Twice, within a week of each other, I’ve been surprised by something I didn’t see while outdoors. I think I’m aware of my surroundings, however, these encounters make me realize that my eyes are open, but I’m looking only for what I expect to see.
Over-thinking this, as I tend to do, my thoughts progressed to how I see what I expect in other areas of my life. I also thought about how I find comfort blending into my surroundings. Being naturally shy (but much more social than in my younger years), I find myself more often an observer than participant.
Today, I want to set my expectations aside and really see. I want to see someone differently than I expect based on superficial observations. I want to join a conversation I would normally be content to watch from afar.
Most of all, I want to be surprised by what I’ve been missing.
Do you ever find yourself looking but not seeing?
P.S. I’m still on vacation in Washington D.C. I’ll have to catch up on visiting blogs when I get back. I can read posts just fine on my phone but commenting is a big pain in the neck! My next post will be June 21st, with the weekend Trifecta challenge. Have a wonderful week
Being able to observe our surroundings and anticipate its effect on us is a useful- even life-saving skill. We do it every day without even thinking about it. Our kids chase a ball toward the street and then we spot a car coming and tell the child to stop. A stranger lingers outside the store observing shoppers and we don’t exit alone. We know that when there is a mud puddle, our boys will stomp in it. If there is chocolate in the house, I will eat it. All of it. Well, you get the idea!
Generally, my ability to anticipate is pretty keen, but the next few pictures are evidence that I have room for improvement
To quote Nancy at SLTW, “Ah….that’s better!”
It’s going to be sunny and hot today, so I’m hoping the power of suggestion and the memory of being sprinkled with unexpectedly cold water will help. Being one to look on the bright side (no pun intended); if I still lived in Phoenix I could expect 110 degrees. Since our move a little north, we are blessed with a forecast in the mid-nineties. We are even luckier to be heading to Washington DC tomorrow, where they are expecting temps in the eighties – and chances of rain! Rain….I hope it rains – we don’t see much of that here in Arizona. I’m even bringing my umbrella that has seen only sunshine since my visit to New Orleans in February 2012. I know, this means it definitely won’t rain now. Maybe someone will wash their car to counteract my preparation?
Monday is normally when I post a new segment to Darlene’s Story for the Trifecta writing challenge. If you stopped by looking for that, I’m sorry to disappoint! This week is a Community Judged week for the responses and I didn’t feel right posting a response when I know I probably won’t get to read much. I’ll continue the story in two weeks, when I’m back and settled from vacation!
Have a beautiful day!
She stood at the open door with her arms crossed, the lipstick smudge on his white collar a reminder of his infidelities. “Go on, go,” she said, “but if you leave, you’re taking the kids with you.”
He pondered her offer, but decided raising five kids alone wasn’t the kind of freedom he wanted, so he stayed- for forty-five years- until a heart attack fulfilled his vow.
This is fiction; however, the threat to make him take the kids if he left was borrowed from real life. My mom has a cousin who issued this offer of freedom with strings to her misbehaving husband. To this day, they are still married (it’s been about thirty five years by now, and counting.) The other “facts” have been changed to protect the guilty- er, innocent
This piece is also my response to the Trifecta weekend writing prompt challenge, which is to write a complete story in 3 sentences. If you want to read other responses, or enter a response of your own, click the tricycle picture to go to Trifecta’s site.
Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a terrific weekend!
Of hope and promise-
Reach for the sky.
I don’t know
Where the path will lead-
But still I climb.
Is pain or beauty-
The choice is mine
I’ve always been drawn to stairs and pathways. I’m often urged to stop and snap a photo. To me, they are a promise of things yet to come. They are my future. They hold the mystery of something new. Even when I have seen what’s at the end of the stairs, the view is different each time because my perspective constantly changes.
Sometimes I get discouraged when the stairs don’t seem to end. It feels like I’ll never get to where I want to be, so I pause for rest. When I glance behind me, I am reminded of how far I’ve traveled. Stairs get tiring, but I’m stronger after climbing them. That urges me to continue.
When I reach the top, what to do is my choice. I can rub my aching feet and complain about my sore legs, or I can take in a view I wouldn’t have seen if the journey had not been taken.
Sometimes I choose to focus on my pain. Other times, I choose the view.
Door bolted and blinds drawn, Darlene stood at her counter staring at the ten-pound bag of cat food. She doesn’t have cats. Mrs. Anderson’s words echoed in her mind.
She inspected the bag of Meow Mix. Nothing written on the bag; the top flap was still sealed. “This can’t be right,” Darlene muttered in frustration. “What the heck…” she tore open the bag and poured the contents onto her kitchen counter. She gagged. Seafood Medley smelled more like Rotting Fish Guts, but she figured Meow Mix marketing nixed that flavor name.
Darlene ran her fingers through the kibbles looking for… what, exactly she didn’t know. After several minutes of separating the kibbles with her fingers, all she ended up with was greasy fingers and the sense that every neighborhood stray would soon be on her doorstep.
With both hands, she scooped kibble and dumped it back in the bag. On the third handful, the doorbell rang. Startled, she dropped the food on the floor.
The ignored doorbell was followed by three raps on the solid wood door. “Police!”
Darlene pulled out two small plastic dishes and put them on the counter, then headed for the door. She almost wiped the rank kibble dust off her hands, but decided not to. She opened the door and extended her right hand. “Darlene Whitman. Can I help you?”
The young officer wore a look of obligation mingled with disinterest. “We received a call that you stole a bag of cat food from a neighbor.” He spied her grimy hand and wrinkled his nose.
Darlene laughed even though, at that moment, she wanted to pound the freak “nosy gossip” gene out of Dottie with Myrtle’s Louisville Slugger. “Myrtle had to leave unexpectedly and asked me to feed her cats.”
“Lucky me,” the office muttered.
“I’m sorry about the misunderstanding. We think Dottie Anderson has dementia, but her poor husband refuses to accept it.”
“I still have to write a report on the complaint,” the said officer grimly.
Those of you following Darlene’s Story may not like that you still don’t know what the deal is with the bag of cat food. I’ve included a bonus segment below the Trifecta info. It isn’t part of the Trifecta response, and it is told from Myrtle’s point of view. Best of all, you will find out the significance of the cat food bag.
In keeping with the Trifecta theme, it comes in under 333 words
This is another segment in Darlene’s Story and it is my response to the Trifecta weekly prompt which was to write a 33 to 333 word response (mine is 333) using the following word/definition:
FREAK (noun): : one that is markedly unusual or abnormal: as (a) a person or animal having a physical oddity and appearing in a circus sideshow; (b) slang (1) : a sexual deviate (2) : a person who uses an illicit drug; (c) hippie; (d) an atypical postage stamp usually caused by a unique defect in paper (as a crease) or a unique event in the manufacturing process (as a speck of dirt on the plate) that does not produce a constant or systematic effect
For complete challenge details, click the tricycle picture to go to Trifecta’s site.
Additional segment begins here (not part of Trifecta response):
Myrtle Crawford waited in the jail’s interview room, her wrists and ankles shackled. She had only spent one night in jail, but her neck and hips were stiff. The coils from the worn cot mattress and the wafer-thin pillow made her feel every one of her eighty-two years- and then some.
Two officers led Darlene into the room. “Fifteen minutes,” one said before closing the door. Myrtle could see through the tiny window that he kept post right outside the door.
“Darlene,” Myrtle said when Darlene sat in the chair across from her at the table. “Did you find the cat food?”
“The bag I found was unopened. Did you have one already opened?
“Those bags are a modern marvel,” Myrtle said. “With the triple layers, the food stays fresh forever. When you close the bag, it’s like it was never opened.”
Darlene’s brow furrowed.
“So the cats are fed?”
“Dottie Anderson stopped by and said you didn’t have cats.”
Myrtle laughed. “We don’t own cats- it’s the other way around. They come and go as they please. They are sneaky ones.” Myrtle leaned forward. “Old Tyrone is the fattest cat in Scottsdale.” With a nod, she added, “You can take that to the bank. Three hundred and twelve times.”
Darlene looked puzzled, but Myrtle let her words sink in. When she saw Darlene’s eyes light and a smile spread, Myrtle knew she understood.
Tyrone O’Reilly was the president of the Old Town Bank in downtown Scottsdale. He was also rumored to be involved in some slightly shady side deals. Of course, Mrytle knew he was more than slightly shady- he dwelled entirely in the shadows. The key to a safe deposit box- number 312- was in the cat food bag. Literally.
Darlene grinned. “Your cats will be fed. Do you have any other special instructions?”
The door creaked open. “One minute,” the officer barked.
Myrtle shook her head. “You’ll know what to do.”
These two parts continue Darlene’s Story. Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire piece. Thanks for stopping by!
“Like this climb, our relationship is an adventure. With you, Isabelle, I feel like I can soar. Will you…” He pats his pockets. “Can’t find the ring…”
“I hope you can fly, Roberto.”
If you want to read other responses, or submit your own response, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s website.
I hope you have a beautiful weekend (and don’t have to find out if you can fly!)
Can sometimes become-
Lined at attention-
To a new tune-
By the unusual-
I’ve seen curved trees before, but nothing like this. This guy either has a bad case of scoliosis, or is rebelling against the tall masses around it. Or, perhaps it’s practicing yoga. Then again, maybe it saw a pretzel and dreamed of twisting just like that. (So close!)
I have no idea what causes a tree to grow like this, but it makes for some interesting photos (and suppositions as to why it is how it is What story do you imagine for this twisty tree?
I hope you have a fantastic Wednesday, whether you decide to be straight or limber!