Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nag, Nag, Nag... Sound Familiar? Then, Enjoy the Book by Kathy Stememann

Counting the Minutes Emmett can’t wait to retire. Only 8655 minutes left to go. Emmett glared at his watch. Fifteen minutes until quitting time. Fifteen minutes plus six workdays until retirement. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday … I wonder how many minutes that is. He punched the numbers into his phone calculator, and his eyes widened. Including the rest of this shift: 8655. 
He repositioned himself in the grader seat and grimaced. Pain shot down his leg. Bouncing around in heavy equipment for three decades had jostled his bones so much he felt like a massive bruise every day when he went home from work. His back ached. His right elbow throbbed. His neck hurt from craning it over his shoulder to watch for obstacles and idiot drivers. 
Emmett sighed. He couldn’t wait to hang up his safety vest and hard hat: Fishing trips with the guys. Hot afternoons under the willow tree in the back yard, with a cold brew in hand and the cat on his lap. Sleeping in every morning. Fourteen minutes left. I’d better get my butt back to the public works yard. 
The opening bars from “Witchy Woman” blasted from his cell phone. “Hi, sweetie. What do you want me to pick up from the store this time?” 
“Some new vacuum bags. Then when you get home I need help moving furniture so I can get rid of all the cat hair. We need lawn garbage bags too, so you can clean the gutters and gather the leaves after you rake the yard tomorrow.” 
“Aw, c’mon.” 
“… and washers for the hose. The driveway needs to be power-washed and …” “Whoa! I need to find a pen and a piece of paper to write down all this crap. And I have to work this weekend. I told you that a month ago.”
“I’m sure John can give you the weekend off. They owe you after all the extra shifts you’ve worked for the last thirty years.” ~*~ 
Five minutes left. Emmett nosed his grader into the equipment bay and shambled through the public works building to his boss’s office. 
“John, Megan has a whole crap-load of work she needs help with this weekend.” “Don’t even think about asking for time off. We’re short-handed. Brock is sick and Werner is on holidays.” 
Emmett grinned. “Thanks, boss. I knew I could depend on you one last time.”

Nag Nag Nag 
Megan and Emmett Volume I

By Kathy Steinemann

I hope you next read this morning's Valentine Vendetta with Kathy Steinemann as Guest Blogger! I loved it! For me, this is what humor really is...a mix of laughter, reality, sadness, and all other emotions we humans experience... And Steinemann certainly has the talent for expressing that humor within family life...

Meet Emmett and Megan...a married couple who have survived many, many years together!  Family has expanded as the years went by and add greatly to the drama you'll be finding... Now, never having been married and experienced the joy of being "buttered" up by my husband, I must say that after reading the first story, I was feeling quite happy to have remained...unmarried, LOL

He nodded, and waited for the noisy squeal signaling her departure, before he retorted, “Nag, nag, nag. Never any peace around here.” 
After a vain attempt to concentrate on the crossword puzzle, Emmett pushed away from the table. “Suppose I’d better look at the door, or I’ll never hear the end of it.” 
He rummaged through the freezer for a pound of butter and ran it over both door hinges while he moved the door back and forth a few times. The squeaking stopped. Perfect. The glint from a button on his motorcycle jacket in the entryway caught his attention. He looked at the stick of butter in his hand. Back at the jacket. Somewhere he’d read that butter was good for lubricating leathers. “What the heck.” Ten minutes later, Emmett stood and admired his work. He cocked his head. This morning’s health column said shea butter is good for athlete’s foot. I wonder … He slipped off his socks. Wrinkled his nose as the rancid odor drifted up to his nostrils. Then he peeled back the foil wrapper and rubbed butter over his angry red toes. Soon both feet were coated in a greasy layer of yellow. Sabrina sniffed at one of his toes. He jerked his foot away. “Hey, that tickles. Here.” He held out his hand. The cat licked at the butter, with closed eyes and an audible purr. “Good kitty...” 
He sneezed as he deposited what was left of the butter into the dish. Sneezed again. Crap. I must be getting a cold. He smoothed the butter with a knife, lowered his head, and checked the dish from several angles. Good. His studious expression brightened into a smile. What she doesn’t know won’t hurt me. He found his cell phone hiding under the paper and texted Megan: Switching to margarine. Pick some up. You can have the butter. Emmett grabbed the newspaper and flipped to the cartoon section.

Ok, ok, this scenario "probably" didn't happen...right? I mean, no husband would be so cruel as Emmett...even if it is funny...right? Still, I was quickly taking Megan's side in any future arguments I might be reading... Seriously, the reason why this book is so fantastic is that the various scenes are sooooo outrageous, yet...could it possibly ever happen when you're together for so many, many, many years???
But really, what do you say about a man, when his wife scheduled a retirement party, with everybody singing Auld Lang Syne, who grumbles and grumbles until a sparkler is placed on the cake and a fire ruins everything? Especially when he proclaims, "Megan, this is absolutely the best party I've ever had!"

And then, as he's now retired, decides to teach Megan how to do the shopping more efficiently... But then turns around and plans a beautiful anniversary for Megan... but don't expect it to be all music and chocolates and lovely sighs, with this couple!
Emmett nodded, phone cupped to his ear. Two candles on the sideboard projected his flickering shadow onto the refrigerator. He repositioned a box of chocolates and bouquet of roses between the candles as he talked. Everything had to be perfect. 
“Sure, Ger. I’m ready. ‘You Light Up My Life’ was the first song we danced to at our wedding. Just gotta feed the cat first. The back door’s unlocked.”
“Oh, Emmett. There’s a huge heart buried somewhere in all those insults you usually sling at me. I love you. What a nice surprise...”
Or, would you mind that Emmett tells stories to his grandchild about werewolves in the woods and that they eat tender little children... Of course when you find out that the story was told to cover the noise of Megan and Emmett skinny dipping the night before... Then what?

And then there's the one about the flush outhouse...

What I was flabbergasted (how's that for an old-fashioned word?) at was that each little story was weaved so cleverly that your feelings could go from one extreme to the other...but no matter what, you're bound to smile or LOL! (How's that for mixing old words with new?!!)
One of the impressive things is that there is quite a variety of different tales. Readers will be enjoying Emmett's kind of humor, and then, next, we read the poignant story about the grandchildren, who miss their Dad singing them their favorite song, Rubber Dolly... And don't be surprised that you'll be crying along with the girls and their mother as the story closes...

The thing is that I'd like to share every story with you so you'd be able to laugh along with me...But since that's impossible, I'd better quickly say that I highly recommend this book--especially if you are (1) Married... and, (2) if you aren't, make it a must-read!


Kathy Steinemann, Grandma Birdie to her grandkids, is an award-winning author who lives in the foothills on the Alberta side of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She has loved words for as long as she can remember, especially when the words are frightening or futuristic or funny.

Her career has taken varying directions, including positions as editor of a small-town paper, computer-network administrator, and webmaster. She has also worked on projects in commercial art and cartooning.

Kathy’s website: KathySteinemann.com

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