Blog, SoCS

Happy Birthday, Daddy – SoCS

Linda‘ prompt today is perfect. Check out her post to learn all about Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a song from your childhood.” Think of a song from your childhood and just write. Have fun!

Today is my Dad’s birthday. Had he lived he would be 96 today. I miss him fiercely. He was my best friend, my confidant and my lifelong advisor who had a way of listening more than advising.

Tomorrow I fly to Florida to help out the week before our seventh grandchild is born. I know my Dad is watching over us all and would be thrilled to welcome his new great-grandson into the  family.

Our nuclear family traveled a lot by car, especially after we moved to Ohio. The 12 hour drives back to Virginia were long and we often passed the time singing.

My Dad’s bass voice was perfectly suited for the hymn Steal Away. It gives me chills just closing my eyes now and remembering the texture of his voice. He was a multi-faceted man and also loved singing songs like Little Brown Jug and we kids loved it!

The song that is most present in my mind today though is Chatanooga Choo Choo. I am so grateful for those long car rides and learning to appreciate the songs of my parent’s generation.

Happy Birthday, Daddy. I will never get over missing you.

Blog, SoCS

Stick It – SoCS

Linda has presented us with a rather common four-letter word this week. Should be a piece of cake, right?  If you want to give it a shot then check out her post and join the party.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “tape.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Use it any way you like. Enjoy!

Somewhere along the route that we call progress, the art of pin curls went away. My mother could ‘set’ her hair in a flash – no mirror required. Every move of her fingers was precise, fastening every strand of hair into place. My sister was pretty good at pin curls, too. Me? Not so much.

Somewhere in the 60s, hairstyles got shorter (Thanks Twiggy). Even pin curls require enough hair to wrap into circles in order to pin with a bobby pin. Enter pink hair setting tape sold under the Scotch tape brand. Instead of pinning the hair into place, this low tack tape was used to tape hair in place. Little side curls would be taped to the side of the face securing it until the hair dried. Those pesky bangs could also be secured so they didn’t ‘flip’ while drying.

Sadly, fashion has moved on. Hair set tape is no longer sold. Never fear though, you can get used roll – dispenser and all – for about $30 on eBay (I think it sold for 69¢ back in the day). I knew I should have kept mine!

Blog, SoCS

Too Many M’s – SoCS

Linda, Linda, Linda. You have definitely thrown down the gauntlet this week. We never know what challenge she is going to send out way. Why not check out her post and join in on the fun?

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “mat/met/mitt/mot/mutt.” Choose one or use them all, any way you’d like in your post. Have fun!

It is rare for me to pull out the dictionary for a three letter word, but alas, Linda got me this week. Mot is short for bon mot – taken from the French – it means a witty remark. Who says blogging is not educational?

I once took a class to learn how to mat my own photos. It gets very expensive to enter an art showing requiring framed works if you must pay someone to do that work. Now I own my own mat cutter but have not framed anything since I retired.

Thursday my friend and I met for a mid-morning breakfast. We ate in a small cafe tucked into a niche on a narrow side street. It was a lovely extended breakfast. What did I have to eat, you ask? I enjoyed a Chai latte and a slice of a ham and cheese frittata. It was delicious but the best part was catching up with my friend.

Did you know you can use vaseline to condition a baseball mitt? Of course, you must still work that glove before it responds well.

Lastly, I wonder if any of my readers are old enough to remember the “Mutt and Jeff” comic strip written by cartoonist Bud Fisher. Did you know comic strips were first frowned upon because the reader had to read horizontally rather than vertically? Comics were traditionally only one panel.

Whew! That further taxed my already taxed brain this morning!

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – What Once Was

Linda Hill has just completed another year of SoCS! Congratulations and thank you for all your hard work making these prompts available to all of us. I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year, Linda. Want to join in on SoCS? Head over to Linda’s blog to get the scoop on how to participate.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/knew.’” Use one, use both, use them any way you like. Bonus points if you use both. Enjoy!

Thursday, before we left Charleston, we decided to drive by the location where my husband’s mother had her condo. First a little background.

Mom lived in an area known as West Ashley in Charleston. This place brought her the greatest joy and the most pain of her life. When she moved back into Charleston, she chose and decorated her condo with pride, having no way of knowing what would lie ahead. She loved to entertain and we visited her there often.

Charleston itself is only 3ft above sea level. Stormwater runoff and drainage has always been a challenge, especially considering how much the city has grown in recent years. (It is estimated 33 people per day move to Charleston.) Add to that the fact the city is surrounded by bodies of water, well, the flooding potential is great.

Things went well for years. Then new subdivisions were built behind Mom’s subdivision. So many houses, condos, etc., all to support the increased demand for housing. Was the drainage implemented by the city’s urban planners designed correctly and was it adequate?

One night, they went to bed, and the next morning woke to find at least a foot of water throughout the condo. This was the first of four floods she experienced and this one was the least impactful.

All in all, Mom survived four floods on her property. Each time the damage was worse, and the losses more. They had to be rescued at least once by the fire department. The flood waters rose quickly. Every time it rained, she paced the floor wringing her hands in fear. The high water mark was 36 inches from the floor.

When the condos were new, I wonder if someone anticipated the future and was hushed or if they kept their concerns to themselves. I wonder if the city planners knew when they approved the inadequate drainage and authorized new construction in such a low lying area what the flooding potential was.

These floods broke her. I have vivid memories of sitting in her front yard in lawn chairs while a lifetime of belongings were paraded out in front of her, an 84 year old woman, for her to approve them being thrown into a dumpster.  Very little of her belongings could be salvaged. Flood waters are not clear water, they are dangerous and contaminated water often containing gas and diesel, raw sewage, bacteria, and pesticides. It was heartbreaking.

Eventually after years and years of fighting, FEMA and the city bought all the properties and demolished them – it was not enough money to find a new place to move, though.  Mom got her settlement the month she passed away. A sad end to a long and heartbreaking fight.

Now, other than the broken lamppost and the abandoned electrical boxes, you would never know anyone ever lived there.





Blog, SoCS

SoCS – Snuggle Time

Here’s hoping the weather has been kind to Linda and her family. Even during the threat of cold weather, she found time to give us our weekly prompt. Want to join in on SoCS? Head over to Linda’s blog to get the scoop on how to participate.

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

We woke to a balmy 6° F (-14° C) this morning. We are bundled up on the couch drinking coffee like the old fogeys we are. Our family in Florida woke to 30° F (-1° C) so you can say the polar blast has made it to the east coast.

Last night we left all the faucets dripping so the pipes would not freeze. Reminds me of the days I lived in Alaska and Maine. In Alaska most places had head bolt heater plugins so cars would start in the morning. At least we have not reached that degree of cold. My friend who still lives there said they had 50” of new snow in the last two weeks. Snow is a good insulator, though.

Yesterday I washed all the afghans in preparation for Christmas day. It is going to be cold here and a house built on slab does you no favors when the weather is this cold. I can see everyone curled up on the chair of their choice, under a freshly laundered afghan. I have plenty of hot cocoa, coffee, and tea to keep us all warm inside. What a cozy Christmas we will have.

After coffee, I will have some breakfast and start preparing desserts and snacks. Blonde brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry cheesecake. Yesterday I made Chex mix. Tomorrow morning I will make a double batch of sausage balls. What is a cozy Christmas without snacks to munch on?

I still have a few gifts to wrap and then it will be time to settle in.

For whatever and however you celebrate, I send you wishes of peace, happiness, and love that endures the ages.