The day I quit the cube farm and became a Fromager

It was my first day in the cube farm.

And it did not last long.

I took one look and thought to myself, I will not last one minute.

I thought of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and Walden by Thoreau.

I thought of scenes from Office Space and Fight Club. Further, I visualized myself melting into a puddle of wax like a candle out of an Indiana Jones movie.

And then I had an epiphany.

I could change my life trajectory in a flash.

I could seize the entrepreneurship lifestyle so many adore and talk about.

It was a wizard-like stroke of insight.

I could become a Fromager, an expert who makes cheese.

https://www.instructables.com/Basic-Steps-of-How-to-Make-Cheese/

What indeed could be better than such an escape?

Visions of sharp, soft, and gooey cheese melted into my brain.

The much sought-after lifestyle of the fromager had never previously crossed my mind.

Oh, mild-cheddar bliss!

The cheese caves. The dark must funk of the fascinating cheese universe. I could not resist the idea.

I promptly walked into my new boss’s office and told him Goodbye.

He could see the sparkle in my eye, his eyebrow slightly raised.

The alarm buzzed.

Startled, I half opened an eye and then realized it was Monday.

Doggo (A Short Story)

Doggo waited, perched in her backyard.

She reviewed today’s to-do list:

  • Investigate Sniffy Spots
  • Hide bone
  • Chew shoes
  • Slobber on mail
  • Snooze
  • Eat pizza with family during Pizza Movie Night

Pizza Movie Night was something everyone in the house looked forward to each week.

This week will be different, Doggo thought.

Tail wagging like a metronome, she hopped up on the wagon, peering into the window.

She howled to alert the family about her decision.

Doggo drooled at the thought of pizza.

Cheese pizza.

Pizza with sausage. 

Day-old pizza. 

Oh, and pizza bones. Those are perhaps the best.

She floated to cloud nine.

Tonight will be magical, she thought.

The back door opened. Come on back in Doggo, said the girl. We saved you a seat right in the middle.

Her little heart went pitter-patter, tail wagging faster.

What a night!

End

Camping 2.0

… and off they went biking along the single track…

The girls had ridden their bicycles all day. They just completed an eighteen-mile out n’ back trail named Sourdough, up along Indian Creek Wilderness, a bit north of Nederland, Colorado.

What a day! she exclaimed; I’m starving.

I could eat at least three burgers, her sister replied. What do we have for food?

Marshmallows. I believe that’s all we packed. 

Well, that puts us in a pickle, said her sister.

Just kidding, Dad shipped us out with a true spread: burgers, fixings, and even chocolate cake. All we have to do is fire up the grill. 

After dinner, the sun dipped and glowed a radiant starburst orange behind the Rockies. The wind whispered gently through the trees, and the birds and bugs chattered softly.

The girls put together a small campfire to warm their toes and snuggled up right next to each other in their camp chairs, teddy bears included.

They had brought a mix of books with them in the truck to start the evening. 

To her surprise, she had found an old-looking book squeezed between some of their favorites. Look at this, she told her sister, one of dad’s booksHe must have sent it along with us…

… to be continued… 

Thanks for reading, 

Cory

Series of Short Stories 3.0 (for the kids)

CLIMBING

You might have guessed this story was coming based on the last two (Camping & Bicycling). Climbing seemed like a natural progression of going up.

The only thing better than camping and bicycling is going Up with your friends high on your favorite rock, clinging daintily to a cliff, like a spider spun onto a web. You can’t get enough of this kind of stuff.

Climbing brings true joy. It builds mental fierceness and it forces you to focus as you ascend. When you repel, you come down with clarity. A very down-to-earth paramedic I worked with a couple of years ago told me, “If everybody just went out to the mountains and sat on a rock, and thought for a bit and breathed, the world would spin a little bit slower.”

I asked my kids, “Where do you want to go?”

They tell me, “Up. We want to go up!”

And I know what they mean.

Climbing as an adult (and really at any age) is the equivalent of tree climbing when you were a kid. Why on earth did you climb trees when you were little? You may not have known it then, but the real reason was to go Up. Simple as that.

Replying to the question, “Why did you want to climb Mount Everest?” George Mallory famously replied, “Because it’s there.”

I think that sums it up nicely.

Thanks for reading,

Cory

Series of Short Stories 2.0 (for the kids)

Pedal Faster!

Pedal faster, she screamed in a mixed excited, surprised wail. There’s a giant squid behind us and it’s going to get us!

It was just the motivation dad needed to pull the trailer up the increasing incline. He thought of the lactic acid building in his legs starting to become more of a reality than purely a textbook idea. Dad had not seen the squid but knew it was there. She had seen it. And it was real.

Her sister had not seen the squid either but as she turned her head around, her eyes widened and her mouth dropped. She joined in Dad, Pedal faster! The squid! The squid! It’s going to get us.

Mind racing, feet spinning, dad kicked into high gear for fear of their potential peril with this unknown underwater creature. Shouts of glee paraded from the back of the trailer!

Once they were around the corner past the top of the hill free of the squid, dad downshifted again on the 80s purple Bianchi, slowing a tad to catch his breath. They were almost home and all four of them were nap ready.

The end.

Story Footnotes

We had pedaled all the way to Pirate Island and back, a place about ten miles from our home. The one hundred pound trailer included the kids, the chocolate-colored toy poodle, water, wet wipes and snacks, which decreased due to hungry tummies.

Pirate Island is a magical place. It sits just along the river, shaded by cottonwoods providing a small beach that ebbs depending on the river’s flow. Today, the sand beach was limited due to the snowmelt. The sky remained crystal clear blue with cumulus clouds in the distance.

Riding around in our neighborhood is similar to icing on cake. It is where adventure continues. Adventure doesn’t always have to be hours away or even halfway across the globe. It starts right when you wake up. It is an orientation toward life. It’s about possibility and opportunity. It’s a way of seeing the world from the eyes of a child. The ability to keep this perspective as an adult is what keeps me young. The kids and the weight of the trailer, of course, help.

Biking has everything we need. So, I’ll keep at it and pedal faster.  

As a sidenote, want to know something funny? This is a true story. Including the giant squid.

Thanks for reading.

Cory