Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Category

It was by far the oddest setting she had ever experienced.  The room was full of Democrats and Republicans, energetic, idealistic youth, middle-aged mortgage holders with job woes and the calmer, slower elderly battling arthritis and other ailments. It was not her definition of an ideal party.

She watched from  her corner perch. People flowed through the kitchen, dropping off dishes full of treats as they exchanged hugs. Wine and conversation flourished. Music exploded from a nearby speaker as young cousins ran hand in hand. Doctors, Lawyers and Judges clinked glasses with waitresses, mechanics and store clerks. Drinks flowed, food disappeared and laughter grew. One by one the group migrated to the festive living room.

It was here people handed each other brightly wrapped packages. It was here they related stories of their past. It was here they passed out more hugs than gifts. It was here she realized that she was going to like the family she married into. It was here she discovered the values that shaped the man she loved. It was here that she realized she loved her new family.  It was here that her husband pulled her into the group for a hug. It was here that she realized the perfect gift didn’t have to come from a store. It was the ideal party.

I vividly remember a Saturday afternoon, the summer of nineteen-sixty eight. A summer I was camping with my parents. I had done something wrong, I don’t remember what, but it was enough for my usually lenient mother to send me to the trailer, and bed as punishment. After what seemed like hours, my father came to talk to me. Feeling abused and unjustly treated, I wanted to tell my side of the story to my father. I also decided to include a new phrase I had  heard around the lake in my talk. When he told me how upset my mother was, I sat up and spouted my newly learned phrase.

“Well, she didn’t need to shit a brick over it!”  I did it! I pulled out an adult phrase showing my displeasure over their actions! I felt proud and strong. Then the hammer dropped, the room fell silent, my fathers face turned to stone. I shriveled in my skin, I had done something really bad! I spent the rest of the weekend in the trailer while my friends swam.

Years later, in the fun times known as the ’70’s, I sat in my usual place at the table during a family dinner. Feeling hip and grown up, I said, “pass the potatoes dude,” to my father. Things changed so fast I could hear the tinkle of ice as it shrouded the room. Dad slammed his fork on the table and mom fixed me in her stare. I was excused from the table and learned that I could call people dude at school and play, but NOT at home. I began to see the social rules, the morals and norms that kept families together. The values that helped us navigate the world.

Then came the children of our generation. We had already tested the water,  using lingo unique to our generation. Many of these new parents didn’t want to be “un-cool.” They let their kids be kids, speak anyway they wanted, with few boundaries. They continued to evolve, using new words and giving less respect to their parents and family. This has evolved into;

Suck it
This sucks
What ev
Meh
omg
Hate

We need to teach our kids  how to speak, with respect to themselves and others. We have to stop being “cool” and be parents. I don’t want my kid uttering the word “sucks” all day. I don’t want a “what ev” when I ask t hem to empty the trash. I want them to be able to converse, spell and build healthy adult relationships. It is up to us to give them the tools and discipline. We owe it to them to teach them how to speak, listen, learn, show respect, command respect and act. We can’t sit back and let their teenage, online communication form their adulthood. We need to have as much, if not more, input in their lives as social media.

Join the Friday Fictioneers, a wonderful group of writers who submit a 100 word story or poem based on a weekly photo. This is flash fiction at it’s finest. You can read submissions or add your work HERE.  Comments welcome, as long as they are respectful and helpful, not hateful.

Congrats Madison! Marriage is cool with the right person!

Category: Fiction//Drama

Words: 84

Rating: PG

the_second_hand_shop-1
Marriage  was death, a stance she had clung to for years. Then came Jim. The last four years had been fun, comfortable and full of love, thanks to him. He had proposed seven times, but this time was different. Something in his eyes seemed to say “we either take this step, or we’re through.”

Realizing she couldn’t live without him, she said yes. That was yesterday, this morning, she took a deep breath and entered the shop, hoping to find a gown. Realizing she was opening more than one door.

Picture it & write it is a fun, flash fiction group that meets weekly. Read the stories or submit your own HERE.

tumblr_mphx4vz34s1qzz8m7o1_500

2021 in the U.S.A. wasn’t pleasant. Special interest groups and big money had legislated the country into an unbearable stew pot of chaos.

Slang words, racially descriptive words, such as Caucasian or Latino were illegal. It was also illegal to possess soda, beer or liquor. A strict dress code was enforced and anyone caught frying food was jailed and subjected to rigorous dietary training. Persons caught smoking or using narcotics were put to death in public displays designed to set an example. Anyone caught in a relationship with a same-sex partner was castrated or mutilated in some way and sent to live in a desolate penal camp.

“Normal” couples wishing to have children underwent rigorous testing. Those  found lacking were denied. If they committed a crime, had arthritis, asthma or were otherwise deemed unsuitable, they were denied. If they couldn’t  maintain state health insurance they were denied. Abortion was illegal unless ordered by the state. If you were pregnant and didn’t pass state mandates, your pregnancy was terminated. Any child born with undetected illness was put down.

The obese were locked away until they reached normal levels. Once released they were re-checked,  if they regained weight they were terminated. Senior citizens were put down at the first sign of illness.

A new revolution formed, no muskets,  just the same desire for freedom. The first to fall were the insurance carriers who guided laws in the name of public health, while making millions. Next came the corrupt government. The movement could succeed, or they could die, but they had to try.

pictureitandwrite2copy-1

Alastair, a talented photographer and writer has started a new fiction group that meets weekly to pen 150 words based on the photo.  Check out this weeks offering and submit one of your own HERE.

04-04-april-21st-2013

She woke, realizing the man at the wheel was a whack-a-doodle who had flattered her into his car during oldies night at the diner.

“You are the passenger we’ve been waiting for”, he had crooned.

The last thing she remembered, was caressing the leather seat, then she woke, clad in an unfamiliar dress, in a strange car that was careening backwards down I-71.

“Stop! What the hell are you doing?” She shouted.

“Fulfilling our destiny!” He crowed.

“Let me out, NOW!” she screamed.

“No can do buckaroo, we’re going back baby. We’ll be young and you’ll be my woman!”

“Stop this car you freak! NOW!”

The first thing she noticed were the age spots disappearing  from her hands. Then came the lack of pain and the auburn hair she hadn’t seen in thirty years. Somehow he was rolling back the clock.

She stared at his morphing hands as he backed through traffic.  She didn’t want to go back, she wanted this life, the one she earned and all the wisdom and experience that came with it. Grabbing the wheel, she screamed as the car rolled. Her last thought as they loaded her into the ambulance, was how to explain her youthful hair. Small matter, at least she was still here.

Well, color me red in the face!  This was a work in progress for a presentation at a local senior center. I thought I hit save draft but I must have hit publish out of habit.

Due to the nice comments and feedback I received, I decided to leave it published. If you know a place where it would help, feel free to print it off and share.

If you have anything to add, or new scams I missed, send then on. I will incorporate them in the piece with full credit to the donor.

******************

Nobody gets in your house, that you did not call! If someone shows up claiming there is a problem with your gas, electric, water, sewer, phone, cable or internet connection, requesting access to your home, KEEP THE DOOR LOCKED and tell them you need a few minutes to gather your paperwork. Find a current bill with the contact number for the company they claim to represent and call them directly. Chances are they will tell you that no personnel were sent to your home. If there is a problem at your home the company would call you or send a letter to set up a visit.  These companies never come to your house without prior arrangement.  DON’T LET anyone in! (Exception would be a life threatening gas leak, but you would see trucks, police and fire presence in a case like this, not a single worker.

2) You get a call from a bank or credit company you happen to use.  They tell you there is a problem with your account or they can reduce your debt or interest rate.  Tell them you will gather your paperwork and call them back. Get a phone number, if they will give one, and hang up. Locate the valid contact number for the business and call them to report the incident. If the call was valid, they will tell you, if the call was a scam, they will help you report it.  NEVER verify an account number, name, password, date of birth, social security number or anything else when you receive one of these calls. Only give this information to people YOU contacted via a valid phone number! If someone calls you, tell them NOTHING! Your bank,  credit card provider or any business you have dealt with will NEVER ask for your password, user name etc.

Do NOT push the requested number.  Never press a phone button promising to take you off the call list. This action will let the computer know it reached a valid, active number and they will keep you on the list. NEVER push a button or follow instructions. They rely on fear to get you to act. Scammers will leave messages hinting that you will face these actions if you do not answer, return their call or push the right button. They will tell you one of your loved ones will be arrested or in serious legal trouble if you don’t act immediately. They may pose as a law firm.  Don’t do it! Treat every unsolicited call as a scam until you have the facts.

3) Never give work to anyone who solicits you at your home. If you want a drive resealed, siding or roof work done, do it when you want and find a local, trusted contractor with whom you have initiated contact. Don’t buy into scare tactics and pressure about an aging roof or zoning laws. They know how to push your buttons, and will.

4)  Do NOT buy in to calls or email claiming you have won a contest that will garner a big cash payout. If you don’t remember entering a sweepstakes, chances are you didn’t. Ignore ALL such email or calls that require you to send money in order to process your prize. A legitimate contest doesn’t require you to send a money order to get your prize. Take down all the information they are willing to give you and report the call to your local police, they may already be investigating this scam.

5) You get an email begging support from someone claiming to have cancer. Ignore them. Junkies pull this scam to get change jars and other donations to pay for their cure. If you don’t know the person or one of their friends or family, ignore it. The money you give   can end up in their veins in the form or heroin or another drug.

6)  You get a heart stopping call that a kid or grandchild has been falsely accused and arrested. They need you to wire bail money ASAP.  They talk, leaving you confused until you say something like, “Bobby is this you?”

Once he/she hears a name, they say “Yes Gram, it’s me”. You think it’s Bobby and rush to wire him the money.

First, get a phone number, the name of the country, town and police station he claims he is at. Hang up and call Bobby at a known number, chances are he will be home or at work. NEVER wire money before verifying a loved one is indeed in trouble. Report the call to your local police and let them call the station he claims is holding him. This is one of the biggest scams out there. Concerned parents and grandparents wire money to a loved one in trouble, only to learn the money went to an offshore account with no hope of getting it back. Sadly, the biggest group pulling this scam are convicts who are currently incarcerated. They gather information from the newspaper and internet. Example; Your family has a blurb in the paper about a child who went to China as an exchange student. The scammer sees this and knows you will be concerned if you receive a call that your loved one was arrested in China. DO NOT WIRE money until you verify with the police that the person is actually being held. Even then it is better to have police back up when possible and that they verify an arrest.

This just touches the tip of the scam iceberg. Follow a few simple rules and you will not fall victim to an old, or new scam.

A quick recap.

* Nobody enters your home you didn’t call. Chances are they are casing your house or they tie you up and rob you ASAP.
DO NOT give  account numbers, passwords or pin numbers!  Call the institution they claim to represent yourself.
* Ignore email claiming you have won a sweepstakes, period! Call contacts of contests you entered directly.
* Hire NO person who enters your property with the promise of work at a reduced rate.
* NEVER wire money until verifying people and facts.
*Take all charities with a grain of salt. Do your homework and insist on a valid phone number to call for verification.
* Always report shady contacts to the local police. They want to stop them.

Follow these few simple rules and you will not get taken.