Posts Tagged ‘hard times’

Photo by Jan Wayne Fields

July 1862
Dearest Sarah,
I write this with great apprehension but feel compelled to do so before you and the children depart Missouri.
This is an inhospitable land full of poisonous snakes, swollen rivers, and murderous Indians.
Please remain home until I send for you.
Forever yours,

June 1862
My Dearest Matthew,
I am sending sorrowful news. Little Annie died of snake bite yesterday.
Last week Tommy and June succumbed to the cholera,
and your favorite horses were lost crossing the Green River.

I wish I had stayed put.
With a heavy heart,
Your Sarah

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The last light-hearted story I attempted to write turned out to have wife-beating and kidnapping as key features. So, today I have paid particular attention to making a feel-good story for Christmas. The picture that inspired the story was provided by Roger Bultot and posted, as usual, by our fairy blog mother, Rochelle. Thank you both.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Everyone declared Lizzie the best dang gal they’d ever met.
Best gal. Worst gal. Lizzie didn’t care what they called her.
She always worked hard: serving coffee, wiping tables, taking guff.
The townspeople were poor, so she never expected tips
but not one goll durn patron left a tip for over 5 months.
How’s she gonna’ get by?
Those quarters were Lizzie’s bus money. Shoot.
She’d been walkin’ to the diner for a month.
Lizzie flipped the lights. Locked up.
Outside sat a good-looking used car
festooned with balloons.
The tag dangling from the longest string read,
“Merry Christmas! Lizzie-Girl!”




Even though you have a good life – a great life – you often long to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Take the guy you found on Facebook – by accident – and you thought “what a funny guy” because the picture was of a road sign that read INDIAN WRITING with an arrow below the words, and the arrow was pointing at the guy, an Indian, standing in the road with a notebook and pen – writing. You ask him to be your friend and, even though he has no idea who you are, he says yes. The more posts you read, the more you like him. He is an archaeologist. You did archaeology for twelve years! He posts selfies: him on the rim of the grand canyon, him holding an ancient pot shard, him uncovering the floor of a long-abandoned hogan. Oh, how you want to walk in his shoes – for just a day, maybe two. He posts pictures of his legs spread long on a couch with his favorite cat nestled on his knees. You love cats! He is also a rancher. He posts pictures of empty cattle troughs and thirsty cows. He explains how many trips it takes to fill each trough by water truck. How much that costs. He shows pictures of dying cattle. His last post says he is out of money. Not even two pennies to rub together. You decide your shoes fit just fine.

Take your favorite co-worker. We’ll call her Eva. Everyone admires her – loves her if truth be told – not just because she is a Scandinavian beauty with hair the color of golden silk and eyes bluer than flax flowers. They love Eva because she does simple things: throws “baby” showers for newly acquired pets, remembers children’s birthdays, brings chocolates to anyone feeling down and out, and always, always laughs at corny jokes. You love Eva because she called every night for a week after your mother died. You would wear her shoes in an instant if it meant you could learn how to be as thoughtful and kind as Eva. One day Eva is fired. Gone in a snap. True, she deserves to be let go. Each day for a month she has carefully peeled the end paper off a spool of thread – thirty shades of pink – then put the end paper back. Not much, but surely dishonest. You don’t know why she has stolen thread, nor do you care. No one asks. Not even your boss – no second chances. Everyone drops Eva like a hot rock. Especially you. Stealing is wrong – even something as simple as three yards of thread is too much. Later you discover she lives in a broken down trailer on the wrong side of town with her mother – turned invalid by her drunken father. She supports both of them and two nephews abandoned by her sister. Today a hand-made quilt arrives for your newborn baby girl The card reads “Love, Eva.”

Today you decide your shoes feel a bit worn, too tight, and maybe you need to rethink the style.