Sweet Job (Parts One, Two and Three)

Daily Prompt: Young Adult

What happens when you begin working at the same yogurt shop as your crush?

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Maddie was stomach-churning nervous. First job, other than babysitting. She’d be able to start putting money away for college on a regular basis.

At 16, Maddie was a 4.0 student, and would take almost all AP courses in the fall. But before that, she had this whole summer to work, play, and rest. She and her family lived on a beautiful lake, perfect for swimming right off the dock. She could swim year-round in their southern California climate. Doing so helped her stay trim and strong. Her girlfriends told her she had the best bod of all, but sometimes she was pretty sure there was a little of the green glint of jealousy in their eyes. She wasn’t concerned about it, as long as she stayed healthy. She also enjoyed martial arts. She really was in pretty good shape.

As she got ready for her first day at work, she brushed her shoulder-length, natural blonde hair until it gleamed. She had to admit, she did like her hair. It had just enough wave to make it interesting. She fastened it back with a gold clip, thinking about the hat she would have to wear at work. Yuk. She hated hats. But the yogurt shop, from all she’d heard, was a great place to work, and she was excited to start.

1,671 Frozen Yogurt Shop Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

She would be getting a couple of uniforms today. White pants, red and white striped shirts. Not her best color, but it would have to do. She glanced at her deep brown eyes, inherited from her mom, and shrugged. The standard of California beauty, with her blond hair, was blue eyes, but oh well.

“I’m on my way to work, Mom,” Maddie sang out as she headed to the door. She paused, knowing there would be questions.

“Do you have your cell? A little money? Did you brush your tee—“

“MOM! You don’t have to ask me that any more!”

“Well, it’s your first day. It’s easy to forget things when you’re nervous. Okay, Honey, have a good day. See you at supper. We’re probably going to grill out on the patio.”

“Yup, see you later!” Maddie danced her way to the car, her very own, not an expensive new one like some of her friends had, but it would get her where she needed to be. The main reason her parents got it for her was so no one would have to take her back and forth to work.

Traffic was light in their small town. Maddie was glad for that. Heavy traffic made her nervous. It took her only 15 minutes to pull into the employee parking slot. Gathering her small bag and her keys, she smoothed down her sky-blue tee and walked into the shop through the back door.

And came face-to-face with the only guy in school who gave her butterflies. He was wearing a uniform, which meant he worked here. Here, in the same yogurt shop she did.

Her heart did a somersault. She could feel the blush creeping upward from her neck to her hairline. She SO wished she could be one of those cool, self-possessed girls who pulled that same reaction from the guys! Not her, though. No, she stood there with her teeth in her mouth, with no words to say to this amazing guy she had crushed on since she was in 7th grade and he was in 8th. And he’d never, ever once noticed her or even looked her way. She’d kept her secret to herself, not trusting any of her friends to keep their mouths shut and certainly not willing to suffer the embarrassment of knowing he knew. She figured it was hopeless, and now here she was, face-to-face with the one guy she’d ever cared about.

Brady grinned. “Hey! They told me a new girl was starting today. I guess I’m your trainer for the next couple of days, so we’ll be spending a lot of time together. You ready to go to work? Oh, you can put your stuff in this locker. There’s a combination lock on it, but you still probably shouldn’t bring a lot of money here. And no cells while you’re working, so you can either store it here or just turn it off if you want to keep it with you. But seriously, no calls. You’ll get only one warning. The second time, you’re fired! They’re pretty uptight about that. Older people, you know. They just don’t see why we’re so glued to our phones. But I’m running off at the mouth. You ready?”

“Sure. Be right there.” Maddie was thankful that her voice hadn’t come out in a squeak. She stored her things, including her phone, in the locker. She quickly memorized the combination, then followed Brady out into the shop. This early in the day, it was quiet, only a couple of people enjoying their cups of frozen yogurt at the little tables in the front of the store.

“Okay, first, I guess we need to say our names. I’m Brady, You?”

“Maddie.”

“We go to the same school, right? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you before.”

“If you’re at the high school, yeah, we do.” What a liar she was, thought Maddie. Of course she knew they were at the same school. She even knew where his locker had been the previous year, and what homeroom he’d had. He, on the other hand, had no idea who she was.

I’ll be a junior this fall. You’re not in my class, or I’d know you.”

“Sophomore,” she responded quickly. She didn’t like to talk about school with kids she didn’t know. They seemed to get the idea she thought she was, like, superior or something because of her grades. So she just didn’t go there.

“Okay, well, maybe we’ll bump into each other when school starts up again. In the meantime, let me show you where things are, and how to work the machines. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it.”

The owner/manager came in while Brady was explaining things, and greeted them both. She was pleasant, but not chatty. Business, all business. “Did you tell Maddie about the phone rule, Brady?” was all she said. When Brady indicated that he had, she nodded and went into her office.

“Wow,” said Maddie.

“Yeah, but she’s cool,” said Brady. “Just not a talker, which is fine with me.”

The six-hour shift went by fast, and Maddie’s head was full of all she’d learned. While she finished wiping down a couple of tables, Brady said, “Tomorrow, I’ll let you take orders and run the register, I’ll be right there if you have any trouble, but the more you can do on your own, the faster you’ll get it. See you then!” And he ducked out to the back and was gone before Maddie rinsed out her rag and hung it up to dry. She smiled and waved at the kids who had come in to do the next shift, and made her own exit.

*******************

(This story is growing, so I’m going to let it “be continued.” Maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday 🙂 )

***********************

Part Two

Brady backed his old beater of a Ford out of his spot, catching a glimpse of Maddie as she exited through the back door. ”What a hottie,” he smiled to himself. “Why haven’t I ever got up the courage to talk to her before? All these years, and she doesn’t know I even exist. Well, karma must be in my favor. So cool that we’ll be working together all summer. I’ll get to know her a little, then maybe asker out.”

Maddie had no idea what a hot topic she was with the guys in school. She never flirted. She never came on to anyone.She was such a knockout, they couldn’t figure out why she kept her distance. They knew she was a brainiac, and for some of the guys, that was a deal-breaker. No guy wanted to date a girl who was smarter than he was, right? Still, Maddie was a babe. Some of the guys dared each other to approach her, ask her out, but no one ever did it. Something about her, like some kind of weird force-field or something, kept them from getting another closer than “Hi, how ya doin’?” To which she always smiled, said she was cool, and that was the end of it.

Brady had watched her since he was in 8th grade. He’d first noticed her when they were both in junior high band. He played trumpet, she played flute. She’d never looked his way, always concentrating on her music or chatting with the girls. She was the center of a whole bevy of girls. Cutting her out of the herd was next to impossible. He’d watched her change year by year, from skinny to–well–curvy; from cute to beautiful, from shy to confident. Four years, and Brady, big shot quarterback starter this coming fall, chased by every other girl he could think of, hadn’t worked up the courage to approach her.

✓ Best friends teen girls at sunset in the city filtered image image &  stock photo. 216131014

When the other guys started talking about her in the locker room, he shut down. It made him furious when they talked down about her, each guy wanting to believe he’d be the one to break through and take her out. They all gave each other these big shot, knowing grins, as if they had the inside track. Made him want to break some jawbones. Brady had been taught better than to participate in these trashy conversations, and he’d gotten out of there faster than any of the others. He felt protective of Maddie, for no legitimate reason whatsoever.

His drive home was filled with thoughts of spending the whole summer working with her, getting to know her, maybe going out a few times. Well, maybe. If he could man up and ask her, and not be such a dork.

********************

“Mom, I’m home!” Maddie called out as she hung her key on their own hook.

“Hi, Honey! How did it go?”

“It was great. I learned lots of stuff, how to work the machines, where all the toppings and fruit and sprinkles are, how to fill the trays. It wasn’t busy, so it was a good day to start. I think I’m going to like it, Mom.”

“Well, I’m really glad to hear that. Listen, if you want change clothes, go do that. I could use your help getting supper under way.”

“Sure, I’ll be back down in just a few minutes.” As she ran up the stairs, Maddie’s mind was full of her day with Brady. She wouldn’t mention him to Mom, because she would totally freak out. She was dying for Maddie to have her first boyfriend, but at the same time she was a protective mama bear. Weird. So Maddie had learned just not to mention any guys, and things went nice and smooth that way.

Supper was fresh fish from the lake, with a big salad and fresh garden veggies, along with Mom’s homemade dinner rolls. Great food, and the weather was perfect. Maddie relaxed, listening with one ear to her parents chatting about this and that. Her mind, however, was all on Brady. At least she knew she’d see him, talk to him tomorrow. She thought about how tall he’d grown since 8th grade; how broad his shoulders were. He’d started getting some dark fuzz along his jaw and upper lip, which she thought was very cool. His hair was dark, curling a little behind his ears and along the back of his neck. He had the California blue eyes she wished she had, kind of like they had a light source of their own. He had a great smile, especially now that he was done with his braces. He was athletic, something she admired, and she was pretty sure he was a good student. What girl wouldn’t feel lucky to be working with such a great guy all summer? And she loved his voice. Deep, strong, resonant. She thought he was probably a good singer. Maybe she’d get to find out.

Maddie was up bright and early the next day, eager to get back to the yogurt shop. She didn’t have to decide what to wear now that she had her uniforms. She pulled her hair into a high pony tail and pulled it through the opening in the back of her hat. Not much makeup–a little lip gloss, a tiny touch of mascara. The butterflies were beginning to wake up in her stomach as the time came for her to leave for work.

They met in the parking lot. Brady’s smile seemed relaxed and easy, and Maddie tried for the same effect. “Hey, Maddie. You ready to learn the menu, register, and all that?”

“I guess so. Kind of nervous. It seems like a lot to learn in just one day.”

“No, don’t worry,” Brady assured her as they walked to the door of the shop. “No one expects you to have it all down perfect today. It takes a little time and practice. I had a hard time the first day on the register, Poor girl who trained me must have thought I was a total moron. You’ll be fine.” He held the door for Maddie, having no idea at all how impressed she was with his good manners.

The day flew by. She messed up; he helped her sort it out. She was embarrassed; he laughed it off. Gradually, things seemed more familiar, and as her confidence grew, she relaxed. Soon the two of them were laughing together, at ease with each other, and Maddie felt she’d found her groove.

Just before her shift was over, a group of girls came giggling through the door and made a beeline for Brady. Their flirting was, in Maddie’s opinion, more than a little embarrassing. When Brady tried to send a couple of them to Maddie to take their orders, they cooed and batted their lashes and said silly things like, “Oh, Brady, we came to see YOU!”

Silly girls beauty and the beast - moabcelticfestival.org

One of them broke away from the herd. She sauntered to Maddie’s station, smiling but not really. “So, when did you start working here? Maddie, right?”

“Yesterday. And you’re Shelly, right?”

“Right.” Shelly leaned in, practically nose to nose, and whispered, “You keep away from Brady! He’s MINE! Get it? Don’t make me warn you again! Hands off!” She spun away back to Brady’s station, leaving an astonished Maddie gaping after her. None of the girls ordered anything, and soon they were leaving. Shelly turned back to Brady, gave him a slow under-the-eyelids look, and said, “Give me a call, Brady.”

Once the door had closed behind them, Brady shook his head and turned to Maddie with a very red face. “I heard what she said to you. It’s not true. We’ve never gone out, and I never would want to. She’s trouble, and she had no right to say what she did. You okay? She didn’t say anything else, did she?”

“I’m fine. And no, she didn’t. Good grief! That was, like totally embarrassing! “

“Don’t give it another thought. She changes guys like most girls change shoes. You know, pick a guy to go with your outfit,” Brady grinned. “Seriously, she’s not worth another thought. So–you ready to clean up and check out?”

“Yes. Definitely. I need to check my schedule before I go. My folks want to know when I’ll be working next week.”

“No problem. I can tell you that, anyway. You start this same shift four days next week. You have Wednesday free. Saturday hasn’t been scheduled, and you’re not on the Sunday schedule either.”

“Oh! Well, um, thanks for checking for me. . .”

“I just happened to notice that we’re on the same schedule next week. That happens when someone new is being trained in. They try to keep you with the person who got you started. So–see you Monday?”

“Monday. Have a good weekend, Brady.”

*****************

(Part 3 coming up. I honestly have no idea where this is going, but it’s been fun to write it and find out 🙂 )

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Part Three

The days went flying by. Maddie and Brady worked many shifts together, and became comfortable being together. When Brady finally asked her for a date, it was easy to say, “Sure, I’d love to.” After that, it was a weekly event. They went to summer league baseball games between the hometown team and other towns in the area. They went to concerts in the park, and movies in the park, and the swimming pool in the park. Finally, Maddie invited him to come swimming off their dock, and they had a great time with her family. They took long walks, sharing things with each other that they’d never shared with anyone else.

Maddie’s girlfriends were crazy supportive, wanting to hear every minute of each date. One day, though, they warned her that Shelly was making all kinds of threats, and that Maddie needed to be careful. Shelly didn’t come back into the shop again, at least not when Maddie was there. Life was too good to worry about mean girls!

School opened after Labor Day. Maddie and Brady had spent the day at her place, with her family and other friends, and enjoyed fireworks as darkness closed in. It had been the best summer ever. All the same, Maddie looked forward to the school year, anticipating her AP classes. She didn’t expect to see as much of Brady once football got under way, but they still did most of their shifts together at the shop.

At the end of the first week of school, Maddie was at her locker, organizing her weekend homework, when someone grabbed her arm and slammed it up against the locker. She whirled, and found herself facing a very angry Shelly. Her squad of followers stood in a half circle, grinning in anticipation.

Girls facing off. Photo from 123RF(r)

“I TOLD you to stay away from Brady. I TOLD you he’s mine! I TOLD you hands off, and I TOLD you not to make me warn you again! Now it’s payday, Maddie!” And Shelly swung hard, with an open palm, smacking Maddie’s face while pulling her hair with her other hand.

She hadn’t anticipated Maddie’s strength, or her training in Tae Kwon Do. For the first time ever, Maddie was using her knowledge to protect herself, and doing so effectively. Screaming girls surrounded them, joined quickly by guys who enjoyed watching a girl-fight. It didn’t take long for a couple of teachers and the principal to enter the battle, hauling the two girls apart. Shelly, breathing hard, shouted, “SHE started it! She HIT me! She’s CRAZY!” and she started to cry like a baby when one of her pals handed her a tissue to blot her bloody lip.

“Is this true, Maddie?” asked Principal Tucker.

“No! She slapped me, pulled my hair, and I fought back. She’s lying.”

An uproar of voices rose, and Principal Tucker had to wait for it to settle down. Then, to Maddie’s relief, a strong, deep voice rose over the crowd. “Mr. Tucker, Shelly has threatened Maddie before. Shelly seems to think she has some kind of relationship with me, and it’s not true. Maddie and I have been dating for a couple of months. Maddie doesn’t lie, not even to protect herself.”

There was a general murmur of agreement, except for Shelly and her fan club. Mr. Tucker hushed them all, and took the two girls to his office. He had them wait outside his office, where they faced off in silence, while he phoned both sets of parents. While they waited for the parents to arrive, Principal Tucker had Maddie to her story to the vice principal, while he and Shelly went into his office.

Shelly’s mom and dad got there first, glancing at Maddie, showing no expression as they entered Mr. Tucker’s office. Maddie’s parents came in soon after, and Mr. Tucker invited the parents to stay while the girls waited outside his office. Again, Maddie and Shelly were silent. Shelly let a tear fall now and then, while Maddie could feel the burn on her cheek where Shelly had slapped her.

Soon, Mr. Tucker called the girls into his office. “Do either of you two young ladies want to change anything in your statements about what happened?” he asked. Both Maddie and Shelly shook their heads no.

“All right, then it seems we have to call in some witnesses. Maddie, we won’t be calling Brady; and Shelly, we won’t be talking to any of your group. We’ll call in some kids who are not involved with either of you, and what we learn from them will decide our course of action. I will warn you that, obviously, one of you is lying. It will go harder for you because of the lie. You need to think about that. Now, because it’s Friday, I’m not going to suspend either of you until we get to the bottom of this. All right, you may go. I want to thank both sets of parents for coming in, and for being so supportive of my desire to find the truth. I’ll be talking to you again next week, after we do some student interviews.”

Maddie felt sick. She’d never been involved in anything like this before, and she felt shamed and humiliated even though she’d done nothing more than defend herself. She glanced at Shelly as they headed to their cars, but Shelly wasn’t looking up at anyone.

It was a quiet weekend. Brady called, but work and football were going to keep them from spending any time together. Maddie focused on her homework, and some assigned reading for AP Literature.

She dressed carefully on Monday, wanting to look like herself but quiet, nothing to attract attention. Brady met her on the sidewalk as she neared the building. “You doing all right, Maddie? I wish they’d talk to me about what happened! Everybody’s talking about it, and most of them agree that Shelly started it. I can’t believe she would take it this far. It’s just crazy!”

“I’m fine, Brady. You know they can’t talk to you–you’re prejudiced!” she joked.

They were quickly surrounded by friends, both hers and Brady’s, and they talked and laughed as they entered the building.

Shelly and her friends, on the other hand, were very quiet. No giggling, no flirting. Shelly’s eyes were red and bloodshot, and Maddie almost–not quite, but almost–felt sorry for her. She was very surprised when the whole group approached her at her locker, and she was glad Brady had seen them and was coming toward them in a hurry.

But Shelly wasn’t aggressive. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She couldn’t quite make herself look at Maddie, so she aimed her eyes just over Maddie’s shoulder. “I–um–I talked to Mr. Tucker after everyone else left on Friday. I told him what really happened. He says I have to apologize to you. He even told me what I have to say, so here it is: Maddie, I’m sorry I threatened you. I’m sorry I hit you and pulled your hair. I’m sorry I lied. Okay? Are we good now?” By this time, Shelly was gulping for breath, tears flowing, her face flaming. Maddie actually did feel kind of sorry for her.

“Yes, we’re okay, Shelly. I hope I didn’t hit you too hard.”

“Well, if I’d known you could do that Kung Fu stuff, I probably wouldn’t have started anything,” Shelly said, and finally there was the hint of a smile in her eyes. “You’re pretty good.”

“It’s fun! You should try it. New classes are starting next week.”

The first period bell rang, and they dispersed to various classes. Some of Shelly’s friends dared to glance at Maddie and offer timid smiles. Maddie smiled back.

Brady tugged her pony tail. “You’re a good kid, Maddie. You handled all that like a pro.”

And Maddie floated on a cloud to her first class.

The End

Trick or Treat

Daily Prompt: Horror

(A masked stranger appears at your front door with a knife.

******************

Stella was startled at the knock on her front door. It was late, almost midnight. It was very cold outside. She’d been on her way to bed, wearing her favorite warm pajamas and fuzzy slippers. She’d just finished creaming her face when she heard the knock.

BAMBAMBAM! It repeated, just as loud.

Uneasy, she scooted into her bedroom and snatched her pistol from the nightstand drawer. She unlocked the safety, chambered a round, and turned off all the inside lights as she made her way to the door. She flipped on the porch light, and was instantly thankful for the fan-shaped window at her eye-level.

Someone–a man? It was hard to tell–wearing a hood that left nothing exposed except for his eyes, visible through the slits in the hood. When Stella called out, “Who is it? What do you want at this time of night?” se heard no response. Again, three loud, fist-pounding raps on the door.

Dangerous hooded man holding knife. A dangerous hooded man standing in the dark and holding a shiny knife. Face can not be seen stock photography

“I’m not going to open my door until you identify yourself and tell me what you want. And take off that hood! You think I’m just going to open my door and invite you in for tea?”

Stella was terrified, but she wouldn’t let it show. No way would she open her door. “I have a gun, and I know how to use it!”

“Open up, you foolish woman! I’ll get in another way if you don’t.” The voice was raspy, deep, and scary.

Stella made sure the deadbolt was in place. Still operating in the dark, she made her way to her cell phone where she’d left it by her favorite chair. Hands shaking, she picked it up and punched 9-1-1. It rang once, then again, and then went silent. At the same time, a window from the kitchen area shattered, and she knew someone was in the house.

She tried the phone again. “It won’t work,” growled the Voice. It’s disabled. Now, just stay where you are and I won’t hurt you too much,”

Stella raced to the front door, fumbled at the deadbolt. Her fingers were shaking and sweaty, and slipped off the knob just as a very strong arm came around her neck. He pulled her tight against his chest, pinning her left arm. She felt the prick of a sharp blade under her ear.

“Don’t be stupid,” growled the Voice. “We need to chat, you and I. You can’t —“

“Boom!” Stella’s gun went off as she pulled the trigger, aiming the best she could with her gun hand caught between them, and the Voice screamed. And screamed. He pushed away from her, falling to the floor, cradling his right leg just above his shattered knee. The knife went sliding under the sofa. Stella figured that was a good place for it.

Keeping her gun pointed steadily at the intruder, she squatted down out of his reach while he writhed in agony. “If you make a move I don’t like, I’ll shoot the other knee, you jerk.”

She got up, walked behind him, and yanked on his hood. He looked up at her, fury in his eyes and agony all over his face. “You didn’t need to do that, Stella. I was just having a little fun with you.” He groaned when she walked around and kicked his wounded leg. She kicked it again, for good measure, and brought tears to his eyes.

” I can’t believe you,” she yelled. “What a filthy rotten thing to do! There’s something WRONG with you! And you and I? We’re done, you hear? DONE!

She went to the front door, unlocked the deadbolt, opened the door wide. She went back and grabbed him by his hair, pulling him behind her while he kicked with his good leg, screaming and begging. She got him out the door, rolled him off her porch.

“Aren’t you going to help me? You can’t leave me like this!” he cried.

“Yes, I certainly can. Go have fun. You’ve earned it.”

She slammed the door behind her, went back upstairs and picked up her landline. It buzzed. Good, he hadn’t disabled it, just her cell. She called 9-1-1 again, made her report and then put on a robe. As she went back down the stairs, she heard the siren.

Stupid guy. What a way to end a relationship.

It’s ALL Right Here!

Writing Prompts: Travel and Adventure

(What culture interests you the most?)

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There are many places I’d like to see, speaking from a purely historic and/or scenic perspective. The reality, though, is that I’m never going to be a world traveler. I’m 74, a little late to be starting, and especially with my cranky old back to take into account.

But here’s another reality: Just about every culture that I’m interested in can be found right here in the USA!

For instance, I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish. We live maybe 1 1/2 hours from one Amish community, a lovely drive. We’ve stayed overnight in a B&B run and owned by a couple who are Mennonite Amish. We went to church with them, and were invited to enjoy a meal with them at one of the members’ farm. What a treat! We asked lots of questions, learned lots of things about their way of life, and we ate some of the best food you could find anywhere. All within two hours of home!

Off the grid in Amish country - Los Angeles Times

If we go north, we could land in New York City. There are SO many neighborhoods there! Irish, Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish, Chinese and more. You pick a culture you’d like to know more about, you can find people who will be happy to talk with you about food, customs, religious beliefs, and especially why they came to America.


Go back south toward the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, and you’ll come across people whose lineage goes back to Scotland, England and Ireland. Some are not open to talking with strangers, but others are open and just as curious about you as you are about them. We took a dirt road nearly to the top of a mountain years ago, and met an older man who was digging along the roadside. He leaned on his shovel and talked with my husband for quite some time. We could hear kitchen noises coming from his cabin, but “his woman” never peeped out the window or the door. I love their music.

In The Mountains Of Georgia, Foxfire Students Keep Appalachian Culture  Alive : NPR
But Did You Know...Appalachian Music & Virginia's Mountain Towns -  Virginia's Travel Blog

If you go farther south, you could land in New Orleans. There, you could meet descendants of the original Cajuns, whose cooking is wonderful. Some of them live right over the water, literally–cabins built on stilts. You would also meet descendants of slaves, all over the South, as well as north, east west–you can find communities that have been created by those who went west on wagon trains, or just stayed on the plantations on which they were born, making a living, just barely. Many became sharecroppers, always a risky business. Lots to learn from all of them, if they’ve been told about their ancestry.

Cajun Swamp House | Louisiana swamp, Swamp, Bayou house
A Bayou house near New Orleans

And speaking of west, you can meet some of the most laid-back people ever in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho. Lots of the people out West have lineages back to Norway and Sweden, and have ancestors who came to America to farm because they’d heard about the rich soil and that land was literally dirt cheap. Some of them may have started in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. Of course, you also have Indian reservations out West, and you can learn a lot of history from those who have ancestry that extends back into the mists of time.

Iowa Farm Scene - Balltown Overlook | Iowa farms, Iowa farmland, Farm scene
Iowa farm country, near Balltown Overlook
Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings | Mesa Verde National Park | Durango, CO
Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings (Colorado)

You may say, “Well, what about. . . . . . ” and list a whole bunch of places I haven’t mentioned. America is truly a melting pot, and we have a wealth of cultures right here, if we want to go looking and are willing to try to get people to talk with us. Generally, we have found that if you are genuine in your interest, people will respond well and you can leave with a whole new understanding of what makes up this great nation.

I don’t have to travel the world to learn about culture. I just have to open my eyes and my heart and take a good look at my own country to find a wealth of knowledge that is different from my own.

Another Eve

Writing Prompts: Sci-Fi

(Your wife is a droid.)

Gunnar was, without a doubt, brilliant. World-famous for his coding acumen, he’d worked on just about every kind of tech platform imaginable.

One day, he and several co-workers were chatting around the water cooler. Gunnar was happily single, and the rest of his buddies were married. They wanted him to join their blissful club.

“Only if I get to program her,” he joked. And everyone laughed–except for the lovely new secretary who heard their chatter as she walked by. She stopped in her tracks, turning to look at the men, who had grown visibly uncomfortable. They checked their phones, their watches, their fingernails. All but Gunnar, whose back was to Brianna.

Gunnar, blissfully unaware of the eye-daggers piercing his back, began to describe exactly what he thought of as the perfect woman. “Gorgeous, of course. Long, wavy dark hair. Big brown eyes, like Bambi. Dimples. Not too thin. I like curves. Most important, she’s sweet and compliant. She won’t ever argue with me because I’m going to make her myself. She’ll be programmed to agree with everything I say.”

Beautiful Young Woman Image & Photo (Free Trial) | Bigstock

Brianna moved quietly away, shaking her head at his nonsense. But Gunnar was on a roll. He began thinking about creating his own droid, perfectly fitting his own imagination. He knew people who could make those ideas come true.

Ah, but her CPU! THAT would be all his to create! He could hardly wait to get home and begin outlining his plans on his own equipment. The more he thought about it, the more excited he became. His creation would far surpass any human female. She’d be brilliant, like he was. She’d be sweet, agreeable, never arguing or contradicting him.

The work was painstaking, detailed, and at times exhausting. He talked to his mom and sisters, probing their reactions to being commanded to do anything. He figured out how to program his droid, whose name, he decided, would be Eve, to accept his commands without question. He tested, retested, and tested again. There wouldn’t, couldn’t, be any bugs or glitches. She had to be firewalled against any and all attempts to hack into her and discover her coding.

He thought about things that were foreign to him: Emotions, feelings. He did want Eve to care for him, but figuring out how to program that was a conundrum. When he went too far, Eve began to express ideas, of all things! She didn’t need to have ideas! So he backed up and started over on that sequence of programming, installing only positive emotions, and requiring that they all be directed only to himself.

She was nearly finished. Time to take her out for a trial run. Her body was perfect. It was impossible to tell she was a robot. Her movements were smooth and natural. Watching her, he realized he’d forgotten about putting expressions on her face. Well, back to the drawing board on that one, but in the meantime, just for kicks, he decided to take her to work and introduce her to the guys.

She was stunning! His co-workers were amazed. How had he kept his girlfriend a secret for so long? But wait! She was almost a dead ringer for Brianna!

Just as that statement was uttered, Brianna herself came walking by. When she saw Eve, she stopped and stared. Gunnar wanted to sink through floor. He truly hadn’t realized he’d modeled Eve to look so much like Brianna, and he was completely embarrassed. But he gathered his wits and made the introductions.

Brianna said, “Well, they say everyone has a double, and I guessI just met mine! Nice to meet you, Eve. How long have you and Gunnar been a couple?”

Eve stared blankly, looking for a response. Brianna watched Eve’s eyes, wondering why there was so little in them. No emotion, no sparkle, no excitement at being introduced to Gunnar’s friends. Hmm.

Eve finally spoke. “We have been working for over one year.”

Brianna gazed at Gunnar’s red face, saw the beads of sweat on his upper lip. She thought about his comment over a year ago about programming the perfect woman.

“Well, Gunnar. It looks as if you’ve created your perfect, ideal wife. Never argues, does she? As long as you’re with her, she’ll do as she’s told. Should be interesting, though, to see what happens when you send her out of the house on an errand and she runs into something you haven’t thought to prepare her for.”

“Won’t happen. I’ve though of everything. She’s perfect, flawless. She’ll always do as I say!”

“Yeah, the perfect woman. You’re just like God, Gunnar. He created Eve, too. How’d that work out for Him?” Grinning broadly, she waited for his response.

“Wait, that’s not a valid comparison! God gave His Eve a human brain, human emotions, the will to decide! No wonder she went wrong! MY Eve doesn’t have any choices!”

“You need to think about that, Gunnar. You really do!” Shaking her head, Brianna went on her way.

There was silence around the water cooler.

Dragon’s Tale of a Tail

Writing prompts: Young Adult

(It’s your first day of middle school. But when you’re half human, half dragon, that makes things a little tough.)

Doogie was tense. New school, new kids, new teachers. He’d been accepted just fine in elementary, where even the teachers thought he was kinda cool.

Bharatiya jyotish mantra saadhana .: Ketu ( Dragon tail) in various houses  and its effe... | Dragon tail, Dragon, Dragon drawing

He was glad, at least, that it was his top half that was human. He probably wouldn’t be able to make it in school if the first thing everyone saw was a dragon head!

Really, there were always mean kids to deal with. Usually he could just turn and take a swipe at them with his tail, and it would shut them down. But junior high kids? Holy cow, they were vicious! They tended to follow a mean-mouthed leader, and ganged up on their Victim du Jour with great glee.

He just knew he would be that victim. Daily.

Well, time to bite the bullet. He stopped and thought, “I wonder where that phrase came from?” So he googled it, and discovered that it’s what they used to do before anesthesia. Some poor soldier would get his leg or arm all mangled, and the doctor would give him a bullet to bite on before he sawed off the injured limb. “Didn’t want him to scream, I guess,” thought Doogie. “Shoot, just the idea of getting something sawed off would knock ME out!”

Sighing, he grabbed his new book bag, his lunch, and popped his cap onto his head. Deep breath, shoulders back, GO.

He walked to school, only a couple of blocks away. It wasn’t long before a gang collected behind him, as he had known it would, mocking and making snotty comments. Well, he could let the comments slide off his scaly behind and down his tail. Pretty soon, though, he’d have to face the threats and the big bully who would dare to touch him. Not a good way to start his first day in a new school. He suspected that a lot of it would be spent in the principal’s office, along with the angry, weeping bully. Man, he hated this!

Sure enough, Mongo soon stood in front of him. Doogie didn’t know what his name was yet, but “Mongo” popped into his head because the kid was huge. Tall, thick-bodied, his face squinched up in pretend confusion, his eyes sparkling with glee, he put out his meaty hand and put it on Doogie’s chest, pushing at him. His posse gathered around, eager for blood.

“Hey, Dragon Boy, whatcha think yer doin’ in our neighborhood? No half-n-halfs allowed here, Dragon Boy!” His posse snickered, waiting for more.

Doogie shrugged away from Mongo’s hand, sidestepped and kept moving forward.

“HEY! DB! I’m talkin’ to YOU, boy! I didn’t say you could leave!”

Doogie kept walking, waiting, knowing what was coming. He’d be glad to get it over with.

“DRAGON BOY! Yer not even wearin’ PANTS! No nekkid Dragon-Boys allowed!”

Doogie kept walking. His side vision was unusually good, being half-dragon, and he waited until Mongo disappeared from his sight. Then, winding up for a good one, he lashed out with his tail and sent Mongo flying, along with his posse. He enjoyed the satisfying whumps as they all landed.

Of course, they were close enough to the school now to be noticed, and it was just a few seconds before a couple of red-faced, puffing teachers came running up. They were mad at Doogie, of course, because, well, dragon tail. Not a fair fight.

“How dare you! You can’t go using your tail like a club! Come with us to the principal’s office!”

Doogie stood stock still. His tail made him heavy, and the teachers, each grabbing one of his human arms, couldn’t budge him.

“Just wait a minute,” said Doogie. “I’ll come with you, but you need to know that big kid shoved me before I send him tumbling. He’s not hurt, just embarrassed. It’ll prob’ly do him good, you know. He’s a bully.”

“That’s a LIE!” shouted Mongo, brushing off his pants. Bright red in the face, he advanced on Doogie. “HE started it! It’s not MY fault!”

Doogie shrugged. “Touch me again, man, and you’re going to take another fall. Your choice.”

The irate teachers got Doogie moving (at least, that’s what THEY thought), and grabbed Mongo as well.

“Hey, you can’t touch me! Child abuse!” yelled Mongo, shrugging off the teacher’s hand. “I ain’t goin’ to nobody’s office! Can’t make me!”

So Doogie went alone to face the music, knowing exactly what would happen.

He fought off the urge to whack the teachers with his tail, but if he was going to make it through this school year, he had to have some backup from the principal. And when he saw the principal’s wings, he figured it was going to go just fine.

Icarus Reborn

Writing prompts: General fiction

Prompt: You’re chasing your dream of being the first person to fly.

Icarus Reborn

Abra was often frustrated by the requisite female wardrobe. Yards of skirts, flounced and frilled, bustled and crinolined to the point of ridiculous. Sleeves, poofed at the top, tight to the wrist. Bodices buttoned to the chin, too tight for taking a deep breath. No wonder, Abra snorted, females carried smelling salts. They were always fainting from lack of air! And hats! Mercy! She hated all of it, longed for the freedom her brothers had to run, jump, roll, tussle, and even ride a horse astride instead of the uncomfortable sidesaddles a lady had to use. One shouldn’t ever hint that a lady had two legs, after all! And they weren’t legs. They were limbs. Bah!

Gibson girls.

Someday, she determined, she would set aside all the stuffy silliness and set herself free of restraint. She’d soar like an eagle! Wait—soar? Fly! That’s it! she would rid herself of all the fabric that surrounded her like a cage, and she would FLY!

She dreamed of it all through her childhood, her “young adult” status, and finally attained her majority, as the saying went. She turned 21, and decided it was time to put her dreams into action.

Of course, she had to become a male in order to gain her goal. No one would be interested in helping a young female who was stepping out of her proper position, but a young male would be considered daring, and would be given respect even if he was a lunatic who thought he could fly.

So she whacked off her heavy long hair. She concealed her feminine appearance as best she could with loose shirts, loose trousers. She flattened her already small breasts with strips of linen. It was her good fortune to have a slight build, not richly curved as was the fashion for women–thus the silly bustles!

Her shocked and indignant parents looked on in dismay, fearing their only daughter would never meet a marriageable gentleman, but they chalked it up to a female fantasy, hoping she would settle down and find her place among other young women her age.

What they didn’t know was that she slipped out every night and found her way to an abandoned garage, where she meet her best childhood friend. He was a young man just about her age, and he was as enthusiastic about flying as she was. Her male appearance? He found it amusing, and enjoyed her daring spirit.

They had agreed that building wings to be strapped on their backs was not a good plan. Horace had read the classics, and didn’t care to be the new Icarus. They considered balloons, but others were already doing that. Besides, the garage wasn’t big enough to accommodate such an endeavor.

They finally decided that they needed a flying machine, one that could be powered by an engine fueled similarly to the new horseless carriages. They spent hours studying those machines, learning all sorts of things that made them excellent mechanics. They began to sketch ideas, learning about materials that would keep them airborne once they managed to rise from the ground. They learned about wings, and came up with ideas to model theirs on the feathered wings of large birds of prey.

Before daybreak, they would lock up the garage, sneaking home in time to be in bed before anyone else was awake. When Abra began to sleep well past the usual time of rising in their household, her family accepted it as just another of her many quirks.

The next time Abra and Horace met in their garage, Abra carefully approached him with an idea she hoped he would accept.

“Horace, neither of us knows how to create and build a gasoline engine. I think it’s beyond my own ability, and maybe yours as well.”

Horace, to her great relief, agreed with her. “I have a friend who loves to tinker with motors and fuel. He’s trustworthy to keep our secret, and I think he would be excited to be a part of our project. Should I invite him to meet with us tomorrow night?”

“Yes! Wonderful! I’m so relieved. I was afraid you would feel insulted,” she said.

“And I thought YOU would be insulted,” said Horace, grinning. “I guess we’re both just—smart! Smart enough to know our own limitations.”

They worked, and sweated, and planned. They scrapped one plan after the other, and all the while, their newest partner tinkered on a bench with his metal and screws and bolts and tools as he developed his own contribution to their plan. Abra found great satisfaction in doing something besides her hated embroidery! She loved stretching her brain, learning something new every night that they worked.

Her days were occupied by learning how to run a household, supervise the servants, and do all that was considered proper for a young woman not yet married to attract an appropriate suitor. The problem, of course, was that there were no appropriate suitors for a woman out of her own time period. Men found her either boring or intimidating. She seemed doomed to spinsterhood–which was perfectly acceptable to her. She would be free, without the restraint of a husband, to do what she loved.

The months passed swiftly for the three friends. Their project began to take form as they drew, measured, considered weight, weather, winds. It was agreed that Abra would sit in the driver’s seat, steering with a set of bicycle handles attached to a pipe that was attached to the mechanism for turning left or right. They didn’t concern themselves with any device to set the machine back down on the ground, trusting the limited amount of fuel to bring that about naturally.

They spent a great deal of time on the wings. The were constructed of wood that was thin but sturdy, with several small strips that were hinged to the broader wing and connected with wires, in turn connected to a control mechanism near the driver’s seat. Abra hoped to control the flaps, as they called them, to catch air currents just as the feathers on a large bird would do. The trio had spent countless hours studying birds, watching them through telescopes, to understand how they used their feathers in flight.

They were ready. The watched the weather, looking for signs of a good breeze blowing in the right direction, and for clear skies. Their excitement rose as spring weather settled down to stay. And one morning, just before dawn, they rolled their machine out of the garage and down the street to a broad field that was outside of town. There were no houses, just a wide and lengthy expanse of grassy fields. Perfect.

Of course, as they trundled their odd machine down the street, people began to follow. Not many were up and about, but as the noise of their audience increased, more and more folks popped their heads out of windows, and rapidly dressed to join the crowd. This was something new, something different. They all wondered what this odd-looking “bird” would do!

Abra had already strapped on a leather helmet, and place goggles over her eyes. She wore leather gloves, and a jacket and trousers that would keep her warm as the machine gained (she hoped!) altitude. Her heart raced with excitement. “Even if it fails,” she thought,”I’m doing something I always wanted to do!”

By the time they reached their destination, the crowd following them was large and noisy. Horace and his friend urged the people to stay back, out of the reach of any disaster that may take place. Abra took her place behind the steering device. Horace’s friend checked his engine, checked the fuel, and then cranked it just as one would crank the motor of a horseless carriage. When it caught, coughing and spluttering and then settling into a steady roar, the two men each got behind a wing and began to push the machine toward a rise that would give the machine about 20 feet of drop to the ground below once it was aloft. They had chosen the spot with care, measuring and looking for impediments which they moved out of the way.

Suddenly, Abra felt the machine leave the ground! Oh, how her heart raced! She wanted to sing for joy, laugh and dance and turn somersaults! But she had a job to do, and she paid attention. She could turn left or right, and she had to maneuver the wing flaps to catch the wind. She’d never had so much fun in her entire life!

Abra could hear the crowd below yelling and cheering. She could see them running to keep the machine in view.

When she heard the motor sputter once, then again, she knew her first flight was coming to an end. She scanned the ground below, looking for the best direction for setting her bird down safely. She felt it begin to drop, and realized that the fuel was gone. Thankful for the harness that strapped her to the seat, she did her best to make use of the wing flaps, slowing her descent a little here and there, until she felt the wheel touch the ground and bounce, touch and bounce, touch and bounce. She pulled on the lever that would brake the wheels, and the machine lurched to a stop.

The crowd was going wild! They were excited, congratulatory, gleeful to have seen such a strange event.

Abra unstrapped, climbed down, and ran to her friends. They embraced, pounding each other on the back, yelling and screaming their delight. Abra, forgetting that her hair had grown, took off the helmet and tossed it into the air, whooping with joy.

The crowd suddenly went silent. Abra turned to see what had caused them to go so quiet, and then someone shouted, “LOOK! It’s a FEMALE!”

The murmuring of the subdued crowd rose to an indignant roar. One of the men stepped forward, pointing at Abra. He hollered, “What is a woman doing in such a dangerous experiment! You should be ashamed!” He turned away, and the crowd went with him, shaking their heads and glancing back over their shoulders.

Abra and her friends stood quietly for maybe three minutes. Then, they looked at each other, grinned, and continued to celebrate their great success.

Giving Myself an Assignment :)

I’ve hit a serious dry spell. I need to get the creative juices flowing, and wouldn’t you know that as I was thinking about it, an invitation to look at 500 writing prompts to help beat writer’s block showed up in my email. How did they know? Well, what DON’T they know these days? Nothing is really private, folks, so be careful, little tongue, what you say. Especially if you have an Alexa, as I do, or some other gadget that can rat you out. Big Brother has become an e-reality.

Anyway, I won’t promise something every single day, like Sunday will probably be a day off. There are several categories, so this is the first prompt from the first category: Mystery and Thriller.

(You find strange, muddy footprints leading up to your front door.)

Who’s There??

Darla struggled with her bags, purse, and keys. She tried to arrange things so that she could put her key into the lock on her front door without dropping everything. Just one of the problems you learn to solve when you live alone–especially when it’s raining like the biblical Flood, and you don’t want to make a second trip.

She splashed up the sidewalk from the curb, not paying attention to much beyond getting inside where it was warm and dry. Glancing down, she noticed footprints that seemed to come from around the side of the house. Big, mucky, sloppy footprints. Up her steps. But NOT back down. What? Who–where on earth–

Footprint on wet street

She stood stock still, realizing that the only place those footsteps could go was inside her little house. The door was shut tight. There was no clear damage. No broken windows.

Her heart started ramping up, her fingers holding the keys shaking and her stomach churning. “Someone is inside. Waiting for me. Can’t go in there. What. . . .I know!”

She turned around and unlocked her car, dumping everything into the back seat. She rummaged for her phone, pulled it out of her purse, and with shaking fingers managed to punch in 9-1-1. As it rang, a shadow covered her window.

Terrified, Darla punched the door locks. She couldn’t tell if whatever was out there was friend or foe, and she was afraid to look.

Whoever it was, the person started banging on her window, yelling. She refused to put the window down. The yelling continued, and finally there was a response on her 9-1-1 call.

“HELP! I need help! There’s a large person banging on my car window! Yelling! I saw big, muddy footprints going up the steps to my front door, but not back down. Please help me!”

“Ma’am, I’ve put in a call to the police. Someone should be there in just a short time. Do NOT open your window!”
“But I didn’t give you my address! How do you know where to send the police?”

“Your phone has a GPS that pinpoints your location, Ma’am. Can you start your car and move away from the person at your window?”

“Yes, sure! But don’t I have to be here when the police arrive? Whoever is out there isn’t going to stand around and wait!”

Darla worked hard to keep from hysterics. The banging and yelling hadn’t stopped, and she was certain her window would be broken soon. She touched her brakes and her ignition button. There was no one parked in front of her, so she pulled forward and to her left, giving the car a little gas before she took off, checking that there were no cars coming up behind her.

Whoever it was out there, he (it had to be a “he,” or an unusually large woman!) grabbed her side mirror as she pulled away. She was sure he would break it off! She kept going, though, determined to escape.

She heard the CRACK! as the side window was broken off her car, and then she heard an ominous THUD! She glanced into her rear vision mirror and saw a heap on the ground, but nothing else. And then, to her immense relief, a police car careened around a corner and pulled up beside her. An office put his window down. Before he could speak, she was talking.

“I’m so glad to see you! I made the call to 9-1-1! Footprints to my door, but not back down the stairs. Big–something–pounding on my car, he broke off the side mirror. . . . “

“Okay, Ma’am. We see what could be a man on the ground behind your car. Did you hit him?”

“What? NO! I was trying to drive away, and he grabbed my mirror, broke it off. . .I told you. . .”

“All right. Please stay in the car and wait for us to see what’s going on.” The officers stepped out of their car, pulled their weapons, and carefully approached the heap on the ground. It didn’t move, and was throughly soaked by the rain. One officer place his foot carefully on what he assumed was a shoulder, but there was no response. Squatting, he rolled the man over, felt for his pulse. “Call an ambulance! He’s alive, but his pulse is slow, hard to detect. Skin very white, blue lips. We could have a heart attack here.”

As the second officer placed the call and did what he could to make the man comfortable, the first officer motioned for Darla to lower her window. His hat dripped all over the car and on her, too.

“Ma’am, it’s hard to tell until the medics get a look at him, but I kind of think this man was looking for some help. There’s something wrong with him.”

As he spoke, Darla had an adrenaline reaction, finally dissolving into tears, shaking like a leaf from top to toe. “You mean–do you mean. . . .to say. . . .he could b-be dying? and I w-was too afraid to help h-him?”

“Ma’am, under the circumstances, you can’t blame yourself. You weren’t wrong to be afraid. We still need to figure out the footprints. Are you sure they didn’t come back down the steps?”

By this time, the ambulance had arrived, and there was a great fuss as the man was loaded onto a gurney. As they wheeled him away, the second office saw his feet. Very big feet, covered in rubber boots that were caked with mud.

He told his partner about the muddy boots, and again the first officer told Darla to wait in her car. The two policemen walked up the sidewalk, saw the prints coming around from the side of the house, up the stairs–and then followed them as they stepped in the exact same prints they had made climbing up the stairs. The print wavered in the grass, back around the side of the house. The man was dragging his feet, leaving ruts. It looked as if he’d stopped, turned around, and then made his way down to Darla’s car.

Describing what they thought had happened, they tried to reassure Darla that she was not to blame, could not be expected to notice the detail they had seen, persuaded her that she had every reason to be afraid, and that she had done the right thing.

_________________

The next day, Darla called in asking for a personal day at work. She was still tearful, and hadn’t had a very restful night. At least, though, she knew what had happened. Her neighbor from three houses down felt sick, tried to find someone at home to help him, and the rest of the story told itself.

Darla picked up a bouquet, drove to the hospital, and took the elevator up to the second floor. She was looking for his room number when a tall, hefty man came walking toward her. He was connected by his IV to a rolling cart, and had an oxygen tube in his nose.

“Mr. Carter! Oh, Mr. Carter, how can I ever tell you how sorry I am! I didn’t recognize you, I thought–I thought—“

“Darla, I understand. You had every reason to be afraid. Best thing you did was call 9-1-1. I don’t know how this would have turned out if you hadn’t.”

“So, what happened to you? Are you going to be okay?”

“Of course. My old ticker was just letting me know there was trouble. I’ll be fine. My son is coming tomorrow to take me home. . . . .say, have I ever introduced you to my son?” he said, beaming.


Alas!

The Word Press daily prompt has been discontinued.  Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t write any more.  Of course I can.  But I enjoyed those one-word prompts, and they jump-started my brain and sent it in directions  it wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

Some folks, I understand, are setting up their own daily prompts.  That’s great.  I know there are other options out there as well.  But the Word Press prompt was accompanied by a grid that allowed us to read each other’s posts, and I’ve made several friends in the process.

Well.  Life changes, as it should, but this is one change I’m truly unhappy about.

Image result for unhappy gif

 

Always Hope

Broken

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

******************

Today this word takes me right to my own self.  I never thought much about how it would be to be physically broken at this stage of my life.  Never thought it would be such an effort just to go up and down a flight of stairs, or take a short walk, or climb up on a bed.  Getting in and out of a car can be a challenge.  Partly, it’s my height.  Or, rather, lack thereof.  I’m used to having to climb up on stools and ladders to reach stuff. It continues to be slightly annoying, but it’s nothing new.

But the weakness, the slowness, the uncooperative muscles?  I wasn’t expecting that.  Not yet. Most of it is due to the back problems that started  about three years ago.  If you’ve never had serious back issues, be thankful.  And please don’t think that those who suffer are just faking it, for goodness’ sake, or using it as an excuse to get out of work. While I know there are those who do that sort of thing, most of us would LOVE to be able to put in a full day’s work without the accompanying pain and debility.

 

Image result for back pain is real

I took a lot for granted before all this mess started. Bending to pick up a baby, to make a bed, to clean a toilet or tub, to scrub a floor–never thought about it.  I had the strength and energy I needed, and I guess I just expected it would always be there.  Sure, you slow down a bit as the years go by, but I truly didn’t think that at nearly 71 I would be in this condition.  Maybe by 85 or 90.  Not yet.

But, lest I leave you on that gloomy note, I have NOT given up or given in. There is a lot that can be done to restore strength I lost while I really couldn’t move much at all. Working on it.  Hoping to improve. There’s always hope.

 

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

Life Without Wifi

Juxtapose

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

***************

 

To place next to something else for the purpose of contrast.  For instance, my two grandsons here in South Dakota are both very nearly six feet tall.  I am 4’11”  so  if I juxtapose myself between them, there is a very strong contrast 🙂

Usually, though, this is done in an artistic sense.  Placing black and white photos next to colored photos of the same subject creates interesting contrasts and comparisons.

Image result for juxtaposing black and white photos with colored photos of the same subject

This iconic photo, originally done in black and white (which I think is more effective, actually) creates a whole different sense when placed next to the colored version.

Have you ever wondered if that poor girl  was shocked out of her mind by this experience?  It is my understanding that they were complete strangers.  I don’t know, some people think this is romantic.  Not me.  I think I’d have wanted to smack him up alongside the head 🙂

Anyway.  You haven’t heard from me in a few days because we’re on vacation, and I don’t have  access to good wifi.  Ken brought me here to the library this morning so I could do some catching up.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back online. And I’m finding that, while I do miss writing my blogs, I’m able to exist quite happily without the internet 🙂

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