I am inspired by many things, and write about some of them. I hope readers will find something relatable in these stories. Titles link to the full story.

The Last Rocket’s Red Glare

The Last Rocket's Red Glare
by Jan Callner

There was something
rare – possibly unattainable,
perhaps unsustainable.
Hamilton, Franklin, Adams,
Jefferson, Washington, Paine.
They knew it.
At Fort Sumter we knew it.
At Gettysburg we knew it.
At Meuse-Argonne and
at Normandy we knew it.

​Mostly Coexisting with the Menagerie on California’s Central Coast

Does coexisting mean we have to let squirrels and raccoons eat all our plants and allow them to pop up over the edge of our hot tub? In a battle of wits and wisdom, I improvise and invent ways to circumvent destructive creatures without causing harm to anyone. Keeps me occupied.

A pair of raccoons live in a small space under my neighbor’s shed. They like to visit me in the evening while I relax in the hot tub in the back yard. Our small backyard has 10 scrub oak trees that form a beautiful canopy in this mostly quiet coastal community. A six-foot fence surrounds the area, so when you see a 30-pound animal perched on top of it, five feet away looking like he’s about to swan dive into the water, one’s adrenaline kicks in. You scream bloody murder. At least I do, expecting my husband to come running to protect me. He doesn’t. I splash water on the raccoon and scream, “Get away!!!”

The Hoya, The Acorn, and The Man

Three entities I care deeply about – what do they have to do with each other? The man transports the Hoya, the acorn hitches a ride. All ends well.

A weed is growing in the pot of my Hoya plant. I struggle to get a grip on the stem with its two scraggly leaves. We battle. I tug; my fingers slip, I tug and slip again, I tug and – out it pops. At the end of the feisty little stem now in my grasp is an acorn. It is not a weed at all. It’s an oak seedling. Remorse ensues. I did not intend to end the life of a tree.

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