Thursday, May 10, 2007
In the Beginning . . .
The interior of the white, craftsman farmhouse was as bland and empty as the lives of the people who lived inside it.

He’d fallen into his life, without giving it any thought at all. He ran the wheat farm owned by his parents. The house belonged to them, as did the crops, the equipment and even the livestock. What little money he made outside of the family dole was through bartering and trading his belongings. New things – campers, cars and trucks – would appear in the driveway then disappear just as fast, each time adding a little cash to his pockets and, perhaps, temporarily making him feel worthwhile.

When he couldn’t produce the capital for his buy and sell ventures, the reality of his life crept back in. It was during those times that he ran. The small town bars knew him well, as did the police who regularly hauled him off to the drunk tank to sleep it off.

Sometimes, he disappeared only for an evening. Other times, he was gone for days. Eventually, always, the phone would ring and we’d head off to the jailhouse to pick him up, or he’d catch a ride home with the Sheriff who boarded his horses in our barn. What followed his homecoming was never a relief. He was a dry drunk and his periods of sobriety were dark, fearful times.

* * * * * * * * * *

She came to Eastern Washington to earn a degree, fully intending to return to the city and set out on her own. It was the late sixties and she paid attention to The Women’s Liberation Movement, picturing herself entering the business world, living independently and not needing a man to feel fulfilled. Though that dream seemed dead now, she still dressed the part, even while cleaning house, mending her husband’s work clothes or watching soap operas. She fit into the Polouse County landscape like a cactus on a ski slope. How she came to be a farmer’s wife probably had more to do with expediting the escape from her own mentally ill mother than any sort of life’s desire.

She resented her mother-in-law’s nearly constant overbearing presence and had trouble relating to any of her relatives and friends. They seemed content with their lives, while her own was an exercise in concessions and sacrifices. The difference between her and them, she determined, was children. As a bonus, she considered, adding a child to the family might force her husband to step up to the plate – and spare her the embarrassment of ever having to confess his sins to anyone; least of all to herself.

By happenstance, these people became my parents . . .

[This sits here as a cliff-hanger because it is the beginning of a book. I’ve decided to take the plunge and put my story out there, in its entirety, damn the consequences. I mention this only to explain why bits and pieces of what I’m putting together, like those above, will likely appear here once in a while. ]

Labels: , ,

Rhonda Ruminated at 8:26 PM | Permalink |

16 Ruminations:

  • At 2:48 AM, Blogger Kim Ayres

    I'm hooked. My page turning fingers want to know what happens next

  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite

    Rhonda, you are a gorgeous writer. I'm happy for you!

  • At 3:22 PM, Blogger Charlie

    Two lives full of frustration and discontent told in a few short paragraphs; your writing is simply mesmerizing.

    It's a perfect beginning to a book, PT.

  • At 2:33 AM, Blogger Attila The Mom

    Lovely. Just lovely.

  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger kim

    Excellent Rhonda :) I love the beginning, im hooked already

  • At 5:34 PM, Blogger Mel

    Oooooh, Rhonda! I'll buy it!

    Write faster! ;)

  • At 2:23 AM, Blogger elizabeth

    I'm mezmerized.Can't wait to read more.

    You are such an awesome writer.

  • At 2:02 PM, Anonymous quinn

    very cool!
    Looks like a best seller.

  • At 2:22 PM, Blogger Kevin Charnas

    Damn it. This is going to be good, Rhonda. I'll look forward to whatever you throw our way and when the finished product comes out, I'll be buying it.

    Hey, you know about, right?

  • At 8:58 PM, Blogger Rhonda

    Thank you, everyone, for the kudos. Coming from the most fabulous writers in blogland, I am truly honored.

    Kevin, I do know about lulu because I just designed a book for someone who published via them. It might just be the perfect choice for me, since I plan on printing only a few copies =)

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Pendullum

    Beautiful, simply beautiful Rhonda.!!!
    Such a brave journey you are about to endeavor... and I am so grateful to come along for the ride...
    I would definitely want to buy your book...

  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger Mary Witzl

    I would keep reading too! So definitely keep writing.

  • At 5:28 PM, Blogger Jennifer McK

    What I loved about this was the mixture of compassion and detachment that you've revealed here. How you managed to do that with two people that birthed you is beyond me.
    Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to more....and I'll be buying too.

  • At 12:50 AM, Blogger Tempest Knight

    Very lovely! Made me want to keep reading and see where the person was going with all this.

  • At 6:57 AM, Anonymous mia

    Rhonda is writing a book. This is the best news I have heard all week! Divine!!!


  • At 2:20 PM, Blogger Rhonda

    Mia, Pendullum and Jennifer:: Thanks, a bunch.

    Tempest Welcome to my ramblings.