A Story in Petroglyphs

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Dr. Michael Hurst and his team of students, from Harvard University, studying archeology and anthropology had been called in to study the rock face of a cliff in New Mexico. A new set of petroglyphs had been discovered.

”Petroglyphs are usually pictorial stories carved into rock faces by the Pueblo Native Americans who lived in this area,” Dr. Hurst explained to his students. “This small set of petroglyphs has just been found. The theory is that they are Navajo in origin.”

”Dr. Hurst, what do these petroglyphs mean?” asked one student.

”Jack, they are difficult to interpret. We’ve been able to interpret some of the most common. I’m not an expert, but the one of the left represents a person. The one on the right is more of a mystery to me. The two symbols together say that a person is doing something. Our job is to figure out what by interpreting the petroglyphs. It’s time to get to work!”

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The Moles

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”It’s sunny outside, Theo. A dangerous time to go up above. But, the baby needs some food.”

”Cleo, I’ll be careful. It doesn’t look very busy out there.”

”it’s always busy in New York City. You can’t get caught stealing.”

Theo, Cleo, and their baby were three of the mole people who live in the tunnels under New York City. Theo had been homeless for more years than he could count. He had his own nook under the streets. Cleo found herself in the tunnels when she had the baby and her parents kicked her out. Theo took her into his nook. They were happy.

The baby was young and wouldn’t nurse. Cleo was only sixteen. They didn’t realize something could be wrong. Theo was going out to try to find solid food for her. He went into a small grocery and stole some baby food. When he tried to leave, he was caught and arrested.

Cleo kept watching for Theo out the openings to the street. She watched for three days. The baby was sick and she came to the surface. The baby was taken to the hospital just in time after Cleo walked to the police station.

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The Past

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It was fall. The leaves were just starting to turn and it was still warm. Not hot, but warm. The nights were crisp. They were on vacation in a beautiful place. There was a crescent moon and they went for a walk to get a better look. It had been years since they had even taken a walk together. There was no romance between them.

The landscape was flat, but there was a small hill in front of them. They climbed the hill to get a better look at the moon. In front of them was the ocean. He took her hand to help her up. He held on. Her instinct was to let go, but she made herself let him hold her hand. It had been years since they had even held hands. His hand felt foreign to her.

The moon over the ocean was beautiful, casting another moon into the ocean. He had always enjoyed the moon shadow but had never seen it very often over water. Usually just on land. She was a child of the sun. Over the years, she had become afraid of the dark. She didn’t know why. She found herself taking deep breaths, hoping to avoid a panic attack because of being in the dark. He gripped her hand tighter. He knew.

They stood there for a long time. Talking. Reminiscing about all the past years. He wanted to talk about the good times. She could hardly bear to remember the good times, but she tried. Good times with him seemed so very long ago. When he mentioned them, she tried to remember and laughed with him even when she had forgotten something he remembered completely. She had blocked out so much.

He told her he’d like to spend the night there on the beach. That he had sleeping bags in the car. It was his birthday. She hated to disappoint him. She felt like she had spent years disappointing him so she agreed. He found a good place and put the sleeping bags and a cooler with her water and some snacks down. They got in their sleeping bags. If he had done this years ago, she would have been pleased.

They laid there and talked for a while. Not about anything significant. Just about the beautiful place they had found here ten years ago. He reached for her hand. He fell asleep while they were holding hands. She laid there awake for a long time, thinking of how they had been only roommates for so long. How she didn’t know how to be anything else with him now. His hand was warm and made her feel safe. It made her remember the night they met. How he’d made her feel safe that night too. So long ago. She listened to the ocean all night.

She thought of what his mother had said all those years ago.

”It doesn’t matter if you love each other. You come from two different worlds. It will never work out in the long run.”

How right she had been. But, for some reason, they had always hung on to each other even though they would have been so much happier with other people.

She watched the sunrise, her hand still in his. What he didn’t know is that, now, she was sick.

 

Journal: My Respite…..the Bat House – Nov 6, 2017

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When I went in search of a Pine Island sunrise, I found fog, but I also found a gem of a tiny park in the community of Matlacha. This park is called Bat House Park and you can see the Bat House and plaque in these pictures. There are also a few benches, a small number of parking places, and an awesome place to fish in Matlacha Bay.

This bat house is for the Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat which can eat up to 3,000 insects each in a night. It’s located at the base of the “fishingest bridge in the world” and is a great use of a tiny pocket of land.

Journal: My Respite….Making it Home

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Do you see the images out there in the fog? Those are shrimp boats in the Matlacha, FL harbor. When I looked at this scene, my thought was “the ghost ships of Matlacha,” but they are not ghosts. They are real fishing boats. I took this picture yesterday morning, through the fog. I had come to Matlacha to take a picture of the sunrise, but it was socked in with fog.

Matlacha is a tiny village adjacent to Pine Island. It was a commercial fishing village turned, now, into an artist’s colony. It is a collection of neon-colored buildings housing art galleries and great restaurants. It’s very much an “old Florida” place and is only one of the villages in the Pine Island complex. I love many of the restaurants in Matlacha and will feature them in this blog as I visit them. Even though there isn’t as much commercial fishing in Matlacha as in the past, the industry still exists there as you can see by the shrimp boats in the fog.

Today, I plan to visit the Island Seafood Market in Matlacha where many of the fishing boats come in for the night. They have some of the best, fresh seafood in the late afternoon that I’ve ever eaten, after the fishing boats unload their fare. The staff is extremely knowledgeable about the seafood and can even tell the novices about preparation. I’ll let you know what I buy and have for dinner in this blog tomorrow!

We had fog yesterday and today. It’s odd for my beautiful island, although it happens occasionally at this time of year. I’m looking forward to the fog clearing so I can go to Matlacha in the early morning and photograph the sunrise, which is as beautiful on Pine Island as the sunset.

Today is a beautiful sunny day on Pine Island. We are trying to figure out what to do about our failing A/C and refrigerator. I’m still trying to unpack and will complete that task today. I also hope to get to the Bokeelia pier to get a new sunset picture in the late afternoon. I have an appointment in Ft. Myers today.

All of this means that I will probably not have time to write until evening. I am a little behind with  my word count for NaNoWriMo, but not much. I hope to catch up tonight.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ll be here for 5-6 months. That’s a long time to be away. So I’m taking some time to make my place on my island in the sun home.

 

Journal: My Respite…..Really? Nov. 5, 2017

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Life does indeed get in the way, doesn’t it. I’ve been in South Florida only a little over 48 hours. I knew there would be some upfront recovery time from the trip and some upfront time to set up my home again after being gone for many months. I was prepared for all that. I was even prepared for a little hurricane damage. But, my friends who had advised me of the hurricane damage couldn’t know the extent of it.

It seems that dear Hurricane Irma (please notice that I am not cursing though I want to) decided to, more or less, take out our central air conditioning unit as she passed our way. I assume it was water that did it, although there is no way to know now. It is also interesting that, suddenly, the refrigerator is also not working. Water? Probably. But again, no way to know. The hurricane was weeks ago. The moral to the story is if a hurricane is ever in the vicinity of your property, don’t do what I did. Don’t wait weeks to check on it. GO CHECK ON IT right afterwards. Being a hurricane novice, what did I know? So now, I get to purchase a new A/C unit and probably a new refrigerator. Thanks, Irma.

Do you know what it is like in South Florida with minimal A/C and refrigeration? Hell. That’s what it is like. Oops. Cursing. Yesterday, it was 90 degrees here. Yes, in November.

I’m going to talk to FEMA. Not that I think it will do any good at this late date, but a girl can ask, right? Maybe they will at least send someone to check and make an assessment. Next year. That’s how far behind they are running. I have to have A/C and refrigeration NOW, not next year.

Since I am ranting, I will continue! Let me tell you what the news media does NOT report. Bonita Springs, FL is a pretty major community around here. Hurricane Irma was weeks and weeks ago. Bonita Springs is STILL under water!! Has anyone even heard about that!? How can this not be a news story? Apparently, a river in the area came out of its banks and just never receded. ??? I think Bonita Springs needs FEMA and help beyond FEMA. The National Guard? Something? Does the U.S. now just leave our citizens under water?

As you know, I am here for a respite and to write. So far, respite? Zero. Writing? If you’re reading this, you are reading the first thing I’ve written since arriving on my island and it is 3:40 a.m. That might emphasize my day to you.

On the upside, I did visit the pier this evening and was lucky enough to see some friends who I haven’t seen in months there. Beautiful cobalt blue water and the pink aftermath of the sunset. Picture above. The Gulf/Bay was whitecapping tonight.

I forget that it is morning! It may be my morning to try to catch a sunrise. After all, why go to bed now! Sunrise is only 2.5 hours away and a friend told me tonight about a wonderful place to catch it.

Stay tuned…..

 

 

The Reluctant Traveler

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The housesitter has been employed. Everything is packed. It’s time to leave. I have a little reluctant traveler on my hands. Hanna, my seven-month old puppy who has owned me since mid-July. She is, in equal parts, adorable, stubborn, sensitive, and special. She is also unhappy in the car to the point that she is car sick, like a child.  She is so sweet and innocent and so incredibly attached to her home that I can hardly bear to make her travel for 1200 miles in the car.

She tries to enjoy it. She really does. Last time she was in the car, she tried to look out the windows, enjoy the view, but then it happened. She started drooling heavily and was car sick. We tried every medication known to man and vet. So tomorrow, we resort to the last resort and try a heavy tranquilizer, hoping Hanna will just sleep through it. I’ve added a day to the trip hoping she will adjust. Tomorrow will be a short day. We’ll only go about 200 miles and stop for the night, and we will gradually extended the length of the driving days. I hope it will help her get used to it, but I fear it won’t.

You see, when it was prime time to socialize Hanna, the breeder didn’t bother. So I bought her at almost four months old and she hated travel, she hated other people, and she hated other dogs. My trip to Florida is partly  about Hanna. She will meet people and other dogs. I will help her learn that people and other dogs will not hurt her. By the time we get home, she will be over a year old and all grown up.

I will spend the month of November doing NaNoWriMo, which for me this year, is writing a mystery novella. 50,000 words, but I will write a little less since I’m writing a novella. My goal isn’t to win, just to finish my WIP.

So wish us luck. I will write part of the day and the other part of the day, I will show her the birds, wildlife, and scenery of South Florida on long walks. She will see the ocean and the beach. I will gradually introduce her to people and other dogs. Then, I will give her time to process it all.

Off and on, I’ll post here. A blog post entitled “The Reluctant Traveler.” Stop by and read about Hanna’s progress and about my progress on the novella. If you are doing NaNoWriMo and need a buddy, seek me out! I’ll blog some, but not as much as usual, especially during November since I have to write 1,667 words per day.

After November and NaNoWriMo, I’m back to work on my novel, but I hope to spend long hours enjoying and drawing inspiration from my island and I want to take a number of side trips. Some ecotours, a trip to Epcot, trips to the most outer barrier islands, a trip to the Tortugas, and much more, getting photos as I go. I’d like to go to Miami and spend a little personal nostalgia time at South Beach, getting some good photos while I’m there. I hope Hanna can go with me, wherever she is allowed. All good material for books and blogs.

Off to see the wizard!

 

 

Mean Girls

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The two girls with bright red hair gazed at their creation hanging on the wall.

“See, Alicia, the one on the left.”

”Oh, she’s the smart bitch. The one the teachers all call on. Her Daddy drinks. She’s nothing.”

They giggled.

”The next one is the Marilyn Monroe chick, Katie. Ms. Beautiful. All the boys want her!”

”Oh, so is the next one, Alicia. She thinks she’s so tall and gorgeous, she’s going to be a model and smart to boot. Who wants to hang around with her?”

”I like the next one, Katie. She’s nice and just seems to be one of us girls. She even kisses the boys, she says! Let’s invite her to our next slumber party.”

”Don’t even mention the next one, Alicia. Her Daddy is some big shot and she thinks she is really something.”

”Alicia, the last one. I like her. Her mom is sick though and she doesn’t get to go anywhere.”

”That makes four of us at our next slumber party, Katie. We just need to find four more out of our high school class.”

After high school, when the ostracized girls weren’t heard from again, the two redheads couldn’t understand why.

200 words

Photo Credit to J Hardy Carroll

 

Assault

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He didn’t leave the cool confines of his apartment very often. There, he was safe. Safe from from the broiling sun of the equatorial city. Safe from the cacophony of noise that assailed his ears when he opened the door of the hotel. Safe, most of all, from the germs that he could feel penetrating his skin when he wasn’t in the filtered air in his suite. An assault on his senses.

What he was in search of today couldn’t be delivered. He smiled to himself. It could be delivered but refused to be. He walked several blocks through the city. As he walked, he became less aware of those things that assaulted his senses and more aware at the prize at the end of his journey. Ahead of his, he saw the hotel that was his destination. He stopped and gathered his composure.

He walked into the hotel bar. He saw her immediately. His daughter, waiting for him,     for the first time in twenty years.

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Photo credit to dorothy

The Bullying

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The school bus stopped with a screech in front of the fire station. The children had misbehaved almost the entire route and the monitor seemed unable to stop them. Now, something drastic was happening as the monitor was screaming for him to stop and all the children seemed to be screaming. Something about bullying. The bus driver shrugged his shoulders and came to a halt.

The little boy had been shoved around since he had boarded the school bus. He was pushed around every day. The monitor knew it, but she didn’t want to get in the middle of it because those kids would turn on her. The two bigger boys called him terrible names and said awful things to him.

Today, the unthinkable happened. The little boy reached in his backpack and pulled out a pistol. He was waving it around wildly, threatening to shoot the bigger boys who were bullying him and the other kids on the bus. The bigger boys were crying.

They were by the fire station. The driver quietly walked off the bus and got the firemen. When the little boy saw them, he sat down in the floor and started crying too.

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