May 26, 2013

Daily Prompt: A One-Week Journey in May 2013


The WordPress daily prompt for May 26, 2013, was Tell us about a journey—whether a physical trip you took, or an emotional one. Photographers, show us JOURNEY.

How appropriate, since I was already thinking through a journey post.

I invite you to join me in my journey through a week in my life, Sunday, May 19 to Saturday, May 25.


It was a chaotic week having moments of frustration and joy.

I  managed, somehow, to begin each day with what I consider my morning routine—a warm cup of java, my heart meds, and the newspaper (physically in hand, not on a computer screen).

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013

Jim Busch

Jim Busch

Your audience wants you to succeed.

Today I enjoyed sitting on my porch swing in my screened in (unheated), fighting off our cat who dove into my newspaper as I read it. I watched the birds feed within arm’s reach, and scared off the squirrels that delight in stealing the bird seed.

Once finished with the newspaper I strolled over to my garden, admiring both the raised one and in-pot ones, which contained salad greens and snow peas. Then I planted a short row of pole beans.

In the afternoon I attended a Ligonier Valley Writers, workshop on How to Perform a Reading of Your Work at St. Michael’s Church in Rector. It was good timing for me because I was scheduled to do my first book (rather, book-under-construction) reading on Tuesday.

The presenter, Jim Busch, did an excellent presentation about managing the fear of speaking in front of an audience. Perhaps his most salient point, for me, was that people who attend a book reading event are there to cheer the author. The audience is on your side. They envy your courage, they want to hear what you have to say and want you to do well. And be prepared!

After his presentation attendees had the opportunity to read. I read my book selection on Mary and Joseph’s wedding. Because I had to read off my laptop I used the podium, which was a definite handicap—it was high and, along with my laptop, I was basically hidden and couldn’t connect with my audience.

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013


What would you say if I told you I was on a street in Ligonier dressed only in a towel? I asked my husband Monte.

I started driving to the Ligonier YMCA by 9:00 a. m. Once there I worked my way through the fitness machines. A nice woman helped me when I became stuck on the operation of the machines. I tried the rowing machine and worked my knees on a bicycle.

At one point I noticed two men talking and looking at me. We made eye contact.

“We were saying how some people who come here are so friendly,” one of them said. “And you are one of the friendly people.”

I accepted the compliment graciously and left for the pool, where I swam almost 13 laps, sharing the swim lane with another woman. I managed to hit her several times, which usually doesn’t happen. My friend Ann was in the exercise class and I spoke to her briefly before leaving for the showers.

While I was drying off the other women from the class entered the locker room. Suddenly a fire alarm sounded. A staff woman came in and directed us to exit immediately, regardless of our stage of dress—which was everything from the natural birthday suit to underwear. Fortunately, I had a copious towel wrapped around me.

I grabbed my stuff and paused. I can at least put my clothes on. Before I could grab them the woman returned and said we didn’t have to leave, there was a broken wire in the system.

Apparently this wasn’t the first time the alarm sounded for these ladies. One reported that on a 20 degree winter day they were mandated to leave, and stood outside in only their towels or wet bathing suits.

I ordered a pepperoni roll at Abigail’s Coffee Shop, where I saw P. J., owner of the Ligonier Tavern. Then I went to Peg’s house to deliver an invitation for Monte’s June 12th birthday open patio party, and visited for a few minutes. I gave an invitation to her neighbor, also. Then I enjoyed a half-hour massage with Tracy Maysmith (she does a good job) and headed home where I checked my email.

My friend Norma in Jamestown emailed that she and Jim wouldn’t be able to drive to Monte’s patio open house. She also said I probably knew that my friend Russ Roy had died. I learned from the Internet that he died May 4, and further information came from the funeral home, which gave me the name of Russ’s niece, Theresa.

I wandered into my flower-filled yard and took a couple photographs, then I took a short nap.

At Mello Mike I read my chapter on Schoodic Mountain. Mark had climbed this mountain and agreed to email me photos.

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013


My first book reading event—and I kept slipping off the stool…

I planned to relax today in preparation for my book-under-construction reading. While I ate at the Diamond Café in Ligonier I talked to a neighbor about houses for sale in the community.

Before napping I called Theresa and we talked about Russ and the funeral. She doesn’t have email, so if I don’t attend the Saturday memorial service I can’t get her my photos of Russ.

While talking to Theresa my daughter Sandy stopped by. Although I hadn’t seen her to say happy birthday in person—her birthday was four days ago—I didn’t get to say more than hello. I still have her birthday gift from the 17th.

I wasn’t disheartened that only five persons attended my first book-under-construction reading at the Allegory store. I needed the practice, and planned to work on my voice projection, volume, modulation, and consistency. I also needed to work on my reading pace and enunciation. I felt I did well for the first half. However, as I continued to slip off stool I became increasingly uncomfortable. Attempting to stay on the stool interfered with second half of my reading. I should have moved to a regular chair, since my audience was Beanery Writers Group members (Joanne, Mary, John Beck), my husband Monte, and Andrew and Amy.

I think another time I will cut fifteen minutes off the program. However, overall I am satisfied with my first book reading.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013 


I reminisced about a lost friend.

I remembered good times with my friend Russ while I prepared a photo-slide show for his memorial service.

I went through my print pictures, finding pictures of Russ, and edited some. We made a decision on renting the apartment, and I did some yard work and housework.

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

Bridge over the Allegheny River is under construction

Bridge over the Allegheny River is under construction

Preparing to travel to Slippery Rock and Jamestown.

It was a rainy day, which was good because it removed any temptation to be outside. I finished editing Russ’s pictures, prepared the slide show, and printed out six copies of the news article I wrote about him.

Monte and I decided to go to Slippery Rock immediately after my Beanery Writers Group meeting tomorrow. We will meet with the new tenant, and Monte will have time to do additional repairs on the apartment. We will head for Jamestown on Saturday morning.
I put a Beanery Writers Group basket together so we can leave it at the VFW tomorrow morning. I did a little gardening and some housecleaning. In the evening I called Kathleen to say Happy Birthday and posted Tuesday’s writing.

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013


A whirlwind of preparation for four events in less than 36 hours.

We have four events: the Beanery Writers group, a lease signing, a memorial service, and a fireworks display.

I left the Beanery Writers Group basket in the hallway of the VFW, hoping it would get where it belonged.

We had a small group—five—at the Beanery Writers Group meeting.

Monte picked me up after the meeting and we headed towards Slippery Rock, eating in Oklahoma (the community, not the state) on the way.

When we arrived at our Slippery Rock, apartment it was 52 degrees inside. Monte had left the windows open. He rebuilt the front step railing and we signed a lease with our new tenant.



Visiting friends from Greenville to Greensburg.

Well, not quite Greenville, but Jamestown, a few miles north of Greenville.

Things have changed in Jamestown. The old barbershop building—such an odd shape—was gone, and Steadman’s cafe was no longer.

We arrived at the Wesleyan church at 10:30 a. m., where we met Theresa, Russ Roy’s niece. The memorial service was scheduled for 11:30, not 11:00. I set up my computer at the table holding flowers and a memory book. Theresa said the family was going to Rose’s for an after-service lunch, and I was invited.

Pat Roy finally arrived, looking so much thinner—she lost a lot of weight through her illnesses. We didn’t have much time to visit, but we sat next to each other. While living in Jamestown Pat, our friend Lois, and I considered ourselves sisters.

When no one stepped up to speak about Russ I offered to do so, saying I wasn’t a relative—Pat called out that I was. I said that although Russ considered me a Bohemian that we had shared a special friendship. I talked about his visit to Connellsville.

We sat with Pat during lunch at Rose’s. It was a nice time. I also took pictures, and Monte took one of her and me.

While talking with Gerald Laird about his alpaca farm he invited us to visit it.

After lunch we had a delightful but short visit with Norma and Jim, and son Matt. We saw their many gardens and the animals she is designing for her doll house shop.

By this time Monte and I were very tired and we regrettably decided to skip stopping at Lois’s, the alpaca farm, and the outlet mall at Grove City. We were scheduled to visit a friend in Greensburg where we would have a bird’s-eye view of the fireworks from Lynch Field, and we had to be back in Laurel Mountain Borough afterwards because Monte had a preaching engagement the next morning.

We arrived at the Slippery Rock apartment and took needed naps before heading to Greensburg. We made it just on time.

Our friend showed us a morning dove that took possession of a flower planter hung on her porch. I believe she said there were three young’uns expected. I tried photographing the bird without a flash (I didn’t want to disturb her). Not too successful.



We were home around 11:00 p. m., with just an hour to complete the week. By midnight we were both sleeping, a fitting end of a one-week journey in May, 2013.



Russell E. “Rusty Earl” Roy






  1. From emal sent to me by Diane Cipa:

    Carolyn: I thought your reading at Mellow Mike was wonderful and inspiring. It is risky to read a long piece in that format – open stage – however the chapter you selected was perfect for the audience.

    Diane Cipa
    Ligonier Living

    Comment by carolyncholland — June 3, 2013 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  2. […] Daily Prompt: A One-Week Journey in May 2013 | CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS […]

    Pingback by You never know how strong you are… | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me — January 16, 2014 @ 9:21 am | Reply

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