Weekend Coffee Share, On Relating and Forgiveness

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer, accompanied by the music of Agnes Obel. It’s a good day to invite tranquility in. I’m getting my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine today and following up an eventful, slightly stressful wake packed full with just, well, too much for my liking. Still, I managed.

State testing was the first challenge, though nothing compared to handling the emotions of my son moving out ON THE VERY SAME DAY. However, I focused all day on the positives and paced the aisles as the students whittled away at their thoughts and words for a state writing test. My ex had flown down to help my son move and get all things in order as possible. The students had my attention; I kept the thoughts at bay. I felt happy that my son is stepping into independence, happy that I may have a new sort of freedom now that my son is moving out on his own. All the while acknowledging that I felt relief and a little worry at the same time, but knowing that this is a necessary step.

My son and my mother, circa 1997-98.

I got to see it after work on Wednesday. The place is small, a studio apartment, but the landlords put in a new stove and ceiling fan. There is faux wood flooring which looks very nice. He got his bed and long dresser in there, has to keep his bike inside, and there’s a bookshelf. There is no room for a sofa. Mom and I decided to get him some folding cloth chairs and TV trays.

After seeing the place, my ex-husband took me, my mom, and my son out to eat a steak dinner. My son was so tired, and my ex was talking a lot about details and ways my son could improve his life, get a car, etc. I’ve mentioned before that my son had a bad car accident three years ago. He also has a mood disorder that is mostly kept in check. He gets lost in the details, and it is not wise to throw too many at him at once. He truly needs to take it one day at a time, but I am proud of how he lined up all he needed to do to get this apartment. He does not have a high-paying job but makes enough to pay me rent, so now he’ll see what true independence is.

It is true that my ex-husband can worry a detail down to a fine thread. Sadly, I guess that is one thing we had in common. He is more of a “You’ve got to do this” sort of person. I am more of a “You need to do this, and if you don’t get that done, what is your back-up plan?” gal. Obviously, we did not get along well enough to stay married; it only lasted 5 years, so dating and marriage for us lasted seven years, and my son was only 2 1/2 years old when I had to leave that marriage, after two failed marital counseling attempts. I felt controlled, manipulated, trapped. He would get onto me about who I befriended and talk them down to me, also accusing me of affairs with male co-workers (which did not happen at all). He stressed me out a lot.

In the years we were together, I had some depression, had a rough post-partum year, and his drinking was problematic. Sometimes I wonder if stress during pregnancy led to my son’s emotional state. I have often been very wary of my ex when he’s back around. I sent my son to live with him one summer six years ago, and it did not go well at all; my son was anxious to come back a month later. I have to try to avoid blame, yet I do feel I’ve forgiven him.

There’s a funny thing about forgiveness. It means “to grant pardon” or “cease to feel resentment.” It is healthy for us, they say, and can prevent the toxicity of such feelings to ruin us. Still, I want to point out that forgiveness does not mean letting down boundaries, which exist for a good reason: self-preservation. In my past year of self-improvement and looking inward, I have been re-establishing and exercising boundaries in relationships with family, at work, and with others. You can forgive someone, but still keep the boundary up. I’ve given past relationships a second chance and learned things didn’t work the first time for a reason. It is not a lesson lost.

My mother is impressed in the changes she sees in my ex. Yes, I’ll admit there is some goodness in that man and he seems to have straightened up. He is here when my son really needs him. I am allowing him to do that. He bought a microwave and some other things for my son’s apartment. The two of them may be bounding, and that’s good. So, I sat at dinner and enjoyed it whole-heartedly, telling him what a handsome son we have and how I love my son.

It is notable that, I have been divorced from my ex for twenty-two years. I dated a few other men after, but I have currently been dating the same man, Kenny, for eleven years now. That relationship provides me some freedom to be my own person and has allowed me to determine what I want: to come forward in my writing, to communicate with the world instead of hiding. I relate to others more freely and have found it benefits my teaching by showing I care and have empathy, benefits how I relate to co-workers, and not being afraid of relating to others makes me feel better about myself. I had a past full of secrets kept from my mom, a therapist, friends. Where I learned I shouldn’t tell my husband everything for fear of being judged or having it spun out of context. I have learned I’m imperfect but pretty awesome as I am.

My current boyfriend, Kenny, has boundaries and likes an amount of time to himself. I am finding that, so do I. Therefore, I am happy with all that has come about. I do wish some things had happened differently and had gone better for my son, but I am going to make the best of today and perhaps make it better.

So, I sat across from my ex-husband, with my son to the left of me who looked quite tired from working the usual hours and moving in the afternoon. My mother was to the right of me, raising a glass of wine, wishing for a good transition and new life opportunities, smiling at us all. I smiled and thanked my ex-husband for the dinner. I hugged my son and said “I love you” as they left. Then, I went to Target and happily bought some chairs and TV trays to support my son in his move.

Thursday I had a usual workday with Spring-springy middle schoolers and evening time to myself for exercising. Friday after work, I had dinner and caught up on my sleep. It has also been a wake-up-at-2 a.m. and struggle to sleep again week. I made up for it last night. So, this morning it is coffee and a vaccine shot at 11 a.m. I look forward to more rest later!

Have a good weekend, my friends. I wish you all a reconciliation with your past events and/or decisions, a present that cannot be controlled but only appreciated, and a belief in a hopeful future!

Weekend Coffee Share, Shifting the Perspective

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Traveler at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/2021/03/26/5-themes-for-a-fun-week/ . The day is warm, and the coffee is on ice. Agnes Obel croons in the background to increase a calm, cool, collected mood. It has been quite a week.

I am not only dealing with rambunctious kids overwhelmed by the scent of Spring , the encroaching state tests, and my own allergies, but some family stress has given me hard lessons in parenting. You do know that once a parent, you are a parent for life, right? It is so hard to stand back when they are going through a hard time.

You cannot create peace in someone else’s mind. You can only be an example of how you will not let their sparks of agitation burn your calm down.
It is exhausting to think and not react, to feel love even when you feel spit on. It’s also hard to let go as a parent, and to acknowledge the hurt and the love you feel, leaving space for both at the same time. Suffice it to say, I felt disrespected by my adult son (24 going on 12) and told him to save up, he had two months to move out.

He decided he would apply for an apartment right away and try to move out next week. He has his eye on some cheap apartments just down the road. He will have to ride his bike to work, as he has not gotten his own car since the accident that totaled his car and gave him a brain injury three years ago. He does need to experience true independence, so I know I cannot talk him out of it, and part of me does not want to. Yet part of me does, and I am not listening. I start to worry.

Worry is one of my traits and character flaws. It is distracting from real-life tasks. I am working on meditation. Trying not to ponder too much on whether he’ll take his meds as needed and be careful where he goes, eat healthy and live a healthy life, not the partier lifestyle. I could worry on any little thing, so the meditation is pretty necessary for me right now. I have an app called DARE (an app that addresses anxiety), and there are some really helpful meditations or information sessions there. Worrying about the future is a waste of time.

Flashback photo. Many cherished memories!

I am not just a parent. I am a writer, which is mostly consisting of blogging right now, and that’s just where I am at the moment. In looking at my life right now, I have to shift the periscope for another perspective. I am an English teacher of middle schoolers, and I mostly enjoy that. Still, I have to make myself remember the good that I instilled in my son, and believe that all of it will overwhelm the headstrong stubbornness of a young adult. While I have expressed that work can be stressful, I always try to maintain an accepting atmosphere in my classroom and to build relationship, to know them and make them feel part of a community, and that can be so rewarding!

It seems I may fail with some, but others, and even some whole classes, seem to feel the strength of community or at least appreciate my efforts. I believe in them as well. Some are so brilliant! At times I make corny jokes and tell them the teaching platform is just practice for my future live comedy career. 🙂 I can get going and talk fast, I always thought it was anxiety brain but my doctor thinks it could also be an attention deficit. I talk about these things with some of my students. Many of them know what these issues are like. Perhaps I can be a good example of functioning regardless. (So I hope). 🙂

When I relate to my students, I sometimes forget my worries. I get the feeling of being a stepping stone and learning experience in their lives. To let them know I’m glad to see them, I use my imagination and call them my little rays of sunshine, bright shining moonbeams, dragons, or butterflies. (Their choice). Some do not identify as the assigned gender. I have had to learn this; It is 2021 and I’ve been teaching 21 years. Things are different now. I must be mindful of whom I call a boy or a girl. So I’ll say, ‘Boys and girls or NBs (for non-binaries), listen up!’ They approve. I purposely called someone the wrong name who just laughed, then I started adding the wrong name behind his real name, and he just laughs.

Yesterday, I had another student request that I add a syllable to their name! I thought it was sweet, a way I can make someone feel special. There are some really bright kids in some of my classes, but they are all special, just in different ways. So, of course I’ve added a syllable which happens to be what her dad calls her, so she likes it! Now I have more to remember. I’m always trying new things to be sure I challenge the brightest gifted children while using strategies to motivate those at grade-level or just getting there. It’s safe to say, they challenge me as well. I appreciate that; my job is not boring, my life is challenging and motivates me to wake up daily. Those who may misbehave at times also challenge me to always show acceptance, one of the most important things in life.

Not only that, but the Newspaper Club I am sponsoring at school provides an outlet for ideas. It seems to decrease the burnout I could get from FSA test prep and prescribed teaching methods as well as antsy Springtime behavior in middle schoolers.

I feel I have digressed, as I often do. It’s just that, these extra syllables and NB nicknames as well as the bright students are giving me good moments that will become memories during the challenges of my life….as well as lessons learned. It is a wonderful life when you can teach others and keep learning from the experience as well! Maybe it is actually possible I am reaching these students socially and emotionally and building an accepting community. So now let’s shift the periscope again to another perspective that can also be viewed brightly: I have many reasons to be grateful, and raising a son who has been a challenge is just one of them. Maintaining an accepting relationship with him but giving independence shall be another, I am sure.

Smile and think of mad possibilities when you’d rather give up and take a nap.

Thank you for reading my Weekend Coffee Share! Writing is so cathartic for me. I also love poetry, where I can just feel things and be completely metaphorical if I like. Maybe you can tell by my love for butterflies and dragons. 🙂 I can be either, depending on my mood. I am allowed. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Weekend Coffee Share. Cafe Music and Pre-Springtime State of Mind

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! The sun is shining through the window blinds on this crisp morning, and the cafe is the place to be! My ‘cafe’ is currently playing songs by Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, and there’s a click of my dog moving about on the floor until he settles at my feet again. It all sounds heavenly to me. I haven’t “hung out” in a real cafe in quite some time. So, I’ve created my own. We’ll converse virtually.

It’s a coffee drinking day! I have abstained from coffee for the last four days, due to my desire for better sleep and less anxiety or stress tension. I don’t think coffee is the whole problem, but I promised myself I would drink the green matcha tea more often, as it fuels me enough and is supposedly healthier. Still, this is my reward today, since I slept great last night and actually, most nights this week. Coffee goes so well with Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” Piano and/or horns and a sultry voice just bring Spring closer to my heart.

Spring is scratching on our car windows, flirtatiously telling us she is near. “Be ready,” she calls. A rainy week has washed a lot of pollen off of our cars and into the streets. Florida is confused, but heck, that is nothing new. Having lived here since I was eight (with an 8 month misled venture out to OK for the sake of love), I’m used to it. Last night it got close to the thirties but our Florida sun is brightening this day.

I went along, day after day this week with a number of gray, rainy days. Having Monday off was great. Wednesday after school I had the Newspaper Club meeting. We accomplished a lot, I believe! Some are unsure of themselves with writing, so I pair them up, and it has helped. I am trying to make it a welcome place for anyone to find their voice. This was the third week. On the evenings after Newspaper Club, I am pretty tired. I get to bed and fall asleep with ease, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I get right to sleep. It is good work, something that I am enthused about and that is turning out to be really good for me.

It’s becoming clear to me that I write a lot about my struggles. That’s because I am human. When I am honest with others about that, they are more honest with me. Add to that fact that, my struggles that I’ve overcome are a part of who I am. In my everyday life, I am teaching students who need to feel comfortable expressing themselves in my classroom, so I believe this is beneficial.

Keeping things in or hiding things about ourselves is difficult, too difficult. It results in us alienating ourselves; I know, because I did this drastically four years ago, when my son went through a really hard time with emotions and mind issues after a car accident and head injury. I felt like a failure as a parent. There were struggles he had with himself and that I had with him in the household. I kept so much bottled inside and felt really depressed since I was bottling up the stress. Not very healthy.

Glad that I’m beyond that, I have a few close friends that I can confide in. His struggles are much better, and he has held down a job for two years. I see that I wrote a lot about my stresses back then as well, and that’s a good thing. It helped me to hang on.

Having gone through the shoulder injury last year and educating myself on dealing with arthritis pain has helped me acquire healthier habits. There is a true link between anxiety, body tension, and pain. I’m still working on all of it.

Writing is sporadic, but I will not give up. Perhaps I will move more into autobiographical writing. Journaling is a more frequent process for me in “getting things out.” Blogging is a sort of journaling. It’s all good.

The sunshine outside my windows is representing my current state of mind. I’ve gotten through many things recently, COVID fear being part of them, and I just don’t feel as fearful anymore. Sitting at home in the computer chair all day is not an option! I can do this. You’ve likely heard me say that before. 🙂

**Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly bloggers’ feature that many across the globe have joined. Search for or use the hashtag #weekendcoffeeshare and tell me about your cafe of choice and the goings on in your part of the world. Have a great week!

#WeekendCoffeeShare Peacekeepers

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. My brain is busy and jam-packed. Where do I begin?

I don’t know if this is writer’s block or what….adult ADD perhaps? Too much on my plate, too many worries, intermittent fight-or-flight brain and COVID anxiety; they overlap each other. I’ve been fighting sciatica again for a few days as well as a throbbing knee.

I sure needed a weekend. Random word generator has given me “wash” today. So, those pains are what I’ll wash away. The start of a weekend gave me a break… Work Saturday morning on things I’ll never finish at my day job. We gained an hour but it feels like my time was robbed. Well, maybe I got a little ahead. Helped a neighbor yesterday; the cops came out when called. The one in the lead was very friendly and helpful. I can’t even go into details, because someone else’s story is not mine to tell. But it reminded me of my son’s hard times. Things are better now for him, but it brought it back. The weekend will wash it away. I have to say the cops calmed the situation and stayed around to protect my mom and her friend. I went to work, and floated above every situation. The morning’s fear came to an end and washed its way down to the gutter of ‘things no longer needed.’

If I could survive that without losing it,

Could help the situation without confusion,

I can focus on a goal, handle moment by moment

Crisis need not destroy me, I know I can own it.

***Now. Deep sigh. Sometimes helping others in a hardship takes us out of our concerns. Friday night we asked my neighbor to dinner and we enjoyed an appetizer and relaxing dinner outdoors at a restaurant. Saturday, I slept in and did so today as well. Bixby porched it with me for a while. It was nice outside!

Bixby loves “porching it!”

No grading today. I’m writing now and getting a massage later. 🙂 Have a great week, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share. Acceptance, part 536

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com. Grab your favorite beverage and grab a chair so we can chat! I’m havng a Medium roast with vanilla creamer myself.

I survived another teaching week in the time of COVID. I’ve been taking the mask off more as I sit behind my desk shield, distanced, just so the students can hear me. It’s so important to be heard clearly in order to teach and for them to appreciate me as human, just like them, and important to me for them to know I’m willing to bring humor and enjoyment to difficult situations or learning goals.

Yesterday, it got through to them. A few kids laughed with me. I gave another the elbow-bump-hug when it seemed he needed it. It’s not a real hug, but I told him, remember the COVID distance rules. Relating to them in this distanced time and teaching with a mask on is challenging and sometimes I feel like my efforts suck….but yesterday, I felt like I succeeded. Funny how scared I was to be teaching amongst middle schoolers and the germs they can pass, but now I am concerned about how the experience is affecting them. We have to accept this situation we’re in, but I don’t want them to feel alone, scared to laugh, or even scared to talk.

Facebook almost gave me some tears this morning:

These sentiments still ring true, as my son has worked steadily as a mechanic for a year. “You will find your own way and I will admire you for that. Thank you, Facebook memories .

Ah, Facebook memories. Let’s not forget what we’ve come through or what has shaped us. I learned so much about acceptance as a parent. Yes, “You will find your own way and I will admire you for it.”

Way back when…. circa 2088. ❤

I’ve struggled this week with my digestive issue, something I was diagnosed with in 2009. I ate so little for lunch last Saturday that I pigged out on Mexican food Saturday night. It was fun and tasty, but I suffered for a week. I feel like Icarus who flew too close to the sun. Except I can get back to my healthy diet and not suffer now. I’ll save my gusto for ax-throwing and the rock-climbing gym, both 4 month goals for me. I’m still faithfully doing regular workouts for my arms and shoulder in addition to the cardio three times weekly. I have goals, and I’ll get there!

Today is a hair dresser day, so I can hopefully enjoy easily styling again for a few months. You may notice above that the hair has gotten unruly. I don’t go with a tame look, but it does need to be easier to fix in the morning. I haven’t finished my workouts for the day, but I will after my appointment! Thanks for joining me for this coffee chat, and have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, Processing as I Go

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.

My online course is winding down!  Work keeps me busy as ever, but I missed a day and a half this last week due to sinus/allergy problems or a cold.  I needed the rest, but it seems many of my students missed me, which makes me feel good!

My son is becoming an adult, working steadily and learning new things, and I have no one to take care of but…myself.  Last night, he said, “I sometimes wish I was on my own, but you all (his grandma and I) keep me out of trouble.”  What a wonderful acknowledgment!  So I am taking care of myself now, per the request of my brain and body.  I’m going to pilates this morning and having a massage this afternoon.  It takes a village to keep my mind/body straight and work out my knots.  I am willing to accept help and have sought it. I also have a friend meeting me at pilates, so there may be a coffee chat for us afterward as well, since I only had half of a half-caff (can you do the Math? 🙂

I finally finished editing and processing my physical therapy journey and what I’ve learned and still am learning on pain’s connection to the brain.  You can read it here:    Pain, Growth, and Making a Truce with My Brain  Let me know if you are not able to read it all.  It is a different blogging site for me, as I am branching out.  However, hardly anyone knows me there.

I am also considering a new post in a series I used to do called “My Exercise Evolution.” I may be able to get a post out this coming week.  Then, within two weeks, I will be a novelist again, editing and proofing the Malachi manuscript!  Woohoo!  it is like a mother who misses her grown child.  At least I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

I hope the weather is nice where you are; I know I have enjoyed having dog snuggles the last few nights, as it was in the thirties last night.  *shivers*

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share…I’m Out Here

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at the Eclectic Ali blog.  Grab your beverage of choice, mine is half-caff hazelnut on a cool morning.

It has been another terribly busy week of grading and coursework for a Gifted Endorsement class, but  on a few nights, I stole moments before bedtime to read a sci-fi/fantasy book, War of the God Queen by David Hambling about a woman who is sent back in time to live in a band of nomads who must fight these monsters that kidnap women to make them part of their breeding stock.  Because of her modern knowledge, she is treated like a goddess, and fights for women’s rights as well as battling the monsters.  It is truly out there, but the female empowerment theme appeals to me.

Monday evening, I had my last physical therapy appointment and I am now considered ‘graduated’ from the physical therapy.  I made a few jokes with the PT therapist about slacking and being sent back a grade.  He’d just say something right back in jest.  Of course I was joking, right?  Now I am out here on my own, but it felt great to leave there feeling like a success.  The week before, he had said I’d done well.  Which, I think is true.  I am very anxious to have this pain behind me or to have the feelings associated with it gone.  The doctor had put in an order for the back before the shoulder which was not what I wanted, though I think starting with the back worked and did help.  I was more comfortable and ready to tackle the challenge when we got to the shoulder physical therapy which seems to be a nerve point for me.

Weds. night, I did my physical therapy exercises at home. I had planned to go to yoga as well, though it would be mostly for lower body.  Though, I must say, I was feeling so tired right after school.  My job made me flat out tired.  Of course, my sleep cycle is still not up to par. So, I did not make it to yoga, but I did work on the arms and shoulder as I should.

I have been thinking I need an accountability partner.  I am not fully healed, but I am capable of anything I try except reaching my shoulder blade when I put my arm in back.  Obviously, I can’t do really heavy weights, and I’m following what my PT had prescribed for me.  The doc had indicated surgery might be the only other thing, and I likely was moving beyond the need for PT because I could do anything the therapist challenged me with.  The doc and I both agreed that I don’t want surgery in my life right now.  Now, I need to hold myself accountable, or , as I have considered, maybe try a personal trainer. Not right away, though.  For now, I have reached out to a fellow writer and blogger who has gone through surgery and rehab for the back; it will be long distance, but we can encourage each other and report our progress.  I think that will help for now, since I may not be ready to seek out something new.

Thursday night, I got home earlier than normal due to fore-casted storms.  My twenty-three year old son had worked until 1 and had two beers before I got home, which makes him talkative. Then, he wanted to watch a movie together, and even though his being sociable was likely a  result of him having a few beers, I sat on the couch with my coursework and grading, replied to his comments, and glanced at the Terminator movie every 5-10 minutes.  His life seems easy right now, but this is where he needs to be currently. He is learning a lot about automotive repair, and he even went to work in the afternoon after getting off at 1, to see if the district manager had visited as planned. This means he TALKS TO COWORKERS and has acquaintances. I don’t ever say “Stop Talking. I have a lot of crap to do.” Because that other crap crap can wait.

As far as writing, Malachi is almost finished with the editor, and then I have my own editing to do.  I have gotten some ideas for Ellie; she will have a book of her own next year, next in the Detours in Time  series, and Malachi will be a key character.  There will be a lot of obvious time travel. Don’t be dismayed that there is not much in the Malachi novel.  It is mostly character-driven, but Ellie is, well, she’s a traveler and does show up in the Malachi novel.

It is going to be a great Saturday, I have determined that!  I woke early as is usual these days after waking at 4 a.m., but I think I did doze a small bit before the alarm woke me at 6 a.m. to eat breakfast and wash up because there was something I planned to do for myself.  I made it to a 9 a.m. pilates class at my usual yoga studio where I sometimes take a relaxing yoga class.  I hadn’t gone regularly since doing physical therapy because of the schedule and trying not to miss too much work.  As I got there, I right away told the instructor I’d need to modify a little bit, I’d just finished up shoulder PT, but that I was excited to be there!  And that was true.  Let me tell you, I think it went well!  I think I am on the road to being recovered.  I guess the secret is, “Never quit.”  No matter how old I am, how tired I am, how sore I feel, I just need to keep trying.  I will leave you all for the week on that positive note, and in a few days, I plan to post a little more about my experience with physical therapy.  Next is the further work I plan to do with my mind, dealing with the anxiety, talk therapy to work through my life questioning.  I am optimistic, and I feel great after pilates!  Have a great Saturday!

If you’re interested, I posted a short poem on the mind and imagination this week.  You can read it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/the-forest-poetry/

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Weekend Coffee Share. New Horizons, New Me…Same Hopeful Mess!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette at

This is the last Coffee Share of 2019! I am so looking forward to 2020, and instead of a resolution, I decided to choose a word:  Limitless.  I have had so many limits this year and put so many limits on my life.  It has almost gotten me down at some points.  I have also accomplished a few things:  I encouraged my son to get a low level job in a new field, and he loves it!  I published/produced two books into audio.  I celebrated my boyfriend’s 57th birthday, my 51st, and my mom’s 78th.  I actively sought to deal with my back and pain issues and sought help with it; as a result, I am now doing squats (among other things) several times a week.  Squats!  It is a shocker.  However, I draw the line at Burpees.  🙂  My family are in on my new health kick, well, at least on supporting me.  My boyfriend got me a vertical mouse which is ergonomic and more comfortable for the hand and arm.  I am really getting the hang of it! (Google it and check it out). So maybe I can write even more, pain-free.  Mom got me an upright desk, it just isn’t assembled yet….

I did not feel much Christmas spirit due to the loss of a few dear people, but I did find opportunities to help others and the community, which made it feel more like Christmas.  Now I get to greet a New Year, and live out my personal goal of a being more of a limitless person.

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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

A blogger friend wrote a beautiful Weekend Coffee post on New Year’s resolutions, to be more loving, like Christ.  It’s a wonderful post, and you can read it here:  https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/coffee-share-191227/ 

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Since it is Winter Break, and I have time off, I have been writing some short and flash-fiction.  I am proud of this piece here, which involves aliens: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/popular-opinion-fiction-fowc/ and was written in response to the Fandango One Word Challenge; the word was ‘popular.’  I personally love those one-word challenges and have tried them with some of my students who like writing.

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These are two books I have read lately.  One, very traumatic, yet hopeful.  The other, just all out bawdy humor by one of my favorite humorous authors, and I loved it as well!  I needed that after a Holocaust novel, and I loved both of them equally.

I also was able to meet up with an old friend who lives out of town.  She lost her husband of three years to an illness.  I read recently about the healing power of laughter.  She and I laughed a lot this time, as always.  It was wonderful to see her and her daughter.  The Insomnniac’s Diary is still in progress, but I think it is more of a personal thing now; in other words, I believe I am accepting a new normal.  As long as I can fall asleep at night and get at least four hours of sleep, I can handle it.  I am still logging the basics, though.  I mean, I was on 5 hours when I met my friend for dinner.  We had a great time for about two hours, and then I went home to relax and get ready for bed.  No problem!

I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and will have a safe, fun New Year with many pleasant surprises.

-Pamela

“Take a Hike.” #RDP #amwriting

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa

John had been through this before.  No one understood how he processed things.  This was his third foster home in a row.

His foster dad, Mr. Biggins, spoke in a strange way., but John really wanted to know the workings of this new household and had a lot of questions.

Mrs. Biggins had shown John to his room.  There were two smaller children in the home, but John got his own room.  Mrs. Biggins was busy cooking dinner one day when John asked why there wasn’t much toilet paper.

“Oh, we try not to use too much paper.  It’s Mr. Biggins’ rules, you know.”

John went to ask Mr. Biggins, because sometimes he needed a lot more than what was rationed to him each morning.

“Take a hike,” Mr. Biggins said.

“But, but, that doesn’t answer my question.  Sir,” John added politely.

“Learn to use less.  Conserve.  Now, I’ve answered you.  Go take a hike.”

So, being a person who tried to do just as he was told, John did.

John suffered for a year in that home, with people who did not understand his needs.  Finally, he was adopted by a loving family.  The Servos lived in the big city.  John looked down at his hiking books.  No woods to explore as he used to do for hours when living with the Biggins, where no one cared that he was gone for hours as long as he was back before dinner.  He disliked Mr. Biggins moodiness, but just kept to himself most of the time so as not to disturb the man.  Hiking had been his solace, and summers had provided a lot of education in nature.

“Would you mind if I take a hike?” John asked Mr. Servo, longing for some movement and fresh air.

“Well, that’s an interesting thought,” Mr. Servo replied.  “There’s this place a couple blocks away with excellent gyros.  And the doc said walking would good for my heart. Come on!  We can talk on the way.”

John smiled.  He wasn’t sure he wanted to talk much, but Mr. Servo had a friendly, loving aura about him.  It might be nice for once not to have to walk alone.

***The Ragtag Daily Prompt is given daily in the form of one word.  Writers take it from there.  This story was just short of 300 words.  I hope you have enjoyed it!  See other responses or learn about this challenge at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/rdp-friday-hike/

 

low section of man standing on autumn leaves

Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

What’s in Your Heart? #FFfAW #amwriting

“Daddy,  why is everyone sad?”

“We’re honoring those whose loves were lost.”

“But isn’t the world good?  Why did someone kill them?”

“That someone was sick, honey.  He meant them harm, but he didn’t have any reason.  All we can do is spread our love, so there aren’t many more like him.”

“If you could be their daddy, they’d all want to spread love, too.  They’d never want to do harm.”

He smiled, and knelt down to put his arms around her.  Perhaps he had been doing this parenting thing right.

“I wish Mom was here to show her love to the world.”

“So do I, dear.”  He stood and took her hand again.

“She wishes she was here, too.  She still loves us, Daddy.  She tells me every night when I’m in bed.”

He squeezed her hand, this wonderful, intuitive creature, who was already so much like her mother.

~150 words~

 

To learn more about the weekly Flash Fiction challenge, go to flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

To see more of this week’s great stories, go to https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/fffaw-challenge-week-of-october-3-2017/

Thank you to Elaine Farrington Johnson for this week’s photo prompt and inspiration!