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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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Flowers

Decent Substitutes

On a recent summer trip through the southwest United States, Annie admired the many brightly painted ceramic skulls she saw in gift shops. They seemed to be happy, not scary. She wondered why so many people collected them, skulls weren’t her thing. After getting home she read for the first time the definition of the Mexican Holiday, Day of the Dead. Now it all made sense and she wished she had bought some for her parents and brother-in-law’s gravesites. She decided to paint flowers on three flat stones and leave them for her loved ones next time she visited

Written in response to Charli Mills October 31, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the Day of the Dead. It can be the Mexican holiday, a modern adaptation of it, a similar remembrance, or something entirely new. Go where the prompt leads!

Day 22 – Rt 66 trip

I don’t think I have mentioned, we are staying at Best Westerns whenever possible. We are rewards members and have earned a couple of free nights staying with the same chain. There are a couple of foibles to doing so; you take the  location they offer, sometimes a gem and sometimes not, and each hotel is owned by a different person so the amenities are not always the same. In Tulsa we were given a free upgrade to a suite, in another location we were given our points and a couple of battles of water, in Elk City, OK, the desk person said let’s make sure you aren’t by the laundry or elevator. Thank you. Here in Palm Springs we accepted a room by the pool. Mistake, and it’s our fault we didn’t ask to be moved. The point, when you travel, open your mouth and ask for a quiet spot in the hotel. Generally they are cooperative.

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Above is the view walking from the hotel parking lot to go across the street through the parking garage to the next street to have breakfast. It was 88 degrees at 10 am. and that mountain was a couple more streets away from the one we walked to. One thing about desert temperatures, the flowers are still blooming and the young women are running around in sleeveless sundresses. Most of them looked very attractive.

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Above is the Broken Yolk Cafe menu. Below are my savory crepes. The food was good, my coffee lukewarm and our server uninterested. We sat outside and enjoyed watching the people walking by.

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After breakfast Bob watched a bit of football. The games are on at decent times on the west coast. Then we took a ride to Palm Desert to find fabric depicting California landscape. I actually found some with windmills on it. Considering we have seen windmills the whole trip that selection was a no-brainer. We were happy the store was open on Sunday. We are not fans of the Spanish architecture and all the same adobe color.

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We then took “back roads” towards Yucca Valley to find a restaurant we had heard about from more than one person. The picture below is typical California mountains. It looked like the road went no where.

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Now we know where the road goes, right up over the top, through a slight pass. It was a pretty drive, in some areas four lanes and two in others.

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We found Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace out in those mountains. It has no cell service, but parking for over 100 cars. Dating from 1946, this rustic desert motel was a former movie set built by famed actor Roy Rogers. It’s 3 minutes’ walk from historic Pioneertown Main Street and 4 miles from Twentynine Palms Highway. It has been a biker bar and is now a “must visit” location for locals and travelers alike.

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I was taken by the artwork in the bathroom. The first picture is the door to designate the ladies room, the next three are the stall doors.

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Below is the best satirical sign I saw on the trip. The beer was extra cold, the food was yummy and the service was fine. We were seated with a couple named Mike and Jennifer. She took the picture of us, and I took a couple of them for their memory book. Once again, we made instant friends with an invitation to stay at their house should we ever travel through their state.

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Below are a couple of pictures of the buildings that are part of Pioneertown. Very unique.

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And us, having finished our dinner at Pappy and Harriet’s. I had ribs and Bob had a quesadilla.

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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.

 

Remember the Fallen

What is Memorial Day weekend to you? In western New York state, it’s the unofficial start of summer when people with summer cottages take the three-day weekend to go open them up for the season. It’s the weekend you can safely plant your flowers or garden without fear of a killing frost. It’s a weekend of parades, picnics and family time. My husband and I make it an annual event to visit the graves of our loved ones to plant geraniums or leave a new stone. We also go to a chicken-bar-b-q at the American Legion in my home town and enjoy listening to a country music band that we know personally.  Continue reading “Remember the Fallen”

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