Her vibrant petals
thriving, rich in attitude,
hold hidden secrets
Lauren Scott (c)
Her vibrant petals
thriving, rich in attitude,
hold hidden secrets
Lauren Scott (c)
5:30 am. A song from the old, but reliable Sony radio wakes my husband and I up on work-day mornings. Four years ago, getting up before the sun would’ve been unthinkable, insane. Too dark outside, too quiet. Just too early. Four years later, our minds and bodies have initiated this routine we’re still acquainting ourselves with.
When that song enters into our sleepy minds, whether it’s rock, pop, or country, a new morning has arrived and so has coffee time. One of us heads for the pantry, grabs a filter and the bag of Peet’s for the good old Mr. Coffee pot. It may not be fancy, but it does the job well and has never disappointed. The delicious sound of coffee percolating is music to our ears, and when that music ends, we stroll into the kitchen to doctor up our mugs. Holding those hot cups of coffee, we take a seat in the living room – a quiet place for us to chat, read, or to simply sit together in silence.
During those years of raising our children, time was of the essence. There were never enough minutes in the work and school days to begin with leisure coffee drinking and casual chatting. It was more of a race, eyeballing the clock on the wall every two seconds, getting ourselves and the children ready for the day. Busy was the new normal. Busy was our middle name.
Yesterday, my husband drove out of the driveway on his motorcycle, setting out for a 5-day trip with several buddies. But as I sit on my sofa, lights turned on, with mug of coffee in hand, I think of him. How this early morning feels different. Peet’s remains our go-to coffee, but the taste seems duller, the effect inadequate. The silence in the house, instead of serene, feels empty like something is missing. As I turn the pages of my book, the thrill of finding out what the next page reveals has fizzled.
I realize that our early mornings aren’t just about a good cup of coffee, they’re about us. So I sip the brew anyway, and in a few days, I look forward to hearing the motor of his bike as he pulls into our driveway.
“The simple things are also the extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
“Love is spending time together.”
Lauren Scott (c) ❤️
I opened the oven door with my young children peeking around me and we all laughed! Instead of the meringue cascading in still perfection, cracks engulfed every inch as though an earthquake rumbled over the top. Through giggles, we yelled, “The Earthquake cake!” A Blitz Torte. It was my dad’s favorite, stemming from past generations of his German heritage.
The memories! There was Mom, standing in the kitchen of dark wood cabinets, hand mixer purring as she blended the magical ingredients for dad’s birthday each year. Mixing up this feather-light textured cake was no simple culinary experience; separating egg yolks from their counterparts, the egg whites, was a step mastered with practice over time. The meringue topping had to be whipped to precision like an image of still cascading waves in the ocean. Having only attempted this recipe once with the result resembling the earth riddled in quakes, Mom and Dad cracked up when they saw the cracked-up cake! Hilarious to the eyes, but the slight almond crunch of the meringue and creamy texture of the custard filling decadently pleased our palates.
And then one day I tasted carrot cake – the mixture of spicy cinnamon, tangy crushed pineapple, shredded carrots, and crunchy walnuts immediately deemed this cake my utmost favorite. Add the smooth, delectable cream cheese frosting (that I could eat by the spoonful) and you have life’s essentials on a plate! And it’s advantageous that carrot cake counts as a vegetable in my kitchen.
It was the day of my bridal shower. I walked into my maid of honor’s home, instantly inhaling the spicy scent. Carrot cake! She knew me too well, and her mother created the best recipe. Our moms and all the girls were in dessert heaven with each bite of that delicious piece of art. And so, the top of my 5-layer wedding cake was carrot – it had to be that way for my special day. Fortunately, my husband was a fan, too!
My two teenagers on a spring March day pulled on their carrot-shredding gloves and presented to me their creation while belting out, “Happy birthday to you...” With its two uneven layers, it wasn’t pretty, but it brought on the biggest smile. Their efforts earned them an A+, and when I treated myself to that first bite, I tasted spicy, creamy excellence. With their love and thoughtfulness stirred into the process, satisfaction was redefined!
I often delve into the carrot shredding and cream cheese whisking myself, watching my family revel in each forkful of the sinfully delicious dessert. This recipe has become a treasure in my collection evoking these precious memories. Whether it’s a Blitz Torte bringing to life images of my parents who have since left our physical world or a Carrot Cake from wedding and birthday celebrations, the stroll down memory lane becomes more poignant with each new bite.
Lauren Scott (c) 2021
Header: My birthday carrot cake this year that a wonderful friend made for me. 🧡🧡
March 25, 2021
Dear Mom and Dad,
Guess what? Your baby girl turned 60! Can you believe it? 60 doesn’t feel different, but it sure has a more profound ring to it than 40 and 50 did. I suppose then it does feel different. It’s Thursday, and Matthew, Michael, and I took the day off. They surprised me with an adventure – a relaxing drive surrounded by lush rolling green hills, cows grazing, majestic redwoods, and the crashing waves and beauty of the Pacific. I loved sitting in the back of the Pilot, chauffeured, enjoying the gorgeous scenery. The weather couldn’t have been better – sun shining in all its glory and the sky blue as ever.
Lunch was enjoyed outdoors encircled by those redwoods. I splurged on a patty melt and thought of you, Dad. How you loved your patty melts and chocolate malts! Well, I skipped the malt and indulged in Chardonnay!
We stopped in Bodega Bay to browse a little, then we resumed on Highway 1 driving along the coast heading for home. A fabulous all-day adventure that continued into the evening with champagne and more surprises. Family and friends in TN. and So. Cal. celebrated via Facetime, phone calls, and text messages.
I’m sure you’re aware of the pandemic that has stricken the world for over a year now. Well, Matt and Michael wanted to throw a big party, but even though things have improved, a large gathering just wasn’t a good option this year. But for my second Covid birthday and this big milestone, my entire family and circle of friends made the day as special as perfection.
In the big picture, we’re all healthy and doing fine, so please don’t worry about us. I wish you had been here to join in the celebration, to enjoy some bubbly and that sinfully delicious carrot cake that a friend made for me – you know carrot cake’s my favorite and how it counts as a vegetable in my kitchen.
I just want you to know how much I miss you, how much we all miss you. And I knew you’d enjoy some snippets from my 60th. Mom, it’s okay to let those tears fall, and Dad, I can see you smiling. I know you’re happy to hear your family is ok! I’ll end this now before it becomes a novel, and before I liberate those tears, too.
Love you so much, Lauren (your baby girl) xoxo
“Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.“
I am still young at heart and happy to be alive!
And I am grateful for all of you! ❤️🎂🥂
I’m excited to tell you that my next book will be out later next month!!! A compilation of poetry from all seasons of life and short memoirs reflecting back on the years as my 60th approaches very soon. 😉
Life’s canvas has changed colors with the passing of my parents and our children well into their adulting years. My first-born will be 30 this year! How did that happen so fast? And with my husband and I discussing our next chapter when retirement arrives, exciting, scary, and adventurous times shine ahead!
Below are a few poems in my book just to give you a glimpse…
With childlike fascination,
I leaned against the door frame
watching her apply a little
powder to her nose,
a touch of red to her lips.
No more, no less.
She was flawless.
Then our eyes locked,
sharing an unspoken connection.
so I gently tucked
in a safe space
where I could
draw from it easily.
I’d love to share tales
of life she’s missing.
Perhaps, again someday.
I watch your car fade
into the sunrise
as distance broadens
to be unhindered.
We crave the chase.
When you capture yours,
hold it like a new puppy,
wiggling with excitement.
You are in my heart.
Feel the joy emanating.
You know the rain
Oh, but the magic
is knowing my love travels
wherever your dreams
may guide you.
On the little country road
to the country town we go
where hands on the clock
tick slow, slow, slow –
leading to reflection
of memories that flow
where thoughts transport
to a time that stays aglow.
Its canary boldness
rises to the sun
alone, yet not lonely,
but wearing bravery
on each petal –
standing tall with
strength in lean
green attire, as if
soaking up the day’s
Do you trust me? Will you
take my hand and let me
lead the way to a place
transcending the boundaries
of our reality? Let us get
lost in tranquility –
dancing to the majesty of
the surroundings, feeling the
rhythm vibrate through our
bones. For as long as our
hearts desire, this is our
destination. Time is but
a memory. Its existence
leaves no trace on the path
where we tread.
There is only you, me,
and the intensity of our
belonging to each other.
In the last difficult year, while I’ve heard that others have lost their inspiration to create, mine flowed like a raging river! I envisioned this book: mapping out the format, choosing writing pieces to include, then finally putting words into action. A long time coming since my last book was published in 2015. Seems like a hundred years ago. So, with new spring blooms follows the completion of another creative goal. One more box checked off!
KEEP YOUR VISION IN FOCUS AND PERSISTENCE EXERCISED!
I hope you continue to pursue your goals, checking off those boxes, as well. And if you are happy and willing to help promote my book, please let me know in the comments below.
HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY AND I WISH YOU AN ABUNDANCE OF POSSIBILITIES IN THE NEW SEASON TO COME.
~Lauren Scott (c) ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Photos: Google & my garden
There it is, every morning, just waiting for Donna’s acknowledgement. Its gold, shiny appearance is appealing, hard to ignore. She steps on it with bated breath, knowing that what she sees will steer her mood to one side or the other. Only once in a while does the pendulum stay centered. Will she feel happy enough to click her heels in the air? Or will those numbers be the catalyst to a self-degrading approach for another day? It’s an obsession difficult to break like a bad relationship. And yet, she hasn’t been able to muster up the courage to snub its magnetic lure.
Donna still cringes when she looks at old photos of her as a young chubby girl. One memory focuses on her ten-year-old self in the hospital having her tonsils taken out. After the procedure, she rested in the recovery room where there were other children. One red-haired boy her same age wore a wicked grin while calling her “fatso.” His hurtful words caused her to crumble into the white sterile bed sheets. Maybe this bullying sparked her insecurities, along with those extra childhood pounds that dogged her footsteps into adulthood.
All Donna needs is a truck load of willpower to shed the weight. Sometimes, she’s there, and sometimes she’s not. It’s no easy feat to gain a strong grip on self-discipline, as though she’s trying to keep a slippery fish in her hands. She’s always been an emotional eater. She’ll find something to munch for any reason: when she’s happy or fighting back tears, when she’s in a celebratory mood, or in a nail-biting situation. Whatever the emotion, food tempts her like a dangling carrot to a rabbit. But she doesn’t crave carrots. She craves chips.
What’s even more challenging is maintaining the weight once she’s lost it. Those pounds seem to conjure up a foolproof system for finding their way back to her. It’s a never-ending cycle while she allows her weight to determine how likable she appears to others. She lets those digits control her self-esteem. When will she see in her reflection the beautiful, green-eyed woman that others see? Society itself doesn’t persuade her into feeling this low about her body image. She knows when her body is healthy and when she’s taken a detour. It’s simply time for her to make better choices.
Someday Donna will transform her thoughts into action to shed the pounds. Until then, her obsession with the scale has to end. She considers tossing it out the window! Her family often tells her how she gifts kindness to others, so when will she offer that same compassion to herself? She wishes for the moment when she can look in the mirror and say, “You look awesome!” and mean those words with every ounce of sincerity.
“Baby steps”, Donna says. “It’s just a number.”
Lauren Scott (c) Fiction
Photo: Google images
Sarah gets ready for church each Sunday because attending deepens her faith. Just walking through the mahogany double doors causes worries to shed. She learns from the Word and singing songs of worship provides comfort. She believes because the evil in this world must be endured with a greater presence filled with compassion and love.
Peace stays nearby during somber times because of her faith. Yet, some people who attend in this sanctuary…they sing, they pledge, they sip coffee and chat during fellowship hour. But they are the reason she has one foot in and one foot out the door.
Lauren Scott (c)
Fiction – Drabble (100 words)
Featured photo/header: Google
He was about to walk out the door for work when I told him his tie was crooked. I thought I was doing him a favor. He took it the wrong way. That’s when he slapped me.
Mandy hid the journal on her side of the closet, high on the shelf in an old box where she kept childhood mementos. Rick didn’t care about her childhood. She knew he wouldn’t look there for any reason.
Her mind drifts to the wedding ceremony when Rick gently slipped the diamond-studded band on her ring finger – the adoring look in his eyes as they exchanged vows: to love, to cherish, to respect, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, ‘till death do us part…the last phrase brings chills to her skin. She didn’t notice any signs before their wedding day. How was this possible?
She wonders how she let herself be pulled into this marriage. In the beginning, love was what her heart and mind felt. She knew she had found the perfect partner as they planned their California May wedding. Rick helped choose the venue and the whimsical invitations as they perused numerous websites. He spoke with several florists on the phone about a spring selection that would meet her color choices of pink, lilac, and ivory. They skimmed through their music collection, searching for the song that would be perfect for their first dance. His actions portrayed the love she thought he felt for her.
Mandy had dreamed of a tropical honeymoon, so when they strolled hand in hand, feet sinking into the warm sand outside their Maui hotel room, she was living her dream. Candlelight across a table was the only thing that separated the two of them as they dined out each evening. And when they wanted privacy instead of sitting in a crowded restaurant, room service was delivered. The aqua water invited them in for snorkeling and swimming each day. Rick was perfect. They were perfect.
But after a couple of months of Mr. and Mrs., she no longer knew this man she lived with. It’s as though body snatchers transformed him into a completely different male specimen – not the man she fell in love with or who indulged in chocolate covered strawberries in bed.
The insults and criticisms began slowly with comments about her cooking and her weight. Then the hitting followed with a push of her shoulder, a slap across her face, to punches in her stomach. She iced the bruises. Took Advil for the pain. Rick wasn’t a drinker; alcohol wouldn’t be found in the house, so she couldn’t even indulge to numb the mental and physical agony. Long sleeves covered the effects of his violence on her arms and long pants did the same for her legs. No one would see her back and stomach since wearing a bathing suit in public was not in the foreseeable future. Then the physical abuse turned into control. He typed up her resignation letter for her teaching job because she was to stay home where a wife belongs. He restrained her like one would a dangerous animal. When he left for work each morning, Mandy was resigned to existing within the walls of their condo. When Rick voiced these demands, she could’ve spit nails but held her tongue.
As though being confined to her home wasn’t humiliating enough, Rick ensured Mandy had no contact with the outer world by disconnecting the home phone. She was only permitted to use her cell to answer his calls, but she was not to trouble him at work. As an upstanding police officer for the city, Rick’s schedule stayed busy trying to keep law and order in the bedroom community. He had little time for nonsense. Mandy was fully aware that if she called anyone or if someone contacted her, the cell phone bill would be her worst enemy. She wished she had her old iPhone with internet and texting capabilities. But no, he replaced it with an elementary phone for calls only. He was too damn smart, but she wouldn’t expect anything less being the police officer he was.
Sitting on her bed one morning, hearing the door lock click in place, Mandy is left alone to stare at the sun’s rays as they push through her window. Normally, she’d welcome their warmth and ability to lift spirits. Not today. She’s cold and clammy to the touch and she gives the tears permission to fall. Rick’s fatal threats hold her back from leaving him, along with that damn fear of wondering if he’d catch her once she bolts out the door. What scares her most of all is that her abusive husband is a cop. The irony. Her story doesn’t stand a chance. She didn’t invent this scenario; it’s as old as time.
She gets on with the day, walking into the kitchen to empty the trash – one of the chores Rick reminded her to do. Stepping out front to deposit the bag into their bin on the side of the house, she begins to sweat. Mississippi’s temperature rockets close to ninety degrees and ninety percent humidity, so she burns up in the long-sleeved tee. But she doesn’t dare get caught in short sleeves by Helen, the nice old lady next door. It happened once when Helen noticed the bruises on her arm and asked Mandy about them. She scrambled for a viable excuse: I was silly enough to try to move our TV and it fell on my arm! Helen bought it, or so she responded like she had.
Maybe it’s the long-sleeve on a ninety-degree day – a signal that indicated enough is enough. To see those blues and purples show up on her body have proven to be more painful than the pain itself. Shame takes up real estate in her mind, and yet, she knows she’s not to blame. She can’t put on the brakes to the bruising, but she does have choices. Choices that seem clearer than ever before. She won’t let him strip her of all dignity. Her escape would stamp an exclamation mark on the separation from him and his flood of invectives and physical abuse. She wants nothing more than to know he’s locked up in a cell. But how can she get away without him finding her? Blowing her nose and wiping her wet eyes, and even with the company of uncertainty, she asserts, I will not-die-on-his-watch!
Lauren Scott (c) 2021
Story photo and Feature image: Google
It’s a postage-stamp dwelling
with a few chips and dents,
but within the walls lie
giggles and imaginations.
Love enfolds itself
into every crevice…
a wealth much greater.
Lauren Scott (c)
wish there were more hours in a day? Sometimes, it’s difficult to fit in all that we strive to accomplish in that set of time. Some days and weeks pass by where nothing has been completed because of lazy moods or wallowing in self-pity.
Well, it’s important that we remember to…
make time to sit still…to think, to listen. Keep those dreams alive even when they fall to the wayside. Create new dreams, set new goals. When we keep the wheels turning in our head and work towards accomplishing a goal, there is little time for wallowing to become real estate in our minds. And working towards achievement implies always trying – standing tall when failure smacks us in the face.
Of course, we’re never too old to learn. So, keep reading, allowing your brain to be the sponge its meant to be. And where there is time to work, there must also be time to play – to release worries and let laughter and childlike wonder lead the way.
So, simply said, take time to grow and embrace each new life chapter. But whatever you do, don’t waste that precious time!
No stars are unreachable
No matter their height
No hope is invisible
No matter your plight
No dreams are unattainable
No matter how great
No burden is unmanageable
No matter its weight!
Lauren Scott (c)