by Michael Groetsch

I Don’t Want to Live in a Motel: “Hi, Barb. Just calling to see how things are going at home. I’ll be back in town late Sunday afternoon.” “Everything is fine, Mike, except that the little kitten the kids found yesterday is getting real weak. I’m going to the pet store in the morning to buy some kitten formula and a baby bottle. I’m going to try nursing it back to health.” “Oh, while you’re there, Barb, please do me a big favor and get a live mouse for Gene’s snake. The snake hasn’t eaten in about a week and is getting real hungry.” Read more

Just One More Day: As I drive home in a torrential downpour, I can hear the shrill of emergency sirens in the near distance. I look in my rear- view mirror and then to my right and left, but see nothing. It is Thursday evening and the heavy rainstorm brings my hectic day to a dismal close. My wife Barbara had called me at the office earlier in the day and invited me to go to a movie. “Sorry, Barb, can’t do it tonight,” I responded. “ I still have a lot of paperwork to do and a couple of clients to see before I leave. You and the kids go without me. Give me a rain check and we’ll go together next week.” Without a second thought, I hung up the phone. Read more

My Name Is Ewald: “But Big E, I don’t understand why you want to attend this seminar. You know they try to get you here so they can put the hustle on you later. And besides, you have more money than God! Why don’t we turn around and go back home,” Vincent insists. “Shut up Vincent,” Big E replies. “The paper said that the first seminar is free. They’re also giving away a door prize.” “A prize? What kind of prize?” Vincent asks. “I have no idea. But it’s a prize and it’s free. Now let’s go in and register!” Big E demands. Read more

The Picnic Crashers: “Ewald, what happens if someone wants to know who our parents are?” his younger brother Chalin asks. “Just point towards a couple who look like they may be our mother and father,” Ewald responds. “Make sure they have dark hair and eyes though. Being dark ourselves, if you point towards a couple with blonde hair and light eyes, the picnickers may get suspicious.” This is the third year in a row that Chalin and Ewald have crashed company picnics in Abita Springs. Read more

Wal-Mart Mama: “Hi kids, where’s Mom?” I ask as I enter our home following a lousy day at the office. “She’s lying down in the bedroom,” Justin responds. “But you better be careful, Dad. Mom’s in a real bad mood. She’s not feeling well. She’s even been yelling at Weasel the cat for the last five minutes and he’s sound asleep. When I asked her about dinner, she told me to just sleep it off.” Read more

Broken Levees-Broken Lives: I wake and stare at the digital clock that pulsates on the nightstand. It is 5:55 in the morning and my wife Barbara lies sleeping beside me. For a moment, just a moment, I imagine that I’m lying warm in my bed at home. I gather my thoughts however, to the reality that we are still in a small hotel room surrounded by personal clutter. Our luggage, clothes, food, and other necessities leave little room for movement. Our pets, Weasel, Wicket, Georgie Girl, Marilyn, and Monroe who fled the storm with us seem confused by their strange surroundings. At least they are safe. Had we left them behind, they may have perished. Read more

Missing September: There was no September. Just as she washed away many of our homes, memories and dreams, she also swept away the thirty days that followed her fury. It’s as if we were in a time warp. Perhaps it is best that we suppressed the period immediately following Hurricane Katrina’s frenzied visit in 2005. Perhaps it is our way of forgetting the most traumatic event of our lives. Read more

The Cruise: It is Thanksgiving Day. My entire family and I cruise the Gulf of Mexico on the Carnival Conquest. On the massive ship are my brothers, sisters, sons, nieces, nephews, and Dad. There are 23 of us in all. We will arrive in Jamaica tomorrow. Mom passed away in January. We feel that spending Thanksgiving on a cruise would be an uplifting experience for our father. Read more

The Darker Side of Dawn: It is 5:00 a.m. and I cautiously walk the streets of Baghdad. A crescent moon looms in the northern sky. In the far distance, a fireball gives off a bright orange glow as muffled explosions penetrate morning’s silence. I am horrified to see a hooded body dangling from a steel girder. Read more

The Little Boy With The Pretty Blue Eyes: As the little boy walked into the office with a clumsy and stilted gait, he made an attempt to avoid eye contact. Looking to the side, he said nothing. Both arms were held in a rigid manner as if he was prepared to ward off an attack. His upper forehead was bruised and I could see two linear shaped scars near the base of his neck. Read more

For Bright Eyes: As we eat dinner at our favorite restaurant, my wife Barbara answers her cell phone. Her eyes and stilted speech suggest that something is wrong. I recognize the caller’s muffled voice from across the table. It is our son Justin. I listen intently and realize that he is calling about our cat, Bright Eyes. “Yes, Justin. Calm down. We’re leaving now. We’ll be home in a few minutes,” she reassures him. Read more

The Chihuahua’s Goat by Michael Groetsch is an award-winning and humorous true story staged in the 1950s about how his dog won a goat at a family picnic. Read more

“Love Story” is a moving and award winning story, authored by Michael Groetsch, that captures the loving and touching conversation between an elderly man and his dying wife as they share a final dinner together at a New Orleans restaurant. READ THE FULL STORY HERE

“The Last Train Ride is a heartfelt story by author Michael Groetsch, where the 83-year-old father of a childhood friend shares how his memory and life is quickly fading and that he is ready to take his last train ride. READ THE FULL STORY HERE

“The Kidnapping of Charlie Cotton” is an award-winning and inspiring story of author Michael Groetsch’s unique and heart-warming bond with an aging homeless man named Charlie that he once rescued from the streets of New Orleans. READ THE FULL STORY HERE

“Sweet Lorraine” – Author Michael Groetsch was asked by a terminally ill friend to assist him in writing a poetic letter to his wife before he passed. As he transcribed his friend’s feelings into words, he quickly realized that it was more than a letter. It became an award winning love story titled ‘Sweet Lorraine.’ Read more

Johnteen” is an award winning story authored by Michael Groetsch that shares the lives & thoughts of his father, sisters & brothers as they embraced his mother’s struggle and eventual passing from Ovarian cancer. Read more

“The Old Schoolhouse” is a touching and heartfelt story of a son and his aging father sharing memories as they walk through an abandoned schoolhouse that they both attended over a half-century ago. Read more

The Summer Cottage: With curious anticipation, I turn from Highway 90 onto North Beach Boulevard. A fruit vendor sitting near his pickup truck waves like we are old friends. The vendor is surrounded by the fruits of early summer. A pile of light green watermelons lay near the tailgate of his truck. Although we count ours lives in years, we seem to measure them in seasons. Read more