Itchin’ – Friday Fictioneers

I’d like to first offer my condolences to Liz on the loss of Don.  My deepest condolences to you. Sending much love your way.

Secondly, I must wish happy birthday to my sister Lisa… Happy birthday, Sis! I love you to bits!

And finally… welcome to Friday Fictioneers, a place where peeps gather round the fire tended by Rochelle every week.  Rochelle could not have made a better choice today (even if she didn’t know it at the time). I saw this and was immediately on a cruise in my mind… since we actually were on one, returning just before the shit officially hit the fan on Friday the thirteenth of March, 2020.  Lordy.  ‘Nuff of that. Click on the frog to play by adding the link to your 100-word story.  G’head. It’s a great way to learn how to trim the fat from your writing…

©Liz Young

Fall is here.

Yes, and it’s my favourite time of the year.

Mine, too.  The weather is perfect.  If it could only stay like this through till spring. Skip winter alltogether.

Not how it works in this neck, you know that.  Why bother harping on it?

Coz this is the time I start itchin’.

Itchin’?

Yeah. Itchin’ to book our next cruise for Spring Break. 

Hah! You just said fall is your favourite.  Enjoy it.  Why rush?

One word for you:  Planning ahead.

That’s two words.

Don’t be a smartass. Shall I call the sisters?

Duh! And don’t forget Mom!

 

Groovy is as Groovy Does

On Monday, for dVerse, it was Quadrille Monday (44 words, max), hosted by De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo.  We had to use the word “groove” or a version of it.  I’m way late to the party but on this morning’s walk to work, I encountered this lady and I suddenly felt like participating.  And like my title says, groovy is as groovy does 😉

I cannot help but think of Iris Apfel who, at 100 years of age, has said (Choosing just one was difficult; the proof being that I changed quotes three times!):

“When the fun goes out of dressing, you might as well be dead. You need to pursue your own fancy.”

Both of us on an exercise mission,

cross each other’s paths.

My hello returned with a smile

Your

mismatched olive hat,

purple-striped shirt

and orange scarf,

with wide-legged grey shorts,

black knee-high socks

joining turquoise running shoes

scream

“I’m groovy coz I say so!”

 

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.

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

 

 

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.

Pay No Heed – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #141

When I saw this week’s CCC prompt, I was fairly certain where I would go with it. Then I did. And went over the word count. Forgiven, Crispina? Hopefully this garnered a chuckle which saved me a good chastising.  Hope you enjoy my little silly today 🙂

First, we set up a guard, trying to keep the hooligans out.  Maybe we should have made the sign bilingual?  No matter what language it was in, they ignored it.  And the guard.  Not that he put up anything near close a fight, actually.  Truth told, he went and hid under the stairs, quivering as they walked on his head, so to speak.

Once past the gate, the hooligans were meant to be discouraged them from crossing the stream on their way to our pond.  This time it was in English. Did that deter them? Not on your life. They feared no prosecution.  Even laughed from below and wallked all along until they reached their destination.

A sign indicating the water was dangerously deep did not give them pause.  Rather the opposite – just like we knew it would. He he he. The over-hanging branch was further invitation.  First one dove and landed, head in the super soft muck, legs sticking out from the waist down. Or was it up?  We sat back and laughed, watching them help their buddy up and running off our property.  We knew this group was taken care of.  Why none of ’em ever tests to see just how deep it is, is beyond me. Serves ’em right, little bastards.

 

 

A Family Trip – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  And the last day of work for me, followed by a four-day weekend. Again. Wooo hoooo!  So, why not play a little with this lovely Russell Gayer image?  Thanks, always to Rochelle for hosting this weekly party.  I do appreciate your efforts, my friend.  Should you be interested in writing your own 100-word story to go with, just click on the frogs below and add you link!

Click to play

 

All five of us in a van for four weeks?  Have you lost your mind?

It’ll be great.  We’ll get a chance to see most of our beautiful country and part of the States on our return.

Five of us. Together. Four weeks.

Yes.  It’ll be great.  We each get one hour of music and no one is allowed to complain.

Hah! You think that is enough to stem potential arguments?

Have faith.

And you, have reality.

I do. And I think this will be a trip of a lifetime.

Or will feel like it lasts that long…

Shut up.

 

Overdue

Do you remember when we called cancer the C-word?  The pandammit changed all that so that the new C-word is Covid or Corona or Calvaire (French swear word for misery) and goddammit-all-to-hell-we’re-fed-up-of-being-locked-up-and-not-being-able-to-see-friends Crap.

That said, while I have avoided whining about it or blogging about it, I’ve made mention in passing and since we are starting to see a sort of glow at the end of the tunnel… I don’t dare say more for fear of potentially jinxing anything – right. Like I have any kind of power of that sort!  Still. Why take unnecessary chances?

This past Thursday was our St-Jean-Baptiste holiday in Quebec.  I, for one, can become quite Québécoise by indulging in the old tunes I very much enjoyed do when I was a teenager (and still).  My eldest asked if he could have friends over on the Wednesday, as everyone was off on Thursday. Always such a cool mom, I said yes 😉

The evening was perfect and the kids all ended up on our roof to watch not one, not two, but four different fireworks.

After taking this picture of the “kids”, I simply turned towards the street, walked to the curb and was able to film this:

Die Hütte – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my peeps.  I almost didn’t play this week.  But this photo called me.  And then I worried I’d do something similar to what I’ve already done so… I’ve decided to do a little FanFic.  One of former Friday Fictioneers, Claire Fuller, was my inspiration – considering I’m reading her latest and fourth novel, it might be the why 🙂  Should you have something wonderful to write about this lovely image from Alicia Jamtaas, do so, please. And leave your link by clicking on the frog below.  As always, a thank you goes to Rochelle for herding this rowdy bunch of cats every week!

©Alicia Jamtaas

Frog Fairy House | Wind and Weather

Click me!

Die Hütte

Oh look!  It could be Die Hütte from Claire Fuller’s “Our Endless Numbered Days”!

Don’t be ridiculous. It was small, but not that small!  Could you imagine two people living in there?

Oh right.  I guess not.  Still, I don’t think it was very big. They were pretty cramped in there.  And where’s your imagination, anyway?

Apologies.  While we are at it, let’s pretend we are in Germany, too.  Shall we go see what it looks like inside?

Maybe we’ll find a body!

I should hope to hell not! What is wrong with you anyway? Your life not interesting enough?