A Six-Word Argument

Welcome to Week #50 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt.
Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #50 (Aug 8, 2020 – Aug 14, 2020)Gratitude

First off, I’m grateful that my internet issues this morning were indeed just a blip and are now resolved. 🙂 And now for my mini-tale response:

“Grateful? Sure I am. But still…”

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This was inspired by a wise friend who told me years ago that when you’re making an apology or discussing something, as soon as you say the word “But,” you’re going in the opposite direction.
Just think how many long-winded arguments start out with…
“I do agree with you, but…”

Saturday Morning Blips

Good morning everyone. 🙂

I’m writing this post on my phone, so will be brief. Having computer issues; lately browsing has been so slow and this morning it won’t take me anywhere at all. Sigh…

We had a real fall day yesterday with dark rolling clouds and a chilly wind. Thankfully it’s sunny this morning and only breezy.

I see the young hummers tanking up at my feeder and realize they will soon be leaving us. Fields are golden with ripening grain and yesterday we saw a swather cutting a field of canola.

I’m in a bit of a slump lately, so little energy — and less as far as writing goes. At least when it comes to actually sitting and putting my words down in a file. Hopefully this will “come to pass.”

I hope you’re all staying safe and making the best of the last month of summer.

 

Books: Calm Before the Storm

Just re-released in Kindle form:

Calm Before the Storm
by Janice L Dick

Calm Before the Storm (The Storm Series Book 1) by [Janice L. Dick, The Mosaic Collection]If you enjoy historical fiction set in Europe, here’s a compelling story for you that’s well written and well researched. Exciting, at times quite tense, this is the story of a Christian family living through the turbulent times of the Russian Revolution.

In the 1700s Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, invited an number of German religious groups to move in and establish themselves in the fertile farmland of the Ukraine and they were doing well for themselves. The Russian serfs had been freed some time before this story begins, but they received no land or help from their government and had to survive however they could.

As the 1900s began, severe poverty and hunger had made the peasants desperate. The government of Tzar Nicholas was imploding, a political cyclone was stirring, and some of the Russian peasants were starting to look resentfully at the prosperous German communities around them.

The Hildebrandts were one of many families in the prosperous Mennonite communities. Heinrich, the widowed father, sixteen-year-old Katarina, the beautiful fourteen-year old Mika, her mentally unbalanced brother Peter, and the two youngest siblings Anna and Kolya (Nicholai) were enjoying the good life on a beautiful estate, scarcely touched by the winds of change until the Great War started.

Entwined with their story is the experience of Johann Sudermann, hired to tutor the younger children, enthralled by the lovely but super-efficient Mika. Though the Mennonites had been granted exemption from the army when they first settled in Russia, soon after the war begins all conscientious objectors must report to work camps. Johann and many others were sent to the medical corps to care for wounded soldiers however they could. The Russian army was so overwhelmed and under-equipped that defeat was inevitable.

We also get cameos of Johann’s childhood Russian friend, Paul Tekanin, as he goes to St Petersburg and joins the Bolsheviks in their plan to overthrow the Tzar. Excerpts from his life give readers a picture of the deplorable state of affairs in St Petersburg before the Revolution, with the mad monk Rasputin pulling the strings.

I’m impressed with how well the author has researched the historical background for this story and interweaves it with an accurate account of day-to-day life in the Mennonite community at that time. Together with the Hildebrandt family readers can experience the joys of prosperity, the fear of a looming collapse of government, the immediate effects of war, and their faith that God will bring them through, come what may.

Tunes: The Surrey or Just the Fringe?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was FRINGE

When I saw the prompt word this morning my mind immediately went to a snatch of song from back in childhood. I don’t remember anything of the words or music, just the line “the nice little surrey with the fringe on the top.”

Now, who wrote that song? What were the words? When was it popular? A thousand blessings on the unseen folk who have answered all the questions people put to Google!

The song was written by Richard Rodgers and comes from the musical play, “Oklahoma.” I see another song listed as well, one that was very popular in its day. I can hear again in memory the whole cheerful chorus:
“Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day!
I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way.”
It’s easy to remember and to sing; the words are appealing and the music’s a great fit.

With some songs, the words are so-so and would get nowhere without their tune. As I read over the song, “The Surrey With the Fringe on the Top,” I can’t see anything especially “musical” or appealing about the words, so I conclude it’s one where the tune was the surrey and the words were the fringe. (Click HERE to read the lyric, if you wish.)

Many songs have great lyrics that touch our hearts. They’d easily stand alone as a poem – and a lot were poems, finally set to music. Our national anthems, songs of home and family, love and courage, longing for the old folks or the girl left behind. For example:
“Way Down Upon the Swanee River…”
“When you and I were young, Maggie…”
“By yon bonny banks and by yon bonny braes…”

I don’t know if there’s been a more prolific poet than the blind Christian writer, Fanny Crosby. She wrote more than 8000 verses, many of which ended up as gospel songs and have been paired with the perfect music – lively, or slow and thoughtful – for carrying the message.

“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”

High-Level Decisions

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Image: Alexas Fotos — Pixabay

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is HONCHO.
And here’s my contribution to the cause.  😉

HIGH LEVEL DECISIONS

The honcho looked over his workers
and wondered which ones were at fault
he needed to fire some shirkers,
but keep everyone worth their salt.

The answer was not so forthcoming
as he met each obsequious gaze
and saw how the work place was humming,
so he fired the A’s to the J’s.