Story-a-Day with Julie Duffy

Day 3 – Matthew Salesses Looks Back

THE PROMPT

This prompt comes from thinking about point of view and you could use it to write the whole story in two parts.

For the first part create a character who does something that you did during that week: e.g. go to the grocery store and you buy oranges. now. Now write about it in the third-person perspective and fictionalize it.

In the second part move your story 10 years into the future. Change perspective to make it a first person perspective. And it turns out that that non-momentous moment from your life (e.g. going to the super supermarket and buying oranges) ended up being extremely important to this character.

Don’t forget to include how the world has changed from 10 years ago to now and how the character’s world has changed, how they think of the world, and how they move through the world differently.

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Jude hated grocery shopping for his mother but she made him feel so miserable when he suggested having her groceries delivered. Times have changed since Covid, why couldn’t his mother. He resented her being manipulative but didn’t know how to change things without having to get his own place. He didn’t make enough money working at the Arcade center but it did give the time needed to develop game apps so he could market them. He knew one of the games was going to make him wealthy.

He pulled the list out of his pocket, apples, butter, and Poise. He didn’t mind the apples or the butter but the adult diapers made his so uncomfortable because the cashier would always try to hide a smirk. He bet they made jokes about once he left the store. It was so embarrassing. Why couldn’t she have them delivered?

The apartment overlooks the Hudson River. It’s mind boggling. I keep wanting to pinch myself that I scored a job at Sony’s signature headquarters on Madison Avenue. I never dreamed I would be living in the big apple. No more minimum wage struggles.

Mom on the other hand still lives in Hoboken, New Jersey in the house I grew up in. I’m near enough but not that close. Perfect! I see her every other weekend, that works for me.

I opened my computer and then Amazon. I scroll to women incontinence products. Mom may resist coming into the internet world but not me. I look at the things, I wrote down after our conversation earlier, and clicked deliver. No more smirks or turned heads or chuckles when I leave.

I closed out Amazon and put my goggles on for testing of the latest game.

290 w/c

Story-a-day with Julie Duffy

Hills as green as emeralds sounds cliché but I’m at a loss for a better word to describe what’s before me as the car maneuvered the narrow roads. I wish he would slow down a bit so I could breathe in all the amazing vegetation but I’m sure his schedule isn’t as flexible as mine. Heck, a month ago mine wouldn’t have been either.

I can still see her face when I walked into her office and said I need two months off. She looked at me like I had two heads, went back to writing like I wasn’t even there. I said, “I’m serious, I need two months off.”

” No.”

“I figured it was a long shot but I had to ask.”

“Are we through, I have to get this done.?”

“No, I’m not done. I quit.”

The words I quit surprised me too but once I uttered them I felt like a weight had been lifted. I set my office keys on her desk, returned to my cubicle and then grabbed my personal stuff. I waved to a couple of my friends and left. I decided to drop them an email later because right now I wanted to get the travel agent’s office before closing.

I asked her to book me a trip to where W.B. Yeats and the artist Jack Keats found their inspiration.  The incredible scenic beauty of Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon are calling me. I read somewhere, these parts are known as Yeats’ Country. One of my favorites is the Stolen Child and it’s said that Glencar Waterfalls was the inspiration. The agent said Ireland has a lot of waterfalls, Glencar isn’t the tallest but it is one of the prettiest especially after it has rained.

Pretty is an understatement. The green smells sweeter than moss after a rain. I already feel like the green air has healed me from all the city toxicity. I will never underestimate the infinite vitality of green or Ireland again. I should have come sooner.

337 w/c

Glencar Waterfall, Leitrim, Ireland

DAY 3 Writing Challenge

Vic and I decided to enjoy a mid-afternoon siesta after a very long week. Macavity hopped up and snuggled against my leg but when I woke he had migrated to the center of the bed. I laughed because he was crosswise on the bed just like sleeping with a toddler. I’ve taken naps with my children and my grandchildren. They always ended up the wrong direction.

Macavity was sleeping so soundly I was able to take his picture and to slip out of bed for a restroom visit. He never even stirred when I returned to bed. I think this past week was exhausting to him as well.

After forty eight hours straight the wind finally calmed down. I think that also impacted our sleep more than realized. Macavity didn’t sleep in his usual spot by the window because the howling was crazy loud. I know it woke me quite a few times too!

Beltane Blessings to you and yours. Hope you enjoy !

Story-a-Day with Julie Duffy-1

Jack saw the cabin’s red metal roof among the white pines. How long had it been there? He had explored these woods for years but had never seen the cabin before. He was curious why there wasn’t any road access to reach it. “Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back.” How many times had his Gram said that to him? Gram was the queen of clichés but he loved her anyway.

Jack decided there had to be an access road somewhere in these woods. He glanced at his compass and noted the direction of the cabin. He recorded the coordination on his cell phone before setting off. The pine smell reminded Jack of his grandparent’s tree farm. He helped his Grandpa prune the trees, thin out the weak ones and fertilize them. It was their livelihood.

He heard the water roaring in the distance. He usually avoided the gorge because he wasn’t comfortable with water ever since he slipped off one the rocks and fell into the rushing water. Grandpa pulled him out but not before he had been pulled under a few times. He avoided the river ever since.

He paused to check his coordinates and the time. Jack knew the woods were different at night and that a lot of people became nervous with all the animal sounds. That didn’t faze Jack. He chuckled remembering when Alice jumped into his arms when the coyote bayed a couple weeks ago. She smelled of lilac and her hair was silky against his chin. Jack wouldn’t mind having that happen again.

The water snapping against the rocks prodded Jack into the moment. He wandered along the riverbank looking for a shallow area to cross. There was no way, he was going into the water again. He stumbled upon the bridge. That wasn’t there the last time he was here with Grandpa. Who built the bridge?

He stepped on the bridge but then looked down. He couldn’t stop shaking. He felt nauseous. He quickly leapt and slunk to the ground. This is ridiculous, he thought. He’s a grown man acting like a coward. The bridge looked secure, no broken planks or missing rails. Jack shrugged. He stood up and stiffened his back as he looked across the bridge.

One step at time, Jack vowed. He wouldn’t look down just straight ahead. Grandma always said his curiosity would get him in trouble but it also helped him grow. Slow breaths, Jack said over and over as he slowly inched forward over the gorge on the bridge. He could see the cabin clearer now in the opening.

Day 2 Writing challenge

The World Through Her Eyes:

She was asked ,”Can beauty be found in chaos? How does one describe chaos? How does one describe beauty?

She knows chaos is a behavior or a situation so unpredictable it feels random. Just because it’s unpredictable doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. It doesn’t matter because beauty cannot be defined objectively. Beauty is a combination of qualities that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight. She likes the wind whipping leaves across the grass on a sunny fall day. The crackling of the leaves, the branches are magical to her. But not everyone observes what she does. How each leave surrenders to the caress of the wind like lovers veering into each other’s body as passions spiral. The energy revives her.

Life sometimes spirals because that the nature of the beast. In those moments, she embraced the chaos, and sought the hidden beauty that wasn’t apparent to others. They wouldn’t say shit if they had a mouthful but she’s different.

Some would say she’s a bitch for being so blunt, she won’t apologize for saying it like it is.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

6 minute challenge

https://christinebialczak.com/2021/04/27/simply-6-minutes-welcome-to-the-challenge-04-27-2021/

I’m a bit late to the challenge but I find it interesting. I especially enjoyed the picture of the two cats snuggling. Okay, here goes.

“It’s okay, she tends to be quite grumpy without her coffee. I’m used to the human”

“She’s scary.”

“But once she’s put the coffee on brewing, she gets us breakfast and then adjourns to her chair. I’m not sure what she does with her eyes closed and the deep breaths.”

” I don’t know what she’s doing either. Breakfast was tasty. I’m going to stay with you until she’s drank her coffee, maybe even a second cup.”

“Once you get used to our human Mom, you’ll find she’s the best. It’s so much nicer here than the shelter place I was before..”

Yeah, I know what you mean. It wasn’t nice there at all. I’m really glad you’re my big brother, now.”

“I’m really happy you’re my little sister.”

154 words / 6 minutes

A story a day x 30

Was going to wait until May 1st but then I asked myself why was I procrastinating Writing doesn’t need a calendar, it’s simply doing. So here goes it….

Tentative working title. The World Through Her Eyes. I see this as coming together similar to my poem Age in Lyn’s Eyes.

The girl used to be averse to confrontation but overtime learned the hard way that allowing others to be condescending and at times arrogant made her feel uncomfortable. But she tried to look at the bigger picture it’s better for all to ignore it. But that changed when she finally decided to stand up for herself by saying no more.

Initially, people chuckled and thought she’s just being grumpy or she’ll get over it. Dismissing her stance was easier than looking at themselves in the mirror and asking do I really come across that way. It’s got to be the girl, because people all like me. Everyone knows I’m popular and I wouldn’t ever treat anyone poorly. But the girl knew differently. Actions and conversations have demonstrated otherwise.

The girl doesn’t base friendships or relationships on what purpose another has to offer. Her interactions with people are based solely on common interests or goals. This outlook has served her well since she stopped being afraid to speak her mind. Lesson learned, one is a doormat to others if allowed. The people in her life that chose to look the other way because they’re in their safe conflict a

verse space will miss the girl. Or maybe they won’t but the girl has reached what she feels is enough.

217 words, that was easier than I expected.

Selling your home isn’t for the weak of heart, and the day’s plan.

I made a bacon, {saved 4 strips from last night’s BLT’s) pepper, fresh picked basil frittata topped with Mexican cheese to begin this day. The protein was great, so tasty. Added bonus, breakfast is already made for tomorrow. Woohoo.

The inspector for proof of occupancy came today. Almost made it through unscathed, we need to change one of our outlets to a gfi because it’s within six feet of our sink. Thankfully, he doesn’t charge to come back and check once it’s done. This worrying about cost involved is stressful. So looking forward to getting out of this money pit. Still no communication from the buyer’s realtor after the other inspector’s report.

Using zoom last night had some quirks initially but hopefully we have it all ironed out for next weeks writer’s meeting. Attendance was good and hopefully it will continue growing with additional interest. The format works well. Initially, I hated the online but I will say hanging out in my jams does have advantages. There’s also another factor too, once I’m in Vegas this will be my connection. Or maybe it will be time to walk away. Let someone else deal with the stress of micro-managers and people who pointedly make others uncomfortable. Lots of decisions.

I went through some more magazines, recycled them. Trash day was today and I filled it to the brim. This tossing and giving away isn’t as painful as it was. Though, I will say selling things on facebook marketplace is a total frigging waste of time. We have this large safe. I put it on there. I’ve gotten more hit on messages than any serious inquiries about the safe. It’s clear people are obnoxious. I wouldn’t waste someone’s time with stupid messages but apparently that’s not true of others.

I feel bad for Macavity, Vic grabbed the vacuum and he vanished. Poor baby connects vacuum with cat carrier. One of my criteria’s on our next place is minimal rugs. He doesn’t mind the broom or dust mop.

Olyvia, my granddaughter, and her competition dance team received highest overall score. Way to go girls! They have another competition this Saturday at 11:30am. I am so looking forward to being able to see her team compete once we’re there. She’s been dancing since she was two. Oh my, the girls were so adorable. They laid hula-hoops on the floor so they knew where to be. The end of the year recital is June 5th, I’m hoping we’ll be there in time.

A good shot of whiskey would have tasted pretty good a couple times this week but I know how easily I could slide back to my old crutch. I know I can’t drink all the stress away anymore than I could drink away an unhappy marriage. Like Justin and Chris, I’ve tried Jack, Jim, Jameson, Evans, Makers, and Crown… nothing took away the pain and unhappiness. I can’t drink the stress away but I can cleanse my space with lots of sage.

Did you know Beltane is on Saturday. Hard to believe it’s almost May. Beltane is a Celtic word which means ‘fires of Bel’ (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. “Emma Restall Orr, a modern day Druid, speaks of the ‘fertility of our personal creativity’. (Spirits of the Sacred Grove, pub. Thorsons, 1998, pg.110). She is referring to the need for active and creative lives. We need fertile minds for our work, our families and our interests.”

My attempt to write 30 poems in April went awry because of all the stress. I can’t let this crap keep ruining my life. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much this whole house situation has derailed me emotionally and add in some other additional stressors I need to focus on me. I agree with Emma, creativity has been lacking.

So I thought I would try 31 micro-fiction pieces for May. I’ve been scribbling in my journal a lot so taking it a notch shouldn’t be to challenging. I’ve already placed new salt on my altar and have candles ready for Saturday night’s fire ritual. I haven’t packed my tarot cards, a reading is overdue.

May 1st… time to replenish me…

May Day/ Beltane celebrates the start of the bright half of the year. One of four main festivals of Celtic spirituality, it’s a time to make merry.

https://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/practices/naming-the-days/view/15563/beltane-may-day

Selling your home isn’t for the weak of heart, part 8 and other crap.

Yesterday, was extremely stressful with the home inspection. Today, I just can’t get myself motivated. There’s still so much to pack but… I’m just not caring. I went to shut the lights off on the lower level yesterday, yup again they left all the lights on. There’s the frigging radon test sitting right in the way of my packing. If I move any of the books on the shelf I could disturb it. The frigging inspector knew we were right outside, he could have asked if it was alright to put it there and I would have moved my books so he could have his result and I could still continue sorting my books for goodwill, the library and what is going with me. But nope, the f-head didn’t. He set it right on top of a stack of books.

I go upstairs last night, the three step ladder that I normally keep in the closet was in the sewing room. Why did he move it there and why didn’t he put it back. He left the ceiling fan on high in addition to all the lights. I go to prepare dinner and the knobs on the gas stove aren’t turned off. They left two knobs half on. Nor did they close the screen door. What is it about not shutting doors behind them. And he leaves us a note on the table about keeping all the windows and doors closed for a week for the radon test.

I want to go to each of these dipshits home and turn all their lights on and to leave their appliances on as well. I’m not thrilled with the added cost to our electrical. The sun was shining brightly, lights were only necessary on the lower level. Like I said, this is my first experience with selling a home. Well this experience, has convinced me I never want to own a piece of property again that potentially leads to a sale. Our realtor chuckled at that yesterday, I don’t think he realizes how serious I am. This is an experience I never want again. And we don’t even know if the potential buyer is going forward. She’s waiting to read the dipshit inspector’s report.

If it didn’t involve wearing orange, and a life with out Vic and Macavity my solution would be burn this place after I removed our books, cookware, and clothes.. A clean break period. That’s how I really feel about this situation.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”― Albert Einstein

My morning began with a spoofing email telling me that Amazon shipped my purchase to a Charles Hilton in San Antonio, Texas. No I didn’t call the number, instead I called the credit card company linked to Amazon. They took the information and then forwarded me to Amazon’s fraud department. We did the security process, and I added another measure to any purchase over a set amount in addition to the two step verification. I hadn’t bothered because this card has a low credit limit unlike my other cards. I don’t normally make large purchases on Amazon so I didn’t think it was necessary. Well, today I changed it all have required authorization.

Get that handled and a few emails down I got one of those black emails stating their going to expose my masturbation pictures to my friends and family on Facebook. If I want to protect myself I need to send them 300.00 dollars immediately. I was tempted to respond, go ahead make my day but I simply deleted it.

I decided enough of the computer, I’m going to read. The phone rang six different times. Two were offering to help me with social security and the other four were about my expired car warranty. I put my phone on silent mode.

UPS delivers a box. Yay, my coffee has finally arrived. I open the box and there are two cases of cold brew lattes and three boxes of Keurig pods. Nope, not what I ordered. I ordered 6 one lb bags of coffee beans. Thankfully, Brad at Deathwish promptly responded and they’re immediately shipping the correct order. He told us to enjoy the mix up on them. Vic gets a treat because I don’t drink milk or sweetened coffee. We don’t have a Keurig. I can open them easily or simply donate them to the food cupboard.

Some days, I shouldn’t get out of bed.

Macavity agrees he’s been snoozing comfortably on the back of the chair soaking up the sunshine.

Lucky 🙂

Listed some stuff on Facebook marketplace, didn’t take long to get someone offering to send me a check and I could cash it and when they arrive on May 2nd I can give them the difference. No thanks I’m not getting involved in any money laundering schemes. Then another wanted me to ship it to them when it says local pick up only.

I’m going back to reading the recent Writer’s Digest issue before I begin dinner prep. It’s been a no-motivational day, hopefully tomorrow’s proof of occupancy will be less stressful and I can get back to packing. I did count, sixty three boxes a lot less than I anticipated for this 2125 square foot house. I have half of the kitchen done and then it’s our clothes and linens. Then it comes to the bigger items … furniture. Thankfully, I’ve been thinning that too!

I would get all kinds of flack if I did what I did with my previous living room set in Maine. The ex was supposed to take one and I got the other. He took the one he knew I loved. Fine I tried to drag his outside. I managed to get it stuck in the door. So I took the chainsaw and cut it down. Who knew how big those springs were 🙂 did a number on his chain saw. If that wasn’t bad enough he left me 30 years of Guns and Ammo magazines on the floor, he took the metal storage bins they were in. Fine I added them to the couch in the driveway. Poured gasoline over the pile and tossed a match thinking the fire would go outward not upward. I took the electrical and phone lines both out. Oops. It was long before the local fire department showed up.

The fire chief asked what I was doing.

“Burning a 30 year marriage. Want a beer?” We sat and watched the fire together drinking our beer together until the fire went out.

New Jersey doesn’t have the same kind of comraderies’ that Maine does. I miss that. I’ve met more New Jersey people who wouldn’t say shit if they had a mouthful especially in the Princeton/Lawrenceville area. I miss real people. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice people but they’re far and few. Einstein had it right, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” … Me either.

I’ll leave you with this

Selling your home isn’t for the weak of heart part 7

We spent 4 hours clearing the crawl space/ slash 6 feet by 8 feet area which is under the concrete steps coming into the house and underneath the stairs that go up to the main floor. There’s a lot of storage in this house which I’m going to miss immensely. I’ve stored Christmas and Halloween in that space. Yes, I have a lot of seasonal decorations. What a time consuming event but for me the most frustrating part was the previous owners left 30 cans of paint underneath there. I never needed to get that far back under the stairs so I never touched them. I should have left them for her to clean out but I’m not that kind of person. I feel like a maid… I swear once I relocate I am not going to clean for at least a month maybe two. I’m so over this. Cleaning like you don’t live here.

While I was cleaning, I redid the caulk on the showers, tubs and toilets so they’re all spifty again. I can’t help but wonder if the roles were reversed would she be as nice. Probably not.

After meeting her for the first time , it’s reasonably clear that my gardens will never be cared for like I do. It’s sad…. no heartbreaking better sums it up. I feel like I’m leaving my babies behind with a neglectful caretaker or questionable caretaker. I wish I could say the perspective owner made a good impression but she didn’t.

The man who came for the home inspection was nice enough but the other man for pest inspections was another matter. He was rude as all get out. He walks up the driveway and the first thing he says you have carpenter bees. Well, yes they are flying around but I don’t have any holes on my house but my neighbor does. Our houses are attached in clusters of four. She has huge holes in her trim boards and the bees are always going in and out. I’ve spoken to her about the bees and she’s ignored me. So we get to pay for an exterminator because of her. He also said there were carpenter ants. I asked him where and he didn’t answer that either. Moments like that, I can understand why people give exterminators bad raps. He’s a classic example of TOTAL DICKHEAD. I’m not even convinced we have carpenter ants, I’ve been treating around our house for 5 years now with Terro Ant traps that you stick in the ground by the foundation. I have them every 12 inches in the back and the granulated powder in the front.

We spoke to an exterminator friend who told us it is challenging to eliminate the bees and ants with connected homes. Unfortunately, his company doesn’t do our development because the houses are connected and they can’t guarantee their result. So we’re going to have to find someone that does do the work and hopefully reasonably priced because cash wise we don’t have a lot to spare either.

This house is the nightmare that keeps on giving. The roller on the garage door broke on Saturday. Naturally, the door is heavy and requires a larger wheel and the box stores don’t carry it so we had to order one online. It doesn’t come in until May 6th – 11th. So we don’t dare use the door very often except to get the trash bin out because don’t want more damage if it actually falls.

I was so proud of Macavity today. He sat on my lap on the front step while the people went inside the house and then went back inside his carrier listening while Vic, Stephen ( our realtor) and I talked. Not a peep. He’s such a trooper. People under estimate how stressful all of the in and out is involved in selling a house for a pet.

This losing streak continues. Vic won two games of Scrabble, three games of cribbage and two of Yahtzee. GRRRRR…

On a high note, our youngest granddaughter has been invited to the gifted program in her school district. We’re so proud of her. She’s already way ahead of her grade level and finds it boring to do the same work as her classmates. Hopefully, this will help balance things out for her.

So far no calls from the mother-in-law since she dumped the last crap on Vic. I’m only looking at two bedrooms, two baths for us. Gotta have a guest room for Olyvia. Not going to have room for any long term guests.