Freshly Pegged – Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

Have you ever sent a post out into the blogosphere, absolutely convinced it was going to be Freshly Pressed? And then it wasn’t?

You’re not alone.freshlypegged2

I’ve asked some fantastic bloggers to select the post that had them muttering,”THIS One Should Have Been Freshly Pressed.” A new blogger is featured each week to receive the coveted Freshly Pegged distinction. Participants will be awarded a genuine, simulated “Freshly Pegged” JPEG badge, suitable for posting in a place of honor on their blogs. Or not.

Be sure to read all the great Freshly Pegged offerings to date. But before you do, let’s check out…

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Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly.   Lenore’s tagline says “babbling like a brook”, but I’ve never found her to be a babbler.  In fact, her Friday Drabbles are downright succinct!

She blogs about a wide range of subjects (among them a serious Ben & Jerry’s addiction,) but Lenore is probably best known for her great photos.  She runs a weekly feature of What-the-heck-is-that? picture puzzles that will leave you scratching your head.  Last year she took on Project 366: A Photo A Day challenge that would have put a lesser woman in a coma.  Her photos often feature her favorite subjects: her two, adorable sons.  Those little imps became my favorites, too.

Get to know Lenore Diane, right after you read…

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The Healing House :: A Work of Fiction

I can feel my head starting to clear, as I pull the car over and park. Coming here is like pressing a reset button for my day. Looking at my grandparent’s old house across the street, I let my mind take me back to my childhood.

There was my grandmother, sitting on the steps, waiting for our arrival. Through the screen door, I could see and hear my grandfather, flailing his arms around and griping about something.

I remembered my grandmother’s big smile, when we pulled into the driveway. She’d wipe her hands on her apron and run to us with her arms wide open and ready for hugs.

After the hugging, we walked in to the house, letting the screen door slam behind us. My grandfather would bark, “How many times do I have to tell you … don’t let the screen door slam shut!”

“Oh Grumpy Gus,” my grandmother would say to him. “That’s the sound of visitors.”

“Yes, well, the visitors can close doors quietly, too.” He’d chuckle, while walking into the living room to greet us.

My grandparents died over 10 years ago. Their house sits abandoned, heavily aged due to neglect. Their children, my Mom, two Uncles and an Aunt, are too old to care for it; and the busy life of their grandchildren, my cousins and me, keeps them from breathing life back into the place. No one wants to let go of the property, though. The memories are too strong. Personally, the spirit of this house counsels me through the times when I let my anger get the best of me.

“Anger is exhausting, Thelma.” Grammy would say to me. “Use your power to zap the anger, don’t let the anger zap you.”

My grandmother spent years watching anger zap Grampy. He earned his title ‘Grumpy Gus’ honestly, though his real name was Gerald, not Gus.

When I was really young, I remembered Grampy being a cranky man. I didn’t fear Grampy, but I didn’t go out of my way to spend time with him, either. By the time I was a teenager, my grandfather was a changed man. Any griping or groaning he did was done in jest.

While still young enough to get away with it, I remember asking Grampy what happened. “How come you’re not cranky anymore?” I asked. He laughed out loud and said Grammy told him he had better get over himself or else she was going to leave him. I knew that wasn’t true, but I also knew I wasn’t going to get anything else out of him.

Grammy told me stories about how Grampy would get so overcome with his anger; he’d end up passing out like a man who had spent the day drinking. “Oh, he was never a threat to no one.” Grammy said. “Except the rocks, he sure kicked the heck out of the rocks. In fact, once he kicked a big rock so hard, he broke his toe. Oh Lord, that made him even madder.”

Grammy didn’t recall one specific event that changed Grampy. She said he just passed out after a fit one night and woke the next day determined to never let it happen again.

“Oh, he’d still get upset.” She said. “But, never again did he let the anger get the best of him. He found the strength to zap the anger before it zapped him.”

Unlike my grandfather, I am still a work in progress. My grandmother was always there to encourage me during my fits, and she always told me she knew I’d overpower the anger eventually.

Sometimes, like today, when anger’s energy seems to be getting the best of me, I return here, to their house. I don’t find Grammy sitting on the front steps, and I don’t see her big grin and open arms; but, I feel her energy, and her energy always overpowers my anger.

Suddenly, I notice a glimmer of sunlight shining through the living room window, and I feel a surge of energy come over me. I smile and say to myself, “I hear you Grammy.”

I reach for my cell phone and call my husband, “Honey,” I begin. “It’s time to bring this house back to life.”

.|.

Please note: this is a work of fiction.

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R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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47 Responses to Freshly Pegged – Lenore’s Thoughts Exactly

  1. Pingback: Wednesday’s “What is it?” and Freshly Pegged | Lenore's Thoughts Exactly

  2. Lovely piece – I wanted it to be a real story. That’s when you know it’s good fiction!

    Like

  3. Al says:

    That story was so vivid, I saw me and my own grandparents inside that house. Ah….the smell of those sugar cookies baking….

    Like

  4. Lenore! Okay, I would have been bitter about this, too. It should have been Freshly Pressed twice. 😉

    Like

  5. That it was fiction turned out to be a real kick in my gonads, but a lovely piece worthy of attention nonetheless.

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Sorry for the kick, Don. I hope you’ll recover. I am glad you enjoyed this piece. It is one of my personal favorites. I was thrilled when Peg gave me the opportunity to share it with a wider audience.

      Like

      • I really did enjoy it. I could just see grandma waiting on that porch like mine always used to and I was thinking wow, what a shame nobody is fixing that house up, it’s a great little place. I’ll recover though; I promise!

        Like

        • Lenore Diane says:

          For what it is worth… I believe they are starting to fix up the place. I pass by the house on a daily basis, and I noticed they fixed the porch, and they are fixing the siding. I have hope life will once again exist in the house.

          Like

  6. pegoleg says:

    I’m delighted to have Miss Lenore here today, spiffing up the place with her good words and lovely photos. Thanks so much!

    Like

  7. How did I miss this the first time around? So glad I caught it here. It made me a bit teary eyed, like I was sitting right there as you told me about Grandma, Grumpy Grandpa (changed) and the house. The cell phone call at the end…nicely done…good writing. What a gracious hostess, Peg is. Well deserved recognition “for a wider audience.”

    Like

  8. winsomebella says:

    Good characters for a house with character!

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Thank you, Stacia. I have high hopes for the house, because the owners seem to be breathing a bit of life into it. I never tire of seeing the place on my way to and from errands.

      Like

  9. omawarisan says:

    Not sure how they miss Lenore in general, but this one, wow.

    Like

  10. Lenore, you totally had me! Great writing. Congrats on the Freshly Pegged, well deserved!

    Like

  11. Elyse says:

    Oh I am feeling so warm and fuzzy — not angry at all that this wasn’t Freshly Pressed. Because you got the better honor of being Freshly Pegged.

    Lovely writing. Great story. Will your grandparents adopt me? Or maybe my grumpy gus husband.

    Like

  12. Such a great piece… I still remember this (and that’s saying something because my memory is… wait… what was I saying?)!
    I also remember how surprised I was to learn that this was a work of fiction… it just ‘feels’ so ‘real’… it reads like something that almost had to have been experienced in person!!!
    🙂

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Robert, I’m happy you remembered this post. That means a great deal to me. The house told the story, and I just wrote down what I heard. Who knows – maybe what I wrote was a true story for the family that lived in the house. Cue “Twilight Zone” music. 🙂

      Like

  13. Angel says:

    Great story Lenore!!!
    I think fiction is so hard to write. You’re doing great.

    Like

  14. amelie88 says:

    Out of curiosity, does anybody actually live in this house? Is it close to where you live? Sure is a fantastic fictional story to go along with this real house.

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Yes, the house is real. (smile) It sits next to a main road I take on a daily basis. The family that owns the house has a history in the neighborhood, and it is my understanding the city and the family are trying to get it back into good shape. As it stands now, no one lives in the home.
      The house continues to spark stories in my head.

      Like

  15. Laura says:

    This really does feel real. I get that the story is fiction, but what about the pictures? Are those actual before-and-after shots, or is one of them photoshopped?

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      The photos are real – no photoshop used. Since I originally took those pictures, the right side of the porch has been repaired, and the right side of the house (not pictured) has new siding. The house is a work in progress with regards to repairs. And, the house continues to inspire many stories in my head. Maybe one day I will meet the family that owns the house.

      Like

  16. A wonderful story, was wishing it was real because it reminded me of my grandparents and I wanted to hear more and see the house come alive. So glad it was Freshly Pegged otherwise I might never have discovered it 🙂

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Thank you for your compliment. I am very grateful Peg gave me the opportunity to share this with her folks. I see the house on a daily basis, and I’ve heard they are trying to ‘bring it back’. As I mentioned to someone else, I hope to meet the family in the future. Until then, the house still ‘speaks’ to me.

      Like

  17. This is a wonderful story and I too was disappointed it wasn’t real. The photo of the house really does tell the story. It isn’t hard to imagine it alive with Grumpy Gus and Grammy.

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Isn’t it neat how a house can tell a story? Driving by the house is one of my daily highlights. It is full of life, without a single soul occupying it.I am glad you liked the story.

      Like

  18. Well said, Lenore! As others have commented, it sure felt “real” to me. And, I know what you mean about homes having spirit and memories. Our family moved out of the big, rambling family home, after 45 years living there, about 5 years ago. It was too much for our parents, with the stairs and no way to move bedrooms to the first floor.

    Someone did buy the house, a couple, and they live in it now. Still, every time I’m in BC, I try to drive by the Lincoln house. So many memories there…

    Like

    • Lenore Diane says:

      Oh goodness, There-Sa… was it hard to let go of it? My heart goes out to you. And, I am sure, you could tell quite a few stories of your own. I hope the family that lives there now appreciate the history that occurred over 45 yrs. That’s amazing to me. Thank you for visiting Peg’s place and reading my story.

      Like

  19. Pleun says:

    Hi Lenore, nice to meet you. I too thought it was real! I can totally see this happen. Lovely house by the way, it deserves someone to bring it back to life.

    Like

  20. Lenore Diane says:

    Hello Pleun, I am glad you liked the story. The house is wonderful. Should they ever really bring it back to life, I will share the pictures of its new life.

    Like

  21. What marvelous storytelling, how perfectly fit to the picture. Freshly Pegged is better! Thanks for bringing this wonderful piece and introducing Lenore to those of us who were not aware before.

    Like

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