This is MY Chair

Ragtag Prompt Word today: SURRENDER
Word of the Day challenge: QUICK

Things are going slower than usual this morning, since I surrendered to an extra two hours of sleep. I let the cats in at 5:30 am, but decided it was just too early and went back to bed. So it does.

I got to thinking of de- words, like delight, deform, debase, etc., and wrote a post over at Word Buds on the word DESULTORY. This has quite an interesting root, salire meaning TO LEAP. You can read my post HERE.

As I was typing merrily away, posted my work, and went out to the kitchen for something. Came back and found my cat Angus — always quick to seize an opportunity of this nature — was curled up in my desk chair, prepared to nap for a few hours. Too bad for him! I wanted to do more on the computer and would not surrender my chair. “I’m going to sit here,” I informed him as I pulled him off and dumped him on the floor. His disgruntled look expressed his displeasure.

Cat.Angus.Alina Kuptsova
Alina Kuptsova —  Pixabay

But another opportunity afforded itself; he headed for Bob’s vacant chair and with one quick leap he’d claimed that. It looks like he may even catch forty winks before the owner thereof returns to demand it back. And by then I’ll be occupied with other things and my chair will be empty.

The Jibber Jabber with Sue prompt word for today is SILENCE, and I guess that apart from her scheduled writing prompt words, there is silence over at her blog as she takes a writing break.

There may be silence at our house — especially since I haven’t put in  my hearing aids yet — but there’s no silence outdoors. The birds start expressing their views at dawn and twitter until the daylight fades. We had a real treat yesterday afternoon, looking out the dining room window and seeing goldfinches at our niger-seed feeder. First ones we’ve seen this spring. Friends say they saw some, too, so the flock must have just arrived from the sunny south.

Farmers have been seeding in hope. They are brave souls who seldom surrender to the elements, but it’s been quite dry. We’ve been promised an inch of rain Wed and we sure hope it comes. I remember back about thirty years ago environmentalists being concerned for the survival of migratory birds because so many sloughs and small lakes — their breeding grounds — had dried up. We may be back to that before long.

The old farmers talk about weather cycles, about ten years of wet followed by about ten years of dry — and we’ve seen this played out since we came back to SK. Back then the prairie was in the grip of a very dry spell, then the wet cycle started and we had 8-10 years of plenty. Sloughs hereabouts were as full as any of the old-times could remember and gravel roads needed to be built up higher. Now we’re into a dry cycle again; the huge sloughs beside us are dry.

Maybe our focus is very small, but prairie folks don’t soon get panicked about climate change — especially those who’ve lived through the 1930s. But drought is something we understand too well; all of us older ones have been through a number of these cycles. Our young teens haven’t seen a real drought.

Please pardon my ramblings. Stay safe and have a great week, everyone.
Stores here open tomorrow. 🙂

Party.OCArt

Sunday Prompt

Good morning everyone — or at least it will be when you read this, as I’m scheduling it for 8am. I want to set this up tonight because I’m not certain we’ll have an internet connection in the morning.

In reality it’s just past midnight here and I’m up late having a hot drink, watching the snow blow over the garage roof, hearing our windows and the internet dish on the roof rattling. Yes, our spring-like weather from this afternoon has vanished and March is coming in with a lion-like howling blizzard here.

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for March 1st is STENTORIAN. I’ve chosen this word and hope bloggers will respond favorably to it. Here’s my tale, which I’ve written as a response to this prompt.

Takes All Kinds to Make a World

Though they were only thirteen months apart in age and could easily pass for twins, Royal and his brother Abner were two completely different natures. Folks who knew the family claimed that when the boys were growing up, young Roy, as everyone called him, talked and his younger brother listened. And when Roy was done voicing his opinion, Ab would put in a few sensible words at the end.

Roy’s stentorian voice is the talk of the town. He only has one volume, folks say, and that’s the loudest. Folks say when the family comes to town they can often hear Roy a mile away, giving orders to his youngsters. And if one of them misbehaves the whole town knows it. And you sure don’t want to be in the same room as him when he gets to discussing politics!

Livery stable owner Frank Tompkins says his horses get so nervous they started kicking in their stalls whenever they hear Roy’s angry tones roll across town. That might be an exaggeration, but Widow Smith maintains that he made Duke, her old horse, bolt one day. She claims she was driving by Roy’s farm when Roy came out of the barn and started roaring at one of his boys for some misdeed. Old Duke jerked his head back and ran like the wolves were after it. She barely managed to get him slowed down again. It’s a wonder she didn’t have a wreck!

Pete Brown said he sure hoped Roy never came around his barn at milking time. “My cows won’t let down their milk if they hear that trumpet of his.” Someone wondered how Roy got any milk from his own cows and another farmer explained that Roy left the milking to his wife and girls. They were all good with the dairy. “He wants his cream check, so he stays away from the barn when the women are milking.”

Opposites attract, you know, and Mrs Royal is a quiet, shy woman. Folks who get to know her say she’s rather hard of hearing. Maybe that helps. We wonder, though, if listening to him has made her deaf.

Mrs Abner, on the other hand, is never reluctant to speak her mind. Sometimes she seems a little impatient to have Ab hurry up and say his piece, but you can’t rush him. If you take the time to sit and wait while he mulls the matter over, he will come out with some pretty wise words.

“Takes all kinds to make a world,” they say. You just don’t think that two boys so opposite could come out of one family.

The Elephant

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #64

Plus this morning’s Word of the Day: ASTONISHMENT
and Your Daily Word prompt: DEFINE

THE ELEPHANT

“And what’s this?”Amy walked toward the metal sculpture.

Carl studied the thing. “Rather hard to define.”

“You said it!”

“Perhaps it represents some animal,” Carl suggested. “Yes! It’s meant to be an elephant.”

“A six-legged elephant?”

“One prong’s the trunk and one’s the tail.”

Amy sniffed. “But no body.”

“Sculptor ran out of metal?”

Just then the curator joined them. “I see you’ve discovered our war memorial.”

“War memorial?” Carl eyed the sculpture. “Not an elephant, then?”

Her eyes opened in astonishment. “Elephant! My good man…”

“A war memorial,” Amy repeated.

“Quite right. Commemorates British-Danish joint efforts in the Battle of Copenhagen. Isn’t it brilliant?”

Some other tourists were beckoning so the woman left them to ponder the curious representation.

“I was right about animals,” Carl declared. “It must represent Mark Anthony’s “loosing the dogs of war.”

“But one’s missing two legs,” Amy protested.

“War does that.”

“True.”

Can A Popular Person Be Lonely?

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge today is POPULAR

This brings to mind a conversation I had twenty-some years ago: three other women and myself were having coffee together and in the course of conversation I mentioned that I was never part of the “in-crowd.” One by one all three of my friends responded with, “I never was, either.”

This was a shocker. I always was an odd kid, raised apart from my birth family, ridiculed by my foster dad and made fun of by my peers. I became a loner — but surely these three were exactly the types to be leading an in-crowd!

Lise, a French-Canadian nurse, wife of the town vet and mom to three, was as lively and friendly as they come. Same with Diane, also a nurse, the wife of a school teacher and mother of a son and twin girls. They could visit with anybody. Ruth, the United Church Minister’s wife, university-educated, outgoing, cheerful, also sharing her thoughts freely. I loved visiting with each of them and could imagine they’d have been the most popular girls in any school.

If these girls weren’t part of “the in-crowd,” who was?

Take comfort, those of you who aren’t so popular at school. Teens who are not part of the in-crowd can still become friendly, moxie people with active minds, maybe even more caring and sharing than those who agonize about fitting in.

Yesterday Pastor J S Park posted a great article: “LONELINESS, The Unnamed Pain.” He’s given me permission to reblog it, but for some reason that isn’t working as it should, so I’ll copy and paste. If you struggle with loneliness this is a must-read. And he says yes, you can be lonely surrounded by other people.

LET’S TALK ABOUT LONELINESS”

I’m not a therapist or doctor, but as a hospital chaplain, I’ve seen the terrible and awful effects of loneliness on mental health. The problem is that it’s tough to admit, almost embarrassing to say, “I’m hurting from loneliness.”

Loneliness is a double-bind in that in order to find comfort, it requires reaching out to people or for people to be near. But some of us have been alone so long, it’s unthinkable that we can connect with another human without risking rejection—which fuels more loneliness.

“WHY DON’T YOU JUST MAKE FRIENDS?”

The unhelpful reply I hear to “I’m lonely” is “Why don’t you just make friends?” But that’s like saying, “Why don’t you just get rich?” or “Why can’t you just go to the gym?” We’re already in deficit, a lap behind, because we fear connection in proportion to how alone we feel.

It’s difficult to make friends and keep them. It’s hard to have real friendships that are not just functional transactions. Even when someone is surrounded by crowds or well connected, they may be the loneliest people on earth, because all their “friends” are transactional.

“THE OPPOSITE OF LONELINESS IS COURAGE”

I don’t know the answer to loneliness. But I know what the answer is not: We can’t just snap out of it. We can’t just cure it with a party, a bar, a church, a dating app. It requires intentional investment and yes, the risk of rejection. The opposite of loneliness is courage. It takes courage to reach out, to enter each other’s orbit, to risk trust, and to be alone in our thoughts and fears.

Friends, this week may be lonely. This season can be brutal. They can remind you of all that’s missing. As trite as it sounds: You may feel lonely, but you are not alone. May you find the courage to reach out, to enter the possibilities of love in all its heaven and heartache.

Flourish.plainer
Many thanks to Pastor Park for allowing me to share his encouraging article.

 

Are You Boxing Today?

Good morning everyone.

We woke up yesterday morning to a delightful fluffy blanket of fresh snow and a calm, mild sort of day. This morning it’s -15° C / 5° F and a serious wind from the NW, reducing the temp to -21 C / -11 F with windchill factored in. a person doesn’t want to be out side long in this “invigorating” weather.

And it’s Boxing Day here in Canada. While this day hasn’t no spiritual significance, it was traditionally a day to at least think of the poor. Back in Ebeneezer Scrooge’s Day folks would have packed up boxes of food and goodies as a special treat for the poor. Of which there were many, as the Ghost of Christmas Present reminded Scrooge, including Ebeneezer’s own clerk, Bob Cratchett.

When it comes to charity, some folks are truly giving and kind, no strings attached, bless their dear hearts. When they give a gift, it’s a quality item. Others have agendas of buying friendship or affection, and still others use this as a way to feel good while getting rid of outdated, unwanted stuff. I managed a Thrift Shop for a year and could write lots about this. 😉

And there was a generation that saved everything and passed it on. My Aunt-Mom grew up in very poor circumstances and never wanted to throw away anything that might be useful. She didn’t hoard, though; she passed it on. After I was married, she’d pack and mail big Christmas parcels for us with all manner of things like cookies they couldn’t eat, blank menu sheets from the restaurant they sold, stamps they hadn’t sold at the post office, or Grandma’s old dresses for me to make into girls’ aprons. I still think back with affection on Mom’s grab-box parcels, but I can’t say much got used.

Mine is the generation that’s had to move those dear old parents and grandparents into small apartments, which meant helping them downsize. I’m sure a lot of you can tell about an endeavor of that sort. While I’m trying to declutter for my children’s sake, I still have that mindset that “This might come in handy if / could still be used for…” Yes. they’ll still have a lot of stuff to deal with when we move on.

Back to Boxing Day. I doubt anyone’s packing boxes for the poor today. Christmas hampers are generally given out ahead of time by a number of charities these days. Boxing Day has come to mean SALES! Advertised well in advance. Two weeks before Christmas we got a “BOXING WEEK SALE” flier from some store.

Traditionally, stores here in Canada have been closed on Boxing Day, though some are pushing it and some provinces are allowing store opening today. In one way, Boxing Day is our Black Friday, except that Christmas is over, the pressure is off, and there’s no scrambling over each other to get to bargains. Boxing Day/Week sales are simply the way stores get rid of surplus inventory — especially seasonal and/or perishable — before the Easter sales start in February. Sigh…

And now I shall treat myself to a cup of fresh hot coffee and think about my day’s work. We aren’t having our family Christmas until Sunday, which should give me time to scrounge through my closets and come up with a nice box of misc-this-and-that as a special treat for my grandchildren. Then they’ll have something to tell their children about Granny’s Christmas parcels — and my daughter will be that much ahead when it comes time to deal with our stuff. 😉

Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning: SPIRITUAL
Daily Addiction prompt word: TREAT