In Due Time at Christmas

Why, Daily Post, is my Daily Prompt for today not showing up

on the grid?

Deadlines. I both hated them and loved them during my working life. I hated them because, well, they were deadlines. (We called them, “drop dead”). I also loved them because they were a challenge to conquer. Challenges helped me to learn and become better and it felt good to have them conquered.

Holidays always approached, bringing along a great deal of stress. There were lists to be made, gifts to purchase and wrap. Next, I would have to stand in line at the Post Office to mail them. There were decorations to put up and a Christmas tree to decorate. There were meals to plan, food and ingredients to purchase, then all the food to prepare. There were endless tasks to complete to make sure the occasion was perfect for family and friends. There never seemed to be enough time to complete them all. The stress would gradually increase and exhaustion would slowly consume me.

The celebrations would be wonderful and 'almost' perfect. Next, the disappointment of it all being over would envelope me. There always seemed to be a sadness when the celebrations were over.

Now that I am retired and my children have homes and children of their own, I understand this sadness much better. There comes a time when that houseful of family with hectic schedules and endless things to do, will be gone. The duties will have been handed over to the children to do for their children. Even though there is a sigh of relief, there is even a louder sigh of quiet despair. The despair that says, “It will never be the same again.”

The other day I went to the store to make a purchase. As I was standing in line to pay out, I noticed the cashier was heavy hearted. We began talking about the upcoming holidays and she told me she was going to be alone.

“It's okay to be alone for Christmas. We can still have a nice Christmas,” I told her with a smile on my face. (We both knew that wasn't completely true). After I had given her the cash, I asked her, “I would really like to give you a hug, would it be okay if I give you a hug?”

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and answered, “Yes,” and held out her arms.

I left the store a little happier than when I went in, and something tells me that she was happier too.

Remember those people who are alone this Christmas. Give them a big bear hug and enjoy the happiness that single act will bring.

And… may yours be Merry and Bright.

Daily prompt:



Is there Really a Santa?

Sweet Little Lies

As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions? ~ The Daily Post Writing Prompt Dec 12, 2014


When my children were small and during the time we were making preparations for Christmas, a hic-up occurred in our “almost perfect,” Christmas plans.

My two children and I were in my car preparing to go shopping. My son, six years old at the time, informed me,

“Mommy, I know there really isn’t a Santa Claus, it is you and daddy.”

Instantly, warning bells began ringing between my ears. (My three year old daughter was in the car).

Ding-dong. Ding-dong.”

What do I say? Do I tell him that Santa Claus is his mommy and daddy, thus ruining the Santa Claus experience for my daughter? Should I lie? Should I not lie? Is it a lie?

I sat there quietly for a moment. Then I turned to him and replied,

“Really? Did you know that when you stop believing in Santa, he stops coming?”

His little eyes grew huge. Without skipping another beat, he excitedly answered,


Is it a lie? I think not.

Photo from Pinterest

He looks real to me!


Ten Minutes of Writing

As it’s been a while since our last free-write… set a timer for ten minutes. Write without pause (and no edits!) until you’re out of time. Then, publish what you have (it’s your call whether or not to give the post a once-over). ~ Daily Post

We are suppose to write for ten minutes and I don’t know that I have ten minutes worth of things to say, but I will try. I am already looking forward to spring and it won’t come for another four months. Until then I must deal with the cold weather and do my best to stay warm.

In winter I stay inside more than I would like. I want to take my dog to the dog park and enjoy the fresh air and the walking path while she runs around meeting other dogs.

I would like to be out in my yard and enjoying the plants and watching the hummingbirds. Several years ago, my cat caught a hummingbird and brought to her me as a gift. I screeched and picked up the hummingbird but she was still and appeared dead. I wrapped her up in a paper towel and placed her in my trash. As I walked away, after about 10 steps, I turned back to get her out of the trash and bury her in the yard. The paper towel started moving! She wasn’t dead after all!

I picked her up and took her outside to the patio table to see if she could fly away. She could not. Her wing had been bruised or broken. I then put her in a box with a hummingbird feeder and locked her in my bathroom (so my cat couldn’t get to her).

I went to the pet store and bought a bird cage and put her in the bird cage along with the feeder.

I placed her cage in my kitchen so she could be around the hub of all the activity in my home. When I would take her out of the box or the cage, she would stand on my finger. I would kiss the top of her little head. She was sweet.

While she was in my kitchen, I thought I would put a towel over her cage so she would feel more peaceful. She started throwing a fit! I immediately took the towel off her cage.

I kept her for about a week until I could find someone that rehabilitates birds. It was sad to see her leave, but I knew it was for the best.

The rehabilitator called me about 2 weeks later and told me that that very morning she was flying around in her cage. She took her cage outside to the picnic table and opened the door to the cage. She would stick her head out of the cage door but not fly away. That is, until another hummingbird flew into her cage to eat from her feeder. Then she flew away.

The next summer a hummingbird came to the window where I sit the most and flew in place looking into the window. I just watched the little bird. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was her. I hope it was.

For me, it was worth the effort it takes to save this little bird. It was a heartwarming and memorial experience for me.

Sadly, after that, when my cat caught a hummingbird, she ate it.

Hope this works



To Want or Not to Want

Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything? ~ The Daily Post


Tell me what you think, is it possible to want everything or to want nothing?

If I said that I wanted everything would that make me greedy? If I were to get everything I wanted would I run out of things to want and therefore, want nothing?

If I wanted everything would that mean what I really want is not really ‘everything’ at all? What if I did get everything would that also mean all my deep inner needs would be obtained? Therefore, I would now want for nothing?

If I were to tell you that I wanted nothing, would you believe me? How can a person today not want something? Don’t we need to want for food and water in order to survive?

But if I had wanted everything and got everything, would there be nothing left to want? Would I then want for nothing?

What if I didn’t have much yet said I wanted nothing, would that mean I am happy with what I have? Or would you think me depressed and suicidal?

Is it even possible to not want anything at all?

Where do you think the danger lies? Or should Sylvia Plath keep her secret?











You Can Make It Anywhere

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim. ~ Daily Post

There was a time in my life when I became swallowed by severe depression. Each day I remember thinking, if I can get through this hour, maybe I can get through the next hour, and maybe, I can get through this day.

There were days when I felt I had taken one step forward and two steps back. There were days I didn't think I could make it through the hour much less the entire day.

The suffering experienced by severe depression is immeasurable. The pain is just as real and painful as physical pain, maybe even worse.

In my opinion, this is the reason there is so much suicide in our world today. From my own experience, I believe it is because of this pain. The very act is the desperation to escape it.

Did I think of suicide? Sadly, yes. I too wanted to escape the pain that had seized me in it's consuming and hideous grasp. Pain that wouldn't allow me peace. Pain that seemingly wanted only to destroy me.

With perseverance, I finally made it through it. I had finally climbed that difficult mountain. I climbed it one minute at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time.

Anyone who can climb this mountain and make it to the top, can make it anywhere.

Today, I may not be perfect, but I am 90% better than I was.

If you have severe depression, or even, depression, please, don't give up. Don't ever give up.


My Wronged Object

If your furniture, appliances, and other inanimate objects at home had feelings and emotions, to which item would you owe the biggest apology? ~ Daily Post


Dear Whatchamacallit:

I have never known what your purpose was other than to sit quietly and alone under a decorative mirror and two candle scones in my grandmother’s home. I always thought you were pretty sitting next to the wall with the adornment above you.

The marks and scars of time had turned you into an eyesore and I did not appreciate your beauty anymore. No one in my family wanted you but they did not have the heart to throw you out, so they pushed you off on me.

I didn’t have the heart to throw you out either, but I did not treat you with the love my grandmother treated you. In fact, I was considering putting you in the storage where you could further deteriorate. Poor thing. Unwanted and unloved.

One day I refinished you into your fine glory of the past. You proudly stand in my living room next to my sofa in regal pose. You are once again worthy of your stance in a home to be loved and adorned with a lamp of art and a piece of sculpture.

I am happy to have you in my home now. (But I still don’t know what to call you).


Spinning Yarns

What makes a good storyteller, in your opinion? Are your favorite storytellers people you know or writers you admire?

This is my take on this writing challenge. I am pretty sure it isn’t what The Daily Post had in mind. Hope you like it.


Once upon a time in a land far far away lived an old woman in the pages of a book for children. This old woman entertained these sleepy children every single night when their mother read them the stories she had told way back when, knitted together like a sweater that fits nice and snug, but not too snug, and keeps you warm at night while it spins you into dreamy sleep of fantasy maidens and hero knights.

Dragons lived during the time she told her stories during which she did indeed knit sweaters from the wool of the sheep which lived in the fields that were green rolling hills, dotted white with the wooly creatures that lived off this beautiful and dreamy land.

On top of the highest hill stood a castle tall and steep and magnificent it stood among the green rolling hills of this far-far away land, the land which the story teller lived in a time of long ago and far away.

The story teller wove her tales as she wove the white wool and entertained the people that lived during this time. She told the tales of the castle and of the maidens that lived there and of the knights who did indeed love these beautiful maidens who went to war against the dragons to protect them.

She told tales of these battles and the destruction of the dragons and how the maidens would celebrate when the hero knights returned, battle weary. There would be feasts and music of harps and flutes, dancing and merry-making.

She would tell these tales so well the listeners were among them, battling the dragons and winning the eternal love of the fair maidens. They could see what the knights saw, hear what the knights heard, and smell the smells the knights could smell. They too were a hero knight riding upon the back of their magnificent steed over the rolling green hills of this wonderful land or they were a fair maiden that waited inside the magnificent castle, for her own beloved knight to return safe from these terrible dragon wars.

The old woman wove many yarns both in her story-telling and her sweater weaving and entertaining these people of this far away land long, long ago. I know this to be true because I was one of the maidens that loved one of the knights, that battled against these terrible dragons, as I drifted off to sleep among the knights and maidens and rolling green hills in this dreamy far-away land.

Grateful and Guilty

The Daily Post Challenge for November 22, 2014


Awwww, guilty pleasures. We all have them. Right?

On my last trip to the grocery store for my monthly grocery shopping, a small box of candy caught my eye. It wasn’t just any candy, it was Pecan Turtles! I haven’t seen Pecan Turtles, it seems forever.

My eyes briefly scanned the box while my mind plotted a way to get me to buy them. It is just a small box of chocolates. I haven’t had any in a very long time. I have done very well in staying away from sweets and salty chips. Hmmm, should I? My eyes briefly glanced over my surroundings while my brain chanted, “Yes, yes yes! Get them!

Making sure no one was watching and that they were all busy shopping. I snatched the box off the shelf and put it in my basket underneath the bags of fresh vegetables. Feeling confident that I had just gotten a clean get-a-way, I proceeded down the aisles to locate the remaining items on my list. Yes, I know, the candy wasn’t on my list.

I inspected each item carefully before placing them in my cart. As always, I stuck to my list. (Except for the “you know what”). Fresh vegetables. Check. Fresh fruits. Check. Packaged fish. Check. Healthy cereal. Check. Grains. Check. Whole Wheat Bread. Check. Paper products. Check. Finally. All items found and accounted for. Time to proceed to the check-out.

I noticed there were only two check-stands operating. I walked up to the first one. Oh no, not this one. The checker is my friend, Judy’s, daughter. I walk over to the second check-stand. Good. This is a new checker and I don’t know him. I purge my basket while I am placing all the items onto the big black belt. I can hear the scanner clicking the register. Click, click, click. Suddenly, the sound stops. I look up from my job of purging and notice he has the microphone to the loud speaker at his lips.


I can feel my face turning bright red as horror filled every crevice in my chest. I grabbed the box of chocolates from the man, “Sorry, I don’t want these after all.” And I quickly take them back to their proper place in the aisle.

When I get back to the check-stand, my groceries are already bagged and in my cart. I quickly pay my bill and push my cart out to my car and unload my groceries. Driving home and feeling disappointed that I didn’t just buy the stupid candy.

My car veers into the drive-in of a business on the street I am driving down. As I slowly pull up to the drive-up window, the young lady at the window smiled and waited for me to order.

“A Pecan Cluster Blizzard with extra pecans and chocolate, please.”

Ten Minutes of Me

Daily Post Prompt for November 12, 2014: Free-Flow Writing

We are to write for ten minutes about anything that comes to our mind.


What comes to my mind this morning is about writing. I know that I am not a very good writer and submitting my stories is a leap of faith. Actually, probably more than that. I know that there are problems throughout my writing; poor grammar, poor sentence structure, keeping the readers attention, choosing correct wording, improper use of adverbs and adjectives, and on and on.

Inspite of all my misgivings, I have decided that although I do care about all of these writing problems, the best thing I can do for my writing is to submit it – no matter how bad I think it is. No matter how much others may scoff at it, laugh at my poor writing, no matter how embarrassing it is for me. Why? Because I also know that the only way to become a better writer, is to write.

Someday I will be able to submit stories and other pieces of writing that I will not feel inadequate about submitting. Someday, all my incorrect grammar and poor writing will be a thing of the past. Not only will I be a much better writer, I will also have thicker skin.

Those who read my writing and like it makes me feel very good but still leaves me wondering, how could I have written it better? Will people feel comfortable enough with me to give me constructive feedback? I hope so because only by their constructive feedback will I become a much better writer.

I only have two minutes left of this free flow writing and I am asking everyone that reads this to please give me some constructive feedback.

I read everything that comes across WordPress that will help me improve my writing; information that will help me publish work that people will feel is “well done.”

Thank you for reading! (The beeper is beeping!)


Good News for Lucas

Daily Post Challenge – November 12, 2014 – Trio #4

Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

Lucas’ head was in the clouds on this beautiful crisp, bright spring morning. Who could blame him, he had such wonderful news to tell his mother. (His friends warned him that some of the bullies of the school would be jealous and might cause trouble). Lucas wasn’t concerned. He had always gotten along with these boys and they had never bullied him before. Besides, he wasn’t going to let fear spoil the fifteen minutes of fame that just today became his.

School had been hard for him this year. His father had passed away early in the school year and his mother struggled to keep food on the table for him, his two younger sisters and younger brother. When Lucas wasn’t working on his school studies he was in the forest cutting wood to sell and help his mother make ends meet. He was a good son. His mother’s pride and joy.

Now the girls will take notice of him, when in the past they didn’t even bat him an eye. Maybe it was the clothes he wore. His clothes weren’t as nice as the other kids. But, Lucas didn’t care if his clothes were older and out of style. He knew his mother could only afford to buy his clothes from second hand stores.

As soon as Lucas arrived home from school each day, he would take care of his younger siblings so his mother could go to her job at the corner laundry. On the days he went to the forest to cut wood, he would take them with him and they would play close by while he chopped wood. But today was different. Today, he wouldn’t be cutting wood. Today he had wonderful news to tell his mother.

Before he had a chance to tell her, a car sped by filled with boys screaming something that neither Lucas nor his mother could understand.

“What was that about?” His shocked mother asked.

Lucas grinned from ear to ear, “Mom, I was elected King of the Senior Class today.

She threw her arms around him to show how happy she was for him. “Oh, how proud I am of my eldest son,” she thought, as she wiped her happy tears with her shirt.

“Son, I am so proud of you.” She squeezed him again, this time, giving him a long and warming hug. As soon as she let go, she reached for her purse, even with this happy news she still had to go to her job.

Lucas made peanut butter sandwiches for the little ones as a snack. Dinner would be ready in a few hours. The fragrant smells of tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and other wonderful Italian flavors of spaghetti sauce bubbled and permeated the air. Spaghetti was Lucas’ and his siblings’ favorite meal. He sat at the table to tackle his homework.

Not being able to concentrate on his homework and on the delicious sauce instead, Lucas began cooking the pasta for the spaghetti when the phone rang. His little sister, Leandra answered,

“Yes, one moment.” She called out for her older brother.

“Lucas, telephone!”

“Strange,” Lucas thought, “My friends do not have telephones.”

He picked up the receiver and answered, “Hello.”

“You gonna get your ass kicked!” The graveled voice yelled.

Lucas was a quick thinker. A smart witty kid, this boy! He wasn’t going to let this Neanderthal ruin his happy feelings.

“Hey!” Lucas replied. “Do you know how Eskimos have babies?” In shocked response, the caller was silent.

“They rub noses and out pops a little bugar!”

The unknown caller burst into laughter (more out of pure shock of the response to his threat since this joke wasn’t really funny). The caller quickly hung up the phone.

Today something wonderful had happened for Lucas. Today was his day and he wasn’t going to allow a stupid phone call threat or threats screamed out of speeding cars by cowards, ruin it.

No way, not one single bit. Today, he was a king.