#WQWWC #3: Winter

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
–Hal Borland

The above quote is so true. Especially in my part of the world. No matter how harsh the season is there is always the thought that following winter, or in my case at this time of year, summer, the weather will move away from extremes and the in-between seasons spring and autumn will be far more pleasant.

A year ago the weather was the worst I can remember. We had high temperatures, nothing unusual about that, but we also had devastating bushfires, many homes destroyed, lives lost on top of a drought that had left the landscape brown and ideal for the fires that ravaged it.

At this time, 2020, we have had a lot of rain; the countryside is magnificent and extremely healthy.

I know which of the two I’d prefer.

Our winters are very mild where I live. When we get a frost in the morning we think it’s a severe winter but I once lived in a part of the state where the frost would stay on the ground if the sun didn’t hit that part of the ground.

I find it helpful on those days when the cold bites at you, or you can’t get cool because of the heat, to remind myself that there is always someplace worse than here.

So in a couple of days it will be Christmas, we are in the midst of a Covid surge and we await the state premier to give us details as to how we will have to spend Christmas. I’ve been lucky in that my area has been pretty much Covid free/safe but I am learning you have to be careful.

This year Christmas day won’t be a stinking hot day, in fact there’s every chance it will rain.

But on those hot days there is the thought that it won’t be forever and the cool of the autumn will be upon us

No matter what we humans do to our climate, we are assured that the seasons will follow and that is always a joy to consider on those days of extremes.

So enjoy your Christmas in whatever form you celebrate it, stay safe and wherever you live keep warm and or cool.

Written for: https://tchistorygal.net/2020/12/16/wqwwc-3-winter/

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What do you see # 61 – 21st December 2020 – Bringing On Christmas.

It was that time of the year again.

The kids were at me, the wife demanding, the pressure building, shopping to be done and it seemed everything and everyone was demanding something of me and my resolve was fading by the minute.

The tree the kids called to me. Get it out. We want to put it up.

So I crawled into the attic, brushed away the spider webs and dragged out the boxed tree.

I felt the resentment of having so much put upon me. I didn’t feel Christmas was in any way a joyous occasion.

Once the tree was out, laid out on the lounge room floor, the kids set to work. Then the arguments started.

One wanted this decoration, here, another wanted it there, the pulling and pushing began.

Where was the fun in this I asked myself as I separated the warring sides?

My youngest was pushed aside and sat on the floor holding a blue bauble, awaiting her turn to place it on the tree but had decided retreat for the moment was the best option.

This was torture I heard myself say.

Stop I said. Lets remember what we are doing and why.

It’s supposed to be fun.  A shared time. Peace and goodwill to all men not war and dislike.

The kids stopped, their initial reaction was to voice their opinions. None of which were in agreement with the other.

I suggested we stop and each take a turn, look at how the tree looked, suggest change if needed, more importantly have fun doing what we love to do.

It worked; we got it all up and going, lights and all.

Then the excitement of the gifts appearing, the wonder of what might be inside, the inner glow I felt when I noticed one of the biggest gifts was addressed to me.

That sense of expectation, wonder, joy came back to me.

The kids excitement growing daily, their creating their own cards for each other, helping our smallest, watching as Mother and eldest mixed the pudding and hung it in the shed, checking the fridge for the custard, hanging the decorations and remembering to get out Nanna’s lolly tree.

What a great time.

Written for: https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/12/21/what-do-you-see-61-21st-december-2020/

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Sunday Writing Prompt – 20th December –Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

It’s me Tommy.

Straight up I’ll admit to not being good all the time this year. It wasn’t my fault but more my sister Ally’s fault.

So when you receive a letter from her please treat it with a grain of salt.

Ally is a real cow. Couldn’t lie straight in bed as they say.

The incident with Mum’s rolling pin was not my doing even though in the end I was the one found holding the wretched thing. She set me up and afterwards all I heard was Ally laughing loudly as Mum extracted her revenge upon me.

The business with the hydrangeas was another case of me being set up.

Mum had planted them across the front of our place and Ally informed me that the ideal fertilizer was to pee on them. I thought tis was a great idea, think of all the time that could be saved when outside playing, when the urge came to just run over to the plants and let it all out.

I’d been doing for a few days when Ally ran in to Mum, telling her that I was poisoning the hydrangeas. Mum went a bit psycho and banned me from the garden altogether. All the time I was trying to help the plants along.

So you see it hasn’t been all plain sailing for me. I did do the shopping for old Mrs Green each week. She gave me a dollar for my efforts so that has to be one for me in the ‘good’ column.

I did ask your helper Santa at the shopping centre for a computer game so if you could manage overlooking the above, not so ‘good’ incidents I will try and improve for next year.

Mum’s made a very tasty caramel slice this year and I’ll leave out a slice for you along with a can or two of something to help you though the night.

Hope your trip this year is successful, stay safe and I look forward to Christmas morning.

Regards

Tommy.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/12/20/sunday-writing-prompt-20th-december-letter-to-santa/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #110 – Crisp and Christmas

Crisp my aged companion and I were out walking and looking up she saw the elf.

“Well there’s someone with a axe to grind,” she remarked.

“How so?” I asked.

“They’ve crucified the elf.”

Crisp had made it clear she wasn’t much into Christmas and in recent days we had been surrounded by all things Christmas.

She was more your Scrooge than Father Christmas.

“Look at it,” she’d say, “all that expense on decorations, lights and what have you when there are starving children in Africa.”

“But its been a tough year,” was my reply, “restrictions and all the worry of Covid, maybe people need the opportunity to celebrate.”

“You may be right, but it’s a whole lot of humbug if you are ask me. I take your point. Just don’t be getting above yourself. It’s not often you are right.”

I had to agree with that.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2020/12/16/crimsons-creative-challenge-110/

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Tale Weaver – Badges – December 17th

A man called Ted, bought a badge

To give to his girl called Madge.

The badge was a work of beauty

All shiny, sparkly just like his little cutey.

Madge was so impressed,

She wore it every time she dressed

Pinned it to her voluptuous breast

Only removed it twas time to rest.

On her wedding day she held it against her heart

For she craved the day their life would start.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/12/17/tale-weaver-badges-december-17th/

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Sunday Writing prompt – 13th December – Confident: It was a sure thing.

 There was every reason to believe it was nothing but a sure thing. Indications before the day led us to think it was merely a matter of going through the motions and victory would be ours.

In fact, with the close of the polls in some places celebrations had begun. To say our candidate was feeling cocky was understating our expectation of success.

Initial results pointed to a clear and decisive win.

Our vote count illustrated what we knew was the obvious. Our man was on the path to victory.

An hour into the count, the first indication that things were not going as expected began to emerge.

Our opponent in the election, a slimy big talking used car salesman, whom we didn’t think anyone in their right mind would vote for, was gathering votes faster than we ever anticipated.

Three hours into the count, and it was neck and neck. Celebrations came to a shuddering halt. Supporters gathering around television sets, whispering to each other, “what’s going on”, “how could this be happening”, “everything pointed to a win for our man.”

By midnight it became clear that the count was not going in our favour. Our opponent had leaped ahead by a margin that made it clear this was not going to be our night.

Our confidence was shattered.

Our man was a shell of his former self.

People gathered in the streets, in the town square, to celebrate. To us, it was unfathomable.

We had to endure the smug winning candidate, and his victory speech, the wild cheering of his supporters as we made our way home.

It was galling that so many people had voted for a candidate we knew was only in it for the glory that would be bestowed upon him and that all his claims of what he’d do in office were nothing but his way of pandering to the section of society he needed to appeal to.

Once home I turned off the news, I couldn’t bear hearing of a result we thought was a sure thing.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/12/13/sunday-writing-prompt-13th-december-confident-it-was-a-sure-thing/

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Reena’s Exploration Challenge #164 – After it was Over.

 When it happened, he felt a great sense of relief and an overwhelming sense of grief.

Investing time and energy into something you believed in was taxing at the best of times.

It had been many months of campaigning, handing out flyers, attending rallies, believing in a cause you thought was right and the proper way for the country to move forward.

Added to that was the realization that the vote was sure to go in their favour. After all, the cause was just, the policies well thought out and constructive and sure to benefit everyone.

In the back of his mind was the thought that with victory would come some relief for the working class, no more working two jobs to make ends meet.

Their leader was charismatic, he and other hung off his every word, believed what he said he meant.

But now he wondered if it had all been a ruse.

Initially, it did feel as thought his entire world was burning up in front of him. It was over, the votes had been counted, his side had come up short.

Devastated by the result, he descended into a grief he didn’t know was possible. The bottom had fallen out of his world, their opponent, the most dislikeable and obnoxious of characters had succeeded, the thought of him as leader was sickening to him.

But life he knew didn’t always go the way you wanted. His grief and anger would subside. In a few years, there would be another vote. By then, people would have realised what a mistake they had made when they came to see the man they elected as nothing more than a charlatan.

So as much as seeing the jubilation of the elected party, he planned to support the opposition and work to having them elected the next time around.

For the moment it was a matter of turning off the TV news and not allowing himself to feel he was having his nose rubbed in it by the media coverage.

Written for: https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/12/03/reenas-exploration-challenge-164/

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Tale Weaver/Fairy Tale – Fairies – 10th December – The Blueberry Bush

It had been a particularly hot day. I spent most of it inside, the air-con blowing.

In the afternoon I ventured out and that’s when I saw them.

They were sitting along the back fence. Their backs to me,  facing the setting sun and they looked agitated.

This wasn’t the first time I’d seen them. They lived in the quiet recesses of my back yard, they minded their own business and tolerated me though when I mowed the lawn I could tell they weren’t happy, especially with the noise.

But today they were sitting on the fence. They were in serious discussion, their wings flapping the with the flapping came a buzz that I found irritating. None of my neighbours ever made comment about the buzzing so I wasn’t sure if I heard it or not.

They saw me coming, and turned their unhappy faces towards me, I knew I was in for a right old rollicking.

“You!” shouted Buzzweed, the fairy leader, “you’ve got a lot to answer for.”

“What have I done?” I asked.

“You’ve upset the fairy queen and as you know, having been told so many times, Her Majesty does not like being upset. If she’s upset so are we.”

“So what are you going to do about?” asked Drogmet, the second in charge fairy, “her ire is keeping up all up at night.”

“But I haven’t done anything,” I protested.

“Then what do you call that abomination?” they chorused pointing to a new plant I’d recently planted.

I turned to gaze upon my newest garden plant, a blueberry bush, growing happily not far from the fairy corner.

“It’s a blueberry bush,” I replied.

“We hate it, its got to go,” announced Buzzweed.

“But its lovely, it produces fruit, and I like it,” I said in reply.

“Well the queen hates it, it gives her hives and it has to go,” said a chorus of fairy voices, which collectively made quite a din.

“Well, I’ll dig it up and move it,” I said feeling offended by their reaction.

“Good, otherwise it might have suffered a terrible fate.”

I looked at them and noticed there was now a sense of agreement and satisfaction that the matter had been resolved.

I knew from experience it wasn’t the best of ideas to disagree with the fairies as they had some rather devious ways of getting their wishes heard. Plants were known to wilt and die, for example, or disappear altogether.

I left them looking much happier and went off to fetch my shovel.

Written for: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2020/12/10/tale-weaver-fairy-tale-fairies-10th-december/

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Crimson’s Creative Challenge #109 – the Beach.

When I rounded the beachhead I wasn’t sure what I was seeing.

I had longed to see and feel the beach.

Not those European ones with pebbles but one with sand and rolling waves.

But this beach was in one way what I sought, but in other ways it represented all that I disliked about the modern age.

Rubbish!

Abandoned cars, refuse, not the sort of thing the ocean deposited but man made by people who cared little for the environment only that it served their selfish purposes.

You can’t have everything, I thought to myself.

We live in a disposable world, we dump things we no longer need, we don’t repair anything, as it’s often cheaper to buy a new one.

I moved away from the offending garbage and found a spot where there was just me and the vast expanse of the ocean.

Written for: https://crispinakemp.com/2020/12/09/crimsons-creative-challenge-109/

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#Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge #2 Anticipation

Hitchcock was right.

The anticipation of what is to come or what might come can be terrifying or in my case, just plain worrying.

With Christmas just a few weeks away there is always the anticipation of the weather we will probably expect over the Christmas period.

Living in the southern hemisphere, we are in summer. We describe as being stinking hot or just pleasant.

We would like it to be pleasant, a southerly breeze, overcast, maybe rain even but more likely it will be hot, maybe oppressively hot (stinking hot), humid and a good recipe for raised tempers.

Thankfully these days we have air conditioning, but that wasn’t always the case. When I was a kid, it was a matter of accepting the weather as ‘this is what its like at Christmas’.

We were influenced greatly by the British traditions of Christmas. Our Christmas cards all had snow, Christmas trees and a rotund, jovial Santa.

Our mothers cooked a hot baked dinner, and we thought nothing of the ordeal they went through to maintain the ‘tradition’ of Christmas.

Nowadays it’s different, at least for me. The anticipation of Christmas Day is one of the gathering of family, eating as many cold cuts as we can afford and no one doing any cooking, for that only heats up the house.

Even so, everyone anticipates Christmas being a hot day, so much of our festivity is done indoors. There is a great sense of relief when it turns out much.

I liked this quote from Hitchcock, as we collectively watch the weather to see what the forecast will be. But no matter if it’s a stinker or not, we still celebrate, we still come together we put up with what the weather brings us, after all, it is Christmas, and that event is always greater than what the weather might throw at us.

Written for: https://tchistorygal.net/2020/12/09/writers-quotes-wednesday-writing-challenge-2-anticipation/

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