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by: Colette Calapristi Casey

The bedroom window rattled as the wind and rain persistently beat against its panes. A rush of wind roared only to be followed by a silence, continued in its rhythmic attack throughout the night. Eli stirred in his bed and rolled to one side slowly opening his eyes. The LED on the clock read 4:44 a.m. Eli closed his eyes and thought ‘again with this time’ and pulled the quilt over him knowing it would be another cold night. He turned restlessly in his bed thinking, remembering and knowing that something would have to be done, but who would do it was the question. He heard the first drip of an old patch in the roof that had apparently begun to fail. The wind and rain continued outside as he got up to move the bucket under the leak. One drop after another entered the bucket. Soon it would be full.

He went back to bed and tried to fall asleep, but only ended up tossing and turning until the first warmth of dawn rested upon his face. He sat up and stroked his beard and sighed. Eli was a simple man with simple needs. He had been alone since his wife Reba, passed away some 10 years before. His bed would forever feel empty from the day she passed. He rationalized his existence as the way it should be when you’ve been blessed with a soul mate, one shouldn’t expect more after they’d gone. He accepted his solitary existence as a realization that everyone would end up alone sooner or later.

Eli shuffled into the kitchen to fix himself a cup of tea. Just as the water began to boil, his phone rang. He rubbed his face in an effort to help him wake up. He reached for the phone on the counter and answered it.

“Good Morning, this is Eli.”

“Eli! Good morning dear friend. This is Joshua. I trust you slept well!” Joshua was Eli’s friend from the community center. He, like Eli was also a widow.

“Oh you know, restless as usual and on top of that, the roof is leaking again.”

“So sorry to hear that Eli. Well you know who to call don’t you.” Joshua laughed.

Of course Eli knew who to call. His son was a general contractor, but he hated to bother him with something as minor as a leak.

“Yes, it may be that time.” He gave a light laugh. “I see that ignoring it has only made it worse. Soon my bed may be a water bed!”

Both men laughed and then a pause hung steady in the air. “Eli, the reason I called is to see if you will join us. There is so much we can still do. We meet them today. They need us and we need you. Please say you will go. I will come and pick you up and we will do it together.”

Eli sighed. This again. What could he do? An old man, he had nothing to offer. The teapot began to whistle. He turned off the burner and moved the teapot to a cold burner. Eli looked to the floor and noticed something sticking out from under the Refrigerator.

“Joshua, can you hold on a minute please?

Joshua agreed and Eli set the phone down on the counter.

Eli reached down to the floor and pulled on the corner of paper. As the aged paper emerged from its place of hiding, he noticed the handwriting was that of his beloved Reba. He felt his heart skip a small beat and a warmth come over him.

“Joshua, I will call you back in a few minutes. Will that be alright?”

“Yes, of course Joshua, but they will arrive at 5:00 p.m. tonight. You have so much to share with them.”

“Yes, thank you, I will think about it.”

He sat down at the kitchen table and stared at the note. Not yet wanting to read it but to bask in it, something undiscovered from her. He read the note in silence.

“For today I will strive to do the following: “And each shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4).”

Eli read the note twice. He turned it over from front to back, examining the corners and wiping away crumbs of long gone food. He remembered Reba writing daily notes to herself and then sticking them on the refrigerator, but this one felt very new, very much about his life now. Was this a sign among all the others? He picked up the phone.

He spoke softly, “and each shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.” A tear filled his eye. This was Reba through and through. He’d felt her presence more so lately. It wasn’t just the Community Center project, or the images of the war that called to his heart, but it was this. This was Reba through and through, trying to change the world one person at a time.

He smiled and the tear that had rested in his eye, slowly poured onto his cheek. His shyness, his loss, his loneliness is not how Reba would have wanted him to live. He spoke again but this time with a smile. “Yes, Reba. I hear you. I will do it.”

Eli picked up the phone and called Joshua. The phone only rang once before Joshua answered.

“Joshua. I will help. I’m not sure what I can do, but I will do my best.”

Eli heard a yelp on the other side of the line. “Eli! This is wonderful news! Your ability to speak Syrian will help these people so much!”

“Yes, but remember my family left Syria when I was just a young boy. I’m not sure how fluent I will be.”

“Eli, I’m positive it will come back to you. But more importantly, we are welcoming those who have lived in great fear for their lives. Our faith teaches us that we must help those as everyone has the right to live without fear. I’m so proud of you my friend. I know how shy you are and it is greatly appreciated. We are only but one, but when we work together we are many. You will make a wonderful difference in these peoples lives. I will pick you up at 4:30.”

“Yes, good Joshua. I will be ready.” Eli hung up the phone and sat back down at the table to read the note again.

The day passed quickly for all the tasks that needed to be done. The call to his son to schedule time in his schedule to look at the roof, clearing out old mail and newspapers and setting up the house in the event of guests, something that hadn’t happened in years. Eli cleared off the living room table and set up four chairs. He went to the bookcase and retrieved his father’s Syrian-English dictionary and set it on the table. He also retrieved letters his father had sent him. He began to read each letter in his father’s native language. It had been a long journey for his family to emigrate from Syria to Israel and then to the United States. So many stories of strength and courage. Pride for his heritage and pride for his family swelled inside him.

Before he knew it, the clock read 4:35. Where was Joshua? He folded up the letters and checked for his house keys and wallet. He was ready. Joshua finally pulled up to the house at 4:44. Eli smiled. 4:44, always that time.   He looked at the framed image on the wall that Reba had hung before she passed. He hadn’t paid much attention to it over the years because it was behind the door that he normally left open for a cool breeze. He saw it now “I Ask Not For a Lighter Burden, but Broader Shoulders.”

Eli took a deep breath, walked toward the door and stepped into the sunshine.


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A Dark and Stormy Night
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© 2014
The storm blew violently outside of Justin’s hotel room. He went to the window and pulled back the blinds. Trees were bowed in the eastern direction with limbs collapsing under the pressure. The window panes rattled with the wind gusts and the rain sounded like pellets hitting the glass. Jason looked down at the street and tried to see if anyone was out there. Traffic on the street was sparse for a city as large as St. Louis.

A blot of lightening flashed in front of his window and the thunder was almost immediate. The room began to shake and the hangers in the closet rattled. Jason jumped back from the window with the hair on his arms standing straight up.

“Too close for comfort.” He noted to himself and looked again at his watch. He sat down at the desk, put his feet up and hit the pre-programmed number in his phone.

A woman with a romancing voice answered the phone. “Hello Jason. You’re calling earlier than usual.”

“Yeah, the meeting I had scheduled for tonight cancelled and there’s a nasty storm outside so I came right back to the hotel. Going to hold up here for the night.”

“Alone?” She asked matter-of-factly.

Jason rolled his eyes. “Come on Andrea, that only happened once and it was a long time ago. I told you it was a mistake, a bad mistake. You can’t keep grilling me every time I go out of town.”

Silence was his response until he heard her sigh.

“Really baby, you know you’re the only one for me. And I forgave you after Joey’s soccer coach.” Jason smirked.

“I told you 100 times, there was nothing ever between us, so you don’t need to forgive me for anything. I have been completely faithful to you.”

“Well, that’s up for discussion.” Jason wasn’t going to let her get on top of this.

“Look, I’ve got an early flight tomorrow and have to turn in. We’ll talk more when I get back.”

“Okay, Jason, sounds good. I’m really sorry. I don’t know what got into me. I just miss you so much when you’re gone.”

Jason sighed. “Me too. We’ll talk tomorrow. Give Joe a hug and kiss for me.”
“I will. And Jason, I do love you.” Andrea’s voice was sweet.

“Yeah, I know. See you tomorrow.” And with that he hung up the phone.

Andrea was right, normally, he’d be out at the bar picking up a local girl for the night before returning home to his family. It was just that one time he came home with the clap that screwed things up. Since then he decided he better ‘cover up’ even though it wasn’t as fun.

Jason smiled and thought of Oklahoma City last month. A Rodeo Queen. They were always good for a ride. He recalled his last visit to St. Louis just two months ago. It was a buxom blonde with full lips but he couldn’t recall her name or her eye color. He chuckled and shrugged it off. Tonight there would be no exurcions. The weather had taken care of that for him.

He stripped down to his shorts and climbed into bed. He rearranged the numerous pillows that were positioned against the headboard. Once situated he flipped on the TV and shut off the light.

“You. Are a bastard,” a voice whispered in his ear.

Jason shot up in bed, his heart pounding. His eyes darted across the room. He listened with every muscle in his body. What had he heard? Was it the TV, was it in his mind. He sat perfectly still for what felt like an eternity. He slid back down into his bed as his heart rate returned to normal.

The lightening flashed again and the thunder was immediate and even more severe than the last one if that was possible. The TV went black and the hum of the heater stopped.

“You will pay now and later,” said the voice in a hushed whisper.

Jason reached for his phone and tapped on the “Flashlight” app. He scanned the room.

“Who is that! Who’s there?”

The TV blinked back on with the sound blaring. The heat came back on, but this time it was at full blast. The room became scorching hot in a matter of moments. Jason found it hard to breathe.

He ran to the thermostat and started punched the down button to kick it off. On his way to turn off the TV, another lightening strike flashed and thunder rolled.

The power went out again.

Jason stood in the middle of the hotel room looking wildly around to get his bearings. He made it to the window and through open the drapes he could see that the street lights were still on and other rooms in the hotel still had power.

He saw a light in his window that he tried desperately to make out. He realized he was looking out when he should have been looking in. The light was not outside but a reflection from inside his room. Jason turned slowly and saw a ghostly figure staring at him. He was an older man dressed in overalls and wearing a cap. Jason’s immediate impression was that it was an old time Train Conductor. He’s eyes were intense and set upon him. Jason wondered if this was a dream, perhaps he could just wake up.

“You killed her.” The man said simply.

Jason’s heart pounded. “What are you talking about? Look Bud, I don’t want any trouble. I think you’ve got the wrong guy.”

The man shook his head slowly. “It was you. You gave her the drug, you brought her back here, you raped her and you left her alone, in this room.”

Jason tried to make a connection with what the man was saying until the Buxom Blonde from two months ago came to mind. “Hey wait a minute. You’re talking about that girl a couple months ago? I just asked her if she wanted to party and she said yes. She’s the one who wanted it, I didn’t force her to take it.”

“It doesn’t matter. You knew she was already drinking too much and you moved in on her. She was a good girl and you destroyed her. We have a way of dealing with men like you on the line. We get things back on track.”

Jason backed up holding up his hands, “whoa, buddy whoa! I had no idea. I never heard from her again-honest!”

“You didn’t hear from her because you left her. She woke up and realized what had happened and couldn’t live with herself. She died. Right here in this room. You could have been an honorable man, but you are not. You’re wife and child deserve better so it’s my job to get things back on track.

Jason screamed as he realized this wasn’t a dream and that the man was not a man. The ghost moved quickly towards him, pushing him into the window until it broke, sending him to the pavement below.

The hotel room where Jason stayed had been closed up for over a week when the bellman brought his girlfriend in to see it.

“They say it was the Conductor.” The bellman said.

“Why do they call him that?” she asked coyly.

“Because he thinks its his job to put everything back on track.” The two stood quietly and stared at the police tape and broken window.

Behind the bellman’s ear, he heard a whispered voice. “Treat her right, you hear?”

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The Night it Happened© 2014
by: Colette Calapristi Casey

The wind was blowing
The fire was growing
I ran and I ran
the night it happened

My bedroom too high
No chance but to fly
I jumped and I fell
The night it happened

I awoke with a start
Placed my hand over heart
Cried out in sorrow
The night it happened

I wander and wallow
New owners I follow
Wondering why it was me
The night it happened

I look and I seek
Sometimes as a freak
To ever haunt after
The night it happened.

The home I once flaunted
Was now they say haunted
It was me and I know
The night it happened.

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by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© copyright 2014

I was very aware it might come to this. I saw the signs, I felt the energy. Everything was telling me to run and I didn’t.

There were finite elements that had to be respected, but I didn’t care because if I showed new perspectives then a whole new universe would be opened.

The seven strands of time had only been managed one by one. Only one strand per traveler; that was the rule. But, because of the parallel universe, who is to say which is the ‘one’ strand?

My hypothesis was based on the variable that within one strand, multiple paths could be supported. This was due to the origin point. Each time a decision was made, it was a new decision point and therefore the time strand starts all over again. The possibilities were endless!

This morning was no different than any other morning. I suited up and checked into Quad-deck. The Quad-deck was first introduced in early 2150, after scientists cracked the stabilization of the wormhole. Before that discovery, scientists were focused on retro light travel only. While good in Einstien’s theory, it proved unstable because humans couldn’t withstand the force of travel. The wormhole technology was the most reasonable option because it overcame the challenge of reverse gravity. With Norenburg’s theory, the centrifuge was made safe and humans could now travel both forward and backward in time.

The challenge was the seven strands. As observer we can’t change time, I get that, but it still doesn’t stop me from trying. It was just that one moment that I would give anything, ANYTHING to change.

The day started off as planned. I was to ride the seventh strand. I could take it backwards 7 years and ‘observe’ but I have to admit, I wasn’t just there to observe. I was there for the 7th decision point of July 7, 2183. That was the day life changed for him. That was the day that I would live my life to change.

I boarded the centrifuge like any other normal day, but once the door slammed I punched in the coordinates and hacked into the program to release the security. I was in.

Within seconds, I was there. It was seven years earlier and my kids ran about the apartment, my sons were wrestling as they always were and my youngest was preparing to leave for football practice.

It was an ordinary day, sunny and bright as I dropped him off for practice. It was only 14 years later that I learned what had happened on that bright and beautiful day. When I picked him up from practice he seemed different. I remember asking if everything was okay and he reassured me it was fine. But it wasn’t fine. The son I had before that day was gone and in his place was someone that was trapped behind a wall of pain. A wall that would not let in family, friends, therapists, anyone. I remember taking him to memory reprogramming to try and erase what was causing him pain, but without knowing what caused it, the technicians were unsure they could completely remove it. He wouldn’t talk no matter how much I begged. I just knew something was wrong.

So I changed my assignment from Colonization to Time Travel. I was determined to reach the seventh point of the seventh strand. If it meant giving my child the life he deserved, than I would take that chance.

I was wrong. I inserted myself into the timeline and kept him home from practice. But then the timeline shifted and instead of what happened to him that day happened on the sixth timeline and so on. No matter what I did, it always happened, he always changed.

I had fractured the timeline so many times that I had to ask; not what will happen but when will it happen. Today I found out. I was in the middle of changing the timeline from football practice to a day at the park when everything began to fall apart. The trees of the park began to collapse, the sunshine day had turned to rain with hail. The warmth had turned to cold and the light to dark. I had tried to re-write destiny and it was rebelling. No matter how many alternate scenarios I introduced to the timeline it would always be the same. Now my efforts had consequences.

The seventh strand was deteriorating. To the laymen it means nothing. Time past is gone, but to the time traveler, it means everything. Babies who will never be born, discoveries never discovered and challenges never overcome. I had removed all of that.

So now, I am a fugitive. If you were to ask me if I would do it again, I would say I was not sure. It is because I believe in a future. A future the presents opportunities not endings. I guess what I should have realized is that the future I dream of exists in spite of what has happened. The human spirit is stronger than any single moment in time. That is because there are so many variables to the timeline. Time is bigger than one moment, one event. How we manage the events within the timeline is what makes a life.

All my boys ended up just fine in their lives in spite of my interventions. I wondered why I had tried to change their life path. To change something that was theirs and theirs alone. I have finally realized what I have done, after it was too late. Because of what I did to the timeline, the cure for Alzheimers was delayed 50 years, the colonization of the moon happened 100 years later and now we had only six strands to our history vs. seven.

I now spend my days in isolation on the seventh star. I guess I can live with this, because somewhere on another timeline, life goes on. I am having Thanksgiving dinner with my family including my beautiful grandchildren that weren’t born in the existing timeline. I will have loved until the day I died. In my heart, I know I did what I needed to do at the time. We must follow our hearts, but realize life will happen in spite of ourselves. That’s the funny thing about time; it goes on.

Prompt:  Write about the number 7

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shoeClothes Horse
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© copyright 2014

“Really? Seriously? You think I need a makeover? My heart raced as I stood there looking into the eyes of my fiancé Freddy and the TV stars from “What Not to Wear.”

While Freddy was just a mere 5-6 inches shorter than me he seemed to get shorter the longer I stared at him.

The TV stars laughed and clapped. “Ah come on Emma, don’t you want to try something new? The new Fall Fashions are right on trend with classic styles you can wear for a long time. Trust us; you’ll look great after we’re done with you.”

The camera man moved in closer which made me want to punch him even more. I turned and stared him down until he sheepishly backed up to whence his skinny butt came.

“Emma, honey, I thought you’d get a kick out of this. You’re always talking about how much you like this show.” Freddy’s voice was wavering.

“Of course I like the show Freddy. I like it because I can’t believe the way people dress and I honestly believe that they are getting the help THEY need, not ME!”

The TV stars looked at each other. Yeah, you better be looking to get out of here.

The brunette came closer to me and touched my arm. “Now Emma, Freddy loves you very much and thought you’d enjoy this experience.”

If she couldn’t see my nostrils flair then she must be blind. Did that stop her? Nope!

“Come on Emma, we’re going to take a look at your wardrobe. I think a new perspective is in order.”

The other TV host rolled out a long Wardrobe rack that contained all my favorite clothes.

THAT woman gave me one of THOSE looks.

“Emma. Seriously. Where’s the funeral?”

I really, really wanted to belt her.

“Everything here is black. You have black pants, black shirts, sweaters jackets, tank tops…and these…”

“Those are my pajamas. What’s wrong with those?” I couldn’t figure out how anyone could pick on a pair of pajamas.

“Emma, its black sweatpants and a black sweatshirt.” THAT woman and her friend started laughing at me. Hell, even the camera guy chuckled. He thought I couldn’t hear him.

Freddy walked up to me shyly. I like that about him. He was gentle and loving but boy did he overstep his boundaries. He’s going back that’s for sure!

As the day wore on I was subjected to more of their opinions on my wardrobe and had to view all the great “Fall Fashion” they thought would look good on me.

What they didn’t get was that I like Black. I’ve liked black forever. It’s the miracle color. It hides absolutely everything. More than you’d even imagine.

Soon, the host came out with a white “day dress” with a shiny metallic design along the collar.

“Does it come in black?” I asked.

By now the Hollywood yahoos’ patience was starting to wear thin. I like that because the more worn down they get; the sooner I could get rid of them.

“Sweetheart, I think it is a beautiful dress and you would look great in it.”

“Freddy, I’m not so sure I’m liking you so much right now. You’ve always been mousey, but this is way beyond you.”

Freddy backed away to where he was sitting.

The British host finally spoke up. I was beginning to think he was a prop. “Now, now Miss Emma, Freddy here’s a good bloke, he only wanted what was best for you.”

“Best for me? How does he know what’s best for me? How do you know? You don’t even know me. You two are nothing more than a couple of clothes horse and your camera guy is a flipping Hyena. Freddy over there, well, he’s just a mouse! I’ve had enough of all of you insulting me, laughing at me and ruining my century.”

The flow came through me so fast this time I couldn’t contain it. I had held it back for so many years trying to live normally, but it just couldn’t be held down. I felt the enchantment come from the depths of my soul. The life force swirled around me as the furniture tipped over, papers flew and the chandelier swayed. I knew I’d have to start over again, but what the heck. It wouldn’t have been the first time.

As my arms returned to their sides, my hair fell back upon my shoulders and silence returned, I heard the first of my efforts.

I opened my eyes and as expected, there were two horses, one hyena and a mouse wandering about my living room.

Well, I always warned Freddy that if he got me mad, I’d turn into a real witch.

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Home Run!
By: Colette Calapristi Casey

All my life my mom and me have been best friends, partners in crime she would say. I remember a long time ago on my fifth birthday my mom told me she loved me to the moon and back. I got a telescope for that birthday and we saw just how far that moon is! Holy Cow! Mom must love me a lot.

Well I didn’t think anything could be any better than that birthday a million years ago, but I gotta say, things have been ok. Me and mom have been peas and carrots, Pete and Repeat and she always called me her co-pilot on how she used to say, “This spaceship we call earth.” Yeah, we like to watch Star Trek and Dr. Who. Someday I might be an astronaut. Mom says I’m smart enough.

I wasn’t too sure when Marty came along last year. He was a BIG guy! Lots taller than my Dad who is in heaven; or what I remember of him. Marty made me smile and when mom was around him, well, she was really beautiful. For a mom.

I mean, he seemed okay and he liked to play baseball. I was pretty good back then, so he was able to keep up with me. Marty had a good pitch and he started coming round more and more, which was cool, I guess. One day he came over wearing a pair of Vulcan ears! Me and mom just cracked up laughing all over. So he could play ball and he was funny.

I’m excited because today is the big-BIG game between the Spokane Sports and the Colfax Cougars. We’ve been working hard to get ready and Marty even stepped in to help coach with our team. Wait, I can’t find my socks….

“Charlie! Come on! We’re going to be late.”

That’s my mom.

“Come on sport—let’s get a move on,”

That was Marty.

“Cooommiinnnnnnnggggg,” Geez Louise, its not like I planned to lose my socks. Oh—there they are! Why are they in my Scout Tool Box?

“Come on Charlie—really!” mom again.

I ran down the stairs and saw both of them looking at me with that look. You know the look, like, if you were like a second late to class and the teacher is looking at you like, I dunno, you had planned to be late. You know what look I’m saying. Maybe it’s because they’re both teachers at my school.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying lucky guy – not. But I don’t mind. Most kids like my mom and Marty so its cool. I guess it wouldn’t be cool if Marty was like mean and rotten like Mr. Sorenson or like crazy ole Miss Gentric.

“Come on Sonny, load up- The Little League Championship is a big deal kiddo. We don’t want to be late.”

That’s my mom again.

I walked out to the van and Marty was already in there and it was running. I climbed in the back and listened to them talk all the way there. It was cool. Marty kept cracking jokes and making me and mom laugh.

We pulled up to the field and Holy Cow! There were a lot more people than usual.

“We’re here sport. You ready?”

That was Marty. Again.

“Yeah, let’s do this!!!!”

We got out of the van and mom grabbed her hair that was blowing in the wind like crazy.

“Geez, sure it blustery. Hope this wind doesn’t cause you fellas any trouble.”

Marty laughed and patted me on the back. “Are you kidding? We don’t let a little bit of bad weather stop us do we sport?”

“No way. We’re tough Mom!”

Marty patted my back. I kind of liked it when he did that or gave me a hug.

Me and Marty waved goodbye to Mom and ran over to our dugout. I started laughing the whole way over there.

Marty looked at me. “What’s up buddy? You going to be able to hold on a few more minutes?”

I was laughing from my belly now and looked over at my Mom who was just sitting down on the bleachers. She looked confused.

“HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow, we’re really gonna get her aren’t we Marty?”

Marty laughed too. He patted my back. “Yeah buddy, I think we are.”

When we got to the dugout, Marty and Coach rounded us up for our pep talk. Those are always cool.

“Alright Gentlemen, we got some special instructions for you here. After the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, don’t run out on the field. I’ll let you know when its time.”

That was coach.

“Coach Robinson and Charlie have a job to do before the game starts. You young men understand? We’ll let you know when it’s time to go on.”

All the guys looked at me weird, but they nodded their heads. A couple guys tried to get me to tell my secret, but there was no way.

It took FOREVER for the Pledge and song, but finally it was DONE!

Marty looked at me and grabbed the microphone off the bench, then he took me out to the mound. It was way cool.

“Good Afternoon everyone. I ask that you indulge me for just a few minutes. My name is Marty Robinson and I’m the Colfax Cougars assistant coach. Some of you may be asking what the heck I’m doing here right?”

It was funny the way he said it. The people in the bleachers laughed.

“Well, I’m here because of what I love. I love baseball. I love kids. I love Charlie here. And, I love his mom Elizabeth.”

I was watching Mom and her face was CRAZY! She didn’t know what was going on!

“Elizabeth, you are the light to my field, the crack in my bat….

People started laughing and ohhing and awing and stuff like that. Marty just kept going.

“…the stars to my night and my one and only homebase. Elizabeth, I love you to the moon and back. Will you do me the honor of sharing your star field with me for the rest of our lives?”

Mom was starting to run to Marty and she was just bawling and laughing. It was hysterical.

Mom made it to the mound with me and Marty. Marty took my hand then took my Mom’s. “Will you guys be my forever family?”

I liked the way he said that. All of it. It made me happy.

Okay, so maybe me AND mom might have been crying. But you could barely see mine.

Marty let go of our hands, reached into his pocket and pulled out a diamond engagement ring with a REAL diamond. Mom was like shaking, but it was a happy shake.

Mom was saying “yes”, she was nodding “yes”, I think if there was another way to say yes my mom would be doing it.

Marty picked me up and gave me a huge hug. Best sixth birthday ever.


A little league event
A school teacher
An engagement ring

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Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.
– Unknown

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Let me know what you think of my short story “Knock, Knock…Who’s There?”.  It started from a little writing prompt and turned into something fun:)

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It’s amazing that when I woke up this morning I had no idea what a twisty day it would become.  My goal was to visualize my day, carve out some time to write and meditate.  Needless to say…NONE OF THAT HAPPENED!  Instead my day started with a quick visit to my doctor to adjust some medication, meetings and a presentation that was moved up 3 hours.  That on top of lots and lots of “No’s”, I decided its best if I just go home.  The thought of going home and pouting in front of the TV for the evening did not seem attractive, so instead I decided to move my creative challenge to cooking dinner. Through the simple act of embracing the warm temperatures (95 in Grand Rapids), my thoughts of favorite places (Italy) and there you have it!  Dinner!  What started out as cold cuts turned into eggplant and tomato steaks with feta, cold gnocchi and pesto salad and watermelon sandwiches (Ricotta with mint between the slices) and good conversation.  Sometimes when you least expect it, creativity happens in spite of yourself.  Be open, be calm and be guided by your creative self.

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Waterfront Film Festival

I had the wonderful opportunity to partake in the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan.  As I walked the quaint streets of this beautiful town I overhead conversations of art, music and of course film making.  I attended an event hosted by Christopher Coppola, brother of Nicholas Cage.  Coppola, known as “Biker Chef” proceeded to entertain us with a cooking demonstration and shared history about his family and their passion around food, wine and all things art.  He requested that his assistant play Carouso and in a moment Opera filled the air and danced with the aroma of the delicacies he prepared.  I began to realize as he spoke that this was a man who lived a Creative Life.  He explored all areas creative whether it was food or wine, or creating art from something as simple as your cell phone video.  So today’s challenge is to find a balance of creative…where shall you explore?  Today, I write, but tomorrow I will dance.  What will you do?

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