Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cool Cat and Other Cold Thoughts

(photo source)
Cold is not my favorite word, I have to admit that I don't like the cold very much.  I don't think that "cool cat" up there does either, though it looks mighty spiffy dressed up in that pink hat and scarf! (Maybe that's what he/she is so unhappy about! :-)  Cold weather makes me ache, and when I get chilled it takes me forever to warm up again.

My father's funeral was held on an icy-cold day in South Dakota in early January 2010.  My mother's funeral fifteen years earlier, in January 1995, was so bitterly cold that internment at the cemetery following the church service was very brief.  The cold is what stands out in my memory of those times, overshadowing memories of winter fun as a child.  I hope I never have to return to Dakota in the winter again.

But not all things connected with cold are bad. I need my tall glass of iced-tea every morning to jump-start the day. I enjoy a glass of cold milk with warm chocolate chip cookies, and I love ice-cream year around, with pistachio being my new favorite. Papa Bear loves ice-cream even more than I do, and would be perfectly happy to have a big bowl of it nightly. :-) 

Toby, my one-year-old kitty, loves ice-cubes... for playing hockey on the kitchen floor!  Papa Bear started it, dropping an ice cube as he was retrieving some from our freezer drawer one day.  Ever-curious Toby quickly discovered that melting ice is slippery and flies around the kitchen floor with the slightest touch.  Now, as soon as he hears the freezer drawer open, he hurls himself across the room to stand ready for a complimentary ice cube.  (I slip n' slide across the floor pretty well too, due to wet puddles left by Toby's hockey game!)

I have one more version of cold to share with you... my mother's most excellent Apricot Slush mix that is stored in the freezer but never freezes beyond slush consistency due to the alcohol content.  I've given it for Christmas gifts and taken it to many office parties in old days, and it's always a great hit... and deceptively potent!  Try some this holiday season, it's good stuff! :-)  (If you prefer it less sweet, use club soda as the mixer, I do.)
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I'm linking up with Brenda at BYG Adventures
where the word we are Pondering this week is "cold" 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Midnight Star

"Silent night, holy night... all is calm, all is bright..."  Lizette sat quietly in the back of the church on Christmas Eve listening to the beautiful carols, wanting so badly to believe in the miracle these songs proclaimed.  She slipped out unnoticed before the service ended, tears streaming down her face.  "Where is this miracle, this Savior?" she thought as she trudged down the snowy sidewalk and up the stairs to her small apartment.  "I sure haven't seen any evidence of His love in my life," she mumbled.  
 
Lizette's life hadn't been easy.  Her father had disappeared shortly after she was born, and her mother had worked two jobs to make ends meet.  Lizette had grown up taking care of the house and her younger brother, and rarely had time to play like her school friends did, nor was there extra money for "frivolous" things like going to the movies or the mall. When her mother was home, she was usually out-of-sorts  and prone to criticizing, and Lizette was often aware that her breath smelled like alcohol. 
 
Lizette's brother had gone off and joined the Army when he graduated. When he returned from the war he was different, obviously struggling with the experience and she couldn't get him to listen when she begged him to get some help.  He committed suicide less than a year after he returned home; it broke Lizette's heart.  Her mother's drinking escalated to the point where she was no longer able to hold a job, and spent more time in hospitals and rehab centers than she did at home. She was angry and bitter, and had little time for Lizette, once saying in a drunken rage that she wished Lizette had died instead.  Lizette didn't go to visit her after that.
 
Christmas Eve found Lizette alone, having recently broken up with an on-again, off-again boyfriend. Deep down she knew the relationship was never going to go anywhere, but at least he had been someone to keep her warm at night.  Too depressed to stay up any longer, Lizette crawled into bed and cried herself to sleep.
 
Fast asleep, Lizette dreamed that her brother was there sitting on the side of her bed, talking with her just like he used to before he went off to the war.  He looked well and wonderful, smiling that amazing smile that melted her heart from the time he was very small.  In the dream they talked about his life and her life, and their mother's, and he told Lizette that he was at peace know, that he had made amends for the sorrows that had resulted from his actions as a soldier, and for choosing to take his life.  He told her that it was the wrong choice, and he regretted it, but that he had been forgiven.  Lizette could see the calmness in his face and voice and knew that what he was saying was true.
 
Lizette's brother then told her that their mother was not well physically, that her body had been badly damaged from all the years of drinking, and that she would soon be departing her earthly life.  He urged Lizette to go and see her, to make up with each other before it was too late.  Lizette could never refuse her brother anything, so she promised that she would.
 
The rest of the dream seemed more hazy, and Lizette had a hard time remembering it clearly later.  Her brother had told her something about a wonderful opportunity that was going to come her way which would take her to a new place where she would make new friends and meet someone special.  He told her that he saw her surrounded with laughing children, but she wasn't clear if they were children of her own of a classroom of some kind. 
 
The last thing she remembered of the dream was him bending down to kiss her check and whisper in her ear that God loved her dearly and she should watch for a sign that the Christ child was going fill her heart with such joy that she would shine, and everyone she encountered would notice.  He told her that all she needed to do was to believe... and then he faded away.
 
Lizette cried out to him in her dream, begging him not to go, and woke up in doing so.  Opening her eyes, she could see her brother was nowhere in the room and she realized that she had been dreaming, but it seemed so real, so very real. She touched her face where he had kissed her, and wanted to believe that he had been there.  Just then she noticed the bright light shining through her bedroom window. Slipping out of bed, she crossed the floor and peered out the window.  High up in the sky she saw the most brilliant star she had ever seen.  The little stars around it seemed like tiny pinpoints of light by comparison. She stood there in awe, gazing at the beautiful star shining so brightly, and suddenly she realized what night this was, and what had occurred on this night so very long ago.  This was her sign! It was Christmas, and this was the Christmas star, guiding her to the light of Jesus, guiding her home.
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This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are midnight and mystery.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Shoes Tuesday #109 - Midnight or Mystery

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 16th writing themes to choose from are midnight and mystery. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Shoes Tuesday Word Prompts for Dec. 16th

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 16th writing themes to choose from are midnight and mystery. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Shoes Tuesday #108 - Calm or Candle

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 9th writing themes to choose from are calm and candle.