Call me Maybe

New story for Flash Fiction Friday

Grant Miller is the figurehead in charge of Grant Miller Media, a blog that offers everything from Practical Haikus to skewering satire and potty humor. I stumbled upon his blog many years ago and have been enchanted by his unique brand of wit ever since. He’s not the traditional type of guest moderator for this community, but I believe that he might kick a part of your imagination that you didn’t realize you had.

    When I asked him to moderate, he ran. He then came back with this challenge for you:

Prompt: Write a story that begins with this sentence: Call me Maybe.
Word Limit: 1,000 words
Deadline:  Wednesday, August 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Submission Instructions: Please post the name of your story and a link to it in the comments of this post.

I took it as punctuated, but only did a short piece, 417 words. I'm mainly focused now on an online course on Fantasy and Sci-fi, but wanted to get something in here.

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January cold, warm lips

Funny how we get spoiled by a few above normal days, then when the temperature becomes "seasonal" we sit and glare at the weather forecaster. And he/she is often apologetic about the coming bad weather - reinforcing the myth that it's all their fault. In Ottawa, cold weather means good conditions on the Rideau Canal Skateway, allegedly the world's longest. And apparently it's also one of the world's smoothest, now that the maintenance company has built a wide Zamboni-like machine to flood the ice every night. Now that my January cough has cleared up, I might actually get out and skate a few times. I had a cold that seemed to just hang in there for weeks, trying to decide where it wanted to settle. Runny nose, then stuffy nose, then dry cough, then congested cough - rinse and repeat - it wandered from place to place and then finally left. As with all colds, you're never sure if the cure was the unique set of remedies you chose, or if it was just a matter of time. In addition to the regular plenty of fluids and rest, I trioed throwing Vitamin C and Cold-FX at it. The literature seems to indicate that those have both made a difference in clinical trials. For some patients. So maybe they helped me, maybe they didn't, and any rate it's nice to be relatively healthy again and go for a walk without hacking and sniffing through crowds like a Typhoid Mary. Good to get out and about but also is enjoyable to see the snow from my apartment window, especially when someone else clears it all away from the driveway. There are some quirks living in an apartment, but there are also some real benefits. Especially when it's in such a great area.

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Merry Christmas - 2010

Merry Christmas to all out there on the Wide World Web. I've been on here a long time, my first access was subsidized dial-up via National Capital Freenet. Not sure how long ago that was, but my account is "only" ae237 and was using a DEC Vt-100 terminal and a 300 baud modem. Likely was sometime in the late 90's, I remember was mostly list-servers and forums online, but there was this exciting new thing called Mozilla - a browsing type interface for the internet.  And here we are now with smartphones and Twitter. Oh well, I'll have lots of stories for my grandson about the old days.

Lower pressure Christmas this year, as did the kid things two weeks early, so spreads it out a bit. I dropped in to say hi to my son at his work on Thursday, then went across the street to my local pub. Only a few there, I had a couple of pints of Bud Light and a serving of their excellent fries. April was at the bar - she bought us all a round of shooters. She made them with Butter ripple and Green Sourpuss something plus some other bits and pieces. Was a shooter so not to be sipped anyways - went down fine.

Walked home to relax and read for a while, then off to a party at a friend's condo downtown on Christmas Eve. I brought my tourtiere. Others selections there included pierogies, and a herring salad. Much better tasting than it sounded to me initially, seemed like a potato salad with lots of onion and bits of herring. People also brought some mini-quiches, an apple crumble, and various desserts. Good food, good conversation - thanks Anna.

Edit - just found out that the salad was herring, sliced onion, chopped apple, and sour cream. Recipe to follow. 

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Christmas Traditions - keep some, let some go

As your children grow up, and then as grandchildren start popping out, some traditions keep going, some have to change. 

We all develop traditions in our families, those various customs and beliefs that we follow and pass on - some lasting for generations, some for a few years. Some of these relate more to a specific date, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, some relate more to a function, like an annual trip to a cottage, but the strongest seem to relate to both. 

My family had our own traditions related to Christmas. Being Catholic, there was the mandatory Christmas Eve tradition of Midnight Mass. If we were up north for Christmas, in Kirkland Lake, we went with my grandparents to their church, the French Catholic one. It was the biggest one in town of course, high up on a rocky hill. We got a sermon in French and, back then, the rest of the Mass in Latin. Since I understood neither, and was never very religious, it was a pretty dull tradition for me. But it was important to my grandparents, and to God, so we went for their sake. n my late teens, after my grandmother died, my mother, "Uncle" Ted, and I started a new tradition - the Christmas Eve Moose Milk. That replaced the Midnight Mass, as we lacked both the motivation and the coordination to venture out. We also had Christmas stockings as kids, filled with trinkets and fruit, I assume had a pile of presents under the tree, and I seem to remember the all-you-can-eat Christmas Day dinner. Strange that I remember a lot of little moments from growing up, but nothing really about Christmas. I don't think it's anything like repressing memories - the Christmas of the fire, the year of the axe incident, the year we moved to Bolivia - none of those things happened. I think we just had regular everyday somewhat low key traditions. Other than the Memories of Moose Milk (sounds like an obscure Northern Ontario Presidents Choice recipe).  

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