Word of the Day Challenge: Propine


Photographer Unknown

One year I did not get anything for Christmas.

I spent all day cooking and the week before wrapping gifts and mailing cards, I worked really hard to make it a special day because it was Christmas.

So on Christmas morning I watched everyone open their gifts and later that day when the rest our guests came over I went through it again- I smiled and filled plates and cups  and kept the Christmas music going and listened to stories about Christmas Morning and Christmas Surprises.

I wasn’t sad that I didn’t get a present- what I was sad about was that somehow I had been forgotten. That was what really hurt. I managed to fall off of the radar at Christmas of all times.

Later that day, on the way out the door one of my friends asked what ” I got ” and I smiled and said, ” I got to see all of you guys. ”

She gave me a big  hug. ” You’re so sweet! ” she said.

Yeah,  I thought. Yeah I am.

It was nice of her to say.



The Neighbors

Putting My Feet in the Dirt December Writing Prompt#3- Just Neighbors

They lived two doors down from us- I think at one point they were a family of five but the kids grew up and left home and that left the woman and her husband.

Their last name was Trowbridge- I think her name was Gillian and his name was Simon.

Sometimes we heard the two of them yelling at each other and sometimes we saw them outside working in their yard and their dog used to run around in circles chasing it’s tail.

It could do that for five or ten minutes, it  used to make me dizzy just watching it.

One winter I was looking out the living room window and saw Gillian slip in the driveway and then I saw her call someone on her phone.

About 15 minutes later I  was leaving through my front door to check the mail and saw Simon helping her up. She walked behind him slowly and when he turned around I heard him say,  ” I was on the other line. Sorry. Alright? I’m sorry.”

Two years ago I saw a moving van pull up and the movers took out boxes and some furniture. One of the grown children came for the dog. The last time I saw  Gillian she was standing in the doorway and then she turned around and went inside.

An hour later the lights went off and I never saw anyone go in or out of the house. The yard grew wild and one day we came home from work and the landscapers were just leaving.

That night the Police came and a little while after that the coroner’s light gray van pulled up and we saw them take someone out on a stretcher.

After all of the cars had gone from Gillian’s driveway,  Mr Phipps who lived across the street from the Trowbridges  saw us standing in our yard and he walked over to give us the skinny.

Mr Phipps told us that Simon had left Gillian a few years ago and she kept the house- he had assumed that meant she still owned it, he had no idea she had been living in it all that time.

Then Mr Phipps looked at Gillian’s dark house and he said, ” I heard she hung herself in the attic.”

Her attic window faces my loft window- we use the loft as a rec room- and we do spend a lot of time up there.

Mr Phipps cleared his throat and I suppose he was wondering if I had absorbed the fact that Gillian  hung herself in front of a window that I could see easily from my house.

The thing is  I  never noticed anything out of the ordinary or strange..  I’m not sure what Mr. Phipps wanted me to say.

” I honestly never saw anything- I mean. We were just neighbors.”

The Window Watchers

Putting My Feet In The Dirt Prompt#25- Feline Good

Photographer Unknown

I thought that tonight

would be a good night

to sit at my window, put my feet up

with a warm cup of tea warming my hands and my bones

and that I could wait for the snow to fall,

for the Christmas lights to twinkle and pop on

up and down my street.


It’s really quiet tonight.

I can hear the wind blowing way up high in the trees, I can hear the leaves, frosted with

ice, crackling like the blackened burning wood in my fireplace


my dog is snoring beside me, his paws are dancing and his tail is swishing dreamily,

happily beside him.


My old  black cat is watching his reflection

in the glass fireplace screen

with his ears pinned  against his head.


” Do you see a monster in there? ” I asked him.


My cat looks up at me.


” Do you see a monster in the flames? ” I asked as I took a sip of tea.


” It’s just the wind in the trees making the flames dance like that, ” my cat says ” it does

that on winter nights like these. But I don’t like it at all. Not one little bit.”


“Silly old cat,”  I said to myself.

“Why can’t he just enjoy himself for no reason at all

for once”


” It must be a cat thing. ” My dog said sleepily. ” It’s just a cat thing.”


And then my dog went back to sleep and my cat went back to watching his flames and I

went back  to waiting for it to snow.