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.

#writephoto — The Great Outdoors

c4f26af9-3fc6-4e23-a7e4-7c6c8f2a3a65“What a stunning sunset, Josh. Isn’t it beautiful?” Sara asked. “Look at how much dimension there is to the sky with that layer of clouds. It’s so dramatic.”

“This is pure madness, Sara,” Josh said. “It’s cold and damp and it’s nothing short of crazy to go tent camping in the beginning of January.”

“Oh come on, Josh,” Sara said. “Let’s think of this as an adventure.”

“Spring, summer, or fall would be a good time for a camping adventure,” Josh said. “Look at those bare, spiky tree branches. That, and the freezing temperature, doesn’t exactly inspire spending a night in the great outdoors.”

“Grab some of the tree branches that are on the ground and let’s build a fire,” Sara said. “Once we light it up, we can cuddle together in front of the fire and it will keep us nice and toasty.”

“Nothing like igniting a fire in front of a tent on a cold, wintry night to generate a little warmth,” Josh said, smiling for the first time that evening.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. I know Sue described this picture as having been taken at dawn, but it fit better into my story as being taken at dusk.

Also written for these one-word prompts: Nova’s Daily Random Word (dimension), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (madness), Daily Addictions (damp), Ragtag Daily Prompt (spiky), and Word of the Day Challenge (ignite).

Share Your World — Coffee, Tea, or Milk


Melanie is celebrating her third week of hosting Share Your World since taking over from Cee Neuner. Melanie has posted the following SYW questions:

What Is your favorite beverage?

I don’t know that it’s my “favorite” beverage, but it’s mandatory two to three times a day: coffee.

What is your interpretation of “The Golden Rule”? Are there ramifications to breaking it?

Call me a cynic, but it’s “do unto others before they do unto you.” No, just kidding. Ramifications? Well, what goes around comes around, I suppose.

Sunrise person or sunset person?

When I lived on the east coast, it was sunrise. Now that I live on the west coast, it’s sunset.

Do people in modern society anthropomorphize animals too much?

Yes, except for my dog and cat, who are more human than most people I know.

What were you grateful for during the past week?

After a cool and mostly foggy, cloudy August, it was nice to see the sun shining again. Last week was sunny every day. And this week’s forecast calls for more of the same.

#writephoto — Beautiful “Sunset”

img_1496“Is that glow from a fire on the other side of the hill?” Samantha asked, pointing towards the hills to the west just across the creek. “Maybe we need to get outta here before it spreads this way.”

“I don’t smell any smoke and I don’t hear any sirens,” Marc noted, “so I think it’s just a very striking sunset with the rays of the setting sun behind the hills and lighting up the sky beneath the cloud.

“Yeah,” Samantha agreed. “The breeze is blowing in that direction. besides, if there was a fire, we’d surely be able to smell the smoke from here.”

“True,” Marc agreed. “I’m going to light the campfire so that we can grill those fish we caught today.”

“Yum. And then, after we clean up, we should get into the tent and hit the sack, since we need to leave early tomorrow morning if we’re going to get home before nightfall tomorrow,” Samantha said. “It’s a long bike ride.”

Or we can make mad, passionate love before we ‘hit the sack,’” Marc said, winking at Samantha.

“You’re such a wicked, wicked man,” Samantha said, laughing.


Marc awoke to the sounds of voices outside their tent. He sat up and glanced at his watch. 2:10 am. “What the fuck?” he said. Samantha sat up and asked what the matter was. Marc slipped on his pants and opened the tent flap.

The acrid smell of smoke filled the tent. Samantha screamed. A park ranger ran to the tent and told the two of them to grab their things and head toward the truck. “The winds shifted last night and the fire jumped the creek and is heading down to the valley in this direction. We need to get you two outta here pronto.”

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto — Oil and Water

CF98EFDE-D133-4766-855F-1C248DADB800“Oh, this is simply breathtaking, don’t you think?” Alicia said.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful,” Stan, her fiancé, said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“You sound disappointed, Stan. I thought you’d love the view from up here,” Alicia said.

“Yeah, the sunset is nice, and all,” Stan admitted. “But you said we’d be able to see the skyline and the city lights. All I see is a thick fog bank.”

“Well, you’re right,” Alicia admitted. “When the fog settles over the valley, which it often does around this time of the year, you can’t see the lights of the city like you can on a clear night.”

Stan folded his arms across his chest. “So why did we even bother to drive up here?” he asked.

“You can still appreciate the stunning sunset, can’t you?” Alicia asked.

“You know what I can appreciate, Alicia?” Stan said. “I can appreciate sitting on the hammock in your folks’ backyard, smoking a Cuban cigar, and drinking a beer.”

“My mother was right,” Alicia said.

“Your mother? What was she right about?”

“Oh, did I say that out loud?” Alicia asked, a blush coloring her cheeks.

“Yes, you did,” Stan said. “So what did she say?”

Alicia sighed. “Fine. She called us oil and water because she doesn’t think we mix well together.”

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.