Friday, June 12, 2009

The Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 67

This is week 67 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. First, let me apologize for this week's words. I was in a pretty bad state of mind when they spewed forth from my fingers and onto the "page." On the up side, Dr. John thought that I've been putting too many phrases so he submitted words for next week - 15 homonyms. Cool. Thanks Dr. John.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: nausea, everything is on sale, expect great things, frying pan, pledge, birds of a feather, stick, Saturday morning, liver and bacon, caterpillars

For the mini challenge: aggravation, protective, bargain basement, take me out to the ballgame, break a leg

Here's my ten-word offering for this week:

Martha Magneson awoke on Saturday morning with a feeling of deep nausea. It was not a nausea which rose from the liver and bacon she had cooked up in her frying pan the night before, but from her anticipation of the day that lay ahead. She was grateful that she had group of great and supportive friends. "Birds of a feather stick together," Marylou would always chant in times of trouble and the others would chime in with her singing it over and over until they were all laughing. The flock, as they called themselves, would arrive shortly to help her move and arrange her belonging out on the front lawn and put up a sign with an arrow into the house as well. "Everything is on sale," it read. If all went "well" there would be nothing left and she would have enough to make a new start. If not.... "Remember the pledge," she reminded herself, "Expect great things. The death of the caterpiller is the birth of the butterfly. Every ending is a new beginning and this isn't a loss it's an opportunity...." And with the arrival of the first of her friends, her spirits began to lift to match her words.

For the mini challenge:

The sale luckily drew large numbers of people, a mix of human vultures who tried to get better deals than the already bargain basement prices and kinder, more generous souls who saw Matha's pain and remembered that there but for the grace of God... Then there were the cranks who specialized in feeling and spreading aggravation. One woman felt a need to complain to everyone she could find about the layout of items. "Someone could break a leg," she grumbled. "Too crowded. You should have..." and so on. Mercifully she didn't stay long and protective friends kept her away from Martha as much as possible. But on the whole, it all went very well. At the end of the day almost everything was gone. One item that hadn't sold were Charlie's Take Me Out to the Ballgame" glassware. As much as she had hated the sight of them, Charlie loved them. One glass for every team in the league, each day of the week a different glass and team. She had often been tempted to "accidentally" drop them but he had loved them so much that she couldn't bring herself to do so. Now she was secretly relieved that they had not sold. They were a piece of Charlie's heart. "Oh, my, I'm tired," She whispered to Sarah, her oldest and dearest friend who stood next to her. "That's to be expected, hon." We'll go to my place now and have a lovely meal and count your loot and our blessings." Better days are coming. "Thank you, my friend. I am blessed with the best of friends and that makes me rich indeed. Life is good and I expect great things," she added with a smile. "Thank you my flock of angels for being in my life. I love you all."

My maxi:

Dad was a baseball fanatic. On Saturday mornings he'd take me out to the ballgame. He'd have a few beers and I'd eat hotdogs and soda and ice cream until I could eat no more. I had to pledge not to tell Mom about the beers which was cool with me because I knew she wouldn't approve about the hotdogs and soda either. She was something of a purist food-wise. Much to my aggravation as a kid we had to eat liver and bacon every Tuesday night. I'd see the frying pan come out and my heart would sink and my stomach churn with anticipatory nausea. Except for those Tuesday nights, Mom was a pretty good cook... and a good Mom. She was protective but not overly so and she taught me to stick to my beliefs. "I expect great things from you," she'd say to me. "You've got talent." When I was in the most awkward days of my teens, weeping at my ugliness, she'd look at me and say, "I think you're beautiful. Maybe right now it's like you are a magnificent caterpiller and you can't see the butterfly emerging, but I can." When Dad died last year I didn't realize quite how bad things were for her. Her friends - the Flock, they call themselves - or The Birds of a Feather girls - let me know she was going to lose the house. Everything is on sale, they told me, and for bargain basement prices. I was supposed to be there and then I had to go and break a leg... and an arm and I'm stuck here in the hospital while she goes through this all on her own... and of course she's worried about ME when she's the one in trouble. I talked to her on the phone at Aunt Sarah's house. I couldn't help crying I felt so bad about not being there and then I felt bad because that made her all worried about me. "Mom, I wanted to be there. I'm so sorry." She, brave and steady as always wound up comforting me. "The Flock was with me hon. And you know those awful glasses your father loved so much? Nobody bought them and you know what? I"m awfully glad. Don't you just bet he's laughing in Heaven?" That's my Mom. And Dad probably IS laughing and letting Mom know that he's watching over her." For me, I'm doing well enough that I think I can help her out. I may move back to Kansas. I think she needs her friends. Anyway, once I'm up and moving again, we'll start on what Mom would call a new adventure. "Expect great things," she always says. And I always do thanks to her.


Thank you to Dr. John for next week’s words. He pointed out that they are all homonyms. Gives us some flexibility of meaning, I guess.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: sow, close, console, lives, minute, polish, bass, pussy, complex, resume

For the mini challenge: bow, sewer, house, import, intern

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.



quilly said...

Raven, I like the way all three of these came together to make one sad, but upbeat story.

Richard said...

Hi Katherine; it's almost 1:00 AM here in Phoenix. Vicki and I went out dancing tonight, then back to the house for some conversation on the patio. I'll get back here tomorrow and read your stories.


Dr.John said...

Your creative abilities know no end. You took very difficult words and wove them seamlessly into three stories that in the end made up one really beautiful story.
You allow us to feel both the trauma and the hope of the lady in question. Thank God for friends.

bettygram said...

Martha got through her hard times with help from her friends. Her daughter is also willing to help. Very good stories.

Fandango said...

That's one of the few good things about you humans you do help each other. We felt so sorry for the lady in the three part story but it looks like she has hope.
Loved the way you worked in those words.

DawnTreader said...

Raven, I can only agree with what the others above have already said. Very good story/stories.

I'm not taking part this week either (my mother's funeral was on Thursday, two days ago). But I hope to be able to join again soon.

Unknown said...

Morning, Raven! I always love this series. Let me try: The aggravation I suffer from morons on cable news shows who enjoy tearing each other apart is tempered only by the protective measures I take by having had my cable TV disconnected. Ha! Give me a bargain basement sale, or better yet a Garage Sale. Or still betterm take me out to the ballgame. I would say, "break a leg", but a friend of mine actually did. So, I'll sign off here with "Safe Journey's on Cushioned Streets". :D)

Richard said...

This was truly one continuous piece and I loved it. Very touching, very real and a great look at someone's family and their life. Awesome writing and great read.

Stephen said...

I liked your stories about the woman who was having a difficult time after her husband's death. They seemed very real, and I could easily picture what was happening and what she might be feeling. It's good that she has her friends and, later, her daughter to help out.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

CJ said...

Three wonderful stories, all intertwined. I loved them.

Batteson.Ind said...

You truelly are a lovely writer!... I love coming here :-)

Akelamalu said...

I love this line The death of the caterpiller is the birth of the butterfly. in the first story Raven.

I'm glad Charlie's glasses didn't sell Martha would have so regretted it.

I loved the way all three stories carried through. Great writing m'dear. :)