Memoirs

All posts in the Memoirs category

30 March 2018

Published March 28, 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. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

My weekly admonition to over 70 participants. Please keep your stories to 100 words or less. Thank you for your consideration. 

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

SUITABLE FOR FRAMING

            I spent my twelfth summer with my aunt and uncle in Monticello, NY.

            Uncle Harold won my heart, not just because he showered me with attention and frozen custard, but because he was an artist. While he never achieved national acclaim, he did win a few awards in local shows for his impressionistic works.

            I cherish memories of painting with him on the patio.

            “A masterpiece,” he proclaimed my robin watercolor.

            Today, as I put the finishing touches on my latest opus, I almost hear Uncle Harold say, “Good job! Let’s go for a frozen custard. Don’t tell Aunt Lu.” 

***

Nothing fictitious about this story. 😉

This painting holds a special place in my office/studio.

Never heard of frozen custard? CLICK HERE

frozen-custard-buffalo--niagara-falls

I personally favored chocolate.

WOODSMOKE AT TWILIGHT

Published March 4, 2018 by rochellewisoff

There is a road some fifty-three miles NNE of New York City with a strange reputation. This week, Pegman has stranded you there.Volumes have been written about Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ, but you only need to write 150 words. The only limit is your imagination.Feel free to capture your own streetview. If you’re not up to a weird tale, feel free to wander anywhere within the state of New Jersey for your story.Once your 150 words are polished, you can share with other contributors using the Linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Many thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this challenge that gives me 50 more words to play with. 😉

While the photo below is taken from the Pegman Buffet, I must confess, despite the directives, I didn’t stay in New Jersey. I went to Rickey Road in Raytown, Missouri, where, as with Clinton Road, the stories abound. 

Genre: Fictionalized Memoir

Word Count: 150

WOODSMOKE AT TWILIGHT

            I looked forward to my troop’s wilderness excursions. Had it not been for scouting, I might never have seen the great outdoors beyond my backyard. My parents, while not religiously observant, adhered to the eleventh commandment—“Jews don’t camp.”

            Overnights were the best. Following an afternoon of dodging poison ivy and climbing hills, we’d gather around the campfire. Our mouths and fingers gooey from roasted marshmallows, we topped off the day with ghost stories about the infamous and spooky Rickey Road.

            “My uncle found a man’s head in the grass,” said Lucy in a loud whisper.

            “Ooooooo,” we’d giggle. “Gross!”

            Margo’s cheeks glowed in the blaze. “It opened its eyes and screamed, ‘I want my golden arm!’”

            Our childish imaginations kicked into overdrive. Each storyteller sought to outdo the last.

            Back home in my own bed, I wouldn’t sleep for a month without a nightlight.  

            I miss those good times.

 

*********

 

Troop 499-Can you find me?

 

HOMEWORK

Published January 20, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, in the central Caribbean. Feel free to use the crazy capture I posted, or find your own photo sphere anywhere within the country’s borders.

Your assignment is to produce 150 words (or less) inspired by this week’s location. Will it be fiction? Essay? Poetry? The only limit is your imagination. After you’ve polished your piece, you can share it with other participants at the link up:

I’m back after being MIA last week and probably will be a few more times. However, when I saw Dominican Republic in my inbox I was hooked. 

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 150

HOMEWORK

                There’s a special place in my heart for the Dominican Republic. However, not in the way one might think. I’ve never played on the sandy beaches of Santo Domingo nor lounged under its palm trees beside the Caribbean Sea.

            From 1964-65 I was in 6th grade. Our teacher, Mrs. Humo, assigned each student a country to study for the entire school year. This included keeping track of current events.

            Those lucky ducks given Laos and Vietnam, as you might imagine, had much to report and clipped tons of newspaper articles. Not so for the hapless girl assigned the República Dominicana.

            I diligently studied, drew detailed maps and combed the Kansas City Star for any news of my tiny tropical island. Nada.

            The following spring, after I’d moved on to the trials of junior high, revolution broke out. The Dominican Republic headlined the news. What? They couldn’t have revolted last year?

50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude

Published January 2, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Thanks to Dawn Landau for making Gratitude a New Year’s Tradition. I’m happy to be taking part once more. 

“For the fourth year in a row, this is an opportunity to hit pause and focus on all the good things that each of us has in our lives. The holiday season has a way of rushing in, every year, and making it hard to remember that throughout the year, there are blessings. There are so many things that bring joy, so many happy things; yet it’s easy to find to lose sight of this fact, as we manage busy lives.”

To take part, set your timer for ten minutes and write 50 things you are grateful for. Once I started it was hard to stop. 

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  1. My home – just celebrated our tenth year in our dream home. 
  2. My husband – 46 years of marriage. 
  3. My 3 sons who have all grown to be men I’m proud of. 
  4. My granddaughter Olive
  5. Her new sister Elsie born on my dad’s birthday, 12 November 2017
  6. Olive’s adorable dog, Poppy
  7. Friday Fictioneers – I’ve made so many friends through sharing stories, learning how similar we are in our hopes and dreams no matter where we’re from. 
  8. What Pegman Saw…I took part in it this past year. Nice to have a different prompt and 50 extra words to play with.
  9. My health
  10. A nearby place to swim
  11. The joy of swimming a mile, flip turning at each end of the pool
  12. Counting backwards in Hebrew and Spanish to keep track of my pool lengths
  13. My elliptical trainer for those times it’s too cold to get out of the house
  14. A good hot shower after a hearty workout
  15. A warm cozy room that serves as office and studio
  16. Strong, hot black coffee in the wee morning hours when it’s still dark outside
  17. My G-d who speaks in a still small voice during those quiet times
  18. Abundance of healthy foods
  19. A sense of humor, the ability to laugh at myself
  20. My friends and family who’ll laugh at me if I don’t.
  21. My synagogue
  22. My dancing friends on our synagogue dance team
  23. My rabbi, who knows the value of a good pun
  24. My blogging friends
  25. The internet and Skype friends around the globe
  26. The ability to make people happy with my writing and art – I say this with gratitude for the feedback from others
  27. My 6-speed Chevy Cruz that’s paid for
  28. No longer having to punch a clock and the privilege of doing what I dreamed of doing as a child, ie being a professional artist
  29. Some successful book signings and art fairs.
  30. A growing number of art commissions.
  31. Books to read and lose myself in
  32. Music, all kinds (I won’t deny it, I love classical…particularly Chopin).
  33. Being able to read and write Hebrew (more or less)
  34. Taking time to enjoy the quiet
  35. Good paintbrushes
  36. My computers: desktop and laptop
  37. Legs that still work
  38. Smelling fragrances and odors, it means my olfactories works
  39. The color PURPLE
  40. Other colors beside purple 😉
  41. The fresh smell after a rainstorm
  42. Flowers, Daffodils being my favorite
  43. My muse who tells me stories when I least expect it
  44. My spinning mind that decides to go into overdrive when I want to sleep.
  45. A good Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
  46. Gluten free pasta so I don’t feel deprived
  47. Ozarks Writers League – OWL
  48. All of my Wisoff cousins I never knew I had until we discovered each other online
  49. Friends I’ve known since early childhood. It’s a rare blessing to share pictures of grandchildren with the same ‘kids’ I used to play hopscotch with
  50. I can still turn a cartwheel.

SWIMMING LESSON

Published December 17, 2017 by rochellewisoff

A resounding HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Pegman. Can you believe it’s been a year already? Many happy returns to Karen and Josh. You’re doing a great job. 

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

This photo didn’t take me to Iowa, but to the back woods of Arkansas. The story is an edited snippet from a story in my short story anthology THIS, THAT AND SOMETIMES THE OTHER which is out of print (save copies still available from the author 😉 ) It’s still available on Kindle. The story is based on one of my husband’s memories of spending summers with his best friend Ray (Francis Ray Stills). We had fun working on the longer version together.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150

SWIMMING LESSON

Granny Stillwell’s shack, built into the hills, was propped up on cinderblocks. Another rough-hewn cabin sat just the other side of a vegetable garden. A tire-less, 1940’s pick-up truck, also set on cinderblocks, had been pushed up against one wall “to keep it from a-leaning too much.”

After supper, his stomach full of catfish and rhubarb cobbler, Kenny Lord lazed on the porch and thought about the day.

“Hey, Lordy-Lordy, know how to swim?” 

“No.” 

“Time to learn.”  

He would never forget his terror when Boyce shoved him off the cliff to the Buffalo River 50 feet below. Boyce’s evil laughter filled his ears until water surged up his nose and his panic-stricken lungs blazed.

Kenny seethed. “Boyce better watch his back.”

“He was jest funnin’,’” said Frankie-Ray Stillwell.

Granny spat out a wad of chewing tobacco. “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”

Kenny smirked. “That’s me, Kenneth Donald Lord.”

THE SWIMMING LESSON

 

15 December 2017

Published December 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff

 

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Our Mantra

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. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Genre: Realistic Friction

Word Count: 100

HONESTLY

Today my muse has taken a break, leaving my brain to slosh about my skull. Ideas float in bubbles and pop into nothingness, with no beginning, middle or end.

So, I’ll share a bit of nonfiction.

April 12, 2012 I joined Friday Fictioneers. Straightaway I became addicted in 100 words or less. Months later, Madison, FF creator, appointed me to be her successor as leader of this global community.   

I enjoy our various cultures and would love to comment on each and every story. With life’s busy-ness, am I wrong or unreasonable to only do so with those who reciprocate?

DELLA

Published November 25, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. Take a tour of the area and see what inspires you. The only rule is that your submission be 150 words or less. You can capture your own picture of the area or use the one provided.

This week’s location was suggested by GeorgieMoon and and I know you’ll have fun here. Thanks for the suggestion Georgie!

As always, thanks to Karen Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this challenge. 

I’ve been MIA from Pegman the past couple of weeks as my coffee table book is taking shape and life has gotten a little hectic. My story has nothing to do with the Isle of Wight and I’m not sure it even has a beginning, middle and end but it’s what is on my mind this morning. You see, my friend passed away just last night. I don’t post this to garner your sympathy, but to tell you about one of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege to know. She leaves in her wake others who can and, I’m sure, will echo my sentiments. 

Genre: Eulogy

Word Count: 150

DELLA

            The heart has a revolving door, doesn’t it? People come and go, some for longer periods than others. Then there are those who take up permanent residence. We may not see them every day or even call them to chat but they are always there.

            She and I had that kind of relationship. A year, even two, could go by, yet, when we met for an occasional coffee, we picked up where we left off.

            Her name meant bright or noble. No one else embodied those words in quite the same way. She was the pillar of faith, spirit of wisdom and voice of reason. I never saw her waiver or even slow down.

            82 years young? No! She was ageless.  

            To refer to her in the past tense is unfathomable. Her influence, as my second mother and friend, as long as I walk this earth, will be ever present.

Della on her 80th birthday

           

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