Fall Reigns Supreme

by Selma

Isabella was waiting for “something” to point her in the right direction with a self-hate habit she had been fighting with for a long time. Then a simple act of kindness from someone who had always been there in her life made her feel worthy of love. It was subtle.

Yet in that subtleness she found her resolve to change. As they say, when you’re ready, the universe conspires to bring you the change you need. Please read. This is the story I entered in a recent contest. Let me know what you think.

Fall Reigns Supreme

What will be on Your Fall Table?

by Selma

September ushers in a season I love.

In the summer, small colorful salads satisfied us. Fall offers us a chance to revamp our menus at home. For me, everything about the new season is amazing, but I’m particularly drawn to all the food that the season allows us to bring to our tables. Well, if not to our tables, then to the tables at the different restaurants in our areas.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who finds that food catches the essence of the season and that it nourishes our souls from the inside. Mother Earth is generous to us. That said, I dare ask you: what will be on your table this fall?

At mine there will be braised lentils, parsnips, Butternut squash and Kabocha, crunchy al dente green beans, hearty stews, sweet potato raviolis, pickled apples, glazed pork, mushrooms, and if I can wing it, osso buco. Hahaha — if only! …the vegetables will definitely be there.

Fall reigns supreme!

Ah yes, I entered a writing contest this month and wrote my contest piece with that theme in mind. I want to invite you to read my contest submission published with Short Fiction Break.

http://shortfictionbreak.com/fall-reigns-supreme/

…And if you don’t mind, tell me what will be on your fall table. I really want to know. Blessings. Happy Fall.

Thank you, Mr. Ramclam

by Selma

To Sir, with Love and Appreciation.

People come into our lives for a reason. Some enter to teach us lessons about life, others to teach us lessons we need to learn about ourselves. Yet others are paid to teach us the lessons we need to learn in order to find the meaning of life. When done from clear-sighted earnestness, teachers deserve the prize for conjuring cohesion and purpose out of students. For me, one such person was my English Literature Teacher in High School. There were others who set me straight, but none more timely than shy Mr. Ramclam. And though he might never read this I want to send this letter out to the Universe where it will be turned into blessings for my dear Mr. Ramclam wherever he might be. Thank you Sir.

Concurrently, I have included a letter that I read today from a twitter thread from someone placed in my life today to teach me a lesson. I'll name her: Marylee MacDonald, through whom I came to know about brainpickings.org. Thank you two for the timely present. Sending out blessings to them as well.

The letter by Mr. Camus brought tears to my eyes today.
Born to an illiterate mother who was nearly deaf and losing his father in WW1, Albert and his older brother faced a dim future. It was then that a teacher by the name of Louis Germaine took the young Albert under his wing and nurtured the boy. Well, that boy went on to become a philosopher and the youngest recipient at the time of the Nobel Laureate. He then went on to write the letter I quote above.

Today I pay homage to Mr. Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) for causing me to think of my Mr. Ramclam.
To borrow a line from the great master : I embrace you with all my heart. Thank you Sir.

Siblings–A force of Nature

Is your family close? What’s your relationship with your siblings like? 

In my family of origin, I’ve always been the outsider. I’m the oldest of three sisters and the one who no one “includes” anymore. And that is sad.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this happened and when. But now that I’m an adult and more comfortable in my ways I’ve come to embrace sibling rivalry as a force of nature.

I’ve stopped asking whys, whens, and hows and being comfortable with who I am has never felt better. I am not my sisters, and they are not me!

But if you were to return to the place where you grew up and were to ask people there how they remembered you, I wonder what that would be like. Might there be something we could learn from that? I wonder.

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Sandra, the middle one, had always been the healthiest of all three sisters.  She was all about pleasing and about standing out. Typical for the middle child, you might say. But really?

Pleasing and standing out came easily to her. She was outgoing and she had a bright disposition. But despite that great fact, somehow, she couldn’t hold on to friendships for long periods at a time. Perhaps underneath her desire to please, she was too clingy and insecure? Maybe.

Personally, I’ve come to believe that she put too much of her self-worth in her petty acquisitions. To this day, that hasn’t changed.  I used to feel bad for her. Now I don’t bother thinking about it.

We are all different from each other; never better than each other.

If you were to go to Macondo today and mention us, people there would remember Sandra as the wise one; the one who was more tomboyish, the one who would take on a dare without thinking out the consequences first, the one who would think out good ways of making money on market day.

Sandra would be the one who would climb the trees the fastest and descend with the biggest coconut or the biggest avocados wrapped up in her skirt. The one who would not cry at the dentists’ or at the clinic when we’d get our shots.

I, on the other hand, would be remembered as the sick one.

I developed asthma as a child and missed a lot of school on account of that.  School was where I wanted to be most of all, but I never complained about being absent because it gave me the wonderful opportunity to get on with my passion for a good story book.

And when Sandra would come home from school and start a fight out of nothing, I would let her win. Always. I let her win because I felt bad that I couldn’t be there to keep her company at school as big sisters should. Instead, I  was at home hogging the attention of our parents AND reading to my hearts’ content.

As for my youngest sister, she would be remembered as the one who got away with a lot. We were instructed to keep a watchful eye on her and to cater to her needs because we were told, that’s what big sisters did.  And we did.

So when Terry became rebellious and arrogant, was that her fault? And when she surpassed me and Sandra and left home before we did, was it her upbringing that brought that on? I cannot say for sure.

As of now, Terry has been married and divorced three times already. She is in a relationship with a younger man and helping him raise his teenage children.

Sandra married once, divorced and now living the life of a single woman. She has a good job and travels often. She has a nice apartment but claims she’s not attached to anyone or anything.

Me, I’m happily married to the same man for nineteen years.

How come we’re so different in the lives we lead now? What brings about what we become? Though I said that I thought that sibling rivalry was just another force of nature, I cannot help wondering why I’m still the one who never gets invited.

 

What this author so eloquently explains in her piece about learning a language, could be applied to every aspect of our lives. It resonates with me in many levels. Afterall, we are all learning to do LIFE.

When the Chickens Come Home to Roost 

by Selma


“Young lady– obviously, you don’t know who I am. I’m Mrs. Manzanilla from Refaccionaría Manzanilla,” my mother announced in Spanish in a voice too loud for my liking. I wanted to run and hide. The way she said that, and the dignified way she looked when she said that made the poor cashier take a nose-dive into the deepest recesses of her brain. I saw it in the way the cashier tipped her head. She wanted to try to understand what this lady in front of her was talking about. As far as the young girl was concerned, there was only one Refaccionaría Manzanilla in the whole of Macondo and this lady was not that Mrs. Manzanilla. She knew.

She knew for a fact that Mrs. Manzanilla had never set foot into a Save Big Store; that instead, she sent her housekeeper into the store twice a week to drop off a grocery list. And that the necessary items then got delivered to the mansion. And besides, Mrs. Manzanilla’s daughter and her were thick-as-thieves. She knew exactly what that Mrs. looked like.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Manzanilla, but I’m just following protocol of a report from our security personnel. They’ve instructed me to ask you to step aside and to request that you voluntarily return the items that they saw you stash into your two bags.”

“And I say, you are wrong! I have no need to do such an outrageous thing as stealing from a place like this. I demand to see the manager.” The girl makes a phone call.

It was a busy Thursday evening and people were stocking up on items in anticipation of the long holiday weekend. The buzz of the cash machines, the intricate bustle of the happy shoppers and the upbeat tempo of the music in the store, drown the embarrassing tone of the commotion going on in front of me. But in my insides I felt a volcano erupting. I wanted to run away. I didn’t want to be around to see my mother get escorted to the police station.

On my back, I carried an overstuffed rucksack that was ripping at the seams. My mother carried a small buston bag with wheels — just as conspicuous looking as mine.

“Oh I understand,” my mother volunteered, “you see our overstuffed bags and think the worst… well I never! …” she slams her fist on the counter. “We came here with our luggage because we’ve just arrived from a short trip. We stopped in to pick up a few necessities. And you immediately assume that what you see us carrying in these bags are items stollen from your shelves. Well you are wrong…wrong, I tell you!”

Any minute now, any minute now the earth will rumble and swallow me up whole, I think. That will be better than this. I start to sweat cold.

The people in line at the cashier where we stand get directed to a different line. They look at us with scorn for disrupting the rhythm of their shopping experience. But that is all they do. To them, we are nobodys. No one bothers to know more, but to me, of all the inconsistencies that I have seen and come to understand since turning nine, this has got to be the worst.

And people will talk, a nagging voice announces inside my head. They don’t seem interested in the heated discussion going on right now, but someone will remember. 

I start to pray…

They escort us to a room in the back; the office. They ask us to wait.  My mother gives me a side glance and the zip-it-up sign to keep my mouth shut. No need to tell me Mom, I think, even if I wanted to, words have left my thoughts moments ago. All I have now is prayers. And those won’t buy me a pardon… 

Inside, we see a row of monitors apparently displaying every aisle in the store.

We are dead, I think, then I hold my breathe. Just then I notice that the monitors show a lot of static on the screen. I exhale. But the exertion of exhaling, or perhaps it was the part about holding my breath, makes me feel light-headed. I lean on the wall and close my eyes.

I hear the voices of men talking and above theirs I hear my mother’s unwavering voice. I do not know for how long this goes on; I remain fixed on my prayers.

“Come on child, let’s get out of here.” Mother takes my hand and together with my uncle, the owner of Refaccionaría Manzanilla, we walk out of Save Big.  He calls us a taxi.  He hugs my mother and pats me on the head. Mother and I sit in silence in the taxi until we arrive on the front steps of our house. I drop my rucksack and make a dash for the chicken coop. I remain inside until my mother calls me in for supper.

“Besides, it’s time for the chickens to roost,” she says. And then I begin to cry.

Shadow Syllabus

Reblogging because Work, feelings/insights like the ones portrayed here need to be circulated again and again. The Author IS the right voice in the right time. This piece serves to reaffirm our faith (if ever we feel we’ve lost it) in our own humanity. I am glad I stumbled upon this one (via Cheri Lucas) I hope you find value in it as well. Selma

…WordPress HOW TO DO WORDPRESS

by Selma 


My last post was a clear indication of where I stood concerning WordPress at the moment. I haven’t stopped looking for answers. As they say, every problem comes with its new set of solutions. And I might add, every New Day brings you new lessons to learn. 

Today, tenacity has landed me here. I haven’t read it all, but I want to update anyone who, like me, is struggling to make sense of WordPress. 

I can only talk about what this new information will do to me because ME is all I know. I know that I will not get it right after a few readings, but I also know that it will keep me learning and questioning. 

There is hope. Hope is a good thing. 

If any of this has brought even a glimmer of light into your WordPress Forest, then I’d venture to proclaim that my ordeal has been worth it. 

Here is that link:  https://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page