Farewell September

Last photos of Sept 30th (camera and iPhone) for Bushboy’s photo challenge.

The Mystery Cousin

The boy at the door was tall and slim, and although I had no idea who he was, he said: “You must be V.J.!”

A whoosh of Mom’s skirt obliterated my response. She was hugging and kissing him and exclaiming: “Oh my! Can’t believe it is you!”

Then my sisters were there, crowding our small porch, all smiles and tears and more hugs. Who was this person?

“Come inside. Did you bring your bathing suit?”

Just like that I became a shadow hovering on the periphery of something I couldn’t understand. “He’s your cousin,” Mom finally offered. “But then who are his parents?” I begged.

The mystery boy was handsome, with a soft, low voice. He laughed easily, and I noticed that his eyelashes were long, framing blue eyes. Every so often he’d throw me a smile, or a pat on the head, but I was not part of this circle, it was clear.

“Where’s your brother?” Mom asked at one point.

“He’s wouldn’t come. He’s not ready.”

My five-year-old curiosity was bursting. I had never seen this boy in all my life, and yet my sisters were all over him as if they’d known him forever. They had shared stories and knew how to make each other laugh. If he was a cousin, then why didn’t I know him? We visited my Mom’s family every weekend, hosted family reunions. Where had he been?

And then he was gone, and no one spoke of him again, as if he was a magical being who really didn’t exist at all.

“Don’t tell your father,” Mom warned when all was quiet again.

I didn’t tell, understanding all too well the consequences of setting off Dad’s anger.

The ‘cousin’ would surface again, once a year or so, and the scene would play out much the same.

Until I turned eleven, and asked the question that would unravel it all: “Am I adopted?”

(Some of you asked that I continue the story that started here.)

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #114: What’s in the Box?

“What’s in this box?”

“Good question. To be honest every time I look at the contents, I just…”

“… glaze over?”

“Exactly.”

Turns out there were pens and lightbulbs and notepads, and something Ric’s been looking for. Likely the contents of a junk drawer – you know, the stuff you put out of sight because you don’t know what else to do with it.

This week, I challenge you to open one of those boxes, or drawers, and write about what you discover. Have fun. Be creative.

Look forward to your responses. All are welcome. To participate, create a post and then link back here, or leave your comments below.

When the Unravelling Started

It was a neighbour girl that started it. We played together one day – a rare occurrence, as she seldom came outside.

“How do you know you’re not adopted?” she hissed at me, as if to say: You don’t know everything.

I started to answer, but then, the words got stuck. How did I know?

Sleep wouldn’t come that night, the question echoing around in my head. I’d try to reassure myself – I look like Dad – but then there were glaring differences between my sisters and I.

“I need to talk,” I told my surprised parents as I snuck downstairs against house taboos. We were forbidden to get out of bed once night came, but I couldn’t contain myself.

“Am I adopted?”

The glance between Mom and Dad told me that there was more to this story.

“You are not adopted. This is your father. I am your mother…”

“But…?”

“It’s not something I’m proud of,” Mom began. “What I’ve done is looked down upon. People would judge me if they knew. You must promise to never tell.”

“Never tell what?”

“Your mother was married before,” Dad cut in. “They divorced. I adopted your sisters so that we would all have the same last name.”

“So my sisters are not my sisters?” I’d never heard of divorce before.

“They are your half sisters. You all share the same mother.”

Naturally, I asked what happened. Where the ex-husband was now. Why I’d never seen him. And then Mom dropped this…

“You have two brothers also.”

“What? Where?” The house I lived in was conspiciously overrun by women.

“Probably time we had this conversation,” Dad said shaking his head. “The boys have been asking to see you girls.”

Eleven was the age it all started – the untangling of the lies. Learning about halves, and brothers proved only to be the beginning.

**

This week we explored the beginning of the universe, of love, of passions, and so on. Thank you to all who participated. As always, I thoroughly enjoy your input.

In The Beginning, I Write Her
My geomythology, Bilocalalia
The Write Fighter, MMA Storyline
Another place, Eugi’s Causerie
The Soul!, radhikasreflection
So Sly, parallax
A dream house, Heart to Heart
From Camp to Kites, one letter UP
Earthly Addiction, Sgeoil

To read our lively discussion, click here.

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!



Short-legged Neighbours

The best part of our new home is the abundance of birds, from the young cardinal whose family nests in the bushes behind, to this unexpected visitor outside my window.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

To watch the birds is mesmerizing. This fierce hunter also makes an appearance daily:

Merlin falcon

Naturally, there are many more species, but I’ll save those for another day.
(Submitted for Bird Weekly challenge: short legged birds.)

Settling In

Slowly finding my footing again after what feels like a lost week. Our house has been buzzing with well wishers and workmen. New counters are in, as well as new light fixtures. Pictures are hung. Furniture arrives in trickles – a side effect of COVID. I am grateful for all of it.

VJ’s Weekly Challenge #113: How It All Started

The meeting was both exciting and a letdown. Exciting because it was my first attempt at a social event in over three years, having been bed bound all that time. A letdown as soon as the participants talked about early morning walks as the best way to spot birds. Mornings were still tough for me, and walking out of the question.

“You don’t have to walk to see birds,” a man approached me at the end of the meeting. “My wife and I would be glad to take you around tomorrow morning, in our car.”

“You’ll need a camera,” Ric said later. He loaned me a small point and shoot. I had never bothered with photos before certain that I lacked an eye for it.

The man, it turned out, was a retired professor of ornithology. We started early and by the time my energy had waned and I could no longer hold up the camera, I had been introduced to thirty new species of birds.

The setting was Rio Valley, Texas. It was 2017. Birds and photography continue to enthuse.

**

We all know that life can turn a corner at any time – for better or worse. This week, think back to those moments that changed your life. No need to use the prompt; just demonstrate how “it” started.

To participate, create a post on your own site and then link back here. Look forward to your responses.