Paulina Angela

writings and ramblings


June 2017

message in a bottle

via Daily Prompt: Bottle   

DCF 1.0

Springtime is in its youth. It is a time when waters run rapid and  before summers heat renders the creek lazy. A perfect time for racing twigs and bark, for pitting pine cones against peanut shells. Standing on the narrow bridge, siblings toss vessels of found debris into the current, betting on which will emerge first. Once it is established that our own stick is superior to any other we sprinted across the country road to witness the emerging winner.  Of course a stick is a stick is a stick and sometimes there is confusion about whose switch was whose.

On a day when brothers and sisters have no interest in imaginary boating competitions I think up something new. A romantic idea often seen in cartoons and movies sometimes songs. I will put a message in a pop bottle. With paper torn from my notebook I write: My name and address along with instructions to whom in may concern please reply and we will be pen pals. I seal the bottle, ride my bike to the bridge, and dispatch into the current. Spring waters swiftly engulf the bottle and I hope it will gain some distance before being washed ashore.

Well, that is the end of the story. No one ever wrote to say they received my message in a coke bottle. Probably, all I really did was pollute the river with glass. That is how I think about it now but when I was twelve I imagined the bottle launching into an adventurous journey and ending at an exotic locale. I imagined the finder of my note to be so intriguing and likewise intrigued by me that we would become pen pals for life. I will also mention that it was many years before I gave up the hope of receiving a reply. My folks still live at that address so if you find it please write to me. I’ll get the message.message in a bottlethings contained in bottles:

  • messages
  • genies
  • poison / antidote / cure
  • medicine / elixir
  • boats / ships
  • condiments
  • potions  ( most common “love # 9)
  • emotions / feelings
  • rockets
  • bottle bomb or as it’s more commonly known  “Molotov cocktail”
  • candles
  • beverages – ie; milk, juice, water, soda pop
  • spirits / wine
  • screams
  • specimens – live or dead
  • flatulent gases – aka farts
  • breast or mommy milk
  • bouquet – flower display
  • smoke, BT bottle toke – I’ve added this one for the pot heads

– honourable mention-  Jim Croce wanted to put time in a bottle but was unable.

*if you can think of any more please share with me in the comments box



Revelationmustang scottySo Hotty Scotty bought a mustang convertible. Yay!!! I have never been in one and have always wanted a convertible!  Although, the convertibles of my fantasies are usually little blue miatas or a 1980s Mercedes like the one Mr. Nijhuis has.(had?)  Scott’s mustang  (oh, did I mention Scott LOVES mustangs. the list goes 1. mustangs 2. baseball, well all sports really 3. 90s music 4. me 5. smoking. 4 and 5 are interchangeable depending on how annoyed he is with me) is an unfortunate black with red interior. It is so tacky that I am both embarrassed by it and in love with it.   When I announce that I love it mostly for being the underdog of the cool car world Scott is offended. Probably because that is also my reason for loving him.

We now have six cars parked in the driveway. Two are mustangs ( the other a fox body, a term I only recently learned when someone at work asked me if Scott had a “fox body” mustang and I replied why would he need that when he has me? hahaha- me laughing alone). Only one car in the driveway belongs to me. The up side being it always appears as if someone is home. (although if anyone was going to burglar our street they would probably choose to rob one of the many new and ridiculously large mansions built by wealthy neighbors rather than our 1950’s brick box. In proportion to the neighbors house ours could be it’s outhouse, but the joke’s on them because they chose to live next to us). the downside being, that when he has all vehicles outside of the garage I have to be extra careful in how I park. I am a known klutz so why he would ever risk parking near me is beyond comprehension. When you think about it, if I accidentally back into his BMW with my lowly Escape it’s really his own fault.

Anyway back to the tacky convertible. (no wait sidebar- his other mustang I call the douchemobile. What?!? If you saw it you’d understand. It has a giant cobra on the hood and says Dech on the back bumper! He pronounces it Deck but I say douche)  So the new (to us) mustang is awesome! I took my first ride in it this morning through the timmy’s drivethru. I felt so free riding in a car sans roof! I can’t believe I’ve lived 46 39 years without this experience. It’s like a divine revelation! Scott says he’s not surprised that I feel so free… since I opted to leave the house dressed in nothing but a sun-dress sans underwear.  We next stop at macs milk so he can check his lotto tickets. “You can stay in the car and keep your revelations to yourself.” he says, “Unless you can find a grate  to stand over Marilyn Monroe style.”  Those are my only options? That’s what you get when you decide to go commando. I wait in the car. When he returns I suggest we find a quiet county road so I can climb in the backseat and perch atop the trunk like they do in the movies Scott says no.

me: why?  just drive slow, I will hang on to the roll bar

him:  why do you want to do that? I think it’s illegal

me:  okay we’ll wait until sundown – no we’ll wait ’til it gets dark and I can take my shirt off  yaya sisterhood style. Oh yeah! brilliant! total freedom!

him:  okay, settle down there 10 year old Pauline, I think you’ve had enough freedom

me: can you ever really have too much freedom?


I think he should get vanity plates – DCH MBIL



Scarlet Leigh’s youth is filled with stories about the hidden orchard. Listening to her mother’s bedtime tales, Scarlet became caught up with imaginary enchanted apple trees and blossom whirlwinds. Beth had always described her secret place in a manner so marvelous that young Scarlet would dream of the day she might finally see it for real. Of course that was before, before her mother moved her here to live at Milkweed lane. Before her parents had split up and their home was bright new condo in the city. That was before and this is after. After the crying and arguing.  After the insults, shouting, and court dates. After all assets were as divided as her family .  Now Scarlet visits dad in the city every other weekend and during the week she rides a school bus (so lame) into Juniper Valley metropolis (as if!) for school. This  new school is soooo small (how small is it?)  So small that besides herself the grade eight class has only 18 students, and she is in one of the larger groups. The kindergarten class has two kids enrolled (seriously, one – two). On its whole Juniper Valley Public School consists of exactly 103 students.

The snow stopped falling about an hour ago. Although the day is late the sun has finally begun to shine and Beth wants to show her daughter the secret orchard.  When her daughter was little, Scarlet always pleaded with her to take her to the orchard now it seems, as Scarlet puts on boots and coat reluctantly, like it is the last thing she would want to do. Beth sighs, she is happy to be back in her childhood home, even if she and Scar are staying in the cottage across the pond rather than the homestead.  Either way Beth feels at home but Scar is a fish out of water. Well if they are going to go they had better get going the sun won’t shine much longer. It is the Monday of the October long weekend and the days are getting shorter.

Although she has walked the route from house to orchard hundreds of times, Beth hasn’t done so in almost two decades. The tractor path leads to the back field but beyond that she must navigate through the forest by memory. As Mother and daughter begin the hike Beth reminisces about her youth. From a distance one might mistake the pair as sisters but on closer inspection you can see Scarlet intentionally placing space between herself and the woman she calls Mother. Beth, now growing shorter in comparison to her teenage offspring is trying  desperately to reconnect.

Looking ahead at the point of entry the remembered gateway between trees does not seem so welcoming. Either the trees have grown together closing the gap or Beth’s memory is incorrect. She expects to enter just this side of the cedars, between a climbing maple and the big tree fort. On approach she can see the cedars now take up much more real estate and the big tree fort… not so big, meanwhile the climbing maple is so tall you could not pay Beth enough to even attempt a climb.

In the bush and under the protection of many branches the ground is relatively snow-less. Where once a path had been worn now not a trace. Beth looks around for the landmarks of her memory. Her brothers campsite in her mind is approximately 50 feet from where she entered. She expects a small clearing to pitch a tent and a fire pit. Beth circles the area, head down, determined to find the past and not noticing Scarlett’s boredom. She uncovers a few rocks that may have once formed a circle to surround something that might be an old chard log. In her head she was here just the other day but physically standing over the fire pit she feels as if she’s discovering  evidence of another life.  Looking up, the big picture, it is the same old forest, but up close everything has changed. Old feelings of familiarity do not belong to her anymore. Beth always thought these things belonged to her, she owned the view, she was wrong. Maybe her experiences and her memories can be counted as belongings, but the rest just belongs.

Time passes quietly as Scarlet follows Beth. Half an hour ago Beth swore she knew where she was going but after thirty silent minutes of trailing her wandering mother Scarlet finally says out loud what she’s been thinking.  “We’re lost, aren’t we?”

Above them a low slung hunters moon illuminates the woods. Scarlet wonders If Beth even noticed the light changing from gold to silver. Moonlight is a funny thing, it can inspire dogs to sing and lovers to yearn, under its spell snow twinkles and the world glows with luster. The thing is, it is not the moon who is responsible. Oh she’ll take all the credit but in reality moonlight is but a reflection. Like the earth, the moon comes alive from basking beneath Suns generous rays.

“I think we might be lost.” Beth finally surrenders and sits defeated on the remains of a fallen beech tree. Scarlet Leigh perches next to her.  Wanting to comfort her mom but leaving a gap between them she says “Its okay, I am not disappointed. How are we going to get home?” Beth smiles and pats her daughters knee. “Don’t worry, we will follow the dogs home.” Beth stands, placing two fingers under her tongue and a deep inhale she presses out one then another sharp whistle, high-pitched and loud enough to summon dogs from the next county. “The dogs will finds us. When they do I will command they go home, then we just follow them.”

Beth sits back down on the old tree trunk.

“Are you sure this will work?”

“Yep. always worked when I was a kid. Well, except if the dog is inside the homestead.” Beth chuckles and shakes her head. ” Don’t worry, the dogs will come.”

Both are silent as they wait to be rescued. A chilly gust whips between them and mother and daughter automatically move together. Beth reaches her arm around Scarlet while they wait beneath the October moon.

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