Here we are at Week 9 for the prompt at More Odds than Ends. Wow. Over two months of writing prompts. I’m pretty impressed with my consistency. I’m also impressed with my own writing. This week’s prompt came from Kat Ross. It was this:
Like I said with last week’s prompt, who knew I could write? Anyway, this piece is short, but came “straight from the heart” as they say. My parents are buried in Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It is indeed, about two miles from the actual national park where Washington launched the boats into the ice of the Delaware River heading for Trenton and a Christmas surprise for the British and Hessians.
Standing on the Pennsylvania side looking out over the Delaware River, I tried to imagine what it looked like that Christmas night almost 300 years ago when Washington snuck up on the British forces in Trenton. I stared up at the clear blue sky thinking how pleased Dad would be to know that this was his final resting place. Washington Crossing National Cemetery is about two miles from the spot where Washington did indeed cross the Delaware River. As a former Army major and history buff, Dad had a deep appreciation for the history of this country.
As I stared into the sky, remembering and mourning, a distant speck on the horizon grew bigger. As the dark speck in the sky came closer, I saw a lone bald eagle soaring above the river. It banked and headed in the general direction of the cemetery behind me.
Mike put his arm around me, and we turned to head back to the car.
“I miss you, Pop. Love you.” I whispered. Mike squeezed my shoulder.
Thanks for reading.
Photo by Becky Jones: Delaware River at Washington’s Crossing
I am on vacation in central Oregon with various family members. This is our annual get-together. We hang out, float the Deschutes river, ride bikes, hike, eat dinner together and generally enjoy each others company and the woods. It’s very relaxing and enjoyable. I just caught myself logging on to my work email and stopped. There’s nothing in there that can’t wait until I get home. So, just stop. The one thing I don’t want to stop is writing, but that gets put aside at times for the outdoors. Which is a good thing. It’s too easy to sit inside and spend a beautiful day in the house. That is not the point of this vacation.
There are a number of story ideas that are coming to me, and I have been writing those down. I plan on working some of these into short stories and a couple would make great longer novellas or even novel length books, and the beginning of a series. I collecting a backlog of story ideas and it’s very exciting. This means I have a lot of material and gives me confidence that I have a good number of stories to tell. The other good thing coming out of this week is that my cousin’s wife is encouraging me all along and telling me to write these ideas down. It feels great to have a cheering section that is more than just my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great cheerleader and support, but then, he’s my husband. It helps to have somebody who really has no skin in the game to be giving support.
Sometimes family members are less than enthusiastic about things such as writing fiction. “Oh, that’s nice.” “So, are you doing this on the side?” “Is it a real book?” I get it. It’s not what most people consider a “real job”. And, the finances are dicey. One thing I have noticed is that there are (obviously) many similarities with academics. More specifically, the failure to understand that simply because you are not heading into an office or job site every day, that you are still working. I get that a lot. “Oh, well, you’re off for the summer, so can you do this that or the other thing?” No. I can’t. I’m working. It can get annoying, but I’ve learned to either not respond to text messages or answer the phone. That helps a lot. I love my family. I just don’t need them interrupting me all the time!
But again, this week it’s all about family and relaxing…so interrupt away.
We’re off to a short hike and then some quality time at the pool. Enjoy the 4th of July holiday. Happy Independence Day!
We got back from California this morning after a red-eye flight from San Francisco. It was a direct flight, so not as bad as previous trips. I think I actually managed to sleep on this flight and I’m grateful for that.
There are a number of things I’m grateful for as this year winds down. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal; trying to make sure each day I write down 10 things I’m grateful for. There are a couple things that appear every day. I’m always and forever grateful for my husband. I totally won the lottery in that category. I’m always grateful for the purrs and snuggles of our cats. I’m grateful for my health (cliched I know, but I am). My point here is that I did not keep the journal while we were traveling. So, this post is a sort of catch up on gratitude for the last 10 days.
that we got to visit our families
that we got to peek behind the metaphorical curtain that is covering some of the family tension (it was enlightening and for that I’m grateful).
we got to walk on the beach on Saturday
we had easy travel days
we got to eat a lot of good food.
that we spent quality time with my cousin and his wife
that I got to spend time with my favorite cousin who is a sister and best friend to me.
I got to have lunch with my best friend from college.
And, maybe most of all, I’m grateful that I get to sit here on my own couch, surrounded by snoozing cats, while I write this.
So, a very happy, healthy, and enlightening new year to everybody. May 2019 bring you much joy and fun living.
It’s the Friday before Christmas, which this year falls on a Tuesday. We are in California visiting family. Between the two of us we have several visits to make. In my case, my family does a big pre-Christmas Christmas the weekend before the actual day. This means that everybody gets together at one house and we eat, hang out, and exchange gifts and generally raise a ruckus. In other words, a lot of fun.
My husband’s family is our other crew. This is a bit more complex and jigsaw puzzle-like. We have to juggle my father-in-law, his wife, my mother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law and wife. This usually entails Christmas Eve in one place, Christmas breakfast in another, and Christmas dinner in yet another. We drive around the Sacramento area A LOT.
It’s always nice to be back in California for the holidays. I have to admit, I don’t require a white Christmas in order to get into the spirit. A warm Christmas works just fine. What makes Christmas a bit more challenging out here is the amount of planning and re-planning that goes into each visit. I know that we’re not alone in dealing with this; plenty of other people travel back and forth between parents. Hell, there was even a movie, Four Christmases, that took on that challenge. We only have three and one of those is not on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so I feel lucky. We get to spend time with family, eat good food, and be back in California.
We even braved a mall today. And, made it out alive! At least we’re not flying to Portland on Tuesday.