Response JSW Prompt 7-3-2017

He was sitting on the sidewalk of the McDonalds where my family and I were having supper. Ragged clothing, sunburned skin, matted hair; no one was paying attention other than to walk as far around him as possible while going in and out the door. A sign lay on the sidewalk next to him. A beggar who had not done well that day. I gave my oldest child a ten dollar bill and told her to go buy a meal. As our family left the restaurant I stopped and handed the hot meal to the man. The look of gratitude was apparent on his face but he said nothing as he timidly reached for the bag. When he did finally speak his speech was garbled. This man was deaf. I and my children had taken a few sign language classes and we tried in our limited way to converse with him. He was willing to work but no one ever offered. We had work to be done around our place and we offered. He worked hard and did more than we asked. A meal for the destitute can change lives and seal a bond. He just needed a happy meal.

Wonderful story and such a heartwarming message. CS Knotts

What Does Valentines Day Mean To Me II?

I discovered this in my To Post pile and realized I’d forgotten to post it on the appropriate day. So, instead of waiting another year, I decided to just put it out there anyway.  Just pretend its February 14 again – at least for a few moments.

If you’d like to read the original post, you can find it here -


Having gone back to read what I’d written two years ago about the holiday upon us, I was surprised by the few corrections I needed, or wanted, to make. I know, you expected me to say something deep and profound about love and how my feeling had changed since them.

Sadly, I can’t tell you those things unless I’m writing fiction and today I’m not doing fiction. At least here. Okay, so I feel the same way.

Demi-holiday – check

Commercialized – check

History – check

Why – check

My truth about the holiday – check.

So, you ask, why am I writing yet another post about Valentine’s Day.

To be honest, I’m not sure. Maybe just to review my feeling about the Day and it’s message. Maybe to point out to myself that I am still ‘alone’ and doing fine. Or maybe to make fun so I don’t have to admit feeling so alone.

Better. Happier. That yes, I am meant to find somebody who loves me and doesn’t attempt to control me. Who lets me be myself without feeling threatened. Who trusts me even if he doesn’t understand me.

Boy, I’m asking a lot. Or maybe I’m just one of those people meant to be alone. I love my solitude, don’t get me wrong, my independence, but  it seems to frighten other people away (i.e. men).

Or maybe I just want to bitch awhile. Whatever. I am alone (if I can say that with two adult children living at home) and I am happy. I am lonely and at peace. I desire – need – my solitude and yet, deep inside, some part of me is afraid to be alone.

While scrolling on Facebook, I get irritated when people talk about their great life and great things they’ve done to ad-nauseum. It’s a kind of envy, I suppose. Why does she/he/it have such a perfect life when all I have to post is stupid cartoons or pictures of horses? Why does everyone around me seem to fall into relationships so effortlessly and I don’t?

So, you can probably guess my view of the day hasn’t changed a lot. By the way, I have to slip to Facebook now to see how my stupid cartoons and horse pictures are doing.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Sunday Photo Fiction 4-4-2017

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.


© A Mixed Bag

He could just make out the roof of the house, the stark white of the barn, the lighthouse beyond. If he could see them, they could see them, but would they?

“Daddy?” Strawberry blonde curls tangling in the wind.

“Yes?” He looked down.

“When is Mommy coming back?”

God, it broke his heart. “Never, baby.”

She started to cry and he knelt, folding her into his arms.

“I’m not going to leave you, Baby. Never, never, ever.”

“Ever?” asked her tiny tear-filled voice.

“Never,” he promised, knowing he was lying, but lying had become his life. How else could he keep her safe, keep his promise?

He rose, holding her in his arms, walking back along the trail which led, eventually, to the house. Hopefully, a safe house, at least for the time.

What do you want for dinner?”


He laughed. “Then chocolate chip pancakes it is.”

“Stuffed full!”

“Stuffed full,” he replied, hiding his own tears.

“I love you, Daddy.”

A hesitation. A catch. “I love you, too, baby. I love you, too.”

He hoped, for today, that would be enough.

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-28-2017

Each week a photo is used, donated by one of the participants of Sunday Photo Fiction, and the idea is to write a story with the photo as a prompt in around 200 words.

© Jules Paige

She stopped at the end of the pier, staring off into the dark water.  It was a year ago this week when she’d lost Sandy. The longest year of her life.

After the first months, friends began telling her to ‘get over it.’ As if Sandy could be compressed down into an It. How could she get over it? He had been her world. Still was her world.

He’d been an excellent swimmer. So how could he have drowned? The police thought he must have suffered a heart attack or stroke. Something to knock him out long enough to drown.

The thought of him drowning; of water thick in his mouth and nose, body sinking, unable to save himself, haunted her. She wanted it not to be so. Desperately, wanted it not to be so.

But it was. It had been. It always would be.

He was gone. Lost. Buried. Forgotten by everyone but her. One day she might move on.

Laying down, she put her head on her paws, waiting for him to come home.