Terra Firma – Year One

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Bradley Harris

wc: 101

The beach was pristine,untouched by humankind for a millennia. I walked slowly down the stretch, watching dolphins play. On the breeze, I heard their chortles of glee as they leapt, spun, and dove. I smiled. I couldn’t help it. Their joy was infectious.

Walking on, my destination growing larger on the horizon. The old ship wreck, still half beached, half buried beneath the waves lapping against its rusted hull. The upper deck now home to hundreds of seagulls who were none to happy at my appearance. Again, I smiled. It was good to see Terra Firma once again teeming with life.

Author’s Note: This week, Omicron is surging fiercely in our area of the country. We have returned to mask wearing, and there are shortages of basic groceries and what is there has inflated in price. Personally, we have lost two Aunts in the last few weeks to Covid, as well as several friends and acquaintances. It is a rough time, and so I thought I’d write something joyful, something that would hopefully transport the reader away from the grimness of reality for a few moments. May you all have a safe and healthy week. My prayers are raising for our great nation and it’s citizens, as well as our world as we live day to day with this “plague” of Covid.

The Moment…

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Brenda Cox

wc: 90

I watched in awesome wonder as the master began to create. Each brushstroke laid with infinite care, each line planned out to the end. It was a marvel to behold, to see the very moment of creation unfold. Ah, the beauty He drew forth from pigments made of dirt and clay. See the eagle soaring across the page, his eye intent to the valley below. And, oh, would you look at those flowers so huge and delicate blooming into existence. Ah, to experience the joy of creation again and again….

Author’s note: Happy New Year to any and all! I hope your new year is already filled with joyful times. Here in Kentucky, USA, we’re expecting our first accumulating snowfall in a few hours. Expected 1-3 inches, which for us with all our hills and curvy roads is a virtual shutdown situation. The usual mass exodus to stock up on milk, eggs, cereal and toilet paper is already occurring as evidenced by the full grocery store lot. Crazy insane, but it’s tradition here. Meanwhile, I made sure to stock the car with snacks, extra gloves,hat, blankets just in case. My AAA is updated, so I’m good to go. Welcome winter! 🙂 Maybe I’ll do a little creating of my own with my watercolors… I’ve decided to work on that skill this year.

Year One…

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Dale Rogerson

Wc: 99

Year One:

The weather outside wasn’t frightful as Christmas Eve rolled around. Downright warm, no snow… no rain, even. It was our first year on the ship that would be our home until Terra Firma was livable again, so we better get used to the change.

‘I don’t know, Tatie, it just doesn’t seem like Christmas at all.’ Oleg sighed. ‘Not like back in the homeland.’

‘We’ll make the best of it, Ollie. Look, see the kids, they’ve got us a tree. We’ll decorate it. It will seem like Christmas then.’ Tatiana tried to comfort her husband.

‘Year One…’ He sighed.

Author’s Note: Happy New Year! L’Chaim to ALL! May the new year bring you a basket full of blessings! My knee is doing much better, though still a bit of a limp. I’ve tossed the disgusting stick to the bottom of the stairs (still using it there). Hubby had a breakthrough Grand Mall seizure Dec 26, but is back to his normal self… crazy! LOL! It’s is rainy here with falling temps.

Christmas…

It was a “weird” year this year, Christmas wise… On Christmas Eve, we attended services where we lit the Advent candle. Afterwards, we came home and hit the hay early. A week of very long -mandatory overtime – days left us exhausted. Leahmae, however, had no qualms in making sure we were up at 0600 Christmas morning. She pawed and kneaded, and nuzzled her way between us, sniffed eyeballs, nostrils, and ears until we finally had to respond to her. The little imp. We got her a new bed and a special toy (just like the one she’s worn out), and wouldn’t ya know, she’s had more fun with the paper.

So, Leahmae fed, watered, and cuddled it was time to do the giftings. It was a meager year, what with all that’s happened with paycuts and car issues. So, we each got a sweatshirt. Hubby got replacement jeans for his delapidated ones.

Being dutiful, we called inlaws to wish them a merry Christmas. It was obvious that MIL was drunk. We rolled our eyes. What did we expect??? Family was there with them and they were having a gay old time (We were not invited). Then, to add injury to the insult, MIL in no uncertain terms told us that they didn’t have a phone and not to try to call back. HUH??? You’re talking to us on the phone, so how??? Anyway, after hanging up, Hubby says “Well, that’s that… we aren’t part of the fam anymore. I won’t be calling back.” Friends, you should have seen the raw pain in his eyes. It broke my heart. I wanted to weep for him. We hugged and he said “It’s just you and mean against the world… again. Thank God we have a church family that cares and loves us.”

As usual, I didn’t get my Christmas until the 26th, when Hubby said let’s go tot he art store… how could I refuse, eh????So, off to the store we went… I drooled and drooled over the Utrecht “Urban Sketching” kit. At $49.50, though, I just couldn’t justify the expense. Seriously couldn’t. So, I read the can’s contents… Hmm, I have more than enough pencils -Check, I have watercolor pencils & pen – check, I have charcoal pencils, vines – check. I thought I had the Sepia and Sanguine charcoal pencils…wasn’t sure. Oh, and the white paint pen – definitely not. So, I picked up 4 pencils. Didn’t have the paint pens. Got a replacement for my #8 Micronta…. Less than $15. A done deal. Then, we slowly made our way down to the lower level (My wrenched knee is getting better, but steps are still difficult) where Half-Price Books is. Let me just say, I love HPB (Half Price Books)! I can always find “something there. And so, I did. I found a copy of Danny Gregory’s “An Illustrated Life” that I had heard about in the Sketchbook Skool’s YT videos. It was on clearance, so a mere $3. Wow! I snatched that bad boy up, lickety split.

And so, that was Christmas in our little bend in the river. Sigh…

Shrine to Resilience

c. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

A shrine to resilience, that’s what it was. Above ground, their world lay in ruin. Houses scattered for miles like so many toothpicks, fields covered in was once hot and ready to pour in effort to meet the Christmas demand. But, here below, the shrine to humanities resolve lay pleasantly chilled.

I pulled a bottle off the shelf. There weren’t any groceries left to feed the people. So, I say, let them drink the wine. At least for a few hours they won’t care that their life is forever altered….

Author’s Note: Continue in prayers for our neighbors in Southwest Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, etc. as tornadoes have ravaged the land and the people. The destruction is vast, the hope is endless! I am pleased that my friend and mentor is alive and well, as is his family. Their home took a little damage, but is salvageable. God is GOOD! ALL the time! Amen! It is hard, though, to see the little ones so worried that Santa won’t come to them.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Our beloved hostess, Rochelle!

Scrap Happy -Down for the count…

Borrowed from google images

I’m down for the count. I was getting things ready to take south to the disaster area when I mis-stepped and my bad knee decided to do it’s thing. Kneecap decided to change it’s position much to the disgruntlement of the tendons that have been redesigned to prevent such an event from happening. Resulting in a slew of words that I’m sure destroyed my reputation with the minister and others. Grrr…. but D* it hurt! Always does. Anyway, the only solution save an entire joint replacement (which I am NOT going to do) is to immobilize and practice RICE for a few days.

In the meantime, I will not be going south. With this knee as it is I would be more of a liability than a help. So, I’m staying home. I’ll be praying for those who’ve gone, and of course for the people who are suffering so much this week. It’s not all a loss, I’ve decided to sit it out with stitching in my lap, and knitting beside the chair. There’s always a need for blankets, hats, mittens, and such for charity, eh? Not exactly what I planned to be doing. bummer for that.

I just popped out to Kate’s blog ( https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2021/12/12/dreaming-of-a-pink-christmas/) and found a little bit o’ inspiration. Now, I have a reason to crawl up the stairs (trust me, it’s easier than using the cane to do it), drag the machine outa the box, and see about some fast sewing. I like her idea of a Christmas tree wall quilt. Annnd, I think I might have enough left over jelly roll strips from last year’s quilting adventure to make a small quilted tree myself. Ought to be good for a few hours of fun, at least.

Anyway, that’s where I am this week. I’ve not been scrapping here lately. I’ve been re-discovering my art. I had to put my art up for a while due to not being able to get certain specific supplies (namely 2B graphite sticks) that I use to create a ground to draw upon. Pandemic woes. Anyway, I was able to get some sticks. I had to buy an entire kit to do it, but at least it was on sale. So, my arting “go-kit” is back up and running. I am working one another of my “Least of These” series.

He’s still many, many hours from completion, that’s for sure. For those who don’t know the story behind the series… It started with a Lenten study a few years ago that dealt with many social issues including homelessness, addiction, abuse, etc. The leader brought in pictures printed from online resources. At that time, I was considering that I needed to learn to draw humans that looked like humans. So, I asked if I might have the pictures to “play” with. I still have a few pictures left from that time. I’ve also found that many came through pixabay.com, a free photo source that I’ve since found invaluable.

So, this homeless veteran is such an inspiration. I work on these portraits during my morning prayer/meditation time. With each stroke or blend, I’m thinking about what we do “do to” those that are considered the least in society. This time of year, when it’s cold and just plain miserable for so many, the prayer is even deeper in meaning.

Here’s another that I did for that series…( below)… I was reading a book about a tightrope walker in a circus, and one of the phrases she used quite often was “Not my circus, not my monkey…” This phrase stuck with me at that time, so when I was surfing and saw this monkey picture, I just had to draw it into my sketcher.

I hope that everyone has a blessed Christmas. Remember those who are suffering and rebuilding their lives (I’m thinking of those in the tornado ravaged areas ). Be kind to one another, and remember that the holiday isn’t about wordly treasures, but IS about the most wonderful gift we’ve ever received… eternal life, through Christ!

Merry Christ – mass. I wish you JOY and PEACE… and most of all HOPE!

Shalom, Bear

If you’d like to visit other Happy Scrappers, then please feel free to explore the links below:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

Not much…

I stood in front of the old dilapidated garage. Home…for the foreseeable future. It’s not much, I’ll be the first to admit. But for now, it will do. How it had ever managed to survive is beyond me.

Yesterday’s storm had left it’s path of destruction right through our housing development. Our newly built wonder… a pile of toothpicks and rubble. Our possessions strewn for miles. Yet, by the grace of God, we survived unharmed. I closed my eyes and breathed a prayer of hope.

Author’s note: Last night strong storms rolled through. Monette, Arkansas was hit by a tornado, and a nursing home was destroyed. A mixed prayer of praise there. One life was lost… it could have been many. Here in Kentucky, a few hundred miles south and west of us, the town of Mayfield is waking to losses beyond imagining. Already, the news is reporting that there could be deaths over a hundred. A candle factory was demolished with 110 workers inside, many still unaccounted for as I watch the sun break through the heavy clouds. My heart is heavy with prayers and tears. Our old and much beloved minister transferred to the area to be closer to his family a few years ago. We wait to hear if they’re okay.

Sorry I’m so late this week. We had a death in the inlaw side of the family, plus a family holiday gathering. I got very ill while there and so had to be driven home. I finally have been reconnected with my car… then I ditched it in the ice. UGH! It’s been one of those “bear” weeks.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Copyright – Claire Fuller

Pearl Harbor: Never Forgotten…

My humble honor to ALL who served at Pearl Harbor, and the war that it brought to our shores.

My own memory… I remember the day that I found the old, faded and brittle slips of paper in my Gran’s Bible. I remember asking her what they were. She told me to open one and read it. I did. Then, I sat there in shock and awe. I was holding a telegram announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then, Gran shared her story about being a courier at the base during the war and being entrusted with delivering that very telegram to the Base Commander.

Oh, what a solemn service that must have been. She spoke of the terror of that morning. A simple Sunday morning, people rising early to get to church, or duty stations, completely unaware of the horror that was was about to unfold before their eyes. Gran spoke of how the Commander shared the telegram with her, told her to keep a copy as it was history. At 16, when my Gran shared that with me, I understood the significance of that piece of paper.She told me to keep it, and I suggested that maybe it would be best if we donated it to the museum. We did. And every year, we would go and visit it.

The last time I was at the museum, it was not longer on display. A part of my heart was saddened by that. But, times change, and history is slowly forgotten. Now, I think back to the morning of 9-11, and I understand her story far too well. I will never forget that day or the weeks that followed, much as my Gran never forgot her very small, but important role that awful morning.

So, I’m not sure why this year of all years I’m feeling rather nostalgic about it all. I’ve never drawn the memorial before, either. It was just a quick sketch, but I’m thinking about making a larger piece with a small vignette of the memorial surrounded by the smoke of a soldier’s last cigarette. I’ve heard the story from a survivor about his catching a smoke completely unawares until the first bomb fell. That story, and the one who shared it made an impression on me even at a young age.

Blessings to all Survivors of the Attack, and of the subsequent war. Our country can never truly repay you for your sacrifices…..

Shalom to us all… Bear

About Face…

Thanksgiving day, and families were gathered in warm cozy dining rooms across the city. They were feasting on traditional meals complete with traditional revelry. They had no concern for those left on the street, discarded as worthless flesh. A cold loneliness settled into her soul as she walked the empty streets. With a sigh, she watched as a family, arms loaded with packages and food rushed from their car, up a few steps, and into the welcome of a home. From where she stood, she could hear their jovial greetings.

Sighing again, she turned into the shadowy alcove of a vacant building. Inside, gathered around their sternos, sat her family. Cans of food were passed. Each took a precious bite before passing it on. This was a real thanksgiving…

wc: 129 – I’ve gone over and I don’t care.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Roger Bultot.

Circles upon Circles…Infinitum

I sat and stared. Circles. All I could see was circles.

Each was unique within itself.

Then, I began to see patterns, endless seas of patterns played out.

And the patterns began to coalesce, to merge with seamless clarity.

And, in them, I saw the grand plan, the connection of atoms,

The Circle of life, and of living.

wc: 58

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. This week’s photo has been graciously donated by: Dale Rogerson