Flash: Crystal

Her laughter, the tinkling of the crystal chandelier as the breeze played through it each time the door opened; she drew all eyes in the room without conscious thought. Waiters stumbled over themselves bringing her another flute of champagne, another tray of hors d’oeuvre to select from with her perfectly manicured fingers.

She was once one of them; they remembered her. She gently smiled and thanked them, then searched the room. Whom would she allow a dance tonight, to hold her close to beg her favor? The room held its collective breath, anticipation palpable.

True crooked her finger and danced.

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Crystal. The word limit is 100 words. This one comes in at 100.

Hashtags: #flashfiction #getpublished with @RedmundPro

What I Learned

Well it is time to finish up with the Minnesota trip, it was fabulous; great fun, great people and really two truly wonderful causes to support and talk about. I don’t want to end this on a sad or terrible note; however, I think it is important to remind everyone why we went to Minnesota, why we walked in the cold and the rain.

Kay Marie Sisto

Kay Marie Sisto

We walked in memory of Kay, one victim of domestic violence who lost her life. Please visit her sister Kim at My Inner Chick to learn more.

Some terrible facts about domestic violence, why this is important to support solutions and an end:

  • One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Nearly one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
  • Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of all battering relationships.
  • 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked in their lifetime.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. 1

These are just some of the cold facts of domestic violence, for more read the domestic violence fact sheet. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help there are resources available. If you know someone who is at risk, please reach out to them, assistance is available.

We learned the power of life through organ donation over this weekend also. We met Ed Dean, who received Kay’s lungs, saving his life. He drove twelve hours with his family to meet Kay’s family, walk in memorial, pray at her grave in thanks. It was a powerful testimony. If you aren’t an organ donor, please consider it there is so much need.

Mr. Ed Dean praying at Kay's Grave

Mr. Ed Dean praying at Kay’s Grave

What else did we learn and see?

Here are the last of the pictures from our four-day extravaganza in the great state of Minnesota.

We learned people still live in little red and white trailers. Even in the cold, the young man we suspect lived in this one was under the shelter with his computer, guess he didn’t get good reception inside. Isn’t this adorable?

Not a little red corvette

Not a little red corvette

We learned shopkeepers in Duluth are funny, just go ahead and shoplift in this store why don’t you? Prosecute and advertise!

Bad Criminals!

Bad Criminals!

We learned Red likes Moose chairs, isn’t she adorable? Please pay a visit the esteemed Red and her blog about the trip here.

A Throne for Red

A Throne for Red

We learned even wet and cold we can still smile!

To the end, dammit

To the end, dammit

We learned dinner with friends, both old and new makes things nearly perfect.

Friends, new and old

Friends, new and old

Thank you Kim, for the opportunity to participate and contribute; you welcomed us with open arms and made us feel part of a wonderful group of family and friends. Your warmth and hospitality made the trip so much grander than it already was just because we were supporting a cause close to both our hearts.

What I learned? Sometimes it is better to get outside of myself, outside of my comfort zone, let my walls down and reach out beyond the security of my electronic home (blog, internet) to the real people who make up my world. They are worth it, they are fabulous.

1 http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

http://www.nnedv.org/resources/stats.html

http://donatelife.net/understanding-donation/statistics/

http://www.ncadv.org/

You Want to Go Where?

Minneapolis is the home to one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Jax Café. Having done several projects in Minneapolis I was determined to spend one night in town before heading to Duluth, catch up with a couple of old friends and have dinner at Jax.

My favorite place to eat, anywhere

My favorite place to eat, anywhere

I arranged my flights to insure I would have plenty of time, even with a slight delay of getting to the hotel, showering and getting over to the restaurant in time.

Dinner was fabulous! I knew everyone of course, but not everyone knew each other, they met that night. Conversation flowed with ease and we sat for hours over our meal and then over coffee. One of the reasons I love this marvelous restaurant, they do not rush you through the meal instead encourage you to stay. What a wonderful night.

Next up, we had the entire day on Friday to do anything we wanted, dinner was planned in Duluth with Kim and family for 7pm and it was approximately a two-hour drive from Minneapolis. Hmmmm, what could we do to fill the hours? Well, if you are Red and Val you drive South to the Spam Museum! That is right boys and girls, after a night of refined dinning and great conversation, what you really want to do is jump in your rental car and go to the one and only Spam Museum, why not.

There and Back Again

There and Back Again

With a bit of side trip, looking for lakes, rivers and other photo worthy items we saw this!

Red considering the consequences

Red considering the consequences

We also saw these, Red was surprised by the lack of flat terrain but finally remembered Minnesota was the home of Little House on the Prairie.

Catching the wind

Catching the wind

Finally, we arrived at our destination and it was well worth the trip.

It really is the Spam Museum

It really is the Spam Museum

Spam Curds?

Spam Curds?

Where it starts, hogs

Where it starts, hogs

Really a Spam Wall

Really a Spam Wall

Oh my what will people think

Oh my what will people think

Can you guess?

Can you guess?

Conveyor ran throughout the museum

Conveyor ran throughout the museum

Pig Door to Spam Theater

Pig Door to Spam Theater

Of course, we now had to turn around and drive nearly five hours back through Minneapolis (in rush hour traffic on a Friday) to make dinner in Duluth!

More pics and adventures tomorrow.

Walking in the Rain

According to my sister in spirit, Red of the M3 fame, we might have discovered the secret of eternal youth. Yes, it is true good works and a good drenching seems to be the two key ingredients necessary! Of course, perhaps it was the cold the really truly unbelievable nearly 40 degree below my norm cold that added to my youthful enthusiasm to walk 5K for a good cause.

This weekend Red and I made our way from our respective Southern climes (think warm) to the great northlands of Minnesota, Duluth to be precise. What the hell? You would be right to ask, good question. It was all for a good cause. Duluth has certainly failed to make the transition to summer I will tell you, however even had it been colder than it was at 47⁰ I would have still bundled my happy ass up and shown up.

I met Kim Robinson of My Inner Chick via blogging; she is a spectacular woman with a loud and wonderful voice. On May 26, 2010 her sister Kay was murdered by her then estranged husband, since that time Kim has been an postcard picture2activist voice against Domestic Violence in Duluth. Every year to raise money and awareness the Kay Marie Sisto Memorial Walk / Run / Roll to End Domestic Violence is held. This year we showed up and the man who received Kay’s lungs, with his family did as well. I suspect for Kim and her family this was far more meaningful, Mr. Dean lives on, reached out to Kim and the rest of the family to say thank you for his life and now is walking to honor Kay (you can see some of the interviews in the links below).

The walk was held on June 1, 2013, the first day of summer. The temperature in Dallas that day was 89⁰, my kind of day. On the other hand, the temperature in Duluth did not rise above 51⁰; you would have a hard time convincing me it got that warm. We arrived, without much difficulty at the park and collected our wonderful goody bags, hugged Kim and prepared for our walk. I had my camera with me knowing I would be walking slowly, might as well take advantage of the nature trail. Kim told us last year it was raining, with a glance at the sky and the hanging cloud cover I thought, “hmmm, wonder if it won’t start again this year.” I kept this thought to myself, no need to curse the walk and walkers before we get started.

Runners up first, after speeches and the bell ringing off they go. Next up are the walkers, we were the last to leave; no sense holding people up with our slow selves. The trail was a real nature trail, beautiful but uneven and for me a bit of a challenge. Never mind, it was a good walk for a great cause, I continued to say this to myself with each uneven step. We made it to the comfort station and they had Reese’s Peanut butter Cups! This was the halfway point, I was I admit proud of myself. We took a quick comfort break then continued on.

What do you think was next on our walk? Nearly to the end, we could see it truly, people were turning the corner at this point. Oh yeah, the dreaded first drops of rain. I wasn’t wrong those clouds had been full of rain and were just waiting for us to be all the way at the end before opening up. The return walk was miserably cold and wet, uneven footing, drenching cold rain and just a bit of a wind to insure that cold went through to your skin and bones.

Never mind, it was for a good cause! I am so glad I did this. Below are some of the pictures I took during the Duluth trip hope you enjoy!

Bridge view from hotel morning of walk.

Bridge view from hotel morning of walk.

Sunk in bay, note the fog

Sunk in bay, note the fog

Mr. Dean, having rung the bell for Kay

Mr. Dean, having rung the bell for Kay

Anyone guess how hard this was for me?

Anyone guess how hard this was for me?

Red before the rain

Red before the rain

A burst of Spring

A burst of Spring

View of the River

View of the River

My reward from Kim

My reward from Kim

The fabulous Kim of My Inner Chick fame

The fabulous Kim of My Inner Chick fame

I will post a couple of more on this trip, there is more to tell. It was a great trip.

http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Michigan-Man-Walks-in-Honor-of-Woman-who-Saved-h-209798561.html

http://fox21online.com/news/video/kay-sistos-memory-lives-many-ways

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52070890#.UatCqUC-2uI

http://www.northlandrunner.com/run?page=Race&raceId=285

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/198945/group/scrapbook/

Flash: Parboil

Heat rises in waves from parched ground, as far as the eye can see the land cracks in spider web patterns, nearly shattered. The only thing interrupting the desolation of the featureless landscape is the asphalt of the two-lane highway splitting the desert in half and continuing into the far horizon before him. The sun has only been up an hour, he has to make it through to the next town before the worst of the day heat hits.

‘Why did he think this metal deathtrap would make it across hell in high summer?’

The sun higher in the sky the car rattles in protest, steam rising from under the hood. His skin prickles with heat; sweat trickles down his back and pools on the seat. With a last rattle, the car comes to a standstill.

‘That’s it; I will parboil in my own sweat what an end.’

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Parboil. The word limit is 150 words. This one comes in at 148.

Hashtags: #flashfiction #getpublished

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