Writers’ Page – February 2015

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Dee Rysdahl

Shannon Smith summoned Sarah, her skilled seamstress, to sew a stylish Spring suit suitable for social situations. She scoured the stores and selected a slubbed saffron silk and a simple spectacular style she was sure should show off her stout silhouette as slender, sultry and sophisticated.

Sarah, the seamstress was suspect since she saw saffron as an unsuitable shade for Shannon’s sickly, sallow skin and the style not slenderizing for her substantial shape.

Sarah suppressed her suspicion and subsequently sent the saffron silk suit. Shannon spiritedly slid her superfluous self into the slinky suit to see the sultry siren she sought, a stunning stylish sensation. She sucked in her stomach, stood straight and studied the spectacle.

“Shoot!” seething Shannon shouted as she stood scrutinizing the sorry sight. Sarah, the skilled seamstress, now shifted to scurrilous seamstress, was the scapegoat for Shannon’s sorry selection of shade and style. Shannon stormed, “The sleeves are too short on a shapeless sack, the skirt seems snug, and the seams skimpy. This suit is shoddy and surely unsuitable. I’ll summon my solicitor to seek suit severely scourging the sinful seamstress.”

Sour Shannon summoned her sister Sally to see the sickening suit. Sally, a sister of singular stripe seldom shared her sister’s shameful sensibilities. She scolded, “How Superficial” Shame on you, Shannon, for suffering such silly shenanigans. A suit is simply a suit. Stop sweating the small stuff and surrendering to your supercilious self. Sarah sewed a satisfactory suit but your self-esteem is in shards. Shalom.”

Shannon saw the superior strategy suggested by Sally and was solaced by her sister’s solicitous support. She suspended her sophomoric sophistry and sent Sarah, the seamstress, the sum suggested by the sales slip. The suit was sent to the Salvation Army. Satisfied with this simple solution she and Sally went shopping for a suitable substitute for the shocking saffron slubbed silk suit.

A Man’s Heart

Dick Nelsen

Without a doubt the heart of a man is very different from the heart of a woman. Not in physical size, but in the internal emotional workings. So, if you use your imagination, take a journey with me now through a man’s heart. Think of it as a country. You will see a different terrain, with a variety of unusual cities, towns, streets and landmarks.

For example, a large territory of a man’s heart is “The Territory of the Big Operator.” Several landmarks are: “Ulcer Gulch” on the north and “Blue Chip Mountains” in the south. The best way to get between the two is through the “River of the Big Provider.” Along the way are scenic vistas with smooth sailing, but also rapids that make the trip treacherous. Bumps in the river with names such as: Career Decisions, Corporate Lay Off’s, and Ego Falls. This area of the river can be hazardous to a man’s heart. A man is still not home free, he still has to get through Work-A-Holic-Valley.” But, at the base of the mountains is “Success City.” A great place to be if you survive the obstacles.”

Close by is the “State of Superiority” with its biggest attraction “The Lake of Confidence.” What doesn’t show up is the lower swamp known as “Fear of Failure,” always there, but never discussed out loud. The highway meanders down to the little town called “Man About.” It’s the main street, known as Free Wheeling Avenue, that leads to the “Forest of the Lone Wolf.” Secrets, and inner thoughts are lost in this forest and many never see the light of day.

The other end of town is the suburb of “Living it Up” where the main artery is “Broad Range of Interest Avenue.” Here you find golf courses, baseball stadiums, bowling alleys, and the only newspaper contains just the sports pages, and the TV guide. A few sports bars along the way distract man on his way to fishing, skiing, and the new car dealers.

It’s important for man, you know, to have a new car or truck so he can drive over the mountains to the “State of Solid Comfort.” This place in his heart may include a good book, a pipe, and slippers; but, more likely it will contain a comfortable easy chair that reclines, with TV remote controls for channel surfing. A refrigerator must be nearby liberally stocked with beer and a stash of snacks, especially popcorn, within easy reach. It doesn’t hurt to have a barbecue grill close for cooking steaks and ribs, for friends and neighbors with a no women allowed sign a foregone conclusion.

Deep in the heart of man, an area hard to reach at times, is the “Domain of Love Interest.” In this area close to the “Lake of Affection” is the heart of man. This area has a few distractions such as the “Province of Preoccupation of a Pretty Fact” and it’s in this realm that man can sometimes get a case of “Standing on the Corner Watching All the Girls Go By”itis. But, you will also find here contentment. When a man has found a lady to share his life, to be his best friend, and to love with all his heart. And, it may come as a surprise, this area, is the biggest and best, region of a man’s heart.

Pursuing a Dream

Yvonne L. White

We all have ideas and dreams and it is wonderful if we can see them to completion. Sometimes what we are pursuing may not be a good idea or can bring harm or hurt feelings to ourselves or others. When this occurs it is wise to remember Kenny Rogers’ song…”know when to hold them, when to fold, when to walk away and when to run.”

Sharing one’s faith, we need to be considerate of the other person’s feelings. Maybe just praying for an answer of yes, no, or wait before we speak may be the best action. One will be rewarded with a peace about our actions.

Pursuing a dangerous new sport can be exhilarating. I have a college friend that trained to climb Mt. Everest. Finally the day came, conditions were great, but after Base Camp the weather changed and he was wise to abort the climb, even after many years of training.

After high school, many wish to go on to college, or get an advanced degree. Will it put a strain on your relationship? Does your partner approve? Is it worth doing it anyway?

The dating scene provides actions to pursue and times not to. Sometimes one may not approve, but accepts the decision. Many years later, looking back, one may be glad he did the right thing.

We all need to have dreams and pursue ideas. It gives us a positive, enriched life and something to look forward to with a sense of completion. Seeing a grandchild’s growth physically and mentally, choose a certain occupation, and mate, can be very rewarding. Meeting new interesting people helps us develop our personality. These are most likely positive situations but when things don’t go as we wish, we need to be wise and “know when to hold them, when to fold, when to walk away” and maybe even run.

Caught in Traffic!

Phyllis Oliver

I had decided to finish housework before going to the Fry’s on first Wednesday of the month – which was a special 10 percent off offered to Seniors. Yes, there are some pluses to being the, “Senior.” I usually went in early morning and got in and out before it became too crowded. But today, because of a few other priorities I had to go later in afternoon. A few minutes after 1:00 p.m. I took off with grocery list in purse. The parking lot was full but luckily a car suddenly backed out in front of me – it was only about half way down the parking lot. I hurried into the store and soon was on my way back to unload my few groceries into the trunk. As I left I decided to continue with shopping and go up toward the Chandler Mall as I wanted to check some paint supplied at Michael’s. It was located right off of the 101 N and Chandler Blvd. I hadn’t purchased any frozen items so no need to hurry on home. Before I reached the area I spotted a small helicopter that was hovering and circling in the sky. I was watching it continue with the circling and wondered what was newsworthy? But what I did not know. I found myself ushered into a one lane on Chandler Blvd. and headed toward the 101 N. I had no choice but to go straight – but right before it went onto the freeway there was a strip mall to the right of that road and I turned onto it. Soon I was backtracking so I could try to get past the 101 N traffic. I turned onto Frye Road and took it up toward the Mall and it was at least several lanes of traffic that was moving. I decided to go the back way around the Mall area to bypass the 101 N freeway traffic. Soon, I saw a policeman standing at corner of Mall entrance and Price Roads! What the was going on? I was directed by traffic to continue around the mall area and was not allowed to pass Chandler Blvd. onto the area at the other side of 101 N freeway where Michael’s was located. Darn, I uttered but turned left on Chandler Blvd. as directed. I turned back as soon as I could and went back onto Frye so I could get home. No art supplies today. I saw lots of small groups of people standing around talking with policemen all over the area. I knew there was a shooting and/or something going on and was very glad I was in a moving vehicle going the other way I couldn’t wait to get home and turn on the TV to find out – what the?? I turned on the news and sure enough there was a man running around scaring everyone and waving a gun! He hadn’t shot anyone just telling everyone to leave the restaurant. One man said on the TV news that he left as soon as he heard him tell everyone to get out! There had been some confusion as the man waving the gun did not belong to the car he was driving! He drove it off and the police followed him as it was a car of a wanted criminal. The man not knowing this took off and started speeding to get away from the cop car! He jumped out of the car and into the restaurant and began waving the gun around and yelling at everyone! It turned out that he was also a wanted man with several warrants out for his arrest. He was captured with no further incident and went to jail. I was fortunate to find out about all of this just minutes after it happened and it reminded me to always be aware of what was going on around me no matter what time of day. We must always keep our eyes and ears open for our own safety. Now, I know that events do happen unexpectedly and to be prepared. Guess I’ll plan on going to Michael’s tomorrow.

Don Stevens

I forgot what I had to write about this week. My memory is a little behind probably because of my processing unit, you know, when someone says something to you and you really heard what was said, but you answer…what?

I wouldn’t count us senior citizens out, or is it, we senior citizens, it would be a mistake to do so. There is something that the younger generations that are to come after us can never imagine about the life we lived way before the electronic age.

I started life in a house without heat, electricity, or water. I didn’t know things would change in what can be considered a quantum leap from the beginning of that winter in 1934 to what has happened to today’s world. I’ve memories of telling young people of my fun times when asked about my boyhood days such as, skiing with old warped wooden jump skis too long with a strap over the toes to keep them on, hand-me-down clothes, shoes and golashes. I shoveled snow 1 to 3 feet deep from mid-November and then several times a month during the long winters. It could take 2 to 3 hours to dig out the driveways, and a few days later, do it over again. Sometimes the town’s snow plow wouldn’t come by until a day or two later and then fill in the ends of the driveways. We lived on a dirt road with ruts, we did have enough food and firewood to keep warm.

In the summertime, we hayed to provide feed for the cows and horses in the winter. Yes, we had horses to pull the logging scoot, wagons for wood, we heated the house and cook with wood. There were cows to milk and I drank unpasteurized milk. I drank water from a pitcher pump outside in the summer when thirsty. We raised our own food, had chickens and pigs, cats that kept the rat population down. The wood box had to be filled at night before I was allowed to listen to the Lone Ranger or The Green Hornet or Sky King on the big old Philco radio that I laid down beside on the floor before off to bed. I didn’t see a television set until I was 20 years old. When I look in the faces of the younger generation, they can’t imagine what life was like when I was a young boy.

Ahhhh! those were the good old happy days with memories. I’d share with anyone if asked what life was like…Make no mistake about it, I know I’m preaching to the choir when I look around at all of us. We all have memories of a time when the world turned at a different pace. However, if the good old days didn’t change, and some person didn’t invent the wireless keyboard I type on, or the medicines to keep me going to tell of life that revolves around the place where you grew up and didn’t know about how big the rest of the world is, who would tell of our memories of decades past as compared to today’s world.

If I could be a part of the latest generation, and I ask the older generation what life was like back then and their greatest memories, they probably might say that the first uploaded of their Facebook site and their iPhone was their quantum leap and tell our generation all about it how they struggled with the future and the new electronics devices.