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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It’s New Year’s Eve

Think coffeeGus eyeballed the sign by the door. “Think coffee, all right. Think no cash,” he muttered.

His gaze returned to the sidewalk again. This dirty sidewalk was his home now. If he’d only been more careful with his money before… saved a bit more… Gus shook his head and shuffled on.

But someone had noticed. Someone across the street turned and followed him.

Gus soon came to an outside bench where he could rest his bones. For free. “So miserable cold,” he grumbled, flexing his fingers.

A few minutes later he felt a hand on his shoulder. Gus looked up and saw a blue uniform. “I’m not doing nothin’ wrong,” he protested.

His glare was met by a friendly smile. “It’s coffee break time for me, buddy. Looks like you could use one, too. Come on. I’m buying. It’s New Year’s Eve. ”

Gus beamed up at the officer. Will miracles never cease!

Blogger Symanntha has been posting 100-word stories on her blog. After I read her take on the picture given, I decided to do one of my own using the same scenario. However, my version has 155 words.

I’ll even tie this into the Word Press daily prompt: Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Would anyone like to walk in the shoes of a homeless person for a day?

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas
Sending all of you warm wishes for the holiday season, and all the best for the coming new year. Forgive my lateness; I wanted to post this yesterday, but my browser simply refused to open my blog. It has a mind of its own at times!

I also want to thank all of you who drop by to read my scribblings and even follow this blog. I really appreciate each one of you, your LIKE’s and your comments.

It’s the Side Trips Along the Way

Today’s prompt asks us what way we were prefer to see the country. I have actually crossed our nation by plane. One year Bob and I flew from Montreal to Vancouver. We certainly appreciated the few hours it took to get there, compared to what we would have been facing by car.

If it’s a clear day you can look down on the prairie patchwork and marvel at all those creatures scurrying around down there, building up their little bits of property. If it’s not a clear day, a person can see some amazing clouds. One day I looked out the plane window and saw, reflected onto the white mass beside us, a great big rainbow doughnut. Awesome!

As an adult I’ve taken the train across half the country on several occasions. Pulling out of Toronto, going through three days of rock, pond, bush, rock, pond, bush, rock, pond, bush —with the Great Superior Lake thrown in. Then suddenly the land opens up onto the flat prairie and you can see a hundred miles ahead.

And we’ve traveled by car, both across Canada and into the US. This definitely affords the best trip in my estimation. Gives lots of chances to stop and admire the scenery. And you never know when you may come across a sign that says, Twelve Foot Falls. 

(Warning to you folks in northern Wisconsin. I’m about to expose a local joke.)

We’d left Michigan that morning and gone north, crossed over the Mackinac Bridge, intending to have supper and spend the night with friends in Barron, Wisconsin. Now it was early afternoon and we were in no hurry, when we came upon the sign that read Twelve Foot Falls Road ½ mile, with an arrow pointing left.

Bob and I discussed this a minute and decided we had time for a little side trip. Half a mile later there was a sign designating the Twelve Foot Falls Road, and it appeared to be a nice gravel road, so we took it. After all, a twelve-foot waterfall would be an interesting sight to see, right?

Those of you who have been there know that the main highway through northern Michigan and Wisconsin cuts through a solid pine forest. Lining the road for miles ahead and behind, all you see is pine forest with the ribbon of highway running through. Thankfully it’s cut back far enough that people who suffer a bit from claustrophobia, as I do, can still breathe.

The gravel road we turned off on was more of the same, only not cut back very far from the roadway. In other words unless you’re very fond of pine green this is not the scenic route. And we drove and we drove and we drove.

After about fifteen minutes there was another sign saying Twelve Foot Falls with the arrow pointing ahead. So at least we weren’t lost. And we drove and we drove and we drove. The only thing is, the road narrowed down to a logging trail. We drove through this green tunnel for another while, then we saw another sign. Twelve Foot Falls, with the arrow pointing left. Ah! We’re getting there.

We turned as indicated and drove a short distance, right into a clearing. And there, ahead of us was… Twelve Foot Falls? We all groaned.

The locals must have measured the “falls” by its length instead of its height. As I recall the water from a little creek came over a rocky ledge and fell about four feet down, then over a bunch more rocks. It seems to me there were several small ledges and drops.

It was a very pretty spot, I’m sure it would be great for picnics if you want to take all that time cruising through a tunnel get there.

And then there was the time we were driving through an unfamiliar town in the dark (Bob thinks it was Shippensburg, PA) and we took a road on  a poorly lit street than angled down. We were going slow, thank goodness.

Suddenly, with no warning sign or rail or wall, our headlights reflected off water. We were facing a river, with a drop-off about three yards ahead. Had we been going at a normal street speed…

Bob came to an abrupt stop and we stared out over what must have been the arm of a local river that meandered through this park-like area. I believe there was a sidewalk ahead, such as people might want to take to walk alongside the river.

By all means, travel by car. you’ll see so many interesting sights along the way — and it gives you something to blog about later.

Seven Words? Dream On!

The WordPress Daily Prompt is asking us an unusual question today:
Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

My first thought on the subject:
Poets need words! How can it be that a poet like Gibran would subject himself to a seven-word limit? This idea would have put him out of business in no time flat.

And what about the “I think, therefore I am” concept? How much could you think if you only had a seven-word vocabulary?

My second contemplation:
Words in which language? In referring to “people” the poet was talking about something universal, right? His idea was universal understanding and harmony. We English tend to think we have a monopoly on the international language, so of course they should be our words. The folks in China may well dispute this and want to give us their seven words. Then we’d have an argument which would defeat the purpose of international harmony.

My third cynical contemplation:
Talk is cheap. Words can sound so pleasant to the ear, so inspiring. Writers may rhapsodize about universal love and harmony, but reality is a whole ‘nother ball game. I think of John Lennon singing “All we need is love,” while carrying on an extra-marital affair, divorcing his wife and abandoning his son. Yeah. Feel the love.

In my mind, “all we need is seven words” would fit in this irresponsibly romantic category.

Now that I’ve dealt with the negative side of my meditations, I think about the words themselves. Choose seven? Basic nouns & verbs like water, food, hot, cold, no, yes, later, behave yourself? (Mothers definitely need this last one.) We’d sure use a lot of facial expressions!

Anecdote ahead:
I have a friend born in Denmark who told me one day, “My Dad said that when the Danes arrived in England centuries ago they found a people who couldn’t talk at all. They could only grunt. It was the Danes who taught the English how to talk.”

A history lesson that’s been omitted from our English history textbooks. (Or maybe the English did have seven words back then?)

Maybe we should skip nouns and verbs and go for adjectives. We’re getting to that now, you know. Awesome! Wonderful! Yuck! Cool! Gross! Sweet! Terrible! Weird!

Trouble is, slang changes every so often according to the whims of the younger generation, so our whole vocabulary would soon be obsolete and the generation gap would be unbridgeable. (Mind you, if the expression “generation gap” would disappear from our language, it might not be so bad.)

My next thought was, “What would we do about all our inflections?”
Unlike some other languages, English lends itself so well to shades of meaning via the use of inflection. For example:
She went to the afternoon ball game — emphasis on she — tells you that it was really odd for this girl/woman to go to a ball game.
By putting the emphasis on afternoon I’m giving you the impression the timing was unusual. Like she may go in the evening, but what was she doing there in the afternoon? Playing hookey from school or work?
With the emphasis on ball, you get the idea she’d go to a tennis match or a swim meet, but normally wouldn’t be interested in watching a ball game.

Given all the shades of meaning we can bring into our inflections, it’s no wonder we’re often misunderstood.

My last thought was that we get into as much trouble for the things we don’t say, things we should say, as what we do for the things we do say. (Here go those inflections again.)

I’m afraid thinking that we could understand each other better with only seven words to express our feelings is an impractical dream. I doubt the poet could have stood this restriction himself for even a day.

I don’t believe my friends dad’s story about the speechless English, either.

No ‘Sound of Silence’ Here

Yesterday was the last day of summer, so I guess it was fitting that the grass was white with frost when we woke up. The temp dipped a little below freezing, but the day was pleasant otherwise, and today is supposed to be quite warm.

A flock of about 200 crows is making its home in the fields around us now; Monday morning I saw them flying over our trailer headed for the field just north of us. Later they all headed over to the field south of us, just across the road. Later I saw them leap-frogging west toward the train tracks.

For the past several weeks a migrating flock of about 200 sandhill cranes has settled and is gleaning in the nearby fields, also going this way and that. Between the occasional flock of geese heading south, the cawing of the crows and the croaking of the cranes as they crisscross overhead, the noise level can get pretty high. Especially when they’re all excited at the same time.

On Monday morning we heard the train whistle far off and I looked out our west window to watch it pass. A mother dear and her two this-year fawns was standing right at the edge of our yard, also watching the approaching train. Before long they took off to the south, the young ones bouncing like four-legged pogo sticks.

This afternoon my husband and I are leaving for to Alberta to attend the three-day InScribe Writers’ Conference with special guest speaker Jeff Goins. My enthusiasm for writing has been on the wane lately, so here’s hoping the conference will give it a shot in the arm. I’ve done all my packing, now best get some tidying up and the dishes done so we don’t leave too much of a mess for our daughter. She’s coming to feed our cats.

I hope to be back to blogging next week Monday, so until then, all the best everyone.