Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Your Uncle's Will

A prompt from Brian Klems at Writers (which I did not post there because I could not get it down to 500 from 895 words...I did get it to 694 but 500 alludes me)
The prompt was as follows:

After living for years paycheck to paycheck, a windfall of money comes your way from a distant uncle. But in order to receive the money, you must complete a mission from your uncle’s will. What’s the mission and did you do it?

Uncle Michael is the uncle who would leave behind millions and though he is not a distant Uncle, that is to say he married into the family and only lives 50 miles away, he is the uncle who would in fact challenge you to complete some crazy off the wall task to earn the money
And yes, for him, I would do anything.

Uncle Michael was married to my mother’s sister and after the divorce, he is still Uncle Michael and she is she-who-shall-not-be-named. They did not divorce until I was in my 20’s and when we were kids, we would go off to Uncle Michael’s house for weeks at a time during the summer.

Uncle Michael worked at night and she worked during the day so he was the one who took care of us, she just yelled at us a lot.
Uncle Michael let us build forts in the living room using every single sheet, blanket, afghan and towel in the house….and then took the brunt of the Aunt’s wrath

He taught us to dive and made up crazy games for the pool like jumping off the diving board landing in the inner tube (on your bum without tipping it over) while trying to catch a ball being thrown at you from the opposite end of the pool. He also filled the hot tub with dish soap and let us play in the bubbles.
Uncle Michael bought a hot dog steamer because he got tired of making us sandwiches for lunch….we ate hot dogs all day long all summer long

He told us about the ghost, Grace Peasley, who lived in his house and put a clock under one of the beds and told us it was her heart beating….we believed him
Uncle Michael was nicknamed Uncle Buck. One of us kids did not want breakfast, he convinced her to eat at least one pancake, she agreed. So Uncle Michael found the largest frying pan in the house and made her one pancake….Uncle Buck style!

He let us play in the coal bin and when his new Playboy magazine came in the mail, he let us find the bunny on the front cover.
Uncle Michael’s house was called Camp I Don’t Wanna Go Home; he had tee shirts made up for us.

He introduced us to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, F Troop, Hogan’s Heroes and Hill Street Blues, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. To this day, when I watch any of those, I think of Uncle Michael.
Uncle Michael is the uncle who, three years ago, sent all sevens of us kids a package with instructions to not open it until a certain date at a certain time….and amazingly, we all obliged!

He taught me to drive in his pick-up truck and did not yell at me when I failed my driving test which she made me take in her car that I had never driven before.
Uncle Michael was at Parent’s Weekend my Freshmen Year in college, both my graduations, my wedding and one of the first people I called when I found out I was pregnant.

He is the uncle who was always taking photographs and years later, presented my mother with boxes and boxes of photos of us as kids
Uncle Michael is the uncle, who though not so distant, loved us kids so much, and still does, would leave us millions, and any one of us would do anything for it…not because we want the money, but because Uncle Michael is asking us to.

The mission: I think he’d build some fantastical set somewhere, adorn it with pictures from our lives and send us on some crazy scavenger hunt with all the answers being found in the photographs. The hunt would be to solve riddles and rhymes and then find the picture that corresponds with it or to find an object in a photo. And he would do this so he could remind us how much we mean to him and so we would never forget how much he means to us.
Or, he’d make us find the bunnies on the covers of a stack of old Playboys

Maria the Mum

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