“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.

A Rosy Dawn

I wrote a few days ago about how my leukemia has been flaring up — my main symptom right now being fatigue. Which means I haven’t gotten into Christmas shopping mood, plus three of our grandchildren are upper teens. Gift certs work best. 🙂

Last Sunday we were wondering how this week would turn out, anyway, when we heard one of our elderly members — living in a nursing home half an hour away — was quite low. The family had been called together and we was a church were expecting a funeral announcement anytime. But the dear old gent rallied and the week went on as previously planned. The school children brought their Christmas programme Thursday night and our church youth group brought theirs last night. We enjoyed the two lovely evenings, listening to the Christmas story brought through songs and old familiar carols.

Took me awhile to fall asleep last night, so I didn’t get up until almost 9 am. Woke up feeling rather blue, partly because Christmas is coming and I’d just like to skip it. Grinch! Also, this morning again I’ve a tender lump in front of my right ear; I’m guessing it’s a CLL-affected lymph node. If I start getting lumpy lymph nodes I’ll have to get with the treatment. Which will likely be small stuff this time around; just one pill for the rest of my life.

Got up and read a text from the elderly gent’s family letting us know that their father died at 2am this morning. This will change Christmas week for a lot of people. He came from a large family, so a lot of nieces and nephews, plus he & his wife had seven children, so a lot of descendants. Plus he was a well known pastor. Condolences are pinging in steadily on WhatsApp.

Mr Hiebert was 91 in Sept, so led a good long life. A pastor for many of those years, he helped us a lot when we were sifting through many religious doctrines, searching for truth and a church home. As I said in my title, we had a lovely rosy dawn this morning. We trust our dear old friend enjoyed a rosy dawn in that land of eternal day.

Image: Peggychoucain — Pixabay

Still Young at Seventy-Three

Well, I’m not seventy-three yet, but I hope I can still maintain an interest in life, even well past that milestone — as I’m sure Mr Guest did.

OLD AGE

by Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

I used to think that growing old was reckoned just in years,
but who can name the very date when weariness appears?
I find no stated time when man, obedient to a law,
must settle in an easy chair and from the world withdraw.
Old age is rather curious, or so it seems to me;
I know old men at forty and young men at seventy-three.

I’m done with counting life by years or temples turning gray.
No man is old who wakes with joy to greet another day.
What if the body cannot dance with youth’s elastic spring?
There’s many a vibrant interest to which the mind can cling.
It’s in the spirit Age must dwell, or this would never be:
I know old men at forty and young men at seventy-three.

Some men keep all their friendships warm and welcome friendships new;
they have no time to sit and mourn the things they used to do.
This changing world they greet with joy and never bow to fate;
on every fresh adventure they set out with hearts elate.
From chilling fear and bitter dread they keep their spirits free
while some seem old at forty, they stay young at seventy-three.

So much to do, so much to learn, so much in which to share!
With twinkling eyes and minds alert some brave both time and care.
And this I’ve learned from other men, that only they are old
who think with something that has passed the tale of life is told.
For Age is not alone of time, or we should never see
Men old and bent at forty and men young at seventy-three.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

An Impatient Patient

I see that readers have liked my haiku, so here’s another one…

window breezes
ruffle the bedside bouquet
an impatient sigh

Image by K Hanolon — Unsplash

My flowers are all outside, but I’m the patient today, spending a good while in my recliner trying to get over another sore throat that started yesterday. And wondering what my doctor will say when I see him next week. One of the things that came out of my phone consultation with my oncologist last week Monday was that my blood sugar is high. “I’m a little concerned about that,” she said. “You should see your doctor about it.”

So I did. He was concerned, too, and sent me for a fasting glucose test, which I had Monday morning. His receptionist called me yesterday morning and said, “The doctor has the result of your blood test, and he wants to see you.” And I said, “Oh-oh!” But this may explain why I’ve been feeling so tired the last few weeks.

My mom had Type 2 diabetes in her older years and my sister Donna had it already in her 40s, so this doesn’t come any surprise. I’d like to rush straight to his office and hear the worst, but he’s going to be away for a week so my appointment isn’t until next week Friday. Sigh… I’m guessing I’m still at the pre-diabetic stage and am starting to cut back on sugar. Sniffle, whimper.

Anyway, while I’m recovering from the speed bumps on life’s road, I may not write stories, but I’ll post more verses and hope you enjoy them. Since my energy is low right now, it may be a good time to sit here and enter those poetry bits I have in scribblers.

Cutting the Mustard

Good morning everyone. The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is MUSTARD — and yesterday’s prompt was HORN. I’ll touch on the two in one quick sweep.

I wonder how many prompt followers will think of the old song, “He’s Too Old to Cut the Mustard Anymore.” Probably not many, as this song was popular before I was born. I only dimly remember it, and my mom singing snatches of it around the house sometimes. In this song a fellow is blowing his horn about all the things he could do when he was young…but the frailty of old age has set in and his mobility is limited. Once the girls were all eager to spend time with him. Now “they push you around in a four-wheeled chair.” If you’re interested, you can read the lyrics here.

My Dad Vance would have identified with this song. Always a physically fit and active man, when he was in his seventies he’d walk the seventeen miles from Moose Jaw to Belle Plaine to visit his sister, no problem. But his one hand was starting to shake — the beginnings of the Parkinson’s disease that finally immobilized him. He hated the thought of being tied in a wheel chair, but for him it became a reality because he couldn’t get up and walk by himself.

Of course there’s the MUSTARD plant…and wild mustard. This is canola country and wild mustard, a close cousin to canola, is a real nuisance if it infests a canola field. Wild mustard seeds remain viable in the soil for many years, they sprout mid-spring, plants establish quickly, and anything that will kill it will kill its cousin, too. Worse, here in western Canada it’s developed a resistance to most weed killers. This picture is from Cornell University’s Agricultural Weed ID site.

For comparison, here’s a Pixabay photo of canola in bloom:

Image by GayleenFroese2 — Pixabay

I think that’s enough about old age and wild mustard. Monday morning laundry is waiting for my attention. Have a great week, everyone.