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Susan Sleggs

Reflective observations to inspire conversation

Learning to Write -memoir

As a baby-boomer in a rural central school in western New York state we learned to write cursive using fat green pencils with no eraser. The teacher would hand out a lined piece of paper with the letter on it and we were to make copies of it, but the lines were probably half an inch apart, two solid with a dotted in between to total an inch.. The lines were so we could form the letter with the correct size “heads and tails.” That means make the top of the h all the way up to the top line. It sounds good in theory, but trying to form the letters huge, didn’t translate to forming them the natural writing size once I learned the shapes. I never could make a perfect circle for an o and still don’t. My cursive is scrawly, uneven, and as we say, “Looks like a doctors signature.”
I do remember one girl who always got A’s made her letters with all sorts of fancy add-ons. It used to infuriate me that she would get such good marks when to me her writing was just as bad as mine, just in a different way.
I like to use the computer now even if I am writing a personal note that way I know the recipient will be able to read my thoughts.

This is in response to Irene Water’s latest Times Past memoir prompt.  Join in at the comments here or on Irene’s post, giving your location at the time of your memory and your generation.

My Weakness

I’m a sucker for sticky buns, with lots of nuts, and the gooier the better. It’s one item I buy at the local bakery instead of making myself. To improve what is already good, I warm it a tad and add butter. Calories, you bet! Who cares, when it is an occasional treat. Continue reading “My Weakness”

Yum-Yum

I used to work at The Olive Garden restaurant. We could sneak soup or bread sticks when we were hungry, but we could get suspended for eating the Andes chocolate mint candies that were given when the check was presented at each table. Over such a little thing as that? Yes, because when there are fifteen-plus empoyees on duty and we all eat our fill, the big box that should last all evening, disappears in about an hour. The candies are so good, and a refreshing minty taste remains when one is allowed to slowly melt in your mouth. Continue reading “Yum-Yum”

Ice-Flash Fiction

“My goodness, I’ve never seen such ice sculptures at a wedding. The liquor bottles are nestled in a huge block and the swans look like they could just up and fly away.”

“Ostentatious waste! If the bride turns into her mother the ice will be flowing in her veins.”

“For crying out loud, give them a chance before you predict their doom.”

“The groom’s already done that. I saw him last night kissing one of the bride’s maids.”

“A congratulatory kiss I’ll wager.”

“No, a long kiss with hands roving that would melt all the ice in this room.” Continue reading “Ice-Flash Fiction”

Not Just For Professionals

It’s National Care Givers Day. According to the National Day of calendar this day is set aside to acknowledge, thank, and give credit to professional care givers. Amen to that! Where would we be without our nurses, doctors, technicians, and even the cleaning and cafeteria crews at a hospital; or the staff in our doctor’s office? These people are there when we need them, hopefully it isn’t too often. Note: they get to go home at the end of their shift.

Let’s take this a step further. After a loved one has a knee replaced, with a hospital stay of only two nights, now who is the caregiver? If someone is going through chemo treatments, with rides needed, meals prepared, the house cleaned, and a gentle touch; now who is the caregiver? If someone is in an auto accident that shakes their security to the core, who is their caregiver? You got it, usually it is a family member or friend.

In my circle, I am known as the hospital sitter. I don’t mind sitting quietly, for hours if necessary, in a hospital room, or waiting room, knowing that I am making the patient just a bit calmer. I’ve done it for my husband, the neighbor, my boss, other family members, and a  fellow Harley rider after a terrible accident that left him in a wheelchair. I’m not looking for praise, it’s a way I can calmly give back. There is a down side. On the odd day I’m needing a boost myself, it’s a little too easy to ask, who is taking care of me? Thankfully that thought doesn’t happen often, or last long.

Currently in the U.S. it is socially acceptable and even suggested to tell a military veteran thank you for their service. It’s about time. May I suggest, if you know a caregiver, especially the stay-at-home type, add them to the list of people to say thank you to. By acknowledging the person that needs the care and the caregiver, you let them know you are concerned for both of them. It will mean a lot as the stay-at-home caregiver often doesn’t have an escape like a professional does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity or Spicy

I know gumdrops are available all year round, but they are the featured candy on the shelf at the check-outs in my local grocery store at Christmas time. I look at them longingly and then wonder, are they spicy or fruity. I don’t happen to like the fruity ones so if I pick up a green one expecting a refreshing wintergreen flavor and end up with a limey one, it upsets my taste buds expectations. If I do succumb to temptation the visual presents, I read the label before putting down my cash. There’s nothing good about an upset taste bud. Continue reading “Fruity or Spicy”

You Can Help

National Donor Day focuses on five different types of donations:  Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood.  Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.  In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation. [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading “You Can Help”

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day is observed by many as a day to think positive. A day for looking on the bright side of things then carry that with you every day after. Do not worry and do not stress over the little things. Life is too short to let the little things bother us. Everyone knows that unexpected or unplanned things happen in life, sometimes on a daily basis. With a positive attitude, life is much brighter and easier. [courtesy National Day of Calendar] Continue reading

From Fire to Fireweed

No fire had ever come close to our valley before. We could see the leaping yellow and red flames over the crest of the hill. We tied wet cloths over our faces to hand out water to firefighters in the dense smoke. They said we were safe. We weren’t, but we had lots of warning compared to others and left with full cars.

Months later we returned with a builder who agreed to work around the original stone fireplace. Vibrant purple fireweed greeted us. The irony of the plants name made us laugh aloud. There had been enough tears. Continue reading “From Fire to Fireweed”

Good Anytime

Do you know anyone that doesn’t like Pizza? I don’t think I do. It’s one of those foods that if you don’t like it the “normal” way with red sauce, pepperoni and cheese, you can change to white sauce and all veggies. You can get the crust thick or thin, you can add any topping you want, and in certain stores get the crust gluten-free. It’s a satisfying dish for everyone as long as your group can agree on which kind to order or make when there are a bunch of you. Continue reading “Good Anytime”

A Grand Organization

When I wrote my novel I wanted the young male hero to be a well-rounded, moralistic, caring, upright young man the military would love to have as one of their own, so I made him a Boy Scout during his growing up years. He was also an only child, so the Scouts gave him a family of brothers, a place to belong and best friends. Later in the story he mentors another youth in the Boy Scouts so some of the badges they can earn are discussed. The five most common are First Aid, Camping, Cooking, Swimming and Citizenship in the Community. Good everyday living skills. Continue reading “A Grand Organization”

Flash Fiction Writing Contest

LCRW stands for Lilac City Rochester Writers. This is one of the local writing groups I belong to. We are hosting a contest as a fund-raiser and would love to have you join the fun. Submissions will be accepted through March 31.  If you click on the blue “Here” it will take you to the LCRW website for all the information and a Word Form that works.  Continue reading “Flash Fiction Writing Contest”

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