Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Corners

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Corners

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is Corners, defined as a place or angle where two or more sides or edges meet. I hope you like the three photos I have chosen below. Photo Challenge: Corners

Boardwalk at Corpus Christie, TX

 

Mahogony Bay Cruise Pier
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Church

Remembering Connie

Remembering Connie

A scorching August sun bore down on the small South Texas town of Fulton the afternoon of Connie’s funeral. Not even the gentle gulf breeze gave much comfort to those gathered in the small community church that day. Mourners filled the coarse wooden pews, greeted with the words “We Remember Momma” prominently displayed on the massive white screen behind the alter. A resounding recording of Elvis singing “Old Rugged Cross” consoled them as they waited in silence for the service to begin. These were Connie’s family; blood and church. She loved all the same.IMG_0043

Like a thief in the night, I furtively took my seat in the back of the church. I saw no one I knew. The distance of time erased whatever memory I had of familiar faces. Connie slept peacefully in her steel gray coffin, shrouded with a spray of tiger lilies and baby’s breath. How many years had it been since she and I had last seen each other? More years than I cared to count.

As Elvis crooned his final stanza, the preacher, an older gentleman with a white-beard in a black suit, stood before us. We hung on each word as he extolled Connie’s virtues. Little was said of her vices.

“Church was Connie’s life and her redemption,” he said, “a true believer who woke each day with one thought: What could she do to further God’s work.”

I don’t know about that, but I do know she fried the best fish.

Sturgis (Friday Fictioneers)

Sturgis (Friday Fictioneers)

lights-of-sturgis
PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

We arrived a day early, only to find our campsite was not available.

“There are a couple of spots near the highway,” the owner told us.

That or nothing, and nothing stretched for a hundred miles.

We pitched our tents near an old billboard. Hundreds of other tents, packed like sardines in a can, littered the grassy pasture we called home. We were all here for the same thing.

As my mind quieted, I noticed the incessant roar of Harley’s racing down the road. No sleep for me tonight, but that didn’t matter.

This was Sturgis.

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This story was inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneer’s a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Jan Wayne Fields for providing the photo, Lights of Sturgis.  The photo reminded me of my own Sturgis experience. I was there for the 75th anniversary in 2015 when over 750,000 bikers and friends descended on the small South Dakota town and the surrounding Black Hills. Below is a photo of my home that week (it was really next to a billboard and the Interstate), an a glimpse of down-town Sturgis during the rally.

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My Sturgis Home
photo credit: Susan Spaulding
Sturgis 2015
Photo credit: Susan Spaulding
First Date (Sunday Photo Fiction)

First Date (Sunday Photo Fiction)

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photo credit: A Mixed Bag (Al Forbes)

“Are you kidding me! This has got to be the worse movie ever!”

Deb’s remarks vibrated throughout entire theater, answered with a resounding ‘SHHHHH’.

Wyatt tried to calm her down.

“Baby, please, you’re disturbing everyone.”

Deb lowered her voice but not her insolence.

“I can’t believe you brought me to this…. whatever you call this movie.”

Plan 9 from Outer Space. It’s a classic.”

“It’s crap Wyatt. OMG, do you see the strings attached to the planets? What kind of person brings a first date to a movie like this?”

“I thought you’d like it. You said you liked Sci-Fi.”

“I like Star Wars. Real science fiction. My little brother could do better with his Legos and a point-and-shoot camera.”

A few moments later, Deb stood up and announced she was leaving.

“Can you get me some popcorn when you come back?”

“No Wyatt, I’m leaving the theater. For good. And don’t bother calling me again.”

After Deb walked out, the man in the seat behind Wyatt tapped him on the shoulder.

“Man, tough break, but good riddance is all I can say. How could anyone not like this stuff.”

 

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. As a fan of horrible science fiction, this was a no-brainer. 

Old Crow

Old Crow

Kika and his brother Hakan were walking through the woods in search of blueberries for Grandmother’s pie. Across the stream, Hakan noticed a bush ripe with berries.

“There are enough berries for two pies on that bush,” said Hakan, stepping into the stream.

In the tree above sat Old Crow, cawing “Danger, Danger.” Hearing the warning, Kika pleaded with his brother to return. “Do you not hear Old Crow?” he asked.

“That old bird is a trickster. He wants the berries for himself.”

Old Crow persisted with each step Hakan took, but the berries were too inviting for Hakan to return. When Hakan safely reached the other shore, he turned to Old Crow and laughed.

“Maybe I will leave a berry or two for your dinner.” He then filled his basket with the juicy berries.

By now Hakan was hungry and it would be hours before Grandmother baked the pie. As Hakan placed a handful of berries in his mouth, Old Crow cawed even louder than before. But his warning was unheeded and within moments, Hakan’s stomach burned in pain, causing him to fall into the stream. The berries had been poison.

With that, Old Crow flew away.

 

I hope you enjoyed my story. Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story, inspired by a photography. Stories for this week can be found at flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2017-week-32

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – small subjects

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – small subjects

This week’s topic is Small Subjects. Size is relative, as I hope to show in the following three photos. The first is a run-of-the-mill grasshopper, found in everyone’s yard during the hot Oklahoma summer months. Sometimes it seems like my entire yard is nothing more than a grasshopper haven.

Nature Grasshopper
Small grasshopper

 

 

Mother and Child on beach
Mother and Child on beach

The second photo is mother and child on the beach. The mother watches as the small boy investigates the wet sand. She is ready to take action in case her little boy decides to explore too much.

New York City Skyline
New York City Skyline

Nothing about New York City could be considered small, but when you look from afar at the New York skyline, soaring World One Trade Center diminishes all others.

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Small Subjects

Unanswered Question

Unanswered Question

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photo credit: Susan Spaulding

I wonder who I would be if I were not someone’s wife, mother, sister, friend, employee? Who am I, in the purest sense?

These were questions Eve asked herself one quiet morning as she sipped coffee from a mug with the words World’s Greatest Mom barely visible from the many cycles in the dishwasher.

She listened for an answer.

She heard the ticking clock on the mantel and the silent hum of the refrigerator.

With a heavy sigh, Eve went upstairs and woke her children up for school.

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This story was also posted on my sister blog My Million Words.  

Here, I ask the questions philosophically… who are we when we remove the masks from the roles we play?

There, it is just a flash fiction.

Take your pick.

 

 

Barriers to Weight Loss

Barriers to Weight Loss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is your biggest barrier to weight loss, and why?

I am my  barrier to weight loss (and good health). As soon as I set (any)  goal, every ounce of my being rebels. I literally see myself caving in to self-doubt and self-control. It has nothing to do with belief in my ability to do this. I have done this before, I know the drill. But for some reason, this time, I am really struggling with momentum.  I hope through journaling I will discover exactly what it is that is standing in my way.

I know this won’t be easy (it wasn’t easy the first time), but it is not impossible. And there are challenges:

  • Planning around the family and their eating preferences
  • Preparing health meals
  • Rearranging my schedule to find time to go to the gym several times a week
  • Substituting crappy food with better food choices
  • Fighting the urge to give into temptation (whether it is food or laziness)
  • Finding better ways to deal with day-to-day stress

The primary reason all of these challenges are so “challenging” is that I don’t put myself first. Don’t get me wrong, I can be very selfish, but not about the right things. Most women, at least the older ones, spend their energy on everyone else’s needs. When it comes to our own needs, we are too tired to even care. Our selfishness comes out in other, more destructive ways, such as bad eating habits and lack of exercise.

It comes down to priorities and my number one priority should be my own health. If I am not healthy, nothing else really matters because my health affects my family, my finances, and my future. Doing everything in my power to be healthy is not a selfish act and I need to do whatever it takes to get healthy.

It’s that simple

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Inspiration for this post comes from 30 Day Emotional Eating Journal Challenge

Oklahoma Spring

Oklahoma Spring

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In spite of my splitting headache due to either allergies or a sinus infection, Oklahoma spring is almost here and I am glad.  Dingy browns from dead leaves and barren ground is being replaced with pops of color from blooming redbud trees and yellow jonquils. The days are mildly warm and with the change to daylight saving time, longer as well. A perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy life.  I am ready for spring cleaning, resuming my diet and exercising more. I want to take day trips, sleep outdoors and catch fish.

Spring does come with its share of risks. Lack of winter rain and hot days are the perfect combination for wildfires and strong thunderstorms can spawn killer tornados. But Okies are resilient when it comes to nature. We pick ourselves up and start all over again.

I am concerned that our state budget is in such bad shape that our legislature will actually close down 13 of our State parks. The park system provides a wonderful way for families to enjoy the outdoors, free of charge in most cases. I can’t imagine the savings from closed parks is going to do much to solve our budget woes.

One of the things I enjoy during the spring is yard sales and the Farmer’s market. The Farmer’s market is a great way to support local business and get something good to eat in return. Yards sales are just fun. It’s like rummaging though my grandparents old sheds when I was a kid. They kept everything.

Spring doesn’t last long in Oklahoma. Soon it will turn too hot to really enjoy being outdoors. Unless you like standing in front of an oven door, because that is what it feels like on hot windy days.  All the more reason to enjoy spring.