PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

No one was at the marina except for those who lived on their boats. They were few. It was quiet. No radios blaring, no children shrieking and splashing.

Old Pete stood at his living room window, his arm pulling Etta, his wife of 50 years, into his embrace.

“When will it be over?” Etta said.

“Don’t know. It’ll be over when it’s over,” Pete replied.

“I miss everyone.”

“Yup. But there’s hope.”

“Hope? Where? You’ve always been a cockeyed optimist!”

“Not optimism. God’s promise. Don’t you see the rainbow?”

Etta sighed, leaning in. “Yes. Thanks, Pete.”


Friday Fictioneers photo prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Edelina  tended her paperwhites carefully, choosing this one way to resist the horror that swept over Germany and the world. In the bleakness of this terrible man, Adolph Hitler, she took a secret pride in tenderly caring for this delicate symbol of life.

So much death. Not just the men, the boys, who went off full of glory to be sacrificed to Hitler. The deaths in the ghettos of Poland, in the evil camps she had heard about, weighed on her heart and mind as she tended to her plants, nurturing hope.



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


Their are other words that immediately come to mind with today’s prompt.

Devastation:  The Great Depression, dust storms, grasshoppers, drought, thirst, soup kitchens, hobos, joblessness, flour sack clothing, financial poverty. BUT:  strength of spirit, hope, perserverance, charity, a fighting spirit, victory!

Image result for The Great Depression

Devastation:  War, destruction, death, greed, hatred, guns, tanks, power,  rape, terror, flight.  BUT:  Determination, hope, human inventiveness, the Underground, never giving up, courage, overcoming, victory!.

Devastation:  Domestic violence, pain, fear, love gone wrong, evil, selfishness.  BUT:  a broken spirit that revives and heals, standing for righteousness, determination, seeking help, leaving the abuser, victory!

Devastation:  A country divided, hatred, slanderous words, immoral behavior, destruction of property, fear, violence, a sense of hopelessness.  BUT:  Steadfast hearts, love overcoming hatred, working across the aisle,  determination, compromise, seeking what is best for all, victory!


What You Can’t See


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


Did you ever stop to consider the importance of so many things that we can’t see?  We know they’re out there, but we’ve never seen them. We’ve only seen the results of these things.

Air, for instance. Can’t see it, yet without it we’d be dead. We can detect differences in the air when it’s very humid, or very cold, or very windy.  We still can’t see air, but we see the results.

I spent my high school years in southern Minnesota, on the plains that provide farmers with wonderful soil and plenty of water. Rich, black earth. During plowing season, you could actually smell the earth.  There’s another unseen reality–smells. Can’t see them, but we know they’re there

Anyway, all farmers have a good weather eye. They learn to watch the sky, smell the  breeze (two things you can’t see–smells, breezes) and hurry up to get the hay in if they smell rain on the wind.

Farmer or not, you learned to watch the sky during tornado season.  There’s nothing quite like a Minnesota prairie sky just before a hailstorm  or a roaring tornado.  The roiling, boiling yellow-green clouds; the forks of lightning; the funnels that dip, recede, dip, recede as they hopscotch across the prairie. Sometimes they never touch the ground. Other times they charge across miles of prairie, crops, copses of trees, tearing up houses and barns and school buildings.  Terrifying and relentless.

You can’t see the things that are happening in the invisible air that result in these powerful storms, but you sure can see the results.

Other unseen things:  Faith. Hope. Love.  Can’t see them, but you can see their results, all around you, all the time. You just have to open your eyes.



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


Hoping for the best. Ciara  squared her shoulders, tugged her suit jacket into perfect alignment, shook off her shyness, and prepared for the most important interview she’d ever have.

Well, it was her first interview, actually, so there was nothing to compare it with yet.

“Mr. Johnstone will see you now, Miss Favery.  Just go down the hall to the last door and knock.” She paused, eyeing Hope’s expression, seeing her obvious nerves. “You’ll be fine, Honey.  Just be yourself.”

The secretary couldn’t have said anything more perfect. It gave Ciara the courage she needed to walk down that long, thickly carpeted hall.  She raised her hand to knock on the door, giving it what she hoped was the perfect balance between bold and respectful.

“Yes, come in.”  It was a strong voice. Confident. Something Ciara envied.  Confidence.

She was not the prom queen, not the head cheerleader, not the star of the class play, not the Valentine Sweetheart.  Ordinary. Not ugly, not gorgeous. Just—average. Confidence was not  something people used when describing her.  Diligent, quiet, intellectual. But not confident.

Turning the knob, she stepped into a richly decorated office. A masculine office, comfortable and warm.  Earth tones, some rather outstanding art, a breathtaking view of the city.  But what really caught your attention was the desk, and the man behind it.

Rising, he held out his hand. “Miss Favery. I’m pleased to finally meet  you. Won’t you sit down?  May I offer you something to drink?  My secretary will be happy to get you whatever you’d like.”

“Um–no, no thanks, I’m fine.”  Ciara chose the leather chair across from Mr. Johnstone’s desk, enjoying the buttery feel and the way it conformed to her body. Boy. A person could get used to this.

“Well then, let’s get right to it.  I see from your resume that you’ve just finished your master’s degree. Tell me, are you thinking of a PhD?”

She hadn’t expected the question, and was startled for just a heartbeat. Gathering her wits, she said, “No, not now, at least.  Maybe someday, depending on where my work takes me. Anthropology is a wide field, and I’d like to work for a while before I consider more education.”

“I see here that your interest in anthropology  is centered on the linguistic.”

Ciara waited a beat, then realized he was waiting for a response. “Yes. Language has always intrigued me, and the way it has developed and informed cultures down through the centuries is fascinating.”

Mr. Johstone  was quiet. He gazed at her thoughtfully, tapping  his forefinger rhythmically on his blotter. Finally he spoke. “How many languages have you studied?”

“Well, my dad was in the army, and we moved around a lot.  I speak German, French, Italian, and Spanish.  I can read Russian, and I’m presently studying  Latin and Greek.  I’d like to learn Hebrew as well–”

“That’s pretty impressive, Miss Favery. You should be quite comfortable working as a translator then, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes, I believe I would. I’m very excited at the prospect of travel and of learning other cultures firsthand.”

“How long will it take you to pack a suitcase?  I’d like to leave  on Monday, less than three days from now. We’ll be headed to Greece, so you’ll need a wardrobe for warm weather. Also something for a formal evening now and then. My secretary will give you a list of what you’ll need.”

Ciara sat in stunned silence.  Finding her voice, she said, “You mean I’m hired?  Just like that?”

“I make quick decisions Miss Favery.  I think you’ll be perfect for the job.  Don’t let me down.”





Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?


Psalm 119:165 has been my life verse for over 30 years.  It says, “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”

Especially in my work, I meet people all the time who are coming to me in search of two things:  Hope, and peace.  Hope that things can and will get better, and peace to get through whatever storm they’re walking through.  I almost always offer them this verse in the course of our work together.

How do I get a great sense of peace?  By loving the Word of God.  If I want to learn to love God’s Word, then I need to be IN the Word.  Often.   Daily.  More than once a day.  Nothing brings peace to my heart like finding some familiar passage that suddenly speaks to me in a whole new way.

What is the result of this wonderful peace?  Nothing offends me.  Nothing.

The word “offend” is also accurately translated “cause to stumble.”  If I have the peace of God’s Word to light my path, then no stone, hole, or crack is going to trip me up and cause me to fall.

Hot-tempered impulsivity was something that characterized me when I was much younger. Hurtful words would pour out of my mouth before I even knew what I was going to say.  It’s been a very long time since that happened, and I’m sure the folks who know me are thankful.  I just don’t get offended much these days, and if I do, I get over it pretty quickly.

Peace is a wonderful thing.  Living without a constant volcano of anger boiling deep inside is a wonderful thing.


Eat, Drink, and Be Merry…

…for tomorrow we die. The world is ending tomorrow! Tell us about your last dinner — the food, your dining companions, the setting, the conversation.


The table was set. Candles were lit down the center, with bouquets of roses, deeply red, filling the spaces between the candlesticks.  Music played in the background, filling the room with the richness of stringed instruments, flowing easily to trumpets, flutes, piano, and all the rest. The deep resonance of the bass was the most comforting to her as she inspected the room, making sure everything was as it should be.

There were seats for 19. Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law had been invited, and accepted the request to spend her last hours with them.

All of them were both stunned and excited. The youngest children, perhaps, didn’t have a full understanding, but they knew something very important was taking place and they were solemn as they walked into the room with their parents. The individual families ranged themselves across the table until every seat was filled.  The food was waiting on a buffet  along one wall of the room, but before plates were filled, there were things that needed to be said.

“I love you.  I have always loved you.  You mean more than life to me. Thank you for a lifetime well lived.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I forgive you.”

“I didn’t understand.”

“I know. It’s all right. It doesn’t matter any more.”

“I wish I had known more, done more, given you all more. I regret the times I was selfish.”

“You weren’t selfish. We all knew you did the best for us, the best you could, the best you knew. We’re grateful.”

“This is not goodbye, you know.”

“Yes, we know. When this is over, we’ll be together again in heaven, with God. Nothing that happens here can change that.”

“All right. Let’s have prayer, and then let’s enjoy this wonderful meal.”

The mood changed from solemn to cheerful, sometimes to hilarious as memories were exchanged while the food was consumed. And the food was the most unusual mix of favorites that spanned all their lifetimes.  It didn’t go together.  It didn’t matter.  Grilled burgers, corn on the cob, potato salad; turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, fruit salad; lasagna, homemade bread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes. Cranberry sauce.  Lemon curd cheesecake. So many wonderful dishes, and they all had a sampling of the things they particularly enjoyed.

“Dad.  When will it happen?  Will there be any warning?”

“I don’t know. Probably not. I know only that there could be no better way for our lives here to end than for us all to be together. There is nothing to fear. We won’t———–“