Where’s Your Happy Place?

With so much going on in the world and so many mountatins to climb as we earn our living and keep our lives together, we should all have a place like this. Where is yours?

My Corner

Believe it or not, even though I live in Sheridan, Wyoming, my happy place is a beach in Jupiter, Florida, where my brother and I often go when I visit him. I sometimes swim but am mostly content to walk alongside the ocean and feel cool waves wash over my feet, cleansing them of the tension from which I’m retreating. I also enjoy sitting in a lawn chair with a picnic lunch or lying on a blanket. Once when I got sick during my visit, my brother and his family encouraged me to accompany them to the beach. I went, against my better judgement, and to my surprise, the ocean breeze and the roar of the waves plus the occasional cry of seagulls made me feel better.

I recently red an article entitled “5 Ways to Re-Start a Bad Day.” One suggestion given here is to think of…

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Distant Time

WarA noise woke me from a deep sleep and it took me a moment to come around. When I did, the first thing I noticed was my bedroom. I didn’t recognise it. It was plain with no personal touches and for a moment I racked my brain. Was I on holiday?
 
Before I could plan it, there was a rumbling sound followed by an explosion. Suddenly, I was wide-awake. I leapt from the bed to the window and was stunned by what I saw.
Soldiers were pouring into the village, people were running and screaming. A building was smoking, and the soldiers were firing guns. My apartment building shook with another explosion. They were shooting people, and it terrified me.
I had to get out and realised I was in bed, dressed in my clothes, dark trousers, and a lighter top. I shoved my feet into flat conventional shoes, all the time wondering where I was and why I was here.
 
Was this a dream? Running out of the bedroom, I barely noticed the sparsely furnished lounge as I headed for the hallway, throwing open the front door and legging it to the stairs. All I could think about was, I had to go. I had to leave. Just get out!
 
The noise and smell fed my fear. It didn’t help when I reached outside and looked around. It was unfamiliar. What was going on? The buildings looked old, built in a valley beneath the mountains. The sky was clear blue, not a cloud in sight and I could feel the morning heat rising.
 
Cows and goats wandered and scattered, bewildered by the noise. I moved across to another building and kept close to the walls. My survival instinct was on alert. I did not want to die today. As I turned the corner there was a woman on her knees. In her arms, a dead child, blood from his head pooled on the floor. The mother was wailing; it was an awful bereft sound that tugged at my heart. She looked beseechingly at me, but what could I do? I kept on running, hiding, dodging.
 
Every nerve in my body was on fire. My heart beating so fast, I could hardly breathe. I was about to run into the open but saw a soldier aim a gun at a man on his knees. He fired. The man collapsed. I saw his family was watching. Heard their screams and cries. I’d stopped dead in my tracks, stared, horrified before turning to vomit behind a wall.
Dropping to my knees, I retched and then crawled into a space between outbuildings. I watched the scene unfold with tears streaming down my face.
 
Tanks were rolling through the village, crashing into buildings, running over fences, anything that got in their way. Some people were being killed; others herded up like animals for slaughter. Fear fizzed in the air and the noise of terror was just as deafening.
 
Crouching down, my hands covered my ears and screwed up my eyes. I wanted no part of this, yet here I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I didn’t want to die.
“Sie!” An ugly voice too close for comfort yelled. “Hure!” It took a moment for the words to translate as I opened my eyes. “You! Whore!”
 
Standing in front of me was a German soldier in World War 2 uniform. His gun was aimed at me. My heart seemed to stop. My stomach hit the floor, and I thought I would vomit again.
 
Rising to my feet, my hands went up in the surrender position. Please God, no. I didn’t want to die.
 
Suddenly, his eyes flicked to the right, and he looked confused and then scared. His rifle lowered. I turned to see what had startled him. There standing watching us was me.
 
This the first chapter of the science fiction thriller. To read click here.
The Cover.jpg
 

The Millennium

Here is a bunch of sweet peas from my garden. They sit in a cup, only it’s not an ordinary cup. This was made for the Millennium. I remember all the hype at the time and how we should have or make a momemto to celebrate the new century.

My cross stitch magazines were full of commissioned designs for us to make and mark the occasion. I rebelled. I wasn’t going to conform and do what they said.

I remember the lead up and thinking how when the millennium does come, I would have a 16 year daughter and a 14 year old son. It seemed amazing.

Nothing happened when our electrical/digital counters turned, either. The world didn’t end.

I wish now I had cross stitched something special as a keepsake. Instead I have this cup now which I inherited from my parents when they died.

It’s special. Whenever I look at it, it reminds me of them, and a time when we were a family of four and I was a full time mum.

What are your memories from 2000 and do you have a momento?

A short piece from The Magic of Stories by UK author Karen J Mossman

CLICK TO BUY IT!

https://books2read.com/MagicofStoriesKJM

“Grief makes you lonely,” he said staring in the glass. It somehow changes the way we are, don’t you think? I never thought it would come to me, not like it did. Not after the war had finished.”

“It won’t get any worse than this,” she whispered, feeling his pain.

“Won’t it?”

“It won’t.” She smiled.

He looked at her and his eyes were angry although his tone wasn’t. “Violence is not the way you expect to lose someone. How can we come through the war unscathed only for some crazed idiot, a damn blasted drunken fool…” He drained his glass and refilled it. He downed the second one, then got to his feet looking anguished. “I’m sorry. Oh, and tell that blasted boy to keep away from my window!”

He strode out of the room leaving Mary staring after him.

The following day as she cycled back from the village with her shopping, she saw James with a hiking stick and walking shoes.

“Good afternoon,” she called as she passed and stopped a little ahead. “Good walk?”

“Yes, damn fine. Beautiful countryside.”

“Yes, it’s remained untouched by the war.”

“Listen, I want to apologise for my abominable behaviour last night.”

“It’s all right. It’s all part of the healing process.”

“I had no right to speak to you like that. Please accept my apologies.”

“You’ve nothing to apologise for, honestly.”

“Here, let me take your bike, you can have my walking stick.”

Mary smiled, “Fair exchange, I’d say.”

, At the house, he stood the bike against the wall and carried her shopping into the kitchen. She thanked him and just as he was going back into the drawing room, she called after him.

“James, what boy were you talking about last night?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know, some black-eyed boy in the garden cutting ivy.”

Mary felt a sharp stinging sensation in her nose. She had no idea how she came to be lying on the drawing room settee with her father holding the smelling salts and James looking on anxiously.

“She’s coming round.” said the Major.

“What happened?” She touched her head as the room swayed a little.

“Here sip this.” James said, handing her a glass of water.

“You fainted, darling,” said the Major.

DID YOU CLICK TO BUY IT! It is only $0.99 and it is filled with captivated short stories and beautiful poetry!

https://books2read.com/MagicofStoriesKJM

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

By C.A. Keith

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 14.04.57.pngRed silk dress, slit to the thigh. Her legs long and toned. A diamond pendant hung delicately against her plunging neckline. Sarah strolled in like a Roger Rabbit’s 40’s femme fatale. Her perfume lingered teasingly and was followed by the few that put their drinks down and tipped their nose to follow her. This wasn’t any ordinary bar. She was there, mysteriously and anonymously to sip their finest Whisky.

“Hey there, darling. Give me your best,” she said with a wink.

He placed a crystal glass in front of the lady in red. “Maker’s Mark. Small batch made in Loretto, Kentucky. It was introduced in’59. What do you think? I know you’re a Jim Beam kinda lady Sarah but I think you’ll love this one. You know what’s interesting about Maker’s Mark? No rye, they use red winter wheat and mostly corn in their mash. I heard they age their bourbon for 6 years. A friend of mine toured their distillery last year. Do you know they rotate their barrels from upper to lower to maintain a proper even temperature in their batches? Typical batch is about a thousand gallons, approximately twenty barrels. Interesting, right?”

While maintaining eye contact across the granite counter top, her wrist rotated the glass. The light amber liquid swirled around playfully. Sarah parted her lips and tipped her nose towards the glass. She let her lungs fill with its sweet aroma. Her mind danced as Sarah tried to decipher each smell. Her heartbeat quickened as she anticipated the tastes that would magically dart from her taste buds.

Sarah swirled her glass. Her lips touched the glass, taking in a big mouthful of the liquid. She chewed and sloshed the liquid throughout her mouth. It looked as if she was chewing a mouthful of food. Her eyes raised up as if in deep thought. She placed the glass down and swallowed. After a minute, she tipped a few drops of her distilled water into her bourbon, to the dismay of those around her. She knew it would bring out more of the sweet nectars.

And there it was! What she had hoped for. That greatly anticipated long finish ‘Kentucky Hug.’ It was that warmth felt deep in the chest not the harsh burn one would feel if they chugged a Whisky without the true enjoyment and appreciation of a fine Whisky.

Sarah smiled. “Nice!” She winked.

While she had to admit she wasn’t a professional taster but she had years of experience drinking with friends. It wasn’t until she went to a distillery that she enjoyed her Whisky more. They taught her a couple of tricks as to how to savour her drinks rather than miss each bottles unique splendour.

“As you know, everyone’s taste buds are different. Our culture and environment shapes our perceptions of tastes and smells. At first whiff, I get a fresh green oak. New growth you know what I mean.” He didn’t really, he was a rye and coke kinda guy, but she continued. “It’s sweet, crispness tingles the front of my tongue. It is followed by a spice like that of black pepper. As I swallowed, the sweetness lingered. It was a splendid long finish. I tasted a butterscotch, maple syrup blend. That was delightful. Once I added the water, the sweetness jumped right out. Vanilla butterscotch syrup…if that was a candy, I’d be in paradise. Well, I feel bad for saying this love, but…” Sarah hesitated then leaned forward and whispered, “I think it is one of my new personal favourites.”

“Ok honey. That’s great. I know you love to try new Whisky’s but do you have to go through this process every time.”

“How else would one sip a fine Whisky?” Sarah questioned.

“I know it’s been a long day at work, the dishes are done, our kids are tucked in bed…Well, that’s why I married you love. You take enjoyment in everything.”

“A great Whisky is meant to be savoured and explored. Each taste bud tantalized by each unique flavour. Life is great honey.”

Sarah smiled. So she was sitting at her kitchen island. She bought a new bottle of bourbon for her collection. In her minds eye, she was sitting in a fine bourbon lounge with the best of them.

 

Storytellers and Storylovers, this is for you!

#stories #party #launch

On August 20th, The Magic of Stories book is being published and I’m thrilled to bring 46 different types of stories to share.

On the 20th and 21st I’m celebrating all that is wonderful with stories and want to share as many kind of stories as I can by inviting a host of different people, bloggers, readers, writers and well as authors. Everyone has an interedsting story to tell and I’d like to hear it.

The Event

This is different than ‘just a book event’ it represents what this website is about – stories of all kinds, that includes true stories. I’ll be sharing some from here that have been lost in the archives somewhere and others will be telling theirs.

So follow the link to the event, post something in the newsfeed, perhaps what you would like to share – this could be about raising awareness for an organisation you are involved in and hen join the group.

Hope to see you there!

 

The Magic of Stories cover (Jon’s MacBook Air).jpg

 

 

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Team — Miraculous Smile

I mentioned before that I worked at Olive Garden for 17.5 years as a manager. What I did not mention, as of yet, was something that rang true for me and/or any other manager on duty at the time. Your team is what can make or break you! This is true in real life as […]

via Team — Miraculous Smile

I wanted to share this post as it is uplifting and gives us all food for thought.