Weekend Writing Prompt #183 – Wrangle

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.

Another trip down memory lane.  It took me almost a year-and-a-half to have my family over so I could share with them what I had learned with Cook in Tuscany in September 2016 – the full account of the soirée can be found here but these 33 words somehow triggered, though have nothing to do with at all!  Funny how the muse works.

Wrangled up the necessary ingredients

To make a Tuscan feast to be shared

Invitations sent and accepted

A fun time, expected

With great company, delicious food, divine wine

And some friendly wrangling, unavoidable

 

 

Bonding – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #105

Crimson Creative Challenge has brought me down memory lane.  I could not help but kinda go over the 150 – but not by too much. I apologise profusely, but I know Crispina is most forgiving.

Remember Father-Child day in kindergarten, Dad?  What a great day that was. I had you all to myself – no brother, no Mom – just us. Well, and the rest of the class.  You were so good with tools and were able to make anything:  my bed, my dresser, all sorts of stuff in the house.  You were the best builder-dad in the class!  You helped me cut the pieces and put them together.  You even made me laugh when I hit my finger with the hammer! In the end, we had such a nice bird feeder.  And you know what?  I still have it.  It’s on top of the bureau you made for me.  Mom almost threw it out!  Boy, did I have a fit. Then I felt bad because she felt bad that I yelled at her.  She did not realise what it meant to me.

Funny how seeing this little house in the woods brought it all back. What I wouldn’t give to build anything with you again.

No Longer Needed – Friday Fictioneers

I really wasn’t going to touch this one.  And then I couldn’t help but go back 23 years.  This week’s photo is supplied by Roger Bultot.  Thanks, always to Rochelle for hosting this weekly gathering.  If you want to play along, just click on the frog below and add your link to your 100 words.

©Roger Bultot

High Chair — Nee & Wee

No Longer Needed

Why did you throw out the highchair?

I didn’t throw it out, I left it on the curb for anyone to pick it up.  It’s not like we need it anymore.

What if we have another baby?

What if we don’t?  What if he was our one and only?  I can’t walk past that thing just like I can’t leave his room the way it is.  I’m turning it into a reading room.

I get it and I’ll help you.  …  Do you think one day we can try for a family again?

Yes.  When my heart doesn’t hurt so much.

 

Austin’s Room

 

 

 

Peeping Tom – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday!  Know how I know? Rochelle sends us the weekly pic to write our 100-word story inspired by that pic. This week, our hostess with the mostest is oot and aboot but she left us with her very own pic to use.  Should you want to participate, click on the frog below and add your link.  G’head, it’s fun!

©Rodchelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Click me to play

Peeping Tom

The best thing about having a basement bedroom was that it was separate from the rest of the family.  And it was cool – downright cold in summer thanks to the A/C.  I loved my space and could do my own thing, undisturbed.

I was changing for bed when suddenly a ruckus broke out and I could hear thundering steps above my head and yells followed by the front door slamming.  What the hell?

I looked out my window and saw my father and uncle chasing a guy down the street.

He’d been having a look-see at me without my knowing.

I Wanna Do It Again! – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #83

Thought I was going to wait until tomorrow to post but got blown away by the wind outside and came in for a break.  It is time for Crispina‘s CCC number 83.  I seem to be in a reminiscing mood. Or the photo prompts are jarring old memories.  Either/or.  The horse in the background made me think of one of the horses at the ranch because he had the colourings of an Oreo cookie There was a fight between calling him Caffoon or Oreo, so they compromised and called him Cafforeo.  The things that remain in my memory banks, sheesh…

I Wanna Do It Again!

Summer of ’75, our family vacation was at Golden Acres Ranch in the Catskill Mountains of New York.  Think “Dirty Dancing” but with horses.  And I dunno if we were the only Gentiles there, but it sure felt like it.

(My youngest sister, Tracy, has been a horse fanatic since she can talk and walk. She tried to convince Dad that we could keep a horse in our backyard and she’d take care of it, promise!)

We were having a lesson in the main ring when Tracy’s horse, Cafforeo, took off like a bat outta hell, Tracy holding on tight, a smile the size of Canada across her face.

Mom and Dad and Mike, our teacher, ran like crazy to catch up with them, now safely in Cafforeo’s paddock.

“What did you do to make him take off like that?” Dad yelled.

“I dunno!  But I want to do it again!”

Didn’t have a picture of Tracy so here I am on my favourite horse named Muddy

 

Right There – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday early evening (Montreal time, anyway).  It is time for Friday Fictioneers.  I fear I have once again gone down memory lane.  It was that or bring in Tannille‘s muse for a repartee over here.  I chose the former.  Thank you, always, to Rochelle for holding the door for us and inviting us in to play week after week.  This week, thanks go to Ronda Del Boccio for the use of her photo. Should you want to play along, click on the frog below and add your link.

©Ronda Del Boccio

    Click me!

Right There

Dad loved gathering his family for barbecues in the summer, serving his “world-famous ribs” (to us), his mother’s Minute Rice salad, baked sweet potatoes and other delicious goodies.  I often brought dessert.

Every August, the International Balloon Festival of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where Dad lived, was held.  If we were lucky, and the winds were acquiescent, they flew directly over his house.  Why pay an entrance fee, with no guarantee they would fly, when you could watch for free?

I’ll never forget the time we heard a loud “PSSSSSSSHHHHHTTT” that made us jump out of our skin.

There was one RIGHT THERE.

 

Sadly, I cannot find a picture I took of one that was right there because it must be in another hard drive.  Oh well. Trust me.. It looked as close (almost) as this one!

Spring is a Good Time to Go

I had planned on a Sunday post filled with flowers…. Here we are Monday.  Spring means life even if it also brings death. And in this case, my mother-in-law, Jean, aged 85 and almost two months, passed away just before midnight on Saturday – another COVID casualty.  I guess it was fitting for her to die on a Saturday; she did like to go to Church on Saturdays.  She went four-five times per week but loved the Saturday service best. Makes one wonder just why she needed it so much. I have my theories but I shall keep them to myself.

Mother’s Day 2015, first one without Mick

We had a strange relationship, Jean and I. She was not an easy woman to deal with. In one breath I was the best wife, mother, cook; and in the next, I was the bitch who had her locked up.  If she only knew it was me who pushed her son to go get her, to return her calls, to keep her updated on us.  Or that I did what I could to have her be able to stay in her apartment, even if just for a while.  Neither here nor there, now, is it?

She was not a loving mother to her only son during his childhood, though I think deep down she did love him, in her way – it was just a really tough kind of love.  Neither one of them forgave the other completely for past pains.  And they both had plenty.

She did love her grandchildren, even if she could never get them straight.  Austin was the easy one to remember because he died.  And she focused on death.  All. The. Time.  Conversations were always of the genre:  “Clara (or insert any name) died. Cancer/heart attack/insert malady.”  “Who’s Clara? (again, insert name never heard till now)”  “A friend.”  “So sorry to hear that.”

We only saw her once or twice per year; three, on special occasions.  Mother’s Day and Christmas Brunch, Mick would drive the 45 minutes to pick her up, bring her to our place or the restaurant, and, after the event, do the same trek.  We’d offer to take her out once and again and she always refused, preferring to come to our place.  Despite my being the “best cook and baker”, she didn’t enjoy food.

Her relationship with Mick was very complicated.  Mick had shared with me his version of his history and I tried to get her talk about hers. She didn’t divulge very much but got very defensive.  I came to the conclusion that both were pigheaded in their refusal to accept their part!  Still, when we take the time to see, she did the best she could with what she had and she was alone to do it.  And, when push came to shove, Mick was there for her (and then I was) and she was there for him (and for me after he died).  Even if it was by duty.

Mother’s Day brunch 2010

She was pretty pleased to be the mother of the groom.  This was definitely one of her happy and proud days.  Mick insisted on treating her to a shopping spree, make-up and hairstyling as she was not one to splurge on herself. At all. So it took some doing and a threat or two on his part for her to acquiesce.

September 14, 2002

It is hard to say how I feel as I wasn’t truly in a position to create a close relationship with Jean.  Her son kept her at arm’s length and I had to respect him.  He had his reasons, after all.  After Mick died, I kept up the annual pilgrimage to pick her up and bring her over for Mother’s Day until her fall in July 2017.  At that time, it was discovered she was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and would not be abe to return to her home.  I spent a lot of time going back and forth doing what I know Mick would have done no matter how much he bitched about it. Because deep down, we do care.

Mother’s Day 2014 – last one with Mick

So my visits with Jean, with or without the boys, were every few months.  With each visit, it took longer for her to remember who I was and always asked why Mick wasn’t with me. To which I would reply because he was “working” – what would be the point of making her cry about her son’s death when in five minutes she would ask me again how he was and why wasn’t he there? And, of course, she never, ever, stopped asking to go home. The staff at Lev Tov said she asked every single day.  Drove them nuts with it.  She was a proud woman who had always taken care of herself and loathed her lack of independence.  She was not a happy woman but those in her circle loved her and thought her such a nice lady.

After a hair-styling at the residence

I hope she has finally found peace, wherever she is.

Weekend Writing Prompt #156 – Home

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.

Wow. Congrats to Sammi for doing this prompt for three years already!  Looking forward to what’s to come!

There is always that one house on the block where people congregate. As kids, it is the meet-up or the hang-out place – if the mom says it is okay – and if she says ‘no’ today, it will not stop you from coming back tomorrow. There is nothing obviously special about this house. It is like everyone else’s in size and shape and number of rooms. And yet, the kids know. Here, they are welcome. Here, they can be kids, and whether related or not, will be yelled at if they get too much. Here, they feel like they belong, part of a family. Here, this is not a house. It is a home.

Mine.

 

 

What’s the Word, Bird? – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. First day to get your Friday Fictioneers on! As per, I seem to have a bit of a problem with creating fiction. I am once, again, taking the memoir route. What can I say? I must follow where the muse takes me.  If your muse takes you to an interesting place, then please do share! Click on the frog below and add your 100-words worth.  Thank you, Rochelle for hosting this weekly party.  And thank you, Douglas M. MacIlroy for lending us your image.

 

What’s the Word, Bird?

It’s funny how seemingly out of the blue a thought can cross your mind. Spark a dormant memory. You don’t even notice what triggered it (bird on a windowsill) but your mind starts roaming and a smile crosses your lips and a warmth spreads from your heart to your fingertips.

“What’s the word, bird?” was how he always greeted me.

“Tweet! Tweet!” was how I always responded.

‘Twas a silly exchange but one that shall forever remain a fond memory.

Mononcle* Royal, I cannot believe it has been twenty years since your twinkling eyes dimmed and your ready laugh silenced.

 

*I think I’ve mentioned it before but here in Quebec, or rather, in my family (and many other French families), an uncle or an aunt becomes “my uncle” and “my aunt” in one word. If I were to say I love my uncle, it actually will come out as I love my MyUncle.  J’aime mon Mononcle.

That’s Not Kosher – Friday Fictioneers

Happy New Year my peeps!  I wasn’t sure where to go with this one so I went back a “few” years to a memory.  A very fond memory of a family vacation.  To play along, just click on the frog below and add your own 100-word story to go with this photo.  Thank you, always, to Rochelle for running things so fantabulously all these years.  As well, this is her photo so, yanno… thanks for that, too!

Click here to play!

That’s Not Kosher!

In the summer of ’75, Dad brought us to Golden Acres Ranch in the Catskills. We must have been the only Gentiles in the place.

“Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!” Our wake-up call every morning through speakers in the cabins.

There was horseback riding, dancing, sports – think Housemans of “Dirty Dancing” fame, but not quite so ritzy – at least, I don’t think it was.

I can still hear my not-quite-five-year-old sister, Tracy, ask Joel, our waiter, for a cheeseburger.

“Sorry, Kiddo, that’s not Kosher.”

“But I’m not Jewish!”

What a great way to teach us about other religions and cultures.