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Thursday, November 27, 2014


Sense of Entitlement

Reflections of Ferguson, Missouri versus Kewadin, Michigan

Some of you may not appreciate my story, today especially.  But, as usual, I feel the need to express myself and it will probably be akin to smacking the hornets’ nest.

The disruption over Ferguson, Missouri has forced long buried memories to surface.  Go along with my tale and hopefully you will begin to see the relevance.

In my early twenties, I shared a big farm house in Kewadin, Michigan, with four other twenty something girls.  It was big and white, and on the corner of Cairn Highway and Cherry Avenue. Just around the corner from The Red Bull Oasis.

Naturally, with that many young ladies living under one roof, there was a barrage of young men there also.  None for me, of course.  I was working three jobs and seldom even there.  Just long enough to rest my head. Nearly all of us worked for Schuss Mountain in some capacity.  Most were waitresses who worked evenings.

I was the breakfast supervisor at Schuss Mountain restaurant, early in the morning.  Then I would spend a few hours in the afternoon working for Brian Cairns, the General Manager, as his administrative assistant.  In the evenings I worked either as a bartender at the Manistee Lake Lounge, in Kalkaska, or as a waitress at the Town Club, downtown Elk Rapids.

While working at the Town Club one Friday night a young man stepping into the bar through the back door.  The bartenders head swiveled, he picked up a twelve pack of beer and took it to the young man.  I was curious and asked about the situation. I was told “Indians don’t belong in here, they can come to the back door and buy beer by the twelve pack and then they leave.”   Not once, that whole summer, did I see any Native American step foot into that bar as a patron.

However, there were a couple of women, from the local Reservation, who worked the back kitchen.  Their daughters and granddaughters often came in to lend a hand on the weekends.  It was September, on a Friday night. The thirteen year old granddaughter of Rosie came in battered and crying.  She had been walking home from school when a truck load of white boys swooped down on her.  Beaten and raped, they left her lying in the field they had dragged her to.  The grandmother wiped her eyes, and chided her to forget about it and get on with her life because nothing would or could be done.  They were white boys.

Well, I got a bit angry with that attitude.  I spouted off to my boss that it was just wrong that as a business he could charge them more money at the back door for a six pack of beer than he charged white people by the bottle sitting in his bar. There is a song that was fairly popular, I hated it and still do.  “In the Summertime”.  It is the epitome of entitlement.  In The Summertime  "If her daddy's rich than take her out for a meal, if he daddy's poor just do what you feel."

The next weekend, I wasn't on the roster to work.  I was so happy to have a weekend off and to myself and be able to relax. 

They guy broke into the house about 10:30 pm.  He ripped the cream colored princess phone off the wall.  As we struggled, I kept thinking it was like something out of a movie; knocking over lamps and furniture breaking. As he punched me and kicked me, he told me no one cared what happened to me.  No one would come to help me or exact any punishment to him; not my family, not my friends, no one.  He called me nasty, nasty names and then quite obviously to make certain I knew where this originated from, threw in “Indian lover”. 

The events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri are not actually about young Mr. Michael Brown.  They are about the sense of entitlement exhibited by a cocksure white skinned police officer.  This young man’s death was tragic, it is especially tragic because it demonstrates how out of control the community has evolved.  Feeling you can do or say anything to anybody, whether here in Michigan or there in Missouri, is not an execution of your first amendment, it is a demonstration in the sense of entitlement. Full blown demonstration by a lone police officer thinking he could “take on” several larger, younger, more physically fit, young men.  Cocksure with his lineage of entitlement.
Fourteen other young black men had been shot by policemen in Ferguson, why this one?  Because enough is enough.

Did I file a police report on that incident I lived through?  No.  Why would I?  The police were many of the bars patrons.  I donate money to causes that fight against this.  I speak up when I can.  If you need that sense of entitlement, if you need to hate black people or Native Americans, or Irish, or Jewish, or Spanish, or Mexican….whomever…if you need to put someone else down to feel better about yourself, we have a dysfunctional society.


Friday, November 7, 2014


Donations – in it for the prize?

Because the town I grew up in was rather small, and the county at one point was the poorest in the state, there was quite a stigma attached to me as I applied for jobs.  “Where in the world is Kalkaska?!”  Was often the first question most  potential employers asked. 

Fighting for a level footing in the big wide world, being from Kalkaska was more of a handicap than being female in a male dominated arena!  I was, immediately, thought of as backwards and back woods. 

When I would begin to defend Kalkaska, it would sometimes slip out that I was the Senior Class President.  Too often showing my pride, “The first female senior class president in Kalkaska.”  Based on this tid-bit of knowledge, my employers tended to expect more from me.  I had to work harder than anyone else to prove myself.  I was female, blonde, and worst of all from Kalkaska.  Talk about uphill battles.

In an effort to pass along the torch, to make the lives of those who followed  a little easier, I have always donated to Kalkaska.  Not to gain a “prize”.  Not for any “publicity”.  And certainly not for a “better place in the community” for I never moved back.

But, I have wanted to help the place I learned most of life’s lessons.  I have wanted to help those helping others.  I wanted the school system to be one of the best. (there is no guarantee of quality in a larger scholastic system) When my friends, still in town, brought events to my knowledge I have made certain to participate as much as I could.

I joined a Facebook website  called “You Know You’re From Kalkaska” to keep abreast of events happening.  I tried to always share pertinent information to those who also left the community but try to stay involved.  I decided to terminate that relationship, recently.

I have subsequently gone back to the site to see if I could copy/paste to substantiate.  Thankfully, the unkind words have been taken down from the site.  Thank you.  However, my intent is not to point fingers at those involved.  But to let others know that those people who cyber attacked me only made me leave the site not end my relationship with Kalkaska. 

I donate because it’s the right thing to do, not because I might win some prize.  The prize giver had been showing drawings and pictures of the items they intended to donate.  I asked, many times, if they would promote the event and not the donation.  To this, I was hounded.  Told I must be jealous, that I am petty, and that I am mean, and just who did I think I was?! 

I’ll be happy to tell you who I am.  I am someone who grew up in Kalkaska and has been donating to the school system, among other worthy platforms, for nearly forty years.  And…I know this may come as a surprise, I know many others who have donated far more that I, who also don’t need a prize in order to want a better heritage for those who come next.

Kalkaska is my “home town”.  The local cyber-bullies haven’t run me out.  They probably do need to watch out that I do not move back.


Friday, April 11, 2014

D is for Divine Grace

D is for Divine Grace

Blogging Challenge from A to Z


The words startled her.  Looking around, curious expression on her face, she searched for the speaker.  No one was there.  Shaking her head, she thought “I have got to cut back on the coffee!”

Moments later, the words again. “You shall reap what you sow.” Jumping, in defense she grabbed the only thing near her, a flower vase.  Not a very sturdy vase at that.  However, the art-deco flowers embossed on the sides would put a sizable welt on someone’s head.  No one there.

Creeping as softly as she could, peeking around corners and behind closed doors.  She found no one there.
I guess,” she thought “at least the words aren’t telling me to do
something horrendous.”

Perched in her favorite chair, fuzzy lap blanket thrown over her knees, she began thumbing through her magazine again. 


Sitting as still as she could, she began to understand.  “Getting” the message, being able to hear the words, the gift of feeling the lesson.  She had finally reached that pinnacle.  Reached the spiritual, physical plateau where lessons from beyond were obtainable, and it seemed the knowledge simply poured forth.  Was it beyond?  Or simply beside? Or had she gone to them?


Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Crafts

C is for Crafts



Rising from the depths, the glowing orbs illuminated the sea as brightly as the mid-day sun.

The sea had been particularly calm that evening.  Gentle waves lapped at the side of the boat as we watched the magnificent sunset.  Bright oranges, yellows, greens and golds flared across the horizon.  It was an evening topped with good company and a flavorful bottle of wine.

Jelly Fish
We had been saving the wine for just a evening event as this.  Leaning against back in my deck chair, the warm breezes on my face, I truly felt Heaven couldn't be better.  The contented expressions on my companions faces told the same story; contentment.  We had worked hard the past few days, moving this lovely yacht to its new location for its new owner.  We had jotted down all the little “idiosyncrasies” we’d found for the new owner’s mechanic to check out.  Now we had our reward.

The sun’s last ray dipped below the horizon allowing the stars to simply pop.  Leaning back, we took turns pointing out the various constellations.  Their glittering may have been what delayed our noticing the ocean coming alive. 

Red Tide
“Waterway Transportation” is the name of our company.  We have moved everything from small sailing vessels to tankers, up and down the coast.  No, I no longer even own my own water vessel.  (have to be careful, the difference between boats and ships is considerable to my clients) If the vessel is large enough, we load our Harley’s.  If it isn’t we fly back to our base.  Each of us has a different base, it all depends on where your family lives.  That’s base.  But, I digress….
Vampire Squid

The twinkling from beneath the waves appeared to be rising faster than we anticipated and was going to surface all around us. 

Derrek was the first to notice. “Squid.” He said matter-of-factly.  We each took turns guessing at which bioluminescent creature would be rising to the surface to feed.  “Jelly fish” , “Red Tide”, “Atolla”, each of us shouted out something different.  Mind you, we certainly aren’t scientists but after a few years on the water you get so you have seen quite a bit and not too much startles us. 

After a short lull,  Lenny then hollered out, “The elusive pyrosome!”  We all looked at him.  “Just happy I remembered it’s name…”

“What?!”  We each blurted in unison.  Our boat began to rock. The waves became a stronger and higher and the gentle lapping was no longer.  They burst from the water, as a child would blow bubbles through a wand.  Dozens and dozens of them.  We each stood motionless, caught in the moment.  Filled with awe, our mouths dropped open as we watched their ascent.   

It began as a whisper, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.” With each utterance it became louder and louder, until Derrek was screaming.  Screaming as he was drawn upward into the now airborne craft.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Boo

B is for Boo

Opening my eyes with a jolt to the sound of the early morning alarm was actually a relief.  For weeks now I have been awakened, throughout my nighttime rest, by unknown noises. 

I anticipated some creaking and groaning from my newly acquired home.  I had expected the normal foundation settling could make some of the first nights restless.  Even the sounds of the roof flexing with the sun can make noises.  But these mid-night awakenings were far beyond that.

The second morning, after awakening six times during the night to loud bangs, I walked the perimeter and found a couple of places needing the attention of a handyman.  The third morning, I called a roofer.  The fourth morning I called an exterminator.  It’s now been six weeks.

Six weeks with little to no sleep.  I look like I could pack the bags under my eyes for a month long trip! Dark circles sagging skin all point to sleepless nights.  I haven’t dreamt in a very long time. 

Meeting for coffee, strong coffee, my friends comment on how much work I must be doing in my new home.  After my quizzical look, they all turned slightly away saying how tired I look. 

Jan was the first to say it. “It’s really there isn’t it.” Her words were a statement not a question.  Pursing her lips she stared accusingly at me.  “I told you the history of that house!  I told you what the previous owners said.”

I just don’t believe all that nonsense.  Ghosts, spectral beings, aliens…..come on.  Get real.  They just don’t exist anywhere but in the fantasies of the gullible.  The weak minded are generally being lead around by some “guru” for whatever money or other asset can get pumped out of them.

That being said, I allowed my friend Jan to make the call.  Jan had lived on that side of the city for a very long time.  She knew the best pizza joint, the easiest in and out coffee bistro, which salon had the best stylist.  Overall, she had this side of town down.  She knew everyone, and pretty much everyone knew her.  She could get the lowdown on any place, any thing, or on any body!  She made the call.

Our “spectral” retriever was to swing by my house the upcoming weekend.  In the meantime, I walked the perimeter of the house checking for “critter access”.  I went over the bills from the exterminator, no bugs/bees/rats or raccoons.  No trees leaning on the rooftop. 

Tired of looking at the house, I decided to calm my unreasonable nervousness with a nice cup of tea. Sitting on the front porch, sipping my herbal tea, I felt the hand touch me.  Whispers in my ear….”BOO..I know what you’ve done and it won’t stop me”.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Airborne


Bloggingfrom A to Z

When I checked today I am number 1455 out of 2215 writers - feel free to check out as many as you can! My sister, Vicki Paulus, is number 1454. 

We ran down the hill. No, that’s wrong.  We galloped down the hill, slipping and tumbling as though the sands of the hillside were mud.  End over end, down the steep hill.  Mouths wide open gulping in as much of the gritty sand as air.   

Blue skies overhead erupt as the fly-boys from Kincheloe  scream overhead breaking the sound barrier with a deafening boom.  The sound reverberating off the hill sides.  Hurriedly we clap our hands to the sides of our heads, covering our ears.  

Somewhere nearby another flyer is heard, a large bird of prey screams at us.  We have, once again, disrupted it’s hunt.  Several rabbits take advantage of our distraction and scurry to cover. 

It’s late spring, nearly summer.  School will be out and we will have three glorious months.  Soon enough the hot sun will beat the sides of the sand-pit, turning the moist, pliable, soft sands into baked hard crust.  But for now, the tumbling is fantastic.  The sands have just enough moisture to cling, but not enough to make sludge. 

From the top, running as hard as we can.  Arms pumping, lips pursed in concentration, dodging the blackberry bushes on our freshly made path, feet pushing off the ground….out, out, into the air. Airborne, just like the fly-boys.  For just a moment…that one elongated, may last forever moment, we are airborne.  We can fly.

Our flying contest is marked, not by where your behind fell, or where you rolled until you could finally stop, but where your feet dug into the sands.  Your landing gear is what counts here, not the fuselage, not the wings. 

Brushing the sand from our hair, off our clothes and somewhat off our faces.  We give one another a knowing glance.  It will take days to get the sand out of our ears and nose and any other crevice it will have worked its way into. We laugh and trudge back up the hill to do it all over again. 


Thursday, March 20, 2014



The BloggingLounge   
Hosted by: Ariana Browning

Prompt #5

Racing against time, she pressed down upon the gas pedal more firmly.  Coaxing the old pick-up truck around the curves and bends in the road at what her father would call, break neck speed.  Gusts of wind had knocked down branches and trees across the road.  So far the downed trees had been small enough to simply drive over, jerking her back and forth, straining against the seat belt. 

Peering into the rear view mirror, she could see the lights gaining on her.  She could feel them trying to overcome her independence.  They were trying to probe her mind and control her without even being in proximity.  “Fools!” she spat out the word as she rounded a curve on two wheels.

Knowing full well the turmoil she would cause, she escaped her captors.  Unwillingly, she had left others behind.  Others she fully planned to go back for, once she had figured out how. 

Mind control.  There was no need for them to chain anyone.  There was no need for them to discipline anyone, they simply controlled your thoughts.  Oh, they said it wasn’t control.  They said they could only foster a thought process.  Instill a certain pattern and our brains willingly followed.  They said, from the time we are very young, we, the lazy humans would much rather be told what to think and how to behave rather than make those tough decisions on our own.  

It had taken years to figure it out.  But, that knowledge was the key to her escape.  Learning to block their suggestions!  Learning to think for herself!  Learning to made decisions on her own! Initially, these had been very nearly intoxicating.  Initially, she was nearly found out on many occasion.  Initially, she had been giddy with the new-found self awareness.

Escape had been relatively easy once she mastered the “turn about”.  Instilling a suggestion into her guard’s mind had been as simple as the old woman was.  She was just an old woman doing a job to get by in life.  No point in hurting anyone, that would only make her as bad a person as her captors.  No reason to start out her new life with a “bad omen”. 

The lights were getting closer, but so was the town she was heading for.  Expletives burst from her.  She shouted at the heavens.  Then calmed, quieted, and began the tiresome act of transmitting to her pursuers.  Slowing, merging into traffic, she disappeared.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

To My Younger Self


To My Younger Self

Blogging Lounge #4

Sitting near my Grandmother, she reaches out a gnarled claw like hand to stroke my hair.  Grizzled as she appears on the outside, she is all soft and love on the inside, at least I thought so.  She loved me like no other.  I had not seen her extend even a thought of kindness to anyone else, ever. 

My Grandmother lay on her deathbed.  She wheezed and groaned as she fought the inevitable.  Hard as nails, she was determined to see my wedding day.  She was determined to have the right to request her “wish” be granted.  Only my Grandmother knew what that wish was, but I had a good guess.  Often I could catch snatches of words, as I sat next to her.

After days of lifting her nearly hairless head off her pillows to spoon feed her broth, I finally got the gist of what her request was going to be.  I was struck nearly dumbfounded when I realized what she planned.  I dropped the warm cloth I had been bathing her face with.  Staggering backward, I knocked over the stool I had perched upon for the past week.  My back aching from hunkering over her was thrown into an upright position.  My very nerves jangled at the thought of touching this person I had so long thought of tenderly. 

The years of her telling me that if she had it all to do again, she wouldn’t change a thing.  The hours of plotting and planning she had divulged what she would do if she were young in today’s world.  How often she had said “if I were to tell my younger self anything, it would be to implement this plan sooner”.  I had adored watching the movements of such a swift mind.  Her ability to envision a plan and implement it down to every detail was astonishing and wondrous to watch. Her plans were always to her advantage, the other individual always left hurting.  She had no qualms about using the other grandchildren.  

Always whispering to me how much she loved me, how she was teaching them lessons I didn’t need to learn, and how I was her favored one.

My wedding day was also my 21st birthday.  Two magical days rolled into one!  I was so excited, and had been for months.  Giddiness was normally squelched by my Grandmother.  She did not delight in other’s joy.  It was difficult to hide my excitement.  She said she could “see” it on me.  She said it hung about me like a shroud, colorful and bright.  However, she did not punish me overly much.  I assumed she knew it would be futile to try to sober me up.

How wrong I had been!  How na├»ve!  This wicked old woman had been planning something so cruel I never would have conceived it!  “To my younger self”, indeed!  She was planning to utilize my magic day!  Every lesson she taught me, she would always add that even if I forgot the actual lesson, my body would remember when the time came.  

Every extra helping of food, every ministering when I was ill, every look she bestowed upon me was the path she had lain out to execute her plan. 


 That wicked old witch!  That devious horrible woman! The vileness radiated from her body.  I stepped back, with my hand to my mouth and my mind reeling.  Slowly, vowing she would NEVER again hurt anyone.  Vowing she would NOT be trading bodies with me on my wedding night, I moved her nearly hairless head from her pillow and forced it onto her face.


Something Worth Writing

Something Worth Writing

Rise of the Pheonix : Week #12
Quote and a Word

I had begun the class thinking I would stir the imaginations of those who dared think.  I wanted to stir the imagination.  Explore the “unexplorable” with those whose minds were formulating beliefs.  Bend their thought process to view their lives as a grand experience, rather than the drudgery obligatory grind I saw on the faces I knew. 

To behold the world and see what had transpired, not as though a great burden had been thrust upon them, but that they hold the knowledge and can weld it as a sword to make their life experience in a better world. I never anticipated my words, said with earnest enthusiasm, would lead me to this jail cell.  Anticipating a severe outcome does little to bolster forgiveness for those who put me here.

Awakening from the vivid dream, the colors still carry into my conscious mind.  Knowing that dreams are our minds way of rehashing the day, sorting the information, and filing it into pockets of brain matter, I am astonished by the transient images which waft across my vision. The orange bird taking yellow seed from my hand while it’s red mother looks on approvingly. I find it inspiring. 

Here we are in this brightly hued world, wondering at our “beginnings”, fighting over who’s ideas are the most accurate, and who is withholding information. Mostly, I think there are many withholding information. 

There are tales written in stone, depicted on the walls of caves, and inscribed upon the hides of animals no longer roaming the Earth.  We, the human species, were “made”.  Does that make us Golems?  Mindless drones to do the bidding of our overlords? If so, just who are the overlords?  Are the overlords benevolent or filled with
Inscriptions dating back to the Mesopotamian era tell of God creating mankind.  God gave mankind the ability to speak. Now we need think we need to figure out who's God and then which God? 

Acts 2:1-4 ''Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place,  and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.  And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them,  and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.''   

Does this indicate that prior to “interference” we, mankind, had as much ability to speak as most animals?  Therefore we were, as many claim, animals prior to intervention? Are we merely "tweeked" animals some claim we are?  Without the ability to actually "see".

Benjamin Franklin told us “ Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” Silly me, I thought I was following those words to the fullest extent.  I held those words in my heart and followed as best I could see how.

Perhaps someday.  Perhaps someday someone will see my story and find it worthwhile to explore the unexplorable.  To see the world as an exhilaratingly wonder-filled place.  For, there are miracles, and whomever brings them really doesn’t matter to the one experiencing them!  We DO exist! I will escape this prison they have created. 


Saturday, February 8, 2014



Riseof the Phoenix Writing Group
#5  Prompt hosted by Diana Jillian

Earth as seen from Mars : NASA 
Brisk winds picked up the fine snow. Swirling and twirling, deep drifts formed along the paths which had once been two lane streets.  Winter was deeply entrenched along the land.  Blankets of white stretched for as far as the eye could see. 

Hard winter’s had become a thing of the past.  Lore handed down from Grandparents in the form of afternoon stories.  No one had seen drifts reaching the rooftops, therefore it could not have really happened. 

This weather so reminds me of my youth.  Brothers, sisters and neighbors skating on the ice of the lake in front of our house.  Or perhaps sledding down the hillside on the old wooden toboggan.  Ski goggles on plowing headlong through drifts and dodging the trees!  What fun to trudge back up the hill, set the sled, pile on and squeal all the way down!

The difference in this snow and the snow from my youth is the planet we are living on.  It’s no longer Earth.  We’ve moved on.  They demanded we leave the only home our generations have known.  Oh, there were stories, but we too thought them myth.

‘They’ appeared nearly twenty years ago.  As if out of thin air the sky was filled with their crafts.  So many over each countries capitals, it nearly blotted out the sun.  I remember as though it were only yesterday instead of two hundred years.

We, Humans, found the Derinkuyu Underground City.  They had anticipated our discovery and abandoned that location.  They had moved to underwater caverns, we soon found many of those as well. They moved deeper into the oceans.  Our “veils” were lifted and we began to notice them as they moved about.

The chronicles of Mesopotamia told us of their being, too many generations had transpired between their open existence on top of the planet.  We forgot there were physical beings far greater than ourselves.  Then something odd began to happen, people and I mean specifically women, began to simply disappear. 

The stories some brought back and told were scoffed at.  There are no “aliens” we laughed and pointed at the weirdoes who told tales of fertilization/implantation only to have the fetus removed.  Turned out to be fact.  We started noticing more and more anomalies among the successful people.  Artists. Actors. 

The shape of their ears, the odd coloration of eyes, the smoothness of skin.  These all pointed to enhanced beings, born to be successful. Not simply exist. Born for success, to endear themselves to those of us who were born less of them and more of the earth. We are more animalistic.  More prone to tend and care for one another.  Not the ruthless “anything for the win” attitude of this new breed.  They had bred with our species enough to reproduce should they want to.

They no longer had a need for us, the breeders, the dirty abusers of their planet, the slow witted. 

We were deported.  They did not want our type on ‘their’ planet any longer.  They said they did not want to destroy their planet again in an attempt to purge it of us.  They gave us the technology to build our own crafts and sent us on our way. Leave or die. We moved on,

The sun shines here every day.  The wind howls, the snows do not melt in this region.  Food is grown in greenhouses.  There are entities here that frighten us.  The night frightens us.  We do not have the technology we had once had.  New Earth is a new beginning.

And the Human cycle begins again.


Sunday, February 2, 2014



#2 Picture Prompt
Hosted by the talented Ariana Browning

Walking past the old house, I couldn't tear my eyes away.  The two story was sorely in need of some repair.  The front porch, once supported with intricately detailed vines and flowered wrought iron, now was held up by two weathered two by twos which seemed to sag in the middle. 

The gnarled old mulberry tree just off to the side of the house told a tale of many pies and jars of jelly. I recalled my Grandfather feeding the chipmunks.  Almost as soon as he sat in the old rocker, they would scamper around him like bees to a flower.  He would pull mulberries out of a pocket and hand feed them.  If the mulberries weren’t ripe, he had other treats.  He always had treats for the little people stored away in his shirt pocket.  

I could nearly hear the laughter of children on a tire swing, as I spied the scarred limbs on the maple tree in the back yard.  Close enough to the garden plot to keep an eye on and far enough away to keep the children out of trouble.

Grandmother would want to see each of us as soon as we arrived at her home.  Marched through the front door and into the parlor, past the formal dining area filled with lace and good china, into the kitchen, handed a ginger-snap cookie and then whisked out the back porch and told to stay away from the pies cooling on her rack. While she didn’t actually pull ears back to check for cleanliness, it was obvious we were being “inspected”.  One of us was always a little “wanting” of what she called “a lick and a promise.”  I suspect it was a lick to clean up whatever dirt was there and a promise of a good scrubbing to come!  I smile remembering the aroma and the look on Grandmother’s face as we stopped, usually a little too close to the pie, to breathe deeply.

Out the back door, around the wooden boat with the hole in it that Grandmother planted petunias, under the mulberry tree, and around the wheelbarrow with today’s haul from the garden.  The scare-crow closest to the house was made up as a man.  They had even hung pie tins from the outstretched arms to clatter together and frighten the birds out of the garden.  Whatever was ripe, that’s what we had for dinner that evening. 

I kept walking and gawking.  The repair crew was there, taking down the gray shingled siding.  I could see the piles of aluminum siding to be put up.  There was still an old wheelbarrow standing off to the side of the house.  Someone’s Grandmother must have lived there too.


Nature - Path - Lost

Nature, Path, Lost

#3 Writers Post – Hosted by the talented T.A. Woods

# 11   Picture and a Prompt
Riseof the Phoenix (Writing Group)

He grabbed my arm and jerked me around.  Just as I was gasping a huge inhale for a wondrously loud “Hey!” He clapped his gloved hand over my mouth.  The taste of grime and tree sap filled my half opened mouth.  Shards of the new bark we had been stripping from saplings flew up my nose.  Eyes wide with fury I started to struggle.  Had he lost his mind?!

Putting his finger over his lips indicating I should be quiet, I decided rather than berate him perhaps I should find out what his fuss was all about. 
We had been out taking suckers, or new shoots, from specific trees for grafting.  In an effort to continue the line of white birch trees, we would graft them onto poplars or yellow birch then harvest the seeds.  In the wild, nature had thrown this graceful tree a curve ball.

We worked our way from the deep woods back onto the path.  Our footfalls would be less noisy, no cracking of twigs buried beneath rotting leaves on the forest floor. Dropping down, he started to creep towards the crest of the hill.  We could smell the fire and the sweet acrid smell of overripe flowers.

There just beyond us, through the trees we could see their house!  Them!  Dancing under the stars, round and around the fire!  It was the wee folk. 
It was the deserted home at the end of the forest.  Destined to be torn down to make way for progress.  Torn down for either a mini-mall or a condominium complex or last but not least, a parking lot.  At here we were, witness to the supernatural.  Witness to something so spectacular we just stared, wide eyed and slack jawed.

Afterwards, I would have sworn we watched them dance and sing for hours, only moments had passed. He touched my arm.  In unison we turned, both filled with unspoken conviction.  We would save that space from “progress”.  We would make certain of it.  Mother Nature had shown us a prize and now it was up to us to keep it safe.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Who Am I

Who Am I?

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He stared at his reflection in the mirror.  It had been two years since the accident or beating or whatever had happened to him that he ended up in the hospital.  No recollection.  No idea of his original identity.  No notion of family. That scruffy  face  staring back is just as blank as his memory.
The shrink he had been assigned to encouraged him to go back to the site where he was found.  Hundreds of trips to that bend in the road and it’s still just a bend in the road that trails down a steep ravine. Hence the question of his injuries.

There really were no visible injuries other than that nasty gouge on the back of his head.  His rescuers were adamant that it was there before they dragged him up the hill.  He still teasingly accused them of bouncing his head off every rock they could, on the way up.

The shrink won’t hypnotize him.  Says it’s better for him to either go on with life as it is or recall as the healing progresses.  She says it’s too dangerous at this time, his mind could make up a past and then never know the truth. 

People would randomly ask him about his youth, these have simply been feeble attempts to jog his memory.  Initially, those questions were quite disconcerting.  Lately he’d become accustomed to their queries and no longer deemed it as hurtful prying, instead just the innocent notions of helpfulness.

When he first awakened, in the hospital, a nurse on her rounds stopped to check on him.  Her first question was, “What is your name?”  He hadn’t been able to forget the initial shock at not being able to recall his own name.  It was a physical jolt to him.

When he begins to hound the shrink about “Alternative Medicines”, she gives him her best “I don’t think so” look and ignores the rest of his diatribe.  They’ve been down that path of discussion more than once. 
“Who AM I?”, he demands often of the shrink.  To which she replies, “We are each the sum of all of our experiences, including; all physical or mental, conscious or subconscious, real or imagined.  We are the sum of our hopes, fears and dreams.  We are the sum of ever essence or spirit we have come into contact with.  We are the end result of our ability to categorically rationalize.  Today, you are you.”