My Hat Trick, er, uh, Walk-off

Daily Post: Grand SlamThe World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

This is easy, although I would rather have the analogy of a hockey shoot out, it doesn’t really make any difference, the end of the game is the same – winner!

My walk-off moment occurred last year after receiving the pathology and further testing reports for the type and stage of my breast cancer.


© Chris Turner

After the diagnosis was confirmed, the really scary part of being told you have breast cancer begins – how bad is it? The thought of how much time do I have left is ever-present but never spoken, not to anyone because they are just as scared as you are – your children, your spouse, I even think my dogs knew that something was wrong.


© Swoosieque

When the waiting was over, the tests processed and reported, I bravely met with my Oncologist who informed me with a smile that she never has the opportunity to tell cancer patients good news, but in my case, I scored a “HAT TRICK” (for those averse to hockey it is a term meaning three scores by one player in the game.) She told me, “Your stars are aligned like I have never seen in all my years of practice! You have lucky stars!

All of my pathology tests came back to indicate that the cancer I had was not an aggressive cancer. Estrogen Receptor = 95% favorable, KI67 MIB-1 = 2% Borderline, DNA INDEX = 1.00 Diploid, HER-2 NEU (FISH) = NOT AMPLIFIED. This meant that I would not need radiation nor chemotherapy! I did choose bilateral mastectomy to keep my lucky streak going and I would take a hormone blocker for the next five years. Visits with my Oncologist would be bi-annual.


© Google Search

Wouldn’t you call that a HOME RUN or a GRAND SLAM or a WALK-OUT, er, um, WALK-OFF?

Or, as Charlie Sheen might once have said, “WINNING!”


“Kids don’t die!”

Daily Post: Finite CreaturesAt what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Oh my GOD! Word Press picked my suggestion for today’s prompt. Gulp! At the time I suggested it, I had been reminiscing about some bleak circumstances in my childhood and realized that I had never known of any children dying in any manner – illness, accident, murder…

I remember having terribly painful digestive ailments as a child, so bad that I was often in tears. My mother said it was “growing pains.” I remember telling her that I thought I was dying and she told me, “Kids don’t die, only old people die!”

My stomach and intestines were not relieved with her proclamation although I was relieved to learn that children don’t die. I’m not sure, but I think as I grew older, I began to doubt that children don’t die. I had no proof though, until the night of the fire, August 1967 when the little kids we used to play with ended up dying. They lived in the second story apartment, above where I lived.

I remembered seeing the charred, smoking body of the younger boy I rode bikes with only two days before, being placed upon the webbed lounge chair in the backyard. I suntanned on that very lounge chair a couple days beforehand and now my friend’s burnt body lay upon it.

This was wrong. This was all wrong. “Kids don’t die.” My mother had proclaimed it! She lied to me? She lied to me and I learned that my mortality could be expired at any moment, no matter my age. When Death comes, we don’t have a choice, we go with it.


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So, asking when you learned you were not “immortal” may have been the wrong wording. When I sent my suggestion to WordPress, I didn’t like using the word “immortal” but I thought for certain that if I used the wording, “How old were you when you realized you would die someday,” that would be too morbid. Then I thought that with all the popularity of Vampires and Walking Dead, some persons might carry the prompt in other directions and have fun.

Anyway, these were the thoughts that were on my mind when I suggested the prompt. I wondered if anyone else had been told as a child, that “kids don’t die.”

I wrote more in-depth about that fire in another Daily Prompt – A Fiery Night of Prayers.


A Child’s Love Story

Daily Post: Fourth Wall – You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

I want to be in a love story, I want my love story to be in a beautiful place, an innocent time in a person’s life. I want to ride the one-horse-sleigh, wearing my heavy winter coat and muffle with a blanket laid upon my lap to warm my legs as Grandfather guides the reigns while the horse trots through the snowy woods.


© 20th Century Fox

I want to help Grandfather, I will sweep the old cabin’s floor and help milk the goats and make cheese. I want one full, happy day in the movie Heidi, as Heidi…

The rooster’s crow was loud and piercing, it awakened me from a deep sleep, within a dream of running and playing with Peter on the mountain. I like my dreams now. Now that I am home again with Grandfather and all that business with Aunt Dete is finished, she cannot take me away anymore, no one can.


© 20th Century Fox

The smell of Wibele starts my mouth watering and I roll over, pulling the covers down, off my head. From the loft, I see Grandfather packing food and cheese at the table, he is humming a tune, it’s a sweet melody, a new one, one I’ve never heard before.

“Good morning Heidi,” Grandfather looks up at me with a twinkle in his eye while I crawl out of bed, “Do you know what day today is?”

“It is Saturday, Grandfather.”

“And what else is it?” He looked at me with daring eyes, as if he expected me to know what, other than Saturday, today might be.

I’m thinking hard, I’m thinking of everyone’s birthdays, Peter’s, blind Grandmother’s, Pastor and Fräulein Schultz, Klara’s, her father’s, even Andrews’ but I could not think of whose birthday might be today.

“Grandfather, I can’t think of whose birthday might be today. Are you sure today is someone’s birthday?”

“Child, who said today was going to be a birthday celebration? I did not.”

“Oh. Well then, what other kind of celebration could it be? I haven’t heard of anyone who is going to be married, so it can’t be a wedding, right?” Grandfather rolled his eyes in a slow, teasing manner at me.

“Oh Grandfather, I just can’t think of anything special that we would celebrate today. Please tell me, please.” Just then I remembered Little Swan and Little Bear, “Oh, I know, I know! It’s Swanly and Bearly’s birthdays!

Grandfather let out a loud gust of laughter and bent down, calling me to his arms. “No child, I am sorry, I have been teasing you. You could not possibly know what is special about today, but now, I will tell you.

“My brother, Johann has become a grandfather! His only son, Theodor has been married many years to Franziska and they have been barren, no children. Now, a miracle has come to the Hofmann family with a healthy baby boy to carry on the family name.”

“A baby boy!” The words came out of my mouth before I realized I was speaking. “What’s his name?”

“Hans. Hans Friedrich Hofmann and you will meet him in a few days and that is what is special about today! We are leaving for Frankfurt where we will take the train to Weissenburg. Johann will meet us there and we will ride in his carriage to his home. You will see many splendid sites and we will be in good company. There will be much laughter and good food.”

“Oh Grandfather! Let’s hurry! Let’s leave now!”

“Child, you are not dressed properly and have not eaten your breakfast. Come, sit now and eat, then we will visit with Peter and his Grandmother, I have made Wibele to give them in thanks for taking care of our home while we are gone.”


© 20th Century Fox

“Oh Grandfather, they smell delicious,” I said as he holds me in his arms, so warm and lovingly, “I just know Peter and Blind Grandmother will love them. And I wish every child in the whole wide world could be as happy and loved as I am this very moment.”


Keep on Knockin’ But You Can’t Come In

Daily Post: Circuitous Paths - A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

Are you kidding? Even though I live in a fairly ‘safe’ rural neighborhood, I am an older female and I do not open my door to strangers, especially if I am home alone. If someone rings my doorbell, I go to the hallway and look toward the etagere which stands in the corner of the dining room where reflections of the front porch are clearly projected through the sheer curtained windows.

The dogs are already looking out the front windows, barking, snarling, growling, “Go away!” Further translations include, “We don’t want you here!”

Depending upon the persistence of the stranger, they do finally leave but not until they place a flyer of some sort in the handle of the storm door.


© Clipart Panda

Call me chicken or paranoid, but, I read and listen to the news, “bad guys” case neighborhoods and I refuse to be a victim.

Sorry Bud, try the next house.


Grandpa’s Wings

Daily Post: Reverse Shot – What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective…. I wrote this through a third party’s narrative.

“Zuzka, wave good-bye den come vit me, Grandma hez serprize fer you en keetchen.”

Zuzka was still kneeling upon the couch, watching through the rain-spattered bay window as her parents drove away.

“Do you think she knows what’s going on?” Zuzka’s Uncle Lee asked Grandma Anna.

“Naah, she ez child. She not know death.”

ovaltine2“Come Zuzka! Vee git Ovaltine ind coookeez!” Grandma knew the tempting power of every kid’s sweet tooth and Ovaltine with Salerno Butter Cookies were the perfect lure.

Four year old Zuzka hurried to the kitchen and climbed onto a chair at the table while Grandma warmed milk on the stove for Ovaltine and Uncle Lee poured the last drops of coffee from the morning pot. Taking his first sip, he swore, “Ach, to smakuje jak gówno! Idę do innego garnka.”

“Leesker! Step, she veell heeer yew!”

“She doesn’t understand what I’m saying, don’t you remember, they won’t teach her the old country language?”

“Here, Zuzka, cookeez ind hiit Ovaltine. Be kerfewl!”


© Give to
Even grown-ups play with
Salerno Butter Cookies!

Grandma watched Zuzka put her fingers through the hole in each cookie, she played ballerina, fingers dancing on the table when she suddenly spoke, “Grandma, why did Grandpa Rommki die? What does ‘die’ mean?”

Grandma and Leesker shot looks at each other, then Grandma spoke, “Grandpa Rommki go sleep fer leng time. He in Heaven now.”

“Grandpa’s in Heaven? He can fly?”

“Yah, Grandpa Rommki kinn fly noww.”

Zuzka’s face lit up with a bright smile. Leaving her Ovaltine and cookies on the table, she jumped off the chair, spread her arms like wings and pretended to fly around the kitchen.

“She be ok,” Grandma looked at Lee who nodded in agreement.


That’s the Difference?!

Daily Post: Unequal TermsDid you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

Inequality1I grew up with inequality in the home. I did not know it at the time, but, the home in which I lived was fashioned after patriarchal principles. Males were the preferred offspring. Savings would be stashed away for the male offspring’s educations. I was told that I would be nothing more than a “factory-worker’s wife,” an education would be wasted on me.

This was my first, up-close and personal experience with inequality.


Ahead of my Time

Daily Post: Avant GardeFrom your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?

Yes. I have been ahead of the rest of you several times. Like when I lived in Canada, in the two hundred fifty years old stone house. Even with oil heat and the original fireplace blazing, it would, sometimes become chilly. I would grab my robe, put it on backwards then curl up on the sofa to watch television. I did this thirty years ago. If anyone saw me, they would have thought I was crazy or lazy or … definitely not ahead of my time.

Do you know to what invention this behavior refers? The ®Snuggie! C’mon now, is it not just a long robe worn backwards? Would a long robe, worn backwards, not accomplish the same end? Gheez! To think, if I would have just held on to that idea for thirty years, I could be a millionaire right now!


© Snuggie

Ok, so maybe that was not a perfect example of avant garde, but, I was ahead of the ones who invented the ®Snuggie, heck, I was probably wearing my robe backwards before the inventor was even born!