An Impromptu Tea Party

Looking for inspiration, I rambled through my STORY files this afternoon and found this mini-fiction scene written ten years ago, in March of 2011. It was my response to my writing group’s challenge of that month: to use the words BROOM, FRIDGE, ALMOND and DOUGHNUT.

And I see Fandango’s One-Word Challenge today is IMPROMPTU, so here goes…

THE TEA PARTY

Spring fever attacked me full force that morning when my little girl begged me to come out and play. She said she’d baked a cake and we could have tea. Who could resist? I threw my “TO DO” list on the counter for “LATER” and gave myself to the sunshine, the little girl inside, and the little girl outside.

When I arrived at the playhouse she was sculpting her “Tea cake” that looked like a huge mud doughnut. Using her sweater sleeve as a broom, my gracious hostess swept off one of the chairs so I could sit down. I donated two elderly chipped mugs and a plate of real cookies to the celebration.

“I wish I had some nice sprinkles for the icing,” she sighed as she shredded some grass blades and tossed them on the cake. I had to agree: the green shreds weren’t very aesthetic.

“I have an idea,” I said, taking her hand and leading her to our flowering almond shrub. “Just a few,” I said, “for this really special cake.” How many times had I told her she mustn’t pick these blossoms because we wanted to see them blooming on the tree? They made lovely sprinkles.

She poured imaginary tea into the cups, then took a pitcher of “cream” from the cardboard box fridge and added some to the tea. “Would you like sugar, too?” she asked, handing me a bowl of ice melt granules.

“Yes, I’d love some.”

She gave me her biggest smile. “Mom, you should come for tea every day.”

I think of what older ladies have often told me: “Children grow up so fast; enjoy them while you can.”

“Well, maybe I should look over my To-Do list and see if I can fit a tea party in once a week,” I agreed. “If you’ll help me pick up the toys after supper every day.”

Her eyes sparkled as she accepted the challenge. We had a lovely tea party — one I’ll remember a lot longer than the folded laundry, the cleaned cutlery drawer and the emptied dishwasher that I did manage to do in spite of taking time out to play.

Down to Earth

white mountains tremble
fall before the conquerors
rays of spring sun

Hello, faithful readers! And welcome to all my new subscribers.

Yes, I have returned to blog another day. For the past two weeks I’ve been like a child exploring a candy store, poking into this case and that, sampling this and that. (Actually I’ve been cleaning out closets, reading, drawing, painting.) Now it’s time to settle down and re-establish the old routine before I completely lose touch. I have some serious things I’d like to write about, but I’ll start by opening a window on our world.

It’s definitely spring in our land. Canada geese are flying over; returning small birds are adding their sweeter notes to the house sparrows’ chirps. We’re seeing a lot of bare ground and our yard, for all our heaps of snow, didn’t turn into a quagmire. Last fall was dry enough that now the snow is soaking straight into the soil without much runoff. We still have heaps of snow in the back yard, but the highest banks through the garden are now not much more than a metre or four feet high — and shrinking back every day. Our cats are delighted to explore the snow-free yard and fields.

This morning I was reading a book of ancient haiku verses, with brief bios of the writers. One of these was Saikaku, a haikai master in old Japan. There’s a legend that this poet once wrote 23,500 verses in one day — which would be almost 1000 per hour! Can it be? Even in Japanese, where one curved pen-stoke might be a word, that’s still an amazing feat, if it’s true. Just for fun I tried to see how many (sensible) haiku I could write in an hour — turning the beauties of our land into poetry — and came up with a dozen. Not to say they’re all poignant and full of meaning, mind you, but it was a fun challenge. I’ll post them in the coming days.

While I was doing this, Bob went for his first immunization shot. My turn comes up March 31st. This morning we read the statistic that to date here in Canada over 90% of the deaths from COVID-19 were among those 65 and over — about like one would imagine. Even at that, most Canadians who’ve gotten it have recovered, thankfully. Precautions and restrictions have done a lot to prevent the spread.

Enough rambling for this time. I hope your world is looking brighter in 2021 than it did last year.

Illustration done by Pixaline at Pixabay

Prairie Dawn

Good morning everyone! The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is VISUAL

I got up at 5 am this morning and saw the dawn’s early light coming through the bare branches of the trees to the east of us. The early morning light is one visual sign that spring is returning to the prairie. An auditory sign–which I don’t get much of without  my hearing aids–is the twittering birds and the gabbling of the geese as they wake up and start discussing travel plans.

Dawn.analogicus
Image by analogicus  —  Pixabay

Another sign I get is the cats wanting to go outside the minute I set my feet on the floor. After being cooped up in the house all winter, they love to be outdoors when the weather’s clement. The snow in our yard is finally gone, so they can wander about looking for the visual clues that fresh mice are about.

By now the sun is well up and I’ve had my morning coffee. It’s time to prepare for what other activities today will have in store.

Memories of an Apron

Good morning everyone,

As I look out our window this morning I’m reminded of the line of an old song: “When I needed sunshine I got rain.” (Prize points to you if you can name it!)  We are longing for sunshine and spring, but we’re getting snow and more snow. The air’s full of lovely, fluffy white flakes now, but this is supposed to change to freezing drizzle later.

“It’s an ill wind that blows no good.” And “Every cloud has a silver lining.” I took advantage of the below-freezing temps overnight to defrost my upright freezer. It’s handy when you can set things outside in a tub and know they’ll stay frozen.

We have a lovely list of prompts this morning. Even if the weekend’s past, I’m going to dedicate this post to Sammi’s weekend writing prompt:

It’s a real challenge to write an actual story in 49 words; you don’t have enough words for more than the opening lines to a proper story. But here’s my response:

“It’s a keepsake from Grandma, I guess.” Anita displayed the faded apron her mom sent.

“Does she think you’re going to become domestic…baking cookies and all.”

“I remember Grandma gathering eggs, making a basket of this apron.”

“Fabulous! I’ll call the hatchery. Since we’re staying home these days…”

A Snowy Stroll

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is PEDESTRIAN

Like other PED- words like pedicure, pediform, and pedal, this word pertains to what you do with your feet. And today, in our part of the world, folks who are on foot outdoors are walking through snow.

man-1156619_640
Image by TanteTati — Pixabay

We had a wonderful week of spring; roads and sidewalks were bare and we enjoyed getting around outside. Our cats were delighted to explore parts of the yard that have been inaccessible all winter. Twice Angus brought his mouse-ly discoveries to our front step where he could dine at leisure.

But this morning we have another parting slap from winter and our cats are housebound. They waited at the door this morning to be let out as always and…er…no thanks. The mouse community is probably heaving a collective sigh of relief. 🙂

I went to the city yesterday—and am glad I did—because my hearing aid broke. It snapped off where the plastic tube joins the actual metal housing, and I was fearing it may not be fixable. (Thankfully it was!) I debated waiting until today, but, as I said, I’m glad I chose the nicer day to travel.

I wondered if the city streets would be empty, but no — I saw about a third of the usual traffic for that time of day. Which made it quite nice for a timid person like myself trying to merge onto normally crowded main arteries. I did see a few pedestrians, about a quarter of what we would usually see walking on the main street sidewalks. stopped at Walmart for groceries; again, the numbers were reduced to about a third of the usual shoppers.

En route, I saw a number of migrating birds, including about five flocks of Canada geese. Some of these were being pedestrians, strolling around the harvested fields, gleaning what they could. Many were floating on small snow-melt ponds. Three of the flocks were quite large, maybe 50–80 birds. So the birds haven’t changed their course in spite of the current human standstill.