Passing the Torch – Friday Fictioneers

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting and to Roger Bultot for this week’s photo prompt.

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing group, challenged to write a 100-word story with a beginning, middle, and end. Everyone is welcome to give it a try.

My 100-word story follows.

from-roger
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Passing the Torch

Miranda stared at Scarlett starring at herself half-dressed in the mirror. A lacy bra hugged her delicate curves and her lashes fluttered amid a patchwork of highlights and shadows.

It was yesterday all over again. Miranda choked on the musty dust of backstage and held her breath.

“Oh,” said Scarlett.  “Your last performance. But you don’t look ready.”

“It’s just a cameo.” She placed a pair of dangling, diamond earrings in her palm. “These are sitting in for my last performance instead. Wear these tonight. For me.”

“Such an honor.” Scarlett’s hands shook as she put them on.

“Keep them.”

********************

For more stories from the Fictioneers, click here.

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Not Exactly Hallmark Moments

It was only yesterday that we managed to decorate our Christmas tree. I’m sure we get the prize for being the last on the block. Really, I don’t have an excuse. As I write this, there are only four days to spare before Christmas. I admit I’m a bit delayed this year. Okay, really delayed…like I’ve never been this delayed in all my life!

But I have to tell you, there’s something about waiting until the last minute that takes the pressure off. The burden is no longer to make it just so, but for it to just “be.”

I always looked forward to decorating as a kid, and growing up in a household of six kids, there were always many hands for the job. My two boys lost interest after placing just a few ornaments. Instead, they became consumed with dancing to Christmas music and petting the cat. Capturing the moment was lost because my phone died. The family photo was out anyway, because my son paraded around in his boxers. But yet the tree got decorated, with me pining away at ornaments past. It probably took a bit longer is all.

A few treasured ornaments from friends:

Angels
Angels
Flying Dancing Girl
Flying Dancing Girl
Flamingo
Flamingo

And this, the scribbled cutout my son made when he was two:

Christmas2014 019
I will never part with this.

The decorating is complete!

Applause, applause.
Applause. Applause.

There our little artificial tree stood, sparkling and crooked, not surprising since most things are a bit off-center in our house. I guess it goes without saying that our tree would follow suit. Of course, this can be fixed with a particular viewpoint and willing tilt of the head. No matter, our forward-slanting tree is simply eager to live in our house and participate in Christmas. That’s all.

Unfortunately, we let our eager tree down by miscalculating its placement, and so we couldn’t open the shutters to show off its loveliness to the world. After it was all decorated, we had to move the delicate tree…and it tipped over. My husband desperately tried to save the falling tree, but it was too heavy.

It was too late.

It crashed to the ground.

We lost half the ornaments.

I shrieked and fell to the floor.

A disaster, and this only moments after completing the decorating.

But a few twists of its legs, and it’s fixed. Crooked it will be.

Just a bit tilty...or maybe it's me.
Just tilt you head and the tree magically straightens! You don’t believe that it’s tilty, do you?…Maybe it is me.

We’ve come a long way. This was our very first Christmas tree, twenty-three years ago:

Christmas2014 020
It can fit anywhere.

And this pile filled with decorations to dress up the house will probably be scooped up and put back in the box from whence it came. Yep.

Christmas2014 002
Maybe Santa can stay.

This shelf, usually reserved for my winter wonderland, has been transformed into my son’s trinket museum. We already had one fight over this months ago, with him ending in tears. My son rarely cries. No, we’ll let this one go, too.

Well, there is the Nutcracker....and Spooky Halloween Man.
There is the Christmas Nutcracker. But let’s not forget, Spooky Halloween Man.

My winter wonderland will be merged into one shelf. The frog really doesn’t care where he plays his guitar, and it really doesn’t matter to me either.

Christmas2014 009
And, you don’t need snow for a Winter Wonderland. Who says?

No matter where you are celebrating the holidays…

May you be surrounded by beaming hearts full of laughter, and
may the joy of the season fill you with love and light,
and remain with you now and throughout the New Year.

(If you needed a Hallmark moment, I just gave you one!)

Hallmark moments or not, I truly hope that you are celebrating all that is right at this moment in your world. That’s what counts.

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Take one, please....I've been eating too many!
Take one, please….I’ve been eating too many!

With love,
Amy

 

How About a Lovely Tree in Your House?

I’ve been doing some heavy thinking these days. Does anyone think it’s strange to cut down a living tree, put it in your house, and decorate it? How strange are we to do this? If you consider that the first “tree inside the house” had actual candles on it, yes, it is indeed strange. This sounds like a perfectly good idea, doesn’t it? Let’s put candles on a dead, dry, flammable tree inside of your house.

It was the Germans who brought the tree into the house first. The Evergreen tree, which remained green all year-long, was special during the cold winter months, and held dear, so dear, they brought it inside the house. It is believed that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added candles to the tree to mimic the stars outside.

We can thank Albert Sadacca for turning the candles into electric bulbs. He was only fifteen at the time, and his family happened to have some extra bulbs on hand. Safety was the main factor in this progression. Later the bulbs became a string of lights, which didn’t catch on right away. He only sold a hundred strands his first year. They became more popular when he started painting the bulbs in red, green, and other colors. Needless to say, that guy had a bright idea. A little joke for you.

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t quite “feel” like Christmas until we have decorated our tree.  For the last six years, we’ve been going to a Christmas tree farm to select a tree. We’re greeted with hugs and candy canes. It makes me feel good, too, to support a local tree grower. They cut the tree in such a way that it will regrow yet another tree in its place.

We take our time picking out a tree, enjoying the property. Even if we see our tree within minutes of looking, we still wander around. For me, it’s one of my favorite things about Christmas. Someday, I’ll probably switch to artificial. In the meantime, however weird this tree thing is, I dig it!

Tree Farm
Potential Christmas trees, everywhere!
Tree Farm
My boys always find the water.
Trees on the hill. This is where we found our tree. It's on the right, or is it the left?
Trees on the hill. This is where we found our tree. It’s on the right, or is it the left?
Tree Farm
Don’t forget the cocoa and cookies, homemade even, They think of everything.

 

 

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A blazing, blinding holiday tradition
History of Christmas Trees
The History of Christmas Lights