radiolarian love and plankton

All posts tagged radiolarian love and plankton

TREADING WATER

Published September 4, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Poisson-Blanc, Quebec, Canada.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

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

This week Karen posted the prompt early. And still I’m late. But that depends on your definition of late. 😉 On the other hand, the timing just might be deliberate.  And…while my prompt is from Poisson-Blanc, my story veers far afield and very much about the water. Thanks as always to Karen Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for facilitating this prompt. Fun stuff. Love the extra words and a different challenge. 

Genre: Historical Faction

Word Count: 150

TREADING WATER

            “It’s okay, sweetheart.” Mary knelt beside her dripping daughter. “There’ll be other swim meets.”

            “But I told everybody I was going to win and I came in last.”

            “It’s only your first race.” Richard swept the child into his arms. “You’re only six years old, baby. Someday you’ll have a mantel full of trophies.”

            “Really, Daddy?”

            “Or my name isn’t Dick Chadwick.”

            Five years later, Florence Chadwick won the silver cup in a race across San Diego Bay, the first of many awards.

          In the 1950’s she set her goggled sights on the English Channel, ultimately swimming it four times in both directions.

          On September 4, 1953, she beat the women’s and men’s records, swimming from Dover to Wissant in 14 hours and 42 minutes.

          On that same Friday, across the pond, in Kansas City, Missouri, Bob and Evalyne Wisoff greeted their own little 6 lb. white fish, Rochelle Elise.

In my happy place.

 

Florence Chadwick

VOICE OF A SPANISH DANCER – WRITING THE WAVES

Published February 9, 2015 by rochellewisoff

purple swimmer

WRITING THE WAVES

            A few years ago I made a terrible mistake that ultimately affected my health. I allowed my passion to write to replace exercise, including swimming.  

            One day I went for a routine checkup. My doctor, who had taken care of me through years of anorexia, told me I needed to lose weight.

            “Pre-diabetes and hypertension,” she said, “Rochelle, I know you love to write but get off the chair once in a while.”

            Diabetes runs rampant on both sides of my family. My father died from congestive heart failure as a result and another relative went blind. Neither prospect appealed to me.

            Averse to taking medication I opted, with my doctor’s agreement, to control my sugar with diet and exercise. My elliptical trainer came out of moth balls. I found a pool and religiously counted carbs. My numbers, weight and blood sugar, went down.

            Exercise in no way takes away from my writing time. In fact, the pool is my think tank where more than a few story lines have emerged. There are still sedentary days when I neither swim nor write as I fight my tendency to “awfulize” and tread the waters of self-pity rather than meeting the challenges head on.

            This morning, in the lap lane next to mine, a young swimmer battles the water. I feel a bit winded myself as I watch her. Arms flailing, she works hard to keep her head above water. I wish I could tell her how much easier it would be if she kicked less and let the water carry her.  

            Perhaps one day, I’ll take my own advice.  Copy of Mermaid

Voice of a Spanish Dancer – Refracted Bliss

Published January 10, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Copy of Mermaid

REFRACTED BLISS

Sub-zero-degree temperatures and frigid winds for the past week have kept me indoors. Whenever I’ve thought about making the less-than-a-mile trek to the fitness center I’ve talked myself out of it. Although my vacation plans included swimming to my heart’s content, stinging cold has made it easy to curl up with a hot cup of coffee instead.

            This morning the walls close in on me and I’m drowning in a sea of despair. I know what I need to do. No matter how cold, wet or icy, I’ll let nothing stand between me and the lap pool.

            I pack my gym bag and layer two sweaters, jeans and a heavy coat over my swimsuit. My car’s thermostat reads 16º.

            In the locker room I hurriedly peel off the layers and head for the pool. It’s uninhabited and the water’s a clear sheet. All mine.

            I slip in and submerge fully then propel myself through the cool water that rushes over and carries me to another place.  

            Sunlight shining through the long windows paints ribbons across the pool’s blue floor.

            Smoother than silk, water is a lover’s gentle caress that massages my bare skin and whispers peaceful words of reassurance in my ear. “You are alive. You are changing. You are safe.”

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It was so worth it!

It was so worth it!

Voice of a Spanish Dancer-Birthday Strokes

Published September 4, 2013 by rochellewisoff

Copy of Mermaid

 With each swim stroke I stretch and roll my body from side to side, releasing tension into the water.  It’s my birthday. Number six-oh on the hit parade. At the end of the first length I somersault, flip onto my back and push off the side of the pool wall.

            My parents gave me a Chatty Cathy for my sixth birthday. Ever notice she had the same voice as Talking Tina on the Twilight Zone?

            I reach the opposite end of the pool, turn slowly and deliberately, allowing the water to suspend me. The sun shines through the liquid ceiling and bathes the concrete and mosaic lines with refracted light. I push off the wall with my feet.

            On my tenth birthday, my dad opened a bank account for me with a dollar for each year. I felt very grown up with my passbook in hand.

            Missing the pool’s edge I falter in the next flip-turn. Water fills my nose and stings for a moment. A few strokes later the sensation passes.

            One chilly afternoon, almost three months after my first two-digit birthday, the world changed with the president’s assassination. Months later the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan and puberty appeared on my horizon.

            Right, left, breathe to the right. Left, right, breathe to the left. There’s a rhythm to everything.

            My sixteenth birthday passed without notice. No party. Hardly a nod from my parents. Why does this still hurt? It happened over half a century ago. Get over it, old girl. Move on.

            Two laps, then three, I switch to a new stroke at each turn. Freestyle. Backstroke. Breast stroke.

            At twenty one, I held my six-month old son in my arms. By my thirtieth we’d multiplied that number by three sons.

            Back to freestyle stroke I swim the length without taking a breath.

            The Gulf War called my husband back to active duty Navy. The boys grew in his absence without taking a breath. Upon his return, I found a job as a cake decorator in a grocery store. My boss hid in the walk-in cooler to decorate a cake for my fortieth birthday.

            I submerge and turn in the water, then surface for a gulp of air. Swimming on my back, I count strokes and ceiling tiles so I don’t bump my head on the pool’s edge.

            My fiftieth birthday came and went virtually unnoticed. My middle son married, a year later the eldest also married. The youngest left home to pursue his music. We were blessed with a granddaughter. In the midst of it all I discovered my latent passion for writing.

            Like water, life rushes by. I don’t feel older, but my mirror tells a different story.

            One last time I flip, dive underwater, skim the pool floor and ask myself, “What will I be when I grow up?”

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Beside my special birthday this week, Diana Nyad, an incredible woman realized her dream at the tender age of 64. Four previous failed attempts didn’t deter her. I doff my swim cap to your, Diana! To read more click here.

Thank you, Diana, for the birthday gift of hope and determination.  You made my day!

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