Monday, February 27, 2017

The Perfect Rose


By Michael R. Ritt

Today I saw a perfect rose
Without a single flaw.
Its petals glistened in the dew
Like ice before a thaw.
Its color was the deepest red
That I had ever seen.
I saw it growing in the rocks
So lonely and serene.
Its fragrance filled the evening air
And floated on the breeze.
It wafted ever heavenward
Ascending through the trees.
I asked the gardener how he came
To grow a perfect rose,
What fertilizers did he use,
And in what ratios?
He looked at me with knowing eyes
And gave a little smile.
“Look closer at the rose, my son,
And stare at it a while.”
Then looking closer I beheld
What I’d not seen before.
It wasn’t perfect after all
But little scars it bore.
In other places it looked crushed
And bleeding through the bruise.
And all at once I knew that its
Perfection was a ruse.
He said, “The bleeding that you see
Upon the rose’s bloom,
Was caused by growing through the rocks,
But makes its sweet perfume.
It is the trials that we bear,
The rocky soil of life,
The pain and struggles we endure,
The heartache and the strife.
The people that would cause us pain,
The insults that we face,
That we forgive with tenderness,
With mercy and with grace.
The gardener uses all of these
To fertilize his rose.
And so with people, as with flowers,
That’s how perfection grows.”


Saturday, February 25, 2017

How To Really Suck As A Gift Giver…

In a few months, my redheaded sweetheart, Tami, and I will celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. We will be married twenty-eight years in May, but I heard that the fiftieth celebration is a real barn burner, so we’re going to go ahead and do that one next.

I want to do something special for Tami, but I have not always been very good at buying gifts for my redhead. I remember a few years ago when I bought her a new mop for Mother’s Day. In my defense, it was a pretty neat piece of custodial technology, with all of the bells and whistles, and I was just trying to make her life easier. The following day, I had a doctor’s appointment for my annual checkup. When I got to the doctor’s office, I found out that Tami had called ahead to make sure that my exam included a very thorough and vigorous check of my prostate. In retrospect, a mop was probably not the best gift to get for her.

Another time – I think it was for her birthday – I bought a brand new, state of the art Bow-Flex machine. I figured that we could both use it to work out and spend time together in the process. But apparently, buying your wife exercise equipment is code for, “I think you're fat,” and that led into a whole big thing. That took place about twelve years ago. One of these days I’m going to finish putting that Bow-Flex together so I can use it.

I could stick to the basics and get her some chocolates and a big bouquet of flowers, but that’s not really special, and besides, she is a diabetic and I have allergies.

I thought about getting her some sexy lingerie, but let’s be honest. That’s just self-serving.

Maybe what we can do is go on a second honeymoon. I could recreate our first honeymoon down to the last detail. I would need to gather a goat, a feather duster, and a big tub of Cool Whip, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. The hard part will be sneaking back into the state of Wisconsin so we could go back to where we spent our first honeymoon. I’m not sure if the statute of limitations has expired or not. That first honeymoon was a real doozy. After all, how many couples have a state law named after them?