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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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family

Being Famous Vicariously

I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit I wonder what it would be like to be famous. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to have it printed or talked about when I go for a colonoscopy. I do think, for a day at least, it would be fun to be recognized on the street. Continue reading “Being Famous Vicariously”

Make It Happen

In this busy world, unless your relatives live in the same town you do, time to visit is often not a priority. It should be. I know, some families don’t get along all that well, but they are still family. My husband’s family has a reunion every summer and groups come from all over the U.S. for dinner on Friday and a picnic and dinner on Saturday. Yes, it’s expensive for those that have to fly and rent hotel rooms, but they share a bond very unlike my own family because they make it happen and stay close.

It’s custom in my house to have my adult children and their families come for Sunday dinner once a month. If we didn’t schedule it in advance it wouldn’t happen. My son works crazy hours so he looks at “Sunday at Mom’s” as his total relaxation day. I love to do all the cooking. We are lucky and only have one month in the year that there are two birthdays, so the person of the month gets to pick the menu. One month I  made chicken enchiladas to the response of my grandson, “Who picked that?” I’m sure you can hear the sneer in his voice. Other favorites are steak, marinated chicken, prime rib and lasagna.

Today my husband and I are actually on the road, traveling to Hoboken, NJ, for a family gathering. On our way back we will stop in Binghamton, NY, to visit two of my sisters, one of which is digging me up some ground sedum to bring home. That’s a plant. The other one is buying us lunch. It will be a quick non-stop talking weekend but at the end of it we will be caught up on the family news with lots of stories thrown in that never make it to Facebook or e-mail. When we get home our chairs will feel good, but we’ll have added to the memory banks and hug meters. The cats can feed themselves for a couple of days and I’ll get to see the New York City skyline up close and personal.

I hope you have a nice weekend too. Try to make some time to visit family.

Unexpected News – Flash Fiction

January 11, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about wet ink. It can be artistic, writerly or something completely off-the-wall. Go where the prompt leads.  https://carrotranch.com/2018/01/12/january-11-flash-fiction-challenge/

My offering follows:

With great excitement and anticipation I opened my son’s first letter since he had joined the Air Force. I expected personal news and an address. I got the opposite.

“I’m sure you don’t know, Dad told me to never come home again for enlisting without his blessing. I don’t think it’s safe to give you any contact information because he will force you to choose between him and me. I’m sorry.”

My sudden tears wet the ink. I realized any letters would have to be kept secret and I didn’t know if I would ever see my son again.

Thinking of Mom

47 years ago on this date, my mother passed away at home with my father by her side.  She had been sick so long we had started praying for what was best for her instead of asking for her to get better. I was in the upstairs bathroom and could hear my father through the open register to the kitchen below when he called the local funeral home director. It was about five in the morning. He said, “Gene, this is George, I hate to ruin your first day of deer season, but I need you to come pick up my wife.” Continue reading “Thinking of Mom”

How We Met

Nachos have a special place in my husband’s and my history. They were what we ate the day we met. It was the last Wednesday in April, 2001. There were five of us, sitting on a bar patio because it was one of those springtime 80 degree days. Funny part of the experience, we all were eating the jalapenos. Outcome of the event, there have only been a handful of days since then that my husband and I have not at least spoken on the phone, if we weren’t together physically. It was a spicy hot beginning. Continue reading “How We Met”

Stay-At-Home-Mom

A repeat from last year………………..

If you are one of the lucky moms that gets to stay home with your kids…..Please….never say you are just a housewife. You may often feel like the maid, but years from now your children will brag about the fact you were home when they got on the school bus and when they got off. And today in school, their class mates will be jealous that their friend’s mom is home and theirs is not. Continue reading “Stay-At-Home-Mom”

There’s a current hit on the country music charts by Luke Combs called When It Rains It Pours. From the title it sounds like it will be just another song about misery. The opposite is true. The guy’s luck turns to gold when his girl walks out. He gives credit for his new-found luck to the fact she left and adds, “I ain’t gotta see my ex future mother-in-law anymore”. I love that line. It brings to mind all sorts of situations, but I hope it doesn’t apply to me. Continue reading

Appreciation Goes a Long Way

This is a day to show appreciation to boyfriends everywhere for the good things they do. The National Day of Calendar pointed out there are special days for just about every category of people: mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings and cousins, so why not boyfriends. Continue reading “Appreciation Goes a Long Way”

Everyone Grieves Differently

Few people like to talk about grief so having an awareness day for it is a good thing. I have had more than my share of personal losses for my age and now as a retiree, the number grows by the year. It’s hard to deal with and accept one of life’s natural progressions at times. The void left when someone close to you dies is all too real. Continue reading “Everyone Grieves Differently”

Comfort Food

 Junk foods by definition are usually high in fats, sugars, salt and calories and contain very little nutritional value. That makes me wonder why we like them so much. For me, it is because the salt and sugar put my taste buds into over drive and I think I’m being comforted, except my hips and belly hang on to that comfort for all the world to see! Continue reading “Comfort Food”

I Love Onions

It’s National Onion Rings Day. One of my best memories of onions in my youth came about when I stayed overnight with my oldest sister and her new husband. I think I was eleven. People did a lot more cooking at home back then. We got some really big sweet onions at the grocery store. G. cut them into 3/4 inch slices, dipped them in batter and fried them in a single layer in an electric frying pan that held boiling oil. They were soooo good. The onion still had lots of flavor, the batter was light, and we ate them as each batch was ready. It was a long slow process, but doing it together and getting our fill is part of why it’s so memorable. I also remember thinking it was a lot of work and quite messy.

These days when you order onion rings in a restaurant, they are mostly breading, very little onion and cooked to death. I guess I’ll never find a ring that lives up to the memory of the home made ones I shared with my sister.

I have always been an onion lover. There is a family story that my father went to get the box of onion sets to plant the garden when I was four and the box was gone. He wasn’t happy. The explanation goes, my babysitter had peeled them and I had eaten them all. That I don’t remember doing, but I wouldn’t doubt it.

I attended my 25th high school reunion and one of my classmates said to me, “You know what I remember about you? Onion sandwiches.” She was right. I ate an onion sandwich most days before I got on the bus to go to the afternoon session of kindergarten. I wonder if all the onions I have eaten have helped me stay healthy over the years.

Another time I ate all the onions was when I had lunch out with my aunt. There was a jar of chopped onions on every table because it was summer and people ate them like relish on their hot dogs and burgers. This particular jar was so sweet with just the right amount of tang, that my aunt and I ate them with a spoon. We were surprised when at the end of the meal, the jar was empty. We felt a little guilty.

If you love onions like I do may I suggest you make your own onion rings at least once. While eating them picture the idolized big sister making them for her little sister. I bet they’ll be the best you have ever had.

You Choose Each Other

Today is National Best Friends Day. What do you consider a best friend? My definition includes things like loyal, accepting, someone I could travel with, someone to share secrets with and best of all, you choose each other because it’s fun and comfortable to spend time together. If your best friend is also a blood relative, you are even luckier.

I am very fortunate. I have best friends in different aspects of my life. I have M.B. who I went all through school with and have stayed in close contact with to this day. We know each others personal life secrets and don’t tell. I have 90-year-old V.B. and 76-year-old K.K. who are older women I can bounce life’s challenges off; they have more experience than I do and can share different view points with me. I have my sewing buddies; three ladies who had very similar childhoods to mine. We talk about current events, our families, and quilting— mostly quilting. We laugh a lot together. I also have a lady friend, J.G., who can often explain other people’s actions to me. And then I have my Blog supporters, N.G., K.P., and R.C.. I’ve never met R.C. but she has a blog and is an author and baker. I’m sure if we had a chance to share a cup of tea or coffee, we could talk for hours about our like interests and hug each other at the end of our visit. I also have three older sisters who I am close to. We can actually travel together and enjoy it. I am truly blessed to have so many close female friends. And let’s not leave out my children, who I can complain to and share the joy of the milestones we all accomplish.

The list wouldn’t be complete without including my husband. When we first met he said, “I don’t care about your past. I am interested in the person you have become because of it.” He has always stuck to that, never questioning or berating me for mistakes or decisions I made before I met him. He is my most loyal supporter and because of his acceptance I have been able to grow as a person. He deserves my trust and loyalty because he treats me the way I need to be treated, not the way he thinks I should be and he let’s me be me.

As I write, or sew, or cook, I have another best friend. My cat, Useless. He is my constant companion, will listen to anything I have to say, warms my lap while I nap or read, and doesn’t argue. He can be a pain about wanting to go out and come back in so many times in an evening, but I never come home to an empty house with him here to greet me. He has a bed in my sewing studio and shares my chair with me, or takes it over is more like it. He’s fourteen now and starting to show his age. That makes me sad.

Today would be a good day to tell your best friend(s) how much they mean to you. Life sure would be empty if we didn’t have our favorite humans to share it with.

 

 

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