ff shoes

photo credit to Sarah Potter

The shoes were a bargain.

I know because she only ever bought from the discounted, discontinued, clearance area. She spent little on herself.  We dressed in hand-me-downs from cousins.  We made our own soap, ketchup, applesauce… always had a garden.  Never had a credit card.  Paid off debts quickly.  Always had money in a savings account.

The only splurge I can remember was having her hair done each week, and that was after she got a job in a local factory.

In later years, when she could afford better, she still bought from the bargain rack.

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Jen latched the suitcase, and took one last long look around.  Many times she had tried to leave, but something held her there.  He promised he would return.  I promised I would wait.  Eight years was a long time. She hadn’t heard from Cody for a long time. She could wait no longer.

Cody trudged up the long path.  Will she even be here?  If she is, how can I ever make her understand all the things that prevented my return?  He had nothing to show for the past eight years.

Jen opened the door.


She dropped her suitcase.

danny-boweman-1 ff

photo credit to Danny Bowman

Thanks for Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers for providing the photo prompt by Danny Bowman. Read more 100 word fiction by clicking the link below.

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Run away

The blast mark in the wall looked like an evil face.  And that’s what this place felt like….. evil.

It had once been a beautiful place of worship.  Calm, serene, giving one a sense of peace and safety.

But now, even with the overgrown vines and small trees sprouting their spring greenery,  it still felt like something horrible had happened here.

The small group of children looked up from the courtyard, wondering what could have possibly taken place here.

They jumped as a voice from behind the wall sternly warned them to keep away.

“Begone! Run to safety!”

They ran.


photo credit Roger Bulltot

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Light from the bathroom invited her to come toward it.  She pulled back and walked to the living room.   Not yet, she thought.  It’s not time yet.

She wandered through the kitchen and dining room looking for more.  Then upstairs to the bedrooms.  No, all was well there.

Carefully stepping down the stairs she listened but heard nothing.  Silently opening the garage door, she saw that the car was gone and the garage door shut.

There was one more place to look.  The backyard.

All was clear.

Finally …a shower with no interruptions!  A mother’s dream.

photo credit Rochelle Wysoff-Fields

Rochelle hosts Friday Fictioneers as well as this week’s photo prompt.

You can read more 100 word fiction by clicking the link.

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Our first meal as a married couple was Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips or Who Needs a Fancy Honeymoon

“Where do you want to go for a honeymoon?”  I asked my soon-to-be husband.

“I don’t care… wherever you want to go…” was the reply.

That simple phrase became a recurring theme for the next several decades.

We only had about a week to plan. Neither one of us had actually thought about it.  I was busy finishing college, getting ready to start my first year of teaching; he was a farmer, it was summer and he was busy.  Another theme repeated during our many years together.

We really had no clue.  Neither one of us were travelers.  We both grew up on farms with livestock, so time away from the farm was difficult to arrange and  usually just didn’t happen.

Should we go somewhere exotic?  Neither one of us had every been on an airplane.  Neither one of us had any idea of places to go.  We decided on just a short trip, since I really wanted to get busy working on my school room and lesson plans.  And my college graduation was coming up in two weeks, and then there were 60 sows back at the farm expecting baby pigs as well.  It just didn’t seem like a good time to leave.  Another theme in our lives.

We settled on visiting Hocking Hills, a mere two hour drive.  I called ahead and booked a room at Howard Johnson’s in Newark.  I am not sure how I did that because we had no credit cards and neither of our parents had any either.  I guess maybe we just made a reservation and had to be there by a certain time or they would give the room to someone else.  How busy was Newark Ohio in 1971?

We left the church, drove to my house, left my flowers and dress and Roger’s tuxedo there, grabbed a road map of Ohio and took off.  We drove a 67 Black Mustang GT (paid for in cash) he wore a dress shirt and dress pants and tie. I had an empire waist purple double knit dress with Peter Pan Collar, three tiny buttons,  and a row of ruffles on each side….We each had a suitcase… his well-worn probably used by his older brothers, and mine powder blue, a high school graduation gift that I had hauled back and forth to college for 3 years.

Somehow we made it to Newark,  checked into our room (with cash) and then looked for a place to have dinner. Our wedding had been a typical 70’s occasion; no big sit down meals just cake, ice cream, mints and of course a punch bowl filled with lemonade and scoops of sherbet melting into it. We were hungry.

fish and chips

“We should find a nice restaurant… something classy…. (I said)  “since it is our first meal as married people!”  So we drove around Newark awhile looking for that special place, but didn’t have much luck and were getting hungrier and hungrier.  Finally an Arthur Treacher’s appeared on the horizon!  We looked at each other and decided we both like fish and chips and we were starving!  As I recall, it was a good meal.

As we drove back to our Motel, a sign similar to this greeted us and we realized we could have eaten at the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant….. like I said, we were clueless.


howard johnsons









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Rock of Ages


I was born in 1950.

Dad was born in 1921.

Grandpa was born in 1901.

The rock had always been there on the farm.

Mom and Aunt Mae would come running when she saw us climbing on it, convinced we would fall off and  break something.

Grandpa died and the farm was to be sold.  My cousin wanted that family landmark in the worst way.   So he loaded it on a flatbed trailer and took it home.

As he unloaded the rock, it tipped over.  The leather wrapped coin that was dislodged was enough to finance his retirement and more.


Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers again this week.  Thanks to CEAyr for providing the photo prompt.

You can read more stories about this photo at this link.


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First grader: What’s your favorite subject?  

Third grader: Lunch!  

An old joke, for sure, but it has some truth to it.  Most of us look forward to our lunch break whether we are employed full time, are a student, or work from home.  Its a much-needed break in the midst of a busy day.  Its a time to socialize with peers or coworkers, a time to run an errand,  or it’s “alone” time…time to regroup and prepare for the rest of the day.

When I retired six years ago, it took me a while to find an at-home schedule.  I was no longer working outside of the home, but my work at home was still there and it was difficult to get into a routine without waiting for the bell to ring to signal for the next class.

I soon discovered that I needed to schedule a lunch break for myself, even if I spent the entire day alone, which happened frequently.  If I didn’t take a break, I found myself starving in the middle of the afternoon and getting grumpy and sleepy.  So I pulled out my old school lunch tray (we won’t discuss how I happened to have that in my possession) and began to fix myself an easy lunch each day.

I sit on the  loveseat recliner, balancing the tray on my lap and settle in for a leisurely  moment.  Timing was a problem though.  I couldn’t sit still for very long, so I found myself gobbling my food and heading back to the kitchen to clean up and start the next project.  Ten minutes is not enough of a break!

If I watched a TV show, that would be equal to a 30-40 minute lunch and that continues to be my routine, on many days.  I have watched Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Dexter, Downton Abbey, and most recently The Handmaid’s Tale.  Granted, some of these series are not necessarily “shows to eat lunch by”, but I have enjoyed some downtime in the middle of the day, which was my goal.

My meals are not fancy.  Leftovers work well, microwaveable meals, soup and sandwiches, and salads are my favorites.  I do enjoy my vintage cafeteria tray because it takes me back to lunch at the elementary level, where my favorites were Grilled Cheese with Tomato or  Chicken Noodle Soup or maybe Cornbread with ham and beans with lots of syrup!  And of course, don’t forget the chocolate milk and sitting next to your best friend.

What is your favorite lunchtime habit?


my grownup school lunch. Tomato rice soup with club crackers, chicken sandwich with fresh tomato and something to read!



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