Pleased to make your acquaintance! (prosery)

Jacques reflects back on this past year.  It felt more like twenty!   Detox was just a  little taste of his journey that lay ahead.

How he loathed himself and now he had to face all this sober. His mentor and sponsor, once said, “You will love again the stranger who was your self.”

No one told him the first step started within and not pointing fingers. Improve what you need to improve but do the work yourself.  It was so much easier to blame someone else for his misfortunes.

Accepting responsibility for his actions was  probably the toughest pill to swallow.    He has finally forgiven himself even if some still cannot. He’s accepted that truth too.

He sits in the front row at the legion hall, waiting to be called up to the front to share his story  and accept his one year chip.

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘20/08/2019

 On Monday, August 19th, Kim is hosting  Prosery at dVerse.   This prompt is where you write a flash fiction using a maximum  of 144 words including that line of poetry.

This week the line is “you will love again the stranger who was your self” from Derek Walcott’s poem Love after Love.

Life is not timeless…

Happy Birthday, Aunt Mae!

Celebrating
90 years of true
living

(c) Clr ‘August 13, 2019

 

Originally written August 12, 2013

Art by Mae Roberts Giroux

Returning from a lovely birthday celebration for my Aunt Mae, my head was swimming with thoughts on my return home by train on this 13th day of August 2013.

It is a solemn day today;  I’ve felt blessed being with people who changed my life; people who encouraged me when no one else did; people who believed in me and offered me the sanctuary of their home  so I could save first and last month’s rent when I started a new life in a new city 400 miles from home.  People who had not been in my life for almost 30 years and yet never hesitated to offer their unconditional support! They never judged me; nor did they expect anything in return!

They invented “paying it forward”!

Meet my Aunt M who is my father’s sister; she lived too far most of her adult life to be privy to family drama and stories;  she was busy raising her family, making her way and a wonderful way of life she did as well.

She is an amazing mother who raised three fine sons…3 fine men…3 fine cousins…three fine creative souls!  She is an amazing wife, who followed her husband across the country and enjoyed every minute with the man she loved. She encouraged and supported his decision when he too returned to university so he could change his career for the second part of his life.  She is a grandmother, aunt, wife, artist, mother-in-law, model and mentor in life.

She is an amazing friend who never forgets any friend she has encountered along the way on her life’s travels…just check out her monthly postal and cards’ expenses!

She is an amazing person who embodies goodness…volunteers, is always there to help, contributes for events that entail fun(oh, how she loves to play) she is always available to chip in at potlucks, bring the best peanut butter cookies to friends and friends of her children who have to move; she is there to help at parties, special events and people of all ages just love her!

Mae Roberts Giroux,
Oakville, On.
© Painting by Mae Roberts Giroux,

One of her very first paintings by Mae Roberts Giroux

Mae Roberts Giroux
https://www.facebook.com/mae.giroux/photos

 

Photo: CLR – art by Mae Giroux, Oakville, Ontario

She is an amazing “ma tante” who gave selflessly and proudly…merci, Ma Tante!  She is an amazing and accomplished artist …creating beauty for the past 70+ years The profile pic on this blog is ONE of her many paintings she has created, she sculpts as well, draws, does stain-glass, teaches art …multi-media and so much more!


To my amazing Uncle F (Mr. G) who is an amazing father!  He raised 3 sons to be 3 amazing husbands, 2 amazing loving fathers! He nurtured them, played with them and gave them guidance…he is a father, a dad , grandfather, uncle, friend, and a mentor.  I always envied my cousins for having the most amazing dad on this planet…and I am thankful to have been blessed with his tender love, wise guidance and fatherly support…he was the dad who loaned me his shoulders for support when my heart was broken, and his insights when I was at a crossroad. Thank you, Uncle F!

He is an amazing husband who encouraged his wife to grow and develop her creative side at an art college in her middle years, and as well, later on, he pursued a second career in improving the lives of people, who volunteers to this day and continues to help people in need. He is a loving grandfather, father-in-law, uncle and model/mentor to look up to.

I love them so much and today we had a pleasant and sombre rendezvous.  I was looking at two people whom I love very much… aging…and yes, it is part of life’s cycle…I get it!

I choked with sadness and longing as I heard my uncle comment calmly, rocking in his chair, “We are getting closer to the summit of our horizon”.  I looked at him in awe…maybe I saw an aura…this warm kind man radiating so much wisdom!

Later during our lovely lunch I was thrilled listening to my aunt giggle to a comment I had made.  She was still 16 inside that body…this body who still swam twice weekly doing 42 lengths each time…this woman who did her 15 minutes of exercises every morning she was still swimming at the age of 84!  {Yes, I have so much to look up to and learn from and have yet to get off said lazy butt and do some of this to stay healthy!}

How I loved to discuss issues of medical or mental health nature with my uncle.  To discuss books he has read…he who is still a member of book club at the age of 85.  This man still volunteers and reads and is so vibrant and alive despite his frail body that refuses to retain iron and whose bones are so fragile…and yet, he still pushes himself to stay active.  How I love him and admire him.

Uncle Fred & Aunt Mae

How I loved to attend art shows where my aunt hung several pieces of her art and she still continues to expose her art this week at 3 places in the city including City Hall.  What an amazing artist! How I loved to go shopping especially taking advantage of those “great sales” on shoes!! She always made me feel like her other daughter…so much more than her niece. And to Uncle F, he too made me feel like his extra daughter…somehow there was always room in both their hearts for me…and that makes me weep happy tears.

And so I am soaking up this unique and special  love I feel for them and they have for me…and know I want to try to come more frequently to see them…for the days, the months, the years are limited …

my heart swells
thinking
people who matter

© Clr ‘2013/08/13

Morning alarm (Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers)

Sparrows chirped in the old oak tree bidding good morning to the neighbourhood.  Soon  life would be intruding on the quiet with dogs barking, children giggling at their bus stop and cars leaving for work. For now,  at such an early hour, only Toby Tyler was riding his bike delivering the morning paper.

Further, down the street a strange car had been parked all night facing the baseball field.  No one had noticed except for Mr. Baker. He always woke up at dawn and walked Bella before reading his paper along with his morning coffee.  Bella stopped to sniff the back tires and started barking.

Suddenly two teens awakened from their late night rendezvous as they peered out the back window.

“Oh shit! We overslept!” (125 words)

 

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts’18

 

Written for: https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/fffaw-challenge-182nd/

visit from an old friend (Flash Fiction)

GUILLERMO DIAZ
(c) Huffing Post Guillermo Diaz (Huck from Scandal)

The man had a thick brown beard that hid his face and neck.  His small brown eyes were hidden under his bushy eyebrows.  He was not tall and for North American standards, he was leaning towards short.  The man walked with a purpose like a bear searching for his prey.  Not a sound, not an expression, just bland apathy painted on his face. 

I hid behind the couch with my friend looking out at this strange man who had already kidnapped four of my friends and a baby.  The police had been contacted by the man but I never heard anything from them. 

My friend refused to run with me saying it was no use and she feared the man would only get more agitated and shoot us.   

I refused to give in without a fight, so I ran out the back door, jumped into my car and drove off to my old apartment where I had lived ten years ago.  The superintendent recognized me as I ran to him telling him I had to hide somewhere safe.  We went up to the sixth floor and looked out the window of his brother’s condo.  The bearded man had followed me.  I had to run again. I was running out of options. My heart beat so quickly, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Then, I remembered the secret hallway on this floor.  The superintendent knew my plan the moment I ran towards that hallway and told me to take his car, handing me his keys.  He said his car was where he always parked and he would try to slow the bearded man to give me a head start. 

The hallway brought me to a fire escape which landed behind two brown dumpsters.   The super’s car was there and I drove out the private exit that only the firemen were allowed entry.   I had no idea where I could hide.  I didn’t want to go to my workplace downtown to put my colleagues at risk.  My car was going west out of an old habit, towards the airport and then I thought of Rick.  No one knew of my past employment there.  It was too long ago and the warehouse would be a great place to hide so I could get in contact with the police. 

I drove to the side entrance of the warehouse and the huge doors were open, so I parked my car inside and screamed, “We have to lock down now!”   The shipper recognized me and buzzed Rick as he closed all doors.  I hid between the racks of nuts and bolts, too afraid to be seen in the front office.   

Suddenly I was in the office and so many people crowding around me with concern on their faces.  I briefly told Rick and asked if he could let me stay there. I went into his office and called the detective who was in charge of the case.  Detective No Name said to sit tight, that his men were still negotiating and told me not to worry.   

“Not worry!! It has been 36 hours and five people have been kidnapped and still nothing! What are you doing to about this?”   

Detective No Name explained he had other more urgent cases he was working on…his voice trailed and I yelled, “What is the amount of the ransom?” I was contemplating that I might be able to borrow from my mother’s house not yet sold and there is a little bit left in her estate.  I was wondering how many hundreds of thousands of dollars the ransom could be and discouragement started to weigh on me. 

“The kidnapper is asking for $3,000.00”.   

WHAT?!!! All this trouble for so little money?!!” I could not believe my ears. What kind of desperate person kidnaps so many people for $3,000?    

“Let me just pay it! Why can’t I just speak to the kidnapper when he calls you?  Do you know how many lives are at stake right now…how f*&^g stupid are you guys?!” 

My eyes adjusted to the darkness and I rolled over trying to get back to sleep to visit with Rick. 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn ’18/08/19

 

Author’s note: The bearded man looked exactly like , Huck, a character in the series Scandal.  Rick was my employer and friend when I first moved to Toronto.  He and his family made such a difference in my adjusting to my move away from home in the late 90’s.  A year after I left his employment, I got a call at work from an employee at his warehouse that he was tragically killed in a biking accident…such a  tragedy for a young man in his early 30’s.  I still think about him.  I feel blessed that I still am in contact with his family and twin sister from time to time. 

I often get odd dreams with my mom or grandmother but this is the first time Rick has ever visited me in a dream.  I could never get him back when I went back to sleep, only Mister Beard kept turning up. 

Isle Lasonde  (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers)

 

This is the photo to inspire the flash fiction    (c)Ted Strutz

 

The Ferry blared its horn.  Jillian sighed as the children were getting restless already!

“Give me that!” squealed Leslie.

“Try and get it, whiner!” Sidney raised the stuffed teddy out the car window with a smirk on his adolescent face.

“MOMMY!!!!!

Jillian turned her head and gave Sidney, “The LOOK”. He shrugged and threw the teddy back on Leslie’s lap.

“Sidney, you promised to help me today.”

He looked down at his hands, hating to disappoint his mom, especially today.

Once they boarded the ferry, Sidney asked if  he could bring his sister up on deck promising to hold her hand.   Jillian felt a pang of remorse for being so demanding on her eldest child.   She promised herself to bring them to the Reservoir for lunch later when they returned inland.  The children loved feeding the swans and ducks there.

Twenty minutes later, the ferry was already approaching Isle Lasonde.   There were only three federal buildings and a military camp on the island.  They were going to a parole hearing at le Pénitencier Lasonde. (174 words)

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts ’18/08/15

Written for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers   100 to 150 +/- 25 word flash fiction.

 

 

mind over matter (haibun)

© Northern Lights – Alien Study

Hot, heavy dampness hangs in the air, as she rocks in front of her window looking out over the river. The air conditioner is on the fritz again and the fans that had been running 24/7 give little breeze to comfort even an ant.  The temperatures are unforgiving at 40C and 92% humidity.

The house is silent except for the creaking of her rocking chair and the buzz of useless fans. Her breathing has finally calmed after her morning paroxysm of asthma. The weather in the past few weeks has forced her to use up all her sick days. She does not know how she will manage now with the weeks ahead if she is  unable to get to work…again. Her wheezing becomes louder and she knows she has to calm her thoughts or else she will have another asthma attack.

She often tries to use her imagery times like this. Placing a wet cold compress on her forehead she imagines she is in the Northwest Territories, hearing the crunchy sound of her feet on the snow as she walks outside. She is dressed in a down filled parka and snow pants and white clouds escape her mouth when she exhales. Night has already fallen and she waits patiently for signs from “the other side”. Looking up at the sky, she starts noticing the different hues lighting up the heavens and she is dizzy with joy;  she kneels in reverence, listening to the echoes of her ancestors. A veil of calm envelopes her until a piercing whistle from her tea kettle brings her back to reality.

lighting up the skies
blues, pinks and green waver
message from beyond
living in comfort
in her mind’s eye

(c) Tournesol’18/09/13

Written for: Mindlovemiserysmenagerie and Wordle

Calescent ((adj.) growing warm; increasing in heat)
Sheets
Paroxysm ((n.) any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion: a severe attack or a sudden increase in intensity of a disease)
Temperature
Tea Kettle
Window
Breeze
Kneel
Forehead
Dizzy
Damp
Comfort

Bonus word: Sick Day

 

 

Usually when I start reading a book written by a fellow blogger, I put up the book and subtitle “Currently reading” but this one I read too quickly!! That says a lot about the author, Linda Hill.  

THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE:
A PARANORMAL ROMANCE, THE GREAT DAGMARU, BOOK ONE

The Magician's Curse: A Paranormal Romance The Great Dagmaru Book 1 by [Hill, Linda G.]

I have been selective in my reading in the past 5 years since I started blogging and love reading the works of some bloggers who have become so much more than virtual bloggers to me. Linda Hill is a woman who I admire for all that she does, as a full-time mom of three, writing books and novellas, writing prompts and encouraging other writers! She is a wonderful part of our WordPress community!

Had I known the young love of the magician was just a teen, I would have started reading sooner, being a youth counsellor for a National youth helpline.

Such a romantic fifty’s style novel with a chance meeting on a train, finding true love, not knowing what mysteries are behind this handsome magician! It is a timeless novel that seduces the reader to read on.

I had not read a romance novel in decades but having read Linda Hill’s book, All Good Stories a while back, I was totally entertained with her writing style that I completed it in an afternoon.

I knew, then, I had to read Linda’s Magician’s Curse, because I love her writing style. Although I know how skittish I can be with paranormal stories or novels, remembering how scared I was reading the Mayfair Witches by Alice Rice and Needful Things by Stephen King but, it was their writing that drew me in just as Linda Hill’s writing did, once again.

I started reading, The Magician’s Curse: A Paranormal Romance The Great Dagmaru Book 1, yesterday and after Chapter 2 I was hooked! I just finished it this afternoon.

The Magician’s Curse has just enough suspense and the pacing is perfect so the reader has time to catch up; there is romance, erotica (bravo, Linda, got me a tingling all over!) and more than a love story but a family’s saga brought down from generation to generation, you want to know more and more about, so you just have to read the The Magician’s Blood, Book 2.

Cheryl-Lynn Roberts 18/09/12

Bodily functions (SoCS)

A chat about bodily functions is our prompt today at Linda Hill’s SoCS, which brought to mind a funny story.  When my daughter was pregnant in 2004, I was starting menopause.  We would go shopping together and suddenly she would let out gas and then move aisle very quickly whispering to me why. We would giggle because I was starting the same problem.  So here we were at both ends of the spectrum of womanhood, farting away at our leisure and not caring at all.  Is fart a bad word, by the way?  I am part French, so we are bit more open about our language and translated in English may sound rude, so I apologize if that is not easy to read.

On to another memory with my daughter again seeing her singing in The South Shore Children’s Chorus.  The choir would sing songs from Les Miserable and they sounded so beautiful that I could not hold back my tears.  At the end of the show, she came up to me, tight lipped and squinting eyes, asking why I was crying!  I tried to explain to her that when Mommy is overwhelmed with beauty, I am moved to tears.  Well! this 10-year-old was having nothing of it.  On future presentations, I sat further away so she would not see me weep of joy.  What can I say?  I cry when I am happy, moved, tired of pain and sad.

Now lastly, since I have been struggling so much over the years and even more so in the past two years, my joint pain is something I dream of finding relief EVEN if it were for once a week. Once a week not having the pain wake me up when I roll over. Once a week when I get up, I don’t feel knives jabbing in my knees.  For over thirty years I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis of my neck along with Fibromyalgia. Finally, I found a rheumatologist who found I had rheumatism on my collar bones (hence why my shoulders hurt so much and is not because I type too much), a mix of osteoarthritis, arthritis and rheumatism made me sigh with relief because those conditions are considered more real than Fibromyalgia (in society and the medical field).   The sad part is my GP does not want to treat me, just suggests I retire which has no way of making my body feel better and I am waiting for a new rheumatologist since the other one moved.

But, on a good note, I am hopeful.  Last May I went to Vancouver, BC. where cannabis is sold in many shops and purchased a jar of MJ cream to see if that might relieve the pain. It did nothing but  a tiny tingle on my neck, nothing on my knees or shoulders.   So, when I came back to Montreal, I asked my GP if she would consider giving me a prescription for cannabis.  That was June 20th and I only received a response from one dispensary in response to my request for membership along with my doctor’s prescription.  They certainly took their time.  But I want to try different things to find some relief. When I say try something, I certainly am not interested in the THC high however I realize in some of the teas or creams have to have a little bit.  Well, we shall see when I drop by sometime this week to check out Club Compassion.  Wish me luck!

(c) Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

 

Written for the Friday Prompt for Saturday’s Stream of Consciousness.

Dear Emma, and a Cherita

Dear Emma,

When I was a child, I remember picking up my bellbottom pants at the dressmaker one time. In the early 60’s I could not find any kind of long pants or jeans that were long enough and slim enough. In those days, Marilyn Monroe was the fashionable shape. Although Twiggy was slowly becoming a trend, in my part of the world, it was still more common for women to be shorter and curvier. Alas, I was pretty much a straight line more like Olive Oil at between twelve and fourteen.

Another client was just leaving the dressmaker as I was entering and she asked me how my mother and grandmother were doing. Of course, I shared the latest updates on my newly divorced mother and lifesaver grandmother who had taken us in not realizing I may have been a bit too open. Being naïve, then, was just assuming that people always inquired about you because they cared.

I remember trying on the charcoal grey bellbottoms and was so excited they fit like a glove and were long enough to wear with a boot or higher healed show. That was the beauty of tailor made clothes. Fortunately, her fees were very reasonable and in fact, less expensive than going to a designer shop to purchase clothes.

As I was leaving, the dressmaker looked at me seriously and said, “You must be careful. You are such an open book and you never know the true intentions of people when inquiring about you and your family.” I could tell she was concerned for me and I always tried to remember her wise words, but still, it is still difficult for me to think anyone would want to hurt me intentionally. And so years went by and I learned the hard way. I find learning through life experience teaches more, don’t you? What have you learned better through experience rather than through teachings of another person?

( a cherita)

a child runs freely through the woods

Stumbling on hidden roots and branches
Scraping arms and knees along the way

Fastforward several decades
Walking through the woods, listening to the birds singing
Leaves rustling, she leans on her walking stick

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘18/09/06

Daily Moments with Emma – August 9th, 2018

mile high ride (haibun)

Sitting in the back of the plane, they held tight during take off. As soon as the light went on to unbuckle the seat-belt, they both lit up their Mark Ten cigarettes. It was 1977 and people could still smoke in the back rows of a plane in those days.

It was their first trip overseas. Heck, it was their first time in a plane. They had booked a tour of England, Scotland and Wales for two weeks. The wife’s ulterior motive was to conceive their first child in the UK, the birthplace of her paternal grandparents.

After a few hours, the plane felt like it was going over pot holes on Quebec roads. The couple were scared and did not realize that turbulence can do that but does not mean there was any danger. The woman seated next to them on the aisle tried to reassure the couple who looked out the window with doe eyes. One could not mistake it was their very trip in the air.

By the time they arrived at Heathrow Airport, they were so relieved they had landed! They still had to take the train into London, then a taxi to their hotel. They were staying at the Green Park Hotel just across the park that brings you to Buckingham Palace. But they didn’t know that yet.

They looked like typical tourists walking on the streets of London, hesitating crossing the the street, not knowing which side to look in their matching bright yellow and green hoodies.

Cotton candy ride
Bumper cars, roller-coasters
Crossing overseas

© Tournesol ‘18/09/06