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 Message 1 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameMnMischief  (Original Message)Sent: 2/28/2006 5:17 PM

Creative Corner

A place for those creative juices to get out!  If you are an aspiring writer, poet, artist, songwriter, whatever, use this space to share your endeavors with us! If you'd like constructive critism, let us know. If you GIVE constructive critism, make sure it IS constructive, and kind. This is not the forum to dispute ideas, but rather to express yourself. Entries can be fiction, non-fiction, abstract or realism, whatever touches you. The only thing that will not be tolerated will be pornographic content. Nudity in photographs or artwork done in a tasteful, artistic manner is acceptable. All levels of skill and ability are encouraged. We can learn from each other!

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 Message 127 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nickname→©C♥A♥C©?/nobr>Sent: 1/8/2008 12:26 PM
Ooo, thank you for the wonderful response and great comments AND you want more????
Hmm, I might just keep you on the edge of your seats . . . .

 Message 128 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameralutaSent: 1/8/2008 6:41 PM
Kaz~ me luv.........I'm stuck in a "December Dream"......and this is January   lol   In other words..............mmmmmmmmmmmmmmore please!! Thank you , Cindy

 Message 129 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nickname→©C♥A♥C©?/nobr>Sent: 1/8/2008 7:25 PM
Goodness! All you folks that want 'mmmmmmmmmmmmmmore'!
I worked it out today and I've written eight chapters of said story!!! It was started years ago when I first bought a PC. I may even get to finish it one day OR if I let you read all of what I've written, you could put your own endings. LOL!
As a matter of interest, I have another story, started, that has twelve chapters. That one is called HEART STRAINS so you never know, I might treat you all to a snippet of that one - in time
~ Kaz

 Message 130 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameMnMischiefSent: 1/11/2008 10:20 PM
Phil, I meant to comment earlier on your Six Feet Under poem. It is so full of pathos. It asks all the questions that run everlasting throughout humanity. Is there life after death? What is it like? Is this all there is? What is the meaning then? Wishing for an insight to what is beyond death's door.
I liked it, even if I don't concur with some of your ideas.

 Message 131 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nicknamefilbow666Sent: 1/12/2008 1:10 AM
Thank you for your comments honey  although I am not suprised, it's a long time since a woman has concurred with any! of my ideas  lol!

The number of members that recommended this message. 0 recommendations  Message 132 of 141 in Discussion 
Sent: 1/15/2008 7:38 PM
This message has been deleted by the author.

 Message 133 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nickname→©C♥A♥C©?/nobr>Sent: 1/15/2008 7:46 PM
 The second instalment of DECEMBER DREAM by Kaz

“Hi honey! Are you home??He paused for a second, “No, I guess not.?He pauses again, ”Okay then, just to let you know I’ll be in town late Saturday, my plane lands at around 9pm. Could you please pick me up from Heathrow Airport? Thanks! Can’t wait to see you again! I love you baby...this is for you?/SPAN>

He sent a kiss through the phone. Alexa looks up from her reading and sits, daydreaming. She adores his accent. It makes her feel...all warm inside! It’s one of his many attributes that attracted her to him in the first place. Tomorrow can’t come quick enough for her now.

Alexa’s self-contained luxury flat in Hamilton Mews was one of six that were converted from a large Georgian house. It’s situated in the suburbs, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Opposite the house is parkland, it has a small lake set in landscaped gardens. During the summer months it is really beautiful, the flowers and shrubs are in full bloom, but winter has a beauty all of its own, trees are bare but frost gathers on the branches and cobwebs are made delicate. Alexa hasn’t got a garden as such, so relishes the park. She sits and reads or writes letters to various friends and family members, or just listens to the birds twittering in the trees.

Her neighbours are friendly enough but tend to keep themselves at a distance. The area is peaceful and fairly quiet with not many children around to shatter the silence, she likes it that way, not that she had any objection to children. She didn’t hate them or anything. In fact she would like children of her own one day but not yet awhile. Neither she nor Tyler had broached the subject of marriage, let alone having children.

At this moment in time though, a chilly wind blew along the tree-lined street making an eerie sound in the leaves. The same wind had cut Alexa to the bone earlier in the evening. The bushes around the house’s bay window were tapping on the glass as if trying to get in but she was snug and secure inside, very glad to be indoors. Her headache had gone and she felt serene and content.

Suddenly her thoughts were disrupted by the door chime playing “Merry Christmas? very apt for the time of year. She glanced at her watch, “Who on earth could this be at this time of night, it’s 9.30pm.?Nobody called on her after 8pm, her ruling. Rana had already hit the floor, startled by the door bell, and had run, frightened, underneath the table. Alexa made her way to the door. She had no intention of opening it this late. Anyway she was naked under her robe. She peered through the spy hole.

It was Tyler! “Oh, my God, I’ve misheard the message. He’s arriving tonight! I’ve got to get some clothes on but I can’t keep him standing out there. Then again, it’s not as if he’s never seen me naked.?She looked at him through the hole, he was standing with his back to her, hands in the pockets of his black leather trench coat, fidgeting and tossing his long blonde hair impatiently. She must let him in. After rearranging her robe and running her fingers through her hair, she opened the door. Tyler swung around to face her. His wonderful smile beamed out from a much tanned face, a smile that touched her heart every time.

“Hi! I thought maybe you had gone out.?He looked her up and down. ”Oh my! Did I get you out of bed??/SPAN>

“No, no, I’ve just had a particularly rough day and I’d dozed off in the lounge after my bath, but I must have got the day wrong, I thought your message said you were arriving on Saturday night. How come you’re here now? Did you get a taxi from the airport??/SPAN>

“Yeah, I did. Poor baby, I was scheduled to fly in tomorrow but I had a change of plan so I thought I would surprise you. Hope you don’t mind??/SPAN>

He leant forward and whispered,”Honey, are we going to spend the entire night in the doorway or are you going to ask me in.?/SPAN>

“I’m sorry,?she beckoned him in. She used “sorry?quite a bit when Tyler was around but never knew why. He bent down, picked up his bag and walked in, stopping in the hallway to hang up his coat. Alexa followed him into the lounge, and looked him up and down while he walked. He wore an orange polo-necked sweater, black boots and black leather jeans. She loved these jeans on him. They made his bum look great! He seemed taller than his 5'10", maybe it was the black outfit or his slim build but he looked gorgeous and smelled divine, probably his usual, Cerruti 1881. It was elegant, rich and sensual, a classic Italian aftershave “especially designed for today’s fast moving executive.?It was his all time favourite. The sight of him made her feel funny inside. He was godlike, unlike anyone she had ever known - her ideal man. Her whole being changed when he was around.

He looked around the lounge and remarked, “I really love this flat, very quaint.?He held out his arms to her, “Come here, baby, give me a hug. I’ve missed you. We don’t see hardly enough of each other?/SPAN>

She went to him and melted into his arms. He tilted her face up to his and kissed her gently, while running his fingers down her neck and up into her hair then back to her jaw. She could take any amount of this, it was heaven. He kissed her again, this time it was harder and his arms enfolded her. His grip loosened and with his deep blue eyes penetrating hers, said, “You know I love you. Come back with me. Please think about it.?She pulled away sharply. Here we go again!

To be continued????

 Message 134 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameKazYetAgainSent: 7/10/2008 1:38 PM
I'm doing a little cross stitch at the moment. Here's what I've done so far . . .
. . . . Kaz

 Message 135 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameMnMischiefSent: 7/12/2008 12:52 PM
Very cute! Nice work, Kaz. What will you use it for when it's done? 

 Message 136 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameKazYetAgainSent: 7/12/2008 3:02 PM
I shall frame and hang it Robyn

 Message 137 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameMnMischiefSent: 1/1/2009 10:07 PM
Candy suggested I start a thread for my newspaper articles, but for now I'll just put them here, until we get settled in our new (online) home.
This article appeared in the Christmas edition of the weekly paper where I work. Twenty five years ago this Christmas Eve this part of the country was hit with a massive snowstorm. McCall's magazine, a popular woman's magazine here in the States, reported on it. This story tells of Ripley's part in that night as remembered 25 years later by the people who were there.
"Ripley's Miracle" Revisited 25 Year Later
'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the town
Not a car was moving
For the snow coming down.
Twenty five years ago this Christmas Eve Ripley was buried in several feet of snow, the Thruway closed (note: the Thruway is what we call the major stretch of interstate highway here in New York State), and hundreds of travelers were stranded. McCall's magazine call it Ripley's Miracle. For those who traveled through this small village that Christmas, it was a miracle indeed.
The travelers were stranded
I-90 ordered to close.
In their cars they were buried
Right up to their nose.
The storm had started hours before, with temperatures hovering around 0° and high winds, the roads were treacherous, and Interstate 90 at the New York line was closed. The Colonial Squire motel filled up within minutes and holiday travelers were being buried in the blinding drifts. The fire department put out the call, Emergency, all men needed. It was snowing so hard the state snowplows had been called off the roads. "One woman offered me $500 to drive to Rochester to pick up her husband who was stranded there," Curt Coburn recalls. He refused.
Mother and Dad were
Anxious as well
To get out of the blizzard
Into a hotel.
When what to their wondering
Eyes should appear,
But the townsfolk with
Plows and trucks coming near.
For hours on end Curt, who had a pickup truck with chains and a plow, cleared the way to the Thruway so caravans of cars could be brought to the firehouse. As the number of stranded cars grew, families with pets (including a snake) were kept at the firehouse. The rest were taken to Ripley Central School. All through the night travelers were brought in, either in their own cars, or loaded into emergency vehicles and transported to safety.
A convoy was started
For those in harm's way,
To the school they were taken
To await Christmas day.
The Red Cross was called
There were hundreds to feed.
The stores were all emptied
To fill the need.
President of the Fireman's Auxiliary, Deborah Coburn, helped get things organized at the school. Calls were made to the Red Cross, asking for more blankets, food, and medicine. The job of feeding all those people was a daunting one. Patty MacDonald, who was working at the Super Duper, a full service grocery store in town, says, "Paul Elchenski, the owner of the store, called and said take every bit of candy and make packages for the kids. There must have been two or three hundred of them. We took the candy to the school on a sled." She went on to say, "It was all such a blur. They kept calling me (from the school) because I had the keys to the store. We kept going back and forth, getting more food. We cleaned out the store. The people were wonderful. The Christmas spirit was there, even though they were stuck at the school." Additional food was shuttled in from North East by snowmobile. Smith's Market was open and brought in fresh produce.
The children and babies,
The old and the sick,
The moms and the dads
Pitched in pretty quick.
The kitchen was opened
There was work to be done
To feed this crowd of
Eight hundred and one.
Mary Ann Moffat walked to the school that night to help in the kitchen. "The people who came just chipped in and helped," she said. "We made things we could cook quickly, like macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, things like that." The cafeteria's stock of food was used, but a call had to be made to Albany to get permission to use the government surplus food, like cheese and butter.
"I was there all night, providing security," remember Butch Joint. "There weren't a lot of problems, but we'd get a group of people who'd want to bring beer in or something, and I'd have to tell them no." There were instances where people didn't have medications they needed, so trips were made to nearby hospitals and pharmacies, some taking as long as four hours round trip. "I was there all night and day," Butch said. "We tried to keep the upstairs of the school closed. We had people all over downstairs, in the gyms, the cafeteria, the library."
Everyone remembers "the judge," although memories vary. Some remember her cutting fruit for dinner, others say she ws chopping onions and crying, or maybe washing dishes between meals. Most people don't remember where exactly she was from, just that she pitched in to help. In fact, she is Rosemary Sacket, now Chief Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals and she was traveling that night with her husband and four children. "We were on our way to visit our eldest son in Vermont. We didn't get there. It was before the days of cell phones, and there was one pay phone in the school with a long line waiting to get through to their families." Before becoming stranded in Ripley, the Sackets had stopped for pizza. "The jukebox was playing 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' and somebody got up and pulled the plug," she reminisced. "The town was very welcoming. We had chili for Christmas dinner, and someone brought in boxes of apples. It's a Christmas my family always talks about. We have fond memories of Ripley, but have never been back to visit."
The children were anxious
For Santa to see,
But all seemed lost
On this Christmas Eve.
Santa hadn't forgotten the children. The fireman who was supposed to play Santa was fast alseep and couldn't be woken. Exhaustion from hours of fighting the storm was too much, so Bob MacDonald was called upon to play the part. "I enjoyed it very much," he said, "it was really fun. We had candy bagged up and in a garbage bag, and I handed it out. I asked the kids where they were going, and told them Santa had been there and their toys were waiting. It was a new experience for me."
Christmas was coming
Whether home or away.
The spirit of Yuletide
Grew stronger that day.
Gary and Janet Skinner recall how calls came in from various townspeople, offering their homes to travelers. Some of the elderly and families with young babies were taken to private residences to wait out the storm. People came with dishes of scalloped potatoes and ham, and other foods intended for their families who were now at the school helping out. Reverend Doug Knopp offered a Christmas candlelight service. Locker rooms were opened for showers, games and activites were organized all over the school to keep people busy. "Our daughter, Sherri, was running the sound system in the office. She remembers announcements constantly going," - basketball in the small gym, card games in the cafeteria, Christmas carols, TV videos. It wasn't home for the stranded or the townspeople who were helping, but it "had a safe feeling," said Sherri. "It was a special experience with our kids," Janet recalled, "the true meaning of Christmas."
At one point on Christmas day, a television crew from Buffalo made it through, "so people thought they could get out" added Gary Skinner. "There were some college students who said they had to get to Buffalo to catch a plane for their connection to Switzerland, to go skiing." That notion was soon dispelled. The snow kept coming.
By the 26th the storm had died down. People began leaving Ripley, some to continue on with their trips, some to turn around and go back home. "It was almost a bigger mess gettting them out than getting them in," said Curt Coburn. "The snow was so piled up and we had to dig them out, then they'd get stuck again." But leave they all eventually did. Ripley indeed performed a Christmas miracle that year. God bless us, every one.

 Message 138 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameBuckshotBob11Sent: 1/5/2009 5:25 PM
Thank You for such a great story Robyn. I remeber it well.. there are alot of stories that went untold But it could easely become a novel. I like the way you use the Night before Christmas rhyme to introduce each section.
 Thank You Again.   Bob 

 Message 139 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameralutaSent: 1/6/2009 10:57 AM
BRAVA! BRAVA! BRAVA! on the lovely article Robyn...Where ever did you learn your exquisite way with words?????  Could it be the same 'ole Ripley School' as mentioned in the piece you so creatively have written?  Regardless of all of did a beautiful job and  I really enjoyed it.  Keep up the good work and we will all be saying....."I knew her when".  xox

 Message 140 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameMnMischiefSent: 1/6/2009 11:27 PM

There's No Place Like Home

They call Chicago the Windy City. I've been to Chicago. They've got nothing on windy Western New York. The winds here lately have been incredible. I have a huge old maple tree in my back yard, right up by the house, and I wonder sometimes if it isn't going to be blown right through the roof one of these days.
I am in the unique position of being a native to this area, and yet able to look at things from a newcomer's perspective. While I was born and raised here, I moved away over 35 years ago, and since I’ve come back a lot of things are "new" to me again. You tend to take for granted the sights and sounds of a place if you've never been anywhere else for any length of time. When I was gone, I missed hearing the waves lap against the shore of Lake Erie on a calm day, and the sound of waves rolling in on a rough day. I love the wind. I love the way it moans and whistles and the way it can make a low roar as it rushes over the lake. You never realize how much the wind moves a place until you don't feel it anymore. I lived in tornado country for a couple decades and while the prospect of a tornado heading my way was a bit scary, it was exciting too. It meant it was windy, much like home. I’ve never seen a tornado up close, but it kicks up a powerful wind before and after the event. The wind we had here a week or so ago was absolutely awesome! The waves against the breakwall in Westfield were like explosions, flying high into the air and spreading out like a bomb exploding, as if they'd beat the wall down with their sheer force. The beach, such as it is, in Ripley is practically nonexistent now. The ice has built up against the cliff, making its own breakwall before the waves as they try to hit the cliff face. The spray from the crashing breakers reached 30 feet high, soaking us while standing at the top. This display of nature's potency was magnificent.
The lake and the wind; the two most powerful forces here along the lakeshore. They had become a part of me without my even knowing it. The lake was my compass, albeit an inaccurate one, always pointing me north. When I moved to the Great Plains I was lost. There was no large body of water to guide me. It took me years to figure out what direction I was going since I never was much good at using the sun as an indicator. It keeps changing position, you see, and hence is an unreliable source. I am easily confused?I did have one natural body of water to help me along my way however, the Mississippi River. Generally the river runs north and south, so if you’re in Minneapolis you are west of the Mississippi, and if you’re in St. Paul you’re east of the river. Unless of course, you lived in the bow of the river that runs through the city of St. Paul, as I did, then you were east, west and north of the river. I’m so glad to be back home where north is really northwest and south is over the hill. There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.

 Message 141 of 141 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameBuckshotBob11Sent: 1/7/2009 1:41 PM
This is My account of Ripley's Miracle to the best of My Memory.
The weather was cold and they were predicting a blizzard the would match the "Famous Blizzard of 77".  Marilyn ( my wife at that time) had to go to work at a truckstop near Interstate 90.  After she left for work to snow started coming down. If you were driving you couldn't see the end of your hood on your car. I stayed in the house and watched it come down with a force wind that roared like a lion.
 The snow was coming down with no break when Marilyn call me a said that she would be late. The Truckstop was full of tourist who were stuck there because the Interstate was closed and the next shift was having trouble getting into work.
 About 2 hours later she called again. She was ready to come home but the car wouldn't start. So I told her I'd be down to get her. I dressed as warmly as I could and went to the car. It was buried and I had to dig it out.
 I slowly drove toward Shortman Rd where the truckstop was located, but as I got into town there was a man under the traffic light directing traffic. He waved me over and told me I couldn't go any further because all the roads were close.
 The man was Marilyn's brother and I told him that I had to get Marilyn from work. He promised that he would get someone to go get her with a four wheel drive, so I went to the c orner bar to wait for her. An hour later Marilyn came walking in shivering and looking for a place to warm herself. She went over and stood by the wall heater.
 After she warmed up we decided to go home. So out into the cold we went and headed for the car, when her brother in the street yelled "where do you two think your going"?." Home" we shouted. "Oh no you aren't. The roads are closed in all directions and I can't allow you to leave".  After a short discussion we found out that we would have to spend the night at the school with the tourist.
  When we got to the school the large gym was already full of people bedding down for the night. Blankets were being handed out to them and cots from the kindergarden classes were spread all around.
 As we stood and talked with one of the volunteers we learned that there was a couple who had gotten married that day and were heading for Niagara Falls for their honeymoon. They were given a private room so they could be alone on thier honeymoon. I hope their marrige worked out better than their honeymoon.
 Marilyn and I decided to go have coffee in the cafeteria. When we walked into the the room people were gathered at different tables eating a breakfast style dinner, and some were playing cards. We went to the kitchen and ordered coffee and then we asked if they needed any help. "Oh no" they said. "there's so much help back here we can't move around as it is."
 We sat down at a table and watched all these people who were expecting to be home for Christmas, laughing and happy that they were in a safe and warm place for the night. I wasn't so happy. I felt that we were so close to home that we should be able to make it home. But I had to settle being stuck here.
 About an hour passed and we were getting tire so we resigned ourselves to the Gym. They handed us each a blacket and we looked for a place to laydown.The place was full so we went up to the stage and found a place large enough for us to laydown together. No Pillows and the floor was hard as a rock we forced ourselves to sleep.
 When Morning arrived we found ourselves amoung a bunch of strangers talking quietly and folding blankets. we spoke with them and they all we saying how happy they were with the hospitality of the Ripley People.
 It was about 10:00 am when we made it outside to find the the snow and wind had quit. The Ripley Highway Department had route 20 open and cleared. We were able to make it home now. It took a whole lot more to clear the interstate and the tourist in the school were stranded yet for another day or 2 depending on how far down the interstate thier cars were buried. After 2 days though the school was empty with everyone on their way.
  But as I sat home I realize how thankful I was for the voluteers of Ripley who gave food, blankets, clothing, and most of all their time and hearts to all the people who were in need of kindness and a place to hold up during the storm.
A special Thanks to the Ripley Fire Department for all your efforts everyday in keeping us safe.
Bob Gibbs

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