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.

Travel By The Book

I subscribe to BookBub so this morning I received my daily list of suggestions for possibilities that might interest me. Frank Zappa once said, “So many books; so little time!” I can definitely identify.

The book suggestions completely crossed the planet, going from Fatal North by Bruce Henderson–about the 1871 Polaris expedition–clear down to Antarctica by Gabrielle Walker. Everything you ever wanted to know about the South Pole explorations. Then we have The Art of the Compliment by Christie Matheson. probably something everyone should read. 🙂 And Peter Singer writes about The Most Good You Can Do.

The Unfinished Odyssey of Robert Kennedy by David Halberstam would be a book for US political history buffs. The blurb says: “An in-depth examination of the political career, personal life, and untimely demise of Robert Kennedy.” Like most everyone during those years, I heard & read about the Kennedy family tragedies but now it’s “water under the bridge” and not high priority reading for me.

One writer has decided to time-travel, literally, to Victorian England. The Victorian Life by Sarah A Chrisman. Blurb: “Fascinated by the 19th century, one couple decided to fully commit to a Victorian way of life. From tending oil lamps to wrestling with corset laces, this charming and insightful read chronicles a modern exploration of a bygone era.”

Have these folks chosen an upper class lifestyle or do they give glimpses of life for the rest of society in that era? I have a book of written records made by various people back in Victorian England, describing the living conditions they observed among the working class and the destitute. The average George Brown, victim of the Industrial revolution, who had only a cup of tea yesterday, nothing today. Homeless men spending nights in a poor-house. Women doing men’s jobs–cheaper labour costs, you know–working hard in a factory for twelve hours a day, with a nursing baby strapped to their chest and a toddler or two beside them. Or a family in London’s East end in a slum where landlords rented by the day and if you couldn’t pay, your belongings–what few you had–were thrown out in the street so your apartment could be rented to someone who could. Corset laces were the least of their worries.

I’ve noticed that people who claim to be reincarnated weren’t, in their former life, an average Joe, Pedro the galley slave, Lizzy the overworked scullery maid, or Piers the crippled soldier. History is full of unknowns barely surviving, but the folks who claim to remember a past life were usually a famous/notorious SOMEONE. Biblical character, prophet, Rajah, Prince or Princess, doctor or scientist. I don’t know as anyone’s ever claimed a past life as a writer. 🙂

Time travel books work the same. The traveler’s dropped into an intriguing time in history and accepted by the locals. These from-the-future visitors always have the means to keep from fatal accident, starvation, or execution as a heretic or witch, until they head home again. Well, I suppose that’s fiction for you: writers have complete control of their character’s fate.

I believe that now and then we all need an accurate picture of life as it was way back when. Last night I was listening to the audio-book about Nicholas Nickleby and his life at Dotheboys Hall. Kudos to Charles Dickens, an author who gives us a realistic view of life for the lower classes of his day — and through his novels actually managed to change society’s attitude toward the poor. If we only knew it, we still benefit very much from what he accomplished.

BookBub, Book Cave, Reading Deals and various other outlets are ways for writers to advertise and get their books out to readers. There are lots more book deals but I have a very restricted list of interest. Subscribers can tailor their selections to their own interests when they sign up.

The Weaver’s Shuttle

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is DOORMAT. Well, there is snow on ours again this morning, and on our steps, and the lawn. Just a dusting, with light flakes still coming down.

When I got up just after 5pm and looked out on another white morning, a type of depression started to cloud my mind. You may have heard me say we’ll welcome any moisture here, however it comes, but I’ve had quite enough of snow for now. I contemplated crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head. However, that wouldn’t change the scene out my window so, rather than wimp out, I made myself a cup of coffee and faced this day. The temp at 6:30 is 1 C, so the snow won’t stay for long.

Shuttle of the Weaver

We had a dear friend, Nora Weaver, who passed away four months ago. Nora was no doormat. Though she had rheumatic fever as a child and was left with a damaged heart, she was an inspiration to all with her zest for life. Nora married Adam Weaver, they had five sons, and she carried on in her quiet way at their home in southern Pennsylvania. She loved homemaking, her family, church family, and gardening. Nora was known for her love of flowers. In her later years her weak heart gave her serious woes so she needed several major heart surgeries, plus she fought several bouts with cancer — the last one took her life. I trust she is at peace now in a much better place.

Her husband decided to fill some of his quiet hours at home by starting a blog. He needed to take several years off to care for Nora, but now he’s back to driving a motor coach for the Old Order people there in PA, so he’s calling his blog THE SHUTTLE OF THE WEAVER. Yesterday he writes about taking a group of Old Order Amish school children to the Ephrata Cloister. You can read his post here.

Like me, Adam was born in 1953. However, we came from totally different worlds. Adam and Nora grew up Old Order Mennonite — the “horse & buggy people” — whereas I grew up a city girl, living with my aunt & uncle in Saskatoon. My five siblings lived with my parents near Melfort, SK, two hours away. None of us had nothing to do with church. So it’s amazing in a way that, as adults, Adam & Nora, Bob & I, have joined the same Mennonite church and became good friends.

The weather’s still damp and chilly and the sky is slate gray, but reading a few of Adam’s blog posts has cheered me up. Now I’ll see how other bloggers have responded to this prompt, then get on with my day. 🙂

Pedestrian Cares

It’s time to post my response to the Six Sentence Story prompt, where the given word was MUNDANE

All Those Pedestrian Cares

“Hey Dad, my pal Abby just sold me his old Honda, so I wanna see if Tianna will go with me and we’ll split from this Dullsville, all these stifling rules and restrictions, and go see the world.”

“So you think you can head out, just you two, and live a free and easy life on the road? What about food, clothes, a roof over your head when it rains– all those mundane things your mother and I are now supplying?”

“We can crash in campgrounds where it’s safe; for gas and food money I can probably do the pedestrian stuff for awhile, pick up a little work here and there along the way.”

“Tires and repairs can be costly, you know – and if you should happen to have a baby you’ll need baby food, diapers, clothes.”

“Actually, Dad, I was hoping you’d let me have a credit card, too – me being your son and all.”

Image by Alexandra Koch — Pixabay

White, White Everywhere!

Clipped By A “Clipper”

“Alberta Clipper” is an interesting expression for a blizzard. Maybe more quaint than saying “a snow storm coming in from the northwest.” I actually like to watch a snowstorm, but you don’t ever want to get caught out on the roads when a “clipper” blows through.

We didn’t see it coming, though Bob did see in the forecast that snow was to start in the afternoon. The temp read -4 C when we headed off to the city Monday morning with the confidence that “snow starting” couldn’t be that bad — at least not until after dark. We’d be home long before that. We had a proper lunch at Boston Pizza, seeing fat flakes drift down; before we’d finished our meal it was snowing fairly seriously. “We’d best get our groceries and head for home before the wind picks up,” Bob said.

I hurried through my shopping but by the time we were loading the car it was snowing heavily and the wind was a force to be reckoned with. As we left Saskatoon around 1:30, the main highway was still okay. Visibility was reduced and drifts starting to build up on the few curves but our lane was okay most of the way to Delisle. Still, we knew we were heading into a genuine blizzard!

By the time we reached Delisle traffic was just creeping along with visibility almost nil. When we turned onto the highway south, heading home, we faced a complete white-out. Not a trace of a road anywhere. We barely saw the tip of a stop sign and the top of the railway crossing. It was a real challenge to get turned around without getting hit; we were very thankful when we made it safely back into Delisle.

We called friends who live there but they were in the city, just starting for home. The storm had moved eastward rapidly, though; they soon turned around and got a motel room in the city. There they met their boarder who was likewise storm-stayed. Rays were kind enough to let us stay at their home even if they weren’t there. Even getting to their place wasn’t easy, with big drifts building up on the more open streets, but we finally made it and settled in for the duration.

All highways hereabouts were soon closed. Our daughter, in another town for an appointment, had tried to get home but gave up and ended up getting the last motel room. After seeing emergency vehicles heading to accidents and calling 911 for a driver who drove into the ditch in front of her! I’m so thankful none of us had to spend the night in our car in a ditch! This storm blew in so suddenly, though, I wonder how many people did?

The temp was -33 this morning, slightly breezy with brilliant sunshine. Ah, the variety of a prairie winter! 🙂

Trip To BC, Anyone?

The RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT today is SKOOKUM

I’ve never heard this word used as an adjective. Rather, I immediately thought of Skookumchuck, a town in British Columbia that I have heard of. So a bit of research was in order.

Skookumchuck is a small town — 90 or so residents — on the junction of the Kootenay and Lussier Rivers. The town is located in the southeastern corner of the province, 54 km or 33.5 miles north of the city of Cranbrook. As the crow flies — if crows fly over mountains — it’s about half way between Lethbridge, Alberta, and Kelowna, BC.

On the western side of the main Rockies range, the town is near a few different provincial parks — Premier Lake, Whiteswan, St Mary’s, Skookumchuck Narrows. Googling the locale I can see how it would be a gorgeous place to visit.

Here’s a picture of the Kootenay River hoodoos, shared by Brigitte at Unsplash

Whitewater Rafting Anyone?

SKOOKUM means strong, powerful or turbulent; CHUCK means waters. The Kootenay River flows through Skookumchuck Narrows and spills into the Sechelt Rapids, one of the areas prime attractions. Water speed can exceed 30 kmph in this stretch, forming some amazing whirlpools. The RDP claims that SKOOKUM can mean “evil spirit.” I don’t find this anywhere in the info, but maybe the Chinook tribe that named that part of the river thought of spirits as they watched the rapids and whirlpools boiling through the tide plain?

Perhaps the locals there can tell us if those rapids are safe enough for rafting, but I’m an onlooker only when it comes to that sort of sport.