Grad night

Here’s my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word: FLOUNCE

Emily checked the clock again, wondering if her date would be early or just on time. “Please don’t be late,” she thought. “Let’s get on with the show.” She’d looked forward to graduation all through high school; now the day had come and she was jittery as well as eager.

She straightened the many frills on her new dress and wondered what he’d think of it. Would he be embarrassed? As her Dad politely commented half an hour ago, it was a little over the top. Mom had decided to try a new dressmaker and Emily described the type of dress she wanted. On impulse she’d added, “I’d like something with a touch more flounce.”

Yes, she’d definitely said “a touch.” Somehow the concept hadn’t been communicated well. The gown Emily envisioned hadn’t at all corresponded to the dressmaker’s image of “a touch more flounce.” She hoped she’d be able to move around in all these ruffles — and not roast once the action get started. Worse, she was horrified they might make her look fat!

Image by Natalja Danilchenko — Pixabay

A Stitch In Time

Random musings today, which can be my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word, MEANDER

A Stitch In Time

Deciding to head for the park where I could meander awhile, I slipped my car key into my jacket pocket and…

Clunk. My key landed on the floor.

I stuck my hand in my pocket and discovered that small hole I’d intended to repair, was now a bigger hole. Big enough for my car key to fall through. Yes, I’d noticed those few missing stitches and vowed – can it be several months ago now? – that I’d fix that hole very soon. But somehow…

I recall that old grandmas’ saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” For centuries untold moms and grandmas passed on this kind of practical wisdom to make life a bit easier for their offspring. Fix the hole while it’s small and it won’t tear even more. You won’t have look for things that fall out of pockets, darn bigger holes, or put huge patches on knees. Throw out easily repaired clothing and your budget will develop holes!

For whatever reason, we live in a day when passing on the old wisdom is not popular. Discouraged even. Every person should be allowed to find their own way, to eventually discover the same truths that parents and grandparents used to share. Like me with the hole in my pocket.

When I was young my Aunt/Mom worked out and my various babysitters didn’t bother to teach me any practical skills or even basic common sense. They had nothing invested in my upbringing and Mom didn’t have time or energy after work. So I’ve learned a lot myself through trial and error, but I’m passing on some of this to my own grand-daughters.

I’m seeing that attitudes are shifting and passing on life’s truths will come back into style. Young people, they say, are overwhelmed and actually craving guidance from the old folks who’ve experienced and learned these lessons.

As another wise saying goes, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

A Place Prepared

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is SWIM. This is cheating, but in response I’m going to post a devotional article I wrote some years ago, back when I was keeping a betta fish.

Image by Rebecca Lehman — Pixabay

A Place Prepared

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Alphie was a millet-brained betta fish. What did he know? His one-gallon fish bowl was the only world he’d ever experienced and he was content there. He had no clue that there could be a better environment, or that I was preparing one for him.

I’d learned that betta fish deserve a better environment than a fish bowl, so I was setting up a proper ten-gallon aquarium where he could enjoy life to the full. He’d have a heater and filter to keep his water fresh and pure. Bliss, betta style.

But this preparation couldn’t happen overnight. An aquarium needs to go through a nitrogen cycle to develop the right kind of bacteria in the filter so it will purify the water passing through. Alphie’s new home sat on the counter for over a month as it went through this cycle; during this time I added driftwood and various ornaments that would make his new world so much more interesting. Meanwhile he circled round and round in his little fish bowl, relaxed in the world he knew.

Then one day his new home was ready for him. I set his bowl beside the tank, then scooped him out in a small ladle. Now he was really confined! And scared, too; he squirmed and fought this new situation. Just a little fish; he couldn’t comprehend the big picture, or imagine a place where he could swim to his heart’s content.

Though the transfer was uncomfortable and confusing for him, it was accomplished quickly. I placed him in his new tank and his delight was obvious. So much room! So many interesting things to explore. Constant warmth and pure water. For a little fish this was paradise!

Most of us are fairly happy in this world. Some content, some not so content in our little lives, but it’s the only space we’ve ever known. Like my betta, we’re not very willing to leave it. For sure we’re not enthused about being carried out in a small box! Our comprehension of what waits on the other side is so limited.

Unlike my little fish, however, we can know God’s plans for us. Jesus has revealed them to His followers; by faith we can believe His words. He has prepared a place for a people who have prepared themselves: those who have placed their faith in his promises and their lives in his will.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14: 2-3

And we can rejoice like the Psalmist:

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Psalm 23:6

Forgiving & Forgetting

This morning I had the urge to write a story, so here’s my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today and yesterday together. Today’s prompt is FLASHBACK and yesterday’s word was LUCKY.

OH, THOSE PAINFUL FLASHBACKS

“Why are you sighing, Nish,” her friend asked as they walked through the shopping mall.

“Flashback,” Nichina replied. “I saw a t-shirt in that store window and it reminded me the time I met Sue here. She was wearing a t-shirt that color and I said something about it.”

“Oh-oh. Didn’t go over?”

She’s rather pale and that mustard yellow looked awful on her! And here she was, showing off this designer tee she’d paid big bucks for. I should have kept quiet, but you know how it is sometimes, you just blurt out your thoughts. You think she should know… She got really upset and didn’t speak to me for weeks, even when I said I was sorry.” She shook her head. “I couldn’t lie and say it looked great, but I wish I’d never said anything.”

Kareen nodded in sympathy. “Yeah. When to tell the truth can be a really tricky question, because the other person may not be very willing to hear it.”

“You said it!”

“And besides, it’s only your take on the matter. But those things happen. I’ve said things – and done things, too – that I was really sorry for after. But I make a mental note to not do that again and then I just put them out of my head and the incident never comes to mind again. Or if it does, I boot it out.” She grinned.

“You’re lucky! I see something that triggers a flashback, reminds me of one of my said-or-did bloopers, and I feel bad all over again. Why didn’t I think?”

“And what does that do?”

Nishina stopped and regarded her friend thoughtfully. “I guess those flashbacks tend to make me feel like a failure at life.”

“And you’re not,” Kareen assured her. “I’ve heard you and I know there are many times when you’ve said just the right thing. Don’t let that nagging little voice lie to you. Boot it out. You know, say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’

“I’ll try to remember that.” Nishina admired Kareen’s easy-going approach. Would she ever find it that easy to forgive and forget her bloopers?

Image from Pixabay.

No, This Year

Here’s my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt. Today’s word was CREDIT and in this tale I’m carrying over the thought of Sammi’s Weekend Prompt word, YEAR, but going way over the given word limit.

The Anniversary Surprise

“You know, Will, we’re often talked of visiting England someday,” she said. “Wouldn’t that be a great way to celebrate our twentieth anniversary this fall?”

Will shrugged. “I dunno. Life’s so busy. Maybe some other year.” He drained his coffee mug and buttered another piece of toast.

“But life won’t stop being so busy until we’re too old to travel anymore.”

“Hmm… Hope not.”

“Anyway, I’ve booked our tickets. We leave August 20th; come back Sept 3rd.”

He leaned back in shock, then eyed her suspiciously. “That’s two weeks! Have you maxed out our credit card?”

“Not at all. I’ve been squirreling funds away for years, thinking of this trip. I even paid cash for our airfare.”

“Clever you! All right then. This will be our “Once in a lifetime” anniversary binge. Don’t ask for Paris in five years.”

“Okay. Not Paris.” She smiled serenely.