Pat on the Back—Cancer Survivors

The Daily Prompt:

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SUCCESS.

Cancer Survivors
Cancer Survivors

Annual Race for the Cure 2013, Raleigh, North Carolina. A truly inspiring sight. After I finish, I just stand there and watch and clap as they all cross the finish line.

Castle — A Word A Week Challenge

This is Thornbury Castle Hotel in South Gloucestershire in England. Thornbury CastleWe 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.Main EntranceParking Lot for the Thornbury Castle Hotel

My Friend Bill

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!

Pink Acres

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………

A to Z


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.

Psychotherapy — Back to School

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.

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud

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.

Up on the roof

The Word a Week Challenge — Roof.

The challenge is to post a picture or use whatever genre you prefer to share what your take on the word is.

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

The Ultimate Roof. St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Thanks A Word a Week Challenge.