Throwback Thursday February 5, 2015

John was about 20 years old when I was only 16 years old. He was my first heart-throb. I mean, my first REAL heart-throb. I know this because I wrote his name all over my spiral notebook. I also know this because he worked at a well known shoe store and my friends and I would go there to hang out (uninvited of course). I also know this because I would day dream about him during classes instead of listening to the teachers.


The day of our first date was the happiest day of my short life. He had FINALLY asked me out for a date. Back then it was a given that “dates” consisted of going downtown to the movie theater and buying popcorn and cokes. There were no DVD’s back then and there were no movie theaters that showed 10 or 12 different movies at the same time. In fact, there were exactly two movie theaters and exactly two different movies showing at the same time.


He picked me up in his pickup truck and we started driving outside of the city.


I asked him, “Where are we going?” (The movie theater was downtown not out-of-town).


“We’re going to the kegger.”


I am sure I probably swallowed my tongue at this point trying to gulp down the fear I was feeling. I had never been to a kegger. I didn’t drink alcohol or smoke. I was a good girl and good girl’s don’t go to a kegger!


I kept quiet, after all, this was my heart-throb, our first date, and I wanted to make a “good” impression.


When we reached the kegger, John got out of the truck. At first, I stayed in the truck. All the kids were drinking beer, partying and having a roaring good time. I didn’t belong among them. I shouldn’t be here in the first place.


The kegger was right next to the river and there were exactly two entrances into it (meaning two EXITS out of it). It was a beautiful place to “party” if one wanted to party. I didn’t. I wanted to go to the movie.


I watched as the underaged kids got drunk, made fools of themselves, all while I was stone cold sober.


After several hours, suddenly some of the kids started screaming, “Cops! Cops are coming! RUN!” Sure enough a line of patrol cars were coming down each of the two roads coming into the kegger. I ran.


Yes, I ran. I ran because everyone else was running and panicking so I was running and panicking. After a few minutes of running, I found a huge bush and climbed into the middle of it and sat down and waited. I had no idea how long I was going to have to wait or if I would still have a ride home. I sat in the middle of the bush and lamented,


“If I get caught, I wasn’t here on my own free will and I don’t even drink!”


I listened as the policemen rounded up kids and put them into the cop cars. I was able to keep quiet, but I couldn’t control my shaking from fear.


Sometime later, I have no idea of the time, all became quiet. The patrol cars had driven away so I knew they were no longer there. I climbed out from the middle of the bush and looked for anyone else that might have escaped the ordeal. Fortunately, I was able to find John and he immediately took me home.


That was our first date and that was our last date.


I did have to live with the spiral notebook for the rest of the year.





 

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A Letter from the Battlefield of the Civil War

Waiting for James Henry


Written by James Henry Triplett

Ship Point, York Co. Va.

September 4, 1861

My Dear Mother and Sister,

I received both of your kind letters late last night and was indeed very glad to hear from home again. I have had a bad spell of Bilious fever since we left Yorktown and am very week (sic) yet. If I take proper care of myself I shall be as well as ever. I think that this may be a healthier place than Yorktown, but the water is very bad, mudy (sic), and salty. We are encamped on a point of land on the Bay, covered with pines. We have pine poles for a bed, pine poles for a table, and pine poles to cook with, and have to make a smoke with pine brush in front of our tents at night to keep off mosquitoes. I received the oil cloth and drawers that were sent and like them very well. I do not know whether to send for my overcoat or not but I will need another blanket pretty soon. If you have any chance to send a small box I would like to have some paper & envelopes ink & pens,(jsp?) I would like to have some butter too, but you need not trouble too much. We can get plenty of fish and sweet potatoes here and a few chickens, by exchanging our bacon.

 

Our regiment has never been paid off yet. We have not seen anything of the Yankees yet except ships, we see vessels sailing down the Cheasepeake (sic) everyday and one of the Blockade Steamers is constantly in sight. Jim Young, Bob Coleman, (not sure of this next name) Stringler or Stringles or Dringles or Dringler; and several others were out scouting last night. They caught a Tori Verginian (sic), near fortrep Munroe; who was keeping a light house on some point there, for the Yankees. He was sent to Yorktown this morning.

Gen Hill is here looking well as ever. We can hear heavy firing here almost everyday, and our chance for a fight are pretty good.

I would like very much to be at home now, to eat apples & peaches.

Our time will be out about the 18th of Nov. The I will be home to spend the winter as soon as I get there. Give my love to all the family. I want to see you all very much. Give my love to all my friends, and write again soon.

Yours Affectionately

James

This is all the paper that I’ve got and it is borrowed, so I wrote to both of you at once. James

James Henry Triplett

Born: November 3, 1843

Died: July 1, 1863 ( Died in the Civil War in the Battle of Gettysburg)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forgive me for it being over 200 words. I was going to write a story about a mother, sister, or wife waiting for their soldier to return home from war. I remembered the original letter that I have which was written by my distant cousin to his mother and sister. I felt this might be very interesting to the other participants and readers of this challenge.

As a footnote, James Henry’s sister and another brother, died the same year as his him, 1863.

 

Old 1947 Buick

Although I don’t know if that was the year or the make of her car, I do know it was old and manufactured prior to 1950. It was a dark green color but much of the paint was worn off and showed the rusty color underneath.

Every summer I would go to my grandmother’s and spend the summer with her. Often, my cousin who was close to my age, would join me. This story is about my grandmother, her old car, my teenage self, and my teenage cousin.

One particular summer, after I had obtained my drivers license, my cousin and I were at my grandmother’s home and like 100% of teenagers, we were bored. I finally got the courage to ask my grandmother if we could take her car to the Dairy Queen and get an ice cream. She agreed and asked us not to be gone long and to be careful.

What she wasn’t aware of was that the Dairy Queen, in this particular town, was the “hang out place” for all the teenagers. WhooHoo! We were free to go, had a car (even though it was older than dirt) and the okay to go where all the teenagers of this town go, THE DAIRY QUEEN!

As soon as we pulled up to the Dairy Queen, about four boys (who we had never met in our life) piled into our car. We were teenage girls and the boys were cute, do you think we minded? Heck no! We were having fun talking to these cute boys and sitting at the dairy queen when a voice came over the loudspeaker paging me! What? Why am I being paged?

I went to the window and they handed me the phone. (This was way before cell phones). It was my grandmother and she was mad! We had lost track of time. So, we scurried our little butts home. (Fortunately, she wasn’t too mad).

Oh, and did I tell you that the car wouldn’t go over 20 miles per hour?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wrote out a lot of different prompts (mostly single words) and put them into a box so that I could pull one out once a week and write a story about the prompt that had been selected. The story could either be fiction or non-fiction. Today, I pulled out the prompt, “Old 1947 Buick.” This particular story is non-fiction.



Is there Really a Santa?

Sweet Little Lies

As kids, we’re told, time and again, that lying is wrong. Do you believe that’s always true? In your book, are there any exceptions? ~ The Daily Post Writing Prompt Dec 12, 2014

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/sweet-little-lies/

http://wp.me/p23sd-zZc

 

When my children were small and during the time we were making preparations for Christmas, a hic-up occurred in our “almost perfect,” Christmas plans.

My two children and I were in my car preparing to go shopping. My son, six years old at the time, informed me,

“Mommy, I know there really isn’t a Santa Claus, it is you and daddy.”

Instantly, warning bells began ringing between my ears. (My three year old daughter was in the car).

Ding-dong. Ding-dong.”

What do I say? Do I tell him that Santa Claus is his mommy and daddy, thus ruining the Santa Claus experience for my daughter? Should I lie? Should I not lie? Is it a lie?

I sat there quietly for a moment. Then I turned to him and replied,

“Really? Did you know that when you stop believing in Santa, he stops coming?”

His little eyes grew huge. Without skipping another beat, he excitedly answered,

“OH, I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE!”

Is it a lie? I think not.

Photo from Pinterest

He looks real to me!

 

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!)

 

The Dress (Non-Fiction)

I am going to be writing at least one short story per week. They will either be fiction or non-fiction. I am trying to improve my writing skills, so if you have any suggestions for improvements, please let me know.

*******


My sister was popular in Junior High and High School, I was not. I was a bit of a wall-flower with no self-esteem or self-confidence. In addition, she also had many cute clothes, and I did not. At least, not until she had grown out of them.


During my seventh grade school year we moved to a new area and I had to change schools. My new academy of boredom became a good thing for me. In my new school, I fit in with the students and quickly made friends.


In my seventh grade year, my sister became the owner of the cutest dress I had ever laid my eyes on. My eyes turned malignant green with envy every time she wore it.


In my mind, I knew if I were the owner of this dress, I would instantly become popular. I wanted to know what it felt like to step out of my sister’s shadow.


The dress was a shift-type dress made of pink checkered gingham from the top to the bottom. The adorableness of this dress was the skirt portion which consisted of ruffled tiers. The tiers were made of three different checkered gingham ruffles. The first ruffle was light purple, the second ruffle was light green, and the third and last ruffle was light yellow. Each ruffle was about 6″ long and would overlap the ruffle that was beneath it.


I couldn’t wait for my sister to out-grow it so it would become mine, except that my sister and I were close to the same size. It was my fear that when she outgrew it, I would too.


My mother, knowing how badly I wanted this dress, decided to make me one exactly like it. I was so happy! I was finally going to have the dress of my dreams.


When I wore my new dress to school, my classmates told me how much they loved my dress and how they wanted one of their own.


For once, I felt special.


Each day that I wore my new dress I felt popular. Even more important, I felt pretty. For once, I had a little bit of light of my own.

 

Writing 101 – Day 10 – Happy: Comfort Foods

Yes,” I tell her, “I know, you are tired of hearing stories about my grandmother,” I say, warming my hands on the hot cup of Breakfast Blend. Taking a sip of the hot brew, I add, “But you have to understand those are my happiest memories of my childhood.”


“No,” she teased, “I’m not tired of hearing about your grandmother. I know you were close to her. So talk about her if you want.” She sat her coffee cup on the table and looked at me with her sparkling green eyes filled with laughter.


“My grandmother kept a chamber pot underneath her bed. I laugh every time I think about it. After all, her bathroom was only about 20 feet away from her bedroom. When I see a porcelain pot now, it reminds me of her chamber pot.”


She started laughing, “Why are we talking about chamber pots? I thought we were talking about comfort foods.”


“Well, it’s hard to think about my grandmother and not remember her chamber pot! Do you want to hear my story or not?”


“Is it going to make me puke?”

“Of course not! She told me she had been raised in the country and way before there was indoor plumbing. People had to go outside to the outhouse. At night they used their chamber pots instead of having to go outside. I guess it’s a habit she couldn’t break.”


“Can we please get back to comfort food?”


We both took sips of our coffee, now cool enough to drink. She stared at me with her questioning green eyes.


“Every night before bedtime she would ask me, “What do you want for breakfast? My answer was the same every single time, “Biscuits and gravy.” I loved her biscuits and gravy. Her biscuits were nice and fluffy and her gravy was creamy and delicious. I am hungry for them now just thinking about them.”


“And,” I continued, “We didn’t know about fancy food dishes back then. She was raised on a farm in Texas and only knew how to cook country foods. In those days people didn’t worry about food (calories, gluten, etc.) the way people do now. And, we didn’t sit all day glued to a television or computer, stuffing ourselves with Cheetos and cokes. We played outside from sun-up to sun-down, playing “kick the can” and other childish games.”


“We didn’t either,” my friend added, “We ate what mom cooked for the evening and if we didn’t like it, then we didn’t eat. At least your grandmother cooked food you wanted. And, we also had to play outside all day. Mom would always shoo us out of the house.”


Noticing that her cup was empty, I poured more Breakfast Blend in her cup and topped my cup.


“My mom always made meals that my dad asked her make before he left for work.” I explained. “We either ate it or starved that night. Some things I had to choke down holding my nose, like liver and onions.” I pretended to stick my finger down my throat and retch.


We both take a “quiet” break and concentrated on drinking our coffee.


Sometimes silence says more than words. It gives our brains a chance to pause and grasp meaning and life-altering truths . Often, those truths are just beyond our grasp, hidden among the noise and chaos of the world.


After a moment of silence, I finish my story.


“She always had a treat for us and that special treat was always the same. Every single time. It was a bottle of Dr. Pepper with a hole in the cap, made with an ice pick. She would take the cap off the bottle and pour in a package of salted peanuts and put the cap back on. After we finished the soda, we would take of the caps and eat the delicious, Dr. Pepper flavored peanuts.”


“On the rare occasions I do have biscuits and gravy now, it’s just not the same, and will never be the same. It doesn’t have her special ingredient.”


“What ingredient is that?” my friend asks.


I sigh, and softly say,


“My grandmother.”