In the trees

But up here it’s amazing.
And it’s still a long way to the top.
Sometimes we just wanted to stay awhile.
One of the many huge staghorn ferns we saw.
Amazing trees. Huge and very old.
Now that’s a big tree. We were close to the end of the walkway and close to the ground. We couldn’t see the top of this one.
The base of this one wouldn’t fit into the camera viewer.
It was much cooler here than at the beach.
We could hear the roaring of the waves of a nearby beach.

Archived in: Retirement and Photography

Photos by Norm Siggee

Tommy’s Lesson

Tommy entered the kitchen; his head bent forward to watch his feet as he walked. His hair skimmed the underside of the kitchen counter as he cut the corner.

‘Grandpa, can you help me tie my shoelaces please?’

‘Sure. Up we go.’ He lifted his grandson onto a high kitchen chair.

‘Grandpa, why is it so hard to learn how to tie shoelaces?’

‘That’s a good question. Everything we learn in life can be hard.’

‘Why?’

‘Because it’s part of learning.’

‘Why?’

‘Well, if everything was easy to learn in life there wouldn’t be any strength to our character.’

‘Huh!’

Grandpa slowly looped a shoelace as Tommy watched. ‘Let me put it this way,’ Grandpa continued as he twisted one end of the lace around the loop. ‘Do you remember when your daddy and I took you fishing last summer?’

‘Yes.’ Tommy’s face screwed up. ‘It was so hard to get the worms to stay on the hook and get the fish to bite them.’

‘That’s right. Do you remember how many times you had to practise to get it right?’

‘Lots.’ The little boy nodded once and continued to study his grandfather’s hands.

‘By the end of the weekend you had it just right and you caught the biggest fish for supper.’

Tommy’s face beamed and revealed a toothy grin. He let his foot drop and held up the other one.

‘Your turn,’ Grandpa encouraged.

Tommy wriggled his foot onto his other leg and concentrated on the shoelace. It took a few minutes but eventually he made the final turn and pulled the loop through.

‘There will be other things in life you will need to learn and they won’t be easy either.’

Tommy sat looking at his shoes while he listened. ‘Like what?’

‘Oh, all sorts of things, like how to know the difference between right and wrong, when to make an important decision and how to choose which decision to make.’

‘Why?’

‘Because that’s life and we need to learn lots of things like tying shoelaces and how to fish. Making a decision when choosing what kind of friends we should have can be a tough one.’

‘That sounds really hard. Will I have to learn how to talk to grandsons too?’

The old man laughed. ‘Yes, but not for a while yet; that’s a grown-up’s lesson. You can wait for that.’

‘Look, Grandpa. We tie shoelaces the same. Maybe you practised lots too.’

‘Yep, I practised lots too but some life lessons took longer to learn than others.’

‘Grandpa, can you teach me how to learn other life lessons?’

‘I certainly can but right now… why don’t we have some ice-cream?’

Tommy giggled and his eyes brightened. ‘I guess we don’t have to learn how to eat ice-cream.’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Children’s Corner at Riverside Peace

Police Embarrassment

‘This is the Police. Come out with your hands in the air!’

Three police cars parked strategically around the front of the gas station. The alarm had been activated and the police were called in. There had been a spate of break-ins and they had finally caught the culprit in the act. Firearms used in the previous two robberies made the police nervous. They guarded themselves behind their cars where the faint smell of body odour and heated engine oil mingled. Neighbours awakened by the early dawn invasion, gathered cautiously outside their homes to observe the commotion.

‘Do you hear me? This is Police Officer Brody. Come out with your hands up!’

The door opened slowly, revealing a small laced-up boot. The officers dropped down behind their vehicles, guns cocked.

‘Please don’t shoot’, a quiet trembling voice responded.

The door opened a little further and an elderly woman hobbled out. She was stooped low and walked with a cane.

‘What the…? Please step out into the open and put down your—cane.’

She dropped the cane and raised her hands as far as her skinny arms would allow.

Officer Brody stepped forward to access the situation. He motioned Police Officer Mandy Walters to carry out a search. Brody steadied the shaken old lady with his powerful hand under her elbow. Officer Walters placed the crooked walking stick back into an arthritic hand. She obviously didn’t want to embarrass the startled petite woman any further by searching her.

With an indignant expression, the woman faced the officer in charge. ‘I think there has been a mistake. You see, I left my keys in the bathroom and when I went back in, I noticed I had grease on my clothes.’ She rubbed at the spot on her weathered skirt.

‘I tried to wash it, but I had to take it off because the skirt wouldn’t reach the faucet. I locked myself in so no one would disturb me. Unfortunately, I think the nice man at the counter must have closed up for the night and didn’t realize I was still there.’

‘Where is your car?’

‘Sir! I don’t own a car. That’s my motorcycle.’ She lifted her cane and pointed with her bent fingers past the police cars and confused police officers. A Harley Davison that sheltered under an ancient oak tree glistened in the morning sunlight.

‘I find this all hard to believe. Tell me how you were in there all night without triggering the alarm?’

‘Well, you see…. I sat on the toilet seat to adjust my tights and I slipped off into the corner. I was stuck and didn’t have the energy to get up until this morning. When I left the bathroom, I was aware that I couldn’t get out so I shook the door. That pesky alarm just kept screaming at me.’

Brody scratched his head, completely mesmerized while she shuffled towards the Harley across the road. She mounted the motorcycle with a little difficulty, but unwavering. She placed an opened-face helmet over her greying, outdated hairstyle.

Using her key, the engine started up with a roar. Poking the cane into a side pouch, she flipped the kickstand up and drove off in one smooth movement. Officer Brody glanced at a smug-faced Walters before replacing his gun into its holster.

‘What are you looking at? You can do the report when we get back.’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Little White Dove

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Mantled in whispers of cloud,
Little white dove blissfully endowed.

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Softy embracing a heavenly tone,
Fly little white dove in skies unknown.

Rising, falling,
Gliding, flying.

Little white dove rise beyond the dance,
Through the power of a rhythmic trance.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Poetry by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Herbs, Herbs, Herbs.

Thyme & Sage
Chives. Why do you struggle so?
More sage and Borage. I haven’t grown Borage for years. Looking forward to Borage tea.
Yes. More Sage and Basil.
Rosemary looking good. Tastes good too.
These are some of the first herbs I planted in March. We used up all the basil. Waiting for seeds to grow.
mmmm…You may have guessed that Basil is a favourite.
Oregano is looking a little poorly but it’s still great on pizzas. There’s always plenty of Parsley. The 3 x 3 pots in above 3 photos are all situated at Norm’s finger tips for when he’s cooking on the BBQ or in the Pizza oven.
Fresh herbs ready for indoor cooked meals over the next few days. Did I say I love Basil? 🙂

Archived: I’m in the Garden

Wounded Hearts

Another short story I wrote back in 2008 to 2010 for The Cypress Times in Texas. I haven’t edited any of them but I thought I might share some of my old writing.

WOUNDED HEARTS

Carrie, you have wounded my heart. Why do you keep saying hurtful things?” 

Carrie rolled her eyes. “Oh please, you’re so melodramatic, Sandy. Get over it.”

“You’re always insulting me in front of my friends. Why?”

“Why, why? Always, why? Sis, you just don’t get it. Read my lips. You…will…nev…ver…SING. Stop embarrassing yourself and I wouldn’t have to come to your rescue.”

“Rescue?”

Growing up in a family of five girls, Sandy always felt stuck in the middle. It wasn’t easy. She was the plain sister. Her hair was plain. Her face was plain. Her nose was plain. Sandy looked in the mirror. “My whole me is plain. But…I can sing,” she protested at the image. “I know I’m not perfect but from the moment I wake each morning, I wanted to sing.”

Sandy’s sisters constantly teased her about her singing. Carrie was the worst. She was a year older than Sandy and seemed to find joy in wounding her sister with her words. Carrie couldn’t sing. Actually, she hated singing. She would scream at any of her siblings for playing a record or if they hummed as they worked or played.

Just after Carrie’s seventeenth birthday, there was a huge argument between the five girls over the record-player disappearing. Carrie finally admitted she’d thrown it out. She stormed from the family home and moved up state with her boyfriend. Sandy never saw Carrie again. Marsha was the only one who kept in contact with Carrie…besides their mother. The teasing continued from the others but not as often or as cruel. 

After high school, Sandy worked as a secretary for a pastor in a big church. One day, he heard her singing along to their church’s latest CD. She was busy typing the monthly newsletter and didn’t see him enter the church office. Usually the place was empty on Fridays so Sandy could sing to her heart’s content…where no-one would make fun of her. Pastor Lloyd was just standing there, leaning on the door-frame. It gave Sandy the fright of her life. Her face burned with embarrassment.

Sandy and the Pastor had a long talk that day about her voice and experience…or rather, lack of. Within a few weeks, Sandy was singing back-up on Sundays and shortly after, the music director allowed Sandy to sing her first solo.

That was nine years ago. Sandy finally got over the hurt she grew up with…or so she thought.

Sandy and her husband, Geoff, had not long arrived home from church, when Geoff went to the study to put his Bible away. Sandy was preparing lunch when the telephone rang. with her hands in water, Sandy let Geoff take the call and kept working. 

“Honey, it’s your sister…Carrie.” 

Gingerly Sandy accepted the phone. Carrie’s taunts echoed in her head…they still hurt.

Sandy squeezed her eyes shut and tried to focus. “Hello.”

Sobs and hic-cups muffled the words. “Sandy…hic Marsha gave me your…hic number. What’s your address? I need to see you.”

Sandy’s eyes sprang open. “Carrie, where are you? What’s wrong?”

“Stan’s left me…for another woman…hic…again. But…hic that’s not why I called…hic. Please, Sandy.”

Sandy gave Carrie their address and hung up. Geoff knew of Sandy’s years of her sisters’ relentless insults. There was nothing Geoff and Sandy didn’t share. She admitted mixed emotions about seeing Carrie and Geoff prayed for wisdom and peace. Sandy was so afraid she would be wounded again.

Carries arrived shortly before two o’clock the following afternoon. She talked non-stop and seemed genuinely happy to see Sandy and Geoff. Her frail figure worried Sandy though. 

“Carrie, are you okay? You said yesterday that Stan had left you,” she paused. “You’re also looking…unwell.”

Carrie burst into tears. Geoff left the women alone. Sandy wasn’t sure if it was Carrie’s bawling which made him feel awkward; as it did her, or if he thought it was best for the sisters to sort it out themselves. They were still talking when Geoff returned a few hours later.

“Geoff,” Sandy said quietly. “Please sit for a moment.”

Carrie filled him in on some general pieces of conversation before Sandy continued. “Geoff, Carrie’s kidneys are failing,” she said her voice quiet. “Without a donor, she could die. Marsha, Eleanor and Sophie, aren’t compatible and she’s asked me to be tested. We do have the same blood-type. What should we do?”

Geoff took his wife’s hand. “What do you think you should do, Sandy? It’s your call.”

Sandy searched his eyes, trying to see his thoughts, and then turned to see Carrie’s tear-stained face. Sandy took a deep breath and looked into her sister’s pleading eyes. She felt her anguish. “I think it’s time for wounded hearts to heal.”

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.