The Trees That Held Up Our Neighborhood

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Flash Fiction

The Trees That Held Up Our Neighborhood


So, imagine if you will, set far off from the road, a light-mossy-green painted house with a wrap around porch, a swing on one end, and on the other two Great Oaks. In between these oaks was the best treehouse anyone could imagine painted the same mossy-green as the house. You had to climb high on a ladder and crawl through a hole and you had yourself a treehouse. There were no walls on the treehouse. There weren’t any windows and absolutely no roof but that didn’t matter to me. Camping out there and seeing the stars above my head was the best place to be.

But those two Great Oaks weren’t the best climbing trees, they had grown in that ground for so long there were no limbs to be reached. No, the best climbing tree was in the neighbor’s yard across the street. It grew to be climbed and climbed it we did. We felt like giants. But my mother said I couldn’t go in their yard unless they were home. She said it was not okay because that would be trespassing. In my mind, I understood the “tres” to be the front of the house. Why? I truly do not know. I imagine that’s just the way my mind worked at that age.

There was a lady in our neighborhood who sprayed her hose on every kid on the block who stepped in her yard, even if they fell off their bikes and just landed in her yard. But she didn’t spray me for some reason. I think it was because she and my Grandma were friends. Or maybe I told her while on her front lawn about the “tres”of her house and she took pity on me. Didn’t want to do more damage than was already done!

Back at our yard, behind the treehouse was the part of the yard that no one in my family used—except me. Yes, you are right, it was my secret garden, so to speak. The bricks that were laid long ago to separate neighbor from neighbor were overrun with ivy and on that ivy was my very favorite flower—honeysuckle. I loved that flower. I sat with my back against the ivy and smelled their scent and if a bee came by why I just stood still and it didn’t bother me. It was probably just as happy as I was to be hidden in those honeysuckles.

There was a man who lived in that great house before us that worked at the city Botanical Garden cutting bulbs for tulips and gluing them back together. Imagine that! But each time he did, he brought a glued bulb or two home in his pocket and then planted it in my special garden. If I was chasing after our dachshund, Gus or Gump, our St. Bernard was chasing after me, I always found deep red bottomed tulips with white tops or orange and yellow striped ones. It was like an Easter hunt, but the treats were laid for me a long, long time ago. I’d stop and look at them if Gus and I were playing and think they just grew for me. If Gump and I were playing, well I didn’t have time to stop! But I loved all of them tulips as if I was the only one to see them. And I guess I was!


I just saw a flash  fiction request by the lovely Ellen Mulholland (@thisgirlclimbstrees) and thought I would join in. The WordPress site (http://www.thepointofthequill.com) is taking up so much time trying to fend off hackers with my knife and sword, it gets daunting.






tulips  botanical garden



heart free photo from shutterstock_97614038The people in our lives that our there tangentially, during the times of difficulty become a part of us that never leaves our true nature as they have helped to strengthen us. In all cases, they our closer to our heart and soul than words can say. In the case of loves, that bond is so much stronger. The old saying that youth is wasted on the young applies as we don’t know what gem we held until we see the breadth of humanity; or lack thereof. Regrets are natural, but I prefer to look at the great wonder that brought them into our lives, the fun and special times we had together, and the lessons that they taught me. I see that as one of your strong suits as well in your writing. Even when writing of others, it is amazing how much of ‘us’ seeps through. The beauty of the art if you write from the heart

From one writer to another.

Image: Shutterstock

Can Anyone Give Me a Hand?
authors, autoimmune awareness, ironic

Can Anyone Give Me a Hand?


It is time for me to roll out the red carpet for my awards ceremony thanks to TLN and his award. I will have to wait a bit though as I have had an injury of sorts.

Before I go further, I want to thank the beautiful Cheryl Moore for dedicating part of her ongoing story to me. She writes and draws at Unbound Boxes Limping Gods , an incredible work in progress. Both her words and artwork are a dream. I had written her after being transfixed with a drawing of one of her characters, Ancille , that seemed to me to move off the page, so enlivened was her artwork. The amazing thing is she thanked me for her work of art. How that generosity of spirit manifests is itself a thing of beauty. Thank you, Cheryl.

I haven’t written lately due to a hand injury. I had lost the use of my dominant hand. I couldn’t will a finger up if I tried. Now there is a revolving door of sweet nurses, talented physical therapists, occupational therapists; and I must leave shortly for a doctor’s appointment.

Thanks to an angel of a friend, I have now Dragon, the speech-to-text software which still is trying to learn the funny ways of my speech and thanks to a dear friend, Jen, a wonderful headphone and mic. Thank you, Jen.

The hand is getting better, but it has been very frustrating. This happened just after I was accepted with a scholarship to The Story Cartel. I am reminded of the injury my brother sustained as a violinist when he broke a wrist bone. He went into a severe depression due to his limitations. Though my reaction has been somewhat different, there have been periods of, well, even a writer finds it hard to find words for the abysmal feelings we must fight against as if our very soul depends upon it. In many ways, I believe it does; our soul must create and any wall we encounter to that goal seems higher as our spirit is crushed further. My fight has been both physical and spiritual; but I am fighting. I am fighting the good fight, as a writing friend has stated.

Though it sounded quiet Freudian to me, it turned out to be an autoimmune reaction; as it was explained to me. The circuits between the hand and brain just stopped. Okay. Whatever; I just wanted my hand back. It was quite timely as May is the month of Lupus Awareness Month. Ironically, the Lupus Association decided this year that a symbol of awareness and solidarity for a cure would be to hold your right hand up in an L-shape. I just had to laugh as this disease is nothing if not ironic.

I must go to the dreaded doctor but I will be back to post more and will be visiting all of you as I have missed you. Be well and happy.


Keep Calm, Carry On and Don’t Look Back, for Long

Minute Hand on Clock

I was reading today a beautiful piece of writing sent to me in Brad Listi’s latest newsletter. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with The Nervous Breakdown, it’s a crying shame.

It reminded me of my first true love. A man with a red corvette, curly brown hair and a heart of pure gold. We lived a long-distance relationship throughout our college years. Many trips from either of our college towns down the nine-hour drive to a large southern city populated with either Limos or Toyota Corollas and, for a few weeks a year, one red corvette and two people in love.

During our summer breaks, I spent many a day or evening at his college-town apartment; until 11 pm or 3 am-if we fell asleep in each others arms. He was the quiet shield from the beatings at home of one parent or the crass treatment by a step-mother that only wanted me gone;. She got her wish; mine were not granted. Truth is slayed by hatred so often.

He has a family now and that door has been shut to me long ago Though, for a minute, I allow myself to wonder what our life would have been like to entwine into each others limbs as the evening turned into night and we grew closer through the years.  What would our baby we lost to miscarriage have looked like? His chin, my ears, his feet, my hands. The minute has ended and I must deal with the truth of today and count my blessings. My friends, my faith, the strength I have to fight each minute of pain. Nothing would stop me from working before, nothing will stop me from working through this dying disease today.

The minute has passed and I must deal with today. I count my blessings and move through the pain. Happy that it is in my bones but not my heart. That pain would be too much to bear.Those questions I also look at askance. Lot’s wife taught us not to look backward  No matter how much it hurts to move forward in this body, at least it is moving ahead.

Regrets? Yes, many. But I only acknowledge them peeping at me from the corner of my eyes. There is no point at looking them straight on. I must gather my strength and keep my faith for the current fight; alone, with this disease and its unending pain.

Count your blessings and be happy for what you have. Be happy in your heart for who you have become and, whatever war you face today; keep strong and carry on.


Friends Like These are Hard to Find!

First, I feel I have been re-miss in thanking The Living Notebook for an award. I was under the impression that you thank them once you choose your nominees and give the facts, etc. But if that isn’t the case, here is a big “Thank You” to TLN for his kind award. If you don’t visit him for music and writing notes, it is a crying shame.

Secondly, I would love it if you took a look at my new header on The Point of the Quill which is original artwork by Laura B. Williams, no less.  If you know her artwork, you will see her beautiful hand in the original work. Thank you again, Laura!

And I want to thank everyone for hanging with me though this horrid disease. It used to be that I could walk outside and no one would be able to tell the difference between me now and me before I had to stop my beloved work. Now, I can’t walk, where I used to dance and it takes a little part of me each day; though with a fight.

So here is to friends that stick around when the going gets tough and even give you thoughtful awards and make artwork for you! You are quite a bunch!

Have a great week!!


Having a Bad Day?

I am. This helps. We’ve all read Old Man and the Sea and Moby Dick. When did this relationship become two-way? It’s nice to think about.

No it is not a whale, but a whale shark. But still, the incident is breathtaking.


And this one had me crying for a different reason, with smiles and tears.

authors, best, blog, time

Have You Lost It Completely?


gitl with balloons shutterstock_82919143

Tired of the day-to-day grind? Tired of all of the must do now society? Are you just tired?

Do you remember the days of yore when you jumped through the rain puddles and not over them?

When you caught fireflies in a glass jar to wonder at them and them set then free to fly again and light up?

The honeysuckle bushes that smelled so sweet you breathed heavily, deep with wonder? Then plucked one tiny flower to pull that mysterious stem out and put it on your tongue to taste the sweet nectar?

We knew no rush and tumble then. Only long days.

Do you remember the book, the one book that transported you to another world? Where you felt yourself being guided through the story by an unknown being? You were caught in the garden labyrinth with trouble just behind you?

You were there. No memory was as sweet and true as this one. You were there as truly as you sit here now.

Why can’t we find that again? Is it irreparably lost to us? I say, “No. Never”

Never will I let that world disappear. For if I did, I would lose part of my soul.

Don’t ever lose the magic of discovery and innocence. We are all still children in this  beautiful world. You can be dignified and adult and still, quietly hold that special wonder in your side pocket during meetings.

Try it. You might find yourself smiling. Once again.