#100WW — It Didn’t Have To Be This Way

It used to be majestic
It used to be serene
It used to a tranquil
It used to be peaceful
It used to be beautiful
A sanctuary for birds and animals

Now it’s burning
Flames reaching the sky
Smoke choking the air
The birds are not chirping
The animals are not scurrying
It’s no longer majestic
It’s no longer serene
It’s no longer tranquil
It’s no longer peaceful
It’s no longer beautiful

It’s our fault
The signs were there
But we chose to ignore them
To deny it and call it a hoax

It didn’t have to be this way

(100 words)

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt. Top photo credit: Bikurgurl. Second photo credit: Cameron Strandberg

Share Your World — Trees, Bridges, Sacrifices, and Priorities

Share Your WorldMelanie is at it again with her Share Your World prompt. These are so much fun and I look forward to Mondays for no other reason than to respond to her questions. So let’s get to it.

Do you have a favorite kind of tree?

First, I prefer trees that are living to dead trees. But when it comes to living trees, I really like paper white Birch trees. I like their unusual white bark.ADF18008-1FD7-448D-BE8E-262495D23D30

What bridges are you happy you burned?

Wait just a minute there, young lady. Are you implying that I’m some sort of arsonist and go around setting fires on bridges? I’ve never burned a single bridge down in my whole life and I resent the inference. How dare you?

Would you sacrifice yourself (die) for a stranger?

For a total stranger? Are you nuts?

How have your priorities changed since the C-19 virus took over?

Absolutely my priorities have changed. My number one priority is to not get the C-19 virus! 

SoCS — Leave It Be

75A32B1F-B038-4878-960F-A6F2E9F6479AIt was autumn, the season when the leaves leave the trees, when you told me that you were going to leave me.

I’ll never forget it. It was a late afternoon on a cool, crisp fall day. You said that you wanted to take a walk in the park and that we needed to talk. Then you confessed that you no longer loved me. You said that you were leaving me.

I was in a state of shock. I didn’t understand. I thought everything was fine between us. But you said that that was the problem. You said that I didn’t really see you, see us. You told me that you’d found someone else who did see you. You said that you were leaving me for him.

And then you left. You left me standing alone. I sat down on a park bench and watched the leaves falling from the trees, floating to the ground and swirling around, carried by the autumn breezes that had suddenly grown much colder.

That was two years ago. It’s autumn, again. I am sitting on that same bench in that same park, watching as the leaves are once again leaving the trees.

My cellphone rings. It’s you. You tell me that you’re leaving your new man. You tell me that it isn’t working out with him. You say that he doesn’t really see you. You tell me that you miss me, miss us.

I tell you that I’ve moved on and that you should too. I say that we need to leave well enough alone; that we need to leave it be. And then I say goodbye.

Written for this today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our task is to use the word “leaves.” Photo credit: VectorStock.com.

#writephoto — Military Brat

210B7B0E-56CF-48D1-AF81-0BD9FDD689CDEd paused in front of the group of trees, admiring their long, spread out roots. He sighed and thought about how he much envied those trees for their roots. He thought about how his family had relocated every few years when he was growing up. He had been what was called a “military brat.”

His father was career army and was frequently transferred to different army bases before he retired after thirty years of service. For Ed, that meant being uprooted, being separated from his friends, being sent to a new school, and pretty much having to start his life all over every couple of years.

He had always felt rootless as he was growing up. He became a bit standoffish, almost to the point of being a loner. Not because he wasn’t an affable kid, but because he knew that as soon as he got really close to anyone, he’d have to say goodbye and move with his family to a different state. That was difficult for him as well as for those other kids he had befriended.

Ed promised himself that, as an adult, he wouldn’t keep uprooting himself and his own family. If he ever got married and had kids, he told himself that he would not put them through what he had gone through. He would stay in one place and give himself and his children the chance to establish roots. That was the plan, anyway.

But Ed found himself easily bored. Bored with his job. Bored with his wife. Bored with his life. Every few years, he would look for a new job in a different city or a different state. The first few times it happened, his wife and daughter went with him. But when he told his wife for the third time in seven years that a great new job opportunity in another state had surfaced, she refused to follow him.

Ed left his wife and his daughter behind, moved to a new city, began a new job, and started his life over. And he did that again and again.

Now an old man, Ed had left behind three ex-wives. He had five children from whom he was estranged. He had grandchildren, too, but he wasn’t sure how many because and he’d never met any of them. He had lost touch with his wives and kids over the years and now they were spread all around the county, while Ed, who never made any close friends, was totally alone in the world.

Ed looked at the long, spread out roots of those trees and thought about how different his life might have been if he, like those trees, had stayed in one place and been able to establish strong roots.

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

Days 21 & 22 — Flowers and Chores

IMG_2619Today I’m responding to two separate “back where I came from” questions for Suzanne McClendon’s September Challenge, which is comprised of 30 questions (one for each day of this month).

I’m responding to these two questions today because they are closely related.

Day 21: Were there any flowers growing in your yard back home? What kind? Were you or your parents good gardeners?

I was never into horticulture, but I do remember that we had lilac bushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, and fruit trees in our backyard and some kind of bushes on either side of our front door that bumblebees apparently found quite attractive. I do recall my parents spending some time working to keep the trees, bushes, and flowers around our property looking nice.

Day 22: Did you have chores when you were a kid? What were they? What did you think about having chores? What was your least favorite chore? Is it still?

This is related to the question above because one of my chores was to mow the lawn every week. I was also tasked with watering the plants and trees. In the winter my job was to shovel the snow off of our driveway and sidewalk. I became so proficient at cutting grass and shoveling snow that I earned extra spending money by selling my weekly grass cutting services to various neighbors in the summers and as-needed snow shoveling services during the winters.

I also had to keep my bedroom neat and clean, and to make my bed every morning. And on most nights I had to wash the dinner dishes.

Shoveling snow was my least favorite chore back then, which is why I currently live in a part of the country where it never snows.