Weekly Writing Challenge; DPCHALLENGE


http://jackiespeaksit2014.wordpress.com

#DP Challenge

This week, weave a story about yourself told through the lens of your past December 23rds.

When I think back to past Christmas years on the 23, I get mixed memories. Smiles, sadness can appear and then fade a way as I go year to year.

Christmas as a kid was always the same. Wonderful, magical, excitement! Those were the days.

Christmas as a married adult meant working over-time, need of more money, lots of presents under the tree for our children. Giggles and screams of delight as wanted gifts were opened.

A divorce and remarriage on the rebound means sadness to me. A husband who made life hard to exist. Him hiding when people came to our house. Embarrassment, replaced delight of seeing people. Wanting to get the day over with. No money, very few gifts. It was always a sad time for me and an angry time as well. I saved my little bit of money I earned each week and finally was freed from this relationship.

The loss of parents that you love leaves the biggest gap in your heart. Christmas joy is ripped a way. Tears and sorrow replace all other feelings. Robotic movements kick in as you try so hard to carry on in a normal way that Christmas is supposed to be. Always glad when it is over, but sad when my kids leave to go back to their homes.

Christmas this year I dreaded with all that I have. Excitement over my kids being here. Sadness over wondering if Al would make it to the holiday. Thankful he was here, sad he slept through it. Not as many gifts but gifts that were wanted and enjoyed. Plenty of food and good conversation took the sting out of what was happening in my brother’s bedroom.

I am glad Christmas is over. My tree is down and the house looks more back to normal. Al is still here having bad days, and some better days mixed in. I treasured each moment with my entire family, knowing in my heart that there will never be a Christmas like this again.

Christmas will come once again. The 23rd will arrive without delay. People will come and some will never be seen again, but hopefully the future will open new doors. New memories and I will once again smile, remembering the pasts and looking forward to the future.

DSC00151

Christmas Smiles


Christmas, just mouthing the word, hopefully brings a smile to your face.

 

Christmas

Snowy hills

Red cheeks

Runny noses

Lots of shrieks

 

Eating snowflakes

Angels made

Sledding down hill

Ice-skate blades.

 

Warm hot chocolate

Christmas tree

Glittering lights

For all to see.

 

Christmas vacation

Means no school

Sleeping late

Breaking all the rules.

 

Pitter patter on the roof

Waiting for the fat man

Can’t sleep I’m so excited

Open gifts, oh come on la la land.

 

Christmas morning

Jumping out of bed

Getting mommy and daddy

Up and running a head.

 

Oh my stars look at all those gifts

Sliding on slippers I fall to my knees

Squeals of delight as I open each one

Begging my mamma to open hers from me.

 

Memories of Christmas for me as a child

Brings wide-eyed eyes and beautiful smiles

And now I am standing here at the door

Greeting my family who will stay for a while.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

12.17.2013

 

christmas tree 4

 

Can You See Me Dancing?


Every time I hear this song, no matter what I am doing or what kind of mood I am in, I get happy. I just want to dance and get happy. Do you have a song that does this to you?

 

Now this song is my ultimate favorite Christmas song. When I used to buy CD’s at Christmas time I would not even budge buying unless it had this song on it.

What Christmas songs do you enjoy?

 

Christmas Cards


44Alastair gave me an idea. He wants Al‘s address so he can send a Christmas card to him.

Isn’t that a great idea? I remember I did this for his birthday, but why not Christmas too?

If anyone would like to wish my brother a Merry Christmas, please email me at

tellmenolies2004@yahoo.com

for his address.

Thanks everyone. Don’t feel obligated, I know stamps are expensive and time is valuable.

Peace On Earth


Will you give thanks on Thanksgiving? Do you give thanks any other day of the year? What about Christmas? Is your spirit heightened? Do you lose it after the holiday when the tree comes down and reality is back with us once again?

I find it sadly amazing and yet  I am smiling when I see the great kindness that is shared between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The elderly are suddenly thought of and a visit is made. A gift of home-made cookies or a beautiful card.

Shut-ins have more visitors in this time frame than an entire year put together. Friends contacting friends. Families who haven’t spoken suddenly appear and we are amazed at the changes we see.

So many programs are burst open and children who may never see a complete meal now have an opportunity to go to bed at night with a full tummy. The people living in boxes under the bridge are offered a warm room and a hot meal.

There are so many programs that are in full force that no child has to get up Christmas morning without one gift to open. Monies being collected to help put a coat on a shivering body, gloves on their hands.

Food shelters take in more food at this time of year than any other. We look at life different at the holidays than any other time. Those that participate get more joy from the gifts they give than receiving anything else.

Than you wander into the midst of the stores during the hype of the season and that calm demeanor is stripped from us but only temporarily. Finding gifts that are in the right price range that look like they are worthy of spending our hard-earned money is a challenge in itself.

I am always amazed at the prices that slowly start to rise and then go through the roof once the time comes for holiday lay-a-ways. It darn near makes it impossible to go shopping and keep that healthy smile on our face.

Shoving adults, kids running through the stores. Finding assistance through store employees is scarce. Christmas music bellowing in our ears trying to make us spend more money than we have. Easy open charge cards guaranteed to charge no interest until 90 days after the holidays.

I used to go to Black Friday but the madhouse took the fun out of it. It is like roller derby skaters without wheels. I have never seen adults act more like greedy  children than on Black Friday.

Now I can’t sit here and say that if you want some fantastic U-tube videos or free entertainment, and, you don’t have anything special to purchase; going to view these midnight shoppers can be quite fun.

For me, I would rather go to the regular sales. For this year I don’t know for sure how I am going to get any shopping done. Maybe online, maybe less expensive gifts. The chances of me getting to go to the big mall is pretty much out of the question.

For this year I have two goals. I would like to take Al out on a drive to see Christmas lights, but it will depend on his health and the weather. For two I hope that Christmas in our house brings nothing less than good memories to think about in the cold days of January.

My prayer is that we take a few of those dollars and help keep the food pantries filled. We make the effort to smile at least five times per day, each day to strangers and friends. We buy one extra can of food and drop it in the food box. We stop in for a moment of a loved neighbor or make a call to a family member other than at holiday time.

That we try hard to take those clothes we don’t like anymore or have grown out of and put them in a Goodwill box, instead of the trash.

How much better would our world be if we kept a little bit of the holiday spirit all year-long? Think about it.

Peace-On-EarthBlog of the Year Award 6 star jpegoct 13 13

Christmas At Our House


In bringing Christmas to Al I have spent a lot of time in his room today since he is home. Pulling out boxes and bags, looking for Coca Cola Christmas items. He was so engrossed with what I was bringing out the tears stopped.

When I first started bringing him things he cried. Each new piece, brought more tears. Then I started pulling out items he has not seen since he has been home from the Nursing Home. The tears slowed. I decorated his room with greenery and before the afternoon was over I had completely transformed his room into Christmas. Reds and Christmas music floated around him.

Holiday Snoopy, Charlie Brown stuffed animal that plays Merry Christmas, a musical globe with the traditional Christmas colors all lightened his spirit. I told him that since he didn’t think he would be here for Christmas I was going to prove to him that he was here for Christmas by bringing it to him.

Mickey Mouse is playing his horn. The ramp I push Al down in the mornings and afternoons are all decorated with silver tinsel and red bows. I found Christmas music on U Tube and our house has turned from death to gaiety.

It is sort of odd. The house is quiet from family and kids and yet there is a peace that is  flowing through our house as Al smiled at me as he looks at his collections of red, greens and sparkles in his room with music playing softly in the background. It is truly Christmas inside our house and Al isn’t missing a thing.christmaschristmas 2oct 13 13purple candles

 

Well, That’s What I Heard


Mother’s grabbed their children’s hands and hurried and crossed the street. Men in business suits tossed coins. Teens laughed and sneered. Some even threw rocks. Mr. P is what he was nicknamed.

I heard someone call him that when I went into the grocery store to purchase my month supply of groceries. The government was good to me. I got ninety dollars a month for food.  I lived in a room across the street from the store. My son owns the building. He went to a lot of trouble. He turned my one room into two. He took the closet and turned it into my own private toilet. He put in a used stool and a small sink. It had a lot of rust in it, but it was mine and I knew how to use a scrub brush. He don’t even charge me any rent.

Every morning I would get up and reheat the coffee left over from the night before. I get stamps for food but I do have to be careful. Every day I sit at the table my son gave me. It is pretty old, sort of wobbly. I only got one chair, but that’s alright, because it is only me.  I had to put some paper under one of the legs so I didn’t knock my coffee over.

I watched the old man walking down the street. He wasn’t a beggar mind you. He was just hungry. I never did see this man hold out his hand one time like I seen those  other lazy people doing. You know, those ones who could work but don’t feel like it.

No siree, Mr. P, this is what the store calls him, he goes looking for free food. Maybe he be lucky some days and the local restaurant will throw out some outdated bread or rolls. Old Mr. P will stand near by and wait patiently for something to eat.

My old ticker beats so fast when I see him wandering the streets. I just wanna help him so bad, but I can barely feed myself. One time I did get some cash for Christmas from my son. I took it to the store and bought a few extra things. I made up a Christmas plate and when I saw Mr. P go walking by, I raced outside and handed it to him. Yep, I just placed it in his hands. I didn’t give him a chance to say no. I just said, ” Merry Christmas Mr. P.”

You know that very next Valentine’s Day I found a card laying at my front door. Whoever slid it under the door didn’t sign it, but I always figured it was Mr. P’s way of saying thank-you. I still got that card. Nope, I won’t throw it a way. First Valentine Card I have had in years.

You know, I used to have life so much better. I was really quite a pretty thing, or so the guys in my station used to say. I was a nurse. I worked as a nurse in the Army, but one day I got a surprise letter in the mail. It pretty much stated I was getting too old. It said I had to retire, that I had done my duty.

I got a nice retirement out of it though and I really loved my job. Helping all those soldiers that got hurt. I made a lot of friends, I did. Yep, all over the world. I used to write a lot of letters but most of them are dead now.

My son handles my retirement money. He gives me this place to live. I guess I should be most thankful for the things he does for me, but I always thought getting old wouldn’t be like this.

Now old Mr. P, he is in the same boat as me practically. He served in the war. He was a damn good soldier, so I’m told. But he went and hot himself injured. He got hurt real bad. He lost his leg. Yep, that’s why he limps. He has a wooden stump. Sort of makes him walk a little funny. That’s how he got his name, Mr. P, short for peg leg.

He got sent home on a discharge. He did come back home and he took up living with his parents. His parents I heard was real poor. They took his money and promised him a place to live but they needed his money to help feed all of them.

Well you guessed it, they both up and died. No, not at the same time. When the Mom died, the Dad ended up in a home. The bank came and threw old Mr. P out because there was no money to pay the nursing home  payments with. Yeah, can you believe it? They threw old Mr. P right out on his ass. Left him with his clothes and his wooden stump. They didn’t even try to find him a place to live. Well that’s what I heard. That’s why you see him walking by all the stores each day. The poor man served his country, and matter of fact, so did I, and yet look where we both are now.

Yeah, I guess life isn’t what we think it will be when things happen, but we got to do the best we can and hopefully the good Lord will look down on us and smile. He will keep giving me a roof and poor old Mr. P some food. Well, that’s what I heard.broken heart

Back In Time


These past few days of cooler weather cause my mind to wander back to earlier times. Trick-or-treating. Mom never bought us those pricey costumes. She would make us up in what ever she had around the house at the time. One time I was a scarecrow.scarecrow

Another year I can remember she made me go in a white sheet. She just cut out the eyes and used magic markers to blacken the eyes. No one was going to recognize me right? Wrong, all my family members did, probably because Mom was standing in the background.ghost 1

When I got to be a teenager I did things I should have not done. I tasted my first wine one Halloween night.

Boone Farm Strawberry Wine. Boy did I think I was big stuff. Maybe for that paragraph in time I was, but that was it.

Now that I am an adult I still like to decorate. One year when I lived where there were plenty of little ones knocking at my door I dressed up as a witch and passed out treats. The kiddies were a little frightened but I calmed them down by taking off my mask for them. Those were good times.witch

Part of the reason for decorating is to enjoy the looks and words of people who really enjoy this time of the year.

I never looked at it as a real demon day. It was all in fun, an opportunity to bring my childhood memories back to life for one evening.

But now there are no trick-or-treaters where I live. Al could care less if I decorate or not. He doesn’t get excited about any of it.

I usually put up some purple lights inside the house. I put up an electric Pumpkin in the window. I play some eerie sounds.

For one eve I have some fun. I let loose and go back in time where life was good. Time was forever. The word worry was unheard of.

http://youtu.be/2ffX7CSZW2M             green hands                                                pumpkin

book4

Daily Prompt; S/he Said


The cast of Roseanne. (from top left to top ri...

The cast of Roseanne. (from top left to top right) Glenn Quinn as Mark Healy, Johnny Galecki as David Healy, Martin Mull as Leon Carp, Estelle Parsons as Beverly Harris and Laurie Metcalf as Jackie Harris. (From bottom left to bottom right) Michael Fishman as DJ Conner. Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner, Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner, John Goodman as Dan Conner and Sarah Chalke as Becky Conner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com, DP, Daily Prompt, Daily Post

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what
they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post
based on it.

There was no one to ask so I looked at the TV that was playing noise in the background. It happened to be the Roseanne Show. This episode is about her husband having lunch with an old-time ex girlfriend.

Whoa! I used to be a regular visitor to this show. I would watch and laugh all the way through it. Inside somewhere deep in me I always wished to be like her without the rudeness.

I have a hard time speaking my thoughts when I am standing in front of another human. My goal in my life has always been to show love and kindness without hurting your feelings ever.

To this day I find this is a terrible way to live. To not be able to voice my thoughts in a nice way hurts me in so many ways. For one, I give people the idea that I go along with what they are trying to convince me of. I will give until the one that hurts in the end is always me.

Now I am to the point that I worry about my own future because of fear to speak up for myself. What is wrong with speaking the truth? Why am I afraid that I will lose relationships if I don’t agree with others? Am I really being fair to them or to me?

I do enjoy helping others but there is a line that should not be crossed. For in the end when I am in need I realize that I am on my own. I have gotten better by speaking up more, thanks to many friends here at WP.

But it has also caused issues because I am not the same person that others thought I was. I don’t want to be considered a push over. I don’t want others to think just go  hit her up. Use the right words and you can get what you want.

If I was trading places with Roseanne my words would not be so kind and gentle. My words would not tremble out of my mouth. My hands wouldn’t sweat and the fear of losing friends and family would not enter my mind. My knots in my stomach would be gone.

Roseanne would say, This is the way it is for me. These are my thoughts and mine alone. If you don’t like it tough. If you don’t agree with me, fine. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt as you fly out of my house. I will be  here waiting for you when you cool off and we can continue with our friendship.

Then she would go about her business of running her day and loving her family. She has a way with words. I think she is a little rough around the edges but in all, she does get her ideas across. And let’s face it, she must have done something right, because she was a big hit for several years, she is on syndicated stations every day, and she lives on her own island today. Retired and growing nuts. Her bank account will take care of her until death over takes her.

Me, Myself, and I


Yesterday was the first time in I don’t even know when, that I was relaxed. Not totally, but

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday

no upset stomach, no vomiting my food. I smiled, I laughed. In between the laughs, I felt pangs of guilt, but tried to use my emotional broom and sweep them out the front door.

I wondered if Al was smiling, was he laughing? Did I have a right to laugh, to feel relaxed, while I leave him at his new home? I did not go visit him yesterday, but instead cleaned my house, turning up my country music. Today, it was mixed between country and country Christmas. I swept the house, dusted, did a load of laundry, mopped my floors.

I worked on a Christmas project, and then in the afternoon, I became a fly on the wall out in the Christmas shopping world, sometimes buzzing in low on an item I thought may be a good deal. I had a really good time.

I took my time and comparison shopped and tried not to pick items up only because it was marked a Black Friday Sale. My wings took me down aisles that I had not been down in years. I went down the craft aisles, the toy aisles, the seasonal areas, I went just about anywhere that my nose led me, in looking for bargains.

My brother told me that he really wants this object he saw on the television. He said it is a Hallmark ornament, and that it looked like a radio, and when you flipped a button, it played music. Al is really into anything that plays music. I will be looking for it for sure. He also said that he wants new sleeper pants and sweat pants and short sleeve shirts. He has never offered me a Christmas wish list, so this pleased me. It is so much easier to shop with a list.

So all in all, I spent some good, quality time with myself, and other than the pings of guilt, I did pretty good for the entire day. Monday will roll along, and everyone will be rid of the over shopping and get back to business, and I will be placing an ad in the paper again, hoping to find a caregiver job near by.