No Fear

Many of us, maybe even most of us, have had a childhood fear that was so intense that we remember it even now with a visceral trepidation. Sometimes avoidance of similar situations is the best response. Sometimes, however, gritting your teeth, clenching your fists, and jumping back in with both feet offers redemption. All her life Joanna addressed her fear by avoiding similar situations, but now that practice would ruin her career. Something had to change. But what? Her story (Up a Creek) is under the Life and Love section. Catch up on your procrastination and poke around there.

The cluster of cheery blooms above is Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata.’ The outsides of the petals are the color of hot maroon while the insides are white, showing a pink throat. All those colors are visible in this picture. The flowers are blooming right now in the midst of winter. Their fragrance is enchanting and takes you away to a vacation spot somewhere warm. That’s why I like them: their fragrance is a summer hello in winter.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

 

Pets

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Many of us have benefited from having pets in our lives. They provide comfort and companionship, and they are non-judgmental listeners. In the case of Leonard Bessom, however, a pet was a ticket to a big party with his other grade-school pals. But he didn’t have a pet. The story of how Leonard became the owner of not one, but a zillion pets (Leonard Bessom and the Pet Parade) is in the Stories About Friends section. Like the other Leonard Bessom stories, it takes place in the small-town America of long ago. Some of you may have lived there, too. For more about Leonard Bessom (the stories and the real person) check out my post of May, 2015.

The parade of aging flowers above is honeysuckle. This variety (Halliona) has white blooms that last only a single day. Then they turn yellow and wither. So the picture shows the blooms from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In the “today” mode, they are sweetly fragrant.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just for Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Be Careful

With the change of seasons many of us have a change in activities. That means our moves may be a little rusty. Start out easy and be careful … especially with your hands.   For example, even though Walt was experienced at plucking sheep shit and was basically a careful sort, his story would be very different if he had been more careful with his hands on one particular day. His story (Bighorn Country) is in the Life and Love section.

The shower of flowers above is wisteria. This variety blooms in the spring before it leafs out, and the density of blooms can be controlled or encouraged by winter pruning. They have an enchanting scent and the bees love them.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just For Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Hunter’s Ambitions

Even a whale hunter may have career ambitions. He may want to move up to  management. As in many other endeavors, being prepared can be helpful when opportunity knocks. The Chi-Square Doorway is a story of job ambition, preparation for opportunity’s knock, and luck both good and bad. It is also about hunting whales. I have it in the Stories of Life and Love section. Depending on your background experience, parts of it may seem familiar to you. For me, all the parts are familiar.

The row of ruffled frivolity above is composed of azaleas. This particular variety is called ‘Gay Paree’ for some unfathomable reason. As you can see, when they are in bloom, they add a lot of cheer to the neighborhood. I can hardly wait until the plants reach their full height of four feet. Then blooming season will be one big party, just add dance music.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories About Friends, Stories Just For Fun, and Stories of Life and Love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Somebody Else

It’s been a few decades since I’ve seen the western movie “5 Card Stud” but one scene still sticks with me. In the movie, Robert Mitchum plays a preacher (dressed in black and all that) and Dean Martin is our honest-dealing poker-playing hero. In the scene I remember, Dean Martin happens to see the Robert Mitchum preacher doing some very respectable shooting practice with his six-gun. When the preacher notices him, the Dean Martin character observes, “You used to be somebody else.” Robert Mitchum replies, “Everybody used to be somebody else.”

I seem to think of that line more and more often these days. Did I used to be somebody else or was I the same, but just in a different situation? Our “before” lives help to make us who we are now. Sometimes that’s an improvement. Sometimes it’s baggage.

In the story “Sight of Home” Bill Garnett’s “before” life certainly has some baggage aspects that he’s still lugging around decades later. But it also helped him grow. I suppose that dual aspect of a “before” life is true for a lot of us.

“Sight of Home” is in the “Stories of Life and Love” section . Take a look. Someone in it may remind you of someone you know.

The pure white bloom smiling at the sun above is a gardenia. Its fragrance is legendary and doesn’t disappoint. In the warmth its essence carries you to distant realms of exotic life. This particular variety is ‘Mystery.’

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories about friends, Stories just for fun, and Stories of life and love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Paradise?

Have you ever noticed that love is like an invading alien? It sneaks into your brain and changes your view of the world. The sky looks sunnier; the air smells fresher; and the birds sing sweeter. Even if you realize the change is in you and not in the world, you still love it. This alien invasion is always good. Well, there are a few exceptions that the Montague and Capulet families may want to tell you about. However, I think the world would be a better place on balance if there were more of them. You can read about one case of this invasion in the story Flight to Paradise in the Stories of Life and Love section.

The flashy cerise blooms (3”long) in the header above are Inca bells (Cantua buxifolia), native to central South America. It is the national flower of Peru and one of the two national flowers of Bolivia.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories about friends, Stories just for fun, and Stories of life and love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.

Adjustments

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” This advice from Satchel Paige makes me smile because it implies a devil-may-care bad-boy attitude that I don’t have. In real life, I look back a lot. Seeing where I’ve been helps me see where I’m going. Sometimes to get where I want to be requires an adjustment. The people in “The Last Time I Saw Julie” (See the section Stories of life and love) had some adjustments and likely will have more. Life is full of adjustments. But sex and sushi maybe not so much.

The bloom shown above is a crape myrtle. When they are in bloom, the small tree they decorate is simply glorious. Here in Concord (the one in California) they are in a variety of colors throughout my neighborhood, giving the streets a festive air in the spring.

This website is about my published stories. As you can see, I have sorted them into three groups: Stories about friends, Stories just for fun, and Stories of life and love. These stories are the building blocks of the site. So I guess that means that right now this site is under construction. Ideally, it will always be under construction, because I will be adding stories from time to time. So come back to visit every so often and check out my building skills.