Posted by: penpatience | May 1, 2020

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE…..

 

 

WRITERS WORDS: “I am sure that if the Mothers

 of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.”  -E.M. Forster

 

MAY 2020 MONTHLY MUSING

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE…….

     May blooms with spring flowers after April showers and celebrates motherhood in all its definitions.   Mothers’ Day, this year is celebrated on Sunday, May 10th, the annual day for honoring Moms. Mothers, comprised of all races, religions, backgrounds, countries, philosophies and parenting styles, are raising children within their individual perceptions and beliefs.  Generally, they share basic commonalities–mothers love and want what’s best for their offspring.

Moms do not come in one size fits all. They are biological, adoptive, foster, step-mothers, grandmothers, Aunts or other family or non-family females raising motherless children. Motherhood has changed with each generation. My mother, born in the early 20th century, (1902) gave birth to five children. Large families were common in her era and birth control, as we know it today, didn’t exist. Lucky for me. I was third in line😊 Her motherhood tools were breastfeeding, bassinet, baby carriage, crib and family doctor.  Mothers during those years feared childhood polio. Initially, there was no Salk Vaccine and it wasn’t until grade school that I and other children were vaccinated to prevent it. Motherhood in mid-century was a little easier.  I was blessed with three children and was fortunate to spend their childhood years as a stay-at-home Mom. After each birth, I was brought to my car in a wheelchair and, after safely ensconced in the front passenger seat, the nurse handed me my newborn. We drove home with me holding my precious bundle in the front seat. Horrors! The baby car seat was plastic and had metal poles that fit over the back of the seat. Again, the front passenger seat. (more Horrors) I fed the babies formula, washed diapers and hung them on an outdoor clothesline. (remember?) later utilizing a new dryer. I was blessed in the early months with diaper service and, although disposable diapers were available then, they were not the quality available today.

Today’s Moms are blessed with new technologies, safety regulations, advanced medical knowledge/techniques along with improved childhood products and services. However, motherhood continues to be a challenging role in this 21st century and these developments have created new along with past concerns. (i.e. bullying, drug abuse, vaping, school terror attacks) Mama bears fight to protect their cubs. They take actions against prejudices, inequalities, biases, unfairness and any injustices they deem harmful. (Fortunately, my generation did not have the new awareness of climate change, gun controls, terrorism and now, the earth shattering Corona-virus)

Earlier generations of women often lamented, “it’s a man’s world.”  My mother, and I still miss her, believed in women’s strengths and abilities. She’d say, “Never forget, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”  Females give birth to mankind. Mothers raise sons. Mothers raise daughters.  I read the following poem in a Poetry Booklet received from my daughter and is now located in my home library: “The Heart of a Mother,” by Janice Lewis Clark.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

Blessings on the hand of women!

Angels guard its strength and grace,

In the palace, cottage, hovel,

Oh, no matter where the place;

 

Would that never storms assailed it,

Rainbows ever gently curled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

 

Blessings on the hand of women!

Fathers, sons and daughters cry,

And the sacred song is mingled

With the worship in the sky—

 

Mingles where no tempest darkens

Rainbows evermore hurled;

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

—William Ross Wallace, 1819-1881

 

 MOMS ARE PANDEMIC FRONT LINE HEROS! KUDOS TO MOMS DURING

THIS DIFFICULT TIME.  HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!   BE WELL!

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | April 1, 2020

HOWL LIKE A WOLF

Posted by: penpatience | February 29, 2020

GOLFERS TELL GREAT (TALL) STORIES

 

 

 

 

WRITERS WORDS: “Golf is good for the soul. You get so mad at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.” –Will Rogers

 

MARCH 2020 MONTHLY MUSING

 

GOLFERS TELL GREAT (TALL) STORIES

 

It’s difficult to write about golf in the middle of a Northeast winter. Many avid golfers retreat to indoor practice arenas until grounds thaw and courses are readied for the season. If you are lucky, as I was for many years, to live or Snowbird in warmer climes—no problem. You can golf the winter blues away. However, the last time I wrote a Golf Musing, I noticed reader decline that month.  Hey! Golfers tell great stories and share them most often on the 19th hole!!

Its recorded Golf originated from a game played on the coast of Scotland during the 15th century. Golfers would hit a pebble instead of a ball around the sand dunes using a stick or club. It wasn’t until 1750 that golf evolved into the sport as we recognize it today. The New York Tribune in 1916 wrote a spot-on description of the game of golf, “Golf is, in part a game; but only in part. It is also a religion, a fever, an abscess, a joy, a thrill, a pest, a disease, an uplift, a brooding, a melancholy, a dream of yesterday, and a hope for tomorrow.”  I have to agree with the Tribune. Golf is all those things and I believe a bad day on the course is better than a good day anywhere else.

Writers, who are also golfers, are witness to various personality traits and ethics among their peers. A sport known for its professional manners, there are some players that contradict the game’s traditional behaviors. I share a few experiences encountered over time:

I played in a Ladies League at a Florida golf course. An initial sighting of an alligator located near the first hole sunning himself by a mid-size water trap made several players nervous including me. After numerous tense exchanges and hasty drives off the tee, numerous complaints eventually had the gator removed. (Gators often appear in unexpected waterways in the Sunshine State.)

I’ve witnessed on some occasions golfers who swing the drivers, miss the ball-oops– and forget to count the stroke unless a teammate brings the miscount to their attention. (It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it😊

I played with a group once and was advised they didn’t keep score, said they played for the fun of it. I never played with them again.

Sometimes a few golfers may get inebriated with a tad too many beers at the turn resulting in haphazard hits often into the water—Why don’t they wait to have a celebratory drink on the 19th hole?

A true story:  My partner and I were playing when a threesome behind us included (I have to say it) a loudmouth who shouted and complained of slowness to his two teammates and to my partner and I. I looked back a few times at the threesome and surmised correctly the miserable player  did not arrive with the two players and was assigned by the course scheduler.  I was driving the ball onto the green at the 18th hole when a golf ball hit me in my left side. Bruised, but unhurt, my partner and I returned to the clubhouse and lodged a complaint. The two players behind us voiced a similar protest. Writers—here’s a golden opportunity! If you write Mystery, Murder or Thriller tales, this potty-mouthed player could be discovered a month later deeply buried and rotting in a sand trap, Who-Done-It?”

And, don’t forget to enjoy the camaraderie at the 19th hole. Order your favorite drink and listen to the good chatter (birdies), the bad (cart path bounce) and the ugly (3 missing balls lost forever in the woods).  Oh! And the great (two players scored in the low seventies and another below par😊

Write on…. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  “May your blessings outnumber the Shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go” – Irish Blessing

Posted by: penpatience | February 1, 2020

WRITERS WOES

                                                                               

WRITERS WORDS: “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” – Harper Lee

FEBRUARY 2020 MONTHLY MUSING

WRITERS’ WOES

            Write in haste, cut and paste, what a waste! (A Musing that fell from my lips to paper)  Perhaps, it’s just one of “those” writing days….

Ah, yes, have you ever had a writing day when the right words failed to travel from pen to paper?  However, you blathered on with dialogue and prose filling the prerequisite word flow planned for the day.  I believe, and correct me if I’m wrong, most writers, even great writers have good, great and just plain terrible writing days. Whether you’re a professional writer wrestling with deadlines and publisher expectations or any writer who takes writing as a serious endeavor– rejection, stress, procrastination, time constraints, family commitments and writer fatigue play no favorites.

I muse, individual writers have personal writing methods, habits, preferences and are unique in their project creations completing them in specific time frames. Many writers are up writing before the rooster crows spending limited writing time before heading out to the day jobs, the ones that pays the families’ bills😊 (Note: John Grisham, James Patterson, Stephen King do not have this particular dilemma…)  However, most writers have specific writer woes…

This writer procrastinates when a short story project is not going well.  Reasons are:  everyday chores need to be done, need to catch up with friends and no-excuse avoidance. I stay away from the downstairs office because pen, paper and computer lurk there awaiting pickup or pushing the on button. The not so well written pages are purposely placed on the kitchen table waiting for attention. Yes, one of my “hang-ups:” I must reread the previous days writing and edit out or replace words, check grammar and punctuation, with rewrites scribbled in page margins. Changes are retyped before continuing with the story or if the writing is really horrible, pitched in the shredder. Then I move on hoping improved writing sessions blossom.

What does work for me? It’s when I know how I want the story to end. I’m rejuvenated and energized once I have the ending inside my head. Characters develop distinct personalities and quirks while I’m in the shower or out for my daily walk. They hang around my neck night and day giving me no peace until I’ve written, “The End.”  BUT there are other “woes” after a project is completed. The end of the story doesn’t mean it’s over. It’s just the beginning. The story has to rest, additional rereads, edits, rechecks on research accuracy, writer group and trusted beta reader critiques need to be accomplished. Yes, “haste makes waste.” and this is a lesson I and many writers learned over time with that awful word, rejection, to prove it.

So–how do writers get rid of the “Woes?”  Realistically, we don’t. Good and mediocre writing days will continue to occur, but we beat the “woes” by utilizing a plethora of writer tools and assistance available for all writer levels. Dig out and reread purchased self-help books and devour writer magazines (i.e. Writer’s Digest, Poets & Writers, The Writer), sign up for another creative writing course regardless of genre, participate in writer critique groups, attend writer workshops in your state or community and READ favorite authors and other successful authors to learn authors’ differing writing styles.

AND…. C’est La Vie!  (That’s life!) The writing craft never promised a rose garden. Occasionally we’ll prick a finger on a thorn —-Ouch!  That hurt!

 

Dear Readers & Writers:

Happy Reading. Happy Writing!    Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Posted by: penpatience | December 31, 2019

LOOKING BACK-2019 – GOING FORWARD-2020

 

 

WRITERS WORDS: “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” – Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize Winner

 

JANUARY 2020 MONTHLY MUSING

 

LOOKING BACK -2019!   GOING FORWARD-2020!

It’s a frigid winter day in upstate New York, a good day to look back and reflect on the past year and upcoming New Year with a hot toddy in hand. I muse about the good, bad and ugly happenings that permeated our minds in 2019. Every year has its highs and lows, but, in my view, it seems the year 2019 had more lows than highs. How can anyone not be affected by innocent people losing their lives to unforeseen violence or ignore the use of lands and oceans across the globe as dumping grounds for non-biodegradable waste. Most technological advances in 2019 have been beneficial to society, but it’s a common scene to see cell-phones pasted to passersby’s ears anywhere and everywhere, an addiction I call “telephone-itis.”   Whether it’s for work or play and not necessarily a bad thing, most folks spend too much time looking at computer, I-Pads, video games, Televisions, etc. not knowing if future health ramifications may surface as a result.

However, there have been many medical advances and professionals that have improved and extended lives. A recent issue of National Geographic Magazine hails an accomplishment by Dr. Jim Allison, Cancer Researcher & Nobel Laureate. “Dr Jim Allison’s breakthrough in immunotherapy transformed cancer care…giving more hope to patients and families.” Many creative and entrepreneurial individuals, businesses and organizations have taken it upon themselves to “Make A Difference” in their communities in past years and, hopefully will continue these endeavors in 2020.

 

Going forward, I hope 2020 will be a year of new and renewed potential. I share this quote by the late Stephen Hawking, “we are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very large star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us very special.” Historically, our focus has always been Planet Earth, our human home with Earth considered the big fish in a small pond. I muse in 2020 and beyond, Planet Earth might be perceived as a smaller fish in a much bigger pond – the huge and still unexplored universe.

We’ve been to the Moon and back. Astronauts from many countries share and work in a space station and we’ve sent numerous satellite probes into space. What new explorations and data will scientists discover in this coming year?

Mind boggling, isn’t it!!!!

Back to Earth and the smaller pond…. Will science discover new breakthroughs and treatments for Cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?  Will technology design new “brooms”  to sweep away instead of hide harmful waste under the rug?

Author’s Note:  Pen and Patience, my writer site, had a good year in 2019. Although most Pen and Patience viewers were within the United States, I was excited the site, over the past twelve months, recorded views from thirty-three countries. A few other statistics:  The Home Page/Archives was the most viewed Page with “Writing Likes – Dislikes,” a post from an earlier year, the most viewed Monthly Musing in 2019. My heartfelt thanks to all readers who made this happen😊

To Readers: Comments sent to Pen and Patience are not broadcast but read only by me.  I hope to hear your thoughts in 2020.

Cheers! For a Safe and Healthy New Year!

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | December 1, 2019

SEASONAL INSPIRATIONS – A GIFT OF WORDS

 

 

 

WRITERS WORDS: “Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!” – Charles Dickens

DECEMBER 2019 MONTHLY MUSING

SEASONAL INSPIRATIONS – A GIFT OF WORDS

 

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated the last week in November. Unfortunately, this later timing threw a monkey wrench into the retail Black Friday frenzy. Retailers began “early Black Friday sales” before Halloween costumes and candy were removed from the shelves. I muse how times have changed. I recall how J.C. Penney and Sears Roebuck annual Christmas catalogs filled with holiday toys and gifts would be mailed and arrive to subscribers in early November– ample time for Santa Claus delivery. A mother of three children, now grown, I purchased many desired toys and gifts for them within affordable limits and shared in their joy on Christmas morning. I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus and embrace gift exchanges between family and friends. Tangible exchanges are not only tradition, but provide great times, fun and good will most of the time. That said I believe intangible interactions are inspirational not only during holidays but remain within us throughout the New Year.

The holiday season can be a time when phone calls could and should be made to friends and family who live far away, are experiencing serious illnesses or reside in assisted living or nursing home environments.  A recognized or friendly voice can become a special gift of words.

I share some of my favorite inspirational sayings hoping these delivered verbal gifts will inspire readers:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because in the end those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”  Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

I Muse:  Who didn’t love Dr. Seuss’s children’s books, stories that were historically found and still find their way under many a Christmas tree.

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

I muse:   Enjoy spending the conclusion of Christmas day relaxing by a lit fireplace, a favorite glass of wine in your hand, a good book in your lap, and your four-legged doggie-kitty buddy at your feet.

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” – Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

I muse:  Yes, I hope everyone will cherish any and all special moments experienced on and after Christmas Day.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” – Robert Fulghum, Author

I muse:  Ah yes, children never miss a beat watching Mom and Dad. Let’s hope they emulate all the good stuff😊

“Golf is, in part, a game; but only in part. It is also a religion, a fever, an abscess, a joy, a thrill, a pest, a disease, an uplift, a brooding, a melancholy, a dream of yesterday and a hope for tomorrow.” –New York Tribune -1916

I muse: For fellow golfers who are lucky enough this winter to live and play in warm southern or western climates, I wish you a hole in one.

“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

I muse:  We all live together on Planet Earth.  We need to take better care of it!

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” -George Sand

I muse:  Agreed!  I wish you love and happiness.

Dear Readers: For your reading pleasure and shared with family many years ago and still true today is a poem” Happiness for Christmas” written by Margaret E. Weldon

Happiness is the art of making others so,

Give each good deed a chance to grow,

Erase the frown from just one face,

Put some good in evil’s place.

 

Happiness is the joy of doing right,

Defeating evil with brain and might,

With bending limb and smiling grace,

Put some good in evil’s place.

 

And now that Christmas time is due,

Take time to leisurely pursue

Delightful things that others do

All over the world and out in space,

Put something good in evil’s place.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR!!

 

Posted by: penpatience | November 1, 2019

ARE YOU A POET?

WRITERS WORDS: “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Writer

NOVEMBER 2019 MONTHLY MUSING

ARE YOU A POET?

 

Many readers may have heard this funny saying with many variations, “I’m a poet and I know it, look at my feet, they’re Long-fellows.” (Longfellow was a famous poet). Well, I’m not a Poet and my feet are “Short-fellows.”  Occasionally, I do read poetry and have a few cherished poetry books in my library bookcase. Although my writing focus is not poetry, I often read the small collections.

Writing this Musing on Poetry had me pulling the few books from the shelf.  Upon opening a first cover, I noted Dr. Ann K. Marfey signed and gifted me her book, “Shake Hands, Touch Hearts” in September 2014.  Dr. Marfey penned a collection of first impressions that offered a unique glimpse into personalities of people experienced at the moment of a simple handshake. She provided the reader with a personal account of meetings with well-known personalities including Charlie Chaplin, Carl Sagan, Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others, as well as accounts of insignificant moments that made deep and lasting impressions on her. After putting her cherished book aside, I dove into the next one.

“Favorite Inspirational Poems” was also a gift; my notation on the first page indicates 1978. It’s an inspiring anthology, favorite poems from any ages containing classical and contemporary voices, famous works and those of lesser known poets. As I peruse the book, memories flood back when I turn to poems with folded page corners marking my favorites.

However, I previously wrote about Margaret Weldon, in an earlier Musing. “Marge” was my sister’s mother-in law- she was family. When “Marge” began writing in her high school years, she put writing on hold while raising two sons. After she moved to a ranch in Oregon, she resumed writing during her early retirement years. She wrote poetic thoughts on slips of paper and stuffed them inside a growing pile in a bureau drawer. Her sister and daughter-in-law rescued the poems from the drawer and “Random Thoughts” by Margaret E. Weldon was published and Margaret was awarded the Silver Poet Award from the World of Poetry located in Sacramento, California. She was in her early eighties. This poem is one of my favorites:

TO A MOUNTAIN LILY by Margaret E. Weldon

The fragrance of a lily

Wooed us to the spot

It wasn’t far around the bend

To this quiet wooded lot.

 

Wet with dew, pure and white,

It stood there unrelated

To creeds that victimizes minds

Leaving bodies mutilated.

 

In this quiet secluded spot,

We whiled away an hour,

Away from turmoil, care and fear,

Enraptured by a flower.

 

The reason that we tarried here

Was just because of Love,

Created by a lily and the cooing of a Dove.

 

Okay, although I don’t write poetry, I attempted to write a poem for a family member who was celebrating his 90th birthday. This was a struggle, but my goal was to make him laugh on this special day and I inserted the poem in his birthday card.

To Bill on his 90th Birthday.

I HAD A VERY GOOD TIME – Gaye Buzzo Dunn

When I was twenty, I was young and foolish,

I had a very good time.

When I was 30, I was mature but a little reckless,

I had a very good time.

When I was forty, I was over the hill—What hill?

I had a very good time.

When I was fifty, I was still going strong,

I had a very good time.

When I was sixty, I chased away the aches and ignored the pains,

I had a very good time.

When I was seventy, I enjoyed happy hours with my friends,

I had a very good time.

When I was eighty, I had a cuppa tea in the morn and toddies in the afternoon,

I had a very good time.

When I reached ninety, I was still walking on the right side of the grass,

I’m having a very good time!!!

 

I mention again. You may be a poet and don’t know it…regardless of your foot size!


Postscript:  If you love poetry, you will enjoy a Chapbook titled “Peeping Sunrise” written by Poet, Carole Mertz, and recently published by Prolific Press.   http://www.prolificpress.com/bookstore/chapbook series.

 

To Readers and Writers: May you and yours have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday.

 

Posted by: penpatience | September 30, 2019

YOUR SWAN SONG – DO IT ALL YOURSELF

WRITERS WORDS: “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ‘em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ‘em” – Kevin Welch

OCTOBER 2019 MONTHLY MUSING

YOUR SWAN SONG – DO-IT-ALL YOURSELF

Do you have a planned, final Swan song? A Swan Song is defined as a song of great sweetness sung by a dying swan or final act or pronouncement. Most often a Swan Song is perceived to be a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort or performance just before death or retirement.

A personal swan song is not a topic most individuals choose to pursue or think about on an everyday basis. Most human beings are not geared to focus on death and dying, but on birth and living everyday life even with its many complexities.  However, when should we focus on personal demise?  When we are chronologically considered old (approx.65-80+ years), hair faded to a salt and pepper grey, arthritis cursing fingers, knees, backs, hips and additional maladies that can target the aged. Hmmm….is there ever a good time for this reflection?

Well, I recall that two of the most read Musings to date were “Do It Yourself Obituary” and “Do It Yourself Funeral.”  Although published in earlier years of Pen and Patience, I was surprised because many individuals usually prefer not to contemplate on their demise. When you think about it, like it or lump it, it’s the one journey each and every human being must take regardless of life span.

So, when should we face the music and ask and answer questions that need to be addressed? Will family members or designated others be saddled with an unwanted burden? What would be your preference–a Short or Long Published Obituary or No Obit in the local newspaper? Perhaps you might have noticed many individuals print their entire life stories from birth to death in their obituaries at considerable line by line cost?  Hey, do you want your tired old body cremated and ashes strewn over a favorite area or prefer a traditional burial complete with embalmment, casket and car queue to a favorite or family cemetery. You did purchase the plot, didn’t you? (Note, I must interject here after reading Police Procedure & Investigation, A guide for Writers, Chapter 10-Autopsy and The Funeral Home, by Lee Lofland, a former police detective with nearly two decades of law-enforcement and crime-solving experience.) In my opinion, neither is palatable, but digesting that chapter’s information and for other personal reasons, I have chosen cremation. I choose to burn than bury😊 Most important, regardless of choice, if you are a veteran and served your country in any capacity you deserve and should have full military honor consideration.

Assuming you have a Will and chosen Executor(s), it’s hopeful these individual(s) are informed and will execute your desires down to the last detail. Think about this. Too often, siblings or other family members have different views and religious connections that might cause arguments or familial rifts that may never heal. Special items, regardless of monetary or collectible significance must be bequeathed to the designated person. It would be up to that person to pass on great grandmother’s ugly bone china dated back to the early 1900’s. Final considerations are tasks that many folks would prefer to sweep under the rug, but it’s imperative all of us make these, sometimes unpleasant decisions whenever possible.

I muse. Wouldn’t you like to plan ahead for your exit singing your personal, beautiful Swan Song or depart croaking like a frog😊.

To all writers and readers: Here’s to your good health—Be well!

A helpful site: www.obituaryguide.com/templates

 

 

Posted by: penpatience | September 1, 2019

WRITERS & DOGS – A GREAT COMBINATION

WRITERS WORDS: “ Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend, inside of a dog it’s too dark to read” –Groucho Marx

SEPTEMBER 2019 MONTHLY MUSING

 

 

WRITERS & DOGS—A GREAT COMBINATION

I was afraid of dogs growing up especially large dogs. Leash laws were not legalized at that time and an unfortunate dog fight between two large dogs raging too close to me, knocking me over left an indelible scar.

That said, I love and have devoured dog stories from early youth to the present. Some of my old and new favorites are “Lad, A Dog” by Albert Payson Terhune; “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London; “Marley and Me” by John Grogan; “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron and “The Art of Racing in The Rain” by Garth Stern. Also, a favorite and early TV series dog, Bullet, The Wonder Dog was Dale Evans and Roy Roger’s adventurous savior on Saturday morning programming. I recall many children loved watching the heroic pursuits of Lassie, a famous Collie during that same era. Additionally, I contributed a short essay titled, “The Siberian Queen” published in “Puppy Love 2015,” an Anthology collection celebrating our Canine Friends, by Zimbell House Publishing, LLC.

I note that dogs’ lives today have changed. No longer are dogs relegated to outdoor doghouses (perish that thought!) or put down (euthanized) for diseases and conditions untreatable years ago. Today dogs are beneficiaries of veterinary medical treatments and advances. Most important, dogs are no longer allowed to run loose in many U.S. communities and are usually considered integral family members. I muse. When I spent time in Southeast Florida, it was not uncommon to see pampered small dogs I nicknamed “cheweenies” groomed in hair bows, elaborate collars and pushed by owners in small strollers.

Writers continue to write stories about their favorite pets and there is a tremendous amount of references on dog breeds and behaviors to peruse for these projects. My thoughts often center around huskies mushing in the Annual Alaskan Iditarod Race, dogs leading the blind, therapy dogs assisting and offering solace to the elderly and special needs individuals and “sniffer” dogs trained for military reconnaissance, drugs recovery, locating cadavers and lost individuals. Unfortunately, dogs are sometimes misused and abused, a sad tale in itself, but their rescues could be documented within well-written stories. However, my personal experience is many of our four-legged friends provide unconditional love and loyalty to their Owners.

It may be difficult to achieve dog stories publisher acceptances, however, self-publishing opportunities abound and many have found good homes on Amazon. Also, I note, some published stories (i.e. Marley and Me; The Art of Racing in the Rain) have been made into movies.

About the Golden Retriever dog photo located next to mine. That handsome male dog is my son’s dog. His name is Lancelot and he is a relatively new family member. He is intelligent, loving and already a talented 1 ½ year old pup. We believe he has immense potential but more important, he’s a great and trainable family dog.

One day when Lancelot is an adult and an old doggie, it would be my pleasure to write his story.

DEAR READERS AND WRITERS: DO YOU HAVE A DOG “TAIL” TO TELL AND SHARE? I’d love to read your mini-stories in the Comments!

Here are a few helpful and interesting dog sites: http://www.AKC.org, http://www.thebark.com, and http://www.pointingdogjournal.com.

 

Posted by: penpatience | July 31, 2019

GARAGE SALES GALORE & MORE!

WRITERS WORDS:  “When opportunity knocks, some people are in the back yard looking for four-leaf clovers.” –Polish Proverb

AUGUST 2019 MONTHLY MUSING

GARAGE SALES GALORE & MORE!

 

Garage sales, also known as tag, moving, yard and rummage sales used to be held most often during spring. Folks, after hunkering indoors during frigid winter months, eagerly attack spring cleanouts with yesterday’s found treasures now considered today’s disposable junk. Today, garage sales flourish from winter’s first snow melt to the following winter’s first snowfall.

Typically, goods in a garage sale are unwanted, but usable household goods, clothing, children’s toys, books, lawn and garden tools, furniture and all sizes and types of items that come under the heading of large and small “knick knacks.” Sellers usually put an ad in the local newspaper stipulating the time frame and date of the sale, tack up garage sale ads in their locales and are usually held on weekends in suburban communities hoping for good weather. A common term most every garage sale seller has experienced is the “early bird” buyer who screeches up in front of your driveway in an SUV or pick-up truck before the sale opens looking for rare, unusual items and bargains that can be purchased, restored and then resold.

So…..Why do folks bother with the time consuming preparation of sorting, pricing and displaying all kinds of unwanted stuff only to return unsold items back inside the garage for further disposal.  Because… a seller does reduce unwanted inventory and it’s a fun way to earn extra money. Why… do buyers attend these sales? Because… Who doesn’t love a bargain and for many writers, it’s a golden opportunity to greet a diversity of visitors who just might spark a future character trait inspiration.

I’ve been both a seller and buyer participant in garage sale mania. Bargaining, also known as haggling on prices, is routine. As a seller, I experienced the bargaining process. If an item was priced at $1.50 the question was “would you take a dollar for it?” It’s also been my experience that some buyers are glad to discover a specific and needed item marked at a fair price and they approach with cash in one hand and the favored item clutched in the other.

There are other “windfalls” other than garage sales that sometimes occur—“Freebies! One spring day last year I was out for a morning walk and while passing a neighbor’s home noticed her dragging all kinds of stuff to the edge of her front yard. A man parked across the street was loading a large, empty fish tank into the back of his pick-up truck.  Flabbergasted, I asked her, “Why don’t you have a garage sale?” She responded, “Nope, I can’t be bothered. I’m too busy moving. Take anything you want—it’s free. Opportunity knocked when I noticed the unique chest. Excited, I sent my partner back for the car while I sent a photo to my son who refinishes pieces as a hobby. By the time the car arrived, I put aside a handmade quilt for a friend, an authentic crystal vase and new, unopened household items for other family members.  One of my Motto’s: “Windfalls should always be shared.”

And, there are what I call “iffy” items (possessions not accepted by local charities) placed at the front curb or yard with the cardboard “FREE” sign attached.  They linger out front during daylight hours only to disappear under the cover of nightfall. (It’s gone! What a relief!)  Also, consider what I’ve witnessed as the scavenger weekly trash  phenomenon. Small disposables peeking out from overstuffed recycle bins or left alongside the container are fair game for trash day diving regardless of community status or location.

I muse. Garage sales serve a valuable purpose in communities. These sales put extra and sometimes needed money in family pockets and new and gently used items are often purchased below new retail prices.  A seller is relieved of Aunt Matilda’s atrocious holiday gift and neighbor, John Jones, is ecstatic at finding this great artifact for his den. My Perception:  Someone’s unwanted junk is someone else’s treasure.  It’s a WIN-WIN!

P.S.   Dear Readers: Don’t forget to share unneeded household or other non-perishable items with the many friends, neighbors, and others that have been unfortunate victims of recent environmental disasters.

Happy Sales to You!

 

 

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