Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady



Sad Regrets – Flash Fiction

The devastating, but expected call came just before six-o-clock, her father was dead.

The Uber could only get within two blocks of the extravagant condo high rise because downtown streets were blocked for a jazz festival.

She entered the building with feelings in check and said her goodbyes. The music drew her to the balcony where a large sketch book lay on a table. She sat and opened it.

Sketch after sketch of the street below from each year of the festival. She was in each one, but had never been there. Regrets swept her; she should have been.


In response to Charli Mills June 28, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.

June 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

Security System

My father has been gone twenty-five years already. Seems like yesterday I was sitting at the table in his antique shop called “The Mousetrap.” His shop, located in a small town of 300 people in western New York, sat next to a large parking lot that had once belonged to an active business building that was set way back from the road. That parking lot attracted bicycle riders, skateboard attempters, and other children playing in the day light. At night, cars of teenagers parked in the shadows doing what they do in the dark.  Continue reading “Security System”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s National Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. And, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, the one day of the year everyone is Irish. As a non-Catholic, I assumed corned beef and cabbage was an Irish dish. Wrong. According to the National Day of Calendar it is an American dish. The Irish used a bacon/pork meat that got changed to beef in America in the mid-1800’s when they immigrated. I’m not too concerned about who decided the meat and vegetable went together, I’m just glad they did. I also like to swap out the cabbage for sauerkraut. We have already had it for dinner twice this week. I take advantage of corned beef being on sale and put a couple in the freezer for later in the year.

My father died on St. Patrick’s Day in 1992. Seems like yesterday and I still want to call him when  I have news to share. I really didn’t know my father all that well. He was one of those silent types and he worked the evening shift at a local manufacturing plant. When I was a youngster, one didn’t talk about the fact their father was an alcoholic. My sisters and I are all over 60 now and we are talking more about our growing-up years. One sister just told me that Dad was very active in AA and sometimes when he went to work, the boss would come to him and send him to help another employee with a drinking problem, on the clock. When Dad died, we got a very nice note from a man who I went to school with. It said he too was an alcoholic and he always went to the AA meetings my father went to in order to hear him speak. I wish I had known that side of my father. It is a comfort to know he helped other people. In his later years, he had an antique shop. The kitchen table was often surrounded by people with coffee cups in hand, and the topic was how to keep from drinking that day.


I generally write this blog in my pajamas. Today when I get dressed, I will put on my green, maybe even call my old boss and take her out for corned beef and cabbage, but I’ll be thinking of my father, pictured above. The “stuff” hanging on the kitchen cupboards are antique kitchen implements. You couldn’t sneak in one of those cupboards for any reason. The name of his shop was the Mousetrap Antiques.


Visit your Child’s School?

The titles on the National Day of Calendar can evoke much different thoughts than what the day was actually set up to recognize.  When I saw the title, Take Your Parents to Lunch, I had visions of my adult children calling to invite me to meet them for lunch, during their work day.  That would be possible for me because I’m retired, and I could meet them at their place and time of choice; in my son’s case, an hour from my house.

Alas, when I read the description, it is meant for younger parents to visit their child’s school and go to lunch with them in the cafeteria.  Mostly to learn about the process and see what a good job the school does feeding their child.  I’m a dinosaur, parents didn’t visit us in school when I went to grade school.  [And we didn’t text all day either.]  I do know a lady who had lunch with her daughter every day in school through fifth grade.  That girl just graduated from high school and choose to go to  Arizona for college.  That’s a mighty long way from New York state. None of us wonder why except her Mom.  I guess you can be too involved.  I think the term for that now is a “helicopter mom”.  It’s not always easy to find a good balance that fits the mother’s and child’s emotional needs.

Sitting here, I can’t remember ever eating out with my father.  Stopping for ice cream, yes.  The only time I can remember doing it with my mother was at a church dinner.  But, we lived in rural New York state.  At that time, fast food places were only in the cities, and we didn’t go to restaurants unless it was a very special occasion.  Now, they are both gone, so I can’t take them to lunch.  I’m jealous of people my age that still have their folks to talk to and spend time with.

I’ll suggest you make this day work for you the way that is best for your circumstances.  Or maybe, borrow someone else’s parents to take out, just because you can.  Or call your own kids, and invite them out, without a reason.  Often times we don’t realize how fast time goes.  Take advantage while you can to take every opportunity to go to lunch with your children, or parents, or cousins, or neighbors, or special friends.



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