THE CALL – RICHARD PASCHALL

By Richard Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Sunday was the day to stay near the telephone, the computer too for that matter.  Robert was not about to go anywhere before receiving his phone call.  He always stayed where he could hear the phone.  The computer was also a possibility for calls but in truth Robert only received one call on it and that was more in the way of a test.  His son, Corey, set him up with Skype and then called him when he got home just so they could test it out.  That was the only time Corey called him via Skype in the six months since their brief trial run.  Now he either called on the landline or not at all.

96-PhoneAndComputer-1

Robert tried diligently to be a good father to Corey after his divorce from Corey’s mom.  Corey was in his mid teens then and the boy seemed to follow the divorce with making his own plans and avoiding family obligations.  Robert could never figure out whether this was a teenage thing or a reaction to the divorce, but either way Robert did his best to be a dad whenever Corey needed him.  Corey needed him less and less as time went on.

Now that Corey was in his twenties, Robert and Corey had hatched a plan to keep in touch.  This was more Robert’s doing, of course.  If they did not get together on the weekend, then they would at least share a call on Sunday afternoon.  The problem with this plan was Corey rarely called and he preferred that dear old dad not call him as he was usually “busy.”  So Robert waited patiently in his small four room apartment for a call that was not likely to come. Perhaps if Robert had been more outspoken, even demanding, maybe Corey would be more dependable.  At least that is what Robert thought.  But it was not in Robert’s demeanor to be pushy so he waited patiently every Sunday for the call.

In Robert’s own mind he had convinced himself that waiting on Sunday’s was a good thing.  It would keep him at home to take care of the often neglected chores.  He did the dishes, made the bed, swept the floor, looked at all that junk mail he tossed aside all week, but he never took out the garbage.  That would mean leaving the apartment for a few minutes and Robert certainly did not want to do that.  What if the phone should ring and he did not hear it?

Finally in late afternoon on this super cold, super Sunday the phone rang.  Robert was on it like a shot.  “Hello,” Robert announced in his cheeriest voice.

“Robert, it’s Bill.  How about we go somewhere to watch the game?  You know, wings and beer!”

“Uh, OK,” Robert said reluctantly.

“Good, I can be there in a half an hour.”

“No,” Robert said quickly, “I am in the middle of something.  Give me at least an hour.”

“Fine,” Bill replied.  “I will be there in about an hour.”

In truth, Robert was not in the middle of anything.  He just wanted to leave extra time for Corey to call.  He never gave a thought to the possibility that Corey had already gotten together with his friends to watch the big game.  He just figured that if he left too soon, he would miss his Sunday call.  So he placed his coat, scarf and hat on a chair near the door and sat down to wait for Corey.  Robert worried about missing the call and not having enough time to talk.  He thought of the most important things he should say if they only had a short time.  He thought of nice questions to ask, without prying too much into Corey’s personal life.  After all, Corey was all grown up now and he needed to be treated like an adult.  At least, that was the thought running through Robert’s head.

When just over an hour had elapsed, the phone finally rang again.  “Hello?” Robert said tentatively, fearing it was not Corey but actually Bill again.  “It’s Bill.  I’m out front.  Are you ready?”  “That darn Bill,” Robert thought.  “He’s always rushing me.”

“Yes,” Robert said.  “I will be out in a minute.”  “Poor Corey,” Robert mumbled.  “If he calls I won’t be here.”  Although he felt a little guilty, Robert threw on his outer wear and headed out the door.

When Robert got in Bill’s car, Bill immediately started talking about the game.  “This should be a great game this year.  The teams seem evenly matched.  Whoever has the hot hand will win.  It could be either one.  What do you think?”

“Yes,” Robert replied.  “I think so too.”  He obviously was not listening to Robert, his mind was on Corey.

As they drove away, Robert did not hear the phone ring in his apartment.  It rang seven times before it went silent.  Robert never even knew there was a call as the caller did not leave a message.

SIX YEARS AND A MILLION MILES TO GO

According to WordPress, I started this blog on February 4, 2012. That’s not entirely accurate. I picked the name and signed up with WordPress on that date, but all I did was write a couple of paragraphs that basically said “I have no idea what I’m doing or why I’m doing it.” It took until the following June for me to blog more than once a month and it was August by the time I got into the swing of things, so to speak.

At least I sort of know why and what I’m doing this these days. Put most simply, I always wanted to run a newspaper and this is as close as I am going to get. I don’t even need to sell advertising to keep the paper running. Also, I think there’s a chance Serendipity can make a difference. Even if it’s a little, tiny difference … it’s something.

International Serendipity

Besides … I’m retired. What else should I be doing with my time?

Writing is my thing. I starting writing as soon as I could form letters and clutch a pencil. I don’t seem likely to run out of words anytime soon.

With joy in my heart, I have corralled others into my scheme. It has made this site infinitely better. We all have something worthwhile to say, but each of us says it in our own voice. Garry couldn’t escape my clutches and was doomed from the start. Rich was a great writer who deserved a bigger audience. Ellin thought it sounded interesting and she had stories to tell. After which I pointed out to Tom that he would feel much better about life if he would write too. So he did.

Wasn’t I lucky? All these smart, funny people contributing, so instead of this site beginning to fade from time and tedium, it feels like we’re just getting started.

I never imagined that Serendipity would become an enterprise, but I’m delighted that it has. If I had not been able to come up with such fantastic support, you’d be bored to death with me by now. Or maybe I’d be bored to death with me. Maybe both.

The Years of Serendipity

So in the course of 6 years, we’ve got almost 644,00 views and together we’ve written more than 7,000 posts. I have no idea how many photographs we’ve got. I’m afraid to find out.


14,800 followers, but I only hear from a couple of dozen of you. Will the rest of you please wave your hands in the air?


Thanks. I needed that.

It’s such a strange time in which we are living. I started writing the year Obama was running for the second time. I though that was a rough, tough political time. Little did I know what was lurking in our future.

The craziness of what’s going on in the world has changed the way we all write. I know there are a lot of people who feel they can’t must never write about politics. The thing is, I don’t feel you can not write about politics any more than you can avoid mentioning ecology and climate change, economy and education. All the life and death issues facing us … how can we pretend they don’t exist?

This is the stuff of our daily lives . We don’t have to write about it all the time and we don’t need to be deadly serious, either … but I don’t think we can simply act like it’s not there. Or maybe I just think we shouldn’t do that.

Regardless, I’m a writer and what I see as reality tends to intrude on my head space.

In the end, for me, reality simply is. What goes on — everywhere — is my virtual house. I can’t ignore it. I don’t want to beat it to death or make it the only thing I talk about … but I won’t pretend it’s not there — nor will I run from possible controversy. I think it’s too important to ignore, more so because it is so troubling.

Maybe that’s my self-appointed job — to look at the world and talk about it. If we can all do it with humor and commonsense, even better.

Six years. 7,030 posts. 643,800 views and a million miles to go …

WE NEED A REAL STABLE GENIUS IN THE WHITE HOUSE – TOM CURLEY

This is not something I thought up on my own. But I love the idea. A while back our Dunder-Head-In-Chief tweeted that he was “like, a really smart person and  a very stable genius”.

What’s an unstable genius? Lex Luthor?

Stable genius. Unstable genius.

Who knows? All I know is anybody who’s been paying attention to the last year knows at least two things.

  1. He’s not stable
  2. He’s definitely not a genius.

This particular tweet started a meme. No, not just a meme, but a movement! People realized that having a stable genius in the Oval Office is a good idea. Who is a true, honest to God stable genius?

Mr. Ed.  He has all the qualifications:

  1. He lives in a stable.
  2. He’s a genius.

Not only would he be a good President. He’d be a great candidate, which is what you really need to be to become President.

Think about it, it would be very hard to insult him.

TRUMP: You’re a horse’s ass!

MR. ED: Yeah, so? I’m a horse. What’s your excuse?

And he’d have the ultimate put down line. Anytime Trump says something stupid all he has to do is say:

“Oh, Wilbur.”

That’s even better than Ronald Reagan’s, “Well, there you go again.”

So, I am joining the legions of people behind the new and ever-growing movement. Mr. Ed in 2020!

We won’t have to worry about endless stupid tweets because Mr. Ed will never speak unless he has something to say!

Don’t believe me? It’s right there in the theme song!

“People yakkity yak a streak and waste your time of day
But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.”

Hell, parts of the theme song can be his campaign ad!

“Go right to the source and ask the horse
He’ll give you the answer that you’ll endorse.
He’s always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed”

Yet. I’m Mr. Ed, and I approve this message.

So, there it is. Hope for the future. A real stable genius for President!

I can only see one real problem with moving forward with this movement.

Mr. Ed, is dead.

Damn, I really hate ending on a down note. So here again are two dogs playing “I Got Your Nose!”

ROADS AND STEPS – CEE’S WHICH WAY PHOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – February 2, 2018


This Which Way challenge is all about capturing the roads, walks, trails, rails, steps, signs, etc. we move from one place to another on. You can walk on them, climb them, drive them, ride on them, as long as the specific way is visible. Any angle of a bridge is acceptable as are any signs.


Photo: Garry Armstrong 
By the Mumford – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Snow on steps
Road to the lake
The corner by the barber shop – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Dam across the Mumford