Past Reopened


Shasta had grown up with an emotionally distant mother who was extremely private about her past.  Shasta's father left when she was very young, and she had no memories of him. When she asked here mother, all that she would say was that he had been a salesman  who was away from home a lot. She told Shasta that she had no idea where he was now or how to find him, and she made it clear that the subject was closed. 
 
It wasn't until Shasta was well into her thirties and her mother died after a long illness, that she discovered there was more to the past than she had been told.  As she was sorting through her mother's belongings she came across a small velvet box in the drawer of her jewelry chest. Opening the box she found a locket with a photo of Shasta as a young child on the left side, but who was the little boy pictured on the right?  His face seemed almost familiar, but she couldn't place him and she wondered why her mother would have his picture there.  
 
It was an unsettling discovery that led her to begin searching through her mother's personal papers looking for a clue.  In a stack of legal papers that had yellowed with time, she found a birth certificate that stunned her.  Apparently she had a brother named Thomas that had been born two years after her.  Was this the little boy whose photo was next to hers in the locket?  It had to be!  But where was he?  What had happened to him?  Shasta knew she would never be at peace until she found some answers.
 
Since she had no close relatives to ask about her little brother, Shasta wrote down the name of her father as listed on the birth certificate, and began an online search to find him.  There with several entries on websites, all with the same name, but residing in different states.  Starting with the ones that were in relative proximity and within possible age range, she began making calls and sending letters trying to find her long lost father.  One by one she crossed entries off the list she had made as the answers came back that they didn't know her or her mother and hadn't lived or worked in the area at the time of her or Thomas's birth.  
 
Then one night she made a call that was about to change her life.  Dialing yet another number on the list, she began to tell her story to the man on the other end.  He got very quiet and she held her breath waiting for a response.  "I believe that I am your father and you have found me, Shasta," said a voice choked with emotion, "All these years I have longed to know what happened to you and to hear your voice.  When we got divorced your mother and I signed an agreement that we wouldn't have any contact and wouldn't interfere in each other's lives.  She kept you and I took Thomas to live with me."
 
"Thomas?" Shasta's heart nearly stopped beating. "Where is Thomas?" 
 
"He's right here, Shasta, he just dropped by to visit me.  Would you like to talk to him?"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written in retrospect for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are open and early...
Come and join us there!

Two Shoes Tuesday #38 - Open or Early

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 in your post, but please use it as your theme. 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 Mr. Linky 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 Saturday night. 

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 July 30th writing prompts to choose from are Open and Early.  Have Fun!

Ten Things of Thankful - July 27th

Ten Things of Thankful
This week I am once again I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for today."
 
1) I'm thankful that the work week is over! Seriously! It's been a week of  "Mondays" that left me out of time and energy, and out of sorts, but as Friday afternoon drew to a close we all seemed to find our "sorts" and left with smiles and eager anticipation of days off.
 
2) Speaking of work, I am so very thankful for the spirit of friendship and cooperation that now exists in our office after a long, frustrating elimination process to end up with a good team that functions well together.  There is no friction, no subtle hostility, and no undermining each other. Even on really crazy, busy days, we commiserate together and help each other out. This is how it should be, and it makes work a much less stressful place to be!
 
3) I am incredibly thankful for all the wonderful days of rain we had last week.  Rain is so rare here, and  it was just heavenly. We even had a few small, short sprinkle showers this week.  When that happens it cools things down for the evening and we are even seeing things green up here temporarily which is a refreshing change from dry brown, even if it does make our allergies go bonkers.  Most things in life are a trade-off of sorts, so we have to learn to take the bad with the good and focus on the positive part!
 
4) I am thankful for fluffy cat tails - the kind attached to cats! :-) Tiggy has the longest, fluffiest, beautiful orange and white tail that I've ever seen. It is so soft and pretty, in fact all of her fur is incredibly soft, like a rabbit! It is impossible not to smile when she rubs up against you, and she's just right for cuddling at bedtime!
 
5) I am thankful that my fingers can still work computer keyboards for hours on end.  Life would be very hard and very sad without this ability.  I type away for eight hours at work, then come home and type away some more on Facebook, my blog, and email! I cannot write with a pen for more than a paragraph or two without my hand and fingers cramping up, so I am extra thankful for the magic of keyboards... and spelling correction too!  Remember the old days of typewriter erasers and then white out?  Very messy stuff and never looked good either. 
 
6) I am thankful for a husband that enjoys watching paranormal "ghost" stories/shows on tv as much as I do.  We share similar tastes in tv viewing and movie selection, and can almost always find something to watch that we will both enjoy.  I don't care if he watches things I don't like so much while I'm busy blogging, and every now and then we take in action-adventure movies because he loves them, even though they are not my favorite genre. Marriage is give and take and compromise, and most of all it's loving each other enough to want what makes your partner happy too!
 
7) I am thankful for the wonderful strawberry cheesecake flavored ice-cream cake our attorneys brought to the office on Thursday afternoon to thank us for all our hard work.  It was so  refreshing on a hot summer day! Needless to say, it disappeared quickly and there was none left to melt on the cake plate!
 
8) I am thankful for the fun of seeing frequent photo updates of grandkids and great-grandkids on Facebook. Nothing makes a day nicer than seeing the smiling faces of family  pop up on the screen!  How my Mom would have loved the magic of instant photo sharing!
 
9) I am thankful that I live out in the country on our own little piece of land that is not controlled by neighborhood associations.  We are free to do with it/or not as we like;  water and sewer systems being pretty much the only thing the county regulates, for good reason. We do not need permission or  permits when we want to put up a shed, or change our mailbox or plant a tree, or even turn our house a lovely shade of purple if we so desired (it isn't, but I would love to)!  Freedom of choice is nice! 
 
10) I am thankful for the beautiful bright rainbows we encountered arching all the way across the sky as we headed home from town  one evening.  One can never see too many rainbows in life, or get too old to be in awe of their beauty!
 
Wishing all of you an awesome weekend and a week ahead with blessings too many to count!
 
~Share your blessings with us at Ten Things of Thankful~
 
And if you enjoy writing... come and join us at Two Shoes Tuesday this week!

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for July 30th

 Two Shoes Tuesday is just a few days away!  There are now TWO word prompts each week... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to use them both. You do not have to include the word in your post, but please use it as your theme.  You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like.

Since the intention is for this to be a CREATIVE WRITING effort, 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. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the Mr. Linky list.

I post an announcement with the writing prompts for the coming week on Saturday mornings, this gives you a little time to think about what you'd like to write and get it done! The upcoming prompt will also be posted on the Two Shoes Tuesday tab at the top of my blog for easy reference. 

The official Two Shoes Tuesday post with the Mr. Linky will appear shortly after 12 AM Central Time on Tuesday mornings.  You are free to add your link anytime through the following Saturday night, it does not have to be done on Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to reading what you share!

Your choice of word prompts for Tuesday, July 30th are: 
 open  or  early
 
I hope you'll join us!

Commentary on "Show Me"

I know that I surprised a few of you with my "Show Me" post for Two Shoes Tuesday this week. If you've been reading my blog for a long time you are used to me firing off something intense now and then, if you're new here it probably came as a bit of a shock.  Yes, this mild mannered (albeit sometimes grumpy) old lady also speaks on occasion from a dark corner of her heart.  I have said on more than one ocassion that I am a convoluted mixture of both the sacred and the profane, I embrace them both without apology. That being said, here's a bit more insight on where my "Show Me" post came from...

This was, obviously, not a post about my beloved Papa Bear, but rather about my last ex. Papa Bear was the first to read it last night, and it goes with out saying that he liked it, because he knows without a doubt that he is not that man, he is instead the one who picked up the broken pieces of my heart and helped me put it back together.  He has taught me what it is to love and be loved, he has taught me that real men do exist in the world, he has taught me that trust is not always misplaced. He not only knows all the right words to say, he shows me by his actions that his words have substance - if he says it, he means it, and he'll stand by it!  He is my angel. He makes all things good. <3

It might surprise you to know that I am also now friends with the ex that "Show Me' was based on.  We text or talk on the  phone occasionally. I have forgiven him the past, though I have not forgotten, and I never will. Scars fade with time, then never disappear entirely.  I wish him well, and he wishes the same for me. We made fairly decent friends, we were never meant to be marriage partners.  That was a mistake from the beginning.  In fact, all three of my previous marriages were a mistake from the beginning, and the voice deep inside of me knew that. I have  no excuse for my bad choices, so I plead temporary insanity, because it's the best answer to "why" that I can come up with.

Were echoes of pain and anger woven in the words of my "Show Me" post? Well of course, I think that's fairly apparent.  But it is important to note that I do not let those feelings color my life now.  They are kept in a box in the attic, wrapped in a blanket of the perspective that time brings. That was then, and this is now. I live in today, I do not live in the past, I have no desire to dwell there. However, it also needs to be said that it isn't quite as simple as "letting go" of all that.  We are not talking about a brief partnership that proved to be unhappy.  We are talking about three marriages spanning a total of 30 years, the prime years of my adult life, spent in the hell of abusive relationships. I am blaming no one for that, the choices were mine, I put myself there. If there are regrets, and of course there are, then it is only that I stayed in each of those marriages for as long as I did.  Maybe other viable options existed, but at the time I was unaware of them.  The reasons for that are many and complicated and I would have to go on for pages to explain it all here.  But the reality is that it was what it was, and it's in the past now... it's over.

So why do I write about the past  now and then, dredging up old nightmares and memories?  I suppose you could say it is a form of exorcism, the more that I find myself able to take things out of the boxes in the attic and kick them a round a bit here, the easier it becomes to release them.  Secrets hold power, repressed feelings hold power.  I speak it, I release it, and little by little I set myself free!

The good news... my life now stands in brilliant contrast to the black on black of my past. I am blessed beyond measure, and I thank God for bringing me through those times, for helping me to finally learn to value myself enough to make wiser choices, and for saving the very best for last!

Any further comments or questions?  Feel free to share them!

Show Me

Don't fill me up with flowery phrases and promises of forever after; don't tell me that you'll cherish me and stand by me no matter what.  Don't say that you're going to work hard to build a future where we won't have to worry.  Don't say that you love  me and that I'm your one and only. For God's sake, don't tell me no more lies! 
 
You want me to believe you? Then show me!  Prove to me that your not like every other so-called man I knew before you.  Stand up, take charge, and follow through. Take care of me, make time for me; come and play with me and make me laugh.  Hold me when I cry.  Treat me with respect, and don't be afraid to let your friends see that you cherish me. Show them that being cool is about honoring your lady, not casting her aside to leer at every other babe that walks.
 
You say that I'm the best thing that ever happened to you. Well let me tell you something... if you fill me up with empty words and broken promises, there's gonna come a day when I look back and say, "You're right, I damn sure was." 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written in retrospect for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are broken and words...
Come and join us there!

Two Shoes Tuesday #37 - Broken or Words

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 in your post, but please use it as your theme. 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 Mr. Linky 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 Saturday night. 

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 July 23rd writing prompts to choose from are Broken and Words.  Have Fun!


Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for July 23rd

 Two Shoes Tuesday is just a few days away!  There are now TWO word prompts each week... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to use them both. You do not have to include the word in your post, but please use it as your theme.  You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like.

Since the intention is for this to be a CREATIVE WRITING effort, 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. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the Mr. Linky list.

I post an announcement with the writing prompts for the coming week on Saturday mornings, this gives you a little time to think about what you'd like to write and get it done! The upcoming prompt will also be posted on the Two Shoes Tuesday tab at the top of my blog for easy reference. 

The official Two Shoes Tuesday post with the Mr. Linky will appear shortly after 12 AM Central Time on Tuesday mornings.  You are free to add your link anytime through the following Saturday night, it does not have to be done on Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to reading what you share!

Your choice of word prompts for Tuesday, July 23rd are: 
 broken  or  words
 
I hope you'll join us!

It Darn Sure Isn't Easy

Amelia sat in her rocking chair on the porch on sunny Saturday afternoon in late Fall, her knitting needles clicking in a soft, steady rhythm while she worked on an afghan that would be for her first great-grandchild due early next Spring.  Her two grown granddaughters sat in cushioned wicker chairs across from her, sipping tall glasses of lemonade as they visited about weddings, babies, new houses, and all the good things that come with this stage of life.  Jana, the older one, was pregnant with the little boy that would be wrapped in the beautiful afghan Amelia was knitting.  Ann Marie, Jana's younger sister, was planning a Christmas wedding with all the fancy trimmings. She was engaged to a military man who would be home on leave just long enough for the wedding and a brief honeymoon before heading back to his duty station overseas. 
 
Amelia smiled as she listened to their happy chatter, thinking back some forty years to the beginning of her own little family.  She had married Jack straight out of high school and their first daughter had arrived just six months later.  She had known Jack since Jr. High and had been captivated by his charm since the beginning.  While here parents were none too thrilled about her getting pregnant, Jack assured them that he was going to get a job and take good care of Amelia and the baby. He started working at a hardware store, and before long he was promoted to assistant manager.  They moved into a little rent-to-own house and it looked like life was going  pretty good until Jack started hanging out with some of his coworkers at night, drinking a few beers before heading home to a cold supper and a wife in tears.  He knew it wasn't right, but it was hard being young and tied down to family responsibilities when his friends weren't. Guilt fed his behavior and he drank more to keep it at bay. 
 
It wasn't long before fighting was a regular part of Amelia and Jack's relationship. One thing led to another, and one night he stayed out way late and came home smelling of perfume instead of the usual beer and cigarette smoke from the bar.  Amelia confronted him, and Jack admitted that he'd met someone new.  He told her that he wanted to end their marriage and go live where life wasn't always going to be "dragging him down".  Amelia cried as he packed his things and tossed them in the back of his pick up truck. She held little Lizzie close as Jack mumbled something about being sorry and walked out the door without ever looking back.  She didn't tell him that she'd bought one of those test kits from the drugstore the week before and another baby was on the way.  She'd been waiting to surprise him on his birthday that weekend. She guessed the surprise was on her now, but she wasn't going to let that lessen her love for this new life growing inside her.   
 
Amelia was determined to make a good life for her and the children. She got a job at a bakery, and took night classes at the college to become a nurse.  Little by little she built herself up from nothing, making sure that the kids were her first priority, and attending every school event and church activity they took part in, even if it meant starting her hospital work shift with very little sleep at all. Her dedication had paid off well in the end; both Lizzie and her brother Jordan did well in school and went on to college just as she had always dreamed they would do.
 
For just a few moments, Amelia thought of the struggles she endured all those years - the hard times with Jack, the lonely times without him, the extra shifts to make ends meet and put enough food on the table to keep two growing kids from going hungry.  Her children had no idea how tough it had been, being father and mother and worrying all alone about sickness and bills, and how to keep them safe and on the right track. Then came the night that two policemen showed up at her door, hats in hand and staring down at their feet, telling her  that Jordan had been killed in a shoot out involving some people who'd been selling him drugs.  Oh Lord, those were painful times. She missed that boy more than anyone could ever imagine...
 
Suddenly she was brought back to the present by Jana's voice asking, "What's it like, Grandma, being a mother and knowing that the lives of your babies depend totally on you, and even if you're the best mom in the world, there's no promise that it will all turn out good in the end?"
 
Amelia smiled, knowing that her granddaughters would love their babies just as much as she had, and would do everything in their power to protect them and raise them right.  "All I can tell you is that it darn sure isn't easy," she said wistfully, "but there isn't going to one moment of it that you would trade for anything.  In a heartbeat I'd do it all again.  That's what love is, girls, that's what love is."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are easy and wind...
Come and join us there!

Two Shoes Tuesday #36 - Easy or Wind

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 in your post, but please use it as your theme. 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 Mr. Linky 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 Saturday night. 

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 July16th writing prompts to choose from are Easy and Wind.  Have Fun!

What Can I Do?

Sometimes in life we feel so powerless in difficult situations.  A friend that I wrote about awhile back who had been treated for an aggressive form of cancer, and then a heart attack, is back in the hospital this week. While testing is still being done, it appears that the cancer has returned with a vengeance. He has been in excruciating pain for the last couple months and despite many tests they were unable to determine why, now the answer has become painfully obvious. Cancer is sneaky like that, it is good at hiding.  I think it is a word that puts more fear in our hearts than any other. Often it is treatable and curable.  We all know many people who have gone through this experience, endured treatment of one kind or another, and are alive and well today.  We cheer for them, they are truly blessed!  But sometimes a cure is not to be. 
 
Almost all of our lives have been touched by cancer in one way or another... a family member or a close friend. We know first hand how difficult this road is to walk.  We don't have the magic power to make it go away or make them feel better. We want to help and we find ourselves at a loss to know what to do.  I have been so sad in these past few days, asking myself, "How can I help? What can I do?"  I do not live where my friend is in the hospital, it is nearly three hours away.  I do not live in the city where they live.  I cannot show up at the door with a hug or a hot dish or an offer to care for pets.  But, there is still something, in addition to prayer, that I can do, that I am supposed to do...
 
Many years ago I participated in a weekly Bible study with the wife of a coworker at her invitation.  She was reclusive and something led her to ask me if I would come to her house for lunch once a week and together we would work through a Bible study course that was directed to helping people discover what it is God wanted them to do with their lives, what their purpose was.  Curious, though not knowing her very well, I agreed.  Today, I cannot even remember her name, but I have thought of her often and blessed her for the gift of those shared lunches and study, what I learned I know to be my answer, and it has stayed with me all of my life.
 
My "gift",  my assignment - my purpose in this life, is to encourage others.  It is something I can do, and it is what I most enjoy doing.  It is not a big and flashy purpose, I am not destined to do great things, it does not matter.  Mother Teresa said, "Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love."  I have always know that is the way, what matters most is not what you do, but how much heart you put into doing it.  Little things become big things to someone who is desperately in need it of a bit of love and encouragement.  We all are in need of that from time to time.
 
I met the wife of this friend who is so ill, shortly before he married her.  I knew that he planned to propose to her one minute after midnight on the first day of the new year.  I knew that before she did! They met online and were obvious soul mates. I attended their wedding, and it overflowed with love. A year or two later she was job hunting and began employment at the place where I worked for nineteen years. I got to know her better and we became friends.  I learned that she is in some  ways like me, a bit reclusive and not one who enjoys crowds, loud people, or social gatherings and chit-chat. Her life centers around her husband and their rural home complete with assorted critters, just as mine does with Papa Bear.  She struggles with her own medical issues, and the past few years have brought them financial blow after blow, along with medical problems in abundance.  It would try anyone's faith, it would break anyone's strength.  Her dream for a long time now has been for them to get to go on a vacation together, anywhere, but there has never been money to do that, and now I cannot help but wonder if there will be a time.  Sometimes the realities of life can be harsh.
 
Over time she and I have become closer, we message back and forth online.  She knows I am a listening ear when she feels like her life is unraveling and her heart is going to explode.  She knows that she can email, text, or message me anytime, day or night.  It is often the wee hours of the morning when there are no friends of family near, that can be the most scary and the most lonely.  A message popped in from her at 5 am this morning.  It had been a bad night at the hospital where she stays in her husband's room, keeping close, where he wants her to be.  How many folks can you message at 5 AM without getting shot?  But I have made it clear to her that I am always a listening ear.  I have no answers, but I can do what God has assigned me to do... I can listen, care, and encourage.  I assure her that God is there with her and that she can find the strength and courage to walk this road, one day at a time, one hour at a time. They are surrounded by much love and many prayers.  I listen to her fears, her pain, her frustration and exhaustion, and I send back notes of love and encouragement.  I send hugs, I send affirmation that it is ok to feel angry and frustrated and unable to act like all is ok when visitors come, when you know very well that it isn't all ok. 
 
I can't make things better for him or for her, what I can do, is so very small, and yet, I know it is exactly what God has me in her life to do right now,  to listen, care and encourage.  It is something we can all do.  I am so very grateful that I know what my purpose is in life.  I don't always do it very well, sometimes I lose focus and get lost in my own struggles and issues, but always, at times like this, God puts me squarely back on track and says "Pay attention, one of my children needs you now, do what you are supposed to do!"  While I wish I could do so much  more, I am thankful that there is something I can do.  I pray that it brings a tiny light of hope to her day.  We can all be lifelines for each other, it can be your purpose too!

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for July 16th

 Two Shoes Tuesday is just a few days away!  There are now TWO word prompts each week... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to use them both. You do not have to include the word in your post, but please use it as your theme.  You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like.

Since the intention is for this to be a CREATIVE WRITING effort, 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. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the Mr. Linky list.

I post an announcement with the writing prompts for the coming week on Saturday mornings, this gives you a little time to think about what you'd like to write and get it done! The upcoming prompt will also be posted on the Two Shoes Tuesday tab at the top of my blog for easy reference. 

The official Two Shoes Tuesday post with the Mr. Linky will appear shortly after 12 AM Central Time on Tuesday mornings.  You are free to add your link anytime through the following Saturday night, it does not have to be done on Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to reading what you share!

Your choice of word prompts for Tuesday, July 16th are: 
 easy  or  wind
 
I hope you'll join us!

Feline Friday - July 12th

"A hair raising purrformance. The actors chewed the scenery and left the audience hungry fur more."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Steve at Burnt Food Dude for Feline Friday


 

To Be A Writer...

  1. Write 50 words. That's a paragraph.
  2. Write 400 words. That's a page.
  3. Write 300 pages. That's a manuscript.
  4. Write every day. That's a habit.
  5. Edit and rewrite. That's how you get better.
  6. Spread your writing for people to comment. That's called feedback.
  7. Don't worry about rejection or publication. That's a writer.
  8. When not writing, read. Read from writers better than you. Read and Perceive.
~by Ajay Ohri ~

Glow Kitty


Julie and Max fell in love with the old farm house the moment the realtor swept the cobwebs aside so they could enter the front door.  It was everything they'd dreamed of,  a fixer-upper fantasy with creaking stairways, wood-burning heaters, and a dozen rooms in odd shapes and sizes that made it hard to identify what their original purpose might have been. 

They spent two months worth of weekends sweeping and scrubbing, and dreaming of what it was going to look like some day.  Then came moving day, and they lugged and hauled their furniture and belongings up the porch steps and down the maze of narrow hallways, deciding to occupy just the ground floor for the present time. 
 
By the time the  moon rose that night, their prized antique iron bedstead was sporting it's brand new  mattress, a set of fresh white sheets, and the quilt Julie's grandmother had made for them as a wedding gift. Too weary to do one thing more, they washed up and crawled beneath the sheets, cuddling together, listening to all the sounds an old house makes as they drifted off to sleep.
 
Somewhere in the middle of the night Julie awoke with a start, certain that she had felt something small walking across the foot of the bed.  Rousing Max, they grabbed their flashlights and scanned the room and hallway... nothing to be seen, heard, or found.  "Maybe you dreamed it," said Max, as they settled back in the bed and were soon once again sleeping soundly. 
 
The next night it was Max who awakened first by what seemed to be the meowing of a cat. "Did you notice any stray cats outside when we were stacking firewood?" he asked Julie, who whispered no, and sat up in bed listening closely.  Sure enough, she heard it too, faint meows coming from the hallway.  They searched the entire first floor, and then the second, finding no sign of a cat in residence, but they were both certain of what they had heard.
 
In the weeks ahead they continued to hear a cat calling out to them after they settled into bed at night.  Every now and then one of them felt something walking across the quilt, and they began to jokingly refer to their mysterious nocturnal visitor as the ghost cat.  It wasn't until Julie made a trip down the hall to the bathroom late one night, that they learned just how right they were... there at the far end of the hallway was the unmistakable image of a small cat illuminated by a pale green glow, staring straight at her with eyes that appeared to be vacant black holes.  Startled, she let out a scream and flipped on the bathroom light switch, at which point the cat vanished into thin air. 
 
Concluding that they really did have a ghostly feline in residence but sensing nothing sinister in it's intent, they decided to embrace its presence and began referring to it affectionately as "Glow Kitty."  They left small cat toys scattered throughout the house and were delighted to discover that the toys were often relocated while they slept. Though they never visibly saw their glowing ghost cat again, it became commonplace to feel it walk across the bed at night and settle at their feet, and sometimes Julie was certain that she heard it purring.  

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This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are green and believe...
Come and join us there!

Two Shoes Tuesday #35 - Green or Believe

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 in your post, but please use it as your theme. 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 Mr. Linky 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 Saturday night. 

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 July 9th writing prompts to choose from are Green and Believe.  Have Fun!

Taking Flight

The teacher stood with his back to the classroom, writing a list of spelling words on the white board for his young students to review.  Busy hands in the back row deftly folded a loose sheet of paper and sent it sailing forward, spiraling round overhead and landing within a couple feet of where the teacher stood.  Discreet giggles quickly turned to collective breath held, and somewhere in the back a young man slid down in his seat. Retrieving the aircraft from the floor, the teacher couldn't help but smile inwardly, noting how well the plane had been crafted and remembering the paper-folding days of his own childhood years ago. Holding the airplane high overhead, he sent it sailing in a wide arc across the room while announcing that the student sitting at the desk where the plane landed would be permitted to choose a sticker from the prize box, as would the crafter of such a fine airplane, however any future flights would need to take place on the playground outside.
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I'm linking up with Lillie McFerrin's Five Sentence Fiction
where the writing prompt this week is "flight"

Misunderstood

"Not many things can cost you more in this life than the price
 you could pay for being misunderstood" - Cedric Crawford
 
It hasn't been an easy week.  Echoes of the past rise up to taunt me.  Familiar pain stabs at my heart.  Misunderstood... yet again.  Perhaps it is the nature of the human condition to be misunderstood, to have our thoughts, words, and actions misinterpreted and judged unfairly; most certainly it has been the rule rather than the exception in my life.  In trying to communicate, I often complicate. 
 
Sharing my feelings, my own wants and needs, I am condemned.  In standing up for myself, I am told that I am inflexible. Yet it seems to me that I am the only one asked expected to bend.  I think perhaps that to be misunderstood in life is one of the most painful things of all.  If  I am ridiculed, corrected, or rejected because of something that I know deep down is true, I can live with it. I stand by what I am, but to be accused of  being what I am not wounds deeply. Yet it is a waste of words to attempt to untangle the misconceptions, people hear what they want to hear, and believe what they want to believe. 
 
I am told that I set my standards too high, so I set myself up to be disappointed. Perhaps that is true, I hold myself to those same high standards, and I often disappoint myself as well, but that does not alter my belief in their goodness or in the kind of person I try to be.  I do not lower the bar so that I can reach it easily, instead I stand on tiptoe, or search for a step stool to help bring it within my grasp.  Part of me wonders if their rejection of my "too high standards" is their fear of me or that I might just be right, and they have sold themselves short. 
 
For too many years I sat silent while the abuse of others was heaped upon me. I am no longer a doormat for other people's issues.  I stand up, I speak out, I say "No, you will not treat me that way, it is wrong."  But I am told that I am the one  who is inflexible.  In that sense perhaps they are right, I will not bend under their taking advantage, I will not be the one who is taken for granted or ignored.  I will do what is required of me, I will do more than that if I can, but I will not sit silently while I am treated as if I do not matter.  I do matter, and right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of how they try to twist the story to make me the one in error. I am familiar with this game... offense is the best defense, or so they think. 
 
They may label me as they like, perhaps it is not that they are unable to understand, but rather that they choose not to understand.  To understand would mean that change is required, and it is so much easier not to change. I can live with that, but I will never accept it; you can beat me down with your critique, you can silence me temporarily by intimidation, but in the end I will have my day. You cannot steal my soul. 

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for July 9th

 Two Shoes Tuesday is just a few days away!  There are now TWO word prompts each week... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to use them both. You do not have to include the word in your post, but please use it as your theme.  You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like.

Since the intention is for this to be a CREATIVE WRITING effort, 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. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the Mr. Linky list.

I post an announcement with the writing prompts for the coming week on Saturday mornings, this gives you a little time to think about what you'd like to write and get it done! The upcoming prompt will also be posted on the Two Shoes Tuesday tab at the top of my blog for easy reference. 

The official Two Shoes Tuesday post with the Mr. Linky will appear shortly after 12 AM Central Time on Tuesday mornings.  You are free to add your link anytime through the following Saturday night, it does not have to be done on Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to reading what you share!

Your choice of word prompts for Tuesday, July 9th are: 
 green  or  believe
 
I hope you'll join us!

Feline Friday - July 5th

Sweet Dreams
Cali - My Daughter's Furkid
 
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I'm linking up with Steve at Burnt Food Dude for Feline Friday

Once There Was A Little Boy

Once upon a time not so very long ago, there was a little boy who fell in love with airplanes.  Spending  his early childhood years in housing for military families, he was fascinated by the big cargo transport planes that flew low over his yard, rumbling as they slowly gained altitude, rattling dishes in the cupboards and making pictures on the walls dance.  His young eyes grew wide with wonder when he was taken to the nearby Army Airfield  to watch giant tanks and trucks roll up the ramp into the belly of those huge planes. 

Travel in the city often took the little boy past the international airport, and he would squeal with excitement when he'd spot his favorite "Femeral Express" (Federal Express) airplanes taxiing down the runway or parked at their small terminal close to the road.  He had a large toy model of a Federal Express plane that rolled down the hallways of the house and "flew" room to room, stopping to pick  up assorted "freight" and passengers enroute.

This little boy's idea of a great Saturday afternoon was a trip to the airport (back in the days when visitors could still go to the gates), where he would stand with his face close to the windows watching airplanes take off and land.  He'd already been on a few of those flights, and knew first-hand how exciting it was! 

It really didn't come as a big surprise when this little boy grew up and chose training as an Air Traffic Controller when he joined the Air Force right out of high school.  One of the most difficult courses , this young man who didn't much care for the demands of schoolwork, excelled and passed through the levels of certification quickly with applied diligence.  He spent the next eight years of his life serving our country in the Air Force, manning control towers both stateside and overseas, including two short tours of duty to war-torn places that made his mother's heart tremble.  She was overjoyed when she knew he was on the airplane bringing him safely home again.

As he got a bit older, this serviceman decided he was ready to settle down and have a place to call home.  So he left active duty and took a job as an Air Traffic Controller with the Department of Defense.  He now spends his days, and sometimes nights, in the control tower at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, guiding military aircraft to safe takeoffs and landings.

Thus, the little boy who fell in love with airplanes grew up to do his dream job... watching aircraft come and go.  Next week he'll be celebrating his 34th birthday, and his mother wonders how the years have passed so quickly.  She smiles as she remembers the little boy who flew his Federal Express airplane in her hallways once upon a time, not so very long ago.

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This post was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt choices this week are once and chain(s)...
Come and join us there!

Two Shoes Tuesday #34 - Once or Chain(s)

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 in your post, but please use it as your theme. 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 Mr. Linky 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 Saturday night. 

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 July 2nd writing prompts to choose from are Once and Chain(s).  Have Fun!

An Interview I Know You'll Enjoy!

McGuffys Reader

Today my dear friend Annie of McGuffy's Reader was featured in Poets United "Life of A Poet" Interview Series.  It's a wonderful, candid interview in which her love of writing and passion for animal rescue shine through.  There's a bunch of great photos too!  Go and give it a read, I promise you'll be inspired by this wonderful woman/poet/author...

 

Awww....Mondays - July 1st

Photo Credit
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I'm linking up with Sandee's Awww...Mondays