My House – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday and I never thought I’d find something to write for Friday Fictioneers – no reflection on your beautiful image, Dawn Miller!  However, as Zeke and I took our walk in the pretty deep snow (at places), wind in our faces (on the way back), a memory came to me… And the irony of life hit me in the face so, I had to go there. Thank you, always, Rochelle, for hosting this – sorry I scared you by saying I would not play this week!  Remember, I won’t be here in two weeks, so, I really won’t be playing!  😉  To play along, click the frog below and add your 100-word story to this beautiful image.

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My House

“This is my house!”

“Stop calling it your damn house. It’s our house! Four of us live here!  It drives me nuts when you say this.”

“What do you expect? It feels like I’m the only one who does anything around here! You guys are lazy and don’t pull your weight.”

***

Five years later

***

“This is my house!”

“Oh right, and you just can’t wait for us to leave YOUR house right, Mom?

“Maybe if you guys helped out by pulling your weight, I would call it ours! I feel like I’m on my own and you guys just squat!”

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

Camping? – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday already. You know what that means! Yep, time for some Friday Fictioneering. This week’s photo is brought to us by c.e. ayr and reminded me of the Christmas/New Year of 2013/14. We spent Christmas in the Keys and New Year’s in Naples…

Thanks, always, to Rochelle for her willingness to keep this party going! If you want to join in, just click on my frog below and add your link with your 100-word story!

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Camping?

This is how the rich like to camp, I take it?

Yep! They each have their lot for a season. It’s like a community.

And they save some scraggly spots for those of us just passing through…

Uhhhh… Not so scraggly.

Right. Not loving it, to tell the truth. We are a bunch of sardines in a pretty can. And our sardine is lacking.

It’s not! We are one with the hoi-palloi!

You do know that means the riffraff, right?

Really? Shit. I thought it meant the rich and snooty.

Nope. That’s hoity-toity. Let’s go to a nice quiet wooded area.

The Community – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #60

Well, well, well – OK, not even close to being a well 😉  Time to partake in Crispina’s CCC.  Of course, as I searched for an idea, I also searched for a photo or three, hoping the idea would form. And it did. Thank you Crispina. I do love this challenge.

The Community

Toula stood guard at her end.  What?  She squinted her eyes then grabbed the binoculars for confirmation.

“Oh!”  she beat out the code.

Clang! Clang! … Pause… Clang! Long pause. Clang! Clang!

It echoed down the hallways.

“Did you hear?  Quick!  Pass it on!”

Clang! Clang! … Pause… Clang! Long pause. Clang! Clang!

The residents joined together in the hallways.

“Is it true?”

“Can it be?”

Clang! Clang! … Pause… Clang! Long pause. Clang! Clang!

“Yes! Listen! Doula has banged out the last call.”

“Hurry, we must gather at the East Entrance!”

The community sloshed their way through the waters from the recent rainfall, towards the safe exit.

Their leader had made it back, packs laden with foodstuffs and other amenities long become necessary.

“We shall be able to survive the winter without worry, my friends. No fretting till spring.  Quickly, return inside and lock the gates. There is rejoicing to be had!”

 

Word count: 150

 

Inspired by the 1987-90 version of “Beauty and the Beast” featuring Ron Perlman (I always thought he was sexier as the beast than a man) and Linda Hamilton before she got all tough and terminator-killer-like.  And I am not afraid to admit I watched this show…

 

 

A Monument for Christmas – Friday Fictioneers

Good Thursday to all, or Boxing Day. to Canadians and Brits.  Though we got our prompt a day early thanks to Rochelle‘s generosity, I could not squeeze in a story. And then I was glad I waited because this gave me the time to dedicate this post to my blogging friend David Kanigan, who sadly lost his brother, Lorne, in the first minutes of Christmas Day.

 

©Sandra Crook

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A Monument for Christmas

It was time to stand tall and strong. He had to try to keep his anger in check as he knew it would serve no purpose now.  To rail against the system or whatever powers that be, that he wasn’t quite sure he believed in, would serve no purpose now.

He had to focus on the good that was before, and the end of all the suffering that had gone on for too long.  It was a small comfort.

He wanted more time.  And he didn’t want Christmas to be a monument to the day his brother’s light was snuffed.

 

Dear Mick – Year 5

Dear Mick,

Five years. Five. Years. A blink of an eye, really. Time goes way too fast.  Not a single day goes by without some thought of you – sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a curse. Can you blame me?  We had a good thing going when you went and screwed things up.  No worries, though, I’m not mad at you. You definitely did not plan on leaving so soon, no matter that you said you would not live to be an old man. I’m fairly certain you meant older than 51.

You are still and will always be sorely missed by all the family and your closest friends. I get messages now and again from Paul.  And I can always count on Leonard to change his Facebook profile pic to the one of you and him. He changes it on the 11th of December and by Christmas changes it back. He has been doing it for five years now.  He calls or texts me every other week.  I also hear from John now and again. Other than that, your friends have all but disappeared.  I admit it’s a bummer to not have Armen pop by once in a blue moon but that’s life. Nothing you can do about that.

Outside of that, your spirit shows up no matter the gathering – if there are others there who knew you, there you are.  So many stories. I even wrote a poem a couple of months ago that I composed while driving home from Tracy and Sébas’ oyster party.  I have to give you credit, Mick. You have been my muse more than a few times and I suspect we’re not done in that department.

 

Iain is on his last six months for his DEP in electricity. The kid is frankly crazy. He didn’t quit his job at Moderco so he works from 6:45 to 2:00, then comes home for a bite and a smoke (yeah, I’m not too pleased with that) and off to school from 3:00 to 9:00. He’s been doing this five days per week for one and half years. Plus, they still love him over at Barbu so when he has no school or on Saturdays, he goes to work there.  He is on a mission. He plans on moving out come June/July so he works hard.  Doesn’t do much around the house to help, mind you, except make a mess when he cooks – he’s always trying some new recipe and he’s really good. When I get mad at his lack of participation in the household duties, he then gets all gung-ho and starts a bunch of things but sadly takes after his mother instead of his father so he doesn’t necessarily finish them (see side gate, plank on deck, electrical socket… sigh.) He’s a thrill-seeker who got his license to leap from planes with a parachute and this summer he even went bungee jumping. A wild card that one. Oh, and before I forget, you’d be rather pleased to know that Andre gets him to work for him in exchange for any mechanic work on Iain’s car.  He and Bill say that the little bugger is a good worker.  Would be nice if he was as valiant at home.

Aidan quit Dawson when he found his dream job as a video game tester. I was not surprised by his decision. Can you imagine being paid to play video games? Still, I like to hope he will do like I did moons ago when I decided to go back and finish my college degree at night. We shall see.  He had a lovely girlfriend but with her studying in Ottawa and her father dying of cancer, it was too much so they decided to split up.  A sad day for all.  But he has a great circle of friends – who are here quite often… He, too, needs a swift kick in the butt to help out an has moments where he does so on his own and then… nothing.  In the meantime, your baby is going through some serious stuff that I cannot help but wonder how you would have handled. Truth be told, I so wish you were here with me now to help me deal. But you’re not. So I have to keep being strong and supportive and hope his path leads him to what he wants but mostly, I just want him to be happy.

I worked for my fourth (and final) season at the golf club. I was bar tender/waitress this year which was most interesting.  While I had a lot of fun, it is still a job that is rather hard on the body and frankly, the pay ain’t all that fabulous, being a private club with its members that we see day after day after day.  I told them I wasn’t going back but I know they still have hopes – it’s rather nice to be wanted but, no thanks.  So, come January, I’ll be on the job search. It sucks considering I haven’t applied for a job since 1995!  All jobs since then have come to me.  Time to spit and polish the ole resumé.

I still like to take walks with Zeke, camera in hand, snapping away. He’s getting old our puppy.  Can you believe he is ten?  I have to be careful and not take too long walks with him because his hips are starting to feel it.  I had his teeth cleaned so finally, his breath is not knock-you-out gross! I am not looking forward to that day in the future when he goes to join you… Hopefully not for a good many years!

I finally sold the house.  Yep. Sold it but there was an open house already scheduled, so we held it.  The morning of, I go into the basement and there is a lake in the former laundry room.  Bloody hell.  Mopped it up, held the open house, declared it to the buyer and then took care of it.  Thank God for my cousin, Marc. Whatever work that needed being done, Marc came in and did them. I still owe him a very fancy supper.

I am still having a helluva time with the buyer. He has given me formal notice for, get this, noises in the pipes!  You know the ones that we hear whenever someone takes a hot shower? I didn’t declare it – coz frankly, I didn’t think of it and why would I declare something I don’t even hear anymore? I swear, if I could have ripped up his offer, I would have. I had another offer from a guy who just wanted to flip it. Too bad I had accepted the first one. This buyer has caused me and my real estate agent headaches like you could not imagine. And the worst part is, I know you would have done whatever he wanted and have been done with it. But I’m not you and I don’t have your level of good in me. So now I’m paying for my pigheadedness.

As for the house I bought – I am suffering buyer’s remorse, big time. It’s around the corner from the old one. You know the one, It was sold like two or three times in the past ten years.

There are things I didn’t see when I visited it and maybe my real estate agent wasn’t as on the ball as he could have been.  Neither here nor there. I bought the damn thing and I hate it.  Hate is a big word.  I dislike it. A lot.  I’ve been here since June 1st and still haven’t fully moved in. Of course, I left that big-ass house with all that space and have downsized as per my desire but oy. So. Much. Shit. And a lot of it is YOURS.  Working in a golf club means working all summer and weird hours so I just didn’t have time to hold a garage sale or try to get rid of shit before moving so it all came with us. And filled the garage and my room and the basement.  I am still tripping over boxes.  No way in hell we’d be in this boat if you were here.  Course, if you were still here, we wouldn’t have had to move, either.  So there you have it. I’m done whining. Just had to get it out of my system.

Christmas is in a few days, we’ll squeeze the family in here for our annual breakfast – how we are going to make it in this itty-bitty kitchen is still a mystery. I know this is odd for me but I have had zero desire to entertain in this house, thus far.

Come January, I am putting myself to work purging and doing what I didn’t have time to do before. Maybe once I’ve placed stuff, and put on a coat of paint, I’ll see the potential I must’ve seen when I decided to buy it. Learn to love it.  Silver lining: I do love the garage though. Parking my car inside has been the one thing that I have been truly happy about, so there’s that.

Your mom is slipping away so fast. She barely eats and is getting beyond thin.  She never recognizes me first thing when I arrive until I remind her who I am and then she asks me how you are doing and why aren’t you visiting with me.   It’s hard to have to tell her that you are busy working because it serves no purpose to tell her the truth. She’ll cry, be really upset and in ten minutes, ask me how you are again.

On July 1st, Hugh contacted me to tell me he lost Patrick. He died five days after his 56th birthday. A sad state of affairs. What irony that a nurse should die of a hospital error. I have since spoken to Hugh a few times and he’s having a rough go of it, which is to be expected.  Lemme tell you, you have quite the party going on up there with too many of our friends, yanno?

The boys and I are joining my sisters, their husbands, some of their kids and my mom on a cruise March 1st. I can’t tell you how much I need this.  Life was way different with you around. Summer vacations plus somewhere hot in the winter… man. Adjustments.

That guy I dated didn’t pan out.  I was done after six months. But hey, all good. I’m not looking to becoming half of a couple.  I am learning to be my own woman and just don’t feel like giving up my own power.  You held a large portion of it in the twenty years we were together and I’m getting used to not having to cede to another.  Doesn’t mean I don’t still wish you were here but just know that I’m doing all right.

You’ll never not be a part of my life.

Lotsa love,

Rog.

Satisfied – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  Hope the sun is shining for you today.  Here, we have been graced with a lovely white blanket of snow, just enough to brighten things up a bit.  I was getting worried we’d end up with a green Christmas this year… Course, that is still a week away…

This week our lovely leader, Rochelle chose my picture. How cool is that? And, as it would have been Mick’s 56th birthday today, I felt a little something that represents who he was, was in order.  Do join in on the fun and add your own 100-word story by clicking on the frog below!

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Satisfied

The location was perfect – a wonderful unobstructed view of his beloved river. He’d always wanted a property by the water.

The gazebo was perfect. As she knew it would be. He never failed at whatever he built. He always put such meticulous care into every thing he created with his talented hands. Only he ever saw whatever small flaws there might be. Try as we might, we could never find them but they drove him crazy. Perfectionist, he was.

She could just picture him sitting there, legs stretched out, beer in hand, grin on face. Satisfied, a job well done.