Month: February 2015

a safe exit


Its amazing what a man will do to keep his family safe. Sometimes fighting isn’t the answer. Sometimes you have to run.

That’s what Sam Ivany did; he took his family and a handful of belongings and left town. This life of moving from one small town to the next began to have its toll on little Sara, who really liked this place, but she chose to follow along anyway, at her own pace.

The Connor family, dog in tow, took to the tracks as a means of slipping away unseen. When the FBI got to the house, they found nothing…again.

This tale of life on the run was brought to you courtesy of Rochelle Wiseoff’s Friday Fictioneers. Click on the link below for other fine stories by some very talented writers.



Friday Fictioneers: The Battle

PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Marie Gail Stratford
PHOTO PROMPT – © Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

“Arm yourself!” he hollered. I grabbed the biggest sword I could find. “What for, Mr Watkins?” I asked.

“Zombies, that’s what!” he cried. Of course my sword wasn’t actually a sword, but a broom handle; his was an umbrella.

The two of us, weapons in hand, swung wildly, as we chopped the heads off the zombies. When the battle ended, we celebrated.

“A round of beer for everyone” he said. Beer wasn’t really beer either, but ginger ale that my mom had set on the table in the backyard.

Later that day Mr. Watkin’s wife came and got him. Again.

This tale of bravery and senility was brought to you courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. Be sure to check out the other stories at the link below.


sum of the parts

On Friday, the oven of our Frigidaire Electric range stopped working. Of course it was while baking a chicken.

No problem, change the fuse on the top panel of the range and everything is fixed, right?

Wrong! No fuse panel on the damn thing.

Further research, (and a visit from a repairman) and we discover that they don’t make ranges with fuse panels anymore. Instead, all electrical connections go to a circuit board that is glued (you read that right, GLUED) to the back of the digital clock.

Well, still not discouraged, how much could this circuit board possibly cost? The entire range only cost $599 five years ago.

Try $450 for the part, and an hourly rate for the repairman. We were looking at over $600 for a $600 range that is only five years old. What about the other parts of the thing? Are they free?

We went to buy a new range, and agreed upon the model I actually wanted but couldn’t afford (still can’t) at the time of the Frigidaire purchase….a Maytag with a double oven, and has features such as self-cleaning, a convection oven, a ceramic top, power windows, power brakes (kidding on those options).

The department store offered free delivery and even offered to take our old one. When the delivery guys showed up, I told them that they would have a practically good range if anyone wanted to fix it, as the top portion of the thing worked fine. Their response? Junk. We are dumping it on the way back to the shop. Progress? I think not.

Now to cook a chicken and a ham at the same time while boiling potatoes….after I read the manual that is actually a novel thick enough to base a movie on…

Oh, and I am back. Couldn’t stay away.

With Heavy Heart….

A little girl in a family of many, she always had a sister or brother to play with. Growing up on a western Newfoundland farm wasn’t easy, but she had the love of her parents to keep her safe and happy. Running in the hay fields, playing with the dog, her homemade dolly under her arm, she was always the feisty one. Those were the easy years, probably the only easy years for poor Jeanie.

The family moved to a more populated area, thanks to the poor health of her daddy. From there, things changed. Jeanie was of age now and searched for someone to love her. At first she met a man who loved her to pieces, and she loved him, but something or someone put a wall up that separated the two. Her first chance at happiness gone forever. Then she met him.

They say evil comes in many forms, his evil was there for all the world to witness. His charm hid the ugliness that he carried with him, and she was swept off her feet. The two married in no time, because that was the way back then. No sex before marriage, or the Devil will get you!

Things weren’t easy from there. They moved into a small, dingy house that should have been demolished, but wasn’t. The roof leaked, the floors squeaked, and it lacked any sort of insulation.  His controlling ways drove her family away, and he kept Jeanie to himself, when he wanted her. They were in the house only for a few years, and that was all it took to break her soul and her heart.

Four babies in four years, a boy and three girls. The boy was strong, as were two of the girls; the fourth wasn’t so lucky. It was cold that winter, and one morning when Jeanie went to feed the little one, she lay still in her crib. With Daddy out drinking, possibly waking up in the arms of another, Jeanie was found lying on the floor crying, a dead baby in her arms.

Her family intervened and took her under their wing, until he came home. No remorse for the fallen child, he blamed Jeanie for everything. Her fault the baby froze to death, her fault the others were nearly starving. He wasn’t concerned, his drinking buddies came first, and the little money they received from welfare wasn’t for Jeanie and the kids, it was for him and his buddies. Eventually his drinking and cheating ways ended the marriage, and he moved on.

Left with with a boy and two girls and no place to live, Jeanie depended on handouts from her family and a bit of welfare from the stingy hands of the government, poverty was her only friend. With a broken heart and no choice, Jeanie spent a lot of time alone. She found a friend in a box of cigarettes and a lighter, and spent many a night smoking her life away.

Bars and nightclubs were her newest friend, someone out there might actually be looking for a good woman who could love them, but she never found them. Instead, she found Richard. Oh, he was quite the bluff; that or she was naive, or both, but after a night of dancing and a short courtship, she was back in front of the minister, hand in hand with a man who loved her and her three children. A fourth child, his first with her, was born.

This time she had a house on the coast. A lonely, forlorn place where nobody knew you and the nearest neighbour lived miles away. This was where he kept her. No chance for her to attract anyone, no place for her to run. He worked away, and sent money to care for the kid, his kid. The others didn’t matter. One day the phone rung. It was a woman. Jeanie was confused at first, then hurt. The woman claimed that Richard was her lover, and that she was fed up with him leaving to go to the arms of another woman, even if she was the mother of his child.

They say a heart breaks only once, but Jeanie proved this wrong. She was ready to throw it all away, and she did. Years of moving from one shit hole to the next, she lived by her wits alone. Her kids had grown up and moved on, and she was alone once again. Maybe she drank and smoked too much, but who cared? Everyone had their life to live, why bother with someone who has given up on God, and on herself as well? She never wanted to burden others, and she didn’t. And then she got sick.

The doctor warned her to quit smoking, but with a heart that was broken so many times, why heed the advice of yet another man telling her what to do?  Years of abuse to her body left her in the hospital, after suffering a massive heart attack. Her ticker couldn’t take it anymore. The doctors performed surgery and she recovered nicely. A warning to quit smoking again was heeded, at least while she lay in the hospital bed; but that ended quickly afterward.

The heart attack actually brought cheer to Jeanie, as family and friends, and even her kids were at her side, in her hospital room holding her hand, talking about the ‘good times’ and supporting her. It was here that she seen some hope. She moved in with her brother, living in a basement apartment in the community where most of her sisters and brothers called home. She was happy again. Some freedom now, she found happiness didn’t depend on having a man at your side. She kept in touch with her kids, and their kids as well.

A grandmother! Who would have thought? As much as she celebrated her new lease on life, she knew it wouldn’t last, nothing did. A pain in her chest, she thought for a minute she was suffering another heart attack. She was wrong. This time it would be much worse. Cancer. Her constant smoking had brought on another curse. Her lungs were filled with tumors. The doctor recommended treatment, which made her sick and weak. With the love of her family behind her, she went through numerous radiation and chemo treatments that made her feel worst than the pain of Cancer, but she did it anyway.

It took months of treatment and even longer to recover from the radiation, but she pulled through. A talk from her doctor involved her throwing away the very thing that caused the cancer in the first place. She did try to quit smoking, but the habit and the addiction to the drug called nicotine overpowered her desire to stay healthy. She told others she had quit, but continued to smoke. A pain in her back a few months ago, a visit to the hospital, and news that wasn’t what she had hoped for put yet another nail in her coffin. He gave her three, maybe four months to live. She offered to quit smoking, maybe prolong her days, but he told her to smoke if she wanted to. Not only would it do her no good to quit now, but the pain from quitting might actually end her life even quicker.

Today she lies in a hospital bed, weak and dizzy from the drugs being pumped into her body. Cancer had spread into most of her body now, and its just a matter of time. Yet she seems happy now. She spent the last few days getting her affairs in order. Her kids and grand kids are here now, and so is everyone else who have supported her in the past. The men in her life are long gone, thankfully. They only hurt her anyway.

Just the other day, with her entire family standing around her hospital bed, she lay holding a cake that read “Happy 70th Birthday Jean”. She had a smile on her face because in this room, love was present. Love you Aunt Jean.