The Unknown Stories of Beach Glass

This is Cal and Elaine. They keep to themselves for the most part, but they have an incredible story.

If you were unaware that each piece of beach glass has a story, then you’ve come to the right place. These are the Unknown Stories of Beach Glass.

Cal and Elaine have been friends for a very long time. In fact, the love they share has seen them through difficulties not unlike those which many others have endured, but it’s worth noting they are still going strong.

Cal and Elaine are different. Very different. But their difference has only been noted by others. Cal and Elaine hear whispers again and again. Some are just downright rude and say they shouldn’t be together, but Cal and Elaine don’t care. Their love is not blind, but it is unconditional. Their only interest is for each other. Giving to each other is their highest goal. Need is not a word they use when communicating with each other. The two words they use most often are love and share.

Maybe no one would have expected Cal and Elaine to find each other. Elaine is very sharp, has angular and beautiful features. Many have accused her of being too transparent. She doesn’t care. Cal is round, quite overweight. He doesn’t plan and is often late for the few events he does attend. Elaine says he is her perfect soul mate as he tempers her obsessive tendencies.

Cal and Elaine were meant for each other. Perhaps not in anyone else’s eyes. But their eyes are the only ones that matter.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric met at culinary school. Oddly enough, all three decided on a career as a chef against the wishes of their parents. Eric’s mom has worked in a restaurant most of her adult life and has never really enjoyed it. When Eric was little she used to take him to work with her. He spent his time sitting in a booth drawing pictures while his mom waited on customers. Sometimes he helped wash dishes.

Bjorn’s father patented a kitchen gadget that separates the egg from the yoke before the shell is broken. It’s the craziest thing! Use the gadget, crack the egg, the yoke is on the side of the white instead of the middle.

Bjorn’s father spends all of his time in kitchens talking chefs into buying his ingenious gadget. He can’t understand why Bjorn would want to spend a single day in a kitchen.

Ted’s parents own a pancake house franchise. They opened the first pancake house in their home town of Amshover, Missouri. No one has ever heard of Amshover and the pancake house is the busiest place in town. There isn’t even a grocery store in Amshover. There is a gas station, an urgent care center where Dr. Phillips actually delivered Ted because his mom waited too long to head for the nearest hospital forty-two miles away, a small elementary school, a bakery that closed last year, and the pancake house.

People came to the pancake house from many miles away. It wasn’t long before Ted’s parents decided to create a franchise and allow others to use their name, recipes, table linen designs, and logo for a huge franchise fee. They now have twenty-seven franchise partners. Ted’s parents were hoping he would become a doctor. Ted didn’t believe it was a wise choice because he becomes very dizzy at the sight of blood. He chose to become a chef.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl have been singing together for thirty-nine years. Ammon plays the dobro, Wilkey plays harmonica badly, Doug plays piano and guitar, Earl plays bass and doesn’t sing very well. There were five in the group for the first seventeen years. Ammon’s younger brother Ogden played drums, which was actually just a snare and cymbal. He had to quit after he got married and they never replaced him.

The group decided early on that if they were going to be on the road constantly it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to get married. They were right. After Ogden was married he continued playing shows with the group but Sylvia, his wife, threw such a fit about him being gone for two weeks he quit.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl still drive the same bus they’ve been traveling in since their first year together. The bus is part of their family and they don’t feel like they can let it go. The steering wheel is about the only thing that hasn’t been replaced. They got a ticket one time because the exhaust left a huge cloud in a little town. The engine was replaced, at huge cost, not long after. The guys are inseparable.

Rita and Francine can’t stand each other. They can hardly be in the same room before one of them says something critical about the other and away they go! Yelling insults and bringing up things that happened years ago. Someone suggested counseling and the two of them joined together for once to pummel the other with a list of words a drunken sailor would have been proud of.

Francine is ill. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not good. She has been to several specialists and they all say the same thing. She would give up except Rita is constantly by her side, giving her every reason to keep fighting. Rita is unwilling to let her enemy go and is giving incredible strength to Francine for one more day.

Cal and Elaine. So different yet they don’t see it.

Bjorn, Ted, and Eric. They refused to give in to pressure and continue going the way they’ve chosen.

Ammon, Wilkey, Doug, and Earl. After thirty-nine years, still going strong and unwilling to quit even though no one remembers their names.

Rita and Francine. Enemies who would give the world for each other.

The unknown stories of beach glass. Fascinating. The stories lie on the beach, forgotten and alone until someone comes along to listen.

Copyright 2020 by Dale Parsons
Photos and Blog Post by Dale Parsons

Grateful! Discovery Prompts Day 30!

Well, I’ve reached the end of the Discover Prompts provided by WordPress. They do this every April, but since I wasn’t blogging like a fiend in April, I started using the prompts thirty days ago. So, does that mean I have nothing else to write about because no one is giving me a topic? Oh, no, my friends. I have sooo much to expound upon in literary prose that I will keep busy for a very long time.

The final prompt is grateful. There are so many things for which to be grateful, it is not difficult to begin. It will actually be difficult to end. Just when I think I’ve exhausted the list, more thoughts arise. So, here goes.

I’m thankful to have a neck. If it weren’t for my neck, my head would be attached directly to my shoulders, making it very difficult to turn when someone calls my name. Obviously, I could turn my whole body around, which I would have to do if I didn’t have a neck, but then I might trip over something that was previously in front of me but is now behind me.

I’m thankful my name is not Sigmund. I have never liked the name Dale, but I dislike the name Sigmund even more. I would have grown up being called Sig, (no one would have ever called me Mund), and that would have been very annoying. I have been called all kinds of things, many of which can’t be listed here. But I would prefer being called Dork, or almost anything else to being called Sigmund.

I’m grateful for knees. Stick figures illustrate how important it is to have knees. We should all be thankful. If it weren’t for knees, our walking would be stilted. Falling would be particularly dangerous and landing on our faces would be more frequent.

I’m thankful for tortilla chips. They are the perfect snack when I want something but I don’t know what. Chocolate? No. Milk? No. Spaghetti? No. Egg Plant? No. Tortilla chips are the go-to every time I just need something to chew. Crunchy.

I’m grateful for doorknobs. I’ve have been locked out of the house, by my own doing, and getting back into the house would be far more difficult if there were no doorknobs.

I’m grateful for paint stir sticks. When I forget to have paint stirred at the store, I have to mix it myself. I would have to use my hand if there were no stir sticks. I take so many things for granted, it’s good to remind myself about all the things I am grateful for.

I’m grate for toothbrush handles. If it weren’t for the handles, I would have to hold the bristles between my fingers. It would be so much more tedious to brush my teeth without a toothbrush handle.

I’m grateful for spoons. I do occasionally eat ice cream with a fork if I’m eating it right out of the carton. My wife prefers that I not do this, but when she’s not around, she doesn’t know. I get our ice cream at night when we’re watching our new Netflix or Amazon Prime series, so she doesn’t see the little fork marks in the ice cream. Ice cream inevitably melts as you’re eating it. So eating it with a fork would be difficult. It would also be hard to put a bite of ice cream in your mouth and take it out while smoothing the top, like everyone does, with a fork. I’m grateful ice cream is the only food we put into our mouths and then take it out.

I’m grateful for plastic milk bottles. Drinking out of a carton with the triangle opening at the top is difficult. Most often the milk pours out the sides and runs down my cheeks and onto my shirt. Drinking out of a plastic milk bottle is much easier. Not that I actually do that anymore.

I’m grateful for toast and frosted mini-wheats. One piece of toast and about ten frosted mini-wheats with a cup of hot tea is an incredible snack late at night while we’re watching TV. Of course I have to give at least one to Maggie as she loves mini-wheats. I usually take out a few extra to share because I’m not will to have less than ten. I try to chew them quietly. They can be noisy if I’m not careful.

Extension cords deserve more gratitude. If it weren’t for extension cords, our walls would be far more crowded with things that have to be plugged in. All of our furniture would have to be the height that anything electric placed on top would have a cord long enough to reach the plug. Electric items would have to take turns because there probably wouldn’t be enough wall plugs for everything.

I’m grateful for radio stations. When I’m turning the dial on the radio trying to find something to listen to, its gratifying to hear plenty of choices vying for attention before I finally decide to listen to Pandora.

I’m definitely grateful for bubble wrap. The joy of sitting and popping the bubbles in bubble wrap is hard to beat.

I’m grateful my childhood dentist was wrong. He said I wouldn’t have any teeth by the time I was sixty. I’m way over sixty and I still have my own teeth. Most of them have been repaired, capped, crowned, drilled, filled, ground and polished, but they’re mine and I’m proud to have them.

I’m grateful for taste, smells, food, drinks, coffee, mochas, water, tea, jokes, tears, yawns, sneezes, kleenex, napkins, egg cartons, Tupperware, refrigerators, ice cream, bread, butter, jam, cheese, frying pans, cinnamon rolls, deep-fried pieces of cinnamon rolls with powdered sugar icing on them, extra powdered sugar icing, sidewalks, tires, trees, flowers, ants, bees, (not wasps), wood, grass, lawnmowers, birds, squirrels, dogs, movies, music, Netflix, computers, iPads, tin cans and string, sticks, dirt, stones, asphalt, highways, dirt roads, pathways, wooden docks, donuts, candy, M&Ms, almonds, Oreos, chocolate chips, Oatmeal, Cocoa-Puffs, gum, turn signals, stop signs, “Signs” the movie, instruments, those who play instruments, teachers, doctors, nurses, neighbors, friends, police officers, store owners, gas stations, jobs, paychecks, careers, laughter, hunger, thirst, fishing poles, bobbers, empty fields, tractors, hay, tomatoes, lettuce, bacon, pepper, avocado, plastic, rubber, glass, blankets, t-shirts, dishwashers, clothes dryers, two-by-fours, nails, glasses, suspenders, pants, hats, and pancakes.

It’s impossible to list all we are grateful for. When we try, it is a powerful reminder.

There is nothing for which I am
more grateful than our family.



Dale Parsons

How to Eat McDonald’s Pancakes in Your Car

There is a proper way to eat pancakes in your car. Get it wrong, and you’re going to have a mess, all over your lap. You’ll have to go home and change and be late for work.

Eating pancakes on your lap is not for the faint of heart. You have to be bold, willing to take a risk, unafraid, ready for action. You’ve come to the right place to learn the steps to successfully enjoying McDonald’s pancakes, in your car, regardless of weather, while listening to your favorite radio station, savoring each bite, and overcoming the sadness when it’s gone.

The photo is a little deceiving. McDonald’s pancakes only come in threes.

Step one: Find the right McDonald’s. You have to know where it is, how to get there, when it opens, and where to park. You don’t want any sense of anxiety before you even get your pancakes.

Step two: Your order – “I would like pancakes, without sausage (that’s important), EXTRA SYRUP, and a medium coffee with two creams.” It’s best to memorize the script before you order for the first time. If you stumble during the order, you might end up with donut.

Step three: Sitting up straight, remove the pancakes from the bag, and place the plastic tray on your lap. No need to put a napkin tablecloth on your lap. The container is tough enough to keep anything from seeping through onto your clothes.

This is vitally important! Do not open the flip-top on your coffee until you are ready to begin eating. The proper coffee temperature is necessary for the entire experience to be enjoyed fully. Preparation, ready, set, flip-top, eat. In that order.

Step four: (The remaining steps should be completed quickly, so it is important to have everything at hand before you begin.) Open your knife and fork. Unfold your napkin. Pull the tops back on your two packs of butter. Carefully open ONE syrup. Now, and only now, remove the top from your pancakes.

Step five: Place one dob of butter between the pancakes, place the remaining dob on top. Pour the entire syrup container over the pancakes.

Step six: Enjoy your delicious, mouthwatering, perfectly prepared pancakes. Only after a few bites, open the second syrup pack and pour it onto the area you have already cut. This will cause the syrup to seep into the pancakes.

Warning: I do NOT recommend using your knife. You will risk cutting through the plate without knowing it, and a small seepage of syrup will drip onto your clothes. You will not discover this until you are in your business meeting and doing your presentation before the board of directors. They won’t be listening to you. They’ll be staring at the syrup.

Step seven: When you are finished eating, you will obviously feel a sense of loss. This is to be expected. It is normal. However, what you do now will determine how the disappointment affects you long-term. Here is the key: As you sip your still-hot coffee, immediately begin thinking about the next time you will have pancakes in your car at McDonald’s. If it helps, write it down on a sticky-note and put it on your dash. Now you will begin to feel better as you look forward to your next trip.

The world would be a happier place if everyone took time for McDonald’s pancakes!

There you have it. You can now enjoy McDonald’s pancakes in your car, on your lap. Savor it!

You’ll have to excuse me now. I have to find a McDonald’s.