Raid on Anglesey {Alexander Brodie}

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   The youngsters in my care huddled together in fear as the Roman soldiers stormed the beaches of the Isle of Anglesey. We had been in a rousing session of spell work when word reached us of their landing. Their intent was clear, annihilation. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gripped with fear for myself, which gave me the overwhelming desire to cloak myself with a spell and run. Alas, the children were left in my care and my responsibility to them outweighed my own fears. It did leave me with a few thoughts, however. If I could extend the spell to the children and they stay huddled and silent. I rolled my eyes at that thought, 14 completely terrified children stay together and silent. Who was I kidding? I had to come up with another plan, and fast. I didn’t even like children, by the gods, I should just leave them! I threw a glance back at them and one striking redhead with piercing blue eyes engaged me. Her old soul connects with mine and I see a flash of her past life. I swore right there, I would get them out, even if it cost me mine. 

    I asked Gaia to show me where the soldiers were on the island so I could plan our escape. She sent me images of several of our ritual sites and homes being burned to the ground or destroyed by other means, but that told me enough. This was my home, I knew places hidden from the unknowledgeable. I replied to her that we would need a passage to the cave system opened for us and she parted the earth in the corner next to me, a natural stone staircase forming in a curved pitch into the caverns below. I motioned to the children to remain silent and for them to begin their descent from oldest to youngest. As the children pass me, I tell them each a spell to repeat as they walk. The whispering filled the caverns as we continued through the cave system. Closing the earth back as if it had never been an opening or staircase, Gaia completed her task. The eldest child at the front was given the spell for illumination and was leading  the way through the dark cavern system to the beach at the end. 

      We meandered through the massive cave system for a while. Periodically I would ask Gaia to show me the location of the Roman’s above us and every time, it was all I could do to remain calm. My home and family were being plowed down and I was cowering in a cave! This time was a vision of Albin throwing balls of light at a row of soldiers. They fell in a bright explosion as the light hit them and expanded. The whispers from the children varied in volume as the children began to wear from the travel. After what seemed like hours, I finally saw the light ahead of us as we reached the end of the cave system. I passed the children so I could beat them to the entrance of the cave. As I arrived at the opening, I cast the invisibility spell and told the children to stay back behind the lip of the cave. I peeked my head out and looked around. The beaches were relatively empty as the soldiers had moved inland. There were a few standing guard at the boats, but half of them were huddled up talking, not paying attention. I looked for the closest boat and devised a plan to move the children. I had to get 14 little bodies across the beach and into a boat without alarming the men…I was insane. I stepped up onto the outcropping surrounding the cave to get a better look. Sighing, I stepped back down to the sand and back to the children. They huddled around me as I dropped the spell. “Well, how are we going to get away from here?” the redhead asked. Her voice was surprisingly level despite the circumstances. I caught her blues eyes and replied to the group. 

     “OK, so, you know how I gave each of you a spell to say all the way down here?” They nodded in response. “Good, can you tell me what they meant?” They nodded and again one by one they told me their spell and what they were for. Fire, Wind, Light, a wave of power typically used to knock your opponent off their feet. They all continued, some with repeating spells. “Good, now remember, you do not have the unlimited power of Gaia, yet. You must save enough energy to keep moving. Do you understand?” The fourteen heads surrounding me bobbed.”Ok, here’s the plan. There is a boat large enough for us to all fit in about 5m away. The guards are about 15m away. I will do everything in my power to make us all invisible, but I cannot guarantee I can hide everyone. I need you all two to three deep, so you are still in a smaller bunch, OK?” They nodded again.

      They lined up in rows, smaller ones behind the larger ones. I reached out to Gaia again for help. She shook the ground under the Roman’s feet and while they were distracted I pulled energy from her and sent my spell of invisibility down the line of children. It flickered but it worked better than I expected. Now, how long it would last was another story altogether. We took off from the cave entrance towards the boat at the water’s edge. My spell began to falter and the flickering grew worse, practically acting as a beacon instead of camouflage. I yelled back to the children to drop to the ground and as they complied, I dropped the spell, turning my power and attention to the soldiers. I threw the same balls of light Albin had been throwing then switched it to fire. “NOW!” I yelled and the children joined me in throwing their spells.

     “Little ones to the boat, now…go go go!” The smaller ones that would have less stamina were sent first. The middle size children were slowing down with their barrage, so I knew they were running low, too. There were only three of them so I sent them on as well. Finally, it was just me and the older three. A few of the guards slipped out of ranks, and using the ocean, flanked us. I heard a clater from the boat and the children behind me screamed. I turned to look, dropping my guard for a second before one of the older children beside me cried out as well. “Ifreann fuilteacha” I yelled as all hell seemed to break out. Both groups of children were being attacked and there was only one of me. I threw my left hand out and threw a ball of light at the soldier with his sword raised to a boy’s chest. Turning my head I threw three more light balls towards the boat, striking the men trying to climb aboard. I yelled at the older kids still on the shore to run to the boat and we took off together. We clambered into the boat and pushed off from the shoreline. Two of the older lads began rowing the boat away from the island as I kept throwing light and fire. Crying began behind me as my energy waned and the island grew out of range. I turned back towards the stern of the boat to assess the children to find bloody water sloshing at my feet. “NO! No no no no!” I stepped forward towards the huddled and crying children to find several of the smaller children had not escaped the blade of the soldiers before I got to them. I knelt in the center of the boat and checked all the children. I gently picked up and cradled each one of the children that didn’t make it. I prayed to the gods to grant them a safe passage until their new life and slipped them overboard into the water. The others continued sobbing as their friends were released and I felt no reason to interrupt them. I felt so empty and lost as I looked at each life left in my care. How would I take care of all of them alone? Where would we go? These and so many more questions filled my mind as we headed to the mainland.Then it occured to me…what if there were more soldiers on the banks of the mainland, too?

Moving Day {Alexander Brodie}

 

    Waking as the dawn crept into my window, I stretched and greeted the day. “Morning Gaia,” I said as my feet touched the cold, hard floor. A warmth filled me despite the chill in the air as Gaia communed with me. I made up my bed and took out a clean linen shirt from the old wooden chest at the foot. After the quick change from my nightshirt to the fresh one, I bent to pick up my plaid and began the process of folding and laying it out. It was a methodical, but soothing, part of my day. The pleats and folds lined up perfectly with the pattern and weave the loom created. I lay on the floor, lining my belt up with my hips, and folded the longer, flat sections of fabric over my stomach before buckling my belt to hold it in place. When I stood, the long back flap of material hung to the middle of my calf. I gathered the remnant and folded it over my shoulder, tucking it into belt at the front. Pulling aside the room dividing curtain, I made my way to the hearth and stoked the remaining embers before laying some fresh logs on, restarting yesterday’s flames. The daily routine was cathartic, but leads to complacency. Complacency, often leads to trouble. As the logs caught alight I prepared my tea for the kettle. Standing at my apothecary cabinet, I filled the thin cloth with the special mix of herbs and whispered the spell into it as I do almost every day. Immortali-tea is a special blend of herbs and spells that help my youthful appearance. It’s my time in a cup, but also leads to interesting questions that keep me moving often. 

     Today is moving day. I tied the cloth and dropped it into the kettle, swinging the iron arm over the now lapping flames. I cut off some cheese and nibbled on it as I began packing my jars and containers of herbs into a hay-filled crate. The townspeople were coming in less and less often and the whispers had begun. I knew my time here was coming to a close and it is better to move before the hate and fear sets in. I moved on to the book cabinet, pulling my key out from under my shirt where I kept it around my neck, and unlocked the cabinet. There were some dangerous and rare books in my collection so I kept it under lock and key. Druids, as a rule, do not keep a written copy of spells, rituals and histories. Such things could be very dangerous if they came into the wrong hands…even agòrach mortals playing around with them could cause irreparable damage to the balance we are sworn to uphold. Rotating the scrolls and books in each crate, I was able to both cushion the books and distribute the weight between two of them. Pouring myself a second cup of tea, I moved on to my living quarters. One of my few remaining friends were scheduled to stop by with his horses and wagon later to help me load up the massive loom that was my livelihood, so I needed to be completely ready by the time he got here. 

     Most of my things were neatly put away, so I knew the packing in here would be quick. I folded the blankets from the bed I had made earlier and set them into the same chest I had pulled my shirt out of earlier that morning, Dragging another chest out from under my bed, I folded my feather mattress into thirds and dropped it into the second chest. Next I moved on to my room dividing curtains and quickly snipped the fastening leathers I had used to attach them onto the rope hung from each end of the room. By the time I finished folding the heavy fabric and packing the rest of my wares and supplies, my friend had arrived. Looking around, memories of customers, friends and travelers that visited my shop over the years flooded my mind. Grinning, I squatted and gripped one corner of the loom, “One, two, three, LIFT,” we strained, lifted the loom and shuffled in unison to the door. Setting it down at the doorway to adjust our grip, we made small talk about the shenanigans we had gotten into over the last few years. We continued lugging the monstrous thing out to the wagon, stopping one more time before lifting it into the back. We both walked back inside and grabbed a crate or two. We took the heavy, room dividing fabric and carefully covered the loom with it, tying it down before loading the crates around it. The disassembled bed frame and fireside bench went next then the shelves and cabinets. We finished the load off with the large chests containing my clothes and bedding and lashed everything down. I pulled the door too and my friend handed me a hammer. I put the tines between the door and my sign and tugged. A sold crack rang in my ears as the nalis loosened and the sign popped off. I dropped my arms to my side as I stared at the square of darker wood on the door where the sun couldn’t reach. I took a deep breath and sighed. Another chapter closed. Turning to my friend, I handed him back his hammer and clutched my sign and we climbed into the front of the wagon together. He snapped the reigns and the wagon jostled forward.

High Tide

The waves of high tide crashed in front of me. Droplets of the salty surf peppered my face and arms. The setting sun warmed my skin as the breeze whipped through my hair. I opened my eyes to the beautiful rouge, rosewood, peach and magenta that surrounded me. The birds called over head in search of their next meal. My thoughts ebbed and flowed with the rolling surf, my breaths long and cleansing. In the distance the sounds of children giggling as they played on the beach brought me back to the here and now. I uncrossed my legs and spun around in place so my feet dangled off the other side of the bolder I was sitting on. I grabbed my large mesh bag and hopped off the rock, slipping my feet into my sandals I had left in the sand when I began. While I walked to my car I dug in the bottom of my bag for my keys. Moments later I was at my car and my keys were found. I pressed the button on the fob and unlocked my car. I opened the driver door and threw my bag in before I sat down behind the wheel. I took another deep breath before turning the key. “Until next week, my love.” My weekly visit with the Prince of Tides was over and life would go on… until next week.

The Fairy Dance

fAIRY TUNNEL

Giggles echoed through the trees. The wind blows through the tunnel carrying fallen leaves with it. Shivers run down your spine as you no longer feel alone. Where were the giggles coming from? There was no one there. You spin around to see if someone is over the ridge and again, find no one. You decided to accept the fact that you are not alone. You speak into the air, “Thank you for allowing me to hear you.” With soft steps, you make your way through the tunneling trees. You think you see movement above you at the root level but it is too fast, or too small, to be seen. The giggles are in front of you now. You stop again but this time, you kneel. “I mean you no harm.” You say, then bow your head, but not your eyes. This time you are prepared. They are beginning to trust you as well and move slower. You catch a glimpse of a flutter. Are your eyes deceiving you? They are too small to be children. Very slowly you raise your head to the level of your eyes. Standing, no, floating in the middle of the road is five, 3-inch figures. They are out of focus, like a hummingbird, flying so fast you can’t see their wings or get your eyes to focus on them. They catch sight of you staring at them and are gone in the blink of an eye. The wind rustles the trees again and the moment has passed. The magic is gone and you rise, ever so slowly, wondering if you really saw something or are going insane. You shake your head and continue on your way, never to experience anything like it again.

The Weaver

 

The weaver sits in the middle of the circle of stone, the full moon beaming down on her, feeding her its power. Her task never-ending, to weave and mind, cut and start anew. Where one life ends, another begins. Does this life deserve another chance or should it end here forever? The interlocking weft was perfect as an eternity of practice would lead to.

”Ah yes, this one will be a good match for this soul, let’s interlock them here.” Another weft and another life begins. Arianrhod sighed and stretched and lightning lit up the sky. She seemed to get the most done when the moon was full. Tonight’s tapestry seemed to be perfection. Her wrinkled, old fingers moved with such grace and speed, in and out, through and through. Her silver hair whipped in the breeze as the mortal’s appearance over the horizon disrupted her work. She was caught off guard as no one ever dared approach her before. The human had a strange aura to her. And Arianrhod cocked an eyebrow. The mortal bowed as she reached the outer birth of the circle to the weaver.

“What are you and how dare you interrupt me on such an important night?” The weaver asks.

“I apologize my goddess, but I have questions and this is the only time you are on this plain.”

The goddess sighed as she knew the mortal was correct. “How can I help you? And what are you? I can see you are different.”

“Thank you, ma’am. I am a Druid, among other things, and I’d like to know about my, well, my life.”

“Excuse me? I do not share such things, I don’t care who or what you are. Your life is what you make of it, you ought to know that.”

“I beg your pardon, ma’am, but that is not true. You are responsible for the warps and loops we take. I wish to know if mine is always so… well, so knotted and tangled.”

The goddess took a deep breath, clearly annoyed. Just then, lightning ran across the sky again and the druid gulped. The mortal was pushing her luck, but she had to know. “Come here druid, let me see who you are.”

Taking a few more steps towards the goddess, the druid straightened her back and dared to look her directly in the eye. Her orange hair flourished in the wind and the moonlight reflected off the silver scar across her face by her left ear. The goddess took her in and returned her gaze.

“Fenella MacHugh, dear child. Why did I not know it was you? You would be the only mortal impudent enough to approach me.” The druid smiled, almost in pride at the statement. “I cannot tell you what you want to hear, but I can tell you your life will be long and very, very full and wondrous.” And with that, the weaver turned back to her tapestry and the druid walked away from the circle.

What NaNo really looks like

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National Novel Writing Month or affectionately called by its participants, NaNoWriMo, is a sprint to write 50,000 words in 30 days! It is a challenge to not only get in that amount of words but also to find the time to write, often for hours a day. For a lot of participants, like myself, normal daily activities get pushed to the proverbial ‘back burner’ and either do not get done at all or are picked up by other family members. For a lot of us, we know the demands of this challenge and have made certain accommodations or arrangements with family members to help pick up the slack. Spouses, children and often even extended family such as siblings and parents either chip in or, at the very least, are understanding when we are less available during this time.

I for one, am blessed to have the support of my entire family, but things still get left undone, or half-done (as is normal with teenagers, right?). Laundry may get washed but sit around the house in baskets, the meals I took the time to prep at the beginning of the month get burnt or never started. And let’s not mention the dishes… UGH! If it doesn’t go in the dishwasher, it doesn’t get washed without an adult-sized meltdown by the momma that is in search of her favorite teacup that just happens to NOT be dishwasher safe.. (Why does any manufacturer make such a thing anymore? I mean, seriously!? Heathens, I tell ya!)

I have honestly been sleeping curled around a pile of clean clothes and my messenger bag for weeks now and last night, they were finally knocked to the floor. I started to get upset and yell, then I realized, this was my mess and my fault. Instead of scanning Social Media for “Inspiration”, *coughs* horseshit, I SHOULD be doing something ACTIVE. Those super-smart Scientist people actually say that physical activity makes you think clearer… Yet I sit on my butt all day and stare a blinking cursor wishing words would come… *facepalm*

Even when it does things to us we are not always proud of, why do we continue to do this time and time again? Year after year why do we submit ourselves and our families to this craziness? Simple! For me, it’s the challenge! The adventure! The endless possibilities and the promise of some amazing, and not so amazing, stories being told. I for one, look forward to it every year. Even though I love schedules and routines, I can’t wait for November to come. (For the truly dedicated, we even do a similar challenge in July!)

Another thing it does for us that I like is it helps us create a new habit of writing daily. Experts say it takes about 21 days to create a new habit and NaNo gives us 30 days of writing something creative every day. If I can write even 10 minutes every single day, then I am creating a new habit that will carry over into the next month and beyond. If I expect to become a famous published author, I need that habit in my life.  SO what does NaNoWriMo really look like? Chaos wrapped in a beautiful bow of community and togetherness and new, amazing habits that can affect your entire future. Come write with me!

Coffee and memories

74599561_1541521946012682_1168767747790733312_nAs I sit here on a beautiful EARLY Saturday morning, cuddling my niece, I had a reverse flashback and hope and pray I am making her proud.
Grandma always seemed to have a cup of cold coffee sitting somewhere in the living room, but never complained about it being cold “I like it that way” she would say.. I doubt that was true but that she had grown accustomed to it always being cold by the time she got to drink it. One of the smells that reminds me of her is cold coffee.. I guess today, by chance, I made my coffee like hers, and yes, it’s cold already.. I get up early many mornings because I keep my niece while her mom works.. {I don’t mind because she is a sweetheart, she is family, and she has a special place in my heart (always will) anyway back to today} I think I mentioned it because I wonder how often she got up early and rolled her eyes because we woke her and wanted breakfast, I wonder how often she leaned in and kissed our cheek with her coffee breath thinking I just want to finish my coffee so my eyelids will stay open. I know it’s hard to imagine her ever thinking that because we never saw that and she never mentioned it, but as a mom and caregiver I think it, but don’t show it, and wonder what went through her mind as she cuddles us with love and patience as I do my niece..
I guess I am writing this here because it’s a Saturday and I smell like coffee and my grandma and want the other mommas and grandmas smelling like coffee, with a cold cup sitting somewhere getting all the cuddles from their little ones thinking how much you wish you were in bed.. do you really? Would you really rather be in bed instead of getting cuddles? “They’re only little once” so soak it in.. they don’t care that you smell like coffee.. one day they will too!

 

(Written in July 2019 and lost without having published… )

FOOD… GLORIOUS FOOD?

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Food, glorious food.. but is it

Why is it that “most people” revolve their schedules around food? At least in the culture, I grew up in, they did. I mean, our grandparents grew up in the great depression where food was scarce, plus there were the dust bowl and other historical factors. I also understand that the farmers that provide our food need to be fed on a schedule to keep their bodies performing so they can tend their farms, but why has that mentality trickled down to our generation? We as a country are so obsessed with food. Instagram is full of pictures of what I ate today, Facebook is full of recipes and fad diets. Even New Year’s resolutions are based around food and exercise.

I grew up in a small town in the south and my days were marked by the meals times my parents, and honestly, probably those depression era grandparents that trickled down to my father, set in place. “Breakfast was the most important meal of the day”, it was how your body and metabolism got started. A jump start, if you will. 1950’s it was everything from ham, eggs, biscuits, and pancakes to mountains of eggs readily available from the back yard. Today, for most, it’s a sausage biscuit, cereal or pop tart… for me, coffee.. Yup, just coffee. And heaven forbid if lunch wasn’t at 12:00 noon.. like, seriously my dad still comes home, or inside from the busyness he’s doing AT NOON! He just KNOWS it’s 12! He has that internal clock set from a young age that 12 means food… Even if he ate at 10, or 11:30.. ok, maybe not THAT drastic, but you get my point. I also understand that kids in school need fuel for their brains to continue working throughout the day… what I don’t understand is why we all seem to have the mentality that it is the center of our lives? (And yes, bodies need nourishment, but can’t our bodies tell us that, not a clock?)

Let me elaborate on that last one. I have seen so many parents bashed for underweight children, or overweight children because they don’t fit on some chart, they are told they don’t fit the model… umm, ok YAY Please DON’T FIT THE MODEL! I have seen parents fuss at their kids for not eating all their food on their plate because it’s waste… but momma, you let them put that much food on their plates and momma, dear momma, if they are full they are full. I realize that may start a controversy, but this is my blog, so bye bye.. look, if a child grows up feeling they have to empty their plates, isn’t that teaching them to eat even after they are full? Isn’t eating when you are NOT HUNGRY teaching them to overeat? Isn’t the U.S. the country HIGHEST in obesity? Hmmmm…. see where I am going here? Food is fuel and should never be anything more. Our bodies have come with signs that tell us when to eat. Babies cry when they need nourishment, kids ask for snacks. We KNOW when we are hungry, why must it be regimented? Did you know what you crave is typically a sigh of what your body needs? So get this, if you think you want candy, your blood sugar may be low, eat a piece of fruit. Crave chocolate? Eat DARK chocolate to release the serotonin you need.  Red meat? You need iron, eat nuts, seeds, or beans (or that steak if you can). You may just need more protein… Chips or salty things? may be a sign of mineral deficiency. Google it! At least give it a try and feed your body what it needs!

Furthermore, why the hell is junk food cheaper than real food? Seriously! Pizza rolls are a dime a dozen, chips are party size bags for $2, a small bag of apples are $3 and an air-filled bag of lettuce is $2.50! Did you know we waste more food in this country than anywhere else on the planet? Yet we have people starving in our own country! We like pretty things, so we THROW AWAY the ‘imperfect’ fruits and vegetables!!! We throw bruised produce away, and baked goods that were cooked ‘yesterday’. I honestly do not get it!

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, feed yourself, when it is hungry. Feed it what it needs. But for the love of food, do not revolve your life around it!

Rough Seas

The two sea hardened men stood on the docks admiring their crew whilst they unloaded the crates and barrels of goods. “There’s just something ’bout doin’ it the old fashioned way that gives the men pride,”  the captain said to the merchant. His blonde mane and beard speckled with grays whipped in his face as the wind blew through the harbor.

“I know what ya mean. Them big cargo ships just take all the care and connection out of it,” the merchant replied. The folds of his kilt also caught in the wind gave the two men a laugh as he mooned the passers-by behind them.

Up on the ship the crew worked diligently, flowing like the waves that rocked them. Unceasing in the eb and flow of unloading, yelling to each other through the rough and breaking air.

“Something about that one in the red shirt seems different though, is that a boy liftin’ them crates with the ease of a seasoned sailor?” the merchant asked.

“The little one with the cap on? Nae, that be a woman, and one me best sailors, too.” the captain replied as his chest swelled with pride. “She be a greenhorn just a few years ago but ye couldna tell now. She’s one me best men, and the crew loves her, too.”

“A woman! Doesna that cause issues with tha men, if you ken what I mean?” The merchant asked skeptically.

“Nae. Thought it might but they took to her really well. She be like a mother hen to ’em all, yet works as hard as me engine. She never complains about annathin’. No gillyin’ about how somethin’ is too heavy or too big, not the weather, nae the hours. She cooks a mean shepherd’s pie, too.” He laughed as he mentioned the cooking, “but don’t ask ‘er to cook ya nea else. She just might burn ya kitchen out.”

The merchant laughed and the conversation continued as the crew finished unloading the portion of the freight that was due to this port. One by one the crew slipped below deck as their jobs were complete and emerged with a backpack or duffel slung over their shoulders. They passed the captain and asked permission to go to one place or another and promised to return the following morning as they prepared for departure to the next port. As the woman approached she had a nervous look on her face but the captain knew what she was going to ask. Her tent poles stuck out of the bottom of her hiking backpack and told him right away she wanted to meet up at the next port, as she had asked before. “So which port will we be meetin’ you at this time, m’ lady?” Her anxiety shifted slightly. ”Ullapool, Sir.”, she replied with a nervous breath, her eyes searching his face as she knew what she was asking of the captain.

“Ullapool! That’s clear across the highlands from here!”

“Yes sir. I figure it’ll take about a month, and if I time it right as I have it mapped out, I should get there about the same time you do. Assuming you allow me this leave of absence and have a position available for me when I meet you there.” She said, in one long rehearsed spiel in an attempt to not let her captain interrupt her plea.

“I just don’t understand why you insist on running through the highlands like a stag ever’ so often.” You do so well at sea. If ya didna work so hard and so good I’d never let ya go!” The captain exclaimed, clearly exasperated with the crewman. “No other cap’in I know would allow such shenanigans!” He softened as he saw the pleading look on her face. She looked as though she was going to break down in tears at any moment and he quickly added, “ but cráite you, you ken how to soften a man’’s heart dinya now.” He sighed, “One day you’ll explain yerself, but go on befer I change me mind lass.” He dropped his head in defeat and shook it as he turned to watch her go. The merchant spoke up for the first time throughout the exchange and said, “Mùthaidhean, she’s got all y’all wrapped dunn she?”

“I’ve overheard enough to know a bit about her and where she came from. That combined with what she told me when I hired her, she needs this. She isna ‘confined space’ kinda gal. I dinna think I’d get as good work out’ve ‘er if I dinna let her go from time to time.”

“Really? What’s her story? She’s obviously American.” The merchant asked.

“That, my friend, requires a pint or two. Ready to go?” The captain sighed, clapping his hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“Aye, let’s go mate.” and they turned towards town, the crewmen feathered out before them. A small clump were surrounding the woman, pleading with her to not leave them again. “I just dinna understand why ya need to leave us again! Din ya love us?” The youngest man in the group pleaded.

“Aye Duncan, I do. But I love me more and I need this. I need my time in the hills. You’re from Skye, for God’s sake! Surely you can understand the NEED to be there from time to time.” she tried to explain to the boy.

“I only need to be there when me mother demands it,” he stated with disdain, “but yours is in America.”

She sighed, “How can you take the beauty and wonderment of your own country in such disgust?” Shaking her head at the boy.

“I dunno, you left yours and it’s pretty grand, too.”

“Touche’, but I left for far different reasons than yours, if you recall.” She replied flatly, putting the boy in his place. He dropped his head and felt ashamed for even comparing the two. “Yes ’em. I’m sorry, that was mean and uncalled fer, can you forgive me mum?”

“Of course I can. Just don’t be such an jerk next time, deal?”

“Yes ’em, I’ll try.” He replied sheepishly.

“Good boy, now off ya’ll go. Enjoy your night. I’ll see you in about a month. Work hard and don’t make me hear a bad report from the captain about any one of you!”

“Yes Ma’am,” they all replied as they shuffled off to the pub. She stopped outside the door, watching the men she had come to love over the past few years gather around little tables, laughing and drinking with few cares in the world. Their lives revolved around the boat, the merchandise and the captain. Little else mattered to them. A life she could only wish to have. Her past came rushing back like a storm in the middle of the Bering Sea. The boy had no idea how much he reminded her of her middlemost child. His spunk and curiosity. His true innocence of life’s hardships and how cruel it can be. She took a deep breath and slipped into the pub to a corner table meeting the bartender’s eye. He nodded in acknowledgment and sent a waitress over with a triple of scotch. She drunk it down in a matter of gulps and paid the waitress as she slipped back out into the growing darkness.

via Rough Seas — reneechristianblog

April Showers?

Yes, I am writing this May 1st. But what a month April has been! I am so overwhelmed I figured here would be the best place to share. I am hoping, wishing and praying that May is full of flowers because I am sick and tired of showers! (And I don’t mean rain.)

Do you ever just want MORE? Want to get away from your mediocre life? Ever feel like a hamster on a wheel? Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis… I don’t know but it sucks. I work from sun-up to well beyond sun-down and I am tired of never doing enough or earning enough or being able to do anything. I have dreams and ambitions and I barely get by. They say “so change it.” “Do something to change it.” I keep trying and nothing gets any better! I look for a job and get zero callbacks, I work harder at my current positions and end up finding more expenses sneak in.

My husband and kids are all happy with their mediocre life. I am NOT! I am so frustrated and I feel like nothing is going right. I have always pushed for more. My Senior year in high school I could have done half a day but I choose to take Harder classes to push myself. I was in the school choir, but I wanted more so I auditioned to join the elite group. I got in. I was in dance classes… I took more and pushed myself to do better, harder, longer. I studied until I fell asleep in my books. Always pushing for more, for better… In my past jobs, I wanted to do a good job and get recognized by management. I pushed and excelled to do my best at all times. When I joined CrossFit, I pushed my body harder and harder to hit those PRs and lose the weight my inactive lifestyle and poor food choices earned me. I never Rep’ed! NOT ONE WOD in over a year…

I want, no, I NEED a breakthrough in life!!! Maybe this is what a mid-life crisis looks like. I don’t know.. But I will never stop fighting and pushing for more! One day I WILL>>>

*Have my book(s) on the best sellers list

*Travel

*Be in the shape I desire and achieve the physical activity level I desire.

*Have successful children that no longer accept a mediocre life for themselves!

Now… who’s with me?