As part of my Friday Fictioneers tales I’ve been posting a story about two cousins from Moose Knee who take a tour of Florida. It’s supposed to be a great time of year to go, but their plans have been derailed by the weather. In case you’re interested, here are the links to the three segments I’ve posted so far:
This little story was included in an e-mail one day from a friend in Missouri. Not sure where he got it, but I’ll pass it on in case you haven’t heard it yet.
It was very early in the morning and we were transporting horses to a show in our horse trailer. Weather was nasty; rain was falling. I pulled into a gas station at 5am to fill up.
Another traveler at the next pump inquired, “Where are you going with those horses?”
“To the horse show,” I answered.
“You horse people must be crazy, going to something like that in this kind of weather,” he commented.
“What brings you out so early on such a nasty day?” I asked him.
“I’m going fishing,” the man replied in all seriousness.
Word Press daily prompt: seriousness
I’m closing down my blog, Swallow in the Wind, where for several years I posted poetry and anecdotes like the one above. For the next month, while I’m occupied with my spring sewing, I’m going to be reposting these here.
I remember the days, after I was done with my chemo-therapy treatments — the first time round, 36 years ago. I recall the times when these dark storm clouds would roll over my mind and everything looked so hopeless. Some chemo treatments are largely hormonal, so they mess yours up so bad.
Blogger Stacey LePage describes these times so effectively in her poem and has kindly permitted me to share it with you.
They come and blow your mind away
They make mountains of your thoughts
They will gather strong in billowed clouds
You will find yourself distraught
The sky can blacken all around
Will cause your heart to race
You fear the wrath the clouds may bring
As you quicken up your pace
Then as quickly as it came
It moves along the sky
And out of view the squall does pass
To leave you high and dry
You feel the warmth upon your face
It melts and thaws your mind
You stop and pause and close your eyes
To leave the past behind
The moment seems to slow right down
Life stops and takes a breath
Living in the here and now
Gives minute of brain refresh
There is it, yet once again
The storm is suddenly nigh
You’ve seen it once, you’ll see it again
And know it will…
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Winter “Clipper” Roars Through
Yesterday morning our weather had warmed up here in Sask — temp got up to -9̊ C. Which brought in a fast-moving storm by evening with howling wind gusts that rattled our windows something fierce. I was afraid the power might go out, so I placed candles and flashlights in strategic places, just in case. Thankfully we haven’t had a lot of snow to blow, and not a lot came down during the “clipper”, or it would have been much worse for drivers.
This morning dawned clear and sunny, but the temp has dropped to -31̊ C, below -40 with wind-chill factored in. I call that “bitterly cold”! So I’m happy to stay inside all day, thankful I don’t have to pump gas or do any other out-in-all-weathers job.
Today’s Word Press prompt is someday. Very fitting.
Someday it will be spring. The grass will green up, the trees will bud and blossom, perennials will poke through. Someday. Meanwhile, today I plan to edit this book I’ve been working on, for teen boys.
I also posted Winter’s Day Dreams on Tree Top Haiku.
Book report: Hurricane
© 2003, 2008 by Terry Trueman
Speaking of a book for teen boys, I read one yesterday that I thought was terrific. In the book Hurricane, by Terry Trueman, Jose, a young teen from a small Honduras village, stays at home with his mother and younger siblings in their small village while his dad, older brother and sister, have gone to the city. The day starts out rainy, nothing too unusual. Unknown to them, this is the forefront of Hurricane Mitch, the storm that devastated Central America in 1998.
They initially have to contend with the worsening storm, trying to keep their belongings dry under the leaking roof, and wondering about their missing family members. I small battery radio tells them about the damage Mitch is doing all over their country. Then before the night is over Jose hears a great rumbling sound and mud from the loggers’ clean-cut patch on the mountain above comes pouring down on them, burying most of the village in sludge.
The author has done a great job of depicting the feelings of a boy caught up in a tragedy. We understand his amazement facing a sea of mud, overwhelmed by the cries of survivors needing help. We see his efforts together with neighbors digging in the mud for their loved ones and for food. We feel his revulsion at finding dead bodies — and sympathize with his constant fear that his father and siblings have been swept away, buried in other mud somewhere. Will they ever be found? Sandwiched in between are his flashbacks to the good times and questions about the future.
The author does all this in a refreshingly “clean” story with very little profanity and no immorality. Jose’s family, God-fearing Catholic people who believe in prayer, are trying to apply faith and trust in the midst of tragedy. This is a book I’d give to any reader, teen or adult.
Back when we lived in Moose Jaw, I awoke one morning and noticed right away that the air had an unusual scent. I took a deep sniff and smiled. A chinook was blowing.
This weather pattern is born in the air currents moving from northwest to southeast across the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Winds suck up moisture from the water’s surface and carry it along in billowing white clouds until the air mass crashes into the North American coastline. And there the air-land temperature difference causes the clouds to dump their payload on the hapless residents below.
In western Canada this means the British Columbia coastline, including Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria. Terrific rainfall ever year! But then the now-lighter air mass rises upwards over the mountain range leaving the clouds behind to dribble onto the coast. The interior of British Columbia is desert-dry a lot of the time.
These air currents climb the mountain peaks and pick up speed sliding down the other side into Alberta. Still warm from the Pacific this air blow across the southern prairies. The Indians called these winds chinooks. If it’s winter here, a chinook can melt a lot of snow in a day, picking up the resulting moisture and carrying it along at almost ground level until the wind plays out.
Under the map of Canada above I’ve listed the southern provinces that border the US. The Rocky Mountains, for the most part, follow that squiggly line between BC and Alberta. Because of the way the Rockies angle as they run along the border of the two provinces, the southernmost chinooks sometimes blow as far east as central Saskatchewan. Moose Jaw, dead center in south SK, gets the tail end of some, whereas Regina, 44 miles east, rarely ever feels a Chinook wind.
When one is blowing, we get that classic “chinook arch” along the western horizon. Our sky is clear except for an arc of grey cloud hovering at the western edge of our world.
It was this warm, moisture-laden air I got a whiff of that morning. In the dead of winter a chinook has a pleasing smell to it! Later, when I was outside, I saw the accompanying chinook arch. A chinook means a sunny day, a rise in temperature, melting snow. We get a tiny respite from frigid winter’s grip. We prairie folks love our chinooks.
Word Press daily prompt: Interior
Lately I have been inspired by the “Friday Fictioneers” group. The bloggers who sign up are given a photo every week and each one writes a 100-word story about it. Links to stories posted here.
So I decided to try my hand at writing a short fiction piece, too. Here’s my attempt; all comments are welcome. Just to make it interesting, the body of this story contains 104 words. Which four should I have left out?
THE PARROT REVEALS
First the thunderclap, then a spine-chilling scream shredded the tenseness in the darkened room.
Natalie, peering fretfully into the storm, gasped and whirled around. “I wish you’d left that wretched bird in the rainforest where it belongs.”
“But I like my parrot,” her cousin replied. “He’s great company when I’m alone. Besides, he reveals secrets.”
“Oh, really?” Natalie glanced at Regina but in the dim lamplight she missed the malevolence in the other young woman’s eyes.
Regina watched the shadows flickering against the walls. “For example, he’s told me why you’re waiting so anxiously for MY fiancé to arrive.”
“Is it, Nat?”