Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If Only You Were Here

This blog post was written for Write Tribe's 100 word challenge with the prompt of "If only you were here."

100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

If only you were here, I’d be raising a daughter instead of two sons. It’s still hard to accept that your death 21 years ago was a tragic accident that would never have happened if the doctor had been more careful. But no matter how much grief I’ve suffered, with all its overwhelming emotions of anger and sadness, nothing will bring you back. I try to be grateful for the present and appreciate all of the good things in life. Still, it’s hard not to wonder about what might have been, my sweet daughter Laura.

If only you were here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Some Day Syndrome

Write Tribe

This poem is written for Write Tribe's 100 words on a Saturday prompt of "Truly Alive."

Some day there’ll be time for you and me
Some day we’ll be together, just wait and see,
Some day I’ll work less and take time to rest
Some day I’ll be less grumpy and be at my best,
Some day I’ll  try and enjoy life more
Some day I’ll stop and take time to explore,

Hey, Mr. Some Day, I have something to say
The time to start living is now, not some day,
Have you forgotten life comes with an expiry date?
Start some day now, it’s never too late! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Give Life a Chance

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and  I decided to write a short story with a hopeful message.
It doesn't have to be bleak and hopeless. There are people who care. All you have to do is reach out to others and give life a chance.

From the rooftop of our apartment building, I look at the cars below me, tiny dots of red and white light streaming along in the darkness. The cool autumn wind rustles through my shaggy brown hair and I hear a plane coming in for a landing overhead.

“Aren’t you going to get your hair cut, Josh?” my father asked just last night in complete exasperation. “You look like a bum. How will you ever get a job looking like that?”

I take another swig of the bottle of vodka I stole out of my parents’ liquor cabinet. Usually it makes me numb. It’s not working tonight.

It would be so easy to end it all right now.

“Josh, you’re hopeless. You’re on a one way road to nowhere,” my mother said last week when I announced I had quit school.

She’s right. I am going nowhere. I’m useless. Looking over the edge of the building, nausea overtakes me. It would be so easy and would be over in no time. The world would be so much better off without me.

“Don’t do it,” a soft voice says nearby. “Please don’t.”

“Who said that?”

“It’s me, Fred. I’m the night security guard.”I squint to see a stooped grey-haired man in a blue uniform smiling kindly at me.

“Come to arrest me for trespassing?”

Fred comes touches my shoulder. “What’s your name? Do you want to tell me about it?”

“Why should you care?” I ask. “My name’s Josh.”

“Josh, whatever pain you’re going through, you can tell me.”

“What do you know about it anyhow?” I say.

“Hey, I was young once just like you. I know how overwhelming it can be sometimes,” he says in a kindly way.

“You don’t know what it’s like to be me,” I say, blinking back tears.

“Don’t give up just yet. Give life a chance,” Fred urges. “Things can change in an instant.”

“I don’t want to live anymore,” I sob. “My parents hate me. I’ve made such a mess of my life.”

“Everyone messes up now and then. I’m sure they don’t hate you,” Fred says, patting my arm.

“They do. I know they do,” I say in defiance.

“Please. Can you do me a favour?” Fred says.


“Give life a chance for me. I’m an old guy near the end of my life and your life has just started. I don’t want you to throw that away.”

“Why do you care so much?”

“I care, more than you know. I had a son about your age once.”


“Pete shot himself with a rifle when he was 21 years old,” Fred says, his voice breaking.

“Oh no, that’s awful.”

“He got so depressed after he lost his job and his girlfriend broke up with him.”

“I’m sorry,” I say, not knowing what else to say.

“He was my only son,” Fred says, wiping away a tear.

“That’s really tough.”  I put down the vodka bottle and move away from the barrier.

“You remind me of him,” Fred says. “Say, can I buy you some dinner? Glenda’s Diner is still open. I’d love it if you’d keep an old guy company.”

“Sure, that sounds good.” I say.  Heaviness lifts from my shoulders and I can breathe more easily.  “Thanks, Fred. I'm lucky you were here."

“I’m the lucky one,” Fred says. He puts his arm around my shoulder and guides me towards the elevator.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Seven things I can't live without

Write Tribe

I have enjoyed this week long Festival of Words as it's so challenging and rewarding to write something daily.

I have also enjoyed reading other bloggers' blogs and am especially enjoying learning about the wonders of India through the eyes of all the Indian bloggers who were involved with the challenge. Such fun to learn about your country with its many cultures and incredible diversity.

For the last day of Write Tribe's Festival of Words, I am writing about seven things that I can't live without each day.

It goes without saying that my family, friends and pets are my world and I can’t live without them but for this post, I will focus on daily things that I can’t live without. 

How about you? What daily things can't you live without?

I have to start off with my Keurig and good strong coffee to kickstart my day just right. I love flavoured coffee the best and my favourite lately is Van Houtte’s Raspberry Chocolate. So fragrant and sweet. YUM! Cheers! *Raises cup*

I always check in on Facebook to see what my friends are up to, for daily affirmations, a few laughs and inspiration. It never disappoints though sometimes I do linger there longer than I should. Guess I’m slightly addicted but there are worse addictions, right? Please say yes!

I have always loved email right from the early days in the early 1990s when I would park my son Rory in his baby chair next to my computer and email friends back in the days of long email addresses and dial up. Whoooooooosh, dumpty dum. Who can forget the funny sound of dialup connecting? Ahhh, such nostalgia!

Poor Rory would grow mighty impatient with me and who could blame him as I’d often lose track of time once I got on my email? I'm still bad that way, only now I have Facebook, too. Something so magical about being able to send a message to anyone in the world and have them get it instantly and reply back. I still think it’s amazing and incredible and am so grateful for this technology that connects us this way.

My camera is like another set of eyes for me, seeking out beauty and interesting things all around me to capture for my photo books and scrapbooks that I love to make. My photos are so precious and become even more precious as time passes. Since I can’t take a photo of my camera, here is one of my cloud photos that I took recently and edited in Picasa. I love taking photos of Nature and clouds are ever changing, full of many moods depending on weather and time of day. I love using my cloud photos to create inspirational posters like this one.

What would I do without my laptop? I use it for my writing, my desktop publishing projects and for my photos, inspirational posters and creating photo books. I keep in touch with my friends on it. It is like my lifeline. When it isn’t working, I feel like an arm has been cut off. Here is a photo of my laptop with my sweet new kitty, Kobie draped across it. He seems to like my laptop almost as much as I do.

I have to have a small bit of chocolate each day as my special treat. I’ve been going to Weight Watchers forever to get my sweets emotional eating under control as that really is the source of my extra weight. I’ve learned that I only need a small amount of chocolate to be satisfied and it’s more special that way, too. A little can go a long way. Gone are the days of downing a big bag of chocolate covered almonds. For now, a small chunk of dark chocolate will do nicely.

I’ve loved tea ever since my grandmother used to come and stay with us when I was a teen. She was always brewing tea and would leave it simmering on the stove, adding teabag after teabag. Some of my fondest memories are of watching soap operas with her while enjoying a cuppa and a piece of her home-made bonnach, a Scottish type soda bread. 

To me, tea means relaxation, reading a book and taking time for me as opposed to coffee which revs me up for the day.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Seven Pinecones

Write Tribe
I meant to post this yesterday but was out and about til later in the evening so it never happened. And you bloggers in India are already ahead enough of me by 10 hours so I thought I'd keep it for today's post. Bad me missing a day. Sigh. I guess it happens.

This is for the Write Tribe's Festival of Words from September 1-7th celebrating the number seven!

Seven pine cones so fragrant and fine
Waiting for me to make them mine,
Soon they will become a Christmas treasure
Giving me hours of crafting pleasure,

First I buy spray paint in metallic tones
I get more paint on me than on the cones,
Gooey glue drips everywhere
On my dress and in my hair,

And I won't even mention about the glitter
I don't want it broadcast on Facebook and Twitter,
I am all thumbs, I must confess
The pine cones are sticking to my dress,

I look so festive, don't you agree?
I could replace the Christmas tree,
That's enough with my silly crafting dream
If I see another pine cone, I'm going to scream!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Seven days of laughter

I am participating in Write Tribe's Festival of Words from 1st to 7th September where bloggers are writing on the theme of Seven for Seven days - a post a day! Today is Day 4.

Today I'm playing with a collage using the gestalt theory based on the the brain's ability to view separate pieces as a whole. Or maybe I'm having an Art Attack! Does anyone remember that art show from the 1990's? I used to love that show and Neil was cute, too!

It's also Wordless Wednesday for many bloggers today, but I couldn't resist throwing a corny quote in there as well.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My 7 favourite birds in North America

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words from September 1 - 7. The theme for this festival is "7" and this post is about my seven favourite North American birds. What are your favourite birds?

Where I live in rural Ontario, Canada, we are lucky to see a variety of birds all year around. 

Here are seven of my favourites.

My most favourite bird is the cardinal. His happy chirp brightens the dullest day and I love seeing his bright red plumage against the monotone background of winter.  I love that he stays around all year and I put out sunflower seeds to attract him to the feeder. Here is a photo I took of him. His wife is sweet, too, and comes on the bedroom window sill to say hello to me.

(from morguefile)

I adore the mourning doves with their sad cooing sound. They are such sweet gentle birds. I remember how devastated I was when my cat killed one right in front of me and I couldn’t do a thing. 

(from morguefile)

Blue jays are another bird who stay around in winter. They are fun birds, so colourful with their blue, black and white markings. I love their cheeky, brash ways and their sharp, shrill cry. They enjoy stealing food out of our husky's food dish which is fun to watch.

(from morguefile)

I love the tiny chickadee and their happy little cry of chickadee, chickadee. I admire that such a tiny bird can survive the intense cold of a Canadian winter.

Nothing says spring more than the arrival of the robin coming back in April from the warmer southern States where they spend the winter. Last year, a robin made a nest in this tree and we watched the baby birds hatch and grow into adults. Here is a photo I took of the babies.

This is another bird that migrates south for the winter. I love the cheerful whirring chirp of a red winged blackbird. You can see this bird on the back roads sitting on fence posts next to the cornfields and meadows or up on an overhead wire. This bird always looks like he's enjoying life and living in the moment which reminds me to do the same.

As you can see, I didn’t include crows or grackles in my favourite birds list. Although I admire their survivor instincts and ability to scavenge, they are not nice birds, especially gluttonous grackles who like to raid my feeder and terrorize all the other birds.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Seven things I remember from my childhood

I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words 
from September 1 - 7. 

Today I'm revelling in nostalgia and thinking back to my childhood during the 1960's and 70's. 

Do you remember any of these or are you too young?

I loved my portable record player and spent many an angst-filled moment listening to records in my bedroom, both 33s and 45s when I was a teen in the 1970s. I’m glad to see record players are making a comeback again. I used to love my records.

I’m glad these aren’t making a comeback. They were a trend that didn’t last too long, thankfully as they were quite hazardous and sometimes would break and shards would fly in peoples’ eyes. I recall having a pair of clackers and I still wince thinking about my poor swollen wrist covered in bruises.

I learned to type on something similar to this one, a rather imposing and unforgiving machine. You had to pound so much harder than a computer and use the return lever. Tching! Many a time I’d make a mistake and I’d have to start again. Computers are so much better!

In the days before photocopying, schools had these machines to run off copies which were usually purple ink and very faded. I will never forget that stinky ink smell they had when they were just printed.

I remember these in the classroom when I was in elementary school. They would come with a record that the teacher would put on for the sound part. I always remember the cheery sound of the bell signalling that the film strip should be advanced to the next frame. Ding!

We used to love crowding around our black and white TV to watch shows like Star Trek and Bewitched in the 1960s. TV shows were so good back then even if they were in black and white and the reception not always that clear. We often had to get up to adjust the rabbit ears aerial and we would have to get up to change the channel. No such thing as a remote back then.

I used to love going to drive in theatres with my family when I was a kid. My parents would pack my brother and me in the back with treats and sleeping bags. Often we would fall asleep during the movie but it was still fun and would save my parents having to get a babysitter. 

There are still a few drive in theatres around but not near me, unfortunately. I miss them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seven Reasons I Love Autumn

I am participating in the Writer's Tribe Festival of Words from September 1st to 7th.

Write Tribe

Each day we bloggers participating will write something with the theme of seven.

Since it's September 1st and thoughts naturally drift to Autumn, I wrote a poem about seven reasons that I love this season.

I love autumn for many reasons
It is my favourite of all the seasons,
Muggy summer days slowly slip away
The leaves are glorious in their display,
Harvest is here with fresh veggies and fruit
I join my groups to sing and play flute,
The air is cool and crisp and clear
It’s like the start of a brand new year,
School starts again and a new routine
Autumn is a blank page, fresh and clean.