Friday Fictioneers: Out Into the World, She Boldly Walks…

And sot it continues…. forgot to link up, and lost a day!

My dear Friday Fictioneer friends, I’ve missed this so much! I took off last minute to Israel, to see my daughter and help her move. She is expecting our first grandchild, and there was a lot happening all at once– so I surprised her for her 25th birthday, and showed up to lend a hand. Besides a lack of hot water, there was limited wi-fi and virtually no free time– so I’ve missed the past couple of weeks of writing and reading… and I really did miss it! What a thrill to tune in this morning and see that my photo is featured this week! It was taken on the final state of our trek to Machu Picchu, three summers ago. That is my daughter and dog that followed us for several miles. We named him Machu. This story is dedicated to my daughter, who has always walked boldly in the world.

In the meantime, a post I wrote just before I left, about my work at Hospice, was featured on Huffington Post while I was away. I was informed that it “officially went viral.” I was so grateful that the patient whose work was included in the piece, got to see it do so well. He died on Saturday, feeling very good about his poem being featured.

Friday Fictioneers is masterfully run and wrangled by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Find more details, more stories, and join along by visiting her blog: Addicted to Purple. Sorry for the long intro! Just excited to be back with my FF peeps! Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always appreciated. 

© Dawn Quyle Landau

© Dawn Quyle Landau

 Out Into the World She Boldly Walks (100 words, with effort)

Sarah packed her favorite sweater and her softest t-shirts, tucking socks and underwear near the top of her bag. Her journal, filled with her dreams and thoughts, she placed in last– knowing there would be new pages to write.

She kissed her parents at the door. “I’d really like to walk to the train station on my own,” she told them.

She didn’t want teary goodbyes and drama.

Callie, her faithful companion for 15 years, followed her to the end of the street. As Sarah walked away, the old dog’s tail thumped, her soft whimper filled with love and loss.

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Jerusalem… It’s Hard.

DSC_0684Israel is a hard place. As I fly over Turkey, Bucharest, Czech Republic, Germany, etc, (each hour a reminder that just getting to Israel is hard– that my girl lives very far away) that is what runs through my head, over and over: Israel is a hard place. It’s something that hit me the first night I arrived there nearly two weeks ago, to visit my daughter, and a statement that played out many times with people I spoke with in Israelis– lifelong citizens, as well as those who are new there, Arab and Jew alike: Israel is a hard place… to live, to understand, to leave, to support, to deny.

Welcome to Israel! At the Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv

Welcome to Israel! At the Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv

To be clear: I didn’t “interview” people about this. This is something I noticed, living in Jerusalem for twelve days and traveling back and forth to Tel Aviv– different from my one other trip, two years ago, when I was very much a tourist (read here, here, and here). Then, I was free-falling with my girl. We explored places around the country, taking in the beauty, the history and the people– me a traveler and tourist, as my daughter showed me the country she loves and has embraced as a citizen. I spent two weeks, and I left besotted, bewitched– knowing I would return. This time I went to help my girl move from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, where she will join her fiancé. We were not playing around this time, and the experience was very different.

To be honest, I hesitate to even write about Israel or Jerusalem; the response to this topic can be very heated– as I learned in a Huffington Post piece. This is not about politics, or taking a position about the many complexities that Israel encompasses. The politics of the area is a topic that is too big and potentially volatile. I am not an expert, and my feelings on the topic are as complicated as the many and varied details that can be thrown from both sides. This is about one mother, an American, who visited her daughter (who is an Israel is citizen) there and got to see what others have been telling me for a long time: living there is hard.

Sometimes, you take a short cut... which is also a hill to climb

Sometimes, you take a short cut… which is also a hill to climb

I met friendly Israelis and unfriendly Israelis. I met and spoke with Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem. My guess is that neither trusted me entirely and gave me only an inkling of what they really feel. But over and over the word “hard” was tossed into the mix. Getting around is hard work. I logged an average of 13,000 steps on my FitBit (a geeky pedometer that folks at home rely on like a watch… or oxygen) daily. I logged almost 26,000 one day (that’s more than 15 miles of walking) and my least active day was 9,000+ steps. In Jerusalem, everything is up one hill and down another. Repeat. The hills are not small. As I got on the plane to go home, I realized that my calves and legs are sore; they’re also stronger than they were when I arrived.

(I didn’t lose any weight, because the food along the way is just too great to pass by. )

Getting around is harder because so many people don’t have cars. More Israelis have cars now than they ever have, I was told. However, with Israel’s average price for gas at $8.28 per gallon ($2.12/liter), it constitutes 8% of the average Israeli’s daily income to buy a gallon of fuel. (Jerusalem Post*) Israelis don’t drive as freely as Americans do. It’s very expensive; traffic is very challenging– in Jerusalem, all of those hills come with windy streets that are one way this way and blocked that way, and there’s a charge to park most places. Drivers are aggressive and fearless; driving there is not for the weak of heart. Fortunately, I learned to drive in the Boston area; I was not daunted when we rented a car to move my daughter’s things to Tel Aviv. Each time we drove from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv with another load, my daughter shook her head and said again, “Wow! This bus ride takes me at least 2 hours every time I make it.” We did it door-to-door (to the furthest Northern section of Tel Aviv, much further than the bus takes her) in under an hour, twice, and in no more than an hour other times– with frequent traffic, and waiting a very long time to get gas. Getting gas was hard too. Fortunately, we had a very fuel-efficient rental, and used barely ½ a tank for all of those trips. So while more people are driving, driving doesn’t always translate to easier.

And then sand storms come in off the desert... and everything is harder, and dirtier!

And then sand storms come in off the desert… and everything is harder, and dirtier!

I walked a lot while I was there. I enjoyed walking around Jerusalem; it’s an infinitely fascinating city, and walking is a great way to really see it– but walking is not easy either. Those aggressive drivers do not always stop for pedestrians, unless there is a very clear light forcing them. Inevitably, a driver stops for you, but it’s not a given; the pedestrian does not have the right of way, as so many people at home take for granted. It’s not uncommon for a driver to honk at you as you cross– a straight-forward nudge, admonishing pedestrians to not keep them waiting any longer than needed… as if I wasn’t already hurrying, lest another driver speed around the stopped driver. That happens a lot too.

You need to be prepared to go through security many places– generally an armed guard and a metal detector (think city court in most US cities), at nearly any mall, historic landmark or crowded place. Going grocery shopping? Security. Entering the mall? Security. Entering the Old City (Western/Wailing Wall, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher), lots and lots of security. If you aren’t prepared to open your bag and wait, to overlook the large gun… well, then it’s just hard… er.

Fresh produce: generally boundless and inexpensive...

Fresh produce: generally boundless and inexpensive…

Buying most things costs much more. We saw coffee, not great coffee mind you, for about $40 p/lb; we buy it for about $10 p/lb average, for good coffee. Fresh produce, is ironically, much less overall; good street food is inexpensive, while restaurants are not. I must have heard my daughter say “I don’t buy that; it’s too expensive,” or “that… is two hours’ wages,” many times each day. It was a sobering reminder of just how much I do in fact take for granted at home. Shopping for her new apartment was, yes, hard. Hard choices again and again: vacuums are a luxury; microwaves are a more important luxury; choices must be made. Heat is something you turn on for brief periods and insulation is not good; it was really cold, inside nearly everywhere we went. Hot water is not available on demand. If I wanted a hot shower, I had to wait an hour for the water to heat up or set a timer for specific time later, and then I’d better not dally in there. Forgot to set the timer? No shower. Showing my daughter photos from a day in the city, she warned: “Your hot water is getting cold. If you want that shower, you’d better get going.” Eating, getting around, shopping, hygiene, driving, walking; it’s all hard in Israel. It’s hard because it’s so different at home; we have it so much easier and so many of us don’t get that, for the most part.

The people of Israel reflect the reality of these hardships. They are direct and to the point. They’re less prone to chitchat and pleasantries. What do you want? Get to the point?– they say with their eyes. Those eyes flash irritation with delays, inconveniences, or indecision– Or their abject acceptance that this too will be hard. Upon arriving in Tel Aviv, late at night and getting to my hotel down town, a cab driver who didn’t remember I didn’t have cash, yelled at me for three minutes, at 1AM because I had no cash… as I’d said when I got to the cab stand at the airport… where I was told “A credit card is no problem.” It was– a problem. But these looks are not personal; a moment later, Israelis are wishing you boker tov, yom tov, erev tov, Shalom!– good morning, good day, good evening, Peace: hello/goodbye. This idea that it’s not personal was explained to me… over and over, as if I was hard of hearing.

The challenges are many; the complexities of living in Israel are endless. Have your bag open at security; don’t ask where things are; don’t stand staring at the fantastic menus too long (because the food is nothing short of spectacular); place your order and move along. Don’t make things harder and Israel will do what it does best: get under your skin, cast its spell, and call you back… despite the hardships.

There are so many things that make the hardships worth the effort:

 

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

Posted in Beautiful places, Blog, Daily Observations, Israel, Life, Musings, My world, Tales From the Motherland, travel | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

The Middle: Hail Moldova!

talesfromthemotherland:

Currently I’m in Israel, visiting my daughter, and getting any writing done has been nearly impossible! I had this idea that I would write and write… and write some more, but not the case. Then, today I saw a huge spike in my stats. Hmm? My post, When You Die, (right before those one) was featured in HuffPo last week… but why the spike now? Who knows. But when I looked at my stats (for the first time in weeks), there was Moldova! I wrote about Moldova two years ago, when they started appearing in my stats on a regular basis. It’s been a good long while since I’ve seen them here, but I figured it was as good a time as any to bring this post back. Moldova, reveal yourself! Introduce yourself in my comments; I’d love to know who my reader from/in Moldova is. Wherever the rest of you are from, I’m grateful you stopped by; thank you!

Originally posted on TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND:

Screen shot from 2/5/13Yo Moldova! Screen shot from 2/5/13
Yo Moldova!

I had a post all ready for today, and then things took a turn… toward Moldova. And the Republic of Korea. As I’ve mentioned before, at Word Press, we get to obsess check out daily stats for each of our blog posts, and our blog overall. We can see how many visitors versus views we get each day (frankly, I preferred thinking that they were all visits, instead of knowing that there were fewer visitors, who looked at more). We can see which posts were read, and how many hits they got, and we can see where the visits are from. In fact, we get a super cool map of the world, with the names of the countries where visitors came from, and how many hits came from which country.

So I look at the stats, and I get a kick out of seeing…

View original 763 more words

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When You Die…

Note: I prefer my original title, but proud to see this Featured on HuffPo

On Tuesday, as I sat beside him, “Frank” died (*not his real name). I didn’t notice his last breath, just a sudden stillness. I placed my hand near his mouth, to see if I could feel an exhalation, and when I didn’t, I touched him gently and said goodbye. Then I went to get the nurse, to note the time of death. Frank was 93, and while his death was expected, we didn’t expect it then. I had just seen his family out, and told them I’d sit with him. However, when it comes to death, I’ve learned that expectations are foolish.

As a Hospice volunteer, I spend every Tuesday with people who are dying. I cook their meals; hold their hands; read to them; I sing and I sit quietly. I tell them stories and I listen to theirs. I wipe their foreheads, when fever or illness makes them sweat; I listen as they struggle to come to terms with the end of their lives, and I laugh with many of them. As a volunteer, I do not provide any form of medical care, only comfort. It’s an honor and a privilege that I look forward to every week, and it’s changed me for the better, in more ways than I can count.

Three years ago, my mother spent three months at the local Hospice House, where I now volunteer. She had late stage Huntington’s Disease and had broken her elbow. It wasn’t a fatal injury, but she was done fighting her illness and chose to stop eating. Her body was frail, and she was grateful for the peace and quiet of Hospice House and the palliative care offered. I accepted her decision and visited every day. I was grateful for the respectful, tender care she received in hospice, though I resented death for taking her so young (67).

Death and I have a long and tangled history. My father was killed in a car accident when I was 10, and Huntington’s has plagued my family– claiming my grandmother, my 49-year old aunt, and my mother– so far. Five years ago, my 43-year old cousin was killed in a plane crash, just weeks after my aunt’s death and a month before a friend was killed in an accident. At times, it felt like death was constantly blindsiding me. Volunteering at hospice has changed that.

Hospice House entry hall, with memoriam plaques...

Hospice House entry hall, with memoriam plaques…

One of the primary goals at Hospice House is to treat every patient with the utmost respect. Hospice does not seek to extend nor shorten any patient’s life, but seeks to help each person remain as independent as possible in making end of life decisions, and as free from physical pain as is medically possible. End of life is where we begin. As a volunteer, I have a unique opportunity to stare death in the eyes each week, and not blink. I walk in those doors, eyes wide open– knowing that I will connect with wonderful people and I’ll have to say goodbye to them. There are few blindsides at hospice. The entire team is there to provide compassion, support and care, at the end of a person’s life. Inevitably, it’s hard when a patient is someone I know, or someone young– there will always be traumas, sudden deaths, and illness to remind us that life can change very suddenly, that life is precious.

and the Family Room kitchen area

and the Family Room kitchen area

Each week when I check the list of patients, I often choose to skip some– including the diagnosis. I like to enter each room and allow that individual to show me who they are, and tell me what they need. I’ve learned that while there are similarities from patient to patient, there are also infinite details that make each person’s needs unique– cancer does not look the same on every person who has it; aging, illness, peace is experienced differently from person to person. Despite who they are, or how they’ve lived their lives, the end of life can be a vulnerable time, and I want to find whatever it is that will help them feel seen and heard. I have no way of knowing if the person I’m spending time with was a horrible parent, or miserable neighbor; I don’t know if they were a drug addict, teacher of the year, or a saint. I know that they are dying, and I love being part of the team of people who will help make that transition as peaceful and supportive as possible, whatever came before.

Over time there are a few things I’ve learned some things that impact how I approach my role as a volunteer:

1) When the end comes, loss is loss, and you can’t always prepare for it nor predict it. Frank was 93 years old; his family knew that he would die soon. However, when he did, just minutes after they’d left his room, it was still a huge loss. I’ve seen patients “hold on,” or remain in hospice for months, like my own mother, and others who died very quickly. I never say to patients or families: “see you next week;” there’s no way to know if I will. I say, “I’ll be back next Tuesday.” It’s hard to predict, and while many patients struggle to accept their death, family members deal with it in many different ways as well.

2) People are not always able to leave their conflicts at the door– but they should. It’s not easy for anyone to face their own mortality, but it can be much harder when family members bring conflict and unresolved issues along. I’ve heard so many patients share their distress, as those they love squabble over care issues, estate planning, and even funeral arrangements. Aside from the hospice social worker, other caregivers don’t get involved in these issues, but we have all seen the toll they can take on a person’s emotional wellbeing at the end of life.

3) So many mothers– whether they’re 30 or 100, want to hear: “thank you; you did a good job.” I’ve sat with women who are dying, who have young children as well as those who have outlived their children. I understand that relationships are complex, and it’s not a given that every mother did a good job, but I am humbled by that need and the peace I’ve seen on patient’s faces, after they hear that message. Those were my final words– just minutes before my mother smiled, and took her last breath. In the end, I believe we all want to hear that we mattered and did our best.

4) Mean people die, funny people die, religious people, angry people, and good people die. Whether someone has lived a wonderful life and feels cheated to be dying too soon, or they’ve lived a long life and are ready, or their life has been difficult and this is just one more short straw, hospice care offers an opportunity to ease that final stage.

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(While she was at Hospice, I routinely got into bed with my mother. It felt good to both of us)

If I can share some humor, or discuss news and current events, if a person needs to hear me read psalms, or have me sit quietly, then that’s what I do. Hospice care is not there to judge or give one-stop care; each patient is unique in their history, their needs and the way we care for them. I love that challenge. There are patients I’ve only known for hours, and those I will always– people who have touched my life, and allowed me to share a sacred time in theirs. Each week I look death in the eye and I’m reminded just how fragile life is and how my actions can help make the final transition a little bit better– I am reminded, how to live.

This is a poem that a special patient shared with me. He’s younger, and has had some hard times. Through it all, he’s written poetry– pages and pages. However, when he found out he would be going into Hospice, he threw all of his work in the garbage. He was able to recall a few of the poems, and rewrote them. He shared them with me, and I was deeply touches by the depths of his feelings. He asked me to share it with others, so that “he’ll be remembered.” He gave me permission to share this poem here:

I’m on a street corner standing alone,
Another windless night without a telephone.
In the darkened air I’ve remained for years,
Wondering if I will be able to hide all these tears.
Though the tears that are shed, are not really known,
For the wind that will dry them has already blown.
If the tears are cried and the voices still call,
Will the tears be dried in the next early fall?
Or will the tears remain, forever each night,
And will the tears that are seen become everyone’s fright?
But as the wind will pass and the tears be dried,
Will there not be someplace else someone has not yet cried.

© R. Greenberg, hospice patient (with permission)

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

 

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Friday Fictioneers: Breakfast of Champions

Too many balls in the air! When I saw this wonderful photo by Ted Strutz last week, several stories came to me right away. I was sure I’d have something in Wednesday! But the days got away from me… This story kept running through my head. Yes, it’s a dark room up there sometimes. After weeks of perky, I suppose this was bound to happen! Entry #100!!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the time and energy she commits to Friday Fictioneers each week– she’s a damned good egg! Check out her blog, Addicted to Purple, for more details or to join in. As always, I welcome positive and/or constructive feedback; please leave a comment!

© Ted Strutz

© Ted Strutz

Breakfast of Champions (96 words)

“I don’t believe in the death penalty, but honestly– the electric chair is too easy for this guy!” Jen frowned, as she read about John Allen’s trial. “Anyone who could torture and kill those girls– so viciously…”

Tom reached for the orange juice.

“The youngest victim, Kelsey, was only 15… the things he did to her– it makes my blood run cold.” Jen shuddered.

“Honey, you shouldn’t read those stories; they really get to you.”

Tom took his plate to the sink, rubbing Jen’s shoulder as he passed. In his pocket, he fondled Kelsey’s missing button.

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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This Superbowl, Either Way It’s Win-Win… And About Those Balls.

Note: I’ve been off the blog grid lately, aside from Friday Fictioneers (which I’m late for this week!). Too much on my plate, juggling some big stuff, and figuring out how to make my blog and Huffington Post co-exist with out driving myself crazy. Lots of drafts, in the gray room… but getting them on-line is another thing. Oh, and I’ve been cleaning my office… so there’s that.

This piece is also featured in Huffington Post this week. If you have any thoughts, please drop by and leave a comment, share or like. It’s great to have my work supported when they publish it. Thanks!  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dawn-q-landau/patriot-or-12-either-way-_b_6588266.html

I should start by saying: I’m not a football fan. It’s only fair to say that first. So don’t fill the comments with that observation; I’m owning that fact up front. However, I’m a homie fan: I love where I live, and I love local pride. I live an hour north of Seattle, in one of the most beautiful places you can find– anywhere, and I’m not shy about tooting that horn. While I’m not generally a football fan, I notice when the home team, the Seattle Seahawks, is  front, and regardless of who’s playing, I watch the Superbowl each year. Still, even that is tainted by the fact that I’m mostly in it for the food, friends and fun. And the half-time show; there’s that.

Unless you are even more uninformed than me, then you probably know about Seattle’s infamous #12– The “12th MAN,” the amazing Seahawks fans. Yes, in Seattle the fans are so revered, so beloved, so totally over the top, that they have their own number– known as the 12th man: #12. So influential are the Seahawk fans, that on December 15, 1984, Seahawks’ President, Mike McCormack retired the #12 jersey forever, as a tribute to “the best fans in the NFL.”

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(WA Transit workers decorated this local bus– on their own time. Photo © Mike Lince, with permission)

It’s not just that Seattle’s fans are enthusiastic or supportive; lots of cities can claim the same. And again, I’m not that fan– this has all been a learning process for me since moving to the Seattle area in 2011. No, it’s not just passion; Seahawk fans have become quite famous for being… loud– very, very loud. It’s a daunting thing for any opposing team to face the Hawks on home turf. How loud are they? Seahawk fans are so loud that on December 2, 2013 at CenturyLink Field, they registered a 137.6-decibel reading– that is the 2nd loudest recording anywhere, in history. History! For reference, the eardrum ruptures at 150 decibels. On December 8, 2011, Seahawks fans literally made the earth shake during the NFL playoff game– when Marshawn Lynch made an epic 67-yard touchdown run. It’s not called Beast Quake for nothing; these fans earned that #12.

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(Forget wine country, this is Seahawks country!)

So let me say for the record: it’s hard to move to Seattle and not be a Seahawks Fan. When you live here, the #12 is everywhere! However, tonight when I ran to our local market to pick up a few things, my head was elsewhere: I had guests waiting at home; I was in a rush. I got as far as the produce and something tickled my attention. I couldn’t place it right away, but things took on a movie-like feel when I began to realize that I was pretty much the only one in the store that was not wearing blue and green Hawks gear. By chance, I had on just-the-right-blue shirt– and let me tell you, it probably saved me. Everywhere I looked, there were Seahawk jerseys, scarves, hats, smiles… and that’s just the customers! The entire store was decked out in blue and green decorations, banners, displays and products re-packaged for game day. Not just any game day, but Super Bowl Sunday, when the Seahawks will play the Patriots for best in the league.

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(And if you think that milk got like that by chance, you don’t know Seahawk Fans)

Did I mention: I’m from Boston? Yes, I’m that girl: loud, brash, wicked ballsy– and please spare me the deflated ball jokes. I have heard more about balls in the past two weeks than anyone should have to suffer, simply because I’ve made no secret of my Boston roots. While I may not be a huge football fan, I grew up in Boston, went to college there, and let me be clear about this: you can take the girl out of Boston, but you can’t take the “wicked local” out of the girl. As the world saw after the Boston Marathon bombing, we are a tight community, and not like many other places. I am fiercely proud of my home town and where I come from– even if I now live nearly 4,000 miles west of there.

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(There was Seahawk swagger blocking every aisle!)

This presents a bit of dilemma for me on Super Bowl Sunday. Like I said, generally I’m in it for friends, food and fun… and if I’m honest, the food usually is the main draw. But this year is different; it’s my hometown homies against my adopted homies. Our dinner guest tonight, John, said to me: “I know you love Boston; I really do, but deep down, I know you love Seattle a little more. You’ll be #12 tomorrow.” We laughed, but honestly, I couldn’t say yes.

I do love Seattle– in fact, I’ve never been happier, anywhere else. The people are amazing; the natural wilderness here is unbelievable, and yes, the Seahawks are the bomb! But, and, Johnny, this is a big but: I love Boston too; it’s in my blood– it’s where I’m from. The Patriots were part of every Thanksgiving when I was a kid, and my entire family and all of my hometown friends are die-hard fans. Die. Hard. Patriot fans can give even #12 a run for it’s money in the loud and ballsy department. Yeah, balls;I said it– because Bostonians don’t shy away from an issue, and we’re the first ones to find something to laugh about. If you haven’t seen the plethora of hilarious videos about the deflated balls, start with the Jimmy Kimmel one, featuring famous Bostonian’s Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as several other “fans.” It’s pure Boston.

And no one can tell me that my cousins Ben and Jack wouldn't give any #12 a run for their money! Playing on an epic (25' tall) snow pile built in Barnstable, MA by friends.

And no one can tell me that my cousins Ben and Jack wouldn’t give any #12 a run for their money! Playing on an epic (25′ tall) snow pile built in Barnstable, MA by friends.

It’s this simple: I love both.

While Seahawks’ blue and green looks a little better with my red hair, the Pat’s blue and silver is a smidge sexier and easier to accessorize. I can’t choose! So this Sunday, I’ll be on the fence– and I’m prepared to get splinters, as both sides try to pull me off. No matter how it goes, it’s win-win for me. I get to eat nachos; be with great friends, and either way:  my homies win! (And, I’ve got tweezers in my purse, for the splinters)

If you’re not a Pat’s or a Seahawks’ fan, I’m sorry your team missed this. But for the sake of betting pools everywhere: who are you going to root for? Share your comments below.

© Boston.com

© Boston.com

©Obrienpc.net

©Obrienpc.net

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

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Friday Fictioneers: May This Boat Hold Our Dreams…

friday-fictioneersOnce again, I forgot to link up! Someday, I’ll get this right.

A belated tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr and his Dream– one day, may it truly be real, for all of us. Until then, black mothers and fathers will bury their children, and no doubt question the “progress” that so many others see. Until we are all free, none of us are. To the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr– who stood by his dream until the end.

Friday Fictioneers is a highly addictive, weekly flash fiction challenge. Photo prompt, 100 words or less, and take the time to read the other stories. I apologize that I was unable to read as many as usual last week; I was out of town and away from my computer. Check our Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, Addicted to Purple, to join in or read more. Thanks to Georgia Koch for this week’s photo.

As always, I welcome honest and constructive feedback; please leave a comment.

© Georgia Koch

© Georgia Koch

 May This Boat Hold Our Dreams (99 words)

We will bury this child, and say his name as a memory. We will hold his life in our hearts, but not forget his death.

We will continue to dream.

We will teach our sons to walk proud, but to always be vigilant– until the day comes when we can all rest, peacefully.

We will stand at the water’s edge and cast our sorrows out, in a rotten boat that still floats steady, on stormy seas, and carries our dreams and hopes.

And as the waves kiss the shore, we pray they bring the freedom we still dream of.

© Johnny Nguyen

© Johnny Nguyen

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GIPYHelp Me Reach My Goals! I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 700 likes in 2015. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I’m forced to be brief. Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.

 

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