When Wishes Come True

Thanks to Jason, once again, for this amazing close up photo of a heron. Check out more of his photos at http://jasonfrels.com/2022/11/15/fiery-sky-over-inks-lake/

The kids were splashing in the lake but not for long. Summer was gone and the temps were dropping.

“Who is hungry? I have hotdogs, chips and cookies.”

Grandma Sarah was calling to them. Benji. Joelle and Marcia. Precious pieces of her heart, her dear grandchildren. It didn’t take long for them to come running from the lake. The screen door banged as they ran inside the cabin.

Benji reached for a cookie and Grandma went to smack his hand, but he pulled it away fast enough. “Wash your hands, you rascal.”

Soon all hands were washed and there was lively chatter as they ate.

“Tell us a story, Grandma, please.”

Sarah looked at their bright, hopeful faces, how could she say no?

“Hmmm….but you heard all of my stories.”

“No we haven’t Grandma, you always have stories to tell.” Joelle replied as her siblings nodded in agreement.

“Let me think …. I may have one left in me yet.” She gave them a wink and their eager faces smiled up at her as she began.

“A long, long time ago there was a young girl named Sarah.”

Benji smirked, “It must have been an incredibly long time, since you were young!”

Grandma Sarah reached out and tickled his ribs. Benji was the witty one.

“As I was saying there was a fair young maiden by the name of Sarah. One early morning she was out for a walk around the lake.

She was secretly hoping to see Rudy. He was a tall, lanky boy with red hair and freckles.”

“Grandpa used to have red hair. This is a story about meeting Grandpa.” Marcia got a dreamy look in her eyes.”I can’t wait until I meet my Prince. ” Joelle rolled her eyes at her sister.

Grandma Sarah laughed, Marcia and Joelle couldn’t be more opposite. The romantic one and the tomboy. Shaking her head she continued with her story.

“Sarah’s heart jumped when she spotted him across the lake. Oh how she hoped he would notice her this time. She had taken extra time on her hair and even sprayed some perfume. That was sure to get his attention.

Her face was burning hot, and as red as a cherry. How dare he? She hated boys. Feeling mad and humiliated she kept her face down while walking back to the cabin.

All Sarah had been able to say was “Hi” to him. He had looked her way and smiled, but as she got closer he scrunched up his face and said, “What’s that awful smell?”

How dare he? He handles stinky fish and he had the nerve to say her perfume stank! She didn’t think it was her perfume at first, but he kept moving away from her when she would get closer. Finally he wrinkled his nose and yelled, “Stay away, you smell!”

Her face still burned, but she did have a little smug satisfaction. She had pushed him into the lake. Served him right.”

Joelle laughed, “Go Grandma!”

Benji made a face, “Poor Grandpa, girls are such trouble.”

“Are not!”

“Are too!”

Grandma Sarah waited for them to stop squabbling and then continued once again.

Sarah’s time at the lake was coming to an end soon, her family would be going home. She hadn’t seen Rudy since that embarrasing day. What a swell vacation this had turned out to be. Not how she had planned at all. She was feeling sorry for herself while skipping stones across the lake.

A few minutes later she was in awe when she looked beside her. There was a golden heron so close to her. It was so still, looking so regal.

“Make a wish, I am the golden heron, at your service.”

Sarah’s mouth dropped open! Did that heron actually talk to her?

“You may want to close your mouth before a fish jumps in.”

Her mouth snapped shut but her eyes felt like they were coming out of her head. A heron was talking to her!

“How are you talking?” Sarah asked in astonishment.

“Well the same as you, I open my mouth and … I wouldn’t think I would have to explain it to you.”

Sarah didn’t know what to think but she wasn’t going to miss a chance to make a wish.

“Make Rudy like me.” She spit it out quick before getting too shy.

The golden heron said, “Your wish is my command.” And away it flew.

The following week they were packing up to leave and Sarah still hadn’t heard anything from Rudy. So much for her “wish.” She hadn’t seen the golden heron again either.

After being home for a week she was surprised to find a letter addressed to her in her mailbox. Who was it from?

Tearing it open she read the first lines. “Dear Sarah, How are you? I wish your family wouldn’t have left. I miss seeing you walking around the lake. You may not want to hear from me but I have to tell you something, though you are going to think I am crazy. Yesterday I saw a golden heron and ..”

A tingling sensation stirred throughout Sarah’s body as she continued to read.

“You can’t stop there Grandma, what happened?” Joelle asked.

“Yeah, I want to know, did Grandpa ever get you back for pushing him into the lake?” said Benji.

“Marcia, where are you going?” They all watched her running towards the door.

“I am going to go find the golden heron. I want to make a wish.”

Joelle smacked her head,”Oh help! Herons don’t make wishes come true, silly, But wait I want to ask it a question.” She was yelling as she ran out the door to catch up to her.

“Girls are so crazy and I have to put up with two of them!” groaned Benji. Grandma chuckled as she tousled his thick curls,

The Glow of the Unexpected

This is Part 2 of  The Power of the Prickly Pear post. Thanks to Jason for the photo.

The car ride to the desert was quiet as Nicole drank her caramel marchietto coffee, trying to wake up. About a half hour later they arrived at the desert and Nicole was feeling more alive.

They had only been walking for a little  bit, when a road runner ran in front of  them. A smile filled Nicole’s face. She had still been feeling moody this morning about the cancelled cruise, but she was going to do her best to enjoy the day.

She was finding it easy to enjoy the hike. Juan was proving to be an entertaining guide. He kept Nicole in stitches with his little stories and filled her mind with fun, rare facts.

“Here is an important fact that you don’t want to forget, for knowing it could save your life.”  Juan looked at her with all seriousness, and she wondered what it could possibly be.

“Never, never….” he paused … and stopped walking, making Nicole stop too.

“Eat the liver of a polar bear, for the amount of vitamin A in it will kill you.”

Nicole could only shake her head … “I will be sure  to remember that if I ever encounter a polar bear. I guess its good that don’t have any vacations to Alaska planned.”

They walked on chatting, conversation flowing freely. Nicole couldn’t help but compare how Corey and her didn’t seem to talk this easily. She always had a good time with him, but … there were a lot of times he seemed to be distant.

“Nicole, Nicole, are you okay? You seem to have blanked out for a moment

“Umm…yes, I am fine…sorry about that.” She tried to compose herself and forget about Corey.

Juan looked at her with a question in his eyes,  but he didn’t say anything. He would soon break the news. Nicole was a lovely, young lady, but he had to do what he had to do.

He didn’t have much time, as they would soon end their hike at the Prickly Pear cactus and all would be revealed.

“Whoa!” Nicole jumped back. There was a snake right in front of her and her stunning blue eyes were so round.

“You will be fine. He is more afraid of you than you are of him.”

“I highly question the truth of that statement.” Nicole was frozen in place. The snake soon slithered away and she felt the breath coming back into her lungs.

Juan tried his best to keep the conversation light for a few moments after that and then he put his hand on her arm. “We have to stop here for a bit.”

Nicole felt nervous all of a sudden. Why? She had felt comfortable around Juan all morning, but now. It hit her how they were pretty much out in the middle of nowhere and no one was around. Juan saw fear flicker across her face and felt like an idiot. He probably could have handled this in a much better way.

“Don’t be afraid, there is just something I really have to tell you.”

Nicole stared at him, and he pulled something out of his pocket. He held it up showing it to her. It was a badge.

“You are a FBI agent?”

“J have been working undercover. Thats why I am with you today.”

Total confusion swept across Nicole’s face as Officer Juan tried to explain. He had been following Corey and his boss for the past year and they finally had enough evidence to arrest them for smuggling drugs over the border.

To say that Nicole was in shock was an understatement. As much as she didn’t want it too, it was all making too much sense. The way Corey would grow distant at times and how he was always answering his phone no matter what they were doing. Said he had a demanding boss!

How he never seemed to run out of money and all the trips they would take. When Juan explained about the way Corey used her bags to smuggle the drugs, she felt sick. If she would have been caught she would have been the one getting arrested!

She didn’t know whether to sob or scream, but she did know that her romantic feelings for Corey had been extinguished! That light in her heart had been snuffed out.

“Hey slow down!” Nicole was enraged and Juan was trying to tell her to pace herself. The sun was beating down and the temperature was rising.

Maybe Juan shouldn’t have given her a heads up. He remembered the words of his Mama when she talked about the “fury of a woman.” “Nicole, Stop, at least take a drink of water!’

Juan had told her that he had tricked Corey to coming to Mexico. Corey thougbt that Juan was working for his boss. Officers had already arrested Corey, they would meet them at the end of their hike. They would be by the patch of the Prickly Pear Cacti.

Nicole saw him before he saw her. Tears sprung to her eyes at first but she angrily brushed them away and continued marching forward. Juan saw the look in her eyes and he was mighty glad that he wasn’t on the receiving end. For a moment he worried that he might have to arrest Nicole for assault.

Corey saw her and Juan saw some hope flash in his eyes. “Oh babe, I am so glad…”

“I am NOT your babe! How could you betray my trust like this!” If looks could kill Corey would be a goner.

“I can explain, I never meant to …” With one big push Nicole shoved Corey into the patch of the prickly pear cacti. With his hands handcuffed behind his back he was defenseless and fell right on top of them, yelling.

Juan and the other officers tried not to laugh, but Juan couldn’t resist leaning over to whisper in Nicole’s ear, “Well done!”

She replied back, “You wouldn’t by chance have the liver of a polar bear to feed him, would you?” Juan dissolved in laughter.

Nicole had a hint of a smile, when she looked at Juan. The sun hit just right, making the cactus glow and sbe noticed how the sun glowed on Officer Juan’s face. She didn’t want to think of men now, but, she was happy. Happy that she was being escorted back to the US by a man that she just may want to get to know better in the future, Officer Juan.

The Magical Lake


When I saw the following photo on Jason’s blog, I knew I had to think of a story to go with it. Thanks Jason for taking such a beautiful photo and for the inspiration. For more of his photos feel free to check out his blog, http://jasonfrels.com/2021/10/19/evening-reflections/  



Wow! Catching her breath, she stood transfixed in front of the lake. The sun was hitting the boulders just right, and the scene was dazzling. No wonder this was believed to be a magical lake. Not that she believed in magic at all, that wasn’t why she had come.

Trish had heard the stories, the ones that circulated around. One would have to be living under a rock to not have heard of the magical lake and things that were seen there. Around the water cooler at work one always knew that someone would mention the lake and then the stories would start, “Did you hear…?” . “Did you know what happened to…” That would usually be the sign to Trish that her break was over and she would find more sanity back at her desk. Rolling her eyes she would walk away.

Today she was supposed to have gone away with a friend to hike some and camp overnight in the woods, but her friend woke up sick, so the plans fell through. Not wanting to waste a beautiful Saturday, she decided to go out hiking on her own. While driving she passed by the sign for the lake and decided to stop. She had to admit that she was curious about what this “magical” lake looked like. Now that she was standing in front of it, if she did believe in magic then she could see it happening here.

Deciding to spend some more time here she sat down and opened a book. She was planning on hiking, but it was so surreal here. Why not take a little time to relax and read. That was why she always kept a book in her car, one never knew when it would come in handy.

In no time at all she became lost in the story, lying in the grass and basking in the sunlight.

What was that? Looking up from her book she looked around, but didn’t see anything. Thinking it must have been the wind that rustled some leaves she went back to reading her novel.

A few moments later she heard it again. This time Trish was sure that her ears weren’t playing tricks on her. It wasn’t the wind. Standing up she looked all around feeling her skin start to prickle a little. Not being one to get scared easily she wasn’t too worried, but she did want to know where, oh where was that weird sound coming from!

The story that Jan told on Friday came back to her. No, that couldn’t be, Jan was a dizzy blonde, thought Trish. But she couldn’t deny it, the sound was exactly how Jan had described it. The high pitch noise hurt her ears and sounded like it would shatter glass! Jan hadn’t stayed long enough to find the source of it, she had ran back to her car.

Well Trish wasn’t going to be a scaredy cat, she would not run only to regret it later. Holding her hands over her ears she scanned the lake once more and that was when she saw it in the distance. Some huge gray blob rising up from the water! Okay, now Trish may be breaking out in goosebumps as she forced herself to stand her ground. Hoping with all her might that she wouldn’t rue her decision to stay, as she stared at the huge blob which was coming more into focus.

It was a hippo! What was a hippo doing out here? At least she thought it was a hippo, but she never had seen a hippo like it before. Its neck was long. She was no expert on animals, but she did know that giraffes typically had long necks, not hippos. Trish stood there thinking about its long neck when it opened its mouth and out came that high pitch squealing, or was it singing? Was the long necked hippo actually singing?

Trish didn’t know what to think, either she didn’t have enough coffee this morning or … there really was something magical about this lake. It produced long necked singing hippos, if you could call it singing!

Now the other stories were coming back to her, could they be true as well? Jimmy had everyone laughing when he said he had seen a cow at the lake before. They told him cows were at farms and in meadows, not at a lake, but he was convinced it was a cow! He said its deep brown eyes were so big and seemed to look right through him. That it had a sparkling cowbell around its neck. Yeah, Jimmy liked to tell tall tales.

Trish covered her ears, the hippo was squawking again. She picked up her pace to get back to the car, deciding that a day spent reading on the couch with some strong coffee sounded pretty good to her. Walking back she started shaking. Feeling a sudden sensation that something was staring at her. Her breathing grew a little more rapid as she kept walking. She never did see the brown cow with a sparkling cowbell. The one whose gaze was fixed intently on her retreating back.

Where Magic Lives


Jason from https://jasonfrels.com/2020/05/09/some-hiking-and-wildflowers/ had posted this picture on his blog awhile ago. I had mentioned back then how I liked it and asked if I could use it for a story post. He nicely granted his permission and then I forgot, about it, until it popped back in my mind today! Thanks Jason, for the inspiration.


Kendra saw the sign ahead. “Rimrock Trail 2.2 miles”  Should she take this trail? She wondered where it might lead. There was no rush for her to get back home, so why not try it. She headed down the trail, seeing a bright orange butterfly fly in front of her and watching a bushy tailed squirrel quickly scamper out of her way.

It was nice to be walking in the shade for a change, the noonday sun had been getting hot earlier. With this trail the trees made a cool canopy above her as she walked.

Walking on she was enjoying the solitude. Thoughts  had stopped whizzing around in her brain at 90 mph. Nature really did help to put your mind at rest. A smile crossed her face at the sight of a white rabbit off to the side. It was a cute ball of fluff, reminding her of a big ball of cotton candy. She watched  it sitting there with its ears erect, then suddenly without warning, taking off around the tree.

Something touched her shoulder. With surprise she saw the bright orange butterfly that she had seen before, now sitting on her shoulder. Holding still she wondered how long it would stay. It didn’t stay for too long until it flew away, but it left her with a magical feeling.

After walking for a little while longer she thought she heard the sound of water running. She blinked her eyes in surprise as ahead of her she saw even more butterflies, shades of orange, purple and blue. It was almost like they were beckoning her to follow them.

The sound of rushing water grew stronger and Kendra eagerly walked on. She caught her breath at the sight before her. It was a most  lovely waterfall. Oh, she was so glad she had taken this trail, what a wonderful surprise to find. Beautiful pink lotus blossoms were around the waterfall, adding to the magical feel of the place.

31d7468628e9bda4c3b3bc244c9075ce (pinterest photo credit)

Spying a rock she sat down, soaking in the sound of the rushing water. Feeling at peace, her eyes began growing heavy and it wasn’t long before they closed.

“Looks like the butterflies found someone…”

“Do you think she could be the one?”  asked Laylie, as others gathered around the sleeping Kendra.

“We will have to see what Felicity says, as to whether or not she wants to try and cast the spell on her. Go Laylie, and get Felicity.

Off Laylie flew, hoping that perhaps at last they had found someone to be the Princess of the fairies.








Time for a Smile Break!

Today was a good day for ducks! A dreary, rainy day, but you can always find smiles if you look for them, and these pics made me smile. I hope they do for the same for you, sometimes you just need to take a SMILE BREAK! Share something that makes you smile in the comments below. You can feel free to share captions for these pictures as well. All pictures are thanks to Pinterest, the site that has just about anything!






via Photo Challenge: Reflecting


20170409_064612 There are times when getting up early to see the sunrise is rewarding! The beach makes me more of a morning person. 🙂



My dear husband took this picture when he was away from me due to work. Spent 3 months in Oklahoma. This picture was from Medicine Park, which was a lovely spot to go to down there. Someday we may make the trip down there, so that I can see it for real.