25 May 2018

Published May 23, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

Please be considerate of your 70 or so readers and keep your story to 100 words. Thank you. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Anecdote

Word Count: 100


            “Sesenta y seis.” Counting backwards, I freestyle, somersault at the wall and backstroke. “Sheshim v’hamesh…”   

            My Medicare card arrived yesterday, officially heralding the long-since passing of my youth.

            “Sesenta y cuatro.” I flip and breast-stroke to the other side.  “You’re only as old as you feel. Sheshim v’sh’losh…”  

            How do I feel?

            The crystal bowl on my table sparkles in my mind—an heirloom dating back to my grandparents’ wedding in the early 1900’s. A century hasn’t dulled its beauty.

            I dive under the water and flex my flippers. This little mermaid has miles to swim before that final lap. 


Yes the bowl in the photo is the bowl in my story. 😉 Originally it was part of a three-piece set. My dad was one of three children. My grandparents gave each of them a piece when they married. Personally I think my parents got the best of the set. It has been a source of fascination since I can remember. And, yes, I do count backwards, alternating Spanish and Hebrew  when I swim laps. (Sensenta y seis -66, sheshim v’hamesh -65, sesenta y cuatro – 64, sheshim v’sh’losh – 63 and so on and so on and scooby dooby do 😉 ) It helps me stay focused. The pool at our fitness center is 25 ft in length. 66 lengths equals a mile.


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116 comments on “25 May 2018

    • Dear Suzanne,

      The water is my happy spot and my think tank. I’m not a sociable splasher, though. There’s something about the rhythmic repetition in lap swimming that calms and centers me. 😉 Thank you for your kind words.



      Liked by 2 people

  • Lovely story, Rochelle. What a good way of counting the laps! It’s a lovely bowl and really catches the light well. Looking at the date you give for your grandparents wedding makes me think you have the genes for longevity.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Penny,

      My grandmother lived into her 90’s and my Aunt Lucile passed away last year at 102. My parents, on the other hand, killed themselves with their bad habits. Mom smoked and Dad overate, then didn’t take care of his Type 2 diabetes.
      That bowl…well I love it. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Unfortunately for our birthdays they count forward, not back 😉 The again, on a day to day basis, if you stay active, both mentally and physically, those numbers don’t matter, be they in English Spanish or Hebrew.

    Do you mix up your counting, like starting 66 with a different language on different days, so it is more than just saying the word by rote? Not that I could do it by rote, mind you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Trent,

      Actually, I alternate Hebrew and Spanish as I count backward. Also, I alternate which is even and which is odd on different days. When I backstroke, I whisper the number under my breath. That seems to help, too. Of course there are those times I let my mind wander and lose count. 😉



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      I love open water swimming, but I admit to being a weirdo who’s addicted to chlorine. 😉 For me, swimming, the lull of the water and the rhythmic repetition of lapping keeps me centered. There are times when I’m really down or restless and my husband will say, “Go swimming for the sake of us all.” Thank you re my story. 😉



      Liked by 1 person

  • Catchy story — as usual. And remember, receiving your Medicare card is like experiencing menopause. It’s a ticket to greater freedom and a whole new level in your life. For example, after menopause, couples can engage in frequent “marital bliss” with absolutely no pregnancy concerns. So after Medicare, we can benefit from all the “senior discounts, special menus, free lunches and recreation at the senior citizen centers — and get away with saying and doing things we’d never have done when we were younger. When I passed 60 I figured I’d earned the right to be and do what I wanted, regardless of what anyone else thought. At 70 it’s even better. Very freeing! Enjoy your new level of life!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      Thank you for those words of encouragement and wisdom. 😉 65 seemed so much older when I was 10. And I think of the song lyrics, “I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.” Thank you re my story, too.




  • You count backwards alternately in Spanish and Hebrew? That would be far too taxing for my humble brain, I thin it would be fried before I reached halfway! Love the sparkle in the water matching the sparkle in the glass and the sparkle in the owner too – shimmering all the way to the finish line. It’s not a bad landmark to reach, a sign of dogged persistence and I know you have that, because you’ve accomplished so much. Happy swimming little mermaid 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • If that little mermaid can swim a mile, then she’s still in great shape! Feeling your age?

    I had not read yours before I wrote mine. I had just had a little argument with my dd over her refusal to go to college.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have several pieces of glassware, pottery and a handmade quilt my grandmother made. Sometimes I think that if the house caught fire, those would be the things I would save. You caught that feeling in this story. I love that you count in Spanish and Hebrew as you swim. What a charming way to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love when you share bits of you and your heritage. The bowl sparkles as you do, my friend! Age is but a number. Your headline says it all… 😉

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      It’s true that age is just a number. However the reality of turning 65 and being told by that dastardly card…sigh. I can hear you saying, “Stop.” So I will. I’m glad you enjoyed my little…I guess we’ll call it an anecdote. And I will stick to my headline for sure. 😉 Thank you my dear friend.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I find myself counting in Hindi and English too, sometimes alternating between the numbers. But swim a mile very day? I am impressed super-fish I really am. This time its not the flash but your swimming abilities I doff my hat too.


  • Oh, my dearest Rochelle, what fond memories this photo brings back. That same glass pattern was the one that was in my hope chest… the first piece, the only one from my Great Grandmother’s hope chest collection. My Granny (gr. gram’s dghtr) gave it to me when I was twelve… thus began a journey that we took visiting antique shops looking for all the pieces of the set…including the punch bowl! A happy memory. Shalom ~ Jelli

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jelli,

      I’ve only briefly seen the other two pieces of the three piece set. I don’t know which of my cousins they were handed down to for certain. The bowl has always been a source of fascination for me. Huge sentimental value is attached to it. Glad it brought up happy memories for you. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • My mother loved cut glass crystal. It was her go-to wedding present for family. I’m not sure if my grandmother handed any down: there are other things I have of hers to remind me of different times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cheney,

      It is a heavy bowl indeed. I imagine our bowls are pretty similar. As for the pool, I am lucky that it’s close. The only fly in that ointment is that during the summer, it’s flooded with summer school kids and the lifeguards don’t do a good job of keeping them out of the lap lanes. So, ironically, I swim more in the colder months. 😉 At least it’s indoors. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I completely understand your fascination with the bowl, it is exquisite! Wish you countless laps counted backwards in multiple languages 😀 That said, I am awed by the depth of the information in so few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  • We have something in common. I swim each day and love it. I don’t count in Spanish or Hebrew (that’s impressive), just English. A mile is impressive! It is very true that we are only as young as we feel. Somedays, I don’t feel as old as my age, though there are days I do (hehe). The last two lines are wonderful…”I dive under the water and flex my flippers. This little mermaid has miles to swim before that final lap.” Very nice!! =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Brenda,

      It’s always nice to meet a fellow swimmer. What I love is that lap swimming isn’t the most popular activity at our fitness center. I can’t say that I manage to go every day but as often as possible. Ironically I go less in the summer because they open the pool to summer school kids as part of their curriculum. While they’re supposed to, the lifeguards don’t do a very good job of keeping the kiddies out of the two designated lap lanes. Thank you for your kind words re my story. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Theodora of Belton W(T)F,

    Counting backward in multiple languages? Sound like some kind of sobriety test to me. Can you touch your flippers to your nose with your eyes closed too?

    Nice bowl. I bet you gave your boys haircuts to look like the Beatles too. It’s always handy to have mult-purpose tools laying around for chores like that.

    Swim a lap for me,
    Paulie-Fred, the Ditch Digger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Paulie-Fred, the Ditch Digger,

      I once made an attempt at cutting my eldest son’s hair. How hard could it be? Right? I might have done a better job if I’d used the bowl. 😉 Fortunately he was only four and didn’t suffer any lasting post traumatic stress from the event. That marked the end of my career as the Barber of Seville’s sister city.

      I’ll have to get back with you on touching my flippers to my nose. I mean I can do it but I’ve never tried it while they were on my feet.

      Incidentally, I have pink goggles. I couldn’t find purple the last time…although when Mr. Disc Flinger was here we went shopping and I did find purple ones. Alas and alack, I wore them out.

      Enough, it’s time for my morning swim.


      Theodora of Belton W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Theodora,

        I’m assuming you’ll try the flipper trick when you make turns in the pool this morning. Since your feet are closer to your nose than most people, and flippers are long, it should be possible. Just one more thing that will ensure you pass the sobriety test at the pool. Otherwise, they make insist you wear floaties.

        Happy Memorial Day,


  • Querida Rochelle,
    Sucha little mermaid … Oy Vey … now, we have a swimmer??!!! 😊
    You look adorable in your swim cap. I wish I could swim. I walk from one shallow side to the of the pool to the other. I guess it’s better than nothing. Good job on keeping yourself fit. Pero tengo muchos anos mas. 😩In NY, our hotel had an indoor pool. Swimming with snow was falling was awesome to watch.
    Love the crystal bowl. What a treasure!!! A wonderful memory for you to enjoy everyday.
    This prompt was tempting to try. So, I did. I’m out of practice. I couldn’t believe the time it took me. Bad me … ☹️ … for staying out of the game so long. Hope you enjoy …
    Abrazos y besitos, mi amiga
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      Me hace feliz (?) to see you back in the fold. Glad my bowl was so tempting and I did enjoy your story. The bowl is a treasure indeed. Love it and have loved it all my life.

      When I was a small child (before I was a small woman 😉 ) we joined the Jewish Community Center which had a beautiful Olympic size pool with diving area. I loved the deep water but when the lifeguard saw me dogpaddling after jumping off the board he took me to my mom in the shallow end. My mother being terrified of water herself wasted no time enrolling me in swimming lessons. I will always be grateful for that. The water is my happy place. (You know there are places that offer adult swim classes for those of us who have much mas años.)

      Abrazos y cariño,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Querida Rochelle,
        Disculpa … se dice: estoy contento verla. Pero, no importa esta bien haci también. : )
        Yes, I’ve tried to take lessons from the time my kids were taking them. I was like your mother in that I wanted my children to enjoy the water. I never feared when they went out on their friends boats. My fear comes from when I was a child. My dad would take us to the beach, carry us one at a time into the deep water, drop us into the water and swim away. Perhaps, he was trying to tell me something. LOL
        I have a pool on my lanai. You need one in Florida. I doggie paddle back and forth. It gets the heart rate up but I do look silly. Come on down and have a swim sometime. Mi cas es su casa. 🏡
        I don’t have anything from my parents. I wish I had something as treasured as your crystal glass bowl. I love it. It’s beautiful.
        I’m glad to be back … love all the writers, y mi amiga …
        Abrazos y Besitos,
        Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  • Such a wonderful anecdote/ piece of memoir. It’s great to see you as a little mermaid. All that swimming keeps your body fit and your mind sharp to give us such great and varied tales each week.

    Liked by 1 person

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