Per Your Request – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman is at Rawson Lake in Alberta, Canada. Thanks to some intrepid travelers, you can tour the area yourself via streetview (actually I should say trailview) or chose a photosphere. (Rawson Lake, Karen Rawson?  Coincidence? I think not!)

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, please share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Okay… so my story has nothing to do with this particular lake… and I confess there is not one bit of fiction either…

Thank you, always, to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge!

Per Your Request

You told me where you wanted me to spread your ashes: one of the lakes where you went fishing with your buddies and “Bass Alley” on the St. Lawrence River. You told me what you wanted as your urn, too. Remember? You showed me one of your collectible Coke bottles and said, “This one.”

Too soon, that day came. I went down to the basement, collected that bottle and emptied it. Was shocked there was still a “pssshhhht” sound when I opened it. Next day brought it to the funeral home.

Spring came, and our boys went with your best friends on the requisite fishing trip. I gave them half of you in a mason jar. They performed a beautiful ritual and let you go.

It’s been over three years and I still haven’t released the rest of you. I don’t know why, really. Maybe because I’m not ready to.

 

*********

 

A Disney Birthday – Friday Fictioneers

Good Hump Day, my fabulous readers…. or to us in this wacky group, Happy Friday Fictioneer Day!  Our wonderful Rochelle keeps on keepin’ us on and we’re all the more grateful for it. This week, she chose J. Hardy Carroll‘s picture.  Love the vintage feel of it.  If you want to add your 100-word story, please do so, by clicking on the blue frog and adding your link.  It is a lot of fun, a great exercise in cutting out the unnecessary and teaches you how to get to the point!

A  Disney Birthday

“Disney!  Woo hoo!  We are going to Disney!  For my birthday!  This is gonna be the BEST one ever!”

His excitement could not be contained.

“Did you know they give you six fast passes for the best rides for any time you want to use them?”

He was positively fit to be tied.

“And then you get special name tags and you get a free picture and I wonder if they even feed the birthday boy?”

She could not help but smile at his enthusiasm.

“Yes, Dear.  You told me, many times.  You don’t turn 46 every year now, do you?”

***

Yes, the biggest kid was the most enthusiastic!

Dear Mick – Year 3

Dear Mick,

I didn’t want to start this one like I did two years ago but man… I cannot believe it has been three years since we lost you.  So much as happened in the last two years, since my last letter.

It’s December so you are on all of our minds.  We can’t help it.  Yvon celebrated his 80th birthday on Monday.  Without you, who shared the same birth date.  Actually, we had a supper for him on Sunday, at the same place where you surprised me for my 50th.  There were 24 of us in all and he was quite surprised.

Speaking of Yvon, he had a major stroke in May 2016.  At the time, I couldn’t help thinking of how you would have handled it.  I pictured you going to visit him at the hospital a couple times per week, even though it was in Ste-Adèle.  I could see you being there, encouraging him to work to make his left side function again.  I could imagine you freaking out and saying things like:  “There is no way I would want to live like”, that yet you wouldn’t give up on him.  We finally moved Mom and Yvon to Varennes so we can be there to help out.  It is exhausting on “Mo” as she is his primary caregiver.  He can’t do much without her help.  I’m sure you’d do your share without a word of complaint.

I’ve gotten ahead of myself.  I mentioned to you that I would take the boys to Cuba and I did.   We went to Holguìn in March, 2016, which is far from Havana, so we couldn’t go visit it, but also far from the “Los Tabarnacos” I wanted to avoid.  Plus, I ensured we would not have to spend too much time with the Spring Breakers so the boys ended up missing two weeks of school.  We left on the Thursday of the Spring Break, returning on the following Wednesday.  They obviously did not complain.   I tell ya.  Was very special to have a week’s vacation with the boys.  We had a huge suite – one room for the boys including two double beds, a bathroom, TV, mini bar; a living-room-type area, including full bathroom, TV, mini bar and my room with a queen-sized bed, full bathroom, TV and mini-bar.  I swear, we were so pleasantly surprised!  As Iain was going to be 18 only at the end of the month, he managed to finagle himself an adult bracelet so he could enjoy himself without my help.  Aidan, on the other hand, was supplied by both me and Iain (what a bad mom, allowing a 16-year-old to drink).

Iain turned 18 on the last day of March and we all got together for supper at your favourite Barbù – where Iain was working part-time as a cook.

Some time in March, I got a call from François L. – remember him?  I used to work with him at Corby, then with François B. at Elixirs.  Anyway, he had moved back from Val d’Or where he’d been living for the past 4-5 years and was now in Boucherville.  He also had become manager of the restaurant in a private golf club and would I be interested in working as a waitress.  I told him I had never done that before and he said it was not a problem, that they would teach me the how-tos.  Well.  Why the hell not?  I was not getting that much business catering the family meals and was now considering what my next move was.  Couldn’t live off what was left of Mick Design for much longer so the timing was perfect.  Holy crap.  Turns out I’m a natural at this waitressing gig and the members and staff took a liking to me.  And man.  Was great for my arse.  I was walking it off.  11 lbs to be exact!  The only thing that was not so fabulous, was I felt I was abandoning the boys by not being home for supper 4-5 nights per week.

Iain graduated from high school in June.  He’s a funny guy.  He was zero interested in going to his prom but he felt it was very important to go to his graduation ceremonies.  It was nice to watch him walk up, wearing his gown and mortar board, all serious.  What he wouldn’t have given to have you there…  Since graduating, he has been working full time for a company called Moderco – so funny, on his first day, he texted me telling me that he must have your genes as he’s a natural!  He has now decided that he no longer wants to go into the Military to learn electricity (thank God) but in February of this year, he will be applying at Pierre Dupuy as he wants to return full-time and get his electricity degree.  Fingers crossed he gets in.

In September, 2016, my dream came true.  It was beyond bittersweet as you were not there.  I finally went to Tuscany.  I dunno if it was on Facebook or Twitter or what, but I discovered “Cook in Tuscany” – Oh. Em. Gee. It’s like this was created just for me!  I could just hear you saying something like:  “No way would I spend that much for a week, blah, blah, blah….”  I went anyway.   It was PERFECT!  I do not regret one single second of it.  Not one.  After my week with 13 other fantastic guests and the best hosts ever, Linda and George, I spent 9 days.  All. By. Myself.  I never thought I could do such a thing and not be lonely.  Well, that’s not entirely true.   You were on my mind during the whole thing.  There is no one else I would have wanted to be there with me but you.  I left the boys home alone with a bunch of food and instructions and frankly, I don’t even know if they realised I was not home… They are not the most demonstrative kids in the world.  Definitely do NOT take after you or me on that one.  All that to say, even though I had spent the day in Zug, Switzerland with a friend, arrived really late in Chiusi and stayed at a most fabulous B&B – I am now friends with Milena the owner, the moment I walked into my room, I burst into tears.  A mix of joy and sadness and excitement and almost guilt that you weren’t there.  I got over it and fell in love with the land.  I absolutely will be returning.  Oh man!  How could I forget!  I dunno if you had anything to do with it, but on my last day with my group, I heard my name being called.  Pierre V. – right there in my little village!  He is absolutely convinced you had a hand in it.  I ended up spending the day with them two days later.  Un-friggen-believable.

You know me.  I took a gazillion pictures…

Sadly, end of January, Richard Phillie lost his battle with bone marrow cancer.  I so remember the day Shihan announced to us in karate class that he had it.  The survival rate is about 5 years and damnation, that’s about how long he lasted.  Valérie stayed with him until the end.  I was glad I was able to be there for her, lend an ear and encourage her.  He was such a wonderful man and maybe he’s out there partying with you now.

I started dating.  Ugh.  Remember when I told you that I was gonna keep the devil I know (you!) rather than start all over and have to train a new one?  Damn you, anyway for leaving me like this.  That said, I tried various dating sites.  I figured why not?  I met you on Tele-Personals all those years ago.  That ended up working out pretty darn good, you ask me.  Well.  Let’s just say that I did see a few that I sorta kinda dated for a bit – not enough to introduce to family and friends, mind you.  Some of these guys became pretty good friends!  Actually, the one I hung out with in Zug, Switzerland, name is Urs, was one of them.   Christmas came and went, nothing much special, to tell the truth.  I worked a day here and there over the winter until the Club opened up again full-time in May.

One of the guys I befriended, Jean-Louis, invited me to join him in Punta Cana for our birthdays in April.  He said he was tired of travelling alone and would I keep him company – just friends, no strings, separate beds – and he offered to pay half.  Well now.  A week in the sun for $500?  Count me in.  It was nice.  Someone to share meals with and keep company while taking in the rays.  We did absolutely nothing besides go shopping one afternoon.  The rest of the time was beach, eat, sleep.  Felt kinda good!

But… I came home to this.

A pipe in the boys’ bathroom leaked causing damage in our beautiful dining room.  Iain took my car to work and someone backed into it and drove off.  The foundation cracked and water damage all accross the carpeted floor – all has to be removed.

Oh friggen joy, oh bliss.  The insurance covered the dining room – we now have a brand-new floor (since August only).  I haven’t taken care of the car yet but Sébastien has given me the name of someone and the basement is not bloody covered.  Sigh.

Aidan graduated in June 2017.  He had some rough moments but all’s well that ends well!  Check out the hair!  Lordy!  It’s all my fault.  I told him he had Robert Plant hair and to let it grow.  LOL.. Iain keeps calling him a bum.  How we ended up with two such different guys is beyond me.  Anyway, he has a part-time job at Subway, has been dating Willow for almost two years and is doing okay.  He was too late to register for CEGEP for September but has since signed up to start in January.  I am pleased.

Your mom was found unconscious in her apartment on June 28.  She had fallen and knocked herself out and we have no idea how long she lay there before being found.  Her friend Carole had been trying to reach her and finally go the superintendent to go check things out.  As you know, she calls home pretty regularly but I don’t worry as she usually calls at least once per week.  Well… she ended up in the Jewish General for two months.  They have established that she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.  We ended up going to court to give her the chance to go back home.  However, the ruling was that she had to allow the CLSC to go in three times per day to make sure she ate and took her meds and whatnot.  The day she refused them entry, she would lose her rights.  She lasted 5 days at home.  The CLSC called on her, she refused to answser – you know what a hard-headed woman she is – they knocked on her door and she had a black eye, apparently from banging into a cupboard.  They felt she looked dehydrated and convinced her to go back to the hospital where she was declared unfit to live on her own.  So.  Now I have inherited her.  She, at least, had her papers in order and in 2014 named you and me mandators in case.   She redid her mandate naming me and her friend Carole.  Bloody hell.  Carole lives in Ottawa.  Thankfully Carole does not want to be a part of anything and has signed over her rights to me, so now I am in the process of waiting for all to be finalized so I can take care of her – financially.  She has been in the Lev Tov Seniors Home in NDG for the past two months – though she thinks she’s only been there for a day or so.  She keeps trying to escape and wants desperately to go home.  The boys visited her and were finally able to see that, though she remembers us, there are holes in her memory.  It is not easy.

We lost Matante Lucette in September.  So friggen awful and I was asked by both Michel and my mom to speak at her funeral.  I still can’t believe that Mom and Matante Nicole are all that are left in their family.  Then Mononcle Faldora died, leaving behind three sisters and two brothers from a family of 15.  Crazy when you think that in that gang, the youngest is going to be 79 and the oldest is going to be 90 yet in Mom’s family, both women are in their late 60’s and mid-70’s.

And then in October,  our baby turned 18!  Yowza!  How can that be?  The sisters, an uncle, some cousins, Grandmaman & Grandpapa, all got together to celebrate.

The last thing I want to tell you is that I have found love again.  It is still very new, only since the beginning of October, but it feels right.  Go figure.  François works at the golf club!  He is a retired prison guard, of all things, keeping himself busy by working in the practice fields of the club in the summers and doing renovations with a friend the rest of the time.  He is well-liked by members and co-workers alike and, though this may sound weird, I think you’d like him.  Like you, only not quite as fast, he was introduced to lots of family.  He survived and thrived so I take that as a good sign.  He even clicked with some of my high school friends!  And our boys like him.  I haven’t pushed anything and they haven’t criticized him so I’m thinking things are good.  What is important to me, is he realises that you will always have a section of my heart and he respects that.   He won’t do anything without asking first, and has admired everything you have created.

You’d definitely like to see what he has done to your garage!  It is so neat!  He is also extremely handy and has been working really hard to rip out the carpet in the basement.  What a crappy job he has undertaken.  That carpet glue is gross, stuck, needs to be scraped after being heated… awful job.  Not only is he helping me with the house, he is helping me with your mother’s apartment.  Oh. Em. Gee.  We knew she was a hoarder but the situation is ridiculous.  We have emptied bags and bags of trash and recycling and bags and bags of clothes to be donated and we are still not done.  We have to have the place emptied by December 31.

This has turned out to be way longer than I ever expected, even though I knew I had so much to tell you.  You will always have a place in all of our hearts.  Tracy, Sébastien, their kids, and Lisa, Chris and their kids as well as so many of my cousins and extended family talk about you regularly.  Your friends too.  We don’t see Armen or André anymore and that’s what I expected to happen.  There is no anger or anything like that; it’s just how things are.  There is an occasional text with a “we should get together soon” and a reply that “yes, we should” and it sort of hangs there.  Not anyone’s fault.  You were the glue that kept it all together.  Even between themselves, the various groups, hardly ever get together for lunch because you were the instigator, the gatherer.

That said, I do still have Leonard.  He will, out of the blue, text me or give me a call.  He misses you something fierce.  And I got a nice text from John the other day, as well as had good chat with Debbie.   I expect I will get an annual hello or a Facebook message.  You were lucky to have so many friends and family who loved you.  I am lucky to have been a part of your life for almost 20 years.

I suspect this will be the last time I do write you, but who knows?  I may get an urge, or not.  And that’s okay.  Just know that we are all doing well; doing the best we can and are moving forward with life.

Lotsa love,

Dale

xoxo

 

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.

Get the code

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.

 

The Right Choice – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my Peeps!  Was not at all sure where I would go with this one.  Then Rochelle said one word and that was it.  I knew exactly where I was going!  Thanks, Rochelle!  Not only does she host this weekly shindig, she unknowingly gives us a little noodge when we need it!

Come and play with us by adding your own version of a 100-word story to go with this lovely photo supplied by Sarah Ann Hall.  Click on the blue frog to add your link.  If you want to know the how-tos, just click on Rochelle‘s name.

Get the Froggy Link

The Right Choice

They are spectacular, don’t you think?

Yes, I do… but don’t you think they are a tad umm too fancy?

Well, why not?  Doesn’t he deserve something fancy?  Something to show how much we love him?

Yes, he does deserve the best but truly, it does not represent him at all.  Think about it.

He’d laugh.  I can just hear him say:  ‘Look at them, getting all fancy-pants over me!’

Lord knows he had a sense of humour.  However, none of these will do.  THIS, however is perfect!

An old COKE BOTTLE?  You can’t be serious!

I most certainly am.

**********************

For those of you not in the know… a few years before my husband, Mick, passed away, he presented me with an old glass Coke bottle (he collected Coca Cola stuff) and told me he wanted it to be used for his urn one day.  We never expected it to happen that quickly but I did respect his wishes…

Ask For Directions – Friday Fictioneers

I am very happy to say I am typing this from a real computer, not an iPad, at my desk, surrounded by boxes and boxes and boxes… Seriously.  How many books and bobbles do I have, already?

Instead of “doing the right thing” and emptying said boxes and placing the books I shall be keeping into the bookshelves, I find myself much happier writing my little memoir and sharing it with you, lovely readers.  A huge thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this party, coming up with fabulous stories herself (sometimes two!) each and every week.  As well, we cannot do a photo prompt without a photo, so, shout out to Kent Bonham for this week’s pic.

To participate, just click on the blue frog and you will be brought to the lineup of a bunch of fabulous writers, each one give us a different story.  Try it, you’ll like it!

©Ken Bonham

Genre:  Humourous Memoir

Word count:  Toujours 100

Ask For Directions

 

“The stupid signs for the 417 have disappeared!  Now, where do we go?”

“Hang on, lemme see…”

“Dammit!  I’m stopping to ask for directions again.”

“We have stopped three times already.  I cannot believe we get lost every single time we drive through Ottawa!  This is ridiculous!”

 

I watched Mick wipe his brow with the back of his hand.  It was minus 37ºC, the car window was open and he was sweating like a horse.

 

“You are ridiculous, you know that?  We could never participate in Amazing Race!  Every time we’d get lost, you’d freak out!”

“I know, Rog, I know.

***

Mick could not stand being lost.  I teased him mercilessly about it.  Once, I went on a “by-myself-weekend”.  When I came back, I told him:  “Know what I did while I was out in the Townships?  I took a road that I had no clue where I would end up!”   Needless to say, he responded with a “hardy-har-har…”

Wait For Us! – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, dear Readers.  Hope your first day of Summer is filled with sunshine (for those of you in the northern hemisphere, that is) or at least, like me, with bits and spurts of sunshine between showers!  If you are in the southern hemisphere, hopefully your first day of winter is nice and mild.

We are once again gathered for a weekly 100-word story-telling session from folks all ’round the world.  Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.  And if you don’t, well that’s okay too.

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping all us ducks in a row and this week, thank you to Ted Strutz for a photo that brought me back a few years to an event that is quite a memorable one.  Sadly I can only give you bits and spurts but let me assure you, the longer version is a hoot and a half.  Hopefully this one still comes through as funny.

Should you wish to participate, then by all means, click on Rochelle’s name and get the hows and whys and if you just want to read more stories, then click on the blue frog.

Get the Code

Copyright © Ted Strutz

Genre:  Remembery (yes, I decided to call it that)

Word count:  100 – always

Wait For Us!

After spending the day in Sint Maarten, we gave ourselves 60 minutes to return the Jeeps and make our way to the cruise ship.

Traffic jam!  In “downtown” Philipsburg?  Really?  Over the walkie-talkie, Sébastien said,  “If I make a move, will you follow?”

“Right”, said Mick, “Follow!  You’re crazy! We’re not even moving!”

“Just follow me!”

Movie-like, Sébastien, shifted to the left onto the sidewalk and drove past the traffic jam, pedestrians scattering in all directions.

We three families followed, dropped off the Jeeps and ran like crazy up the pier.

“Wait for us!!!” we yelled before the ship pulled away.