I decided to participate in yesterday’s prosery for dVerse in which Lillian asks us to use one of two lines in Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia. My text has absolutely nothing to do with his fabulous poem. I chose “Moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops”. I did write it last night, then decided to wait until today to post, feeling it needed more fine-tuning.  Needless to say, I played with it so much, I fear I buggered it up completely. Or maybe not.  I’m putting it out there anyway!

I hike, breathing in the clean, crisp mountain air, revelling in my sense of being, as they say, one with nature.  I wonder why I don’t allow myself to do this more often.  To just be.  To occasionally let go of all the musts, shoulds and needs that seem to take over everyday life.  Why do we do that?  Why don’t we take the time for ourselves?  I know I was not taught to put myself last.  Our family did not do this type of teaching, despite many hours of discussing pretty much everything.

I often read of people saying their parent taught them this lesson or that. I don’t. I sometimes wonder if I was simply not paying attention.  Before I know it, I moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops, then howl, releasing restrictions I now know were self-imposed.


This Way – Crimon’s Creative Challenge #46

Crispina‘s image reminded of me of a great trail we used to take up to the water tower near my mother’s former home. It was in St-Rémi d’Amherst, in Quebec. The trail was built, handrails added here and there but over time, the maintenance stopped and it became quite the challenge. Every time we went up north, we tried to fit in a walk up to the top. Fun times.

This is quite the trek you are taking me on. I hope it’s worth it at the end!

Stop your moaning!  Look at how far we have come.  We have done the easy bit, by the way.

What? It gets worse than what we have already done? We seem to have gone up and up and up for miles!

We have gone up and up and up for miles.  However, the next bit is more challenging. There are no more handrails.

Oh for heaven’s sake! Are you trying to kill me?

Don’t be silly. It’s a great workout and once we get to the very top the view is amazing.

It better be.

Trust me. Only the ones who don’t give up are blessed with a view they will never forget.

Okay then. Gimme another sip of water and let’s go.

There’s my girl…

View from the top

word count: 148 (including the added intro to the last photo)

Top of the Hill – What Pegman Saw

The weather’s iffy, I’m only working at 4 pm, I don’t feel like doing housework (like I ever really do, eh?) nor any garden work because, frankly, I shall be getting my workout in later and my back hurts already.  Wait!  It’s Saturday.  Lemme do a Pegman! 😉

This week Pegman takes us to Coniston Water, Lake District in England. This location was suggested by the talented Kelvin M Knight. Be sure to check out his blog where you’ll find articles, flash fiction and short stories. Thanks for the great suggestion, Kelvin!

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by your Google tour of the area. Feel free to use the image supplied with the prompt, or use own from your own virtual travels. 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.

Thank you to both Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge. It is fun to choose our own pics, though I have a tendency to gravitate towards certain types.  Will go outside my comfort zone next week!

Top of the Hill

Shanna reached the top of the hill and took in her surroundings feeling like she was one with the clouds.  Not a soul in sight.  She inhaled, taking it all in.  As she exhaled slowly, she felt her heartbeat slow, her muscles relax and her mind clear.  She really needed to do this more often.

“Excuse me.  Ma’am?”

Heart in her throat, she spun around.

“Bloody hell!  You can’t just sneak up on a person like that.”

“So very sorry.  Didn’t mean to scare you.  I thought I was alone on this hill till I reached the top from the other side.”

“Are you from here?  Gosh, that sounds so corny!” she laughed.

He smiled, “I am.  My name’s Damian.  And you’re not from here.”

“Shanna, from Canada.” she blushed, “And, thank you.”

“Mind if I join you in your reveries?”

“Please do.  I’m done with being alone.”


A Run in the Woods – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my Peeps.  It is Friday Fictioneers time and, though my head is stuffy and my mind fuzzy, I wanted to play with you.  With a little idea from Frank at A Frank Angle, I came up with this.  Thank you, always to our leader, Rochelle, for keeping us cats in line.  And this week, thank you to Karen Rawson for this wonderful picture.

To play along with us, click on the blue frog and add your link.  Not sure what to do?  Click on Rochelle’s name and read the rules and regs.  Easy-peasy!


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A Run in the Woods

Frank and his dog Zeus loved to run in the backwoods. It was quiet and they rarely encountered other people. Every time they got to the stairs leading to the top of the hill, Frank made like Rocky and ran up, taking them two at a time, pumping his arms in the air once he reached the top. Zeus danced around him enthusiastically.

Frank decided to run down but he missed a step near the end, rolled, and landed flat on his back in the mud, staring up, wind knocked out of him, ankle broken.

That was graceful, eh Zeus?


Friday Fictioneers – Found


Well, well, well… ‘Tis already Wednesday, which mean we get our Friday Fictioneers’ Prompt.  The lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, from Addicted to Purple has sent us a most interesting picture this week, from Mrs. Russell herself, Connie Gayer.  (Please note the link brings you to Mr. Russell, himself, as Missus does not seem to have a blog… Not that I can blame her, hubby must keep her most busy with his shenanigans on a daily basis!)

Should you want to join in on the fun, please do so by clicking on the blue frog and adding your own story!  If you just want to read some exceptional 100-word stories, then click on said frog and you’ll have up to 100 (depending on the week) stories.  There is some serious talent amongst this group.  I keep trying to reach their level…

Word Count:  100


©Connie Goyer

©Connie Gayer

The couple came back year after year, hiking along the same trails, at the same time of year.  A ritual, of sorts.

They knew they had to walk through the muddy section to get to the lovely grassy trail but it was worth it, as far as they were concerned.

The woman slipped and landed with a splat, face-first in the mud.

Her husband rushed back to help her up.  Lifting her head, she gasped.  There it was, exactly where her cheek had been moments before.  Her favourite earring, looking a little worse for wear, lost on the last hike!

At the Top of the World….Well, in New Hampshire Anyway!


All ready to go!

We wanted to climb Mount Washington last year during the Labour Day week-end with my sister and her family but it just didn’t work out…

This year, why wait until Labour Day, when chances are it’ll be cooler outside, when you can do it in 29°C (84°F) instead?  I mean, seriously!  So, we booked a Monday to Friday trip to New Hampshire, at the Eastern Slope Campground right on the Saco River.  Nice place, very close to Mount Washington plus we would be able to swim in the river, jump off Tarzan ropes and go kayaking after our climb.  A nice time was in store.

But first, we had a mountain to climb! A 6,288 foot mountain, to be precise!  Let us just say that it was no “walk in the park”!  The year before we had gone up Whiteface, which had some challenges but was a couple of thousand feet shorter!  Then again, Sister did warn us that this would be a challenge.  (How she and her hubs did it hung over is beyond me!)  Off we went, full of smiles and good cheer.

Of course, when you see a sign like this, you realise that it’s a good thing we are doing this in summer!


The path from the beginning until the Hermit Lake shelter is quite something, full of rocks and nary a downward slope.  You know, going up Whiteface there were flattish parts here and there, Washington? Not so much.  So it’s rocks and up and up and up!

Some time between the Shelter and the top, we met a gentleman who would be just behind us, going at a steady pace.  We’d break, he’d catch up; we’d take off, take another break, and there he was again.  We offered to let him pass (some places were more narrow than others) but he said that no, he much preferred to follow OUR pace!  He said that he would have ended up pushing himself too far, too fast and this was just fine, thank you very much!  His name was Bob, a 59 (!) year old EMT from New York.

Mick and Bob

Mick and Bob

From this point on, the challenge was on:  as we went up, up, up; the rocks got bigger and the air thinner.  Let’s just say we took a few more breaks during the top half! It was gorgeous, though!  And I totally loved the little bouquets, tucked in here and there amidst the rocks!

At the top portion (will we EVER reach it???) all vegetation was basically gone and we just had to manoeuvre ourselves over these humungous rocks.  Even Zeke was having a hard time of it!  The wind at this point really picked up and my god-daughter, the smallest and youngest of the group, was getting pretty fed up.  At one point she stopped, arms akimbo, looked at her dad and said:  “Maudit, que je pogne dans le vent!”  This sort of loosely translates to:  “Damn, the wind keeps tossing me about!”

Finally, finally!  We made it! It was, as hubby likes to say, “a little nipple-y” out!  The temperature was a mere 11°C (52°F) at the top!  What a crazy difference in temperature!   We hurriedly took our group pictures, shivering all the while (and the reason my picture of the elevation sign is blurry – couldn’t stop shivering)….

We made it!

We made it!



For those of you who’ve never been to the top of Mount Washington, 231 miles per hour was the highest wind ever recorded by man.  So windy, one of the original houses is chained down!

Once inside the restaurant/souvenir area to warm up and fill our bellies we realised that what goes up, must come down.  Zeke was NOT going to make it and frankly, Mick, my sister and I were not overly enthusiastic either.  If the consensus had been to hike down, most of us would have found the energy.  I would have had to figure out what to do with Zeke.  That said, we looked into sending the two men down by bus to get the trucks and it was – gulp! – $60 per person!  My sister, ever the charmer, said hang on… went up to a woman and asked her if she was heading down.  The woman said she was waiting for her boyfriend so when he showed up my sister told them we had a lame dog (not quite but people care more about dogs and people so it worked!) and would it be possible to bring her husband and brother-in-law down to get their trucks.  Of course she said yes!  This couple was German and quite the beer discussion went on during the ride…. Our guys offered to pay them for the ride, the couple refused, the guys insisted… so they paid them twenty bucks  ($100 less than it would have cost for the bus!!)

We had a good hour’s wait for the guys to drive down, get the trucks and drive up.  Mick’s first words upon arriving were:  “Holy cow!  It’s a scary drive!”  Wait till you see it!  I can now understand why people proudly display their stickers This car climbed Mt Washington – we have ours but haven’t stuck it on…. It actually costs $28 to be allowed to drive up to the top.  That said, you get your fabulous sticker and a CD which you listen to as you ride up and down that is full of very interesting information…

Here come our rides!

Here come our rides!

We watched from inside the warm restaurant to see our men coming up the mountain.  We piled into our respective vehicles and made our way down.  Whoa!  What a ride!  Along the way there are places to stop and cool your breaks and if needed, fill your radiator with water!

We actually did stop to take a break and I went around to take some of the vegetation mentioned in the CD… The trees are all twisted and quite small but are over 100 years old!

Driving down was gorgeous as well as scary – especially when we encountered a car coming up.  The rule is, the right of way is given to those coming up the mountain…. we may not have been on the edge of the cliff as they were but there was truly not much room to move!

Driving down

Driving down

All in all, a most satisfying, fun, push-yourself-to-the-limits kind of day.  Though, frankly, I think Zeke had more than his fill…. Poor guy. We totally understood how he felt!

Pooped dog

Pooped dog