GOING HOME #writephoto

Home, there it is at last.



I am finally home from the killing fields of Afghanistan and Iran.

Early snow this year.

Perfect for my last visit.

I see them gathered together at the table for Thanksgiving Dinner.

I take one last look at them as they lovingly offer prayers for me.

“May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.”  

Yes, now I can rest in peace.

This is written in response to a photo prompt provided by Sue Vincent at https://www.svincent.com.


Thanks for taking the time read.


#WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “UNITY”




Once upon a time the goddess Democracy gave birth to a little country and named her Us.  Us was the union of many diverse parts that became one.  Us was united under the beautiful mantle of Democracy.

Us was a magnificent child and grew stronger and lovelier every year.  Unfortunately, as a young teen she developed a terrible illness that almost killed her.  Us had decided to be selfish with Democracy’s gifts and said they was not to be for everyone.  This illness pulled Us apart and almost killed her.

But a wise leader came to heal Us.  Us became healthy once more and continued to grow in the beauty that Democracy imbued.

As Us grew older she sometimes remembered imperfectly the lessons from her illness but she continued to welcome many varieties of people to become united and share the mantle of Democracy.  Us suffered the pains and tumult of adolescence but kept striving to offer unity under Democracy to all of those who asked.  Us looked beyond herself and saw other countries in danger of losing their freedom and peace.  She became a leader and shouldered the burden of helping others.

Democracy loved her child very much.  She showered Us with great leaders who helped keep all of her citizens united under the principals of Democracy.

Us has grown older and has weathered many storms.  She wears the wrinkles that come from experience.  She is thankful to Democracy for protecting her as a child and keeping her united.

But Us is growing tired and looking for a great leader that will reinvigorate her and bring unity.  She cries out to Democracy’s children to stay strong and united.  For this too shall pass.

Thanks for taking the time to read,


This post is written in response to the Writer’s Quote Wednesday sponsored by http://www.Silverthreading.com. and http://www.ronovanwrites.wordpress.com.




The tale had been told since I was a child.  If you follow the path though it my be hard, at the end you will find the trouble eater.  The trouble eater has a fierce expression, a bulbous nose, green whiskers, and hidden all seeing eyes.  It has a cavernous mouth to eat all troubles.  Only the most faithful to the arduous walk arrive at it’s doorstep.

I walked the path for many merciless years.

I stayed faithful and brave.

I found the trouble eater.

I laid down my troubles and found peace.

I became the trouble eater.


This is written in response to the photo prompt provided by Sue Vincent at:




I entered the cool darkness of the chapel and felt immediate relief from the heat and the harsh glare of the sun.  I went seeking some time to gather my emotions.  As usual, after a visit to Andrew, my heart ached with sadness.  I felt anger at the waste of his life and futility that there was nothing that could change his situation.

I suppose I went to the chapel seeking the answer to the question that has haunted me for 15 years.  WHY?  Why Andrew, why me, why should our family have to experience so much pain?  My brain knows there is no answer but my heart still seeks it.

I glanced up at the window and saw this ghostly apparition.  A figure surrounded by sadness but offering consolation.

I left the chapel again knowing that there is no answer to why but there is consolation if you look for it.


This post is written to a photo prompt.  The above prompt can be found at: Thursday photo prompt – Glimpsed – #writephoto, at svincent.com.



Like the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

The world has lost a wonderful soul and heaven has gained her.  My friend Maggi (on the right, me on the left) who passed on July 10, 2016.

This is written for #WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Memories at https://silverthreading.com/2016/07/13/wqwwc-writers-quote-wednesday-writing-challenge-memories/.

The prompt for this week is Memories.  Very appropriate for me this week because I am lost in memories of my dear friend.  The lyrics to this Barbra Streisand classic were written by Marilyn Bergman.



I am joining  Colleen at Silverthreading.com for her #WQWWC – Writers Quote Wednesday Writers Challenge – “Faith” today.

Faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something.  It is a part of your spirit.  I have faith despite inconclusive evidence to the contrary.

Belief is a product of my mind.  My beliefs are mostly rooted in culture and upbringing.

Despite all the evidence that would cause me to believe I live in a world filled with danger caused by my fellow citizens of this planet, I still have faith in the basic goodness of human beings.

Don’t be led astray by what others want you to believe, follow your heart,





                       THANK YOU NIKI AT The Richness of a Simple Life FOR HOSTING THIS CHALLENGE.

There were various prompts this week to help the participants exercise their kindness muscles.  The prompt I chose was to listen closely to other people.

I wrote last week that truly listening to another person was a bit of a problem for me.  I found myself doing all the things that make you a less than compassionate listener:

  • I wanted to solve the problem.
  • I was mentally preparing my response.
  • I just plain zoned out on what the person was telling me.

Then to my horror, I caught myself looking over the shoulder of the person who was speaking to me in order to check out who else was in the room.  YIKES!

Well, the Challenge has helped me identify a problem and I practiced listening this week with as much attention as my poor distracted mind would allow.

I can’t say that I didn’t fall into old behavior but I count this week as a win.  I listened with more care and at least was aware when I started to drift off.  I also found that this listening was not just a blessing and kindness to the speaker but also became a blessing for me.  I found that I retained  more of what was said and in certain circumstances made less mistakes due to memory loss.

Happy listening everyone,




I am participating in the kindness challenge directed by Niki at The Richness of a Simple Life.  This is week #3 and the challenge that I concentrated on this week was to be more aware of my thoughts and judgements and to turn these thoughts away from criticism and toward kindness.

This was the most difficult week of the challenge.  I found that my kind thoughts were much rarer than my kind words and deeds.  The difficulty with kind thoughts is that I had to think about the other person instead of making a snap judgement and moving onto thinking about more entertaining things – like myself.

I have made some progress this week.  The progress had come in the form of awareness.  At least now when the thoughtless criticism or judgement comes to mind I am aware of what I am doing.  I have started to examine these moments of thoughtlessness and to slow down enough in my thinking to call myself out on what I am doing.  I started to really think about the person whose actions I so quickly passed judgement upon.  And I have tried to reframe my thinking toward a kinder outcome.

Again, I will tell you that this has been very challenging.  At times I feel like that old cartoon of the devil being on one shoulder and an angel on the other.


I listen to the angel and try to understand the other person’s actions and remove the judgement and find some kind thought to replace the judgement.  And then, the devil leans in and whispers in my ear, “Oh this is just a bunch of baloney; you know that you are right.”

Obviously I still have a lot of work to do as a result of Week #3’s Challenge.


Wishing you a week filled in with kind thoughts,




This week the Kindness Challenge was to observe evidence of kindness all around you.  It is amazing what this challenge did to add joy to my life.

The week started with reading the story of a teacher who wants to teach in the U.K. and puts out a call for help and within weeks has all the information she needs is provided by fellow bloggers.

It continued with me wanting to buy flowers for one of our employees who was retiring.  When I purchased the flowers there was not a box to transport the flowers.  The cashier searched and found box and placed the flowers in the box.  Kindness #1.  But when I saw the flowers in the box I was dismayed.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get them out without injuring the arrangement.  Kindness #2.  Instead of being frustrated with me the cashier proceeded to find an exacto knife and fix the box so that I could easily retrieve the flowers without damage.

kindness 2

Later in the week I was treated to a story about a lovely set of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  The grandparents speak limited in English and the story was about how everyone in the neighborhood aids them with this task.  It goes on to touchingly tell the lovely things the grandparents do for the neighbors to thank them for their kindness.

I finished the week last night by attending a splendid retirement dinner for my friend, Peggy.  My family has been the recipient of endless gifts of kindness from Peggy for the last fourteen years that she has cared for our son.  I always knew in my heart that Peggy was not only kind to Andrew but kind to all people who she has come to know.

Last night confirmed that fact as one person after the other took the microphone to tell their story about kindness received by them that were performed by Peggy.

There is a Chinese Proverb that says, “The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose”.  This week I smelled roses wherever I went.

Wishing you a week filled with kindness,