Tag Archives: Christmas

A Pineapple Christmas Tale


“His son’s been gone for a mighty long time, going on ten or twelve years thereabouts”
Gail’s grandmother paused to remove stray strands of grey hair from her forehead. She had always worn her hair in a tight knot at the nape of her neck , which oftentimes came loose these days from restless nights and little more than twenty-five bushings of the 100 strokes called for. She hardly let anyone help with her hair. Said it was hers and hers alone and it, meaning her hair, said it was doing just fine.
It was obvious to Gail that her grandma’s crowning glory wasn’t of the  slightest concern, as she was hellbent on opening the clasp to her well-worn pocketbook and murmuring in frustration.The younger woman bit back a small giggle as her eyes followed the wrinkled crease between her grandmother’s eyebrows widen on her forehead.
“Now, John’s a man of his word who always said he’ll never stop serving folks at his establishment.” She looked at Gail through thick lenses. “He should have a couple of cans of that sweet pineapple I like, sitting right there on the shelf for you to grab hold to.”
The girl had an inclination to grab the purse, gently of course, but thought better of it. This disease demanded patience. Still, she wondered how long this particular feat was going to take her grandma who insisted on doing things for herself and would stubbornly refuse any help from her family. Finally the clasp gave way and opened to wads of aged papers spilling out from various compartments of the antiquated handbag. Unfazed, the woman busily searched every area of her prized possession, failing to notice that Gail’s mom had come to join them in the kitchen. Time seemed to stand still until they heard-
Gail’s laughter was one of relief and merriment. “You struck gold, grandma, she said, in response to the woman’s excited reaction. I’m proud to know you haven’t lost the gift of perseverance. Grandma eyes twinkled as she blinked in recognizable flashes of her granddaughter. Her bony fingers held the yellowed slither of paper toward Gail with a flourished twist of the wrist.
“Now, daughter, you should be able to follow the road to his place. It’s quite a ways inland, but the landmarks your daddy circled in red should be able to lead you there and back… well before midday.’’
They exchanged disappointing glances. The doctors had warned them early into her grandma’s diagnosis about the memory loss, but the reality took some getting used to. One minute your loved one knows you and within a blink of an eye, you can become a distant memory, covered in foggy brainwaves of a mind that never quite finds clarity. What they’d just witnessed in the kitchen wasn’t uncommon. Gail’s’ grandmother was reliving another time and place. Those early days when she was middle-aged and still feeling young and girlish.
Her grandmother loved family gatherings, especially during the holidays when she rose in the wee hours while everyone was still sleeping, to prepare the turkey with all its trimmings. Her delicious pineapple upside down cake called for the best quality pineapple and making it was the highlight of her grandmother’s Christmas.  
But, this day and time was quite different and there would be no cans of pineapple lining the shelves of a long ago memory. John & Son’s storefront grocer was long ago demolished, the land used as part of a huge community shopping mall in their small town. At 88, Gail’s grandma was living with dementia and had to be placed in a home for geriatrics, six months after her dad’s death two years ago. This would be her first Christmas at home since her son passed.
The pineapple upside down cake was no longer a family tradition in the house since her dad was killed in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. Her father’s ailing mother would never know that her son wouldn’t be right there at the head of the table with the rest of the family, enjoying her special pineapple treat.
Gail and her mother couldn’t bear to tell the old woman that there would be no pineapple cake in their house because she and her mother had decided to bury that special memory along with him. Gail’s mom placed a finger to her lips, “Wait here.” She creep up the stairs leading to their bedrooms, returning with a piece of paper in her hands.
“Here’s the address to your Aunt Margie’s new house. I’ve already called ahead. Your dad loved pineapple upside down cake and your grandmother always made it as a special gift for him on Christmas. Your grandmother and aunt Margie spoiled your daddy to no end.”
It finally dawned on Gail why her aunt always had leftover pineapple cake on hand whenever they visited after the Christmas holidays. Gail was giving her mom an extra loving daughter hug and fighting off happy tears, when they heard a joyful voice coming from the kitchen.
“Hurry along now dear.” Be careful where you step daughter. the roads can be treacherous at this time of year!”
“Don’t worry,” Gail responded, with a twinkle. “I have a list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?”

I hope you enjoyed reading my short Christmas tale. I’m editing some of my short story rejections and will post a few of them from time to time. Feel free to share your insights or some of your own shorts.

Peace, blessings, and goodwill toward all!








Inside My World @ Clara54

Reales Alcazares SevillaHappy Monday morning to you guys & gals! So glad to see some of you have visited already this morning and I hadn’t even posted yet:) Anyhoo, I’m buzzzzzy like a bee this morning, so I’m not going to dally just yet. I have sent along 2 articles for my London gig as stated in an earlier post. If y’all get a moment between Holiday shopping, take a detour here www.city-connect.org to vist my entertainment column- apppreciate it!

Also was happy to see a post at blogher gain viewers of 700 plus readers since posting on the 6th. The post “Why I Won’t Watch Baseball Wives” was a random little spill about reality tv and wow, it hit a home run!

Busy today -super comming to fix a leaking faucet

Shooping online & off for kiddies

Penning posts for clara54’s T blog and authentic woman site

Making secret plans for granddaughter’s 17th birthday tomorrow! and she still looks forward to Christmas🙂

Anyhoo, I’m only going to post once more before taking downtime for XMAS, cause life is grand and I must participate!


New Year Money Management Resolutions

Entrance to GE Building, New York, home of WNB...
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The roundtable conversation around the nurse’s station today was about Christmas shopping, Bill consolidation and the financial futures of the babyboomer… I’m proposing a New Year’s Resolution for all professionals, inclusive of freelance writers & entrepreneurs on doable ways to become creative money management experts and rise above the financial stress, strikes, and surprises that can follow us well into the new year.

By keeping our smart money management resolutions,we’re bound to see the pot of gold at the end the rainbow, or something akin to it. Let’s face it, many of us allowed the joys of Christmas gift giving to get out of hand. Overall spending skyrocketed, purchase receipts accumulated and overdraft bank fees loomed on the cusp of 2011! The fact that the economy is sluggish and unpredictable, admittedly didn’t stop people from contributing to the economic recovery- reportedly to the tune of billions of Christmas dollars for retailers… 

Formulating a money recovery plan for the New Year can be tricky, but requires a formula for success. According  NBC’s Money Market/Smart Money Report, managing our money need not become another stress factor in our lives if we follow some basic rules:

1. Learn more about your finances

2. Pay Yourself first- Set aside at least 10% of your paycheck

3. Scale back on spending habits-as in daily Starbucks

4.Keep track of your receipts- I keep a receipt drawer (xmas unbelievable!)

5.Get your Insurances checkup- Term Life & Disability Insurances should be at top of your Smart Money checklist

6. Start a budget and get out of the credit card trap.  Avoid your credit card as much as possible and pay for your purchases in cash. People can become proactive and call to lower their interest rates on their credit card. And, according to reports, those unwanted gifts received during Christmas can soon be exchanged via an Amazon exchange gift program! I digress, but…

Somehow, as I’m writing this post, an image of babyboomers afloat on dry land pop into my rearview. Babyboomers, Money management and Financial straits…hmmm AND another 2010 tidbit…

Clara54 weblog described as a useful resource to visit. Alexa ranks among 17 top sites in the world!

Good-bye 2010!

Pleased to make your acquaintance 2011!

Happy Kwanzaa!

A Forever-lasting Tribute This Holiday Season…

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Here is to Jason Gray  Kachale……Debeers………My father, inspiration, most of all my best friend

I have no doubt in my mind that there was a standing ovation in heaven when you finally answered “Lord!!! Yes, Lord!!!” to the role call up yonder.Your assignment here was not an easy one but you did it anyway..What a life! Finally even God could not keep you here anymore .Things that you never understood, now crystal clear ……you took care of business and whatever is left not done, you now know that it was none of your business in the first place. Daddy, “mission accomplished and you are honorably discharged!!! You fought a good fight! Go on now!!!!” did you hear that? You just go on Daddy………

As a child, for a moment you fooled me into believing that Jesus lived at our house…Literally. The day Azakhali Edna Nankhuni, answered the lord’s call, you told me “She went to Heaven” and my question was “how?” “Jesus came to get her”…”Which way did they take?”……Our friends would make fun of us….” I am not staying long because I am afraid your dad will pray for me…….or tell my baby brother “ tell your dadr to pray for you so you shouldn’t get any taller”…..As an adult would announce “ I am not praying anymore”…..your response “ that’s fine but I will continue praying for you…actually let me get off this phone so I can pray for you….”

I feel honored to have been part of your legacy here. The greatest value you instilled in me to Fear God, I am passing on to the girls. They feel special already that on 10/17/10, the day you were symbolically reborn in God’s kingdom, they made it official too that they belong to Christ and will trust, honor and obey him. They are Presbyterians and true Presbyterians are quite not because they are snoozing in church, au contraire, listening to God. I have no doubt in my mind that this is a clear statement that the girls have an advocate in heaven. Those Presbyterians agreed and gave them a standing ovation when on there behalf I said “Yes lord!!!” For the assignment here. I know you witnessed it all…..It’s official now; they are signed and sealed by the blood of Jesus! And it’s also official that you are finally home!

As a father, you went above and beyond to make sure your children are loved. …..Now, I parent myself, I know how tricky this task is……As your children, we many a times forgot that when God assigned us to you, He did not attach a cheat sheet and so like any parent, you did the  best you could….”MOLLY, LOOK UP AND AIM HIGH…….SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY AWAY FOR YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE, YOU HOME IS IN THE SUN……….Molly you are an Eagle and not a chicken…fly away home…Molly, some people are born great but others jump into greatness…Be great!!! That’s the only way to be….I can still hear it all and Pappi, I am trying…I am trying……

.There was never a dull moment in listening to what you had to say. Thank you for teaching me to take full responsibility over my life…I will pass it on to the girls…. “Molly, I love you but just in case I am not able to come to your rescue when you need me, here is a direct number to God, Jer.33:3: “call unto me and I will answer you and I will show you great and hidden things which you have not known” and yes, thanks for reciting psalm 21 and 23 with me…” Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” I will lift up my eyes unto the hills… Thank you for telling me that I do not have to wait to go to heaven to see Jesus, all I have to say is “Jesus, I want to see you” and ooh boy!! Do I see him…Thank you Daddy for fully equipping me with the armor of the protection of the lord. Of whom shall I be afraid? When I fully know that “NO Weapon formed against me shall prosper”

Thanks for waiting up to meet the girls. That means the world to me…well, you now know… Although short, they enjoyed every minute you spent with them.  They also know that they have an advantage here on earth because you are the giant on whose shoulders they stand! You have clearly made a statement that the girls and I have an obligation. We carry the torch of your legacy-The fear of God, with pride and I know we have already won because “we are more than conquerors through Christ that loves us”

Thank you daddy for staying a while with me……thank you for your wise counsel…Inspiration…..thank you for being the wind beneath my wings and now , from the bottom of my heart I say “Well done daddy!!! Well done, indeed” and if I may once again borrow your words, “Zimatha bamboo anga! Ndinu Mbambande!!!!”- Couldn’t have asked for a better father 

Will see you later….on the far side banks of Jordan.

Moka and the Girls!!!!

Thanks to my friend Molly for allowing clara54 to offer her loving tribute to my readers this Holiday Season!  

P.S. In the flavor of all languages, clara54 wishes a Marry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!