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Hotel St. Pancras 1935

23 Jul

lemanshots_stair

Hotel St. Pancras in London 1935

Piano notes could be heard on this late sultry evening in July of 1935 as the elderly couple sat on the burgundy-velvet love seat in the grand lobby of the Pancras Hotel . A gentleman artist was performing for a near non existent crowd. The wedding party of yesterday had partied and left, returning home to the countryside.

Apparently, Gracie and John Smith couldn’t depart as yet. Their grandson, Johnnie, was all that was left now as his sister was betrothed to her American sweetheart, would honeymoon in Paris, then move to the farm in the states. Johnnie and his sister lost their parents back when he was one from an auto accident. Her groom was a farmer from the middle of America. It would be a long while, if ever, when they’d be reunited. Little Johnnie didn’t know of this, only that he received many hugs yesterday and he swore his sister had tears in her eyes. He decided that’s what happiness and “love” bring, lots of wet faces and sobs.

He, Johnnie, looked around the lonely lobby and wandered from sofa to sofa, scouring the place for some form of life. Brown eyes lofted to the staircase and back at his grandma and grandpa. They sat while minds floated to the music played by the piano man as they remembered one tune after another. The gentleman lobbyist or attendant from the front desk assured them the music would last two more hours maybe more.

“What should I do?” He whispered to himself as he sat dressed in a suit with bow-tie. He looked for other faces, but there were none, et all. He must find his adventure. He quietly walked up to his family. “I have to pee.”

John Smith smiled upon the boy and looked to the hallway behind the front desk. “Right over there, Johnnie. You can go by yourself.”

Johnnie smiled. His adventure would now begin. He looked back and saw his grandparents talking, laughing, and drinking as they nodded to the piano man. Johnnie sped up his movements on the first set of stairs to escape their view. He looked up. And up. He was going to find something. His hand smoothed over the wooden banister and it glided like a sailing ship he’d seen come into port two days ago. Grandma Gracie told him, “I believe it comes from special trees in the woods, very strong ones.” He wondered if he’d ever seen the trees in the woods before, that ended up as a wooden banister.

After this contemplation and feeling like he’d discovered gold while on board a big wooden ship, he then for no apparent reason whatsoever, skipped steps. Johnnie took large lunges stretching his inner groin muscles a bit much. He thought he heard his pants rip apart at the seams. He laughed and kept going up. He skipped a floor. Why not? The notes of tunes, classic in rendition, penetrated the opening but not as loud.

He put his hand over the gold fleur-de-lis patterns on the wall. He knew what they were, grandma told him, but he couldn’t remember what they symbolized. He calculated he’d made it to the 3rd floor. He decided to run the hallway very fast from one end to the other. Halfway down he hit the floor when a door opened and a woman came out, yelling, “I don’t ever want to see you again!”

Johnnie stopped. Startled and a bit scared he resumed the upright position.

She looked at him, sized him a good stare.

She was sad, or was it mad he questioned?

“What are you doing you little scoundrel?”

Johnnies eyebrows rose and then lowered. He replied, “Why nothing. Better yet, what’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing and everything,” she laughed.

“Caren,” she said sweetly.

“Johnnie, at your service madwoman.” He offered his hand and they shook to their new acquaintance.

“Pleased to meet you this fine evening.”

“Likely.”

“Likewise.” She iterated. “I’ve got an hour to let off some steam before I return to slumber for the night. You?”

“Oh, maybe that long, too.”

“There’s two things I’ve wanted to do here with another adventurer and have never been able to do it, least not since I was a kid.”

“Tell me.”

“How old are you?”

“Seven. Does it matter?” He answered cockily.

“Old enough, I suppose. Can you balance?” she asked.

He stepped on one foot, closed his eyes and held his arms out.

“Good. Do you scare easily?”

He squinted, looked at her, then thought of the serene but tedious scene in the lobby. “No way.”

“Ready for some action, then?”

“Yup!”

“Follow me.”

Caren took off for the 4th floor rather quickly. She skipped steps, too. He liked her already.

Once at the top, she whispered in his ear what they were going to do and when finished they must hurriedly, so as not to get caught, exit back up to the 5th and 6th floors. She would show him the special rooms in the towers.

Boy was this his lucky night! Brown eyes followed her every word. She said, “First though the real fun begins.”

He joined her.

“Come quickly!”

She climbed upon the banister made of special trees. He followed. The unlikely pair lay on their abdomens and flew down and around the curves. Smiles widened and light laughs followed down the passage way. Johnnie pretended he was flying, only backwards. She helped him to stay balanced. He got the giggles and couldn’t stop.

One floor, two floor, and third floor complete!

She laughed with him and tried to shush both of them. No one heard them as there was no one present to over hear the light excitement of new pals.

“Remember, the last banister you must ride on your back and bottom, being very careful to not fall off. You can do it. Then run right back up to the fourth floor and I’ll show you the special towers on five and six.”

Little Johnnie was so energized. He knew he couldn’t stop. He realized she waited to the last stairs for the funnest part of all. And a good thing as one would not want to fall four floors down. No way.

Right before he let go he heard the church choir from yesterday in the cathedral where the wedding took place. He was ready to let himself fly. Caren let him go first and he nearly fell off a good many times. The piano man looked up and smiled at them. Little Johnnie fell right at the end when he tried to dismount. He took a tumble and the piano man paused his keys; Gracie and John looked at him when he stopped at mid song.

Quickly, he recovered and banged hard on his ivory music box. He threw his hands in the air, stood, and bowed. Stunned, the couple clapped. He asked them what favorite tune they might like to hear next? All the while he let the adventurers escape to higher heights.

Caren and little Johnnie breathlessly flew back up while leaving giggles in ascension to the fifth floor. At the end of the fourth floor they found the passageway through a special door hidden by library books.

“How do you know this?”

“Johnnie, this is my father’s hotel!”

“Seriously?” He smiled. His adventure was more than he could have dreamed. His sister was gone and now, tonight, he had a new play mate. He’d follow her anywhere.

Inside the tower, he took notice there were not any dragons, prisoners, or ghosts as one might suspect or be told. Just a bird on the ledge perched against the city backdrop when Caren opened the iron laden door. The pair walked out into the night with heavy fog surrounding the balcony and stood together: high up, safe, and exhilarated from earlier spent energy, acting foolish and daring.

“You’re not mad anymore,” he said.

“No, I’m not. You see if ever you become bored or mad, find something daring, fun and exciting to do. Go on a small adventure.”

“I had so much fun. Someday, we’ll do it again, you and me, okay?” he asked.

“Sure, I’d like that.”

He smiled. She didn’t tell him that her father was closing the hotel next week. She not dare ruin the moment as they looked out upon London in the fog above the Pancras hotel and railway.

The End

Digital Photo Credit to Lemanshots WordPress

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A Wonderful Decision

27 May

Teens“Did you talk to Dad about getting my belly button pierced?” she asked. My raised eyebrows and stunned look didn’t tell her a thing. She smiled back at me and said, “After all, I passed Math.”

Yes, it’s absolutely true the issues of parenting get larger with increased age, but take a deep breath as you can handle anything you tell yourself. You will have had years of tests, read hundreds of articles, and called your mother a few times to get the age old wisdom no book can deliver as well as her. Let’s go back to the beginning where it all starts.

As a mother of three adopted children I’m experienced but no expert on parenting just like most of the world . When I look back it was a daunting process which didn’t go smoothly, kind of like the infertility issues my husband and I were treated for.ย  Many people, mostly couples, give up right then and there, and don’t go any further. They decide they’ve had enough. You are on your own to decipher which advice you will take. Will you take your friends advice who heard it through the grapevine of other friends who did this or that? When you finally trust someone, or an agency, will they deliver? Will you be super lucky and get twins?

twinsIf you went through infertility treatments and they worked, well, you are blessed! But if it didn’t work, you are left again to figure it all out if you have the energy, time and money leftover. At this point you wish someone would take your hand and lead you through the maze. This happened for myself after my husband and I stood in our kitchen and he said, “I just can’t do anymore.” He had stood beside me all those years of trying, and I had truly felt his encouragement and desire for kids. If we didn’t go any further I would not be a mom. For some reason I felt destined to be a mother all my life. I could not figure out why God would keep this from me. I said the prayers and asked the question “why” over and over?

Friends and one fellow co-worker responded back with “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” So, I held onto the window theory for quite awhile. Then one day while working in a post-anesthesia care unit at my local hospital my patient woke up. She was a young girl from India and she stared into my eyes. I hadn’t even spoken yet when she said, “Are you a mother?”

I replied, “No. Why do you ask?”

She looked and smiled at me. She said, “Because you should be one.”

Of course I said, “Yes, I know.” This was not the time or place to express the longings of becoming a mother and God forbid the unanswered whys.

Very happily she said, “I’m adopted and it’s the best thing. I love it. I have the best parents in the world.” She went on and on and on. That was my first angel I met.

Tres AngelsAnd the second one came when I called an agency, run by two ladies who had been there done that. The fee was 500 bucks and it became the best money I’d ever spent on our trials and tribulations of becoming parents. They met with you and together came up with five or so agencies that fit your budget and criteria. Details like did you want a newborn, a toddler, siblings, health concerns, maternal drug use, etc., etc.? It’s a scary world out there and you have to come up with your comfort zone. You have to figure out what you can do. Can you take care of special needs? This is realism to the core, honesty and a test, yet again. You get to know yourself very well through this process.

Honestly, I thought maybe it was over for me as I approached the big 4-0. One of my angels I had just met on the phone asked me when that birthday was and I replied, “November.”

I heard her on the other end counting out the months from March. Then she said, “We can do this. It’s possible!” These words gave me hope and my earthly angels were going to look out for me. They understood the pain, the anguish of a basic need … the need to nurture and love. There are no words to describe the feeling when someone believes in you, and wants to help you after everything you’ve endured. This agency called Adoption Information Services did set us up with another wonderful agency called Gift of Life. Both can be found online thanks to the wonderful internet.

Before Gift of Life was able to provide to us our lovely twin daughters, another gift came our way. Our son arrived via what I call the domino effect. Someone who knew someone, who knew another someone who knew our friend, that had told them about us, became our adoption reality. It really does work like that, as they tell you to tell friends and family you want adoption in your life. We were able to be in the delivery room with the birth-mother after only meeting her two weeks before. By the way I turned forty two days later. What a blessing!

twinsWhy do I write about something so personal, so revealing? Because now is the time in my life I am prepared to write these human interest stories, stories of love and brave acts. It’s time we treat these birth mother’s with the respect and dignity they deserve. They are carrying the life and love of a family for which they are brave enough to sacrifice themselves. This is not rejection but theย  unconditional love we all long for in life. If we can respect these women that decide this fate, then maybe the children who already love their new families can rest their minds knowing society is behind them and the woman who sacrifices. These are good women who give birth to life and a soul the future.

baby Adoption was a wonderful decision I made back in 1997. My husband thanked me (when our son was born) for continuing the process when he had had enough turbulence with infertility.

Kim Troike is a writer, mother and nurse from Atlanta, Georgia. Her latest novel is “Into the Vines” and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She blogs about themes like this one(adoption) present in her contemporary novel of fiction onto theivorytide.com. See her Amazon page here.

By Kim Troike

Cupids Pic Credit by Kim

Google Images Credit

Adoption.com

AdoptionInformationServices

Homestudies

GiftofLifeAdoptions.com

Parenting.com

 

Oktoberfest Celebration

21 Sep

Oktoberfest Fall FunWelcome to my blog theivorytide … I’m so glad you made it here. This is my newest blog (I have a troika) and this is where the storybook party is.

I’ve got some pictures, music videos and a whole lotta happiness from me as I’ve hit a milestone. I’ll share that at the end. Enjoy!!

Oktoberfest Fall FunTake a break from the football game, cooking, or whatever you are doing and feel the festivities of fall; right here in cyber-land where imagination and laughter rule!

Did you know that women play football? Somewhere down the line I heard that but have never seen it and I’ve been to more than a ladies share of games. I’m married to a Fantasy Football Freak!

Oktoberfest Fall Fun

Wait this lady means business; I love it!! Also check out the abs on number five … I just haven’t figured out why they are playing in bikinis. I am in to promoting women in their endeavors and I applaud these football revelers. They are doing something I don’t think I could do nor would want to.

Oktoberfest Fall FunSeriously, what’s a party without some beverages? I’ve ordered up a few beers! They make so many flavors this time of the year but that’s another blog post with all those festivals around the world. These ladies look healthy and happy! Beer is good for you, did you know that? It has B vitamins and grains and hops, but, of course, too much of a good thing is not good for anyone.

Oktoberfest CelebrationGeorge Washington made beer and so have many a dad’s with kits given to them as Christmas presents. Have you ever smelled beer cooking in your basement? It wafts up the staircase and permeates the house with a very distinct odor; it smells like burning sugar cane with bread baking in the oven. Then you have to wait for weeks to taste the final product or you could go to the store and buy an Oktoberfest Ale.

Oktoberfest CelebrationAnd now for the music … I almost feel like I’m in Germany; do you?

Oktoberfest CelebrationHere is a treat. This will make you smile and might even have you clapping with the folks in this video. I don’t understand one word, tell me if you do.

I had to watch that video twice; I just love those girls on roller blades playing the accordion! Are you smiling yet? Do you wonder why I invited you?

Oktoberfest CelebrationI invited you to a party to celebrate my novel, my finishing of that novel. I have the final edit to do but the imagination, the grueling writing process and the storyline are finished. I have an artist painting a cover and once again I’ve sent a query letter. This dream I had began years ago and after I began trekking forward, well, I had to make it the best I could.

If all goes well we should see a late Fall release either self-published or by an agent/publisher. The title is “Into the Vines” and 120-130K words. This post isn’t about the contents of my book. Nope. This is the celebration, the fireworks, well, the fun anyway!!

Oktoberfest CelebrationI have skipped the main course and went right for the dessert … it’s apple pie. We certainly do celebrate events with food and drink~then we have to watch our weight or rather work-out. I just had a thought, in cyberspace we don’t eat but we do sit. Maybe with these new watches (ie: phones) it will make us more portable, moving again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oktober Fall Fun

Thank you so much for coming and looking around. Please leave a comment and tell me what you love about Fall, your favorite food or drink, or possibly what book you are currently reading. I love winking around the net. A favorite person of mine from my youth used to wink at me and I loved it. Maybe it’s the attention! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oktober CelebrationI leave you with the Harvest Moon …

 

If you have the time here’s a Neil Young video from the Ryman Theatre in Nashville with him singing The Harvest Moon. It’s an absolute piece of perfection with distilling words of simplicity.

 

by Kim Troike

Google Images Credit

YouTube Video Credit

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