Relocating a Giant

A cooler day, yesterday, had me working out of the wind on the verandah or under the rear of the carport. This umbrella tree was just 40cm high when we brought it with us from Sydney in December 2019. We had it on the back verandah here but it grew so high it was scraping the ceiling in the wind. Norm did a great job relocating it down stairs on a box trolley where it will have at least another metre to grow if it desires.

The smaller palms were relocated to the verandah where the umbrella tree was. They make a nice screen between the other two that have also grown significantly.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

Fields of Laughter

The sun was warm on the sombre faces of ten-year-old twins, Holly and Steve. Their legs swung carelessly over the edge of the old rustic fence. Aunt Mary shuffled past with her black veil held tightly against her chin, barely noticing the children.

Steve’s voice was solemn and quiet. ‘Holly, do you remember last summer when Grandpa fell into the river trying to reel in that big trout?’

Holly laughed unexpectedly. ‘Yes, my sides hurt from laughing while he was explaining to Mother how he got so wet.’

Uncle Peter hurried past with his weeping wife and two protesting young children tagging along behind. He glared at Holly and shook his head in disgust before hurrying up the drive. Steve and Holly tried to stifle their giggles as they watched the small family group approach the house.

Holly laughed again as she remembered. ‘We never did get to eat fish for tea that night.’

‘Hello Holly. Hello Steve.’

The twins smiled and waved back to their cousin Gerald. His father grumbled and prodded Gerald in the direction of the house.

Quite a few relatives lived nearby and sometimes they walked the short distances between the farms and their community church but visits weren’t common. They were all busy with their own lives, their own farms.

Holly frowned. ‘Do you think Grandpa ever found out I was the one who hid his tobacco?’

Steve grinned at his sister. ‘Probably, he always said he had eyes in the back of his head.’ He threw his head back and snorted, almost losing his balance in the process and sending them both into fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Mr Snyder, the owner of the farm that adjoined theirs, drove his rattling pickup truck in the direction of the open gate and stopped almost directly in front of Steve. ‘You children should have more respect for the dead. For pity sake, I can hear you from my front door.’ With that, he accelerated toward the grass area where other vehicles were parked haphazardly under trees.

The twins were silent for a few moments before Steve spoke again. ‘I don’t think Grandpa ever liked Mr Snyder.’

Holly smiled, trying to smother another giggle. ‘Remember when Mr Snyder let our cows out of the back field and Grandpa chased him with his shot gun?’

‘Yes, that was funny, especially since Grandpa had forgotten to buckle his trouser belt before leaving the outhouse.’

The twins were continuing their banter when they noticed their father strolling up from the barn toward them. Work still needed to be done, even if Grandpa’s funeral had been held earlier that morning.

‘Hey you two. What’s the joke?’

‘Holly and I were talking about Grandpa. Sorry Dad.’

‘Dad, why is everyone mad at us?’ Holly asked sadly.

‘Because, my sweet child, no one knew Grandpa like you both did…and like I did, for that matter. Even your mother could tell you a story or two.’ He leaned up against the fence between the twins and nodded in the direction of the house. ‘Not one of these guests will miss Grandpa after today.’

‘They didn’t really know him.’ Steve said this more as a statement than a question.

‘No Son, they didn’t.’

‘That’s sad’, Holly concluded.

Their father looked up and scanned the fields.

The children turned their heads to follow his gaze.

‘I remember when I was about your age,’ he began. ‘Your Grandpa worked the farm completely on his own. One day, Mr Snyder let his cows into our corn field. Your grandfather decided from that day on, he would get revenge. It was never anything serious. They both got over it soon enough. Grandpa’s funny antics were really something to witness.’ He finished with a short, choked laugh and wiped his hand across his eyes.

Holly and Steve jumped down from the fence and walked hand-in-hand with their father back through the gate. The trio didn’t enter the house full of mourners. Instead, they headed for the corn field which was now ready for harvest, and then on to the fields beyond. Their laughter echoed across the farm.

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Children’s Corner by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Me and My Writing….

I don’t care what people say
It’s time to look the other way.
If I want to write – I will
with or without a copyright.

Poems, fiction and mysteries,
for children and adults.
Whatever takes my fancy – oh yeah…
It’s what I like to do.

My grammar may not be perfect
and rhyme is not my forte
But whatever I write –
I write with all my heart.

Grandchildren love my nonsense,
Friends enjoy a jingle.
I only write for them and those
Who enjoy my writing most.

© Chrissy Siggee – 2018

Archived in
Poetry Mix by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Afraid?

Isaiah 41:10 says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Are you afraid of anything? I’m afraid of answering machines. You know, when you are all ready to speak to someone over the phone and suddenly your listening to a recorded voice that says something like: Please leave a short message and we’ll get back to you.

Your fear may be going to the dentist, speaking in front of an audience or even the fear of spiders. Mmm…I have to admit I don’t like spiders either but whatever your fear is, we all have experienced times in our life when we are afraid.

Today’s Bible verse gives us some hope when it comes to fear. It tells us to “not be afraid”. We don’t have to be afraid because we have a hope that others do not have. We know that God will strengthen us and help us in each situation that we face.

Our Father knows the future and the past and has boundless amounts of wisdom helps us in even the most difficult of times. God is on our side and He is always walking with us and through any situation that we might face we can see why He tells us to not be afraid. God won’t let us down, so we have no reason to be afraid.

Simple? No not at all but when you come face to face with your fear, remember that our Father is always with us.

 Father, we thank you that you with us even in times we have to face our fears. Help us to remember the words of promise that You are our God and that you will strengthen us and helps us. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

First day in Lock-down at Home.

We are finally home. Over the next two weeks of lock-down and at least 2 more negative Covid tests we’ll have plenty to keep us busy in the back garden and indoors. The fish pond was my first project.

Before: Where’s Nemo?
After: and Nemo is still alive. Thanks to my neighbour who fed him while we were in lock-down in Sydney.

Graffiti King

The lunch bell rang. The din of chairs screeching, student chatter and books slamming closed echoed in the classroom.

‘Peter Mason, I’d like a word with you in my office over lunch.’

‘Yes Sir.’

Peter had only been at this school for six months. His father’s job regularly moved them from state to state. This was his second school in three years, making it difficult to make friends and to be accepted by his peers.

‘Hey Mason, what’s Olsen want to see you for this time?’ Jeremy Spears sniggered.

Jason shrugged and kept walking.

‘Mason,’ Spears shouted after him. ‘See you after school … usual place.’

The gym was his favourite place. Oddly enough, it was the only class he didn’t share with Jeremy. He entered the locker room and quickly changed into his gym gear.

One of the team’s pole-vaulters came over while Peter was placing a sweatband around his head.  ‘Mason, I didn’t think you were going to show. Good to see you.’ He snickered and slapped Peter’s back.

Peter turned but the guy was gone. What’s he on?  Peter pushed open the swinging doors, entered the gym and did his usual warm-up routine. His favourite apparatus were the rings, and he was grateful he had them to himself for the next hour.

‘Mason,’ the coach shouted. ‘Didn’t you hear the bell? Go shower. Principal Olsen is waiting.’

He showered quickly, dressed and was running his fingers through his matted hair when the coach entered the locker room.

‘Mason, you have an ability that will get you to the 2024 Olympic Games. Don’t waste your time painting walls in your spare time.’

‘Coach, I …’ But the coach had already left.

What is it with these jerks? He stormed off to the administration block, notified the secretary he had arrived and plopped in a chair to wait.

‘Come in, Mr. Mason. Take a seat.’

Principal Olsen didn’t even look up when he stepped behind his desk and sat down on his swivel chair. He picked up a newspaper and started reading.

They both sat in silence for a few moments before Principal Olsen spoke. ‘It’s come to my attention … again, that you were seen immediately following the latest graffiti incident here at the school. Somehow your picture and story made front page news.’ He emphasized his last words by tossing the folded newspaper across the table for Peter to read.

Peter stared at the photo, obviously taken by a security video camera, and the caption below. ‘Graffiti King Identified on Camera.’ In the hood of his jacket was a pressure-pack can.

‘How? Spears, it had to be Spears. Sir …’

‘I’d like to believe you, I really would. However, Spears is seen … here.’ He pointed to a gate, to the left of what appeared to be Peter. ‘He may have avoided the ‘camera rotation but …’

‘Why would I carry a spray can in my hoodie, Sir?’ Peter felt his pulse racing.

‘I’m sorry, Peter. This time I have to issue a suspension. Your father has been notified. You can collect your things now before classes resume. Return to the office to collect your suspension letter for your father and leave while everyone’s in class.’

Peter left in a daze. He couldn’t believe it.

He emptied the contents of his locker into his backpack and shut the door. He made his way back to the gym and wandered over to the rings. He was overcome with disappointment. He took one last look and turned to see the coach standing nearby.

‘It’s only for the remainder of the term, Peter, and unfortunately, Olsen won’t let you use the school gym after school hours either. I tried, but he won’t budge.’

‘Coach, I didn’t do it. Honest.’

His coach sighed. He placed his hand on Peter’s shoulder and spoke with compassion. ‘Look, stay away from Spears. He’s bad news. If you can keep out of trouble, I’ll talk to Principal Olsen about a summer training program.’

Peter smiled weakly. ‘Thanks Coach.’

With regrets, Peter returned to the administration block, collected the letter and headed home determined to hold on to the hint of hope that his coach had given him.

© Chrissy Siggee

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Hello Canada friends.

Thank you for following me. 🙂

Also to my Dad’s dear friend Haley and her family. Thank you for your loving words of condolences. He spoke of you all often and when he received your beautiful photos two days before he went home to Jesus, he was full of smiles. -Chrissy

Fading Cries

fading cries of restless birds          

                   linger in the cooling air—

quietness rests like a gentle hug.

© Chrissy Siggee

From my book : Glimpses of His Glory – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Archived in: Poetry Mix

In the Silence

Sweet solitude of silence
Brushes against my soul—
With a touch of His presence,
He brings rest to my bones.

Verses of faith drift through me,
Soothing battered senses—
Inspired in the silence,
He captivates my heart.

God’s Holiness bathes me,
Tender anointing falls—
In compassion He gives me
His peace in the silence.

Gems of joy, whispered hope,
Shown in His love and grace
Consoling in the silence…
He kisses away my tears.

©  Chrissy Siggee

Archived in: Christian Reads

Alone

Isaiah 53:3 says: “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

Do you ever feel alone or afraid?  Have you ever been misunderstood or rejected? What about rumours rising against you or lies told about you? Are you or a loved one in pain?

I think every one of us has experienced one or more of the above in some way or other. I know I have and have been guilty of forgetting to hand everything over to the Father. As a young Christian, I often thought He just wouldn’t understand, but through His Word and experiencing His grace, I now know He does.

Jesus encountered temptation, fear and exhaustion. He’s been doubted, questioned, misunderstood, insulted, even betrayed and so much more. He feels what we feel. We can be confident, find understanding, compassion and grace, when we seek His presence and step into His throne room.

It’s good to know that we can approach the throne of grace, any time day or night, knowing we can do so with confidence that He will hear us.

Isn’t that awesome?

Father, thank you for being with us in our time of need. Help us to remember that whatever we have been through, you have too. Teach us to read Your Word to find understanding, compassion and Your Grace. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee 2018

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in:   Christian Reads

Lockdown Update

My dad passed away just after 2am yesterday, Saturday July 10th. The on duty RN was able to alert me in time for me to sit with him until he was gone. I didn’t have any sleep before or after, so I was exhausted by the time the undertakers left a 9.30am. With this horrid lockdown there will be just three plus the celebrant at the graveside funeral. Norm, myself and our son Ken, who lives within the lockdown boundaries, and where we’ll stay until we head home – outside the lockdown area. If the lockdown is just for another two weeks we’ll remain in the Sydney lockdown. If it’s for a longer period as they have predicted we’ll head home under the Covid rules at that time, including a self isolation in our own home and Covid tests. It’s difficult to plan anything beyond a day or two at a time with restrictions changing at short notice.

The last photo we took before Dad was bedridden a few weeks ago.

With most of my photos on my desktop at home, I won’t be able to add more until we return home..

Thomas

The smell of fresh coffee teased my nostrils. I entered Daisy’s Café below the row of offices that overlooked a noisy intersection on Charter Row.

Daisy’s beaming smile greeted me. ‘Morning, Dave. The usual?’

‘Yes, please. Any doughnuts?’

‘Sure.’

Daisy handed me the coffee then bagged the doughnuts while I guzzled down a few mouthfuls of the piping hot brew. ‘Ah… Just the way I like it. See you later Daisy.’

I stepped back out into the commotion of the busy street and headed up the flight of stairs a few feet away. There, blocking my way, sat a vagabond. A middle-aged man, down on his luck and known to every tenant on Charter Row as Tom.

‘Tom.’ I paused to calm my tone. ‘I really need to get to my office.’

‘Can I-I-I come up? I-I-I need to t-t-talk,’ he stuttered.

‘Come on then.’ I sighed. I knew the only way to pass was to allow him to accompany me. I shook the bag of doughnuts. ‘I’ve got your favourite.’

Tom grinned. He followed me up the stairs and I handed him the bag so I could unlock the door. I stepped aside to let him enter. Closing the door behind me, I placed the coffee on my desk and opened a window.

‘Now, what can I do for you Tom?’ I watched him gulp down the last doughnut.

He choked and sprayed crumbs over my desk. I handed him my coffee. I would go without. Tom stuttered his thanks and drank before he explained his request.

He began by telling me his name was actually Thomas not Tom. His problem was a simple one. Thomas needed bus fare to a canning factory where his friend John worked as a packer. Thomas needed to go today, preferably before ten o’clock, because the cannery was employing staff this morning. He needed me to go along to speak for him. It was true enough, I understood his stuttering and asking for a position would be difficult for both Thomas and the employer.

‘Okay, you can’t go like that.’ I pointed him to the tiny bathroom and told him to strip and have a sponge bath using the sink while I checked the phone messages.

There was only one message. ‘Lord Bellamy here; I need you to find someone. If you return my call before midday the job is yours.’ I looked at my watch. ‘Ouch!’

I could hear Thomas complaining about the cold water. I gave Thomas some spare clothes I kept at the office in case I slept at the office during investigations. The trousers were definitely too long but they would have to do.

The wash, the change of clothes and a comb through his hair, made Tom respectable enough. Thankfully his thread bare shoes were hidden by his trousers. I sprayed Thomas with cologne until we both choked.

 

Thomas’s eyes widened. He seemed excited to be out of Charter Row. He obviously hadn’t been on a bus for a long time; maybe not at all. There was a lot I didn’t know about Thomas.

‘Thomas,’ I asked, as the bus neared the factory. ‘Where will you live if you get this job?’

‘M-m-my friend, J-J-John, h-he let me stay for a-a bit,’ he answered, his eyes still fixed on the view beyond the window.

We arrived at the cannery a little before ten thirty. The manager was sympathetic and understanding.

‘John would like me to give you a go’, he told Thomas. ‘I’ll give you a month’s trial. John’s a good teacher. I’m sure you’ll be fine.’

After handshakes all around, I left Thomas with the manager and returned to my office where Old Spice cologne still lingered in the stuffy air. I pressed the replay button on the answering machine and dialed the recorded number. I was pleased Thomas had the opportunity for a fresh start. I wondered now if I had a job.

‘Lord Bellamy’s residence, may I help you?’

‘Yes, this is Dave Strong, Private Investigator. Lord Bellamy left a message on my answering machine.’

‘Yes, Mr. Strong, he’s been waiting for your call. I’ll put you through.’

There was only a brief silence before the voice on the phone matched that of the recording on my machine.  He came straight to the point of his request.

‘Hello Mr. Strong.  I need someone to find my brother.’ Lord Bellamy’s voice sounded stately but urgent. ‘My brother and my father, Lawrence Bellamy, had a disagreement over twenty years ago. My brother left and we haven’t heard from him since.’

He paused before continuing. ‘Our father passed away a few weeks ago and regardless of their differences, Father left my brother half the estate. I need to find him. It’s time to bring him home. Can you help?’

This was right up my alley. I needed a good investigation and I loved finding long lost souls. ‘Yes, I can help you Lord Bellamy. Might I have some details to help start my search?’

‘His birth name is Thomas Alfred Bellamy, born 40 years ago in Sheffield. He has one significant characteristic trait that stands out. He stutters.’

© Chrissy Siggee

(Perhaps the shortest investigation in history)

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Update in Lockdown

Small but appreciated garden

Sadly, Sydney will not leave the lock-down this weekend. Maybe not even next weekend but here I am still in vigil beside my dad’s bed. It’s not good. Most of the day and night he comes and goes into such a deep sleep that it’s more than likely unconsciousness. His breathing is crazy and he hasn’t eaten. Perhaps a few teaspoons of apple juice that was more to wet his tongue than anything. I’m thankful for the management and staff, including those who work in the kitchen and cleaning areas of this nursing home. God bless you all abundantly.

I’ll post again when time allows.

Riverside Peace (the poem)

There’s something about a river
that draws me to its side
Effortlessly advancing
toward a lake or sea.

With abundance of freshness
it’s filled with life and health
Uninterrupted flowing
beyond the distant fields.

From gentle humble beginnings
– a fact of life itself
Amazingly appealing
amid a lonely past.

Whispers of the river embrace
the peace renews my mind
Majestically embracing
yonder pathways I see.

© Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Poetry Mix by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Rainbow Smile

I asked an old lady in the park if she had seen my little boy.

‘What does he look like?’ she replied.

‘Well,’ I answered, quite sincere—

‘He has brown eyes
And hair to match;
Too many curls for a little boy,
Combed to perfection every day;
His teeth are white as white can be—
A very tidy little man is he!
He wears a smartly pressed sailor suit
With little white shoes to match.’

— A perfect darling is my boy.’

‘No child like this I have seen,’ the lady did respond,
‘but a treasure you will find, just around that path.’

Around the garden path I went
And before me, a treasure my eyes beheld—

He had brown eyes
And hair to match,
A shock of curls in disarray,
Band-aid knees and soiled clothes—
What happened to my little boy?
At front, he had a missing tooth;
He was eating ice-cream from a cone,
His face aglow with a rainbow smile.

—’A perfect darling is my boy.’

© Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED From my book:  Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Poetry Mix