V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #90: contribution

“I received the nicest package today!” my mother tells me excitedly over the phone. “It couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time!”

Kleenex, Voltaren, scotch mints, body lotion and a hand drawn picture from a great granddaughter, all bundled and dropped at the entrance to the nursing home, where we are no longer allowed.

My daughter and her family put it together.

Another daughter picks up medications for an elderly neighbour who can’t get out.

Ric is grocery shopping for us and others in the neighbourhood, minimizing exposure.

What can I do?, I wonder, feeling helpless in this state of isolation. It hits me in the middle of the night. Do what I can. Write.

So now I put out a weekly newsletter for our retirement community, 75% of which are widowed individuals. Inviting contributions, I’ve offered to organize and distribute, my mission to keep humour and entertainment the priority.

In these times of physical distancing, staying connected is a greater challenge.

Contribution is the weekly focus.

Look forward to your interpretations.

To participate, create a post on your site, and then drop a link in the comments, or highlight the address to this post and create a link back. Photos, poetry, prose, or any other creative expression is welcome!

Of Course, It Isn’t Real

Oprah is smaller in person, and quite unassuming. We’re having tea in her bedroom as she gets ready for the day, and I feel as if we’ve been friends forever. She does most of the talking, and my mind tries to process all the details of her life – most of it contrary to what I’ve expected.

Of course her public persona is different from her private life, I realize! Why hadn’t I known that.

“You’re welcome to hang out here,” she offers. It’s tempting, but I have my own things to do.

Besides, it’s all been imaginary. I’ve never met Oprah in person. This has been a dream.

Feels good though. Oprah! I consider staying in bed, safe in Dreamland.

This week we have focused on the imaginary. We’ve explored the night sky,
‘imaginary’ as a possession, the corona virus, imaginary friends, magic and words, our bodies, life’s chapters, books, the paranormal, and the unexpected.

A Star’s Story, Blog of Hammad Rais
For a Rainy Day, parallax
The View, I Write Her
So Real, Reena Saxena
Imaginary Friend, Susan’s Place
If I Could Write a Letter to My Body, It Would Say…, Culture Shocks
Imaginary Calm, Stuff and what if…
I Didn’t Know What I Was Missing, Sgeoil
Imaginary, thoughts and entanglements
Who Would Have Imagined, one letter UP

Thanks to all who participated. See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

V.J.'s Weekly Challenge #89: imaginary

Fresh air was the remedy yesterday. From six feet apart, we greeted our neighbours.

“How are you keeping?,” I asked a widow.

“Well thank goodness for the cat,” she said. “Am missing my husband, but I do talk to him regularly.” And then realizing how that sounded, she added: “His picture, you know.”

I get it. We do what we can to survive. Ric has stocked the garage with groceries and supplies. When we need something, we call out: “Going shopping!”

Pippi just now whined at me because her brother was in her bed. “Make him get out,” she cried.

“Seriously?” I responded. “You can lie on the couch or snuggle up with Dad or me.”

She’d have none of it. So I grabbed one of those big floor pillows and pulled it up beside her bed. “Here,” I offered. “Lie here.”

Toby immediately exited the bed and claimed the pillow. Pippi jumped into bed. Ric and I roared with laughter.

They are dogs after all.

If ever there was a time for creative thinking, it is now. I’m even thinking about bringing my imaginary friend out of the closet – haven’t seen him since I was ten.

The word this week is imaginary. Respond in which ever way the muse moves you. Looking forward to your responses.

The Dominos Are Falling

A local business owner returned from a trip South, and went back to work, his thoughts no doubt wrapped up in the running of his store. Two days he worked, ignoring the fatigue. He blamed it on the stomach bug he’d picked up while away. Day three he decided to get checked out at our local hospital.

All routine stuff.

Until it wasn’t.

While in emergency care, his health declined. They decided to test for COVID-19 even though he didn’t display the symptoms. He had it.

He was transported to a hospital that can deal with his concerns. At time of transport, he was in serious condition. Currently, he is critical.

Meanwhile, a second case, related to the first, has popped up.

Our town is now under a state of emergency. All non-essential businesses and recreational programs are shut down.

The dominoes are falling.

Stay safe out there people. Better short-term discomfort than long-term suffering and loss.

We can do this!


Thanks to all who participated this week. Please visit the original post to read contributions in the comments box.

Juxtaposing Mornings, radhikasreflections
Fear of the Times, I Write Her
Deep Pockets, Reena Saxena
Empty Shelves, one letter UP
For Whom The Bell Tolls, Jen Goldie
Ripple Effect, Eugi’s Causerie
Haiku, Does Writing Excuse Watching?
domino effect, Sgeoil
The Domino Effect, parallax
Domino Effect Creating Chaos, Stuff and what if…

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #88: Domino Effect

Should we cancel our community dinner?

The text came in while we were watching the news. One after another, closures are happening in response to the coronavirus – schools, sporting events, legislature, etc.

So far there have been no cases in our area. Our first instinct is to say no.

My daughter’s company is preparing for the emergency. She is charged with envisioning a plan. Work from home is the reasonable alternative, except their network cannot support all employees doing so. She will have to determine who is essential – i.e. will remain onsite – and who will be permitted to work offsite.

I ask her advice.

“I tend to lean on the side of your neighbour,” she suggests. “Everyone in your community is in the high risk category.”

I don’t have to be reminded. Covid 19 can be fatal to those with pre-existing conditions. I would be threatened.

“Think of it Mom. Say there is a case at my work, and I inadvertently bring it to you. That could wipe out your whole neighbourhood. Better to start safe practices now.”

So we all stay home, we avoid contact with others, we stop shopping, eating out – it boggles my mind.

The dominos are falling. Where is this all leading? What happens when the dust settles?

Thoughts? Examples? Interpretations?

All are welcome. Create a post on your own site and link back here. Or drop a comment below.

Looking forward to your responses.

Morning’s Chaos

Morning comes and the calm of night is brushed off with a moment of chaos – the dogs wrestle and shake and sneeze, as if fighting off the effects of slumber.

I am not as excited to rise early, have no routine for resetting my status from comatose to awake and alert. I mumble on my way down the hall and across the living room to let them out for their morning constitutionals.

We all pause as the cold air hits us. The dogs raise their noses in unison, sniffing the unmistakeable scent of Spring in the air. Birdsong confirms their suspicion. My spirits perk up.

Chaos is descending upon the world, but for this moment, I am reminded that tomorrow always comes.

Thank you to all who participated in my challenge this week, topic morning. I am also connecting up with Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge: chaos.

There is something so undeniably sacred about mornings. Check out these great posts to see if you don’t agree:

Unburdened, Reena Saxena
Morning Song, Eugi’s Causerie
Thank Heavens for Indoor Plumbing, The Bag Lady
Mornings, Sgeoil
Looking Ahead, I Write Her
Morning Moments, one letter UP
Captive to a Dream, parallax
Healing Sea!, radhikasreflection
Radiance of Morning, Heaven’s Sunshine
Lush Leaves, thoughts and entanglements
Serene Moment, Stuff and what if…

Boom, Boom, Bye, Bye

I’m focusing my lens when we both hear it – duck and I – a boom, like from a cannon.

Rattled, Mallard prepares for take off, while I try to shake off the nerves and get the shot.

The boom comes again. A hunter in our midst.

This duck escapes unmarred, as I do I. Luckily.