Dec 27, 2011

Escape-Part 2

Mary became more concerned as they made their way across the moors.  Isabelle had grown too silent. She hadn’t spoken a word since her last outburst about mother.  Mary couldn’t even get her to respond when she asked her a question. The responsibility for their safety rested solely upon her shoulders. What if the terror of their race through the night was too much for Isabelle?

Faintly through the mist Mary saw the outline of the trees bordering Sir Stewarts’ land. With relief she gently urged Isabelle to hurry for just a few more steps. Soon they would be in the seclusion of the woods, and out off the moors where there was no place to hide.

Together they made their way through the trees searching for a place to get some rest. The crackle of the leaves under their feet was much too loud. Surely someone would hear them and raise an alarm. Strangely there wasn’t a sound except the ones they were making. Mary didn’t know if that should bring comfort or fear. Everything around them seemed to be listening to their approach.

Finally Mary found a spot where she felt she and Isabelle would be well hidden. Gathering leaves she made a bed for them to lie upon. Isabelle’s silence continued to worry her, but she knew they must get some rest before sunlight exposed them.  Covering Isabelle with her cloak she blew out her lantern and lay down beside her hoping to get a few moments of sleep.


©Susie Clevenger 2011
Photograph: Photobucket


Dec 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday-December 24

waiting for my youngest to arrive


May this be a joyous holiday season and the new year bring blessings and joy.


Flame of Peace

May the flame of peace
burn hate’s chord
to free us to become
a world at peace.


©Susie Clevenger 2011


Hit the Six Word Saturday button to find others
who summed up their day in six words.

Dec 23, 2011

Rain "Shower"

Kellie Elmore hosts Free Write Friday on her blog Magic in the Backyard. Today's prompt was to create a story either real or fictional to tell around the fireplace to warm these chilly winter days. I decided to share a story of my youth....


I grew up in a rather primitive setting when compared to today's standard of living in the United States. My family of five lived in a small four room house with electricity and running water to the kitchen, but no indoor bathroom. That wasn't added to the home until I was eighteen years old. Just imagine camping every day for years. That was sort of what it was like. The house was warm and cozy, but it would have been nice to have more modern amenities. When thinking about a story to tell around the fireplace, I remembered the time my sister Debby and I played in the rain.

My youngest sister, Debby and I were closest in age and closest in mischief. We were always roaming the woods that surrounded our home. There were many days we would be gone for hours wading through creeks, climbing trees and exploring the terrain of the rocky hills on a farm across from us. In the warm months of the year we spent more time outdoors than indoors. It was perfectly natural to equate a summer rain with a chance to wash our hair.

I am not sure whose idea it was to run outside in a rainstorm with a bottle of shampoo. I am sure it didn't take any convincing to get the other sibling to join in. It was just the perfect day to take a shower. Of course we were fully clothed in shorts and t-shirts, but the falling rain felt delightful. We lathered up our hair with the shampoo and danced in the rain. There was so much freedom in embracing the moment of unrestrained joy. We giggled as we lifted our faces skyward to let the rain run down our cheeks.

This rain "shower" story is one my sister and I hold close to our hearts. We were both teenagers when we washed our hair in the rain, and were well aware of what that tiny house lacked as compared to our friends' houses. That day it didn't matter. It was a magical day of freedom and joy. Rain not only brought water to thirsty vegetation that day but brought water to the spirits of two sisters to help them grow a memory.


Photograph: Murray Mitchell
Free Write Friday

Dec 22, 2011

A Photo opportunity-Be a part of a global virtual garden

Kellie Elmore of Magic in the Backyard sent me a note about a wonderful photography project. It is a chance to participate in the creation of a global virtual garden. It is an easy process and I have already sent my photo for the garden.  I have included Kellie's link that will explain the project.


Please if you wish to participate the submissions need to be in by December 26th.
Just hit the button and it will take you to Kellie's page with all the information.
magicinthebackyard

Dec 21, 2011

For Those Who Stood By You

In this season of giving let us not forget those who stood by us this year. The people that lifted us when we didn't have the strength to walk or the will to live. Precious people who were there to dry our tears, make us laugh, and speak for us when we lost our voice. Whether this was the best year of your life, a so so year, or your worst, you did not have to walk it alone. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not thanks is not something you purchase.It is a gift given by the heart. Take time to tell those who have meant so much thank you and I love you.


Dear Family and Friends,

I would like to thank each of you for seeing me through a very difficult year. It began with losing my father, my father-in-law, and so many friends. You have a special place in my heart for all you have done for me. Some I haven't even met, but you lifted me to see me through this year. May the new year grant you many blessings. Please remember I am and will be here for you if you ever need me.

Sending Peace and Love,

Susie

Charlie, Dawn and Carrie you are my heart.
 God blessed me with a wonderful husband and two precious daughters.
 I love you.

I Won't Let Go by Rascal Flatts on Grooveshark

Dec 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday-December 17

I wrote six more love letters
Here is a link to my 12 th love letter and how being involved in the love letter campaign has blessed me.

Dec 16, 2011

A New year...Dare I Make Resolutions?

Ok, it is that time of year when there is thought of making resolutions for the new year. It seems like a whole list of things for me to fail. That has  been my previous track record. Perhaps I should begin with a resolution stating I will not fail to keep the following resolutions.

I have the usual ones...lose weight, eat healthy and exercise. I should just have that tattooed on my arm right where I can see it as I lift it to eat the wrong thing. No, I would probably just start wearing long sleeves to avoid seeing it. I do walk on my treadmill so I could resolve to walk on it longer and more often. It is a walk to nowhere but it is good for my diabetes and my heart. Goodness I am sensing failure before I ever begin. Enough of this negative! Let's start over.

1. I want to publish my first book of poems. It is a dream for me to hold in my hand a book of my work. I imagine I will self publish and I have begun looking into different avenues to get that done.
2. I want to try my hand at writing short stories. I started one on this blog and titled it Escape. I plan early next year to complete it.
3. I want to write new forms of poetry that I have not attempted thus far, expand my writings to include rhyme. I have written very few rhyming poems. 
4. I want to go through my home and do a thorough search to look at all the "junk" I have collected and eliminate as much of it as I can.
5. I want to get over things...things that have hurt me and I simply must move forward and let them go.

I think I shall stop at 5. I could go on and on, but the purpose of a resolution is to enter it with the intent of accomplishment. The first three have to do with writing which has become my passion. It is very important to me that I follow through on them. The forth is a necessity. My closets are full of things that have no sentimental value. They are just there. Number 5 is important to my state of mind. I have been grieving over things I can do nothing about. I must accept it, let go and move on. The new year must be the year I don't let myself down.

Free Write Friday Prompt: What's your new year resolution?

Dear Priscilla-More Love Letters-Day 12

This is my last letter in the 12 Days of Love letter Writing. It is another heart broken by terrible loss. Today's letter goes to Priscilla who recently lost the love of her life, husband of 33 years, and father to two boys. Her close family friend wrote that Priscilla and her husband provided the perfect example of what love should look like. She wrote, "If there is anyone in this world that I think deserves a love letter, it is Priscilla. She has survived this entire ordeal with grace and courage. She is an amazing woman and I'm hoping that some love letters help ease her pain and remind her that her husband is in a better place and forever looking down on her.

Here is my letter to her
Dear Priscilla,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I know it has been tough. Your friend speaks of the grace and courage you have shown in this time of grief. My heart goes out to you.

The beauty of love is it never ends. The love you and your husband shared for 33 years of marriage is seen in your sons, your family, friends, and community of those who are there to support you. It is catalogued  in precious memories. It is there in those quiet moments when you feel him speaking to you he is at peace and giving you the strength to go on. It is manifested in smiles of memories of the silly times you shared and transferred to another through the gift of recalling it. It is a love that will move you forward into each tomorrow.

I know it is painful now. You are surrounded by those who love you. Some you know and some you are meeting through letters. Lean on all of us. We are a gathered union of strength with a common bond of love. We are here to carry you when you feel you can't stand.

I send peace, love, and comfort Priscilla.

Love,
A Friend
 I knew from the beginning when Hannah Katy sent the  e-mail that I would write each person. I was not prepared to realize how it would effect me. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to be involved in this project. For each of the twelve days I sat down to communicate love to strangers, and found they became more than that. They will be forever written upon my heart. Love is a miracle that changes everyone it touches. In this year of such overwhelming grief in my own life I have been given the gift of strength and the beginning of healing from Nickie, Shelly & Nelson, Elizabeth, Hannah, Josie, Tara, Erika, Julia, Anthony, Denise, Alenka, and Priscilla. My love and blessings go out to each one. This Christmas season of 2011 will be one I will never forget.
I hope you will join me in the new year to share love through hand written love letters. Here is how you can do it.
More Love Letters

Dec 15, 2011

Dear Alenka-more love letters-Day 11

I have reached day 11 in my journey of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. I wasn't sure when I began what it would mean to me. I have been so moved and have shed tears over the people I have come to know through their stories. This will be a Christmas I will never forget and a journey that has changed me. I have one more day in this particular journey with a new precious person to meet.

Today's letter is for Alenka.

 Last year, Alenka was diagnosed with cancer. After five intense months of chemo, her cancer went into remission, only to come back three months later. Her doctors have told her that all there is left to give her is time. 

Her daughter wrote, “She’s in a very dark place sometimes... hopeful that something can be done and willing to fight but also scared that time with her loved ones is coming to an end.” Alenka’s daughter believes that love letters offering hope and encouragement would do wonders for her mother. 


 I really struggled with this one. I wasn't sure what to say. How to say it. Finally I just let my heart speak. After all this is what writing a love letter is all about.

Dear Alenka,

I stumble as to what I should say. You have been through so much. We are merely human, but within us is extraordinary strength, will, and hope.  Let those who love you be your strength. You have family and friends that surround you and now a community of friends who are gathering pen and paper to show their love and support.

Lyrics from Bill Wither’s song Lean on Me say, “Lean on me when you're not strong and I'll be your friend..I'll help you carry on." I know you are tired and tomorrow is uncertain. You have so many who are there for you to lean on and those you don't know who are reaching out for you to lean on. Love is a powerful force.

Alenka, you are not merely a name that was sent to me. You have a place in my heart. Each day I will speak words of hope and encouragement for you. I send you love.

Peace and Love,
A Friend
There is one more person who could use your love and support.

More Love Letters
Be an ongoing part of More Love
More Love Letters

Dec 14, 2011

Dear Denise-More Love Letters-Day 10

Day 10 has arrived in the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. It seems each letter gets tougher. I wonder if I will find words, but somehow they came to me.

Today's letter is to Denise, a woman who has been fighting long spells of depression. Her daughter writes:
When I was younger my mom was there to hold my hand every time I got a shot. She was the face on the sidelines of all my games cheering me on as I dribbled the soccer ball to the goal. As I grew up, she was my source of guidance in choosing colleges and the voice of reason when I wanted to break down and quit. Without having to look back, I knew she was always right behind me should I trip and would be there to pick me up and push me forward. I have leveled on my own two feet due to her guidance and love and now she has come to me for help. 

Recently my mom divorced from her second husband and lost her job. She lives across the country in California with no family by her side and she has lost her way to a long bout of depression.

I heard of this idea that a love letter could be sent to her and I thought this would be something that would really show her that despite the darkness she sees there is so much love in the world and if she reaches out there are many hands willing to help. I want her to smile again, not the superficial smile to show people that she is trying to get a long, but the one deep from within where she truly feels warm and content. I just want my mom to be happy and I believe this is something that can bring some hope to her situation.

This is my letter to Denise
Dear Denise,

I am so sorry life has been difficult for you. It has not been easy and you feel lost in it. I want to encourage you and let you know you are not alone.

I know you have been and are a fantastic mother. You have been there to support, cheer, and dry tears.
Never has there been a circumstance that you were not there to give guidance. It is the beauty and strength of who you are.

There are moments in our lives that hit so hard and try to take us under, but those are the times when family and friends are our life preservers. They enter the dark tunnel circumstances have pulled us into and shine the light of love to walk through it with us. Open the door to your heart and spirit and let them in to help. There is such love for you from those you know and those you have never met.  You are surrounded by angels who will lift you until your wings are healed to fly again.

I want you to know that I care. My heart goes out to you and I speak strength to help you through this tough time. You will get through this. It is a storm that will end. There is a rainbow with your name on it waiting when the dark clouds pass.

Peace and Love,
A Friend

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love."~Hubert H. Humphrey
There are two more people who need your love. Here is the link.
More Love Letters
Give love year round at More Love Letters
More Love Letters

Dec 13, 2011

Dear Anthony-More Love Letters-Day 9

I have reached day 9 of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. This request is a tough one. It is for Anthony who recently lost the love of his life and high school sweetheart to a 10-year battle with cancer. The two were each other's first love and Anthony held her hand until the end. Anthony's niece requested this letter for her uncle, writing, "She was his best friend and soul mate. They had no children, just each other. The holidays will be really hard for him this year so I think he would benefit greatly from these love letters.

I sat for a long time wondering what to say to Anthony. Words are so inadequate in the face of such loss. All I could do was write from my heart. I debated even showing this letter, but perhaps someone else will come across it and my inadequate words may be the ones they need to read.


Dear Anthony,
I cannot say I know how you feel. I have not lost a spouse, but I do understand losing someone you love dearly.

I lost my father this year. Each day he comes to my mind. In the backyard is a wind chime he made. The slightest breeze will have it playing music. After I first hung it every time I heard it I would cry. Now when it plays fond memories come to mind. There are instances when I am working in the yard I will hear it tinkling in what seems to be only still air. It brings a smile because I can hear my dad critiquing what I am doing, “No, do it this way.  It will be more efficient.” I can’t say I never cry now, but the times are fewer.

Your lovely wife fought a 10-year battle with cancer. She knew pain and she knew how to be strong. Even now at your weakest moments she is in your heart telling you, “Not only do you have your own strength you have mine to see you through each day.”

Grief has no formula. It is a personal journey. There will be tough days, but there will be those days that bring a smile. Out of the blue you will recall something that just won’t stop at a smile. It will have you holding your sides and laughing. Anthony, it is alright to smile. It is a gift and expression of healing.

You don’t know me. All you know of me are these words written in ink. Please know I will remember you. I have written your name in my journal. I will speak encouragement each time I think of you. Love has no barriers. It can start in one tiny speck on a map and travel as far as it is needed.

Take care Anthony, open your heart to those who love and care about you. With all the memories you have of your wife new ones will come to be planted in that already fertile soil.

With Love,
A Friend
There are still 3 days in the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing which means there are four people who could us love and encouragement. This link will tell you how to get involved.
More Love Letters
Participate in sharing love letters all year long. The World Needs More Love Letters is an ongoing project.

More Love Letters

Dec 12, 2011

Dear Julia-More Love Letters-Day 8

This is day 8 of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing and today's letter goes to a 7 year-old girl named Julia. She has been battling cancer  for most of her life. Even with the trials before her, she keeps a high spirit and is a bright star in the lives of so many who know her. She adores Harry Potter, reading and nail polish.. She loves fish tacos, pomegranates, playing dress up and the color pink.

When writing Julia a letter I decided to not even refer to her disease. She has had to live under its cloud for most of her life and I wanted her to have something that made no reference to being sick. This was an especially tough one to write. It hurts so much to see a child suffer. I just read about a 4th grade class in Clinton Louisiana on the More Love Letters web page that wrote letters to Julia. Their precious work brought tears to my eyes. 

Here is my letter to Julia:

Hi Julia,
I hear you are a very special girl. Your mom and dad must be very proud of you.

I love Harry Potter too. I have seen every movie, but I need to finish reading all the books. When I was a little girl I loved The Wizard of Oz. There is a little girl named Dorothy, a lion that can talk, flying monkeys, and a green witch. There are lots of characters who live in Oz. It is one of my favorite stories.

My girls are all grown up, but we love to see who has the prettiest color of nail polish. Purple is my favorite color. I haven’t painted my fingernails purple yet. Maybe I should!

My daughter Carrie works at the ballet. She gets to see the dancers in pretty costumes all the time. They have a huge room of dress up clothes and pretty pink ballet shoes.

I hope when you get this letter it will be a day filled with friends and fun! Sending you lots of smiles.

Love,
Your Friend
There are 4 more letters to write in the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. Pick one or all five and be a part of this Christmas season of love letters.
More Love Letters
Participate in sharing love letters all year long. The World Needs More Love Letters is an ongoing project.


More Love Letters

Dec 11, 2011

Dear Erika-More Love Letters-Day 7

Well, I have crossed the half way mark on my 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. These precious people I have been writing to have made my heart grow larger. Encouraging them has encouraged me. I sit in my love letter nook penning love letters to people I don't know, but I sit at my father's desk. It is one he built and I was blessed to bring it to my home. He died in January of this year. Grief has come in waves. Many times I feared I would drown in it. Yet when I sit down to write the letters of love, I feel it easing my pain. I know my dad would be smiling if he knew...perhaps he does.

Today my letter is for Erika. She is a 29-year-old woman who spent six months on a mission trip ministering to women who were being sex trafficked. She is a leader in her church, and she is a veteran. She is kind, smart, and married to a man who adores her.

Erika is currently applying to law school and has been down on herself, thinking she won't get in. Erika's sister wrote, "She could really use some encouragement so that her feelings about herself could match how I feel about her."

Here is my letter:


Dear Erika

After reading all you have accomplished in your 29 years I am amazed! You have ministered to women caught up in sex trafficking. You are a leader in your church, and you are a veteran. Your character shows strength, ability, and compassion.

Applying to law school may seem like a mountain you can’t climb, but I am confident you can! Look at all you have already done. Many would like to have just  ONE of the things you have achieved on their resume!

Erika, I am raising my pom poms high to cheer you on. You have already shown you believe in yourself.
Don’t stop now! Just throw your shoulders back and envision those law school doors opening wide!

Love,
Your Cheerleader
There are five more people who need your love and encouragement. Go here to find out how to get involved.
More Love Letters
Love is not just a gift at Christmas. It is something you can give all year long. There are people waiting to hear from you. 
More Love Letters

Dec 10, 2011

Six Word Saturday


six love letters in six days

Dear Tara-More Love Letters-Day 6

This is day 6 of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing! What an amazing journey I am on. The first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning is I need to check my e-mail to see who needs love for the day. I have decided to keep a journal to record each name of the person I write a letter to so I can remember them and speak love and encouragement over them.

Today's letter is for Tara. She is a young twenty-something seeing her share of hardship these days. Her hands and plate are full and she could use a little less heartbreak and a few more miracles. She is working on getting a degree while taking care of her family. She has a lot on her plate and has been struggling with stress lately. The letters being sent to her hopefully will serve as a reminder that she is not alone in all this and she will get through the trials-safe and stronger.



Dear Tara,
School and taking care of your family-You are an awesome young woman! Many would buckle under that weight, but you are doing a great job! I know you could use help though so just think of me as an extra pair of arms to carry some of the weight. Whenever it overwhelms take a deep breath and picture a friend there to carry what you can't!

There are times it feels like you are drowning in a sea of frowns-grab onto a smile and let it rescue you from pessimism. I have your name in a journal on my desk and every time I think of you I will draw a happy face. That way there will be plenty of smiles to hold on to!

Love,
A Friend
"A smile is a curve that sets everything straight."~Phyllis Diller

 My Love Letter Journal


There are six more days and six more people who need love. So take some time and sign up. :)

More Love Letters
Writing Love Letters is a year round project. Here is the link to tell you all about it.
More Love Letters

Dec 9, 2011

Wine and Love V36

wineandlove
Wines:
*My husband has put in thirty years working for a company that ignored his service. As an afterthought he was given a piece of paper in a cheap frame and a pocket knife with dollar store quality. He was totally ignored by management who normally has lunch catered and an intercom announcement about a service anniversary. 
*I am not finished with Christmas shopping. I have been doing some shopping online, but my husband's gifts have been a challenge. 
*Spots on clothes. It seems no matter what I do I miss one on my husband's shirts. It is so frustrating!
*Thinking about my dad. He died in January and this is the first Christmas without him. 

Loves:
*My youngest daughter was home to visit for two weeks in a row. That is such a rarity because we live in Texas and she lives in Oklahoma. Her second visit she brought a friend whom we adore. 
*I have been writing love letters. It is called the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. It has been such a blessing.
*I listened to cassettes of my girls when they were young. It was so cute. I just need to figure out how to put them on CD's. 
*I got my Christmas cards addressed. Now I just need to drop them in the mail.
*I got all the Christmas gifts wrapped and under the tree. It didn't take long since I put them in bags. 
*My leg is doing well after the procedure on it. I am back to walking on my treadmill. As much as I complain about it, it sure feels nice to be able to use it..

Hey, I have more loves than wines! That is a great thing!!
If you would like to get involved with sharing how your week went, just hit the picture and it will take you to Nora's page. She is the creator of Wine and Love.

FWF; Take A Good Long Look At Yourself

Well, I hate looking at myself n the mirror, but here goes. Today my hair is styled and I have on make up; that makes it a little easier. The first thing I see are my glasses. They are a nice style and flattering, and they do wonders to hide some of my aging. Damn! I used the "a" word. That is one of the things that has me picking apart my looks. My once flawless skin has age spots and wrinkles. It is said they add character. Excuse me, those valleys in my flesh just speak "old" to me.

I think one of my best assets is my smile. It wasn't always the case. I won't go into all the details, but because of a horrible car accident I was able to purchase the smile I have now. Money didn't buy my sense of humor or my joy though. That is all me. There are times my face transforms into something more like a green faced wicked witch, but thankfully the moments don't last.

My eyes are blue, no green, wait there is a touch of gold. They change colors depending on what I am wearing. With my black sweater they are blue and when I take it off my green shirt turns them green. I am a visual chameleon. Hmmm...I like that. They are average in size with a blessing of long eyelashes. Much better to wear mascara my dear...ooops I went dark for a moment.

So far I have just looked at my face. I hate stepping back for a full length view. My chest and stomach are too large. I am knock kneed and my legs are NOT pretty. There is so much cottage cheese in my thighs and my skin is so pale every vein is prominent. I am so thankful for jeans, slacks and long dresses. I can hide in them!

Well, I think that is enough looking in the mirror. I want to return to Fantasy Island where an air brushed me resides. No, not really. I am happy for the most part to be me. If I dwell too long on my negatives I will stay negative. I will just continue my usual routine of not dwelling on my flaws and apply my make-up in Braille.



Thanks Kellie for yourFree Write Friday prompt to take a long look in the mirror.

Dear Josie-More Love Letters-Day 5

How can this be? It is day 5 of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. The days are flying and I find I look forward each morning to open my e-mail to see who needs some love and encouragement for the day. Today it is Josie. She is Hannah's (whom I wrote to yesterday) 13 year-old sister. She is having a hard time sorting out her feelings about her parents' divorce. The person who requested letters for her writes, "She is an incredible bright girl, and we fear her dreams of becoming a writer are being lost in the turmoil of emotions and events she is experiencing."

Before I share my letter to Josie I want to encourage others to write to her. The teenage years are tough ones. We who  have survived them know how hard they can be. Take a few moments to share some love and hope

Here is my love letter to Josie. Just click on it and it will enlarge so it can be read.
This is the link to the 12 days of Love Letter Writing. Go on---click on it and get involved.
More Love Letters
Or you can just hit this link and sign up!
signmeup
The link to the ongoing The World Needs More Love Letters Campaign
More Love Letters

Escape (A story yet to be finished)


Mary raced away from the candle glow winking from the kitchen window, pushing her little sister through the gate leading to the moors. Breathless she whispered, “He must not catch us Isabelle. If he discovers I stole his gold watch to buy food, we will be sitting in a cell in Newgate Prison. Oh damn mother for dying and leaving us alone with our bitter stepfather! Our stomachs growl, while he pushes coins across the bar at St. Johns Inn to buy ale.
We must cross the moors before daylight. The woods on Sir Stewarts land will shield us for a while. Stepfather has been too lazy to hunt so thankfully he has no hounds to set upon us. I pray he is drunk enough to sleep well past the sun’s rising.”

Grabbing Isabelle’s hand she commanded, “Watch where you walk! The bogs are hidden in the dark. Their slimy hands wait to grab our feet and swallow us. I can’t be pulling you from the mud. We only have this one chance to get away!”

 Isabelle stared into the dark and whimpered, “Mary I am so afraid. There is no moon and it seems the night is getting blacker. Are there ghosts here? Mama told me she used to hear voices coming from the heather.”

Frustrated Mary hissed at her sister, “Stop it! You know when father died mama was not the same. Her mind could never recover from losing him. How else do you explain her marrying Jim? He only wanted the house to stumble back to when he was drunk. Mother’s bed was softer than the cobblestones he crumbled upon each night. For God’s sake she saw father’s face in the cracked mirror hanging next to the front door!  She would stand there for hours talking to him.”

Urging Isabelle to start moving again, Mary held the lantern high to search through the night for a path that would lead them closer to the woods. Its light appeared as a lone firefly fluttering through the dark. A tiny beacon that was guiding them away from the hell that lay behind them.

©Susie Clevenger 2011
Photo Prompt: Departures
Real Toads

Dec 8, 2011

Dear Hannah-More Love Letters-Day 4

This is day 4 of the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing. The person who needs some extra love is a 16 year-old girl named Hannah whose parents recently divorced. She's taken the divorce hard and has recently become very depressed. The person requesting letters for her wrote, "Hannah was picked on when she was younger and it muted her vibrant personality that she had when she was small. Now she is hesitant to let the real Hannah shine through, though she is a very artistically talented and beautiful girl. We really hope these love letters will speak to her heart, and will be a spark for her when she feels lost and alone in the world."

My this hits home. I was picked on from grade school through high school. It was tough, but I made it through. These days there are so many more ways to bully someone. We really need to open our eyes and raise our voices to stop it. The least I could do for Hannah was to pen a note of love and encouragement to her. So the following is my note to Hannah.

Just click on the picture and it will enlarge it so it can be read.

The journey to write for the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing has been great for me. I encourage you to take out your pen and paper and get involved. Here is the link.
More Love Letters
The World Needs More Love Letters is an ongoing campaign that sends out love every day to someone throughout the world. I have been involved in it for several months. I have left letters in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Grab your stationary or go buy some and begin writing your own love letters. Just follow the link below to get involved!
More Love Letters

Dec 7, 2011

Dear Elizabeth-More Love Letters-Day 3

Today is the third day of The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing campaign for The World Needs More Love letters. I can truly say being involved in this has blessed me in so many ways and is helping me heal from the pain in my own life of this difficult year.

Elizabeth is the young lady who needs encouragement today. She is twenty years old and has been married for two years. Without warning her husband made the decision to leave her.

Her close friend wrote, "Elizabeth was strong for a long while but has been shutting out all those who have been supporting her, loving her and trying to point her in the direction of God. Elizabeth is a highly creative individual who is multifaceted and full of potential. She has been through the ringer and is resisting her true callings."

This love letter will be a bit different. Instead of a giant bundle of love letters., Elizabeth's friend plans to leave a love letter for her each day. She wants to leave them on her car, at work, send them to her house etc. "My prayer is that this bundle will change her life and bring healing from this situation."

This is my letter to Elizabeth. I included a quote that I feel anyone can use when going through a difficult situation. "The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy." Jim Rohn

Just click on the letter and it will enlarge it so it can be read.

I would encourage anyone who knows the power of love to get involved with The 12 Days of Love Letter Writing campaign. You can sign up for all 12 days or just 1. Below is the link that tells you how to get involved.
More Love Letters
Also The World Needs More Love Letters is not only a holiday project. It is an ongoing mission to spread love to as many people as there are pens willing to write. I have included the link where you can learn more about More Love Letters.


More Love Letters

Happy Love Letter Writing!
Peace & Love,
Susie

Dec 6, 2011

Dear Shelley & Nelson-More Love Letters-Day 2

This is the second day of the 12 days of Love Letter Writing. Each day my heart expands at the need for love and encouragement. Today's request is for Shelley and Nelson. They are parents to three children under the age of 7. Their oldest has leukemia and this isn't the first time she or her parents have faced the difficult battle of this disease. They are loving parents raising their children as "normal" as they can under the cloud of a devastating illness.

Nelson is currently in the reserves, and is an airline pilot. Shelly is a stay at home mom. Their attitude is upbeat and to the outside world you would never know the battle they are fighting for their child.

The following is my letter to them.

I would encourage you to get involved in the 12 days of Love Letter Writing. I have included the link.
Peace and Love,
Susie

More Love Letters

Dec 5, 2011

Water Drips

The Lonely Recluse wrote the bones of a story on his blog and challenged his readers to take it and create one of their own. I decided to take him up on it. I have included his writing and followed it with my story.

Water drips from the ceiling.
She’s left the tap on again.
I get up off the futon, it’s not like I’d been sleeping, just trying, and failing.
As ever.
She always seems to leave the tap on if I stay on the futon, I don’t know why, but she does.
I open the door and start climbing up stairs, not bothering turning the lights on – I know the way.
I open the bathroom door and, sure enough, the tap is running and the bath is overflowing.
Another sleepless night.
 © The Lonely Recluse


Water Drips

 I can’t believe we had the same argument again. She thinks of my writing as nothing but a hobby that takes up too much of my time. I can’t convince her I have plans to one day publish my verses. If there isn’t a definite timeline, she feels I am wasting my time.
Without another word I leave the bedroom and head downstairs to the library. Maybe there is something in me I can write out. I open my laptop to make an attempt, but nothing is making sense. I can’t get past the word “hobby” playing in my head.
Restless with insomnia drilling in my brain I wander from window to window watching the moon makes its way across the sky. Exhausted I feel I should try to sleep. I go back to the library to lie down on that old futon in the corner.
What is that? I look up to feel drops falling from the ceiling. She’s left the tap on again! I don’t know why she leaves the water running when I am on the futon. Perhaps it is just punctuation to her feelings about my writing.
I have no other choice but to get up. It’s not like I had been sleeping.  I open the door and start climbing stairs, not bothering to turn on lights. I know the way. I reach the bathroom to find the tap running and the bathtub overflowing onto the floor.

Another sleepless night….

©Susie Clevenger 2011


Dear Nickie-more love letters-Day 1

Today is the first day of The World Needs More Love Letters campaign: 12 days of writing love letters to 12 people who need extra encouragement and love this holiday season. The campaign runs December 5-17. I have committed to writing a love letter to each of the 12 individuals.

Today's love letter goes to Nickie. She is a college student who recently lost her best friend in a vehicle accident.  A close friend of Nickie requested the love letters for her. She wrote that Nickie has been strong for her best friend's family, especially for the younger sister who witnessed the accident.

Nickie is so blessed to have a friend who cares so much for her that she wants to do all she can to help her through the holidays. I have experienced so much loss this year myself that my heart hurts for Nickie. Words of love are so powerful and can lift the spirits of those whose hearts are hurting.

I would encourage you to get involved with More Love Letters. I have found it has done so much to lift my own spirits. It only takes a few moments to pen a note. You can get involved with all 12 or just one. Let your heart guide you.

Each day I will let you in on my letter journey. Perhaps my words may be for another, but exactly what you need.

Peace and Love
Susie


Here is the link 



More Love Letters

Dec 3, 2011

Christmas Porridge With Attitude


I was asked how this time of year makes me feel. Am I an Ebenezer Scrooge with an attitude of "bah humbug" or filled with holiday cheer? Is there magic in Christmas or is it blue? I think if I were perfectly honest   I would say I am a mixture of all of it. Just call it a Christmas porridge with lumpy attitude.

I love giving gifts, but hate the crowds. There is something so annoying about listening to Christmas Carols accented with a cash register tallying up purchases. I think I will do my shopping online. That way I don't have to associate Christmas music with the use of my debit card.

My husband, Charlie,  asked me what I wanted for Christmas. That shouldn't be a chore, yet I can't come up with an answer. I just want to say surprise me. Doesn't sound too thoughtful does it? He would have to shop without a hint. It sounds a little like Ebeneezer.

I have lots of ideas for shopping for Charlie and I have started shopping for him. I need to tell him to not check the front porch for packages that have been delivered. All I need is for him to pick up a box with a logo stamped across it that would give away what is inside.

This is my first Christmas as an orphan. Both of my parents are deceased. It is a difficult adjustment for me. I always enjoyed buying them gifts. I would pack the gifts in a box to be mailed and loved the idea they would have no clue as to what would be inside when the package was delivered to their door. There won't be a Christmas card or a phone call on Christmas day to one of my parents. This is the "blue" in my season.

Ok...There is joy in my Christmas porridge. I will have both of my girls home for Christmas. I have one daughter's gifts purchased and know what I will purchase for the other one. There will be laughing and singing and perhaps a tad overeating. We open gifts on Christmas eve and Santa comes on Christmas morning. You read it correctly. Santa still comes on Christmas morning. One is never too old for Santa. There will be those surprise unwrapped gifts under the tree.

I also will be writing love notes for Christmas. I have been involved with The World Needs More Love Letters campaign and I will be writing a love letter a day for the twelve days of Christmas. That is definitely the sugar in my Christmas porridge. It rattles the Scrooge in me to retreat. There is so much joy that fills me to know someone will receive a written love letter for Christmas.

Yes, I am having Christmas porridge with a lumpy attitude. There is just so much going on inside of me. I wish I could say I was that twinkling star spreading joy at all times, but isn't the yule season a time of miracles? Ebenezer Scrooge had a total change of heart. Listen and you may hear the blogworld ringing with mine.



Free Write Friday Prompt: Ah, The Wonders of Winter
Free Write Friday

Here is the link to More Love Letters where you can be come involved in the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing

More Love Letters