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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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birthday

Day 20 – Rt 66 trip

    HAPPY    BIRTHDAY    BOB

Where do you take the Jewish kid for breakfast on his birthday? A bagel  shop of course. We checked out of the Mirage and wanted to get off “The Las Vegas Strip” for breakfast so we wouldn’t have trouble parking the car we had to give a few fingers for to get back from valet. Not complaining, we knew that going in, but jeeesh, expensive, like downtown Boston. When I spotted Einstein’s Bagels I knew that was the place. Of course I’m the one that had lox and Bob had an egg sandwich. I think it was the best bagel I have ever had, mostly because it wasn’t hard to bite or chew. I liked the poster in the shop because it represents the many nationalities and different American ethnicities we have met along the road this month.

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On Rt. 15 South out of Vegas going to Barstow, CA, we saw another huge solar farm. The shiny part of the picture below that looks like a lake is really solar panels. This particular landscape is well suited for this because it isn’t good for anything else but some bugs and wildlife.  Yes, that is sand in the forefront of the picture as this is the Mojave Desert.

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I also found some cool cacti to photograph. You are probably wondering why so many pictures of the same landscape. Well, it’s because that is what we have seen for many days. And they call the mid-west, the fly-over states where there is nothing but fields.

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Below is also on Rt. 15. Changing elevation from 5000 feet above sea level to 2000 feet. That’s a big sand bowl in the distance (the grey sliver.) You can see the trucks climbing slowly toward us.

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Below; This looked like a big cat stretched out on someone’s lap. See the ears, back and curly tail. Who knows why that spot was sand and not rock, but it got my attention.

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The “rabbit” below was on our bed when we checked in to the hotel  in Barstow. We thought it a homey touch. There were also ear plugs by the clock-radio. Uh oh. We have heard one train, but we are used to them, so no big deal. I know these pictures aren’t very exciting, but that’s the kind of day it has been. We have done laundry and now are going out to have a nice meal for my honey’s birthday.

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So Google did us a favor, again. We asked what restaurants were near-by and picked the Idle Spurs for a nice dinner. The place is well known to the locals and travelers alike as it is just a few  minutes off Rt. 66. We had reservations but ate at the bar once we got to talking with Howard and his wife, and then Suzanne and her husband, Wayne. We realized when we got back to the room no one had made a comment about Bob’s mustache, very unusual. The parking lot had lots of cars when we pulled in and they were happy we gave up our table to eat at the bar. The welcoming card, and verse are below.

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The verse is especially true at this moment in our lives as the people we have met on this journey have  made it special for us. We will be talking about the individuals for a long time and realize we were probably just one of many in their lives.

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Rachel (below) made Bob’s night when she brought him a chocolate sundae with a candle in it for his birthday. And yes, Suzanne  insisted we sing. Rachel was an attentive server to us, and a good bartender as she listened to us talk but made sure her staff got the drinks they needed for their tables in quick order. She knew Suzanne well and we listened to their conversation as they listened to ours. We got good recommendations for restaurants for the next couple of days, and left the Idle Spurs knowing if we ever get to Barstow again, we have a friendly place to go. The decorations inside what used to be a house were from our era and fun to reminisce about. My prime rib and Bob’s London Broil were perfection.

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The birthday boy.

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Bouquets

When I got home from work the aroma of dinner, a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine waited. I exclaimed to my teenagers, “Wow. What’s the occasion?”

“Your birthday.”

“That’s next week.”

“We know. Surprise!”

“I’m going to cry.”

“Not allowed. Open the wine instead.”

“How did you get wine?”

“Dad took us. He said this Merlot has a great bouquet.”

“So Dad was involved in this?” I hesitated, took a deep breath and added, “You might as well call him to join us.”

“Really?”

“We told you, we’re just taking a break, not getting a divorce.”

In response to Charli Mills June 14, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

 

Happy Birthday Son

Today is George Washington’s birthday. When I was young, we recognized it on this day, the day it really was, not a convenient Monday so some people could have a three day weekend.

Anyway, it is also my son’s birthday today. His father and I had planned to name him Dustin, from the time we talked about having children. Just before he was born, we found out there was another boy in our little town with that name and the same last name (not related), so the plan changed. In the early-to-mid seventies, the boys names, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason were extremely popular, courtesy of the TV show “Here Come the Brides”. We picked Jeremy, and added Michael for a middle name thinking he could use that if he didn’t like Jeremy. He goes by J. 

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When he was born on George’s birthday I suggested we name him that because it was my father’s name, one of our close friend’s name, and it was the 22nd. Thankfully his father disagreed with me and won the discussion. The picture above is a few years old.

I am very proud of my son. He works over 50 hours a week as a UPS driver, plays all weekend with his four year old daughter, and has a good relationship with his fiancé. When they come to family dinner we have a lot of laughs, he does little things around the house for me, and I can go shopping in the town he delivers in and happily admit who I am. It’s a great pleasure to always hear, “Your son is such a good man!”

Happy Birthday Jeremy.  Mom loves you.

Mickey Mouse’s Birthday

On November 18, we commemorate the birth of that ever lovable mouse that was once a rabbit called Oswald. It was back in 1927 while under contract to Universal Studios that Walt Disney first sketched a floppy eared bunny that later became Mickey Mouse.

From a rabbit named Oswald to a mouse named Mortimer, eventually the squeaky voiced rodent was dubbed Mickey. He flopped in two animated short films, then on November 18, 1928, Mickey’s star was born. The first animation synchronized to music and sound effects, Steamboat Willie premiered in New York.

Within a year, a Mickey Mouse Club popped up in Salem, Oregon. This particular club offered admission as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army with a donation of either a potato or a small toy and a penny. According to a December 22, 1929, Statesman Journal (Salem, Oregon) article, $12 and three truckloads of potatoes and toys collected by eager new members.

Remember, the stock market crashed just 20 days before Mickey Mouse was born. That a cute little mouse could bring smiles to the faces of children at an uncertain time really isn’t such a surprise.

Generally, new members joined the club by completing an admission form obtained from a local merchant and attending meetings held during matinees at local movie houses. The price of admission often was reduced for good deeds and report cards. By the end of 1930, the Mickey Mouse Clubs had spread across the country.

A makeover in 1935 by animator Fred Moore gave Mickey the look we are familiar with today. The big eyes, white gloves and the pert little nose. More lovable than ever before, he propelled himself even further into the hearts of children everywhere.

His companions Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto joined him along the way, bringing vaudeville comedy with them.

I took the above history from the National Day of Calendar and shared it because I had never heard any of it. Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse. A trip to Disney World is still on my bucket list.

Happy Birthday USMC

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

I have a lot of connections to the military in this great country. I can name people who I know both past and present in all branches of the service, except the Marine Corps. I never thought of that until today. My lawyer’s son is a marine  but I don’t know him personally. Funny how that works. I wonder why the marines are avoiding me?

If you are at all familiar with my blog, you know I am pro-military because I believe our United States would not be what it is today without them. Yes, sometimes our government gets us involved in fights we don’t think are ours, and we lose young men and women for no apparent good reason. I have trouble with that too. But, think about the fact that it is us as a country that is looked to for help. We are strong enough and big enough to help others. It’s part of our job as a super-power.

The presidential election was two days ago, and we now have people protesting and rioting in the streets because of who won. This is sad and scary. I was raised to give a person a chance to sink or swim before passing judgement. If the protesters are also being destructive, aren’t they part of the problem instead of the solution. I’m all for freedom of speech, but please folks, wake up! Destruction and failure to cooperate is only making the problem worse.

Do I believe our president-elect has what it takes to be a strong, good president, able to keep us in a position of power? I have no idea. But he sure won’t get there with his constituents tearing apart the cities and causing more problems for the police and their neighbors.  Let’s hope the “educated” that disagree with the outcome of the election come to their senses before the Marines get called out to work on their birthday.

Peace!

Mother-in-law Day

It’s National Mother-in-law Day.  Some people have the good fortune to get one they like and some don’t.  It’s a lot of work to make a marriage last, then you add trying to get along with the spouse’s family and anything can happen.  Sometimes a bond can take a while to develop, other times it’s obvious from the start there will never be one.  I say, keep trying if there is some hope.  It can add to the happiness of your marriage.

I consider myself to be a good mother-in-law for one main reason.  My kitchen is usually quiet, clean and not overheated by the stove being in use all day on almost every holiday and family birthday.  How can that be?  Because I don’t care what day we eat turkey, or open presents; it could be two weeks early or a few days late, just as long as it happens.  My adult kids spend all the holidays and sometimes their birthdays with their significant other’s family because there are some mothers-in-law that have rigid rules of attendance.  I’m proud to not be one of them.

I know a family that is having a major discussion because the family reunion date picked for 2017 falls on the birthday of a two-year old.  I say the parents and grandparents come to the reunion so everyone can finally meet the baby, then have a second birthday party with the other side of the family a week later. The baby won’t know what is happening and won’t remember it anyway. But, I am not in charge, so shall keep my opinion to myself, unless you count my talking about it here.  Setting the date for any large group of people is a thankless job.  It always falls on a date that upsets someone.  I mention this tidbit because it’s an example of a stringent date keeper.

We could get carried away and mention shopping on Thanksgiving in the U.S.  Personally I like that the stores are open because every time I hear an advertisement about being home with the family I know I’m not going to be. I would rather have my family home on a different day when I don’t have to share them with two other houses they must appear at so they don’t upset someone or hear about it later.

I’ll toot my own horn about this particular aspect of being a good mother-in-law and hope even if you don’t agree with my view point, you’ll understand it works well for me.

 

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