You Say it’s your Birthday?

Reaching down (ew) into the back of the toilet…..That’s how I started my birthday today.  Even before I had a good cup of coffee.  But when you are ready to flush….and nothing happens… what are your options?

Luckily (?) the mechanism inside the back of the toilet can be replaced and I will be good to go.   Hmm.

It did make me stop and wonder though.  Is this hand-in-the-back-of-the-toilet an omen of the year to come?   Is this the year that everything goes down? Or maybe nothing goes down?   Or should I look at it in a more positive way;  when you start in the toilet, everything after that should be an improvement!

I will keep you posted!

tp birthday


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Summer memories

These past few hot days have reminded me of summer when I was young.  No air-conditioning anywhere; not in homes, not in businesses, not in hospitals.  My poor mother had both of her children in the middle of July…and spent over a week in the hospital with each of us.  I can’t imagine.

I grew up in old farm houses and all the bedrooms were upstairs.  We didn’t even have electric fans when I was small.  Windows were wide open all the time and we were trained to jump out of bed in the middle of the night if a thunderstorm or shower occurred, close all the windows, then lay there and wait for it to be over so you could open the window again…It was difficult to get a good nights sleep when the weather was hot.  No air moving, hot air in a stuffy upstairs bedroom was just not a great way to get any rest.


Bike riding was a great activity for hot days… until you stopped.   We lived close to a river, so wading and “accidentally” falling into the water was a popular past time.  But those mosquitoes!

Taking a drive in the car was a good way to cool off, too.  Until you stopped!  All the car windows were cranked open and sometimes a trip to the local dairy queen made it all a little more bearable

On Sunday mornings I am sure you could hear me complain.  Church meant wearing your Sunday best which included a slip and a dress and stockings and dress shoes.  Sunday School wasn’t too bad because our classes were in the basement of the church and it was cool down there.  But when church started, we would trudge upstairs and sit shoulder to shoulder in uncomfortable pews and sweat the service away.  I couldn’t wait to get home and strip off those hot dressy clothes and put on my shorts and go barefoot!

When I got a little older the local swimming pool brought some relief.  I also remember making homemade ice cream with lots of ice and salt to make it freeze., and Kool Aid Popsicles frozen in little cups or in ice cube trays.

swimmingpopsiclesice cube tray

We were probably a little tougher back then.  If you’ve never had air conditioning, your body gets used to the heat.

I remember getting whole house air conditioning  in 1990….our furnace died that year and we decided to add on the a/c unit.   I would hate to live without it now.




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Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo

She’d been obsessed by the Beatles since she first heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in 1963.  For Christmas that year,  a HiFi record player was her only request.  She spent hours playing their music.

Her life was defined by their songs. Sargeant Pepper and The White Album brought back vivid college memories.  She had cried when they disbanded.  And when John was murdered.  And when George died.

Her 64th birthday party featured everything Beatles including a giant Yellow Submarine.  And now here she was, 68 years old, still obsessed. Her WordPress blog stated “I Believe In Yesterday”.


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The Baseball Game

It was Spring, 1960.

The last day of fifth grade.

The last day of school.

There were two fifth grades in our small town elementary school. I don’t know how we got split into two grades back in those days, but for the most part we stayed with the same group of classmates all the way through elementary school.  There was always a bit of rivalry between the two classes whether it was a spelling bee or just playground games.
On the last day of school, there was a tradition of a baseball game between the two classes and we all looked forward to that game.  We also took it very seriously.


We had practiced at recess time for weeks and we had picked our positions.   Someone in the class must have taken charge because I don’t remember much teacher participation.  We talked about sportsmanship in class but it seems like the teachers left all the details up to us.  Most of the students were excited about the game, and of course,  beating the other fifth grade meant owning the bragging rights of the victory.

Everyone played. I was a tomboy and my older brother  had taught me to pitch and catch and bat.  I’m sure I thought I knew more than I really did about the game.  Gary, and Jim, and Randy were all good players… they probably were our unofficial team captains.

Everyone brought their own equipment.  It was important to have the right bat… the one you were used to using. And it was important to have a baseball glove… which I didn’t.

I begged my brother to let me borrow his glove and since he had two, he let me have the old one. Never mind that he was left handed and I was not. It didn’t seem to make much difference to me, I had learned to play that way.
I don’t remember the details of the game… after all, it’s been almost sixty years. But I remember not striking out, getting to first base, and catching a popup fly ball. And I remember that our class won.  It was a great way to end the school year.

forest school

my small town school

It’s a good thing we didn’t know what the future held. In just a few years we watched and cried as our beloved President was assassinated in Texas. Fast forward a few more years and we watched Martin Luther King’s assassination and President Kennedy’s younger brother Bobby being shot. We watched friends and classmates head off to college, to work, to start families, and to Vietnam.

The world was a chaotic mess during those years.  Lots of civil rights movement protests, protests against the Vietnam War,  Kent State Shootings.  It really was the best of times and the worst of times.  The world was suddenly full of difficulty and responsibility and complications we had never imagined.

I suppose that’s why the memory of the baseball game has stuck with me all these years. It was something to hang onto when the world seemed to be falling apart.

It seemed so important back then, such a simple thing as a baseball game, on the last day of school.

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Dark winter mornings filled with mud and snow.

Muggy summer sunrises sweating before the work was even begun.

A hard life of  labor, washing the teats of the cows before milking, mixing milk replacement for the calves, hauling water and bales of hay and straw by hand until the tips of his fingers split open and bled from the cold and the wet. Never outwardly complaining, taping his fingers and his boots and working through it.

It was a hard life and he wore it well.  The old rubber boots were just part of the story.  There was so much more.


photo credits: Courtney Wright

Friday Fictioneers  hosted each week by Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields.

 Read more stories at this link…

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The Easter Dress

Retired Ruth

In the early 1960’s, when I hit the preteen years, Easter became about fashion.

 For weeks before Easter, I would search through the Sears and Roebuck catalog to look at the latest fashions.  I seldom got the dress that I really wanted because I  developed expensive tastes in clothing … and we were not an expensive family.  My mother always looked for bargains and clearance items.

One year I gazed longingly at a lovely gauzy dress featured in the catalog. It was satiny with cap sleeves.  But the skirt… oh! the skirt was colored like a rainbow with wide panels of gauzy material overlayed in lovely pastels of pink, orange, turquoise, and yellow.  It screamed Easter Sunday every time I looked at it. 

I didn’t get the dress, no matter how much I pleaded and begged.  But I did get a nice little yellow cotton dress with eyelet cutouts around…

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Trust me

photo prompt by Bjorn RudbergFF

“And that’s the story.”

He looked at me and then at the sign, and then back at me.

“I don’t believe a word of it.  It reminds me of an old fable, or a really bad TV movie.  There is absolutely no way any of that is true.”

“So you don’t believe me?  Not any of it?” I asked.

“Not a chance, babe.  Just another story.”

I shrugged my shoulders and turned around walking away from the sign.  Believe it or not, I thought to myself.

I guess he’s not the one for me.



Thanks for Rochelle Wisoff Fields for keeping Friday Fictioneers going.  This story is what you call writing a story when you have nothing to write.  LOL


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