Invitation to Chip In

“She has the money,” Fred argued. “Her husband left her swimming in the stuff. She can’t spend it all, so why not give some to her daughter if she needs it?”

George clunked his empty mug on the table, scowling. “So you think it’s okay for May’s son-in-law to blackmail her like this? To forbid the grandkids to see her unless she forks over the dough for their mortgage payments?”

Fred waved a hand in protest. “I didn’t say that exactly.”

“The poor boys have to sneak out if they want to see their grandma. I think their dad’s a deadbeat if he’s expecting May to pay for their home. He needs to get out and find a job.”

“But people hit rough spots sometimes. Maybe he’s tried and there just isn’t anything right now? Besides, Nadine’s her only child. She’ll inherit everything when May’s gone. Why not give her some now? May’d never miss it.”

George stubbornly shook his head. No way were they ever going to agree on this issue.

Suddenly he sat back and looked Fred in the eye. “If you’re feeling so charitable why don’t you help them out? You sold your farm. You’re sitting on a pile of money yourself. You could pay off their mortgage and never miss it.”

Fred snorted. “Are you kidding? Why should I shell out to support that shiftless son-in-law of May’s? He’s not my problem.”

George recalled that old cliché. “The worm has turned! It’s always easier to solve a problem when the answer doesn’t come out of your pocket.”

Fred turned red, then glanced at the clock. “Gotta be going.”


Last night I recalled a conversation I was part of years ago. A dear friend of my dad was in this situation: emotional blackmail, you could say. Her nine-year-old grandson, being forbidden contact, would sneak away from home to see her. I listened as one party in the conversation presented Fred’s argument, which had some validity. My dad thought like George.

What about you? How would you advise May?

I gave the tale this ending twist to fit today’s Word Press prompt: invitation.


Learning From A Loss


by Edgar Guest

We who have wept together
know what it means to love,
we who have suffered sorrow,
strewn roses a mound above,
and knelt on the ground together
to whisper a common prayer
with trembling lips and hearts aching
know what it means to share.

Time was we danced together
and laughed as the days went by.
Month after month we romped through
with never a tear in her eye.
We fancied we loved each other,
but little of life we knew
and I was a jesting comrade
with only my work to do

Then suddenly sorrow found us.
Out there by a tiny grave
we learned what it means to be tender
and just what it means to be brave.
We learned that love deepens and strengthens
by hurts it is asked to bear,
and out of our common heartache
we learned what it means to share.


From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
Copyright 1934 by Contemporary Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL, USA

Second Thoughts

I see the Daily prompt today is second thoughts. I also see that today is the US presidential election. I can just picture voters today standing in polling booths all over the US, ballots in front of them, having second thoughts. And third thoughts. Weighing the options and all the promises one more time before making their mark.
Hope springs eternal. Here’s hoping that when the fur’s done flying and things have settled down again, there will be more second thoughts as the person chosen — the one half the voters were sure would bring the country to wrack and to ruin — turns out to be not so bad after all.
I came across this poem and think it’s a great example of maturity bringing second thoughts:

Against His Inclination

Dad tried his best when I was young
to fix it in my mind
that “as the tiny twig is bent,
so is the tree inclined”
And when he’d lay me ‘cross his knee
on punishment intent,
I used to cry, “Say, Dad, look out,
or I’ll grow up all bent!”

And when he’d say, “Come on, young man,
and weed the onion bed,”
just when I’d planned a fishing trip
with Johnny Jones instead,
I used to scowl until my face
was black as black could be,
and mutter then, “When I grow up
I’ll be humpbacked – you’ll see!”

But years have come and years have gone,
with many a care and trouble,
with many a load that for a time
has bent me nearly double;
But always I’ve sprung back again
before it was too late –
For though he made me bend a bit,
‘Twas Dad who made me straight.

Author Unknown

Hyperbole Takes A Sudden Turn

Beautiful stuff, hyperbole.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

And remember that childhood chorus, “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.”

I’m fond of hyperbole myself at times. Several years back, tongue in cheek, I wrote the following poem:

Starlotta Taquita Names Her Baby

Deep in the bowels of a Hollywood Hospital
a Star has given birth: Starlotta Taquita
cuddles her bouncing baby boy.
“And what shall I name you, precious child?”
she murmurs. “Something unique – just like you!
Something with a swirl, a twirl, a bit of a curl,
to adorn your wonderful being forever!

Everything I’ve heard is blasé. Already passé.
Trendy hippy names have all been done:
River Phoenix and Chevy Chase; exotic
names like Joachim and Sylvester;
the Apples, Macintoshes and Courtlands.
I could call you Pomegranate, but somehow
Pomegranate Taquita doesn’t resonate.

We need a new wave. Well, what about
those fancy Latin names? Claudius,
Ophemious, Gambrinus, or Sylvanius?
Wait! It comes to me now! Tempestuous.
Yes, Tempestuous Taquita you shall be!”

Before long Hollywood was abuzz:
“Did you hear what Starlotta named her baby?”
Some scoffed, but others got on the bandwagon;
soon Tormentius, Tenacius, Tyrannius
toddlers romped and tumbled at day cares all over LA.
Celebrity followers nationwide copied
this latest craze, took it to dizzying heights.

Meanwhile back in Hollywood several years zip by;
Starlotta Taquita has just given birth to a daughter.
“Now what shall we call you,
dearest, most precious child?” she murmurs anew.
“Something unique — just like you.

But nothing too swirly, too twirly —
and for sure not too girly!
Why, you might grow up to be
a Wall Street VIP, an astronaut,
even President of the United States!
So she names her little girl


This was a great example of hyperbole, right? A facetious exaggeration of the unusual names being given today. A length to which no mother would ever really go.

Or so I thought. One day not so long ago I learned that some Hollywood couple has named their daughter James. And if James has arrived, can John be far behind? Reality has caught up to my hyperbole. My poem is now outdated. Nobody will chuckle now that Starlotta’s far-out fancy is becoming ho-hum regular fare down there.

Next we’ll see if a baby named Tempestuous turns up.

The original poem comes of a writing exercise using an unusual Latin name. Today’s effort comes from the Word Press Daily Challenge word: hyperbole.

GIANT Alyssa: A Grandparent’s No-No

…..Today’s Prompt word is Giant. For lack of a more gigantic inspiration, I’ll reblog this article.

Friday Tales

Year ago I heard an evangelist speak about raising children. I don’t remember much of his message, but one sentence in particular stuck with me. In the context he had mentioned how our children are so sweet, so precious, yet they do need training. They can be so cute, but don’t let them sweet talk you out of discipline when they’re naughty.

Then he said, “And when you have grandchildren….they are the cutest and the smartest and the best there ever was!” He went on to encourage grandparents to let parents discipline those little souls, not interfere or be indulgent when the grandchildren need a firm NO and the parents are giving it. (Believe me, that’s hard for grandparents.)

It’s true. Our grandchildren really are SO cute and SO smart and it’s so tempting for grandparents who write to incorporate them into amusing little stories. Of course it tickles preschoolers…

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