Pot-holes Abound~~by Christine Larsen

They loom up in the mists of passing time, unseen and unanticipated… until they trip you in unforeseen ways. After all, no-one promised a smooth path; far from it, especially when the path chosen is an extremely lonely one… in the middle of the night, when your ‘brave’ falters under the burden of pain.

Thankfully, no matter what transpires, I have no doubts, no insecurities about my firmest decision to reject all chemical and otherwise artificial therapies. Once all the the facts I could find were gathered, researched and deeply deliberated upon, I made my decision with no qualms, no doubts, no ‘second-guessing’ the rights or wrongs of my choices. What a blessing that is… for me.

If there had been any lingering doubts, they would have been swept away as clean as that outward draining away of the sea before it returns with the lethal tsunami. ‘By WHAT?!?’, you may ask. By a mistaken belief I had that I should take full blame for accepting (without double-checking) that the side effects of a doubled increase of a new pain relief would have fewer side effects. WRONG! The side effects were horrendous, resulting in the need for hospitalisation and best medical efforts to meet my needs. A return home to nurse myself back to my version of ‘good health’ is seeing me winning this particular battle; slow as… but winning! Some deeper testing in just over a week will reveal much about the continuing residual pain, and a video conferencing with a pain management specialist a week or two later may help us all find some more acceptable answers.

BUT… the best therapy known to Man and Beast is surely what I look forward to in just a a matter of hours now — a quality time ‘getaway’ with beloved family and friends at two favourite beachside towns (near to each other) — with absolutely nothing more important to do than share love and some nurturing of this tired soul, with some of my dearest folk. Hubby, Kanute, is in need too. He’s having a particularly nasty time with the pain and disabilities arthritis provide (most generously in this changeable and unseasonal weather). A huge relief to us both is that all our laying hens are re-homed in a loving environment at another farm, not so far away. And bitter-sweet (a particularly large pot-hole), our beautiful, but highly energetic and over-enthusiastic Kelpie dog has been re-homed there too. It’s a truly loving home and plans are afoot to have her trained as a full working dog (the thing she’s always wanted and needed all her life, both before and since we rescued her from a suburban backyard). Best of all, she loved her new ‘Dad’ from first meeting, and vice versa. But with the parting came another kind of pain altogether. It will lessen, but it is also s-l-o-w as …

Two of our loved ones we will be sharing that precious ‘quality’ time with have been working particularly hard in the last week or so and are also sorely in need of some loving ‘time out’. I see a massive re-charging of batteries taking place in the gorgeous surrounds of two most special seaside holiday spots. I flick the ‘memory’ switch for these two beloved corners of our Earth, and at the first one, I’m a little girl again, taking a ride on the upper deck of a horse-drawn tram across a long causeway to the aptly named ‘Granite Island’, across a mostly calm and pristine bay; and I have swum in a rocky little cove there on its calm side, and revelled in the views from its rough side with a view forever and ever across our great Southern Ocean; and walked the long and windy path around the island, happening upon penguins once upon a time, and ever enthralled by the amazing rock formations, and a myriad of old black and white photos of our family enjoying ourselves.

A much closer recall of the second vista also involves these massive granite rocks, several beautiful bays further along the same shore, this time in our earlier married days, pre-kids, when we were dairy farmers less than an hour away, and heard radio reports of one of the earlier ‘social’ visits of whales to this well-known point. When we arrived, cars filled every available space at the lookout, and many people (large and small) peppered every nook and cranny amongst the rocks,and over them, to watch one of these mighty creatures… sleeping! You could have heard a pin drop in between the amazing rumbles issuing from this giant… it was snoring! Floating gently backwards and forwards with a quiet tide, bumping against the massive granite formations and blending with them as if it was just one more… it’s shine was the only giveaway.

Whilst I don’t imagine our current visit to embrace these small miracles of Nature again, a whole different one will be happening, with a special sharing of love and healing, that can only happen amongst people who care deeply for each other. Once again, as I’m sure many have already heard me say,

‘No matter what is taken from you in this Life, something SO bright and beautiful will be yours to compensate… in ways you cannot imagine.’


OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.

Christine contributed A Bonny Wee Lassie to the One Million Project: Fiction anthology.

To find out more about Christine and her work:

ceedee moodling  (Christine’s website)

Christine Larsen, Author

 – on Wattpad

–  on Facebook

– on Tablo

– on Amazon

Old McLarsen had some Farms (farming memoirs)

ceedee4kids (Christine’s children’s book site)


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology

Archives of Memory~~by John Nedwill

At the end of August I went to the Museum of Making in Derby. This was once known as the Silk Mill Industrial Museum, and had been built on the site of the Lombe Mill by the banks of the River Derwent. The Lombe Mill has a long history. It was opened in 1721 and was one of the first manufactories in England. In 1834 it was the birthplace of the trade union movement. During the 19th century the mill fell into disrepair, but in the 1920s it was taken over by the newly-formed local electricity board to act as a support building for Derby’s first power station. In 1975 the local council took it over and turned it into the Silk Mill Industrial Museum.

The last time I visited the museum – just before it closed in 2015 – it was a tired building. Many of the exhibits were static and uninspiring. There were displays of old engines that had bee made by Rolls-Royce in the local works. A few displays told the story of the now defunct railway works. Upstairs, the exhibits that had been designed to appeal to the children of the 1970s and 1980s were covered in dust and neglect. The austerity measures forced on the local council had forced them to reduce funding and divert it towards the more central – and more popular – Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Dead metal and old plaques were no match for Egyptian mummies and Scottish soldiers in the eyes of the local children. Promises were made that the old Silk Mill would reopen, but no date was given.

Six years later, the Silk Mill finally reopened. The building had been refurbished and cleaned up. Old rooms had been reopened, redecorated and repurposed. New displays had been made to show Derby’s place in the world and to celebrate the history of making and creativity that had grown up in the town. But these to me were just sterile and showed only a fraction of what had been in the original museum. With their flashing lights and screens they would appeal to children, but only for a moment.

Then I went upstairs.

It looked like somebody had taken the debris of 300 years from the attics of the town and spread it through the building. Old cabinets held strange models of aircraft and trains. Instruction manuals for long-forgotten pieces of machinery had been stacked next to racks of lithographed maps and technical drawings. Everywhere I looked, my eye was drawn to something. But what was I looking at? I had no idea.

“Can I help?” A woman wearing a badge with ‘Explainer’ written on it looked at me.

“Yes,” I said. “What is this place?”

She took me to a touchscreen. “Here,” she said. “We’re digitising the archives. You can look for things by a keyword or you can put in the location you found something in.” She pointed at the letters and numbers that hung from the ceiling and the racks. “The system will tell you about it.”

I thought about one of the models that I had seen in a wooden cabinet and typed in the location code. The screen displayed a blank form. The guide smiled in apology. “It’s going to take a while to get everything in the system. But we will get it in place. And then we’ll invite people to add their own stories about these things so everybody can read them. If you come back in a month, there should be some more things in the archive.”

I looked at the long loft where great machines had once twisted silk skeins into threads, ready to be woven into cloth, and I saw the place with new respect. Here was a place to come and look, to investigate and discover. Here was a place to be inspired. It was a proper museum. “I’ll definitely be back,” I said.


OMP Admin Note:  John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger.  His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.


Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers are now available (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.

Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.

LINKS

myBook.to/OMPThriller

myBook.to/OMPFantasy

myBook.to/OMPFiction

myBook.to/OMPVarietyAnthology