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What Makes You Tremble

One-word prompt for today:  Tremble

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Now, here’s an interesting word!  So many different things can cause a person to tremble. To shiver, shake, have tremors,  even lose control of one’s muscles; sometimes the breathing is affected, the heart races, the palms become cold and clammy.

What makes us tremble?  Fear.  Excitement. A first-ever date. Nerves–performing, speaking, singing  for an audience.  Stress can make us tremble. I’ve seen students who are facing a test they’re worried about whose hands are trembling with nerves.

Trembling in fear is not a pleasant experience.  I don’t have many experiences of actually being so afraid that   I tremble.  I guess I’ve led a pretty protected life.  Some of my fellow counselors have mentioned clients who make them very nervous. I’ve never felt like that. I don’t tend to be afraid of people. It is more likely that I need to curb my irritation and my quick tongue when I have someone in my office who is trying to dominate the situation.

Having nervous trembles when I have to do something in front of people, and I don’t feel capable or prepared–that is something I understand.  Speaking to a crowd is easy for me, and I find it enjoyable and exhilarating. But it took me years to come to a place of singing or playing the piano without a shaky voice and shaky hands. I can do it now, and I remain calm. At some point along my lifeline, I just quit worrying about what anyone else may think.

Snakes can give me the shivers.  So can being up high, with no barrier between me and the long drop to the ground.  I hate that.

I know that evil exists in our world, and that there are people who commit evil acts with no concern for anyone else. I haven’t had to face that kind of evil on a personal level.  I read about it:  Nazi Germany, Aleppo, the killing fields of Cambodia, the political massacres in any number of places across the course of human history. Maybe that kind of evil will come to America.  No reason it shouldn’t.

I fear much more for my children and grandchildren than I do for myself.  The sand in my hourglass is much heavier on the bottom than it is on the top. I do, however, wonder what kind of world my precious grandchildren are going to inherit. Thinking on that too much can make me tremble for their future. The degree of lawlessness in our country is astonishing; it is especially frightening when the police have been told to stand down, to not interfere. I don’t understand that at all.

Isn’t it amazing how one little word can take us from the simple to the complicated?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tremble

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An Old-Fashioned Word

Lovingly

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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This is kind of an old-fashioned word. At least, I don’t hear or read it much any more. It’s a great word, really, and I’m not sure why it seems to have passed off the scene.  Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I really don’t think we use it much.

Lovingly. It conveys a sense of tenderness, of compassion, of strong feelings of love and concern. A mother gazes lovingly at her newborn. A newly-minted husband follows his wife’s every move lovingly.

Puppies are seen lovingly, because they’re so cute. And it’s a good thing they are, because they’re a nuisance for a while with their chewing and lack of good potty manners.

Maybe we don’t use this word much these days because of our national and political climate. I remain dismayed and disheartened at the ugliness that has exploded across our land. I remember other times when there has been strife, but it’s different this time. Friends and family members are vehemently denouncing one another because their political differences are tearing them apart. Vulgar, blasphemous, profane language; name-calling and threats of violence; riots involving vandalism, flag-burning, and physical attacks have become so common that we’re beginning to just shrug them off.

It’s horrifying to me. America is descending into anarchy. Did you know that investigation has now linked George Soros with every protest or demonstration since the Nov. 8 election?  Here is just one link concerning this man:

http://thepoliticsforums.com/threads/76322-Soros-Connected-to-Every-Major-Protest-Since-November-Election

There are many others. This is not just a rumor. The man has been banned from his own country; other nations are shutting down his businesses. We need to pay attention.

Well, there I go into politics again, and I really hadn’t intended to do that. It just breaks my heart to see all this horror happening in my beloved country.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lovingly/

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Abundance

Overwhelming

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
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I watched a video the other in which the speaker was showing the fallacy of thinking America can stop world poverty through bringing the poorest of the poor into our country. It was pretty impressive.
Fascinated at the pure and simple logic of this man’s presentation, I also thought about how overwhelming the abundance is here in America compared to so many other countries of the world.
We didn’t become this wealthy through socialistic, government-controlled use of our resources.  It was through capitalism, independence, and hard work.
Something to consider.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overwhelming/
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Uninspired

Resist

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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I’m going to resist the temptation to go political on this word. So sick of politics.

Honestly, there’s not much in my life that I have to resist right now.  Maybe the biggest struggle I have is just getting out of bed in the morning.  As the day draws closer for my return to work, I find I’m very resistant to that.

Maybe I’m resistant because of this present round of pain.  It’s better than it was on Sunday, but it’s not gone.  I went out to lunch with a friend yesterday, spent about 2 1/2 hours sitting in a chair that was not supportive.  Next time I go there, I’ll take my lumbar pillow with me.  I’m sore this morning.  Again.

That’s about all I have to offer today, folks.  I’m not too inspired by this prompt.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/resist/

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A Map Would Help

Replacement

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Change always seems to cause upheaval, whether it is a minor change or a major change.

When we remodeled our kitchen, a lot of things changed. We completed the replacement of all the old cabinet with brand new, light-colored ones that make our kitchen look much brighter. We took down a wall between the kitchen and dining room and replaced it with a short bar. The bar has storage space and it’s great for serving, as well as sitting down for a quick snack.

Image result for doing demolition of the kitchen

(This is how a remodel starts!)

We moved the refrigerator to a different wall. We replaced the flooring. We even replaced the window over the sink.

All this replacement has created some confusion, though, because now I can’t remember where I put things. I’m slowly learning, and I do tend to be an organized person. I like to store things in the same area where I will use them.  Seems obvious to me that dishcloths and towels should be next to the sink; that ingredients and equipment for baking should be near my work station. It’s the odds and ends that a driving me crazy.

Add to all that the fact that Terry has been cooking for the last four months, and he tends to put things anywhere he can find an empty spot. That makes for some very interesting scavenger hunts.

Replacement can be an excellent thing. I just should have made a map 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/replacement/

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Think Before You Speak

Filter

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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“She has no filter” has become a widely used way to indicate that someone says exactly what she is thinking, with no concern as to who may be hurt, embarrassed, angry, or horrified by her words.

Please don’t be offended by my use of the feminine pronoun. Men are equally guilty. This is a human foible, not a gender problem.

It takes some time to learn to monitor what comes out of one’s mouth. Small children are capable of bringing their parents to blush furiously by their innocent statements.  I will never forget the time my little brother, then three or four years old, stated loudly in a crowded room, “Mr. Smith, my daddy doesn’t like you!”  My dad was completely embarrassed. The gentleman involved, though, found it amusing and took it with good grace. I don’t remember if there was any further communication between him and my father.

Image result for child's words embarrass parent

Growing up in the parsonage was often difficult. There were certain people in the church, in any church, who are willing and able to pump information from the children of the pastor. My parents warned us about this, admonishing us not to tell people things that weren’t any of their business.

One time a particular woman approached me when I was about 14 and asked me a pointed question about the family finances.  I was taken by surprise, had no idea how to respond, and blurted, “I’m not supposed to answer people who pump me for information!”

Again, my memory fails me. I have no idea what happened after that.

There’s a lot of unfiltered speech floating around in our current political atmosphere.  It’s too bad. Once words are written or spoken, they can’t be undone. If one has been injudicious and spoken or written incorrectly,  apologies can be made; the words remain, however, and will not be forgotten.  I’m thinking of the young woman who commented publicly that Barron Trump will be the first home-schooled shooter.  I believe she lost her job on SNL, which she should have, but the words are there.  Maybe that woman will develop a better filter, and not take shots at children.

I believe that anyone who targets specific children, whether their parents are liberal or conservative, should pay some kind of consequence. I’m completely bipartisan on this issue. Adults should just know better. Period.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/filter/

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“Simple” is Relative

Simple

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Emily’s face was a picture of frustration as she pulled books from her locker. Stuffing them into her book bag, she slammed the locker door and stomped toward the exit, making a point to look at no one. She didn’t want to talk.

“It’s simple,” Mr. Leitner had said. “You just have to know the Periodic Table, which we started memorizing months ago. Then you need the basic formulas, and the interactions of one substance with other substances.  It’s not that hard, people. This test covers five chapters, and we’ve gone over them all more than once.”

He seemed a bit irritated, as if he couldn’t understand why anyone was having any trouble in his “simple” chemistry course. It made Emily furious. She was usually an “A” student, getting a “B” only in gym–which she thought was totally unfair. Being graded on your ability to run fast or make a basket from the free-throw line had nothing to do with studying, and everything to do with natural ability! She was delighted that, as a senior, she didn’t have to take gym any more.

But chemistry?  That was another thing entirely. She had to have it to get her science credits in, and it was driving her crazy. Most of the symbols on the periodic table didn’t seem to have any connection to the element itself. Why, for instance, was antimony denoted as “sb”?  She had memorized it all, but to actually understand it didn’t seem to matter.

Emily liked to understand. She hated memorizing just to pass a test.

So she decided to do some research, probably losing valuable “memorize this” time, but she really needed to understand.

Her first search was “why is antimony identified as sb on the periodic table.” She found out that the word was based on two Greek words:

Origin of name: from the Greek words “anti + monos” meaning “not alone” (the origin of the symbol Sb comes from the Latin word “stibium“).

Okay, things were a bit more clear. Stibium, she learned, rarely showed up alone in nature. It was usually found in a compound.  Emily still had questions, but at least the “sb” made some sense.

The next day, Emily approached Mr. Leitner before class. “Mr. Leitner, I have so much trouble remembering the  letters for each element. They don’t always seem to be connected to the word itself.  Last night I did some research, and I discovered that the letters are based on Greek or Latin words.” She went on to tell him what she’d learned about antimony.
Mr. Leitner listened, but there was a quizzical expression on his face. “Emily, if it helps you, then learning all that is great. But it just seems easier to me to memorize the table. Simple.”
Emily sighed. “Mr. Leitner, it’s NOT simple if it makes no sense!  I need to understand what the words mean. Then, yes, it’s simple. I’ll always remember antimony, stibium, and sb.  I just wish you could teach it to us so that the words make sense!
Mr. Leitner paused, looking thoughtful. “Emily, I think you just created a job for yourself!”
Featured

Sunday Morning Coffee: Update

Well, here I am on my  fourth day of pain pills and muscle relaxers.  Apparently they’re working at night.  I’m sleeping well. But the daytime presents a host of challenges. Walking huts, sitting hurts, and lets not even talk about bending over.

However, my daughter’s birthday gift this year was to take me to Reading to hear Jeanne Robertson.

This shouldn’t be a problem, right?  A friend went with us, and If I couldn’t drive to Deb’s then she could. But the driving was no problem. And Deb drove to Reading. We parked in a parking garage, and that’s where the trouble started. We had to walk from there to the venue.

I have an excellent cane, and both my daughter and our friend know my situation. We walked very slowly, and got there wit no trouble.  When it was over, my friend  Deb went back for the car and picked me up. An usher was even kind enough to bring me a chair while I waited.

I took my meds and crawled into bed. It wasn’t until somewhere around 3:3 a.m. that I knew I was in a lot of trouble. And I’ve been in trouble ever since. No let-up until or unless I go to bed, and I wake up right on time for my next dose.

So, you might ask, was it worth it?  Was it worth risking all this pain just to hear some commediene you can watch on You Tube?”

Oh, you betcha 🙂  Its the same as the difference between watching a sports even on TV or having tickets to see it live.

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God Knew

Test

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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The Bible says that there is not test or trial we have to endure that is not common, normal, to mankind; and that He has provided a way to escape, so that we are able to bear it  (l Corinthians 10:13).

Image result for l Corinthians 10:13

In my trial of the moment, I’m thankful for the medication that makes the pain bearable; I’m thankful that I could take the day off work yesterday and that I’m not scheduled back until Tuesday.  I had to cancel my responsibility to speak at a women’s meeting at our church, and that was hard, but God gave me instant peace once my decision was made to cancel. I’m thankful that He provides that kind of peace.

I’m thankful that I’m fairly comfortable in bed. And I’m thankful for a husband who takes care of me when I’m down.

The way to escape?  Does that mean I could get out of this if I pray hard enough?  The He’ll just take away the pain?

When the Apostle Paul wrote those words, he’d already been through some severe trials and he would face more.Three times in the course of his ministry he was tied to a whipping post and beaten within an inch of his life. I’m pretty sure that when he was conscious, he was asking God for a way to escape. God’s answer was not to miraculously remove him from the ordeal, but to give him the grace to endure.

So, what’s this all about?  If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I have a bunch of things wrong in my lower back. Herniations, stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. All week I’ve been pretty uncomfortable, and Wednesday evening something went bonkers back there, just about putting me on the floor. It was that “takes your breath away” kind of pain, and it came out of the blue. I wasn’t bending or twisting or trying to carry something heavy.  I was walking from one room to another. BAM!

I had my pain meds and my muscle relaxer refilled about a week ago, and I’m so thankful they were readily available.  I didn’t have to call the doctor, wait for the scripts to be refilled. I didn’t waste any time getting my first dose, and the meds have been helping a great deal. I have an appointment with my chiropractor this morning.

Tonight, my daughter is taking a mutual friend and me to hear commedienne Jeannie Robertson.  I’ve been looking forward to this, a belated birthday gift, for three months. I’m not going to miss it. So I’m thankful my back went kablooey on Wednesday instead of yesterday, because if it had been yesterday I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Partly because of the meds, I’ve had a good night’s sleep.  I’ll be moving kind of slow, but I’ll be able to do it.

See?  Even in this really kind of nasty pain, God timed everything just right.

He always makes a way, and He always goes ahead of me.  I’m not thankful for the pain, but I surely am thankful for God’s presence and help in my time of trouble.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/test/

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What Should I Do Today?

Dilemma

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Answering KJV Onlyism | hipandthigh:

This little guy has been all over Facebook in a variety of memes, and I love his face.  It’s so easy to wonder what his dilemma might be.  Let’s see, should he. . . .play with his toes? Throw a tantrum just for the fun of it? Spit his cereal back at his longsuffering mommy?  Fill his diaper that she JUST finished changing?  Hmmmm.  Life has so many interesting options.

I suspect that the parents of this child are in for quite a ride.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dilemma/

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Pain

Nerve

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Hoo boy.  No fiction this morning. If we were playing a word association game, and you said nerve, my immediate response?  PAIN.  

I have a couple of herniated lumbar discs.  I had pain treatment not quite a year ago that  relieved the pain almost completely.  A little achiness now and then, but nothing an over-the-counter medication couldn’t deal with.

Three weeks ago, is started kicking up again.

I also have stenosis and degenerative disc disease.  That’s quite a cocktail of misery.

Stenosis comes from a Greek word meaning to choke.  There are little holes in the bones for the nerves to pass through.  When the bone around those holes begins to crumble, the nerves are pinched.  And they react.  They don’t like being pinched, so they pinch right back.

Yesterday I was going to go to work, but as I was getting into the car, my hip/leg/lower back all said, “No, you’re not!”  So appropriate calls were made to cancel my clients, get an appointment with the pain doctor, get a script for the medications to get me through until I can get the shots that will relieve the pain long-term.

Getting old does have its downside.

So when I saw this morning’s prompt, Nerve, this post pretty much wrote itself.  I’m well aware of my nerves right now!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/nerve/

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Cross-Country

Sink or Swim

Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

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It was 1973, late August.  We were moving from northern Michigan (Terry is a Yooper)  to southeastern Pennsylvania.  We had two little boys, aged 4 and 2.

Terry was driving the big U-Haul, and he led the way.  I was in the car, a fairly new and inexperienced driver, with the little boys in the back seat. This was years before our nanny government made us strap little ones into seats that kept them immobile.  I can’t imagine how they would have survived the trip back then.  We had build up the back seat with suitcases and put a mattress over that, covered with blankets and pillows.  They slept, played, and kept themselves pretty well occupied.

In the front seat, I white-knuckled it all the way. I was terrified.  I’d never driven in heavy traffic, or used cloverleaf interchanges.  I’d certainly never been tasked with keeping the vehicle in front of me in plain view while I coped with all the other things I had to deal with.  One child was still in diapers.  The older one was fully  potty-trained, but needed to stop every now and then.  We didn’t have cell phones back then, so communicating was pretty tricky.  I’d do my best to get in front of Terry, letting him know we needed to pull over.  Sometimes there was a handy rest stop.  Other times it was just make do with whatever shelter we could find.

I’d never had to do anything like that before, and I still don’t like to drive in heavy city traffic.  By the time we finally arrived, I was a wreck.  My nerves were shot, and I was barely holding on to my temper.  When I’m stressed, I don’t cry and whimper.  I get mad.  Poor Terry.  He didn’t have a clue how terrified I’d been.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sink-or-swim/

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Just Shut Up!

Break the Silence

When was the last time you really wanted (or needed) to say something, but kept quiet? Write a post about what you should’ve said.

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It would be easier to write a post about the things I’m glad I didn’t say. As a person who finds it fairly easy to have foot-in-mouth disease, I’ve had to learn to just shut up.It’s an ongoing process. And it doesn’t come easy.  I have pretty good radar, and I usually can spot a phony, or just a plain old-fashioned creep, pretty quickly.  That’s when it’s a good idea for me to button the lip.

When I was in college, way back in the Dark Ages, there was an individual of the male species who felt that because he had testosterone, he was automatically entitled to the respect and awe of anyone from the female species. 

This person was bloviating, in a psych class, about the superiority of the male race. I was unimpressed. I finally couldn’t stand it any more, and I raised my hand, got the professor’s nod, and said, “Does he get to have the floor for the entire class period?”

Mr. Bloviator got all up on his dignity and informed me that the Bible says that women are to respect men, and I’d better watch my step.

Yikes. Complete perversion of what the Bible says. Complete misapplication. I really couldn’t stand this dude, and I said, “You show me a real man, and I’ll respect him. In the meantime, you need to sit down and listen to the Professor. We’re not in this class to be ‘educated’ by you!”

There was utter silence, during which I’m sure my face flamed bright red, but then someone started clapping, and soon the whole room was applauding. That was really embarrassing, too.

Mr. Bloviator sat down. Needless to say, he never deigned to notice my existence after that, which I’m sure you know absolutely broke my heart.

Am I sorry I spouted off?  No, not really, but I could have found a less offensive way to say what Blovy needed to hear. And that’s what I’ve worked on over the years.

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. That’s hard for me, ’cause I always have something to say 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/break-the-silence/

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So Different!

Long Exposure

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

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Dad was born in 1923. A product of his era and environment,  he was a tough, get-it-done, suck-it-up kind of a guy.  When the market crashed in 1929, his dad lost just about everything. He moved them from California to the Arizona Strip, a place in the Utah desert where he built them a dugout to live in. Life was hard. The Great Depression was settling down over the country. People’s lives were changed, often overnight, from relative security to no security at all.

As is often the case with young kids, Dad really didn’t pay much attention to how poor they were. He loved the desert, and he loved the freedom he had to roam wherever the itch took him. He had a dog, a gun, and it seems I remember him talking about a pony, too. His mom made the dugout into a home, but he spent as much time as he could outdoors.

My grandfather was old-school German. He taught my dad to be racist, really, and it was a strongly ingrained belief in my dad’s mind and heart that there were flaws in every other race, but not in his own.  He wasn’t hateful about it, that I remember.  It was more just a matter of fact. He knew, and used, all the epithets that can be applied to those of a race not his own. It wasn’t unusual in his day.

He also grew up under the autocratic dominance of his father, whose word was law, and often enforced on his two oldest sons with what we would look at today as physical abuse.  My aunts don’t remember that. They and my youngest uncle were treated differently. It’s always fascinating to me how children reared in the same family often seem to have been reared by totally different parents.

In any case, Dad was indeed a man of his time, of his environment, of his background. And it wasn’t all bad. He was part of the Great Generation, the ones who endured and survived the Great Depression because of their strength of character, their determination, and often their faith in God.  They were the ones who went off to war and died by the hundreds and thousands for their love of country, family, home, and the American way of life.  I have infinite respect for them. Without their strength, we would have lost our freedoms sooner than we are now. I don’t think the Great Generation would have stood silently by while government exploded into what it has become today, although the seeds were sown back during the Depression and even before that.

Fast forward now. Dad had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was a boy of 12 or 14, but he never grew in his faith. At age 19, only a month after he married my mom, he went off to do his part in World War II, having joined the Navy and been assigned as a torpedoman in a submarine.  He came home from the war filled with hatred for the Axis enemies. And then God began to work, and my dad’s world tilted to a different angle.

Fast forwarding again, Dad went to Bible college and became a pastor. It would never have been his prediction for his life, or even his choice. His real dream was to teach history on the college level, and he would have been good at it. He was a great teacher. But he knew that God was leading, and he couldn’t resist that call. And it changed him.

Keep up now. We’re moving ahead many, many years. Dad got a call from a little church in the South, where he pastored for about 25 years. Living in the South was a revelation for him, and yet another change was taking place. He was learning that people of color, whatever the shade, were no different than he was.

The last ten years of his life, his heart changed him physically. His first heart event was when he was only 60, and for the next ten years he was in and out of hospitals, in and out of surgeries that saved his life but weakened him physically.And with his physical debility came a dependence on the care and kindness of the Black doctors and nurses who took care of him time and time again. It changed his already altered belief in the inferiority of other races. DAD

I’ve read that people who undergo open-heart surgery are often emotionally affected by it. Dad was. He grew softer and gentler as he progressed through his illnesses.  I was especially touched by his tenderness toward my niece and nephew, my brother’s kids, who loved their Papa as much as he loved them.  They were the only grandkids who lived nearby, and he saw them nearly every day.

One day, to my great amazement, as I was talking with my dad on the phone he became clearly emotional, and ended the conversation with “I love you, Linda.”

Could have knocked me over with a feather. He just didn’t say things like that. I knew he loved me, although there was more than one time when I was almost sure he didn’t, but I can’t remember ever hearing him say it before. The closest I can remember being keenly aware of his strictly hidden emotion was the day he walked me down the aisle, and then switched places with a pastor friend who helped with the wedding. As he turned to face Terry and me, I saw the twitch of his eyebrow and the tightening of his lips and jaw that was a dead giveaway of his effort to control his emotions.

God knew that the work He gave my dad to do was going to be hard, and that it would take a strong man to do it. He also knew that Dad’s heart needed to be softened and changed. And it was. People still talk about how Preacher said or did this or that; how something he taught them changed their lives. The changes he experienced made him better. The little boy who loved being alone in the desert became a man who was loved by the people he pastored.  He was loved by his family.  He’s been gone 21 years now, and I still miss him.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/long-exposure/

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Fearless Fantasies

Fearless Fantasies
How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

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I googled “fearless,” looking for a good illustration, and I came up with dozens of shots of Taylor Swift with her hair blowing all over her head. I guess she sings a song by the name of Fearless. Shows you how out-of-the-loop I am when it comes to pop culture.  The only reason I even know who she is?  She’s a native of a city near where I live. That’s it.

Anyway.  I saw this prompt two hours ago. Had an appointment, needed to do a couple of other things, so I’ve had some time to think it over, and I’m still not sure what I want to say. So pardon me for thinking out loud. This could be a bit of a ramble.

I would love to be fearless about a lot of things.  I’m terrified of snakes. It would be nice not to have such a visceral reaction if one of the scaly creatures shows up in a TV program or photograph. I would love to be fearless about hiking through a snaky place like the Appalachian trail, or maybe the desert where diamondbacks and sidewinders sun themselves.

I have a fear of high places that drop straight down from where I’m standing, with no guardrails to stop my fall.  When we were in Sioux Falls with my son and his family, we went to a theater like an IMax. We entered at the very top level. I got a feeling of vertigo, and it’s terrifying.  I had to grab rails and turn my back, facing the chairs until I could sit down. It’s horrible.  I’d love for that to go away.

There’s really not much else that gives me such a  ghastly sense of fear and helplessness. Wait!  Aha moment!  Helplessness!  Yes!  Okay, enough exclamation points already, but I do think I’ve stumbled onto something.  It’s the helplessness, isn’t it?  I mean, I don’t like centipedes, but I’m not helpless with them. I can smack’em. Gone. Same with spiders. I hate the way the skitter, but I can always catch them and send them to spiderly heaven. Gross.  But snakes and steep drops?  Helpless.  I’d be a great subject for one of those big dudes that hypnotize their prey.  Here I am, just look into my eyes and hiss, and I’m done for. Kaput.

Well, I’m generally of a pretty practical frame of mind, so I’ve been thinking about  how fear can be, and often is, a very helpful thing.  The fear of sudden and painful death keeps me from playing in the traffic. The fear of extremely painful death keeps me from tasting bleach or inhaling a combination of ammonia and bleach. The fear of losing a limb keeps this granny off the ski slopes. That doesn’t seem like a negative thing to me; it’s just good sense. If I weren’t afraid of ending up in prison, there may be a trail of seriously maimed or comatose people in my backtrail. It is often fear of consequences that keeps of from doing something foolish, harmful to ourselves or others.

Other side of the coin?  I love the way the kid in the picture is just standing there calmly facing down the wolf that’s about to make lunch out of him. That kind of fearlessness I admire. Standing up to bullies, standing up to difficult things we can’t avoid, standing up to fear itself.

I have a client I’ve been working with for over a year. She was having serious PTSD symptoms due to an accident she had witnessed. I can’t go into detail, obviously, but this poor woman hadn’t slept well in three years, and is still struggling with some fears that have changed her life.  One of her problems is the inability to speak up in her own defense. I’ve helped her find her voice, and grow a backbone. She was afraid she didn’t have the right to speak up. Now she knows she does. Not only is it a right, it’s an obligation to stand up to the bullies, to back them down, to let them know you are NOT afraid.

I love my work.

And I’m not afraid to do it.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fearless-fantasies/

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NOOOOOooooooo!

Can’t Stand Me
What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

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I watched the video in absolute disbelief.  See, over the years I’ve trained my eyes to see me as I wish I were, not as I am.  The video playing so heartlessly before me was bringing all my years of denial crashing around my feet.

No denying what is on the screen. No denying what is on the scale. No denying the size tags on the clothes in my closet.  Well, on the clothes I can presently wear, at least.  I have several wardrobes that I’m going to get back into. Someday.

I hate seeing pictures of myself.  I’m always twice as wide as I should be, and cameras add ten pound. So they say, whoever “they” is.

Making jokes about my size is one of the ways I deal with it, but don’t ever believe  that old “fat and happy” nonsense. No one is happy about being fat.  I’m happy about a lot of things in my life, but fat is not one of them.

The good news is, I’m making just a little progress right now.  I’ve learned, over the years, not to talk about it if I’m making a serious effort to lose weight.  Seems as if I no sooner say it, than it comes to a screeching halt. So I’m really taking a chance here today, folks.

The thing is, my numbers were ALL too high on my last doctor visit a couple of months ago, including my A1C, which got me started on taking Metformin, Diabetes is a really nasty way to die. I don’t want to go there, and I don’t want to take pills, so I HAVE to get back on track with eating and exercise, and I am. For now.

Sigh.

 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-stand-me/

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Frame of Mind

(If you could paint your current mood onto a canvas, what would that painting look like? What would it depict?)

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Mansion Over the Hilltop

(Reviving Bricks
You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?)

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I’ve always loved that old house, and I can’t believe it’s mine! I’m old enough to remember how it looked 50 years ago, but not too old to enjoy restoring it. My aunt knew I loved it, and no one else in the family would want to be saddled with it. They would just sell it off to the highest bidder.

Not me. Aunt Roberta was eccentric, but she wasn’t dumb. She took good care of her fortune, and I’m shocked at how much money there is. This is like the dream of a lifetime for me, and I’m going to enjoy every minute. I don’t have to work now. I can spend all day, every day, re-dreaming my childhood pleasures.

 

First, I need an architect. It has to be someone who loves old houses the way I do, because  I won’t have the place torn apart and changed. I want it restored to the same floor plan, the same materials, as much as possible.  Of course, we’ll modernize the kitchen and the bathrooms and whatever else can be brought up to date without losing the enchantment of the old place.

I used to imagine I was Rapunzel, way up high in the turret, letting down my long, long hair so my handsome prince could climb and to visit me.

Or I’d dream that I was Sleeping Beauty, dozing my life away because of the spell of the wicked witch. One day I’d be Cinderella, banished to the top of the house where the mice and birds watched over me; the next I’d be Snow White,  looking for a way to escape from my Wicked Stepmother.

Hours and hours I’d spend roaming the house, poking into the attics, going through trunks of fabulous old clothes. Boxes of books, pictures, toys, keepsakes were all my playthings. Aunt Roberta didn’t forbid me anything, and I was like a shopaholic on Black Friday. No child ever had a more interesting place to play than I did. Sometimes I would take my treasures down to show Aunt Roberta, and she would spin stories of the past that circled around me like the warm arms of a lover.

I’m going to recreate all that, except of course for Aunt Roberta. But I have nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of my own now who are full of questions.  I can’t wait to turn them loose to discover all the things that are still preserved in that old house.

Work first, though. Everything has to be moved out, cleaned up, and stored while the renovations are done.  It’s going to be a labor of love. I can’t wait!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reviving-bricks/

 

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Laugh Until You Cry

Roaring Laughter
What was the last thing that gave you a real, authentic, tearful, hearty belly laugh? Why was it so funny?)

My dad was a very serious man. He enjoyed a good laugh, but he was not funny, and he could never figure out the art of telling a good joke.  When I think back at some of the things he did that made us all laugh, it was never because he did it on purpose, poor man.

There was the time we were having our family devotions, reading a passage from the Bible together. He suddenly roared out a sneeze, and his upper plate went flying out of his mouth and skidded all the way across the livingroom floor.  Very funny.achoo!

Then there was the rocking chair. We had an easy chair that he loved. It was a swivel rocker, very popular in the 1950’s. He could turn it to look out the window, or to watch TV, or however he wanted it.  He had a habit of leaning back in his chair. He was a big man. Yup. Over it went one day, and all we could see was the bottom of the chair with Dad’s feet waving at us over the edge of the seat. Roared with laughter. Took us a few minutes to get ourselves together to help him up.tipping chair

My favorite, though, is one I didn’t get to see.  Dad was having some back problems, and finally agreed to see a chiropractor. The good doctor needed an x-ray, and directed Dad to stand against the wall with his back to the screen. “Now, Preacher, take a good deep breath,” the doctor said.  Dad took a good deep breath, and his pants came tumbling down.  Right down around his ankles.  My mom nearly fainted, she laughed so hard.pants-downWish I had been there, glad I wasn’t. 

Why is it so funny when a serious person has these hilarious things happen?  I don’t know. I’m just glad they do.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/roaring-laughter/

A Tale of Commitment

Commit

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Taking the word apart, com means with; and mit,coming from the Latin mittere, is to pair or send.  So–to pair or send with, as in a marriage commitment, a business agreement, or being part of a committee.

Interesting word, because it can also mean to do, as in commit a crime or some other act. And in my line of work, to be committed  can be an involuntary entrance into a mental health program or facility–which brings me to my story, based on truth but changed quite a bit to protect those involved.

The woman was short, very round.  She had tiny  legs and arms, but her stomach made her appear to be in an advanced state of pregnancy.  She was well over 60, though, so I assumed she was not about to deliver a baby in my office.

She was married to a man who was slowly but surely descending into severe dementia, probably Alzheimer’s.  It’s a terrible disease that robs the victim of his personality and identity. His wife, my client, was his only caregiver at the time.

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She had Bipolar Disorder, which is the same thing as being manic-depressive.   She was extremely intelligent, and her disorder was under good control because she was faithful–committed–to her medications.

Their children, however, remembered Mom before she got medical help.  They remembered her manic episodes, during which she spent money outrageously. It had been well over 25 years, but that was their main perception of her.

So they got their heads together one day, and decided they had to protect dad’s money from their mother.  Remember, Dad has dementia.  Without their mother’s knowledge, her children took their dad out one day. While they had him separate from her, they talked him into signing his power of attorney over to the eldest child; that child would be completely in charge of Dad’s substantial retirement and savings. It amounted to multi-millions.  They made sure that the document  specified that their mother would have no access or control over any part of his fortune. The eldest child would disperse funds to his mother as he saw fit.

Adding insult to injury, there was a clause that empowered any one of the children to do an involuntary commitment of their mother if that child felt Mom was getting out of line. So if Mom complained about being robbed of her husband’s money, any one of them had the power to put her in a mental health facility for a time to be determined by the psychiatrist involved.

In my opinion, the attorney who drew up this contract  was completely unethical.  Possibly illegal.

Mom wanted my help.  I told her there was nothing I could do, and suggested she see an attorney. She didn’t have the money for that, and her children wouldn’t give her what she needed. She was completely at their mercy.

I suggested she call her county area agency on aging and inquire about getting some legal help.  I don’t know how she’s doing now.  I hope she’s getting some assistance.

In summary:  The children of this couple formed a committee and committed a terrible act of injustice to both their parents, including the threat to commit her if she offered them any resistance.

I think the children are the ones who need to be committed!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/commit/

Paper Roses

Paper

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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It has been said that the music of your teen years stays with you more than any other music.  Must be true, as these one-word prompts so often make my memory go right to a song that was popular when I was a teen growing up in Portland, Oregon.

I loved the voice and the songs of Connie Francis.  Here she is:

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/paper/

Don’t Believe your Feelings must be Truth

Loop

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Short and to the point today.

When your thinking has become an endless loop playing in your head hour after hour, you can bet it’s negative.  Or, in cruder terms, stinkin’ thinkin.’

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If you don’t stop it, you will end up taking anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety pills and believing that the whole world is against you.

The only real fix is to change your thinking.  Find what is true.  Stinkin’ thinkin’ is almost always a lie.  When we believe that how we feel must be the truth, we’re heading for a fall.  Feelings change. Truth never does.

Hitler felt that Jews were running the world, so he murdered them by the millions.  It was a lie, still is a lie.  If he’d turned off the tape recorder in his head, he might not be remembered as the monster he became.

In the Bible, Cain felt his offering to God was better than Abel’s, even though it went against God’s expressed instructions. So he murdered Abel, believing that God would then accept his offering. Wrong again.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Make sure that whatever it is you are feeling that is pulling you down is actually the truth. Take out the old reel and replace it with the reel of truth.

You are God’s creation.  He sent His Son to pay for your sin.  He loves you with an everlasting love.

That is truth.

Believe the truth, not the lie.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/loop/

Fear is Grey

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

The two young girls lying bound in the trunk could hear nothing, see nothing, to help them escape. They were cold and  terrified.

It was supposed to have been fun, going to a party with the two cool older guys who had picked them up. “Come with us, come on!” They never saw the third man behind them holding the syringe.  A prick, then nothing.

They should have listened. They should have stayed with a crowd of friends. Should never have gone with guys they didn’t know.

Too late for remorse. Too late.

Sneaky Invasion

Meddle

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Growing up as “the preacher’s kid” had its good and its not-so-good sides.  Sometimes, once the not-so-good was over, it was just plain funny.

One of the men in my dad’s little church in southern Minnesota lived with his family just one block behind and kitty-cornered from our house. The position gave him a clear view of our place, and he must have spent a good amount of time watching. He tended to be a person who felt it was his duty to meddle with the preacher’s family, keeping us all on the straight and narrow.

One night I was in the basement doing some ironing.  Remember ironing?

Anyway  I was minding my own business.  My sister was upstairs with our little brother, and all was right with our word–until suddenly the basement lights went out!  Startled, I hollered up the stairs, “Hey! Turn those back on!”

My sister hollered back that she hadn’t turned anything off.  I was deciding whether or not to believe her when I distinctly heard the back door open, the lights went back on, and the door closed.

Hmmmmm.

Of course I told my dad when he and Mom got back from wherever they’d been. He got the strangest look on his face.  He said, “I’ll take care of it. It won’t happen again.”

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You knew the preacher was upset when he peeled out of the driveway, scattering gravel. He wasn’t gone long. Shaking his head, he told us that the neighbor had noticed our basement lights were on. Figuring no one was down there, he took it upon himself to unlock the back door, reach in and turn off the lights. He flipped them back on when I hollered.

Two big errors:  One, he unlocked the door.  We hadn’t known he had a key,  He didn’t have it any more after that night.  Two, he opened and closed the door.  He’d have been smarter to just keep walking away.

I’ll never know what my dad said to him, but whatever it was, it worked. There were no more Hector Inspector light-switch events.  It didn’t feel funny at the time, but it wasn’t long before the incident was added to the family repertoire of funny stories about living in the parsonage.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/meddle/

What a Relief!

Relieved

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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I have so many thoughts about this word! Some I won’t mention. There just isn’t time.

I think one of the most memorable moments of feeling relieved was  when labor finally started.  Three of my four babies were two weeks late, and back then they just let you wait it out.  No scheduling for inducement.  Knowing that it was finally happening was an immense relief!

I used to suffer with migraine headaches. The relief when the headache finally began to relent is indescribable. You’d have to experience it to know what I’m talking about.

Image result for migraine headaches

When I was still in high school, my dad was making a 15-mile drive from one small southern Minnesota town to our own town. It was in the middle of a blizzard.  Mom was in the hospital 15 miles away.  I was home alone with my baby brother, knowing Dad was on the road. No way to stay in touch. No cell phones back then. The tension and anxiety grew because what should have taken 15-20 minutes was stretching into hours. I can’t even tell you how relieved I was when he finally made it home.  I’m pretty sure I’ve written that story somewhere.  I’ll have to see if I can find it.  (I found it!  You can read the whole story here.)

Relief is a great feeling, but it can also leave you weak and trembling.  Relief after a painful procedure.  Relief after a dreaded test has been completed.  Relief that everyone made it safe home.  Relief that the results of the medical biopsy were negative.  Relief when your soldier or sailor returns home from a war.

Relief when you can actually think of dozens of ways to write about relief 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relieved/

Give Me Pearls!

Paragon

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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The original meaning was to bring side by side,  as in improving one thing to match the perfection of another.

Para, then, is to compare or bring alongside. Thus the professions that are helpful to the main figure, such as a paralegal or paramedical professional.

It’s amazing how many words start with para.  Here are just a few:

  • paramilitary.
  • paradigmatic.
  • parasitology.
  • paramagnetic.
  • parameterize.
  • paraesthesia.
  • parasiticide.
  • paralanguage.

My computer put a squiggly red line under paralanguage. I guess my computer is too old to recognize this fairly new term.  It means the nonlexical component of communication by speech, for example intonation, pitch and speed of speaking, hesitation noises, gesture, and facial expression.

paragon is the finest example of anything; it can be a person of utmost moral character; a beautiful woman, a remarkable piece of writing or art.

Something I learned this morning is that it is also the word used to describe the most perfect of pearls. I love pearls. There’s just something about them that speaks to me, and I have more pearl jewelry than any other kind.

Image result for paragon pearls

Maybe someday Terry will find me a paragon of a pearl 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/paragon/

The Dark

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Dark clouds gather above as darker evil took place below. The bodies had been found in the basement of the condo, tied back to back and mutilated beyond recognition. Whoever was responsible had been thorough in his work, leaving no trace of himself behind.

Detectives were combing the grounds, flashlights glowing in the gathering dark.

Upstairs on the fifth floor, a man watched. His mouth twitched in mirth at their stupidity. They’d already interviewed him, giving him the usual cop-speak and learning nothing.

He was much too smart for them.

More would die. They deserved it.

The Flat

Puncture

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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“Oh, NO!”  thought Jeannie as she carefully steered her car to the shoulder of the road. She’d heard an odd sound, and then the whole car shimmied and skidded. Right in the middle of the morning rush hour, of course.

She pocketed her keys and got out to see what she could see. As she circled the car, the rear right tire presented a woeful sight. Clearly, something had punctured it and blown it apart.  It wasn’t just flat.  It was graveyard dead.

Just as she was unlocking the driver-side door to grab her cell, a pickup truck slid in several yards behind her car. The man who jumped from the driver’s seat to the pavement was a sight for sore eyes!  He looked like a guy who knew how to take care of business.

Jeannie stood waiting as he loped up to her, grinned at her as if they were old friends, and asked if he could help.

Image result for lady with a flat tire waiting for help

“My right rear tire is blown. Something punctured it, I guess. I have a spare, but I’m embarrassed to tell you that I really don’t know how to change a tire.  I mean, I’ve seen it done, and my dad tried to teach me, but–”

“Okay, no problem. Can you pop the trunk?”

“Sure.  Thank you so much.”

He got right to work, locating the tools he needed as if he knew her car. Within 15 minutes he’d removed the bad tire, replaced it with the spare, and was cleaning his hands with a red bandanna handkerchief.

“Let me give you something for helping me out,” Jeannie said as she opened her purse. The guy got an offended look on his face and refused firmly. “No, Ma’am!  I figure if a guy can’t stop to help a pretty lady, he’s got something wrong with him.”  He began to turn away when Jeannie stopped him by saying, “Well, at least tell me your name so I can thank you properly!”

He turned, grinning again. “Name’s Morgan, Ma’am. Morgan Craig.  Two first names.”

“He really has a great smile,” thought Jeannie. She put out her hand to shake his and said, “I’m Jeannie Sally.  I have two first names, too.  What a coincidence!”

“Well, Jeannie Sally, I’m kind of wondering–you have a phone number?  Would it be okay if I called you?”

Everything Jeannie knew about safety and common sense whiffed right out of her head. She just had a good feeling about Morgan Craig. “Sure, I guess that would be okay.”  And she took the phone he offered and put her number in it.

“Thanks, Miss Sally. You’ll hear from me. You have a good day, now.”  As he walked away, she admired the set of his shoulders and the obvious comfort he had in his own abilities.

Maybe that flat tire hadn’t been such a bad thing, after all.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/puncture/

 

Fifty Years

Taper

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Ron had thought it was silly, but Elizabeth hadn’t let it bother her.  Keepsakes were important.  They  were reminders of precious moments along the course of life, and some could be passed on to children and grandchildren.

She lifted the box carefully from her closet shelf. It had been opened only one other time since their wedding day, and that had been on their 25th anniversary. The corners of the box were turning yellow, and when she lifted the cover, she was surprised at how brittle and yellow the paper had become.

“Like me,” she thought with a smile. “Skin as thin as this paper, and just as worn out.”

It didn’t matter, though. It really didn’t.

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She folded the paper back, and there were the beautiful long white tapers  that had graced the altar at their wedding ceremony fifty years ago. Fifty!  She could hardly believe so much time had passed, yet her hands gave her away.  She noticed, as she lifted the tapers out of the box, how spotted and wrinkled her hands had become. Shaking her head, she dismissed that reality, too.  It just didn’t matter. Those hands had worked hard, loved much, prayed often.

She placed the tapers carefully in their silver stands, stepping back to admire how beautiful they still were. They were burned down a little and were no longer even, but they were still lovely.

Ron stepped up behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders. She turned to look into his beloved face, noting the lines and creases from laughter, tears, and weather. He was still her Ron, and fifty years may have dimmed her vision, but not their love.

“You know that you are the light of my life, don’t you?” Ron asked. “The tapers are nice, and I’m glad you saved them for this shindig the kids want to give us.  But you are the one I’ll be looking at.  Just like always.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/taper/