Home

For all practical purposes, the words ‘house’ and ‘home’ are interchangeable. They both bring to mind a place where you live, typically with your family. For me, the word home feels warm – it evokes a sense of coziness that house does not. The old saying “A family makes a house a home” is true – the house contains the family, the love, the spirit which truly makes it a home.

We are selling our home. After 21 years here, we have decided to downsize while the market is good, moving away from the place that gave us shelter and held us together. It’s just a building, but it’s been so much more for our family – it is the place I staked my independence following my divorce. It’s where I embarked on a new marriage with hope and joy. We brought home our son a few years later, adding a third child to our already busy home. He’s lived here all his life and now faces a move to a smaller room in a smaller place that I hope will become a home to him.

When I think about the years we’ve been here, I feel like I have touched just about every wall in every part of this house. We have been actively improving it year after year, adding on, remodeling, redecorating, doing the regular maintenance a house needs. I have loved making my yard the garden I’d dreamed of – and feel connected to it at my very roots. I can walk through the garden and touch my plants, seeing the results of years of work come to fruition. All of this has been a labor of love, with an eye toward ‘someday when we sell, we want it to look good’. And we made it look really good – so good, in fact, we began to question why we wanted to sell. But the fact remains – two of our three children have married and moved into homes of their own. A big house is no longer something we really need. It feels empty and unused for much of the year with our youngest now in college. It’s time to let someone else love it.

The sales process was swift. Houses in our area are being snapped up quickly and within a day of listing, we had multiple offers. We wanted to pass our home on to someone who wanted to be a part of the neighborhood and raise a family here. One couple stood out to us as those people. They told us about their love for gardening and art – they could see themselves here, tending the garden, working in the art studio upstairs. It felt right – and we quickly accepted their offer. What it meant to us was the stark reality that we would really be leaving our home. No more ‘someday when we sell’ – that day was here.

A house contains us – a home nurtures us. All the tears, the laughter, the sleepless nights – every emotion under the sun has taken place here. So much love has passed through this place – so many of my memories are rooted here. It will always be a part of me, in a way no other home has been.

This is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. We moved a lot when I was a kid – the longest in any one place was ten years in our Golden Gardens home in Seattle. Giving my kids a stable place to call home was a big priority for me. I think I learned a lot of resilience moving around growing up, but it was hard being the new kid over and over again.

Starting soon, we will enjoy being condo dwellers for the next few years. We’ll work on building our next home and making the move to Whidbey Island one of these days. For now, we’ll say a loving goodbye to the place that kept us warm and safe and dry all these years, leaving behind the good memories and good karma that has come from the joy, the pain, the happiness and sadness every family shares.

Friday Flash Fiction

JHardyCarroll

Photo Courtesy of J. Hardy Carroll

These benches tell a story – of the people who’ve come and gone, the talented hands of the person who made them, their silent watch over time passing by. This reminds me of Ellis Island, or a train station – some place from the past, where life passed through and time has passed by.

Word count: 99

Waiting at the Station

Passengers streamed off the train, waving at their loved ones. Reunions took place on the platform — kisses and hugs, handshakes and hellos, chaos and commotion.

Sarah waited patiently. He’d be on the train. Watching the joy on the faces around her, she smiled to herself. A mother greeted her returning soldier with tears of joy. Sarah felt her own eyes well up. So much joy.

After the rush, she made her way to the luggage car where a black draped coffin waited on a cart. She let her tears fall silently then. Her love was home at last.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

Ceayr

Photo Courtesy of C.E. Ayr

A spaceship? An arena? Whatever it is, it looks poised to take off. And so my story follows…

Word count: 100

Bluer than Blue

The reflection of the stadium was momentarily mesmerizing. A blue wash across the water, shimmering in the night. People inside were having fun, cheering the game on, their roars rolling across the river.

Eliza knew other people were happy. She just didn’t know how to get there. Bluer than blue, sadder than sad had been the theme song of her short life.

She stood shivering in the night air, concrete at her back. She relished the chill on her skin, knowing the water below would be colder than cold, darker than dark. Closing her eyes, she stepped into the black.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

bultot

Photo Courtesy of Roger Bultot

Glowering clouds threaten rain – this scene looks like one I’d see here in the Pacific Northwest, but I have a feeling this was taken elsewhere.

Word count: 100

Lines of Music

The gloomy clouds made the village seem more cantankerous than usual. Mary trudged along the path toward market, Anna at her side, skipping along, humming.

‘What’s that song, Anna? It’s a lovely tune.’ Listening, Mary’s mood lightened.

‘It’s the birds, gramma. See?’ Anna pointed to the birds on the wires above.

‘They aren’t singing – you are!’

‘No, silly – they are the music!’ Anna laughed, tripping further ahead.

Mary marveled. They did look like notes on a musical staff. Shaking her head, she was smiling as they reached the center of town, feeling as if the sun had suddenly come out.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

kent-bonham

Photo Courtesy of Kent Bonham

Cryptic book in a cryptic photo…My guess is that it’s an adult coloring book or the schematics to some futuristic library system. Either way, I’m struggling with a story. I’ll have to rely on the keyboard muse to take us somewhere interesting this week.

Word count: 101

All That’s Left Behind

The lawn looked bedraggled after all the tromping feet retreated. Yellow tape marked the edges of the yard; “Caution” a warning too late to matter. With no clues or evidence, the police could only speculate.

“Probably just wandered off.”

“No sign of foul play, so…”

Alice heard but couldn’t process the information. Could her family legends be true? Her mother had warned her from taking that book from her father’s desk. She never believed the power was real.

She watched the police cars pull away as though through a fog. They’d find no trace of her son. Of that, she was sure.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

Friday Flash Fiction

being MG

Photo Courtesy of Marie Gail Stratford

‘Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town…’ – one of my very favorite cities in the world is featured this week. Long ago, I thought I might live there. I never was a fan of Midwestern winters, however. Nor their muggy summers. I hear there are about 3 weeks in April and October that are lovely…

Life changing things happen behind the many windows of a big city, hidden from view. Everybody has their own burden to bear, carried silently within.

Word count: 100

Overshadowed

Long shadows fell across the familiar buildings at day’s end. She’d leave her office once she’d composed herself, putting on a happier face to the world. For the moment, she let the news wash over her again.

Nothing to be done, really. She’d get up every day and face whatever needed to be done. The shape of her life had altered, the road ahead no longer endless.

Breathing deeply, she squared her shoulders and shook her head, wishing away the three words burning in her brain. Tonight, she’d live her life and enjoy the city.

Cancer could wait until tomorrow.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

Ted T
Photo Courtesy of Ted T

Beauty in the most unlikely places – this picture is all sorts of interesting. ‘Why?’ is the big question that comes to mind. ‘Why not?’ is the most likely answer. Sometimes you just don’t get to know. You just get to live it.

Word count: 99

Pottyville

Momma always said ‘bloom where you are planted’. She had no idea what that really meant.

Living on the streets as long as I have, I make my home wherever and however I can. Sometimes I imagine a place all mine, with windows and a garden and walls that don’t let the wind through. Dreams come easier when it’s dark and I can’t see the edges. Daylight brings it all back.

So I look at my garden and smile. The pansies dispel the gloom in spite of their unorthodox placement.

Momma would just love how I’ve embraced her motto.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

© Erin Leary