As I drive along, I notice unusual things in yards.
The men in my life do not appreciate this—they say I'm swerving, but of course, I'm not.
If you happen to be gawking along with me, you know there's lots to see.
For example, not far from here, an entire (plastic) holy family huddles on the front porch of a small white cottage. I'm sure someone intended to put them back in the shed until next year, but they just haven't gotten around to it.
In another yard, there's a life-size bear figure, standing tall and menacing. The owners may think it's hidden behind that pampas grass, but people with excellent observation skills will notice these things. They also have a fake white pony, frozen mid-trot, not far from the bear—is there a story in the mind of the yard decorator?
Perhaps my favorite oddity is in the yard of a pink Cape Cod home, set high on a hill. A yeti statue strides through the side yard, perhaps on its way to the next meeting of the RUFO Society.
And what about this ladder?
It's propped against a tree with no apparent purpose at all.
I may have an overactive imagination, as some say, but doesn't this spark your
sense of wonder? A room full of first graders would be bursting with ideas about
the mystery of this ladder to nowhere.
Here's mine—a Story Snapshot called (what else?)
"The Ladder to Nowhere"
Benji walked around the ladder to better see it from all sides. His fingers, sticky with the evidence of three s'mores, brushed once-sharp wooden edges and skimmed embedded, rusty nails. It was almost too dark to really inspect the mysterious ladder now that the sun was going down. He thought about calling J.D., but then everyone would follow, and he might even get in trouble for wandering too far from camp. "Don't leave the circle of firelight," the scout leaders kept repeating. But they were only moms anyway and not real scoutmasters like he used to have in Indiana.
Bracing his hands on the side rails, he put his weight the bottom rung with one sneaker. Was it strong enough to hold his weight? He took three more rungs without taking a breath—still safe! From this perch, Benji peered up, up, up through the gloom, but the tree's neighbors huddled too close, blocking any final fingers of sunlight. If he was going to get to the top, he'd have to be fast ...