Ashes, Ashes we all fall down

“Daddy why can’t I go in too?” she could overhear Cristy asking her dad as she cautiously walked up what was left of the stairs. The physical structure of the house was fine, the contents, not so much. It had been a few days since the fire and it still smelled like it could rekindle any moment. She stopped at the top of the stairs to looked at the once pristine family photo. The glass had warped and rippled fusing the picture to it and distorting the faces. Miraculously though, her mother’s face was left untarnished. Comforted the girl carefully made her way to her bedroom to grab what she could before they would leave for Aunt Michelle’s home. As she approached her room she was stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the blackened door. She was right to have gone out the window, attempting escape through this ash would have been a death sentence. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open and beheld what was left of her room. She bent down the crusted bed and felt around until she felt the waxy plastic of the case. Pulling it towards her a half charred notebook came sliding along the floor with it. With a pang she flipped the remaining half open. The edges cracked off as she held it but still there were half finished sentences and bits of photographs of her friends. Remembering her other journals she walked to the closet and was relieved to find that although the box was singed and burnt the contents inside had been, for the most part, spared. Her thoughts and memories were intact and safe. Looking back at the bed she realized the case was so mangled that she’d have to break in to it to see what state her beloved violin was in. Her eyes gloss over her desk, where all that remains of her drawings are ashes . Likewise her pencils have been reduced to mere cinders. She doesn’t even recognize her book shelf, mistaking the rubble on the floor for some part of the wall or ceiling that must have fallen down. Sighing she returned her focus to the closet and opened the bag her father had sent up with her and started packing what clothes she could. A few minutes later with a nearly empty duffel she headed out of the room with the box of journals under one arm and the case in the other.

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Remember yesterday, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

I have lots of trinkets here and there around the apartment:

  • A chess set one of my sister’s gave me
  • a box of journals (from college only really, I’ve never been much of a journal-er)
  • art projects from school
  • a painting from a friend
  • guitar
  • notebooks of ideas

any of which I would be quite sad to see burnt to a crisp. I’m sure there are other things I’d miss but only going through the experience would tell me, and I’ll pass if I can. Kind of like in A Scandal in Bohemia (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) when Sherlock stages a fire to discover where Miss Adler has hidden some blackmail items, her most treasured belonging at the time. Foolishly she gives away the location but before homes can retrieve the photos she realizes what has happened and removes them. Apparently fire reveals what we value the most. Oh, click here for yesterday’s entry.

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Fire!

The high pitch scream of her little sister woke her. Shooting up in bed she smelled fire and knew the drill. Her father called from the downstairs landing that he had Cristy. Without thinking about it she grabbed the photo on her nightstand. Her feet found the slippers that lived by her bed and as she passed the bookshelf she grabbed a book of poems. She ran to the door and from the knob took off the aviator’s scarf before pressing the back of her hand to the door, it was warm. She snatched the bomber jacket and immediately turned around and headed for the window, pulling on the jacket as she went. As she crawled up onto her dresser she flipped open the jewelry mini-chest and pulled out an antique ring box. Smiling she dropped the box into her jacket and was out the window. Crawling onto the roof of the garage she shifted the book and frame into the same hand so she could put the scarf on. With her treasures secure she made her way to the trellis and joined her panicked father. When he saw her carrying stuff towards him he was about to yell, but then he saw what she carried. He also realized despite her foolishness she was safe. He shook his head and pulled her into a rib cracking hug. Quickly her dad flipped up her collar to keep the chill away, then he took Cristy back into his arms. Pulling off the scarf, she wound it around her sister’s neck to keep her warm. Then they heard the sirens and turned to watch the approaching trucks.

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Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

I’m going to assume that I’d have a magical ability to just carry everything no matter how awkward it was and grab (in no particular order):

  1. Grandma’s painting
  2. Computer
  3. External hard drive
  4. Bookshelf (and if I can’t take the whole thing since that seems like major cheating then my copy of A Beekeeper’s Apprentice)
  5. Grandma’s jewelry box

These are just gut reactions, hopefully I’m never faced with this dilemma.

Quick Post: Spinach Salad

Last night I fought spinach, and although it may energize Popeye I was able to defeat it. The recipe I had (which I decided to triple for some unknown reason) called for 2 cups of spinach/serving (with the recipe making 2 servings). That made it so I was trying to toss 12 cups of spinach, not an easy task. Next time I’ll just layer the spinach and mix the other ingredients. It will be so much easier and so much cleaner. Never doubt my ability to make my kitchen a disaster zone.

Spinach SaladRecipe (for 2 servings):

  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 3 eggs (I hard boiled/chopped mine)
  • 4 cups spinach
  • Combine all ingredients and enjoy

The Sight of Nothingness

Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

I live in a small town, one that in the winter at seven in the morning isn’t out and about. However that isn’t a truly fair assessment because A) I’m obviously staying inside and B) my window overlooks an alley way and I’m quite comfortable with people not treating it like grand central station. What I did observe in the predawn darkness was potential. My building is taller than the one next to us, however the one next to us is only about three to four feet lower than my window, making it feasible for me to access through my window. How fun would it be (for me) to be able to look out my window and rather than seeing the graffiti (the word walrus for whatever reason) I would get to see a mini roof-top garden. As I looked out today and only observed a few pipes and something that looked like an Imperial Soldier’s helmet I realized there are very few things standing in my way. Obviously I wouldn’t put a ton of stuff out there, since I have seen people walking up there. A couple planters in lieu of window boxes will do nicely though. Now to research what plants can survive full sun for eight hours as well as Iowa heat/humidity. What a fun challenge.

Rest Well Slide Mountain

We are gathered here today to pay homage to our dear Slide Mountain. I recall when I made my first pilgrimage to the dear play structure. It was built at the school when I was in second grade and I remember being overcome with the sheer vastness of it. As tall as a two story building, at least, and covered in three different types of slides, no structure was hotter than this. Sure some of the generations since have taken the crumbling structure for granted, but for those of us who can remember life before it’s magnificence will always hold it dearly. Recess with one tornado slide was difficult, with three new slides it was sheer magic. Certainly the mountain was a creature to be feared, taking several bones for breaking that first winter (and several since). It effectively made it’s position clear: I am a creature to be feared and respected, and it was. It is with a heavy heart that I press this button today. To destroy a creature so thoroughly only speaks to how special it will always be, instead of letting it slip deeper and deeper in decay. Thank you, dear mountain, for your years of service. You brought us the joy of speed, you kept us warm in the winter when we holed up in the twist slide, and helped us build up courage to go down the metal slide. For this we again thank you and bid you a sorrowful good bye.

*cue demolition of mountain*

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A personal eulogy last week and a warped memorial today… I’m seeing a theme here. Check out more childhood memorials at the prompt’s page here.

Aside

Sliced Bread

The best thing sliced bread? 

I’m not so up on technology, I can’t access the internet on my phone (and I don’t really want or need to). Most of the time it acts as a paper weight. However one techy thing I think is pretty fantastic is video chatting. With this my three best friends and I are able to chat face to face just like we use to which is awesome in and of itself. However last night I was reminded why it’s so great. I called my parents (who are visiting my sister) and got to see them and my little nephew. It was so fun watching this two year old slowly warm up to the fact that ‘papa’ is holding his aunt’s head who, incidentally is three hours away. I shall have to remember to call my sister more often, it’s just too fun seeing that little squirt.

Dearly Departed or My Failed Attempt at Writing my Eulogy [Daily Prompt]

Jamie lived a happily full live even though it was short. Jamie was a good person; she was the type of girl that stands by you when you need somebody there. Also the kind that would stand by you when you didn’t. She was a bit of an awkward person, but that was one of the great things about her. She just had this way about her. Clumsy, crazy and caring, that was Jamie.

What is it that we remember when we think of Jamie? The way she loved animals a little to much as a kid? Her love of proper meeting etiquette she learned in school? Was it her passion for the performing arts, both as a participant and as an audience member? Certainly her love of literature was known to all, her head was often off in a far-away land, usually several at once. However I think the thing we remember most about Jamie was her optimism and the was she always had a smile ready.

Jamie lived her life in a state of constant good cheer. She was once asked why she was so happy. Her smart-alec response was, ‘should I be sad?’ Later, when I broached the subject with her in a more serious tone she divulged that she felt like she had dodged a bullet when she was a child and so every day she got now was a bit extra. Whatever the reason she never let things get her down and she lived life.

Although death may have caught up with her now she is still in our hearts. We still remember her laughter, her smile and her crazy ideas. She often said ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time’ and once commented that if she died an early death that it would be because of one of those plans. She must have been a tiny bit psychic to have ‘called’ such an event. Surely she thought snowboarding in a snow storm (with no previous experience) would be a good idea, but that was also her. Ever the adventurer. Now she lives the ultimate adventure in the next life and although we will miss her, we find comfort in the knowledge that we will see her again. And she will once again joke and laugh and smile with us then.

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Writing a eulogy is difficult, writing your own is impossible. It’s so hard to pick out what others will remember you for and then put it in a positive light. If find solace in that I’ll never have to do this ‘for real’ and however morbid when I die the burden will fall on another person’s shoulder. (Sorry, in advanced, to whoever that will be).  Thanks DP for making me face my morality.