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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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children

Is There Beer in Heaven?

       What is your impression of heaven? Do you believe heaven has streets paved of gold; that there will be tranquility for all and maybe a few angels still in need of their wings as depicted in books and movies.

      I remember when I was young my parents discussing their different desires if heaven were indeed a place they would find “heavenly.” My father wanted unlimited fishing holes, well inhabited hunting grounds and an ongoing poker game. My mother wanted all her children with her, but no meals to prepare or laundry to do, and she pictured a forest nearby where they could play and learn together. She also wanted an unlimited source of craft supplies so she could continue to be creative and busy. Continue reading “Is There Beer in Heaven?”

Can You Spell

Today is National Scrabble Day. I have a pretty good handle on the American language and most of the time can spell a word correctly, but winning at Scrabble has never been one of my strong suits. Continue reading “Can You Spell”

Celebrate Reading

What child doesn’t like Dr. Seuss, or adult for that matter? National read across America Day is celebrated on Dr. Seuss birthday. It was specifically planned for children to raise awareness about reading and to motivate them to do it. I happen to believe if an adult reads to a child when they are little, they will be more likely to read themselves. The adage monkey see, monkey do comes to mind.

I read Winnie the Pooh to my children when they were small and characterized all the voices. It was our special time to share closeness and life’s lessons. One of the few times in their day when they sat still. Now they are both so busy they rarely take time to read.

Knowing it’s adults that read this page I want to introduce you to flash fiction. A genre you will always have time to read because the stories are very short. At CarrotRanchLiterary.com you can click on the blog button on Thursdays then scroll down to read the 99 word stories submitted for the prompt word that Charli Mills has given for the week. There are usually between 40 and 50  submissions and they are as varied as the authors that write them. In fact, they are so varied, it’s fascinating to think about how many different subjects come from the same prompt. I post my own submissions on this page, so you have had a taste of what I write.

Authors tend to write what they know so I commend Dr. Seuss for being able to write about green eggs and ham, and other fanciful things. My mind doesn’t work in such a way that imaginary things become real because the words rhyme. It’s his gift to all of us, and I wager an awful lot of people who inhabit this earth know his characters and their habits. We are all richer for the interaction and if you can read these books aloud to your little one, you will enrich their lives too.

 

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”

Splashing is Fun

The National Day of Calendar doesn’t explain when Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day was started, by whom, or what for, but admit it, if you see a child splashing in a puddle it makes you smile. There is  something fun and freeing when you see or do it.

Way back when, my best girl chum was a classmate named Barb. We must have been seven or eight. She would come home on the school bus with me on occasion. Our favorite pastime was making “secret” mud holes in the defunct garden, so it must have been late October when we did it. Our goal was to have one of my older sisters step in it. I don’t remember that ever happening. One time we didn’t mark the booby trap and Barb stepped in it with her school sneakers on. My mother was not very happy with us and did her best to clean the sneaks. I am still laughing that it was one of us that stepped in the mud.

I picked my grandson up from school yesterday. There was sloppy snow near the exit door of the school. I can’t tell you how many fifth grade boys had to stomp in that slop. They looked at the student next to them to see if they had splashed them, then laughed if they were successful. I smiled inwardly.

When I first started dating my husband we were at a summer picnic. The weather was as warm as could be but it was pouring. We decided we might as well dance in the rain. Our friends thought we were acting like children. Oh well. It’s a great memory and we had fun doing it.

I’m sure most of you have seen the video of the toddler “walking” the dog. The one where the dog is standing there, the leash lies on the ground, and the child is stomping in puddles. It’s a good thing some parts of us never grow old no matter how many birthdays we celebrate.

It’s supposed to rain today in my neck of the woods in New York state. I’m glad there will be some puddles to splash in.

 

Teach Your Child

National Parents as Teachers Day caught my attention because I didn’t know if they meant to recognize those parents who teach in the public/private school system so have lots of “children”, or if it was a plug for every parent to work with their own child, like no one else can. I found it to be the later. I’m glad about that because I believe a parent should ultimately be responsible for guiding, helping, and praising their own child so they can do a better job while in the school system.

When I went to school we had a class for the girls called home economics in which we learned the basics of cooking, sewing, and ironing. The old attitude that those chores were ladies work was still strong. Funny thing is, most of the young people I know now, under the age of 35ish, the guy does the cooking, and hardly anyone sews. We have become a throw away society. I think that’s sad. It’s also a big waste!

Back to the subject. It is proven, the more time a parent spends nurturing a little one, the better they do in school, barring learning disabilities. The more books that are read to them at home, the easier time they have learning to read in school. It’s a healthy cycle, and the bond between parent and child is strengthened.

I’d like to take it another step. I don’t think teens learn in school what they need to get along in this world. Simple things like balancing a check book, how to comparison shop, how to save money and not rely on credit, how to fill out a simple tax return with no special deductions, and even how to budget their time. My suggestion to you parents is the next time you do one of these chores, to include your teenager so they will at least have been shown how. Note: I get they probably won’t be interested….bribe them if necessary! Teach them any chance you get. I applaud you for trying-in advance!

Let Your Children Serve You

I have a confession.  When I was a young mother, I didn’t have the patience to have my children help me in the kitchen.  I liked to get things done quickly, neatly, and with the expected outcome.  I didn’t know I was making a mistake by not letting them help, thus learn about cooking and responsibility.  The good part, they are both over 40 now and the main cooks in their households.  I’m proud of them for learning despite my actions.

Children like to feel like they are contributing.  I found with my grandson that if I asked for his help, instead of giving instructions and making demands, we had a good time.  At age one he was allowed to get all the pans out; he would  crash bang the lids, spread an obstacle course around the kitchen, then put them all in a circle with himself in the center.  It kept him occupied for a long time. He then graduated to wanting to help wash the dishes, then to cracking eggs for me while baking.  (One ended up on the floor and not in the bowl.  My daughter looked at me, shook her head and left the room.  I didn’t yell at him, just cleaned it up.  The rules change when you get older and it’s a grandchild.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t think it was fair.)

I remember some friends of ours who have three boys; they had to make the peanut butter and jelly sandwich different for each one.  How?  One wanted the jelly on the bottom, another had to have the jelly on top, and the third wanted his “fo-ded” (folded) not cut!  Mom was smart enough to make them all the same, and just place them on the plate the correct way.  One day Dad was on duty and he had to call Mom to find out the rules.  We are still laughing about it.

Let your kids take over the kitchen to celebrate this day.  If they are little, let them play with the bowls and spoons; if a little bigger, share the cooking but let them do the planning; the meal doesn’t have to fancy, a bologna sandwich will do; you get the idea; the only rule, they are not allowed to call for take-out.  Help them learn that serving (giving) is a wonderful trait that will take them farther in this world than any other.

 

 

What Was Your Favorite Stuffed Animal?

Kenny Chesney sings a song that has a line in it telling about a little girl dragging her teddy bear up the stairs.  If you are a parent I’m sure you could quickly name your child’s favorite stuffed animal.  If you are a younger person you may still have your childhood teddy bear or critter of choice.  I had two: one was a bear with a music box that played Brahms Lullaby and the other was an octopus.

I know a young man who has finished graduate school and is a sports announcer in a good size city.  He worked in our town for a while, and a stuffed cat from his alma mater came with him.  When he left town, I had the privilege of taking him to the airport; the stuffed cat was on top of his carry on bag, never out of sight.  It represented home.

My grandson’s most favorite stuffed animal, of way too many, was a tiny beige dog he named Pongo.  It was the one thing he had to have with him or he won’t go to sleep.  Pongo accidentally ended up in the laundry at my house once.  I had to take him home at 10PM after searching for him for an hour.  Anything for your grandchild.

I know two different ladies that at the age of 70+ had a teddy bear on their couch.  When I asked each of them who they got the bear from, sadly, I got the same answer.  “I bought it for myself because no one else ever did.”  When my aunt went into an assisted living facility she was very upset she couldn’t have a cat.  We got her a stuffed one that looked so real other residents complained she had a pet in her room.  When we would visit, we would hold it and pet it because it was really soft. Auntie slept with it on her bed.

I’m sure there is a psychological reason that humans like their teddy bears.  I’m guessing it’s a different for everyone.

Oh, it’s also National Hug Your Boss Day.  With today’s political correctness B.S. and sexual harassment allegations, I wouldn’t suggest doing that.  Maybe give him/her a teddy bear instead.

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