Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Golden Anniversary

With singular grace that belies her age, she wraps around her weathered body, a grass skirt. After five decades, the emerald strands of raffia have faded to pale green. Still, the ties have not brittled, and her fingers, without too much difficulty, manage to knot them together.  The coconut top though, is another matter, and she is thankful to be donning it without the audience of a mirror.  She laughs at the thought of what her late husband would say to her-if he could only see.  It takes some doing, but at length, she is able to maneuver the shellacked brown half shells into their proper places.

Now that she is aptly attired, she directs an admiring gaze towards her potted palm. Visually measuring it’s height against the 10 foot ceilings of the parlor, she marvels that the tree must be nearly 8 feet tall, and again she is thankful for this house and it’s soaring rooms.  All those years ago. She is remembering her Honolulu honeymoon. Hawaii.  A land of exotic beauty unlike any she had ever seen.  Among the souvenirs she’d desired to have as mementoes of her visit-the hula ensemble, a carved wooden tiki, and a moderately expensive bottle of plumeria perfume-she’d also chosen the palm.  Barely bigger, at the time, than the coconut from which it grew, it was a piece of the Islands she could take home with her.  A fitting exchange for the piece of her heart she was leaving behind.

50 years ago.

Fifty years of longing for a place she was destined never to see again.

Her Victrola begins to serenade her with the first sweet strains of Aloha Oe, and she surrenders.   Assuming a position in front of her beloved palm, she is lost in old memories of paradise.  No longer does she feel the need to juggle past and present.  Closing her eyes, still as blue as the Pacific Ocean, she starts to sway.

 

writing prompt

This week we’re honoring the genius of Dr. Suess, who was born on March 2, 1904.  Our two Seussical offerings are an image and a line from one of his books. Happy writing!

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”

Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax

 

JUGGLE (transitive verb)
1a : to practice deceit or trickery on : beguile
  b : to manipulate or rearrange especially in order to achieve a desired end
2a : to toss in the manner of a juggler
  b : to hold or balance precariously
3: to handle or deal with usually several things (as obligations) at one time so as to satisfy often competing requirements <juggle the responsibilities of family life and full-time job — Jane S. Gould>

46 comments:

  1. Your images in this are so excellent. I can completely picture the tree!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! If I had my way, I'd have a 8 foot tall indoor palm tree too:)

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  2. Little Ms Valerie, How are you today?! #1. I love your new avatar. Nicely done. #2. You always write so well. #3. I shall venture to my P O Box today and see if my little prizes have arrived. and ...#4. You are so nice to me. You can be my Buddy too, my Blogging Buddy! Which you definitely are. Yay!

    Have a fabulous day, okay?

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear Renae!!

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  3. Bravo ♦ I'm thinking you dream in ulta color!!

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  4. Thanks Melissa! It seemed a little discombobulated at first, but it came together;)

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  5. Love Dr Suess quote.
    Oh I love your story telling always have me wanting more.50 years is a very long time:( B

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    1. Thanks B:) I'd hate to have to wait that long before I visited Hawaii again!

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  6. I just love this so much. It's so sweet and sentimental. I can see her swaying there beside the palm tree :)

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    1. Thank you so much Tammy! I'm glad you liked this one:)

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  7. This is so lovely and sad. I love the way your descriptive words created this whole atmosphere, both in her home and on the honeymoon. Well done!

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  8. lumdog-Thank so much for saying that! I truly appreciate it! :)

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  9. This is so wistful, the image of her finally giving into the memories of the past instead of trying to stay strong in the present.

    We honeymooned on Hawaii as well, and I always wonder if we'll ever make it back there like we say we will...

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    1. Thanks so much for this comment-and I bet you will make it back someday:) And as a p.s. I'd like to add that I really love doing these prompts!

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  10. As always, Valerie, you caught me from the first sentence on. It's amazing how you catch the heart and soul of a person, along with the whole story, in just a few lines. A fascinating read!

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    1. That is so much appreciated Dawn!

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  11. Whatever trip she is about to take, she seems highly prepared!

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    1. kymm-I wouldn't be surprised if she'd packed her suitcase too! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  12. Of course I love your take on the prompt. So many rich details - it's important I think to write often about what you know and I know you know your beloved Hawaii. A wonderful piece!

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    1. Kim-that is such good advice-to write about what one knows. How I wish I knew even more about Hawaii:) xx

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  13. I love the retro (not so much for me, I remember!) pictures and stories.

    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

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  14. Such longing, such sadness and in there too, celebration. Wonderful Valerie, truly. Your writing so often raises the hairs on my arms and this piece was no different

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    1. Jennifer-I'm so flattered by that! Thank you so much!

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  15. You paint pictures with your words. I could see this woman and feel her longing for Hawaii. I loved how you showed the passage of time via the description of the large potted palm tree has changed and liked this line: "Barely bigger, at the time, than the coconut from which it grew." Well done and good take on the Write at the Merge prompt.

    I was also impressed you did Trifecta challenge, as well. I struggle to do those and get the word limit. LOL it's like almost impossible for me, but you did it very well:~)

    Thank you for sharing your writing with me. I always enjoy reading what you create!

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    1. Sara-I usually have a hard time writing very many words-but for this one, I actually went over the Trifecta limit and had to pare it down! Can you believe it??? Thanks for you wonderful support!!

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  16. Oh Valerie! This is just beautiful! I love all the details of her donning the hula outfit. And here eyes still as blue as the ocean, just sigh.

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    1. Renee-thank you so much! I'm so glad you stopped by too!!

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  17. Beautiful story. I like how she wears the outfit after fifty years. I had to chuckle at imagining getting the coconut shells in place (gravity is not our friend :))

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    1. Janna-so true about gravity, LOL! Thanks for your comment, too!

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  18. Ah, I can imagine her dancing to the music in her exotic attire (: Such a great image!

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    1. Thanks Draug! I tried to create a timeless moment-one where past and present fuse together! Thanks for your comment!

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  19. One little palm tree can carry her back in time, as if she'd never left. Isn't that just beautiful? I loved this.

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  20. Loved that she was celebrating her golden jubilee with so much gusto though her husband is no more-shows her enduring & optimistic spirit-no wonder she loved Hawaii!Had to giggle at her efforts in getting the top on:-)Very well written,loved it!Oh,yes,loved that vintage pic!

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    1. Thanks-I appreciate that! I giggled at her efforts too:)

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  21. Oh hahaha, You want my shoes, do you? Aren't they fun? I was so stoked when I came upon them. I was hunting for green or yellow, but dang they WILL do! I'll have to wear them when I come to Ellensburg! Yippppeeee! (hug)

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  22. Please do bring them, my dear Renae.

    And a different pair to wear home;) xx

    Hugs.

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  23. this was so sweetly nostalgic and romantic. I love the image of an old lady reminiscing by donning hula gear :)

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  24. Aw. I love how this manages to be sweet despite all the things that might make for sadness (never going back to Hawaii, loss of husband). She sounds like a woman worth knowing.

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  25. Thanks Annabelle! That's exactly how I wanted it to read:) And maybe I should "write" her a plane ticket;) I think she deserves it.

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  26. Aww. What a lovely post. Such yearning and longing! I highly enjoyed.

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  27. I wouldn't have thought of that kind of speaking for the trees. The always tender humor your women display is a rich addition to the opening.

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