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Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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sharing

Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream

When it’s hot out, do you prefer frozen yogurt or ice cream? Well, that depends! If I want something tangy, refreshing, and fruity, I go for frozen yogurt. If I want a fat fix and have my usual caramel craving, it’s ice cream all the way.

Somehow I never jumped  on the frozen yogurt bandwagon, or the gelato for that matter. Maybe it’s my age. You know, I’ve always liked ice cream so why change now. I do know there is a common thread to eating it; it’s always better if you share it with someone.

We used to have a Harley before my husband’s back gave out. It was a regular weekend event in the summer to get together with some other Harley owners, have a big breakfast out, then go for a ride. It was the ride that was important, sometimes hours long. We would find back roads that ran through the countryside where the scenery kept our attention and there wasn’t a lot of traffic. Often times, ice cream or frozen yogurt was our lunch. One of our friends, J.C. could find an ice cream stand in the most out-of-the-way places. We let him lead the pack. We are still talking about the fun times we had.

Now days when my husband and I go for a drive in our Mini Cooper convertible, (one has to have some sort of toy) our lunch is still frozen yogurt or ice cream. If we have had a small breakfast, maybe it’s a sunday with toppings and whipped cream instead of just a cone. The fact remains, it’s better because we are sharing the experience.

Thank a Veteran

Today is Veterans Day. I will be spending the evening with a special group of Veterans who are my personal friends. We belong to the Rochester (NY) Veterans Writing Group. Following is part of my portfolio that is on our web-sight page:

When we gather, we catch up on each other’s news and then write for about twenty minutes from a prompt sheet that gets our ideas forming. There are usually four prompts provided by one of our facilitators. After writing, each person reads aloud what he or she has written. Members of the group then offer constructive criticism on how to improve semantics. Suggestions are made for extending the piece into an essay, short story, or whatever. That’s the plan.

This is what really happens; most of us have chosen a prompt that requires a walk down memory lane: it can be a poignant memory with a good, or not so good, outcome while in the military; a humorous escapade from childhood or adult life; something a loved one did or experienced; a subject we feel strongly about and why; or sharing what losing a loved one feels like. After each person reads, the others acknowledge that the emotions shared are legitimate, worthy, and acceptable. The military brotherhood understands the range of feelings and the impact of PTSD. It’s a safe place to share. Personally, I always need my box of tissues; that’s just how I’m wired. Funny, I can talk about a situation, but when I read my own writing, I cry. Sometimes it’s embarrassing.

The number that attends the group ebbs and flows. There can be as many as twelve people and sometimes only five. Most attendees have served in a branch (or two) of the U.S. military and others have close affiliations to a current or past military member. There are no rules other than to have a desire to write, share, and learn. And, it’s free.

Attending this group for over a year now has given me some remarkable gains — friends, understanding, and knowledge. I am part of the tribe and I belong.

My husband is a veteran, as is the father of my children. I pay close attention to the Veterans who are my Facebook friends and vote the way they do because I trust their judgement. They have paid the price for the freedoms we enjoy in this country. May I suggest, today and every day; Thank a Veteran.

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