The Tomato Sauce Mishap

I in no way own the above Image- all credit belongs to the artist

There is an undeniable smell that lingers in the air that foretells of the upcoming dinner. The tomatoes bubbling and frothing their way to becoming the perfect balance of paste and water. Oregano and Rosemary tickle your nose welcoming you home.  The aroma that comes from homemade tomato sauce is unquestionable.  This sounds like a peculiar statement to make, but there is truth in it.  When you grow up in an Italian family, even if it is only in part, something is comforting in the smell, the taste, of the bubbling sauce. It was a tradition in my household to always have fresh tomato sauce when the meal called for it. I never tasted a “jar of sauce”, that is until I was about eight years old…

My parents received their annual phone call to drive down and visit a good friend.  This friend, though we saw quite often, liked to have one big party each year to gather with family and friends.  Joan picked one day in early fall, before any Holiday festivities began, to throw her dinner party. Each year my mother would warn me to act like I loved the food. Poor Joan, she was a terrible cook. Her gravies were as thick as jam, her biscuits were uneatable, and her roast beef always had the distinct smell of tainted meat. Everyone pretended that they were culinary masterpieces as to not hurt the dear sweet lady’s feelings. The lingering memory of those “Haute cuisines” will forever haunt my nightmares.  However, for my mother’s sake, and of course out of politeness my sister and I would “pretend” that we enjoyed the food.  We must have been great actresses for each year Joan, or “Aunt Joan” as we called her, believed our fake enthusiasm for her dinners.

I can never forget that one chilly Autumn Saturday morning, September 25th at 10:00 am to be exact when the phone rang. My mother was expecting Auntie Joan’s call, so it was no surprise when Joan began to chatter gaily on the other end of the phone. My mother listened politely as Auntie prattled on with the rapidity of Hummingbird’s Wings. Until suddenly my mother’s face fell, and she turned to look at me playing at her feet with the cat in tow. By the look on her face, I thought that something truly awful must have occurred.  And it did. My Aunt announced that this year’s dinner party was going to be a themed dinner party. But not just any theme it was to have a spread of Italian foods from all over the vast regions in Italy. My Mother ended the conversation quickly and hung up the phone.  

Then suddenly my mother sat on the floor in front of me. Looking me directly in the eyes as I kissed my cat who was squirming to run free, she said “ This year I want you to be an extra good actress, Aunt Joan is making Italian food, and no matter what it tastes like I want you to pretend you like it as much as mommy and nana. Now, I know I do not have to worry about your sister, so please follow her example.”

 It must be understood that I was not an intentionally fresh child; however, I could and still can be extremely blunt when I think that I am telling the truth about a situation.  As I said earlier Aunt Joan was a horrible cook, the worst food you would ever taste, but she tried so hard to make her culinary masterpieces.  It must be further understood that I was spoiled when it came to food. It would not be until this party that I would find out what boxed pasta was. I had my Nana who lived with us, made only homemade authentic Italian food, and mommy and grandma who made everything else to perfection. From French Cuisine to homemade Apple-Pie mom and grandma made it all.

When my mother married my father, my Nana taught my mother to make each traditional Italian dish. For those of you who have immigrant grandparents, you know that it is tradition to verbally pass down these recipes and it is of utmost importance to do it accurately.

My mother naturally was anxious, to say the least, as the party was approaching.  I was lectured and lectured on how important it was to be polite and to “put on my very best acting”.  Now I knew Auntie was a horrible cook, but I did not understand why my mother was making a particularly big deal out of this dinner party. The long-anticipated night finally arrived, and I was seated in between my older sister and my mother. The first course was presented, Spaghetti and Meatballs with an extremely red tomato sauce.  My mother held her breath as I took my first bite.  Tasting the bitterness that was welling in my mouth from the sauce, my eyes began to water; I could not do it, so I promptly spit it out.  Seeing my mother giving me daggers from the side of her eye, I claimed that it was just too hot. But that was not the truth, the truth was it was horrible, and it tasted rancid. I went to take another bite. My Aunt finally exclaimed “Oh I forgot the Parmesan cheese” and left the room. When I thought that the coast was clear I exclaimed to my mother; “Mama I can’t eat this I think it’s rancid!” I had just learned this word and was very excited to use it properly in the sentence, “There is something wrong with the spaghetti sauce and the noodles taste funny, and I don’t think it’s Aunt Joan’s fault this time! What do we do? Do we tell her!?”  Just then my mother clamped her hand across my mouth, as she was the only one to notice Aunt Joan had walked back into the room. It is hard to explain the yelling that ensued and the tears to follow from not only me but also my poor Aunt Joan. I honestly thought there was something wrong with the food! I did not know I was being impolite but I saw Aunt Joan had left the room, so naturally, I thought I was safe to speak freely.  I was wrong….  My mother tried to explain that I just never had noodles from a box or sauce that came from a jar, but I do not think that was much comfort to Aunt Joan.

That night when I got home, I had to write a three-page apology note.  I do not think I ever cried so much as I did that night, after accidentally hurting her feelings. I think it’s worth mentioning that Aunt Joan and I patched things up quite nicely. However, due to the mishap, Aunt Joan always had the food catered thereafter.

Until next time when I return to more storytelling, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

*** Note this story is in no way meant to offend jar sauce eating/making individuals it is meant purely as an amusing anecdote. ***

Goodbye 2020 Hello 2021

Dear Readers,

Happy New Year!!!! Here is a little New Years’ message from my sister and me, as well as a song from one of my favorite Christmas movies!  I hope you enjoy and I look forward to entertaining you with more stories in the coming year!

(I do not own this video. All rights belong to the owner, I found it on the internet.)

Until next time when I return to more storytelling, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

“Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.” – Clarence ~It’s a Wonderful Life

A Very Merry COVID Christmas

I in no way own the above image, I found it on the internet. All credit and rights belongs to the Artist/Owner

I grew weary of listing to “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” for the eightieth time that day. Not that I have anything particularly against it, however, there comes a time where even a good thing quickly becomes a steadfast irritant.  Scratching the surface further, I found that I was simply in a bad mood.  The question was why was I in a bad mood? The answer, I like most people this year, miss my family terribly.  In Christmases past my cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and friends would gather in the typical fashion for food, music, and ring in the birthday of our Lord and Savior.  This year, naturally, we cannot spend the holiday together.  The more I thought about it the more annoyed I became.  In a fit of aggravation, I turned off “Christmas Radio” and instead I turned to the melodic sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It was then whilst feeling sorry for myself that I began to listen to the “Blessings of Christmas – Hugh Bonneville (yes indeed of ‘Downtown Abbey’ fame) & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir”.  Now it was here that I began to listen to the heart-wrenching story of Horatio. I have pondered over whether to synopsize the story I heard or simply to provide you with the link.  I decided on the latter as I feel that I could not do the story justice.  So before I place the link before you and close on this blessed Christmas Eve, I will say this one thing more. This story was a reminder that feeling sorry for myself is nothing more than silliness, and a waste of time.  There are so many people in this world such as Horatio who had everything ripped away from him and still managed to find hope and light in this world.  He trusted. That too is what I must do is to trust, not in earthly things but heavenly things. 

I hope you find this story uplifting as did I and I hope that regardless of what may plague your heart this season that you may find hope, peace, and love.  To quote Tiny Tim, “God Bless us, everyone!”- Charles Dickens

Until next time when I return to more storytelling, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Grandma’s Gluten-Free Crinkle Cookies

(I in no way own the above image, I found it on the internet. All rights belong to the creator)

Dear Readers,

It is that time a year again when baking becomes a must and the smells of pies and cookies warm your heart as you prepare for the Holiday Season.  I will be honest with you; I have a sweet tooth! I would take a sweet any day of the week over something savory. Seeing how I am both French and Italian by descent I feel that dessert runs in my veins. Now my mother would say that I take after my dad in that respect. This statement is true; however, I feel that my true love of baking (and more importantly eating) comes from my maternal grandmother.  I spent many hours with Grandma in the kitchen “helping” her make various desserts for my sister, cousins, and me. 

She taught us how to delicately and precisely crack an egg and how to add a little bit of love into every baked good we made.  Cracking eggs was a particular favorite of my cousin Elissa and myself; there were many times when we would argue on “who got to crack the egg.” This always resulted in us cracking the eggs together, making it that much more fun.  So in the spirit of the Holidays and egg cracking, I present one of our favorite Christmas Cookie recipes, which I altered to be Gluten-free.

I wish you a joyous Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar (or beet sugar)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of your favorite Gluten-Free flour
  • 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar (for coating)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large bowl, Wisk (hand-whisk) the cocoa powder, sugar, and canola oil.
  • (Using electric Beaters) Beat in eggs one at a time, until fully combined.
  • Add in the three teaspoons of vanilla.
  • In another bowl, Wisk (hand-whisk) combining the flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture (Using electric Beaters) and combine until dough forms (be careful not to overbeat).
  • Cover bowl with wrap and refrigerate overnight (If you are in a rush then put the dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of four (4) hours. However, I find that the results are best when left in overnight).
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll 1 tablespoonful of dough into balls.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar! Coat each ball of dough in confectioners’ sugar and place onto prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes.  The cookies will come out soft however; as they cool they should harden.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet before moving them to your festive platters.

*** Side note I like to hand-whisk the dry ingredients until I mix with the wet ingredients. However, this is my preference, not a must…***

Until next time when I return to storytelling, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Happy Thanksgiving

I in know way own the above image. I found it on the internet. All rights belong to the owner.

Waking up to the smell of warm pies cooling, vacuums running, Vivaldi playing loudly over the noise of the Thanksgiving Day preparations.  What is a better way to start the day? Families gather, laughter, love, and joy simply fill not only the room but also each individual. Thanksgiving is the one day of the year where despite the commotion of the day’s festivities, there is an underlying peace.  What makes this day so peaceful?  Perhaps because it is a day where people without reservation give up their thanks. 

This describes Thanksgivings past, but what of this year?  After a year of complete and udder chaos can you still be thankful?  I think so, after a year of illness, death, loss of jobs and activities is just the time to be thankful.  It may sound strange to hear me say, as someone who, isn’t a stranger to tragedy; I know the significance to find happiness through the pain. Indulge me for a moment to think about this concept.

Helen Keller is such a beautiful example of turning adversity into a thankful heart.  Here is a woman who was deaf, dumb, and blind, the world was closed to her.  She knew very little that was outside of her own mind.  Until she was introduced to her teacher and eventually her friend and lifelong companion Anne Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan crated away for Helen to see, to understand, to be thankful.  It would be a long hard road for Helen to reach this point in her life, but she was successful.  I will not bore you with a history lesson. However, she is such a poignant character; her life is a beautiful example of what gratitude is.   I leave you now with her own words.

“So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied. “ -Helen Keller

Truthfully I am thankful for you, dear readers.   Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Oh the Sea, The Sea

(I in no way own the above image. It was found on the internet and all rights below to the Artist)

It washes over my face,

Tingling my cheeks as it passes.

Gently lifting my hair leading it in a frenzied waltz.

And what of that smell,

Ah, what a smell indeed, the smell of the brackish sea.

With one last billowy blow, it pushes forth its liquid hand.

Slapping me, as I lay upon the sand.

How it lightens my senses, restoring my soul

The salt and sand lead a merry dance with tickling waves,

They beckon me to come and play,

Though I yearn to join in their merriment, 

Too tense and careworn, not knowing where to turn.

I stop and listen once more to the sea that beckons me.

As if each wave, who knows my fears, seems to enter my ears

Drawing out each rumination to sea

Ah, the sea, the sea, that beckons me.

With each crashing wave, my thoughts are drawn to the sea.

I take refuge in the scene before me.

Calm rushes over

Is all hoping gone?

It seems to be,

Yet it is still before me.

Where do they go?

Why between each swell of the waves, do I return to the past?

Who holds my thoughts captive?

The sweetly singing sea reclaims me.

Ah, the sea, the sea, that beckons me.

Ah, the feel, the sound, the smell of the brackish sea.

By: Cheyenne E. Mitchell

The Blackbird’s Path

(I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet- all rights below to the owner)

What if I never existed? What if my life on this earth never began?  What if instead, my spirit merely looked in upon the lives that are led here? What would I find? I would find war, pain, love, hope, and hopelessness.

None of these are new questions, nor is this a new theme to explore.  Frank Capra explored this idea in “Its a Wonderful Life.” Nonetheless, it’s an important subject.

So, indulge me for a time, close your eyes now picture the world in which you exist, and imagine it as if you were never born; now tell me what you see? Do you see your job functioning just fine without you? Did you see the sunrise and set? Many of the material aspects of your life would function the same with or without you. However, what would be the greatest loss in this world if you didn’t exist?  What if you made a choice not to return to someone you loved? You.  Your joy, your love, your laughter, what makes you unique, would be lost and the world would be all the duller for it.   I would beg your indulgence further as I tell tonight’s tale with a theme that is by no means original.

He walked along a dirt-covered path, the fog lying thickly covering it. Kicking a stone with his tattered boots as he walked, thoughtless as to where he was going. He simply knew that he had to go. A sack can get quite heavy on your back when you have carried it as many miles as he has. Stopping to wipe away the dust that was caked upon on his temples, he looked around him and the vast quiet hills that surrounded him. There was nothing, not a sound that he could hear; his mind was lost in the restless thoughts that relentlessly hounded him. He tried pushing them out but concentrating on the sound of the blackbird’s call that was heard in the distance. For an instant, her smile stopped plaguing his thoughts as he listened to that bird. But that smile quickly claimed his thoughts again. He decided to follow the blackbird as it beckoned again off in the distance. What else had he to lose? He lost her by running away and now he felt unrepentantly lost without her. Picking up his sack that he carelessly tossed along the side of the path, he picked it up again and began to walk. The blackbird’s voice began to get nearer and nearer with every step he took. Suddenly he began running toward the voice that was ever beckoning. First, it was a brisk walk, then a slight jog then running with the rapidity of an animal with its predator in tow. He knew not why he ran with such pace; he just knew with each step he ran it was helping him to forget. The bird was now in sight, he ran faster and faster breathlessly as he tried to catch up to that tiresome bird. Abruptly the bird stopped flying, circling back around it landed in front of its pursuer’s feet. He stopped when the bird stopped, and they stared blankly at each other. The man was desperately searching the face of this feathered fellow hoping to find an answer to his questions. He didn’t know why he followed the bird, why he searched its face for answers, or why he felt that he would find refuge with this bird, all he knew was that he had to follow this creature. The bird now fluffed up its silky midnight plumage and hopped a few inches closer to the man. Cocking its head toward a thicket, he seemed to bay the man to follow him. The man understanding its silent speech obeyed the bird at once. The blackbird acknowledging the man’s willingness to accompany it flew and perched upon his shoulder. The chatty bird made noises that to the man seemed like human speech. This feathered creature not only knew but also anticipated the man’s every feeling and need. Anytime his thoughts began to wander back to his lost love, the bird, inherently knowing this would begin to urge the man further and further into the thicket. He stumbled as he progressed through the thick trees and grass until the travelers spotted an old oak tree towering overhead. It was a beautiful sturdy tree that spread and hung its wide branches covering the entire clearing where he stood. Bluebells, buttercups, and hyssop grew around the mighty oak’s field. The wind gently blew the scents of those flowers to him as he stood taking in the surrounding scene. The blackbird letting out one last call before flying from the man’s shoulder and alighting into one of the branches of that mighty tree. He was now feverish from exhaustion, he left suddenly the night before after lying to himself that he didn’t need or want her. He threw himself to the ground trying to block out thoughts of her. Fooling himself that he wasn’t ready for her; he tried to distance himself from her, first emotionally, and now physically. No matter how far he tried to remove himself it was all in vain. She plagued him by remembrances of her smile, laugh, and lively conversations. For the first time in months, he stopped fighting these thoughts and let them instead comfort him as he drifted to sleep under the weight of fatigue.

His eyes fluttered open and the inquisitive little bird now stood before him. The bird now seemed to be much larger than life. Certainly, larger than when he fell asleep. Was he still asleep and dreaming or was this somehow reality? He didn’t know, and in the very depth of his being he couldn’t figure it out. The bird much like the night before cocked its head to the side and seemed once again to speak, only this time its words were quite audible. It seemed to ask him “Why did you leave? You asked for her and she came to you? Are you afraid? She haunts your thoughts.” The man in disbelief of the height, audible voice, and mere presence of the blackbird startled him, to say the least. He rubbed his eyes and shook his head, but he did not run; he was fixated on this bird. “Am I bewitched?” he wondered. “No,” said the bird as if reading the man’s thoughts “You are not bewitched; I have come to help you.” The man’s mouth hung open in incredulity as he stared at the bird. “You have no answers for me?” asked the bird “well maybe we should see what will happen to her if you never return”. The man just shook his head in acknowledgment. He was rendered speechless. The bird rolled its eyes, if talking birds in the middle of a thicket may be allowed to roll its eyes. Bending low to where the man stood, the blackbird bent low and commanded the dumbstruck man to climb on its back. “Be quick about it,” barked the bird “we don’t have all night.” The man, not knowing why, and for a second time since encountering this bird, without hesitation, obeyed. The bird let out its now seemingly customary caw and flew off with the now terrified man clinging to its back. As the bird flew over the countryside to the city where the man’s dejected love dwelled, they seemed to get smaller and smaller including the man himself. By the time the blackbird landed on her rooftop the bird and the man were no larger than thimbles. “We stop here”, said the bird. Now sliding off his feathered companion the man and the bird peered through the slightly opened window of her apartment.

At first, the pair saw nothing but her cat lounging in a sunny spot on her carpet. The cat stretched its long furry toes through the fibers of the carpet upon noticing the newcomers. The cat cooed in only a way cats know how to do when they see something that they like. Cat approached the opened window, not to attack the strangers, but to talk to the now minuscule bird and its friend. “What are you doing here blackbird?” purred the cat and upon noticing the man it continued, “why did you bring that man here? He hurt my lady” the cat’s voice now became more of a growl feeling the need to defend her. “Calm down, cat” retorted the blackbird “he needs to know what he gave up, maybe then they will reconcile.” “Very well,” said the Cat, “I will tell you how your treatment of my lady has made her cry, and mope about the house. It’s terrible. I haven’t had a proper cuddle from her in weeks, and only halfhearted pets. Have you ever heard a human cry blackbird? Humans’ cries are terrible, not nearly as melodic as a cat’s cry.” The man let out a little sigh of despair upon hearing the news from the cat. “Yes, very well you should sigh,” said the cat  “well you both better come inside and see from yourself.” The cat moved out the way for the blackbird to pass but when the man tried to pass it whacked the man inside with one of its great furry paws and then laughed.

He breathed deeply when inside the familiar apartment, the familiar smell of bluebells, buttercups, and hyssop greeted and aroused his senses. He didn’t have much time to take in his surroundings, for suddenly he saw her.  The cat was right there was a listlessness about her. She was usually filled with light and laughter, but now her eyes were dull from crying.  She saw the cat sitting in its usual spot on the sunny rug, taking no notice of the newcomers.  Picking up her precious tabby from the floor and gently kissing it on its head she sat on her favorite chair. “Well cat,” she spoke at last, “we have had our cry, it’s time to move on”.  At first, the man did not pay attention to what she said he only closed his eyes and listened to the sound of that sweet voice that he missed so much. Then suddenly he stopped “What does she mean move on? With who?” The man now began to be agitated and angry.  “Why are you angry,” asked the bird? “Isn’t that what you wanted?

You told her you didn’t want to get ‘involved’. So why should you care if she wants to be happy without you? ”  At this, the man became indignant “Well because I care about her” snapped the man “that’s why she should wait”.   “Have you told her this?” asked the bird. At this, the man looked down at his feet and did not answer his feathered companion. The bird continued “Well then, why haven’t you told her how much she means to you?” “Because I am afraid,” said the man “I know my life will change, and I am content, besides I work too much…”

“You don’t seem that content to me…” said the bird “otherwise I wouldn’t have had to call you off your path and you wouldn’t have been running away, to begin with. I think its time that you went back to her don’t you think?”  The man admitted that everything the bird said was true.  The blackbird gave a nod to the cat, who was settling in for this tenth nap of the morning.  Blackbird put the man on his back and away they went back to the thicket.

The man could not recall how he returned to the thicket.  All he knew was that he was in the same spot as he was when he first fell asleep, only now the sun was shining brightly on his face. 

Had he dreamt it all?  The blackbird flew down from a branch and landed again at the man’s feet, fully restored to its height, and not uttering an intelligible sound.  It made its customary call before leading the man back to the path he started on.  The bird sat on his shoulder and stayed with the man until he returned to the edge of Town; they shared another long look before the blackbird flew away.  He knew wanted he needed to do now, he needed to find her before it was too late.

I need not bore you with the details of a young couple that “makes up” and has a happy ending.  However, I will leave you with this: sometimes the best things, the truest things in life takes time, sometimes it takes the hard road instead of the easy road and sometimes it’s a matter of trusting someone and having blind faith no matter what the outcome.

I hope you enjoyed tonight’s tale.

Until next time when I return to more storytelling, I remain respectfully,

~Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Jack’s Story

(I in no way own the above Image. I found said image on the internet and therefore all rights belong to its creator/owner etc.)

I have met a lot of people over the years, some were lovely, some were hurting and some…well… we won’t mention them. Though the COVID-19 virus has wreaked utter havoc in our lives it also has, dare I say have had positive after-effects.  Now, I am in no sense suggesting that the virus itself is a good thing, but merely that it has forced individuals to take this time to reflect. Perhaps it has made them face fears that they have been avoiding for a long time.  For my friend, Jack it has been exactly that, a time of bitter reflection.  Jack is now an elderly gentleman whom and I met as a child and we became fast friends. I never understood why Jack, a well-natured man with a hardy laugh and good sense of humor, was always alone, never married but yet longed for companionship.  I never knew that is until quarantine disrupted our lives.

Mid-way through the initial outbreak of COVID-19 he called the house to make sure that his “family” was doing well.  I was the only one home at the time and we began our customary chitchat until Jack broke down in tears. His voice was full of bitter regret.  I am going to tell you his tale now because he asked me to.

I will attempt to tell his story as close to his own words as possible.  He wanted this to serve as a warning to others, for as he says, “…the way I lived my life was no life at all.” So without further ado, this is Jack’s story.

It was the summer of 1960, “Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers was at the top of the charts and Jack was celebrating his 30th birthday.  While most young Bachelor’s his age typically went out to celebrate on their birthday’s Jack was hard at work.  My dear friend was to put it simply was a workaholic and was married to his job. On the eve of his birthday, a co-worker convinced him to “come out for a drink”, which Jack did so reluctantly.  As Jack’s co-worker prattled on about the cutie, Susan in Accounting, Jack’s mind wandered back to the stack of papers that he left on his desk. Jack began to nervously sweat as he thought about what his boss would say when he saw those papers. Jack was now looking at his watch nervously, desperately trying to think of a way to leave. As his eyes darted about the room they landed on “her”.  The “most beautiful creature he ever saw”.  Her golden hair was glistening in the few rays of sunlight that were still casting their glow through the open window. She noticed him as well. “Jack!” she called, waving and smiling as she did so. Jack was stunned for a moment, wondering whom this, to use his own words, “this beautiful creature, this goddess was.”

As she approached him, he realized instantly who she was, Ruby.  Dear, sweet, little, Ruby, he was always pulling her pigtails in grammar school. She had moved away during their last year of high school, but she recently moved back to town.  He was smitten with her then and he was smitten with her now.  He could live for days off of her smile alone. He chatted with Ruby for the rest of the evening and walked her home. The days, weeks, even a month went by and he couldn’t get the sweet Ruby off his mind. So, taking the slip of paper with the phone number that she pressed into his hand the night he walked her home, he decided to call her.  Jack asked her for a date that night and after that, they talked nearly every day.

However, as I stated earlier, Jack was a workaholic and he slowly started to distance himself from Ruby as he felt that though he loved her, he could not make the time for her.  Then his father fell ill. Now, before I continue with this story it must be understood that Jack is indeed a well-meaning man with a good kind heart, but he was a very private man.  Jack was in love before Ruby by a woman who cheated and manipulated him and now he was terribly afraid that if he got close to Ruby that she would do the same thing. So, Jack before he even gave Ruby a chance shut her out.

He pushed her away when all she wanted to do was be close to him, help him, and love him in return. To make matters worse he never even explained to her why he was so purposely ignoring her. Ruby tried to be patient, tried to be kind, but after constant rejection, she finally gave up and left without a word. Jack never saw her again.  He tried years later after his crisis had passed to reach out to her but it was too late. Ruby had moved on, married someone else, and started a family. Though she admitted she would never forget Jack she was too hurt to have tried to stay. Jack threw himself into his work even harder achieving great financial success, won awards at work, and even became CEO of his company, but he was never truly happy. When Ruby left she took his heart and years later when he read of her passing the little that was left of his heart died with her.

I naturally by the end of this story was sobbing on the other end of the phone. Jack concluded his story with a moral, as he usually does.  He said to me “Now see hear young lady, I’m telling you this story not to make you sad, but so you know not to be an old fool like me.  I don’t want you to lose out on the most important person in your life because you are too afraid to let them in and too busy with his career.  I want you to tell my story the best you can in your words so others may hear it too.  Here it took a virus to make me realize what a fool I have truly been all these years.” With that, Jack gave his signature chuckle and hung up the phone.

This time of quarantine across the globe has been for many a time of reflection.  I hope that you have time to fix what is broken; to let someone new into your heart so you may heal and learn that no matter what the circumstance is there is someone who cares. Please do not be like Jack and push them away for they may be the remedy you need.

Until next time when I return to more storytelling, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Inspiration

(I in no way own the above image I found it on the Internet. All credit goes to the owner.)

Dear Reader,

Forgive me for being remiss in bringing you any new stories. The truth is I have been overtaxed and have been feeling completely dry in spinning new yarns. So, I did what anyone does in the face of such adversity, I Google-ed.  However, searching for inspiration through the pathways of the Internet also proved fruitless.   I then reached out to a very special person who provided me all the inspiration that I needed.

Tonight instead of telling you a standard story, I am going to provide you with two Voiceovers that my sister created with me.  She wrote said stories and I performed them. To give you a brief overview, I am presenting two stories about my grandmothers, and what their lives were like as immigrants in America. I must admit that my accent for my one grandmother isn’t as accurate as the other reading.  I hope they do their stories justice and my performance doesn’t lack in its execution. 

Thank you for inspiring me and helping me.

Without further ado:

https://soundcloud.com/jasmin_mitchell/7brick-makers-daughter-81516-1021-am?fbclid=IwAR3f6EJU83oG15IvgsDsasy1YQORXhFSj4m1HKrjNFXSJqHQzRI0B3eEUa4

https://soundcloud.com/jasmin_mitchell/2cathrine-81116-1144-am?fbclid=IwAR3nQ4L6mBPNcXPStYOl0gv9WMOQidwhic0wxVu-8SDTaMd2QCWwWIMpVbk

Until next time when I return with more Storytelling, I remain as as always, respectfully,

~Cheyenne E. Mitchell

“Unmoved”

(I in no way own the above image all credit belongs to the artist. “Miranda – The Tempest” ~ Painting by John William Waterhouse Circa: 1916)

Unmoved from your hollowed shell;

Does your soul awaken from its agitated slumber?

Not you, your spirit torched, calling to be released

The joy in seeing your essence exiting from its hollowed shell;

Unearthly force as if by magic you begin to show yourself.

Is it the moonshine that begins stirring?  

The night’s light but shines only once before Helios’ chariot brings the

dawn;

Fragrant nightshades beckoning with their pungent smells

You pay them no heed;

Instead, you retreat further and further still until you are but a tiny spec,

Come back.

Retreat no further,

I implore you.

But you hear me not.

Soon you leave and I question;

Do you deceive my senses?

Oh speak melodious bird that hides beneath the shadows of eve;

Retreat no further,

I implore you.

But you hear me not.

The joy of seeing your spirit dance beneath the moonlit light,

My heart oh my heart yearns to speak but is muffled by your silence.

Retreat no further,

I implore you.

But you hear me not.

By: Cheyenne E. Mitchell