Weekend Coffee Share, Old/New

Coffee with in house-entertainment! Bixby with his new toy.
Antique ‚Äď Image by KL Caley

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. On a mild weather day that feels like early Spring, watching my dog ham it up with his play toy, I sip a Starbucks blonde roast and in true T.S. Eliot fashion, I ask, “How shall I spit out the butt-ends of my days and ways?”

Truly, it is one of my favorite quotes from Eliot’s poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, so please indulge me. Sometimes I’m not sure what to write for the Coffee Share, (I get tired of saying what I did each day or all week) so I looked for inspiration today, and remembered the Eliot quote from a poem he wrote 50+ years ago. The photo is from the #writephoto challenge that has been around a few years, and it is now shared and hosted at the site https://new2writing.wordpress.com/category/writephoto-challenge/ . I have used the hashtag and challenge before, thought it’s been a while. However, today’s concept is quite fitting.

In the photo, old furniture and collectibles sit together in what may be an antique shop. Being an allergy sufferer, I’m seeing lovely things but imagining dust. My mind says, ‘Out with the old, in with the new’….but only with moderation. Keep what works, and throw out what doesn’t, right? At any rate, some things are old but worth keeping, and sometimes what is old for one of us is new for another.

In my life, I started out last week feeling very confident, then it ended with some stressors with my job and extra club responsibilities. I’m sure it will work out. I’ll just focus at the positives. I am encouraging young people to write, and how could I do better than that? I also have opportunities for creativity, something I must have to thrive in a job. I am a nurturer and a creative. These opportunities at my job are important, since my son is grown now and my parenting is more hands-off, as should be.

My family life is slightly stressed, as I have an uncle who recently passed away after a COVID hospitalization. May he rest in peace. Relatives have told us he didn’t wear a mask in public and wasn’t vaccinated. He was almost eighty-years-old. My son has been sick with cold symptoms but tested negative for COVID, thank goodness. My boyfriend has been really sick with similar symptoms and is now better. I’m just carrying on. I did get my booster shot just over two weeks ago. I will mask up when I am moving around my classroom or sitting with students to help them.

Writing has been sporadic for me, but I wrote a first draft of Janie’s story that gives a little closure for her, so that’s something new. Janie is a character from my published short story, the eerie Crossroads Diner #205, which is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B098269VSN and won Honorable Mention in a short story contest from Rave Reviews Book Club. My boyfriend was the one who encouraged me to continue the story for Janie. There are other characters who deserve their closure: Cowboy, Maria, Raul. I’m getting ideas! ūüôā

Truly, writing is something that should remain new, with a constant flow of ideas. Ancient stories can always have an appeal. So, ‘out with the old,’ in my wishes, will be the writer’s block and the feeling that I don’t have time to write or market anymore or the feeling that I don’t have the energy, confidence, or ideas to still actively BE a writer. In with the new: ideas, energy, and spirit! I’ve decidedly recently that I should use my energy spurts efficiently to save up for retirement time, when I use my well-deserved rest and relaxation, keeping a balance, of course.

So, today is a day, one day for rest and relaxation. I sleep late, take my time with breakfast, go to get Starbucks coffee with my son. I’m seeing lots of binaries here. Work/rest, Old/New, Maintain/Release. I guess that’s where I am. My son and I are about to take the walk on a mini-trail hike, an old practice we haven’t done in years, so we need to make it new again. Have a great weekend, everyone!

**You may find out more about Natalie, our host of the weekly Coffee Share at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/


Waking up.#writephoto

Waking Up (c)2020, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa


We were pushed out of our homes.

pushed into the night

a sudden awakening

where there had been no light.

Triggered, incited

forced to move on.

It seemed I breathed fresh air

for the first time ever.

Everyone looked on me in scorn

as I rolled down the window

saying Goodbye forever.

I was what they said I should be

But I’m now my own version of me

Grateful for change when they only

saw catastrophe.


Taking in Nature’s Beauty. #writephoto

Photo credit, Sue Vincent.

“Taking in Nature’s Beauty,”¬† a short story.

(c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“You have the words to describe it; I struggle with this.¬† It’s beautiful, though.”¬† Matt sounded unsure of himself and felt like a heel, remembering she couldn’t describe what she couldn’t see.¬† Or could she?

They sat on a log, and Pauline felt the breeze change.¬† Yes, they were in the presence of great beauty.¬† Only, Pauline could not see it.¬† Matt didn’t know how to describe it.¬† She fought against frustration at him, confident she could coax the words out of him.¬† Asking questions usually got her some clear answers.

“There are mountains,”¬† Matt began.

“How many Matt?¬† Two?”

“No, More.”¬† A man of few words, he was more at home in the world of numbers.

“Are they connected?”

“Yes.¬† Some of them could be as one, but with more behind them.¬† The two in fronted are separate, almost as if to let you see the ones beyond them.”

Pauline was forming a picture in her head.¬† “Is the sun shining at all?”

“Yes, there are a few rays of light, but clouds, too.”

“The sun only shines through in one spot?”

“Oh, no, there are several patches in the clouds letting in light, though they are thick and gray to one side.¬† It’s lovely.”

“Yes, I felt the clouds, the coolness, coming on.”

“There is a stream, and some trees,” Matt went on.

“What sort of stream?”¬† she asked.

“Um, just, a stream, no, a lake.”¬† Matt stopped there.

“Yes, it’s sounds quite lovely.¬† It feels so lovely,” Pauline mused.¬† In her head was the most wonderful picture of the scene that she sensed with her being.¬† It was void of color, for she had never seen color and only imagined it as variations of shading, as on a person’s skin, for she’d had such things described.¬† Color, to her, was an emotion, such as being on a rollercoaster, tasting a spicy food, or getting a cut on her foot as she had that one time.¬† It was all so frustrating to her as a child, but she developed an imagination that would fill in the gaps.¬† When people described beauty, she imagined how it would look, and it pleased her.

“Anything else, Matt?”

“Oh, I don’t know.¬† It just feels good being here.”¬† He grabbed her hand.

“Yes, it does.”¬† She held his hand tighter, needing no more explanation.¬† They’d gone way ahead of the other members in their group and had a few minutes to sit still and enjoy the scenery, each in their own way.¬† A hawk flew over, and his call resounded through the valley, carrying another breeze toward them.

~The end~

The #writephoto challenge is a weekly writing challenge based on a new photograph presented at¬†https://scvincent.com and you may visit this week’s challenge at¬†Write Photo Thursday Prompt

Alone, (a short story). #writephoto

Photo provided by Sue Vincent at scvincent.com

No one knows where I am. ¬†They’re probably saying I’m crazy. ¬†That’s okay; I don’t expect most of them to understand.

I’m out here, all alone. ¬†Miles away, on another continent. ¬†The view is breathtakingly beautiful. ¬†The sounds are inherently calming. ¬†I don’t wake to an alarm; the slight hint of dawn and the chirping of birds is what wakes me every morning.

Chastity might understand. ¬†Maybe one day I’ll go back for her. ¬†Or maybe I won’t, if it could mean losing everything I have right now.

What I have now is freedom. ¬†Like the gulls cawing above, I have freedom from my uncouth boss, freedom from bills, the mortgage, that ex-wife and her constant prying for alimony. ¬†I have freedom from the stress. ¬†The only thing I have to stress about now is what I’ll eat. ¬†So far, I’ve been able to find a way, every time. ¬†This is a life of survival, and I’m doing it. ¬†I never thought I could give up that false security back home. ¬†Now, I know it’s totally possible.

The beach breeze brings a pleasant, salty smell to the air. ¬†Some days, I remind myself that the lack of a shower means a lack of interest–on my house, my credit cards, my car. ¬†I let them repossess it, and the house went into foreclosure. ¬†Some will say I was only trying to jilt my ex-wife, but they don’t see the larger monster that I needed to escape.

Money is what ruled me, and what was bound to kill me. ¬†I was working non-stop, fueling myself with caffeine, Redbull and barbecue. ¬†Now, I take my chances on a steep mountain or waking up in a hostel, not knowing if I’ll gather money to buy my next meal, but I am getting better day by day. ¬†Instead of getting ¬†heart disease, I will get leaner.

In a day or two, I’ll go to visit the monks on the next mountain. ¬†I think they’ll agree with my decisions. ¬†Learning to do without is really freeing.



*Every week, Sue Vincent posts a photo prompt and a challenge to fellow bloggers.  Directions are:  Use the image (below) as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 16th August and link back to this post with a pingback.

I invite you to visit the post on Sue Vincent’s blog at https://scvincent.com/2017/08/10/thursday-photo-prompt-alone-writephoto/

In the Deep, #writephoto


“This sure is some prime real estate, Jack,” Erin whispered.¬† There was an eerie, yet reverent awe to her voice.

“We’re as far away from the front lines as we could be.¬† It’s safe here.” Jack hoped this was true.¬† The fighting had gotten dangerously close to their home, and he didn’t want the boys to live that way.

“How long?”¬† Erin asked.

Jack noticed a note of worry in her voice.¬† “I’m sorry, Erin.”

“No, don’t be, Jack.¬† This place is beautiful.¬† It is full of imagination.¬† It’s just, the lack of sunlight is going to get to me in a little while, maybe a few weeks.¬† On the plus side, it is cool down here.¬† Much better than it was up top.¬† I just don’t know how long I can stand it.¬† I’ll start getting weird dreams, and after a while, I won’t be able to sleep.”

“How do you know, Erin?”

“Before the fighting started, my dad was Air Force, stationed in Alaska.¬† We lived there with him.¬† You know, they have those months with no sunlight.¬† It got me, bad. ¬† Then, when I was fifteen, he went to serve in the war.¬† So Mom and I came back here.¬† He never came home.”

Jack sat down and laid out their provisions, which included a soft cushion for each of them to sleep on.¬† Of course, they wouldn’t be staying here forever.¬† Erin sat beside him.

“How did it come to this?”¬† Erin asked.

Jack put his arm around her.¬† “I’m sorry, Erin.¬† We’ll get out of here as soon as we can.¬† Think of it as a camping adventure.¬† I know we should have evacuated when they first gave the warning.¬†¬† Now our home is in the middle of a battlefield.¬† It’s like the Civil War or World War II out there.¬† I never thought we’d go back to such primitive ways.”

“At least I didn’t lose you to the war,” Erin said, as she took their youngest, Jeremiah, by the hand and changed his shirt.¬† He needed the longer sleeves.

“No, Erin, and you never will.¬† As long as you and the boys can remember what I taught you about survival, we’ll never have to be a part of their evil ways.”

Erin rested her head on his shoulder while Jeremiah ran to catch up with Stephen, who was exploring another tunnel.

“I’m glad we’re so much more civilized.¬† Even if it means living like this,”¬† Erin said.¬† She’d be okay, she decided right then and there.¬† This was a matter of survival.¬† Her fear was dissipating.¬† She’d rise to the occasion and hold it together for her family.¬† It would be alright.

~The End~

The #writephoto challenge prompt can be found at https://scvincent.com/2017/03/16/thursday-photo-prompt-deep-writephoto/

If you’d like to join the challenge, follow these instructions:

Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.  You can find all last week’s entries in the round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers.

I will feature as many entries as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions we are getting every week, that will not be all of them! All posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 23rd March.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.

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