Could have schooled me

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Me: You want to see a neat trick?

9 y/o: Sure.

Me: Watch. If I hold a magnet in my hand and place it by the other magnet’s end, it flips around. Do you know why?

9 y/o: I assume it’s because the two ends are similarly charged, either positive or negative, and since a magnet repels like charges, the magnet you’re not holding flips so it can attract the opposite polarity of the one in your hand.

Me: Sure, sure. Or magic, but your answer works, too.

9 y/o: Cool trick, mom.

Me: …

Rainy Day Blues

This is Sara’s yard eight months after the end of construction.


This is the weather in Sara’s neck of the woods.


This is the book from which Sara borrowed pertinent phrases to express her displeasure that the rain had prevented her landscaping contractor from coming to sod and seed. Again.screenshot_20170628-085558.png

This is the corner where the 14 y/o laughingly suggested Sara sit after befouling the air with choice phrases taken from the above book.


This is the spot Sara demanded from the 14 y/o after her sassy remark. This is the remote she took as well.


This is the British period drama Sara is going to binge watch until it’s sunny again.

north and south

via Daily Prompt: Sunny

Behind the Wheel: A Letter to a New Driver

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Dear Daughter,

As I look to next year and the imminent arrival of a your new driver status in the family’s ranks, I am reminded of the tumultuous early relationship I shared with driving. In anticipation of your entrance to the cusp of adulthood (a.k.a Behind the Wheel classes), here is some advice which will hopefully ease your way into this next stage of your life.


Brakes are always on the left. When entering the driveway and approaching the closed garage door, do not push the accelerator thinking it is the brake. When your mother starts yelling and stomping the imaginary brakes on the passenger side, do not panic and floor the accelerator. Doing so will cause your mother to scream and nearly wet herself.  (It will also leave a hole in your garage).

Ask your grandmother. She remembers. 


A car needs gasoline to run. The car signals when it is near empty. Do not ignore the signal. Otherwise, you’ll be driving home from work late one night and end up stalled on the side of the road (in the middle of winter most likely because everything happens in winter) several blocks away from home. And when you call your father to get you, he will rip you a new one, all the while cussing at your irresponsibility for probably damaging the fuel line. (There might be a few choice words about how cold it is and how he was comfortably sleeping). Smile or cry. Whichever you think will work. It doesn’t matter. You’ll have several weeks of hoofing it in which you can figure out the best reaction for next time.

Unfortunately, there will be a next time. 


Most cars don’t start without them. Most doors don’t unlock without them. Leaving the keys in the car and then locking the door is excusable. The first time. The subsequent half dozen or so times are on you and you will be paying the lock smith to extricate your keys. At least you have a cell phone and can google the number of a locksmith. I had to endure the indignation of walking to the nearest gas station, explaining what happened, seething through the clerk’s good-natured ribbing and then calling a lock smith. 

Winter driving: 

It will snow. A lot. You will exit school one day and find your car covered in a sleety mixture of rain and snow. It will be frozen to your windows. I know the temptation will be to get in your car, start it and blast the defroster while using your windshield wipers and washer fluid to de-ice the windows. Resist! You will not only empty the windshield washer fluid sooner than anticipated, you will also damage the blades. When your father drives the car again and finds he has no washer fluid and his blades wipe excrement less effectively than a wad of toilet paper, well, then. You’ll brave the cold and scrape the windows. 

And if I hear a whiff of a rumor you were doing donuts in the school parking lot after the buses have left, just remember I teach where you go to school. Life could become very embarrassing. 


Above all, darling, be safe and be smart.

And if you do give your father and I an extra gray hair or two in the next couple of years, just remember: it is completely your fault and we will blame you.

Love, Mom

via Daily Prompt: Wheel

When all else fails, write a limerick

Seriously?? Local? I promised myself I’d try to blog everyday but this one stumped me. Please, accept this humble limerick on behalf of my blocked brain.

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There was once a man who was local

Who was somewhat of a yokel

He drank beer with a straw

And played tunes on a saw

And barked when he wished to be vocal. 



via Daily Prompt: Local

Beg your pardon?

Me: Put the dirty dishes in the–you know, the garbage can that washes.

14 y/o: You mean the dishwasher? 

Me: I don’t need a vocabulary lesson. Just do it!


9 y/o: I want some hot cocoa.

Me: Take a mug of water and put it in the hot box.

9: y/o: Hot box?

Me: On the wall!

14 y/o: She means microwave!

Me: I know what I mean!


Hubby: Where are you going?

Me: To the big sink. I’m hot.

Hubby: Shower? 

Me: Ooh, look at me! I know the right word for things. Yes, to the shower.


There is nothing more cringe worthy than a linguist, a writer and a polyglot who can’t find a word, and in her native language no less. 

In the Stars/en las estrellas

The idea that we have control over our lives is an illusion. In reality, life directs us where we are meant to be. We are its puppets with the appearance of freedom while we are led along. The one thing we can control is our reactions and how we treat others. The rest is unessential. 

What do you believe? Are we predestined to follow a certain path or can we change our fates? 

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La idea de que nosotros tenemos control sobre nuestras vidas es una ilusión. En realidad, la vida nos dirige donde estamos destinados a ser. Somos sus marionetas, con la apariencia de libertad mientras nos guían. Lo único  que podemos contorlar son nuestras reacciones y cómo tratamos a los demás. El resto no es esencial. 

¿Qué cree? ¿Estamos predestinados a seguir cierto camino o podemos cambiar nuestros destinos?

Broken Heart

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Part 1 Paper Heart Break

She was quirky and adorable with shining auburn curls and animated grey eyes. Typically she wore band T-shirts and ripped jeans, professed her love for the Beatles to whomever would listen and gesticulated with wild abandon when she became excited. The first time I spied her across the quad she was discussing the works of Dante, her arms flinging akimbo in her passionate defense of the man and his works. I had to meet this spirited woman who looked like an angel and argued like a sinner trying to get through the gates of heaven, so I joined her group and contradicted her.  She turned those intelligent eyes on me and told me with cool appraisal, despite her swinging arms and hands,  I was an under-appreciative ass. I nearly lost an eye. Best first date ever.

It wasn’t long before I lost my heart, too, and I was ready to commit. On our wedding day, she gave me a folded heart with four words: my heart is yours. Over the following weeks, months and years, she showered me with paper hearts and soon our home was a-flower with the fruits of our love. A child, we decided, would complete our family tree. Two miscarriages and a still-born child later, and we stopped trying. She retreated into herself, and her vivacious grey eyes dulled. Her movements stilled, and she sat for long hours staring out the window. It had been over a year since she’d given me a heart, and I mourned its absence.

Guilt bridged the gap between us. I worked longer hours and came home after she was abed, unable to bear her sadness and the loss of her love. Only the hearts remained to mock what we once shared. I threw them in the trash when it became clear she no longer trusted me with her heart. If possible, she shrank further into herself until the light I called home all but dimmed. I moved out the next day, grief stricken and lost. When she didn’t call or seek me out, I knew there was only one way to help her heal. I had to let her go. 

When the lawyer handed me her response a week later, my knees buckled and I wept. For within the confines of the letter-sized manila envelope, lay a signed and dated folded heart. She had scrawled a message in the white spaces between the legal jargon severing our union. 

“I set you free.”

(C) Sara Ackerman, 2017


via Daily Prompt: Commit