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Memoirs

Submissions to this category are generally told in the first person and cover personal reflection, autobiographies and memories of the past. Rather than focusing on factual accounts, memoirs are more a recollection of moments in time that were either vivid or unique to the author.

8

Remembrance Challenge - Remembrance is a Living Thing

Souviens-Toi/Remember

 

7

Extreme Mislabelling For Desired Effect

Variety is the spice of life, but laughter is the best medicine...

“What’s with the long face,” I said to my horse-faced son. Okay, that didn’t happen, nor does he have a horse's face, even though he’s the son of a jackass. My daughter, on the other hoof, doesn’t take after me – she is me. She refers to my beloved, Leonard Cohen, as Leonard Colon . Grrr. HEY! Why, oh why, is everything on this site so darn down in the dumps? This isn’t the dark blue...Read On

3

Early warning

A new experience of fear

Early 1940. Siren’s mournful wailing, signalling, Our first air raid. Fearfully looking at me, she switched off all the lights Then she came to hug me close, her body trembling. I’d never seen her like this, so full of fear and worry. “It’s all right,” I reassured her. A distant bang, surely approaching thunder “Oh, God.” Her voice displaying her terror. “Down the stairs,” she urged....Read On

6

Bits and Pieces

There’s a moment, a split second where a dream is so vivid, yet it slips from your grasp all at once

Trudging into the bathroom, I flick the switch. The light is dim yet it still blinds my weary eyes,  adding to the miserable feeling that I woke with.  Another dream.  Her.  Steadying myself against the cool ceramic sink, eyes blurry, still exhausted, I try to focus on the figure in the mirror. Heartbreak is written with a single tear sliding down my cheek. When my eyes close I see hers,...Read On

5

Something of Value

Young man has first encounter with human loss

It was a slow melancholy song in Harry Turner’s head. Uncle Joe was dying. A sad refrain that reminded Harry of the man he knew. He was a man full of good humour, activity, kindness and love for his family. Now he was dying. The dirge plagued Harry’s mind. He had arrived home from university that morning to find his father in a less than happy frame of mind. “Your Uncle Joe’s unlikely to...Read On

10
Editor's Pick

A Warmer Reality

Man in early forties tries to come to terms with his father's indisposition

---“It’s not him, is it, Jack? It’s just not him.” My mother’s despairing words were a mournful poem that reverberated inside my head whenever I visited the hospital. She was so right. The wizened shell inhabited by something totally alien was a parody of the father I had known. Those chafing images implanted in my head threatened to bury the good that had gone before. Sitting there, in...Read On

10

Ground Zero

In dream, my skin has been charred soot-black, not all over my body, but on my arms, my legs, my penis, my chest. In dream, I only notice the burns if my eye happens to fall upon that area of skin. There is no pain. No pain, but a deep, shuddering fright when I see my blackened flesh and am reminded once more of the severe burns I carry. It was a dream the night of September 11th, 2006,...Read On

16

Back To School Challenge: Tears

We never appropriately anticipate the unexpected, do we?

Tears. I never expected it. She didn’t want summer vacation to begin because she loved her teachers. She loved her classmates. She loved school. And on the last day, there were tears. But she got over it. The very next day. Over the summer, she played. She traveled. She did what children have done for decades. They enjoyed their summer vacation with friends and family, learning...Read On

4

Jesus Loves Me

Song my granny sang to me Jesus loves me! This I know Now I can't understand the words I hear on the radio Peanuts cost a nickel And a tickle made me laugh Now on TV people are shot in streets But! What happened to the rabbit ears? Elvis was king and Hank was Hank But who in the hell is P. Diddy Or Snoop Dog? My dog was named Jim People can't afford to eat But they can get tattoos And...Read On

9

The Tumultuous Tale of a Tormented Terrier

This is a more or less true account of what happened that day.

The Tumultuous Tale of the Tormented Terrier Well, let me tell you, it was like this. Once upon a time, our humble hovel was being run by the daughter-unit’s pet, a small, cute, cuddly and constantly yapping Yorkshire Terrier that answered to the name, Puh-Pet, but only if she happened to be in the mood. She loved nothing better than people-food treats and patroling the backyard. Since it...Read On

5

The Interview

This is a true story.

I can't recall the year but I was out of work just as the Summer was beginning. Back before the internet, job seekers were forced to peruse the morning and evening paper. I happened to come across an ad for a day camp counsellor and called the number. A very nice lady answered and I was asked to come in for an interview. I raced across town and was soon sitting opposite a very attractive...Read On

6

In The Presence of Angels

As real as it gets...

How do I begin this memoir without sounding mentally unfit? It's probably best to simply tell you about it and you can be the judge of my competency. I spent the early part of my career repairing medical equipment in hospitals and clinics around the United States. Primarily in Ultrasound Departments but also Nuclear Medicine and X-Ray Departments. I spent my early career in a rush. I...Read On

1

At The Restaurant.

A true story my brother tells.

Now the story goes that my middle brother Tom was treating our youngest one, Fred to lunch at our favourite twenty-four restaurant. He had heard us talk about it and was excited to visit the place that we frequented. Now despite it being the end of the lunch rush, it was still crowded when they arrived, but a booth was located and cleaned as they waited. As they were escorted to their...Read On

0

The Mountains Are My Friends

I left feeling that everything was well planned and under control ...

" The mountains are my friends. " (an Iraqi-Kurdish saying) Up until the point of writing this journal, I would have characterized my life as not being particularly interesting, unless you happened to be in the computer programming profession like me. Don’t get me wrong. I have no complaints about my life. It is just that I have had a certain degree of difficulty in persuading other people...Read On

3

A Journal of My First Experiences in the Israeli Army

How easy boredom dissipates and fear becomes naked.

Basic Training: 13 June to 7 July 1983 Monday, 13 June 1983 The bus took us from Tel HaShomer Hospital to the induction center. There we received our yellow cards, were photographed (front and profile), had our mouths x-rayed (deep throat), were vaccinated (both arms), issued uniforms, fed, and got dental checkups. We waited around for several hours until we were told to board a...Read On

6

The Naming of Pheasants

Of Pheasants, Penzance, and Politics

Indianhead summer begins in the middle of June. That’s when the grass along the roadway of our rural Wisconsin town is available to be mowed. Six years ago the Town approved a resolution to prevent town mowing operations until the second week of June. Tall grass up to the edge of the roadway is the price one pays to protect the habitat of ground-nesting birds. It’s acceptable in...Read On

10

The Hippopotami Adventure

It's an adventure when you return unharmed...

The dugout canoes were overloaded as they were paddled up the Niger River by the two guides. The freeboard of the canoes was minimal. They weren’t meant to hold three Americans. I was the heaviest and rode with one guide while two of my daughters rode with the other. I was preoccupied with the thought that I was nuts and we were in over our heads. We were being taken to a place where we...Read On

4

My Friend the Gangster

We called him Don Magill which was not his real name. Short of wearing a sign that read "Cosa Nostra" he couldn't have been more obvious, well at least to me. He was always impeccably dressed and barbered. He had a deep gravely voice with just a trace of an Italian accent. His car was a long black Caddilac. He held court every afternoon at one of the local twenty four hour restaurants. If...Read On

10

The Gift

Times have changed but family is still family

The house stood at a high vista spot square with the cardinal points and with a clear view all around over the barbed wired fencing to pastures and other houses scattered across the landscape. The single story frame house was moved from its foundation just a short distance away as the crow flies. It had been the farm home of a working family out on a back road just a few miles south. The...Read On

2

Beyond Lozier Lake

The Wind River Range in western Wyoming is a backpacker’s paradise.  Six hundred miles of trails through rugged wilderness provide access to granite peaks, glaciers, clear lakes, rushing streams, and flower-filled meadows.  I became hooked on the Wind River Range the first time I saw it.  After that, a backpacking trip to those mountains became an annual event in my life.  Just like...Read On

8

A Christmas Tree Cutting Adventure

A Family Adventure

Stupid. Just stupid. The sun was setting; dusk hung like a cloak over the Coconino National Forest. I had a scotch pine tree on my right shoulder, my left hand held our seven-year-old daughter’s hand, and the lovely Mrs. L carried our three-year-old in her arms. We were walking downhill from the tree cutting area and had no clue how much farther we had to walk. All I could think was “I...Read On

11

Words from papa

I'm scared Shaking in my boots What if they don't like me Or I'm not good enough I'm short Ways are strange to some Papa looked and smiled Touching my heart  As he said once more Be yourself  Stand tall and proud No matter what you do Someone will find fault See with your eyes Feel with your heart Listen to your music Follow the beat of your drum Touch each life you meet ...Read On

6

A Dirty Weekend in the Congo

Do you like being damp for several hours, people touching your butt and grabbing you, until you find yourself eye to eye with a most magnificently handsome male?   “Fancy a dirty weekend in the Congo?” he asked. “I have an extra space if you want to join me. I know you’ll be in Bwindi next week so you can pop across the border with me as there is space on the charter”. I couldn’t...Read On

10

Promise Kept

Today is going to be tough on me as I collect Marcie's clothes. All of my local friends say it's time, and I keep telling myself to donate so others will get needed clothes and coats. They asked if I needed friends to help, but foolish me said, "No, I'm good." Really, I'm good?? Starting in our upstairs bedroom, yes ours. Opening her dresser. Stacking clothes on the bed. Our bed. Casper...Read On

7

My Waterman Roller Ball

A man's tools reflect his life

Sometimes one hesitates to tell a personal story because it exposes the authenticity of a person. If you’re a member of my family, or a colleague of mine, you’ve heard me tell parts of this story in person. You’ll know my secret identity when you read this and you’ll hold secrets to my other stories that my pseudonym disguises. And I will not know who you are and that’s unsettling to me....Read On

13

Smiling Brown Eyes

I look into your eyes Your beautiful smiling brown eyes With warmth and promises  That touch my soul They sparkle like stars with love They tell me everything is good I can be me without worry You are on my side always I see and feel the love In your beautiful smiling eyes...Read On

13

Teaching of time

As a small child, I was taught Each thing has a reason The wind talks Silence speaks Open your mind Believe in yourself Time has no measure No distance is too far See with your eyes Then feel with your heart Things are not always As first known There are many colors of the rainbow     ...Read On

0

Another Visit To The E.R.

A true Story

So here I am limping my way into the local ER. It was a typical bar fight, and as a bouncer, I had to intercede. The antagonist decided to flee before the police arrived and I decided to chase and hold him. In the semi-darkened street I misjudged the height of the curb and stumbled, but I ignored the pain in my foot and kept moving. I caught him and walked him back to the front of the bar...Read On

6

Smiles

Smile Let your passion show Tell me the secrets That touch you   Take it slow and easy Let our souls unite   Sing to me The song I love Let us dance And hold each other tight   Open your heart Feel me there Smile for me I promise to take care        ...Read On

11

Holding on

Memories everywhere. I used to try and put them away or keep them safe, Not sharing. Such a part of me. Making me who I am. What my life has become. Doesn't mean I can't make new ones. I can share them all.   Never ending memories, I have not lost.   In a thousand different ways, never will I forget. Forever missed and always loved.  Memories I hold on    ...Read On