Sarah Selecky’s Little Bird and My 1963 Corvair

white 63 Corvair

Sarah Selecky is an accomplished author who amongst other things writes prompts for aspiring writers.  She also hosts Little Bird Writing Contest that you will find here.  I am as usual a day late – well almost a week late in starting – and a dollar short, a saying I seem to be using a lot of this time of year.  So I decided to give it a try.

Now the idea is to read a prompt and then take 10 minutes to write it in a notebook.  By the end of the month you can submit a story from the lot, or several stories to Sarah who then has a judge (this year it is Alix Ohlin) choose a winner.

We may not want to post what we write, but my first story in ten minutes is something that I want to share.  I wrote it in ten minutes and have not done any editing yet, which of course is the idea of the whole thing.

1963 Corvair

Prompt:

Write a scene using the name of your first car you remember. In 10 minutes.

My mother was on the phone talking to her family in Scotland.  I was thirteen at the time and we were excitedly waiting for my father to return with our very first brand new car.

I looked anxiously out of the large picture window to the front driveway waiting for my father, and the car.  Brand new.  What would it look like?  What would it smell like?  My parents had only told us this morning and we were more excited that a three year old waiting for Santa.

Mum, he’s here, pulling in the driveway.  Oh it’s beautiful, I didn’t know it was white.  Mum hurry, get off the phone, you are going to miss all the excitement.”

I figured we would never get this exact moment again and I so wanted her, needed her to get off the damn phone.  She knew how important this was to my father.  Get off the phone, I silently screamed at her.

Mum turned her back to me and spoke hurriedly and all quiet like into the old black dial phone.  What could be so important, I thought, and quickly came to the conclusion that nothing, nothing on  earth was more important that this event.  Why was she taking so long?

Dad was now getting out of the car, its big wide door swung open.  The four other younger children were running around, squealing, jumping and touching everything inside and outside the car.

Mum finally, after what seemed an eternity hung up and stared quietly and unmoving at the floor.  She took a deep breath and finally looked at me, finally acknowledging my presence that she seemed to try to ignore only moments ago.  She did not speak for a bit, just looked at me as I kept looking past her to the wonderful scene in the front drive.

Raising a family of five on a working man’s wages meant we didn’t get a lot of new things including clothes that were often hand-me-downs. This was an occasion.

Mom walked over to the window then turned to me and said, “Chris, this is your father’s day.  Don’t tell him about the phone call.  Let him enjoy this day.”

Confused I asked exactly what the phone call had been.

“My twin sister, Ellen, just died in Scotland.  I will  tell your dad later.”

Putting her shoulders back, and lifting her head, she pasted on a smile and stepped out unto the front porch embracing the happiness of the celebration.

I don’t think I have seen such an unselfish act since.

My cousin in Scotland mentioned the other day of March 3rd that my Mom has been gone for 30 years and her Mom the identical twin has been gone for 50 years.

This Writer: The Unsuspected Truth

My mind sometimes rides on an endless roller coaster trying to sort out unsortable things.

Truth is one of those – the truth we think we see and the truth as perceived by another.

I had an old friend long ago.  She was old in tenure and age with friends of all ages.  As a matter of fact I and many others called her ‘Mum‘.  She was born sometime around 1916 and lived in a large stately home her father had built in the town of Preston.  She and her sister grew up learning good housekeeping from a very young age and when their school day ended they dusted both banisters of the front and back staircases.

She grew up well mannered, polite and demure as was expected of all ‘ladies’.  She was always a lady.

We became friends in 1967 when I was a nursing student and she a patient. A couple of years later I went to live with ‘Mum’ and ‘Pop’.

She died in 2002 after a few years as a widow.  She always kept her emotions in check as a lady should, through the death of her daughter and the difficulties with her son.  She never spoke out of line.  Never uttered a word of despaiir or anger.  Her daily life, for her whole life was centered in the kitchen, preparing food, planning, cleaning… After dinner ‘Pop’ retired to the living room  to watch TV as we cleaned up.

When her daily chores were done (about 8pm) she would go up the back stairs to the small room where she kept her craft supplies.  There she remained until time for bed.  She said it was truly the only time in a day that was hers.

Once Pop passed away she continued living there, taking care of the house and grounds.  One of the things I talked about at her funeral was that she appeared to have no problems.  She seemed to view them as challenges to be solved quietly.  When she could no longer kneel to garden she she would sit on a plastic garbage bag and slide along the ground.  When she could no longer carry things upstairs she filled a basket attached to a rope on the top railing and pull it up once she got to the top floor.

We spent many many evenings after a meal playing cards and talking.  The only time she ever used an unladylike word was during cards when just before she threw down a winning hand she would say, “I’ll show you where the bear sh*t in the buckwheat.” They were spirited games filled with moans groans and laughter.

As her time here on this earth became shorter she started to get her house in order. Literally. Wanted to make it easier for her son, her only living child.  She also started writing down the family history and told me tales of yore.

One Wednesday I suddenly felt an  urgent  need to see her so I stopped in on my way home from work.  She was pretty quiet during the meal and later during cards.  Quite suddenly, out of the blue, she said she was going to have a stroke and would be found on the kitchen floor.  She said it factual like not expressing emotion.  Just real quiet.  I opened my mouth to say I would stay the night in my old room but a message as clear as a bell came to me.  “You cannot stay.  Death is in this house. You cannot stay.”  I tried to get my mind around the thought and again the words were clear.

She held me for a long time that night as we hugged on the front porch and the next day I got a call from her Grandson who spontaneously decided to stop in to visit.  He looked through the kitchen window to find her lying on the floor.

But that’s not what I started to tell you –  as ‘truth’ and what we perceive are so often different things.  I asked ‘Mum’ after she had been widowed for awhile if she would ever marry again.  To me she had always seemed a woman happy in her role in life.  The crisp anger in her voice startled me,

“I would never marry again.  I spent my life looking after my family and my husband.  I was a good wife and mother and did a good job.  Now I get to look after me.”. And then we got up and went to the living room where she sat in ‘Pop’s’ easy chair and watched television.

She also told me that she followed the rules she was raised by.  “Never say anything in complaint and you can never get in trouble.  If I had it to do over I would talk up.”

So the truth I believed about an admirable always politically correct woman was not the truth of how she felt.  Marguerite was an amazing strong incredible woman and all who knew her were blessed.

A Proclamation of Love, A Declaration of Intent

My ever entertaining 3 year old G2 is telling all who will listen he is going to marry Mommy.  To prepare for said nuptuals he is brushing his teeth at least three times a day, more if he could get away with it.  Today he asked for his shaving kit, a child’s Christmas toy he received complete with cream, razor, mirror and brush and proceeded to spruce himself up.  The same goes for hair combing.

He adores his Mom, her blue eyes, long blonde hair..she is perfect.  Previous to this his affections were reserved for Ariel the Mermaid and then Rapunsel all of whom have long hair.

He first mentioned his intent yesterday and I replied that it was a wonderful idea.  This morning he mentioned it again, watching me closely for my reaction.  Again I told him that was wonderful.  Then he said, “I told my Daddy and Daddy said ‘no’ that Mommy is his.  But I am going to marry her.”  He is pleased that Daddy seems on board with the idea now.

In addition it has become a training tool in matters so far unsuccessful.  He has developed an attachment to his soother lately.  Today Daddy told him to put it away and when he firmly replied, “No”, Daddy said he didn’t think Mommy would want to marry anyone with a soother.

“Fine,” he said and promptly deposited it in the kitchen.  Now if we can just use this to ensure number 2 is properly looked after.

I remember both my sons at the same age deciding they were going to marry Mommy.  Then at about 8 they felt it necessary to assure me that,”Mommy, I will live with you forever.”  And that is exactly where G1 is at that exact age.

Ah the purity and sincerity of youth.  I love it!

I sit here looking at my warming soothing ….

I sit here looking at my warming soothing fireplace, somewhat disconcerted because this was to be a go getum kind of day. Instead it is a day of naps, reading blogs and watching fav movies, which so far have included Ghost and The Blind Side.

It occurred to me that it is okay to succumb to lethargy and snuggling today. Physically, emotionally and spiritually I am drained and now I see today as a day to recharge. Batteries only recharge when plugged in and at rest.
I wasn’t sure I was even capable of a post.

But then my friend Katherine Gordy Levine at emotfit.wordpress.com responded to my ‘I asked for wisdom’ post with this:

“Reminds me of my favorite line from the movie The Field of Dreams.

Some days you win.
Some days you lose.
Some days it rains.

My mother raised me on a number of sayings. Two were: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” and “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. ”

As she often does Katherine got me thinking about sayings we we raised on way back when in the middle of the last century, and that took me to thoughts of my Dad. I have written about my Mom and others, and although I was always closer to my Dad I have not yet felt ready to share him with y’all quite yet. But sayings we had a’plenty.

A WORD FITLY SPOKEN is like pitchers of silver and apples and gold, the source of course being the bible. Dad had us repeat those words whenever we argued with each other, and chose to ignore the fact it was recited in a pouty grump of a voice. It must have worked as we all speak pretty decently to folk and adulthood seems to have taken care of our need to argue. We all genuinely like each other in addition to the required sibling love and socialize often.

Every ‘goodnight daddy see you tomorrow was met with, “if the good Lord is willin’

Mom’s frequent saying was, ‘You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.’. I had to give this one lots of thought because it seemed to me that I lie in my bed whether I made it or not. Some things I spent a lot of time figuring out I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

In the winter with five kids in and out a lot it was: ‘Close the door we’re not heating up the outside.’

Well now I could stretch my mind for more nuggets of the past but will settle for the night and get this posted before my midnight. I’m still kicking around the 365challenge but not sure what one field or area I could blog on 365 of anything…I mean 366challenge.

I WISH I HAD SAID THAT!!

 

I WISH I HAD SAID THAT!
Everyone I read, I love.  Of course.  That’s why I read them.  I had a thought that I should write down their brilliance, and might get a post out of it, but once I started I realized I would have to go on and on and on and would never get done.  I love so many of you who are not here but time, space and rapidly advancing age prevented me from completion.  And yes I truly wish I had the wit, the capability, the originality for uttering such gems.
 LINDA

http://lindacassidylewis.com

Lover of words, drinker of wine, liar by necessity. I write life as fiction … and blog about the experience. Author of The Brevity of Roses.
MARK

http://redriverpak.wordpress.com/

A Blog about Sex, Murder, Movies, Music, Idiots, and other silly subjects that appeal to Common Simpletons
JACKIE

http://thejackieblog.com/about/

Once upon a time, there was a little, oddly-shaped hermit girl who lived in a small, hippie-inspired apartment in a big city far, far away from home.  She had opinions on lots of things and felt like dedicating her life to a cause greater than herself.  Without being able to go outside for fear of the stupidity of society,  and with nothing to contribute to the world but her loudmouthed mockery, she made a pact with herself to reignite her blog and to post every single day in 2011.   And in a true display of creativity and wit, she named it The Jackie Blog.
Check out the introduction of its rebirth here.
JAMIE

http://thelifeofjamie.wordpress.com/about/

Wife of 1.  Mom of 2.  Going crazy by 3!
Loving wife, happy homemaker, skilled craftsman, expert marksman, big game hunter, roller derby enthusiast, synchronized swimmer, accomplished singer, award-winning bodybuilder, left-wing political activist, humanitarian, thespian, best-selling author, Miss May 2003, lover of polka music, former exotic dancer, and loving and caring Mother to my two kids.
SUSAN

http://susanthecoach.wordpress.com/

Susanthecoach’s Blog
Susan Castle empowers people to live rich and wonderful lives with unconventional wisdom, and inspires them to realise their dreams
PAUL

http://thegoodgreatsby.com/2011/12/08/is-a-photoshopped-picture-still-worth-a-thousands-words/

The Good Greatsby
With your host Paul Johnson, a man whose mother raved about his comedic writing talents, describing his work as, ‘I don’t get it,’ and ‘Is the page with the funny part missing?’
CECILIA

http://thekitchensgarden.wordpress.com/about/

A NZ girl married to an American fella, living on the prairies. Growing, cooking and eating using sustainable and organic methods. We tell a lot of stories at our table. Sometimes I even get to write a few for you. Welcome. I am here most days. celi

COLLEEN

http://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/about/

I’M NOT VERY WITTY*
Uhm.  That pretty much says it.  I am not very witty.  Though I love humor.  I can’t write funny.  But I can read funny.  I’ll write because I have something to say.  I’ll write because I need to physically write.  Love that process.  Sorry for anything dull.  Sorry for anything crappy.  But if you hit upon a gem…. YAY me!
PATRECIA

http://misswhiplash.wordpress.com/about/

Hi… My name is Patrecia, also known on here as  Misswhiplash. I am 72 years of age . I am English but I live in Bulgaria with my husband Neville , five dogs, one cat and  two donkey.
JOSS

http://crowingcrone.wordpress.com/home/

A number of people have commented about the negative image that the word “crone” brings to mind.
First I want to say that I love being a Crone.  Second, I chose the name  intuitively and very deliberately.
Long ago, when women held a place of honour in society, women of a certain age were referred to as crones.  Back then, Crone meant “wise woman” and it was known that women who had lived a number of decades had seen and lived through enough turmoil, joy, pain and grace, that they had words of wisdom and insight to offer the community.

The Woman in the Cowl

The Woman in the Cowl

 Some folks tell a tale that is just a tale to entertain; a story that may or may not have bits of truth.  Some folks tell a tale and do not know for certain if it was a memory or something cooked up by imagination or need but is triggered by a passing comment, a situation caught in the frame of time.  A trigger.

 I know a lady who swears this story is true.

 Almost forty years ago in the month of March she and her husband planned to paint their small apartment to welcome the new season.  It was an early spring, no sign of snow or even March winds, and a hint of a hot summer approaching.  Gathering together all they needed they took brushes and rollers in hand and began their task.

 Within a very short time their young son, only a few weeks old began to cry and spiked a fever.  The woman told her husband the baby must be allergic to fresh paint.  They could not stop what they were doing and the only answer was for the mother to take the baby somewhere for a couple of days.  The young woman phoned her grandmother and asked if they might stay with them.  The grandmother agreed and said one of the two guest bedrooms had a crib in it and they were more than welcome and that she would not be home but the grandfather would be.

 

The husband drove his wife to her grandmothers promising to finish the painting that day and would join her later in the evening.

 

The grandfather eagerly greeted them and served the lunch he had prepared.  Mid afternoon the mother put the baby in the crib for a nap in the upstairs bedroom of the ancient house.  It was evident to her that the old man was also ready for a nap as his eyes grew heavy, so she excused herself saying she would like a nap herself and climbed the old wood staircase to the second floor planning to read while baby and grandfather slept.

 Checking on the infant who was sound asleep she closed the door to the room and lay on the bed to read.  Within minutes she could hear the tell tale sound of someone pacing back and forth across the linoleum floor outside the door.  She thought it strange, if it had been her grandfather coming up stairs she would have heard the creaking of the old staircase.  She opened the door but no one was there.  Closing the door again she lay down on the bed just to hear the pacing more frantic now.

 Perhaps she had just not heard her grandfather coming upstairs.  Checking the other bedrooms and the bathroom on the second floor she realized she was alone and decided to check the main floor.  Her grandfather was sound asleep in his chair.

 Returning to the bedroom she lay down again.  This time she left the door open.

 The afternoon progressed quietly and in due time the grandmother came home and preparation began for dinner.  The young mother forgot about the strange events of the afternoon.  When her husband arrived late evening and following more visiting and catching up the couple retired for the night.

 About midnight the young woman awoke and sat up in bed.  It wasn’t pitch dark as moonlight shone through the old lace curtains illuminating shadows.  As she looked toward the crib at the foot of the bed to see if perhaps her son had stirred waking her she saw a dark form cross from the doorway to the crib. It appeared to be a woman shrouded in a long gray cloak with a cowl preventing sight of her face. She was small, perhaps about five feet in height and slim in spite of the cloak.

 

The woman went to the crib silently and leaned over the side. The mother realizing she was awake became frightened and screamed out.  The dark woman’s head snapped up towards the sound and she disappeared.

 

Taking the baby into bed with them the couple slept till morning.  When she told her grandmother about the strange occurrence during the night the grandmother gave reassurances that nothing in the house would ever hurt them.

 Over the years the family related stories about their experiences with the woman in the cowl but no one expressed on going fear once they realized there was no threat to themselves, and while the woman continued to visit her grandparents regularly she never again stayed overnight.

 I was that young mother.  Whenever the memory surfaces I find myself feeling badly because I soon realized too late that the ghost, if that was what it was, just wanted to see the new baby.

 

Great time at the WEDDING..and

And…

Will catch up on my daily posts…does 3 in one day count? As catch up? The wedding was great..and OMG have so much to tell you..not the least of which was how lovely the MOG – mother of the groom was..c’est moi!

The chef alone was out of this world..and will do a blog just on him with an interview of this incredible man..and it doesn’t hurt that he is totally hot. Okay getting a grip on myself here…What was the funniest thing..what was the best thing..were the kilts au natural…of course…what was the worst thing? What was it like staying in one of Toronto’s oldest hotels?

And what of the directors and producers present? Did I, in the throes of wine dance joie de vivre help or hinder?I cannot wait to find out…oh my….
Chris

I AM MOM! No really…I AM!

Those of you who know me well, know that I tend to look at things differently.  For me Mothers Day is not a celebration of me, but a chance to honor my children!  For without them, how could I possibly be such a super mommy?   While I do not usually publish family pics, today is special so let me introduce my crew.

My youngest Tom, with G1 and G2 Rowan (left) Caleb (right)

 
Tom posted this on facebook tonight:
I love you and thank you for all you have done.

The love of a mother is beyond compare
One who dearly loves and is always there
From scraped knees
                                                       To falls from trees
                                                       A mother cares for all
                                                       From “I told you so”
                                                        To “That’s a no-no! ”
                                                       A mother answers the call

Heidi (DL)with Rowan a great Mom!

                                        Mothers cook, mothers clean, some even work a job
                          Even with all their strength, a mother still knows how to sob
                                    Mothers should be honored for all they have done
Every day of the year, not just one
There is nothing better than a mother’s love
For her time on this earth   thank  God  above
A mother’s love endures forever
Its unbreakable bonds no on can sever
No matter how much I have grown
My mother’s love is always shown
She has become a mentor and a guide
Within her always I am able to confide
No better payment for her I can find
Then to love her with heart, and with mind
To the one who bore me; I share my emotion
To the one who raised me; Absolute devotion
To this woman I express my joy
You will always be my “mommy” and I your “baby boy”

“Glaedr the poet.”

 
And here below are Ryan and Mary Beth, my son and future DL (by this time next week!)

Ryan and my future DL (wedding is one week from now!)

 So I celebrate my offspring and their chosen partners who by the way may officially be daughters in law, but in this family they are daughters!

It also gives me the perfect chance to show who I blame for my quirkiness, my  wit, my insanity, my screwy humor, cause while they simply received the “crazy” gene, it is much more exacerbated in them, and it is very very very infectious!

See where the smile and silliness comes from?

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