The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 9:39 am Thursday, February 25, 2021

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The Lucky Ones

By Gaye Hoots

This week I have been looking at old photos of classmates sent to our class by Charles Crenshaw, the glue that keeps us in touch. There is a sense of pride in the accomplishments of classmates and friends. We went into the world when jobs were plentiful, and we were eager to earn a paycheck. I remember an assignment Mrs. Shelby Nichols gave our Home Economics class. We were to plan and draw our dream home. I was dating the man I married at the time but had never thought of having a house of my own, although I drew a plan similar to what we later built. We shared our drawings in our group, and Mrs. Nichols asked how many of us thought we would be able to own the homes we had imagined. Our class was optimistic and believed we could, and most of us did, including Mrs. Nichols, who built a large house in James Way in Advance that probably exceeded her dreams at the time.

Our children grew in a reasonably safe and protected environment. I attended Shady Grove School, where many teachers were parents of classmates. My husband attended Shady Grove through high school, and our children attended the same school as did most of my grandchildren and my one great-grand who is now a freshman at Davie High. Our community is a close-knit one where we respect ourselves and each other.

Many of the Facebook posts of friends and classmates mention physical challenges they have had and overcome or learned to live with and still appreciate their many blessings. 2020 has been a challenging year with COVID an everyday threat and a political election that brought out intense emotions. Perhaps the extra time spent with family has been a plus. I grew up living within driving distance of both sets of grandparents and never lived more than a few hours away from my parents or siblings. My brother was in service and had overseas assignments, but we saw him frequently. My girls were in other states for school and work at times, but we saw each other often. One grandson is in Colorado in service, and it has been a year since I saw him. I am moving but plan to spend a week each month in Advance, and the twins love Oriental.

When I browse Facebook, I love to look at family pictures and read stories of family life. Our faith and our families sustain us, and we try to pass these values from one generation to the next. Our future and their future depend on it.

Beauty and the Beast

By Julie Terry Cartner

Freezing water rained down from the sky, encasing everything it touched in an icy veneer. Nothing could escape the monster. Giant trees with limbs outstretched to the sky shimmered with their new winter coats. Evergreen branches, pulled down by the added wintry weight, broke away from their trunks and crashed to the ground, sending icy shards skittering across the frozen earth. Then later, when the sun came out, the world glittered as if a million fairies fluttered iridescent wings, creating a magical winter wonderland.

In the garden, ice encased camellias lost none of their loveliness; in fact, the coat of sparkling ice enhanced their fragile beauty. And fledgling crocuses, recently emerging from their winter’s slumber deep below the earth, also felt the sting of the storm, yet seemingly were unharmed by the cold, their brilliant yellow petals appearing to scorn the bite of winter’s wrath.

However, down the road, power lines fought the fury of the ice and some lost the battle, giant strands of wire succumbing to the weight, falling to the street amid sparks of electricity. Then like a giant fan blowing out multitudes of candles, the lights in each house winked out.

The roads, created to ease our constant traveling from place to place, became useless. Sheets of ice covered the surfaces creating a hazard to all who attempted to outmaneuver nature’s challenge.

Icicles dripped from children’s playsets, the eaves of houses, clotheslines and tree branches, creating natural prisms of light, shooting rainbows of color to flash through the air and against the ground.

Birds, squirrels and raccoons nested in trees, deer hunkered down in beds of leaves, and even the coyotes crept into protective dens. On the farm, horses, cows and sheep rested in stalls, fragrant with hay. In the house, we stretched out on couches, the fireplace crackling, and read our books. For a time, peace descended on our land.

All good? All bad? No. The beauty of an ice storm is undeniable, as is its devastating destruction. If we’ve learned nothing this year, we’ve learned the lesson. In the evil, we can find good. We can expand our talents, reconnect with family, strengthen our bonds. In the doldrums of a rainy February, we can find beauty in an ice storm, celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, and, if all else fails, escape in the pages of a timeless novel.

Time Travel

By Marie Craig

During this quarantine, I’ve read four books, watched several movies, and enjoyed even a Hallmark movie, all about time travel.  Time is an interesting subject to ponder.  It can become complicated with relativity and big formulas.  However, it can be very simplified and seem real as we dream at night or remember experiences from the past.

I’ve found that these eleven months of separation from our normal lives have given a strange feel to the word “time.”  Some intervals seem very, very lengthy, and some things flit by quickly.  It’s been difficult to remember what day of the week it is without a calendar.

But, if I had the opportunity to travel in time, what would I choose?  What would you choose?

One of my strongest, most pleasant memories was when we lived in Tallahassee.  Our family of four traveled about twenty miles south to the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  Our sons were toddlers, and we had great fun playing in the sand and water.  Exhausted and almost sunburned, we slept soundly in our nearby motel room.  I woke up early the next morning and decided to write my mother a letter.  These words came from my pen, “Everybody’s asleep but me.  It’s so peaceful.  These are golden moments.”  We were all well and happy.  Activation of Marine Reserves had been avoided in the Vietnam War, and we could have a future together.  I’d love to time travel and relive that morning.

There’s a wonderful line of dialogue in the movie “While You Were Sleeping.”  The father of grown children says, “A man works his entire life for a few moments when everything is perfect.”  The son then says that he has an announcement that’s going to change everything.  It almost worked.  That morning at the beach was my time of everything being perfect.

You might have some extra time right now.  I encourage you to travel back in time with your memories and share them with family, or write them down, or just enjoy those special feelings you had back then.  Time travel might also mean traveling to the future.  Visualize what your happy future might be like, and then take action to accomplish that.  It probably won’t be how much money you have or things you’ve bought.  Perhaps it will be your satisfaction that you helped others and shared your resources and your wisdom and talents with other people.

How will you use time travel?


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