1) I once lost 158 lbs. of useless fat in one afternoon. I hear he married a stripper in Lodi, New Jersey.
2) Try the Donald Trump diet—just get full of baloney.
3) Beer and Alpo. (You work like a dog, anyway)
4) For appetite suppression-paste a photo of Ted Cruz on your fridge. (If you can’t find one then use Mike Lindell)
Go to the newsstand
Buy your favorite mullet-wrapper
Read what Congress is up to
Vote ’em out
This would let the whole country lose a lot of dead weight
A Fossil, Fueled
Proser CfromFL: Carol, I’ve noticed you have been posting on Prose for two years. When did you begin to write?
Real Carol From Florida: Well, let’s just say it was after fire but before the wheel.
In 1952 my beloved 3rd-grade teacher, Mrs. Gordon, gave our class an assignment to write a poem. The process of delivering a thought from my 8-year-old mind to the tip of a stubby pencil and scrawling it on a pristine, double-ruled page of cheap newsprint paper was a new way of expressing myself. I felt important! I felt joyful! I called my poem People! People! It was about what we now call “diversity”. Back then I remember getting inspired by the different folks my father told me he met on his global travels as a Merchant Marine. Even though we looked physically different, I imagined the kids in all those countries doing kid things and being “kindly” to each other. I remember Mrs. Gordon liked my use of that word. This wonderful teacher fueled my interest in writing and showed me how to give wings to my words and let them fly into someone else’s heart.
Proser CfromFL: Before retiring as a Public Housing Administrator, you were fairly competent in business correspondence and communication. This helped you to earn a living but what has creative writing given back to you?
Real Carol From Florida: All writing is creative but writing poetry and prose gives me a chance to turn observations, emotional abstracts, and personal sentiments into a meaningful read. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Positive feedback for my work is unbelievably rewarding. The writing challenges, heart-shaped “Likes” and comments by the writers on Prose fuel my desire to make my next piece better than the last.
Proser CfromFL: At 76, I realize you may have reached many personal goals in your lifetime. Do you have an ultimate writing goal?
Real Carol From Florida: It took a long time for me to become self-confident enough to share my prose and poetry with others. At first, it was only with friends and family. Twenty years ago I bought a spiral binding machine, a good supply of 20# bond, index cover-stock, and an assortment of binding combs. I started a mini self-publishing scheme that continues to this day. When I became a Grandmother I wrote the first of perhaps 50 children’s books for my grandkids. Their highest praise came when my daughter would go to her mailbox and pull out the familiar brown envelope. It would never make it into the house. The kids would tear it open and sit in the middle of the driveway to read the latest saga by Granny C. When they got older, I began writing a monthly 3-page newsletter called Granny’s Gazette. It was a great way to keep the lines of communication open for my “Grands” in Maryland and also friends in Australia, England, California, and Canada.
Several years ago my courage grew bolder when I answered a request on the Public Radio program Rick Steve’s Travel. They wanted listeners to write about their hometowns. They chose my piece called Morning Symphony. I read it on-air and had fun doing it. I think I even won a backpack!
Prose has become the perfect niche for me to share my work. However, I can’t stop remembering that day 57 years ago when I sat in my 12th grade English class and listened to a fellow student named Laura announce to the class that she had just gotten a short story published in the New Yorker. Wow― she was published in such a well-esteemed magazine at 17! Now that would qualify as an ultimate goal if ever there was one. Hopefully, if I keep at it I can fuel up my confidence level and try writing something worthy of submitting to the New Yorker. It’s better than running on empty.
On July 16, 1945, at 5:30 in the morning, something horrific happened in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project was the U.S. Army’s code for the undertaking that launched our civilization into the nuclear age. Oddly enough, the detonation of the first atomic bomb by the United States on that Monday morning was given the theological name of the Trinity test.
Twelve hours later and 2057 miles east on the isle of Manhattan in New York, another project was launched. Me! But, leave it to the Catholics to cast a shadow of gloom on even the happiest of occasions. All newborns come into the arms of their devout Catholic mothers with the burden of sin—Original Sin. This is, of course, cleansed away with the baptismal basin ritual. The Catholics are big on rituals and are the consummate experts on sin.
I have often thought that the truest sin that day was in Alamogordo. It was far worse than that of a newborn in Manhattan. The bomb set in motion the bonafide terror of a global war machine capable of destroying the Earth. Perhaps that is why Catholics are so hell-bent on making sure we do all the rituals that rid us of sin and clear our path to Heaven. It is sort of an eternal do-over after we screwed it up down here.
Suwannee River Meltdown
I knew I would find my place before I even looked for it.
I did not find my place in a tiled roof tract house near the Atlantic in the hoo-rah in the south of the South.
I did not find my place in a pine-framed homestead in the Glades or the breathless, inland prairies north of it.
I did not find my place in a weathered beach house where the endless hurricanes churn through the Gulf and turn the Panhandle sand into talcum.
I did not find my place in a concrete palace among the coastal cities that have not aged gracefully.
The Suwannee is a soulful, gentle, mannerly river.
It frees me from the feeling of being land-locked in my forever place.
Here I found my sanctuary,
Cloistered and quiet in the pines and oaks along the waterway,
While I wait for the buzzards to circle.
Whenever there is something mechanically wrong with a car, a lawnmower, a bike, a washing machine, an air conditioner, a well pump, a water heater, or anything else with an engine or moving components, it is obvious to me that the obscure name of the replacement part is called a jimmy-jobber!
The Older I Get, the Getting Gets Old
Stuff is what happens when the “reality bus” gets a flat at the intersection of Need and Choice.
As I age, I have learned to have more of less. What is left becomes more valuable. Knowing what is truly worth having creates freedom from the burden of endless commodities and superfluous options crowding up the marketplace. I have become oblivious to the bombardment of fabricated dilemmas and the products to fix them.
As the saying goes, “I keep it simple, stupid.” And, it is getting easier and easier to just say…..stuff it!
When you live a long time, you stop worrying and waiting for the buzzards to circle. The notion of death not being an end but just a transition is comforting and a source of constant curiosity.
A few days after the death of my Colombian husband, a large and very friendly stray dog wandered into my yard. This was not an unusual occurrence in my rural, country town so I made sure he was fed and had cool water to drink in the late summer heat. I named him Boz.
At dusk, we began a ritual of having a porch-sit in what passed for an evening breeze. His big eyes never left mine as I would softly talk to him about my loss. He would tilt his head if I began to cry. He put his chin on my knee until the sad moment faded.
As the din of crickets signaled the end of the day, Boz would rise and begin to walk to his favorite sleeping place under my shed. I don’t know when I first noticed that his stride had a gentle cadence and delicate rhythm. It was smooth and sexy like a Samba in Bogotá.
Without a fence or chain, he knew he was free to roam the country woods and riverfront. He was a traveler but stayed near to me until he sensed I could face my grief. Or-was it something else?
I Like Being a Bystander
I have never flown a plane and
dropped a nuclear explosive
I have never fired a missile
or a smart bomb
I have never shot a rocket launcher
or pulled the pin on a grenade
I have never shot an M-16
or a rifle or a pistol
I have never used a bayonet or wielded a sword
or stabbed with a knife
I have never aimed a
sling-shot or thrown a rock
but I would place a pebble
in the cogs of the war machine
in a blink
to make it stop…………