Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WEP Challenge for August



I'm participating, for the second time, in the WEP challenge.
WEP? Write, Edit, Publish. 

Hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee, all the information, rules and timing etc, can be found here and it may not be too late to sign up if you hurry.
Entries should be 1000 words or less, mine is considerably less at just under 500, and the theme for August is Gardens.



Saying goodbye to the Garden

They were sad to be leaving the home they had lived in and loved for sixty years, but the time had come to move to a smaller place. Joe could no longer manage the care of such a large garden and Hannah could no longer climb the stairs to the second floor.

On this final early morning, for the very last time, they held hands and strolled through their gardens as the sun rose, tinting everything pink and gold briefly, then revealing the rainbow palette they had planted so long ago.

The front yard had been transformed from a weedy patch to a cottage garden very similar to the one Hannah remembered her grandmother had. Every pretty plant was scented to attract bees and butterflies, who would then, hopefully, continue buzzing around to the side yard where a small forest of fruit trees and grape vines awaited pollination. The delicate blossoms of apple, cherry and plum trees promised a bountiful harvest. In years past, many jars of jam had been made and sold at county fairs, school fetes, garage sales. 




Walking through the backyard, they heard the gentle tinkle of the fountain, watched the iridescent dragonflies darting among the dewdrops. They each remembered the many other walks they had taken in the past, when moonglow shone gently on the rosebeds and stardust sparkled in their eyes. Hannah remembered Joe bringing home the first rose cuttings, given by his best friend Darryl when Joe had helped with the pruning one year.


The cuttings had been mostly reds and pinks, but the rosebeds, which curved around the edges of the large lawn, now showed off a sweeping vista from whites, to creams, to yellows, into the softer pinky yellows, then came the pinks and reds. 
Oh, the parties that lawn had seen! 
Christenings, birthdays, weddings, almost every family milestone had been celebrated here.

A favourite spot was the junction of south and western fences, where a raised bed had been filled with evening primrose, right where the moon would shine as it rose and the blossoms would glow; Hannah and Joe had often lingered at the dining table to watch as the moon lit that corner so beautifully.


Further along the south fence, a three-sided structure covered in star jasmine hid the garbage bins and the small shed where the gardening tools were kept.


As they rounded the last bend in the path, their thoughts lingering in the past, they heard the crunch of tyres on gravel. Their oldest daughter, Zoe, had arrived. Time now to load the suitcases into the car and head on to the pretty retirement village near Zoe's home.

As they drove away, their last sight was the large For Sale sign attached now to the front fence.

FCA = Full Critique Acceptable
tell it like it is. Like it? Love it? Hate it?


48 comments:

  1. Love it. And hope that their memories of the haven they built sustain them in the retirement village.

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  2. Elephant's Child; Thank you. The memories will be with them, Zoe presents them with a photo album of their home and garden.

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  3. Sure a pretty garden. Our did so so this year. Coffee is on

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  4. peppylady (Dora); thank you. these photos are from the garden in my previous home.

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  5. river, such a nostalgic walk through the aged couple's garden. No doubt a common scenario when needs must...But the descriptions show a much-loved garden and the reader can't help imagining how it will now be cared for...will the new people look after it, tend it, or neglect it? Ah, such is life! And your photographs really add to the reading experience. Thank you.

    Glad you have you join us for the second time, river. Lovely to have you with us. Hopefully we'll see you again next challenge...

    Denise :-)

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    1. Denise; thank you, I'm glad you liked it. I like to hope the next family will love and enjoy the garden as much as Joe and Hannah.

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  6. A lovely tale.

    Probably like many others, through the years I've suffered the pangs of sadness when leaving a home. Tears shed and heartstrings pulled indiscriminately.

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    1. Lee; oh the tears and broken hearts! not for every home I've left, but certainly a few.

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  7. Beautiful pictures!
    Sad story, it works.

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    1. S.J.Qualls; thank you. Not too sad a tale, I hope. The old couple will now be nearer their eldest daughter and still have a lovely home with small garden that gets cared for by a gardener in the retirement village.

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  8. "As they rounded the last bend in the path, their thoughts lingering in the past..."

    That's atrocious, don't put words which sound similar so close together. Listen to what you're saying.

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    1. R.H. I don't see what's wrong with it. Can you help me out here? how should I have written it?

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    2. .. I hope you don't mind me butting in here ... please delete if you want River....
      I'd like to know what R.H. finds wrong with the section that is highlighted.... the words that sound the same are... last. path and past... there is a comma, a pause... after the word path and then the rest of the sentence...seems fine to me... and I did read it aloud... flows well in my opinion...
      I'm just a reader not a writer so maybe there is some 'rule' that I don't know about..
      Sorry for hi-jacking your post River
      xxxx

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    3. Barbara; butt in all you like, I do it too at other blogs. I hope they don't mind, but differing opinion are welcome here as long as there is no nastiness or vile language.

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    4. Crumbs - that was a bit much ... and rude - fine that may be the way RH sees it ... but there are kinder ways of saying things - or just not comment.

      Rough - for what is a beautiful piece about Hannah and Joe and their happy life lived in their garden ...

      Cheers H

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  9. My last comment was devoured by an unseen monster, now I must recall that which I Wrote - Bu---er.

    Here goes.
    The gift of finding the right and simple word accurately to describe things seen is, at the bottom, the same visual power which enables the Painter-artist to give his or her portraits their perfect expression. "Well written River".

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    1. Vest; thank you. I do try to write so the reader can "see" what I'm writing about. I try to make it real.

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  10. .. I loved everything about this River....
    you created a powerful and emotional setting the story...it felt like I was there with them as they said 'goodbye' to their beloved garden.... but there was hope for the future as well.. I loved your photos... well done.. top marks from me.. xxx Barb xxxx

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    1. .. ps... I need to proof read before posting.. xxx

      my comment should read...setting 'for' the story .. sorry xxxx B

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    2. Barbara; thank you. I do try to write so the reader is going along with the characters, I like things to seem as real as possible. I need to proof-read my comments more too.

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  11. Well darlings I won't go into detail (my case is a very strong one), I'll merely say that if you find nothing amiss with that passage you are tone deaf.

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    1. R.H. then I'll throw this open to anyone else reading and commenting here.

      Is there anything wrong with that sentence? and what would that be?

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  12. I'd rather have let it go, but it's an error that screamed at me. It's so naive, amateurish.

    Sorry.

    Proof-reading of your work (serious work} is better done by someone else.

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  13. I liked the juxtaposition of such similar words. You could have left out 'in the path', but you didn't and it works just fine for me. Isn't it a good thing that we read to suit our individual tastes.

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    1. Elephant's Child; I've read it now without those words and it does work both ways.

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  14. Oh my, how awful to leave such a place. Unrivaled beauty, so much love and hard work.

    I'm crying for this awesome couple.

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    1. dolorah; welcome to drifting. I felt a bit sad when I wrote it, because I've left behind a garden or two myself. They will still have a small garden where they're going, but won't need to do any of the heavy work.

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  15. Instinct tells me I'm right, but what the heck, if it gets me some hugs I'll say I'm wrong. I always was dishonourable, very dubious character.

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    1. R.h. when I print out my hard copy, like I do with all my stories, I'll leave those words out. I've been going over it and it does flow better that way.

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  16. Melancholy and bittersweet. It's hard to leave a place that was basically your life.

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    1. L. Diane Wolfe; welcome to Drifting and thank you. I've left many gardens, but have never been in one as long as the couple in my story.

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  17. Hi,
    It is hard saying goodbye to something that you truly love and have been caring for for years. You depicted their emotions wonderfully and I enjoyed reading your story.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. Pat Garcia; welcome to Drifting. Thank you. I try to write how I think I would feel in such situations.

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  18. All the memories shall stick with them though, but can be awful what age forces us to leave behind.

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    1. Pat Hatt; welcome to Drifting. Their memories will be enhanced by the photo album their daughter Zoe presents them with. Age does make us leave behind so much.

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  19. Yes, leaving a home and a garden that have been your world for so long is wrenching. Beautifully expressed.

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    1. cleemckenzie; welcome to Drifting. I can't imagine being anywhere for sixty years, we've moved so often, but I tried to feel it in my writing. Thank you.

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  20. Love it. I felt that way when we moved out of the family home, where our kids grew up, and Nana used to live with us for a few years... I had five gardens at that house - your story brought back the memories of choosing plants - we liked the scented ones, too. You stirred memories I have of gardening. Gardening can be therapeutic. I still hate most weeds that aren't useful. Even dandelions can be made into dandelion wine. I enjoyed your garden walk!

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    1. D.G.Hudson; welcome to Drifting.I've never lived anywhere more than a few years, the longest was my previous flat where I stayed eight years and grew the plants in the pictures accompanying my story. I miss that garden the most of all. Here I have a tiny plot that seems reluctant to grow much of anything. So I'm slowly filling it with hardy succulent types.

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  21. Beautiful story. Beautiful pictures. Bittersweet but lovely.

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    1. Olga Godim; welcome to Drifting and thank you. Thank you also for the WEP image you designed.

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  22. When I see what these hyphenated big hair ladies are churning out it's no surprise that my book KING COCK couldn't get published. It's trash, but nowhere bad enough to compete with all that bonehead sci fi and YA which the big hair ladies churn out like sausages in a pork factory. Meanwhile my local charity shop isn't accepting books anymore because they're just taking over the whole place, stacked there, poor dead things no one will buy.

    Please, stop writing them.

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    1. R.H. you wrote something with that title? I'm guessing it wasn't about the rooster who ruled the chook yard (*~*)
      Certainly doesn't sound like something I'd read.

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  23. The experts say write what you know. Write from experience, in other words. You've done that here and it's pretty good.

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  24. It's amazing how much LIFE happens within a garden setting. So many lives affected. So much love shone...

    Your details were lovely especially in the southern part of the garden with the moon beams and jasmine. I can see it now.

    One of my homes had night blooming Jasmine. With every breeze the scent would waft through the family room. It was so relaxing. I miss it.

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  25. I imagine this is how my grandmother felt when she had to downsize from her farm with its lovely garden to an apartment. She created a new garden of potted plants and I still have several of the ones she gave me from her treasured indoor garden. Every time I look at it, I think of her.

    This was a lovely story, bittersweet, and well written.

    Thank you for participating in the WEP Garden Challenge I do hope you'll continue to share your talents with us!

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  26. It is sad when such hard work has to come to an end. You've captured the emotions wonderfully well. A new chapter in their lives now begins.

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  27. Hi River - well done with the story and certainly I can relate to Hannah and Joe ... at least they get to leave together, and start their last living journey near to their daughter and other family ...

    So wonderful to read - so much family history there ... and so gorgeous with the plantings ... sad about the 'For Sale' sign - but that's the way life goes ...

    Cheers Hilary

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