Posted in Writing Prompts

Five Word Weekly Challenge 5/15/23- A Mother’s Fortune

She squatted in order to keep their eyes level. Her four-year-old had just asked a hilarious and brilliant question.
“How come if you split a crumb in half, you get two crumbs not two half-crumbs?”
Listening to her children exploring and learning language was one fortune of many she’d been able to embrace from her decision to homeschool. She hadn’t realized how her life had been emotionally anemic and impoverished before. Her bank account was meeker, but her heart had become solvent.
Her eyes filled with pride and amusement.
“What a smart question! Let’s explore other simple things that work the same way. We’ll make a poster.”

Posted in Writing Prompts

Four Line Fiction 5/9/23 Weightlessness

Welcome to Four Line Fiction, a pix-to-prose challenge. Each Tuesday, at 9:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States) I will post an image I have captured myself, featured from another blog or plucked from one of the Interweb’s many royalty-free image sites. You as the writer are to use that image as a point of inspiration to craft a masterpiece of fiction in four lines.

Our photo prompt:

It was the absolutely worst thing she could have been told about her developmentally delayed baby girl and the pediatrician sat patiently by, as she sobbed, before telling her about the definitive test he’d planned.

He highly suspected a rare untreatable cancer that had been growing in Hallie’s brain even before her birth 8 months ago.

Unable to eat or sleep she waited for the call from the lab and when she grabbed the phone on the first ring, she nearly tore it from the wall before hearing the words she’d prayed for, “We’re happy to report that the test was negative. There’s no sign of cancer.”

Hallie’s Mommy weightlessly walked out of her front door and straight down the middle of the highway -shedding all her desperate and dark “What ifs?” along the way -as there would be nothing that could ever paralyzingly frighten her again, like those expectations of losing her baby.

Posted in In my humble opinion...

The Garden Dawdler 4/29/23- Call of Duty

This week’s questions from Rory.

What is one of your deepest desires or fantasy?
[Inspired by Fantasy Island]

If you’re familiar with the movie Twister, then you know the character of Aunt Meg.
She lived with her dog and spent much of her time being creative. Her home was always open to her niece and any other young people. They could come to her for a warm meal, a smile, and/or advice. Neither chaos nor solitude seemed to bother Meg. That’s who I’d like to be or who I’d like to be remembered as being. Perhaps, I’ve daydreamed about being in a more remote home than Meg- on a small homestead in the woods- but having a joyful existence as she seemed to have would be everything.

When was the last time you used a pencil to write with?

Not too long ago. There’s one in my ‘go to’ glass of writing utensils. But, while I was open for business in day care, my favorite utensil was a crayon. lol

How tired are you daily, or do you get sufficient sleep to feel refreshed daily?

I’m a good sleeper. Even nighttime interruptions don’t keep me up. BUT I require that sleep.
If I burn the candle too long on each end of the day, I will get sick. Sleep is more like a bank account than a restaurant. If you’re hungry, you can load up and get back to living. Sleep is a savings account for me. I owe a debt if I get less than 8 hours and I make sure to catch up on it, or else.
Not so for my husband. I realize it’s different for everyone.

How quick are you at making significant vital decisions?

On BIG decisions, I’m pretty quick. This is because I am a “plan of escape” person. IMHO…People who fail to have a plan for a worst-case scenario waste valuable time while those who plan are more ‘at the ready’. Not every vital decision needs to be made quickly and deserves a lot of thought. The one’s that require you to be ‘quick’ are usually concerned with safety IMHO.
When you enter a new city while on vacation, do you watch for the signs that show the route to the hospital? I do. 😉

Do you use a brush or a comb with your hair or never do that and have a more natural look?

A brush and rarely look in the mirror so I am somewhat neat AND natural.

How many true friendships do you think you need?

I have several friends who mean different things to me. I love them dearly, but I don’t feel I need them. They are like bacon… absolutely they make my life more delicious and delightful, but I wouldn’t starve without them. My family, on the other hand, is my oxygen.

How good is your memory, and how far back in your life can you go to remember moments with clarity?

I have an excellent memory. Most of my most vivid ones start around the age of 4-years-old.

How do you keep yourself optimistic day to day?

I laugh at almost everything. Humor is the best medicine and IMHO sarcasm works well too.

When did you last wander freely out and about with no set destination instead of walking purposefully? [A stroll with no clear A – B parameters]

It’s been a very long time. Certainly, before I became a mother, and on that day, my life became a part of someone else’s life. The enchantment of a goal of having the freedom to have only a personal path to wander aimlessly along, is a trap. It will not enrich you like a life of service, purpose, and demands. ❤

(I know Rory wanted to know about an afternoon stroll but even then, I would feel a limit to my wandering because of my perceived duties to others.)

Posted in In my humble opinion..., Unanswered Questions

Unanswered Question: President’s Day Edition: What’s wrong with playing a role?

I was surprised to find out that some people don’t believe we need to play a ‘role’ in life. In fact, some think that playing a role is directly opposed to being yourself.

Oh yes. Being (and knowing) yourself is important. We’re each gifted with different skills and temperaments, and I don’t think we can be truly happy without embracing and using them. But what about the ‘roles’ we play?

In the 1960s, I witnessed the birth of the ‘feminist movement’. Women, who had been generically excluded from many job opportunities, were legitimately upset. The societal roles of men and women had become so tightly defined that it was oppressive to all our ‘greater goods’. We were overlooking that the “best man for the job” could be a woman too. But, IMHO, there was a detrimental ‘overreaction’ that accompanied that movement toward change.

All roles were about to be reexamined and deemed too confining for ‘personal’ growth. The first to go was the oppressive role of ‘homemaker’. Women were told that they could, and should, do better. It’s almost funny that women seeking more, and broader, opportunity started turning on each other. Homemakers, those who loved their ‘roles’ as wives and mothers, became the new ‘punchline’. Women who didn’t ‘get with the new program’ were also treated like traitors.

Let’s get this straight, this was also the point where ‘being a woman’ started being more harshly defined than ever. All in the interest of liberation. LOL
You were suddenly ’empowered’ to look out for ‘only’ yourself if you didn’t have a Y chromosome. When you got up in the morning your gender supposedly defined everything you were. The ‘roles’ of mother, homemaker, and caregiver became a subliminal taboo. The feminist movement had made their ‘legitimate cause’ into a new ‘religion’ with the deity being their own definition of ‘womanhood’. Instead of looking for ‘equality of opportunities’ the mission took an ugly turn toward (a then undefined idea) what we know today as ‘equity’.

This was the biggest giant step toward destroying the nuclear family and most of the ‘players’ had no idea that they were the ‘tools’.
TV and Hollywood were happy to fan the flames! Compare the TV show “Leave it to Beaver” to “Maude”. Our culture was being nudged toward an end. {It didn’t work on me. Even as a child, Maude was always more of an embarrassing character than June Cleaver. Both were exaggerations of course.}

Where are we now? All traditional ‘roles’ are under attack. We’re even at the ridiculous place where ‘womanhood’ has no definition!
It’s also funny to me that the ‘role’ of CEO, feminist, activist, is okay for a “woman” (if you still know it’s an adult human female) but the ‘role’ of Mother is unfulfilling one’s potential, uninspired, and somewhat demeaning. [Here you might want to ponder, “Whose potential?” did the promoters of ‘mothers in the workforce’ have their ‘eye’ on.]

Our God given “right to choose” is always about what ‘role’ we’ll play. We can play many at once. Our ‘roles’ are not our immutable traits. You are a “black man”. You are a “woman”. You are “physically challenged”. But what ‘role’ you choose is where your ‘meaning’ is. By the volume of unhappiness and frustration now present in our society, it seems ‘meaning’ has gone desperately missing. It’s time to ask everyone, “What’s wrong with playing a ‘role’ in life?”

I suggest we start unapologetically reviving roles from our past and add them back to our ‘library’ of choices. Your true ‘liberation’ is all about the ‘roles’ you’re free to choose.
Abraham Lincoln said it best:

I want to leave you with more ‘food for thought’. It’s clear that the option to be a “stay at home mother” is obstructed by our current financial “needs”. If you think it was an accident that once mothers flooded the workforce looking for ‘equality’ they got ‘fenced in’ making it harder to return to being ‘homemakers’, you ought to watch the video below. The destruction of the bonds of the nuclear family is a basic tenant in Communism, as well as, making the population dependent upon government.

Posted in Writing Prompts

E.M.’s RWP~# 232 before and after- Rebirth

In one convulsive second, when the crying infant still tethered to her by an umbilical cord was placed on her stomach, all her ‘befores‘ dissolved.
The child catching grasshoppers in the tall grass at her grandmother’s farm, the teenager with a crush on one of her teachers, and the woman picking flowers for centerpieces on her wedding day, were gone.

When her brand-new daughter was brought to her, all clean, perfect, and ready to nurse, their eyes met.
“Hello, Ellen. I can’t wait to get to know you.” she whispered.
She had no doubt that a blessed transformation had taken place and her life, from that moment forward, would wholly be defined by ‘afters‘.

Posted in Random Word Stories

Random Word Story # 39~ Choose Wisely

I have a category called Random Word Stories. From an online random word generator, I grab a list and write a story. It’s my own way to find a prompt. Feel free to check out the others I’ve done over the years. Thanks!

  • nightmare
  • major
  • forge
  • mess
  • fold
  • obscure

  • It had just come to Marie’s attention in a news article, that Americans weren’t reproducing in sufficient numbers to maintain their own cultural future. Oh well, she thought, progress and changes happen. Women are more than ‘baby machines’.
    Her life as a professional unmarried 28 year old was awesome! And, no stretch marks, baby.

    In college, the consensus about career vs family for young women wasn’t at all obscure. Life could only be fullfilling if women pursued their careers first with becoming a mother a ‘maybe’. In fact, the few who dropped out, opting for families, were banished from elite circles and were openly called ‘troglodytes’. She never hesistated to dismiss those women and pitied them for not belonging to the enlightened fold of feminism. Her once, best friend, Lynn was one of those misguided types.
    Marie was completely convinced having children was messy, expensive, and intrusive for women who wished to forge a bright future so running into Lynn, at her hometown bank (after not seeing her for a decade), was a good chance to flaunt her wiser choices.
    Lynn looked horrible. Her hair and wardrobe were a mess.
    “Sneakers. Really?” Marie mumbled.
    Marie almost considered avoiding her to save Lynn the inevitable embarrassment but, heck, she’d created her own nightmare. It wasn’t Marie’s fault. She’d even pleaded with her not to throw in the towel 10 years ago.
    “Marie! How are you?”
    ” I’m great! I just got back from Europe on assignment and the vice president position isn’t too far off. The marketing firm may be setting up an office in Belguim! My expense account is unlimited and I get dibs on all the first fashion trends. See?” Marie twirled for emphasis.
    “Nice! You were always so talented. How’s your Mom?”
    “She’s okay. How’s your family?”
    With a twinkle in her eye, Lynn grabbed her phone and showed photos of her three daughters, two dogs, and a variety of camping excursions, softball games, and, what she called, ‘giggle fests’. Her husband still drove trucks, but now had his own company, and she was homeschooling her kids since Covid-19 shutdowns. Her home had a lovely yard with, of all things, a white picket fence!
    Lynn certainly didn’t look miserable. Marie thought she even beamed.
    The major letdown of their encounter was Lynn’s total lack of envy of Marie’s choices. She seemed content and chatted about her children with an energy and pride that Lynn didn’t even have for her own ‘projects’.
    As Marie unlocked her apartment that evening, she had an epiphany.
    That college feminist ‘concesus’ may not have been organic, or as altruistic, as it seemed.