Believe it or not I have never had a single drag on a cigarette, and I am so thankful for that. I grew up in a home filled with smoke… both parents smoked; my mom was a heavy chain smoker. I remember going on car trips in the winters encased in the car with all the smoke my parents produced. Every once in a while, they would crack a window for a little fresh air.
As I got older, I had allergies flare and they took notice of when I was having issues and did stop smoking as much. Then one day out of the blue my Dad just up and quit. He never had any tobacco until the day he became a grandfather and then he picked up a pipe again. Mom was a different story.
I recall many times she tried to quit but would last only a matter of hours before she was getting frustrated and short tempered and would demand Dad go to the store to get her a carton. That all changed when she landed in the hospital for stomach problems, and they discovered emphysema… she was put on oxygen 24/7 and never smoked again for the rest of her life.
My sister smoked, my in-laws, my boyfriend… I should have enough second-hand smoke to make up for never having a single drag. I will admit to a couple of hits of nicotine when I tried a vape a couple of times. Having watched so many people struggle with tobacco, I am happy I never did have that habit.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – tobacco
She pulled open the drawer and picked up her finest lace underwear, tonight she chose black. Her little black dress with some silver jewelry and black heels to match. As she slipped into the dress she began to daydream about the night. He had said to dress up, they were going dancing after dinner. There was only one place in town he was taking her, The Tuxedo Room. It wasn’t your normal dance club, but a much more romantic place with jazz, swing and a little jive.
She spent time making sure her make up was fresh. Eye shadow and lipstick… no need for any foundation as she had smooth perfect skin. She had been graced with her mother’s beauty. Her mom had modeled for print ads until her early 50s.
He was there to pick her up at eight o’clock sharp. He was always on time and she knew to be ready. She felt tonight might turn out to be a special night. This was their “almost“ second anniversary together, “almost” because their first date was set up the day before the Covid shutdown came. So, they obviously had to cancel due to the closures. There first date didn’t happen until they had communicated through emails and phone calls over a year.
She opened the door and he stood there in a black suit and grey tie, they were a perfect match. He escorted her to the car where he had a red rose in the seat for her. She turned to give him a kiss and he was gone. She looked up and down the street, he was no where. Panic began to fill her she called out his name, “Alan! ALAN!”
She suddenly sat up in bed gasping for air. It was the same dream. Or more accurately the same nightmare she had had since he died. The victim of one of the new strains of Covid-19 not covered by the vaccines. He was one of the first patients of the new strain to die from heart failure. She still dreamed of the night they planned but never had. When his parents had boxed his things up they found the engagement right that was meant for her, but he never had the chance to ask her to be his wife. She would have said yes, in a heartbeat.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – underwear
“The thinking of creative and successful men is never exerted in any direction other than that intended. That is why great men produce such a prodigious amount of work, seemingly without effort and without fatigue. The amount of work such men leave to posterity is amazing.” – Walter Russell
For Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – prodigious
The sandwich shop was empty except for the crew of three employees on duty for the late evening shift. Within a span of five minutes the three of them looked a total of twelve times at the clock. It was New Years Eve and they were hoping to get closed and cleaned up in time to see the midnight fireworks. 9:58pm and in walks a couple. You could tell the crew was openly discouraged, but faced the customers with smiles, “May we help you?”
The couple ordered and left, the shift manager locked the door and put the closed sign out. “Do you think we can still make the fireworks Dan?”
The shift manager said, “We will sure try. Get started on the dishes, while Bill cleans down the grill and I will do the drawers and pull deposit. First person done gets lobby, second gets bathrooms.”
You could hear Bill groan from the grill and scrapping beginning almost immediately. The crew worked hard on all of their closing duties. When the mop bucket was emptied and turned upside down, the friers reduced to closing temp and turned off, and the pop machines torn down for the night, it was 11:18, “Not bad guys, looks like the fireworks won’t start until we get there. Thanks for the hard work tonight.”
The three left the building after Dan entered the lock code on the alarm pad. Then they disappeared into the dark.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – crew
A patriarch is the head of the family, the dad, the father, papa, pa, or at least that is how it used to be. Now a days it is a little more coparenting than there was in the past. And you even see fathers with custody of children. In my home growing up it was a little different.
Mom was the one in charge for the most part. Although she would often threaten with, “Wait until your father hears about this.” Dad was more the silent type, so when he talked, you would listen. I have gathered a few things here related to the patriarch in the family…
“It’s a terrible thing being a patriarch. I don’t even have a grey beard. But people keep calling me up for advice.” Pete Seeger
“My father was my teacher. But most importantly he was a great man.” Beau Bridges
“My father had a profound influence on me. He was a lunatic.” Spike Milligan (*a special note here, I am not saying my dad was crazy but he did have a great sense of humor that influenced me)
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – patriarch