SoCS

SoCS – Near/Far – Dreams Vs. Reality

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. This week she tempts us with bonus points so let’s see if I am up to the challenge.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “near/far.” Use “near,” use “far,” use them both if you’d like. In fact, if you start your post with one and end with the other, you get bonus points! Enjoy!


Near my maternal grandparents’ home was a lot where mobile homes were sold. They were spread out in a grid, each one unlocked with temporary metal steps to lure you inside.

When I visited my grandparents, I often took an afternoon to walk down the busy commercial highway to wander aimlessly through these fully furnished slices of paradise on wheels. Yes, I was enamoured by them. To me, they were the height of luxury. Wrought iron railing, wallpaper murals, two bathrooms, beautiful upholstered couches and two or three bedrooms. What more could anyone ever ask for?

I made this trek many times. The salesmen never said a cross word to me as I walked in and out of each one, making mental notes about what my far away future home would look like. On the way back to my grandmother’s, I would cross the highway to the gas station and buy a coke from the coke machine. I can still hear the sound as I opened the glass door and pulled my selection free.

Back home, I sat outside on a straight back chair and enjoyed the ice cold cola while dreaming of someday having a home of my own.

There would come a time in my life when I would live in a mobile home. Somehow that dream held by a young ten year old girl did not match the reality of living in such a structure during several Alaskan winters. I can remember my clothes freezing to the wall of the mobile home.  Definitely different than I imagined.

That’s the funny thing about life. Even though the dream did not match the reality, I still hold those adventures close to my heart. My dreams have stayed with me as fond companions. They always make me smile. At least they have so far.

SoCS

SoCS – How Puzzling

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “puzzle.” Use it any way you’d like!


I love puzzles, perhaps because I love solving problems and doing research. I think it is also whyI loved my career in technology – it seemed an endless challenge of solving puzzles.

My sisters and I always did jigsaw puzzles when we were together. I tried to complete one on my own and found in to be very unsatisfying. As much as individually searching for the perfect piece is a solitary act, putting together a puzzle seems very social to me.

I love computer based escape games. I remember the first one I discovered – “The Crimson Room”. In 2004, it was the rage. I think I have downloaded almost all the escape games out of the app store. I love discovering clues and solving the puzzles. I am careful not to do the games that are too motion-intensive with high-end 3D graphics. They can upset my vertigo. I always connected with my grandson over these escape room games.

(My favorite graphics are in a game called “The Birdcage” where your task is the free birds locked in a gilded cage.)

My dad loved mechanical puzzles. You know, the puzzles where you must separate bent pieces of metal, or release an object from some mechanism.

My grandchildren often received gift cards encased in a plastic box that required they solve a puzzle to open the box and retrieve the reward.

I love intricate box puzzles, too, although one of quality is quite expensive. I have bought the boxes made from balsa wood but they do not hold up. I remember a scene in the original movie “Village of the Damned” in which the children had to open a box to retrieve a piece of chocolate, I think. (That movie was a cult family favorite.)

I also love puzzle rings – if you take them off, they fall apart and are complex to reassemble. I bought one for my grandson, but it was too small. I still have it upstairs in the original box.

I love crosswords but actually prefer the non-crossword word puzzles in the Dell crossword books. All except for Suduko. I despise Suduko or any number puzzle.

I also don’t like those little slide puzzles, where you must reorganize a square of movable tiles that only have one open space.

And I confess, I still love the ‘find the hidden object’ in the Highlights for Children magazine.

Puzzling, isn’t it?

SoCS

SoCS – Where?

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “where.” Use it any way you’d like!


“Where, oh, where has my little dog gone?”
“Where, oh where can he be?”
”Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”
”Where’s Waldo??

That’s where my mind went when I read Linda’s prompt yesterday. Then, when I realized today is September 11th, all I could think of was “Where were you when the towers fell?”

I do not need to see the photos and the videos and the newsreels from that fateful day. The images are forever burned in my heart, mind, and soul.

Today, let us remember the lives lost and maybe try to remember how our country came together for fellow Americans we never knew. We could use a little of that shared humanity today.

As you move through your day today, keep those who lost so much that day in your thoughts. Remember how short and precious life is, and do not let one moment pass without telling those you love just how much they mean to you.

Where was I? At work. Four members of my team boarded planes that morning to fly to Atlanta for a day of meetings. Thankfully, they were all okay, although stranded until they could rent a car and drive back to Florida. It was my daughter who called me at work and told me to watch the news. She was telling me what was happening, but I could not believe what she was telling me. The events of that day I wish had never happened, but they did, and I will never ever forget.

SoCS

SoCS – Bowling Ten-Pin Vs. Candlepin

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pin.” Use it as a noun, use it as a verb, use it any way you’d like. Have fun!


It would not be accurate to say I grew up in bowling alleys, but I can say I spent more time there than most kids. My parents, especially my father, were avid bowlers. They were on leagues that bowled every week. Both my parents carried high averages and took the whole thing pretty seriously.

The only type of bowling I knew was ten-pin. In this game, ten pins are set up in four rows forming an equilateral triangle. The goal is to try to knock down all ten pins on one roll of the ball or at least pick up the ‘spare’ pins on the second roll. Bowling balls were big and heavy weighing anywhere from 8 pounds to 16 pounds as I recall.

Mom and Dad bowled in mixed doubles (male and female) leagues. Dad also bowled in a male league. Sometimes they bowled Scotch Doubles which meant each bowling couple alternated throwing one ball instead of two. That means if the first person only knocked down two pins, their partner would try to pick up the ‘spare’ eight pins.

One summer living in Ohio, my parents enrolled me and my siblings in a kids summer bowling league. We bowled several days a week and had a blast and came out of it much better bowlers than when we started. I even have the photo to prove it!

Summer Bowling at Garden Lanes in Akron, OH

When we lived in Florida, my mother worked as a cocktail waitress at a local bowling alley near Satellite Beach. My sister and I went there once and we were shocked at how much smaller the bowling alley was than it seemed when we were children.

When I was married and living in Alaska, my ex and I bowled on a league together. I had my own fingertip grip bowling ball (the holes are only drilled to the first knuckle on the finger). It was not a good situation as he was way too serious a player for my taste. He took all the joy out of the game and many league night ended up in a quarrel.

When we relocated from Alaska to Maine, I was introduced to candlepin bowling which is the predominate type of bowling in New England. This was very strange to me as it was much different than ten-pin bowling. In candlepin, the pins are shaped much differently. The balls are smaller with no finger holes and you roll three times instead of two. The dead pins are not cleared away after each roll of the ball in candlepin bowling which means you had to plan and account for those dead pins on your subsequent rolls. Also, resetting the pins was done by stepping on a manual button on the floor. There was no automatic reset as in ten-pin.

Bowling was always fun and was at one time a common place for teen dates. I remember going to midnight bowling when all the house lights were turned down and pop music played in the background. We also had red-pin bowling. If a red pin was in the headpin position and you made a strike, you would win a free game.

Ahhh, the good old days where fun could be had while wearing someone else’s rented shoes.

SoCS

SoCS – My Wagon!

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. Every Friday she provides a new word to spark our minds into action.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “my.” Start your post with the word “My.” Bonus points if you end your post with “yours.” Enjoy!


“My wagon!”

Those two words always started the game. Our family took a lot of road trips, many taking 12 hours to complete. Some shorter, but the long rides were murder if you had nothing to pass the time. So we counted station wagons.

It was Dad’s game really, and somehow he always seemed to win. The whole purpose of the game was to see a station wagon before anyone else in the car and claim it by shouting “My wagon!” (Younger readers may have played a more violent game called ‘punch buggy’ in which the goal of the game was to claim Volkswagon Beetles by exclaiming “Punch Buggy” followed by a punch in the arm.) Now back to the 1960s.

Station wagons were THE family car in the sixties. They were everywhere. My siblings and I loved them because they were so roomy. This was before seatbelts, so we sprawled everywhere and moved around a lot. There were six in our family. Dad always drove and Mom rode ‘shotgun’. My siblings and I fought for space in the back. We had one station wagon that had a third seat in the back that faced backwards toward the road behind the car – the ‘way back’ seat aptly named because kids could see the ‘way back’ or you were seated ‘way back in the back’. My brother and I always seemed to get that seat, but that was cool because our parents couldn’t see what we were doing. It wasn’t great for counting wagons unless they were coming up behind you. I never once thought what might happen if someone rammed into the back of our station wagon!

We would drive down the road and you could hear multiple voices calling out “My wagon!” and arguing over who saw it first. I don’t know how my parents did not lose their minds.

Everyone would eventually get tired and we kids would lay our heads down to nap. Just as the game would die down and we would start to drift off my dad would yell “My wagon!” He was the biggest kid of all.

We played a lot of games and sang a lot of song in our travels. The trips were often long, but Mom and Dad always made it fun. Our road trips were always an adventure. How about yours?