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Norma's Wanderings
WOW!!! My short story - 'Dream Stuff' was just nominated for a Quill Award! Amazing - thanks Angus for nominating me.

I had entered this little story after a prompt led me to writing it. It is wonderful how your imagination takes you on a journey sometimes to a land you have never entered before. Suddenly characters you've never met appear and become a part of your life. Amazing!
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September 20, 2019 at 1:53pm
September 20, 2019 at 1:53pm
My husband opened a giant can of peanuts today. On the side was a UPC code. The label had my name on it under the usual computer generated bars.

'Curious!' was my thought. How did a giant can of peanuts get a UPC code on it with my name on it? A real mystery.

But then I got to thinking. What a great story idea! What if we all had UPC codes on us! Codes we could use to buy and sell items. Just scan your wrist, or finger. You can already use your finger to sign in to your computer. I use it on mine every day. So what is to stop this technology from coming into the human world? Everyone, it seems, already has tattoos. So another would not be a big deal to most.

Something to mull over.
September 19, 2019 at 1:38pm
September 19, 2019 at 1:38pm
Has your life turned out the way you had planned it? I know mine has not. Who knows at age 18 when all possibilities are laid out before you what you will choose. College or work. Marriage or just a series of partners.

I attended my 50th high school reunion this past summer. It was pretty amusing, actually. Overall most of the classmates that were the smartest had achieved greatness in the eyes of the world. There was a dentist, and a lawyer, and a chemist that had numerous award and patents. But there were also the regular folks. There were nurses, teachers, and bus drivers. Plus those that never worked but did the real achieving in the world - mothers and fathers.

My husband couldn't go with me, so my mother came along. When she first told me she thought of going, I was a little curious and a bit put off. But then I thought, why not? After all, she was the librarian for the town library for many years. She saw a lot of these people come in over the years. She wanted to be part of the party as well. Oh yes, I guess she also wanted to spend time with me. So we went together. My mother was my date. Not too many people can say their mother is around for their 50th high school reunion.

So among the many twists and turns life takes you, may you always take time to make your mother happy, even if it means having her as your date to a big event.

September 16, 2019 at 11:41pm
September 16, 2019 at 11:41pm
I love community theater. I love the camaraderie, the challenges, the whole production. You take several people from a town and throw them on stage. Give them a script and some direction, a few costume ideas and some time to memorize lines. Then invite friends and family to watch. What fun!

Rehearsals are usually hilarious, because no one is a professional and everyone does this for a variety of reasons:
1. Get out of the house
2. To be creative
3. To be with friends
4. To exercise a brain by memorization
5. To entertain an audience and make people laugh
6. For all the above reasons

There seems to be a shortage of art in the world right now. Creativity is rapidly disappearing. Children need to be able to have time to do nothing structured. Let your mind wander down that 'rabbit-hole' of imagination. You may find some exciting discoveries along the way. Let children discover the wonderful world of their imaginations as well. Dress-up, role-playing, fort building, building roads in the dirt. Even the dreaded 'cowboys and Indians' as cliche and not politically correct as that has become. Pretend is something we should never stop doing.

"Just pretend" and make up something wonderful.

September 11, 2019 at 11:21am
September 11, 2019 at 11:21am
I was walking the other day through my neighborhood, as I always do around noon. I used to have a companion on my walk but my dog has since passed on. So these walks are kind of lonely now. I guess I could ask a human friend along, but right now I am taking the time to process the grief. Walking the same route for years with a doggie companion builds a certain bond. You dog people understand. Now I have to walk without that furry creature by my side. The vet says I'll be in her office in a few months with a puppy. I looked a her and said 'No way'.

Since my dog died, I have seen dogs and they have come to me and greeted me like a long lost friend. Hugs and kisses. I miss that. Nothing like a warm dog nose and slobbery dog kiss!

September 7, 2019 at 11:56am
September 7, 2019 at 11:56am
It was 96 the other day. Overnight the temperature dropped to 48. That was a drop by half. We opened all the windows in the house and let God handle the A/C that night. No need to pay the electric utility when we can get the cool down for free! Today we have gray skies and rain and temperatures in the 50's. Such is life in Montana in September. We may have to use the heat this weekend.

I can feel Autumn creeping in. She is a stealthy season. She teases you with blue skies and warm breezes. Pretty leaves blowing around. Then she slams you with rain and cold air. Sort of like a mean friend. Kind one second and cruel the next. You never know what to think. Does she like me or hate me? Do I wear a coat or not? Do I take the umbrella or take a chance?

But then once you think you have it figured out, in comes old man Winter with the final test. So maybe Autumn is here to get us ready for the real thing. Get ready folks, he is just around the corner. In case you had forgotten about last year.

September 5, 2019 at 1:45pm
September 5, 2019 at 1:45pm
The house next to me is for sale. This is curious. The folks just moved in and are renting. So how does this work? You just signed a lease with your sister-in-law. You spend your last dollars fixing up the house and have moved here from another state, The kids enroll in school, the husband finds a job, the wife is now a waitress at the greasy spoon in town, and the dogs bark all day because they are left alone. There is a broken down car in the back yard, a broken down truck sits next to it, and then there is the old bathtub sitting by the front porch. Personally, I think they look like something like the "Grapes of Wrath" folks. You remember that movie of the down and out folks. Nice as can be but somehow things just don't work out for them.

So I wish them well, have taken over tomatoes from my garden and wait for the other shoe to drop, as they say. But it is all about the devil you know. I have just gotten used to the chaos next door. What will happen next is what I am thinking. Perhaps we should buy the house and tear it down. Then we would have an nice double yard.

September 2, 2019 at 12:48pm
September 2, 2019 at 12:48pm
Today is Labor Day in the United States. I was curious about when this all began. So according to the internet, which is now my encyclopedia online: June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Ah ha - so there you have it. A holiday set aside for the working folk. Men and women who built this great nation. One day a year they would not work. We modern folk have taken it a step further, as we the lazier generation are wont to and consider a paid vacation from all the other days off we have. A good majority of people don't do any real physical labor any more. A good majority sit all day. A good majority sit in a car or bus or train to go to work, sit at work, then sit in a car or bus or train to go back home. Then once they get back home, they sit until they go to bed, Then they get up and do it again the next day and the next day and the next day. Then they sit all weekend and binge watch the TV shows they missed because they were sitting all week working.

So to that great working class still out there - the farmers and miners and truckers and highway workers and construction workers and housekeepers and food service and retail and others who actually get out there and do physical labor, I salute you. You really work. You use your muscles and you sweat. Kudos to you. You don't have to pay to use a gym or go hiking on the weekends. You put in some solid hours doing physical work.

And you know people, that is the way God intended life to be. We were made to be active and do physical labor. There is one Labor Day each week set aside. It has been there since the world was created. It is called the Sabbath. Every seventh day you should rest. Take a day and rest. Celebrate creation and rest. Not just one day a year but one day a week. Wouldn't everyone be happier if they would take a day to just relax and enjoy life!
September 1, 2019 at 4:25pm
September 1, 2019 at 4:25pm
"You have to make them move." The man is gesticulating wildly, trying to demonstrate to the museum guide that the car parked in front of his house, on the public street, mind you, is in his way. The kind museum guide nods, looks across the street, notes said car, looks at the man, who by the way, is still swinging arms and trying his best to get his point across.

I am noticing this from my vantage point, across the street on my porch. I think - what gives anyone the thought they own a private parking spot on the public street? The museum is county owned and only open from May to September. Visitors come and go and usually stay a short time. There is no parking lot for the visitors. Parking is on the street in front of the museum, very convenient for the visitors. But evidently very disturbing for my neighbor.

But then this is a neighbor new to this town. He seems to be unaware of the ebb and flow of life in a small Montana town. People here are friendly. They don't mind if someone parks in front of their house. Perhaps a car parked in front of your house is a visitor. Perhaps they will walk to your front door. Perhaps you will invite them in. And then that car parked in front of your house will not be inconveniently parked. It will seem like a magic chariot bearing kings and queens to your door.

But then I do tend to be dramatic. Well, the car eventually did move. That man didn't have to get so excited after all.

August 30, 2019 at 7:56pm
August 30, 2019 at 7:56pm
Can you really kill time? What happens when you say you are killing time? Is it the same as wasting time? In this era, wasting someone can mean the same as killing them. Interesting thought.

So as we approach this last weekend of the summer, we are all anxious to just kill a little time. go fishing for the last time. Camping for the last time. Hiking for the last time. Swimming for the last time. Do these summer things for the last time before the real business of living comes back to bite us. The real business of survival in the Northern reaches of the hemisphere.

The sunlight grows dimmer as the days grow shorter. We anticipate cooler days and nights. We try to think how to heat our homes. We wonder how we will make it through the long winter.

But wait, you say, we are in the 21st century. We don't have to worry. We have central heat. We can go to the store. We have everything we need to stay warm and dry! Yes, indeed, we are blessed.

So I digress. Let's relax and kill some time. Not feel guilty about soaking up some sun before the winter comes. Then we'll have some winter fun in the cold and snow.

August 29, 2019 at 9:14pm
August 29, 2019 at 9:14pm
My friend came knocking on my door this afternoon. the museum was closed - it was supposed to be open. Hmm. Do you know why? Should we? I guess since we live right across the street, we should know this. Since we are volunteers once a week, we should know this. Since we are retired and don't work, we should know this.

So we call powers that be, and tell her we will open the museum for our friend who has out of town friends with her. The least we can do since we live right across the street. Since we are volunteers and have the keys to the kingdom. Since we have the security codes.

Since we are who we are.

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