The Clean Up Crew

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

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

Light Up The Sky (FOWC)

Red sparks fill the skies
As the first of the fireworks explode
Blue stars
Gold smiles
And even a red heart
Ignite the sky with light
White percussive blasts
And multiple explosions create
The sounds of the Fourth of July
Kids laugh and gasp in awe
As they exclaim, “That one was my favorite!”
More than a few times
The adults delight in dangers
Of setting off their own colorful shows
And I just set back and take it all in
One blast after another
Until the last of the smoke clears the sky


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – fireworks

Mumbles… Happy Third Of July

Happy Independence Day! No, I haven’t lost my mind. July 3rd is Independence Day, well at least it is for me. Today is the anniversary of the diagnosis confirming surgery I had for my breast cancer. I had a outpatient surgery and was back home in time to rest before the firework that night. I did not have the energy to go see them, but I could still hear them from my house. So every year there is usually one of the surrounding towns that has fireworks that I go to on the 3rd to celebrate my freedom from cancer.

As the fireworks burst overhead, I sat in my survivor t-shirt oohing and ahhing with the rest of the town and felt alive. It has now been 15 years since that day of the surgery and I am grateful for every single day I get. I can’t stress enough that everyone (yes men too!) should do self-exams for greater chance of early detection. I found the lump less than 4 months after my yearly check-up… some forms grow fast. Know your body and never be afraid of what you find

I still remember the most shocking thing I heard after my treatments were about done. An acquaintance asked me if I made out my will when I found out. It had never even crossed my mind. I had cancer, but the surgeon removed the tumor and my oncologist and radiologist were going to take care that the cancer would not come back. I never doubted that. And I think that positive outlook really got me through.

So now, on the edge of midnight, my Independence Day ends and the USA’s begins. Let’s all celebrate! Anyone have a lighter for this sparkler?

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Photo by john paul tyrone fernandez on

Happy and Grateful – Day 185

July brings fireworks, picnics, pools and air conditioning. It is a time for those of us in the USA to celebrate our “birthday” and a personal time for me to celebrate life. It is hot and humid days and thunderstorms cooked up at night. I am continuing my challenge to find happiness and gratitude in every day. Join along in the comments or on your own blog. There is always good in every day.

Today was a pretty hot and humid day, but it cooled off a bit at sunset for a nice night to watch some fireworks.  There had been talk this weekend that storms might move in for the holiday but nothing buy a few puffy white clouds most of the day.

It was a perfect day to visit with my daughter… every and any day is perfect for that.  She came over after work this afternoon and we watched some of our taped soap opera and she brought her laundry to do.  We had a nice visit and as always it made me happy.  She joined us for the fireworks in the town just east of us (it is where she grew up) and we had fun.

The part of the day that I am grateful for is easy.  All of the men and women through the years who have given of themselves to first of all gain our freedom and continue to keep it.  I am truly grateful for all who have served this country in battle time and peace time both.  Thank you!

Now I need to sleep … the neighbors have finally stopped with the fireworks for the night I think so I should be able to get to sleep.  Remember to embrace your happiness.  Good night.

Happy and Grateful – Day 184

July brings fireworks, picnics, pools and air conditioning. It is a time for those of us in the USA to celebrate our “birthday” and a personal time for me to celebrate life. It is hot and humid days and thunderstorms cooked up at night. I am continuing my challenge to find happiness and gratitude in every day. Join along in the comments or on your own blog. There is always good in every day.

This day is easy!  This is what I call MY independence day… I have been saying that for 14 years now.  Back on July 3rd in 2003 I had the surgery that confirmed I had breast cancer.  The surgeon, radiologists and oncologist all worked their magic and I am still here today.  So easily I am grateful for three great doctors that took care of me and made it possible for me to kick cancer’s butt!

Happy… well there is almost always a fireworks display somewhere to celebrate my freedom from cancer (you know they do it on the 3rd just for me LOL).  I am still working on the year when I am happy about the fireworks photos I took.  But until that happens you have to settle for a couple of fair ones from tonight.


I am trying to decide how I should celebrate next year at the 15 year mark.  At 10 years I got my tattoo… maybe another tattoo? Or maybe just some champagne and a toast with some family around.  I do still have a year to plan.  Do you have any ideas?

In the meantime, it is time to close the day and get some rest.  We do the fireworks tomorrow for the US!  Maybe a better picture will happen?  Good night and keep looking for your happiness each day!

Happy And Grateful – Day 176

June brings warmer weather and the start of summer. Hopefully it brings many ideas from my muse too. I continue to write for my challenge to find the things that make me happy and grateful each day this year. Please feel free to join me in this challenge with comments about your happiness and gratitude or start your own blog. There is always something good to find in each day.

Another absolutely beautiful day of cooler temperatures.  I decided to risk it and take a short walk with my boyfriend, but boy did I feel the pain by the time we got back home.  We just walked over to the new fireworks tent set up by the grocery store.  The state of Iowa just made purchasing fireworks legal this year.  The problem is many cities have ordinances that make the act of setting them off illegal.  It is about a $250 fine if you get caught… in the capital city it is over $600.  Not sure I understand how they can be half legal and half not.  BUT I told my boyfriend I would have no part of them in town anywhere.  His sister has a farm though out of city limits… as long as the kids were not around that would be ok.  They just make me nervous.

Other than our outing to the tent, followed by a stop in the store for a few things… it was a day of recovery.  Thursdays drive, Fridays rehearsal dinner, and then the wedding yesterday.  I have been stressed and on my feet too much lately.  I was grateful for the nice weather to walk in, but happy to sit in my recliner with my feet up and just catch up on some WordPress and email.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and grateful weekend!

Starting The Party Early

I hear the sound and cringe
How will I ever make it through
There is still a full week to go by
And the neighbors are already
Celebrating the Fourth of July
With fireworks booming
I am fine during the day
But when the still of night is here
And a sudden blast rattles the windows
That is when I jump
That is when my anxiety peaks
That is when I am on alert
And all tensed for the next bang
I cringe again…
They have not quit for the night yet
Until they do I will be
Hyper vigilant for the next explosion

Fireworks Flashback

Last year a friend posted about how some of our soldiers have a hard time around the holidays with fireworks causing PTSD trauma.  Please be mindful of vets in your neighborhood when deciding to use fireworks over the summer.

As the fireworks explode

Across the night time sky

He hears the bombs detonate

Once again inside his mind

Every year he dreads the holidays

And the memories they bring

The sounds and smell of gunpowder

Scarred him when he was just nineteen

And every fuse that is ignited

Brings more flashbacks to his mind

He is haunted by the sounds of war

Brought to life with just a bang