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Publisher Richard Loller's  Journal
For Year 2021
Index to All Journal Years

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Scroll down for the most recent stories
When I Was Young Yesterday




Lew Goddard




 
© Copyright 202 by Lew Goddard




Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay
Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay                    
     My wife and I are the elderly that people refer to on TV, in books and on the telephone. Numerous memories quite often come to mind and this story is meant to tell you readers some of these in our much younger days.
     I will tell you about my experiences since my spouse has her own.  But this is my story for your enjoyment. At least, I hope that you enjoy it. . . .

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Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up?




Deon Matzen




 
© Copyright 2022 by Deon Matzen
 
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
     
Charlotte is my sister-in-law. Not her real name. She is a single lady who has worked a number of various jobs during her lifetime. During the times of Covid, she was furloughed and without employment. When she was not taken back to the firm where she had worked, she decided to apply for her social security and move on to a life of retirement. Now she had more time on her hands.
     Quite a few years ago while she was still working, Charlotte took on a part time job as “auntie” to two boys when they were quite small. She would make sure they got off to school on time with their lunches, looking in decent form for the day. When they returned home she would provide a snack and help them do their homework, staying until one of the parents returned home. . . .

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A Whale of a Story







Ezra Azra



 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay.

His nickname was Golly; his official name was Cyril. His family lived on the same road as my family, in our village of Clairwood. He attended the same school as me. He was in standard six when I was in standard one.

After he graduated from school in the 1960's, Golly got a job as a sailor on a whaler boat out of the City of Durban. The whaler boat had a crew of five men, including the captain. . . .

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The Kilala





Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2020 by Terry Mulcahy


Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.


When my father died in 1987, I inherited his two cats, Charlie and Chrissy. He named them after characters in the TV show Charlie’s Angels. I had them for a long time. About 1996, Chrissy died of stomach or liver problems one day while I was working. I buried her in the yard where I lived at the time. I marked it with some bricks. The veterinarian had wanted to take her up to a hospital in Santa Fe for very expensive treatments and follow-up drugs, but I didn’t have that kind of money. The other cat, Charlie, lived much longer. After I married my second wife, I took Charlie with me and established him in my wife’s house. I hated to move and leave Chrissy there. She was dead and buried, but still I grieved for her. Charlie lived with us for many years. . . .

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Breaking Down Carnivals





Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2020 by Terry Mulcahy

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Sometimes you immerse yourself in something and you may not understand what it is until you back up and look at it from a distant perspective. And, yes, that’s my lead-in to a story, a story about joining a carnival.

Now, first off, a carnival is not a circus. No live animals, no rings, no ringmaster or clowns. But both a circus and a carnival have a vibrance in the air, a cacophony of sound, bright lights and garish colors. Both have children. Each child has a candy-apple blush on their cheeks and a dripping swirly cone. . . .

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When Is A Kiss Not A Kiss


Fredrick Hudgin

 
© Copyright 2022 by Fredrick Hudgin






Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

I taught my first data processing officer course at the Army Institute of Administration at Fort Harrison, Indiana, after being a second lieutenant for all six months. My class of 29 officers varied in rank from second lieutenant up to lieutenant colonel. We were a few days into their introduction to the COBOL computer programming language. Many of the young officers already had computer programming while in college. Those young men and women charged ahead with energy and easy success. The older officers struggled. . . .

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Get Them OFF!


Fredrick Hudgin

 
© Copyright 2022 by Fredrick Hudgin



Winner 2022 Biographical Story



Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo by Manjari Singh on Pexels.

The car drove by slowly, an elderly female driver staring at me as she negotiated the turn in front of my parents’ house. I realized I was stark naked, standing outside in a Princeton suburb, taking a shower from the end of a garden hose. . . .

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A Moving Experience








James L. Cowles




  
© Copyright 2022 by James L. Cowles
 
Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

I'm sure many of you have had a moving experience in your lifetime. Many of these seem to come when a person has aged, when ones life finds us celebrating birthdays in our sixth decade, and beyond. This certainly fits with me, and this recent experience. . . .

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The Runaway Dog
 

    

 

Valerie Byron
   


© Copyright 2022 by Valerie Byron    

Photo courtesy of the author.

Photo courtesy of the author.


Today started out pretty well for me. It's Sunday, December 23rd and for once I don't have to worry about preparing for Christmas. My daughter has offered to cook the meal in her new house, and my son, Nick, and his partner, Lee, will be joining us, as well as my husband, Bill. I didn't even bother putting up a tree this year. Didn't really seem worth the bother, especially since I had thrown away my artificial tree from last year in the trash by mistake. Of course, that's par for the course. . . .

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Brotherly Love







Noah Xia



 
© Copyright 2022 by Noah Xia

 

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

He’s short, cute and as sweet as chocolate cake. My brother is my best friend, and he’s been with me for almost six years. Since the day he was born, I have adored him and taken care of him. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have any bumps on the trip. . . .

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First Love




Robert Flournoy



 
© Copyright 2022 by Robert Flournoy   
 

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
                                       Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

Lying in bed with a broken leg, I would look out my second story window at the kids getting off the school buses on the street behind my apartment building. I first saw Carole as a brief flash of scarf covered beauty as she hastened into her own building. . . .

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Remembrance Day, November 11, 2022




Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2022  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo by Brett Sayles at Pexels.
Photo by Brett Sayles at Pexels.                   

It's Remembrance Day in Australia; Veteran's Day for some folks elsewhere. Few now alive have any memory of the First World War and its terrible cost, and a rapidly decreasing number have memories of the Second World War. It's not just the soldiers who fought who should be remembered. I think of my mother who, greatly pregnant, battled through a gaggle of geese to climb a fire tower to watch the skies for enemy planes which never came, but that doesn't diminish her offering. . . .

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You Are Not Lost!  
You Are Right Where You Are Supposed To Be!



Kelly Maida


 
© Copyright 2022 by Kelly Maida

Photo of the author.
Photo of the author.

I wrote this from feelings recently of being lost in life and not knowing my direction or who I was. But with some counseling and self discovery, I am learning that everything is unfolding as it is supposed to. . . .

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Wherever We Go





Rianna Chhabra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Rianna Chhabra




Photo by beast brothers: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-12313648/
Photo by beast brothers: at Pexels.

In the month of early October, I suddenly found myself growing up. I had been attending classes all week, working on the side, and cooking three meals a day without once having fully realized how big of a shift my journey from childhood to adolescence to this “new adult” phase had been. . . .

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Twelve Days




Judith Nakken


 
© Copyright 2022 by Judith Nakken



Photo by Brandon on Unsplash
Photo by Brandon on Unsplash

Tell him I’ve already hoisted the damned flag!” Mike groused over the top of yesterday’s Post-Intelligencer, only halfway through the headline article about the Cuban missile crisis. Geraldine stretched the black phone’s kinky cord. He didn’t want to fight this early in the morning on the eleventh sober day, so he reached a trembling hand for the receiver, spoke to his brother-in-law. . . .

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The Magnificent Tiger At Pench




Nayona Nag


 
© Copyright 2022 by Nayona Nag




Photo by Waldemar Brandt: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-tiger-and-cub-lying-down-on-grass-2541239/
Photo by Waldemar Brandt at Pexels.

In 2019, I, Nayona Nag, a quiet 11-year-old girl, wrote the story of Collarwali in my “Tiger Diaries.” Collarwali was the queen of Pench Tiger Reserve - situated in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh, India. She had achieved the milestone of giving birth to 29 tiger cubs. . . .

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Coming Together With Pandemic





Gomathi Sridevi

 
© Copyright 2022 by Gomathi Sridevi




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

The year 2020 was filled with an unexpected guest named Covid19. Many people's dreams, plans, and wishes crashed down with the arrival of the Corona Virus. It's strange that how a tiny thing could do severe damage to lives.
 
As they say, a small ant can kill an elephant. . . .

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The Journey




Okparaoyibo Chukwuma Paul


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Okparaoyibo Chukwuma Paul



Auchi Polytechnic School..  Photo by the author.
Auchi Polytechnic School..  Photo by the author.

“No, that is a girl’s chores!” father said with authority and I just laughed.

Mum sometimes refers to Dad as an archaic man, who don’t know that things has changed, but whether that is true or not, it is none of my business as long as it keeps me from helping mother in the kitchen or sweeping around the house. . . .

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Understanding




Martina Preston

 
© Copyright 2022 by Martina Preston





Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay
Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay 

Row upon row of white headstones pierce the grass in front of me. The white crosses gleam in the early July sunlight, and it’s almost hard to look at them without my eyes watering. I know it’d be perfectly fine if it looks like I’m crying, but I don’t feel like it. . . .

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Into The Less Known Malape





Martin Nyondo

 
© Copyright 2022 by Martin Nyondo




Photo of Milape Pillars  courtesy of the author.
Photo of Malape Pillars courtesy of the author.

Even though the sun was way past its overhead mark and was diving into its expansive, western horizon, the sweltering blanket of the heat swathed Liwonde township, melting both my mental and physical strength. I had trekked all the way from Zomba city, some fifty kilometers away, to visit a place that I had heard and read and seen many a time in the media. A place wrapped in secrecy and mystery. . . .

More...





A Day to Remember: Of Coins and a Clear Conscience




Sharanya Sivasathiyanathan


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Sharanya Sivasathiyanathan



Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

From the moment my words were developed to become fully-fledged, autonomous thoughts, I realized that my older sister and I could never share the same ideas. Playing the “devil’s advocate” grew to become a common occurrence in our household, and it was ingrained in my very thinking that anything I could use to identify with my personality, within my control, would be different from those of my sister. . . .

More...





Travel Solo, Not Alone: Part 2 
Peru and Beyond


Hilary Bryn Thomas

 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Hilary Bryn Thomas


Phoyo by the author.
      Hilary's journals, guidebook,
      and maps. Photo by Hilary

In this essay, Hilary Bryn Thomas captures memories of the second part of a journey she took fifty years ago, traveling from Canada to Argentina by land and a little by sea The first part can be found at http://www.storyhouse.org/hilaryt.html. She traveled solo, but not alone. . . .

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My Experience at Alabama






Reagan Perry

 
© Copyright 2022 by Reagam Perry




Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

Have you ever been to a place that you’ve never been before? I went to Alabama for a football game on October 7, 2022 with my parents. It was a long 8 hours of a Friday, but it was so worth it. . . .

More...





It's Time To Put Teruel In The Spotlight
\\





Mari Zipes Wallace


 
© Copyright 2022 by Mari Zipes Wallace




Image by meipakk from Pixabay
          Image by meipakk from Pixabay

How would you feel if you were told that your town didn’t exist? Confused? Lost? Angry?

Well, that’s been the plight of Teruel, a city in Aragon in eastern Spain. It’s the capital city of the Province of Teruel - with the smallest population of any provincial capital in the country - and without a direct railway or road link to the Spanish capital, Madrid. . . .

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Frantic Drive to Ohio for a Doomed Marriage Proposal



Joseph O'Brien



 
© Copyright 2022 by Joseph O'Brien



Photo by Luke Yanko on Pexels.
Photo by Luke Yanko on Pexels.

I graduated from Bakersfield Junior College in California in 1963 with an Associate of Arts degree as an Electronic Technician. I had been in the Navy, stationed at Charleston South Carolina, when I was accepted at Bakersfield and received an early (two weeks) out in order to attend school. Even with the early out I had to get to Bakersfield for an entrance exam pronto. . . .

More...





Nine Years to Freedom





Teal M. Gaylord


 
© Copyright 2022 by Teal M. Gaylord



Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
                                                        Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

The American birthright based on “liberty and justice for all,” is unique in this world. As an American my appreciation of this birthright began with an experience I had as a teenager when I experienced what life looked like under Soviet occupied Eastern Europe. . . .

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Chasing Fire





Douglas Pereira

 
© Copyright 2022 by Douglas Pereira





Photo property of the author.

Photo property of the author.

Draped in a swirl of saffron yellow, a young woman climbed delicately down the cobbled steps from Fira town in Santorini, in search of the perfect lookout over the Aegean. The long train of her gown followed behind her, along with a sharply dressed young man and their photographer. . . .

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Best Vacation Ever



Bobbi Ali




 
© Copyright 2022 by Bobbi Ali


Photo property of the author.
Photo property of the author.

When I moved to China over seven years ago, I anticipated staying only maybe two years. After I arrived, I fell in love with China, but still resolved to visit home every year. Now, my experiences this past summer have tested this love greatly and I see so many things through a jaded, bitter perspective. . . .

More...





Beyond That Door




Kiel Lerio

 
© Copyright 2022 by Kiel Lerio




Image by Andreas from Pixabay
Image by Andreas from Pixabay 


It was a year ago that we had planned an outing to relax and enjoy ourselves after so many years just cooped up in our house. A summer vacation to the hometown of our beloved nanny who still lives with us until today. It was just our used-to-be-nanny for about 20+ years, her 4-year-old child, my sister, and I who travelled. . . .

More...





Spring, Paris, and Cemetaries

Kathryn Murdock
 
 

© Copyright 2022 by Kathryn Murdock 

  

   
 

Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash.
Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash.

What Is it about Paris?  Each time I go there it again irritates, infuriates and enchants me. I take it in small doses as one does at the Louvre. For the most part I am content with the museums, croissants and duck. Paris in part has become a cliché. A parody of itself. A tune played over and over. . . .

More...




Magnanimous




Ishaokanyie Otogbo 

 


© Copyright 2022 by 
Ishaokanyie Otogbo 



Image by thomasberghuis0 from Pixabay
Image by thomasberghuis0 from Pixabay 

I woke up with a start and realized I was sweating profusely. Both my bedsheet and pillowcase were drenched in sweat and my trembling trunk was evidence that I was gripped with fear. I sighed. I hissed and heaved. I was relieved when I came to consciousness and realized that it was a mere dream. I wasn’t surprised because my mind had been troubled for almost eight years since the current president ascended the headship of the political stable. He came with so much hopes and promises. But it all turned out a pipe dream. Things had cascaded from bad to worse and had continued to nosedive unabated. . . .

More...






Appalachian Glow Worms
Chasing the Southeast’s Hidden Lightshow




Christian F. Shushok
 
© Copyright 2022 by Christian F. Shushok




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

The night was of a substance that left me longing for the indoorsThe rain had been falling for hours, and the soil below my feet was beginning to slip and wash into the small streams that charted canyons into the leaves of the hillside. As I stepped out of my vehicle, the heels of my boots squelched into the orange clay, sinking me inches below my friends waiting on the solid rocks nearby. For a moment, as the skies opened up in a further torrent of showers, we all considered heading back, and returning to our homes for a warmer night of nature documentaries and fall apple cider. . . .

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A Mother's Travels Across Australia






Beata Stasak

 
© Copyright 2022 by Beata Stasak




Photo by Wallula from Pixabay
Photo by Wallula from Pixabay

It was a few years since my grown children had left our little farmhouse in Western Australia, following their careers and dreams. Our annual Christmas gatherings had been disrupted by Covid, so when the winter school holidays approached and the harvest was nearing completion, I packed my bag to venture out to their new homes. . . .

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A 4-Day and 3-Night Adventure With Friends






Ymgy Gardose Aton

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ymgy Gardose Aton




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Where’s our next plan?” my friend asked.

Well, you might not be that excited if I tell you” I grinned while I responded. . . .

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We All Deserve A Break






Ymgy Gardose Aton

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ymgy Gardose Aton




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

As a working female, I have been on the verge of having a “me-time”. I wanted to have my time alone. So I thought of doing my first domestic solo travel without thinking of all the hectic schedules in my workplace and taking care of my family at the same time. . . .

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A Middle Eastern Road Trip




Elizabeth Wahba

 
© Copyright 2022 by Elizabeth Wahba




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

For three months I had been reeling at the cultural differences of the Middle East. Moving from rural Pennsylvania to the bustling, ever-changing cityscape of Bahrain was whiplash-inducing. One change that I was excited about was the concept of Eid, the two separate fall breaks from work and school that fall after Ramadan. These would each be a blessed two-week break away from the overwhelming life of learning new cultures at a British school as the only American. . . .

More...





My Travels



Christine Law



 
© Copyright 2022 by Christine Law





Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash
                                Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Its funny how life plans out? I can remember traveling to Switzerland, flowers growing in the streets of Lucerne along the

pavements, with snow on the mountains. At twenty- two to be in such a climate didn’t seem real. On the trip there were 

many interesting people to talk to.  Trying to hide my shyness I tried to be friendly to everyone on the coach. . . .

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Dramamine and My Siren Song of the Road






Tom Sodergren

 
© Copyright 2022 by Tom Sodergren




Photo courtesy of Jenny Uhling at Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Uhling at Pexels.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression and the lessons they learned became instincts which dictated how my family lived in the mid century. . . . After the Depression and War years, my parents had powerful instincts to never waste money. Ever. On anything.  On me. . . .

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French Pressed Coffee in Morocco




Cherylle Winacott

 
© Copyright 2022 by Cherylle Winacott





Photo courtesy of  Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.
Photo courtesy of  Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.

A French press coffee in the morning delivered to me tableside, and my server even presses it down for me. Lord kill me now, I will die in blissful coffee heaven. Just thinking about this brings joy to my heart, I am shallow that way. This was in Marrakech Morocco at our five-star hotel, a delight I will not soon forget. . . .

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The Big Country

A Critique of the Motion Picture



Richard Franklin Bishop



© Copyright 2022 by Richard Franklin  Bishop
 




Photo from Google free photos.
Photo from Google free photos.      

. . . .I saw this movie and was impressed with the land so wide that a giant movie screen could not provide enough space to encompass it - but could only show tiny bits of it. Aside from the following mild critique, it was an excellent film and the music was notable in that it set the stage for soundtracks as might be used for epic films of the ilk by Cecil B. DeMille. . . .

More...





Reindeer Yoga




Valerie Forde-Galvin




 
© Copyright 2022 by Valerie Forde-Galvin


Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Yes, I am a yoga teacher and, no, I am not promoting some weird new style of yoga. It just happens that, while I was teaching at a community college in Illinois, something called “goat yoga” had become the latest fad and was a source of amusement to my students. We were approaching the Christmas season and in the spirit of fun one of the students, lacking an actual goat, brought in a stuffed reindeer. . . .

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Whidbey Island, Washington State




Deon Matzen

 
© Copyright 2022 by Deon Matzen


 
Photo by Barnabas Davoti courtesy of Pexels.
Photo by Barnabas Davoti courtesy of Pexels.

. . . . It was the summer of 1959. I had just left junior high and was preparing to start high school in the tenth grade. I was fourteen years old. We didn’t have a high school in the town near which I lived, so we were bused to a town about fifteen miles away. More than half the students hadn’t been in school with me before. That made this whole new scene a little scary, and a big adventure. . . .

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Rajaluxmi Pillay, 1944-2020





Ezra Azra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 

Photo courtesy of South African History online.
Photo courtesy of South African History online.


Rajaluxmi and I were students at the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa. . . .

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Lessons of a Backpacker in the Indian Ocean




Iulia Holca

 
© Copyright 2022 by Iulia Holca





Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.


I awoke to sweltering heat that morning, feeling exhausted from the day prior. My friends and I had spent nearly the entire day prior awaiting a ferry on a crowded dock with our heavy backpacks in tow. When it finally arrived, hordes of backpackers crammed their way inside, quickly filling nearly every seat and the floor of the ferry. . . .

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Baby, We Were Born To Run


Maureen Moynihan


 
© Copyright 2022 by Maureen Moynihan




Photo of Buster by Maureen.
Photo of Buster in 2016  by Maureen.

On mornings when I worked from home, I was shaken from sleep by the pungent smell of his breath, wretchard as the stench of a rotting potato abandoned in the corner of a kitchen cupboard.  His elongated tongue was dragged across my face, thick with spit and intention. It didn’t matter to him if it’s Christmas morning or if I just polished off a bottle of wine. What mattered is that it’s 5:30am: time to run. . . .

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Congo: Jungle Misery






William A. Stoever

 
© Copyright 2022 by William A. Stoever




Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/mfuente-1590732/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=7417794">Manuel de la Fuente</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=7417794">Pixabay</a>
Photo by Manuel de la Fuente on Pixabay.

I took an overnight steamer up Lake Tanganyika to the town of Uvira, on the eastern edge of the Congo (Kinshasa).  The map showed a road heading north towards Bukavu and then veering northwestward toward Kisangani, a dotted line indicating a dirt road passable only during the dry season.  It appeared to pass through a vast undeveloped sparsely-populated jungle area. 

This was the road I set out to hitch on. . . .

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The Big Blue




Patricia Togonon


 
© Copyright 2022 by Patricia Togonon




Image by kai62 on Pixabay
Image by kai62 on Pixabay

I was around ten years old when I was introduced to Big Blue. Big Blue was the name of the first brand new pick-up truck that my hard-working entrepreneurial  Filipino parents bought. It was a shiny big single cab Isuzu pick-up truck which did not fit us, so my Dad had its truck bed customized with a camper shell and an air conditioner to fit me, my sister, our bikes, and  a big ass cushion at the back. Thus began our adventure. . . .

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Living the Drean




Joanne Wilson

 
© Copyright 2022 by Joanne Wilson




Photo by the author.
Photo of Copenhagen at sunrise by the author.

There’s no place like home. Nothing truly compares to my bed with its thick memory foam mattress and if I’m completely honest, my own toilet. Home comforts, home cooked food, the familiar surroundings. Contented as I am at home in the UK, my thoughts persistently wander and dream of other places. . . .

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Killer at Kosy Kove




Thom Shilling

 
© Copyright 2022 by Thom Shilling




Photo courtesy of  Ivan Samkov at Pexels.
Photo courtesy of  Ivan Samkov at Pexels.

In a few hours we’d be shrouded in darkness. We had driven four hundred miles since leaving home and the endless hours in a station wagon with four preteen children were taking a toll. With each mile I was barraged with repeated complaints: “Mom, he’s touching me!” or “Move over!” or “Dad, I need to go to the bathroom,” and the constant repetition of the most annoying question on any road trip - “Are we there yet?”. . .

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Floating Island Blues…
an Encounter with a crocodile (or two, plus a tree stump, and a large fish!)


Sammy Nderitu
 
© Copyright 2022 by Sammy Nderitu



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pfuderi at Pixabay.

Swimming in a lake is different from swimming in a swimming pool. In fact, it is as different as a shark is from a dolphin, or a crocodile is from a monitor lizard. Ever thought you were playing tag with a dolphin, only to discover that you’re holding a shark by the ears? Or you poked at the partly exposed snout of a large lizard, only to discover that you have just awoken a hibernating crocodile? . . .

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Brownsea Open Air Theatre

An Atmospheric Adventure




Stephen Annandale
 
© Copyright 2022 by Stephen Annandale



Photo courtesy of Brownsea Theatre Co., UK
Photo courtesy of Brownsea Theatre Co., UK

Shakespeare on Brownsea Island: a sea journey, a picnic, a scenic island and a play.
One of the top open air theatres in the United Kingdom, Brownsea Open Air Theatre (BOAT) makes traditional Shakespeare enjoyable for everyone from lovers of the great playwright to those for whom school studies were uninspiring. . . .

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The Brink of War
Government Established At the Point of a Gun




Marcia McGreevy Lewis

 





Photo courtesy of Dan Galvani Sommavilla at Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Dan Galvani Sommavilla at Pexels.

. . . .Let’s talk about that January 2020 U.S. drone strike near the Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian general. Many of us may not remember where we were when it happened. I remember clearly because my partner and I were in the United Arab Republic (UAE). We thought political tensions might make our goal of understanding the area challenging, but we hadn’t anticipated that we would have a direct confrontation with the human consequences of war. . . .

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The Cookie Lady


Maureen Moynihan
 



© Copyright 2022 by Maureen Moynihan


Photo by Vyshnavi Bisani on Unsplash
Photo by Vyshnavi Bisani on Unsplash                                 

  When my mother calls, she speaks in 20point Impact Bold font and punctuates each statement with a fantastic sense of urgency:

Maureen!! This is ya Mutha! The lady who gave you birth! Backwards!” 

Lani identifies herself just in case I don’t recognize the voice. I was a born breech during the pre-ultrasound era and the creation of the epidural. She reminds me of this fact about every third phone call. I’m 48. . . .

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Thank You, Mr. Rogers



Ezra Azra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 

Photo by Bradi C on Flickr.
Photo by Bradi C on Flickr.

For the first twenty-nine years of my life, I lived, trapped by poverty, in a near-to-slum ghetto in the suburb of Clairwood, Durban, Natal, South Africa.

I was ashamed to be living there. Eventually, we were evicted by the landlord because we could not afford to pay the increased rent. We moved in with other members of our family in the same ghetto. Some years later, by a 'perfect storm' of incredible luck, skullduggery, and illicit maneuvers-negotiations, I qualified to be financially assisted by an Underground illegal consortium to emigrate. I hastily and haphazardly emigrated, in 1967, for good; in both senses of the word, I hoped. . . .

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Road Tripping'





Rose Jakubaszek

 
© Copyright 2022 Rose Jakubaszek 




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

When my mother got formally diagnosed with dementia, the first thing my brother wanted to do was take a family road trip to keep things “normal”. About a month later, we were checking into a hotel room on the first leg of our trip from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. While my brother investigated dinner options at the hotel desk, I released the death grip on my Xanax bottle just long enough to put my mother down for a nap. . . .

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Shower Power




Pamella Laird



 
© Copyright 2022 by Pamella Laird

Photo by Caique Nascimento on Pexels.
Photo by Caique Nascimento on Pexels.

On a tour of England, Wales and Scotland, we two travellers from Down Under sampled more than twenty bathrooms and their accoutrements. These stretched from no shower at all, to one closely related to a fire hose.

A shower each night assumed the prominence of Ben Nevis as in three months, we covered four thousand miles in temperatures averaging 29 degrees centigrade. Accordingly, our tiny rental car, began to resemble an electric frying pan— a glance out the window at the dried, cracked lawns and fields explained why.

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Becoming Helen





Elyse Ribbons


 
© Copyright 2022 by Elyse Ribbons




Photo courtesy of helenfostersnow.org
Photo courtesy of helenfostersnow.org

Ooh, I like this title.  As a linguistics nerd and a fan of punnery in general, this title brings me joy because Helen Foster Snow was indeed a very becoming woman; classy, graceful, witty and beautiful.  But also, this is the perfect title because this essay is about my very surreal experience of becoming Helen Foster Snow. . . .

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Parting Is Such Street Sorrow








Humor by Mark P. Maller



 
© Copyright 2022 by Mark P. Maller

 
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash
Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

On a park bench in Verona, just east of Pittsburgh, Jack Grush sat shaking his head, shoulders heaved over, watching small boys run around the trees, as the sun disappeared through an orange gray haze. Reading real estate signs, he could not believe that yesterday he had seen his father’s ghost after he had opened a snow cone shop at the South Pole. Grush could never stand working frozen in the dark selling 27 flavors of Popsicles to the hardy team of scientists with icy attitudes. Seven church chimes rang. His mind raced back to last Sepember. . . .

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Gardening






Hetty Willeumier


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Hetty Willeumier



Photo by Nature Uninterrupted Photography at Unsplash.
Photo by Nature Uninterrupted Photography at Unsplash.
Photo by

. . . .Gardening and “mucking about in the soil” has always been a great passion of mine! I’ve lived in many areas; the Yukon, the Gulf Islands in BC, Victoria/BC; Vancouver etc…Everywhere there was a patch of soil, you’d see me… enjoying the whole process! . . .

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The Man in the Box





Ruth Thompson


 
© Copyright 2022 by Ruth Thompson



Photo by Pavel Danilyuk: at Pexels.
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk: at Pexels.

It’s a vague memory, likely remembered because my mother told the story repeatedly and included it in her memoirs. I was four years old, sitting in a church with my mother on a weekday. My older brother was in school, my father at work. Mother didn’t explain what was going on. Perhaps she didn’t think I was old enough to understand and thought I would just sit there quietly. She could have left me with a babysitter, but I imagine she thought the expense was not warranted. I was a shy child, fairly compliant, and no doubt she expected me not to make a fuss. In my mother’s re-telling of the incident, she would grimace, her head lowered, as she talked about how my outburst had disrupted a solemn occasion.

Why is the man in the box? Sitting beside my mother in the third row of the church, everyone at the funeral service could clearly hear my high-pitched child’s voice. , , ,

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The Space Between Us





Samia Nur Chowdbury


 
© Copyright 2022 by Samia Nu Chowdbury



Photo by form PxHere
Photo by form PxHere

I have always found it easier to narrate stories of heartache, usually because I can channel the raw emotions felt during the time to the miniscule of moments and give life to words, capturing the exact instance that I fell. Along the horizons of one’s lifeline, they meet all sorts of people- the ones that end up in their last chapters, the ones that the protagonist cannot wait to get rid of and the ones that got away, no matter how much you wanted them to stay. . . .

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I Think I Learned Patience





Halimah Ajibade


 
© Copyright 2022 by Halimah Ajibade


Photo by Aneta from Pixabay
Photo by Aneta from Pixabay

I decided to start my own business at the age of fifteen. My parents did not give unstinting support because they thought it would impinge on my education. I promised them it would not. And besides, I just finished WASSCE (WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SECONDARY CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION). I still had a few months before I resumed University. . . .

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Hemiparesis and Me







Tony Hill

 
© Copyright 2022 by Tony Hill

 

Photo by Patrick Case: at Pexels.
Photo by Patrick Case: at Pexels.

Recently,, at the age of 74, I discovered after a couple of minutes on Google, that I had lived with right sided hemiparesis since birth. Up to that point I regarded myself as having a mild form of cerebral palsy. Hemiparesis is a word I had never heard before. There is nothing like having an enquiring mind I always say. . . .

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My Father, the Dentist, and I





Lana Kristan


 
© Copyright 2022 by Lana Kristan



Photo by Rafael Juárez from Pixabay,
 Photo by Rafael Juárez from Pixabay,.

This story is about my struggle with my fear of dentists. I also tried to present my relationship with my father in the story and hope it doesn’t overshadow the representation of my greatest fear. I struggled with finding the topic for this story when I remembered this day from only a week ago. . . .

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The iPad Wars





Lane Igoudin


 
© Copyright 2022 by Lane Igoudin



Photo courtesy of Raw Pixel.com
Photo courtesy of Raw Pixel.com

Someone called our daughter a ‘drama queen’ in Minecraft. She was playing on the server with an avatar, when the conversation turned to going somewhere. . . .

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A Kind Act




Princewill Udom


 
© Copyright 2022 by Princewill Udom



Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma'aji at Unsplash.
Photo by Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma'aji courtesy of Unsplash.

In September 1999, after my undergraduate studies in southern Nigeria, I moved to Abuja, the capital city in the north-central region of the country. I had just turned twenty-seven years old, so I felt mature and ready to grasp the nettle. The relocation came after nearly a year of several failed attempts at finding a job, deep personal thoughts, and not being in any serious relationship. . . .

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Those He Left Behind





Saima Najib Chaudry


 
© Copyright 2022 by Saima Najib Chaudry




Photo by Izuddin Helmi Adnan courtesy of Unsplash.
Photo by Izuddin Helmi Adnan courtesy of Unsplash.

At first glance, my uncle did not come across as a friendly man. He was reserved, inattentive and usually withdrawn when in the company of people. This is how I remember himloose shabby clothes, dishevelled hair, partly bald in the middle, reticent, unsteady hands, trembling voice, a face lashed with deep furrows brought about by years of disappointment, and ghastly, horror-struck eyes. . . .

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Those Who Got Slapped







Tony Hill



 
© Copyright 2022 by Tony Hill

 

Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels..

. . . .It was just after my 15th birthday in May 1962 that I became one of those who got slapped. Six of my fellow classmates at St.Michael’s Senior School had previously been recipients of a vicious slap across the face by Peter Pyne, known throughout the school, unaffectionately, as “Pyne the Pain “. The six were, in chronological order of being slapped, Dennis Crouch, Shaun Hughes, Tommy Brennan, Roger McCann ,David Wood and Alan Murray. . . .

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Blackout







Tony Hill



 
© Copyright 2022 by Tony Hill

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Just as she had done every working day for the past six months, Mrs.Harris put on her tweed overcoat and thick woolen scarf at the end of the day shift.Well protected against the cold winter weather,she bought an evening paper from a vendor outside the factory gates and joined the queue at the bus stop. . . .

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Communist Cuba 
Myth of an Egalitarian Society
Marginalisation and Anguish of the Black Population



Winston Donald

 
© Copyright 2021 by Winston Donald

Photo by Maksim Romashkin courtesy of Pexels.
Photo by Maksim Romashkin courtesy of Pexels.

Cuba, despite its promotion and projection as an egalitarian nation , which is the ethos of Communism, has failed miserable and has actually never solved the issue of race relationship. . . .

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An Iberian Misadventure



Tiana Yasmin Nowzari


 
© Copyright 2022 by Tiana Yasmin Nowzari




Photo by Jason Mooy courtesy of  Flickr.
Photo by Jason Mooy courtesy of  Flickr.

It's the first week of August, and it's one of the hottest months in Spain. My trip here was initially planned as a graduation gift from myself after a straining semester filled with endless all-nighters and Red Bull binges. After excessively googling with the help of some celebratory wine, I came across a travel website called VisitSpain.com. . . .

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The One Who Won't Get Out Of The Bed



Memoona Amjid


 
© Copyright 2022 by Memoona Amjid



Photo courtesy of  PxHere.
Photo courtesy of  PxHere.

We met for the first time, on the day of our hostel allotment. That was a very lucky day for every first year because the seats were limited in hostel. Who knows what ‘seat limitation’ meant to them, as there was a lounge and all first years had only a bed space to their name. It was more like living on the side of a footpath, as everyone was passing through us like we were out in the open rather than in our rooms. . . .

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Family Differences






Ezra Azra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo by vishnu deep on Pexels.
.Photo by vishnu deep on Pexels.

In the 1950s, I lived at 61 Torquay Avenue, Fynnland, Durban, Natal, South Africa. Ours was the last home at the end of the Avenue. In those days, the word Avenue was an exaggeration of what was merely a two-adult width path overgrown with tall weeds. For the last few hundred feet up to our house, the ground on the Avenue was not visible for the weeds. Beyond our home there was virgin jungle for about two miles to the next suburb, King’s Rest.

I have many memories of our encounters with wild animals entering our unfenced yard from the jungle. Here is one such encounter. . . .

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The Possibility of Liberation from History
Reflections on the limits and the promise of autobiographical self-representation


Mimi M. Salili




 
© Copyright 2022 by Mimi M. Salili



Photo courtesy of PXHere.
Photo courtesy of PXHere.
. . . .Writing about one’s own life is not radically different from producing a work of fiction.

By fiction, I do not simply mean that which is not “real.” Something can be purportedly

real” but what is known about it may not be its “truth.”. . .

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My Grandfather's Love For The Village And His Parents



Chaitanyamoi Chetia


 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia



Photo by Grandfather on horseback.
Photo by Grandfather on horseback.

My grandfather loved the people of his villages, his relatives and the people of the neighborhoods. Western cowboy movies were his favourites, and whilst he was the officer-in-charge at Chabua police station (Chabua is a small tea city of upper – Assam), he asked a cobbler to make a pair of stylish cowboy boots of leather having high shafts, no lace, but pointed toes at the front. . . .

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The Exceptional Immigrant



Devin Meireles





© Copyright 2022 by Devin Meireles





Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

What do we live for? Pardon my morbidly introspective inquisition but it’s something I think about. . . .

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The Summer I Strived



Rishika Srivastava


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Rishika Srivastava




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

All I could think about was summer vacation when I was growing up. I couldn’t wait to be homework-free, enjoy long days in the sun playing Cops and Robbers, and stay up well past my usually mundane 9:00 P.M. bedtime during the week. . . .

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Gunfighter Tales




Richard Franklin Bishop




© Copyright 2022 by Richard Franklin  Bishop
 



Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.
Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.      

Picture the old West. On his evening “rounds”, A Town Marshal walks into a crowded Bar and sees a WANTED Gunman bellied up to the Bar drinking his Whisky. . . .

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Sushi With Debbie



Amber Baker



 
© Copyright 2022 by Amber Baker



Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

When we pulled the car up in front of the door and the house opened up, I thought you looked beautiful. I even said so to your granddaughter sitting next to me. She only knows you now— white hair to the waist and a flowing purple top to match your nails. . . .

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The Beauty of Changing Our Minds





Breanne Szabados


 
© Copyright 2022 by Breanne Szabados



Photo by Ali Kazal courtesy of Unsplash.
Photo by Ali Kazal courtesy of Unsplash.

As I’ve gotten older, the things that are important to me and the things that I ultimately want have changed. I suppose this is a normal and natural part of being a human being, but for most of my life, I felt like it was not really an option; that I needed to have it all figured out and had no flexibility to pivot or change my mind. . . .

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The Outcast



Ellen Berman




 
© Copyright 2022 by Ellen Berman


Image by Foundry Co courtesy of Pixabay
Image by Foundry Co courtesy of Pixabay

It was the first time I ran away from home.

I was fifteen in 1971 and school had just closed for summer vacation. I was fat. At five-foot-two-and-a-half-inches tall and a Junior Size 13 pants, let’s just say at least my lower half was disproportionate to my height, and I was embarrassed to wear a bathing suit in public. . . .

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A Girl from the Countryside




Gomathi Sridevi



 
© Copyright 2022 by Gomathi Sridevi



Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.

"You can't do it alone," that's what people said to her when she decided to move to the city.

Let's move to a few decades in the past.

It was rare for a woman to give birth at the hospital, especially in villages. Women used to give birth at home with a few old ladies surrounded by her and one lady doctor accompanying the pregnant woman. . . .

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Relationships



Melody Pender


 
© Copyright 2022 by Melody Pender





Photo of the author.
Photo of the author.

The lively chattering of students gathered together, each in groups ― tightly knitted. From their smiles and grins, playful shoves and silly grins, I could tell at once… they were close friends, childhood friends perhaps.

What did I stare at them with?

Envy? . . .

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Migration and Idenity




Carlo Rey Lacsamana



 
© Copyright 2022 by Carlo Rey Lacsamana



Photo by Mabel Amber courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo by Mabel Amber courtesy of Pixabay.

. . . .Every journey begins in departure. seventeen years! I tell myself. It’s almost two decades since I left my homeland. And this word: homeland has grown, expanded, developed, and much longed for in me. Leaving the place where one had been born and nurtured is not as simple as changing one’s clothes. Migration is in itself a kind of displacement. . . .

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82 Poems on a Single Theme






Ezra Azra



 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

My Granny, Jane Goldstone (1878-1974) was a Grade School teacher, as well a Sunday School teacher. All her adult life she was in a quandary that her God, Jehovah/Yahweh, committed so many evil deeds willingly, as recorded in the Bible. She collected 39 of these accounts in the Bible and re-formed the Bible's words into flawless iambic verse. . . .

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Knowing Up From Down





Kip Rosser


 
© Copyright 2022 by Kip Rosser



Photo by Elena Mozhvilo at Unsplash.
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo at Unsplash.

There’s a word that troubles me. I think a lot about this word. I’ll tell you what it is in a minute. But first, there’s a different word you need to know. The word is contronym. A contronym is a word that, strange as it seems, is actually its own opposite.

Take the word off,” for example. It can mean to shut down or deactivate, as in the sentence, I shut the light off.” But it can also mean the opposite -- to turn on or activate -- as in my alarm clock just went off.” How bizarre is that?! . . .

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Surviving Adolescence



Lisa Rivers


 
© Copyright 2022 by Lisa Rivers




Photo courtesy of Flikr.
Photo courtesy of Flikr.

"Awe honey I'm not Laughing at you, I’m laughing with you. And after time passes you will be laughing." She said. " I promise".

"Really Mom”, I screamed in horror, “Do you see me laughing? How could I be so lame? I mean really. What kind of mother sends a child out like that. I can never show my face again, never!” . . .

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Moving Neighborhoods




Zary Fekete



 
© Copyright 2022 by Zary Fekete



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

I was carrying one of the last boxes out to our car when our neighbor called to me. She was the first person my wife and I met when we moved to Budapest’s 11th district three years ago. We were in our mid 20s; our neighbor was 76. . . .

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Each Minute Counts




Lori Stryker


 
© Copyright 2022 by Stryker




Photo by Stas Knop at Pexels.
Photo by Stas Knop at Pexels.

When you’re a high school teacher, you are governed by the clock. Each minute counts. These minutes are units of time to visit the bathroom or grab those final photocopies before scurrying to your assigned classroom. One of the things I savored most when I retired was that I didn’t need to wake up to an annoying alarm, or have my day ruled by the watch perennially on my left wrist. I still wear that watch, but only because it’s my habit after so many years. I never use my alarm. . . .

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White Gloves



Cindy Marcus


 
© Copyright 2022 by Cindy Marcus



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Temple Beth David was always one step away from collapse. A converted house in Van Nuys, the blacktop was more gray than black, the walls, though loved, were chipped from wear, and the roof leaked every Winter.

Still, my working class family attended Friday night services every week. In the small congregants’ room, boys got Bat Mitvah’d, Shofars got blown, and every child received a birthday blessing. . . .

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The Bravest Man on the Pier



Joseph O'Brien


 
© Copyright 2022 by Joseph O'Brien





Photo by Wendy Wei at Pexels.
Photo by Wendy Wei at Pexels.

In the summer of 1961 the weather was beautiful in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and I landed a job running the Ferris wheel on the pier. At night you could see the bridge from the land to the island where Seaside was located. My boss used to come up to the wheel and look at the line of headlights coming across the bridge and say, “That's fresh money.”. . .

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Unusual Visitors




Robyn Michaels


 
© Copyright 2022 by Robyn Michaels




Photo courtesy of Global Giving.
Photo courtesy of Global Giving.

The first time I ever encountered someone in America who had never met a Jew was when I had just turned 15. This was in 1968. I was living in the north suburbs of Chicago, where at least a third of the community was Jewish. I went to visit an acquaintance who lived in Pana, a small town in central Illinois: corn country. We went to her mother’s for Christmas. She had cooked a ham. . . .

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Taking on Big Terry




Catherine Grow



 
© Copyright 2022 by Catherine Grow



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Times growing up I would have sold my soul for an older brother—someone to look up to who, with his worldly wisdom, would illuminate a sure and steady path for me as I muddled through my mid-1950’s childhood.

What I got was J. J.: two years younger than I and, until his teens, shorter and scrawnier. For most of our childhood, I could win arguments by wrestling him to the ground and sitting on him. The balance of power was clearly in my favor. . . .

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How Snake and Cat Were Rescued From Each Other, and We From Both






Ezra Azra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

This is an account of an animal rescue as it happened on our farm in Africa.

Animal rescues on our farm were not memorable, generally, because they happened with boring regularity.

This one was unusual because while our cat and the snake were gearing up to fight to the death, we were trying to rescue both of them from each other, and ourselves from both of them. On our farm, the first tenet of our animal rescue ethics was to never let a fight happen between animals. . . .

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Thirty-Three Animal Stories for Children


IN MEMORIAM: RAINDROPS, 1980-1997, our family Cat.
All author's proceeds donated to Windsor and Essex County Humane Society.





Ezra Azra


 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

1) The pandemic; its good side.
2) The kid’s a genius.
3) Meat the king.  etc........

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My Inspiration In Life



Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo


 
© Copyright 2022 by
Ojo Victoria Ilemobayo





Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Nine weeks old, mama spewed honey honeycomb and milk to me. Daily she watered me like a plant in a nursery. Mama oiled my hair with supplication,yes she & papa dined words with the Great Old at Dusk. . . .

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With Every Breath





Joanne E. Galliher


 
© Copyright 2022 by Joanne E. Galliher



Photo of the author.
Photo of the author.

My Frisky Trifecta is living half-glass full. Bold, not blasé. Curious, not complacent. That saved my life and makes me 70 going on 30.

At 62, an unidentifiable virus devoured 75% of my lungs in six hours. It was like an unconscionable piranha. Leaving me to struggle and miraculously survive a non-negotiable prognosis. “There’s only a 20% chance you’ll be alive in a year.” I hung in 1,187 days. . . .

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Breakfast at Tiffany's Re-Visited




Carl Winderl

 
© Copyright 2022 by Carl Winderl




Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Pixabay 

I couldn’t remember, -- no, I can’t remember when was the last time I’d read Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s
I do know it’s since I saw the film version with Audrey Hepburn in her most unforgettable and legendary star-turn as Holly Golightly, along with George Peppard, in a sort of ‘thinly’ disguised role as her most suitable innamorato out of her innumerable wannabe suitors. Not to mention Capote’s attempt at reincarnating his writerly self in the alter ego of Peppard’s firmer flesh. . . .

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One Double Biography from the Heart
(For my Mum and Dad)


Branka Vulic


 
© Copyright 2022 by Branka Vulic





Photo from the author.
Mum and Dad on 50th anniversary. Photo from the author

Biographical non-fiction … a title usually not related to warmth but if I try hard, I can make it warm. I always thought my parents´ lives deserve to be remembered. Not so much in form of a dry, boring biography but in the shape that mirrors them as wonderful human beings. They deserve a biography composed of fine, humorous, sad, and witty sketches from their life. Such scenes reveal their spirit and personality. . . .

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Grga




Sandra Ljubljanovic


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Sandra Ljubljanovic



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Some people leave a lasting impression
even though they barely touched our lives.

Grga was my car mechanic. It was not his real name, nor was he really a car mechanic. He was a retired soldier, an engineer by profession, but repairing vehicles and vessels was something he truly enjoyed. He told me his name and surname when we met, and again after a few years while he was checking the brakes of my car on a lonely gravel road by the river, but I forgot it in a matter of minutes. Everybody simply called him Grga. . . .

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Strangers





J. S. Kierland


 
© Copyright 2022 by J. S. Kierland



Photo by Lisa courtesy of Pexels.
Photo by Lisa courtesy of Pexels.

 Memory and time run together when you get older and a smile from a stranger can tumble you back through decades of cigarette smoke and desires you’d forgotten long ago. It was one of those uncertain smiles that dropped me back into a time when I was taking post grad courses in the city that never sleeps. . . .

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The Leap




Ekaterina Golovina

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ekaterina Golovina




Photo by Martin Wyall on Unsplash.
Photo by Martin Wyall on Unsplash

There’re eight of us left. Someone would say we’re stuck Up here. That’s not right. We have it chosen this way.

We live in a community called El Salto. Its name may be translated as “waterfall”, referring to a cascade in the gorge that has been dry for years. Our village is surrounded by mountains and woods. The only paved road runs across it. No one has even been bothered to give the route a name. Maps refer to it simply as “The direction to the lagoon.”. . .

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Home Away From Home




Michael Eaton


 
© Copyright 2022 by Eaton



Photo by Pavel Danilyuk at Pexels.

The summer of 1959 after my junior year I took a job that required me to move into a funeral home and help with various tasks around the home. My dad explained that he had the same job when he was younger, and in speaking to the owner, discovered they were looking for someone for the summer, and asked if I wanted to take the job. Always eager for new adventures I said “Yes.”. . .

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Perseverance Pays A Great Deal




Nonhlanhla Annah Thusi


 
© Copyright 2022 by Nonhlanhla Annah Thusi




The author's two self published books.
The author's two self published books.

Life is the survival of the fittest, you’ve got to learn to give a fist and take one, to fall and stand up while keeping hope. I am Annah Thusi, based in South Africa, from a small township called Refengkgotso at Deneysville city. From birth the dice of life didn’t roll in my favour, I felt the harsh treatment of life yet didn’t give up. . . .

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I Am An Aquarian Deal With It
Love Hurts But We Keep On Tryinng




Tatenda Alex Chirambira


 
© Copyright 2022 by Tatebda Alex Chirambira



Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

. . . .In my entire life I have never been more eager to end a conversation with anyone but at that certain point I felt that the 8 second mark on my screen signified that maybe I had made a wrong judgment call. . . .

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All Cried Out





Uzoamaka Onwubiko


 
© Copyright 2022 by Usoamaka Onwubiko



Photo by-Juan-Pablo-Serrano-Arenas-courtesy of Pexels.
Photo by-Juan-Pablo-Serrano-Arenas-courtesy of Pexels.

I grew up in a family of 4. 3 girls and a boy I was the third child. My mom was an amazing woman who in spite of my father's negligence to the family didn't stop to give love to us. My father was never there never cared about our well being my mother in her little power tried to see we were attended to. . . .

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Iona




Susan Salot Gaumer

 
© Copyright 2022 by Susan Salot Gaumer




Photo of Columba's bay courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo of Columba's bay courtesy of Pixabay.

In 1984 my husband and I spent time in Scotland where he presented a scientific paper at a meeting in Glasgow. Expecting a tired industrial city, by surprise we discovered Glasgow to be lively and delightful. The Lord Mayor, hoping to attract more such events, hosted a grand dinner for the gathered scientists in their splendid art gallery. While Dick was in meetings I explored lovely gardens, Whistler’s childhood home, and meandered into several churches. Long interested in Celtic spirituality and the life of St. Columba, I had been hoping we could visit the island of Iona. . . .

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Sue's Writing Desk

A Tale for Memorial Day





William Wayne Weems




© 2022 by William Wayne Weems



  
Photo of the Fred Cooper family.
Photo of the Fred Cooper family.

Nearly two weeks ago my Spouse Annie Sue and I soberly viewed an isolated metal outbuilding which is set outside the high fence surrounding the rear of her West Tennessee family farmhouse. The sliding doors had been wrenched off. . . .

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