The Power of Longevity

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When he asked me to go camping, I looked at him as if he were a stranger. We’d been together for more years than I could count. For more years than I wanted to count. Camping? I love nature, but when it comes right down to it, I love nature on day trips. At night, I’m a room service kind of gal.

He wanted us to have a new experience. There was a campfire. That helped. When I left the tent, there was a coyote’s eyes looking at me from the edge of the darkness. I felt safe with him.

Photo Prompt Jan Wayne Fields

 

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The Homeless Veterans

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Every morning they were there. All the jars with hot drinks in them. It was starting to get cold in the city. The season was changing from fall into winter. There was a man in an army jacket who came long before dawn and set up the jars. He took great care with them.

David was homeless and usually tried to sleep in a cubby hole he’d found in the park. Since the man had been setting up the hot drinks each morning, David sat in the shadows and watched him. David was a veteran of the Army. The Vietnam War. There was something familiar about the man.

The homeless people in the area always came with a cup right after dawn. David joined them. The coffee tasted wonderful and was hot. It warmed them, their bodies and their souls. The man kept coming with refills.

David looked up at him and their eyes met. They both started to smile. They had been in the same platoon in the war.

170 words

This Planet Earth

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Watching the solar #eclipse today made me think about this planet Earth, our place in the universe, and how we, as some of the inhabitants of this planet, have affected it.

#Earth is but a tiny dot in a vast universe. Imagine how everything came together here to give us all the ingredients necessary for life. The right atmosphere to breathe, the water to drink, the soil in which to grow our food. Imagine how it is so unlikely that this could have happened. It makes me think that we cannot possibly be alone. Somewhere out there, there must be other life, although maybe not life like us.

What have we, as intelligent human beings, done to our precious atmosphere, water, and soil? We have polluted it beyond measure, almost to the point where it is not useful to us anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970. If not for the EPA, I’m not quite sure where planet Earth would be at this point in time. Would it be able to sustain our life? I think it’s doubtful. But it was created and it began to study the concept of pollution.

The EPA determined that the smoke pouring from steel mills and other manufacturing companies was polluting the air. They had to install scrubbers. Sure, it cut into their profits in the short-term. In the long run, it helped save our atmosphere, keep us healthy, and the share price of these corporations did not suffer in the long run. The same is true of the water in which manufacturers and coal companies poured sludge. This is only one of hundreds of examples of how the EPA has protected our environment since 1970. Protecting our environment is protecting us, our health, and our long-term survival on this planet.

There is one irrefutable truth. The EPA doesn’t know what to protect us from without scientific research. That is the backbone of the organization. Unfortunately, our current President does not understand this or does not care. He has slashed scientific research and EPA programs in his 2018 budget by 31%, a steeper cut than for any other governmental organization. Around 3,200 jobs will be lost, just from the EPA, many of them highly trained and valuable scientists. Is this really wise?

I could list the other cuts the President is making to EPA programs that will impact our ability to live on this planet. The Paris Climate Agreement which addresses rising seas levels. An order to expand off-shore drilling. Then, we have such things as dropping the agreement to protect sea turtles and whales from fishing nets. Do we want to live on a planet when the caretakers don’t care about such things?

We have another solar #eclipse in 2024. Unless the EPA is given its money back to protect us from air pollution, we may not be able to see that one for the pollution in the air. It’s good we all enjoyed the 2017 #eclipse.

Song Lyric Sunday – Someone Like You

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The theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is risk-taking. In love, Adele’s “Someone Like You” epitomizes taking a risk for me.

Someone Like You

Adele
I heard that you’re settled down
That you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
That for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”

You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I’d hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
That for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you two
Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead, yeah

Nothing compares
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
They are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

 

 

#SoCS – 08/19/2017

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What is on my mind as I write this post? The ocean. The way I feel when I look at the ocean, when I’m near the ocean, when I breathe the salt air. I’ve never understood how someone from a landlocked state like me, who didn’t even see the ocean until I was 21 years old, could feel so connected to it. I felt like this the first time I ever saw the ocean, that time the Atlantic. After a time, I had occasion to spend significant time in South Carolina, off and on. Looking out at the great Atlantic was as much of a thrill as it was the very first time.

Later in life, I saw the beautiful Gulf, both from the Florida peninsula, the port of New Orleans, and the port of Galveston. I then spent a very special day, once upon a time as if in a fairy tale, on gorgeous Catalina Island in the Pacific, a visit I will never forget with someone I will always remember.

In 2009, I was fortunate enough to happen upon, totally by chance, an island in the Gulf of Mexico and I fell in love with it. It’s not the type of island most people might find appealing. It sits below the frost line and is tropical in most ways. But, it doesn’t have the requisite sandy beaches. It has beautiful sunsets, incredible birds, an array of wildlife, ¬†rampantly¬†growing tropical vegetation, and incredibly temperate winters. I feel more myself when I’m there than anywhere else in the world. The Gulf waters surrounding my island are usually calm and full of fish that I’m just learning about.

This year, I will have guests visit me when I’m at my island. Family, friends, and several friends live nearby. Fun!

What draws me to my island is the feeling in my soul when I’m there. I seldom find myself at peace. I have a restless soul, a restless heart. I’m at peace when I stand and look out at the ocean from the shores of this magical island.

I can’t wait to return.

 

Travel Florida: Anticipating My Return

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Even though it’s still hot where I live in Kentucky, there are signs everywhere of fall coming. The summer flowers are finished and even some of the fall flowers are looking faded. I live in the forest and a few leaves are starting to fall and they are already colorful. Fall coming at my home in Kentucky means that I’m starting to look forward to going to my home in Florida, on my magical island, for the winter.

I’ve been very busy during this summer in Kentucky. I’ve done a lot of writing and research and very little else. Writing and researching at least twelve hours a day keeps me busy. By the time that twelve hours is over, any writer reading this knows you are ready to drop and fall into your bed. I take breaks. I take my new puppy outdoors and we play. She’s in training so we work on her training exercises. I also take breaks to talk to my friends who have kept me company and great company they are. The summer has passed very fast for me.

Even though I’m still writing and researching and will be until right before we leave here for the winter, I find my mind drifting to my island and my little home there. Even though I love my home in Kentucky, I also love my island. I will be ready to leave here two months from now. The winter months are so wonderful there. The island is still very much “old Florida.” I think part of the reason for that is because it does not have much sandy beach. Any little bits of beach you find, however, are nice, smooth sand and not particularly grainy .

Even though there are a lot of snowbirds on my island, and I am one of them, that certainly doesn’t ruin it for me. Yes, the traffic is bad. Yes, there are waiting lines in the restaurants. But, some of the same snowbirds come back every year and have become my friends. Some of the locals have become my friends and I value all of their friendships.

I miss the ocean! I miss the pier. I miss the wonderful seafood. There is so much about that magical island that I miss. Mostly I miss the way that I feel there. My soul feels like it has found its home.

 

#weeklysmile 85

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It’s an easy #weeklysmile this week, my friends! I’m writing my first novel. Writing a debut novel is rather like having a baby, I think. It’s wonderful and painful all at the same time. I had a lot written, but then I consulted with a good friend and former colleague, who is also a writer. He did not like the style. It’s a psychological thriller and he had an excellent suggestion for a change in style. So, what did I do? I started over! That was painful, but necessary, because I completely agreed with him.

That was weeks ago. This past week, I finished the first part of my novel and gave it to my friend for editing and his comments on style. He liked it very much and did some editing. I asked another friend to read it as well. She also approved of the style. So I am very gratified and it’s on to Part 2 of the novel and I am already well into it.

This is a big #weeklysmile for me!

On Her Own

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“Charles, I hate for Adelaine to be stuck in that boarding house.”

“She needs to test her wings, Esther. That’s how young women do it in this day and time. They get a room and a job.”

“But that secretarial position, darling. It seems so demeaning for our daughter,” Esther said.

“Now, now, Esther. Adelaine thinks she can live on her own. Let her try.”

“She needs to be meeting respectable young men in our home.”

Adelaine already had a respectable young man very much in love with her who called on her nightly at the boarding house.

Historical Fiction

98 words

Right Place, Right Time

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“Janice, you did it again,” Stan cried.

“I’m sorry, Stan,” Janice said. “I didn’t mean to overfill the cup.”

Stan, the cook, was thinking that he was going to have to fire Janice. She just was not a good waitress.

The diner was full for lunch. Many professional people grabbed lunch at Stan’s Diner and he liked for his service to be impeccable. Janice was sloppy with her work, but she was not an experienced waitress. He was just giving her a chance because she couldn’t find any other job.

Meanwhile, Janice was embarrassed. She really needed this job. She was serving a woman in a booth alone. She was so nervous, afraid she would do something wrong. Suddenly, the woman she was serving spoke to her.

“Young woman, could I speak with you?”

“Yes,” Janice replied.

“Is this your chosen career?”

“No. I was an English major in college and can’t find a job.”

“I’m a writer,” the woman said. “Why don’t we talk about you working for me?”

Janice started to smile.

 

174 words