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“Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)”

My candidate lost. OK, as our next President stated, if he loses it was a colossal waste of time. I agree with him on this account because my wife and I have spent the last 18 months working and for and hoping for the first woman to lead our nation. It didn’t happen. Now did the world come to an end?

“Here comes the sun, and I say.”

We stayed up the entire night watching one of our dreams and the dreams of many simply go away.

“It’s all right.”

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Autumn is part of an integral cycle. This is the time we have to pull up the plants we cherished, fed, and protected during the last five months of the year. During the summer months we were proud of how strong our plants looked. We waited patiently for their fruit to ripen so we could fill our family’s tables with delicious vegetables and sweet-scented flowers. Like everything in everyone’s life all things change and nothing stays the same. In other words, everything is mortal.

Walking into my garden, I am saddened to see my tomato plants turn black with brownish green tomatoes left on dying stems. When the tomatoes were in full bloom you couldn’t see the cage through the thick foliage of green leaves and ripened tomatoes. In fact, throughout the entire summer I had to add miles of twine in order to keep my once giant tomato plants from falling to the ground. This of course made the task of cleaning up this part of my garden more difficult, because I had to separate the plants from the cages and then from the twine.

After I pulled the main part of the tomato plant away from the cages I accidentally knocked my glasses from my head and proceeded to step on them in the muck of mud and crushed tomatoes. Looking down at them and seeing they no longer looked like glasses I decided to leave them in the garden over the winter. Who knows maybe I’ll grow an eye-glass plant. Continue Reading →

They say that all things are relative but the time-span and areas they are related to can cause problems. In my case too many of the ‘old days’ could not be described as ‘Good’.

World War 2 against Germany was declared a few months before my fifth birthday and the area of the south coast of England, where I lived, soon became affected. I can remember my infants/primary school lessons being interupted by air-raid sirens and having to go outside to the former playground which had been filled with a number of corrugated-steel shelters.

Once inside them, we settled on the hard wooden benches, lit a candle and tried to read our lesson books until the all-clear alarm sounded. Too often this process happened more than once a day and became unsettling to some. Looking back, I realise that, even with the covering of turf on the shelter, a falling bomb would still have blown us to pieces.

In fact, this was soon realised by my father who had served in the Royal Horse Artillery in WW1. After being woken one night by the Air-raid alarm, we slept the rest of the night in the shelter installed in our back garden. Next morning he decided that, if we were bombed, it would be better to die in our warm home than spend too many of our nights in the freezing cold, useless ‘shelter’. It wasn’t wasted though, as it soon became a place to grow mushrooms and keep our home-grown vegetables and fruit. Continue Reading →

The other day at school I was advised by my administration that I should keep my political views to myself. Since the present political cycle is the oddest and most interesting of my life this request will be very difficult to obey. But, also since I am getting older and retirement is less than a year away I thought it best to listen to myself and be damned to all who want to control my thoughts.
As I watched my colleagues, remove all of their students work in order to eliminate competition that has become the antithesis of modern education, and throw out racially-mixed wall decorations and political posters,  that they had used for the past decade in order to produce a relaxed atmosphere conducive to learning, because everything had to become socially manilla, my mind’s eye took an inevitable turn. 
I imagined a school that was made up entirely of stainless steel. The halls were shiny, sterile, and cold while the floors and ceilings had few demarcations to determine where the walls began and the floors and ceiling ended. The rooms had doors made of steel while the windows in the doors had to be clear because no paper was allowed in our new stainless steel world. 

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Ii just got back from seeing a wonder of my Maker. It is the beautiful Forest Park in my neighborhood. I ride along on my electric cart, gazing at the wonders that surround me. The trees reach so high they seem to be reaching for the Hand of God.

All about me, as I ride down a planned path, are wonderful shrubs, hiding the cottontails from view.
Look! There is a red squirrel, he must be gathering his nuts and food for winter. There is a rose garden in the park. Oh! What a fragrance it produces.

People are playing their games on the well-kept grass and lovers are on the benches, kissing. What a joy it is to go for a summer’s evening ride in my park. The winters are cold here in the northwest. It rains a lot but I can wait for spring and summer to arrive.

I look out my window, and, when it looks all right, I will ride in my park once more. It may be my last ride. You never know what God has in store for you!

I would like to say goodbye to the trees and shrubbery, and the green grass. Also the birds on the wing, the cottontails, and the squirrels that cross my path before I leave this beautiful park. Thank you, the men and women that made it possible.

But mostly, thank you God!

The End.
My Park by Don Fraser

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A few years ago my father, who has now passed, called me talking about a ring his found somewhere in Somersworth. At the time I was concentrating on a class of labs and I must admit I wasn’t paying much attention to the conversation.  He was concerned about how he could get the ring back to the rightful owner.

My first thought was why would anyone care? My father described the ring as being an old gold class ring dating back to 1934. He told me it was very small and thus had to be a woman’s ring. There was no stone in the middle like the rings of today. It was all gold. I don’t know what carat weight it was but there was no tarnish or wear to give a hint to its age.

This one was simply moulded to show off the name of the school, that was Somersworth High School and the date of graduation. My father went on to explain how the ring was in impeccable shape as though it was rarely worn or had been lost for a very long time. Within minutes both my interest and imagination started to spark.

The pile of laboratory reports I had in front of me became unimportant because any opportunity to massage my imagination had to be taken seriously. My father continued by stating the ring also had something else special about it. Inside the band were the initials “CB”. Because the ring was over 70 years old the concept of having the initials still appear on the inside of the band was quite remarkable. Continue Reading →

Mmy driving partner and I drove a truck with a bed in back of the cab. We hauled lumber from Oregon, to the Plains States, and then we would load grain, like wheat and corn, to haul back to the coast. It is of one of these trips that this story is about.

We loaded the truck in Portland, Oregon, with lumber and we had to put a tarp over it, so the dry lumber would not get wet from the snow or the rain, as it was winter. When we got to Nebraska we tried to unload the lumber, but the tarp has frozen to the lumber so we had to borrow a blowtorch to defrost it. After we got the tarp and the lumber off, we went a few miles to load some bulk corn.

The truck was equipped with folding sides and all we had to do was lift them up and put some stakes that were provided, in holes in the bed of the truck. We did what was needed, and I drove the truck under a hopper that poured the corn in the bed of the truck and trailer. After the truck was loaded, we headed for Oregon.

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“Eeeee”

I wondered where that sound came from as I wheeled the stroller out of the playground on York Beach, Maine. The playground is above soft white sand that is incredibly clean.

Since I had to roll the stroller over the sand I pulled it down and decided to roll it on the front wheels. The next sound I heard was a blood-curdling screech coming from the direction of my wife. I still had no clue as to where the ‘Eeeee’ came from. I also noticed the stroller seemed a bit lighter.

Watching my wife run toward me I noticed this slight bump of sand between the lines made by the wheels of the stroller. My wife then scooped up this lump of sand and held it close. I immediately knew the lump of sand had a name and it was my grandson Jack. I later found out as I tipped the stroller gravity took its toll and off slid poor Jack. He was not hurt because he landed in the sand.

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SYNOPSIS.
Aleena, a teenage peasant girl, is lured into the mysterious and scary Gleaming Forest of Lost Souls where Good is at war with Evil. Queen Goodwende, ruler of the Good Spirits and the creatures of the countryside, are constantly battling against Archlord Pheande, master of the Evil Spirits.

His army, led by the Knights of Mayhem, is seeking to gain control of the local mortals and eventually those in the world beyond. Queen Goodwende, in order to save Aleena from his clutches, endows her with a power which changes her into a firefly whenever she is in danger.

Unfortunately Tayne, an evil lantern maker who uses fireflies to power his lanterns, catches her and decides to use her extra brightness to power a special golden lantern that he intends to sell to his king.

When Tayne’s cart is damaged, he visits the nearest smithy and meets the blacksmith and his two teenage sons. While he is there, he shows them the lantern and, although not realising that a girl is really the source of its light, the younger son, Kenelm, immediately falls under the spell of the lantern’s beauty. He begs his father to buy it for his birthday but Tayne refuses to sell it.

Later that night, a spellbound Kenelm leaves home to follow Tayne and plead with him to part with the lantern. When they meet, Tayne dupes Kenelm into going to the Land of Farbeyond, to work as his apprentice, by promising to give him the lantern when his apprenticeship is completed.

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Tthe sun has long been set behind the tall, forest trees and the stars are in quilted abundance above. It is dark inside too. My hand feels along the wall until I find the switch to the porch light.

I open the door as quietly as possible and the light streams in from outside. A swarm of night-time bugs has gathered, in the short time that the light has been on. I make my way off the porch and into the yard.

The cool grass feels good on my bare feet compared to the humid summer air as I make my way over to the wooden fence that separates our two yards. The house on the other side of the fence has been vacant a while. I am by now out of the small circle of light from the front porch as I feel my way along the fence. It is a short time until I am at the end. I have reached the hill at the end of our property and run down, feeling like a kid again. Countless times I have run down this same hill. When I reach the bottom, away from the houses, I pull out the flashlight from my pocket, and it stretches to the trees that mark the beginning of a small wood.

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