Dad

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.

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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.

 

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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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Deliver De Letter De Sooner De Better

Retired Ruth

Send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view, Indicate precisely what you mean to say, Yours sincerely wasting away…

11439193-united-states-of-america--circa-1954-stamp-printed-in-usa-shows-statue-of-liberty-in-god-we-trust-ciEven before I fell in love with the Beatles and their incredible lyrics, I wrote letters.   I wrote letters because I received letters. It was the only way to communicate other than telephone and telegram.  My Grandmother and her twin sister sent me letters on a regular basis.  They were handwritten  on pastel colored stationery with matching envelopes. Grandma and Aunt Martha’s handwriting styles were surprisingly similar as were their messages.  They would tell me what they had done that day; things like picking flowers, what they cooked for lunch, what funny antics their kittens were up to.  Sometimes they would tell me about something that happened to the neighbors or they would talk about the weather.  Sometimes I would open the envelope and a four-leaf clover would…

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Holiday Memories

Memories are a big part of holidays for me.   In preparation for Thanksgiving, my youngest child removed my mother’s flatware from the storage box and washed it for the holiday meal.

There is a specific ritual used to clean the spoons and forks and knives.  They must be washed by hand in warm soapy water, rinsed in clear water, and each piece must be carefully dried with a clean hand towel.   OK it’s not much of a ritual. But extra care is taken cleaning the silverware because it was important to my mother.  In fact, for many years, she didn’t let anyone else clean it.

silverware

 

My mother grew up in a large family on a small farm during the Depression.  They didn’t have much.  When she married my father, they still didn’t have much.   When my brother and I came along, we didn’t have much either, although I wasn’t keenly aware of this until I went off to college and met people who had…. a lot!   I didn’t think much about our simple life, because our basic needs were met.  And we were surrounded by people who were in similar situations.  Yes, there were people in the neighborhood who had more than we did but  “More” had a different meaning.  I didn’t grow up deprived…. I took piano lessons, swimming lessons, I had my own bike.  But we were always aware of what we could and could not afford and lived accordingly.

The careful handling of my mother’s silverware reflects the basic understanding of taking care of what we have and making it last.   My mother’s silverware was not real silver.  It was not expensive.  In fact, she paid very little for it.  She collected it over several years by saving Betty Crocker coupons from products she purchased at the grocery store.  She bought it piece by piece using the coupons and a little bit of money. And she took care of it.  Washing it carefully, only using it for holidays, keeping it safely stored away when not in use.  Each piece is as shiny today as it was when it arrived in the mail over fifty years ago.

betty-crocker-coupons-flatware-vintage-ad

Every holiday I think of Mom and her silverware.  I continue to cherish it and take care of it, just like she did.

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Surreptitious

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credit: Sandra Crook

It was a decoy.

The tree.   Because it commanded your attention.   A huge tree damaged by Mother Nature.

“Wow… Look at that tree!”  people would say as they passed by, not noticing the obvious.

The stone wall was a decoy, too.  It was old and obviously constructed by someone who knew stone walls.

Together, the tree and the wall were a beautiful focal point… a landmark in the small town.  Every one from miles around knew this tree and this wall…. it had been here longer than anyone still alive.

No one ever suspected the horrible things hidden there.

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Click on the link above to read more short fiction stories hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields every week!

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Keep Out!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the weekly hosting of Friday Fictioneers!

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J Hardy Carroll

“Someone’s coming up the front driveway,”  whispered Kathy to Wayne.

Jack was in the basement where he kept cool on hot days. As usual, he would be no help.

Cell phones didn’t work inside their cement and rusted metal fortress. No way to summon help.

And that window that was so rusted it wouldn’t close anymore; it could be pried open.

“Just wait,” replied Wayne.  “No one could believe anyone actually lives here.”

She gave him “the look” and sat down at her computer, thinking she would send an email to her friend, Sandy, just in case something went wrong.

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