Kmart was a weekly event for my mom, part of her routine. She dragged my brother, Mark, and I out for groceries and supplies with the hope that we wouldn’t kill each other in the wide open spaces of the aisles. Mark and I are a year apart in age, two spark plugs filled with the electricity of youth and the conflict of sibling rivalry. Mom was an expert at keeping the two of us occupied, giving us little tasks to do at the grocery store, like go find a box of strawberry Pop Tarts (it was safe to send a boy off those days). Inevitably we came back with not only the box of Pop Tarts, but whatever else caught our eye along the way. I don’t think she minded the extra articles in the shopping cart as long as we weren’t tearing each other’s throat out.
And then there were the Kmart blue light specials — a flashing blue light placed strategically inside the store next to the deal of the moment, an announcement over the intercom proclaiming the hoagie deal of the day.
“Get it now while they last! No better price any where!”
My brother and I were suckers for that blue light. Our nights with mom at Kmart were filled with the special events brought to us by that flashing blue light on a pole.
November has become blue light month for me, a month filled with special events. November 1 brings NaNoWriMo, the writing event designed to give each participant a freely written novel manuscript. The goal is 50,000 words with a certificate for those who make it to that milestone. I plan before the month of writing begins with character sketches, rough outlines, background stories for each character, even a PLOT. If I don’t plan, I don’t reach the 50,000 word goal. It is November 2 and I am over 4000 words already, a nice start.
And I need to start quickly. There will be two days this week where I won’t be writing at all. Why? Because the second event of November will be happening — BROWN COUNTY. For two days, I will be banging around the woods in southern Indiana with my friends Jim and Jon on our mountain bikes. This year we enticed my friend, Mike, to join us. It is guy time, a time when we risk life and limb while riding ourselves past exhaustion on the dirt and rock trails, tired but with smiles of satisfaction. My friends are the medicine I always need, drama free and the kind of friends any guy should have. We don’t drink because our poison is riding a bike, one of the reasons our wives love that we go on this trip!
Then there is Thanksgiving, not really a blue light special, but probably my favorite holiday of the year!