Discover Prompts, Day 11: Bite

Oddly, my mind just went blank.

Maybe that’s because there are so MANY directions one could take for this one-word prompt.

Let’s see. How about a bite of fiction?


Peanut butter and jelly. The ultimate American sandwich champion. For kids, at least.

Lizzy watched her ten-year-old champion eater take a huge bite of his sandwich. Grape jelly, always. Leaving a circle around his mouth, always. Which he swiped at with his arm, always. Topped off with a milk mustache, always, as he ran out the door to continue his important project of the moment. He’d be back inside within an hour, looking for cookies or an apple or whatever he could wheedle out of her. Always hungry, always on the move.

She loved him more than she had ever understood a mother could love her child.

Taking her after-lunch tea into her living room, she curled up in her reading corner. Taking a bite of her own sandwich, a much smaller bite than Jeffie would have taken, she relished the combination of salt-and-sweet. Her husband teased her about still loving her favorite childhood sandwich, but it didn’t bother her. He never turned down a pb&j, either.

Her book open on her lap, Lizzie let her mind drift to five years earlier, when Jeffie didn’t want anything at all to eat. He would pick listlessly at every tempting morsel she could create. One bite, maybe, but no more.

He was pale, losing weight, and had no energy. Finally, they took him to his pediatrician, who dropped terror into Lizzie’s heart when he referred them to a pediatric oncologist.

Lizzie didn’t dwell very long on the next couple of years. Tubes, needles, surgery, fear, cold sweat, sleepless nights, terror-driven trips to the ER. The feeding tube was unbearable to her. How she longed to see him take a huge bite of his messy sandwich, wiping the residue on his sleeve. She swore that if he survived this monster, she would never fuss at him again for wiping the jelly on his sleeve.

Children Patient Closing His Face In Hospital Bed Stock Photo ...

He did survive. He was a tough little kid, even at only five years old. He was eight before he really started to return to normal. Now, at ten, he was unstoppable. It was glorious!

And she never, ever scolded him again for wiping that last bite of pb&j off his mouth onto his sleeve.

Always Hope


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.


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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.

Don’t Take it for Granted


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Vigor.  Strength, energy, enthusiasm, stamina.

I’m going to whine a little bit, because I’m fighting the urge to let myself slide into the black hole of depression.  Let me tell you, forced inactivity is no fun. Each day that passes in which I don’t move around much reduces my vigor by a little bit more, draining me of energy and vitality. Draining me even of the desire to get up and get moving.

So I move as much as I can, until I feel that little hitch in my git-along that tells me I’d better watch it.

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I never thought I’d grow weary with reading, or watching Christmas movies on TV.

I am.  I have.

I can’t go down the basement steps to work on a project I wanted to have done for Christmas.  Terry is still carrying the load of my work:  cooking, shopping, laundry, cleaning. I love him for being so willing, but I hate it that he has to.

Last night I dreamed that I was able to get through a normal day without ticking off that little demon in my back.  I washed, cleaned, cooked, even went to my office–all in one day. And I wasn’t tired.

How sad to wake up and know it wasn’t true.

If you have vigor, and are able to do pretty much whatever you want to do, be thankful. Age and time can take that away sooner than you think.

Playful Puppy


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The puppy in my granddaughter’s life is more than playful. His personality is so energetic, playful, friendly, excitable, that his whole body wags with his permanently-wagging tail. He is so full of joy when anyone at all enters the room that he can’t contain his happiness.

He’s irresistibly cute, so you just have to bend down and pick him up. He starts twisting around to lick whatever his tongue can reach the minute he’s picked up. I hate dog tongue, so we’re having to curb that habit.

He loves necklaces.  Yesterday I was wearing a very long string of pearls that I had looped three times. His wiggly, squirmy legs and tail got caught in the loops, and I had to call for a rescue team to get us untangled. What you’ll see in the video is not our puppy, but he has some similar markings.  They’re all different, because they’re a mixed breed.

He does settle down.  He understands the word settle along with a firm tone of voice and a steady hand. But you can almost feel the energy coursing through his little body as he waits for his next opportunity to do his own unique version of the happy dance. 

He’s responding very well to my granddaughter’s training. He sits, stays, comes, on command. She has also taught him “down”, which means he’s to lie down flat. He also knows off, although he doesn’t like it one bit. He’s bred to be a lapdog, and he’s determined to get an early start on his career. He’ll also lift a paw for shake, even though he seems a little confused about why on earth he’s doing it.

I love to watch him run to chase after a toy or one of his people. He bounces.  Cutest thing.