Our Special Place – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  It’s been a while since I played Friday Fictioneer.  I was inspired by the book I am reading.  A special thank you to Penny Gadd for the use of her photo and to our hostess with the mostest, Rochelle for being there through thick and thin.  Should you wish to play, just click on the frogs below and add the link to your own one-hundred-word story!  G’head! It’s fun!

Two green frogs swimming in the water of a little lake, between the water plants. The larger male is following the female during mating time. Seen fro Stock Photo - Alamy

Click to play!

Our Special Place

From the first weekend after school ended until the weekend it started up again, we lived at great-grandpa’s cottage.  Though he was long gone, we refused to call it anything else.  It felt disrespectful to rename it since he is the one who built it.

I remember the summer Bill arrived.  We were ten and twelve.  Though he was younger than I, we hit it off from the get.  Our days were spent lazing in “my” hidden pool, away from all the other cottages.

Summer after summer, our friendship grew.  Who knew I would end up marrying my best friend?

 

Walking and Walking: YUL to ATL to PHL/PHL to IAD to YUL

Inspired by David Kanigan, I thought I would write a “Walking” post. Because Lord knows I’ve walked in the past eight days! Of course, mine won’t be as sophisticated as his. I don’t have some cool reference to the latest book I’m reading, inspiring me. No, no. Mine is the Good Gawd Version.

It all started with a decision to go hang out with my fella… Justin opened up the border to the Yanks and I just had to wait until Joe did the same for us. But he didn’t. Damn him! So, arrangements were made to fly – destination Philadelphia followed by a short drive to Delaware, just for the hell of it.

I did the necessaries, i.e. get a proper Covid test (the US, while not open to us Canucks, are less demanding of which test was needed). Found me a drive-through and was planning on getting tested on the Saturday, August 21, on my way up to Yvon’s funeral. It only takes 15 minutes to get the results. However, I decided to follow my sister Tracy’s suggestion that I not wait till the last minute. So I went on Thursday after work, enduring traffic to and fro. But all good. Negatory, so I was set.

Why, pray tell, do we have to present ourselves at the airport three hours prior to boarding when there is no one officially working until 5:30? My flight was at 7:30… There was one woman who was asked to come in early so she dealt with as many as she could, including me, before the rest arrived… And then? Great, she checked us in but the security isn’t open until 6:30? What in the eff?

There is a screen between the cow chute and the agents…

Sunday morning, I was on my flight to, get this, ATLANTA, as a layover to Philadelphia. Nuts, I tells ya. Nuts. I have gone to Florida, to the Dominican Republic and my layover was IN Philadelphia. Now that it was my destination? No, no. we can’t have us no direct flight. Let’s send you for a ride!

Blue skies over fluffy white clouds – gonna be a great week!

I won’t complain too hardily as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a beautiful place. I mean, if you are to have a four-hour layover, this is a grand place to have it. I’d get my 10K steps easy-peasy! I arrived in Concourse A and walked around there, not quite knowing how to get to the other concourses. So I took the train to T and walked all the way back to E. And back. Wow.

Concourse T to A contains a series of Zimbabwean sculptures, each one so beautiful. I took ’em all but won’t torment you here!

Concourse A to B has a rain forest theme, including the sounds of tree frogs and other beasties. So cool.

Between Concourses B and C, you find a serious history lesson. Along the walls the images take you from 11,000 BC to today.

There was nothing special after that that. Was more straightforward.

My flight was on time and it was off to Delaware for a week of reconnection, rest and relaxation.

Fast-forward to Wednesday. I had a Covid Test to take. This time the PCR one. Thanks to my co-worker, I knew that Vybe Urgent Care took appointments and gave results in two hours. Woot! (Booked it on Monday,) Off we went, I took the test and then we walked around South Philly for a few hours. Picked up the results. All good. I was negative.

Friday afternoon, I receive an email from Air Canada telling me my flight next day’s was cancelled. For weather. What? What weather? There was nothing in Philadelphia. Nothing in Toronto (my connecting airport) and nothing in Montreal. What in the blessed eff? Sonova…. They give me my new flight for SUNDAY at 8:30, with a connection in Dulles, Washington. An eight-and-a-half hour layover. Oh. Em. Gee… No matter how much I searched, unless I was Croesus, which I am not, there was no way I could change this. Double Damn. Thankfully, we were able to stay at our joint for another night.

Saturday morning I wake up with a start. Aaaarrrggghhh! My Covid test is now no longer valid! I call Vybe and am told that “sorry, we cannot fit you in”. I call elsewhere and hit a wall. I call back the first Vybe – which is the closest in Ridley and basically beg. Successfully. We have to leave immediately, so off we go.

As expected, it took less than five minutes. So I treated us to breakfast in a diner (meh) and we then walked around until the paperwork was ready. Yay. Negative again (like… of COURSE).

It was great to have an extra day of vacation but the running around necessary? Not so much. Plus, now I had to leave at 8:30 instead of 10:15 yet another early start!

So. Here I am. In Dulles. It ain’t no Atlanta, is all I’m saying. But now I have to distract myself for eight-and-a-half hours. After a lickety-split flight from PHL to ATL (arrived early, of course). I thought I’d be seeing this spaceship (please, take me away!) over and over again but no. I found other places to get my steps! Not too exciting.

I walk from one end to the other and back. I see there is a Bar Symon and I think, that will be a great supper. It’s in Gate B and I still don’t know where I am leaving from. By 10:30 my 4 a.m. bagel is no longer sustaining me so I decide to have a Five Guys burger – a small one. Thank goodness!

Walk some more and wish and wish I could find some place to lie down. All the damn benches have armrests! What is it with this well-maintained airport already? I could like on a wooden bench like some rubby (homeless Canadian drunk) – right the middle of the hallway…. or maybe this cushy one, also set up in full view. I keep walking and find this overpass between Gates A1-A5 and A6-A-whatever)… Dang. That would have worked

Too late. I sit down in my empty gate A5 and start to write this post. I realise, as I am looking for deets, that I cannot find my blue travel wallet. What the? Wait. Oh man. I think, when I took my laptop out of my bag at security in Philly, it fell out. Never saw it. It contained all my paper proof of vaccination, tests, etc. Thank God I had it all digitally but I knew it would make my life easier to have the paperwork. Could this day get any worse?

Why yes. Yes, it could! By 4:30 they call us to verify our vaccine situation and test and all that schmegegge and tell us… hey… by the way, let’s delay your flight by an hour! Sallamabeetz…

Papers verified, I look around. I am NOT taking the chance to walk over to Michael Symon’s joint and find a nearby pub called Firkin and Fox. Imma have me a Yuengling! And a “turkey” (pressed meat) avocado club sandwich. Was edible and quenched my thirst. All for the measly sum of $30. Gotta love airports, eh?

Return to my bench to finish my post and accidentally flush it. Had to start the whole damn thing over (I think this version is better, though still way too long!)

Oh… that a boarding call? Not quite yet as, well, there is something they need to look at…

Everyday Exotic Beauty

On Monday, Merril was hosting dVerse Prosery.  I love this challenge of using only 144 words to tell a story – not in poetry but in prose, using a phrase supplied.  Merril’s head must have been in the clouds because that is the theme for this one.  We must use the following:

“But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter

Against the blue cloth of the sky”

              –from “Clouds” by Constance Urdang

Do take the time to read her poem. It is wonderful! (Very short)

Anyway, how could I resist when I so love clouds?  I couldn’t.  That said, I am really late to the party so, without further ado:

Pastel hues greet me as I open my blinds, declaring that, beyond my field of vision, the sun has only just risen.  I dress and step out into the morning and am immediately shrink-wrapped in a second skin of humidity.  The air is thick and there is no breeze to be had.  Nevertheless I set off at a light run, on soundless feet (our karate Shihan taught us to run quietly – no heels! no thuds!)  I make my way along my now-familiar path, feeling I am one with the universe.  My soundscape consists of cawing crows and tweeting birds.  Pastels have given way to vibrant fire by the time I get to the park.   I look up and Oh! But these clouds are clearly foreign.  Such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky cannot ever be considered plain.  Everyday exotic beauty.

Weekend Writing Prompt #222 – Glow

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

I was going somewhere totally different had I done this yesterday. But yesterday, I decided to not play in the blogosphere.  And today was a day that deserved a mention.

wk 222 glow

One yearyear ago today your life was snuffed out.  You were but twenty-two years old.  So much living ahead of you. It is so hard not to ask the question “Why?”  But then, why not? We are not in control of these things.

We move forward without the physical you. And we congregate with your parents and your loved ones; all the people your glowing persona touched in one way or another.

We raise a glass to you and consider ourselves blessed that your light touched us, no matter how briefly.

To you, Pat.

What Lies Beyond? – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #144 & #143

Good Thursday my peeps!  I feel like have not participated in a CCC in way too long.  Which really, has not been that long as it was less than a month ago. I can’t seem to get a handle on the time, lately.  Anyhoo, I had plans, big plans for CCC #143 and then did diddly-squat.  So this week, how perfect that Crispina chose a photo that I could not only matchy-matchy with but which I could put together with the previous week’s and again matchy-matchy!  It takes so little to please me…  And I am way short of the max of 150 words so I shouldn’t get in trouble.

 

What Lies Beyond?

 

What lies beyond this fence of grass?

Is it safe; can we see?

We cannot help but ask

 

To the left, lies the golden sea

After which you will find

A town, or rather a piggery

 

And to the right, don’t be surprised

Are two tall structures

Not meant for our kind

 

But straight ahead, do not be shy

Chances are, when all is calm

There will be ones like you and I

 

 

Organizing – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Yessiree!  That means it’s time to Friday Fictioneer.  I must thank Ted Strutz (so glad to see you’re getting better every day!) for the use of his picture and to Rochelle, who, even while dipping her toes in the ocean, still keeps this show running.  If you’d like to play along, just click on the jumble of frogs below to add your link to your 100-word story.

350pc Family Puzzle Frog Pile jigsaw puzzle by Cobble Hill Puzzle Co.  (mixed piece sizes)

Click to play!

Organizing

Bills         Taxes        Kids      Housework     Stress     Job    Love    Health    Frustration    Disappointment   Elation   Excitement Sleeplessness   Hunger    Pain    Empathy   Boredom–

“ENOUGH!  All of you, OUT. NOW!”

She took a deep breath.  And another.

Oh, that felt good. She could feel her body, mind and soul come back together in a cohesive and natural state of being.

“Whatcha doing? And what’s that jumbled mess?”

“That mess is a serious purge of all that was taking over my body.”

“Uhhh…”

“Now I can look at each piece individually and see what needs to be done. What stays, what goes. Prioritize and organize.

“You’re weird.”

“Maybe.”

Weekend Writing Prompt #221 – Thwart

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  I so wanted to use the more obscure definition of thwart but was thwarted by my lack of ability to find a way suitable to say what I wanted to say… another day, perhaps.

wk 221 thwart

Not to be Thwarted by Gadgets

 

A challenge issued from me to me for the year

(started on January 3rd, so’s not to hex myself)

Ten thousand steps per day

Totally doable

Marvellously on track more than seven months in.

My Fitbit however, decided to thwart me and falter before the end

What to do?

Get a different brand – counts steps, not movements

Keeps me on the honest path

 

Started at the same time… hmmm.. Koretrak 237 steps behind Fitbit. The gap grew exponentially as the day went on! No free steps given here.

August Rush

Monday was Haibun Monday over at dVerse.  This morning I was feeling the joys of August. This afternoon’s sun was intense.  This evening, the crickets are louder than ever.  As far as summer months go, this one is pretty much my favourite.  So, why not write a little ode to it?

The sun is still up before I am, for now, just not quite as high as it was one month ago.  This morning’s run is in slightly cooler temps.  The light feels softer, the sun’s rays longer.  As the sun rises, so do the heat and humidity, reminding me of those dog days of summer that I cherish, knowing that it’s a question of time before autumn comes in and paints the trees in golds, oranges and reds and when the “fond de l’air” gets chilled.  But for now, August reigns supreme.

The butterflies and bees flitter and buzz about with wild abandon and the bunnies keep me company, sometimes hopping alongside me, most times doing an about-face and leaving me with a vision of a white little puff ball bouncing away.

The darkness comes earlier and the crickets seem to be holding a cacophonous sing off. Which choir is pitch perfect?

August is a rush

Everything is more intense

Last blast of summer

Weekend Writing Prompt #220 – Oasis

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Thank you, Sammi!

wk 220 oasis

It can be found

in a tropical paradise

a cabin in the woods

even, within the walls of your home

We each have our own vision of where to find it

My oasis?

Is within the circle of your arms

No Need to Go Out – FF and WWP

Don’t be mad at me, Rochelle!  I was drawing a blank on what to do with this picture and then I saw in my ever-expanding draft files, the WWP for “tether”.  Suddenly I had a story.  So, merging two prompts is what I done did.  That means you only have 80 words to read.  Well, that and the blah blah I am doing as an intro 😉  I’m forgiven, right? Please?  Thanks go to Roger Bultot for the use of his photo – wonder if he will ever play FF with us again?  Should YOU feel like playing, just click on the frog below and add your fabulous 100 word story (don’t use me as a guide, you can use twenty more words!) and add your link!

©Roger Bultot

Frog Door Knocker by Michael Healy-Brass/Blue Green Finish

No Need to Go Out

The doorbell rang and she looked through the peephole. “Yes, who is it?”

“Package for you, Ma’am.  Need you to sign.”

“Just leave it at the door, please.”

“But–”

“NO! Leave it.  Just mark it delivered to Dot Parker. All the others do it.”

“Fine.”  As he walked away, she heard him mutter “Stupid nutter.”

They say I’m tethered to my home.  No, I’m not. I just don’t need to go out there. 

At least that’s what she told herself.

 

wk 216 tether