Sharing My World 3

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Did you ever get lost?

The first time I remember being lost was at a fall fair when I was six.  Six was a magical all-grown-up age for me, so I was, of course, totally done with holding on to my mother’s hand. That was for three-year-old baby sisters, not for me.  The three of us were walking across the crowded midway to the exhibits building and I was gawking up at everything in all directions. (Even though you’re grown up at the age of six, you’re still short.) So I got turned around and disoriented and found myself looking up at a strange mother who was definitely not mine.  Panic glued my feet to the ground.  I had no idea what to do next, so I didn’t do anything.  It crossed my mind to yell, but I wasn’t sure what would be appropriate.  Mom?  Help?  Save me?  I’m LOST!  I couldn’t find my voice.  I thought I might cry.  And then suddenly my mom and sister were there in front of me again, having been missing for maybe thirty seconds total, and I was awash with relief.  Mom told me how smart I was to stay in the same spot and not go running off in some random direction so that she wouldn’t know where to look for me.  I’ve never forgotten that.  Now when I think I might be lost, I stop moving.  And thus I don’t get even more hopelessly lost than I already am.

Who was your best friend in elementary school?

The best friend thing also started for me at the age of six.  It was a very good year.  We moved to a different rural township just before I started school and at some community function during that first summer I met a little red-haired girl.  We discovered that we would be starting school together.  We were giddy with excitement. Well, I think she was excited too, although it’s possible I had enough enthusiasm for both of us.  We spent the next eight years together moving through the grades in a one-room schoolhouse, and as much time together in the summers as we could.  Shirley was my best friend well beyond elementary school, even though we went off to different high schools.  We got summer jobs together, lived together for a year at University, tried to always stay in touch.  But life happens.  I moved north and then to a province on the other side of the country.  We both got married, had kids and jobs, sent Christmas cards back and forth.  It really is all down hill after elementary.  Now we’re grandmas, five and six times over.  My hair is grey and hers is still red.  Not everything in life is fair.

Since the new television season has started in the US, list three favorite TV shows.

The only TV shows I watch are on Netflix where there are no commercials and season after season of exciting episodes playing until the battery on my I-Pad dies.  If you’re going to waste time, might as well make a marathon out of it and get it out of your system.  Or not, since that’s never actually happened to me yet.  Dr. Who, Psych, The Good Wife, Hemlock Grove (don’t ask), Sherlock…..(so now you know the above picture of London is not some random thing I threw in for no reason).  OMG!  I just noticed Netflix has new episodes of Once Upon a Time and Covert Affairs!  There goes another month of my life.

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing?

There’s just me and W.  He’s downstairs watching football and I’m upstairs sharing my life with strangers.  The mouse got bored and fell asleep.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

There are so many things I’m grateful for I hardly know where to start.  Top of the list I guess is my health after many tests and procedures and appointments and a month of heavy-duty antibiotics.  The investigation continues.  At my follow-up appointment today the specialist and I agreed that there hasn’t been any change, for better or for worse, and that it’s now time to delve deeper and excise the demons.  If you don’t know the whole story, don’t worry.  I like to be dramatic.  I’m having a lump below my jaw surgically removed in the next 2 or 3 weeks.  It has been assessed as inflammation and benign, but it’s still a lump and it’s still worrisome.  Now I have a bunch of papers and requisitions for pre-op tests and lab work, starting with a patient history and physical on Wednesday morning. All the details you didn’t need to know will no doubt follow.  Because tomorrow is my last day of work.  Now, instead of my work schedule scribbled on the calendar, we will have it filled up with medical appointments and I will have nothing but time on my hands to tell you all about them.  Hey, isn’t that what retirement is all about? I’m looking forward to it, even if you’re not.

 

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Share Your World Week 39

 

One Crazy Little Chick

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When she heard that baby chicks could be hatched from incubated chicken eggs, it seemed like a simple enough procedure to find out if It was true.

Since her new winter boots always kept her feet nice and warm, she decided they would no doubt make perfectly excellent chicken hatchers.

She carefully snuck two eggs from the fridge, placed one in the snug toe of each boot, and promptly forgot about them for the duration of the long wait which came next.

She remembered well enough after she was asked to put her coat and boots on to go outside,  responding to the request by wailing and screaming at the top of her lungs about broken eggs and squished baby chickens and life being generally just dreadfully unfair.

Now, although she doesn’t know for sure if that was the first time her confused and exasperated mother threw up her hands and demanded to know what in the world was the matter with her, she can tell you with a great deal of certainty that it definitely wasn’t the last.

 

Five Sentence Fiction – Confusion

Scene From A Park

Photo Credit James Lee

Photo Credit James Lee

Writing 101:  Point of View

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry.  Write this scene.  Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

We went for a stroll one afternoon in the park. I thought it might be our last outing of the season before the snow came, or even the last for the year until spring, supposing I survived the winter. Possibly the last park stroll of my life. I didn’t know. There were no birds to feed, the geese had all gone south. Leaves were falling and skittering across our path in the brisk wind and there was a faint smell of burning in the autumn air. Cold enough for a jacket buttoned up and for noses and cheeks to tingle. So I was surprised when we came across the old woman sitting alone on her bench, bare hands on cold steel needles. She looked up but the little clicking sounds the needles made as she worked bright red yarn around them never faltered. Her steely grey eyes peered straight through me as if I wasn’t even there. I let go of Sally’s hand and roughly brushed the tears I couldn’t control from my cold cheeks. What the hell? I never used to cry. But my emotions had gone haywire lately. I wanted immediately to lash out at a perfect stranger, shake my fist, yell at her wrinkled old face. Look at me, I’M STILL HERE! I’m not gone yet. And it won’t be today. Today is NOT a good day to die. I looked away, wiped my palms on my jeans, and grabbed Sally’s hand. And then we just kept walking.

There was such a sadness in Sam that last fall we spent together. And so much anger. I honestly don’t know how I’d handle a similar diagnosis, but when he got the bad news, I decided the right thing for him to do was to keep on living. No giving up, no wallowing. I wanted him to be grateful for every single day he had left and happy to live all of them. But his moods were just all over the place. Of course I understood why, but still it was hard for me to cope with the intensity and the fierceness of his feelings. The funniest things would set him off. Like the day we went for a walk in the park. Everything was so beautiful and colourful and crisp. I’ve always loved Indian summer. There was a little old grandma sitting on one of the park benches busily knitting a child’s bright red sweater. She glanced up at us as we approached and I returned her sweet smile. It vanished though, when she looked at Sam. Because he was crying. Deep wrenching sobs, although later he’d claim it was just a few tears from the cold air and some pent-up emotion and naturally he didn’t want to talk about it. He dug his fists into his eyes, and then he grabbed my hand again and almost wrenched my shoulder out of its socket pulling me away. That poor old grandma, I’m sure he must have given her a crazy scare. And poor me. But mostly, poor, poor, dear Sam.

I was never one to sit at home by myself with nobody to talk to and nothing new to see, so as long as the weather stayed decent and my legs were willing, I’d pack up whatever I was working on and shuffle my old bones over to the park across the way. The bench I liked the best was under a big old red maple tree, and that fall it was just gorgeous. Red as the little sweater I had decided to knit for the dog I didn’t have. Once in a while the odd curious person would take the time to stop and chat. I lived for that. I used to tell fortunes and predict the future in my younger days, but those skills must fade away with age and lack of practice, because I got pretty rusty. Still, I liked to give it a whirl whenever I had the chance. Mostly I’d come up with nothing much to write home about. So when that young couple walked up the path it was like I’d been struck by psychic lightning. Her sadness mixed up with bewildered confusion, his rage manifested in clenched fists and choked back tears. Their combined unhappiness almost bowled me over. There was so much I wanted to say to them about hope and faith and nothing written in stone,  but they didn’t stop. Maybe it’s just as well. They were both already resigned to a future they believed they were powerless to change.  Too bad no one likes a little old lady who interferes.

Sharing My World 2

Early October Wine Grapes

Early October Wine Grapes (Photo Credit Ilares Riolfi)

Share Your World – 2014 Week 38

 

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I would be a grape vine in a vineyard in Italy or the south of France.  I can imagine being pampered and cared for and thus very productive with little personal effort.  Enjoying the sunshine with my family and friends, loaded down with luscious sun drenched fruit.  And doing whatever else grape vines get off on doing.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

Head directly to the kitchen, unpack the groceries picked up on the way over, and whip up a fantastic gourmet meal.  Or something simply nutritious and edible.  This servant doesn’t have to be a master chef or even particularly skilled because I probably won’t know the difference.  As long as somebody else cooks it, I’m pretty much guaranteed to like whatever it is.  Never having to meal plan or cook again!  That would be almost as blissful as standing around doing nothing in a vineyard all day.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Well if I have a servant doing the shopping and cooking, this would just be overkill.  Is red wine a food?  I’ll get my servant to reclassify it.  I’d be okay with an endless supply of that.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

My first three jobs were all in the food service industry.  A little mom-and-pop diner, a tea house on the beach and a dairy bar where we sold ice cream and fast food.  Perhaps this explains my aversion to preparing and serving food, and why I’m always so nice to wait staff.  Never before or since have I felt so overworked and under appreciated.  I hope I’m able to give my servant generous tips.  And the occasional holiday in the south of France.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for the fact that last week I didn’t strangle any small screaming children.  What is up with all the damned screaming when your poor servant-less mother is trying to shop?  Seriously, cut it out.  You’ll have plenty to scream about later in life when you’re waiting tables for a living.

This week I’m looking forward to all the gorgeous weather they’re predicting for days and days!  I’m looking forward to buying some gesso and repurposing some used canvas.  Drawing and painting and putting a dent in my endless wine supply.  Oh yeah, I don’t actually have one of those.  But think how grateful I’d be if I did.  Over the top.  No lie.

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The Doll Carriage

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It was the best birthday present ever in her short little life, that beautiful blue doll buggy made from tin.

She packed it full of dolls like sleepy-eyed sardines, upside down and backwards, arms and legs and heads in all directions.

When the wheels got rusty and wobbly with a terrible squeal that hurt their ears, her big brother helped transform the treasured carriage into an amazing spaceship painted shiny silver.

For their not-so-voluntary astronaut they chose the least suspicious barn cat, who appeared to have no great plans for his morning.

They climbed up to the crest of the rooftop on the chicken shed and launched him into outer space.

 

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Five Sentence Fiction – Wheels:  packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist.

Sharing My World

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Some early mornings I share my backyard world with this big old jack rabbit. He mostly ignores me before disappearing under the fence but I still enjoy our time together.

The happiness project is complete (although Jazzy will probably continue to pop up sporadically being her brilliantly happy oblivious wine drinking little self) and it’s time to do some actual writing again.  For a start, I’m joining the world sharers at last, after thinking about it for 36 weeks.

Share Your World Week 37

List three pet peeves.

1.  Public washrooms.

2.  People who don’t wash their hands.

3.  Improperly installed toilet paper rolls.

What makes you unique?

My tendency to give up when someone resists being convinced of something by my brainless arguments.  What?  That’s not unique?  Well forget it then.

What would be your ideal birthday present, and why?

I would like to receive the gift of good health for the next sixty-five years.  Which would make me a hundred and thirty years old with a lot of dead friends and relatives. So forget that one too.  Just give me best wishes.  I already have too much stuff.

Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?

Well here’s the thing.  It always goes over and down.  If it went under and up it would be defying gravity.  Think of those gigantic toilet paper rolls in public washrooms that are mounted sideways on the wall.  They unwind on the left or on the right.  Depending on your perspective, you think they are unrolling from the top or the bottom, but clearly they are unwinding from the top either way.  Face the toilet paper roll in your own bathroom which you have installed the wrong way and which you believe to be unrolling from the bottom.  Imagine yourself on the other side of it, and you will see it is really unrolling from the top.  Trust me on this, I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing it.  You could argue that it’s always unrolling from the bottom too, but you’ll just piss people off because they don’t give a shit.  Hey, it’s toilet paper we’re talking about, I can use my bathroom words.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful to be de-cluttering at a time in my life when I am very likely to completely forget about the things I’ve packed away and never go looking for them again.  I’m grateful that my house is looking cleaner and brighter and less like a messed up museum.

This week I will survive four more work days and have just six left to live through before retiring to my messed up museum for good.  Or bad, depending on your perspective.

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