“Funny Dilemma.”


 

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The church elders had a horrible dilemma as hundreds of parishioners gathered for the viewing and funeral of 66-year-old Francine “Fanny” Fitzgerald, a member of the church for 66 years, however, she was not inside the coffin.

When Deacon, Saint explained to Minister Paul, their dilemma. The looks of shock settled over his face. After calling the mortuary to confirm, they delivered Mrs. Fitzgerald at 8:00 am, it was discovered Decon Joseph signed for her.

The mortuary did search their building and could not find any extra bodies and they had not cremated anyone since Mrs. Fitzgerald’s arrival.

Suddenly Deacon Joseph, stepped inside the minister’s office. Mrs. Fitzgerald’s sister Mildred Flanders what to open the casket, is it ok to start the viewing?
Deacon Saint and Minister Paul looked asked Deacon Joseph, did he look inside the coffin when it arrived. Deacon Joseph responded, oh yes I did. I may add that Sister Fitzgerald looked so beautiful.

A piercing scream could he heard coming from the sanctuary, followed by further screaming as the men ran to the sanctuary.

When they entered, they noticed several parishioners who fainted and were laying on the floor. Many people were rushing to see the empty coffin, as Mrs. Fitzgerald’s sister, 62-year-old Mildred Flanders, held in between her thumb and forefinger in each hand what looked like 3 to 4-inch white curved ceramic or porcelain horns with red smudges on the ends.

With a menacing and stern face, she yelled at Minister, Paul.

I told you she was the devil!.

Minister, Paul asked, are those devil horns?

Deacon Saint, Yes, but we don’t have a body

Deacon Joseph, Since I signed for her, am I responsible?

Mildred Flanders drops the horns inside the coffin, looks at Deacon Joseph, you are not liable, its the devil’s dilemma, then turns to everyone and said “no funeral today” and walked out of the church stepping over bodies as she exited.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Panic.”


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Panic is an extream emotional state of fear, anxiety, causing wildly unthinking behavior.

Panic is what I felt.

Panic is what I saw in my daughter’s eyes.

Panic’s uncontrollable fear and agitation caused me to destroy some furniture when I opened a box marked maple syrup to find a twelve-foot anaconda snake coiled up inside.

Panic is what my daughter eyes displays, when, she realized I found her pet snake as we were gathering her personal belongings from her dorm room to take back home for the summer.

Panic and horror are what my daughter’s face reveals as I threw the box marked maple syrup, with a 12-foot Anaconda snake inside, threw her fifth floor closed dorm room window.

Panic is standing at a dorm window, with my daughter next to me screaming in horror as the box hurtles five floors to the courtyard below filled with college students and exploding on impact.

True, panic is when you see the 12-foot Anaconda snake slither past screaming college students who gathered around a box marked maple syrup.

I was no longer panicked, as my daughter stared at me for a moment. Then, she really panicked, running out of the dorm room yelling “Maple Syrup,” “Maple Syrup.”

 

WordPress daily word prompt

“Generous.”


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The ACME Ladder Corporation recognized their oldest employee Oscar Stephenson’s 43 years of service and his retirement to become official at the close of business with a retirement party.

After several speakers including the corporation’s president, his immediate supervisor and his only child, son Charley.

Oscar Stephenson stood up and limped to the podium to give the following speech.

When I woke this morning, I realized I would retire at the close of business today, at 5:00 pm. I jumped out of bed for joy fracturing my right toe when I landed.

I began working here during my junior and senior year of high school before ACME bought the company, so, yes I have worked here for 45-years.

I started working in the mailroom, climbing the corporate ladder to lead & manage corporate security. I have experienced 7-corporate presidents, 15- direct supervisors, 3-wives, two affairs, and one child.

I had survived testicular cancer, suffered the passing of 3-gallstones the size of a quarter, two ulcers, and a fractured right toe from this morning.

It is now 5:01 pm as I stand here and look out among the hundreds of people who came to help me celebrate my retirement. I want to say thank you all for coming.

Now take this job and shove it.

Oscar pushes over the podium and limps off the stage, to a generous thunderous applause!

WordPress daily word prompt

“Stylish.”


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Living a clothing stylish life has been a part of who I am since, my teenage years. I wore creased pants, pressed shirts, starched jean pants, stylish dress shirts with matching tie clips and cufflinks for church.

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However, since retirement, I gave up that luxurious lifestyle to become a certified Florida Beach Bum. I would weare my beach-bum stylish Nike, dry-fit shorts, t-shirts, cap, with flip flops or tennis shoes. With an assortment of colors. I loved my style beach style, and I wore it proudly.

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Since I began my nomadic adventure, I have transitioned away from the Beach-Bum Lifestyle. Recently my beach bum certification was revoked when I purchased my first pair of convertible men’s cargo hiking pants. If you are wondering what convertible hiking pants are, I will define. The hiking pants have a zipper that separates the lower leg above the knee.

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After this past weekends hkes in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, I will be applying to become a stylish hiking-bum. So, hopefully, my hiking -bum certification will become finished by Thanksgiving.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Silence.”


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The sounds of silence typically heard during a hike, are footsteps impacting the earth, the rustling of leaves in the trees, along with the birds singing.

However, my recent visit to the Agate Fossil Bed National Monument near Harrison Nebraska.

I noticed the wind stopped blowing, the leaves stopped rustling, and the tall grasses stopped swaying.

I recognized no sounds at all on the Panhandle Plains in Western Nebraska.

Soon an uneasy, nervous feeling began stirring within me. Slowly, I relaxed to sense Mother Natures sounds of silence.

A feeling so unreal, yet, calmly relaxing.

“Silencing my soul.”

WordPress daily word prompt

“Hiking.”


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As a young Boy Scout, I hiked and camped a lot which is my outdoors foundation that lives on within me to this day. I now intermix photography, some video and take moments to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

I have recently hiked several trails in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City Utah between 7000 t0 8000 feet. The sites along the trails can take your breath away.

 

I love to hike and over time I will increase my distance to include backpacking overnights possibly in Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

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“Passionate.”


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Passion and love are intertwined around the roots of commitment.

Commitment is the prehistoric Red Wood Tree with roots mixed with love and passion.

So, when your passionate desires are rooted in a deep love, your dreams and aspirations will come to fruition providing you with a long enjoyable life.

WordPress daily word prompt.

“Together.”


 

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Writing is an important aspect of my life, yet it is only a part of who I am.

Reading has been a stalwart for my writing but as of late, reading has received less attention and feels neglected. I sorry, reading, so please accept my apology?

Photography, hiking and bicycling has increased, becoming an active part of our life.

So, individually, writing, reading, photography, hiking and bicycling are activities we all love. Each independently builds confidence, when shared together, we are stronger and equally satisfied.

WordPress daily word prompt. 

“Mirror.”


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Capturing photographs of reflections on a lake is what sprung my amateur photographers imagination.

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Since the early morning bicycle rides into Lakes Regional Park in Lee, Co, Fl.

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I have been successful capturing photos of incredible mirror reflections that once revealed on my computer screen overwhelm my eyes.

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Here are recent photos from Nebraska, and Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.

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WordPress photo challenge

The quote is from A simple Farm Girl Pinterest site.

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“Fragile.”


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The tone of words are interpreted by those listening.

Dreams, hopes, and beliefs are broken with words.

The egos of humans are broken with words.

Words can divide to harm many.

Fragile is what we all are.

“Perplexed, zing.”


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It is early in the morning a half hour before the sunrises as I walk along a hiking trail to capture photos of mother nature, starting her day. This September morning, the weather is cold and crisp with the brightening sky glowing with streams of light from behind the mountains. My senses are heightened listening to the quiet wrestle of leaves above in the trees, with only my footsteps breaking the silence of the trail.

My eyes capture the sudden movement on my left, I stop in stride to confirm or determine what moved. I was perplexed as I watched the head of a little chipmunk peer from behind a large rock.

A moment later he zinged across the trail and into the grass and zinged back but stopped in the center of the trail less than ten feet from me.

He stared at me, and I at him. The stare down continued for twenty to forty seconds when he bent down grabbing something to eat, and I reached for my camera to capture the moment.

Perplexed are what animals appear when we humans are on the hiking trail during the early morning. Some zing away, and sometimes they stare in amazement.

WordPress daily word prompt

Stump


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The daily word prompts ignite my imagination of times in my life.

The word “stump” has me reflecting on the stump-grinder, I rented to remove two tree stumps from my front yard several years ago. After I returned the rented machine, I can honestly say, I should have paid someone because of my wrist, elbows, shoulders, and chest ached for several days. I felt like I had worked out with free weights on my upper body every day for a week.


The word stump calls to mind my recent September tour of Carhenge in Alliance Nebraska.
Carhenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge, but located near the city of Alliance, Nebraska, in the High Plains region of the United States..

Carhenge is created and designed by Jim Reinders utilizing older American cars buried in the ground and stacked on top of one another in similar design to Stonehenge in England.

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Jim Reinders was inspired by the prehistoric monument when he lived & studied in England. When he returned to Alliance, he developed the design idea to honor to his father. Originally completed and dedicated the local government was not pleased. But the idea survived, and the cars were painted gray, and dedicated June 1987 during the summer solstice day.

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The original Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury and thousands of miles away from Alliance Nebraska.

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WordPress, daily word prompt

Radical Moose Encounter


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What would be the radical experiences to capture morning photos of the sunrise at a place called Silver Lake at Brighton Utah, 8000 feet above sea level?

I never thought the term wildlife and landscape photographer would describe me but after an encounter with a young bull moose. I can say it applies.

As I stood with a jacket, cap, long pants, hiking boots and no gloves holding on to my monopod attached to my 35 mm camera, my first radical dilemma was overcoming the 31-degrees temperature, my hands had not experienced in five or more years.

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The beauty of the surrounding mountains was incredible as the sun began to shine on the mountain tops. Luckily I was able to photograph a young bull moose and its mate, a young cow.

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I took the trail around Silver Lake to get a better photo since I was about a tenth of a mile away. As I began along the trail, I could see the cow starting to swim across the lake.

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I stopped at a floating dock when the young bull moose started following across also. In my excitement to capture photos and video, I captured the following photos from a floating dock in the lake twenty yards from shore.

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The young bull moose swimming across the lake was thirty yards from the dock.

Because of my years of tactical training, I was aware my photo opportunity location was not secure if the moose exited the water and began walking along the trail in my direction and my only escape path away, was from the floating dock back to the hiking path.

I walk out to the path to a more secure location behind a tree, to capture the moose walk across the hiking trail.

The assumption, of the moose crossing over the path, was the fatal flaw in my decision as I stood behind cover and concealment, a tree large enough to stop his advance with his large antlers.

However, as the moose emerged from the water, he stepped onto the trail and began walking towards me.

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Now, my adventurous spirit to capture the photo was quickly overridden by the tactical wisdom of a mature adult to get to a location, anywhere other than the twenty yards separating us.

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I took two photos because I thought three would be like a strike out if he closed the distance on me as I walked away quickly, quietly in hurried steps.

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Walking away, I looked for large trees to hide behind if he began to follow. Every tree along the trail was, too small in diameter, and the largest tree was laying on the ground dead.
Now the thought “dead” crossed my mind causing me to hurry even more when I came across mature women walking in the opposite direction.

I told her of my encounter, and she explained she lived in the area and was aware of the young moose and his mate. As I walked away, my thoughts of knowing she wore tennis shoes and seemed fit enough to dodge the young moose if he came at her made me feel slightly better as continued.

I also considered her as a barrier between the moose and me if he was walking along the trail. I quickly thought I need only to outrun her, with fear in my hiking boots, I was confident, I could.

I came across another morning photographer who witnessed me from his position and was happy to know I was ok.

After we had talked, I became concerned for the woman, and I wanted to know where the young moose went? So, hoping to get some more photos. Yes, I started back along the trail when I came upon the woman standing off to the side of the trail in the trees attempting to see the moose herself.

As we talked, she explained she had seen the couple many times before, and the location we were standing was where they sometimes laid during the night. Now, her last statement caused me to reconsider my place and move to another.

I thought of how radical my thoughts were to capture the photo of a young bull moose standing less than twenty yards from me on my first morning at Silver Lake.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Recharge.”


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During the funeral of my great uncle, Joshua, the brother of my great grandfather, I began thinking about all my blessings. I also thought of the past forty-eight hours starting with the birth of my brother’s son, Jerimiah, who was born Friday evening just before midnight.

Because of great uncle Joshua funeral, many family and friends arrived at the hospital giving the feel of a mini family reunion.

Many family members at the hospital were in town for the 12:00 pm Saturday wedding of my first cousin Jennifer to her fiance of three months.

After Jennifer’s wedding and reception dinner, I left to travel across town for a 6:00 pm wedding, with my boss Janice Wilmington and her husband, celebrating 50 years with a marriage vow renewal ceremony.
The reception lasted until 1:00 am with lots of dancing and lots of liquor.

I returned to my apartment at 2:00 am, to settled in for sleep until my telephone rang at 8:00 am. It was Jacqueline, my best friend, and hopefully, future wife. She was very sick and believed her gallbladder was causing her some problems.

I drove to her apartment and collected her by carrying her to my car and taking her to the hospital. Within an hour she was diagnosed and needed emergency surgery. I waited for her to come out of surgery by 2:00 pm and when she woke by 3:00 pm, she would be ok and would spend the night.

She begged for me to attend my great uncle’s funeral, which I did, and here I sit thinking about my blessings, my family, and friends.

However, after the last 48-hours, I need a recharge after the birth of a nephew, two weddings, an emergency hospital visit and a funeral.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Sandwich.”


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Since the 18th century the invention of the sandwich, named after English Aristocrat John Montauge the 4th Earl of Sandwich, humanity has made every type or variation of the sandwich.

As a child growing up in the US Midwest, where the phrase anything between two pieces of bread is considered a sandwich, and I mean anything.:-)

I remember days of eating mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, jelly, peanut butter, and my favorite sliced banana sandwiches.

In my college days, I made sandwiches, separately with every type of lunch meat, pork, beef, chicken, and Cornish game hens.

In the military, I enjoyed pizza sandwiches, gator sandwiches, rattlesnake, lamb, and goat sandwiches. I had a friend place fired insects between two slices of bread and eat them. I passed on the bug sandwiches.

As an older, wiser, adult, I do not eat meat anymore, but, my desire to eat a sandwich has evolved to become my toasted morning breakfast sandwich.

I start with wheat bread filled with, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, red onions, black olive slices, sliced banana peppers, with a slice of Provolone cheese, balsamic vinegar, light olive oil, salt, and pepper.

My lunchtime sandwich has become a rye bread veggie sub filled with the earlier breakfast veggies, except I add sliced garlic & sliced jalapeno peppers. The spiciness is incredible.

My dinner salad sandwich is usually two slices of oat, bread, with spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a little light olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Grilled onions and garlic with sauteed, shrimp are the side dish, for my dinner sandwich.

There are many other vegetables I’m willing to try, so I foresee a future of ever evolving variations of my veggie sandwich, with fish and seafood.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Elegant.”


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Over the past 100-hundred years, clothing styles for male & females have changed with each generation.

The word elegant has been used to describe clothing of our past and some individual instances elegant is used to describe clothing worn by celebrities at formal events.

Elegant is the term I use when describing the clothing during the 70’s & the 80’s.
However, the 70’s polyester leisure suit was an experimental invention by chemical engineering students, who consume too much cocaine, blotter acid, and marijuana, on a Saturday afternoon.

In the coming 30, 50, or 100 years into our future, will the word elegant describe the clothing of today?

Honestly, I don’t think elegant will be a word used to describe the current modern cultural styles of today.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Twinkle.”


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In college, there were weekends when many in my dorm would venture out to the lake near the university for a keg party.

I reluctantly attended hoping to leave after an hour to return to my room to study some world history.

It was a warm evening when I met a beautiful girl named Saundra, Thompson, standing next to her telescope. She was an astronomy graduate student viewing the twinkling stars above through a telescope she set up. I was intrigued by the telescope and her smile.
For the next two hours, we discussed our professors, classes, and mostly astronomy.

After four beers, we both felt sleepy, so we laid on a blanket she brought, and I never wanted to stop talking with her.

Several hours later, I was awakened with twinkles of light, shining into my squinting eyes. For some reason, I imagined I was looking through Saundra’s telescope and seeing the stars above.

However, after I heard someone ask, is he ok? I opened my eyes wider to see Saundra and several people standing over me.
I apparently passed out and was embarrassed when I realized drinking four or five beers on an empty stomach is not recommended when attending a keg party at the lake.

Saundra and I dated for two years before we married and started our family, of three boys and two girls. After thirty-nine years of marriage, she is still the twinkle in my eyes.

WordPress Daily word prompt

“Plop.”


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Commercial advertising is a powerful medium with jingles that can synch into the mental psyche forever. For me, the word “plop,” has always been associated with the Alka-Seltzer commercials dating back to the 1950’s through the late 2000’s.

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The sound or use the word “plop” triggers instant memories of some of the most iconic jingles and characters like it was moments ago.

YouTube videos depicting the product jingles consumed an hour of my day reliving and viewing several decades of Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is.

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Sidewalks​.”


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Sidewalks are the essential life blood of neighborhoods, and big cities.

They suffer daily abuse from dirty feet, soiled shoes, muddy boots, canes, and wheels of every sort. Tree roots growing up from beneath, to spread and separate even concrete lines.

Sidewalks are exposed to the worst of every form of inclement weather including salt, and shovel scrapes in the winter.

The constant blistering heat of the summer sun. The driving rain from a hailstorm pelting and chipping its skin whether concrete or asphalt.

We can all appreciate the evolution and invention of sidewalks, because, wet, muddy shoes, dusty pant legs, and dress bottoms, are not appropriate or appreciated.

WordPress daily word prompt

Melody yes, Sing No!


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Everyone may not be able to sing with the voice of their favorite or greatest singers, but everyone can hum the melodies. You know the melodies of your favorite songs, and sometimes you may not know the words, but you have the timing.

With the invention of the karaoke machines, many wannabe singers discover the real lyrics when they are displayed on a screen to view.

The invention of the karaoke machine allowing the person only to hum the melodies would be a sure hit.
Yeah, I know the words are important, but the audience would be spared the horror of listening to someone intoxicated attempting to sing the lyric to many classic standards like Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” & the Beatles “Hey Jude.”

YouTubes has many people attempting to sing using a karaoke machine, and if you click on the links, your ears will appreciate the original song and just sing the melody.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Shiver.”


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During the winter month’s my mother always dressed me warmly with a thick heavy coat, gloves, knit cap and a pair of rubber boots for snow.

On a cold winter snowy afternoon, my mom recognized I was playing in the snow with one rubber boot on my right foot. I didn’t recognize the missing left boot until she yelled from the rear deck for me to look for the missing boot.

For a short time, I looked for the missing boot and did not find it. But, knowing I would get a scolding if I stayed outside with only a dark green sock on, I did what any young child would do. I went into the house found my tennis shoes and put my left tennis shoe on and returned to the backyard to play in the snow.

What happened next, is something I can remember to this day.

When my mother noticed me playing in the snow with a rubber boot on my right foot and a tennis shoe on the left, she yelled with authority for me to return to the house. Her statement was straightforward and understandable, “Get you little behind in here.” I received that scolding I was trying to avoid all because I had a snow filled wet tennis shoe & sock. I thought to myself.🙂

Her final statement made me angry when she said, “your day of play was over.” I never considered how cold I was until I took my first sip hot tomato soup with crackers. As the hot soup warmed my insides, I began to shiver, and my mother brought me a blanket to wrap around me to keep warm.

Ever since that day, cold weather has never bothered me because I have worn shoes that keep my feet warm and dry to prevent me from shivering.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Fierce.”


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Fierce is the adjective used to identify the individual or group entering battle, attacking insurmountable odds or challenges.
Wars have produced fierce, violent attackers eager to fight or kill.

When not being used to describe wars or battles, the adjective is applied to persons in a sporting event.

The fierce golfer, of a final round to win a tournament handles the pressure to win.

The pitcher who throws a no-hitter is described as a fierce attacker to strikeout the final batter.

The adjective has been used to describe the mother who prepares a 7-course Thanksgiving dinner including dessert within ten hours for a family of five with attention to detail without any assistance is described as fiercely attacking the kitchen to fed her family.

And then there is me after the Thanksgiving blessing is finished, I fiercely attack my plate of food consuming everything to get to the dessert.

WordPress daily word prompt

 

“Vice.”


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My evolution of the word “VICE.”

As a child growing up, my father had a garage with a workbench with a vice similar to the one in the photo above. For me, the word “vice” has taken on many different meanings after the age of 21.

On a rainy day, the vice was my indoor playground toy. I took great pleasure squeezing various items in between the jaws of the vice. It was like a day of experiments, I discovered tennis balls explode, baseballs don’t, they just get dented.

Glass bottles will shatter, and I learned the importance of wearing gloves & protective eyewear. Metal cans, take on many different shapes and the super rubbery, bouncy balls tend to crack open with a popping sound. Giant insects like grasshoppers and dragon flys get a smashing along with fingers and thumbs.

As a young adult, I discovered the word “vice” covers immorality, wrongdoing, wickedness, badness, evil, iniquity, villainy, corruption, misconduct, and misdeeds;

Today the word vice is associated with an HBO documentary special or the band “VICE or the band Vice.”

For me, the word vice has evolved from an indoor play toy to the evils of humanity. Now, if only the world’s Vices could be squeezed out of humanity in a vice.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Cheats & Mistakes.”


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In the Spring of 1963, Malcolm Milton University’s spring mid-term testing was in its final hours. Tenured History Professor, Wilbur Wilshire was shocked and astonished when he recognized an honors violation. For several moments he stared in disbelief since he had not witnessed an honors violation in his classroom since the fall semester of 1952.

He watched for several minutes as Azikel Alberson consistently glanced into both of his palms. Astonished by what he was witnessing, after 6-weeks of classes. He assumed the 48 students recognized the mirrors placed near the ceiling in the rear of the classroom allowing the professor to view any honors violations.

After class, the professor escorted Azikel Alberson to Dean Sullivan O’Malley’s office to report the violator.

Upon, entering Dean Sullivan’s office, Professor Wilshire explained the circumstances of the honors violation and what he witnessed. Dean Sullivan looks towards Azikel Alberson and asks for his explanation.

Azikel, looks upwards towards the ceiling, then down towards the floor and looks Dean Sullivan in the eyes and states.

“I apologized for cheating, it was a mistake on my part and can I retake the test next week?”

Dean Sullivan stared at the Azikel Alberson contemplating the student’s punishment. He thought how quickly the apology was stated and did not reflect any form of sincerity on his part.

Dean asked Azikel. “Do you think what you did was a choice or a mistake?”

Quickly, Azikel said it was a Mistake.

The Dean asked Azikel, to hold out his hand’s palms facing towards the ceiling. Azikel did as asked.

The Dean told him to look at the choices in the palms of his hands, because what you did was not a mistake. It was a conscious choice. You will retake the class during the summer session.

Cheating is the deliberate act you chose and not a mistake you use as an excuse.

WordPress daily word prompts.

 

“Witness.”


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Early in life, my eyes witnessed hobbies I love today.

My Books,

My Kayak,

My bicycle,

My hiking gear,

My motorcycle,

My fishing poles,

My camping gear,

My soul has witnessed the hobbies of my life reflecting what my eyes love.🙂

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.
Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Miniature.”


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Many mini years ago, a co-worker maintained miniature flowering plants on her desk. When the morning sun shined through the window, it was delightful to see the mini Prickly Cactus, African Violets and air plants stretching for the sun’s rays.

WordPress daily word prompt

Happy Birthday US National Parks


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Today the US National Parks celebrate their 100th centennial. Yes, being 100 is cool when you have the gorgeous historic beauty surrounding you when you are a Park Ranger.

The very first National Park was Yellowstone signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Congress moved to set aside 1,221,773 acres of public land making it America’s first national park. Although Yellowstone primarily encompasses the state of Wyoming, it also extended into Montana and Idaho and was managed by the US secretary of the interior.

The United States authorized additional national parks and monuments, administered by the Department of the Interior, while other monuments and natural and historical areas were managed by the War Department and the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture. No single agency provided unified management of the varied federal parklands.

Now just like the internet, people are going to find a way to exploit it to their benefit. Many creative capitalistic entrepreneurs developed schemes to use the newly establish parks to their advantage and plundered its vast resources while visitors were priced gouged to enjoy its beauty.

Over the years I have visited many National Parks & Monuments, including Zion, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Glacier, (my favorite,) Redwood National Forest, Acadia, & Denali. Words cannot describe the immense beauty my eyes and senses have enjoyed.

 

On my current travels across the US, I stopped to tour The Great Platte River Road Archway. Its focus is the Settlers who traveled across America by foot and wagon along the Oregon, 49’er and Mormon Trails.

They began their journeys in search of fertile lands, gold, and a promise lands to practice their religion. Their travels included the visual beauty seen for their fist time which fed their curiosity and wonderment to witness more of what they saw so far in their travels.

Conservationist and the founder of the Sierra Club John Muir is one of my favorite authors. His quotes are what I and many American’s live by.

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So today take the time to benefit from the beauty of our National Parks and let your eyes gaze upon the beauty and wonderment to behold.

WordPress Discover Challenge Designed for you

WordPress daily word prompt

 

“Learning. “


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Learning is a desire within many people or is it?

For some learning is completed upon high school graduation yet college graduates become annoyed or discouraged when asked to learn procedures within their chosen profession.

There’s an old adage that states “you will learn something new every day up to the moment of death.”

It is believed the foundation for learning develops in the womb with the sounds of music, the tastes of food, and the emotions of the mother. I guess that’s why I still crave Ritz Crakers and peanut butter.

Before I began the headstart program and kindergarten learning was primarily a portion of my world, with an abacus, wooden block with number and letters.

Fifty plus years into our current world, people can learn and gather knowledge with access to a computer, handheld tablet or a visit to the local library.

The libraries allow free access to learning either by checking out a book, using their computers or accessing the wealth of free library information including books, magazines, and movies from your own personal computer.

Yet, with the availability of free learning utilizing technology, the missing element of learning is desire.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Fifty.”


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Fifty is the other half.

Fifty is the middle if you expect to live to 100.

Fifty is the half century of every decade.

Fifty is an age some revere others loathe

Fifty is the age which I’m considered youthful living in Florida.

Fifty is a glass half full or empty.

Fifty is a perspective seen by fifty percent of the people who reads this blog post.

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Jeopardize


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Police Chief Charles Chapman:

Yesterday evening’s automobile accident was horrifying, and the heroic work of police, firefighters & bystanders who jeopardize their lives represent the highest standards of emergency services personnel. The bystanders represent how much of a family we are in this community. Their efforts can never be appreciated in descriptions I provide or a video for you to view the details of their heroics.

So, Mrs. Evelyn Chapman who’s life was saved, our local school teacher of thirty-five years, and my wife of forty-one years. (Coughing and tearing up)
She will explain the details and particulars about the circumstances of the accident and the heroic actions by those involved in saving her life.


Mrs. E. Chapman:

At 9:30 pm I was returning home from the middle school’s annual winter play when I lost control of my car during the rainstorm on Oliver highway. I collided with the guardrail with such force the guardrail collapsed allowing the car to go over the steep embankment.

I did not know it, but, my cars rear axle snagged the guard rail as I looked out of my cracked windshield into the canyon below.

I was seat belted, pressed against the steering wheel when I passed out from fear of my imminent death to never again enjoy time with my family, friends and especially my four grandchildren.

I was awakened when the driver’s window crack and eventually broken by Officer Schmeichel. I turned to see his face, and it reminded me of my youngest son when he was twelve years old. I later discovered he was the lightest in weight to be lowered down by a rescue harness to my car.

I immediately thought of his family with his newborn son, and told him to leave and not jeopardize his life, just say good-bye to my family and grandchildren as the car began to rock and lurch forward.

In the rearview mirror, I could see firefighters and police officers struggling to hold Officer Schmeichel. I again begged him to leave me be and not jeopardize their lives to save me as the car lurched forward again.

I continued pleading with him not to worry about me when he calmly said “mother.” We will not give up to save your life because you are going to serve Thanksgiving dinner next week. When he called me mother, I calmed down.

He opened the driver’s door, cut my seatbelt, tied straps around my waist, and under my arms. They hoisted me 75 to 100 yards to safety as I clawed at the trees and brush on my hands and knees to safety. As I approached the top, I could see members of my school and church, pulling me to safety and others holding ropes tied to my car preventing me from falling into the canyon.

Within seconds of Officer Schmeichel, climb to safety, my car tumbled over and over towards the canyon bottom breaking into many pieces upon impact.

I began to cry as I profusely thanked everyone who jeopardized their lives to save my life, and I passed out again.

When I woke at the hospital, I was surrounded by my family and friends. I told Charles, this Thanksgiving I want to provide dinner for everyone who jeopardized their life to save mine.

So next week with my four grandchildren helping in the kitchen. I will cook and serve the most appreciative Thanksgiving dinner for those men and women and their families who jeopardized their lives to save mine.

I want to publicly thank the men and women who came to my rescue. Thank you all so much for saving my life.🙂

Youth


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Two years ago when I began researching full-time RVing, my idea and belief were associated with retirees or people who have checked out of mainstream society. What I discovered were the issues of internet signal coverage, connectivity, and identifying cheap, clean, RV campgrounds.

However, to my surprise, the most astonishing facts were the enormous number of adults between the ages of 20 and 40 who are full-timing. They are the youth of the RV industry.

Currently, there are hundreds of work & volunteer programs available for full-time RV’er across the US. Most of the positions are seasonal such as volunteering, working at the National Parks, and Work camper programs. The topics of jobs alone have initiated hundreds if not thousands of blog postings, online books and is the question foremost asked by the young full-time prospects.

Heath and Alyssa Padgett are a couple of youthful RV’er who recently debuted a documentary sharing their experiences of the past two years. Heath’s very successful podcast interviews are instrumental in educating the youth who are interested in the RV lifestyle as entrepreneurs.

As a retiree and young baby-boomer, some would say our best years are behind us.

However, it is the youth who are revealing how the full-time RV lifestyle is something we all share.

WordPress daily word prompt

Ghost away


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Ok, if you are a follower of this site, you know that I have begun traveling and reporting on my locations with photos. So, this is a very personal blog posting revealing a deep fear I have kept secret from you all.

My fear of traveling this summer is the cold weather. Yes, the COLD! Any temperature below 55-degrees, I am afraid to experience. Because of my beloved Southwest Florida where temperatures in the summer average 70-degrees at 2:00 am, my blood has thinned.

On, August 19, 2016, at 1;00 pm, the temperature was 57-degrees with moderate rain falling. I wore a pair of jean pants, a long sleeve cotton shirt, socks, tennis shoes, 3/4-lenght jacket, and cap.
Because of my clothing attire during the summer, my Florida beach bum certifications and status, were revoked.

I was a little depressed but warm as I drove away from the campground en route to lunch. I would have taken a selfie, but I was too embarrassed, cold, and it was raining.

Sadly, as I entered the restaurant, I wanted to ghost away.

During the night the temperature dipped below 45-degrees. At 3:35 am, I awoke to discover, I could not feel my face. I thought I was a ghost.

WordPress daily word prompt

Full Moon thoughts


Photographing the western plains with clear, unobstructed views provides spectacular visuals especially the night of a full moon at sunset.

As the sun descends into the horizon with the sight of a full moon in the opposite direction provides an extraordinary visual. The sight is a wonderment of inspiration and for some, it can conjure up romantic and or tranquil thoughts.

Spectacular sunset colors fade.

Into the dark horizon

Full moon rises

Brightening the sky

Each stirs thoughts & emotions.

When a full moon rises.

What are your emotions when viewing these forces of nature?

WordPress daily word prompt

 

Scottsbluff NE


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As a Nomadic Traveler, I often visit local libraries to write because it is a change of location. So, on August 17, 2016, I drove to the Lied Public Library in Scottsbluff NE to write.

As I approached the building, I exchanged pleasantries with a woman who was entering the building. As I opened the door, the woman showed me a book she and others will be discussing in a Book Club meeting. She invited me to attend, but I declined since I had some writing to complete.

Soon, after I settled into one of the quiet rooms, the librarian stopped in to invite me to attend the book club meeting and soon I was in a room with two dozen local women all of whom are all life long residents of Scottsbluff NE. I was taught never to turn down an invite by a librarian.🙂

The Librarian Jana Kehn led the discussion of the novel “The Meaning of Names,” by Karen Gettert Shoemaker, a Nebraska resident. I believed the book’s title was about the actual meaning of names. Oh, how the novel was so much more.

The story is about an ordinary woman, Gerda Vogel trying to raise a family during extraordinary times. She is of German-American descent, estranged from her parents because she married aginst their will and confronted with violence and prejudice against her people.

She lived in the midst of the worst plague the world has ever seen during the early 1900’s and yet, she must find the strength to keep her family safe from the effects of a World War that threatens to consume the entire world.

I enjoyed the lively discussion based on the novel’s style of writing, unresolved consequences to a couple of the stories characters, and because the story rests in the town of Stuart Nebraska, everyone identified with the issues of prejudice against German-American during the first and second world wars.

Most of the people in attendance are life long residents of the Scottsbluff area with their family history dating back to their arrival during the late 1800 and early 1900’s. I appreciated the opportunity to learn and understand the residents who live in the farmlands in the panhandle of Nebraska.

I have placed the novel, “The Meaning of Names” along with next month’s book, “Between the World and Me,” written by Ta-Nehisi Coates on my to read, section on my Goodreads site.

I want to thank librarian Jana Kehn in the photo above for inviting me as I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know members of the reading community.

WordPress daily word prompt tourist (06/29/06)

Confused


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Husband: Speaking to himself.

I should have read the instructions before beginning and not been overwhelmed with the excitement to see a finished product.

Now, I stand, staring at a lopsided design with three extra bolts, two nuts, and one locking washer.

The instructions, provided are written in five different languages all of which I can read. I have a Bachelors of Arts degree in teaching and a master’s in education.

I’m so confused.

Husband: Yelling aloud to his wife.
Honey, Where are the instructions?

Wife: Yelling from another bedroom.
On the top of the changing table, I built yesterday, next to the baby swing you are building today.

WordPress daily word prompt

Carry


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Because of my love of music, some word prompts spark my memory of songs from my past.

The word “Carry” immediately takes me to the 1970’s and the song Carry on wayward son, by Kansas and the 1960’s Carry on, by Crosby, Still,& Nash also brings to mind great memories.

But, because of my US Army MP experience, the phrase “Carry on soldier” was heard and used a lot by Army personnel.

However, after responding to the WordPress daily word prompt, I must carry my load and begin my writing day.

So, I will carry on!

WordPress daily word prompt

Complicated


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So, life is relatively easy.

You are born, you love parents, family friends, and caregivers

Follow the basic moral rules of life, don’t lie, cheat, steal, or harm another person or animal.

Attend school, learn lessons from parents, elders, and teachers.

Achieving levels of education, to pay bills, to quench desires of want and need. (PS: learning doesn’t stop with certificates or degrees.)

Pair with someone your heart desires immensely, produce or adopt offspring and provide them the same process you enjoyed.

Everything else is superfluous, so what complicated?

 

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WordPress daily word prompt

Reach


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Reach is a movement every human has completed.

However, the word reach is used more as a metaphor referring to an object or action in poetry, love letters and everyday speech as I reach for other examples to explain “Reach.”

I reached new heights in my achievements since becoming a writer.

From birth to death, we all strive to reach some form of betterment for and within ourselves.

The WordPress site has reached new heights with its platform.

I have reached the end of this blog posting.

WordPress daily word prompt

Obsessed


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Obsessed, can be a passion with boundaries.

The boundaries can become askew by obsession or passion

To be obsessed is to have a passion or to have passion can be obsessive.

But, can you tell your obsession has overwhelmed the passion?

WordPress daily word prompt

“Luxury”


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Luxury?

During my adult life, luxuries are unique slices of life I passed up for whatever reasons or another. Mostly, because of children, you know they are supposed to come first.🙂

But, before becoming an empty nester, I enjoyed a unique birthday gift, from my children my first manicure and pedicure. I refused the manicure, at the time, I thought it was a bit too much as I wasn’t quite comfortable with such luxuries.

Later in the day after the birthday celebration and cake. I was seated alone on my deck, loving the feel and look of my feet. I felt a little ashamed and guilty because I lived so many years into adulthood and never experienced this type of luxury.

I recommend all men experience a mani-pedi as a luxurious treat for themselves. It’s an excellent way to bond with your wife, girlfriend, mother, and sisters.

Luxuries are for all to partake, so treat yourself and don’t feel guilty.🙂

WordPress daily word prompt

Realizations of a Travel Writer.


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Several days ago, I wrote separate responses for WordPress daily word prompts for the words “stubborn,” “praise,” “muse,” “crave,” “profound,” and “apology.”

As I formulated my thoughts, I recognized the calm, peaceful, and relaxed feeling of absolute happiness within me that had me reflect upon and contemplate why?

As a child, my parents, teachers, and friends told me, I was hyperactive, I needed to slow down, and I needed to learn to have more patience.

Although, at that time I didn’t know or understand the meaning of the word anxious. I profoundly wanted to go somewhere at that time and now was too late. My mother’s purchase of encyclopedias helped fuel my thoughts to dream of far off distant lands to explore many miles from my Midwest hometown. I desperately wanted to gaze upon the sights I read about in those encyclopedia books.

My curious imagination swirled whenever riding along the highway in my parent’s car, or on a school field trip. I stare out the window wondering where all the connecting roads went?

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As I grew into adulthood, my sense of exploring has never subsided or dissipated. However, it was superseded with career and children. During those years, I was fortunate to cross the US four times from the Eastcoast to the Westcoast on a motorcycle culminating with a retirement trip to Fairbanks Alaska.

My family and friends have always been astonished or terrified in my travels. My mother who after my first two trips required me to tell her when I returned, instead of when where and how I planned to go.

In my retirement lifestyle years, I found myself exploring areas within a one to two- hundred-mile radius of where I lived in Southwest Florida.

After journal writing and reading travel novels by the likes of Jack Kerouac, Bill, Bryson, and Paul Theroux, I discovered the world of travel writing. My soul craves and desires to explore some place new and mainly unknown to the masses.

Driving to new places allowing my eyes and brain to experience something new, releases endorphins within my body bringing a smile to my face with a great euphoric feeling.

My nomadic travels accentuate my biological senses of sight, hearing, and smell to record the memories and experiences in writing and my mind forever.

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Travel is my “Muse.” Writing is my profound expression detailing what I have experienced.

Because of my stubborn impatiences, I want to apologize to everyone in my life who I have hurried along. I understand and realize I have craved travel and now praise myself on my discovery of becoming a travel writer.

WordPress daily word prompts, Muse, Profound, Stubborn, Apology, Craving, and Praise.

The Great Platt River Archway Monument


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For the past two decades, I have traveled in both directions on Interstates 70 in Kansas, 80 in Nebraska, and 90 in South Dakota. Most people know of the area as America’s bread basket but, I have nicknamed it the void.

The six or eight-hour drive depending on the number of times you stop to break up the boredom of the void depends on you, however, the ride provides stunning views the vast prairie lands the first time you cross, but after that, it is just a straight line with minimum curves between two points.

On my recent westward drive along Nebraska’s Interstate 80, my view was interrupted by the Great Platte River Archway Monument crossing both east, and westbound lanes of Interstate 80, which is visible for many miles before you arrive.

The monument is a historical testament to the millions of travelers who passed through this location to destinations west of the Rockies. Thier 2000 mile walk was slow and tedious averaging twenty-five miles a day, allowing the travelers to view their past three days while viewing the vast distances ahead of them.

The walking tour with audio headphones describes the murals painted walls along with many props used by settlers from that period in American History. The impact on the indigenous populations and Slaves who followed their masters westward is also discussed.

The gift shop and tourist information located on the first floor of the monument along with an outdoor maze provides an excellent stop for families.

So, if you are traveling across America’s breadbasket or void just remember those before you and the hardships they suffered and your time along the highway will go a little easier.🙂

The Great Plat River Gateway Arch Monument  Youtube video

“Unstoppable”


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To succeed in life, a passionate, driven desire is unstoppable.

Discover your passion and your desire will be unstoppable.

With sacrifice and patience, your dreams will become reality, to remain unstoppable.

With every bump in the road, it develops and teaches to remain unstoppable.

WordPress daily word prompt

My Journey Begins


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For the past three months, I have been adjusting to life as a full-time RV’er with stops in St. Louis Mo, Tavares Fl, Spotsylvania VA, Corning NY, with a return to St. Louis for a family reunion.

My first adjustment was the weather and the forty degree nights in Northern VA where my little RV was stored. Because of the cold weather, I returned to Florida to stay in Tavares FL for the entire month of May. My time in Tavares FL, include some writing, kayaking, and photography, of Tavares Lake Front Sea Plane area. The squirrel assumes I had food when he stood still for this photo.

Yes, you can call me a wimp, as my sister did when I left St. Louis the day after Mothers Day, but, my choice was a splendid idea because my campground in Spotsylvania VA enjoyed 21 days of rain along with nightly temperatures in the forties. Thank’s Weather Channel.

The month of June was spent adjusting to living full time in a small RV before starting my travels to my first destination Corning NY. I cleaned up the old Coleman Pop-up camper my now adult children, and I traveled in for many years to included a visit to Mt. Rushmore. Writing inside the screened patio and photographing the local wildlife on the lake was an easy adjustment.

I had an invite to visit Corning NY on my way to Burlington VT where I was to complete research for a novel I’m developing. However, I was side tracked with the beauty of the Finger Lakes Region. I understand why many of my Southwest Florida snowbird friends retreat to the New England during the summer to enjoy incredible summer evenings and beautiful sunsets. The below sunset photo was taken from the Pine St. walking bridge in Corning NY, among hundreds of Pokey-Mon players.

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I’m writing this post in North Platt Nebraska on my way to Montana after attending a family reunion. So, stay tuned for further nomadic travel reports.🙂

WordPress

“Crisis”


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The word crisis expresses the idea or belief of something urgent, and I feel the word is used for dramatic effect to garner people’s immediate attentions.

I was peddling my bicycle one day when I pass a mother and her two kids on their bikes. The two boys were using training wheels when one of the little boys, yelled, that he was in a crisis.

He went on to say he was in crisis because his helmet was too tight. As I passed, it was evident that his helmet was on backward. I thought to myself he would make a great politician.

Later in the morning, I encountered another crisis at the checkout isle of my local grocery store where two teenage girls ahead of me in line were checking out when one suddenly yelled, Oh my God, this is a crisis, I have the wrong lip gloss. She hurriedly runs for the makeup isle.

The clerk looks at me, and I acknowledged it was ok as I waited until she returned.

But the actual crisis occurred when she returned, and the two teens could not pay the total amount being short $3.38. So, I watched as they began searching their pants pockets, purses, coin purses, and shoes.

I turned to look at the four people behind me and saw the look of a crisis on their faces, so I reached into my pants pocket, pulling out a five dollar bill, placing it on the counter and yelled, crisis averted.

The word crisis is defined as any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.

I averted a crisis by paying the difference because the customers behind me would have caused catastrophic danger to the young teenagers who were dealing with a crisis.

WordPress daily word prompt

Elusive


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Elusive are my thoughts when writing.

Elusive is my focus when reading.

Elusive are the photos I want to capture.

Elusive are my attempts when trying to achieve what I want.

My journey has taught elusiveness disappears with persistent determination and perseverance.

Believing in what you want can be elusive and hampered by those crossing your path.
M.J.Leake

WordPress daily word prompt

“Sanctuary”


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Seeking the safety of a Sanctuary from family, friends, job, the world, or an enemy can take place in many locations.

Sanctuaries within the mind can bring inward peacefulness, essential to discovery to reveal peaceful intentions outwardly.

WordPress daily word prompt

“Clocks”


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Many people around the world are pressed for time, don’t have enough time, and some run out of time.

We all have a certain amount of time on this planet, yet we do not know the end time.

So, why do we rush through life towards a date and time that will come to an end?

It is said time moves slowly, yet waits for no one.

I believe time moves at a natural pace, neither slowing down or speeding up.

With the time you have today, why are you in a hurry?

WordPress daily word prompt