The Last Swim Meet

I’m sitting on the metal bleachers at the Birmingham Crossplex, inhaling chlorine and exhaling tears.

The Hextons (Paxton Higgerson & Heston Coon), Lyle and Sam. Hendrix 400 Medley Relay. Feb 14, 2019.

During senior presentations, it occured to me that I might not be here next year to witness this for Lyle.

I’m not crying because I’ll miss Ala-damn-bama. I’m crying because it’s the end of an era. The end of something that has defined us both– he as a swimmer and me as a swim mom.

Endings are followed by beginnings and are met with joy, sorrow, excitement, trepidation, terror… all the feels.

The endless struggle to stay connected to the present continues, but a brief pause to acknowlege this day, these feelings, seems like the thing to do.

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Halfway to Infinity

I joined a group called 12 Short Stories. You submit 1 a month and there’s a max limit of 1500 words.

The prompt for the month of January was “No One Can Ever Know.”

I wrote a story titled Halfway to Infinity, which turned into a longer story in my head, so there are lots of things that could be improved, but I’m just doing my best to keep practicing writing (Beverly Addison, I am working on Crete I promise.)

Comments welcome. You can find the story here:

halfway to infinity.docx.2019.01.21 or here:

https://12shortstories.com/halfway-to-infinity-by-laura_alford/

 

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A Memorable Glass

Today’s prompt: Write about a memorable glass of water.

My most memorable glass of water would have to be the glass I drank right after I took a swig of fish grease.

No, I wasn’t on some crazy cleanse or fad diet. It was a simple mistake.

For those of you wondering how someone might mistake fish grease for anything else, let me first say that if grease used to fry fish is poured in a used milk jug, it looks JUST LIKE iced tea.

What in the world. You can buy this product. Why?

It was about 4pm in April or May of ~1982. I must have been 14 because Mom let me out on the Recknor Road to run to grandmas (a mile or maybe 2).

My grandpa fished Toledo Bend as often as he could and grandma fried them up. My childhood memories are filled with fireflies, french fries, and fileted bass.

Ray with a big bass from Toledo Bend around the time i drank the fish grease.

My grandma often made tea and let it steep for hours on the counter. The same counter where used fish grease in a plastic gallon jug sat that afternoon.

We didn’t have fresh lemons with our tea.

I remember cracking ice out of the metal tray, putting the cubes in a glass, pouring the ‘tea,’ re-filling the tray with water, and putting it back in the freezer.

I think that Doug Davis had a relative (Mom’s side that lived in San Francisco) that invented something like an ice tray.

Maybe it seemed like the liquid poured funny, but I was hot and tired. Impatient for that ice-cold sweet tea after a hot, dusty run.

I took a huge gulp and gagged before running to the hall bathroom and puking my guts up.

Just thinking about it, I can feel the thick film of grease coating my teeth, the stench of days-old fish still fresh in my mind.

And now you know about a memorable glass of water I had back in the 80s.

Good times.

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Flip Side

Today I heard someone say that anger is the flip side of fear.

The dark side if the moon just seems more interesting.

Apparently, I’m terrified by my neighbor’s dachsund. Its incessant barking has my fear (of jail) factor maxed out.

My current Amazon wishlist includes, but is not limited to: a grappling hook, a Catwoman costume with a toolbelt, a dog whistle, MacGyver’s field guide to demolition with baling wire, duct tape, & WD-40, and a copy of Caddyshack (an exposition of futility when dealing with bad neighbors).

Lucky for us all that my daughter is smarter than me. I have 2 words for her strategy:

Retaliatory. Violin.

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Grits Are Gluten Free

And if that’s not blog-worthy, I don’t know what is.

Yummy grits in a pretty bowl.

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On the Bright Side

At least there weren’t any orcs on this trip.

Image result for orcs

Bloodshot eyes, thinning hair and a smidgen of murderous rage. The DSM6 says you have a bad case of the Uruk-hai, which is common among travelers in Middle Earth and Upper Skies.

It took me 29 hours to get from airport to airport, I was jarred awake for a 2 am fire alarm, and my bags missed the transfer, but it could have been worse. Much worse.

While it was probably the most dangerous and inconvenient trip I’ve ever taken, I’m happy because I survived.

khalil

 

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Mama Told Me Not To Come

I have a pre-existing condition. I dislike flying in general, and United Airlines (Stroopwaffles notwithstanding) in particular– see 2016: https://oldhwysixwest.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/i-do-not-endorse-this-theme-park

After 2 (two, T-W-O, more than 1) 3-hour layovers (love you, IAH for your work friendly gates; DEN, you and your Broncos can get bucked) culminating in a thrilling attempted mass murder landing in 60 knot winds, we diverted to Fresno.

Where I waited an hour and a half not to get my luggage before booking a hotel that looked close to the airport. The immigrant Lyft driver had been in the country for 8 weeks and when his 2nd question was about my marital status, I assumed that I had escaped a fiery death only to die at the hands of human traffickers.

(Spoiler alert: I survive the ride without incident).

Because booking rooms at midnight is tricksy, I booked a non-cancellable, non-refundable room for the following night AND the hotel is FULL for this night.

I only imagined getting womannapped. The rest of this tale is the unvarnished truth.

But the woman at the counter saw the crazy coming to the surface took pity on me and let me have a room. And a beer becauae my melatonin was locked up at the UA counter.

And I got 4 semi-glorious hours of sleep before I got up at 4 am to get to the airport 2 hours before my 7 am flight. Whereupon I got to the airport to find no flights to MRY from Fresno at 7 am.

Why in the name of all that is now and ever shall be did I bother giving these people my name, phone number, email, and blood type if they can’t send me an alert or notice or something? #technologyfail

If you ever need reminding of how little control we have over our lives, come travel with me.

Fair warning: https://youtu.be/rKaQzQAlNn4

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