“ LOOKING ON “ by Dede Hammond – Published by Purpose – 2009

   Joshua Carpenter was saddened as the angry voices of his young friends and neighbors reached him through the open windows. Lori and Peter had only been married two years, and it sure sounded like the honeymoon was over.  Joshua knew money was tight for the young folks, but he wished they would pull together instead of blaming one another. It just made things harder for both of them.

   He so wanted Lori and Peter to grow and work together, as he and his wife had done.  He was 82 and his wife, Jenny, would have been 80 next week.  If only . . . Joshua’s thoughts drifted  back.  Times had been hard for them during the years, but they’d made out. He wished he could do something to help the young couple.  He wished he could tell them to be kind to one another, to cherish their time together.

   His gaze rested on the garbage can lying on its side by the street. Joshua got up from the porch rocking chair and walked slowly down the steps.  He quietly righted the can and picked up the things that had spilled. Then Joshua headed back to the porch.

   “You promised to help around the house, Peter. That’s all its been–promises!”  Lori’s voice came clearly to Joshua and his heart was heavy as he settled back in the rocker. “I took on that part-time job to earn extra money and I don’t have as much time as I used to. I’ve been trying to help.  What didn’t I do now?” Joshua could almost hear Peter sigh.

   “That garbage can!  That’s what.  That stray dog knocked it over and you promised to clean it up.” Joshua saw the curtain move as Lori came to the window. “Just look at that mess. ”  Lori’s voice trailed off. “Oh, Peter, you did clean it up.” “But Lori,”  Peter protested as he joined her at the window. “I’m sorry, Peter.  I’ve been so tired and worried lately and here I am taking it out on you. Please forgive me.”

   Joshua could see their shadows merge through the curtain.  He smiled as he watched them hug each other.  Their voice became a murmur as they slowly moved away from the window.




Dede is wife of my good friend, Gordon Hammond. They both love to write and

belong to a Writing Club in Zephyrhills, Florida.