"Bethie's Place"

I love reading, writing, and books!! Come on in and relax awhile!!!

“COWBOY”

She carefully opened the door, not sure what to expect. It had been a while since she has visited. Nothing was the way she remembered and when her eyes finally got adjusted to the dark, what she saw made her shiver. She reached out into the darkness searching for something to hold onto as she felt her knees begin to buckle.

“It can’t be,” she said, barely above a whisper.

“Hello beautiful. It’s been a long time,” he said.

She blinked several times, shaking her head no.

He reached for her, gently pulling her into that once familiar embrace. “It’s me.”

Her first instinct was to break free and run away, but the aroma of his aftershave, and the security she felt in his arms intoxicated her.

They hadn’t seen each other in thirty years, but at this very moment, time had rewound, and she was twelve years old again – the first time she’d laid eyes on the boy, now man, she knew as “Cowboy”.

“I’m either dreaming or I’m dead, because there’s no way that you’re here with me,” she said.

There were times in the past when she frustrated him so, that he could scream. “What can I do to prove to you that this isn’t a dream, and that we’re not dead?”

She shrugged, unconvinced.

“You always had a stubborn streak, but that was one of the things that was endearing about you all those years ago,” he said, smiling. “Wait here. I want to show you something.”

He returned to her side, a small box in his hand. “Open it.”

Inside the box, she found the gold-plated pin he had given her when they were boyfriend and girlfriend in seventh grade. She fingered the curves of the pin, as tears slid down her cheeks.

Slowly, the veil of fog from the anesthesia began to lift. She had no idea how many hours she’d been unconscious. As she opened her eyes a little, in the palm of her hand lay the pin that “Cowboy” had given her so long ago.

“Hello beautiful…..It’s been a long time.”

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Han Solo Entombed

Note: This post is my first attempt at fanfiction….Yes, I’m a “Star Wars” fan… 😀

Han Solo had been entombed in his refrigerator’s door by his once lovely and voluptuous wife Princess Leia.  She’d warned him many times that if he went to the Mos Eisley Cantina one more time that he’d experience a cold day like none other he’d ever experienced before, and today she’d made good on her promise.  Barndino, Leia’s pet dinosaur, who unlike other dinosaurs in the neighborhood, was quite tame stood vigil in front of the fridge mourning the loss of his master.

“Barndino, I know you’re upset, but Han broke his promise to me for the last time,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m going to the Cantina. Must be someone there that he found more attractive, but for the life of me, I haven’t a clue who that might be.”

She walked outside to her shiny red cloud car. Reaching the car door, she was stopped by an officer of the local arm of the Jedi Order that she didn’t recognize.

“Ma’m, turn around and go back inside your house,” said the officer.

“I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but I’m ‘Princess Leia’, and talking to me in that tone of voice is punishable by death,” she said.

“Says right here on this signed complaint by your neighbor that your name is Leia Solo, married to one Han Solo who has not been seen by anyone in the last twelve hours.  So I’m asking you respectfully if I may come in and check Mr. Solo’s welfare.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Superman of Cats

The "real" Superman of Cats

The “real” Superman of Cats — Olen M. Wilford (3/10/29-6/20/12)

“Good afternoon, San Diego,” says the radio announcer. “It’s three o’clock, and it’s been just over twelve hours since the city went dark.”

As I’m driving through what should have been a busy afternoon commute, the freeway is empty except for the occasional Highway Patrol car, emergency vehicle, or power company truck. Today I close another chapter of my varied careers. I’ve had two — teacher of disabled children, and cat show judge, but not just any judge. My name is Madison Collins and my colleagues and feline contestant owners know me as the “Superman of Cats” and today that moniker can and probably will be put to the test.

Exiting the freeway, I see the fairgrounds. I park my vintage 1965 white Cadillac and sit quietly collecting my thoughts. How many cats have I judged? How many ribbons awarded? How many “Best in Shows”? I shift my focus to the day ahead and wonder how the day will play out minus electricity. Cleaning my “Clark Kent” glasses, I check my appearance in the rearview mirror one last time.  With briefcase in hand, I step out of the car, lock it up, and walk quickly toward the exhibit hall.

Inside the exhibit hall, a familiar group of vendors are busily setting up their displays. “Good afternoon, ladies. Thank you all for coming in spite of these challenging circumstances.” I smile, examining all types of toys, collars, beds, and grooming tools.

“Madison, where else would we be? This power outage has affected all of us in one way or another, but it sure beats sitting home trying to salvage food in the fridge, or wondering when the lights will come back on. Oh, by the way, all the vendors have selected a few trinkets to show our appreciation for your years of dedication and service. They’ll be waiting for you after the show.”

For a split second I find myself getting choked up. Navigating through the hall to my designated space, a member of the maintenance crew stops me. “Mr. Collins, it’s been a challenging few hours, sir, but we’ve located the only available back-up generator in the county, but I’ll be honest I haven’t had the chance to test it yet to see if it’s in good working order. We’ve also brought in as much extra lighting as we could borrow from other local venues for later this evening.”

“You’ve all done a marvelous job. Thank you.”

“Have a great show, sir. We’re ready to help in any way we can.”

When I finally arrive at my judging area, the other judges are waiting for me, and I can see looks of concern on all their faces. “Hello everyone. Looks like we’ve got a few challenges ahead of us today, doesn’t it?”

“Never in all my years have I had to deal with circumstances like this,” says Eunice, trying to hold back tears. “Yesterday was so grand! How are we supposed to do our jobs now?”

“Eunice, dear,” I say, “collectively we have nearly a half century’s worth of experience between us.” I smile reassuringly. “What we need to do is concentrate on making the cats and their owners feel as comfortable and secure as possible. I’ve already spoken with the maintenance crew, and I’m told a generator has been located, and as long as it works, today will be as grand as yesterday. Don’t forget, I’m judging Best in Show tonight so I’m counting on you to bring me some exquisite contestants.”

With that said, the group returns to their respective judging areas to prepare for the afternoon ahead. As for me, I’m taking it easy judging only one group — household pets, which I enjoy most of all because I’m judging strictly on beauty, playfulness, and overall health.

Cleo, the calico cat, has been my favorite contestant in this category since she was a kitten, and win or lose, like me, Cleo retires tonight.

“Good afternoon, Madison.  What a day this has been,” says Cleo’s owner.

“Indeed.  Hello, my beautiful Cleo. I swear you get prettier every year.”

Cleo mewed, swishing her tail as I looked into her eyes.

“Whatever will we do without you, Madison?”

I continue examining Cleo, keeping to the task at hand, hoping that my emotions will not get the best of me. “Oh, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to keep me busy. Since I’m alone, now that my beautiful wife Linda is gone, maybe I’ll hop in the motor home and see the world. That would make her happy.”

“And what an extra special surprise it must have been for you to see so many of your former students in the audience.”

“I don’t who found them all, or how they got here, but it has made the day  that much more special.”

I hand Cleo back to her owner, feeling the emotions well up again. “Bye, Cleo.”

Thankfully, the afternoon has gone relatively well in spite of a few sporadic glitches in power and I’m feeling confident that we’ve dodged a bullet.  All that’s left is to judge Best in Show so while the staging is being set up, I step outside for a breath of air and to stretch my legs. Read the rest of this entry »

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“I’m Kevin”

Waiting quietly in the line, the homeless man observed the agitated customers around him, watching the cashier become more upset by the minute. Hungry and thirsty, and yet no one noticed him nor his plight. When he reached the counter he fumbled through his pockets for the money strangers had given him earlier in the day.

As the clerk patiently waited, she said in a loud enough voice for other customers to hear, “Take your time. I’m in no hurry.”

While others found her inept and quite slow, the homeless man was grateful that she showed him compassion.

“Have a nice day,” she said.

“You too,” he replied. “By the way, I’m Kevin. Hope I see you again soon.”

As Kevin walked away, the cashier couldn’t help but wonder if she would.

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A Day of Dread or A Day of Blessing?

I had been dreading this day.  I had made a decision about the status of a physician/patient relationship that had run its course.  It was time to say goodbye and move on. As the hours ticked by, I became more stressed and nervous. Would she be hurt? Would she think I was ungrateful for the care she had provided for many years?

And then there she was standing in the doorway. We exchanged hellos, but there was tension already apparent. I had been rehearsing for days so all I had to do was speak up. I began my explanation and my reasons for coming to the conclusion I had. She allowed me the opportunity to speak without interruption.

She smiled, and replied, “I have some news for you, too”. She was happy for the decision that I had made, and in turn, let me know that she was ending her current medical practice to devote more time to her newest medical venture and to her young son.

We both started our respective day dreading the outcome, but in turn, we gave each other two parting gifts — honesty and respect.

So I leave you with this thought….  “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, it will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

 

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Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Today’s post is part one of a three-part series. The next two parts will be written in the coming days.

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”…. “But I am”. These were the only words written in beautiful longhand on the outside of a small manila envelope, crumpled and stuffed in the chain link fence outside of what appeared to be a house that had not been lived in, in many years. Was this the home of the recipient? Where had he or she gone? Whoever the author of this brief but urgent message was, obviously had loved this particular individual very much and wanted to apologize, but for what?

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Turning The Page to 2016

For the last 22 months, try as I might, I have been stuck on the same page of my life, and for the last two months since we met, I had fallen into a depression especially with the holidays at hand, and not one gift thought of or purchased. Plus a monster of a cold, that lasted three weeks. Call it a continuous loop, a hamster’s wheel, a labyrinth with no escape route. But that all changed on December 21st, 2015. It was a Monday morning like any other Monday morning I’ve been subjected to for the last 17 of those 22 months. You see, Monday mornings were Wound Care Clinic mornings. Each Monday morning, the wound was photographed, examined by the doctor, bandaged, and another appointment made because “the wound wasn’t healed quite yet” ( a quote from the doctor I grew to hate, but sadly resigned myself to the fact that the wound would never heal).  But on the 21st, I got the good news that I had longed to hear since my health crisis began in February 2014. The doctor declared my wound healed and I was officially discharged from the clinic’s care.

I began my holiday shopping that evening (I do all my shopping online), and all purchases were delivered and wrapped by Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day was a beautiful day filled with joy, love, and laughter. Something I’ve missed since Christmas 2013.

New Year’s Eve and Day have come and gone, and it’s time to turn the page with a positive attitude. I look forward to renewing friendships with my blog followers and meeting new blog followers, writing uplifting words that will inspire and give you hope, and sharing my progress as my book, The Hensel House, moves along.

Wishing you all  a blessed Happy New Year, filled with love, laughter,  and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

“Bethie”

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The Hensel House — Chapter One

Chapter One

          Standing in front of Grandma’s pride and joy, it was the spring of 1875, six months after receiving the letter from Mr. Martinez, and what he had described in his letter was true. The life blood that once traveled through The Hensel House had drained out onto the dusty road beneath my feet. Nothing resembled the tintypes Grandma had sent when she first arrived in California a decade earlier. Now it was up to me to restore and run the once treasured landmark. I silently vowed, as I stood outside the door, to do whatever I had to do to make her proud. Exhausted and overwhelmed from my journey, I felt my knees begin to buckle. As I reached out for the door to steady me, I was surprised when the door easily pushed open. When my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness inside, the shadows of what I saw made me shiver. I reached out in front of me, searching for something to grab onto.

“Mrs. Hensel?”

To be continued….Stay tuned!

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The Hensel House — Prologue: Part 3

When I finished reading the letter I swallowed hard, and wiped the tears from my eyes with a lace handkerchief. I laid the letter on the table in front of me. My daughter looked at me with tears in her eyes, too, taking my hand in hers.

“Etta, do you remember Grandma?”

She nodded, squeezing my hand to comfort me. “Yes. I remember her. You tried unsuccessfully to convince her not go to California.  You attempted to impress upon her how dangerous it would be to not only travel across country alone, and especially with the Civil War still going on, but she refused to listen.”

“Yes, she had a stubborn streak,” I said, with a slight smile.

I looked down at the letter again rereading it to myself trying to make sense of what I’ve learned since I walked home. In three weeks’ time both my beloved husband and grandmother were gone.

My son seemed unconcerned by the things he’d heard, which is understandable considering he was only 4 years old when Grandma moved to California and more than likely had very few, if any, memories of her.

“Have you decided what you’re going to do, Mom?” he asked.

I didn’t answer right away, but I’m sure the look on my face told Etta that I’d already given some thought to what my decision would be as a result of my long walk home from the cemetery.

Harry Jr. quickly noticed the intense glances between Etta and I. “You can’t leave us here by ourselves!  I’ve got school and my friends, and Etta can’t take care of us because she’s too busy taking care of the baby!”

“Harry, calm down. First things first. I need to reply to Mr. Martinez’s letter. Then I’ll make some phone calls to your great-aunts and uncles. I’ll tell them about Grandma, and see which one of them would be willing and able to take care of you, and help Etta with the baby while I’m away.”

My words now had my son’s undivided attention.

“You’re not taking us with you? If you leave now, you’ll miss Thanksgiving and Christmas!”

“Harry, I wouldn’t think of leaving with the holidays so close. The boardinghouse will still be standing when I get there, and I have many things to do before I can even think about leaving. Rest assured, it will be a long while before that day comes. However when that day comes, I still won’t be able to take you with me. Mr. Martinez made it very clear about the current condition of the boardinghouse, so I’m not even sure where I’ll be staying. But as soon as I’m settled, I’ll send for you.”

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The Hensel House — Prologue: Part 2

Recognizing the location of the postmark as I walked outside, I had a bad feeling that this letter was not bringing happy news, so I opened and read it as I walked home.  I greeted my daughter with a kiss on the cheek as I came through the front door, showing her the envelope. She looked at where the letter came from, and a concerned look crossed her face, as she studied it more closely, and then handed it back to me. I gathered my children together in the parlor and then read the letter to them:

 

Dear Mrs. Hensel,

                    My name is Mr. Guillermo Martinez, and I write to you today with the sad news that your grandmother died several days ago, peacefully in her sleep. Representing your grandmother’s estate, I don’t know if your grandmother ever discussed with you her desire for you to inherit ownership of Hensel House upon her death. Over the course of your grandmother’s declining health, the boardinghouse fell into disrepair and it became uninhabitable to its residents. The townspeople offered their help by taking in the residents who had no other family or friends to live with. Grateful I’m certain by the townspeople’s generosity and support, but not being able to run the boardinghouse she loved so much for the last decade, truly broke her heart and I would hazard a guess, hastened her death.

                    My law partner has informed me that you are recently widowed, with two minor children and a grandchild. So I understand fully that it will more than likely take some time for you to decide if, or when you’ll fulfill your grandmother’s wish, and, whether or not you decide to bring your family with you to California.

                    If I can help you in any way as you make these decisions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your grandmother entrusted me to first and foremost oversee that you and your family are taken care of, and her cherished boardinghouse be passed along to you now or in the future, and to future generations to come. Please accept my condolences and the condolences of the townspeople of Ciudad de Lorenzo. Mrs. Hensel, your grandmother was a pillar of and well-respected member of our community and she will be greatly missed.

Sincerely,

Guillermo Martinez, Attorney-At Law

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