#writephoto Beyond Dreams

Use the image below to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 5th April and link back to this post with a pingback. Please make sure that the pingback works and if not, copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

golden pathway across the see at sunset with a bird caught in the light

Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

You can find all last week’s entries in the round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers.

I will feature as many entries as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions we are getting every week, that will not be all of them! All posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 6th April.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work.

The sunset filled Marcy with hope immediately replacing the despair that washed over her earlier.  It’s warmth flowed through the cold lonely ache that infused her body and had her shaking with what, fear, concern, worry doubt? The sun receding over the horizon usually calmed her.  Today it had failed in its job, it usually whisked her along and she soared like the bird in the distance, carefree.

She’d known this moment would come, had to.  She couldn’t afford to keep her part of this glorious island, growing taxes had made it an impossibility and she’d been forced to put half the island up for sale.  Marcy desperately hoped the man known as Vincent Clairmont wouldn’t turn his half into a grotesque monstrosity.  She’d heard rumours that included a hotel for the rich and famous.

Vincent Clairmont arrived tonight.  The chip on her shoulder over having to part with an inch let alone half of her sanctuary was massive.  She’d already reminded herself she was required to be civil, patient and wait it out before landing on him with hob-nailed boots.

When he arrived, he’d wandered around for awhile until he’d found her home.  As he gazed down upon the solitary figure standing arms outstretched toward a setting sun, he instantly felt the pull, the delight, and freedom from convention he was so used to.

His plans were still liquid, he could change his mind and the direction he expected to take regarding the island.  There was a window of opportunity.  Why this thought flooded him was beyond comprehension.  What madness was this?

Critical Error 48

They noticed Paul’s truck approaching and watched as he slowed down then pulled in behind the van.  He stopped to examine the damage before joining them.

“A few dents in the bumper but it’s fixable and won’t cause any problems with driving.  As soon as we get to Uclulet, we’ll stop at the Station and fill out a report, insurance will cover any repairs.”

“Is everyone alright?”

“Yeah, just a bit shaken.”

“Are you able to drive, Brandon?”

“Yeah, sure, I’m fine, it shook me but I’m good.”

Paul glanced at each of the teens in turn, then back at Brandon,”Good, then let’s get started, alright?”

They returned to the truck and their journey resumed. After a few minutes, Paul exclaimed,  “That was close.  Brandon has a good head on his shoulders.  He handled the situation very well, didn’t over-correct or panic.”

“Do you think it was him?”

“I don’t know, Andrew.  It’s possible, although highly unlikely, the odds would be a million to one!  Unless it was just pure dumb luck, I don’t see how he could have found you.”

“You’d think he’d be looking for my car.  We left on a Friday and he couldn’t leave until after work . . . unless of course, he left as soon as he found out we were gone.”  Eilea cringed at the idea.  “Going after the kids doesn’t make sense.  His beef is with me.”

“Unless he reacted and he’s completely unhinged and vengeance is the name of the game.”

“Oh lord, perhaps we should turn around and go home.  At least that way, the kids aren’t walking targets.”

“That’s a choice, you’d be throwing your holiday away on the off-chance it was him and not some crazed driver.”

“And, if it isn’t, if it’s him, what kind of a risk am I taking then?” she asked.

As soon as they arrived at Uclulet, they headed for the Police Station.  The officer’s eyebrows lifted when he saw the crew entering the front door.

“Hi, anything I can do for you folks?”

Paul swiftly identified himself to the officer, explained where he was stationed and that he was currently on vacation before continuing.  “One of our vehicles was involved in a hit and run.”

“Anyone hurt?”

“Fortunately, no.  Do you have an office where the family can sit and wait?”

The Officer asked them to follow him and he settled the group in a nearby room containing several seats and said, “I’ll be back to take your statements in a few minutes.  He took Paul along to fill out forms.  They glanced at each other, trying to keep it light, but it was obvious to Eilea at least, they felt a little jittery.  She certainly did.

Paul brought the officer up to date on what Eilea was dealing with then added, “The front license plate was deliberately obscured and he didn’t have one on the back of the vehicle.  It’s a red 1984 GMC truck with a red box on the back. He’ll have to get rid of the truck, or abandon it, which will only draw speculation, especially a lone man walking along the highway out here without camping gear or food.”

“Finding the vehicle, whether he’s abandoned it or not is huge.  It will be registered in his name.  I doubt he’s savvy enough to have stolen one. I’m not shure he had time.”

Both men returned and the officer in charge said, “Officer Montgomery has filled me in and I’ve put out an APB which should assist in the capture of the delinquent driver.  Until we know what’s going on, it’s a good idea to set up some precautions.”

“I’m sure Montgomery has explained it’s essential you stay together as much as possible and don’t go wandering off by yourself until we can determine more about this character.  Have any of you taken self-defense courses?”

“I have,” Christina replied.

“That’s good.  How about the rest of you?”

“Me too,” Brandon and Cliff added.

“Better yet.  Don’t let that make you cocky though; there’s only so much you can do against a whacko alright?”

“Listen to what your instincts tell you.  I know that might sound funny coming from a cop but nine times out of ten, it will save your life.  If you feel uncomfortable about someone you’ve just met or any individual hanging around or any situation gives you an odd feeling, leave, get away.   I don’t care if it’s a crowded grocery store or the back stairs of a department store or an elevator in a hotel, or your own home.  Just get out!”

Page 49                                                                                       Page 47

Passport (2)

The word of the day is “passport” and I was immediately taken to 100 different directions.  I wrote a short story instead of poetry.  As I looked through the other posts on passport I realized something uniquely special.

There are so many of you here who are “my passport” to happiness and unequivocal joy. A few blogs today caught my eye, and I’ve taken the liberty of sharing them as they spoke to my heart.

I’ve provided links to but a few of the many incredibly talented writers here.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to view their blogs, please do so, as each one offers something different, but uniquely special that speaks volumes and I hope will touch you as much as they do me.

https://saschadarlington.me/

https://biaatlas.wordpress.com/

https://lizalizaskysaregrey.com/2017/03/30/making-a-fortune-out-of-love/#comments

https://love-it-now.live/

https://roseelaineblog.wordpress.com/

https://sumyannawrites.wordpress.com/

https://aprilesutton.wordpress.com/

https://atrangizindagieksafar.com/

Passport

Passport

“You’re my passport to happiness, did you know that?”

“No pressure!” Mike responded with amusement. “Why do you say that?  You’re pretty savvy.”

“I’m intuitive, smart, careful and I plan accordingly.  You, on the other hand, are a risk taker, you fly by the seat of your pants and you land gracefully every time.  It’s a gift, it’s gotta be.  You know how they say someone was born with a spoon in their mouth?”

“Yeah, what of it?”

“That’s you.  Not in relation to money, but because you take risks, you jump in with both feet and it works for you.”

“I’m not sure that style works for me, I usually land in the mud, but when I’m with you, I land on a big soft fluffy white cloud, so that makes you my passport to happiness.  I try things I wouldn’t usually try, do things I’d find risky.”

“Stick with me kid, you’ll go far.”  He ruffled her hair tugging her close.  “Ready for the next installment?”

“Closing her eyes and breathing deeply, Sarah sighed then said, “Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, Ace.” Silently Sarah thanked her lucky stars she’s risked everything on one single encounter with a man she’d never have looked at twice.  His handsome, relaxed take no prisoners style would have put her off, but it was meant to be.  He’d opened the world to her.  She was having the time of her life.

 

 

Critical Error 47

“We did a report on the West Coast Trail in school a couple years ago.  It was carved out of the rainforest, somewhere in the 1900’s, designed as a life-saving route for shipwrecked mariners, right?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“You into hiking, Eilea?” Paul asked curiously.

“Yes, although I’d have to work up to that one.  It is a 77 kilometer hike accessible via log bridges, ladders, and cable cars.  It is exceedingly popular although it’s by no means amateur.  A colleague named Mason goes regularly told me it’s not unusual to find expensive cameras, hiking gear, tents and clothes dropped by hikers unprepared for the ruggedness of the terrain.”

“Wow, that sounds harsh, mom.  I’ll stick to the Cape Scott Trail, it’s hiking experience enough for me for now anyway.”

“I hope I have the opportunity of experiencing hiking up your way.  Perhaps I can rely on you to show me around, Andrew.  I would appreciate an accomplished guide.”

“Sure.  Just give me plenty of warning so I can get ready.”

“It’s a deal.”

“Long Beach has been a favourite spot from the moment I set eyes on it, so I can’t wait to walk the beach, sit in front of a roaring fire and visit the art gallery in Uclulet.”

“I’m looking forward to the hot springs.  I know they do whale watching cruises, but we’ve already been to Telegraph Cove and it was pretty spectacular.  We listened to whale song when they dropped a mike overboard and whales circled our boat,” Andrew remarked.

“Brandon mentioned trying his hand at hang-gliding suggesting he’d like to take Christina along if she’s interested.”

“That sounds cool,” Andrew was excited, “I wouldn’t mind trying it too.  What do you think, mom?”

“We’ll see.”

Turning to Paul he asked, “Do you mind if I play some music?”

“Go ahead,” Paul answered.

“Don’t worry, I  like a mixture of music, you won’t get stuck with just rap.  I bought the CD to Batman thinking it was going to be cool, but it was pretty lame.  Mom and I sat and laughed when we heard it.  It was kind of disappointing.”

Paul’s attention was suddenly riveted on the rear-view mirror.  “Jesus.”

“What is it?”  Eilea asked alarmed.

“That ass back there nearly ran the kids off the road.”

“What?  Stop the truck, stop the truck!” she beseeched.

Paul waited until it was safe, then slowed the truck, turned around on a dime and went in pursuit, stopping long enough to let Eilea and Andrew out when he drew abreast of the van then sped after the other vehicle.

With a tremble in her voice, Eilea asked, “Is everyone ok?  What happened?”

“This dude came racing up behind us and started bumping the van.  I slowed down as soon as he tagged us, but he just kept it up, nudging us again and again.  I tried pulling off the road but when I did, he hit us again and the van started swerving.  I managed to keep it under control and as soon as he saw Paul slow down, he slammed on the breaks and took off.”

“Did you see what he looked like?”

“No.  He was wearing a red cap, pulled real low and it hid most of his face and he kept his head down.”

“What about the rest of you, did you notice anything about him or the vehicle?”

“I tried to get the license plate number, but it was so muddy I couldn’t read it!”  Theresa offered.

“What kind of vehicle was it, what color?”

“It was an old red GMC truck.”

“When Paul gets backs, he might be able to tell us more.”

“You’re all ok?”

“Thank god for seat belts, “Cliff noted, “otherwise we’d have been thrown all over the place.”

Page 48                                                                                       Page 46

I have to share this! It’s so beautiful!

t b

I was having a conversation with a fellow photographer and writer named Phyllis that visits my page (and I get the joy of also visiting hers). Words she spoke triggered a thought for a poem. She may think I have forgotten, but fortunately, this time I can happily say I have not. That isn’t always […]

via I Thought of You Today, My Friend — Sumyanna Writes

Critical Error 46

“I preferred it to Ace Ventura.”

Twenty minutes later they reached Cathedral Grove parking lot.  Eilea sauntered beside Paul and Andrew.  “I love this walk.  In fact, I love walking through any forest but this is one of my favourites.”

“Here!  Let’s try a bubble blowing contest.  Watch this.”  He blew a big bubble with a second inside it. Andrew was immediately intrigued and wanted to know how to do it.

“Actually, it’s not all that hard.”  After explaining the mechanics of it, he invited the others to give it a go after offering everyone a couple of pieces of gum.

Soon, everyone was giving it a try.   Amazing how something as simple as blowing a few bubbles could be so much fun.  Andrew was by far the most successful managing double bubbles on his very first attempt.

As they walked through the immense trees, she listened to the teen’s remarks but before long, the race was on and they were chasing each other headlong down the path and out of sight.  After a comparatively short walk, they’d come full circle standing alongside the vehicles.  Everyone seemed to be having fun, and that’s what mattered.

“Shall we get going?”  Paul suggested.

“I guess so.”  Eilea agreed.  “We should make Uclulet in time for a late lunch.”  As they drove along the highway, they marveled at the forests, thick with old-growth cedars, fir and hemlock.

“I can’t for the life of me remember who came up with the idea for the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.”  Paul inquired.  “I guess it doesn’t really matter because it will protect a nationally significant coastal environment.”

“It’s certainly a testimony to surf-swept beaches and marine life,” Eilea marveled.

“Aren’t Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands and the West Coast Trail all part of the Park?”  Paul asked.

“They are. Each is accessible through particular routes to protect the environment but still offer activities to participate in and thousands come every year.  Listen to me, I sound like a tour guide.”  Eilea laughed at herself.

“How long is Long Beach?”

“Twenty kilometers, I know, I’ve walked it several times, and more often than not, seen anemones and small crabs brought in by the tide along the shoreline,” Eilea’s smile was reminiscent.  “Someone came up with a description of the winds as “natural theatrics of a shrieking Pacific Wind” and it stuck.  I didn’t understand at first.  Not until one particular trip when a storm blew in that I’ll always remember as incredible because it was both exhilarating and terrifying.”

“Have you been to the Broken Group Islands?”  Paul asked curiously.

“No, I haven’t, not yet.”

“I went a couple of years ago.  You probably already know it’s an archipelago made up of over 100 rocky islands and islets accessible only by boat, kayak or canoe.  Talk about your craggy shores.”

Page 47                                                                                        Page 45

Fortune

Fortune

 

fortune cookie

Oh how fortunate are we

To have this opportunity

Of sharing our lives endlessly

From day to day breathlessly

Cloaked in love and friendship too

Even through the odd miscue

What great fortune in meeting you

Levity joy love and affection pursue

In many ways, it’s how I feel about all of you!  So I consider it my good fortune to have stumbled upon this literary jewel.  You lift my day.   I enjoy your company and the thoughts you share, the experiences you’ve gone through, the ups and downs of daily life, fears, concerns, worries to the happiest most joyous of moments shared. The amusing anecdotes to the outright delicious humour you share that bubbles out of you, so touching.  Your outlook on life and how gracious you are in giving, just giving.  It seems a little thing, but in reality, it’s huge massive over the top.  Being willing to dig deep into your soul and share what you have found, or learned.  It is vulnerable, meaningful and special.  So it’s my great fortune and I humbly thank all of you for sharing, caring, giving of your time, thought, feelings.  xoxoxo to all.

Colours for you.

winterWINTER people 001summer 2SUMMER people 001spring 2SPRING people 001autumn 1

AUTUMN people 001

I apologize for the condition of the pages (they’ve been well used) but perhaps this will help in identifying your best colours as you may be able to identify with one of the woman here.

I am “Katie” with dark brown (nearly black hair with ash highlights) which is why everyone was so confused.

 

 

More on Colours

Hopefully what I’ve written previously helped you to choose your skin tone and whether you are a cool tone (with dark hair and eyes and therefore a winter) but if both are light,  you are a summer.  If your skin tone however is warm (and your hair and eyes are dark, you are an autumn) and if both are light, your a spring.

“Winter” complexions go well with navy, red, bright pink, and very light colors (lighter than pastels). “Summer” complexions go well with pastels and neutrals tones of powder blue and pink. Both  “cool seasons” winter and summer should avoid orange.

“Autumn” complexions on the other hand should stick with gold tones (beige, orange, deep brown)  while “Spring complexions” wear peach, gold and yellow exceedingly well.  Of all the seasons, these are the two that should avoid white and black as they wash you out.

It gets really complicated when each season is broken down into high and low which basically means as a “summer” myself and translucent skin tone I can wear more colours than most and even the colour experts couldn’t decide.  They decided I was a winter, had to be.  One day as I looked in the mirror I thought, odd, black makes me looks tired and washed out and I’m feeling energetic.  So I took the course myself.  I’m a “high” summer, which means I can wear a mixture of winter and summer colours.  Having said that, I prefer summer colours as they go with my personality.  I’m not given to drama or stark, but I do love elegant and free lines or curves.

When it comes to Jewelry it’s simpler, it’s either Silver or Gold.

Gold metals work best with red, auburn, strawberry blond and other red-tinted hair color along with brown black and hazel eyes.

Silver metals work best with blond, black and brown hair and blue green and grey eyes.

In the store try wearing blue versus orange.  If you look better in blue with silver jewelry, you are definitely in the cool skin tone group.  If it’s the orange with gold jewelry, your a warm skin tone.

Moving on to gemstones, for cooler skin tones I suggest Pink Topaz, Amethyst, Ruby Sapphire or Agate.  For warm skin tones you might consider Citrine, Mexican Opal (orange), brown (jasper), Green (peridot), Teal (blue topaz).

It was deliciously wonderful when one woman and I were chatting and she wanted to know about colour.  She looked down at her hands and her rings and smiled, “I’m a spring.”  She was.  Her jewelry had already given her the answer because often when we choose jewelry, we choose what we LOVE not what we like and because it’s an investment, we rarely choose a piece that doesn’t speak to us personally.

Hope you enjoyed this snippet and that it helps you decide which season most suits you.

Critical Error 45 (Territory)

“People must have found traveling down island pretty grueling back in the day.  It was like uncharted territory commuting that distance on gravel logging roads, or traveling by ferry when the roads washed out.  Fifteen hour trips or more one way to get medical aid,” he shuddered then continued, “Sometimes I’m all for modern conveniences like decent roads and highways.”

“The road from Gold River to Woss is unbelievable.  No matter how beautiful the countryside, I don’t think it’s worth the five mile an hour speed limit,” Andrew grimaced as he said it.

“I drove that road once, but that was enough for me,”  Eilea laughed aloud.

Conversation was animated with Andrew actively participating throughout the drive.  Reaching the turn-off into Parksville, Paul said, “I know it’s a delay, but if I’m not mistaken, the international Sandcastle Competition is happening.  What do you think?”

“Your right, I’d forgotten all about it.”

“I’ve never been to a real Sandcastle Contest before, I’m in,” Andrew voted.

Paul signaled and they left the highway heading to Parksville.  The sun was hot, the beach full of eager participants along with a huge audience.

The kids parked several vehicles away, but when they met up, they walked the beach together.  “Wow, most of the sandcastles are so detailed, how do they do that?” Theresa asked in amazement.

“I don’t know much about the contest other than there’s a time limit to construct the sandcastles – between tides.  The logistics would demand it anyway.  As soon as the tide rolls in, the sandcastles wash away.”

“Mom, do you have a favourite?”

“It’s hard to say ’cause I don’t think we’ve seen them all yet.  How about you?”

“Definitely the Disney Castle has my vote,” Christina replied.

Andrew laughed, “Who would have guessed!” they all chimed in fully aware she had a penchant for anything Mickey.

“I can’t get over how large some of them are.  Like how do they manage to keep them together without the sand drying out?  Not to mention it’s like artwork, some are really detailed!” Christina observed.

“Anyone else interested in getting something to drink? I’m thirsty.”  Eilea said.

A unison of agreement followed so they wandered toward a small building and bought drinks and ice cream all round before continuing on down the beach.

As they wandered through the milling crowd excitedly observing participants scurrying about finishing their creations, they were awed by their intent and determination even as they laughed at the kibitzing and humour among competing teams.  As they headed toward their vehicles Theresa remarked, “I’m glad I’m not a judge I doubt I could choose, there were so many amazing and remarkable sandcastles from the small ones to the massive ones!  I had no idea people got into this stuff, but it was worth seeing for sure.”

Paul pulled into a garage.  “Be right back!”  When he returned with a package, he dropped it into the glove box.  “For later.”

They were under way heading toward Port Alberni when Eilea mentioned stopping at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park.

Paul responded with, “Alrighty then.”

“Oh no, don’t tell me, another Jim Carey fan!”

“How’d you guess?”

“Did you see the Mask?”  Andrew asked.

Colours and You

Many were interested in how colour works for you.

I’ll add a little more and hopefully, this will make it easier for you to discern if you’re interested which colour best suits you.

Winter – Stark white or black

Heritage plays a big part in colours.  Of course these aren’t fast rules as we are a mixture of nationalities but for the most part, Europeans, Asians, East Indian and some Native Indians (with ink black hair) are winters as are many with dark brown hair.  Dark brown or chocolate coloured eyes

Summer – Powder blue, Dark chocolate brown

Blonds or brunettes with “ash” highlights with green or hazel eyes (translucent skin tones) some brown eyes

Spring – Periwinkle blue

Blonds, brunettes with soft brown or blue eyes some green but with gold flecks

Autumn- Orange (like the fruit)

Dark brown hair, or hair with red or auburn highlights or bright red hair (usually) eyes can vary from brown to golden brown, cognac

These are very basic descriptions.

If you wrap an article of clothing or scarf around your neck, hiding all other colours and look directly at your face (and any “flaws” you wish to hide disappear) this is your colour.  If said flaws are accentuated, then it’s not your colour. If you look drained, tired, washed out, this won’t be a colour for you.

Hope this helps.

 

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers

photo-20170327143644962Photo prompt provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode.

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.

The photo instantly captivated her.  Julia stood staring, mesmerized.  Mute silence held her spellbound as she gazed at the unlikely yet undeniable picture that captured her in another time and place. It didn’t just speak to her, it was her!

Feelings of wonder filled her mind as she closed her eyes silently breathing in the warmth of the room, the texture of the carpet underfoot.  She recognized the beautiful music her husband was playing, could hear it in her mind, could feel the delightful light weight fabric of her gown soft against her skin.

How was this possible? Julia could describe the woman’s longing, delight, and yearning for more.  She was unsettled in thought, confused yet curious.  Before her at the door stood a man she’d instantly fallen in love with. Her affection sincere though he seemed of another time and place.

Turning, Julia looked at her husband and smiled.

 

 

 

 

 

Critical Error 44

“For efficiency sake, I suggest Andrew and Cliff use the main bathroom, you girls can share the one in your mother’s room, Brandon and I can share the use of mine.  That should divide up nicely.  You’ll have to time yourself for fifteen minutes each though, or we’ll run out of hot water.”

They managed in record time Paul thought and left the bathrooms pretty clean too; he was impressed.

While the kids showered, Eilea loaded the food in boxes to take to the van while adding to a list of other items they would require.

Eilea never spent much time in the shower and managed to beat Paul hands down.  Hmm, she’d have to remind him of this later, she decided, as she hand toweled her hair dry.  Giving her hair a quick but thorough brushing, she rolled it up in haphazard fashion, which was all the rage these days before placing a clip in her hair.

She collected her clothes and shoved them into a plastic bag, replacing them with a cool blue vee neck top and blue jeans.  Her make-up was a matter of adding a light foundation, a little blush and a touch of lipstick for she rarely used makeup while traveling; the last thing she wanted was to feel sticky.

After closing her luggage, she dragged it out to the kitchen.  While she waited, she checked to see how full the dishwasher was and adjusted the dial for a small load and started it.

Christina came out wearing matching tan shorts and shirt tied under the bust.  Her hair hung down her back.  “Mom, would you french braid my hair, please?”

“sure, have a seat.”

Theresa rejoined them looking refreshed, clad in navy shorts,  white top, great for travelling.

Eilea was finishing Christina’s hair when Brandon, Cliff and Paul joined them.

“Everyone packed?”  Paul asked.

“Ready to go.”

“I’ve added a few things like hot dogs and marshmallows to the cache.  I’ll pick up some buns before we leave town,” Paul offered.

“What kind of junk food do you guys like?”

“Pringles.”

“Pringles it is.”  Looking at Eilea he said, “Ready?”

“You bet!

Everyone grabbed a piece of luggage,  box of food and headed outside.  They stowed anything requiring ice or refrigeration in the van’s fridge along with canned food.

“How do you feel about taking my truck instead, Eilea?” Once alone he whispered, “That way, Andrew won’t feel like he’s suddenly playing second fiddle to me.”

“It’s a great suggestion!”  Eilea.

Eilea walked inside for one last look to ensure they hadn’t forgotten anything.  By the time she’d returned, the situation had resolved itself.  “It looks like your strategy worked.  Andrew seems happier.  Thank you.”

“I’m trying like hell,” he said with a wink.    Walking around the truck, he slid in behind the wheel while Andrew and Eilea climbed in the other side of the cab.  “Andrew, do you want to sit by the window?”

“Yeah.”

“i was thinking of stopping for a walk on the beach at Parksville, give everyone a chance to stretch their legs and look around.”

“I love the idea, what about you, Andrew?”

Although his tone implied he could care less, he agreed.

Page 45                                                                                         Page 43

Critical Error 43

“Paul, how long have you had horses?”

“I used to stable horses for awhile, then I got Britches over three years ago and Checkers and Showgirl, just over two.  My god, time flies.  That reminds me, I have to take them in for their yearly check-up.”

“How old are they?”

“Britches is four and Checkers and Showgirl are four and a half.”

“Does taking care of horses require a lot of work?” Theresa asked.

“Sometimes.  The most important to remember outside stabling, feeding, and regular exercise, horses are gregarious by nature.  They live in herds so they need love and attention as much as they need food.”

“Is it possible to over-feed a horse?” Brandon asked curiously.

“Yep, you can.  It’s far more dangerous than under feeding them.  If they’re grazing, they can eat an inordinate amount of food, but their stomach never gets over-loaded because it’s little bits, constantly.  However, whengrain fed, it’s real easy to over-do it.”

“I heard you never gallop a horse right after feeding it can give them belly cramps,” Andrew added knowingly.

“That’s right, the best way to exercise a horse is walking him and trotting him occasionally.”

“I didn’t know that.”  Eilea was inordinately pleased with Andrew’s interaction.

“Never approach a horse from behind; makes them real skittish cause they can’t see you.”

“I thought horses had full range of vision,”  Christina interrupted.

“Yes, on either side of their head.  They also have a blind spot immediately in front which is why horses often toss their head. If you stand right in front of him and try and stroke his face or nose, he can’t really see you or what you’re trying to do.”

“I guess the best way to come up to a horse then, is from the side.”  Brandon observed.

“Exactly.”

“How do you know what kind of horse to buy? I mean, is there a difference?” Andrew asked, re-entering the conversation.

“Basically, a good horse should have a small, clean-cut head, big intelligent eyes, wide sensitive nostrils.  The neck should be long in proportion to the head as well as slender-looking but firm and muscular, while the shoulders should be clean smooth and well sloped so there is good depth from chest to girth.  The legs should be clean with long forearm and short, well-boned cannons.”

Laughing he continued, “Sorry, I get carried away.  The words may be technical, but if you think in terms of any of my horses, you’ll understand what I’m saying.”

“Actually, I do,”  Christina said, surprising them all.

“It’s why some pictures of horses are so beautiful and others mediocre.  It’s the horse they choose to draw.  Sometimes I used to wonder why they bothered because there’s a discernable difference I could never explain.  They were nice horses, but just not as beautiful.“

“There is a lot to know about horses.  I couldn’t explain everything in a few short minutes, but simplified, the whole appearance depends on balance, proportion and on what you’re going to use the horse for.”

“The horse I just described is a good riding horse for example.  The draught horse  is altogether different.”

“So each horse has its own set of peculiarities.”

“Yes, Christina, my explanation is very basic, and just the beginning.”

“I’ll explain all the terms I used some time if you’re really interested.”

Andrew showed the most interest and was confirmed when he added, “I’d enjoy that.”

“Paul laughed, “Sorry, I could talk about horses forever, but we don’t have all day; I guess we ought to get busy if we’re going to leave on time.”

“Oh, right.  Mind if I take the first shower?”  Christina asked.

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Elixir

Elixir

 

 

coffee

Ode to coffee the elixir of life

Never will there ever be strife

When a cuppa is handed across

Delighted faces, hands of applause

Whatever your choice, abundantly clear

Coffee makes your day, aroma premiere

I prefer strong, black, and white

Never a second cup will I fight

Savour a good book, music, and coffee

Wherever it be quite plain or frothy

Nothing beats that first cup of coffee

Tantalizing delicious whispering softly

Come sit, relax, partake and enjoy

Sincerely heaven, the real mccoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical Error 42

 

“I noticed Andrew’s reaction when he saw us at the pool table.  Besides, I’m not sure that the other kid’s parents would think about it either.”

“I’m sure they would be as happy for me as I am.  As for Andrew, he’s going to have to accept that one day I will meet someone special.”

“I know, but we don’t have to push him too far, too fast.”

“I appreciate your thoughtfulness, thank you.”  She kissed him tenderly on the lips.  “Are you up for a cup of java?”

“You betcha.”

“I told the kids we were leaving around eight-thirty so I figured a light breakfast was in order.”

“Sure, I have some breakfast cereal kicking around.  Which are your favourites?”

“Corn pops and Fruit Loops.”

“Let me see,” he said, scouring the cupboard.  Grinning he added, “Well one out of two isn’t bad.”

“They can make do.  I have yogurt so I think I’ll have that with a piece of toast.”

“I’m going to go and wake the kids.  Bye the time we all shower, dress and eat, it’ll be late.”

“I’ll tackle the boys, while you wake the girls?”

“Deal.”

Eilea knocked on the door.  “Time to rise and shine, ladies.”

“Already?”

“Yes, already.”

“Ok, we’ll be out in a few minutes.”

“Don’t be long though because breakfast is being served during the next half hour only.”

“‘k.”

She knocked on Andrew’s door.  “Yep, I heard.”

“See you in a few.”

Back in the kitchen, she laid out the cutlery, bowls, cereal and started on the toast.  She could get used to this, she thought.  It was fun having a whole family again.  “Everybody’s awake at least,”  Paul informed her when he reappeared.

“I thought I’d start packing the ice box; that should eliminate some of the congestion.”

“Do you mind traveling with Adam and me in the car?  I didn’t think you’d want to take your truck along too.”

“Is there going to be enough room in that little beater of yours?”

“I believe so, but then you could always travel with the teens if you wish.”

“Thanks, I’ll pass. Might cramp their style, not to mention mine.”

“’Morning, Paul.”

“Hi, Andrew.  What you having for breakfast?”

“Corn pops, you’ve got corn pops?”

“I guess that answers that, hey?”

“Yep.”

Brandon and Cliff turned up next.  “Good morning guys.”

“The breakfast choices are over on the counter by the sink and there’s yogurt in the fridge if you prefer.”

Everyone helped themselves and they eventually ended up at the table together.  Andrew was the last to join them.

“About time you sleepy heads, you nearly missed out on breakfast.”  Eilea snatched the yogurt from the fridge and after adding cashews, raisins and a spoonful of icing sugar sat at the table.  Paul took out a bagel and added cream cheese, offering the girls some as well.

“Thanks, Paul, but I’ll have yogurt and toast,” Christina was quick to inform him since she hated cream cheese.

“Hey, I’ll take it, I love cream cheese,” Theresa replied.

“Help yourself.”

“Do you have someone to look after the horses when you’re away?”  Eilea asked suddenly.

“I called a friend yesterday and asked if he’d mind watching them for me.  He’s one of the best horseman your ever likely to meet.”

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Critical Error 41

“Come in.”

“It’s just me, mom.  I came to tell you we’re back.”

“Thanks, Christina.  Did you have a nice time?”

“Yeah, there’s a full moon tonight and it was a very romantic setting.  We broke up and went our separate ways but I think Cliff and Theresa will be back pretty soon.  I saw them walking toward the house as we entered the driveway.”

“Good.  How do you feel about all this, Christina?”

“You mean about you and Paul?”

“Is it that obvious?”

“Sort of.  He seems like a pretty nice guy and I think you deserve some happiness.”

“That’s nice to hear.”

“Good night, mom, pleasant dreams.”

“Same to you, hon’.  Sleep well.  We’ll be leaving about eight-thirty so pass the word, will you?”

“Ok, will do.”  Hesitating at the door, she looked back and said, “Mom, happiness doesn’t come around that often.  You should grab it with both hands and hold on.”

“I just might do that, Christina,”  She got out of bed and opened the blind, inviting the moon’s pearly luster into the room.

Before long, Eilea was sound asleep, cloaked in moonlight.  A couple hours later, when he knew the kids were all asleep, Paul opened the door and peeked in, and that’s exactly how he found her;  bathed in lustrous moonlight, her skin milky-white looking incredibly soft and inviting.

He was torn between going to her to crawl into bed beside her and returning to his own room, alone.  She must have heard something, for she turned her head, saw him watching her and said, “Paul?”

“Yes.”

Lifting the covers, she made the decision for him.  He walked to the side of the bed sat down to pull the covers in behind him.

“You are so lovely, I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.”

“So are you.”

Paul placed both hands on either side of her face.  “You are exquisite.  Do you know that?”

“Show me,” she invited.  He did.

He couldn’t take his eyes off her loveliness which excited him even more than this afternoon.  This time, however, they took their time, savouring every moment, every touch, every caress.

Paul had set his watch earlier and was up and gone before she woke.  He didn’t want her to have to make explanations in front of the kids, especially Andrew.  It would take more time to win him over, his barriers were well and truly up.  Her daughter seemed more accepting.  He wasn’t about to lose his mother.

Eilea and Paul were the first to get up in the morning.

“Where did you go last night?”  Eilea asked when he sauntered into the kitchen.

“Actually, it was very early this morning, about five a.m.” he chuckled, as he stroked her chin.  “I didn’t want to create any problems for you with the kids.”

“That’s very considerate of you,” she smiled warmly.

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