Personal Musing

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SIBLING REVELRY

Published August 12, 2018 by rochellewisoff

SIBLING REVELRY         

My brother Jeff was six when I came along and a sibling didn’t fit into his plans. As far as he was concerned I didn’t exist. He went to great lengths to let our parents know of his displeasure by not coming home from school on time.  

One night he was three hours late. Mom was frantic. A crowd of police and neighbors met Jeff when he finally decided to show up. An officer sat him in the squad car to lecture him about the consequences of such behavior and how it worried his parents. After the officer finished, Jeff asked for the time. When the officer told him, my sensitive brother replied, “I missed Howdy Doody.”

Fast forward a year or two to the present. Jeff and his wife Debbie have retired to Wilmington NC where they enjoy living 15 minutes from the beach. Due to geographic distance, we don’t see each other often, save an occasional Skype session or Facebook post.

I decided it was time to pay the Wilmington Wisoffs a visit. The first week of August seemed the perfect time since my husband would be going to Sturgis for the annual bike rally.

Although my connecting flight from Charlotte to Wilmington was delayed and I didn’t arrive at ILM until after midnight, Jeff, Debbie and I sat and talked until after 3:00 AM. After a short night’s sleep, we had leisurely morning, drinking coffee and chatting some more. This was pretty much the pattern for the week—lots of coffee and conversation.

The first day—Wednesday—Jeff and Debbie showed me around the area which included a walk on the beach.

Thursday it was time to suit up and ‘swim’ at Kure Beach. However the waves were particularly forceful. While I didn’t spend a lot of time in the water, I did snap a few shots of wine glasses on the beach as models for future paintings.

After dumping at least a pound of sand in the shower, we settled in for a cozy evening of conversation and a wonderful salmon dinner. Or was that Wednesday night’s dinner?

Friday night we went to downtown Wilmington for a wonderful seafood dinner at Elijah’s Restaurant and a free concert in front of the courthouse with AC/DC tribute band Shoot to Thrill. Not my favorite kind of music but I was with two of my favorite people.

Every day I enjoyed my furry fixes from my three canine nieces, Pip, Lacee and Jackie. Pip, in particular, is a lover. I call her Pip-Plop since all you have to do is make eye contact and she falls on her side for a tummy rub. Jeff says I’m just another pair of hands to her, but I’m sure there was some bonding. You’re buying this, right?

Saturday we visited Airlie Gardens to see the Gnome Invasion. However rain put a damper on things so it wasn’t a lengthy visit, albeit an interesting one. Even under gray skies, the scenery was gorgeous.

Sunday night we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter, whose music I honestly wasn’t familiar with. Where have I been the past 30 years, right? In any event, she and her backup musicians were fantastic as was her warm up singer, Emily Barker from Australia. Both of these ladies can entertain.

On Monday the shops were closed so it was the perfect time to see if the ocean had calmed any at Kure Beach. I’m happy to say it had, but not calm enough to swim laps. The waves are more geared to surfers but it was still fun to attempt a breast stroke or two.

Tuesday, my last day in Wilmington, we went back downtown to shop. There are quite a few art, clothing and curio shops. Jeff and Debbie showered me with a lot of early birthday presents.

Alas, the week went too fast. I had a very early Wednesday morning-before-sunrise flight, leaving little time for much coffee or conversation.

More than anything I will cherish the memory of this vacation. No one can reminisce about shared parents the way a sibling can. I hope I apologized for taking advantage of my status as “Daddy’s little girl” to find many ways to get him in trouble. What can I say? I was a brat. So the best moment of the week came when my big brother, my hero said, “I’m sorry it’s taken 60 years for me to really appreciate my little sister.”

 

 

 

 

11 May 2018

Published May 9, 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 ©Jill Wisoff

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Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

The story you are about to read is true. No names have been changed to protect the guilty. 

 

FAMILY TIES

            “Wise-off?”

            “No. ‘Wiss-off.’ It’s a short ‘i’.”

            Very few can pronounce it correctly on the first try. We were the only Wisoffs in Kansas City—probably the world. Talk about feeling like the odd one out.          

            “Your great-grandparents who came over from Lithuania with 7 children shortened Wissosky,” said Dad. “There are plenty more little Wisoffs running around back east.”   

            In 1999 thanks to AOL, I met Jill Wisoff who lives in New York City.

            Say what you will about the evils of social media, but thanks to my unique surname, I don’t need DNA to find relatives on Facebook.

 

Click to hear and see a recent reading I did. Sight, sound and four flash fictions. 

Cloudburst 2018

Guess Blogger: Friday Fictioneers

Published April 9, 2018 by rochellewisoff

Many have read my story of my Friday Fictioneers beginnings before. For those who haven’t, my thanks to Phyllis for inviting me to do a guest blog.

MythRider

Friday Fictioneer is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Field. She posts a photograph and the challenge is to write a 100 word short story.

I asked Rochelle if she’d like to give us the history of how she became involved and eventually the host of FF. Here is her story:

HERDING CATS

Six years ago, as a newly published author of a short story anthology, writing and rewriting my first novel, I didn’t have much of a direction for my blog. The few articles I posted were met with overwhelming disinterest.

One April day I noticed a Facebook post by someone named Madison Woods on the Ozarks Writers League page announcing the time had come for Friday Fictioneers. I found the title intriguing so I asked her about it.

She explained that every Wednesday she put up a photo and each participant was to insert it into…

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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?

 

29 December 2017

Published December 27, 2017 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 © Ted Strutz

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The following is an edited version of a poem I wrote in the 90’s while battling severe depression and anorexia nervosa which is about control. I thought I was in control but, almost too late, realized the demon was controlling me.  To sort through my confusion I wrote poetry as a means of journaling. Happily, this is no longer my reality, but at the time…

Genre: Adverse Verse

Word Count: 100

VICIOUS CYCLE

Knotted cords surround my thoughts

Like twine that binds a package;

Profusion of convolution, confusion

No solution

Seeking resolution, absolution.

            I’m choking

                        On the dry bread of shame.

And I’m left no choice

But to savagely purge myself.

Cathartic poison,

Painful comfort.

I run a perilous race

To a fatal finish line.

Lethal, venomous humiliation besieges me.

The sins of the forefathers,

Cousins, babysitters and uncles  

Devour and bury.

The demon lures and captures me

In his serpentine embrace.

Too weary to resist seduction,

I relinquish and surrender.

Profusion of convolution, confusion

            No solution

Seeking resolution, absolution

To what conclusion?

 

15 December 2017

Published December 13, 2017 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 © 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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