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Onto My Next 40 Years

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Grief (a short story)

via Daily Prompt: Expectation

The young girl stood at the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge staring out into the thick gray fog.  She secured her long curly black hair  up into a bun at the back of her neck as tears rolled down her cheeks.  She had come to get a last look at the city she had loved, a city that no longer felt safe, but the fog was so thick this morning, she could barely see 2 feet in front of her.  She closed her eyes and thought of the last time she had seen the city from this view point.  Tina came here often.  Her family lived close by and she liked to run everyday.  Running across the bridge provided such a beautiful view, plus she loved seeing all the tourists taking pictures and how happy they were to finally be on the famous bridge.  Yes, it was annoying sometimes to run around them as they randomly stopped with their selfie sticks, but she made a game out of it, ducking and dodging them like she was in a video game silently keeping score every time she was successful.  Her Mom always had a large glass of cold water and a plate of nuts, apples and cheese waiting on the kitchen table when she got back from her run.  She had loved her Mom and all the little things she used to do.  Tina began to sob now as she thought about it.  Her Mom had been killed 6 months ago.  She had been walking to her car in a parking garage downtown when a man had grabbed her hijab from behind, pulled her close, and shot her in the head.  The man had been caught a week later because he had gotten drunk and started bragging about what he had done to a friend he thought shared his same hatred.  The fact that the man had been caught was a relief at first, but all the media attention, the stares, the insults to her Mom, her family, and to her, were too much.  Many people had come to support their family.  They had received an outpouring from the community of money, food, and some people even came to walk with her to protect her from the haters, but Tina didn’t feel supported.  All she could think about was that her mother was gone.  She couldn’t get the images of what she’d seen on TV of the people who supported the man who’d killed her mother out of her head. There had been a spray painted message on their garage that had read “You don’t belong here!”  And the worst of it, a group of girls had surrounded the outside of her toilet stall at school and had whispered things like “your mother deserved it”, “your mom was a terrorist”, “muslims are scum”, “I hope it hurt when that man shot her”, “I hope the President deports you and bans you from coming back” and so much more.  It seemed like they had kept her trapped in there for hours whispering horrible things, things that kept popping into to her head when she least expected it.  She can’t forget them no matter what she does.  Her father keeps trying to talk to her, but she doesn’t want him to know about it all.  He is already so hurt and so angry.  She sees how he struggles to keep going for her sake.  She hears him crying all night, but every morning he’s in the kitchen making breakfast and trying to appear like nothing is wrong.  Tina had stopped running, stopped laughing, stopped caring.  She just wanted it all to end.  Everyone kept telling her it would get better in time, just think about the good times, remember who your mother was not the way she died, take one day at a time, but that was all bullshit.  Her mother was gone and never coming back.  Her life had changed forever and she couldn’t handle it.  Her Mom had been her rock.  The expectation that she be just as strong as her mother, pick up the pieces, and carry on were unfair.  Her mother was exceptional.  That man had extinguished her life in seconds knowing nothing about her other than she wore a hijab.  Tina pulled one of her mother’s hijabs from of her pocket now and put it on.  It felt warm like her mother had put her arms around her.  As she straightened the material around her neck and head, she caught a whiff of her mother’s scent.  She smiled. It was the scent of lavender.  She thought of the time her mother had put a little drop of lavender on her wrist and how grown up she had felt.  Tina took a deep breath.  And another.  She knew she had to be fast.  She didn’t want anyone to stop her.  Someone may be on their way now with all the crying she had been doing.  She was angry with herself.  She had told herself that she wouldn’t give off any signs of wanting to jump. That anger helped her stop crying now.  She wiped her tears away.  She took another deep breath, quickly climbed over the railing, and jumped before she could change her mind.

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The Tiger

Photo Fiction #74 (Random_Michelle) – Write a short story in 300 words or less

The monk had been a baby when he’d come to the temple.  He’d never met his parents and never would.  He’d been told they had died in an accident leaving him orphaned.  When the boy had turned twelve, he’d decided to try and get to the village down the mountain to see if anyone had known his parents.  He just wanted to hear stories about them.  Unfortunately, he never made it to the village.  As he slowly and carefully trekked down the mountain, he’d heard the cry of an animal.  It sounded hurt.  The boy knew that wounded animals could be even more dangerous yet he still went into the direction of the cry.  He finally spotted it as he pushed through a thick set of bushes.  Upon seeing that it was a tiger, the boy almost turned and ran, but he realized the tiger wasn’t fully grown yet.  The tiger turned it’s head toward him and just cried before laying back down.  The boy stepped toward it slowly to see if the tiger would try swipe or bite at him.  The tiger just watched him.  The boy touched the tiger’s head, first petting him and then scratching the tiger’s ears and while he did this, he inspected the tiger looking for where it was hurt.  The tiger had scratches and wounds all over and one of it’s legs seemed to be strained or broken.  The boy lovingly had taken care of the tiger for weeks, cleaning and tending the wounds and feeding the tiger.  The tiger often nuzzled the boy seeking scratches.  They were becoming friends.  When the tiger was healed, the boy didn’t want to see the tiger go.  Everyday year after year, the boy, now a monk, ate his lunch out on the hillside and sometimes the tiger would find him there.

Growing Up

(A Story Cube Short Story)

As Kayla sat at her desk trying to figure out how her bank account got overdrawn, she began to feel overwhelmed.  Christmas is in a month.  How was she going to pay for her ticket home?  It had to be an oversight on her part somewhere, but where?  She scoured her account again looking for a charge she didn’t recognize or didn’t remember.  How could she have done this to herself?  What is she going to tell her parents when she tells them what happened?  It wasn’t her fault though.  At least she didn’t think so.  She’d been busy for weeks working on her paper for her Emerging Global Culture Class.  Sure she had spent a lot of time at the Coffee Genie working on her notes, brainstorming, and writing, but she hadn’t spent $400 on coffee and snacks had she?  No, she had to figure this out.  She was going to have to learn how to download her transactions from her bank.  She hadn’t signed up for it yet because she was afraid that someone would be able to steal her information from her computer, but maybe someone had already gotten ahold of her banking info.  Ugh!  She dreaded finding out.  She still had finals to get through.  The last thing she needed right now was to deal with money issues.

“Hey Kayla!”

Kayla jumped.

“Oh, sorry…your door was open.  I just wanted to drop off your speech for your Psych class.  I went over it.  It looks good though I did make a few corrections here and there.  I think you should…hey, are you okay?”  Liam asked as he got a good look at Kayla.

“Thanks Liam.  Sorry, I just found out that I overdrew my account and I don’t know how.  I thought I’d been doing a good job balancing my account, but somehow I spent $400 that I don’t remember spending.” Kayla stopped because she felt the tears coming and she tried to hold them back.  She didn’t want to cry in front of Liam.

“Wow, are you sure you spent the money?  Did you go through your transactions?” Liam inquired.

Kayla nodded still trying to fight the tears.

Liam crossed the room and sat next to Kayla on her bed.  “How about your wallet?  Do you have all your cards?  My Mom dropped her card once on her way out of the grocery store and didn’t notice for days till she tried to use it when she went to the gas station.  When she reported it lost, she found out someone had been using it and the charges were reversed.”

Kayla grabbed her purse and took out her wallet.  Her fingers fumbled trying to unzip it as she hoped that maybe her problems would be solved if she didn’t find her debit card in there.  Liam saw her struggling and took the wallet from her and opened it up.  Kayla saw the empty slot immediately.  Her card was missing.  When had she used it last?

Liam told her to call the bank and report it lost and they would go through her transactions with her to see which charges were hers and which were someone else.  Kayla was anxious about calling the bank to admit that she had lost her card despite all of her parents warnings before she left for college to always keep track of it.  She had promised that she would and now she was going to have to tell them that she’d lost it and not only that, but that someone had used it.  She started crying this time.  She couldn’t hold back the tears.  She felt like she had let her parents down.  She had wanted to show them how much of a grown up she was and yet here only a few months into her first semester she felt like she was barely making it.  Liam put his arm around her and told her not to worry.  The problem was fixable as long as she dealt with it as soon as possible.  Kayla took some deep breaths and got herself under control.  She thanked Liam for his help and support, but asked if she could be alone to make the phone calls.  Liam said he understood and wished her luck before leaving her dorm room closing the door after him.

Kayla got out her cell phone, took a deep breath, and called the bank.  The phone call seemed to take forever, but she felt better once it was over.  The person who had helped Kayla had been really nice and like Liam had said, they went through each of the transactions on her account until she got to ones she didn’t recognize.  Whoever had taken her card had gone to Barnes & Noble and bought almost $75 in books, $40 in yarn from an organic sheep farmer, and had signed up for a sky diving class.  Not what Kayla would’ve done if she’d had free access to someone’s card for sure especially not the sky diving class.  She was terrified of heights and hated to fly let alone jump out of a plane.  The bank told her to file a police report and let them know about the skydiving class since it hadn’t happened yet.  Maybe the person would show up and the police could catch them.  Kayla wasn’t sure what would happen, but she was glad that the problem on her end was solved.  Well, at least most of it.  She still had to tell her parents.  Maybe she would go tell Liam what happened and get dinner at the commons before she called her them.  Talking to the bank had taken a lot out of her.  Talking to her parents was going to be even more taxing.  She needed a break.  Kayla found her hoodie and put it on, grabbed her school ID and her keys, and walked down to Liam’s room.  It felt good to move.  She’d been so anxious all afternoon.  Maybe she needed to go for a run before she talked to her parents.  She wondered if Liam liked to run.   She hoped he did.

Photo Fiction 70

For weeks I’ve felt like someone was watching me.  I’d be at the grocery store or stuck in traffic and I would get that tickly feeling on the back of my neck.  I would study the people around me trying to figure out which one of them triggered that sixth sense, but finding no one suspicious or familiar.  I figured I was just stressed, but the feeling wouldn’t stop.  As a matter of fact, it got worse. It was driving me crazy.  My BFF took me out to a club to let off some steam.  We did a few shots and danced like crazy.  I got really hot and stepped outside to cool off and smoke a cigarette.  As I searched my purse for a lighter, a man stepped from the shadows with a lit lighter in hand.

“Oh, thank you,” I said as I stepped forward and lit my cigarette.  I looked up into the man’s eyes and the feeling hit me hard.  I took a step back and ran into a wall.  “Who are you?”

“I’ve been watching you since your Boss’ funeral.”  As he said this, I did recognize him. He continued, “Betsy asked me to give you a letter, but she wanted me to make sure of your character first.  My team and I have been checking you out and found no red flags, so I am free to give you the letter.  She thought very highly of you.” I took the letter and as I read it, I was surprised to find out she had left me her business. Wow! I couldn’t believe it.  It was totally unexpected.  “Is this for real?”

“Yes, come see me Monday and I’ll explain it all,” he said handing me his business card.

My girlfriend came out to check on me and I ran to tell her the news.

Photo Fiction #70 – Random Michelle – What the hell is real?

 

Share Your World

Share Your World – Week 1 – 2017 (Cee’s Photography)

Would you prefer to receive a unicycle, bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle?

I have to go with a tricycle because I don’t know how to ride any of the others though I would like to learn to drive a motorcycle.

What is one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

I would like to complete a 5K this year.  2016 seemed to be the year of health issues that knocked me off my ass, so as I am trying to get back in control.  I am starting slow, but I hope to get back to walking everyday and then I plan on signing up for a timed 5K.  My chronic fatigue will not control me this year.

What was one of the highlights of 2016 for you?

I am proud that I started writing finally.  I am getting myself back on a writing schedule for not only this blog, but also to continue to send my stories into magazines as well as work on the big story I have in my head.

Would you prefer to fly a kite or fly in a hot air balloon?

I love flying kites, but I have never been in a hot air balloon though I have always dreamt about it.  As a matter of fact, over Christmas dinner at my sister’s house, we were discussing maybe doing a hot air balloon expedition as a sisters day out this year.  I’d really like to cross it off my bucket list so I am adding it to my list of things to schedule this month right now.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for getting to be apart of the wedding proposal surprise for my best friend.  It was 6 months in planning and though it was almost spoiled at the last second, she was still surprised and 4 days later she’s still in shock, excited, and happier than I have ever seen her.

I am looking forward to the continual recovery of my wisdom teeth.  It’s been a few days now where I haven’t needed something for pain every 4 hours.  WOOHOO!!  And the numbness in my tongue seems to be lessening so I am hopeful that it means I will be getting my taste buds back by next week.

Learning to Cook

Little Olivia woke up in her bed.  She was a little confused because the last thing she remembered was laying on the couch watching TV downstairs with her sister.  Olivia was cold.  She could see her breath every time she exhaled.  She pulled the blankets up over her head.  Just as she was starting to warm up again, the blankets were yanked away.  Olivia tried to hold onto them, but her little hands weren’t strong enough so she kicked out instead catching her sister in the butt with her foot.  The blankets came flying back at her. Olivia reached out to catch them and saw a hand coming at her from the side, but she was too slow to avoid it.

Pinch!

“Ow!” screamed Olivia.

“Well, don’t kick me then, ” her sister Izzy screamed back.

“You pulled the blankets off me,” Olivia retorted.

“You pulled them off of me first!”

“Oh,” said Olivia, “Sorry.”

They both lay in silence until Olivia’s stomach made a sound.

“You hungry?” Izzy asked.

Olivia didn’t want to admit it, but her stomach had already given her away.

“Yeah, my tummy hurts.”

“C’mon, then…let’s go find something to eat.”  Izzy slipped out of bed and moved the footstool closer to the bed, held Olivia’s hands, and helped her down onto the stool.  Olivia was only 3 and needed help sometimes, but Izzy didn’t mind lending a hand.  They often fought, as sisters do, but they also knew they were a team.  Their Grandma had told them so one afternoon while baking cookies for the girls.

She’d said, “Girls, your parents work hard and aren’t always there, so you need to be a team.  You need to work together and help each other.  Take care of one another.  Especially you Izzy.  Help Olivia and teach her the things you know.”  She looked like she was going to cry then and that made the girls worry, so they listened.  Once their Grandma got her emotions under control, she continued, “Be helpful to your parents when you can. Clean up after yourselves.  You’re a team and together you are unstoppable.”  She’d hugged them then and they had squeezed her back.  They loved their Grandma.  They loved visiting her because she made them feel safe.

Izzy held Olivia’s hand as they made their way quietly downstairs.  They didn’t want to wake their Mom.  She worked the overnight shift as a nurse at the local psychiatric hospital, or “Loony Bin” as their Dad liked to call it.  Speaking of their Dad, they heard noises in the kitchen.  They stopped the at the bottom of the stairs.  Izzy sat down on the second to the bottom step and Olivia held onto the banister while she climbed up onto Izzy’s shoulders to peek over and look into the kitchen.  Sometimes their Dad was in a good mood and sometimes it was better to just avoid him.  Olivia had to push up onto her tip toes to see into the kitchen.  Their Dad was moving about quickly.  He seemed to be cleaning up while the coffee dripped into the pot.  Olivia tried to see his face, but he kept moving out of her view.

“I can’t see him good, but he doesn’t look mad,” Olivia whispered down to Izzy.  Izzy listened and didn’t hear anything worrisome.  Izzy held on to Olivia and she climbed down off of Izzy’s shoulders.  They were about to leave the stairs when they heard their Dad coming out of  the kitchen.  They quickly sat down on the stairs  moving as close to the wall as they could and listened.  They heard him put on his jacket, grab is briefcase, and head toward the door.  He didn’t notice them.  He walked out the front door and locked it behind him.  The girls crept over to the front window.  They saw him get into his car and start the engine.  He sat there for a while letting the engine warm up.  Finally, he drove away and the girls let out a breath.

They turned around and headed for the kitchen both of them dreaming of something yummy to eat.  They started looking around in the pantry since they knew there was nothing left in fridge.  They found some saltines.  They each had a few while they continued to look around.  They were lots of canned foods, but they couldn’t get the can opener to work.  Izzy had tried a couple of times, but she wasn’t strong enough to get the blade point through the top of the can.  There were a couple of boxes of macaroni and cheese, but they weren’t allowed to turn on the burners on the stove top.  Way up high they saw boxes of cereal and a package of cookies.  If only they could reach the cereal.  Izzy tried to climb the shelves, but as always, when she stepped on the third shelf, it made a scary creaking sound and Izzy quickly stepped back down nearly missing the bottom shelf and falling, but she recovered at the last second and made it back down.  Both girls stood there staring at the cereal willing it to fall from the shelf.  Olivia’s stomach gurgled again.  Izzy had to find something they could eat.

Their Mother hadn’t come out of her room to make dinner again yesterday.  She stayed in there a lot.  They often heard her crying and the one time they had gone in to see what was wrong, they had found their Mother sitting up in bed surrounded by opened letters scattered all over.  She was holding one of the letters and just crying.  When their Mother had noticed them, she cried more and shouted at them to leave her alone.  So when they had heard her crying again last night as they quietly listened outside her door, they left her alone.  There had been some left over fried chicken in the fridge and they had  settled on that for dinner, but this morning their prospects of food seemed to be just more saltines.

As they sat on the floor of the pantry eating what was left of the crackers, Izzy looked up at the boxes of macaroni and cheese and decided she was going to break the rules.  She reached up, grabbed a box and walk out of the pantry.  Olivia followed her worriedly asking, “What are you doing?”

“I’m going to make us breakfast.”

“But we can’t turn on the stove.  We’ll get in trouble.  Momma will come down with her brush again.  Please Izzy, don’t get us in trouble.”

Izzy turned on her sister and said, “Don’t you wanna eat?  I’ll be quiet.  I’ve watched Momma make it before.  Plus, if we get in trouble at least we’ll have eaten something.”

Olivia was worried, but her stomach gurgled again at the thought of getting to eat macaroni and cheese so she didn’t object further.  Izzy told her to find the milk and butter in the fridge while she found a pot and a spoon.  Izzy couldn’t read, but she knew she had to put water in the pot and put it on the stove.  Izzy pulled a kitchen chair over to the sink and filled the pot with water.  She filled it so full that she ended up spilling quite a bit of it on her way to the stove, but she got it there.  Olivia pushed the chair behind her and after Izzy turned on the burner under the pot, they both climbed up onto the counter to watch the water get hot.  Izzy knew you weren’t supposed to put the noodles in until the water got hot, but she wasn’t sure how long that took.  Izzy decided to put the noodles in as soon as she started seeing little bubbles on the on the bottom of the pot.  They took turns stirring the noodles.  Izzy had seen their Mother throw noodles at the wall to see if they were done.  Izzy carefully fished a noodle out of the pot and threw it at the wall.  It didn’t stick, but some of the water had gotten on her hand.  It was hot and she dropped the spoon so she could put her hand in her mouth.

“Are you ok Izzy?”

Izzy pulled her hand out of her mouth and looked at it.  There was a little red mark, but the pain wasn’t so bad any more.

“Yeah, I’m alright.”

Izzy picked up the spoon again and started stirring the noodles, but she wouldn’t let Olivia stir anymore.  Olivia was mad because she wanted to help too, but she saw the red mark on Izzy’s hand and let it go.  They continued to watch the noodles in the pot and got a little worried when the water started boiling.  Sometimes the water popped out onto the counter, so Izzy made Olivia get down so she could move away from the stove top a bit, but still see into the pot.  Their stomachs started grumbling again so Izzy moved back over and fished out another noodle to throw at the wall.  It didn’t stick, but they didn’t want to wait anymore.  Izzy turned off the burner.  Olivia found the strainer and threw it into the sink.  Izzy carefully carried the pot to the sink and set it down before retrieving the chair and climbing up so she could pour the noodles out.  She fixed the strainer in the sink first and then poured the noodles in.  She was so scared, but she was determined to make them something to eat.  Once the water had drained, Izzy put the noodles back in the pot and poured in a little bit of milk while Olivia opened the stick of butter and threw in in the pot.  Izzy struggled to get the package of powdered cheese open, but eventually she did and she poured it in.  They took turns stirring again.  They were excited to see the ingredients mix together and savored the smell.  It seemed to take forever for the butter to melt.  They tried to wait, but they were too hungry.  Olivia got the bowls and Izzy scooped the macaroni and cheese in.  They sat on the floor and quickly stuffed the noodles into their mouths.  It didn’t tasted the same as when their Mother cooked it, but it was still good.  They continued stuffing their mouths afraid their Mother would come downstairs any minute and find out what they had done.  She didn’t and eventually their stomachs felt full.  They had done it.  They had made themselves food.  They looked at each other and smiled.

Gratitude Day 8

Day 8: What book are you most grateful for?

I was good at reading in school.  I excelled in every grade, but I was never what you would call a “reader” because I often got tired or headaches when I read.  It turned out that I needed glasses.  After I finally got a good pair of glasses that I didn’t mind wearing (I had picked a pair of hideous pink ones, but had second thoughts about them when we picked them up and found myself stuck with them), I tried finding what genre interested me most.  I don’t know how many books I started and put down out of disinterest.  When my sister and I moved back to the US, the room we took over used to be my Dad’s office.  All of his stuff was moved out except his book shelves.  Whenever I lay in my bed, I would often just stare at his books and wonder what they were about, but never felt like I could touch them because they weren’t mine.  There were lots of Harlen Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Tom Clancy, and of course, Stephen King.  I really wanted to read the Stephen King books, but not being a reader, the thickness of “It” was a little intimidating though that was the one that I really wanted to know about because I had heard it was terrifying.   I kept staring at it and imagining what was written on it’s pages.  Finally when my Dad took us to the bookstore to pick some books of our own, I read all the backs of the Stephen King books and picked The Dead Zone.  Unfortunately it took me years to get through it.  I kept picking it up and putting it down.  Life was stressful with my Dad being sick, being in charge of my little sister, cooking and cleaning, homework, swim team, etc.  Reading for pleasure just wasn’t a priority.  After my Dad died, my priorities changed.  I had a hard time sleeping and turned to reading to fill the time.  The Dead Zone was the first book I picked up and finally finished.  It pulled me into the world of reading and made me a huge fan of Stephen King.  Reading has kept me sane ever since.

Questions of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is coming up so I thought I would post something I am grateful for each day this month.  Last week was a crazy week, so I didn’t get to start on the first therefore I have a little catching up to do.  Here goes… (prompts are from textmyjournal.com)

Day 1: What smell are you grateful for today?

I am forever indebted to the smell of peppermint.  I used to get migraines daily in my mid-20’s to early 30’s.  I saw a specialist that helped me figure out triggers from food to stress to smells.  He also had me see a biofeedback therapist to help me learn to relax my muscles and my mind.  We found a medication that worked, but also things to do when I felt a migraine coming on.  One of those things was smelling or eating strong peppermints.  Just doing that one little thing has helped me so many times.  So I am truly thankful for the smell of peppermint.  It has become a smell that can instantly bring a smile to my face and a feeling of ease.

Day 2: What technology are you grateful for?

There are so many to choose from nowadays, but I think the thing that is a lifesaver for me right now is my phone.  As I have mentioned before, I am constantly tired and that tiredness often leads to forgetfulness.  I have recently started programming reminders with alarms so that I don’t forget the important things like paying bills, moving the car every 3rd Monday so I don’t get a ticket, doctor appts, etc.  I get so frustrated when I forget things.  It has truly been a blessing to be able to use the Reminders App even though sometimes the alarms are a little irksome because there are days I feel like the alarms are sounding off way to much, but ultimately they are worth it for the stress relief they provide in not forgetting.

Day 3: What color are you grateful for?

This was a hard one because I love colors each for so many different reasons, but as I cycled through those reasons the one color that came up the most was Yellow.  Yellow makes me think of the sunflowers my Grandma and I saw all summer long driving all over Oklahoma and Kansas.  I remember watching that little Yellow Pacman as my Dad raced him around on the screen gobbling up pellets and ghosts beating level after level.  As a kid, I always drew sunshines everywhere, but I remember the really big one I once drew because I drew it on the wall.  My sister and I drew all over the wall one day when no one was paying attention to us.  We covered an entire wall with a doodles and scribbles.  Our brothers were supposed to be watching us and ended up having to wash and eventually repaint the wall for their negligence.  Sunshines also make me think of the last present I made for my Granny before she passed away last year.  I painted her a sunshine and sang “You are my sunshine” in the recording button attached to the back.  When we were homeless, we lived in a little Yellow hatchback.  I’ll never forget that car.  I saw one the other day and couldn’t believe there were any still in existence.  Lastly, one of my favorite desserts is lemon meringue pie.  Mmmmm…
Day 4: What food are you most grateful for?

I love food.  One look at me and you’ll know that.  I have more than my share of weight around the middle.  I love trying new foods not only in new restaurants, bakeries, etc, but also in my own kitchen.  Cooking and baking is a stress reliever except when I don’t feel good or am too tired.  The one food that has always been there for me is saimin.  I know.  It’s not the best thing to eat, but when I was a starving college student it was there.  And now when I am just completely exhausted, I know I always have enough energy to throw some water in a pot and make some saimin.  I sometimes even feel up to adding scrambled egg, mushrooms, green onions, and spam or rotisserie chicken. Those little packages of noodles have kept me going for many years now.

Day 5: What sound are you grateful for today?

I am grateful for the sound of my husband singing.  He has such a beautiful singing voice.  Hearing him sing whether it be in the car singing along to the radio or at karaoke where he is a rock star, always brings a smile to my face and sometimes even tears to my eyes.  His voice is beautiful.  He’s not the only one in the family either.  His sister has a beautiful voice too.  She sings in Gladys Knights choir, Saints Unified Voices.  We went to see them perform once when they traveled to California.  It was an amazing evening.

Day 6: What in nature are you grateful for?

I wrote about this one in yesterday’s post Sunday Trees – 260.  I am grateful for trees.  Click on the link to see why 🙂

Day 7: What memory are you grateful for?

Ugh, talk about a difficult question.  There are so many memories floating around in my brain, but since I am currently writing, the one that stands out the most is the first story I wrote with my Dad.  It was about animals.  He helped me keep the story going by throwing ideas at me and I would expand on them until I would get stuck.  He was the first one to encourage me to write.  I’ll be forever grateful.

And now I am caught up and will continue with the challenge daily.  This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but also a good reminder about everything I have and/or have experienced to get me where I am today.  I can’t wait to see what else these questions bring to mind.

Transmogrify

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

I seem to be going back to my pictures of NYC a lot lately, but when this week’s theme came up, this is the picture that immediately popped in my head.  After 9/11, I flew to NYC to see that my sister was really okay with my own eyes.  My sister had moved to NYC one month before the attack.  It was the first time we had ever lived in different states from each other.  It was weird to not have her so close.  We had spent so much of our lives together, depending on each other because of our parents divorce and international custody.  We had started trying to be a little more independent of each other when we ended up in two different high schools.  It was good for us to make our own friends, find our own likes and dislikes, to have experiences all our own.  It made going away to college easier.  We still visited each other a lot.  After college, we probably saw each other at least every other weekend.  Then she moved to NYC.  It was hard, but exciting because NYC was always a city we wanted to visit.  I had planned to visit her there and finally see the city we had talked about numerous times.  9/11 accelerated my plans.  Once I arrived and was satisfied that she was indeed ok, she took me around the city to all the little places she had discovered.  She lived in SOHO.  There was so much to see in just her neighborhood alone.  So many sights, sounds, and smells.  I felt like I was in the middle of a movie set.  It was so surreal.  This Walk/Don’t Walk sign wasn’t far from her apartment.  We passed it often and every time we saw it, it made me smile, so I eventually took a picture of it to remember those little smiles in a time where our world seemed so unpredictable and crazy.

When Prince died earlier this year, my sister came across the photo below on Instagram and sent it to me.  Again I smiled.  I wonder if it was the same artist who did both.

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