“Dad-isms” – #JusJoJan Prompt Day 6: Caught

“You chased her ’till she caught you,” my Dad said when my brother announced that he was getting married. He said it with a twinkle in his blue eyes and a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and it made us all laugh.

My father had several “Dad-isms” that he repeated often throughout our lives. Many are funny in retrospect because they are obsolete.  I’ve blogged about some of them before including these two which, coincidentally,  both relate to a dime :

“Always carry a dime on you so you can call home in an emergency.”
Well, phone booths have gone the way of the dinosaur and cell phones cost parents a lot more than a dime!

“That and ten cents will get you a cup of coffee.”
He used this one when we were impressed with something that he thought was foolish or worthless. Since you could buy a cup of coffee for a dime back then, he made his point very clearly.

My Dad has  been gone over 20 years now and I still miss him and his Dad-isms.

Written for JusJoJan word prompt for Day 6:  Caught.

Breaking with tradition

In keeping with our untraditional Christmas, there is no tree at our house this year. So, I am enjoying this photo of last year’s tree!

Yesterday was not a good day. I had myself a sublime pity party because we are on lockdown for the holidays. I stayed in my dressing gown for hours, moaning about the fact that Christmas without family was the saddest thing ever. Sorrow bubbled up and leaked from my eyes in the form of tears. They rolled liberally down my cheeks because I won’t see my kids over the holidays. Then, not to be outdone, guilt kicked in.

Let’s be honest. We all know someone who will break the rules and have loved ones around their table. But no matter how much I want to, I just can’t do it. I don’t want to be the one whose family member ends up sick, possibly even fighting for their life, because I wanted a traditional Christmas. I don’t want to be the one who gives frontline workers one more person to care for – because I wanted a traditional Christmas.  (They don’t even have a day off, never mind dinner with family.)  And honestly? I don’t want to be the one who gets the dreaded virus just because I wanted a traditional Christmas.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel sick with guilt that we won’t be together because I’m a rule follower.

But today, all was right with the world again.  Christmas won’t be traditional, but so what? We’ll take a walk with our family (outdoor activities are allowed) or raise a glass on Zoom (I know, we are all so over Zoom, but it’s been our lifeline to others for months. What’s one more day?) And, if the stars all align the way we are all hoping they will, Christmas 2021 is going to be one heck of a celebration.

Happy Holidays!

(Written for “Word of the Day Challenge” for December 20th: Sublime)

The Tale of a Resilient Squirrel

I nosed my car into a parking spot facing a chain link fence. Massive trees with trunks so thick I couldn’t wrap my arms around them stood on the other side of the fence. As I turned off the ignition, I spotted movement on the side of one of the tree trunks. Soon a squirrel came into view, clinging effortlessly to the bark.

Now this rodent knew how to prepare for winter! His body was as round as a little barrel, but he was still making provisions for the long winter months ahead. Clamped firmly in his mouth was a slice of toasted bread, cut on the diagonal. Who knew squirrels liked toast? I laughed as I pictured a good gust of wind turning the bread into a sail and sending him airborne.

But this was no laughing matter for the squirrel. This was the serious business of stocking food. I leaned closer to the windshield and watched him scamper up the sturdy trunk until he reached an outstretched branch. My lunch-time errand forgotten, I settled back into the driver’s seat for a first-row seat at the show.

Like a skilled high-wire acrobat, he stepped daintily onto the branch. It quivered beneath him and he stopped to steady himself. But his trophy put him off balance and after a few steps, he dropped the bread. Not to be deterred, he turned and began to make his way back down to the ground. That’s when I noticed two other squirrels already on the frozen ground. I held my breath as I waited to see if they would mount a charge to steal the coveted treasure. That just wouldn’t be fair!

I found myself rooting for my little friend, silently urging him to hurry. I don’t know how things work in the squirrel world, but the other two squirrels didn’t try to snatch the prize. Is there an unwritten code that finders are keepers in the squirrel universe? Or was “my” squirrel’s dominance established and therefore he was not to be challenged?

Whatever the reason, with the slice of toast once again firmly in his mouth, he began the climb anew. I cheered as he made it back to the branch. He seemed to gain confidence and, with the agility of a circus performer, he leapt onto the branch of a neighboring tree. His treasure still intact, he soon disappeared from sight to hide his well-earned treat.

Well, that was entertaining, I thought. But as I left the car and started walking to my destination, I realized it was more than that. It was a lesson in persistence.  Seeing a tiny creature act on the words “Don’t give up” or “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” was humbling. I guess it’s time I get back to those writing goals.

Written for the December 16th “Word of the Day Challenge”:  Charge