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Elijah Hall

From her open window, Jill took in the scene before her as she viewed the barn and surrounding land. In the corral, her Appaloosa mare, Shawnee, gently nickered at her foal, and in the pasture, her father’s prized quarter horse, Winchester, raced across the green meadow, kicking up his heels. In the distance, soft clouds billowed along the peaks, and overhead, a red-tail hawk soared, drifting gracefully on gentle breezes. The young woman closed her eyes for a moment as the familiar heartache ripped through body and tugged at her very soul. Three months had passed and still no word. Her father’s plane had simply disappeared without a trace in the San Juan Mountain Range. And this day had arrived all too quickly. Now, she had her doubts about the upcoming ceremony. What was she thinking?

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In the garden, the ribbon covered chairs were arranged in neat rows. The covered patio was decorated with teal and creamy white decorations. Streamers and ribbons moved lazily in the wind, and on occasion, a balloon escaped its confines and drifted upwards towards the warm summer sun. The caterers were scurrying about here and there while putting on the finishing touches for the buffet.   Daddy’s gazebo, the project he fussed over for months, looked beautiful with the potted ferns and colorful flower baskets, hanging from the rafters. She smiled even through her tears and remembered the day he arrived home with a pick-up load of lumber after she mentioned that a garden wedding with a gazebo would be heaven. Oh what she wouldn’t give for him to be here now.

“Daddy,” she whispered, “oh how I wish you were here to walk me down the aisle.”

“He’ll be here for your wedding, honey.” Her mother had slipped quietly into the room and wrapped her oldest daughter in a warm embrace. Wiping the tears from Jill’s face, Samantha smiled at her daughter. “After all the trouble he went through to build you that gazebo, do you really think he wouldn’t show up today?”

2

Ben Rosett

In spite of her loneliness for her father, the young woman had to laugh. “You’re right Mama. Daddy will be here.” Locked in each others arms, mother and daughter, looked out into the garden as they thought about the man they so desperately loved and missed.

“Mama, do you think I am doing the right thing?” Jill questioned.

“What do you mean, baby?” Her mother asked.

“Well, I sometimes wonder if maybe I should have postponed my wedding. After all, it’s still so soon after his plane crashed.”

“Nonsense,” her mother replied. “Your father was happy for you. He would not want you putting your life on hold. He loved…loves Kevin like his own son. He wouldn’t want you to postpone your future or your happiness. This is what he would want. And besides, this is exactly what this family needs, a little celebrating.”

“Oh, Mama, I hope you’re right.”

As her two younger sisters burst through her bedroom door, this mother-daughter moment ended in squeals and laughter. Samantha kissed her daughter on the forehead and announced to her younger daughters, “I do believe we had better help your sister get ready for her wedding, or poor Kevin will think that Jill left him standing at the alter!”

After fixing Jill’s makeup and adding a few more wispy curls to frame her daughter’s sweet face, Samantha helped her daughter slip into the simple lace dress. All that Jill’s mother and sisters could do was stare and smile.

“What?” Jill demanded. “What are you smiling at?”

“Well,” Barb quipped, “we just aren’t used to seein’ you in anything but faded blues and t-shirts.”

“Yeah,” agreed Kris, “every once in awhile you will have to fix up for Kevin, so he will know that he married a lady and not some old tomboy with scratches on her knees.”

Jill picked up a teddy bear, a Valentine’s Day gift from Kevin, and slung it at her laughing sisters. “I’ll have you know that he has loved my scarred knees since we were both in third grade,” the laughing bride retorted.

“He should,” Samantha scolded, “since he helped you acquire most of those scars with some of the dares he threw your way. I still shudder when I remember how you jumped from the barn loft into the hay bales below. You were lucky you only broke your leg instead of your neck, young lady!”

Before Samantha could begin to lecture her daughter once again, Jill’s brother, Keith, banged on the door and bellowed, “Is it safe to come in?” Just like always, her older brother had come to her rescue. Announcing that the guests had arrived and that Kevin was shaking in his boots in the gazebo, Keith reminded, “Well Sis, I guess it’s time I escorted you down the aisle, so we can put your future husband out of his misery.”

With that the family quickly moved out of the house and into the garden. First, Samantha was escorted to her seat and then Kevin’s mother, Jan. Soon her sisters walked slowly down the aisle, one by one. In the gazebo, her gazebo, Kevin waited for his bride, and soon Jill was walking down the aisle with her brother.

When the minister asked, “Who gives this bride in marriage?” Keith answered, “My mother and I,” and then he whispered in his sister’s ear, “and dad too.” After kissing his sister on the cheek, he placed her hand in Kevin’s. The handsome bridegroom smiled at his bride, and the two turned to face the minister.

1

The garden ceremony was perfect, and before she knew it, she was Kevin’s wife and dancing with her husband on the large patio. After the wedding dance, Jill looked over at the DJ, nodded and then smiled. With that the DJ announced that the bride had requested a special song in the memory of her father. On cue, Keith stepped forward and escorted his sister to her garden gazebo. Sweetly, the song, Holes in the Floor of Heaven, began to play. Keith danced with his sister as the music played, “And there’s holes in the floor of heaven, and her tears are pouring down, that’s when you know she’s watching, wishing she could be here now.” Softly, a gentle summer rain began tapping on the gazebo roof. And with that the audience gasped and clapped while the charming bride smiled, for her father had arrived just in time for her wedding.

Author’s note:

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.  Years ago, I attended a family wedding which inspired me to write this fictional short story. The young bride’s father had taken his plane and disappeared over a mountain range in Colorado. Months later, the daughter continued her wedding plans. At the reception, Holes in the Floor of Heaven was played. During that song, a soft rain fell to the amazement of all who attended. After the song ended, so did the rain. For me, it was a gentle reminder that love holds no bounds; without a doubt, our heavenly Father also sends sweet reminders of his loving kindness.

Save

Save

if love is but a dream,

pray let me sleep

shovel the coal of praise

and stoke the fires of greatness

it is only through what troubles a man

that we can know his heart

hacking and slashing through

the dense verbiage of prose and verse

with only the machete of our minds

my thoughts whirl

buzzing and colliding

as fireflies in a jar

my thoughts

cascade

forth

and

fall

with

the

weight

of

a

waterfall

 

Photo Credit ~ Allef Vinicius

Well, I took the plunge and finally just hit send! With some hesitation, call me old-fashioned, I finally decided to start shopping online. Now, I have ordered items online before, for the usual stuff like gifts, books, and personal items, like my Calista Tools Ion Hot Roller Set. Come to think of it, I have ordered quite a few things: doggy diapers (that’s another story), essential oils, clothes, vitamins, make up, school supplies, and oh my. Okay granted, I admit it; I shop online. But this is the first time that I have shopped for groceries and household necessities.

Today, while making my grocery list with much trepidation, I decided to look into Walmart’s two-day free shipping deal. Admittedly, Walmart is only about three miles from my home. But that’s not the point. The point is that I hate grocery shopping. It’s tedious, and it’s not fun. It takes time out of my busy schedule, and I usually run into folks that I haven’t visited with for a minute or two, and it becomes one long, busy afternoon. Then I tell myself while I am there that I should check out the latest Earth Spirit shoes because they are always so cute and comfortable. Then I shuffle over to the clothes department to see if they have any cute T-shirts. Next, I hit the toy department, the puppy aisle, the garden department, and the rows of sale items. And before you know it, my cart over floweth with items I really don’t need.

For once, I stuck to my list. It was easy to compare prices, and find the perfect deal. I bought laundry soap, toilet paper, deodorant, and non-perishable groceries. I did not purchase one impulse buy, not one! I spent 114. 84 cents on only the essentials, and I paid for my items with my rewards card which just sweetened the deal. And yes, once I completed my shopping, I “went” to my bank and paid off  today’s spending on the reward’s card. After shopping, I didn’t have to stand in line or load my purchases into my car.

Now, I just have to sit back and wait until Wednesday when my order arrives on my front porch. Checked the weather, warm temps when I arrive home from work that day. My puppies will play while I put away my supplies. This will give me an extra hour to walk my babies and spend some time outdoors.

As I sit here musing about my sweet victory in the shopping department, I just realized I will now have time for the important shopping on my list: the antique shops in Florence, the shops with creative “Fixer Upper” style decor on Union, and the second hand furniture store on Platte! It’s the little things. Yep, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before!

 

Photo by Josh Pepper

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On most days, my blonde-haired, blue-eyed demon child sat in class while refusing to work once again. Of course as soon as I would turn my back, my “angelic” little monster would begin to taunt the other sixth grade students who were quietly and diligently doing their writing assignment.   He made the typical clown faces to make the others laugh, or he would whisper to those around him because he would do anything possible to keep from writing….well that is until today.

Over the past three weeks, my language arts students have started an essay about a hero. For many of my students, this is the first time they have ever written a five-paragraph essay. And for those that have written essays, some still get that “deer in the headlight” look when they know they have a large assignment looming before them. As always, I take this first writing assignment slow. We work on the assignment in class in small manageable bits and pieces, so students can see it isn’t such a whale of a writing assignment, well, everyone that is except for my baby-faced terror who would do almost anything to get out of writing.

But today, let me just say; I won the World Series. Today, we worked on “the blues,” aka the hook or the grabber, that little bit of information that entices a reader to want to read someone’s writing assignment.   Our topic for our masterpiece was to write about a special hero. No superheroes or superstars were allowed; I wanted the real deal: those who were in it for the long haul. Students wrote about fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and even best friends. We shared heartwarming anecdotes; some even brought tears since the narratives came from the heart. And then came my boy. For the first time, he brought me an assignment. Something within him connected to the assignment, and he knocked it out of the ballpark. It was perfectly wonderful. My kid wrote:

After 2 1/2 years of frustration, sadness and a lot of NEVER giving up, he got me out of foster care. Say thank you to my grandpa.

It didn’t matter that he used a word from the dead word list; it didn’t matter that this kid once gave me gray hairs. What mattered was this kid finally felt a connection and he could write about something REAL, something that mattered to him.

Since we were sharing, I asked my student if I could share what he wrote. He stood up a little straighter, and with pride in his voice happily stated, ”yeah.” The class clapped and told him what a great grabber he had written. As my smiling student took his seat, I told him that I didn’t know he had a writer’s heart. I told my kid, “Well, now that I know; I am going to be your worst nightmare.” And for the first time, my student smiled as we discussed his up-coming writing assignment. And for the first time in a long time, I am actually looking forward to fifth period, and my kid who hit a home run in class today.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/hideout/via Daily Prompt: Hideout

It has only been thity-two days since you-know-who has taken office; and I am ready to head for the hills.  I am so tired of all the negativity, the false promises, the corruption, and the “I don’t give a rat’s behind” attitude of our politicians.  Have they seriously forgotten who they work for?  Or have we forgotten to hold them accountable?  Hmm…on this one, perhaps, guilty on both sides.

So far the last two presidents have not kept promises, and don’t even get me started on George W.  But are we really surprised?  They all talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, they only tell us what we want to hear.  My favorite so far has been the Obamacare hoax, and how it was going to solve our healthcare woes.  My woes increased as premiums shot up through the roof, and when I needed insurance coverage for a back injury, well good luck since physical therapy was considered a specialty.  The co-pay was excessive, so how was I supposed to pay for multiple therapies plus the new insurance costs?  Like most Americans, I got lost in the shuffle.

We have a current president that made snarky remarks about the cost of Obama’s vacations, but according to multiple news agencies, his expenses in the first month of presidency have almost matched Obama’s yearly expenses! Seriously?!  Am I missing something here?  Oh, but we must not forget that the press is out to get him!

Our career politicians have become greedy, and most Americans believe that our voices have become just a distant memory to those we have elected to office.   Unscrupulous laws sneak through a back door while cloaked in darkness in order to make another billionaire richer while we forgot the elderly, those who served, and families trying to make a living on questionable wages.

And what about our natural resources?  Clean water is a real issue?  Did we ever fix Flint Michigan’s water problem?  Supposedly.  But google polluted drinking water in America, and current news articles may surprise you.  And in some instances, they may even frighten you. The people in Standing Rock have been our only voice in this matter, and we, myself included, have let them down.  The latest news was a plea for help before evacuation.  Have we forgotten the consequences of unclean water?  Just look to Third World countries.  Are we next?

Our infrastructure crumbles. Our educational system needs more than just a band-aid to fix its mounting problems.  Police departments are underfunded, and our country is in crisis. We are in turmoil. We have a seemingly endless list of concerns heaped on our plates when it comes to inequality, racism, homelessness, unemployment, climate change, pollution, shady money practices in politics and a general dissatisfaction in our government, just to name a few. America faces tough times as we search for answers to some huge problems.  We need help, and we need answers

So what can we do? Take a stand and let your voices be heard even if labeled, wait for it, a liberal. There, I said it. This once semi-conservative grandmother believes it’s time to remind those in Washington that we are watching.  It’s time to remind Washington that we want transparency.  It’s time to remind that we demand fairness on all levels.  And it’s time to remind we will not settle for less.  Take a stand.

 

 

Photo by Oliver Guillard

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