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Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

The morning was crisp and bright, the sun having just burst up from the horizon. Though a bit chilly, I put the the top down on my car and set out from our home near Annapolis to attend a meeting in Baltimore. An important meeting. I hoped my design for the new community center would be chosen from the three remaining architectural bids. It was show and know time.

I ran the little car quickly over the gently twisting country roads, steering into the curves. Once I got to the main highway, the challenge would be gone, and the scenery non-existent. I felt exhilarated, if a bit on edge. No, it was too beautiful a day for anything to be wrong.

As I ran over the possible questions the Board of Supervisors might ask, my phone rang. I clicked the button on the steering wheel to hear my wife, Beth, breathless, asking me to come home. As she spoke, I slowed down, and looked into the back seat. Yes, there was Molly’s blankie laying there. There would be no comforting her until she had it crushed to her chest, rubbing the smooth material of the border against her mouth.

Reluctantly, I turned the car around at the next junction, and started the short trip home as rapidly as I could. I’d set out early enough to leave myself plenty of time to arrive, cool and confident.

As I rounded the next bend, taking it just a bit too fast, the wind whooshed into the car, lifting the pink blankie, and blowing it out and over the back of the car. I saw it sailing into the adjacent field in my rear-view mirror, and wafting to the ground.

“Oh, great,” I mumbled, as I slowed down, and looked for a place to pull the car over. A tractor access road into the field gave me just the space I needed, and I began the walk back to where I’d seen it fly. I maneuvered myself over the barbed wire fence trying my best to avoid the sharp steel points, and thought I was home free when my cuff was snagged, a small tear forming. “Oh, shoot,” I said out loud, to the crows I guess. (We’d tamed our language since having Molly and hearing her say her first words.)

I started rummaging though the tall grasses, trying to imagine where its trajectory might have taken the blanket, and finally spied it laying like a spider web over some plants. I snatched it up, and made my way back to the car, walking through the fields this time until I reached the gate where I’d left my car.

Ten minutes later, I reached the driveway to our home sitting near the water. I usually loved arriving home, but I was too hurried now to enjoying the sight. Lanie came running out of the house, dressed for work herself, carrying Molly in her arms.  Molly reached out for me as I approached. “Hi, Muffin,” I said as I took her from Mom, but it was not me she wanted. Seeing the blanket clutched under my arm she pulled it out, and with a delighted smile aimed at my face she said “bankie” and proceeded to rub her face into its soft material. That moment made my field foraging worth it.

My wife rewarded me with a smile. too, and a peck on the cheek. Then she strapped Molly into her car seat as she prepared to go into her real estate office in Annapolis. Yep, she’d found us this perfect place when we decided a sleek condo near the Inner Harbor was not the best place to raise a little girl. I waved as they pulled away, and got back into my car, arriving in Baltimore just a few moments before the meeting began.

I adjusted my tie, placed everything I needed on the table in front of me, sighed in relief, and looked down when I felt something scratching my ankle. To my surprise, I had sticky bobs all over my pants legs. At first I felt irritated, but then thought how my daughter had smiled at me when I returned her blankie. “It was worth it,” I thought, I smiled to myself, and the Chairman opened the meeting.

A sticky bob plant. An inspiration for Velcro?

A sticky bob plant. An inspiration for Velcro?

 

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