Fading Out

Sammi has given bloggers another Weekend Writing Prompt:


The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose.  You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you.  The only rules are these:

  • your poem / prose must contain this week’s word (see note below).  The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
  • the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge.  No more.  No less.
  • A note on the word: you can use any variation of the word (for example: call, calls, calling, called etc).  If you find you are struggling to use this week’s word you may substitute it for a synonym – just include a note to explain the swap.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun! 🙂

And here’s my attempt at seventeen words of wisdom:

See it fade from their eyes, this earth-light,
as the glow from another world draws them home.

Bert & Harv Reminisce

Crispina has posted another weekly challenge HERE

Everyone’s welcome to join in the fun. Here’s how it works:
Every Wednesday I post a photo. You respond with something CREATIVE
Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less

Once you have your response posted, visit her blog and do a PINGBACK, or leave the URL of your response post in her comment box.

Here’s this week’s photo:

And here is my response, 150 words on the dot.

BERT & HARV REMINISCE

“Look at that, Harv. What’s it gonna be when it’s done?”

“Maybe it is done? Some kind of modern art?”

Bert scowled. “More’n likely. Folks nowadays know nothin’ about art. When we were young you could look at pictures and know what you were seeing. Today it’s all splash-dab and heaven knows.”

“Maybe it’ll be one of them water slides?”

“Maybe. Fool kids apt to kill themselves gettin’ up that high. Nowadays they need crazy thrills to keep ’em happy. When we were young, Harv, it was fun enough to…”

“And see those flimsy supports holding that tube. Any weight on them and down the thing’ll come.”

“For sure. Nowadays they don’t know how to build anything solid. Watched my grandson put up drywall one day. When I was young, builders tested plaster with a hammer. You take a hammer to today’s flimsy stuff…”

“Let’s get us some tea, Bert.”

“Older Than Dirt”

I was talking with a friend yesterday and she asked me if I felt a year older now. No, not a whole year older. However, I just came across a file while scrolling through my DropBox and as I reread it, I realized that I, too, am “older than dirt.”
Renee Boomer shared these thoughts about eight years ago. They’re surely worth posting again. I hope they give you youngsters under fifty a smile today, too.

Man reflectingMy husband always tells the grandchildren that he is ‘older than dirt’. They find that quite funny. When I was approaching my sixtieth birthday they looked at me and said, “Gamma, now you will be ‘older than dirt’ just like Papa.
Ha-ha. They will have their turn.

Old-Time Memories

When my Dad was cleaning out my grandmother’s house he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea.
She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to ‘sprinkle’ clothes with because we didn’t have steam irons. Man, I am old!

How many of these do you remember?
– Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
– Ignition switches on the dashboard.
– Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
– Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
– Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.
— Ice boxes and home delivery of ice.
— Galvanized steel bath tubs.
Toy doll in tub

Here’s an official Older Than Dirt Quiz :
Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about.
Then see your rating at the bottom. 🙂

Candy cigarettes
Coffee shops with table-side juke boxes
Home milk delivery in glass bottles
Telephone party lines
Newsreels before the movie
TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. There were only 3 channels — if you were fortunate!
Peashooters
Howdy Doody
45 RPM records
Hi-fi’s
Metal ice trays with lever
Blue flashbulb
Cork popguns
Studebakers
Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11-15 = You’re older than dirt!

I might be “older than dirt” but those memories are some of the best parts of my life!

The Nursing Home

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was HABITAT

asia-1822460_640Last night I was reading some poems written by a man visiting his aged mother in the nursing home, and decided to write one myself, about an incident that happened when my Mom-in-law was 97. She had dementia, but not the total loss of Alzheimer’s, so she still had a sense of where she was living.

Wheeling Mom around the nursing home
we find the visitors’ room almost empty today.
Just one old gent in his wheelchair, staring silently
in peaceful meditation — or frustration?

We stop awhile in our rambling – and why not?
We’re just killing time, really. The last hours of a lifetime.
I pick a spot by the picture window and we gaze outside.
Beautiful yard. Even if her vision’s fuzzy, I hope
she can still catch some of the spring colour.

She looks around the huge room, discerning
a bit of the high ceilings and classy woodwork.
“My grandfather built this house,”
she informs the man, with a touch of pride,
not remembering that this isn’t a house.

When we first brought her here she thought
it was a junkyard, the final habitat of old and unwanted.
But that memory’s gone; now, thankfully, she likes
this place her grandpa built — sometimes just worked on.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,”
the old fellow snaps. One of the lucid ones, bad luck.
Held captive here by his lack of mobility, perhaps,
but wheelchairs don’t affect the understanding.

“He did!” Mom insists. “My grandpa built this place
and Uncle Pete helped.” Because didn’t they both live here?
And weren’t they both carpenters? Good ones, too!
She remembers her Dad getting letters from his sister;
she and Uncle Pete did live here, back in the ’30s.

Her dad was blind so she read everything to him,
so she knows. How dare this man contradict her!
Of course she remembers her grandpa. Even Uncle Pete –
if only from those letters Aunt Catherine wrote.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
But his harsh retort just bounces off her certainty.
I decide to continue our stroll and wheel her down the hall
while she can still be right – and he’s definitely wrong.

This Strange Whiteness

Hello everyone. The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is AFRAID. A word with so many shades, from embarrassed to reluctant to a bit fearful to terrified.

I’m afraid — somewhat embarrassed, that is — that I’ve been very slow to respond. Today I’ve been occupied with a sewing project. And I’m afraid — reluctant to admit and say — that I won’t be doing much blogging for a couple of weeks, as I MUST attend to other important things that have been piling up.

As long as nothing goes “BUMP” in the night, I’m not seriously fearful about anything right now.

Here’s a poem about fear, and how fearful folks with dementia sometimes feel. They know something’s wrong; they sense that their mind isn’t working like it should; and (if they’re still with it enough) they wonder how much more confused they’re going to get.

My verse probably needs some help and I’m open to suggestions how I can improve it.

Wandering in a strange whiteness
I’ve lost my mind in a snowbank,
I’m half frozen — and the wind
has blotted out what I should know;
memories buried in snow.

Perhaps I know you, but the blur
drifting across my eyes today
has made vague shrouds
of the familiar. I can’t recall
in these grey, blinding clouds,
who I once was, or how…
I’m related to you, you say?
I’m afraid I’ve forgotten.

How I wish some breeze
could blow this fog out of my mind;
melt this snow, warm my bones,
show me where I should be,
I hate to have to sit here
half the day, blind and frozen.

Hula-Hoop Flexible? Not.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today — which I’m so slow at responding to because of a trip to the city this morning — is FLEXIBLE.

A great word, and a great concept. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone were flexible, both in body and in mind. Not flexible with the truth, like saying black is white or “If it feels good, do it.” Just flexible enough to ponder new ideas and make the change when something better comes along.

Flex.OCArtBut my first thought in regard to the word “flexible” is how I used to be when I was young. Hula-hoops were all the rage and we used to writhe around all recess keeping our hoops moving around our waists. It wasn’t one bit hard, either, as I recall.

As fads recycle, hula hoops reappeared when my grandchildren were younger and I decided to try it again, for old times’ sake. (Those old times before I knew what arthritis meant.) There was something wrong with the way this hoop was made, though: it wouldn’t stay where it was supposed to. When I gave it that first spin and started gyrating to keep it circling, it dropped to the floor. Every time. I soon gave up. Either the thing was too rigid to twirl properly or perhaps modern plastic is just too heavy.