One at a Time

Thank you, Rochelle Wisoff Fields for leading dozens and dozens of us from around the world in another round of Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo prompt is by Dale Rogerson. Thank you for inspiring my memories that inspired this story, Dale!

To read a virtual anthology of this week’s Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click HERE.

Photo courtesty of Dale Rogerson

One at a Time

Its frozen tears inspire me to wonder what the tree might be thinking. But that’s not why I stare. No, memories brought by the word “icicle” hold me there.

When I was a little girl, Christmas tree decorating began with great enthusiasm–until it came time to place the icicles.

“One at a time,” Mom insisted.

But when she wasn’t looking, I’d toss a handful so I could finish and go watch TV.

“One at a time!” she reminded, as I swore she had eyes in back of her head.

What I’d give to hear her words again.

My Mom and Her Icicled Tree

Steve’s Story

Stems and Rests

Hands in his pockets, he walked home from the doctor’s office where once again, the news had not been good. He came upon the tree and thought:

beneath the silence, ice
beneath the ice, music
and in the music
stems and rests

“Tonight,” he said to himself in a state nourishing self pity, “I’ll rest.”

This entry was posted in Christmas, Friday Fictioneers, nostalgia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to One at a Time

  1. Well done, Jan. Wish I could make those pictures bigger.


  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    Your mom looked so happy sitting on the floor…


    • Jan Vanek says:

      Koji, my mom could be a drill sergeant at Christmas with her icicle demands, enlisting help to wrap every single little gift in the more than 30 Christmas stockings she put together and setting a dinner table fit for a queen. But she was a happy drill sergeant, because Christmas was the time we all came together. Though as a teenager I often rolled my eyes, it’s Christmas time I miss my mom the most.


  3. Awwweee. It’s when they are gone that we appreciate them the most. And just love the pictures, thank you so much for sharing them.


  4. Natasha says:

    Memories are our most precious gift. They help us appreciate life a little more.
    Loads of festive cheer your way.


  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Lovely story – I think all Mums are like this when it comes to tree decorating, wishing the kids would do it right!


  6. Sandra says:

    Christmas is a time for remembering, wishing for times long gone. Your Christmas tree looks lovely.


  7. Dear Jan and Steve,

    Two good stories for the price of one. Jan, I hear your longing. So much said in few words. Steve, not a good time for a bad diagnosis (never is). Well done to both.




  8. rgayer55 says:

    This brought back memories. I remember those icicles. My mother had a love/hate relationship with them. They looked great on the tree, but not so good on her floor. Sometimes I would get one or two stuck to my Keds and broadcast the tiny strands throughout the rest of the house. Guess who got to sweep them up?

    As for Steve’s story, I really loved the line “in a state nourishing self pity.” The sadness and emotion really came through strong. Well done.


    • Jan Vanek says:

      Russell, I think we ALL had a love/hate relationship with icicles. But I wouldn’t mind placing a few in memory of my mom. I wonder if I can find them anymore. Maybe Amazon! Yeah, Amazon!

      I’ll pass along your compliment to Steve, too.

      Happy holidays to you, Connie and your family! 🙂


  9. granonine says:

    So many good memories. I loved the tinsel we always put on our tree but it’s gone out of style and I don’t know anyone who uses it now. My kids informed long ago that it was ugly. Little do they know.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Love this, especially the pictures.


  11. when I grew up, Christmas was spent in a country house without a television, and decorating the tree which we went out and cut ourselves was a great tradition… the night before Christmas eve was always busy when we decorated everything… not only the tree but also a very elaborate nativity landscape… yes there are some memories of rather doing something else, but I do miss it now. I do.


  12. Dale says:

    Ahh… the tinsel debate! I miss those days! Lovely stories from both of you again!


  13. Alice Audrey says:

    But tensile just begs to be tossed.


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