THE WRITE PLACE…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

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New Features and Reflections of Memoir and August

Tan steerette

From my country drive a few weeks ago here. Tan Furry Steerette (not official species name). Maybe it’s the teats, maybe that soulful look, but I love her. Cannot have steerette where I live. I’m so glad that she has that awesome rack (horns not teats) to keep those bad boys away…when necessary:>) I was very sad when we had to leave these new friends behind. I wish they had internet.

New Features & Reflections of Memoir

I have not received enough reader photos here and here to keep that feature going, so I am working on 2 new features that I hope will be more popular and useful. One is for caregivers and the other is for writers. Both of my new features are written as “Postcards” since that seems to be in keeping with my “Souvenirs from My Heart” memoir series. I intend on carrying that theme through all my writing, as it is such a big part of my former and current life.

I wanted to get the memoir postcard series here published this month, but this has been a rough month for me. As you might imagine, my emotions are pretty raw, and time spent on the memoir has been ripping off old scabs. I hope that the caregiver and writer postcard series will give me a short break and allow me step back and breathe for a short time. Both of those series are meant to help others, and that helps me get out of my own emotional way.

Reflections of August

Tomorrow, the 27th, is the anniversary date that Paul and I celebrated our new life together. He would always tease me about my bold, “Why don’t you call me sometime” gesture at the pig roast in 2005 where we were re-acquainted. The 28th was the day of his memorial. What a day. I raged in my journal about how that day was supposed to offer some “closure,” but all it did for me was make my grief worse, because it made Paul’s death so real and so final.

I will certainly be glad when August is over! With Paul’s deathday, birthday, our anniversary and his memorial in the same month, it is always hard. Leaving our home  and gardens for the last time, this past week, added more to my heaping pile of emotions.

The bright side could be, that it is all over in one month of the year. I (with lots of help) am building a new “secret garden” that Paul would love, from what I salvaged from our old garden. This year I also have my wordpress family to add to my supporting and loving circle of family and friends in “real” life. Thank you all.

Heaps of Goodness

Please continue to send all sorts of goodness to my WP friends, Ionia, Belinda and Marilyn, and my real world f/f’s who face serious health issues. For those in my circle facing emotional issues, maybe try what helps me most; give true and loving support to others:>)

I just got word that I did not win the last contest. A BIG thank you for those who took the time to read and vote on my story, “Love, Laughter and Loss” I did not win, but had the most, by 20!, facebook likes:>) Here is how the stories were judged. (I think I only had one person write to the judges.) http://midlifecollage.com/winner-circle/
Again, thank you!

See you soon,

Patti


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Summer In Alaska; A Fishy Tale

Patti fishing in Alaska
Patti fishing in Alaska
This was written for a story prompt at The Community Storyboard here. It combines experiences from several summer trips to Homer, Alaska. Need to study up on formatting poetry on WP…Also, since I wrote this off the cuff and in a hurry, let’s just call it a draft? :>)

It’s a promising morn, as I see from Outhouse Hill,

I rock in the swing and sip coffee to ward off the chill.

All is sunrise quiet on little Peterson Bay.

There’s Marie at the oyster farm unpacking to stay.

I take the lush green path slowly to make the morning last,

Then detour to pick blueberries for my impromptu breakfast.

We bundle up, grab cameras, snacks and bait,

Captain Honey calls, “Hurry, it’s getting late!”

He goes first to the shore and pulls in the skiff.

I climb down the steep metal stairs, feeling old and stiff.

From skiff, to dock and onto their boat;

This procedure is new for me, for them it is rote.

Captain throttles down and away we go!

Goodbye Peterson’s Bay and Halibut Cove.

The boat, she’s made special, out of stainless steel,

Loaded with all we need, including more than one rod and reel.

The co-pilot, The Mrs. (my sis), is a long time veteran of this—

how far, how deep, how many and what kind of fish.

On the far shore we see a baby bear and perched eagles.

Then Gull Island; cormorants, puffins and a million sea gulls.

I sit in back and watch the rooster tail as the boat splits the water,

I see all kinds of birds diving or floating and, every so often, a playful otter.

Soon I see the Homer Spit and Land’s End as we speed by,

I’ve never deep sea fished and I’m anxious to give it a try.

The loud noise of the engine and the wind in my hair,

My butt is freezing on the cold metal box that I use as a chair.

I’m excited and happy after so many months of grief,

And I’m determined to have fun, no matter how brief.

The engine finally stops and here comes Captain Honey,

He tosses the anchor, as the day begins to turn sunny.

Thirty miles out and I have beginner’s luck,

I catch the biggest and the most; at least that’s the story that stuck!

At one point, we were moving to a new spot and off flew my hat,

Mrs. Captain Honey reversed and the Captain netted it—imagine that!

Sis is a pro at this fishing stuff and also stronger than me;

She helped hold my rod, while I reeled in a fish…or three.

I’m giddy as we reel in halibut and cod,

And even a clown fish, which looks really really odd.

Sis and I are reeling them in left and right and I hook a big skate with wings,

Captain stopped fishing to gaff our catches, cut bait and do other important things.

Out of nowhere, in the middle of all that the blue,

There’s a spout of water…then two!

After that we soon spot the tails,

In no time at all we’re surrounded by whales!

I can’t get over it; I watch until they swim out of sight.

Now we’ve caught our limit and we’ll feast tonight!

Settling in for the long ride back to the cabin,

I’m sorry my visit will soon come to an end.

The boat points to Katchemak Bay as we go,

I’m in the back looking in amazement at an active volcano.

There’s a huge white plume, against the blue,

Over to my right are the other two.

Volcanoes and glaciers make this a special place to be,

But better than that, is the time I get to spend with my family.

Patti Hall 2013


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Last Day, “Love, Laughter and Loss”

Snapped this at the local espresso stand. Makes me smile every time I see it. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Snapped this at the local espresso stand. Makes me smile every time I see it.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Closes Sunday!

midlifecollage.com is hosting a contest, which my short story, Love, Laughter & Loss, is entered in. If you’ve followed the Souvenirs from My Heart Postcards, or my other memoir posts, you’ll want to know how the story of Patti & Paul began. Won’t you?

There’s one comment below the story that seems pretty negative…am I being too sensitive?…what do you think? The only way to counter it, is if folks in our community add their own comments. midlifecollage.com

Judges count the facebook likes, so please hit that button after you read the story.

Thanks,

Patti


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Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

Paul swinging in the sunshine. PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul swinging in the sunshine.
PHALL PHOTO 2008

I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)

Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…

I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.

We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.

That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.

Enjoy…

A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,

Patti

Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.

P1140494


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THE READER PLACE; Our Reading Habits and Places 2

reading

My son reading to his son:>) Jon & Hunter
PHALL PHOTO 2013

reading

What a cozy reading spot! Luanne already knows I’m going to tease her about the hat :>)

Here’s what some of our other friends have to say about reading, from comments on original post here.

helenmidgley
As the only female in a house full of men, I read to escape, lol. Although my husband would say I read to escape the washing up, the ironing, the cooking and the polishing, but I don’t believe him

tpolen

As a child, I loved reading in the swing on the front porch right before a storm. Now, my very favorite place to read is on the beach, but if I can’t have that, I’ve enjoyed our covered outdoor patio during this mild summer – the weather has been great! I’m the lone female in my male dominated house and, for the most part, the only reading they do is Sports Illustrated.

Susan Call Hutchison
Initially, I wondered if an eReader could ever match the magic of turning pages to devour a story. I found out the ease of having a Kindle app on my iTouch made it my favorite way to read. I can have a LIBRARY in my pocket, and take it out and enjoy, anytime, anywhere. I read the scriptures every morning for 1/2 hour in bed, before I do anything else. My husband and I read aloud to each other every evening when we were first married (34 years ago), and after our first daughter came. We alternated chapters, and introduced each other to the writers we loved. My husband enjoyed reading aloud to our whole family as the girls were growing up. Now that they are out of the “nest,” Marc and I still read to each other, sharing “the good parts.” And both of us read avidly, silently to ourselves. Wherever we want to.

Judy

Susan, my husband and I also read ‘the good parts’ to each other. And, at holiday time, he reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales (D. Thomas) at the annual family gathering. Wonderful way to bond and share. Think we’ve created a tradition with our kids and grand kids.

coastalcrone

What a wonderful image – a boy reading in a tree house! Better than video games. I read in bed every night or read while I am waiting for someone or something.

Ginny

My son hides in the bathroom to read…lol my hubby reads on the couch and I like to read outside or in bed..I cant wait to hold your book in my hands with a cup of coffee and sit outside and read it.  along with a big box of Kleenex.

Thank you all for participating and please keep sending them in!  1writeplacewordpress at gmail dot com I need them by Sunday. Add a link if you have a business or book you want us to visit. I’m still looking for some that Paul took of me reading…

Thanks Peeps,

Patti


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Midlife Collage Contest Essay, “Love, Laughter and Loss”

sunset, moon, coastguard

Sunset Moon & Coastguard Tower, Westport, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013

As usual, the photo is unrelated to the text :>) I hope that the Coasties love this one. More photos of mine at phallphotos.wordpress.com 

One of my stories is in the  Midlife Collage contest this week (Monday through Sunday). It’s called “Love, Laughter and Loss” and is up against four other short stories. It only runs until this Sunday.

http://midlifecollage.com

This contest pays $50., but it asks more of the reader/voters;

  1. Facebook “likes” count a lot in the final judging. So, please click the Facebook link at the bottom of my story—it looks like a thumbs up.
  2. Please leave one of your thoughtful comments at the end of the story. Comments count for judging, only if they are more than a quick, “Great story!” What emotions, memories, thoughts came up when you read it? What did you think about the quality of writing? Was it descriptive enough? Logical beginning, middle & end?
  3. Please go to “Closing Arguments” (at the top of each page, in the header) and convince the judges which story should win this week and why. I usually copy and paste my comment from the story I want to win, then make it stronger for the judges.
  4. For you to “qualify” to give the judges your opinion in the “Closing Arguments” you have to click a box that says that you have read at least 3 of the stories.

Thank you for taking the time to do this for me.

Patti