A Week in the Woods


Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?


Terry is the person I’m closest to, and he has a strong aversion for big parties. He’s never been comfortable  in a room full of people, and as his hearing continues to deteriorate, it’s truly not fun for him. He can’t hear, even when he puts his hearing aids in, because the background noise is such a bother.  He hates going to a party where there’s music playing, usually too loudly, in the background.  There’s no hope for him of having a decent conversation.

So the best thing I could do for him would be to book us on a trip up into the woods somewhere.  No people, no noise, no parties. Just the quietness of the north woods. I’d try to find us a cabin or lodge on the water, a river where he could fish for brook trout.  The food would be simple. He doesn’t need elaborate menus. There would be no phone, and probably no TV.  I would insist on indoor bathroom amenities, which really aren’t important to him.

If he could, he’d move to Alaska like that guy that shows up on PBS every now and then.  He’d enjoy building a cabin and going hunting and all that.  But I?  I would go stark raving MAD in that environment!  So we compromise, and it works for us. We don’t have a busy social whirl.  He could live the rest of his life with just me.  I need a little more than that.

It’s interesting to me that the tendencies we had when we were young have tended to intensify with age.  I’m thinking of his love of solitude, utter quiet, the great outdoors.  I’ve done my best to enjoy that with him, and usually I truly do enjoy it for a short time–a week, maybe two, as long as I have books.  After that, I’d be climbing all those trees looking for an escape route 🙂

When Terry was just a little boy, maybe five years old or so, he would go out into the woods behind his house, take his pup tent and a knife and get as far away from civilization as his little legs would go.  He’d set up camp and stay overnight out there all by himself (he grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  He says there’s a lot more to fear in the middle of civilization than there is in the middle of the woods.  I suspect his dad probably checked on him without letting him know.  Maybe not.  His dad was a woodsman, as well.

But I KNOW his mom worried herself sick over her little boy being out there alone.

Well, times have changed.  Terry wouldn’t want a child that young going off alone into the woods these days. But that’s what he loved then, and he still loves it now. So rather than a party, I’d give him a week in the woods. With me.



Another Day on the Beat

Ripped from the Headlines!

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article. 


A suspected Oklahoma DUI driver plowed a stolen SUV into a cop and his squad car, called herself God as she was Tased and sang Christian hymns while handcuffed — a bizarre saga chronicled on the officer’s body camera. http://nydn.us/1O1K5tq

I don’t really have a favorite news source, since they’re all questionable in my mind–liberal or conservative, it doesn’t matter.  There’s always more than one truth.
This article caught my eye on my Facebook feed this morning, and I haven’t read the whole thing, but it sure triggered my imagination. . . .
     It had been a long, tiring day for Luke and his partner, Chad, as they patrolled their beat in the racially charged city. It seemed to Luke that there was just constant, unrelenting anger and hatred bubbling up from the very pavement of the streets and sidewalks.  It was a tough time to be a cop.  It was a tough time to be a white cop or a Black one, it really didn’t matter.  You couldn’t do anything right, and there was always the likelihood of some  fruit loop out there taking a couple of head shots at him and his partner.  They knew they risked their lives every day.  It wore on you after a while.
     During the course of the day, they’d written up the standard traffic stops, dealing with  people who were either irate, nervous, hateful, or contrite. Sometimes, all of the above.
     Then there were the hysterical calls from people who had injured themselves and needed help RIGHT NOW!  The truly serious injuries, the nothing-to-it stuff, all had to be handled with professionalism and dispatch.  And of course there were always the groups of “I’m a tough guy and no cop can scare me” young hoods who were so brave that they could only operate in gangs.  Catch one of them alone and you had a different kid on your hands, scared to death and willing to rat out all his buddies.
     Well, their shift was almost over, and Luke was looking forward to home and a shower, and time with his family.
     Until the big SUV came roaring straight at their squad car from what seemed like nowhere.  Luke immediately hit his lights and siren, hoping to wake up the oncoming driver.  He  pulled his weapon out of its holster, ready to shoot out a tire or whatever else he needed to do.  At the same time, he tried to figure out what direction to swerve his vehicle into without doing damage to other cars on the road.  He quickly pulled to the right,  other cars giving him room, and the SUV whizzed by on his left, too close for comfort.
     The SUV kept going, so Luke did a quick turn-around and went in pursuit. He came right up on the  speeding vehicle, pulled alongside, and motioned for the driver to pull over.  Something–his lights, the siren?–must have gotten through to the driver, because she did slow down and pull over. Rolling to a stop,  she put her head down on the steering wheel and began to sing  Amazing Grace in a gravelly, tuneless voice. When Luke approached her side of the SUV, she looked up at him and said, “Hi, I’m God!  What can I do for you?”
Then she started to laugh hysterically. Without warning, she whipped her door open. Luke stumbled backward, nearly fell, but managed to keep his balance. As the woman,  obviously drunk, rolled out of the car with her arms flailing and hands balled into fists, Luke drew his taser.  She kept coming at him, laughing and yelling that she was God. When she got close enough to land a punch, he warned her again and let go with the taser.
      Bam!  She went down hard, twitching and drooling.  He and Chad, who had come up on the other side of the SUV, rolled her over and cuffed her.  When she came around, they would put her in the back of the squad car and take her in.  Drunk driving, assault on an officer–that would be for starters.
     Of course, quite a crowd had gathered.  They were your standard looky-loos, along with some folks who just always seemed to show up with their race-baiting venom.
     “Hey, man, why didn’t you shoot her?  ‘Cause she’s white?”
     “Hey, Cop, how come you didn’t beat her up?  No Black woman would have gotten away with that!”
     “Police brutality!  I saw the whole thing!  Nobody deserves to be tased like a dumb animal!  I want your names and badge numbers!”
      Luke and Chad let it flow over their heads while they finished securing the SUV, and then getting the woman up on her feet.  She continued to sing, laugh, cry, and talk crazy. She reeked of liquor and was stumbling drunk, seeming to be unaware that she was cuffed and in custody.
     Just another day, and a perfect way to end a long shift.  Luke was startled, though, when a young woman approached him and place her hand on his forearm.
     “Officer, I just wanted to thank you for getting this person off the road.  You probably saved her life, and maybe the lives of other people. Good job.  Thank you.”
     Yeah.  A good way to end the day.

Another Rerun

Secret Admirers

You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?


It’s a timesaver, really, when they use these old prompts.  All I have to do is find my original response and repost it here for your delectation.  I kind of liked this one.  You can find it here.

Have a great day, everyone, and may someone please come up with some new prompt ideas.  We had some for a while there, but now we’re back to the moldy oldies.



No Apologies

What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?


Chocolate.  I have it so infrequently that I simply eliminate any thoughts of “you shouldn’t be doing this”  and totally enjoy every moment of flavor.

Women need chocolate.  It’s good for our moods. It’s chemically necessary.

It’s a food group that includes coffee and bacon.  You want a balanced, nutritious diet?  You need a little chocolate every now and then.

Go forth and enjoy 🙂

If you’d like to see what I wrote to this prompt on May 14, 2014, go here.


Who Knows?

Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other

Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.


I don’t know, but God does!

Of course I have plans and hopes.  When we stop having those, we stop living. I plan to continue to walk with the Lord, to serve Him wherever the opportunity arises.

I plan to continue my journey to better health.  Progress is slow, but it’s there.

I plan to continue writing, with the hope of being published someday.

I plan to enjoy my family as I watch the grands grow up.  Amazing how fast that’s happening!

I plan to continue working as long as I’m physically and mentally able, and don’t start drooling and falling out of my chair.

I plan to enjoy my marriage for as long as God gives us.  It’s been 46 years.  I’m hoping for many more, but you just never know.

In my immediate future, I’m looking forward to the holidays: Family coming home, bustle and noise and lots of good food.

Life is good, most of the time.  I am content.


Luxury, Please!

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)


I forgot until just this morning that now that we’re off Daylight Time, I can do the prompt at 8 instead of 9.  Nice.

Anyway.  I’ve traveled a great deal by car and by airplane, so there’s not a lot of novelty there.  One thing I’ve always wanted to do is to take the train  across the continent and end up in Banff.

The scenery is breathtaking all the way across, from what I’ve heard, and of course the mountains are wonderful.

I’d like to do this only if I could afford a luxury car, with sleeping quarters, a shower, and dining privileges.  Usually, when I travel, it’s in economy mode.  Just once, I’d like to do it in luxury mode 🙂

And that’s about all I have to say today.


This One’s Easy

Singin’ in the Rain

Safe inside, toasty warm, while water pitter-patters on the roof… describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.


This post is already half-written.  All I need to add is a good book, a cup of hot tea, a fire, and Vivaldi on the Bose player.  And an afghan, and a pillow for my head when I drop off to sleep.

Voila!  Done 🙂


Blog Because You Can

Million-Dollar Question

Why do you blog?


At first, I blogged here because I had–still have–a mission.  I love teaching the Bible. The internet is a great place to do that, and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people  in the process.

Then, I opened this blog as a place to write about anything at all.

 I had discovered the Daily Prompts, which I always try to look at as an opportunity to stretch my brain and write something interesting even if the prompt is a dud–or a much-derided repeat.

I like to write. Always have, from the time I was learning to read.  Always thought it would be wonderful to write books all day every day.  I have infinite respect for those who do it.  I could never get those blocks of uninterrupted time while I was rearing little kids, then teaching, now counseling.  Maybe I just don’t try hard enough. Anyway, I’m hoping this journey into the blogosphere will lead to a more extended effort.

I blog because I’m addicted.

I blog because I would miss all the interesting, warm, supportive and gifted people I’ve met here.  That’s a benefit I didn’t understand or know about when I started.

I blog because I can. Land of the free, home of the brave.  I won’t be thrown into prison or beaten because of what I write. Not yet, anyway.

Which brings me to another topic.  Please, go vote in your local elections today. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.  Locals don’t have the flash and glam of nationals, but they are the pillars of our communities, and they have a lot to say about the direction our nation takes.

Vote. Because you can.