Freestyle Writing Challenge

While I was off in California at my brother’s wedding, my blogger friend Juls from Paris challenged me to a writing exercise.  Finally today, on a cool, rainy Saturday, I’ve had time to myself to sit down and write.  Here is the link to Juls’ post.   (This is my tricky way to get you to visit her site and discover an amazing quadra-lingual traveler and photographer!) Here are the rules:

1. Open a blank Document
2. Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you prefer.
3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
4. Once you start writing do not stop until the alarm sounds!
5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write with correct spelling and grammar.)
6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals.
7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” to give an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)

The topic I was given was “The Road”.  I gave myself 10 minutes.  Here’s what I wrote:

The road is the path for the journey. The road is where we spend our time, living and going, breathing, walking, being alive, moving forward. The road is not always comfortable for me. I have often wanted to stop, to set up house, to be sheltered and still, coddled and kept safe. Danger exists on the road. Danger exists in life, and every instinct in me wants to minimize danger, for myself, my children, my loved ones. Trying to eliminate danger, trying to make the road more like a safety shelter, is a constant struggle against reality. I have tried many established ways of making the journey of life and death more comfortable. I have gone deeply into religion, the sojourner who seeks the aide of the divine to travel more safely. I have surrounded myself with the buttresses of society, traveling in numbers to increase safety and minimize inconvenience. The funny thing is, when the most dramatic events occur, I find that I am truly experiencing them alone. No one really travels through death in company. When your brain is about to shut off, who thinks your final thoughts with you? No one.

I have lost a lot on the road; I have gained much as well. My sister and I were in a car crash on an Interstate Highway. She lost control and was killed beside me. I lost my husband in the safety of our own home as we slept. Death is in life, not in location. I have discovered life on the road, on the journey. Moving forward to greater acceptance of my children and their autonomy is a fine example of this. It is an experience of opening up to possibility, to opportunity, to change and movement and dance. You can’t step in the same river twice; you can’t leave the road and still go somewhere. I have been stuck at the side of the road for stretches of time. I invariably begin to twitch, feel hot and restless. It is not living. The road is wonder, challenge, growth. I want to be on it; I want to be moving forward, even as I resist and return to neuroses sometimes.

Word Count = 365 words…one word for every day in the year, oddly enough.  My 5 nominees for the challenge are:

Jerry from “Taking a Leaf”

Kaye from “Rebooting”

Stephanie from “Love in the Spaces”

My daughter Susan from “Write a Thing”

Nicole from “Thirdeyemom”

Hoping you’ll find this stimulating!  And now, set your timers and scroll down for the topic….

S

C

R

O

L

L

I

N

G

S

C

R

O

L

L

I

N

G

Your topic is: SPIRIT.  Go!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs Along the Way

Today’s challenge is to photograph scenes that are not your destination, but are the ‘mundane moments’ in between.  This is a bit tricky, as I try very hard not to see any moment as mundane and not to focus on a destination and forget that the journey and process are very important.  I have lots of photos of the flowers along the way as well.  So, I thought I’d do something a bit different.  I’m going to show you wayside signs.  This first one is one of my favorites, located just beyond the security checkpoint at the Milwaukee airport:

RecombobIt makes you consider: what is recombobulation?  How discombobulated do you feel when you have relinquished your shoes, purse, backpack, laptop and phone and had your body scanned by electronic devices?  How about this one:

poisonHow considerate to warn cars passing on the highway that poisonous gas has leaked from these oil refineries!  But once you are passing, how do you heed the ‘Do Not Enter’ warning?  Do not enter what?  The surrounding airspace? Then there’s this:

handling batsI wonder at the necessity of this sign.  Who would manhandle a bat if they happened to come upon one in a cave?  I hate to think.  If not afraid, I would hope they’d be respectful.  And finally, consider this proposition:picnicHow would you set the table in this picnic area?  I hope you brought plenty of duct tape and napkins!

On the Way

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken is not Finished

This week’s challenge is perfect for the photos I took yesterday at Hippie Tom’s Serendipity Farm – an antique/junque pickers’ and gleaners’ mecca in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Steve and I were out for a ramble through a wildlife area and stumbled upon the road signs advertizing his sale.  The parking area was bustling, TV cameras were rolling, and Hippie Tom was in full swing for Spring.  It seems that his farm is only open twice a year for the public to browse and discover treasure in his vast complex of old out-buildings.  It’s a jungle of old and semi-new, broken and mostly intact, recyclable and re-purposeable stuff.  And we do create a lot of stuff, us humans.  It makes no sense to simply throw it on a trash heap, polluting the land with it.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse.  Broken is not finished.  There is purpose and life even during brokenness.  If there weren’t, I wouldn’t be able to type with my left pinkie right now.  (Broke it in high school.  It’s distinctly crooked, but usable.  Yup, I play keyboards and sometimes guitar with it…not expertly, but ‘proficiently’.)


Broken

Alice Through My Lens

Alice would be celebrating her 56th birthday today. Thinking of her as I awoke, I found this post. I’m reblogging it in her memory. This weekend, I’ll be gathering with family at our brother’s wedding and holding all of those present and those absent in my heart. I’m sure it’ll burst at some point.

scillagrace

Blue eyes.  That was one thing that made her unique among 4 sisters.  She had our father’s eyes.   She was the shortest among us; I believe I grew to have at least a half an inch over her.  But that took a while.  Since she was 3 years older, I trailed behind her most of my life.  I definitely didn’t mind following in her footsteps.  I adored her.  She was the sweet sister, the kind one, the one who loved children and animals and had friends.  She somehow spanned the gap between being a nerd and being popular.  Not that she wasn’t picked on early in grade school.  We all were, and she was very sensitive to it.  When she was 10, she ran away from a boy who was chasing her down the sidewalk.  He caught up to her and managed to grab the back of her coat hood

View original post 477 more words

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Enveloped, Please!

What does “enveloped” mean to you?  Signed, sealed, delivered, secure, safe, covered.  A wonderful environment for inner growth; a wonderful place from which to emerge.  Staying enveloped indefinitely is not my idea of living, though.  The thrill of ripping open that seal and discovering the treasure inside is life revealed and reveled in!


Enveloped

 

Nerd Love to All Mothers!

Steve just happened to stumble upon this YouTube clip, and it is now my Favorite Mother’s Day Song! (click on the link below to listen and laugh)

Biologist’s Mothers’ Day Song

Celebrate the nature and nurture that brought you into this incredible world!  Have a great day, everyone!