Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Texodus

My family - we have a quirky sense of humor.  Which my father takes responsibility for - even when it is used against him.  The rest of us don’t know whether to be grateful or maybe consider some kind of legal action at some point.  Though - I’m not sure who we’d be without it. 

We love each other - and we show it emphatically with our sarcasm, bad references to movies from the 80’s and 90’s and (in my case) beating up on my little sisters. 

One of the interesting things that I’ve realized in the last couple of years is how much more alike we are than we are different.  We have a shared history and vocabulary (again mostly comprised of references to our favorite movies).  And we all think a lot more alike than any of us would have cared to admit when we were all living under the same roof.

Speaking of that shared roof - my parents recently sold it….along with the rest of the house.  The story leading up to this is what I want to explain.

Several years ago - during one holiday or another, we were sitting around, probably with some unwrapped Christmas presents on the floor and full of ham or turkey and probably some of Mom’s famous asparagus - we started to talk about moving away from Poulsbo, Washington - where we all grew up and where we had all been more-or-less close to for the last 5 or 6 years.  We had lived in Texas when Dad was in the Army - and we’d all developed a natural affinity for the place.  And so - it became the natural destination, with its wide open spaces, and warmer climate.  For years we joked about buying a compound so that we could all live on it.  I’m notoriously not handy - so many jokes were made whether I’d be able to survive in the wilderness compound that we were jokingly planning.

Cut forward a few years - through life change, some personal growth on all our parts, and a different perspective that came with a few more years of living, some things began to change.  My wife and I began thinking about other opportunities and adventures, either locally in Washington, or even elsewhere in the US.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the same thoughts were going through the hearts and minds of my sisters and my parents. 

Then things really began rolling in typical Rowland fashion.

I had breakfast with Dad down at the bowling alley in Silverdale.  It was the first time I’d eaten there - the pancakes were sooo good.  I drank several pots of coffee.  And we chatted about everything - probably about politics, and history - our favorite topics.  And then he said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this…but…”  It turns out my sister and her husband and my parents had a plan together to move to Texas, contingent on a job opportunity. 

This sparked a conversation with my wife - as I said we’d been planning on looking for some new adventures somewhere.  So we began looking for a place to live, and for work for me in Texas - just to see what was available.  And it turned out that the economics and the job opportunities were VERY much in line with what we were looking for. 

At the same time - my youngest sister, her husband decided to and pulled the trigger to join the Army about 4 days before the age limit cutoff. 

The rest is mostly details - some of which was how much to communicate to each other, so as to keep us all on the same sheet of music, without unnecessarily raising hopes in case things didn’t work out.

So far my parents, my wife and I, and my youngest sister and her husband are all living within 2 hours of Austin, Texas.  The Texodus is still ongoing, but this has been the beginning of a great adventure, and we’re so glad to have made the leap.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Just One Olive

....a duet with my beautiful and talented niece....enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Adventures of Ked: Twister

“The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you'll never have.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

The explosion tore through VisiCup - glass, coffee mugs and shattered bodies lay throughout the collapsing structure.  Before the walls finally buckled and gave way to the weight of the roof, Ked’s last regretful thoughts rested on the wretched glowing device.  

Ah - what a morning, Ked thought, as she stretched her arms out.  Anticipation for the perfect VisiCup Mocha making this perfect weekend morning that much more exciting.  Adding to that the 70 degree temperature and slight breeze, Ked was sure things just didn’t get much better.  

As if on cue to bring her back to reality, the greasy Mr. Lode walked up beside her and matched her stride.  Come on man - not today, she thought.  The really impressive thing was that without even saying a word - he seemed to be gloating, dripping with a sense of being entirely pleased with himself.  “How does he even do that?”

He pulled a glowing object from somewhere - looking even more pleased with himself.  “Have you seen anything that matches its beauty??” Not waiting for an answer.. “It’s going to change everything, starting with this meager city.”

“What are you even talking about?”  Ked retorted, “Your little toys aren’t going to make people forget all the evil things you’ve done..don’t you have some puppies to be torturing somewhere?”

“You mock me now - but tomorrow you will be bowing to me.  Or should I say yesterday you will be.  BAHAHAHAHA”

Ok he’s completely lost it now.

“You can roll your eyes all you want - but are you aware that we’ve just had a mayoral election?”

“Sure - so what?”

“Well I’ve discovered the secret location where the ballots were kept prior to the official counting - if I would have been able to get to that, prior to the count, I could have changed the ballots - and made myself Mayor - the first step toward becoming Supreme Commander and Overlord of the Pacific Coast.”

Geez. “Well you didn’t - so I guess we’re all safe this time.”

“That’s where my toy comes in - I call it Twister,” he said with a surprisingly straight face, “Imagine spacetime is a piece of fabric that you might use to make a piece of clothing out of.  If we play Twister - it will create a twist in spacetime, as if you had grabbed on to a piece of that fabric and rotated your hand repeatedly.  And instead of constantly moving forward along the time axis, I will be able to hop one of the folds, and find myself back before election night.”  

“you’re insane.”

Ignoring Ked’s undoubtedly accurate feedback, Mr. Lode continued, “The only problem, is that hopping through folds in spacetime means naturally, that when I arrive, I will mostly have reverted to my state prior of the time that I arrive in.  This in turn means that I won’t have the knowledge to act on my advantage.  And this is where it gets good - I’ve discovered how to get around this.”

“Some matter travels mostly through space, while moving slower through time; while some travels faster in time and slower in space. If I come into contact matter that comes directly from the future - that isn’t moving in time - it will bring parts of my memory back - and BAM before you know it - YOU’RE BOWING TO ME!!!  BWAHAHAHAHA!”

At that Ked and Mr. Lode arrived at the front door to VisiCup.  Ked had to reflect, it’s amazing how time flies when you’re listening to a megalomaniac teach you about the intricacies of time travel.

Looking at Lode directly in the eyes, so as to get her message across as clearly as possible, she began, “you’re crazy.”   

To add emphasis and to show how serious she was, she put her hands forcefully down on his beloved Twister.  Before she could continue - she was overcome with what might only be described as a feeling of electricity flowing through every cell of her body.  Her head spinning, and sure that her skin was glowing, she continued, “But even if your toy does what you say - you will never get away with this - I will stop you!!”

“Yeah, whatever, all I need are a couple of Double-A’s and this bad boy will be ready to go.” 

“Double A batteries?  Seriously?”

“Yeah, of course, to power the matter/anti-matter regulation.”

“Whatever” … “Hey Topher!!  I’ll take a double….no triple mocha please” — a conversation like this requires a little bit of recovery caffeine.

Lode, standing next to her, placed his order.  After Topher had taken his order - he made Ked’s Mocha, and was just about to hand it to her when she had a memory - a memory of what was about to happen.  She saw Mr. Lode turn to the side with his Twister in hand, spilling Ked’s mocha all over it.  After the Mocha spilled there was a massive explosion that left most of the building a wreck, and - as the memory came rushing in - Ked realized it left her breathing her last.

“NOOOOOO!” she yelled - as she shoved Lode as hard as she could away from the mocha.  She saved the spill, though Lode went crashing out the window.  

Walking slowly to the broken window - she glanced outside, expecting (nay hoping) to see a huddled mess of a man.  Ked was shocked to see nothing but a crater.  Topher joined her - and gazing in wonder breathed, “You’ve saved us again Ked - I guess his time was up.”

The End