Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 6 – A Gift and a Hint

Courtesy of Pixabay

On the morning of their departure, a mysterious gift was found on the front porch. A slightly torn produce basket with Cokes, peanuts and Moon Pies. A scribbled note bid a ‘goodbye, y’all come back soon’ but wasn’t signed. Maybe it was a neighbor who lived there year round. How thoughtful mountain folk are!

As the convertible drove down the gravel road, they saw a snow-headed lady bent over a broom sweeping rocks away from her dirt path. She smiled at the departing visitors, and they waved while eating their Moon Pies. Peanuts were spewed from the Cokes as the car hit a tree root in the road. Justyna turned on the radio but only got static so she started singing, “Pardon me, boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo”, and all joined in, but not in harmony.

“Is that a hint?” Bobbie Ann inquired.

“Are we going to Chattanooga?” Margarida’s eyebrows stood at attention.

“Do I need to put a reminder on the calendar?” Shirley’s voice is always loud when she’s excited.

“Maybe next time.” Justyna winked.


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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 5 – Dinner and Dessert

Courtesy of Pixabay

Four tired river girls took a short nap when they got back to their cabin. It was a fun adventure to mark off their bucket list. They drew straws to see who was preparing lunch that afternoon. Poor Bobbie Ann got the short straw. “I don’t know ‘nuthin’ about cooking, so y’all are gonna starve!”

“Just surprise us and do the best you can,” Shirley smiled encouraging her.

Shirley set the table with plastic plates, paper towels and sweet tea with a lemon slice on each glass rim. Everyone sat down placing a paper towel in their laps. Anticipating heartburn, Justyna placed a bottle of Tums on the table just in case.

Bobbie Ann had an apron on over her purple jogging suit and wore a fresh daisy chain crown. With a waitress attitude and towel across her arm, she placed a milk glass pedestal cake stand in the center of the table. As she lifted the aluminum cake cover, a stack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches neatly cut into triangles stared back at them. Some had strawberry preserves and others had orange marmalade. In her boss-mother voice, she said, “If you eat all of your supper, we will make peach ice cream later.”

Gathering on the front porch about 8 o’clock that night, they took turns cranking, adding ice and sprinkling rock salt into the rickety wooden ice cream maker. The milk and sugar and peaches blended thickening the tasty treat. They let it set up awhile and listened to the frogs and crickets sing. A natural symphony was the best way to end the day, and the girls could faintly hear them as they drifted off to sleep. Hoping the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would get along with the peach ice cream in their stomachs, and let everyone sleep peacefully.

… stay tuned for Part 6 – A Gift and a Hint

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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 4 – Camp Food and River Fun

Courtesy of Pixabay

Breakfast was prepared by Justyna the next morning. Everyone woke up smelling coffee and bacon, but they didn’t find it in the kitchen. The back porch screen door was unlocked, and they walked out to find her cooking eggs and toast over a small campfire. They sat on fallen logs and rocks by the creek and sipped coffee from tin mugs. “I am beginning to enjoy the slow pace here in the woods,” Bobbie Ann admitted, sharing the last piece of bacon with Margarida.

The girls took the shuttle bus from the General Store to the rafting outpost. Slipping carefully into their inner tubes, they flirted with the college boys who held their hands. Margarida told them she couldn’t wait to go home and tell her husband that she shot the ‘Hooch.

“What does that mean?” Shirley was confused at the jargon.

“It means you went rafting down the Chattahoochee River.” Margarida laughed.

Bobbie Ann fibbed to a silver fox when her tube bumped his, “They’re a lot older than me. I’m their younger chaperone.” The man’s eyes squinted in the sunlight, and she whispered to Justyna, “He’s winking at me.”

… stay tuned for Part 5 – Dinner and Dessert

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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 3 – Fried Chicken and Bingo

Courtesy of Pixabay

Shirley fried chicken for dinner and made potato salad. Justyna sliced tomatoes and cucumbers left on the counter by the previous guests. Bobbie Ann brought a loaf of bread and stick of butter to the old wooden table with the lace tablecloth. Sweet tea and glasses full of ice cubes were on a tray. The girls floated their flowered crowns in a crystal bowl in the center of the table. Joining hands around the table, Margarida said Grace.

God is great.
God is good.
Let us thank him for our food.
By his hands we are fed.
We thank you for our daily bread.

Shirley borrowed a Bingo game from the retirement home and spread it all out as soon as the table was cleared of food. Justyna and Margarida volunteered to wash and dry the dishes hoping to avoid Bingo. They admitted they had never played the childhood game before. The simplicity of calling numbers and letters was explained to them, and the evening was spent playing the game. The prize was announced by Bobbie Ann, “The one who wins the most Bingo games gets to sleep in the big bedroom.” The other bedroom had three cots with single mattresses, so that prize appealed to all of their aching joints that night.

After six games, there was a tie between Justyna and Shirley. The winner was decided by a coin toss, and the bedroom was won by Shirley. Everyone applauded her for winning knowing that it would be luxurious for her to sleep in the full-sized bed after sleeping in a twin bed all the time at the retirement home.

… stay tuned for Part 4 – Camp Food and River Fun

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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 2 – Billboards and Gemstones

Courtesy of Pixabay

A billboard signaled the growling stomachs that a drive-in was one mile around the curve. Jimmy D’s subtitle read, “Third cousin of Mickey D.” Teenagers in farmer’s clothing and straw hats roller skated their order to the car. One BLT sandwich, one tomato sandwich, and two egg and sausage biscuits. Black coffee for everyone.

Twenty miles down the two-lane road, another billboard beckoned to “STOP! Pan for gold now!” They watched people panning but not finding any gold. Shirley went inside the gift shop and bought gemstones for her friends.

“Ohh… thanks. I’ve always wanted a rock,” smirked Bobbie Ann. The only rocks she ever knew personally were her diamonds and sapphires.

Shirley explained the meaning of each stone. “The pink quartz is for Justyna and means compassion. Amethyst for Bobbie Ann means balance. Margarida gets the hematite for courage.”

“Which one did you get, Shirley?” Margarida asked.

“Mine is amazonite for confidence,” she said tucking in her stomach and sticking out her chest.

Upon arrival at the cabin near the creek, Margarida wandered toward the woods. She picked asters, milkweed, marigolds and coneflowers. Margarida taught everyone how to make a flower chain with wildflowers and crowned each friend. As she placed the floral crown on a head, she christened the girl.

Shirley was Meadow
Justyna was Serenity
Bobbie Ann was Harmony

… stay tuned for Part 3 – Fried Chicken and Bingo

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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Part 1 – Mountain Bound

Courtesy of Pixabay

The girls went to the mountains in North Georgia for the weekend. The quaint alpine town of Helen was a favorite, so they decided to go back. Justyna volunteered to chauffeur in her new convertible. Everyone was surprised when she picked them up because it wasn’t fancy or shiny new.

“I thought you said you bought a new car, “Bobbie Ann smiled.

“It is new to me,” winked Justyna.

“Now I know why they call them ragtops,” Margarida smirked.

“Don’t worry. We’re fine as long as it doesn’t rain, and the forecast looks great!” Justyna sounded confident as she tried to reattach the broken door handle on the passenger side.

“I told Shirley to wait near the entrance for us to pick her up,” Bobbie Ann said, as they put their duffle bags in the trunk. Justyna drove to the Shady Acres Retirement Home nearby and saw her waving them down with both arms back and forth. She has lost a lot of weight since moving there, but she smiles a lot more than she did when living alone. They were glad to see her happy again.

All of them despised the expressway and street racers, so they always take the slow, scenic route. Country roads that made Shirley wish she was on a motorcycle again. Waving at other bikers and folks on their front porches. Bugs crashing into her face mask while dodging the roadkill. The girls snapped her out of her dream as they yelled and pointed to the quilts hanging on clotheslines. Iron cauldrons steaming with boiled peanuts. A fruit stand with a little girl writing “5 sent lemonaid” on a poster at her table.

Stay tuned … Part 2 – Billboards and Gemstones

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Figments of My Imagination

The Retro Club – Introduction

Courtesy of Pixabay

Four fun gals have called themselves the Retro Club for eight years. No special colors to wear or membership rules. They are compatible traveling companions because they are all old school. Don’t say old. Say retro.

Bobbie Ann is from Michigan and lives with her niece. Her husband died in a boating accident. She grew up wealthy but spent her trust fund by the time she was 60. She still has difficulty living a frugal lifestyle ten years later.

Shirley is from Ohio and married the preacher’s son. She was a librarian for 30 years at a small college. She’s a widow and lives reluctantly in an independent living facility. The girls rescue her from boredom every few months for an excursion.

Justyna is from Poland and never married. She was a nurse in a Polish retirement home in California before moving to North Carolina. She lives with her younger brother in a tiny house community. Justyna was such a serious soul and rarely smiled. The Retro members taught her how to laugh and joke.

Margarida is from Portugal (her name means daisy flower). Some of her friends call her Margarita after the cocktail, but our club nicknamed her Daisy. She and her sister moved to New York after high school to work as hotel maids. Daisy married her hippie boyfriend 50 years ago. They met at the Woodstock music festival in 1969. With peace and love in their veins, they moved to North Carolina nine years ago.

… Stay tuned for Part 1 – Mountain Bound

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Last school reunion

Courtesy of Pexels

Thank goodness we wore name tags
I only recognized a few faces from my past
A buffet line of wrinkled and wobbly teenagers
Gray hair, no hair, glasses and hearing aids

We reminisced about the glory days of sports
When our athletes were at the top of their game
Some have remained active and somewhat fit
But most have recliner-all-day bodies now

The cheerleading team gathered in the corner
Trying to remember the words to our chant
Our feeble attempt at the dance routine
Caused a wave of giggling we could not stop

Football players came over to join the fun
And one even asked me to do a cartwheel again
The autumn athletes remembered our T-I-D-E tights
When we flipped our short skirts at the end of a cheer

We kissed goodbye and hugged like we couldn’t let go
Of our high school days and forever friends we made
A lifetime ago before marriage, family, and poor health
A pact was made at the final reunion to be teenagers forever

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First Separation

Mom left through the laundry room door
And I heard the car and garage door open
I thought she was going to buy me a treat
But she didn’t come home that day

Neighbor Betty opened the front door
And scooped me up in her arms
We kissed and hugged while my tail wagged
And she took me home with her

We walked and walked and walked some more
She chased me around her home while I zoomed
My food had more chicken in it with love from Betty
Treats were served as we sat together in her favorite chair

Betty took me out to the patio of her second floor apartment
Four days later in the afternoon before dinner time
She leaned in to my ear, “There’s your mama!”
I barked with joy as my mom came to take me home

~ Written by Schroeder the mini doxie


Epitaph of Julie

Courtesy of Pexels

Here lies Julie with golden locks of hair
And blue eyes closed to never see again
A heart no longer beating for the love of her life
He was deaf like her and their bond so strong

She couldn’t function day to day without him
A devoted husband died of breast cancer
A mourning wife died in her car with the garage door shut
Together again beyond the earthly graveyard

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True story about one of my students