn’t seem to care about the loss of my finger at all.

Buzz of the phone alarm clock.

Open eyes.

Hit snooze.

Back to the dream.

A woman in my dream mentioned to me I should really do something about my unattached finger.

It was then I remembered I had a cousin who accidentally cut off the tip of her finger when a window slammed down on it. She put the tip of her finger in a glass of milk to preserve it on the way to the ER. (Okay, this part of my dream, this memory oddly enough, is true.)

In my dream, I put the my unattached finger in spaghetti sauce, but that didn’t work. Then I placed it in a cup of milk, but the spaghetti sauce residue was swirling in the cup.

That’s about all I remember before I heard John ask, “Erin, what time do you have to be at work?”

I bolted upright, glanced at the clock and replied, “Now!” as I hopped out of bed.

“Now?” John asked, “You told me you didn’t have to be at work for another hour.”

“Well, when you asked me I was sleeping, now I’m late for work because I cut off my finger in my dream,” I stated, as I rushed to get ready.

When I left, John was standing in the bedroom looking perplexed. There was no time to explain.

I arrived at work half an hour late, and frazzled. As I passed by my boss, I said,”Sorry, I’m late, I cut my finger off in a dream.”

Strangely, he didn’t reply… in fact, he didn’t say a thing.

I guess after all this time he understands my uniqueness.

I wish I had a better story as an explanation… like, I’m still recovering after a late night of clubbing in the city, I had to stop and put my winning lottery ticket in my safe deposit box at the bank, or the installation of my new Jacuzzi took longer than I expected, but I always go with the truth.

All day long, this dream kept crossing my mind so I decided to Google it.

Dream Symbol Search Results:

To dream that your fingers are injured or have been chopped off denote your anxieties about your ability to accomplish some demanding task or perform in some waking situation.

“Accomplish some demanding task.” All I could think about was writing and publishing this book…

And now, as I sit at my computer keyboard, I’m really concerned because I’m going to need all of my fingers for that!

My Life I Swear.

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Adventure Begins

I wrote my recent four part series within twenty fours hours and worked a double shift at my job. Although I’m planning to include some of my best posts, I’m feeling pretty confident that I can write a minimum of fifty new stories (That won’t appear on my blog) for my first book.

I was just texting with my friend, Bob.

Bob, is a gifted illustrator and I hope that he’s up for the challenge of designing the book cover.

So much to learn, so much to do… but I’m ready for a new adventure.

Stick around for the ride and I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

And, if anyone knows a good literary humor agent, please put in a good word on my behalf, I will be forever grateful!

Bob seems to think that I have an angel watching over me…

I hope he’s right!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

Part 4: The Power Of Generosity – The Nun

John and I met her while taking our dog, Max for a walk in our neighborhood.

It was the flourishing gardens, and their vast contrast to her small, ramshackle house that originally caught our eye.

We often saw her out in the yard, digging, planting and watering at all hours of the day.

She was a short, robust, elderly woman, probably around seventy years old.

We would wave as we passed her house and she would wave back to us.

The first time we spoke to her, John had stopped to comment on all of her beautiful flowers and thriving vegetable gardens.

She told us her name was Cristiana, as she smiled with not only her mouth, but also with her sparkling blue eyes.

John and I both liked her immediately.

As the months passed, our dog walks led to personal tours of Cristiana’s garden, laughter and many conversations.

“Cristiana likes me, Erin, but she really seems to have an affinity towards you.” John said one day as we passed her house on the way to take Max to the park.

“Do you think so?” I replied, “Because, I think there’s something really special about her, it’s like we have a connection.”

“Well, it shows.” John stated, and I smiled at his comment.

We didn’t know much about Cristiana, other than she was single, Polish and could uproot a rhododendron with an ax like no one you’ve ever seen.

Cristiana, was funny, caring, soft-spoken and for the most part, a pretty private person.

By the time our friendship had reached the one year mark, we though it strange that she would invite us into her yard and share her passion for gardening with us, but never once invited us into her home.

There was a lot we didn’t know about Cristiana, but as with any friendship, we accepted it for what it was and carried on.

Eventually things in our life began to take another direction.

Our neighbor across the street, Madlyn, had an ailing husband.

Then we learned my mother’s cancer had returned.

Life became quite hectic, as we spread ourselves thinly between my mother’s and Madlyn’s home.

Max’s long walks to the park became a thing of the past and our visits with Cristiana ceased.

I felt bad. I worried about Cristiana living alone. I also worried about how she felt about us no longer stopping by to see her.

The seasons changed and we still hadn’t stopped over to visit Cristiana.

It was a hot summer day when we decided to walk Max to the park. Probably not the best decision when it’s over 90 degrees, but for some reason we went anyway.

I felt a twinge of guilt and as we passed Cristiana’s house and headed down the hill to the park.

Thankfully, she isn’t outside. I thought, feeling both embarrassed and as if I had abandoned a friend.

On, the way back up the hill, John, Max and I were panting from the heat and dying to get back home for a cold drink.

I glanced up when we reached the top of the hill and stopped in my tracks.

There was Cristiana standing at the end of the driveway wearing an old house dress and eating a handful of cheese bobka.

Max began running towards her, dragging John behind on the leash.

Before we knew it,  we were standing right in front of Cristiana, while Max jumped and yelped his greeting. She patted Max on the head as she tore off a piece of cheese bobka and tossed it on the ground, to Max’s delight.

“It’s so good to see you!” I said, as she gave me a hug. “I’m sorry we haven’t been around, but life has been hard.”

“I know it has,” she replied. “Please come here, there’s something I want to give you.”

We followed Cristiana up the driveway and into her backyard, as Max happily lapped up the trail of crumbs from the cheese bobka.

On a table near the house laid a pile of beautiful, freshly cut flowers from Cristiana’s garden. Her hands worked quickly as she formed them into a bouquet.

“This is for you, Erin.” She said, as she placed the most enormous bouquet I had ever seen into my arms.

“Thank you Cristiana.” I replied, shocked by what just transpired.

“Those flowers are absolutely gorgeous!” John added. “Thank you so much.”

“Cristiana, do you have something cold to drink?” John asked. “Maybe a bottle of water? I think Max could use a drink too, especially after that cheese bobka.”

“I don’t have anything cold.” Cristiana replied, “My refrigerator died, well, it was old and I just have some stuff in a cooler on the porch.”

We talked for a few minutes, but we all knew that it was too hot of a day to stand in the sun.

As John and I made the long walk back home we became fixated on the fact that Cristiana didn’t have a working refrigerator.

“John, she can’t survive without a working refrigerator.” I said with concern, “There has to be something we can do.”

“We certainly can’t afford to buy her a refrigerator,” John said. “But I agree, we have to do something.”

“Well, maybe somehow we can… we have to find a way.” I stated.

Once back at our house, and after having a cold drink, John got on the computer and searched for a refrigerator.

“Erin, come here and look at this!” He yelled.

I ran to see what he was so excited about.

“Here’s a 4.3 cubic foot, dorm room refrigerator. Perfect condition. Five minutes away. Fifty bucks.”

“How big is that?” I asked.

“It’s one of those tall college refrigerators.” John replied, “We can fit it in my car and have it at Cristiana’s in twenty minutes!”

“Oh, please call!” I told John. “I hope that they still have it… I hope they’re home.”

Someone answered on the second ring.

They were at home and would be waiting for us.

We could pick up the refrigerator immediately.

I let out a squeal of delight!

“Let’s go!” John said, grabbing his car keys.

We got to the house in no time, it was literally five minutes away.

The refrigerator was in perfect condition and John and I were beyond thrilled.

“So, you have a kid in college?” The seller asked.

“No, we’re buying it for a neighbor up the street…” I began, as I explained the story.

We removed the accessories from the fridge and the seller helped John get it into the back seat of our car.

I turned to pay the seller for the refrigerator.

“Forty bucks will do.” He said, as he gave me a hug.

“Thank you.” I replied, “I really appreciate it.”

We arrived at Cristiana’s and carried the college refrigerator up the driveway and into the screened in porch.

“What’s this?” Cristiana asked with tears in her eyes.

“We got you a refrigerator,” John and I replied.

“Thank you,” Cristiana managed to say. I’m not sure if she looked more shocked or relieved, maybe it was a mixture of both.

Together we began moving food and beverages from the cooler as well as from the broken refrigerator in her small house.

“Are you sure you want this refrigerator out on the porch?” John asked.

“It’s better here.” Cristian replied, “There isn’t much room in the house.”

When the job was complete, Cristiana took me by both hands.

“Erin, I have something to tell you, that I haven’t told anyone since I moved here.” She said.

“You can tell me anything, Cristiana.” I replied.

“I’m a retired nun. I prayed for you, for this. I asked God for help and I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but I trusted him.”

I stood looking at her in disbelief.

“And there’s one more thing, you and John are the angels I prayed for. Thank you.”

 

I have thought about Cristiana’s words many times since that day. I’ve also thought of all of the coincidences, all of the things that so easily fell into place, and then I remind myself that there are no coincidences.

What I’ve learned about generosity, I learned through practicing it. I have been fortunate enough to be on both the giving and receiving end, many times.

True generosity comes from following your heart, giving outside of your comfort zone, even and sometimes beyond your means, logic or reasoning.

And I know this: don’t be afraid to follow the direction of your heart, it will never lead you wrong.

Much love and good thoughts,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3: The Power Of Generosity – The School Teacher

To say that the neighborhood wasn’t ideal, especially at dusk, was an understatement.

We drove past a few check cashing places, privately owned convenience and liquor stores, all secured with bars on their windows.

I pulled into a parking place and shut the car off.

“We’re going to a pawn shop?” Marc asked.

“Do you want to get a laptop today, or not?” I retorted.

“Yes.” Marc said, as he let out a long sigh.

We got out of the car and shut the doors, as I hit the lock button on my key chain.

“Well, let’s go in.” I encouraged.

Reluctantly, Marc complied.

Once inside, I was surprised to see how packed the store was with both merchandise, and people.

We approached the electronics counter and were greeted by a man covered in tattoos.

“I’m looking for an affordable laptop.” I stated.

“Well, take a look at everything on this shelf and let me know if anything catches your eye.” He replied.

I immediately spotted a small laptop on the third shelf. It looked to be in good condition, maybe even fairly new.

“Let me see that one.” I said, pointing my finger.

The man placed the computer on the counter in front of me.

I asked, “How much is this?” As I opened the laptop and turned it on.

“Two hundred dollars,” He replied, “but it’s over three hundred brand new.”

“I actually need two laptops like this.” I said, “Both of my sons need one for school.”

“Mom, there’s another one just like that on the second shelf.” Marc yelled, sounding excited.

The man turned and grabbed the second, identical laptop and placed it in front of me.

“Do both of these work?” I asked.

“They work, you just need to reset the passwords and do a factory reset on both of the laptops,” he replied.

“I have no idea how to do that,” I confessed. “Plus, it’s more than I can afford to spend.”

“If you buy two laptops, I’ll give you both of them for two hundred dollars,” he offered.

The price had piqued my interest, but what was I going to do about the factory reset and the passwords, I thought, hesitant to make the purchase…

My deep thoughts were interrupted by a male voice.

“Hey, Marc! Good to see you!”

I turned to see a middle-aged, well dressed man with a big smile on his face.

Marc gave him a high-five, then turned to introduce me.

“Mom, this is my computer teacher at school, Mr. Bradley.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Bradley. I’m Erin.” I said, as I extended my hand.

“Nice to meet you, Erin,” Mr. Bradley replied. “So, what are you guys doing here?”

“Shopping for laptops.” I said, “I’d like to get these two, but I have no clue how to change passwords and perform a factory reset.”

“I’d be more than happy to do that for you,” Mr. Bradley said. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”

The man behind the counter handed over power cords and quickly cleared a space where both laptops would be accessible.

Before I knew it, Mr. Bradley was hard at work resetting both computers.

What I didn’t realize was the entire process was going to take two hours. Mr. Bradley diligently performed his computer magic, as we watched and waited.

Just before closing time, both of the laptops were reset and as good as any brand new computer.

“Marc, your computers are just like you got them new out of the box. The first thing that you and your brother have to do is set up your passwords,” he said with a smile.

Marc was beaming as he thanked his school teacher and gave him a hug.

“Mr. Bradley, I can’t thank you enough!” I said with delight. “I feel like I should pay you for your time.”

“No worries, Erin.” Mr. Bradley replied, “It was my pleasure!”

“See you at school, Marc!” Mr. Bradley said, as he headed out of the store.

I turned back to the counter as the tattooed man said, “That will be two hundred dollars, plus tax.”

I took out the two hundred dollars that I had saved for an emergency. Then I counted out the tax from the remainder of the money I had left after our visit to Job Lot.

I paused for a moment as I watched Marc wind up the power cords and carefully gather both laptops.

We were both smiling, as Marc held his and his brother’s new laptops close to his chest.

My mind flashed back to the smile on the face of the woman with the EBT card, then to the tears, and the smile on the face of the once homeless woman, clutching her new tablet, as she waited for the bus.

It was dark as Marc and I hurried to get to the safety of our car.

On the way home, Marc was a flurry of joy and chatter…

“Mom, can you believe it? I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that Mr. Bradley was there… and we got these two identical laptops… and it was just what we had to spend! I can’t wait to use my new laptop and I can’t wait to give Rocky his! He’s never gonna believe this! Thank you mom!”

“You’re welcome, Marc.” I said, “Just know that when you give in life, you also receive in unexpected ways.”

“I know mom, I feel like that lady with the tablet did today, and it feels good!” He said.

“I’m glad, Marc.” I replied, “I hope that you always remember this day and all that you’ve learned.”

“I will, Mom. Can I be the one to give Rocky his laptop when we get inside?”

“Yes, Marc you can,” I said with a smile. “You definitely can.”

 

I can end this story here…

But sometimes stories don’t end, and certainly true giving never ends.

Get ready for the grand finale…

Part 4

Could you imagine doing something generous, for an ordinary person, who actually turned out to be a Nun…

Sometimes, you’re called to help another human being…

Or, unbeknownst to you… you may be the answer to one of their prayers.

Stay tuned for part 4!

Erin Cooper Reed