Hot coffee on the front porch

It’s a bright and brisk day. I feel the heat from the ceramic mug before I take a sip of the hot brown treasure. Today is unseasonably cold but I cannot stay inside. The air is too fresh, the colors of the dogwood leaves so vivid rust red, that I wish this cold morning would never end.

Eating Cheerios in the Dark

The humid air clings to me like plastic wrap. I am sitting in my rocking chair on the front porch between two fans. A chorus of frogs and crickets is finishing their nightly concert.

After taking a sip of coffee, I dip my spoon into a white china bowl, scooping up milk and cheerios, slurping greedily. I turn and look into the abyss — our gutted living room, dining room, and kitchen.

On top of broken and cracked floorboards, metal electrical cable lies coiled, as if waiting to strike. Garbage is strewn everywhere and sour-smelling plaster dust coats everything in the room.

I shudder and turn back to my cheerios, a small normal phenomenon that helps me keep my sanity during the home renovation that has consumed our lives.

Who knows what torture lies ahead? More inspections, fibers from insulation embedding themselves in the tender tissue of our lungs, Sheetrock, spackling, and the horror of sanding, dust everywhere, in every pore, every crevice of everything around us.

Will we survive this ordeal? Despair, penury, and doom loom in the future — hope has abandoned us. Will the plumber come today? or the electrician? or the inspector? or will we sit, and wait and wait and wait, with no progress at all, on another day, of the endless days, of the stifling hot, humid, dog days of summer.

Beware, unsuspecting homeowner, do not be deceived by the promises of anyone, no matter how trustworthy, the fates will inevitably intervene and delay your project in the most diabolical manner conceivable. Your hopes will rise and you will be giddy with joy when small progress is made, but don’t let this inflate you with optimism — the anvil of the unexpected will smash your overconfidence and crush it into oblivion. Nothing will get done most days and all of your begging, whining, and pleading will have no effect at all. If anything, your project will move backwards. You will need to move electrical outlets, drill holes, open up Sheetrock, close Sheetrock, it will never end, the dust, the dirt, the whir of drills, the machine gun fire of the air compressor, the vicious blows from the hammer guns, the whine of saws, and of course the tiny particles in the air that seize your throat in a choke-hold every time you enter the construction zone, and last but not least, don’t forget the sickly sweet odor of sewer gas from the vents for the new kitchen sinks.

Is it all worth it? The expense, the agony, the sweat, tears, coughing, lack of sleep, hunger, and thirst that you will suffer if you have the hubris, the cockiness, the false pride and confidence to ever attempt to renovate your home. Woe to you, dreamer, abandon your wild thoughts of a bigger room, new appliances, and cabinets. Plant yourself on solid ground and look away from the beautiful kitchens in the magazines — it is not for you, a mere mortal.

This might be a good time.

This might be a good time to regroup, to start over, to get going,  to wake up early, and to rejoin the race.

It’s been over a year and I’m long overdue. Maybe the sunshine this morning did it. Or maybe it is because I woke up early, and tossed and turned until I had no choice but to tiptoe out of the bedroom, into the darkness of the quiet house.

Well, here I am, punching the plastic, waiting for thoughts to pour out onto the screen.

Maybe today is the day.

I’m back

Chickens and vegetables have been my downfall. The hens are four months old and the raised beds are covered in vines, and carrots past their prime. Only a massive expenditure of energy could bring order to the chaos in my backyard.

As if this wasn’t enough to try the soul of any human,  my earthly shell has been afflicted by shingles. In the past week, I have pondered the meaning of pain. A simple virus is teaching me about this important characteristic of life.

In spite of all this, or maybe it is a result, I have decided to put fingertips to keyboard again. This is my first hesitant step.

BFDA Silver Honoree

The Abscission Zone is a Silver Honoree in the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards

Whoopee! The Abscission Zone is a Silver Honoree.

Thanks to the IBPA Judges and readers.

Check out this link to see the other winners:

The Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards –

Cover of The Abscission Zone

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Abscission Zone by Samuel Muggington

The Abscission Zone

by Samuel Muggington

Giveaway ends February 10, 2017.

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Forever song

purple firefly

Not long ago, on a faraway island, a tiny girl firefly was born. As you may know, male fireflies come out at night and flash green lights to attract a mate. Sometimes the females also produce light.

One starry night this special girl firefly gazed at the sky. Then she began to do something unheard of. She began to sing. A soft melody wove through the blades of grass and rose up into the coconut trees.

Crabs scuttled onto the beach and birds cocked their heads as they heard the beautiful music. People on the islands wondered and smiled as they listened.

That little firefly’s singing became known far and wide. Soon everyone clamored to hear her so she flew over the wide blue oceans to another bigger land.

Everyone wanted to learn how to sing from her but she decided she wanted to teach the little ones. The lady firefly brought the joy of music to many.

We all know that fireflies do not live forever. They bring so much beauty to the world that if they stayed too long we wouldn’t know what to do with all of the wonder.

The lady firefly decided that the time was right. One special night she sang and sang and then she beamed her green-golden light into the night sky. After a few minutes she switched out her light and went to sleep, satisfied that her job had been done well.

Her song in light still travels through our solar system, out of our galaxy, and to the edges of the universe, bringing joy to all.