TIGHT-KNIT FAMILY

Illusion
What I expected from life and what turned out to be real were often opposites.  The truth was sometimes only an illusion waiting to be revealed at a later date.
Several years ago I lived alone in a large house near Kansas City, Missouri.  The house was new and I wanted to keep it clean for all the guests who wandered through during the afternoons. The house was like an art gallery, with seventy-four water-color paintings situated throughout  the house. There were three floors and people who were not accustomed to stairs were warned about the physical strength required. I’m telling you this because you might understand later what I had to do.
I would begin cleaning in the master bedroom on the third floor and gradually work my way down to the recreation room and storage rooms.  I could never get completely finished before starting over again. That’s why I hired a family business to take over two times a month.
The business was run by a woman and her two brothers.  She was clearly the one in charge, and each had certain tasks to do. Rebekkah, the manager and owner, kept everyone on task, stopping only for short breaks. She cleaned the bathrooms and the kitchen, because everyone noticed appliances and fixtures.  Jacob, the youngest brother vacuumed and dusted.  Joe, the oldest, was the fix-it man and landscape man.  They appeared to work as a unit, always close by. I began to believe that if there was a problem all would help as a unit.
On a scheduled cleaning day no one showed up.   “Odd,” I thought. I waited, but there were no calls. “What’s going on?” I wondered. “This is so unlike them.”
But outside, there were three trees on the ground, cut into firewood, ready to be brought up and stored near the house.  I assumed Joe had been there, doing his job.
The next day when I arrived home after work, the house was clean.  Still, no one was there and there were no calls or notes.
(illusion continued)

i

The house was too big for one person to keep clean.

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CENTER

via Daily Always expecting to be the center of attention, Al demanded all eyes to focus on him. If someone forgot just for a second, the whip would lash out and deal punishment to the helpless soul. James was aware of the consequences but he was tired of catering to Al’s egotistical demands. With bold steps James stood up and proceeded to the center of the stage. While others shrank back, James stood proudly, defiantly staring into Al’s eyes. Al lifted the whip and prepared to strike a punishing blow but his arm was locked into place. James smiled as Al snarled in frustration. James laughed and said, “Don’t you know the rules have changed? Love conquers all. If your peers choose to love you, your hate will consume you until the least of men or women have revenge. You will continue to be front and center, covered with thoughts of love.” Al could no longer rule by hate and fear. Love was the beginning and the end, but more importantly, love was the center. Prompt: Center