Bring on the Rain

“I am in control!” She screams, gripping fists of invisibility so hard she feels what’s left of fingernails digging against her palms. Forget the past; forget what Steve or Phil or Jack or even James -if that was his name- said. “I am in control!”

Forces more powerful than any touched by man answer, without words. Pushing, tearing, whipping the lake’s edge against her -her, a small, insignificant figure to challenge God’s great breath.

“I am -” she gasps, “in control!” Spray and tears stream down her face;
wipe clean
spray
clear

Till, beckoned by her challenge, the sky-fall comes.

Inspired by Carrot Ranch‘s prompt, high winds:

September 3, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about high winds. It can be on land, sea or in outer space. Who is facing the wind or protected from it? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by September 8, 2020. Use the comment section [on the site] to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

©2020 Chelsea Owens

The NEW Weekly A Mused Poetry Contest 9/5 – 9/11/2020

Welcome to the our new poetry contest! Hilarity is our goal; funniness, laughable lines, hilarious rhymes -amusement!

Where once I told everyone to write terrible poetry, I now tell you to write terrible poetry with the intent to make us all laugh:

  1. The Topic is eccentrics. Collector, streaker, hermit, or superhero? I read about the British variety in Henry Hemming’s In Search of the English Eccentric and now I’m hooked!
  2. The Length will be a limerick. How else would you poem about eccentrics?? A limerick is five lines: AABBA, in anapestic meter.
  3. Rhyme? Naturally -unless that would run against your hero’s …idiom.
  4. Don’t worry too much about the details! Wake up at 2 a.m. from the strangest dream you’ve ever had, roll over to your notepad to write it down, then turn it in as poetry the next morning.
  5. Keep the Rating at PG or cleaner.You’re too clever to stoop to crass jibes for humor. I know it.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next Friday (September 11) to submit a poem.

Use the form below to stay anonymous for a week.

Otherwise, for a more social experience, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Drop a comment if you try to link back, and it doesn’t show up within a day.

Have fun! I insist!

 

 

Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

©2020 Chel Owens

What I Hear

Conversation. Voices that are not mine or my children’s or the creaking moaning ageing of the house -voices from others are talking. And laughing. We have friends over, and we are visiting without fear.

As we talk about their move from out of state, we hear an airplane fly over. We hear a click-clunk of scooter on sidewalk coupled with happy child-talk, from outside. As the night darkens, the child-talk becomes teenage squeals as our older neighbors begin night games in the street.

Do you remember these things?

Music -I hear music. There’s an impromptu outdoor concert a few blocks away. There’s a neighbor cleaning his house with the radio playing. My husband sings to our baby; he grins, entranced, as he watches the slow notes move his father’s lips.

The hose, outside, is on. I hear the rush of water that used to send me running to scold, “Turn that off this instant!” Now, I open our blinds to summer sky; glance down to muddy children, laughing in the hose-rain. I wave.

I remember these things.

As sounds filter in where once they were not, I remember. I feel my soul shudder thaw stretch unfurl. I feel. I hope. I smile.

Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

In response to Rethinking Scripture’s post, “Summer 2020 – What I Don’t Hear.”

©2020 Chel Owens

Another Update -Woohoo

Look at that: only two days in, and I’m already boring you. But, wait -it’s important.

  • I will be adding book reviews to the blog. I definitely want to read and review ones by people I know, so drop me a line if you’d like me to read, review, and interview.
  • I will be starting the new and improved terrible poetry contest tomorrow Saturday!!! Problem is, I can’t think of a catchy-enough name. “Funny Poetry” and “Humorous Poetry” strike me as too ho-hum for an event that will be anything but! Drop me another line with a name idea for our new contest.
  • I will be answering people’s prompts and doing a few of my own. I can’t participate every week/day/hour, but can pop in once a month or so. Drop me a third line with whatever prompt you do and when.
  • I will now be leaving to pick up children from school. Drop me a line about how your Coronalife is going.
Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

©2020 Chel Owens

Tour of Utah: Evermore Park

If you have an inner medieval knight, just waiting for his chance at a noble quest; if you’re a damsel in a dress, seeking an archery lesson to deter beaux; if you are a DND nerd inside and out, and wish for the ultimate LARPing experience….

I give you: Evermore.

©2020 Evermore.com

“Themed like a European village with its own buildings, citizens, and epic story. Guests interact with characters, go on quests, and become a part of the world of Evermore. The village of Evermore is a growing entity with changing themes, buildings, citizens, and quests.”

-From Evermore’s website

We heard about its opening a few years ago. The great Tracy Hickman told me he’d been hired to help create it*. Friends went. My former supervisor went and wrote about it. Yet, we’ve not tried it.

They have themes and special events. They also list:

  • Archery
  • Axe throwing
  • Bird & Reptile Show
  • Evermore Park-Themed Cuisine
  • Guild Memberships
  • Horse & Pony Interaction
  • Themed Train Experience
  • In-park Exclusive Merchandise
  • Mini Productions of Evermore’s History & Storyline
  • Musical Character Performances
  • Games & Quests
  • Storyline Discovery
  • Gothic Antiquities

(From their site)

© Kelsie Foreman and Utah Business

It’s located in Pleasant Grove, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City Airport. You’d better go quickly; I just read a followup article that says they’re facing lawsuits on unpaid construction projects….

Those cursèd knaves.

*Tracy Hickman gave me that information back when the park first opened. I haven’t spoken with him since.
©2020 Chelsea Owens

One of Those Boring Blog Update Things

Hey, everyone!

I’ve been having a great holiday, only worrying about considering the possibility of thinking I ought to plan on pondering the idea of envisioning a speculative schedule involving writing on the blog(s).

I promised this was a boring update, so here are the specifics:

  1. WordPress’ editor still sucks.
  2. I sold my arm and part of a leg for a new cell phone and can therefore read (and comment on!) people’s posts again. The new phone ought to streamline that process going forward, instead of gunking it up to a hopeless quagmire like it did in the past.
  3. I’m changing the Weekly Hilarity Contest to poetry again, but intend to definitely bend toward humor and not to the sarcasm and ridicule of terrible poeming.
  4. My #1 priority will be me and my family. Number two will, invariably, be dishes and laundry -okay, really, ’twill be catching blog posts written by my favorite people (you!). After those, I will post some of my own works (see #5, just below).
  5. My blogging schedule will be liposuctioned to something manageable and …less personal. Maybe.
  6. I will write and publish a book. I will write under a modified name, since I’ve never liked my obviously-born-in-a-certain-decade-or-near-there identifier.
  7. If there is any time left after that, I’ll sleep well, eat right, and exercise. I will also cure pandemics.

woman wearing blue shawl lapel suit jacket

I will totally look like this person, all year. (Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com)

-Chel Owens (©2020)

8/18/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

Curse you, WordPress, and your ‘new’ block editor a thousand times!!

As to The ‘Rona, everyone ’round here’s behaving like it’s gone and out of there -up till when they enter a store. Kevin, my husband, summed up the odd double-standard in describing a recent work-sponsored river tubing activity to me:

“We didn’t wear masks on the bus, riding up. We didn’t wear masks while tubing. Afterwards, when we went to lunch, everyone got out of his car and put on a mask. Then, when we were sitting right next to each other in the booth, we all took our masks off and ate lunch.”

His exchange reminds me of a friend of mine who has been careful of exposure this entire time. She explained that her children play with their friends only outside, wearing masks. When their cousins came into town, however, she acquiesed to allow her teenage daughter to spend the day at Lagoon (our only amusement park in Utah) -hopefully, still masked.

Turn_of_the_Century_-_Lagoon

By Scott Catron from Sandy, Utah, USA – View from the Sky Ride

I draw the line where I always do: slightly to one side of center. I stay home, wash my hands, wear a mask when I walk inside a store or church, and don’t lick doorknobs. I’m also planning to send my children back to school.

Speaking of, school has been a real hot-button issue. Districts in Chicago and Los Angeles quickly paled at the idea and said it would all be online. According to a local news source, Utah’s governor came out with a 102-page document in governmentspeak that said all children would start school ‘regularly,’ with distancing measures, extra cleaning, and mandatory masks. I looked up said document, and was disappointed to find it only came to 96 pages and included cute graphics to help people figure out what ‘hand-washing’ and ‘mask-wearing’ looked like.

This is a child, wearing a mask. Or, he’s plugging his ears whilst being turned into a cyborg.

I found it to be a helpful guideline for when I may not be feeling up to snuff. I mean, who knew what coughing or a fever looked like before now?

I jest, but find the disease a serious thing. I also find most people not taking it very seriously. I had thought they were assuming the disease to not exist. Since speaking with more people, I’ve learned they think the symptoms have been exaggerated and that their plan is to not be affected by it if they are exposed.

We’re functioning at a normal level, with normal traffic patterns and normal work schedules. Most jobs done with computers are still keeping workers home; Kevin’s been here since March 13. All the workplaces in urban areas or specifically for the government require masks.

In other news, we went camping last weekend. A rest area on the way asked for masking and we all complied. The campsite asked for a three-hour drive, a half-hour of which involved a damaged road through open range cattle country. Read: the site was pretty remote.

A young couple near us donned masks whenever they left their tent but they were the only ones I saw doing so. I guess most of us felt we distanced enough because of our natural, campfire-enhanced musk.

We saw chipmunks, birds, flies, and a mother deer with her child. She surprised me the first morning; a small herd of cows and calves did the second morning.

Photo by Jahoo Clouseau on Pexels.com

We planned the campout as a last hurrah before school started, as it was set to begin today. Then, the districts sent e-mails saying they would delay till next week. I have five children of differing ages so they will have differing schedules. Two plan to attend M/W and online, and two plan to attend the full-time four days a week with Friday off schedule that the gov’nuh decided.

Our state’s case counts have hovered around 200-300 per day. The teachers will get PPE from the government, and …the First Cases of SARS-CoV-2 in Mink in the United States [were] Confirmed in Utah. Interesting. I hope they learn to wash their paws. Can you imagine making a mink wear a mask?

©2020 Chelsea Owens
Images from Utah’s Coronavirus Education plan may be found here, and are ©2020 The State of Utah.

7/20/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

Last time I checked in, I shared Utah’s rising case numbers. Things are looking up since then.

And I do mean “up.” Our all-time high was 867 in one day, reported just two days after I wrote. Fortunately, we’re back to numbers like 736, 731, and 788 for the last three beautiful, blue bars of that graph.

I’ve had a bad headache today since the baby awoke at 2 a.m., compounded by another awakening at 5 a.m. As with anytime I’ve felt a little off, I’m paranoid I’ve got The ‘Rona. That figures, since I still do grocery pickup, mask when I go to a public place, and have not agreed to family invitations to public places. Heck; we’ve gotten takeout five times in the last four months.

baked box cheese close up

Pizza: The American Meal. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We did attend church last Sunday. We LDS normally attend every Sunday; with a communal meeting that includes eating bread and drinking water (sacrament) passed around on trays, then a second meeting by age and gender group afterward. Sunday’s meeting was only The Sacrament. We sat with a bench between other family groups. We all wore masks, except Baby Owens. The bread and water trays remained in the hands of the boys distributing them. We even sang with masks on, reading from our individual phones instead of hymn books. Only the speaker unmasked as he shared a gospel message about spirituality from the podium at the front.

My parents also live in Utah, but their local leaders have not reinstated meetings. Ironically, their libraries and recreational centers (swimming pools, gyms) are in business. Different strokes for different counties, I guess.

—–

In terms of shortages and price increases, I’ve heard that hard currency is running low. The cashier at the kids’ clothing store told me, the internet told me, and the plastic partition at the hardware store told me.

20200711_113015

Perhaps you’ll accept galvanized nails in replacement, Lowe’s?

I was able to procure some antibacterial kitchen hand soap at Wal-Mart when I had to go inside. Being 5’8″ tall with long arms helped that procurement. I brought a bottle of hand sanitizer down for any shorter-armed shoppers that followed. The rest of their soaps were in short supply, as were any bottles of rubbing alcohol:

20200704_100945

Who needs antiseptics when you’ve got a lonely roll of gauze?

The biggest news, for me, is The School Issue. I mentioned, before, that I’m following a TwoFacebook Group concerned with returning children to their desks, come hell or high water. Members of said group were prominent at a recent meeting in Utah County, where they vociferously (and crowdedly) spoke in favor of no masks for their children. Since I know many teachers personally and would like them to remain healthy, I see no-masking to be a selfish, nearsighted opinion.

Screenshot_2020-07-18-02-39-44

Just one of the many, many inspiring and educated adults making decisions for her offspring.

Of all the ways to make the news, Utah, you have to pick this one…

I assumed, recently, that my more-conservative friends have seen the light. With stories about reinfection; with more people we actually know getting infected; with areas shutting back down to curb Coronavirus cases -SURELY opinions would change. Not so. One of my more vocal neighbors just posted, today, about articles against masking and how any legitimate information supporting that idea keeps “getting taken down.”

I know restricting or changing information happens. I’ve seen it. However, I also know that I, like other humans, breathe and cough and sneeze. As such, I’m in favor of wearing a mask, using my turn signal, and not randomly kicking strangers in the shins because it’s my right to do so.

In conclusion, here’s a funny image re-shared by a teacher friend on 2FB:

107791342_10223939418943407_8669815648453001962_n

Sorry; I’m not sure who came up with these. They’re pretty clever.

Images ©2020 Chelsea Owens, unless otherwise noted. Blog post ©2020 Chelsea Owens

7/9/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

Welp; things are not looking good, number-wise, out here in do-it-yourself Utah.

Graph

Thanks, Coronavirus.utah.gov. What a lovely blue.

Wednesday marked the single, highest number of new cases reported in a day. Now, we’re no New York City. New York City has 2.5 times more population in it than our entire state. Still, that’s a bad growth rate unless we’re talking earned revenue in stocks.

I remember back when the world shut down, together. My occasional errands to the grocery store pickup or follow-up appointments for the baby were spent driving through nearly-empty streets and barricaded parking lots. Restaurants had signs about being closed and/or ordering online. Everyone locked up at nightfall, even Wal-Mart.

Yesterday, our family got caught in rush-hour traffic on our way up to visit my parents. What is this? I thought, then remembered. My parents and a sibling are two of the few places we go, and I assumed others were similarly, intentionally homebound.

Today, I went to my home-away-from-home: Costco. My experience there, in the last four months, has changed from an uneasy anxiety to over-zealous cleaning to a resigned impatience. A lot of the store has opened up again, sort-of. They still mandate wearing masks, although their cart-retrievers were not doing so outside. The workers at the gas station, outside, were also bare-faced. A woman stood at a samples table inside, though she only advertised her product and did not offer tastes. The food court area showed a simpler menu of two kinds of pizza, a hot dog meal, and three desserts; the condiments were stacked behind the cashier in tiny containers with lids.

20200709_110854

My poor Oxford comma.

Also today, a relative of mine visited with his children. They drove across the country to do so, and have also visited “things we can’t do back home,” like a hot springs resort and the local aquarium.

Another relative drove to one of Utah’s rural communities for their Fourth of July festivities. Word is that the city had a parade and threw candy.

Meanwhile, back in Salt Lake County, we’ve been mandated to wear masks in public. I haven’t seen any policemen to enforce this rule; I have seen nearly everyone complying. I heard that Utah’s governor thought to make the ruling statewide and looked for such information. Instead, I found he’d announced that everyone attending school in the fall will need to wear a mask.

He also said that, if we can’t be good little citizens and bring our case numbers down by August 1, he will put us in the corner -erm, make masks mandatory.

I don’t see what the big deal is, especially considering that our numbers keep rising. If the case counts were at least plateauing, I might agree with my more-conservative friends about their right to bare arms and faces. As things keep climbing, however, I say they’re being needlessly selfish about a small scrap of cloth.

mona lisa protection protect virus

Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko on Pexels.com

I see the rise in numbers being related to the rise in traffic, travel, and don’t-care attitudes. I want things to normalize again, too, people. I also want to avoid contracting a disease that permanently affects some or kills others.

COVID-19 aside, I’m keeping busy and enjoying my ‘break.’ How’s everything where you all are?

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens