Brushes, Candles & Drugs

Hello Everyone! I wonder what sort of a day you’re having?

So far this day has brought me a mixture of relief, celebration and sorrow. I’m relieved and relaxed because our Craft Sale is over. On Friday I was at my table at the Villa from 10am-5pm setting up, chatting with other vendors and customers, and selling a few of my pictures. I didn’t sell a lot, but then mine weren’t Christmas-themed like most of the items for sale. I should do some snow scenes to fit the season.

I’m putting my brushes away for a few days, but am happy in retrospect to have done the work even though I didn’t sell many paintings. Every bit of painting works toward improving. Also, I photocopied a dozen with the thought of sometime making note cards. And here’s one:

I did add more sky colors to the water on the left before I varnished it.
I have much to learn about reflections.

Re: the candles mentioned in my title. Today is our grandson’s 11th birthday, so there’ll be cake and candles and presents for him this evening.

Sad to say, a few tears have dampened the joy when I got the news that my sister Donna was found dead this morning. She turned sixty-six two days ago.

When we got home from church there was a message on our phone from my sister Wilma, saying she had to talk to me. Wilma has been living in Alberta for years; she and I have chatted a few times a year since our sister Rose died. So I knew this call was serious and suspected a death or accident — never dreamed it would be Donna, though. But then, I haven’t had contact with Donna for ages and had no idea she’s been a heavy drug user for years. The drug paraphernalia found with her indicates she likely died of an overdose.

I’m very sad about this. When we were younger I was close to Donna and have always cared very much for her in spite of our lack of contact. At our sister Rose’s funeral three years back Donna gave me a big hug and then disappeared, didn’t stay to talk with anyone. I knew her life wasn’t at all stable, but thought alcohol was the main issue. Her youngest son is apparently also heavy into drugs and is currently doing time at the correctional centre. So the authorities had no trouble locating him when his mom was found dead. An autopsy is pending.

Her oldest son is working in northern Alberta and can’t be contacted, so all the planning is falling on son #2, the one who has his head together. I talked with him this afternoon and we both grieved over his mom and their messed up home.

Obscurity

A few days ago I wrote a verse using an almost-obsolete word, GLOAMING. As you’ll see, the story I’m posting today includes several rarely used words, so get out your dictionary. 🙂 And since there’s no ending to my tale, you’ll have to use your own imagination to finish it.

A Sombre Tale

The night was rayless, the moon mist-embalmed, stars lost in the opacity. A solitary bobcat, its pupils expanded to let in what little light there be, listens for the slightest rustle.

Its ears twitch as unusual crunches echo though the bosque – something large and careless is lumbering by. The bobcat sniffs, detects the scent of a human on the nearby trail, and abandons his hunt. Not far away a rabbit, terror-frozen, listens as the pad of the cat’s feet grows faint. The rabbit, sensing hope of escape at last, bolts into the underbrush.

Unconcerned with other drama, or rather too consumed by his own, a man stumbles along the tenebrous trail. Leading the way, his flashlight’s beam flickers off small lumps and bumps on the path. In the circle of light slicing the darkness, the man finds courage to go forward with hesitant steps.

Just as his feet grope for safe footing on the rutted trail, so the man is feeling his way through the murk of his misgivings. As he advances, his mind sifts through the potential consequences that loom so large in the semi-darkness around him. Should he turn around? Should he forsake this quest?

His eyes strain to see village lights ahead, seeking encouragement and a moment of camaraderie at a place where shadowed souls like himself are gathering. A pinprick of streetlight winks through the trees, beckoning him on.

“One last time.” He whispers the promise into the darkened brake.
“Just this one last time.”

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt: IN THE CIRCLE

How to Be Cheerful

There are some game plans that sound totally illogical and backwards, but actually work. 🙂

How to Be Cheerful

by Edgar Guest

How to be cheerful, do you say,
when the wind is cold and the skies are gray?
How to be cheerful? Just one way:
forget yourself for awhile today.

Never mind self and your irksome cares.
Somebody else greater burden bears.
Stretch out a helping hand and play
the friend to all who may chance your way.

You’ll never be cheerful sitting there
sorrowing over the hurts you bear,
for never a joyous hour is known
by the man who thinks of himself alone.

How to be cheerful? Scatter cheer;
share your life with your neighbors here;
encourage the weary and comfort the sad*
and you’ll find more joy than you’ve ever had.

From his book, The Collected Works of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee company

*You may have to do this by phone until Covid-19 has been banished. 🙂

Frame by Free-creative at Pixabay

The Naughty Mite

An Old-Fashioned Caution

A naughty termite eyed a house
and said, “I’ll make you fall
with a little chomping here and there.”
So it chose a sturdy wall.

The house was made of robust beams
“I’ve stood a century!
Could stand a hundred more,” it bragged,
“Built from the strongest tree.”

Yet the old house shuddered softly;
what a sprightly mite might do!
And wished someone would squash the thing
as it commenced to chew.

The insect chewed both day and night;
the onslaught seemed quite small
yet the termite had colossal dreams
of seeing this house fall.

He chomped with such a fervent haste,
carved tunnels all around,
’til weakened finally, the wall
cracked and came crashing down.

The house, deprived of its support,
groaned sadly, then it buckled
and as the roof on the garden fell
that wicked termite chuckled.

So might some petty jealousy
though minuscule to start,
bring down a home, split dearest friends,
or break a tender heart.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: ROBUST
Word of the Day Challenge: SPRIGHTLY
My response is this adaptation of “The Ant and the Rubber Tree Plant.” 🙂

Indecision

Good morning everyone. Fandango’s one-word challenge this morning is DESPONDENT and here’s my response.

I was working out a haiku in my mind earlier, and I think it will fit well with this prompt, since I tend to get despondent when I think too long about all the things I might have accomplished if I’d been more disciplined and decisive.
Putting things off may be the easiest way at the moment, but I’ve learned that you do have to “pay the piper” farther down the road.

undecided
what my life might have been
had I only…

Life’s mini dillemas:

Birds argue.sujufotos
Image by sujufotos —  Pixabay