Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Last year for my November blog I wrote about how Thanksgiving is becoming less a holiday and more a kick-off to the orgy of consumerism that Christmas has become.

This year it has gotten, in my opinion, much worse.

It is bad enough that Christmas decorations and music entered retail stores as Halloween was being taken down, but now we have “Black Friday” actually occurring on Thanksgiving itself.  The result of these latest examples of “profits over people” and “mindless consumerism” will mean that some families will not be together for Thanksgiving, or their time together will be rushed because someone has to get to work on time, or because someone has to get in line before the stores open so they can score the sale.

The part that I think bothers me the most about all of this is that our economy has gotten so bad people are willing to toss Thanksgiving aside because they need a job.

Some could argue that the consumers need to take advantage of the sales, but that one doesn’t fly for me.  (I knew that MBA would come in handy sometime…)  Let’s use some common sense; the stores need to sell goods to make their bottom lines before the end of the year.  The sales will still happen, just closer to or after Christmas.

I worked a number of part-time retail jobs throughout high school and college.  Most of these jobs were in shopping or strip malls so, of course, I was scheduled to work on Black Friday.  Normally, I enjoyed these jobs.  It was fun to help customers and I even liked working on Christmas Eve, but I hated Black Friday.  Black Friday was a hell that tainted my view of humanity and made me question why anyone would willingly subject themselves to the insanity for an object that chances are the recipient will probably re-gift or take as their due.

When I landed my first full-time job outside of the retail sector, I made a vow never to enter a shopping mall or engage in the madness that I saw on Black Friday.  High school and college were over 25 years ago, but I have yet to break that vow.  The memory of having to deal with the rudeness, the avarice, and the general mayhem of a mall or retail store on the Friday after Thanksgiving is still sufficiently strong enough to keep my vow and out of the stores for the rest of my life.

While working retail, I never once saw someone “happy” or enjoying themselves as they shopped on Black Friday.  In the years since I stopped working retail, I can’t say that I have ever heard anyone who does the Black Friday shopping talk about how much fun they had.  Instead, I hear about how rude and nasty people were, how crowded things were, or how horrible the whole experience was, yet, year after year they still do it.  Maybe things have changed and there are hordes of happy shoppers out there, but I seriously doubt it.  As a whole, we seem to have become a bit more rude and ego-centric as a society so I’ll avoid the whole mess.

As I have said before, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for where you are and for the blessings or opportunities that have come your way.  Yes, it started out as a celebration of having safely come to the New World for some settlers, or sharing the bounty of the harvest with others; but at its base, this is about gratitude that you are where you are and not in some situation that is much worse.  It is not about a sale price or getting your Christmas shopping done.

My family will be gathering at my parent’s house later on this afternoon.  We are a fairly large clan and I believe she said 19 of us will be sitting down together.  While at times we joke and say our family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional, this is one gathering where we put aside the normal sibling squabbles or rivalries and simply enjoy being together as a family.

We work together as a family to prepare and set out the food.  Once the meal is done, we work together to clean up and put everything away so that my parents don’t have to worry about anything but relaxing.  After things are put away and cleaned up, my Dad, the husbands and the older nephew will gather in the family room to watch a game or talk about jobs, politics, and the economy.  The younger kids will convince me or another of the older kids to take them for a walk in the woods that borders my parent’s property.  My older nieces will gather to discuss boyfriends, college, and searching for a job.  The sisters and Mom will talk about the kids, the husbands, and swap advice on dealing with both.

The past five years have been rough for our family.  Several members of the clan, me included, were laid-off from jobs and struggled through job search before finding new ones.  In all cases, the new jobs were not as well paying as the ones that were lost so lifestyles have had to change and “financial belts” have been tightened significantly.  One family member has been through the lay-off scenario twice.  We’ve all seen our carefully built nest-eggs disappear completely or be reduced enough that the possibility of retiring at retirement age is nothing but a dream that will never take flight.  My older siblings have seen their college age kids come back to the nest because they can’t find jobs or they can’t find jobs that pay enough for them to live on their own.  One member of the family has struggled with addiction and homelessness.  We’ve dealt with serious illnesses, the deaths of extended family members, and fear for friends and relatives serving the country in harm’s way.  We’re also dealing with the normal day to day struggles of balancing work and life.

Despite it all, we will gather today and we will give thanks for what we have, for one another, and that we’re together and supportive of one another.  No one will be heading out to the malls and I’m really thankful that none of us will be rushing off to work in a retail store either.

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project and contract manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead writes paranormal romance among other genres. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.


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Have a Very Descriptive Thanksgiving by J J Dare

In honor of writers everywhere, this year’s Thanksgiving at my house is filled with adjectives. My holiday wish is for everyone to enjoy the sights and smells of Thanksgiving as much as I and my family do. So, here goes:

Tender roasted turkey

gobble, gobble

Sweet succulent ham

Toasted buttery rolls.


Baked cornbread dressing

Fluffy creamy potatoes

with lots of butter

Thick turkey gravy

Crisp sugared carrots

Wassup, doc?

Smoky green beans.

Delectable strawberry pie

sinfully rich

Spicy pumpkin custard

Chocolate chocolate chocolate

Pink Pepto, chalky Tums, and purple Prilosec

These are only a few items on the menu at my house. Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I hop off the internet and start cooking for tomorrow’s feast.

Here’s the full menu on Facebook. I’m crazy. Yeah, I know.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Eat, drink and take a nap.


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One more post on thankfulness

This week was Thanksgiving in the United States and social media was ripe with posts about what people have been thankful for.  I managed to avoid posting my own list because, well, I couldn’t imagine having to select just one thing to be thankful for.  So, here is a short list of things—in no particular order—which I’m thankful for not just during this season, but all year long.

1.  Family.  I’m thankful for my husband and my two amazing daughters.  I’m also thankful for my parents and my sister who are all there when I need to bounce ideas around or just to remind me of my own self-worth.  I’m also thankful for the family I’ve chosen (often referred to by others as friends) who are there to support me in all kinds of day-to-day events.

2. Home and job.  As the South Dakota winter starts to rear it’s head, I’m thankful for the walls that surround me and keep the vicious, howling winds out.  I’m also thankful for my day job which affords me the opportunity to spend my free-time writing and knitting and sewing and pursuing all kinds of creative outlets.

3. Technology.  I admit I’m a bit of a technology junkie.  I love how technology makes things easier for people.  I know there are downsides to it, like dependance on electricity or people who can’t stay off their phones while their driving.  But it makes communicating with the rest of the world so much easier.  I’ve managed to maintain friendships I made while in the military and I’ve gotten to Skype with my niece and nephew who live a few states away.  I couldn’t have that level of connection with them without technology!

4. National Novel Writers Month.  No, I didn’t make the goal of 50,000 words in November.  I did, however, write.  Everyday.  For at least a few hours.  I had been out of the habit and I’m thankful for the opportunity to get back to doing what I love.

5. Second Wind Publishing. They published Ghost Mountain, taking a chance on an unknown author who was writing about the paranormal in the Black Hills.  I will be forever grateful to them. They’ve allowed me to live my dream of being an author.  Gotta love that!

There you have it.  A short list of things I am thankful for.  And, while I really enjoyed reading those “30 Days of Thankful” type posts people have been adding to various social media sites, I think the world would be a little better if people didn’t try to consolidate all their thanks into a day or a month.  Let’s try to be thankful everyday.  The world just might be a better place!






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Rolling in the Thanks by J J Dare

In my life, I’m thankful every day for the typical things: family, house, car, health, and so forth. I’m moved by Thanksgiving to reflect on a few of the other things I’m thankful for.

1. I’m thankful for coffee in the morning. Without it, I never wake up and am extremely boorish the entire day. Coffee is my java crack. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is what I’d mug someone for, so watch out.

2. I’m thankful for cinnamon-vanilla creamer. It’s another muggable commodity to me.

3. I’m really thankful for my feet. You never realize how much you miss them until you don’t have them. Thankfully, I still have mine and they get me where I’m going and, occasionally, where I shouldn’t go. Thanks for staying with me, feet.

4. I’m thankful for sticky notes. Or, in lieu of sticky notes, paper and tape. I would take a pic of my desk area, but you can’t really see it because of the many notes attached to it. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if there is really a desk at all. Like kudzu, the notes may have taken over and eaten the object underneath.

5. I’m thankful for the ability to tell when I should trash a story. As Dan used to say, you can dream of being an opera star, but if you can’t sing, you should find a new dream.

I really wish I could write a regular romance story. I can start it but it quickly veers off into suspense, murder mystery or supernatural. Maybe it’s a reflection of my own life – not the suspense, murder or supernatural, but the offbeat things that have happened to me through the years.

As in other endeavors in life, I’m thankful that most of the time I “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”

Here’s a little Thanksgiving music to put you in the mood (yes, “Jingle Bells” was originally written in 1850 as a Thanksgiving song). This version is a mash-up from the wacky, weird, wonderful Dieter Meier:

What are you thankful for?

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch


Filed under life, musings, writing

In Life by J J Dare

Life is what you make it. Mine stays busy. I have a perpetual to-do list growling at me, except for those times I hide it under a couch cushion. I’m involved in my daughters’ lives on a daily basis (by their choice, most of the time). I still write when the muse makes her infrequent visits, I constantly battle housework apathy and I’m nursing three of my four cats through upper respiratory infections.

Fall has finally arrived in the South. It’s the most anticipated two weeks out of the year for many of us. My expectations are running high this week. The cool weather is a refreshing change from our normal humid heat and if the temperature drops low enough, the mosquitoes die off for a while.

October is the month for a horror-movie-a-day. My Yankee daughter and I pledged to watch an appropriately scary movie each day in honor of Halloween. I’ve unearthed some classic favorites along with some campy fun ones. In December, we plan to do the same thing with a holiday-movie-a-day.

There are days I wish I could clone myself or sprout a few extra arms. The creator was onto the right thing when octopuses were designed.

The to-do list contains a lot of carryovers from previous lists. There are twenty-seven listed things . . . so far. Just a few of these are:

  1. Clean out the back closet (portions of four different households reside there. Yes, it’s a big closet, but it’s bulging and spilling over into the rest of the house),
  2. File (the bane of my bookkeeping existence. My excuse is classic: these papers aren’t going anywhere),
  3. Light bulb in living room (it seems minor, but it’s a major task since I have high vaulted ceilings and the only way to reach the light is to stack two chairs on top of each other and balance on them like a high-wire act. Some have suggested I get a ladder, but it’s an adrenaline rush to perch precariously and not fall),
  4. Fix leaky refrigerator (growing up with tales of poverty in my mother’s early life and living on the edge myself taught me how to pinch a penny until it screams).

I expect November to be crushingly hectic. I usually celebrate Thanksgiving two or three times during the month. This tradition started long ago with my late partner because of his love for roasted turkey and my fattening cooking.

In addition, I’m signing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I did it last year and have another completed book under my belt that I need to do something about. When my busy niece told me she was thinking about joining the NaNo bandwagon, I told her to call me Aunt Crazy because I’m jumping off the cliff, too.

I don’t have to put everything on paper. My life reads like a book. There are some chapters that are painfully sad, some that are hilarious, some are mortifyingly embarrassing and some that I would give anything and everything to redo. The edits of my life are long and when I have time to think about the hurricane of my past, I sit in the calm eye of my personal storm and cry.

Tears are a good, yet, temporary release for the grief of life edits I cannot fix. Busy helps, too, but life isn’t all about action – sometimes, life can be about doing nothing and enjoying it. It’s a lesson my late partner tried to teach me and one I’m trying to learn.

How does your real life translate to your writing or reading habits? Do the different stages of your existence influence your writing? Have you ever read a book and sensed that the author had slipped inside your head and written about you?


J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch.



Filed under books, life, musings, writing

An Attitude of Gratitude by Sherrie Hansen

It always amazes me when a friend or family member shows an attitude of gratitude when they are going through the kind of hellish nightmare that would make most of us hide under the covers, griping, groaning and whimpering.  These people face cancer and other dire medical prognoses… lose everything they own in a fire the day before Christmas… suffer through stock market crashes that take their entire life savings… lose a child, a best friend, or a spouse. They suffer unimaginable loss, and yet, in the midst of their grief, they’re able to be thankful for what they do  have, be glad that things aren’t worse, and be grateful for the support of their friends and family, even strangers…

It’s inspirational, mysterious, almost unimaginable at times, to hear thoughts and words of gratitude spoken in the midst of tragedy.

Others of us, when facing circumstances not half as dire or heartbreaking, spew bitter recriminations at God, curse our fowl luck, and complain about our misfortune to everyone within earshot.

What makes the difference? What unfathomable source enables people to give thanks even when awful things are happening?

I’ve learned that at least some of the time, the answer lies in a person’s faith. Believing that all things work together for good, in God’s time, seems to allow people to believe that better things are ahead for those who wait, or at the very least, that God will give them the grace to endure whatever in happening in their lives . I’ve always found it irritating when people spew platitudes, but I can’t deny that I have seen this kind of true, life-altering faith in action on several recent occasions. Instead of asking, “why me?”, these people seem to have a wellspring of inner peace and true joy that supersedes whatever tragic circumstances befalls them. These people are constantly looking up, expecting to see a rainbow.

I’m not talking about Eeyore-ish people who moan, “Such is life”, and begrudgingly accept their fates, pessimists who figured their luck would run out from day one, folks who have always, subconsciously been waiting for the other shoe to fall.  I’m talking about people who have found a lasting joy that is irrespective of their circumstances. These people aren’t stupid, naive or oblivious, so I have to assume that whatever or whomever is empowering them to feel peace in the midst of sorrow is real, tangible, and life-changing.

Although I’ve always been a bit of an Eeyore, I am blessed to have family and friends who love me, and more importantly, a God and Savior who will always be at my side.  I hope on this special day of Thanksgiving, and in the days to come – whatever they hold – that I can be a person who feels an attitude of gratitude for all that I have, has a faith that sustains me through both good and bad times, and is able to draw on an inner peace that inspires others as I have been inspired.

Happy Thanksgiving!

God is in Every Tomorrow (Author unknown)

God is in every tomorrow,
Therefore I live for today;
Certain of finding at sunrise
Guidance and strength for the day,
Power for each moment of weakness,
Hope for each moment of pain
Comfort for every sorrow,
Sunshine and joy after rain.

God is in every tomorrow,
Planning for you and for me,
Even in the dark I will follow,
Trust where my eyes cannot see,
Stilled by His promise of blessing,
Soothed by the touch of His hand,
Confident in His protection,
Knowing my life-path is planned.



Filed under life, musings, Sherrie Hansen

Thanksgiving: A holiday or the trigger for the countdown to Christmas?

Last week, as I turned into my neighborhood, my 4-year-old pointed out that it was time for Daddy to start putting up Christmas decorations.  (Or as I think of it, doing a “Griswold” on our house.)  In the midst of my explanation that it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet, and Christmas decorations don’t go up until after Thanksgiving, he yelled from the backseat, “But Mommy, they’re doing it!”  I looked over and sure enough, a week before Thanksgiving and one of my neighbors is setting up inflatables, hanging lights, and otherwise setting the bar for what my husband will try to top this year.  (But that is another, more comedic, blog.)

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’ve been seeing Christmas decorations popping up since Halloween decorations began coming down, and one case the two were up that the same time.  You can’t turn on the TV without seeing an ad for Black Friday sales.  This morning, I went on-line to buy tickets to take the kids to see Virginia’s Legendary Santa and discovered that dates are already selling out!  We’ve been seeing Santa’s “twin brothers” or cousins for previous years, but this year the boys are at the right ages (4 & 7) that it will be special, so I sprang for the tickets to avoid a potential 2 hour wait.  I just couldn’t believe that the reserved dates were already selling out.

It really bothers me that Thanksgiving seems to be fading out in our haste to dive into the commercialism of Christmas.  Or is it that we don’t recognize how much we have to be thankful for so we brush this holiday aside as nothing more than a kick-off to Christmas?

Even my mother, the queen of holiday family entertaining, almost cancelled our family Thanksgiving dinner this year because she has so much going on to get ready for the Christmas season.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I like Thanksgiving.  I have to say that it is one of my favorite holidays.  I even like decorating for Thanksgiving.  There’s something comforting about the colors of fall.  Candles in warm burgundy, gold, and various hues of green with woodsy scents; potted mums on doorsteps with pumpkins or gourds around them; and wreathes featuring leaves, cornucopia of fall produce, and the earthy shades of the season; a transition of sorts between the harsher motifs and colors of Halloween and the bright lights and vibrant reds of Christmas. 

To me, it is a family focused holiday.  It is about reconnecting.  When we were children, we were all involved with meal preparation, the decorations, and of course the clean up afterwards.  As young adults, we often were guests to the meal, but reconnected during the clean-up.  Triumphs and personal tragedies were shared while cleaning up the dishes and dividing up the leftovers among us.  It was often this holiday when engagements, due dates, and promotions were announced, while Mom and Dad enjoyed a few peaceful moments over coffee or an after dinner drink watching the adults that their children had become.  As we began to have families of our own, we would arrive bearing some part of the meal so that Mom didn’t have to do all the cooking for 15 or more.  The single or childless ones would still arrive early to help with set up and as those states changed, it was the older grandchildren who would be dropped off early to help.  We siblings and spouses still connect over doing the dishes and dividing up the leftovers, while Mom and Dad enjoy and after dinner coffee or drink, but there aren’t a lot of peaceful moments until we all leave since there are 9 grandchildren ranging from 4 to 22 interacting, or not, with each other.  Until last year, there were four generations of women in our family at these meals, but we lost the 103 year old matriarch of the family last fall and the next generation has not yet begun, but with the oldest of the current brood at 22, I suspect that will be changing before long.

This is also a holiday for reflection of a different manner than the religious or spiritual reflections of Christmas or the resolutions to be made for the New Year.  While the traditional story of Plymouth Rock is associated with the holiday of Thanksgiving, it was but one of many thanksgivings in America’s history and as such becomes a holiday for all Americans to think about what we, or our ancestors, overcame to live in this country.  It doesn’t matter whether your ancestors were here to begin with and overcame the arrival of others, or your ancestors braved hostile oceans, or border crossings to get here: it is a holiday to recognize how much we have to be thankful for.  As someone whose ancestry includes a mix of people who were here to begin with, those who came to exploit the bounties of this new world, those who fled here to escape intolerable conditions in their homeland, and those who had no choice about coming here; to me, this holiday embodies the dream and the promise of America.

Socio-, economic, and political issues aside, there is still much for us to be thankful for.  I hope that we all stop in our rush to start the countdown to Christmas and enjoy this holiday for what it is.

Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours.

Mairead Walpole is the pen name for a somewhat introverted project and contract manager who has 20+ years of business and technical writing under her belt. In her spare time, Mairead reviews books for Crystal Reviews (www.crystalreviews.com) and writes paranormal romance. Her first novel, “A Love Out of Time” is available through Second Wind Publishing (www.secondwindpublishing.com) or Amazon.com.


Filed under life, Mairead Wapole, musings, writing

It’s All About Traditions — When to Cling to the Old Ones, and When to Try Something New…

It’s the season of love, and part of the way my family shows love is with family recipes, passed down through the years – both sweet treats and  savory surprises.


If you also enjoy sharing good home-cooked meals with the ones you love, you’ll enjoy this recipe from my soon-to-be released book, Night and Day.

The main character in Night and Day, Jensen Marie Christiansen, has an epiphany when her sister-in-law, Tara, serves Vegetarian Lasagna, Garlic Toast and “Taramisu” for Thanksgiving dinner instead of the Christiansen’s traditional Swedish Meatballs, Copenhagen Cream with Raspberries, and Melting Moments (their Great-grandmother Maren Jensen’s favorite Danish butter cookie). If you try the recipe, you’ll see why Jensen was a bit disappointed!

It’s all about traditions — when to cling to the old ones, and when to try something new…

If you like good food, traditional families, wonderful stories, and of course, romance — please watch for Night and Day.

Sharing the Love,

Sherrie Hansen

Swedish Meatballs
1 lb. hamburger

1/2 lb. pork sausage

1/3 c. chopped onion

1 1/2 c. bread crumbs

2 eggs

3/4 c. milk

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 TBS. sugar

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix and together & shape into balls about the size of a large scoop of ice cream.  Brown in shortening, turning to brown on all sides.  Put meatballs in an enamel roaster.  Make gravy with drippings in first pan.

Brown 5 TBS flour in fat. Add 3 c. water, 3 bouillon cubes, and 1 1/2 TBS lemon juice. Pour gravy over meatballs in roaster and simmer two hours in a 350′ oven with 1 bay leaf.  Serve with homemade mashed potatoes.

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A Day of Thanks

The turkey dinner at the restaurant was surprisingly good. The meat was tender and juicy. The dressing was moist and spiced just right. Peas and sweet potatoes had been cooked to perfection and the fresh cranberry sauce was delicious.


Sylvie took another bite of dressing and tried to force it down her throat. She had never eaten alone on Thanksgiving and her emotions were threatening to overwhelm her.


Her two children had each thought the other would be at her house for the holiday. They had been taking turns with her on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter since they had moved out on their own.


One of them had dropped the ball this year. They never let her know whose turn it was; one or the other just showed up with their spouses and children.


Sylvie always cooked a big meal during the holidays. She went all out: three different meats, vegetables galore, a buffet of deserts. Nothing was forgotten.


Noon came and went. The dining room table was groaning from the weight of the food. Sylvie sat there and waited.


One o’clock and Sylvie felt if she did not move, she would grow into the wooden chair. She got up and started putting the food away. She had no appetite to eat alone.


Taking her purse and coat, Sylvie walked to the restaurant down the road to eat her holiday meal. She wanted to dine with the sounds of others – her house was too quiet.


Here she was, alone in a restaurant, trying to eat a meal that threatened to turn to dust in her throat. She was still upset that neither of her children had been with her. She felt neglected and alone. She felt a pity party coming on.


As Sylvie sat staring at her food with a sad look on her face, a man spoke to her.


“Excuse me?” she replied.


“May I join you?” the man asked. “I hate to eat alone.”


Sylvie nodded her head, as she looked her dinner partner over.


He was about her age. In an old-fashioned tribute to the days when one would actually dress for dinner, he was attired in full suit, tie, and shiny shoes. All that was missing was the hat.


She spoke too soon. The coat he had draped over his arm was covering a black fedora.


“Please,” Sylvie said as she motioned to the chair opposite her.


“Mitchell Blackstone,” he said as he reached to shake her hand.


“Sylvie Garcia,” she relied.


The waitress brought Mitchell’s food from his table. In between bites, Sylvie learned that Mitchell’s only son traveled constantly with his job and had been unable to make it home for the holiday. Instead, he had paid a four-star restaurant to deliver his father a full-course Thanksgiving dinner.


“It was nice, what he did, but it is too sad eating alone, no matter how good the food,” Mitchell told Sylvie.


Sylvie completely understood. She explained to Mitchell why she was in the restaurant for Thanksgiving instead of at her house. She told him how her children took turns with her on holidays and how it felt like she was just an obligation to them.


Mitchell nodded in empathy. He knew all too well that his son felt that same sense of obligation. It made Mitchell feel as though he was a burden to the son he adored.


As they shared holiday stories, Sylvie found that her food tasted better and better with each bite. When they had finished their meal, Sylvie surprisingly had room for desert.


After slowly eating desert and drinking coffee, Sylvie looked at the time in shock. Three hours had pleasantly passed and she was reluctant to leave her delightful company.


Mitchell agreed and told her as much. However, they were the last diners in the restaurant and neither wanted to keep the staff from enjoying what was left of the holiday.


Sylvie allowed Mitchell to walk her home. It felt so nice to have a courteous man escort down the sidewalk. It had been a long time since she walked arm-in-arm with a gentleman.


As they drew closer to her house, Sylvie saw the lights were blazing and both of her children’s vehicles were parked akimbo in the yard. In the street, a police car sat.


“Oh, dear,” Sylvie said. “I forgot to leave a note,” she continued with a grimace.


“Would you like me to accompany you inside?” Mitchell asked.


“No. I think it would be better if I went in alone. Too many questions,” Sylvie said with a smile.


Mitchell kissed her hand and watched as she walked toward her house. He felt blessed that he had met such a wonderful woman. He felt thankful that she and he had spent Thanksgiving Day together.


Before she got to the gate in front of her house, Sylvie turned around and walked back toward Mitchell. As he took her outstretched hand, she thanked him for his company, and, with a touch of spirit, she asked, “Let’s meet at the restaurant for Christmas.”


With a smile, he nodded. With a smile, she walked into her house.




J J Dare is the author of “False Positive,”

the first novel in the Joe Daniels’ trilogy




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Death Row — A Drabble (100-word Story).

Tom milled around the prison yard with the other inmates, waiting for the sound of death. There would be no stay of execution for their condemned mate, who would die in a most barbaric way.

“They don’t care that he’s innocent,” Tom said. “As are we all. The system is guilty, but no one wants to buck tradition.”

The thud of the axe made him flinch. He bowed his head out of respect for the dead.

In the silence, he heard the executioner’s voice drifting through the chicken wire fence. “It’s a big turkey. We’ll have a grand Thanksgiving feast.”

Pat Bertram is the author of More Deaths Than One,  and A Spark of Heavenly Fire now available from Second Wind Publishing, LLC.


Filed under fiction, fun, life, Pat Bertram, writing