During the month of April, I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. That is 26 posts in one month, for each letter of the alphabet, time off for good behavior on Sundays. Over 1800 bloggers are participating this year. Last I checked, I was #831. This year, Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, are here to tell you their story and share reviews, ideas, and inspiration with you. They’re also helping to teach theatre classes for kids in the Brainerd area, and continue to view and review theatre productions and some books. This retired couple doesn’t just sit around watching reruns on MeTv. (Although, Willie does like to put up his feet whenever Petticoat Junction comes on. It’s that sound of the train whistle. Millie makes no apologies for watching the Lassie marathon while holding her dog Tillie on her lap.)

WW is for Willie Cottonpoly, retired railroad worker, Foodie, and lover of all things made with eggs, especially Millie’s custard pie. One day while the two of them were out for a ride, he suddenly spotted this restaurant.


Willie: Millie, stop the car, turn around. I can’t believe it! Willy’s bar and grill is closing. It was the most perfect restaurant on this stretch of Hwy. 10. It’s as if they had me in mind when they put it up with the train engine logo and the railroad tracks. Now, where am I going to go for a fried egg sandwich? Why do restaurants have to close, Millie? Why do things have to come to an end? Why can’t they just stay the same?

Millie: Because they don’t, and they can’t. The world is constantly changing and evolving. Kids grow up. Parents age. Restaurants open, and close. We pass through towns that have lovely parks, then the next time we’re there, it’s a parking lot and mini mall.

Willie: I don’t like it.

Millie: No one does, Willie. The best you can do is live in the moment. Treasure those moments when you’re on top of the hill, and hold your breath when you descend. Life is full of peaks and valleys, all we can do is hold on for the ride and feel grateful when we can share the experience with someone we love.


Willie peers in the window of the now abandoned restaurant. A few old napkins and other debris are scattered on the floor. He can see the outline of the cash register on the otherwise faded counter top. The glass pastry case, now empty, once held his favorite cinnamon rolls. He sighs and slowly gets back into the car.

Millie: Do you want to listen to the radio?

Willie: No.

Millie: Do you want me to make you a fried egg sandwich when we get home?

Willie: Yes.

Millie: Here, Tillie. Why don’t you cuddle up with Willie. That’s a good girl. (She starts singing How much is that doggie in the window…Tillie adds the bark, bark, the one with the waggly tail…bark, bark bark. This brings a slight smile to Willie’s face, so Millie pulls out all the stops and begins) I’ve been working on the railroad…

Millie, Willie, and Tillie: all the livelong day. I’ve been working on the railroad, just to pass the time away. 

By the time they get to Dinah blow your horn, Willie is smiling, Tillie is wagging her tail, Millie is rolling her eyes, and their moods have lifted. She pushes away thoughts of their neighbor girls, Billie and Lillie, growing up and moving away. She can’t slow the train of change any more than Willie can. Whoo! Whoo! The train whistles and the chug, chug it makes on the tracks says to Father Time, You move to fast, you move too fast. As the steam lets out, it sighs, sloooow downnnnn.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What’s changing in your life? How are you handling it? What song do you sing to lift your spirits?