Teapot – Theme Friday

I’m a little teapot, short and stout – here is my handle, here is my spout…” Before I ever knew what those words meant, I sung them to amuse grown ups. Mommy…Daddy…aunties and uncles.  The words gave me a fleeting power to command the eyes, ears and attention of adults. For those few moments, I ruled, cavorted, made them laugh and praise me — using my blond ringlets and fetching dimples to their maximum power.

It wasn’t long though before I connected the words to the vessel that made tea. A wonderous liquid with healing capabilities far beyond touted claims. The power to comfort. The power to reassure. The power to warm. The power to make a sick little girl feel not so sick, not so lonely.

And tea had its greatest power when I was ill. Mama always made me tea and toast whenever I was sick. Oddly, when I was sick and Mama went through the tea and toast ritual it was the only time I felt unconditional love emanating from her. Bringing a tray into my darkened sick room, Mama spoke softly – felt my forehead and smiled at me as though I were the center of the universe. Truth be told, there were times when I wasn’t as sick as I pretended to be. I craved her love so—to be the owner of all her attention and care. To remove my siblings from the equation…

Granny’s teapot, a relic we inherited, was once grand and lovely. All the way from County Cork Ireland it traveled to find its new home in America. I don’t much remember Granny because she left us when I was very small.  Eyes the color of jade, clear and unmutuable—hands white as milk with fine blue veins pulsing beneath the skin.

That teapot became Granny in my mind – fine structure, but ancient in its wage against time.  Pale and edged in faded gold and a spray of faded pink roses front and back. And from it came comfort, strength, love and reassurance. And I cried the day it finally died by suicide from a high pantry shelf. Tea never tasted the same after that and I spend my weekends looking for another Granny teapot and the curative powers it imparted.

copyright 2010

What powers does Christine’s teapot have?

Anywhere But Here – Theme Friday

copyright anita rodgers 2009, writer chick talks, theme friday

Take me home – take me to meeting, take me out to the ballgame. Take me anywhere but here. This place called memory. This street called misery. This town called lonely.

Slap me, snub me, say bad things but don’t say you love me. Don’t tell the lie of all lies. Don’t pretend remorse, regret or reconsideration. Contempt, in the end, is more palitable and more honest.

Blame me for my words, my actions, my failures but not for your inadequacies. Hold me accountable for anything I have done to you and not what you have done to me.

Hate me, despise me, avoid me, cut me out of your life because I deserve it not because you can’t face my presence. Because you can’t deal with truth. Because I see you in all your glorious flaws but still choose to stay.

Turn your back, turn around, turn your words into any shape you like but leave mine intact and unaltered.

Take me fishing, take me bowling, take me on a moonlight cruise – hell take me to Starbuck’s. Take me anywhere but here.

copyright words and photo 2009
Where is Christine’s anywhere?

November Moon – Theme Friday

november moon aura

November Moon has stolen Summer’s kiss and cast it into the abyss. I watch from frosty windows as she covers the sky with black velvet robes and adjusts her crown of artic icy sparkle.

My cheek feels her chill and brings the light of her last escapade and offense. Heart stops and aches a little – tears freeze halfway down, throat catches breath before it fogs the pane. I do not welcome the snow but I miss it now. I am a child of the Sun but the Moon brings dark winter into my embrace and I hold steadfast. Stubborn.

To forgive and forget is a lovely cliche – but it has no use in the real world. To forgive is divine, but I am not a god – just a mere human, frail and volatile, confused and conflicted, sad and regretful.

I want to forgive you. I try to forgive you. But I can’t forgive you. Why? I ask the November Moon but she only smiles her sly, albeit radiant smile and eases further across the sky. Making me want to follow her but I am too weary.

It’s true. Love is not for me – the magic and joy will always elude. Pass by my door and dance after more deserving souls.


Where has the November Moon taken Christine?

Judgment – Theme Friday

purple day

The judgment in your eyes surprised because I thought I would find love there. I thought I would find kindred and hope but most of all – future. But the color was doubt – the promise, betrayal.

And I gave up my mountains and eternal sunshine for you. I surrendered my worldly, my material – all that I owned and all that owned me. All that I knew. To learn the geography of you.

And you gave me your stormy days and flinty sky – your shadow and hooded eyes. Your trust hid and lurked among the fortress of books you kept with care. Unlike my heart – which you stuffed in a drawer with the other junk you couldn’t part with.

I was the trophy you kept in the attic of some yonder day, some nether dream of what could never be. A victory won in your dream of dreams. Too good for the real. Yet the real wasn’t good enough for the now.

And when you slept your flight was solo – always. Your back, a closed door to my eager and hopeful embrace. Always time for details but never time for me, or us. Mocking danced in your blues and derision smiled in the silence that I could never pierce, never find ingress.

And you judge me still for daring to see you. For uttering the words that tell my truth. For opening the wound and letting it bleed all over your dotted i’s and crossed t’s. For making it messy and spilling out of the box you call home.

But let the moon and the stars and the open fields judge me. The sky, the night air, the jasmine whose tendrils stand watch at my window. The sun and the trees, the eyes that beam kindness, the hearts that know love. Yes, there I will be judged in the purple glory of dusk.


What judges Christine?

Fresh – Theme Friday

fresh theme friday, writerchick talks, original fiction

“Fresh!” the word was said with such disdain that one might have thought a cardinal sin had been committed. In reality, it was merely an utterance of verbal indiscretion. A compliment of a visceral nature. But Bobbi was a nice girl who wore flannel pajamas by night and bobby sox by day. Who never had a hair out of place nor wore the cheap red lipstick that so many of her classmates favored.

She was a college woman and attended it to learn, to better herself, and someday the world. Not to find a man that would ensure a future of a lovely home in the suburbs, four fresh-faced children and a lifetime membership at the Glenwoods Country Club. Not to be the little woman behind a great man. “Everyone, man or woman have the potential of greatness,” she wrote in her thesis.

Bobbi had dreams that she would be somebody and she wasn’t about to let a man ruin that or waylay her plans.

Louie was persistent. He loved Bobbi from the moment he saw her in the playground in the first grade. Her copper-colored hair and dungarees amidst a sea of tow-headed darlings in well-starched pinafore made her stand out like an American Beauty in a field of daisies.

“I’m a person first and a girl second,” she told Louie as she nimbly climbed the jungle gym, better than any boy Louie knew. She fascinated him and his heart was Bobbi’s from that moment on. Though Bobbi never wanted Louie’s presence in her life, much less his heart – she was a free spirit, a person with her own mind.

“I told you to go away,” Bobbi snapped, but her voice was lyrical to Louie’s ears.

Louie flashed his perfect grin and shrugged. “Someday Bobbi, you and me, someday.”


Bobbi shook the ancient memory and focused on the upcoming Board meeting. True to her goals, Bobbi had become somebody – the first female Chairman of the Board of Telco Communications. In fact, one of the most powerful in the country – a pioneer for women’s rights and achievements. Still, her thoughts were only of Louie.

“My number came up,” he said out of the blue. His brilliant smile arced but his weren’t smiling as they usually did.

Bobbi felt a pain, deep and disquieting with those words. All the years of resisting Louie fell away. Tears spilled from her amber eyes and she took his hand and asked, “When?”

They were inseparable for the next two weeks. Openly in love and steeped in unquenchable passion. The night before he left, they exchanged vows and pledged themselves to one another – forever.

Letters passed between for more than a year. Each one from Louie shorter and more alarming. He lived in a jungle, fearful, ate little, slept less. And dreamed of home – of her, for she was his home. He lived only for that. But the world or life or God had other plans for Louie and the telegram came.

A folded flag was delivered with gratitude of the United States government.

“Are you ready for the meeting?” Bobbi’s assistant poked her head in.

Bobbi nodded and rose to her feet and her eyes fell on the photo of she and Louie on their last night together. “Fresh,” she whispered and went to face the responsibilities of being somebody.

themefrilogo, writer chick talks, blooot, all the elbows

To see what’s fresh with Christine look here  and to see what’s fresh with Jess look here.

Saturday – Theme Friday

saturday-memories, grandfather, love, family, original fiction
I dreamed Saturday to hurry up and come. The first day of summer – the day I would see my Poppy again. He would drive his old, bouncy truck up the gravel road, and announce his arrival with a squeak of questionable brakes and unsettled dust.

pocket-watch-handsI held fast to his pocket watch and put it to my ear and listened to the tick, tick, tick as each second passed by. Poppy gave it to me and said, “Marni, when you miss me, you hold this old watch to your heart and you’ll feel my heart beating too.” I did and often. That old watch was important, they gave it to him after he gave them thirty years of work and sweat. I didn’t know who they were but I knew the watch was dear. I knew he loved me the most because he gave it to me.

Saturday was so near and each tick brought it closer. I imagined us sitting at the end of the dock, trolling for catfish. We’d catch two, at least. Poppy’s special bait of white bread and Cheese Whiz was irresistible to catfish. Oh yes, at least two catfish for Mama’s frying pan. After we took pictures of our prizes, we’d nail them to the ancient hickory and skin them good. Then give them to Mama for a light dusting of cornmeal and a bath of hot lard.

We’d eat and laugh, and Poppy would steal my nose between bites of catfish and sips of coffee. Afterward, we would wander through the woods and scavenge for wild berries and violets. The tin bucket pinging out a tune with each handful dropped into its hungry mouth.

“If I go to sleep, Saturday will come. Poppy will come,” I told myself. And as the moon rose and shimmied through my windows, the angels wooed me to slumber. Cradled me in dreams of giggles and adventure.

Morning came so quietly I almost missed it. The house was still and I worried everyone had forgotten about me. I hurried into my dungarees and pink plaid shirt – then raked excited hands through tangled curls. Poppy didn’t care if my hair was a fright. He called it my mane and proclaimed, “You’re my little queen of the jungle, lion girl. That you are.”

“Poppy!” I sang out as I burst into the kitchen. Empty. No Mama, no Daddy – no smell of coffee and eggs and the hot rolls that Poppy loved. The old pocket watch that hung around my neck felt different – heavy – and my hand trembled as I put it to my ear. No, tick, tick, tick…


Jess’s Saturday lounges here and Christine’s Saturday lazes  here

A Memory – Theme Friday

blue-jay-wall, memories, memory triggers, themed fiction

Sally dug in her garden and reveled in the scent that filled her nostrils. She felt the pulse of the earth as the loamy soil sifted through her fingers. The heat of the sun sunk deep into Sally’s bones and rested there like the arm of an old friend. Her old straw hat cast a floppy shadow as the still nimble hands worked their magic – it would be her best garden yet.

A flutter to her left drew Sally’s eyes up. A bluebird, a jay, perched on the garden wall and pretended not to be there. Birds often perched on that wall and ignored her while being intensely interested in her activities but this bird was different.

Its brilliant blue feathers sparkled in bright morning shine and a memory from Sally’s long ago lilted by. “Blue eyes…the brightest blue eyes,” she said aloud and the Jay cocked its head as though to listen harder.

Sally hadn’t thought of Will for a long while – it had been forever since her life had included him. But now he was there and palpable. His laugh. His crooked grin and the blonde hair that always fell in his eyes. Her heart fluttered like a young girl on her way to a first school dance. How she had loved him and the old sycamore that brought them together. They laughed about everything. They danced under the moon and wished upon stars that shone only for them. At times, they were one soul, one heart, one mind. Sally sat in the memory for a long moment and listened to the music that was their life and she smiled.

The jay squawked and took flight and Sally came back to her garden – the blue of the sky was all that remained.


Christine’s memory sparkles here and Jess’s memory chimes here.

Hi Dad


Hi Dad,

Another year. Another Father’s Day. I’m reminded of you in ways both good and bad.

Good because of all the laughs and late night heart to hearts. The smiles and in jokes. The funny looks and winks.

Bad because those times are gone and have been for some time. And the years march on and there are so many things that have happened that I wanted to tell you about. And I do. But I’m not really sure if you’re still ‘out there’ listening.

I know you’re still ‘here’ inside my heart. I know that I keep that place warm and safe. Keep it a nice place for you to visit.

I miss you in ways that defy words. Deep missings.

And on some level, I know that you know.

Even though I can’t call you with news and events of my whacky life – I’m hopeful you still get the memo.

I never forget. I always remember. You are my dad. My hero. My angel.



Connections – Theme Friday

Yes, Theme Friday is back with the original crew, me, Christine and Jess and we’re really all pretty jazzed. We hope you are too.

Danny walked slowly toward the entrance, though the rain saturated his lightweight jacket and plastered his dark hair to his forehead; he was in no hurry to get to his destination. There were many things worse than being rained on. Many things sadder than the rain.

The door felt heavier as he gave it a tug for the thousandth time. How many times had that old door met with his reluctant hand, he wondered.

Whoosh and thud, the door closed behind him and by so doing sealed him inside the jar of wasted souls, befuddled minds and the indifferent guardians of their final days. The air wore a perfume of antiseptic, age and grief. If tears had a smell, Danny thought, they would smell like this place. If broken hearts required real estate, they would live here. Danny’s shoes squeaked a lonely tune as he made his way to room 232.

Nora did not look up when Danny entered and it had been years since that was the case. The days when he could see the spark of her lighting up a room. The days when the wry smile that teased the corners of her mouth upward was quick and constant. The days when the connection of them was still there.

“Ma?” he asked, always hopeful there still existed a neuron somewhere deep within Nora that recognized his voice and could make her see him.

Nora, remained still in her chair – tiny and frail, so very alone behind the closed door that was her mind. She faced the only window that looked out on a small birch and some grass, and it seemed to melt as the rain clung to the windowpane.

Danny crossed the room to Nora and gently squeezed her shoulder to make his presence known. Her head turned slightly and he saw the suspicion in her eyes, where once love and adoration lived.

“Hi Ma,” Danny smiled. “It’s me, Danny. Your son.” And his heart ached and fell back when Nora’s eyes went vacant again, as they usually were.

It was the dinner hour and an orderly brought in a tray for Nora, nodded to Danny and was gone like a ghost on a mission of invisibility. Though Danny tried to get Nora to eat, the only thing she would open her mouth for was the tapioca. “Mmmmm,” she murmured after each spoonful and her eyes glimmered as some tapioca memory went live from the sensation of the taste in her mouth.

“You always loved your tapioca, huh Ma?” And he flashed on his own memory of being two and stuffing tapioca by the fistfuls into his mouth as a proud Nora egged him on.

“Where’s Daddy?” she asked, suddenly inhabited by her former self.
“Not here, Ma – maybe later.” There was no way to explain death to someone who doesn’t know who they are.

“Oh,” she murmured and was gone, leaving just the shell of what she was behind. They sat and watched the rain and millions of memories mimicked the millions of raindrops that tapped out a lullaby on the windowpane. Their connection had always run deep. Danny’s first memory was of her. The auburn curls he reached for. The bright blue eyes that spoke to him without words. The infectious laugh that always captured his own funny bone.

She taught him to love nature. To care for his dog, Snuffy. To cook. To say his prayers. And to always give others a second chance. Everything he knew about people he learned from her. Everything he held dear she’d given him one way or the other. What hurt Danny the most was that Nora no longer remembered the gifts she’d bestowed upon him and countless others. No longer knew the value she had given the world.

Danny came out of his reverie to find Nora asleep in her chair, snoring softly and twitching her nose. How that twitching nose had always endeared her to him, like sweet bunny rabbit entices a child.

Gently, he picked her up and marveled at her lack of weight and mass, seeming no heavier than Danny’s eight year old, Katie. With practiced care, Danny lay Nora in her bed and covered her with the thin, blue hospital blanket.

The rain continued to pummel the outside world and Danny sat with Nora a while longer – until the nurse told him it was time to go. Danny bent and kissed Nora’s forehead. “I love you, Mommy,” he whispered.

“I love you too,” Nora replied from her cocoon of sleep. And for a moment the connection re-ignited and Danny felt whole again.

Danny thanked God for that rare gift, walked out into the rain and let it join his tears.


Jess is connecting here and Christine is connecting here – go connect with both of them, you won’t regret it.

I'm Thinking About Christmas…

I’m thinking about Christmas. To those of you who know me, you also know that Christmas is and always has been a big deal to me. I really look forward to it every year – it is my favorite holiday and always has been. I simply am not happy if I can’t buy presents, send cards, decorate, cook and bake up a storm for Christmas.

Naturally, this Christmas I won’t be doing any of those things. Recent events – such as selling everything I own and moving cross country – has sort of superceded Christmas and its requisite activities. And to tell you the truth I’m not nearly as upset as I feared I would be. Sure, I’m disappointed that I can’t do what I always do but then maybe it just means I have to be more creative than usual.

So, how does one celebrate Christmas with no funds whatsoever? Seriously, I am not kidding – there is zero budget for Christmas this year. In fact, I was joking with a friend the other night, explaining that I was so broke that likely I wouldn’t even be able to afford to send free ecards to anyone. I did buy a little (living) Christmas tree to hang my one box of Christmas ornaments I brought with me. After the holiday, we will plant it in the big, big yard so it can grow to be a big pine someday. I think I have a couple of stamps so I may send my mom an actual Christmas card if I can find where I packed them.

I think mostly I will just listen to Christmas music and sing along when no one is listening. I will bake pumpkin bread and maybe some cookies and we’ll have turkey with stuffing for dinner. Sometime in the next few days I will write a Christmas story, as has been my tradition these last few years. I will write Christmas themed poetry too. I will watch the Christmas movies I managed to stuff into the trunk before we left L.A. and do so by the light of our little Christmas tree. But more than anything I will celebrate Christmas by counting my blessings. That I am relatively healthy, and so are my pets, I am with the love of my life in our sweet, funny little house, that I have many dear and wonderful friends and though life may not be filled with many material things, it is filled with the things that matter – snowflakes, Christmas lights, music, the smell of good food, rosy cheeks, smiling faces, love and joy. What more, really, could you ask for?