Nothing to Say

Tags

, , , ,

Nothing to Say

If you read Sick, then you’ll understand this. I have bronchitis. I’m pretty sure that’s all it is. However, an aching head makes thinking more difficult, makes focusing a chore.

So today I did neither. We ate breakfast out and stopped by Costco, using all the energy I had in reserve. After we put away our groceries I dozed on the couch.

My loving husband and I played Cashflow 101. I got out of the rat race first, and I managed to increase my cash flow by $50,000 first to win the game.

More rest.

We built the remainder of a Lego Christmas train. The flatcar and the caboose. And all the tiny Christmas gifts. We ran it around the track a few times (we sprung for the motor accessory). It’s the coolest.

I coughed too long and too hard. I’m going to bed early. Too much effort to try and watch a movie.

Tomorrow I’ll visit Urgent Care at the request of my husband. Maybe the nurses can help speed up the healing.

And that’s about it. I’ll write something more entertaining tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by.

Sick

Tags

, , , ,

Sick

Fatigue. Stiff joints. Feeling cold in a warm room.

Deep in the ear canal, an itch I can’t scratch.

Dry, burning eyeballs. Nasal passages blocked.

Feeling the pressure build as the blood pounds in my temples.

Throat swelling shut, becoming difficult to swallow.

Benched indefinitely. Against my will. Without my consent.

So much to do. No energy to do it.

Snippity. Irritable. Cranky. Sorry.

Damnit.

Zzzzzzzzzz.

 

 

 

Solitary

Tags

, , , ,

Solitary

ff-prompt-2017-02-24-sarah_potter-january-snowfall-nighttime

After midnight. Can’t sleep. That committee between my ears making all manner of ruckus. Funny the things that seem urgent in the boardroom of the mind. Rehashing unresolved regrets. Organizing tomorrows to do list. I toss. I turn. ENOUGH. Rolling quietly out of bed, grabbing my robe, I head to the porch with pad of paper and pen. The porch offers solitude and a beautiful view. The world is quiet, all sound absorbed by this mantle of pristine, unmarred snow. It covers everything. Setting pad and pen aside, I sit quietly instead, meditating on the streetlight’s glow. The committee disperses.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to Rochelle for continuing to post the weekly 100 words photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers. Special thanks to Sarah Potter for her lovely photograph.

An InLinkz Link-up

She forgot her place

Tags

, , , , ,

She forgot her place

A 15 year old criminal, guilty of grand theft auto, placed in a home with other delinquent girls. Alone, afraid, no confidence. Her experience taught her no one was trustworthy.

But the girls reached out and slowly she responded. Shared a little of her story, allowed herself to be vulnerable. Still shy, quiet, and fearful, she knew her place.

The head girl offered the make over and the others encouraged her to accept. She tried to politely beg off but when the head girl expressed hurt, rejection, she gave in.

They accepted her, she thought, made her pretty, fawned over her, boosted her self worth. She hadn’t experienced this kind of sisterhood in a while, she liked the attention, the ego boost. She felt more confident, more worthwhile.

Her newfound confidence and happiness, a gift they bestowed upon her, somehow backfired, caused the other girls to feel threatened. They turned on her, called her a bitch, accused her of being stuck up. Confused and hurt, she tried to make it right, removed the make up, messed up the hair, but it didn’t help.

She’d simply forgotten her place in this world. That would not happen again.

How Well?

Tags

, , , ,

How Well?

It’s easy to convince yourself that you really know someone. At least, speaking for myself, it was easy for me. Probably easier to believe that you know your parent better than most people you know – I mean, who else have you had a relationship with since birth, but your mom or dad? (If either one of them stuck around following the blessed event, of course)

I never gave it any thought growing up – did I know my mom? She was my mom. Certainly it should go without saying that I knew her, and well. When her ovarian cancer returned, I gave it plenty of thought. After reading a book about dealing with cancer I made the time, I interviewed my mom. My intention was to help her to realize her part in the grand scheme of things, to help her find a reason to fight harder to live. Instead,  I realized in taking the time to get to know her, I didn’t really know her as well as I thought. I also learned that she’d been dealt a pretty raw hand before she ever reached puberty.

After she died, all I had gathered during the ‘interview’ was all I had. Before she died, I liked to tell myself that I knew my mother better than my brother did – but I didn’t. How could I? I knew a few things different than he did, that’s all, but he spent his adult life being a part of her life and I didn’t. There are some things she and I had in common. And I did pay attention, much more attention in those last three years. I am grateful for the time we spent together, the wounds we healed, and the new memories we shared.

I realized that if I want to be a part of someone’s life, I have to do my part. I know the phone goes both ways. So does the mail, the email, the Facebook. I think I’d prefer to get to know someone better the old fashioned way – face to face, or on the phone – voice to voice. And be forewarned, I’ll be taking notes.

I’m just saying, if I think I know someone well, maybe – just maybe – I don’t. But I can change that. Starting today.

Savoring the Written Word

Tags

,

Savoring the Written Word

Usually when I read a book that interests me I devour it, like a person who feels better after several days of illness. Or a woman right before her monthly cycle, eating way more than her own body weight. When I read, I sprint through the pages, the content flying by my eyes, the words a blur. I’ve recognized that as I get closer to the end of a story, I race to that finish line, as if I am competing. Which makes the book entirely new to me if I read it again later, because I didn’t really absorb it.

This time I am reading a book slowly, deliberately. Savoring each word and digesting the author’s paragraphs, as if eating a bit of rich perfect cheesecake or an exquisite Belgium chocolate truffle. I’ve decided to read only a chapter each day, and her chapters are only three or four pages, but dense with wisdom.

I picked up the book I’m currently reading because I’ve read one other by this author: Anne Lamott. That other book: Plan B. That book was recommended by a friend who knows me well, and I enjoyed the light and humorous narration with some life experience thrown in. It’s my favorite kind of writing these days – real honest words, with a touch of comedy and no unnecessary drama.

My current reading -Bird By Bird – is Anne’s HOW-TO book for writers. And it’s not what one would expect. Well, it’s not what I expected. See, I took a few classes in college because I want to be a writer… like Anne. I signed up for American Literature, Creative Writing, and a third class I cannot recall. I dropped them all within the first four weeks. Because I wanted to relay my experience…I didn’t want to dissect books. ‘What was the author thinking when he wrote that piece? Which character was the protagonist? What was the meaning of the moon shining on the wheat in the winter at midnight?’ At the time, that was not what I was looking for. I’d rather enjoy the story – fictional or non-fictional – than think about why the author wrote it. Maybe I’m missing out on that experience as well. Instead, I am getting a different kind of education – that of the non-fictional and personal variety. And lessons I didn’t expect (another favorite of mine these days: lessons in the form of leisure entertainment. I believe you can find a positive growth experience in anything if you know HOW to ‘read’ it).

Anyway – I’m reading her book. Chapter by chapter. And I’m considering what I’ve read instead of immediately diving into the next chapter. And the words mean more, and the content sticks better in my mind. I read the chapter Perfectionism twice. So I could understand how better to let go of it.

So I wrote this, to practice putting down words on paper. Spew. Walk away.

I’ll also recommend On Writing by Stephen King. He also has some great suggestions mixed in with personal life stories.

That’s all for now.

 

 

Driver Safety: Using That Turn Signal

Tags

, , , ,

Driver Safety: Using That Turn Signal

Happy New Year! It occurred to me while driving home in my rental car that I have a few pet peeves about other drivers. I imagine many of us do. I also believe that I am a pretty good, safe driver. I also imagine that many of us do.

I have almost 35 years of driving in Southern California under my belt. In that time, I’ve been responsible for four accidents – once in the rain when I was 17; once on a freeway on ramp when I was 24; once turning against a red light when I was 34 or 35; and, last Friday, when I backed up in a turn lane, into the gentleman waiting behind me. An average of an accident every 8.75 years.

I see traffic laws violated on a daily basis, on the city streets and on the freeway. I thought maybe I’d share my two cents (my pet peeves) about traffic safety and how to be a safer driver for all those folks around us on the road. I imagine some people have become complacent and just follow the examples others set, and others somehow got their licenses out of sheer luck, and just follow the examples other set. Maybe, if more of us set a better, safer example, there will be less stress on the roads and less accidents.

Lesson One: Turn Signals

SAMSUNG

Every car comes with a set. I think the manuals that come with the vehicles – cars, trucks, motorcycles – call it an indicator light. As in “let me indicate to you that I am going to change lanes or turn.”

How does one use the indicator light? Usually it’s like this: Left Turn, push indicator stick down. Right Turn, push indicator stick up.  You paid for the indicator system when you bought the car. May as well utilize it.

When should one use the turn signal? Whenever one wishes to change lanes, or turn a corner. My son-in-law visited from a less populated city, and mentioned that most people in Southern California signal in the middle of changing lanes, as an afterthought, if they signal at all. He added that allowing the turn signal to blink three times before executing a lane change ensures better odds that the cars around me will see that I plan to change lanes, allowing for a warning to them and an opportunity to respond (either to let me in or speed past me). He was right – that three-blink moment of pause does wonders for my sense of peace, and as a warning to those around me.

I generally use my turn signal every time I am going to change lanes – whether there are cars around me or not. It’s become a habit, and I am less likely to run into another vehicle if we both know what I am about to do.

I get annoyed when another driver doesn’t use their signal and bolts into the lane in front of me. More often I see small, fast cars who think they are in the Indy 500 darting in and out of traffic, endangering themselves and those around them, without use of that turn indicator. I get a small amount of satisfaction when I meet them at the red light ahead.

So – use the turn signals to indicate a lane change, or when turning into a parking lot, or when planning to turn at a signal. Fellow drivers may appreciate it and may even pay it forward.

Pause

Tags

, , , , ,

Pause

Head down, collar up, feet moving, thumbs texting. Distracted. Absently reaching for the handle, I pulled a door open and entered.

“Please, silence your cell phone.” I looked up, startled. “Turn it off.” Smiling, her face was transformed into love in a hundred soft creases.

I complied. She gestured toward another set of doors and bowed her head slightly. My feet moved forward before my mind caught up. I pushed through the heavy, silent doors and as they closed behind me, I exhaled slowly. Here, hidden in this noisy, busy city, was a haven of peace. The Japanese garden.

ff-prompt-2016-10-07_ceayr

photo prompt courtesy of C.E. Ayr

Friday Fictioneers: The rules: 100 words, no more, inspired by the weekly photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the weekly prompt and to C.E. Ayr for the photo.

An InLinkz Link-up

The Caretaker

Tags

, , , ,

The Caretaker

Stored, sometimes forgotten, memories. Stuff. People squirreling away the overflow of abundant lives, enduring the expense for months or years, to hold onto the past or in anticipation of the future.

A child stores an elderly parents effects to deal with later. A couple marries and duplicate belongings end up in a five by ten unit. The downtrodden cache their meager treasures ‘for just a few months,’ fruitlessly hoping to eventually recover their collections.

I watch over all these items. I am here to ensure that your possessions are as you left them. In case you return to reclaim them.

ff-prompt-2106-09-30-from-amy-reese

Photo courtesy of Amy Reese

Friday Fictioneers: The rules: 100 words, no more, inspired by the weekly photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the weekly prompt and to Amy Reese for the photo.