Astronomer in Waiting – Friday Fictioneers

Good Thursday evening (here anyway!) my peeps!  Today’s FF is brought to you by Ted Strutz‘ fabulous photo, as chosen by our stellar leader, Rochelle.

Took me a while to come up with something.  Sheesh!  Think you have a great idea to go with this most interesting photo?  Then do come and join our rowdy bunch.  Just click on the Blue Frog to add your 100-story link.  Or, at the very least, check out other stories.  They are varied and imaginative, of that you can be sure!

Till then, as this is the last Friday Fictioneer of the Year, please allow me to wish each and every one of you a most wonderful and Happy New Year!  Here’s to 2018!

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Astronomer in Waiting

She walked into the backyard and did a double-take.

“What the…..?”

“It’s a solar system from another galaxy.  You like?”

“Wow.  It’s definitely out of this world, that’s for sure.  And.  Um.  Why?”

 

“I’ve entered a ‘Young Astronomers Of Tomorrow Contest’.  What do you think?”

“It is amazing.  Where did you get all the parts and do they move?”

“Uncle John told me I could have whatever I wanted from his garage and voilà!  And yes it does, watch this!”

Kellie pressed a button and all began to twist and turn.

Mom’s jaw dropped.  “You will go far in life.”

Dear Mick – Year 3

Dear Mick,

I didn’t want to start this one like I did two years ago but man… I cannot believe it has been three years since we lost you.  So much as happened in the last two years, since my last letter.

It’s December so you are on all of our minds.  We can’t help it.  Yvon celebrated his 80th birthday on Monday.  Without you, who shared the same birth date.  Actually, we had a supper for him on Sunday, at the same place where you surprised me for my 50th.  There were 24 of us in all and he was quite surprised.

Speaking of Yvon, he had a major stroke in May 2016.  At the time, I couldn’t help thinking of how you would have handled it.  I pictured you going to visit him at the hospital a couple times per week, even though it was in Ste-Adèle.  I could see you being there, encouraging him to work to make his left side function again.  I could imagine you freaking out and saying things like:  “There is no way I would want to live like”, that yet you wouldn’t give up on him.  We finally moved Mom and Yvon to Varennes so we can be there to help out.  It is exhausting on “Mo” as she is his primary caregiver.  He can’t do much without her help.  I’m sure you’d do your share without a word of complaint.

I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  I mentioned to you that I would take the boys to Cuba and I did.   We went to Holguìn in March, 2016, which is far from Havana, so we couldn’t go visit it, but also far from the “Los Tabarnacos” I wanted to avoid.  Plus, I ensured we would not have to spend too much time with the Spring Breakers so the boys ended up missing two weeks of school.  We left on the Thursday of the Spring Break, returning on the following Wednesday.  They obviously did not complain.   I tell ya.  Was very special to have a week’s vacation with the boys.  We had a huge suite – one room for the boys including two double beds, a bathroom, TV, mini bar; a living-room-type area, including full bathroom, TV, mini bar and my room with a queen-sized bed, full bathroom, TV and mini-bar.  I swear, we were so pleasantly surprised!  As Iain was going to be 18 only at the end of the month, he managed to finagle himself an adult bracelet so he could enjoy himself without my help.  Aidan, on the other hand, was supplied by both me and Iain (what a bad mom, allowing a 16-year-old to drink).

Iain turned 18 on the last day of March and we all got together for supper at your favourite Barbù – where Iain was working part-time as a cook.

Some time in March, I got a call from François L. – remember him?  I used to work with him at Corby, then with François B. at Elixirs.  Anyway, he had moved back from Val d’Or where he’d been living for the past 4-5 years and was now in Boucherville.  He also had become manager of the restaurant in a private golf club and would I be interested in working as a waitress.  I told him I had never done that before and he said it was not a problem, that they would teach me the how-tos.  Well.  Why the hell not?  I was not getting that much business catering the family meals and was now considering what my next move was.  Couldn’t live off what was left of Mick Design for much longer so the timing was perfect.  Holy crap.  Turns out I’m a natural at this waitressing gig and the members and staff took a liking to me.  And man.  Was great for my arse.  I was walking it off.  11 lbs to be exact!  The only thing that was not so fabulous, was I felt I was abandoning the boys by not being home for supper 4-5 nights per week.

Iain graduated from high school in June.  He’s a funny guy.  He was zero interested in going to his prom but he felt it was very important to go to his graduation ceremonies.  It was nice to watch him walk up, wearing his gown and mortar board, all serious.  What he wouldn’t have given to have you there…  Since graduating, he has been working full time for a company called Moderco – so funny, on his first day, he texted me telling me that he must have your genes as he’s a natural!  He has now decided that he no longer wants to go into the Military to learn electricity (thank God) but in February of this year, he will be applying at Pierre Dupuy as he wants to return full-time and get his electricity degree.  Fingers crossed he gets in.

In September, 2016, my dream came true.  It was beyond bittersweet as you were not there.  I finally went to Tuscany.  I dunno if it was on Facebook or Twitter or what, but I discovered “Cook in Tuscany” – Oh. Em. Gee. It’s like this was created just for me!  I could just hear you saying something like:  “No way would I spend that much for a week, blah, blah, blah….”  I went anyway.   It was PERFECT!  I do not regret one single second of it.  Not one.  After my week with 13 other fantastic guests and the best hosts ever, Linda and George, I spent 9 days.  All. By. Myself.  I never thought I could do such a thing and not be lonely.  Well, that’s not entirely true.   You were on my mind during the whole thing.  There is no one else I would have wanted to be there with me but you.  I left the boys home alone with a bunch of food and instructions and frankly, I don’t even know if they realised I was not home… They are not the most demonstrative kids in the world.  Definitely do NOT take after you or me on that one.  All that to say, even though I had spent the day in Zug, Switzerland with a friend, arrived really late in Chiusi and stayed at a most fabulous B&B – I am now friends with Milena the owner, the moment I walked into my room, I burst into tears.  A mix of joy and sadness and excitement and almost guilt that you weren’t there.  I got over it and fell in love with the land.  I absolutely will be returning.  Oh man!  How could I forget!  I dunno if you had anything to do with it, but on my last day with my group, I heard my name being called.  Pierre V. – right there in my little village!  He is absolutely convinced you had a hand in it.  I ended up spending the day with them two days later.  Un-friggen-believable.

You know me.  I took a gazillion pictures…

Sadly, end of January, Richard Phillie lost his battle with bone marrow cancer.  I so remember the day Shihan announced to us in karate class that he had it.  The survival rate is about 5 years and damnation, that’s about how long he lasted.  Valérie stayed with him until the end.  I was glad I was able to be there for her, lend an ear and encourage her.  He was such a wonderful man and maybe he’s out there partying with you now.

I started dating.  Ugh.  Remember when I told you that I was gonna keep the devil I know (you!) rather than start all over and have to train a new one?  Damn you, anyway for leaving me like this.  That said, I tried various dating sites.  I figured why not?  I met you on Tele-Personals all those years ago.  That ended up working out pretty darn good, you ask me.  Well.  Let’s just say that I did see a few that I sorta kinda dated for a bit – not enough to introduce to family and friends, mind you.  Some of these guys became pretty good friends!  Actually, the one I hung out with in Zug, Switzerland, name is Urs, was one of them.   Christmas came and went, nothing much special, to tell the truth.  I worked a day here and there over the winter until the Club opened up again full-time in May.

One of the guys I befriended, Jean-Louis, invited me to join him in Punta Cana for our birthdays in April.  He said he was tired of travelling alone and would I keep him company – just friends, no strings, separate beds – and he offered to pay half.  Well now.  A week in the sun for $500?  Count me in.  It was nice.  Someone to share meals with and keep company while taking in the rays.  We did absolutely nothing besides go shopping one afternoon.  The rest of the time was beach, eat, sleep.  Felt kinda good!

But… I came home to this.

A pipe in the boys’ bathroom leaked causing damage in our beautiful dining room.  Iain took my car to work and someone backed into it and drove off.  The foundation cracked and water damage all accross the carpeted floor – all has to be removed.

Oh friggen joy, oh bliss.  The insurance covered the dining room – we now have a brand-new floor (since August only).  I haven’t taken care of the car yet but Sébastien has given me the name of someone and the basement is not bloody covered.  Sigh.

Aidan graduated in June 2017.  He had some rough moments but all’s well that ends well!  Check out the hair!  Lordy!  It’s all my fault.  I told him he had Robert Plant hair and to let it grow.  LOL.. Iain keeps calling him a bum.  How we ended up with two such different guys is beyond me.  Anyway, he has a part-time job at Subway, has been dating Willow for almost two years and is doing okay.  He was too late to register for CEGEP for September but has since signed up to start in January.  I am pleased.

Your mom was found unconscious in her apartment on June 28.  She had fallen and knocked herself out and we have no idea how long she lay there before being found.  Her friend Carole had been trying to reach her and finally go the superintendent to go check things out.  As you know, she calls home pretty regularly but I don’t worry as she usually calls at least once per week.  Well… she ended up in the Jewish General for two months.  They have established that she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.  We ended up going to court to give her the chance to go back home.  However, the ruling was that she had to allow the CLSC to go in three times per day to make sure she ate and took her meds and whatnot.  The day she refused them entry, she would lose her rights.  She lasted 5 days at home.  The CLSC called on her, she refused to answser – you know what a hard-headed woman she is – they knocked on her door and she had a black eye, apparently from banging into a cupboard.  They felt she looked dehydrated and convinced her to go back to the hospital where she was declared unfit to live on her own.  So.  Now I have inherited her.  She, at least, had her papers in order and in 2014 named you and me mandators in case.   She redid her mandate naming me and her friend Carole.  Bloody hell.  Carole lives in Ottawa.  Thankfully Carole does not want to be a part of anything and has signed over her rights to me, so now I am in the process of waiting for all to be finalized so I can take care of her – financially.  She has been in the Lev Tov Seniors Home in NDG for the past two months – though she thinks she’s only been there for a day or so.  She keeps trying to escape and wants desperately to go home.  The boys visited her and were finally able to see that, though she remembers us, there are holes in her memory.  It is not easy.

We lost Matante Lucette in September.  So friggen awful and I was asked by both Michel and my mom to speak at her funeral.  I still can’t believe that Mom and Matante Nicole are all that are left in their family.  Then Mononcle Faldora died, leaving behind three sisters and two brothers from a family of 15.  Crazy when you think that in that gang, the youngest is going to be 79 and the oldest is going to be 90 yet in Mom’s family, both women are in their late 60’s and mid-70’s.

And then in October,  our baby turned 18!  Yowza!  How can that be?  The sisters, an uncle, some cousins, Grandmaman & Grandpapa, all got together to celebrate.

The last thing I want to tell you is that I have found love again.  It is still very new, only since the beginning of October, but it feels right.  Go figure.  François works at the golf club!  He is a retired prison guard, of all things, keeping himself busy by working in the practice fields of the club in the summers and doing renovations with a friend the rest of the time.  He is well-liked by members and co-workers alike and, though this may sound weird, I think you’d like him.  Like you, only not quite as fast, he was introduced to lots of family.  He survived and thrived so I take that as a good sign.  He even clicked with some of my high school friends!  And our boys like him.  I haven’t pushed anything and they haven’t criticized him so I’m thinking things are good.  What is important to me, is he realises that you will always have a section of my heart and he respects that.   He won’t do anything without asking first, and has admired everything you have created.

You’d definitely like to see what he has done to your garage!  It is so neat!  He is also extremely handy and has been working really hard to rip out the carpet in the basement.  What a crappy job he has undertaken.  That carpet glue is gross, stuck, needs to be scraped after being heated… awful job.  Not only is he helping me with the house, he is helping me with your mother’s apartment.  Oh. Em. Gee.  We knew she was a hoarder but the situation is ridiculous.  We have emptied bags and bags of trash and recycling and bags and bags of clothes to be donated and we are still not done.  We have to have the place emptied by December 31.

This has turned out to be way longer than I ever expected, even though I knew I had so much to tell you.  You will always have a place in all of our hearts.  Tracy, Sébastien, their kids, and Lisa, Chris and their kids as well as so many of my cousins and extended family talk about you regularly.  Your friends too.  We don’t see Armen or André anymore and that’s what I expected to happen.  There is no anger or anything like that; it’s just how things are.  There is an occasional text with a “we should get together soon” and a reply that “yes, we should” and it sort of hangs there.  Not anyone’s fault.  You were the glue that kept it all together.  Even between themselves, the various groups, hardly ever get together for lunch because you were the instigator, the gatherer.

That said, I do still have Leonard.  He will, out of the blue, text me or give me a call.  He misses you something fierce.  And I got a nice text from John the other day, as well as had good chat with Debbie.   I expect I will get an annual hello or a Facebook message.  You were lucky to have so many friends and family who loved you.  I am lucky to have been a part of your life for almost 20 years.

I suspect this will be the last time I do write you, but who knows?  I may get an urge, or not.  And that’s okay.  Just know that we are all doing well; doing the best we can and are moving forward with life.

Lotsa love,

Dale

xoxo

 

Home Alone – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my Readers!  Sorry I missed last week but the inspiration just would not come to me.  It happens.  I rather skip out then produce dreck!

Thank you, always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her fabulous leadership.  This boat would not float without her.  This week, she chose Björn Rudberg’s lovely photo.  Why don’t you try your hand at writing a 100-word story using the photo prompt?  It’s so much fun and quite addictive.  Click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs or simply click on the Blue Frog to add your story and check our other interesting takes…

Oh!  And silly me!  For those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas!  And a belated, well, it is the last day, Happy Chanukah to those who celebrate that!  And Happy Whatever-It-Is-You-DO celebrate!

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© Björn Rudberg

Genre:  May be a true story (hangs head in shame)

Word Count: Never more, never less than 100

Home Alone

She felt it was safe to leave him home alone while she picked up his brother at school, a mere two blocks away.  He’d had such a hissy-fit; she decided to leave him behind, watching his movie.  There was no danger. She’d be gone 15-20 minutes, max.  She told him to stay put, locked up and left.

She picked up her eldest, turned around to walk back home and there was her little one, boots on his feet, unzipped coat flapping and hat with its pom-pom bobbing, running towards her, tears streaming down his face.

“You left me all alone!”

 

The Culprit

 

When His Heart Stopped – Friday Fictioneers

Well now.  This is a rarity.  —Not my waking up at stupid o’clock and not being able to go back to sleep.—  But to surely find myself on the first row of the “Hollywood Squares” as our buddy Russell calls them…  As always, thank you to Rochelle for hosting this crazy bunch!

I’m sorry to do this to you.  I had to “go there”.   I won’t bother pretending this piece is not wholly true so I’ve kept all names real.  I cannot believe my life changed so drastically three years ago this coming December 11th.  And when I saw my own picture as the prompt, I just dunno what happened.

To add a more joyful or funny or sinister or wherever your muse takes you, click on the blue frog.

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Mine!

Genre:  True Story

When His Heart Stopped

The phone rang.  “Ya, Dale, it’s Armen.  Mick collapsed.  He’s at Santa Cabrini Hospital.”

“What do you mean he collapsed?”  Fear gripped her heart, sending shards of ice throughout her veins.

“I dunno.  They called me.  They are checking him now.  Tony’s with him and they have questions for you.  I’m on my way and will meet you there.”

She Googled the address, dressed and left, thankful both boys were at school.

Tony met her at the entrance and guided her to the registration.  “He had a heart attack at our shop.”

Her own heart sank, somehow she just knew.

 

Boys Will Be Boys – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my friendly readers.  I’m actually up and at ’em earlier than usual this week.  I don’t usually read any other stories except Rochelle’s but for some reason, I read Sandra’s this morning and glad I did as I almost went the same route!  I’ll have none of that.  Well, not on purpose, anyway!  So… I’ve gone a totally silly route to honour our local funny man, Russell… Of course Russell supplied a toilet pic.  Boys grow up to be big boys, don’t they?  Thanks for dragging us into your bathroom!

And, always, thank you to Rochelle for trying to keep us all in line week after week.  I know, we ain’t an easy lot! 😉

Click on zee bleu frog if you wish to add your 100-word story!

©Russell Gayer

Boys Will Be Boys

How about this one?

“Beans, beans the musical fruit

the more you eat, the more you toot!

The more you toot the better you feel.

So eat your beans at every meal!”

Or this one:

“Beans, beans are good for your heart

the more you eat, the more you fart!”

The boys giggled.

“Dog smells his own poop first!”

You should know, ‘coz:

“You smelt it, you dealt it!”

Wait… Remember this one?

“Why fart and waste it,

When you can burp and taste it?”

 

Mom shook her head.  What was it with boys and their obsession with toilet humour?

Kondo vs McCartney – Friday Fictioneers

Good afternoon, my Peeps!  Hope all is well in your necks of the woods this fine, though dreary (in this part anyway) day.  You ‘Muricans prepared for your turkey and for the madness that is Black Friday?  I’ll just watch all a y’all from over here, if ya don’t mind.  We Canucks have already done the turkey-thing.  That shopping craze has crawled over our borders but I’ll skip it.  Unless I decide to partake of any supposed savings on-line, from the comfort of my office chair.  But then that would create more stuff.  Oh, what am I talking about?  Read on, my friends, read on…

But first, thanks to our fabulous leader Rochelle for herding us week after week and for this week’s photo!

Join in by clicking on the blue frog.  Remember 100 words or less (not including the title), that’s all you need to know!

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Kondo vs McCartney

Today is the day she puts Marie Kondo’s words to the test.  Jennifer McCartney’s way had gotten her nowhere.  Yes, McCartney’s book was a spoof of Kondo’s, she knew that.  It was hilarious.  Her house was NOT a total disaster of stuff.  Everything was important.  She needed her stuff.  Really.

Yes.  Hold lonely slipper – I’m sure the other one is in the house somewhere – thank it for its service, then decide… keep it?  Or chuck it?   But what if she found the other one?  Then what?

This was so stupid.  Time to call a professional de-clutterer.  She obviously needed one.

***********

In all fairness, you may not have read the books I am referring to…

#MeToo – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my Fellow Friday Fictioneers and Fabulous Followers!  Today’s story is somewhat outside of my usual fare.  I don’t often (if ever) use today’s “in the news” things but this one just came to me.  To think I was going in a totally different direction when I first saw the pic.  Might go crazy and do a second one with that first idea.  We’ll see.

Thank you always to our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff (no “e”) Fields for keeping us coming back week after week.  And this week, Rochelle chose a most interesting picture from J. Hardy Carroll so thank you to him for allowing us to write our 100 words based on his pic.

Should you wish to read other versions, please click on the Blue Frog.  If you want to join in on the addictive fun, click here for the rules and regs…

©J. Hardy Carroll

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Word Count:  Toujours 100 Always

#MeToo

“Wooo hooo!  Hey there Hot Stuff!” followed by a loud whistle.

She ignore him and moved on.

“That’s a smoking hot body you got there, Girlie-Girl!” from yet another in the same group.

On she walked.

“Oh baby!  Gimme a hose to put out the fire you’ve lit under me!”

They were persistent, she’d give them that.  Seething inwardly, she squared her shoulders and kept on, totally ignoring them.

Their cat-calling continued, getting dimmer the further she walked.

Finally, all was silent as she turned the corner.

Taking a deep breath she shook it off.

As so many women have.