Water Under the Bridge

The Daily Post – Forlorn

 

A boy sat on the ground. The brim of his blue ball cap shaded his face as he drew lines in the dirt with a stick. A pair of running shoes rested about a foot away, tossed on the ground, their laces tied. The laughter and shouting of other children playing soccer nearby caused him to raise his head, the forlorn expression on his face now visible to anyone who took notice.

He wiped his tear streaked cheeks and dried his hands on his grey shorts. He nodded as three children approached him. His hands reached for the shoes and he pushed a dirty foot into each one and stood.

A little girl wrapped her arms around the boy’s middle and gave him a quick hug. He pulled off his cap, combed his fingers through his blonde hair and readjusted his ball cap back onto his head. A smile spread across his face and replaced the sad look he wore minutes before.

The group of children rejoined the others. Within seconds the boy in the blue ball cap took possession of the soccer ball. Amidst cheers from his teammates, he weaved around the other players until he came face-to-face with the goal tender.

The boy paused for a second. In that brief moment he stared down the goalie, smiled, and delivered a precise kick. The ball sailed over the goalie’s head and into the net.

The boy and his teammates celebrated with cheers and pats on the back both with each other and the opposing team. Whatever had saddened him earlier no longer mattered; it was water under the bridge.

Brave Little Girl

The Daily post – Allergic

 

“Mommy, a bee stung my finger and it hurts.” I heard her sad little voice over the phone.

Hailey had been away at horse camp for less than twenty-fours and this was the second time she’d called. The first was the night before just before bed. One of the other campers had been homesick and her tears caused the rest of the girls, aged seven to nine, to call home. This was after all Hailey’s first experience with the week-long summer camp about a half-hour drive away.

“I’m sorry honey, but you’ll be fine. You’ve been stung before, you aren’t allergic. I’m sure Mrs. Moore will put something on it.” I said. I wasn’t worried in the least.

“Yes, I have ice on it right now, it helps a little.” Hailey sniffed.

“Are you okay now?” I asked.

“Yes, mommy.”

“Are you having fun?”

“Yes.” Hailey’s voice perked up. “We had breakfast and then played tag. We’re going to ride later.”

“Oh good. You’re going to have a fun time this week.” We spoke for a few more seconds and then said our goodbyes.

After about ten minutes, the phone rang again. This time it was Mrs. Moore. She told me that Hailey had started to itch a little. She told me she believed Hailey had been stung by a honey bee as she had been under an apple tree. Mrs. Moore, being allergic to bees herself, had removed the stinger carefully and had been keeping an eye on her, but now she thought that we should come and get her and take her to the hospital, just in case. Other than the itching, Hailey had no other allergy symptoms.

My husband and I jumped into our car and headed out to the horse camp. My stomach knotted and it was difficult not to worry. We’d already lost an infant daughter four years earlier and the pain of that day came rushing back. The half-hour drive was unbearable.

We pulled into the laneway and before we could even get out of the car, one of the riding instructors informed us that Mr. and Mrs. Moore had decided to take Hailey to the hospital.

My heart raced as we drove as quickly as possible down the back roads the half-hour or more to the hospital. Once again, memories of losing our other daughter came back.

Mr. and Mrs. Moore met us in the emergency room when we arrived. They had only been at the hospital for about five minutes and Hailey was already in an examining room. We thanked them and a nurse led us to the room.

Relief washed over me when I saw Hailey, despite her puffy eyes and the redness that covered her from head to toe. We hugged her immediately. Seconds later, her room was a buzz of activity.

The doctor assessed Hailey and asked us a few questions. She was indeed having an allergic reaction to the sting and they needed to act quickly before any more symptoms appeared.

“What are you doing?” Seven-year-old Hailey demanded as the doctor sat on a stool beside the bed and began wiping the inside of her left arm with an alcohol swab.

“We need to put an IV in your arm,” he said as a nurse wheeled over a pole with an IV bag hanging from the top. “It’ll just be a quick little poke and then it’ll be over.”

“Hold on, just give me a second to calm down,” Hailey said in all seriousness. She took a few deep breaths. “Okay.”

The doctor glanced up at me and I shrugged. He inserted the IV needle into brave Hailey’s arm and taped it into place. Then he rose from the chair.

I held my daughters hand and squeezed it. The doctor returned a few seconds later with a syringe in his hand.

“What are you doing?” Hailey demanded again. She’d seen the needle before I had.

“You need a shot of adrenaline,” the doctor said.

“Just give me a second to calm down,” Hailey said again.

The doctor looked at Hailey. “You don’t have a second to calm down.” And with that he swabbed her shoulder and quickly injected the adrenaline.

The doctor looked at my husband and I told us that the adrenaline would make her sleepy and that we would be staying until all symptoms of her reaction were gone.

At ten o’clock that night we left with Hailey and a prescription for an epi-pen, which we got filled that night at a twenty-four hour pharmacy. We brought Hailey home and the next day, at her insistence, took her back up to finish the week at horse-camp.

 

Based on a true story.

Names have been changed – my daughter’s, because she wouldn’t want her name mentioned (she’s 25 now) and Mr. and Mrs. Moore because I can’t remember their actual names (not that I would have posted it anyway).

Yes, my daughter really did tell the doctor to let her calm down – twice. The doctor allowed her to the first time but not the second.

Photo Challenge – Growth

The Daily Post Photo Challenge – Growth

 

This week’s photo challenge is a picture showing growth. I took a picture of my orchid on my desk at work. I bought it last year and this thing is constantly blooming. As soon as the flowers (which last a long time) die off, new buds appear.  It won’t be long before the stalks are covered once again with beautiful flowers. You can see another shoot growing from the stock in the background. Below the leaves is another new stock. This orchid is very happy sitting on my desk.

I just happen to have a picture of what it looks like when it’s in bloom. This picture was taken on October 26. There were still two flowers left on December 22. When I came back to the office on December 29, the remaining flowers had withered and fallen off and new buds had appeared on new stocks.

 

Reserved Reservation

The Daily Prompt – Reservation

 

“Do you have a reservation?” The severe expression on the woman’s face gave no sign of easing.

I swallowed and stared at the man asking the queued individual beside me the same question, his countenance just as serious.

“Well?” She tapped a finger on her tablet.

“I… I don’t know.” My mouth had suddenly become dry.

“You don’t know?” Her eyebrows shot up and disappeared underneath the peak of her grey cap.

I shook my head, the movement almost unnoticeable. I pushed my hands deeper into the pockets of my black jacket. The hard plastic covering of my Citizen ID pressed into my palm. My skin prickled with goosebumps as the air turned colder. “They told me to come here.”

“They?” She tapped her tablet again.

A few people from the lineup beside me walked through the entrance. Whoever stood behind me heaved a loud and impatient sigh.

“My… my family.”

“What name?” She asked in a quiet monotone voice.

“I don’t know,” I said, fighting to keep my voice steady and failing. Her eyes glared at me. “Try Bailey, Beatrice Matilda Bailey.”

The woman typed; a second later she shook her head.

My stomach knotted. No one told me it would be under a reservation. “Bob… Robert Earnest Bailey?”

“Are you asking me?” The woman’s eyes narrowed.

“No… I just don’t – ”

“Mars Shuttle 8 will depart in two hours. Please make sure all paperwork is ready.” A voice boomed from an invisible source.

“Paperwork?” I questioned. My heart raced.

“No reservation, no need to worry about paperwork. Name?”

“Robert – ”

The woman interrupted me. “Nope, tried. One more guess and then off you go.”

Panic began to build. I needed to get on that shuttle and yet I was terrified about the journey, but I was even more terrified to stay behind. I doubted everything.

I stared at the other line. People moved by their guard and slipped inside the entrance, their faces vacant as though they were stepping inside an elevator. The lineup behind me grew more restless. I picked up the odd profanity and knew the words were directed at me.

“How should I know whose name the reservation is under if I don’t even know which of my family members made the reservation?” Nervous and hurried words rolled out of my mouth. “I have a big family.” I said as an afterthought in a quieter voice.

The woman shook her head and one corner of her mouth drew up into a partial smile, though she looked annoyed. “YOUR name.”

My cheeks burned red. “Oh. Gwen Beatrice Bailey.”

The woman tapped on her tablet. “You’re clear.” She stepped to the side.

“I don’t have any paperwork?” I stared at her open mouthed.

“Not my problem. Now go.” She turned away and asked the person behind me.

I stepped through the entrance unsure of what would happen next. I only hoped that my Citizen ID would prove as the necessary paperwork.

Awkward Conversation

The Daily Prompt – Conversation

 

“You can do this. Talk and then everything else will fall into place,” Arthur muttered to himself. His voice held less conviction then the words he spoke. Arthur combed his fingers through his dark hair and pushed open the door.

The music blasted through him as he stepped inside the gym. He cleared his throat, the sound of which he couldn’t even hear, lifted his chin and walked with as much confidence as he possibly could toward the back of the room.

Arthur’s head swiveled from left to right as he scanned the crowd. The low light made it difficult to make out individual faces, that and the fact the sheer number of people overwhelmed him. He weaved his way through his peers, though he didn’t consider any of them as such. There were only a few he cared for and he hadn’t spotted a single one. Aware of the eyes that followed him for a moment, Arthur paid no attention. He was on a mission.

Arthur’s heart stalled for a second when his gaze landed on what he’d been searching for. His feet came to an abrupt halt. A sudden wave of heat crept up his neck, reddening his cheeks and making his ears burn. He swallowed. Go get her; he heard his older brother’s voice inside his head.

Arthur considered Owen an expert when it came to girls. After all Owen was the only boy Arthur knew to have kissed not just one but two girls. And with his thirteenth birthday being only a few months away, Arthur had some catching up to do.

His right foot stomped forward as though Owen had slapped him on the back and nudged him ahead. Arthur turned and looked behind him for a moment at the group of kids dancing. Satisfied that no one watched, Arthur pulled his shoulders back and took the few remaining steps towards the bleachers.

Jessica was beautiful. Soft blond curls framed her face and hung down to rest on her shoulders. Her hands smoothed over the skirt of her blue dress and came to rest in her lap. She hadn’t noticed him approach as she busied herself in conversation with her friend, Amy.

“Hi!” Arthur said in a voice loud enough to be heard over the music that suddenly dipped in volume the moment the word came out of his mouth.

Jessica and Amy turned away from each other and stared at Arthur. He sensed other eyes glaring at him too but as the volume increased and bodies returned to the rhythm, the sensation faded. A flash of light landed on Jessica’s face long enough for Arthur to notice the colour of her dress matched her eyes. Arthur gave a small wave and a half-smile. Amy leaned over and whispered something in Jessica’s ear before rising to her feet. She smiled at Arthur and walked away.

“Okay if I sit?” Arthur pointed to the empty spot beside Jessica.

Jessica shrugged and shifted over a little as Arthur sat down beside her. Arthur’s pulse raced. He stared at the crowd on the dance floor; his fingers tapped on his knees to the beat of the music. After several seconds passed, he took a deep breath and turned toward Jessica.

“So… come here often?” Arthur wanted to die, or at least disappear, or be abducted by aliens. Why couldn’t his brain and mouth coordinate just once? His brain knew how lame the line sounded the second it came to mind but his mouth uttered it anyway, completely oblivious to the ridiculousness of it all. All he wanted was to talk to Jessica, maybe even ask her to dance, but his mouth ruined everything. There would be no coming back from the awkward conversation that would undoubtedly follow, if there was any conversation at all. Jessica might get up and walk away. Arthur sighed; his shoulders slumped.

“Every day, except on weekends and holidays.” Jessica’s response came to Arthur’s ears. The hint of a nervous chuckle in her voice made Arthur relax.

He smiled. “Funny, I don’t recall seeing you around.”

The music changed to a much slower beat. “I love this song!” Jessica closed her eyes.

“Would…” Arthur hesitated. He took a deep breath and began again. “Would you like to dance?”

Jessica opened her eyes and bit her lower lip; she nodded.

Arthur rose and held out his hand. Jessica smiled and took it. As he led her to the dance floor, Arthur sensed the eyes on him once again. He smiled, they could stare all they like.

Arthur held Jessica the way Owen showed him and they swayed back and forth to the music. Way to go, he heard Owen’s voice in his head once again. Arthur shook his head a little. Sure he had the girl in his arms and now that the hard part was over, he wasn’t in any hurry for anything else. Suddenly, his first kiss wasn’t so important anymore. He could wait.

Photo Challenge – 2017 Favourites

When I checked out the prompt for the photo challenge, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. Not only was it because it’s such a great prompt but because it was also the last one for 2017.  The problem, however, is what picture should I post, and do I really have one that is the most meaningful taken in 2017?

To me, any pictures I take of my children, my husband (who doesn’t like his picture taken so there aren’t any from this year) or my nieces and nephews and other family members are the most meaningful. I have a bunch, but I don’t feel that I should post them.

My pictures of Newfoundland are definitely meaningful to me as it was the first time my husband had ever flown together, anywhere, just the two of us. But you’ve already seen those.

So, I have chosen to post one of Ivy, the little feral kitten we found back in May in our garage. We have no idea how she got there, but we had to catch her. We live in a rural area and with coyotes, foxes, and the occasional wolf, she would never survive.

This picture is one of the first I took and it shows my hand touching her for the first time.  We thought she was only about 8 to 10 weeks old due to her size but it turned out she was about 4 to 4 1/2 months old. She quickly became a part of our family and will be a year old in January (or so we figure).

I feel that this photo represents her trust, and trust is something to me that is very meaningful.

 

The following pictures were taken a couple of days ago. Ivy is on the right and Sophie on the left. It took Sophie a few months to trust Ivy but now you can find them sleeping together.

 

 

A few days before the above picture, I trusted Ivy with the Christmas tree. In the below photo she is lying quietly underneath the un-decorated tree.

Of course there’s a picture of her inside the tree all bug-eyed too

Ivy has become a meaningful part of our family and we are so glad we rescued her.

Happy New Year!

Photo Challenge – Ascend

 

I feel like I have posted anything in weeks. Anyway, when I saw the prompt for this week’s photo challenge I had to participate.

The photograph immediately came to mind. I took it while ascending a steep staircase on the side of a hill in Newfoundland at Signal Hill. Walking down was much easier than walking back up. What amazed me were the number of locals that climbed up and down these stairs and trails (both walking and running) for their daily exercise as well as some with their dogs. I was afraid to let go of the handrail on the way back up. Even when a I met someone coming down the stairs (a local exercising) I tried to give up the hand rail and move to the side for her but couldn’t do it and apologized for not being able to move away from the rail. She smiled and said that was perfectly fine she was used to going up and down the stairs.

Before I post the ascent I have to post the descent. I took this on the first set of stairs on the way down. If you zoom in on the picture you can see a pair of red Adirondack chairs at the bottom of the furthest hill in the picture. This is how far we walked. I wanted to walk up to the top of that hill but when I looked back at how far we had come I couldn’t go any further knowing I had to climb back up.

This is the ascent back up the stairs. That’s my husband up ahead of me. Two young guys jogged back up these stairs like they were on a flat road.