In Due Time at Christmas

Why, Daily Post, is my Daily Prompt for today not showing up


on the grid?


Deadlines. I both hated them and loved them during my working life. I hated them because, well, they were deadlines. (We called them, “drop dead”). I also loved them because they were a challenge to conquer. Challenges helped me to learn and become better and it felt good to have them conquered.


Holidays always approached, bringing along a great deal of stress. There were lists to be made, gifts to purchase and wrap. Next, I would have to stand in line at the Post Office to mail them. There were decorations to put up and a Christmas tree to decorate. There were meals to plan, food and ingredients to purchase, then all the food to prepare. There were endless tasks to complete to make sure the occasion was perfect for family and friends. There never seemed to be enough time to complete them all. The stress would gradually increase and exhaustion would slowly consume me.

The celebrations would be wonderful and 'almost' perfect. Next, the disappointment of it all being over would envelope me. There always seemed to be a sadness when the celebrations were over.

Now that I am retired and my children have homes and children of their own, I understand this sadness much better. There comes a time when that houseful of family with hectic schedules and endless things to do, will be gone. The duties will have been handed over to the children to do for their children. Even though there is a sigh of relief, there is even a louder sigh of quiet despair. The despair that says, “It will never be the same again.”

The other day I went to the store to make a purchase. As I was standing in line to pay out, I noticed the cashier was heavy hearted. We began talking about the upcoming holidays and she told me she was going to be alone.

“It's okay to be alone for Christmas. We can still have a nice Christmas,” I told her with a smile on my face. (We both knew that wasn't completely true). After I had given her the cash, I asked her, “I would really like to give you a hug, would it be okay if I give you a hug?”

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and answered, “Yes,” and held out her arms.

I left the store a little happier than when I went in, and something tells me that she was happier too.

Remember those people who are alone this Christmas. Give them a big bear hug and enjoy the happiness that single act will bring.

And… may yours be Merry and Bright.

Daily prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/in-due-time/

 

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Is There Really a Santa?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Little Lies.”

Trying to get my daily prompt submission to view on the Daily Prompt Grid (pingback)

https://pricelessjoy.co/2014/12/12/is-there-really-a-santa/

Ten Minutes of Me

Daily Post Prompt for November 12, 2014: Free-Flow Writing

We are to write for ten minutes about anything that comes to our mind.

 

What comes to my mind this morning is about writing. I know that I am not a very good writer and submitting my stories is a leap of faith. Actually, probably more than that. I know that there are problems throughout my writing; poor grammar, poor sentence structure, keeping the readers attention, choosing correct wording, improper use of adverbs and adjectives, and on and on.

Inspite of all my misgivings, I have decided that although I do care about all of these writing problems, the best thing I can do for my writing is to submit it – no matter how bad I think it is. No matter how much others may scoff at it, laugh at my poor writing, no matter how embarrassing it is for me. Why? Because I also know that the only way to become a better writer, is to write.

Someday I will be able to submit stories and other pieces of writing that I will not feel inadequate about submitting. Someday, all my incorrect grammar and poor writing will be a thing of the past. Not only will I be a much better writer, I will also have thicker skin.

Those who read my writing and like it makes me feel very good but still leaves me wondering, how could I have written it better? Will people feel comfortable enough with me to give me constructive feedback? I hope so because only by their constructive feedback will I become a much better writer.

I only have two minutes left of this free flow writing and I am asking everyone that reads this to please give me some constructive feedback.

I read everything that comes across WordPress that will help me improve my writing; information that will help me publish work that people will feel is “well done.”


Thank you for reading! (The beeper is beeping!)

 

Learning a Lesson at Walmart

After being snow bound for three days in my home from the heavy snow and ice that hit our area, I needed to get out of the house. I really needed to get out of the house. I thought if I didn't, I was going to start climbing the walls. Since I needed to replenish a few groceries, I decided to take a walk to the nearby Walmart.

The weather had turned beautiful. The sun was shining and the snow that was left was glistening from the sun dancing on top of the white fluffy flakes. I enjoyed the beauty for the short time it will stay. “Snow is beautiful”, I thought, “but it sure makes a mess when it melts.” Just as I thought that, a newer green car passed me splasing some of the mess from the puddles onto my clothes. “Serves me right,” I thought, “I should have just said “snow is beautiful and leave it at that.”

The walk was short because Walmart is only three blocks from me. I took my list out of my pocket and scanned over it again. “Milk, bananas and avocados.”

The parking lot was full of cars. “Oh no, this is going to be awful. There is so many people in Walmart right now,” I said aloud to myself.

As soon as I entered the door carts full of groceries with half crazy people came rushing at me. “They're using the ENTER door as an EXIT door,” I thought. I was slightly annoyed about it because they almost hit me. As I moved farther into Walmart I realized that it was packed with people and I was horrified because I don't have much patience.

I moved over to the produce and just as I was putting a bunch of bananas into my basket, I saw an elderly woman barely able to walk, pushing a grocery cart. Along side of her was an elderly man that appeared to be in slightly better shape. I heard him say,

“Darlin, should we get some bananas?” He said sweetly to the elderly woman.

“Yes honey, pick us up a nice big bunch of bananas and make sure they aren't too ripe.”

I moved over to the section where the avocados were and put five into a plastic sack and tied the top of it.

The elderly man and woman moved slowly down the produce isle. “Honey, we need some potatoes.” The elderly man picked up a small bag of potatoes and set them in their basket.

Then it struck me, the love and respect they showed one another and how well they worked together. As she was shuffling down the isle, he had his left hand on her shoulder, as if comforting and guiding her through their grocery shopping. Then I heard her say,

“Get us a bag of carrots and a bag of celery.”

Then I watched as he quickly moved over to the celery and carrots and picked up a bag of each and went back to the elderly woman and placed them in their basket.

I moved away from them quickly to get to the section where the milk was. I grabbed a gallon of 1% milk and placed it in my basket. As soon as I set it down, it occurred to me I needed some canned tomatoes to make chili. I briskly walked to canned goods isle and ran into the elderly man and woman. (Actually, I didn't run into them, they were on that isle).

“Honey, get us two cans each, corn, green beans, and spinich.” The look in her eyes told me she was exhausted and in pain. The elderly man picked up the items two by two and placed them in their basket.

He turned to me and asked, “Would you mind going and getting us a loaf of whole wheat bread?” I said, “Certainly.” He further told me, “My wife has cancer and she wanted to get out of the house so badly and asked if she could come to the store with me, but I'm afraid she has already done more than she should.”

I quickly went to the bread isle and picked up a loaf of whole wheat bread. I placed it in their basket. They both thanked me and left toward the cashiers.

The lines were long at all the cashiers. I noticed the elderly couple in line with several customers in front of them. Directly in front of them was a child sitting in the child's seat of the basket. I overheard the child say,

“You are old.”

The elderly woman and man just smiled. Then the elderly woman said, “Sweetie, it took me a long time to get this way and I am proud of it.”

The child's mother turned around with a look of exasperation on her face, “I am so very sorry. Please forgive my child.”

The old man wrapped his arms around his wife and smiled, “It's quite okay. Don't worry about it.” Both of them looked at one another with such love and tendernesss, I felt tears coming to my eyes.

I walked home from Walmart that day realizing that this was one time that I didn't get upset about Walmart being so crowded. Then I realized, today, I was thinking about someone other than myself.

Daily Prompt: Group Think

 

Long Childbirth and a Happy Ending

When I was pregnant with my son, we lived in a very tiny town in eastern Colorado. This small community was actually very spread out because it consisted of many farmers and ranchers and their large families. The town had a very small hospital and only one physician.

When it was time from my son to be delivered, my husband took me to the hospital. Although my labor pains were not “hard” at that time, as soon as they broke my water, they became severe. The first 5 hours of labor were fairly easy and I felt, “Great! This will be a breeze!” (I spoke too soon). The next 24 hours were excruciating! In the middle of the night, the nurses took me into the delivery room and had me pushing for two hours. As soon as they took me back to my room, they called my doctor. He came rushing to the hospital furious with the nurses for doing this. I was in so much pain and was completely exhausted from all the pushing with no results.

As I struggled on with my labor, I watched my husband being fed “T-bone” steaks from the hospital staff. (All I was allowed was ice chips and jello).

They were giving me injections for pain, but that didn't give me any relief at all.

After almost two days of hard labor, they took me to X-Ray to see what was keeping my baby from being born. Apparently, I had an extra curve in my pelvis. My labor pains were so intense, I was really really struggling, both physically and emotionally.

After being in intense labor and severe pain for over three days, my husband finally told my doctor, if this baby isn't delivered in the next two hours, I demand you to do a C-section. (He had been asking for a C-section for me prior to this). The doctor kept telling him he did not want to do a C-section because if I gave birth naturally, I would be able to give birth naturally to any future babies. “What?!” (Honestly, the only reason I lasted that long was because I had no other choice). Apparently, this was the mindset in a county that is almost all farmers and ranchers with large families.

Three days and seven hours later, with the help of forcepts, our son was born. After the whole delivery process was complete, the feeling I had was PURE BLISS. Thankfully, my baby was healthy and the long birth did not affect him, however, it did affect me. It took me months to recover from that long delivery and I started having panic attacks and anxiety issues.

Inspite of an excruciatingly painful long labor, I had a perfect, healthy, baby. He was born one day before Mother's Day.

At that time, women and babies were kept in the hospital for almost a week. During the time of my hospitalization, the hospital gave my husand and I a “candlight T-Bone steak dinner with wine” in a room by ourselves.

The Daily Post for today is “Happy Endings“. I thought of this experience and couldn't think of a happier ending than having a beautiful healthy baby. (The candlight steak dinner and wine was just secondary).