Monday’s Rune: Hanukkah or Chanukah?

Happy Hanukkah everyone.

The eight-day Jewish festival, which began at nightfall yesterday, is also known as the festival of lights, or the Feast of Dedication. It commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt.

As a child growing up in a relatively “strict” Roman Catholic family, I recall all the “Christmas” cards we received during December. Mom used them to decorate our home. I recall many of the cards wishing us Happy Holidays and Happy Hanukkah. This was from the late 1940’s through the 1960s.

While I attended a Catholic parochial elementary school, I also recall saying “Happy Hanukkah” and playing with dreidels (or similar toys). A dreidel is a four-sided top bearing Hebrew letters. I ate some Jewish foods (year-round) and drank sweet kosher wine, but I did not learn the full meanings and traditions until years later.

When my children were growing up, they (and we) had Jewish family friends. During the holiday season one Jewish friend went to our children’s public schools and explained the Hanukkah festival. During the eight-day festival, my children spent many evenings at their friend’s home learning about Jewish traditions, eating the special foods, and participating in lighting the nine light menorahs (Chanukiah).

While Hanukkah is a minor Jewish religious holiday, for me it is full of happy (and a few sad) memories, and I ponder the possibilities. One more time, Happy Everything, Everyone.


Look both ways to learn the stories our friends and neighbors have to share.
Mind the gaps because no two are exactly alike.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #289 (engrave)

Click for Sammi’s blog and more 23-word magic.

A Lone Memory

Her face
an engraved
memory,
the cold winter night,
her aroma,
her taste,
her soft skin,
he felt
sixteen,
still in love,
again.


Look both ways, but today’s memories were conceived long ago.
Mind the gaps to be filled with feelings of love and pleasure.

A Lone Memory

Monday’s Rune: Halloween


The Last October Night

Last night, as I sat with my extended family, a mixture of baby boomers, Gen X’s, and Millennials, we spoke of haunting experiences: fear intentionally endured for fun. Few of us said we wanted to repeat those ‘fun’ occasions. They were things that fell into the it seemed like a good idea at the time category, but now we wished we hadn’t risked them.

We have learned that Halloween can be fun and scary without doing long term psychological damage. What adrenalin rush is worth the walk into nightmarish darkness? I recall the fun: the costumes, the parties, the doors to knock on, the treats, the stories, and the songs we made up and sang. We were having fun. But when scared, boy did we run!

I recall winning a Halloween party costume contest as an adult. I was not in the best costume. Was I given an honor for courage? Was humor involved? Did my green legs catch the judges’ eyes? No one fears a giant tomato.

What I like about Halloween is that I owe no one anything for it. It has a strange history and a life of its own with unique childish traditions. It is when it is, on the last day of October, followed immediately by November. Halloween has as many bizarre religious undertones as it does silly religious rejections.

With nods to the goths and the goolies, to the vampires and fried eggs, to the ubiquitous hobos and fun folks in clever, challenging outfits, I like Halloween and I know I’m in good, scary, company.


Look both ways on those dark October nights.
Mind the gaps where memories of youth dance and sing because it is time for all of that.

 

But this Halloween tragedy was way over the top.

Sammi’s Weekender #283 (dunk)

Click on the dunk graphic to discover other 78-word writings that include the word dunk.

 


Popularity

Sweatpants and fifteen-dollar
Wally-world slip-ons do the job
when I’m home alone and happy.

A child, I believed them
when they said I’d
run faster and jump higher

In them Keds,
for a tenth of what they pay
for fly higher and faster

Nike Dunks, which tell me
things and give me thoughts
they don’t want to hear or know.

Now you must love me. Ima woke.
I spent a week’s pay for
these kicks. Now kiss them.


I look both ways and wonder, am I the person I think I am?
Or am I a slave to popular marketing?
Mind the gaps before falling into a mentality where popularity trumps all things practical.

Sammi’s Weekender #282 (opposite)

Click on Sammi’s graphic to link up with her page for more 44-word poetry or prose.

Coincidentally, this is the second 44-word poem I have written this week. The other was for the dVerse quadrille challenge. Maybe it’s an omen.


 

Mom & Me

Mother always pointed out my difficult side;
that contrarian in me, not the exact opposite of good,
more like one who disobeyed, who pushed back,
because I saw life through my own eyes.

Today, I both regret and rejoice my
yin and yang personality.


Look at yourself both ways.
You may not be who you think you are.
Mind the gaps while searching for self.

While I enjoy this musical duet, I am struck by the irony.

 

Friday Fictioneers for October 14th, 2022

The sweet, delightful, and flashy Mistress of Fiction, Rochelle, has prompted my muse with a bit of rain for the second week in a row. Combining strokes from her purple lane, she has splashed the Friday Fictioneer gang with a Roger Bultot picture of a modern, colorful, children’s playground park, seemingly after some precip.

Feel free to dive into our un-juried pool of players with your own fiction of fewer than 101 words. Avoid any litigiousness by giving Roger’s pic a gaveled tap, which will sentence you to review the brief code of conduct behind the purple bars on Rochelle’s blog page. You may want to get setup to be served weekly with a summons write early each Wednesday morning.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Genre: Shakespearean Fiction
Title: Time for Pettifoggers
Word Count: 100

 

I took my nephew, Dicky, to the playground after the rain had stopped.

He said, “Everything’s all wet, Uncle Billy.”

“Water keeps the insufferable brats and bullies away. Now, go play.”

“There’s lots to climb on. But why no swings or rides?”

“Lawsuits. The lawyers forced the city to take them all away.”

“What are lawyers?”

“People who profit from the misery of others.”

He ran off to play on the wet climbers and such.

“After this,” he yelled, “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

“A noble goal, Lad. You’re a chap after the old bard.”

 


Look both ways for the future of the young.
Mind the gaps and dangerous traps, but a life without risk can be dry and vapid.

Note: “Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a line said by Dick the Butcher in William (Bill) Shakespeare’s Henry VI (Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2). It is among Shakespeare’s most famous and most controversial lines.

Click on the cartoon to fire up more wonderful flash stories by the fantastic Friday Fictioneers writers.

 

Sammi’s Weekender #279 (superimpose)

Click the superimpose graphic to link up with other excellent wordsmith 56 wonders.

Contemplative Satisfaction

My memories are superimposed,
each one over the others,
repeating forgotten things
like reflections in a window
to my past.

The sights, sounds, and sensed emotions
I can no longer feel, hopes and desires
of mine in a younger man’s clothes
when I danced and played
not knowing about the treasures
that are my memories today.


Look both ways and overlay the tastes and aromas of each memory.
Mind the gaps of confusion as you look through lost time for meanings as we live into the answers to past questions.

Sammi’s Weekender #277 (renege)

Click on this graphic to open Sammi’s page with links to more 49-word renege writing pieces.

Renegade Renegade

I was born into a world that no longer exists.
I was dealt this hand when my life began,
then and there.

Convinced, cajoled, and directed into treaties and agreements by threats, guilt,
intimidation, and false promises;
when given limited control, I reneged.

I wasn’t the liar. Not then.


As days pass, everything changes in us.
Regret and mind past gaps enough to make things right.
“For everything there is a season and a time….”

Monday’s Rune: On Labor Day 2022


Let Me Clarify

They were not smart or rich. Some might write. Few to none finished school. In many ways they were all slaves.

The children, the men, and the women were trying to survive, to make it through the night.

No great athletes, not a genius among them. The company was the enemy. The boss.

I think of them on Labor Day. About my dad, the filthy coal miner, who swore I’d never work in the mines.

He was right.

When the mines shut down, he was lucky to find any job. He was a plumber’s helper. He mowed lawns and dug sewer ditches. Finally, as a nurse’s aide for the same pay I got as a teenage knucklehead, for my summer job, as a gardener’s assistant, he worked until it was finished.

Mom was a cleaner of footwear in a shoe factory. She had to take two early morning buses and often walked home. Her hands were always dirty and stained from cleaning factory shoes. Sucky work.

I never did piece work, nor had black lung, but at a young age I knew all about both.

Labor Day! I love it, but the more I think about it, and the more I learn about the labor movement, the more pissed off I get.

Wars and soldiers did not build this country. The rich damn sure didn’t. Cowboys (not the jerks in Dallas) and labor did. Workers built America.

Damn it!

“No gods, no masters.”


Look both ways and try to understand.
All workers and all labor around the world are brothers and sisters.
Mind the gaps and may we treat them well. Welcome to America.

 

Friday Fictioneers for June 17th 2022

Mistress Rochelle gave us a double dose of reality today as she announced her recovery from the dreaded COVID CRUD with one of her photos. Nothing can keep her down for long. But the lovely flowers and get-well balloon should inspire us to find the words to tell our own story.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Click on Rochelle’s bouquet for a lift to her page to scope out the rules and regs of the game.


Genre: Military Fiction
Title: Friendly Enemies
Word Count: 100

***

Timo and I were life-long enemies. We always argued and fought. Didn’t know why.

Fatefully, after graduation we ended up in the same platoon. One night on recon walking about ten feet behind the point man, Timo shoved me and whispered, “You’re too close. Spread out!”

Just as I put distance between us, the point man tripped a mine. I remember the flash and loud blast.

I awoke in the hospital to a bouquet of flowers: yellow carnations, white snapdragons, buttercups, purple and violet petunias, and orange lilies.

The card read, “Keep friends close, enemies closer. Get well soon. Timo.”

***


Look both ways for friends and enemies, discernment is key.
Mind the gaps, it may not be what you think.

Click on me or Timo for a bus over to the city or squares and more fun micro-stories.

What would you send your enemy? To know why I used those flowers, click here.