Friday, June 29, 2012

Ocean through New Eyes



The Pacific Ocean is twenty miles from our house.  We live in the middle between the San Jacinto Mountains and the ocean.

My husband’s brother Brian came to a rented beach house from Utah and spent a week listening to ocean’s tides.  Our jaded and clouded eyes were opened and we viewed the Pacific Ocean through their eyes.

Did you know that dolphins can be seen without binoculars, a mere 100 feet out from the sand?  My daughter spotted them, and we lifted Sunshine and Bright Eyes onto the ledge.  With a head resting against mine, Bright Eyes gazed along my outstretched arm and pointed finger to see the curved backs and fins leaping from the water. 

Dolphins were never so incredible before.

My granddaughters’ hair smelled of ocean.  Reddened from the sun, their soft cheeks had grains of sand still clinging.  Damp beach towels radiated warmth between us.  The ocean never was so amazing.


Did you know that sand glitters with gold and quartz as the tide comes in and then recedes?  “Real gold, Grandma!  Look!”  Wet sand will never be the same after seeing it in Sunshine’s hands.

My niece Kamille walked along the beach with her tall husband Zach.  He said something funny, and she turned to gaze up at him.  Her smiling profile with her rounded baby belly, their two children jumping in the water and laughing—creation and life will always be defined by that image in my head.

I will gaze out on the salt waters with brighter eyes from now on.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats and Their Humans by Dulcy and Dee Ready

Dee Ready's blog about Dulcy


When it comes to pets, it is assumed that one is a “cat” person or a “dog” person.  Is there no middle ground?? Of course there is, for the essence of any relationship is based on the same basic principles;  love and trust, caring and giving are only part of the wonder of relationships.

In Dee Ready’s first book, A Cat's Life: Dulcy's Story, the reader is introduced to this relationship between the cat Dulcy and her human Dee Ready.  It flows smoothly, quickly into the world as Dulcy viewed it.  The love she had for her human involved teaching Dee exactly who was the boss.


Click here to access Dee's blog!

In Dee Ready’s new book, Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats andTheir Humans, Dulcy explains what her mother Natasha taught her about having a successful relationship with humans.

The opening sentence: “We cats possess a wisdom far beyond mere humans.  Even my human, wonderful as she is, lacks my instincts.  That is why the habits I shall give you are so important.  They help us train these humans and make our life wholly satisfying.”

Perhaps the most important thing any of us can do in life is to “Find our Heartwish”. 
This is one of the Twelve Habits, but without this discovery, nothing else can happen.  Dee writes, “A heartwish pulls us forward, beckons us, centers us, endows our life with meaning, provides vision for the journey…our heartwish makes us unique…”

If one thinks this is simply a book about a cat and her owner, think again.  This is a book that delves into the importance of building a life-long relationship with another being--cat, human, whatever.  It is not a matter of ownership--it is the essence of love.
Dee and Dulcy shared much, and then shared it with readers.  If one adopts these twelve habits, then life will be fuller, better, and then blessed with love and memories.  Such a relationship endues the world with a glow, a North Star to follow.

I encourage all who read this to buy Dee's books, available as soft-cover or e-book.  The link is:The Twelve Habits....by Dee Ready 
and Dee Ready's Books

PhotoPrompt--Grandparents

From Delores at "thefeatherednest"


What I remember most about my grandparents are their hands. 

Grandpa had big hands, calloused and worn with broken nails.  But, he held my little hand as if it were a china tea cup.

Grandma’s hands smelled like vanilla and cinnamon.  She cupped my little hands around a baby chick.  

I miss them, how they sounded, the smell of Grandpa's shirt, the softness of Grandma's apron.  But, most of all, I miss their hands on mine.

PhotoPrompt: The Wedding

The Wedding


When Emily informed her family that she was marrying Thomas, all hell broke loose.  The room erupted with a flurry of questions.

Do you really know him?  What does his family think?  He is older than you!  How will he take care of you?  Are you sure that….

In the end, the wedding went forward. 

At the reception, the big wooden doors opened to the room of waiting family guests.  The host announced, “Please welcome the bride and groom:  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Cleary!”

To the applause, the 84 year-old blushing bride and the 87 year-old proud groom stepped into the room.

Monday, June 25, 2012

PhotoPrompt #7: The Wedding

At Hotel Vienna Woods, County Cork, Ireland



This was a small wedding in Hotel Vienna Woods, around mid-summer 1987.  I remember it clearly.  What do you see in this photo taken in an old manor house, built in 1769?  Where is the wedding party?  What is the story that surrounds this event?

This is week #7 of Monday PhotoPrompt!  I hope that you will take a chance and write some reaction to this photo.  It can be free verse, prose, a flash fiction, a poem—whatever hits you when you see this photo.  Do not hesitate!  Do it now!  Please?

In the right sidebar are other blog sites that may be posting other photos.  Check them out, and even join this writing on the wing!


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Remote Conflict

One experiences many conflicts during a marriage.  With some luck and hard work, the couple can resolve these conflicts.

My husband John and I have seen our share of conflicts.  Oh, yes we have.  Usually we have been able to work through the difficulties.

Recently, extreme measures were required to settle a life-long problem.  Now, don’t laugh, because this particular problem has had far reaching effects in the peace of our house.
Where is the remote?
Which always escalates to

I don’t know!  You had it last!

After that, everything goes all messy.  

The couch cushions go flying, unread mail and magazines are moved from place to place, and emotions run high.  Eventually, the dang remote(s) are found, life goes back to normal until the next time one or more remotes go missing.

Few things are as important as the danged remotes.  Remember the day when we had to actually get up off our rears to change the channel??

This has really worked! 

I have solved that problem.  I may patent my ideas. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

PhotoPrompt: The Flowers at the Crossroads

From Delores at "myfeatherednest"

Javier gazed as his mother drove away, leaving him at their flower ‘stand’ to finish up the day’s sales.  Mijo, you stay here until all the flowers are sold!  We need at least $5.00 more.  Do you hear me, Javie?”  When Mama spoke like that, Javier listened.

Five more stinkin’ dollars?  He looked at the fading-fast spring flowers.  The daffodils were withering and the roads were quiet.

A car pulled up.  The window slid down silently, and a woman leaned out.  “Child!  How much for all those flowers?”  When Javier held up five fingers, she drove on.

Another car.  Same thing.

A third car finally stopped, and a man got out of his car.  He was out of breath, clearly at the end of his long day in worn-out way.  “How much for all these flowers?  My wife just had our baby girl!  Six pounds and three ounces!”

Javier looked into his earnest face.  “They’re free, mister.  You can have ‘em for nothin’.”

The man laughed and took out his wallet.  He gave Javier a bill, scooped up all the flowers, and sped away.

Javier looked down at his hand holding a twenty-dollar bill. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Samuel: The Aftermath

Source

It was Nana who rounded all the children up, and took them to the deck.  The whole flock of three-year olds plopped down and waited with serious eyes.  Soon they would be whisked away to be cleaned up and taken home for their naps.

The pitchers of Sangria had been drained dry, causing some of the mothers to stagger as they wiped down the cake mess.  Nana put on some coffee and started force-feeding the women with extra caffeine.

Samuel sat off to the side with his crew.  To look at them, no one would know that this was all their doing.  That all the destruction, the soiled and busted bouncing castle, and the run-away pony—all was accomplished with those four children.

Samuel felt an inner glow that always came after a successful venture, the sense that all was well with the world. Such a great day, the best birthday yet!  Everything, all of it!  Man.  I wish we could do it all over.

Then Nana took him by the hand and led him to his bedroom.  They sat down on his ‘big boy’ bed, and Nana looked Samuel straight in the eyes.  She held his eyes with her own until Samuel felt the glow shrivel, the pride shut down.

“Samuel.  Did you even think about what would happen to the pony?  To the young man who loves him?  Did you wonder about that boy Jason who had to go into the ‘castle’ to save all your little friends?  What if he had not done that?”

Samuel’s eyes grew big and he blinked big earnest tears.  I..no, well…I didn’t know…  Nana’s words hit him harder than any hand could.

“Think about those two young men, what they have to do now.”  Nana stood up and took off Samuel’s shoes, getting ready for a nap. She led him to the toilet where he could pee.  After all, Samuel had not been in the castle.

Later, his bed was a silent sepulcher for Samuel: stone cold and devoid of any happy thought at all. What will I do now?  Now that I know about other people, and actually care?  What can I do?

To read about Samuel's third birthday, go to this link:
Uncle Marvin tells what he saw 

What do you think Samuel will do now?  How will he deal with this conflict of conscience and talent for destruction?  After all, the very essence of Samuel is at stake!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boy on the Bridge

Source: I Heart My Snap
Boy on the bridge
What do you see here, looking at the boy on the bridge?  Is he waiting for someone?  Looking for someone?  Remembering something?  Click on the source to visit the site from which this photo originated.

Use this photo to create a short piece of fiction.  It can be prose, poetry, ...whatever you desire.

On Monday whoever has a photo to post will do so..we may have more than one so there will be a choice to work from..if no one posts a photo on Monday Delores has promised that she will dig around and find one.

In the right side bar is a list of bloggers who have said they will try to have a photo up and running.  Check them out throughout the week!


My apologies to all whom I have confused!  I posted my take on the PhotoPrompt before I put up the photo.  

Blame it on a senior moment, brain fog, migraine moment, or being hasty!  Sorry!







The Boy who Watches and Waits

Source listed in earlier post


Mommy brings me here every day.  In the morning.  She gets me up, and I eat oatmeal.  She likes oatmeal, but I don’t.  I eat it ‘cause she tells me to.

Then we come here, to this bridge.  This is where I stand, right here by this piece of bubble gum. One time I tried to pick it up, but Mommy stopped me.  She said it was yucky.  But it tasted fine, ‘cause I licked my fingers after.

Why do I come here?  You mean, to the bridge here?  Oh.

Mommy says that the river goes all the way to the ocean.  Did you know the ocean is salty?  It is!  Oh.

She said that someday my daddy will row his boat right up to this bridge.  ‘Cause he went away to the ocean to work, and he’ll be back any day now.

Maybe tomorrow! And I’ll be standing right here!  By this bubble gum! 

Do you think my daddy will bring me some gum?

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Words of June

Words of June Contest
From Delores at 'myfeatherednest'


May breezed through the door,
Leaving blushing lush petals
and enticing wispy perfume.
Touch them, be caught by their guards.
But, then, roses are easily forgiven.

Rubies lie hidden
Beneath running vines
With sweet tastes and surprise:
The best of summer wines.

Somewhere
In that magic shift of time
Between light and dark,
Dusk descends.

A cricket begins his wooing.
Bees retire to their queen.
Strings of webbing stretch
Between branches and house
To catch unwary meals.

Lights blink and shimmer
Escaping capture,
Flitting briefly
In a courting dance.

Arriving early and leaving late,
Sun peeks over the line
Between sky and sea.
Reluctant to leave
Without a curtain call.

Early offerings of summer
With hints of abundance ahead.
Minutes of June quickly fly
Into the fire and heat of a noisy
July.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Samuel's 3rd Birthday: Uncle Marvin Tells All

Source--let the inner animal out

Comfortable in his wheel chair, Great Uncle Marvin sat under the umbrella making balloon animals for the children.  His sister, ‘Nana’ had warned him to be on the look-out for anything at all that might happen.  Samuel’s father, Nathan had been a holy terror and Uncle Marvin had helped corral Little Nate many times.  Yup, Marvin was there, and looking forward to watching Samuel and his little friends.

When asked later about what happened and when, Marvin leaned back in his wheelchair and began.  “Well, I tell ya….Nothin’ was a-tal strange.  Those kids were running and screaming from one thing to ‘nother.  I made lots of crowns for the little girls, swords for those boys.  Nope, that was all goin’ just fine.”

Uncle Marvin chuckled, “Ya know, it started with the little girls and their high-pitched screaming.  Had to turn my hearing aid down.  They was running in a big clump from one end to ‘other, screaming like nobody’s biz’ness.  That one girl, Clarisse, oh Lordy! She has a mighty set of lungs.”

“Then the boys, they all headed to the jumpy house thing, that castle.  They was jumpin’ for all they’s worth.  Then they got it rockin’ side to side.  That was when some of those patches blew, and the air hissed out.”

That young man, Jason, well, he jumped into the castle and started pulling and throwin’ all those little boys out.  Then he came out holding a diaper at arms’ length.  And, it was one loaded diaper, too. Said something about the boys had been peeing all over the inside.  That Jason, he started gagging, but he got his two helpers to unplug the fan and start deflating the castle thing.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Guest Post at...

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
Try going here!







After you have read my take on the PhotoPrompt, "The Old Man", please click on the above.  I am being featured as a guest host at this site.

Can't promise anything exciting or great revelations, but I hope I shared a bit of my mind with you.  Yesterday Arlee Bird posted an excellent proposal about "What do we do next year?"  You must read it, as it brings up many important questions.

Thanks!

Susan

PhotoPromt#6: The Old Man

Source


Frank gazed at his hands in disbelief tinged with anger.  How could this have happened?  He berated himself as he reviewed this part of his life, step by step.

He had been so careful even to the point of being called ‘overly-cautious’.  Every move he made was planned out with all its possible consequences.  That had given him great success all throughout his life.  “That Frank, boy, he never does anything without thinking it through a dozen times.  Slow, but Frank is something else!”  People had said about him for all of his 72 years. 

Buy or sell…left or right…that was how Frank lived his life.  And now this.  How could he not have seen this happening?  The clues were all there, he realized that now.  And now?  What would he do now?

Frank should have forged forward when he had the chance.  Taking chances on a whim wasn’t his way, but that was what Frank had done.  He should have seen the walls closing around him, suffocating him, taking away his very breath.  Too late, too late now.

With a heavy sigh of resignation, Frank reached across the board and knocked over his King.  “Damn you, Jenny.  I resign.”

“Oh, Grandpa!”  Jenny giggled.  “It’s just a game!”


Monday, June 11, 2012

Delores at 'myfeatherednest'



The pram held the dollies and memories of play-times long ago.  Set among the other auction items, it was out of place and from another era. 

I didn’t think I would find my final days here, on the grass surrounded by these people!  Don’t they know how to dress?  How to conduct themselves? 

Hours went by and the auctioneer called out the bids until only a few things remained, including the pram and her precious dollies.  Finally it was lifted and placed on the stage.

What is he saying…I don’t understand him at all.  No manners whatsoever!  What did he just say?  SOLD!  I have been SOLD?  Oh, the indignity!

It was lifted down and a young girl grasped the handles.  “Oh, Mommy!  It’s perfect!  I shall call the dollies ‘Matilda’ and ‘Gracie’!”

Oh!  I have a new little lady, a new home!  Come, dollies, we have a little girl to love at last!