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Tales of the Road
Life of an Uber Driver
P. S. Gifford
© Copyright 2019 by P. S.
yesterday's driving was at times frustrating, boring and ultimately
was a particularly slow Sunday but I needed just seven rides to meet
my bonus for the weekend. I thought I could achieve this in three
hours- four at tops. This hope was reinforced as my first four rides
arrived quickly. They were pleasant enough rides, jovial conversation
and banter and decent tippers to boot. What more could I ask for? . . .
On My Guard
Copyright 2019 by Brenda Wussum
This is story about
a friend who was almost kidnapped and my own
fears about night buses.
to fix my hair and it takes a while. Braids usually take long
hours and I am
at the salon a little
after midday. I hadn't envisioned that the style of braids I had
decided on would take longer than usual and I would be out late,
is past 9:00pm. The hairdresser is finished with me and the market
has closed a few hours earlier. To make sure I did not have to leave
home the next day, change buses
travel across the bridge
to this side of
town again, I had
pleaded we finished up that night. Talk about customer
satisfaction! She gave in
to my demand and
led me to a roadside shop outside the market to finish the braids. . . .
The Quail, .410 and Coyote Ben
Copyright 2018 by Don Shook
jolt to my shoulder was unexpected, the recoil painful. My Dad
laughed, then scowled as if to say, “Go ahead, try it again.”
Reluctantly, I pulled the trigger and fired his ancient .410
shotgun, this time hitting one of the tin-cans lined-up on the rock
ledge some thirty feet away. How could I have missed the others? It was
a shotgun. A week later the weapon became my sixteenth
birthday present. I loved my new old .410. . . . More...
Copyright 2019 by Don Shook
ago, when a boy, I accidentally caught a two-pound bass on a cane
pole rig using a night crawler. My Uncle Johnny had shown me where
to cast the bait. I was thrilled and the experience sealed my love
of fishin’ for life.
bamboo pole, an eight-pound test monofilament line, and a tiny barbed
hook was my only equipment, my uncle’s advice my only
technology. From that point on, I would pursue the wily largemouth
bass with a vigor rivaled only by my pursuit of the lovely Ellen
Morgan during my stint as a high-school quarterback. Over the years,
I certainly landed my share of fish, though I never hooked nor scored
with Ellen. . . .
Sisters: Looking Back
Eileen W. Fisher
Copyright 2019 by Eileen W. Fisher
has been written about the challenges that parents face when raising
a child with a disability. Much less has been written about the
challenges to the sibling of the child with a disability.
is my story. . . .
2018 by Robert Flournoy
I never know what to say
when someone asks me where I am from. I was born in Memphis and the
family moved before I was one. By the time I was six we had managed
to live in four different states, finally to wind up in El Paso,
Texas, where my father was sent in 1952 after he came back from
Korea. He was a career military officer. We were to move many times
after the Texas assignment, traveling the world. Home was the house
where we lived. That was fine, but my parents knew that we needed
family roots and a sense of place that was more permanent than our
transient lifestyle afforded. So, in the days before interstate
highways and air-conditioned automobiles, we loaded up the family car
every summer and drove to Alabama and my grandparents' farm. . . .
Spreading Holiday Joy - Now, and Throughout The Year
Albert Vetere Lannon
Copyright 2018 by Albert Vetere Lannon
our world of never-ending war, of hatred and division, of cronyism
and corruption, of mistrust and fear, the holiday season offers a
chance to take a deep breath and let in the peace, joy and love that
we crave and deserve.
many, it is the joy of celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace;
for others it is the act of selfless giving, or family gatherings, or
decorating the tree, or the lighting up of holiday displays, or the
wide-eyed happiness of children opening presents which just might
have been delivered by Santa Claus. “‘Cause Mom, I heard
the reindeer on the roof. I did!!”
the avowedly atheist home I grew up in, Christmas was still a big
deal. Mom and I shopped for a tree on Christmas Eve when New York
Street vendors were slashing prices to sell off the ragged –
but to us, beautiful -- last of their stock. Dad made a wonderful
holiday lasagna with little meat balls. Friends came over to share
drinks, fellowship and politics. My little sister and I got to stay
up until midnight so we could open our presents. . . .
on parle siSwati"
2018 by Karen Radford Treanor
we went to work in Swaziland, a tiny independent kingdom in southern
Africa, it was expected that we would try to learn the local
language, siSwati, a cousin to siZulu. The Swazis often laughed at
our efforts, but were unfailingly enthusiastic and helpful, and many
impromptu tutorials were delivered by friendly strangers at the
market or bus station. . . .
The Diary of Anne Sophia Palk
Nicole Van Zyl
Copyright 2018 by Nicole Van Zyl
|Anne Sophia Helmore (known
throughout her life as Annie), was born on 12 January 1844 in
Lekhatlong, a mission station in Griqualand, west of Kimberly. Her
father, Holloway Helmore, was there working as a missionary from the
London Missionary Society. Anne was the second oldest of seven
children from the marriage of Holloway Helmore and Ann Garden. . . .
Another Little Christmas Tale
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
|The old mansion was quiet. I had
pulled the weights off
the chain that powered the grandfather’s clock in the hall to
quiet the awful clack, clack, clack. I stormed and fidgeted around
the dark house. My German Shepard, Sean, followed a few inches behind
me as I stalked about peering out a window and abruptly moving to
another window. Outside, the freezing wind sailed bits of garbage
over the days-old dirty snow. A cat ran across the empty street and
disappeared under a building looking for shelter and warmth. The
night before when sleep wasn’t a possibility, Sean put his head
on my pillow and stared at me, knowing that I was in trouble. I
ordered him to leave, but he wouldn’t. Even a whack on the nose
that made him blink couldn’t make him leave. I hugged him and
said I was sorry. He kept his head on the pillow and it helped for a
minute. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
is as addictive as drugs, but there are no twelve-step programs for
passion. Some activities: surfing, rock climbing, and skiing are good
candidates for the obsessed. Left behind is a life that is measured
by clocks, quotas, and the whims of idiot bosses. People who live by
those clocks often use the term bum to define people who follow their
passion. Those people often fail to appreciate the incredible
discipline these bums have to perfect their craft. I didn’t
realize I was a ski-bum until it was too late. True ski bums switch
hemispheres so that it is endless winter. The lesser ski-bum works
the summer pounding nails or waiting tables or handling four-wheel
drive tour vehicles up the mountain for tourists equipped with the
latest boots and gear who would never think of hiking further than
from the jeep to the picnic. . . .
Home the Turkey
Copyright 2017 by June Calender
old Bronco coughed and started. Frank liked to get to the gym early
and a holiday simply meant he’d mostly have the place to
himself. Britt was sound asleep. They had no plans for the day, no
family near-by, except Uncle Jake who hated holidays. Yesterday’s
bright sun and the overnight temp drop meant fog. This morning’s
fog was ghostly gauze drifting through the trees. The road was empty
this early. Amazing how many people barrel along on these narrow
roads that weren’t quite town and not quite country where
scattered houses sat shyly among old trees. Frank was going over 40
himself. The road followed the course of Rocky Creek. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Kirby Wright
Wright strolled a shoreline boardwalk fringed with kiawe trees. The
last of the Chinese ponds was still in operation and she could see a
gathering of ducks on a muddy bank. Julia had just turned sixteen.
She had on her black-and-white striped swimsuit, with black knickers
and white lace-up boots. She preferred walking Waikiki not
accompanied by her sisters—Sue and Kay were popular and could
steal the attention of admirers. Sue, her big sister, was tall and
wore tight-fitting dresses that showed off her curves. Kay, her kid
sister, dressed more conservatively but nonetheless attracted the
preferred Outrigger Canoe Club types, those outdoorsy boys with great
tans and good senses of humor. But the malahini men who’d
traveled vast distances by steamer to see Hawaii also intrigued her.
Some of those malahinis had brought wives but she still saw them
stealing glances at her. And why shouldn’t they? She was a
brunette with the figure of a New York City model and the face of a
playful angel. . . .
is the story of a scar on my face cutting through my eyebrow, from
when I was but a small child. I had taken some time to reflect on the
significance of that moment in my life and relationship with my
younger brother, as if it were the scene of a narrative of another’s
making. And while what “meaning” I have extracted from it
may have been of little consequence, it does illuminate some bit of
my existence for me, which I want to think is enough to merit sharing
as more than a tale told to others at parties. . . .
Night Sky: A Memoir
Tylyn K. Johnson
Copyright 2018 byTylyn K. JohnsonE
as every immigrant has their own story, so does every immigrant’s
My Mother's Story: My
Eileen W. Fisher
Copyright 2018 by Eileen W. Fisher
one’s voice remains to tell my mother's story other than mine –
the story of an orphaned Jewish teenager from Russia who manages to
escape to America in 1922, at age fifteen.
was only from time to time that my mother was even willing to talk
about her childhood — and, usually in response to some event or
bit of news. But even then, she would only speak briefly. If I
persisted, her face would tense up; she would purse her lips and ask
me, “Eileen, why do you want to talk about such sad things?
We’re living today. The past is gone.” And I loved her
too much to upset her further. . . .
Mary and Joseph Spent Christmas Eve
© Copyright 2018 by Carol Arvo
upon a time, a long time ago, in a far-away land without any snow,
Joseph and his wife Mary traveled to the capitol of their country to
be counted in the yearly census for their city. It was a long trip.
Cars, trains and airplanes weren’t invented yet. Joseph and
Mary didn’t have too much money in their budget for the trip,
so they couldn’t rent a camel and had to settle for their
dependable donkey as transportation.
Copyright 2016 by Paul Marion Fleetwood
went AWOL to see my sweetie (and got away with it).
was the winter of 1952 at Ethan Allen Air Force Base near Winooski
Vermont. I was a lonesome Airman who had been away from home
and my sweetheart for way too long. Constantly bored with the
winter and mundane duties of working in the Crypto room, I was always
looking for a way to get back home by hook or crook. My
lived in St. Louis some 1200 miles away and I didn't have "leave
time" or money to get back there often. But somewhere
around December 1952 an opportunity presented itself. . . .
Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
never forget the contributions that the “greatest
generation” of American GI's made to our country. We think
first of those who died and gave it their “all.” It is
easy to forget the GI's who were mechanics, cooks, supply personnel,
intelligence officers, or others who performed support services for
the soldiers in the trenches. This is a story about my Dad,
a military policeman. His small, enduring contribution to race
relations, is one of my fondest memories.
. . .
Copyright 2018 by Reese Conners
tighten your core, squeeze your inner thighs, shoulders down,
heels up, chin on a shelf, roll towards your big toe, lengthen the
back of your legs, relax your face…
that.” I hear, as I attempt to morph myself into one of the
simplest ballet positions. An overwhelming amount of corrections to
concentrate on, pain simultaneously coursing through my calves
threatening my foundation. Why am I putting myself through
Day after day and week after week of my hair pulled so tight
my head that my face stretches upwards. Countless blisters and black
toenails with bruises to accompany them. Yet, today is a good day.
With only the tendinitis in my right ankle to bother me, adrenaline
overcomes my pain with ease. . . .
Transitions - Chapter 1
Copyright 2018 by Doug Sherr
This story is the
first chapter of a memoir. It details the moment when I knew I needed a
new life and what i did about it.
Triumph fired on the first kick. It’s a little sad when an
English motorcycle is one of the more reliable things in life. When
the bike was warmed up I still didn’t take off. The next twenty
minutes would be a delightful ride down Chicago’s waterfront,
but waiting for me was a windowless office and laboratory. At age
twenty-six, I felt like that little kid on a perfect day who wants to
play hooky; who just wants to play. I turned off the bike and went in
the house to call the boss and skip a day. When he answered, I
blurted out that I wanted to quit. Frank Iwatsuki was a brilliant
engineer and a fine man.
said, “Oh, that’s good Douglas, because you’re a
terrible engineer. You should be an artist or poet or something.”. . .
A Successful Woman
Copyright 2018 by Luxhmee Jaypaul
a small town lived a girl called Roshni. She was the sole daughter
and has two brothers. She had educated and ultra-cultured parents who
love her a lot. Furthermore, she livedin an extended family. She has
spent an amazing childhood with her brothers and cousins. She was a
dream weaver and she cherished her dreams a lot. She loved simple
living but high thinking. She always wanted a happy life. She had her
own ideologies and she followed it by heart. . . .
a shy, skinny, too tall ninth grader, I was devastated to
had been selected to give a speech before the whole school!
The Speech Contest
Copyright 2018 by Charleine Sell
in St. Petersburg, Florida is always hot and humid, but during my
ninth grade year in 1961 at yet another new school, I had a
frightening experience that made me shiver with fear. I had attended
7 different schools over the years. The more recent ones were all in
the St. Petersburg area; seventh grade at Madeira Beach Junior High,
eighth grade at Lealman Junior High, and now ninth grade at Southside
Junior High. Needless to say, I was a shy girl, skinny and too tall,
who spoke in a whisper in class if I was called upon, and never ever,
ever volunteered an answer. . . . More...
Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
At the end of the Second World War, the country
of Japan lay in
ruins. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were piles of rubble from atomic bombs
with badly wounded people wandering around glassy eyed in need of
medical care. People were starving throughout the nation because
farmers, fearing Allied attacks, had failed to plant their yearly
crops of rice.
It fell to General Douglas MacArthur
and his Allied Forces to to
enter the devastated country, spend time there, and attempt to “fix”
the problems the War had created. Their efforts proved so successful
that within 10 years, the average Japanese citizen was four inches
taller (diet changes), lived an average six years longer (medical
care), and enjoyed growing business success (trade with Europe and
US). . . .
Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
A few years into her retirement, it became abundantly
clear to the Old Lady that her Social Security Retirement check of
$800 a month would support a very frugal lifestyle, but it would not
extend sufficiently to cover extraordinary expenses or expensive
repairs. At the age of 80, heart disease had reduced her days to
resting in a recliner, and her nights to sleeping in the same chair.
A long plastic tube emerging from an oxygenator, pumped oxygen into
her system to assist her breathing. She was, in effect, a disabled
shut-in. It was not clear, under these circumstances, how she could
devise a plan to supplement her income.
The Old Lady pondered this problem for several months.
When no solutions came to mind, the stress of unpaid bills frequently
interrupted her sleep, driving her blood pressure dangerously high.
Finally, in the middle of one very long night, she awoke abruptly and
the answer, so awesome in its simplicity, had been right in front of
her the entire time. She needed a job to make money, so she would
MAKE MONEY! . . .
|The Resurrection of Palley
Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch
. . .“What's that?”, asked the girl, pointing to
a yellow swathe of color that was too large to be a bush or flower.
The boy, who had little interest in flowers, but who could fix
anything with moving parts, was driven by curiosity to see what lay
partially hidden beneath the tangled weeds.
“It's an old forklift”, said the boy,
“rusted out, dirty, tangled with blackberry vines., paint faded
until it nearly melded with the dead grasses.” “Useless!”,
he repeated, but the challenge of fixing the impossible stirred
within him. . . .
Copyright 2018 by David Njuguna
long been plagued by the mosquitoes that reside in my backyard, I
decided to write about the life of just a single one of them. I can’t
be completely sure her name was Maya, but for the sake of the story,
I assumed it was. Some bit and pieces might be a work of my
imagination (the meeting with her suitor for example). . . . More..
Copyright 2018 by Razel Suansing
in my hair droop alongside my silky majestic gown. Dazzling
chandeliers hover above me, crowning me with their enchanting
illuminations. My father kisses me good night. I see him still
wearing the bracelet I crafted for him when I was six. The tangled
twigs tied along his wrist where his lifeline lies. . . .
Not Just Another History Lesson
Copyright 2018 by Anne Organista
teacher has his or her moments of glory; those moments when students
rise above their expectations or when lesson plans go awry only to be
salvaged by a completely unexpected situation. I say this with much
candor. In all my years of teaching, many little things made me
happy, feel appreciated and loved. Nevertheless, it was this one
event in 2001 back in the Philippines, when I felt especially proud. . . .