This is Thornbury Castle Hotel in South Gloucestershire in England. We were one of the few guest that DID NOT fly in! One of my memories was as my wife and I got to the top of the winding stairs to our room, with a key as big as my wife, she dropped our new camera and it went rattling down the stairs.
Meet my friend Bill.
Bill and I have become good friends over the last couple of months. He just moved it down the road. I met Bill when I was out on my regular walk.
Bill is a kind of mellow type guy. It took him a few weeks before we began communicating. Me with “Good Morning, Bill.” Bill with a friendly snort. The first few times I walked by he just glared at me with eyes that were more curious than sad. Bill kind of got an idea of what I was doing. One day he gave me a few hundred feet head start and then roared down along side of the fence that separated us. You could the power of his hoofs made as they made contact with the turf. When Bill got to the end of the fence he stopped, turned around, and snorted at me. Like he was saying “Now that’s how you run buddy.” If he is in the back of the pasture when I walk past he trots over as if to say “Hello, old man. What’s up?”
Always makes a great start to my day!
Sandra knew that she had committed to pick up her ride at 2:30 P.M. today. Since her retirement 3 years ago she had immersed herself in community service. Today was a day she was taking her ride to her Doctors appointment up in Durham.
Today was going to be an especially hectic day. She wanted to spend an hour at the gym, a new year’s resolution she was still clinging to, an appointment to get a pedicure before she left for vacation to Japan with an old friend from New England. International travel was one of the things on her “budget list” to accomplish before she was six feet under. She had been to 13 different countries since her retirement. After finishing her role as driver she felt obligated to attend one of her “hen’s party” as her boyfriend called it. It seems like it started with Mary Kaye and now included Pampered Chef, Thirty One Party, even a Picture Frame party. It seemed to her that every two weeks she was attending one of these events or God forbid hosting one herself. She felt she was expected to buy something when she attended one and by golly her friends better buy something when she hosted her own party. She wondered why men did not have these types of parties. Perhaps because the best they could come up with would be a Bowling Shirt or Golf party. Or a “Big Ball” or “Little Ball” party. She smiled at the thought of her boyfriend hosting one of those ball parties.
She was able to get a 30 minute workout at her gym and a pedicure by 1:00 P.M. That left her about an hour to go home and fix a quick snack before heading out to pick up her ride. Shit! Less than that now that she realized she had to fill her gas tank up. This would set her back around $50. Her resentments were growing at an alarming rate. She hoped her ride appreciated all that she was going through to make sure she got to her Doctor’s appointment.
She plugged the address given her by her coordinator and the Garmin showed an arrival time of around of 2:35 P.M. Double Damn! This was cutting it close. This was her first time picking up this ride and her Garmin was a fickle piece of equipment. Even when she knew the way the Garmin would sometimes take her through every neighborhood to a destination she knew damn well there was a better and quicker way. And yes she did know how to program it to take either the shortest or quickest route thank you very much.
As she neared the address she saw it was going to be a trailer park. And not just your average trailer park but a very run down and extremely old one at that. The address was on Pink Acres. Great she thought. Who would admit they lived on a street called Pink Acres? Another small problem was that there were no numbers listed on the trailers. She was to pick up her ride at #7. Then a terrible noise shattered her thoughts as she hit a pot hole the size of Denver. God she hoped she had no broken a shock absorber of a strut or whatever they called them today. But the car recovered and she was creeping along at 5 miles per hour when she saw her ride right in front of her. A bald headed lady was waving her arms at her to come over to her.
“M s. Jennings?’ Sandra called.
“Are you my ride? questioned Ms. Jennings.
“Yes. If you are ready lets roll”
Sandra had been doing this long enough to be prepared either for a rider that said little or nothing, or one that told you every symptom they were having. Ms. Jennings was the latter. Sandra kept thinking this ride will only last twenty minutes, then 15 to 30 minutes for Ms. Jennings doctor appointment, and then the 20 minute drive back to her trailer. Tack on her time to return to her home will add another 20.
On the way to Ms. Jennings appointment Karen learned just about her whole life story and how she ended up in a run down trailer with so many cats she can’t remember how many much less their names. Although she did learn ones name was “Little One” because she was so tiny. When Ms. Jennings found out that the cat belonged to the “Mexicans” next door and its name was Juan. So it was still called “Little Juan”. Karen couldn’t help but chuckle at that. Maybe the ride would provide some entertainment after all.
Karen fiddled with her Ipad while she waited for Ms. Jennings to finish her doctor’s appointment. Playing around on Facebook and Twitter, checking emails. One good thing about this office is that it provided free Wi-Fi.
On the way back Karen found out that the government had a cure for every disease known to man but was keeping it secret so that they could all become rich.
Karen kept quiet hoping the ride would be over soon. Please let me catch all green lights on the way she prayed.
The ride home had tired Ms. Jennings and she had fallen asleep. Karen woke her and helped her into the house and to her couch in the living room. As she said goodbye Ms. Jennings just weakly waved to her.
Ms. Jennings quickly faded from her memory. She was going home, have a glass of white wine, and soak in a hot bath before going to her ladies party.
The party lasted longer than she thought and she had more wine than she cared to admit. When she unlocked the front door and headed for the upstairs bedroom she noticed the red flashing light on her answering machine. Screw who every left the message, it could wait until tomorrow morning.
She awoke late that morning. It was a Saturday after all! After her second cup of coffee and having finished the local paper she remembered the flashing light on her answering machine. She hit the little red triangle and a very professional voice said…”This is Doctor Rulney at McLaren hospital and we are trying to reach a “Karen” at this number. Your number was found and listed as a contact on a “Ms. Jennings” who was admitted early last night after being struck by a hit and run driver on Pink Acres Drive. Would you please return our call so we may………
Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
Already it had begun. Before it was never this bad. Cancer is a bad disease. Death can sometimes occur. Even earlier than expected. Far be it from us mortals to determine how long. God grant us serenity. His will be done. I can’t do it myself. Just depend on my Higher Power. Knowledge of this disease is depressing. Love is needed at all times. Money helps us with research. Nobody is immune. Open your hearts to those that suffer. Powerful drugs are being developed every day. Quick and easy are never an option. Results can be devastating. Statistically we are improving our success rates. Technically brilliant people are working on this all the time. Until such time as there is a definite cure we all suffer. Very seldom is the initial diagnosis received with open arms. We will fight until we find a cure. X-ray technology is fast improving. Young people are prone to this disease as are the elderly. Zinc is a constituent of many enzymes that permit chemical reactions to proceed at normal rates.
Thanks to The Daily Prompt.
The daily prompt today is:
If you could take a break from your life and go back to school to master a subject, what would it be?
My answer is Psychotherapy.
I do have an undergraduate degree (B.A) in Psychology. I had planned to continue this line of study but something called “Viet Nam” came along that interrupted my plans. Attending Graduate School did not quality you for the cherished student deferment (2-S). A letter from the Selective Service was one of the first letters I received after graduation. At that time they instituted a “Lottery” system instead of the regular draft. I have never any good in gambling and lost this time too. I got as far as Ft. Wayne in Detroit. I had already received my Bible and was standing in line in my underwear when the Doctor called me aside and informed me that the Army didn’t want to draft me because I had a previous heart condition which I had actually out grown. I was given a bus ticket home and that was my service career.
I should have gone back to Graduate school at that time but money was an issue. So…I started my employment career.
I wish I could go back to school today but I’m afraid too much time has elapsed and I would have to start all over again. Not that much time left for me.
Thanks for the inspiration from the Daily Prompt.
These boats are called “Feluccas“. I photographed these while sailing up the Nile near Luxor.
Mara Serena Safari Lodge
On Safari in Kenya. Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Cape Buffalo, Cheetahs are in your back yard.
- Rent a fishing boat of Michigan’s West Shore
- Hire Captain to pilot boat
- Buy expensive Fishing equipment
- Bring buddies and lots of beer
- Catch Large Salmon
- Try not to get sea sick
- Bring fish back to wife to gut and cook Salmon
- Add egg, beading, Korean hot spices, and serve on a Kaiser roll.
- After dinner relax with a friendly game of cards, drink beer and belch.