Tag Archives: change

Foreclosure #2

Morning came.  Sandra trembled as she carried a few things to her car.  Most of her belongings had been sold.   She had been able to keep so little.  No home.  No money.  No place to store what was most precious.  What she hadn’t sold with the condo she had taken to a consignment shop earlier in the week.

Dew dampened her toes as she walked across the grass.  Probably too early for sandals, she chastised herself as she made her way to her parking spot.  No– it wasn’t her spot anymore.

Quietly she opened the door.  Silently she loaded her belongings.  Noiselessly she slid behind the wheel.  Like a ghost, she turned the key in the ignition.   And then sobs engulfed her as she realized she had no place to go.

 

[Three Word Wednesday:  dampen, tremble, keep.]

 

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Ring! Ring! RI-I-I-NG! Ring! Ring RI-I-I-NG!

Ring! Ring! RI-I-I-NG!  Ring! Ring RI-I-I-NG!  Two shorts and one long ring.   That was our ring.

In the 50’s, at our house,  the telephone was still a fascination.  It appeared to be nothing more than a shiny black box with a rotary dial and long cord running into the wall.  Each hole of the dial, except for the one and the zero, had three letters and one number.  Our number was LA2-1309.  I couldn’t understand how the telephone knew if mother was dialing LA or JB.

We were on a 4-party line.  Recognizing the ring was important.  Not everyone had phones in those days and if you did, it was common to share a line with two to four other homes.  Occasionally Mom would pick up the telephone and have to wait to make her call because the line was busy.  However, in the 50’s telephones hadn’t yet become an external part of the body.   She seldom had to wait long.

The phone in our house had a special stand.   It sort of resembled a school desk with the chair attached sideways.  It was shiny dark walnut and had a cubby-hole to hold the telephone book.  The top of the desk area was just large enough for the phone and mother’s desk calendar.

Although our telephone was fascinating, when we visited my grandparent’s in South Dakota their phone intrigued me even more.  It was a wooden box that hung on the wall.  The mouthpiece was black with a brass ring behind it.  It had two bells on top that you could watch vibrate when the phone rang.   It had no dial.   Grandma lifted the earpiece, cranked the handle on the side and the operator answered.  She would say something like “162W”.   Well Grandma wouldn’t usually say that because that was her number. But she gave the operator the number she wished to call and waited until the desired party answered.

Telephones were treated  differently then.  In our home the telephone was a tool for adults.   As children, we seldom used it.  If mother was there, she would answer it.   We answered it only when she was away. And we never answered the telephone at Grandma’s house.

One evening, however, when I was nine, the phone rang while Mom and Dad were grocery shopping.   “Answer it!” my older sister commanded.   She was a very meek 13-year old and didn’t want to answer the phone.  “Answer it!”  She commanded once more.

So I carefully slid onto the vinyl seat of the telephone stand and gently lifted the receiver to my ear.   I expected to hear the voice of one of Mom’s friends.  But I didn’t recognize the voice at all.

“Is the LA2-1309?” inquired the stranger.

“Yes it is,” I replied.

“Do you have your television on?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Does it fit?” with that comment from the stranger, hysterical laughter filled the air.

I quickly hung up and told my sister about the call.

She thought it was pretty funny, but we decided we wouldn’t tell Mom and Dad about the call because they might not agree.

It wasn’t long before “Ring, Ring, RI-I-I-NG.  Ring, Ring, RI-I-I-NG.  The phone once again began to ring.

“Answer it,” my sister once again demanded.

Now I wasn’t a very worldly nine-year-old so I picked up the phone.

“Hello,” I chimed.

“Hello,” again a strange voice on the line. “Is your refrigerator running?”

“I think so,” I replied.

“Well you better go catch it!” Again hysterical laughter filled the earpiece.

“Who are you?”  I demanded.

The phone went dead.

My sister thought it was pretty funny.   When we told our folks– yes we told our folks– they found it annoying.   Yes annoying, not harassment as it would be called today–just annoying.  But in the 50’s the telephone was a tool not an attachment to our bodies.  Six-year-old children did not carry them to school.  Telephones did not sing and show movies.  They had no ability to send a text message.  They simply transmitted one voice to another.  It was a much simpler time.

The nuisance calls of the years have gone downhill.  Now the callers are freaky, not funny.  Some of the pranksters don’t have a sliver of conscience to control them.

 

(Three word Wednesday:  freak, downhill, sliver.

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Chapter One – Sierra

Chapter One

It was that late evening time of day in Florida during early spring, when the mist settles over the water, the sun disappears rapidly behind the hotels, the beach is empty and loneliness wraps itself around you.  Sierra ran allowing the tears to fall until her anger turned to sadness.

She hadn’t left town yet and Bret had turned his attentions to another.  He had dismissed her as easily as he would dismiss an inept housekeeper.  Was she wrong to want a career or was she wrong to have believed that she and Bret had a future together?

  Watching the sun set during an evening run on the beach should be a time of joy, but there was no joy in Sierra this evening. It was her last evening in Florida and the longer she ran the sadder she felt.   “I really don’t care,” she said to Barnaby as he ran behind her.  She glanced back at him as if she expected him to answer, but he just gently wagged his otter-like tail as he followed her along the beach.

Barnaby stopped and sniffed at a shell, just as any brown Labrador is likely to do.  Then he ran into the water, splashing about until he came out ahead of Sierra.  He stopped briefly and shook the water from his coat, spraying Sierra as he frolicked in front of her.  Sierra continued her tirade without noticing.  “He’s a jerk.  You know it too.” Although she wanted to believe it, Sierra hadn’t quite convinced herself that she didn’t care that her fiancé had broken off their engagement.

Sierra had been running long enough that she was winded, but as she slowed down her thoughts did not.  I knew I shouldn’t have come back to Florida, she thought.  I should have looked for work in California as soon as I graduated.  Sierra had earned a degree in French from the University of Florida, but then decided to pursue her dream.  She had gone to Manhattan and had recently graduated from Manhattan’s School of Fashion Design.

She could still hear Bret’s words.  “Fashion design is such a frivolous choice for a career,” he said.  “You need to settle down so we can get married.  You’ll make a great hostess. Together we’ll make a lot of money.”

Money. That is all that matters to him.  What I want is unimportant.  The more she thought about it, the more she realized she really didn’t care that she wouldn’t be marrying him.  It hurt that he had decided to break up but she couldn’t image a life as his wife.  They had dated on and off ever since high school.   He had always expected her to do what he wanted to do.  It had always been about getting together with Bret’s friends, or going hiking where Bret wanted to hike.  It had always been about him.  

Now, totally winded, Sierra stopped, bent over and grasped her knees.  Her long dark braid shifting over her shoulder as she took several deep breaths.  The sun, now no more than a strip of yellow low in the sky, no longer cast shadows on the sand.  “Well Barnaby, we better get back.  Mrs. Browne is going to think I’ve stolen you.”

Barnaby stopped in front of her, held still, except for his wagging tail, and waited while she hooked the leash onto his collar.  “Let’s go.” And she headed toward Main Street and Mrs. Browne’s cottage.

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Changing My Habits

When I cleaned out my bookcase and discarded boxes full of management books, I discovered several books that I had read in the past and began to wonder how they might be relevant to a retiree.  Right now I am rereading First Things First, by Stephen Covey, et al.

In the first chapter a quote attributed to Albert Einstein appears.  It says

 “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

Although I tend not to write politics on this blog, that seems like a good quote to be sent to some of our lawmakers as a reminder.  Do you think they would understand the meaning for today?

It also seems like a good reminder for me to get into the habit of changing my habits.

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Cleaning Out the Past

Cleaning Out the Past:

It took me awhile to realize that there is a lot of my past, the business side of my life, that I no longer need.  The first thing I considered cleaning out when I retired was my closet full of business clothes.  To some extent that was a valid thought.   There are several other things in my life, however, that it is time to discard, some things that are even more significant than my wardrobe.

There are thoughts that need to be discarded or replaced.   My image, at least since my children have been gone from home, has been tied almost exclusively to my career.  The people I know and the people I communicated with on a regular basis were nearly all related to business.   The social contacts that I had outside of business were never developed into meaningful relationships because I didn’t have the time.  Now is the time to change that.  I am looking forward to meeting friends for lunch or just to go for a walk.   I am looking forward to being a good friend to those that matter.

 I am looking forward to getting to really know the people in a writing group that I have been part of for several years.  From listening to them read what they write, I know they are really interesting people and I am excited about getting to know them better.

One significant thing that I have discarded is my collection of management books.   Several days ago I cleaned off my five-foot bookcase, boxed up the books and had my husband take them to the thrift shop. 

 I am on my way…

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Limitations —

I’ve discovered I have limitations.  Today I have figured out how to set up multiple pages on this blog.  Check out my Random Writings — good for a laugh, and my Places tabs.  That is my limit for today.

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