Continuity

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“It was Momma’s summer house,” Miranda said to the real estate agent, “Don’t you think a buyer would love it out here?” Miranda continued.

“No,” the realtor responded, “I know it’s your family home, but the demographic who might buy it work all the time and wouldn’t be interested.”

Dejected, Miranda walked in the house with the realtor. His phone rang. He turned to Miranda and asked if he could show the house in just a few minutes.

 

A young woman and her husband bought it on the spot. She was a gardner and loved the summer house.

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Distant

When I saw today’s writing prompt, something instantly popped into my head. A term. That term was “extended families.” It makes me sad that extended families are, in today’s time, distant from each other. If I look at my own family, and the families of many of my friends (but not all), there is geographic distance, but there is also emotional distance. This is true, at least in the United States.

Geographic distance will cause emotional distance but does it really have to be that way? My answer is no. With the electronic communication tools we have at our disposal and cell phones with unlimited talk and text, can’t we find a way to keep up with the lives of our aunts, uncles, and cousins? I say we can.

Cousins may not be able to play with each other every weekend like they could when I was growing up, but cousins can still keep in touch. Sisters may not be able to see each other often, but they can talk and message and text.

What do we have except our families and that includes our extended family? Let’s shrink the distance.

Imaginary

If you are a writer of fiction, you have to have a good imagination. You have to be able to create imaginary characters, stories, settings. Fiction is a work of good imagination.

Children have the most wonderful imaginations. They let their imaginations run wild and free and create whole worlds in which to play. As adults, we have become accustomed to reining in our imaginations. We have to be an adult, act like an adult, and use our imaginations only in controlled circumstances, like writing fiction. We can’t live in fantasy worlds lest we hurt other people.

When a writer embarks on a work of fiction, it is a difficult transition to make. They are suddenly allowed to let their imagination, at least as it relates to the story they are writing, run wild and free like a child’s imagination. It has to be a bit more controlled in order to tell their story.

Blogging and Appropriateness

Do you ever have a qualm about a blog post you want to make? Is there ever anything you really want to write but you are unsure if it is appropriate for your audience here or if it will possibly be offensive to some or most of them? That certainly happens to me.

If I write about subjects considered controversial – politics, erotica – to name just two, it always worries me about offending people. It even worries me about whether this is the appropriate forum. These days, I write mostly fiction, but I do throw in some non-fiction essays. I’m interested in a wide range of topics. I could offend any number of people.

Then again, this is my blog. People can read it or not. Within reason, I should be able to write what I want. Isn’t this all about creativity? However, if I am writing for a particular challenge and the administrator of the challenge asks that the stories be, for example, PG rated or below, I should respect that or not write for that challenge.

Having a qualm about particular blog posts happens to me often. Am I being too sensitive or is this a legitimate concern. What say you?

Mother’s Day: Founded in Appalachia

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*This post was first published on Mother’s Day, 2016. I thought I would post it again.

Mother’s Day, an important holiday to many of us, originated in Appalachia. It was founded in 1858 by Ann Jarvis. The founding of Mother’s Day was in response to the need for sanitation for new mothers since the infant mortality rate at that time was so high. Infection spread easily through mining camps and the small communities. Diseases that were prevalent were small pox, tuberculosis, whooping cough, measles, typhoid, and diptheria, to name a few.

After the Civil War in 1865, a woman named Julia Ward Howe who was both an author and an activist, wrote the lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic and her husband was responsible for trying to clean up the unsanitary conditions that existed during and after the Civil War in the army camps. More men died in the camps from unsanitary conditions than were killed in the war. Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation which urged all mother’s to leave their homes for one day in June and work for peace in their communities. There existed two versions of Mother’s Day.

In May 1908, Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Anne Jarvis who established the initial version of Mother’s Day, worked tirelessly to see her mother’s vision fulfilled. She enlisted the help of others to get an official day established honoring mothers. In 1912, West Virginia became the first state to recognize Mother’s Day. Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation declaring the second Sunday in May a national holiday — Mother’s Day. Its symbol became the carnation.

By the 1940s, Anna had soured on Mother’s Day as it was celebrated in modern society, particularly its commercialization. She passed away without ever becoming a mother.

Mother’s Day lives on and we celebrate our mother’s, or their memory, every year…..all thanks to a woman from Appalachia. #mothers day #appalachia

The Train

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“Do you think you can meet me at the town square,” Albert asked quietly.

Juliet replied, “I will have the driver ready to take me to town as soon as he leaves. He is my friend and sometimes my confidant.”

“We will just run away, darling! It doesn’t matter if we’re married,” Albert said.

“Can we go far away? I’m afraid he’ll find me?”

Albert said, “Yes. I will keep you safe.”

Juliet and Albert met in town to leave her abusive husband. When they tried to catch the train, there he stood. Albert knocked him down with one blow.

Happy Birthday!

WordPress sent me a little note this morning wishing this site a Happy Birthday! I can hardly believe I have been blogging here for one year, but I guess it has been a year. It has been a most enjoyable year and I have learned a lot and honed my writing skills.

I want to thank all my followers and readers! Without you, I wouldn’t be here. So, in honor of you, here is a gift!

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The Sanatorium

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Mabel and Anne sat at Table 19, waiting for their families, in their long, white, day gowns. It was visiting day and the two twenty-something girls were anxious to see their parents and others who would perhaps come with them. They were residents of the East Lake Tuberculosis Sanatorium in a town in Virginia. It was 1906.

Both girls had been diagnosed with a medium level tuberculosis. They expected to die in the sanatorium.

Visits from family were allowed only one day per month. The first Wednesday of every month and were limited to 15 minutes. Family members had to wear some sort of gauze over their mouths as tuberculosis was thought to be quite contagious.

There they were! They couldn’t hug and it was so hard, but at least they could talk for a few minutes.

Being a tuberculosis patient in the early 1900s  was like being an inmate in a prison. Mabel and Anne were lucky. They got better and got out. Most patients did not.

 

New Zealand and the Clown

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Casey was finally able to visit New Zealand when she graduated from college. Her mother was a native New Zealander, but she died when Casey was only seven years old.

There was a tour she wanted to take in Christchurch. The sights she would see were the result of the earthquakes Christchurch had experienced. It was called the graffiti tour.  Christchurch graffiti was special. It was beautiful paintings, painted on the backs of buildings, that were the way Christchurch residents dealt with the pain and devastation of the recent earthquakes.

The tour was fascinating. The graffiti artists had poured all the city’s pain into their work. They rounded the corner of the last building on the tour and Casey turned toward it and screamed. It was a painting of a clown. She had been holding her toy clown when she found out her mother had died.