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.

 

Imprisoned – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my readers.  It is Wednesday-Friday, otherwise known as Friday Fictioneers time and I have done something I don’t usually do (okay, never do!)… This little snippet of a story is the continuation of my FF from two weeks ago.   Should you wish to read (re-read?) that one first, it is here.  I know series are mostly frowned upon in this hear group but as this just happened yesterday,  I’m feeling a tad discombobulated and needed to get it out.  Thank you for your patience!

Thank you, as always, to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping us all in line weekly and this week, thank you to J.Hardy Carroll for this week’s pic.

To play along, add your link by clicking on the blue frog.  Not sure what the rules and regs are?  Click on Rochelle’s name above to get ’em!

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Genre:  Not even close to fiction

Word count:  a difficult 100 words

Imprisoned

Three months hospitalised, only five days back home.  An ambulance was called with police in case of resistance.

“Resistance?” I yelled at the social worker, “she’s an 82-year old frail woman; how hard can it be to lead her to an ambulance?  And why wasn’t I notified first?”

“I’m sorry, she wouldn’t let me in to help.  I saw her black eye and she’s dehydrated and malnourished.  I had no choice.”

“I’m sorry, Mother.  We tried it your way.  You knew the rules.”

“So I’m to be imprisoned for the rest of my life?”

“Don’t look at it that way….”

Better on the Other Side – Friday Fictioneers

Good Thursday, my readers.  I’ve been struggling with this week’s Friday Fictioneers, trying to come up with something half-way decent.  I admit I’ve been a tad preoccupied this week with the death on Friday of my beloved aunt, Lucette.  Saturday is her funeral.

I have been asked, once again, to give the eulogy.  My cousin feels he’s too close – it is his mother – and says he won’t be able to do it.  I, of course accepted, having already made the decision to say a few words to honour her anyway.

It’s funny, I keep getting asked to do this “job”, having now done it for my grandmother, father, and husband.  I dunno, maybe it’s a calling!  One thing is for sure, there will not only be tears, there will definitely be smiles.  I can’t help it.  I will always try to find the sunshine in the dark; or, as Maya Angelou like to say, I try to be a rainbow to someone else’s cloud.

Thank you, always, to Rochelle for hosting our group.  And this week, thank you to Danny Boweman for the use of your picture (bet you didn’t know Rochelle would choose you this week, eh?)

To play with us, click on the blue frog to add your link.  Not sure how this shindig works?  Click on Rochelle’s name for the how-tos…

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©Danny Boweman

Better on the Other Side

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes!

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes!

Ever since she opened Rochelle’s email with this week’s pic, the bloody song had become an earworm.

For reasons she couldn’t fathom, the stupid song made her think of her beloved aunt, Lucette

“You’re on the other side now, Matante*.  I do hope it is pain-free and filled with beauty, as they say it is.”

Smiling through her tears, she pictured her aunt:  healthy, rounding the bend, drink in hand, singing the song.  Letting us all know she much better now.

 

*Here in Quebec (well in my family at least) we call our uncles “Mononcle” and our aunts “Matante”, which means my aunt.  We don’t just use the tante.  It has become a form of endearment to the point that we will say something like:  My Matante Lucette…  literally meaning  “My my aunt Lucette”!

Family Vacation – Friday Fictioneers

Good morning, my peeps!  Welcome to this week’s Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the always lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who also supplied this week’s photo prompt.

I’m short on time so shall spare you my usual long-winded preamble!

Click on the blue frog if you wish to read other submissions or, gasp!, add your own!

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Word Count:  100

Family Vacation

The three families walked along the ancient streets in little groups; each one talking about what they were seeing.

It was a fabulous day and all were so happy to be there together.

Suddenly, they realised a little one was missing.  Frantically they split up calling Tyler’s name.  Dad tried to remember what Tyler was wearing that morning should he have to give a description.  Mom was imagining all the worst possible scenarios.

Grinning ear-to-ear, little Tyler suddenly appeared.  “I went to the bathroom all by myself, Mommy!”

Undecided whether to smack him or hug him, Mom chose the latter.

I’m Fine, Too – Friday Fictioneers

Good morning/evening, my Reader Friends.  It is time for Friday Fictioneers – the next two days I start work early so now was the most opportune time to get my 100-word story in.

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields of Addicted to Purple for not only herding us cats every week, but for supplying this photo this week.  One that drummed up a few memories.

If you would like to try your hand at this challenge, click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs.  If you only want to read a few interpretations of this here photo, then, please, click on the frog!

Genre:  Memoir

Word count:  Always 100

I’m Fine, Too

She thanked the good Samaritan for the ride home and made her way into the house on wobbly legs.

“Where’s the car?” Dad shouted.

“It’s in the ditch. And there is not a scratch on it,” I replied, still shaking from the whole ordeal.

“What do you mean, ‘It’s in the ditch’?  Why did you go out when there is black ice all over the roads?”

“I didn’t realise it when I left, Dad.  It seemed okay from our street.”

“Well, you are going to pay for getting it out of the ditch!”

“I’m fine, too, Dad.  Don’t you worry.”

***

Small note:  My father was not good at showing his true worry so he made it about the car… and he didn’t make me pay for the tow truck to get the car out of the ditch 🙂

#WeekendCoffeeShare – In Which I Played Tour Guide

Good evening my Blogger Friends!  It’s Sunday evening and I am in no mood for coffee.  Red wine for me!

First things first, however.  Thank you Emily from Nerd in the Brain for hosting our Coffee Talk!  For anyone wanting to join in on the fun, just click on the coffee cup above and you’ll be directed to her site where you can add your link or click on the link and read other stories.

Now, without further ado… My week.  Oy!  What a fantabulous week!  No, I shall not talk about my water woes other than to say that one issue has been fixed and one has been diagnosed – not in the manner in which I would prefer… Next subject!

If we were having coffee, or frankly, it is Sunday night, so, if you want that hot beverage spiked, just say so, I’ve got a lovely collection of liqueurs that could be added.  I might even be able to whip up some cream as a topping, should you wish!  I, on the other hand, shall go and get myself a nice glass of wine.  I also have white or rosé, should you prefer!

If we were sharing a nice beverage, I would tell you that I had a most wonderful week with Alison.  Who is Alison, you ask?  Would you imagine?  Last September, I went to Tuscany for almost three weeks.  The first week was a cooking week with Cook in Tuscany and where I met Alison.  I wrote part of my story  here.  (I’ve got a few posts still to go to bring it all up to speed – yeah, yeah, I know.  Way late!  Anyway.)  Well, as happens when you spend a full week with a group (we were 14 in all), friendships form.  We exchanged emails and quite a few of us are now Facebook friends.  Alison asked me if I was serious when I said, should you come to visit Montreal, let me know.  I responded absolutely!

She said cool… She’d be in Montreal from Tuesday, April 18th, till Saturday, April 22nd.  I offered my home for her to stay in but she is very allergic to cats and I’ve two of them.   She was very content to stay in an AirBnB in downtown Montreal and I was happy to go pick her up daily so we could do the tourist thing.

Alison really wanted to see our Montreal Symphony Orchestra and had asked me to look into buying tickets.  Then Punta Cana happened and I got all involved in the passport thing and the trip itself and…. When she texted me saying,  “So? Where are we sitting?”  I had to sheepishly admit I had failed at purchasing them.  I did manage to get us tickets for the first night but we’d not be sitting together.  She said what did it matter?  It’s not like we are going to talk while the music is playing… she had a point.  I had never been to our new Symphony House so I didn’t know what the seating was like.  There were some seats behind the musicians but I didn’t dare take them.  I should have.  It’s not like I could see the faces of anyone way up in the balcony!

Picked up Alison at the airport at 5pm, drove through the traffic to bring her to her apartment.  She changed and we made our way down to the “Quartier des Spectacles” in Montreal, parked and attempted to find something decent to eat.  Problem was it was also a hockey night so all restaurants were filled to the rim.  Ended up eating two steamies and greasy fries at Lafleur!  Sheesh.  Quite the beginning!

We made our way to the new (well, new to me, but open since 2011) MSO Symphony Hall to enjoy the concert Brel Symphonique.  Fans of Jacques Brel were treated to interpretation by mostly Québécois singers.  We were not disappointed.  Alison’s goal was to hear the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and she found the 81 members for this concert amazing.  I was not disappointed because I love Jacques Brel’s music and I found that the 10 artists did a wonderful job interpreting his songs along with the wonderful orchestration by the MSO.

As Alison had been up since very early, she was ready to hit the hay for the next day of adventures!

Wednesday morning, I picked her up and we made our way to St. Joseph’s Oratory.   We explored every floor, nook and cranny that we could.  Of course, once we were ready to go, it started to rain, so we didn’t take a picture of the oratory from the street!  Alison didn’t believe me when I told her that you could always find at least one person climbing the steps on their knees…

We worked up our hunger (it was near 2:00 pm!) so we made our way to Côte-des-Neiges Street and into McCarold’s Irish Pub for a delicious burger and fries.

My son’s friend was coming to do some of the plumbing – no, we’re not talking about my water woes! – and I wanted to be there when he did so we made our way to my house.  A tour of the mess and then we just sat and chitchatted.  And eventually got hungry so I made a vegetable & tortellini “Stoup” and heated up a frozen baguette.  Voilà!  Supper is served.  Alison was my expert stirrer…

On Thursday, we drove around the different boroughs of Montreal so I could show Alison the “Stairs of Montreal” and we wound up in Little Italy and the Jean-Talon Market.  It is such a fabulous place in summer but does remain open year-round (maybe 1/5 to 1/4 of it?)  We then made our way to Outremont, which has a totally different vibe, drove up Mount Royal, walked around Beaver Lake then made our way to the Camilien Houde Promontory to see a view of Montreal.  Though not raining, it was sort of clear…  Oh!  And as I drove around to the front of the entrance of Mount Royal where there are statues and, in the summer, the Tam-Tam players, I kept wondering why there were so many cops!  I sent Alison out to take some pics while I stayed in the car, illegally parked, and she came back stating there was quite the scent around the place.  D’oh!  It was 420 – Weed Day!

All that walking around made us hungry, so we made our way to Old Montreal.  We had a show at the Notre Dame Basilica (Aura) at 6 pm so we figured we’d have time to walk around and admire the old buildings and whatnot after lunch.  We ate outside in a heated terrasse (yes, I spell it the French way because we say it the French way!)  I wanted to bring Alison to the Jardin Nelson but it was closed for the day. Grrr.  So we went to Le Fripon.  No regrets!  After a delicious pizza, we made our way to the Basilica and enjoyed the Aura light show.  Truly beautiful.  A tad pricey for the amount of time we spent there, I have to admit but there was still no regret at having watched the light show.

I had never seen these two statues and the plaque explaining them….  They are so representative of the English-French thing that we have going on in our province!

Not yet hungry, we decided to go have a drink.  I decided we should go to Crescent Street where there are so many happening places.  I was telling her about Winnie’s and Margo and how she was THE bartender for years, knowing many Montreal writers and such but that she had taken her retirement and… bloody hell!  Who is at Winnie’s?  Margo!  Unknowingly, it was the 50th anniversary of the club and it was Bartenders Alumni Night!  Score!  What a perfect ending to a perfect day.  We decided to stay and have a late supper.  Introduced Alison to poutine, to boot…

So now it is Friday.  Our last full day to do stuff.   And I’m expecting a plumber to come and check out the mess – but we’re not talking about that, right?  As well, I have an 80th birthday cake to make for a friend of mine so my time is kinda wack.  I pick up Alison at 10:30 and off we go to the Biodome or Biosphere.  This was originally the American pavilion during Expo 67.  It was a spectacular sight then and in 1976, the outside walls (or membrane) caught fire but the original structure remained intact.  The Biodome became a natural museum and is most interesting.  I figured it was close enough to my house so we would be able to get to my house quickly should said plumber call.  There are a few halls closed for preparation of Montreal’s 375 birthday celebration so price is cut in half.  I’m jiggy wid it…   We enter one of the rooms for a 360º presentation but 2/3 of the screens are blank.  Not good.  I go out and advise the people in charge and they come and fix it.  In the meantime, we go to see other interesting things on the planet, global warming and such and make our way back to the original hall for the next presentation in English.  Very interesting and as we leave, my phone rings and it’s my son telling me the plumber is there.  Sigh. So much for him calling first…

We decided to lunch on my leftover stoup and, once the plumbing done, made our way back to Montreal.  It was a bleary day.  (Seriously, Alison was so not lucky weather-wise!)  We decide to take in the Chagall exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Park the car, make our way there and I find it weird there is no one at the reception.  Wait in line at the VIP line only to be told that the museum closes at 5 pm.  It was 4:50.  Ugh.  Only on Wednesdays is the museum open until 9 PM.  Dammit.   A lovely woman tells us, hey, if you want to, across the street at the Bourgie Hall, you can have a concert and a private tour of the exhibition.  Well.   We immediately crossed over and paid the fee.  Oh my goodness!  What a score!  We had the most wonderful guide Elena (Elaina? Elayna?) who knew her stuff.  It was a speedy tour, to be sure, and just whetted my appetite to return before it is gone.

 

After that, we settled into our seats in the converted church and enjoyed – well, I cannot lie, I am not a fan of Stravinsky but still.  The first half was a Stravinsky piano piece for four hands and the second was a piano duet for two pianos by Francis Poulenc.  The pianists were James Anagnoson and Leslie Kinton, celebrating 40 years of playing together!

They did a bang-up job!  By the end of the concert, it was almost 8 PM so we were hungry and I brought Alison to the Gay Village and my most favourite restaurant, Mozza Pâtes et Passions.  There is no place like it.  I told Alison she must go to the bathroom.  And to bring her phone with her… 😉

Bathroom at Mozza

The next morning I had to go to a work meeting from 9:30 till 11:00, rush home to meet the foundation guy – no, we’re still not talking water woes – then finish the cake for my friend Martin B.  I picked up Alison around 1:30 and drove her to the airport.  Our five-day-extravaganza had come to an end already.

I cannot believe how many things we did in such a short time!  It was a blast and I was told I was a good tour guide.  Phew!

I hope I’ve not rambled on way too long.  It took me almost three days to write this thing as the weather has finally turned (doesn’t that figure, Alison?) so I did come in and out of the house between raking and stuff to write this!

Oh. My bad.  I almost forgot all the goodies Alison brought me as a thank you.  Sheesh.  She spoiled me with Louisiana hot sauces, an apron and a bottle of wine!  All products from her home State of Louisiana.  Spoiled rotten, I tell ya!

Thanks to any of you who stuck it out and read the whole shebang!

See you next week!  I can promise you it will be way less exciting!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xoxo

 

 

#Weekend Coffee Share – Sunshine, Water Woes, Birthdays and Easter

Hello my friends!  Welcome to this weekend’s Coffee Share!  I did mention two weeks ago that I could not play with you last weekend as I was… sigh… “stuck” in Punta Cana! 😉

There was access to WiFi but, let’s face it, other than sharing my Instagram photos, there was no gathering of thoughts and such!

First, let me thank the lovely Emily for hosting this shindig!  Just click on the box above if you want to join along and add your link!

Without further ado…

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I had a most relaxing and wonderful time in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (I specify, because so many think this is in Mexico!)  The weather was perfect, the beaches wonderful, the food excellent.  Check-in was a nightmare and totally disorganised.  We got there for noon but didn’t get checked in until 12:50 where we were told our room would not be ready until 3:00 pm but to go ahead and eat and drink (now that we had our bracelets).  Check-in was so long the guy at the counter ordered us two beers while waiting!  Once checked in, we went to the dining room.  Which wasn’t open until 1:00.  10 minutes to wait.  Let’s just say not a grand debut to our week…  Things looked up immediately after, though!

Only thing I would complain about, and this pains me greatly to say, were the Russian guests.  Oh my gosh.  The rudest, most pushy and disagreeable sort they were in general.  I don’t like to generalise but here, I must.  There were constant looks of shock and disgust by all other guests every time one of them pushed their way into the food line.  If all were going in one direction, they inserted themselves and pushed in the opposite!  Every. Single. Time.  At one point, there was no one in front of me, I was making my way and two botox, bubble-lipped, boob-implanted-barbie dolls planted themselves in front of me, facing me.  Wrong direction.  I waited for them to move out of the way and nope.  They practically ploughed me over.  Ridiculous.  It does not give one the urge to go visit their country; as ambassadors, they suck!  On a positive note, here are a few pics!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the morning after I arrived home, I walked into my dining room and saw this:

I poked the hole and let out the water.  Then let out a wail.  This is my favourite room that Mick and I had redone the year he died.   Where was the water coming from?  I called my cousin Marc, who just happens to work in construction, to ask him if he was free in the next few days to come and assess the damage.  He said he would come the next day (Good Friday).

My son also advised me that he didn’t know what happened, but that he did not have an accident with my car while I was away…

He did use it to get to and from work as he was working two jobs.  In good faith, I am willing to admit that it does look like someone backed into the door.  Dammit.  Another thing to fix.

Good Friday came along.  Just so happens to be my birthday.  Oh no, no fuss, please!  I can’t handle more right now!  Marc came by before lunch and cut away at the ceiling, trying to find the source of the wet.  He determined it came from the boys’ bathroom shower.  Seems there is a joint that has been dripping for a good while.

I had also noticed that the carpet in the basement was wet.  It had been a bit before I left and I figured someone had spilled something.  However, now it was wet halfway across the room and on the other side!  Oh for Pete’s sake!  Stop already!

Trying to find the source

Marc determined that there must be a crack in my foundation.  Bloody hell.  On Monday I shall be calling my insurance company.  It appears there is work to be done before I can put this Mothaf*** for sale.

As I refuse to end this post on a negative note.  Just not my style, I tell you, I shall finish with this:

My sister, Lisa, made supper and my most favouritestiest spice cake for my birthday.  So nice!

Never too old

While having the last of our coffee (or really, should I not deserve something stronger by now?  I would tell you that Zeke and I took a nice walk yesterday and I was thrilled to see that I finally had a crocus!

Crocus!

And today, is Easter.  And I had to work.  It was the first official event of the new golf season for our members.  A lovely Easter brunch.  Everyone was in a grand mood.  It was nice to work with more of the regulars who didn’t work with me during the winter events.  After the event and the cleanup, we all sat down and ate a nice meal together and I got to take home a bouquet of tulips.

On that note, my friends, thank you for sharing some of your time with me (I promise I will be catching up on your Weekend Coffee Shares as well!)

Happy Easter!  Happy Passover!

Lotsa love,

Dale

xo