Hopscotch Singing

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is GLARE, and this response is just like these girls who grab a word and fly away with it.

Open ClipArt Vectors — Pixabay


“Way down in London airport in hanger number five–”

My sister Jane glared at me. “Will you quit!”

“What’s wrong with singing a little tune?”

“Bits and pieces of that song have been popping our of your mouth all afternoon.”

“I guess I have an ear worm.”

“Well flush it out once! What brought this on anyway?”

“I got it at the mall this morning. This old lady was standing beside me when a girl with purple hair walked by. The old lady shook her head and said, ‘Forever more!’ The song Biplane Evermore popped into my head and has been stirring around ever since.”

“You’re sounding like a broken record. Replace it with another song – something current. That’s so old!”

“I resolved to change my tune but before long I was heartily singing, “And as he rose into the storm the big jets hung their wings, and wished—”

“That you’d sing something else,” Jane yelled, giving me another glare. “Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly…”

“Speaking of being so old, I read once that song is from the Thirties,” I told her. “It expressed a melancholic longing for things to get back to where they were before the economic crash and the drought. But I guess it was followed shortly by ‘Brother can you spare me a dime?’ since things were out of kilter for ten years. ”

The Big Rock Candy Mountain came in there somewhere, too.”

Which started us both off. “Rocky Mountain High in Colorado…

Hopscotching from tune to tune, Jane and I can sing in bits and snatches for hours.

“Yonder Street That Fronts The Sun”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is DISPOSABLE

I haven’t written a story for awhile and today I’m in the mood for fiction, and inspired by this poem. So here goes…

Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone –
a very plain brown stone will do –
that I may call my own;
and close at hand is such a one
in yonder street that fronts the sun.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes

The New Home

“I sure hope you’re going to be happy here, Mom,” Miranda said as she took a couple of suitcases from the trunk. “You’ve brought so few of your things with you. But I guess you don’t have room for much.” She eyed the tiny cottage and sighed.

“Don’t worry,” Alice reassured her. “This will be a cozy nest for me. I’ve brought with me the things I really love and will use every day. Looking around that huge house, I realized just how much of what we had was non-essential. Quite disposable, really.”

Her son-in-law looked up at the sky. “You’ll get the morning sun here. That should be cheering.” He picked up her microwave and Alice hurried to unlock the door for him.

Franz was trying to be upbeat, she knew. They’d questioned her choice of a small cottage on a dingy street, but what could they do? They glimpsed the tip of the iceberg, not the full extent of her penury. Widowed now, she could never afford that huge house, or even a nice senior’s apartment.

Miranda said, “I’m sorry you had to part with your lovely bone china, but I’m sure Chandra will take good care of it.” Chandra was Alice’s granddaughter. “Still, I hope you aren’t planning to live on instant dinners in disposable pouches?”

Alice laughed. “No, my dear, I’ll make myself proper meals now and then.”

Back at the car again, Franz grabbed the cat carrier from the back seat. “Alphonse will have a nice little back yard to prowl.”

“Yes, I have Alphonse to keep me company. We’ll get along quite well here.”

After her things were soon unloaded, her children had kissed her goodbye, and left, Alice let the cat out of his carrier. As he explored their new home, she sat in a chair and surveyed the furnishings she’d chosen. Tears slid down her cheeks. So much was gone; so little left of her old life.

Howard’s investments hadn’t borne much fruit; he’d kept that fact from her. Did the worry over finances cause his heart attack? What she’d sold had covered the debts and paid for this home, left her enough income to live on – she was thankful for that. Her knew her children would help out, but she didn’t want to be a drain on them.

She dried her tears, wandered into the kitchen and stared out the back door. The small fenced yard had a tiny patch dug up for garden, mostly weeds now. Well, she’d plant some flowers there. Maybe some lettuce and a few tomato plants. She went back to the counter and began opening boxes.

Three Tears

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is BLUR. I’m going to revamp an old story in response:


In a small English town two young women were crying, each in a blur of emotions. As the tears fell, an angel came and gently gathered them into a box to present before the Lord.

While they were waiting to present their stories and seek comfort for those who cried them, two of these tears met. “Whose tear are you,” the first tear asked.

“I’m a tear of regret,” the second tear answered. “Jill cried me this morning because she was so in love with Pete Cooper, but she dithered over the decision and he married Judy instead.”

“Interesting! I’m Judy’s tear of regret,” said the first tear. “She cried me because she married Pete Cooper and he isn’t the easiest person to live with.”

A moment later a third tear came along. “Whose tear are you,” the first tear asked. “You seem to be all alone.”

“Yes, I’m the one tear Pete Cooper shed this morning in a moment of frustration. He regrets staying here instead of emigrating to Australia. He sacrificed his dream on the marriage altar, now his future’s a gray blur of same-old same-old.”

OpenClipart-Vectors — Pixabay

No More Coddling!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is CODDLE. We ladies had a little discussion in Sunday school yesterday about “How much to do for your children,” which fuels my response to this prompt.


Jake tapped the corn syrup bottle in disgust. “Mom, I want the maple syrup, not–”

His father interrupted. “If you want maple syrup, get it yourself.”

Mom was already half way out of her seat when Dad grabbed her arm. “Sit down, Nancy.”

She protested. “I can get it for him, Dan. He’s probably tired from all his building yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. I’m exhausted!” Jake added a weary sigh for effect. He looked from one parent to the other, waiting to see how the ball would bounce.

Dad put an arm on Mom’s shoulder. “If you continue to coddle him, he’ll want you fetching and carrying for him when he’s thirty-five. When he and Tim were working on their tree house yesterday, he was carrying wood and pounding nails for an hour. He can manage a syrup bottle now.”

Jake rolled his eyes, got up and shuffled to the fridge. He grabbed the syrup and plunked it on the table, dropping into the chair again with a martyr’s sigh.

Mom watched her eight-year-old boy pour syrup on his pancakes and wolf them down. Tears picked her eyes. Would the time come when he didn’t need her at all – for anything?

A moment later Jake slipped off his chair. “Some of the guys are getting together at the school to play scrub. Is it okay if I go?”

Dad grinned at him. “After you put the syrup back in the fridge, and help your mother clean off the table.”

New Things


The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is NEW

Well, I have a new header to start off the new year. This one comes from PIXABAY and was designed by Gordon Johnson. To give credit where credit is due, the dividers I use are designed by him as well

WordPress kicks off Bloganuary tomorrow. And if you need any more new writing challenges, The Writer’s Digest offers a PDF with a whole year of writing prompts.

And here’s a new poem from me:

New World

Staring into her mug
the fiction writer swirls
cream into her coffee,
amazed as a new world
takes shape and populates,
characters rise in the steam
and start telling their stories.

Insipid Indeed!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is JUST. This has become a rather maligned word nowadays, but in my response I’ve let the word JUST give its lively rebuttal to its accusers. 😉

Can you imagine what it’s like to fall out of favor with the world? To have the inky-fingers set reject you? Call for your extermination?

They call me an INSIPID word. They say I mumble and fudge things. Extremists grumble that I’m not enthusiastic enough, that I never go all the way.

She should be deathly ill, they say, not just sick. He should be at the top of his game, not just getting there. The children should be little monsters, not just misbehaving.

Some so-called writing experts call me a “weasel word” and advise that I be deleted, along with my buddies about, a bit, and rather. Well, I rather think that’s just a bit extreme.

I call myself CONCILIATORY. I soothe, mollify the melodrama, keep writers from going off the deep end. If he’s just cold, why say he’s freezing, eh? If something’s just cute, why say it’s exquisite?

If someone’s on the brink of disaster, it seems like he’ll fly off any second. But if he’s just on the brink of disaster, well that implies a certain stop, right? A moment to breathe, to think, before tumbling over.

And if someone’s just about dead, he’s a whole lot better off than if he is dead. If something just died, it’s not cold and stiff yet. If he’s just out of prison, he hasn’t had time to get into more trouble. Maybe he’ll go straight?

I soften expectations. If she’s just a little girl, you can’t assume she’ll behave, physically or mentally, like an adult. He’s just an old man? So is he apt to enter the Ironman event? Don’t bank on it.

I try to be helpful by modifying criticism. If someone’s just eccentric, he’s not off the deep end yet. If she’s just touchy, she may well have other sterling qualities you could focus on.

I have a twin, also named JUST. We were once Siamese twins, but someone separated us. I veered toward ONLY where he took the UPRIGHT way. My twin adds a ring of truth wherever he appears. If you read that “Her words were just,” it’s not like they were just words. They were honest words.

We meet at the table sometimes. I’ll say “He’s just had two desserts” and my twin will say “He’ll get his just desserts later, when he gets on the scale.”


Note from me: Writing prompts are about having fun, they say, and I had mine with this word. 🙂