Creating and Memories

Submitted into Contest #1 in response to: Write a story about someone trying to find the perfect birthday gift.... view prompt



Store number four, or was it five, down. It was a bit early in the search to lose count, but after each great idea turned bust it was seeming like this search was going to get out of hand. Michelle’s was not the easiest woman to shop for. It was not that she had everything she wanted. More like what she looked for in gifts was something with meaning as well, at least on her birthday. So, this gift had to be perfect. That is practical and emotionally satisfying. So where to go from here? Driving down the road I see a sign for Lobby Hobby, a store where she might normally be found planning out a project. Maybe there was some inspiration to had just browsing one of her favorite stores.

Walking through the sliding door I was greeted with a smile from an employee who probably recognized me from my many expeditions here with my wife. I Nodded in response and started to execute my plan. If wandering aimlessly down Isles counts as a plan. Summer had just started so there were quite a few colorful displays for the Fourth of July spread around distracting me from my planned wandering.

All the red, white, and blue did make me smile though as I recalled Michelle’s reactions when we had each chosen our favorite fireworks and set them off. We had both chosen fountain types, but the one I chose was the largest the stand had while hers was more modest in size. I was a bit surprised when the large one turned out to be a dud compared to what she chose, which turned out to be dazzling. Sparks of so many different colors flew out four times the height of the fountain itself. The gravel around us glowed with a multitude colors like a kaleidoscope as the fountain gleefully threw countless sparks like shooting stars into the air. Not at all what I was expecting from such a small fountain. However, her knowing smile like she had seen it coming and was just along for the ride made me laugh. I did hassle her a little bit after that, but she just smiled that same cute smile and shrugged it off.

Back to the situation at hand down the next isle. This isle was not going to be much help either it turned out to be yard decorations. Not having a house makes it hard to find the perfect lawn ornament for the one you love. As I was moving on, I spotted a turtle. A lawn ornament, not an escapee from the pet store next door, and I smiled again. This time remembering the time she drove down to the lake with wire cutters for me.

It was a warm, muggy, and, dark night with the moon providing only a little more light than the sweet-smelling citronella candle sitting next me. I tapped my fingers impatiently as the line I was holding in my hand tugged a little. I looked down at the culprit glowering at it. My first catch of the night was a very unhappy looking turtle. I thought I had somehow hooked a rock as I reeled it in look at this shiny, round, slimy thing out of the water. A little frantic I searched for my pliers which were nowhere to be found of course. I had called for backup, it just felt like it was taking forever for her to arrive as my companion kept trying to escape hook and all. Finally, I heard a car pulling up and a door shutting. She navigated her way down the rocky path to my little secret spot and handed me a large pair of plyers. She gave me a guilty little smile, not noticing I went to cut the hook out of the turtle’s mouth. Flash! I turned around and there she was taking a photo of me preparing to release my new “friend”. I gave her the same glowering look I gave the turtle a few minutes earlier, and it had just about as much effect on her. She smiled that knowing smile and scampered back across the rocks wishing me luck giggling as she went. I thought about getting her that turtle and gluing a hook to it but decided that might be a bit too snarky of a gift to give to her in front of everyone. Even though it would get her to smile and laugh.

Rounding the corner, I looked down and passed several isles that promised to be little or no help to accomplish my goal of gift or inspiration. Almost at the end of the line, I came across the scrapbooking section. A section I was quite familiar with as it was a common stop on our outings here. Strolling down one isle I saw it. An item that provided some much-needed inspiration. A package of small Eiffel tower stickers caught my eye. I smiled as I remembered our first trip together.

Paris, not the Paris mind you Paris, Texas. Michelle had always wanted to go to Paris, France and we both thought it would be a weekend away to go visit the Eiffel tower in close by first. So, Friday after class we packed up and headed out. The drive was rather plain as Texas drives go. Empty rolling plains do not inspire much conversation about the landscape, but we managed to survive talking about class and what all we were going to try and see while we were there. We arrived late and decided to head out early that morning so we could enjoy the sites and make it back home at a decent hour. We should have done a bit more research before we made the trip though. To our surprise all of the attractions in the town we closed on the weekends. Fortunately, we were still able to walk almost right up to the Eiffel tower. This one did have something a bit different from the one in France making it uniquely southern. It had a giant red cowboy hat perched at its top. We took a few photos with the tower in the background and set off back for home laughing about the fact that all of the town’s attractions were closed glad that we still had a good time despite that fact.

The idea began to take shape after this. I grabbed the stickers and a few other Paris and trip related items. Then moved to the next isle and picked out some black scrapbook paper with white stars. Finally, I picked up a nice leather scrapbook and was off to the store to print off some pictures from my phone. It was a good thing for me that my wife had a habit of sending me photos of us together that she liked so I could update my phone background from time to time. Because of that I had plenty to choose from making it an easy part of my mission. I ran to my parent’s house borrowed my mother’s craft supplies and got to work. Not being crafty myself I did make quite the sticky mess of glue and paper as I put together what I hoped would be heart melting perfection. The title I added to the front read simply memories. The page inside was simple with photo of us with different Paris items around it with a frame in the middle that had an Eiffel tower on it. I added a red cowboy hat that I had found to the tower to make it an authentic Paris, Texas tower though. To finish it off at the bottom read a note “Nothing could be more perfect than creating more memories with you.” 

August 04, 2019 20:25

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