Oliver Owl #Six-SentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Prompts #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I found him in my stocking Christmas morning in 1974 when I was twelve. His feathered fur was mostly black with gray around his head. With a cloth nose and two beady eyes, his front was also black. Most girls my age weren’t into stuffed animals, but I welcomed him, naming him Oliver after the orphan in Charles Dickens’ classic, and treasured him for years, even after I no longer needed to sleep with him. He was by my side through  a negative camp experience and a hospitalization for pneumonia and quietly observed my high school and college years, my career as a registered music therapist, my marriage, the loss of my husband, and my success as a writer. This beautiful keepsake still sits on my chest of drawers today, and I occasionally pick him up, press his fur to my face, and remember.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above vignette with her six-sentence prompt word for this week, which is “keepsake.” You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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A Sentence from a Book

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to Charles French for inspiring this. In his post, he quotes a couple of sentences from books that strike his fancy and asks readers to respond with quotes of their own.

One sentence that came immediately to mind after reading this post was from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist. “But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once—a parish child—the orphan of a workhouse—the humble, half-starved drudge—to be cuffed and buffeted through the world—despised by all, and pitied by none.” When I read this classic as a teen-ager, I was horrified to learn that poor Oliver suffered a lot of abuse.

Nowadays, I apply the concept of being cuffed and buffeted through the world to how I feel children should be raised. I’ve never been a parent, so I’m going by the experiences I had as a child. Too often, today’s children are coddled and not shown enough discipline.

I’m not saying children should be fed three meals a day of gruel or beaten, but parents need to be more authoritative, and there’s nothing wrong with a few good hard swats on a child’s bottom. That’s the way I was raised, and I’m proud of it. If punishment is swift and sure, children will grow up to be responsible citizens, and down the road, we’ll have less crime and violence.

What about you? Is there a sentence from a book that stands out in your mind? Why? I hope you have plenty of good books to read in 2019.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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