Category Archives: Writing

Opening the Box

On the way home Sandy and Cathy discussed the meeting with Barbara.  “Well I think that went well, don’t you?” Cathy asked. As Sandy didn’t respond immediately she looked over to her.

“Is everything alright?” she asked.  “Is something bothering you?”.

“I’m probably just being silly but I wonder why she didn’t tell us where she was living.  We heard a lot about the house in which she was brought up but nothing about where she lives now”.  Sandy worried.  She thought it strange that Barbara had omitted this from the discussion.  Also when asked what she did for a living, Barbara had quickly and effortlessly it seemed, changed the subject.  So what was she hiding?

When they arrived at Sandy’s house it was agreed that they would meet again in a couple of days so that Sandy could get her head around what she had learned and where she wanted to go from here.  She had so many decisions to make but the main one was when and who to tell of this new development.

She went inside and hung her coat on the hall stand.  She stood looking at the stand for a while.  It had always been part of her life it seemed.  It had stood in the hall all through her growing up years.  She could remember her father standing in front of it, adjusting his hat and tie before going out for a drink with his friends.  Her mother always put on the bright red lipstick there and she always looked in the mirror to check her hair before opening the front door.  Then when Sandy’s mother had to move into the retirement home, the hall stand came to live in Sandy’s hall.

But delving into these memories was only a way to put off making some decisions.

Of course, Ian her son would have to be told before anyone else.  Though goodness knows how he would react to this side of his mother about which he knew absolutely nothing.  And what of Val his wife?  How would she react to a mother-in-law who had a child before she was married and had given it up for adoption?

Sandy had never talked to her son about her life before she met his father, and certainly had never told him how she had been involved in the Swinging Sixties.  Oh he knew about that era – who didn’t, but how would he feel about his mother having been part of it?  Questions that could only be answered by calling him.

 She checked the time in Vancouver and was pleased to see it was only 6am there and so far too early to make a call.  So she could put that call off for several hours.  Perhaps after the boys had finished sport and the family had lunch would be a good time to call.  But would any time be a good time?

So that decision made, she called her ex husband.  Unfortunately, Saturday afternoon and he was out,  Probably at the football which was his passion.  West Ham was his team and they were playing at home to Arsenal.  He wouldn’t miss that. 

So she left a message on voice mail for him to call her when he got in.  She thought she would suggest they meet for a pre lunch drink at the local pub tomorrow, Sunday.  It would be easier telling him about Barbara face to face.

Now who else would she have to tell?  Her mother was in a retirement centre drifting in and out of dementia.  Should she even tell her?  It was so long ago and it would probably disturb her.  No.  That decision was easily made. She wouldn’t mention the meeting when next she saw her mother.

So who else to tell.  Her bridge friends – no, they were more acquaintances than friends although they did she each other each week and exchanged tidbits about their lives.  And if/when it came out, as it obviously would, they would be hurt that she hadn’t told them. 

So she decided to make a list.  Always making lists was Sandy.  She was methodical and said that once she saw the scope or scale of a chore written down in list form, she could get her head around it.

So Ian, her son was at the top of the list, followed by her ex-husband, her bridge friends, Grace her next door neighbour with whom she was quite friendly and of course, her closest friend Julia would have to be told.

But none of these other calls would be made until after she had spoken to her son and her ex-husband.

The question of what Barbara was hiding would have to wait for another day.

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and
the possibility of what might happen.”
― Michelle Obama

 

From Strength to Strength

“You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity”
You Needed Me sung by Anne Murray

Today’s post is all about me.  I heard Anne Murray singing this song on the radio and these four lines jumped out at me.

Family, friends both in the real world and in the blogosphere have given me the “strength to stand alone again” after the sudden death of the Architect.  So thank you all.

Have you read Sara Henderson’s “From Strength to Strength”?  It and the follow up “The Strength in Us All” were given to me  by my sn on his father’s sudden death some 18 years ago  

Sarah tells of her early marriage to a gung-ho American entrepreneur in the 1950’s, his infidelities in Hong Kong in the 1960’s, and finally, upon her husband’s early death, discovering he has left her virtually bankrupt on a million acre property in the Australian outback with 3 young daughters to raise alone. The book delves into her struggles to prevent the bank foreclosing, but much more than that, it tells the story of one woman’s courage and will to go on.  So with this example I picked myself up and went on with life.  And I’m doing so again now.

If you haven’t read these books I suggest you get copies.  Both are available at Amazon in print and kindle form.  Enjoy.

“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel,
stride down there and light the
bloody thing yourself.”
Sara Henderson

Thanks

Looking for Answers

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more
painful 
than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin, Author 1903-1977

A few days ago we left Sandy pondering on the dilemma of whether to agree to meet a young woman claiming or asking if she could be, her lost daughter.

Sandy had given her child for adoption many years ago and had heard nothing about her from that time until she received an email asking whether she could be the mother of this unknown woman.  Now….

Sandy awoke the next morning with no answers and no closer to making a decision as to whether or not she should agree to meet the woman.  What if she met her and they took an instant dislike to each other; then old wounds would have been opened for nothing.  What if it was a trick and how had this woman tracked her down anyway.  She had spent a sleepless night with these thoughts worrying around in her head.

But what to do?  She remembered having met an ex Nun at the Women’s Resource Centre when she had dropped off some clothes that no longer fit her.  She had a long talk with the  ex Nun, Cathy and discussed maybe volunteering at the Centre.  Perhaps she would be a person to whom she could talk.

She quickly finished her breakfast and set off for the Women’s Centre before she could change her mind.  When she arrived she found that Cathy, the Nun, was in the office and appeared pleased to see Sandy again.  She readily agreed to speak with her in private but was surprised that it wasn’t about volunteering that Sandy had come to see her.

She listened without interruption to the story at the end of which she sat back and thought before making any comment.  The first thing Cathy asked was whether Sandy was prepared for the past be be brought to life.  If this was her daughter then her son and his family would have to know as would her friends.  Was she ready for this?

Of course,this was one of the many questions that kept Sandy awake through the night.  How would her son react to the fact that his mother had a child with another man and had her adopted.  She had no answer to that.

If she was prepared for all this to happen then Cathy suggested she respond to the email asking for birth dates and any information the young woman had about her birth.  Perhaps she knew of the home where she had been born.  Cathy also suggested asking for a photo so that any likeness could be recognised.  Sandy agreed to this and said she would send the response as soon as she got home.

As she was preparing to leave, Cathy made her an offer to accompany Sandy to a meeting if one was to happen.  Sandy felt so much better for this offer and thanked the ex Nun profusely.  She left the Centre with a much lighter heart and with a plan on how to move forward.

Back to School

Have you heard?  Several weeks ago following a rush of blood to the head I signed up to a course to improve my fiction (and any other) writing skills. And then I convinced Chris in Kitchener Ontario to join and she in turn convinced Donna, who seems to live sometimes in Mexico and sometimes in Canada. Well it seemed like a great idea at the time.

But now the countdown is on the course begins on Monday and it’s so long since I studied anything seriously.  So things could get a little hairy over the next few weeks. I don’t quite know what to expect but it will no doubt be a great learning experience.

Meantime, I am still swanning around on my extended holiday in Tauranga where the lovely weather continues and I am thankful that I live in this bountiful land.  We are far from the strife raging around the world but I hope we are not lulling ourselves into a false sense of security.  Terror and terrorists can strike at any time as we read and hear in the media. We must be vigilant even in our little corner of the world.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  Benjamin Franklin

Musing and Meandering

“In a world where thrushes sing and willow trees are golden in the spring, boredom should have been included among the seven deadly sins.”
― Elizabeth Goudge, English author of romance novels, short stories and children’s books. 1900-1984

The rush and bustle of the holiday season has for me at least, calmed down. But of course, for most of New Zealand this is holiday time, the time for the family’s annual vacation.

When I first came to New Zealand oh so many years ago, the whole place shut down for at least two weeks over this time. Every business closed on Christmas Eve and apart from retail outlets all businesses stayed closed until well into the New Year. Very frustrating for a newcomer. Now of course, business is as usual except for the statutory holidays – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the following one. Retailers operate on every day except Christmas Day.

So if I’m not on holiday (although when one is retired each day is a holiday) what am I doing? Well at last I have seen the end of the interminable/innumerable packing boxes from my move. This has been the most difficult of all 20 plus moves I have made in my life. The moving was exacerbated by the fact that I was moving into a much smaller space. But now that is done and the Salvation Army has been the recipient of many things that I am sure will be of use to others.

The living room is looking more like home and I know that I can be happy here. Of course, added to this is the benefit of having my daughter and her two teenage boys in the house too.

So I looked around for something to do. I tried my hand at staining an old bookcase and am pleased to say that it turned out quite well. I then started on an old table that had suffered severe water damage from a plant having been placed upon it. That too turned out well. Now my daughter and her boys are running from me in case I try to stain them or any of their belongings.

It’s a good thing I tackled that job on New Year’s Day because since then it has rained almost non stop.

On Christmas Eve the SKY TV man eventually came and installed the television. Lucky for me as today has been mostly catching up on programmes interspersed with catching up on my reading.

Perhaps when I’m thinking of things for which to be grateful today’s rainfall will feature. It certainly will for the farmers in the South Island who are facing drought conditions this early in the summer season.

So nothing much changes in my writing. I write on anything and everything that comes into this aged mind. Until tomorrow dear friends, and thank you for reading my meanderings.

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This particularly  for Chris and Donna

 

 

 

 

 

You Are Beautiful

In Other Words

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful
than the belief that she is beautiful.”
Sofia Loren

This is the challenge this week from In Other Words

Use the quote or the author as inspiration;
post a story…fiction or non-fiction, a poem, a commentary, opinion or a picture.
Add your post’s link to, In Other Words.
Somewhere in your post add a link back here.
The link is open from Wednesday until the following Tuesday.

Thank you Patricia at patriciasplace  for bringing us this quote as our Wednesday challenge.  The Wednesday challenge is an event open to all fellow bloggers.  Check it out.

——–

“You are beautiful,” he said, holding her gently and kissing her face where her tears fell freely.

“How could this be?” She asked herself. “How could I be this lucky again? To meet somebody when I’m in my 70s and find love again?”

During the years following the death of her husband, she had made a life for herself but had quite convinced herself that she would continue the rest of her life alone. Oh she had plenty of friends with whom to go to the movies, lunch or dinner, the theatre, museums etc but always she went home alone to her small dog sitting on the window seat, waiting patiently for her return.

And now she had reconnected with a man whom she had known many years ago and he thought her beautiful.

Did he have rose coloured spectacles or was it wishful thinking on both their parts? They had enjoyed meeting for lunch and/or dinner over the past couple of months since they reconnected but she thought they were friends. His wife of many years had been dead only a couple of years. But here he was telling her she was beautiful not only to look at but inside too. He loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Could this work at their age? Were they each too settled in their particular ways to make room for a new love? And how would they merge the two families? Would their children accept them? So many unanswered questions but the main and most important one was did she love him and could she imagine spending the rest of her life with him?

She didn’t have to ponder the question for long. They had a history together (albeit a working relationship), they liked the same things – music, theatre, old buildings (he was an architect) travel, reading – oh so many interests in common. And they had many friends in common. Although this was the Capital City it was quite small so this was not unexpected. But then she realised that over the past months she had come to love this man. So very different in all ways from her late husband but this was to be expected and she wasn’t looking for somebody to replace him. This was a new and different love. Not the heady love of youth but the mature love of two older people.

He waited for her answer. She gave it to him with a smile on her lips. “Oh yes, I will come and live with you and we will grow old together” she said as he wiped the tears of joy from her face.

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Click on the frog to see what people have to say and
add your thoughts in a post of your own.

Five Day Challenge – Day 4

The Five Day Challenge is
Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

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An eight year old has her birthday party at Great Granddad’s.

Rachel is 8 and Grandad is almost 100 years old.  Imagine the excitement of having her birthday party at his house. Twelve little girls, Rachel’s parents and one grandmother, a great uncle and us.

At times the noise reached a pitch that just about drove us out of the house but then the lady with the birds and animals arrived.

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All the children loved the fact that they were allowed to hold the bunnies, the guinea pigs and the chickens.  Granddad, who had been a farmer for many years, delighted in seeing the animals, holding a chicken and seeing the delight on the children’s faces.

A day to remember.

And once again special thanks to Cat at Catterel for nominating me.  Now I nominate Patricia at Patricia’s Place.  Hers is a blog well worth reading.

Five Day Challenge – Day 2

Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.”

So, Day Two of the Five Day Challenge.

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The Architect’s New Toy

When we were in Lake Como last year staying with friends, we espied a small ‘thing’ running around a neighbour’s garden.  After asking questions of our hosts we determined that it was a robot lawn mower.

Once we returned home, and the grass was beginning to sprout in our new garden, the Architect set about finding where one of these machines could be purchased close to home.

We found a stockist but unfortunately, they had never sold nor installed one of them and so after purchasing our new friend “COMO” we became the guinea pigs for the dealer.  And it took some re-jigging of wires, choosing another part of the garden for it to be ‘home’ before everyone, including the Architect, was happy with our latest purchase.

I wonder what he will buy next.

Thanks again to Cat at caterel  for setting me this challenge. She says nice things about me so do go over to see what she is up to.
Today I nominate Dor at Virginia Views.  Her blog posts are always entertaining and show a facet of life to which I am a complete stranger.

Escape

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Softly, quietly and quickly she opened the door onto the porch, to rain pouring down making puddles in the unpaved area around the house.

Quickly she donned her shoes that had been tightly held in her hands as she made her way through the dark house, and that done, she ran off down the road to freedom.

But where is freedom she asked herself when she had been trudging along the state highway for what seemed  ages, all the while hoping for a lift but nobody had stopped to help her.

She had dreamed of getting away from him for so long and now here she was on her way but to where.

Soon he would realise that she had gone and come looking for her; and if he caught up with her would she have the spunk to attempt to escape again?

This is in response to the prompt at Five Sentence Fiction –
the word is SPUNK

Lillie McFerrin Writes
Click on the badge to play along
and to see what others have written using
the prompt – SPUNK

Confusion

Hot, so very hot; panting like a dog and oh the pain; if only someone would make it go away and then she could concentrate on why she was here and what she had to do.

But the pain was never-ending and the noise – could that be her voice she could hear yelling obscenities ?

Suddenly there were smooth, calming hands on her forehead and a gentle voice said ‘It’s OK Mrs Jones, only a few more pushes now.”

And then she was back in this stark hospital room with doctors and midwives encouraging her as her son’s head appeared.

This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from
Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single word prompt. This week’s word is SMOOTH

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