JusJoJan — Early to Rise

08dba28b-bfee-4cde-a3a3-3a4522c0143bToday’s jot for Linda G. Hill’s Just Jot It January prompt was suggested by Toortsie. The word is “sunrise.” As Linda noted, Toortsie’s native language isn’t English, it’s Afrikaans. When I opened up her post using the Chrome browser on my iPhone, I was asked if I wanted Google to translate the text from Afrikaans to English and voila! I could read every word.

So now on to my jot for January 10th.

When I lived in the east, I used to love to go to the coast and watch the sun rising up and over the Atlantic. It was breathtakingly beautiful. But also when I lived in the east, the nearest ocean coastline was easily 100 miles from where I lived. And, as a younger man, I typically stayed up later at night and slept later in the morning. So my opportunities to witness the sunrise at the ocean were few and far between.

Now I live on the west coast, and even though, in my old age, I often wake up before dawn, I’m 3,000 or so miles away from being able to see the sun rising over the ocean.

But there’s no need to feel sorry for me. No indeed. Because now I live only a few miles from the ocean and I can go watch the sun setting into the Pacific anytime I want.

What I’ve discovered is that, whether you’re looking east at the Atlantic or west at the Pacific, both the sunrise and the sunset at the ocean’s shore are breathtakingly beautiful. And if you show someone a photograph, and ask them if they’re looking at a picture of a sunrise or a sunset, they’ll be hard pressed to give you the correct answer.

Share Your World — Stress Relief

SYWAnother Monday, another Melanie’s Share Your World Q&A. So without further ado…

What’s your go-to for unwinding after a stressful event or day?   Can be someone or something – music, pets, family or whatever you choose.

0AD13252-7716-4744-8E92-A2B38C49AB06Given that most of my stress these days comes from what’s going on in American politics, anything that can divert and distract my attention away from politics is helpful. Non-political comedies or dramas on TV, a good work of fiction, sex with my wife. Or, if all else fails, a pot-infused cookie. Stress? What stress?

The plane you’re flying in is going to crash, no survivors.  If you had one song you could listen to before it happens, what would it be? (credit to NewEpicAuthor for this one).  Please share the link to the song if you can.

I saw this question on Jim’s blog and, to be honest, if I were on a plane that was about to crash, I don’t think I’d give two shits about listening to a song. I probably wouldn’t be able to hear it over my screaming, anyway. That said, as I told Jim in the comments on his post, I’d probably choose “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place” by the animals. Because if the plane was going to crash, it would be the last thing I would ever do.

What is one thing you’re really, really good at and not ashamed to admit it?  I worded that deliberately because aren’t we taught to be humble and not pushy about our achievements?  Celebrate your ability!

I don’t know that I’m “really, really good” at any one thing. So I’m going to say nothing.

Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?

9A8E57C5-88AB-4BD7-A2B4-2B81F77F3154Well, considering that I count the pictures I’ve taken to be among my valuables, I can’t answer this, since it’s not a real choice.

What were you grateful for or something that made you smile during the past month?

During the past month and not the past week? Well, I’m grateful that we have entered San Francisco’s “summer” season, which is generally mid-September through mid-November. If you want to visit the City by the Bay, this is the time of year to do it. That said, they are calling for some rain tomorrow, so wait until Wednesday before you arrive.

Twittering Tales — Picture Perfect

C02486EF-B29F-42E8-BEC6-106D65D51864“Is this a painting or a photograph?” Don asked.

“You seriously can’t tell?” Helen responded.

“Oh, I’m sorry if I offended you,” Don said.

“You didn’t offend me. It’s actually an oil painting I made of a photo I took,” Helen explained.

“It’s beautiful,” Don said. “Picture perfect!”

(278 characters)

Written for Sue Vincent’s Twittering Tales prompt. Photo credit: Leirdal at Pixabay.com.

FFfAW — Happier Times

329D9FF5-B8CF-4BA7-8A36-47B76DDA8722Eileen stared at the photograph of her two sons, Eric and Eddie. It was taken in the fall of 2005, a few days before Eric shipped out. They were wading in the shallow creek bed, their pants legs rolled up to stay dry.

That photograph, with its streams of light from the late afternoon sun shining through the tree branches as her two beautiful boys frolicked in the creek, was one of her favorites. She framed it and placed it on the fireplace mantel in the family room.

After Eileen learned that Eric had been killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device, or IED, it was hard to look at that photo. But though she had lost her firstborn, she still had Eddie, the boy wading in the stream in his rubber boots.

And then, after finishing college, Eddie joined the marines and went to Afghanistan, where he lost his life in a firefight.

It was hard for Eileen to bear, but she still had that photo to remind her of happier times.

(175 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: ENISA.