In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold. ~Ben Aaronovitch, Broken Homes

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Centus #100

For the 100th centus Jenny decided to go back to the first prompt that started it all.  I haven't been a very loyal centurian, ha, ha, but I couldn't pass this one up.  If you want to see my original one click herehttp://vikisplace.blogspot.com/2010/05/saturday-centus.html

This centus is a 100 words plus the prompt which was a lengthy 53 words at the time (Wowie) which will  be in blue.  Check to see what everyone came up with http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/2012/03/saturday-centus-centennial-celebration.html




My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground.



“Ruby this can’t be happening again” I said as I picked the money up and started counting it.

Ruby looked at me quizzically wagging her tail. 

It was the exact amount of money I found the last time.  If memory serves me correct, it was around this same place.

With my house being close to foreclosure perhaps this is a sign that I should use this money and the money I found the last time to save my house.

“What do you think Ruby, should I use it?”

“Arf” Ruby barked.

“Okay, I’ll do it.”






Friday, March 30, 2012

Mary #2

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd,  2012.

2

After crying for hours, Mary fell asleep on the couch under one of her grandma's quilts that her Ma always had on the old worn couch.  She was awakened when she thought she heard someone at the door. Trembling, she snuck to the front door with the fire poker in her hand to peek out.  It was pitch black, as only the country could be.  She quickly turned on the porch light but no one was there.  She thought she must have been dreaming.  Then she saw something out of the corner of her eye lying on the porch floor.   It was Lulu, her tabby cat.  She put down the fire poker and opened the front door.  Lulu jumped right into her arms like no time had passed.    "Lulu” Mary said.  "You scared the bejeezus out of me.  It's good to see your still alive old girl and that you remember me.”   Mary went and got Lulu some water and went back to the couch.  Lulu jumped right under the quilt with Mary. 

As Mary laid there with Lulu and petted her, she remembered when she found Lulu.  She and her best friend, Elizabeth, were playing in the woods and a little tabby kitten kept following them.  She would only come to Mary.  Mary told Elizabeth "this is a sign this cat is mine" and Lulu stayed. 

That's enough of that Mary thought; I don't want to think about Elizabeth.  That's not what this visit is about.   Mary concentrated on Lulu purring softly on her chest and fell back asleep. 

The sunlight came streaming through the living room windows.  Mary could hear a purring sound.  What the heck, she thought.  Opening her eyes, she could see Lulu purring right by her face.  She smiled and gave her a pat on the head.  "I bet you’re hungry.  Let's go see if there's anything in the kitchen to feed you.” 

She got up and Lulu followed her.  Lulu went right to the bottom pantry door and purred.  Mary thought that must be where the food is.  She opened it up and there were dozens of cans of cat food and dry food.  She picked up the dish that had dry food in it and threw it out.  "I guess when Johnny or Jimmy stop by if they're not going to be around a while they just leave you dry food.  Now that I'm here for a while you'll just be getting the good stuff” and Lulu rubbed up against her legs.  "You still understand when I talk to you.   That's good because right now I've got some things to work out and I only need a listener.” 

While the cat was eating, Mary looked around to see if there was any coffee.  Thank goodness, there was.   As the coffee was brewing, Mary looked outside with a little sadness.  She remembered when she was big enough to look out the window above the sink all she would see were cornstalks and sunflowers as far as the eye could see.  Now that her Ma and Pa were gone and they were going to sell the homestead there was no planting done this season.

She poured a cup of coffee and decided to go sit on the front porch. She remembered how she loved mornings out there.  As she walked past the living room she saw her luggage sitting there. "I can't face the rest of the house just yet" she said as Lulu was right behind her.   
 
She headed for outside and noticed a box sitting on one of the rockers.  She opened it and took the tissue paper out, she found a note it said, I'll drop off some food for you in the afternoon.  No questions asked.  I love you Mary, no matter what.  I’m happy your back.  Love, Johnny.  

She looked further in the box and there was a beautiful pink guardian angel.  How like Johnny to remember how fond I am of angels.  I wonder if my collection is still in my old bedroom, she thought.  I'll have to look later when I get the nerve to go upstairs.  Now, I just want to look at open spaces and clear my mind of everything. 
 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Mary #1

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol. 


1

Mary’s parents were gone and it was time to start thinking about selling the farm.  Mary looked out of her high rise New York apartment at the hot, steamy concrete.   Memories flooded back from her childhood of Ma’s apple pies cooling in the pie safe and laundry fluttering in the breeze.  She remembered climbing the huge oak tree and swinging on the old wooden swing.  For a moment, she had visions of not selling the homestead and just moving back.  Then reality set in.  He still lived in town.  She knew she was afraid of him but what she thought happened was it true or had she imagined it?


She already talked to her boss and was taking a leave of absence to go back to clear things out.  Her brothers never could understand why she didn’t come back.  Why would they, she thought.  I never told anyone what happened.


The next day she put her bags in the car and started driving to the family home.  She felt nervous but at peace with going. She should be there before dark.   No one knew she was coming but she would call her brothers and let them know when she was there.   Ma and Pa had died months ago.  It was time to start sorting through their things and make some decisions. 

When she got off the freeway, she noticed how much the area had changed.  It wasn’t such a small place anymore.  There were chain stores and restaurants everywhere. A lot of the farmland had been turned into housing.   While driving past the high school she went to, she could see that they had built an addition on.   Everyone wants to live in a small country town but don’t realize once they all come it is never the quaint place it used to be. 

She pulled into the driveway and looked at her childhood home. It was just as she remembered.  

As her thoughts wandered she heard “Mar, are you all right?”  It was her brother Johnny. 

 From the other side of the car she heard “Look at what the cat dragged back” in a chilly tone.   

 “Why didn’t you tell anyone you were coming?” Johnny said ignoring Jimmy. 

 “I didn’t want anyone to know.”  

 “Why did you decide to come now?” Jimmy asked.  

 “I thought I would come and start cleaning out the house.  You know we’re going to have to start getting it ready if we want to sell it.  Look I’d rather nobody know I’m here for now because I’ve got a lot of stuff to go through.” 

 “That’s fine Mary but eventually we all need to talk to clear some things up” Jimmy said.   

Changing the subject Johnny said, “We were just heading out anyhow.  Call us when you settle in.” 

 “Okay brothers.  Thanks.” 

As the two brothers left, Mary got out of the car and walked to the house.  She got as far as the living room and fell to her knees and wept. 

As he was driving home, Johnny was so happy that Mary had come home but he knew Mary probably blamed herself for their parent’s deaths.  If only, she would have traveled this past Christmas home instead of them traveling to see her.  If only, that truck driver hadn’t fallen asleep.  If only, we all had gone and decided to drive the accident probably wouldn’t have happened. If only, if only, he thought. 

 Johnny made a sharp turn into the gift shop parking lot.   He went in and looked around and found the perfect gift for her.  He wanted her to know that he supported her and was happy to see her.  He wrote a note, put it in the box and drove back to the farm.  He could hear Mary crying.  He wondered why Mary didn’t want anyone to know she was here.  He put the box on the rocker on the front porch and then left her with her grief for now.

 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March

I can't believe it.  It's only the middle of March and I have shorts on, LOL.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mrs. Dunkin

Mrs. Dunkin will be going on a break or a hiatus if you will. I hope to get writing more about her in the spring and summer bringing  her back in the fall. 

This Friday, I will be putting up a new or "old' story depending how you look at it.   In 2010, I started a story on Saturday Centus for a few weeks about a woman named Mary.  I stopped because the words were just flowing on her.  I've written over 30,000 words about her but then as suddenly as I started, I ran out of story.  I'm hoping if I put this out there, I will get back to where I want her story to go.  I hope to do her story until the fall and then bring her back next spring.

I think there's a method to my madness LOL.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring

How I love thee let me count the ways, ha, ha.


It's been pretty gorgeous around here this week.  High 60's to low 70's during the day.


I'm starting to see neighbors venture out  picking up dead branches.


I took Mom outside one day and she was thrilled to be able to sit in the sun. 


I've been sitting in the patio enclosure with the windows open.  

It won't be long until Spring really comes and we won't have to worry about the cold coming back for a while.  

I can't wait, yippee!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mrs. Dunkin #20

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

20

I got my sweater and walked to the nurse’s station and said “We’re ready to go outside when someone is available”.

I sat down at the table and Clara and I waited for the aide to come.

“I’m going out to dinner with my daughter’s family today.  It’s my son-in-law’s birthday.”

“That should be fun.”

“I haven’t seen my grand-kids for a while.  It will be good to see them.”

“Does your daughter work?”

“Yes, she does.  I don’t mean to brag but she’s a pediatrician and her husband is a surgeon.”

“Wow, two doctors in the family.”

“Ladies are you ready to go outside?”

“We sure are” and the aide pushed Clara while I walked along side.

We got to the courtyard and it was pretty full with residents and their families.  We found a little corner to sit in as the aide went and talked to another aide.

She came back and said “If you don’t mind, I’ll go back to the floor.  There are a lot of aides out today and they can just call me when you two want to go back in.”

“That will be fine, dear” I said

“Left all alone, whatever shall we do” Clara said and all of us laughed. 

As the aide left, she pointed at one of the girls and put her hand up to her head like she was talking on the phone so we would know who to talk to when we wanted to leave. 

“It looks like there are a lot of visitors already.”

“I’ve noticed on the weekends there are many more visitors than on weekdays.  It probably happens with families being so busy nowadays.   If a spouse is in here though, usually their partner comes every day and visits.”

“I would imagine the spouse is probably lonely at home without the other person.”

“To tell you the truth, I think if my Harold was in here, I don’t know if I would visit him every day.  I think I would be too heartbroken.”

“Yes, it probably would be hard but we’ll never know now will we.”

“Mrs. Dunkin, is that you?” the woman said as she came up to me.

“Yes, I’m Mrs. Dunkin.”

“My name’s Mary Jenkins.  I had you for English all through high school.”

“Why yes dear I remember you, haven’t you grown into a beautiful woman?”

“Thank you.  I’m here visiting my grandmother.  You were always my favorite teacher.  I probably never told you that at the time but I went into journalism and write for the newspaper.”

“What a wonderful profession.  It’s nice of you to say I had a hand in that.”

“I won’t interrupt your visit; I just wanted to come by for a minute.”

“That’s okay, dear.  I live here now.”

“Oh” she said and I could see the shock on her face.  “If you wouldn’t mind then perhaps I can visit you sometime when I’m her to see my grandmother.”

“That would be lovely.”

“See you later then” and she walked away. 

“I suppose I’ll be running into people here some times that don’t know I’m living here.  I’ll have to get used to that look.”

“It’ll be okay Annie” and she patted my arm. 

“This is really a nice courtyard with all the tables and umbrellas” as I changed the subject.  “I wonder if they would allow us to eat outside before it gets too cold.”

“Let’s ask when we get back.  I think I’m really going to like having you here.”

“Did you know they have outings that we can go on?  In the winter it slows up but I know in November they usually go to eat at an apple orchard.”

“That would be nice to do.  Do they do anything for the holidays?”

“Oh yes.  A couple of days before Halloween, they bring children in with their costumes on and provide us with candy to give the kids.  Also, for Christmas the whole place is decorated and they have many entertainers come in.  They really do a wonderful job.”

We sat quietly for a while watching the people and when I looked at Clara she was dozing.   I closed my eyes for a time and when I opened them Clara was still not awake.  I caught the aide’s eyes and pointed to my wrist to see what time it was.  It was already 3:00.  I thought about going in about 4:00 to get freshened up before Julie came.

Clara suddenly woke up and said, “I must have fallen asleep.  I can’t believe it.”

“You must have needed it.  The air is so fresh; it makes me want to nap too.  Soon I’ll have to be going back in to get ready.”

“Anytime, just let me know.”

We sat for a while longer and then I asked the aide to call for us.

The aide walked us back to our floor and I said goodbye to Clara and went to my room to get ready.




 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mrs. Dunkin #19

This is an ongoing story I've decided to write and put on my blog every Monday.   Please excuse the errors, I'm only doing limited editing.  Constructive criticism welcome.  I wish I had a cute button on the side where the story could go but I don't know how to make a button.  Even if I did I wouldn't know how to link up the story LOL.   So if you miss a chapter, you'll have to look at my sidebar for it.  The first chapter was written on October 23, 2011 so that should at least be some help, ha.

19

I walked into the room and settled at the computer.  I signed into my email account and started going through it.   Spam, spam and more spam.  Then I came to an email from Stella.  I eagerly opened it up.

Hi Annie,

I know you said not to email but I thought I would take a chance that you might get on your email account. 

I hope you are doing well.  Me not so much, I’ve come down with the flu.  Can you believe it?   Who gets the flu in October?  Me I guess, LOL. 

When I’m better I will high-tail it over there.  If you need anything, email me back and I can bring it when I come.

How about a phone number so I can at least call you?

Love ya’ girl,
Stella

I hit reply

Hi,

Too bad you’re ill.  I feel for you.  Did you get the flu shot?  I got mine early for a change. 

I’m doing pretty well here.  Really, it’s not so bad.

I’ll have to email you my phone number later.  I don’t know it by heart yet. 

Talk to you later.

Love,
Annie

I hit send and then I heard “Mrs. Dunkin?”

I turned around and said “Yes.”

“Hi, my name is Emma.  I’m Clara’s daughter.”

“It’s so nice to meet you Emma.”

“I hope you don’t mind but I asked the nurse who you were.  Mom was so excited and told me she made a new friend.  Since Helen has gotten worse, Mom hasn’t been very happy.  Your friendship seems to have put the spark back into her.”

“Well, I don’t know if I’m responsible but if I am, I’m glad.”

“I won’t keep you; I just wanted to say thanks” and she hurried out the door.

I went back to deleting some jokes off email.  I noticed an email again from Stella and opened it.

Hi Annie,

I received your email and was happy to hear from you.  I’ve been worried about you but I feel better knowing that I can at least correspond with you through email sometimes.

I’ll see you soon when I’m better.

Love,
Stella

I closed the email and then logged out of my account. 

It was almost lunch time so I went out to the day-room and sat at the table.  I looked around and there were some families visiting with the residents. 

I could see Clara wheeling herself down the hall.  She pulled up to the table and asked “How was your visit with your son?”

“It was nice.  It’s really gorgeous outside.  There won’t be too many days like this anymore.  Perhaps after lunch, I’ll see if we can go out and sit in the courtyard for a while.”

“That would be great.”

“Will your son be coming today?”

“I highly doubt it.  The one that thinks she’s my daughter was here.  I don’t know how she does it but she brought me some Hershey bars.  They are my favorite candy.”

“That was very nice of her.”

“Yes, I guess.  I am beginning to like her.  She treats me way better than my own son.  I’m lucky if he makes it here once a month.”

“I’ll be right back.  I’m going to go get a sweater” and Clara took off down the hall.

I walked over to Sheila at the nurse’s station.

“Hi Annie, do you need something?"

“I was wondering since it’s such a beautiful day out if Clara and I can go out in the courtyard for a while after lunch?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not.  We always have a lot of visitors on Sundays and some residents go out with their families for the day.  I’ll have one of the aides go with you.  They always love to go outside.  Let me know when you two are ready.”

“Thanks, dear.”

“You’re welcome.”

When Clara got back to the table, I mentioned that I had talked to the nurse and that we would go outside after lunch. 

After finishing lunch, I went to get a sweater for myself and the phone was ringing.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mom, I was just about to hang up.”

“I was in the day-room eating lunch and then Clara and I were going to go outside for a while.”

“I don’t know if you remember but its Ralph’s birthday today.  We were wondering if you’d like to go out to dinner with us about 5:00.”

“Sure, I would like that.”

“Okay, I’ll see you later.”