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A Simple Act of Love

February 21, 2018

I don’t watch the news anymore because it’s, for me, too negative and too depressing. When you turn away from Washington though it’s not as difficult as you might think to find good news and happy news out there. In fact, because you’re purposely watching for good stories they’re almost easier to find. Anyway, here’s one I just saw about a father who’s been sending postcards to his children almost every day for the last 20 years. Nearly 20,000 postcards!

I especially liked this CBS News story because it reminded me of a pen pal I had a very long time ago. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember how I even found a pen pal at 10 or 11 years old. For all I know I saw an ad on the back page of a comic book next to ads for Sea Monkeys and X-ray vision glasses although I wouldn’t swear to that. I remember the pal was in Alabama and the correspondence didn’t last long. I don’t know why it didn’t last long; maybe I became bored and stopped writing or he became bored and stopped writing. It’s interesting though that I still (somewhat vaguely) remember the experience.

From the postcard-sending dad, David Lasseter, in the story: “Life gets tough and it’s nice to know somebody loves you no matter what.” 

Say what you will about Facebook and e-mail and every other form of social media, I understand and appreciate their place in today’s world and I don’t deny the value they provide, but I’d trade it all in for a good, old fashioned pen pal.

 

About the time I was reading comic books and pondering the ads on the back page and questioning whether Charles Atlas’ program would work for me I was listening to a lot of this guy’s music.

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On Thin Ice (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

February 20, 2018

The Carrot Ranch Literary Community, hosted by Charli Mills, is HERE.

On Thin Ice

“Wait here,” I said skating backwards away from her. 

“Bobby, what are—”

I smiled and skated until I reached the bench where we’d stashed our jackets. I turned, stepped over the snow berm and reached into the pocket of my jacket pulling out the box with the ring.

Yes, THE ring.

Hotdogging back to her; bent at the waist, left leg extended out behind me, right arm extended in front. I didn’t see the tight crack and tripped.

The ring dropped and we both slid across the ice, stopping at her feet.

Red-faced, I looked up. “Will you?” 

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I pretty much dislike winter about as much as a person can dislike winter but I have a certain admiration for people who embrace it. “Just dress for it,” they say, which to me is impossible. Anyway, you can’t turn around here in Minnesota without meeting someone who snowmobiles, downhill skis, cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice fishes, toboggans, or like the hero of my story, ice skates. We have a winter carnival here complete with three parades, a good king and a evil king who fight over the weather (or something like that), ice sculptures, a treasure hunt and a woman named Klondike Kate. And over in one of the oldest cities in Minnesota, Stillwater, they have ice castles. I have to admit they look really cool and I might think about going to see them if they were in the summer.

 

Here’s a song about a guy that’s almost tougher than the cold.

 

 

That’s Sweet

February 18, 2018

The WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge prompt for this week is: Sweet.

“This week, show us something (or someone) sweet.”

I set out this weekend to find something or someone sweet and I was too focused on food to think of things or people who are really sweet. I finally realized that I had some pictures here that answered the prompt the way I wanted to answer the prompt.

This first ‘sweet’ photo is my and my dad. Maybe you remember those old photo booths you could sit inside and have four pictures taken and then you’d wait outside the booth for a couple of minutes while the pictures were developed and the thin strip of pictures would be delivered to a little tray in front? The pictures were about 1.5″ x 1.5″ and the strip was about 1.5″ x 6″. Anyway, this is one picture from a strip of four and it’s me and my dad. Coincidentally, my dad’s birthday would have been this past Friday. It’s funny looking at this picture to see how far his hair had receded when he was young. It’s even funnier to think that his hair never receded any further than what you see here while my hair had no problem going all the way.

D&MiPB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This second ‘sweet’ photo is one I took a few years ago on a warm July day in south Minneapolis outside of a donut store. It doesn’t really need any description.

Lemonade Stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I suppose if we really have to stick with sweet in the sense of food, then here’s some cookies that are pretty good!

Petit Ecolier Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Watcher (Friday Fictioneers)

February 16, 2018

THE DETAILS:
Friday Fictioneers: 1 picture, 100 words, scores of people from around the world sharing their creativity and vision. Feel welcome to join in; visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields HERE to find out how.

THE PROMPT:
This week’s wintry photo prompt courtesy of, and copyright by, one of my Instagram friends, Dale Rogerson.

dale-rogerson-snow-photo

It’s been a while since I “Fictioneered” so here I go with . . .

THE STORY:

The Watcher (100 words)

Tom and Linda went to sleep at 10:20. No sports; just news, weather and lights out. Forty minutes later 12-year-old Bill’s TV flickered off.

You’d think I actually knew the Belder family, huh? I’m just a good watcher and I pay attention.

People nowadays are so careless. Taking things for granted and making the least complicated and safest assumptions. They ignore signs. They ignore police warnings.

They never think about people like me watching them.

Half-diamond pick, in and out, voila. They make my life so much easier.

It’s sad they won’t be able to say the same about me.

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Please visit the other Friday Fictioneers by clicking the little blue frog below. You’ll find just about every type of genre you could imagine and some really creative writers.

Pick it Up (or Random Thoughts #29)

February 15, 2018

My knees hurt and my back hurts and I’ll tell you, I tired of bending down to pick stuff up off the floor.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I’m pretty sure I’ve come up with a solution. It’s not like I’ve ever been the best housekeeper in the world, and it’s not like a bunch of people are coming over all the time to see that I’m not the best housekeeper in the world, so I’m figuring that a few more things on the floor won’t really matter so what I’ve decided to do is everything that falls on the floor stays on the floor and then once a week (day yet to be determined) I sweep everything in a big pile and pick it all up at one time. Problem solved.

Maybe. I’ve still got a couple of kinks to work out, like what if Sweepick Up Day (that’s my new name for the sweep and pick-up) is Sunday and I drop the remote on Monday; how do I watch TV for the following five days? Or a book; if I drop that then I’d pretty much be up the creek without a paddle. And food, I can’t really leave that hanging out on the floor without risking bugs and stuff.

So, no, it’s not a perfect plan but it’s a start. If you’ve got any suggestions I’m all ears!

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I have no idea what any of the lyrics are in this song and it’s not really the type of bending I had in mind, but the dancing is certainly interesting!

 

One word: Gordon!

Spring? Spring!

February 13, 2018

Spring!

“The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball.” – Bill Veeck

Spring!

“A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.” -Humphrey Bogart

Happy First Day of Spring Training Day! I’m not sure about any of the other 29 teams, but Minnesota Twins pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers, Florida today for the beginning of Spring Training which means that today is the official start of the 2018 Major League baseball season. A season that could wind up sometime in November with the Twins winning another World Series.

Despite last year’s better-than-predicted season, I’m not optimistic the team will see the same success this year. While one of our weaknesses, the bullpen was sort of dealt with, the other two needs – starting pitching and a right-handed bat –  as of today (yes, there’s still time) weren’t, so it’s hard to get too excited.

I take that back. It’s very easy to get excited because this is spring and it’s Spring Training and that means there aren’t any limits and there’s no cause for concern and for all anyone knows this team could really, honestly and truly go on to win the World Series.

It could happen, right? Tell me it could happen!

Either way, win or lose, I’m not sure that manager Paul Molitor or the Twins’ front office need to worry about performance because as my favorite manager Earl Weaver once said, “Don’t worry, the fans don’t start booing until July.”

Speaking of the World Series, I was thinking if a woman were to become pregnant today she could very well give birth right around the time the World Series victory parade would be making its way down the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. This is probably something only a very die-hard Twins fans would even want to think about, and I really wouldn’t recommend it but I suppose it could happen.

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.” – Dave Barry

Look out Yankees, here we come!

Happy first day of baseball.

 

 

Random Thoughts #28: Plug it In

February 12, 2018

No one likes looking at hanging power cords, but there comes a time in everyone’s life when bending over to reach the outlet becomes a literal pain in the . . . back. Life would be a lot simpler if power outlets were about four to five feet above the baseboard.

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