Curiosity

Curiosity quote

On April 1st, 1899, thirteen-year-old Christina Young recorded the following in her diary:

Sara Murphy and I came near catching it today. She is one of my chums, but she lives one and a half miles from here. We sit together in school.

The teacher was standing with his back to our seat and we were seeing how close we could come to his back with a pin without his knowing it. Sara had the pin almost through his coat, and I didn’t hardly know I was going to do it, but all of a sudden I gave her arm a shove.

The teacher jumped about a foot high, and turned around and brought his strap down BANG on the desk. We were pretty scared, but he just looked at us pretty sharp for a minute, and then turned around quick and didn’t do a thing to us. We behaved after that.

 

How Did We All Fit?

Memories from childhood summers, when my four siblings came to spend a month with us in our tiny house on Ave F. The upside was, we all fit in the city swimming pool. 🙂

POOR FOLKS

Five children squeezed
in a two-bedroom house;
crammed in every corner
sleeping on the couch,
the floor, three in one bed.
Having too much fun to see
that this was poverty.

Older By A Thumb

An older woman sat in the doctor’s waiting room next to a mother and her young son. Being a grandmother herself, she smiled at the little boy and said “Hi. What’s you name?”

He shyly stared at her for a moment, then said, “Jordan.”

“And how old are you, Jordan?”

“I’m four,” The lad proclaimed, holding out his hand with his four fingers raised.

“Oh, that’s good. And when will you be five?”

The boy looked up at her, puzzled. He looked up at his mom and she gently repeated the question. “When will you be five? Can you tell her?”

The boy looked at his hand, turned back to the older woman and said, “When I stick out my thumb. Like this.” He opened his hand wide. “Then I’m five.”

(Adapted from a cute story I read once.)

Gifts and Children’s Whims

Seasons greetings to all my Readers and Followers.

Is everyone in a “holly jolly Christmas” mood? I wish for you one and all happy holidays with lots of sweet getting-together times. We’re planning to enjoy Christmas dinner with our children and grandchildren and have a gift exchange in the afternoon.

Seems we’re going to have a white Christmas after all. We’ve come through a spell of unseasonably mild temperatures and the snow that fell in November slowly disappeared. In the last few days we’ve gotten a bit more and the temp is dropping.

I haven’t posted anything for a week, trying to get through an un-jolly blue funk. I sometimes feel like I’m swimming through mud, wishing I had lots of energy and enthusiasm but rather feeling exhaustion and depression. Getting stuck in a mire about what little I’ve accomplished versus what all I should be doing.

I find it heartwarming to hear those cheery old Christmas carols like “Joy to the World.” I realize that feelings come and go, will drag us down at times, but the world is singing of great Joy: our God remembers us in all our trials and has sent us a Counselor and Guide. I’ll never be all I should be or do all I should do, but Christmas comes every year to remind us God is ever merciful.

On a happier note, for Friday Fictioneers this week I wrote this story to go with the photo prompt: “The Princess and the Pea Green Hat.” Now I offer a “choose your own ending” for this tale. Read the story and choose which ending you like best of those below. Or add your own in the comments. 🙂

1) Princess loved the hat and wore it everywhere until she outgrew it.

2) She loved it, wore it on their holiday trip, and left it at a MacDonalds 1500 miles from home.

3) She wore it to school once but no one else was wearing a hat like this. Being a sensitive child she refused to wear it again and be called weird.

4) She wore it to school, but so many others were wearing a hat like this, hers wasn’t a novelty at all. Being a sensitive child, she refused to wear it again and look like everybody else.

5) She had a fight with her friend Tiannia, whose Mom knitted the hat, and tossed the thing in a dumpster for spite.

6) She felt sorry for all the poor children who have no hats, so she donated it to a charity.

♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬ ♬

I can sympathize with Princess, her eager-to-please mother and long-suffering father. When it came to Christmas gifts, I was an odd child — or a normal one with very indulgent Aunt & Uncle. (I grew up with them as my parents.) I asked for some ridiculous things, on a whim more or less, and Mom & Dad F (read “Dad” here) bought them for me.

Like when I asked for a typewriter when I was nine, or a microscope when I was ten. Whatever possessed me!? Of course these items were a novelty for a few days after Christmas, then I put them away and seldom looked at them again. (What an ungrateful wretch!)

Much to my parents’ dismay. “You wanted this thing and now you’ve got it and you never play with it!” I felt bad, but I’d completely lost interest. Mom & Dad F were just scraping by; Dad had serious health issues after the War and missed a lot of work for awhile. Only as an adult did I realize the sacrifice they made to get me those things. To top it off, my siblings (raised by our parents) consequently often griped that “Whatever you ask for Uncle Fred buys you.”

Children have such brilliant — but fleeting — whims. For my folks’ sake I wish they’d said, “Forget it. Here’s a doll.” Or I’d had some smarts myself and not asked for expensive novelties. (Though the typewriter did get some use several years later when I was in high school.)

Mind you, they usually gave me the book I wanted, too — often the current Nancy Drew Mystery — and those I appreciated for years. So I have lots of good Christmas memories in addition to a few guilt-trippy ones. 🙂

All I can say now is, give your children and grandchildren whatever you want, but don’t expect undying appreciation. They are children.

Adam’s Fall

Another Friday Fictioneers prompt in my In-box this morning, so here’s my story in response. I’m so glad our leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields puts in so much time and effort to moderate these weekly challenges. If you’d like to enter an item in this week’s FF story collection, check out her blog for more details. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for the prompt image. I’ll admit, photos like this give my muse a real workout!

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

ADAM’S FALL

I wanted to punish Adam that morning. Kid brothers don’t need to tag along when you’re with your best friend!

At the old factory Mick and I easily went over the fence. “Wait up, guys,” Adam yelled.

I nudged Mick. “Tough. He needs to learn.”

We poked around some old machinery, then headed back. Saw Adam’s shoe hooked in the chain; him sprawled on the concrete.

The trident of remorse-fear-panic jabbed me as I ran, screaming his name. I tugged at his arm.

“Careful, Jordan,” Mick warned. “”If he’s got broken bones…”

Adam lived, thank God! And I learned.

Who Needs School

Luanna was finding her first year of school quite a problem. She didn’t like getting up so early to get ready and then sitting for twenty minutes on the school bus every day. In class she struggled to remember all those sticks and balls and which one said which sound, all the shapes of the numbers and how many circles to draw for each.

So much work! Why did she have to know all that when her Mom already did and was so good at reading stories to them? She liked colouring and recess, but really she’d far rather stay at home and play with her little brother.

One day she was at Grandma’s for a cookie-bake and tea party; as they sipped their tea she told Grandma all about it. “So you see, Grandma, school is too hard. I wish I didn’t have to go.”

Grandma tried to encourage her. “Try your best, Sweetie, ’cause someday you’ll be big and you’ll want to get a job and earn some money for yourself. Then you’ll need to know all these things.”

Luanna puzzled over that for a minute, then her little face lit up. “I know! I can just stay at home and get a pension like you and Grandpa.”

smile-421163_640

Found the perfect solution, Grandma.

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Originally posted on my poetry blog, Swallow in the Wind.

The Journey that Makes You Kind

Struck out

Struck out!

To the victorious:
the ribbons, the cheers,
the flush of accolades.

To the defeated
who’ve also run the race:
the pain, the tears.

Remember, my son
those who’ve tried and failed;
walk a mile in their shoes.
The journey will make you kind.

C.G.

From my upcoming book, Silver Morning Song