As exciting as it gets!

Life’s a Candy Store

Everywhere life forces want to get out. Things unintentionally contain baskets of energy. Some believe they are poems, others think they are dreams and yet others believe they are like sheets set out on the summer line holding fists of air. And for Hope, life is just continuous fun.

‘’Wait. Don’t run so fast. Wait for me.’’ Hope runs holding a stick behind the small brown puppy and her mother. Both the dogs are running through the green grass, through the small colorful flower bushes of the garden.  After half an hour of running and chasing each other now they are all tired. They sit on the soft green grass under a big flower tree. Everything stirs gently in the soft breath of cold air; the trees, the bushes, the grass, birds skipping from tree to tree, beautiful blue jays squawking excitedly, white pigeons cooing on the top of the pile of bricks in one corner of the garden. The mom dog lays there, nose on the paws with her long tail beating gently, watching the Robin pecking up some food crumbs from inside the grass. Hope leans against the big dog holding the puppy tightly in her arms. The puppy licks her face, gets distracted by the birds, then turns her face back towards Hope and licks her again. Hope giggles, her eyes dancing. She wipes her face on the back of her palm, and pulls out couple pieces of cookies from her dress pocket.

‘‘This one is for both of you and you have to share.’’ Hope gives the dogs the delicious cream filled cookies. ‘‘No, do not lick, that is mine.’’ Both the dog grabs the cookies from her hand and enjoy their snacks. Hope laughs. Suddenly Hope stops, not abruptly, yet with utter completeness, her jaw stilled mid- chew. Both the dogs lift their eyes and ears. There on the top of a long stem sits a beautiful butterfly; its wings are dark blue with yellow and white spots and seem very soft and velvety.

‘’Hope! Hope! Where are you? Are you in the garden? Hope!’’

Let’s go inside, grandma is calling. Hope makes a circle and runs towards the house.

Hope is almost five; pretty with olive skin tone, a heart shape face, big brown eyes and very sharp and intelligent. She is the favorite of both her grandmother and grandfather. She climbs the wide veranda steps, opens the massive double door, walks through the high center hall with lots of marble pillars on both sides and beautiful framed arts on the walls, colored glass chandeliers that hangs from yellow velvet cords, through the rich rugs of the living room to the marble floor of the dining hall and hugs her grandmother. Her grandmother is the best; she is warm, kind, a soother and understands others perfectly. The most important thing is that she has a pleasant sense of power of knowing, she smiles more than she frowns and she loves Hope.

‘‘Good morning!’’ Hope says tucking her hairs behind the ear. ‘‘Are we going any place in the morning?’’ Her grandmother looks astonishingly at Hope’s face and the lilac dress that caked with dust but she bends down and hugs Hope like she has been gone for a year and pats her shoulder like she is a puppy. She serves her breakfast, tilts her head slightly, smiles richly and says “Yes we are, after you finish your breakfast.”

Hope looks across the dining table with a tilted head and smiles. ‘‘I have one brilliant idea just like you always have. We should go to the book store, then to the beach and may be to a movie.’’ Hope looks at her grandmother’s face which has changed rapidly as fast moving scenes of a movie. Hope slides her chair close to her grandmother and touches her softly. “So after the movie we can go to the jewelry store and the dress shop that you enjoy.” Hope cranes her neck and kisses her grandmother on the cheeks and says ‘‘I know we will have a wonderful time.’’ She says excitedly.

After breakfast Hope climbs the circular stairs to her favorite room on the third floor to the left of the stair case. The flight of steps seems endless to her small feet. But she takes a deep breath and climbs to her destination. The room painted in delicate apricot gives off the pleasant aroma of the books. The solid decorated wood shelves in both sides of the room are full of books. The children’s magazines peek out from the wicker basket at one corner of the room. The room is very cozy. Hope stands on one of the sturdy wood chair close to the book shelve and with both hands pulls out a few of the big books that have lots of pictures of kings, queens, castles and horses. Settling herself more luxuriously up on the sofa leaning against the cushion, she opens the book. She turns the pages with her small fingers. “Wow!” She says and looks at the pictures closely. For her every part of book is magic. She slid into books like a seal into water. As she finishes looking at the beautiful pictures she stacks them on a pile on the table in front of the sofa and pulls out her drawing book and the sketch pencil and a pack of crayons. She bends down and draws picture; Picture of a baby blue sky, of the gray mountains with a few  black goats with small ears grazing here and there, of a pretty deep purple peacock, a few pink roses and yellow zinnias in a green lawn, of two elephants and two  dogs both mom and the baby. The pictures are not that perfect but cute with lots of circles, tringles, lines and pretty colors.

“Hope! Come downstairs. Let’s move now”. Grandmother calls from downstairs. Hope puts all the crayons back in the box, pulls the chair close to arrange the books on the shelve. She likes everything to be neat and in order.  Hope closes the door from behind and walks down the stairs with her ponytail swaying bright and cheerful as a sunflower. They drive to the beach. A beautiful afternoon.  Hope props her chin on one hand and through the car window she looks at the high clouds rolling across the blue sky. Hope walks into the sea water holding her grandmother’s finger. It is so much fun when the big wave comes and bumps her on the face. They giggle and laugh. Hope sits on the shore in her wet dress and builds big sand castle, like the one from the picture book. She decorates the castle with different small shells that she finds in the sand. Her grandmother sits there on the soft sand and chit chats with some other ladies who are visiting with their families. It is almost late afternoon. They drive back home.

On the way to home they stop by the ice cream shop. “Hope, go inside to the store with the driver and pick up the ice-cream that you like.” Her grandmother opens her purse and hands out the cash to the driver.

“Thank you, grandma! You are the best.” Hope laughs and opens the car door. Hope picks up the vanilla ice-cream with chocolate and caramel topping and pistachio flavor for her grandmother.

At home during dinner Hope sits close to her grandfather and tells him her exciting adventure from morning to evening. All the uncle and aunts in the dining table smile and enjoy her story. The day never ends without bed time stories. Hope snuggles against her grandmother on the bed and her head tilts slightly, listens, offering rarest of gift: her unequivocal attention to the stories of adventure one after another until grandmother falls sleep. As soon as her grandmother falls sleep, Hope adjusts her pillow, closes her eyes and pretends to be in the leading character of the series of adventure stories.


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