Daily Prompt: Shake it Up

by Krista on February 24, 2014
You’re 12 years old. It’s your birthday. Write for ten minutes on that memory. GO.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us RECKLESS.

– – – – –

And this is as reckless as we ever got. Reckless enough!
And this is as reckless as we ever got. Reckless enough!

Sorry. No pictures of youthful birthday parties. Never had one. I don’t even remember either of my siblings having a birthday party except for my sister when she was … like five maybe? Otherwise, there wasn’t much celebrating in my house. Later, when my life was my own, we had some good times.

And around we go again. I rode the beast with my granddaughter 7 times that day, twice in the morning and five more times in the afternoon. I think she was ready to keep going forever and maybe, she had the right idea.
And around we go again. I rode the beast with my granddaughter 7 times that day, twice in the morning and five more times in the afternoon. I think she was ready to keep going forever and maybe, she had the right idea.

Garry threw me a surprise party on my 60th birthday … and we went to New Orleans for my 50th. I took him to Cooperstown for his 50th. Childhood was a long time ago and stuff that happened to me as a grownup somehow seems more relevant at this age and stage. Twelve, as I vaguely recall, was not one of my vintage years. Awkward, a mouth full of braces, short, half woman, mostly kid, frizzy hair and a general look of dazed confusion at a world that didn’t seem to have anything to do with me.

It got better. Then worse. Then better again. That’s life. Much like the roller coasters I dearly love, life has its ups and downs. The downs are terrifying, the ups give you a chance to catch your breath before you plunge down the next drop. When you pull into the station, laughing and gasping, what do you say? I say: “Let’s do it again!”

This was one of my "am I going to live to see another birthday" years. I almost didn't.
My 60th birthday. This was one of the “am I going to live to see another birthday” years. I almost didn’t.

Other entries:

  1. Brent’s Ten Dollar Idea And The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  2. Daily Prompt: Shake It Up | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  3. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  4. Prayer for Faith | Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | likereadingontrains
  5. Happy Birthday to Me | Knowledge Addiction
  6. Daily Prompt: Ten Minutes of Nothing | Under the Monkey Tree
  7. Twelve | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  8. Twelve: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  9. Daily Prompt – Reckless – Broken |
  10. My Day. | Crossroads
  11. [M.M.X.I.V. 55] Snowball fight (Fiction) | Never A Worry
  12. Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  13. DP Daily Prompt: Shake it Up | Sabethville
  14. Birthdays | Sinister Pacifism
  15. Twelfth birthday | Sue’s Trifles
  16. Birthday cake | dandelionsinwind

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!


  1. Love the photos, both on and off the rollercoaster! You brave person! I’d be too scared to get on, let alone actually ride one! xxx


    1. Garry used to skydive, so a roller coaster is nothing much really 🙂 I’m not physically brave, especially regarding heights. But — paradoxically — I LOVE roller coasters. And horses. Maybe because I get the thrill while strapped into a seat?


  2. I still love the photo of Kaity smiling, actually grinning and laughing on the cyclone as the older folks showed different emotions.


  3. I rode the Cyclone once. Mostly it was terrifying because of the feeling that death was a real (and likely) possibility.
    I felt safer jumping out of a plane.


    1. You were not wrong. I remember as a kid, you could watch it shake and pieces of it would actually fall off while you rode. They have reinforced and repaired it … and that first drop, which had been deepened earlier from its original specs, has been brought back to the original height, slightly shallower (about 4 feet, I think), though probably no less daunting.

      I grew up with the Cyclone, riding it the first time when I was maybe 8? Last time, a few years ago, I was in my early 60s. I don’t think we’ll be going back. Garry finally cried “uncle.” It’s not fear — it’s bad backs. The Cyclone, especially in the afternoon when the rails are hot from the sun, really throws you around and my back and his don’t much care for it. Garry’s going to be 72 in April and he has finally conceded that there are some things we probably shouldn’t do. I’m a fool for this stuff and even though I limp for a week, I’d probably do it anyway.

      The Cyclone isn’t the fastest, longest or highest roller coaster, but it’s by far the SHAKIEST and I always had the image in my mind of the pigeon on the tracks derailing it as we fly into oblivion. Apparently a lot of people felt that way, still feel that way. Some of my happiest memories are from Coney Island. I’m glad it’s still around and survived Sandy — which almost finished it off.


      1. I still love Coney Island, though I’m worried about what the redevelopment Bloomberg started means.

        I don;t generally like roller coasters because I find them boring (though not if it has a few good loops). But yeah, the Cyclone is it’s own class of terror, for all the wrong reasons.


        1. We are all worried. I’ve signed every petition, joined the Coney Island preservation project, publicized it whenever I can. The real estate is very valuable. Most such places have lost the battle. I hope Coney Island will hang in there, but what the developers want, they usually get. If not now, sooner or later.


    1. Thank you. It isn’t the pictures really … but the memories that they represent. Some of the really fun times when luckily, there IS a picture. A lot of things that were great never got photographed because I’m the photographer, so if I didn’t take the shots, they never happened 🙂


      1. Yes, you might not be able to relive those days, but looking at the photos makes you go back into those days…I think that’s why we all love photos. Makes us relive the past memories.:)


    1. I would love to be thought of as brave, but it truth, I simply love roller coasters and have no common sense where they are concerned. But everything else? I’m afraid. I make an exception for coasters and in turn, none has ever tried to kill me. It’s all a matter of faith 🙂


  4. This was so much fun! I have to agree with your assessment of being twelve years old, not my favorite time either. Somewhere in my life’s path I developed a terror of roller coasters, probably had to do with my speed-demon driving habits. 😉


    1. Twelve is awkward for almost everyone, boys and girls. Hormonal and half-grown, we aren’t kids but we aren’t teenagers, not really. A rough time of transition. As for roller coasters, I’ve always loved them. I rode the Cyclone the first time when I was 8 or so … I loved it then and have loved all coasters since.

      Look at the picture and the big grin on my granddaughter’s face. She was 10. She got that grin from me (she said proudly).


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