Why I Plan To Read The Bible

I had no clue where to find Matthew when my aunt asked me to set her handheld, electronic Bible to the first chapter of that book before leaving after our visit today. “It’s the first book of the New Testament” she said as a means to help, but not realizing how little that meant to me. I don’t feel bad about not knowing how many clicks forward from Deuteronomy or back from Acts I would need in order to get her all queued up for tomorrow’s lesson. After all, the Bible really isn’t my thing.  And, although technology is my thing, her little gadget was just a simple black box with a couple of buttons, lacking amenities like a screen that could have displayed a table of contents and made the task much simpler for a King James novice like me. I managed to figure out the proper combination of key strokes to move between books rather than chapters within books and got on a roll. The deep, calming voice of the iBible began solemnly rattling off “Judges. Ruth. 1 Samuel…..Ezra. Nehemiah” and intermittently having its impecable pronunciation cut short by my frantic pressing of the downward facing arrow. “Am I going in the right direction?” Before she could answer, the speaker uttered “Job” and she told me to go ahead and stop there. I don’t know if she was just trying to give me a break or if something about the spoken-word trip through the old testament triggered a need to focus on that particular book. I’ve decided that I’ll ask her about it when I see her again next week.

Over the past couple of months I have been visiting my aunt in her adult foster home. I spent a good deal of time with her as a child, but we haven’t been a part of each other’s lives since. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve seen each other outside of funerals over the past 30 years, so finding talking points can often be difficult. There is only so much reminiscing that can be done to fill the time. Upon arriving for our visit today, I started with the usual inquiries like “How are you feeling?”  “What’s going on in the world that I should know about?” “Did you eat lunch yet?” She answered all of the questions, some with more gusto than others, but today would end up being about more than small talk.  I recently learned that she loved to write and that she even saw a few of her stories and poems published during the 1970s. I had those writings with me today. Since she is no longer able to see small print, I asked if she would like me to read them to her. “Yes, that would be nice” she said, still stunned that her sister-in-law had held onto the original publications all these years and then passed them along to me. Seeing her smile as she listened to the words she’d penned so long ago, discussing what had inspired them, and then sharing some of my own work with her made for a very special day.

So, what does my fumbling around in the Bible at the end of our visit have to do with this story?  Whether she was writing a poem celebrating the second coming or a short story that illustrated the kindness of strangers when her family was new to town and her father fell ill, my aunt’s work was inspired by her Christian faith, something that is almost totally foreign to me. I realized today that we have a real connection through writing and I’d like to foster that in any way I can. Who knows? If I study her book maybe we’ll have more to talk about or even write a story together. At the very least, I’ll be able to find the book of Matthew the next time she asks.

Flash Fiction

#3lineThursday Week Nineteen

The #3lineThursday challenge is to create a 3 line story based on the photo provided by Boris Boden, using no more than 10 words per line.  This is my entry:

Life cycles,

spinning through time, elements,

and seasons, too much.


I was thrilled yesterday to find that my story had been chosen as an honorable mention this week! Below are the kind words from judge Benjamin Grossman



Don’t Be Mine

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day as an adult. Sure, during my early twenties, before I came to believe that February 14th was no more than a day to get all “show offy” with romantic gestures because we had all been so crappy toward each other the rest of the year, I stressed over planning the perfect expression of my undying love, which usually manifested itself in the form of an overpriced dinner at a restaurant that made both me and my date completely uncomfortable paired with the obligatory flowers and chocolate. When I see those boxes of tooth shattering candy hearts with their sappy beseechings and earnest promises begin to takeover shelves and endcaps of every grocery store, I’m not overcome with a longing to wine and dine anyone; no offense to my partner. This year I discovered why I am so strongly indifferent to the holiday as it’s celebrated today and why I want something different.

The first thing that invaded my thoughts as I woke this morning was a note that was included in the Valentine care package my mom sent me when I was 24. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, it would be the last I would receive from her; less than a year later she would be rendered incapable of putting together care packages or writing notes. Somehow, despite the fact that I’m a fervently adept minimalist, this note managed to survive that time when I was unaware how important it would become and has made every move with me for the last 22 years.

valentine note

This note got me thinking about the Valentine’s Days of my childhood. It made me think about the year that Dad bought a single red rose for all three of his girls. It made me think about how Mom required that I bring a card for every student in my class, even those I didn’t like. “Yours may be the only card someone receives. Think about that.” she would tell me, needing no further explanation to make her point. It made me think about all of the special dinners Mom planned for us to share as a family. I’m sure there were times when Mom and Dad celebrated as a couple, but it always seemed more important to them that the holiday have a wider reach. It was a day to share with all your loved ones, not just your romantic partner. So, when Dad called to ask if he could take us all to brunch I guess it wasn’t surprising. It made perfect sense for my sister and I, our partners, Dad and his girlfriend, and our aunt to all share a meal today.

As we reminisced over old photographs of those family members who are no longer with us and laughed as long forgotten stories were remembered, I could feel Mom there too, urging us to make this our new Valentine’s Day tradition. I’m pretty sure she also told me to get a frame for that note if I intend to keep it from getting ruined.


Kid Memories

Finding Softball Diamonds in the Rough

I’ve been thinking a lot about softball lately. From that moment a few months ago when it popped into my head and gave me the name for this blog, to now as I sit here trying to find a story, the memories of my childhood passion are always ready to help.

I don’t recall what year it was exactly, late 70’s or early 80’s most likely. The Vancouver Girl’s Softball Association(VGSA) had finally secured a home of its own. A portion of the old Klineline sand and gravel pit land would be cleared to make way for the complex. In those early years, before there was money to pave the parking lot or even procure an official sign to mark the entrance, making our way into the facility felt like an off-road adventure.

Continue reading

Flash Fiction

Reel Them In

This is a submission for Monday’s Finish the Story challenge. Write a story of 100-150 words excluding the first line provided and incorporating the photo prompt.

fools lake

Copyright – Barbara W Beacham

Dropping her line into Fool’s Lake she patiently waited for something to bite, casting out the negative thoughts and doubts that constantly swam through her mind and nibbled at the edge of her consciousness. She had never tried her luck here before, always sticking with what she knew and using proven bait. As she teetered and swayed slightly, absorbing the waves of heat from overhead and begging for even the faintest ripple, time seemed to stop. Then, mercifully, the strike came. They laughed! This wasn’t just an obligatory,head shaking ‘Man, do I feel sorry for her’ type of chuckle either. The convention hall was filled with ‘I just about drowned in my cocktail’ kind of laughter. The joke she had worked on for weeks had hooked them. Now it was time to reel them in.

Click the frog to see stories from other writers who have accpeted the challenge this week and to submit your own.

Flash Fiction

An Audition to Remember

Friday Fictioneers is a writing challenge hosted by the talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Writers from near and far use the photo prompt provided to create a 100 word piece of fiction. Click the frog below this post to add your own story and check out everyone’s submissions.


Copyright – Melanie Greenwood

I seem to be seeing the brain, specifically my mom’s brain, in every challenge lately.


Her thoughts and movements were like a troupe of actors reinventing themselves, weaving through the maze of roles that were new and more difficult to them. Their greeness kept her trapped in a maddening script of continuous wrong turns. Lefts pretended to be rights and rights swore they were lefts. She shuffled and bumped into the shadowed corners of their stage, stuck until the faint memory shone through and illuminated her mark, briefly. When darkness returned, as it would today, tomorrow, and always, rehearsal began again. She’d practice, not knowing the curtain would fall before she ever perfected her part.