Daily Prompt: Far From Home   Leave a comment

On my 21st birthday I went camping with three buddies I was on temporary duty with at Incirlik Air Base to the mountains above Ezerum, Turkey. We got off of the train at a quaint station in a town whose name escapes me after all this time. The village was like a fairy tale, with beautiful wooden houses covered in intricate trim.

We were swarmed with young men at the train stop and hired five of them to carry our camping supplies up into the stunning mountains. The charge for service ended being a carton of Marlboro cigarettes and a half gallon of Bacardi rum.  We set up camp two hours hike above the town in a clearing with a stunning view down the valley. Our porters disappeared as quickly as they had appeared on the siding.

That evening as we sat around a large fire we were all in awe of the solitude and beauty of the pristine forest. I relayed my impression of the timelessness that I felt as I sat on a small ledge overlooking the valley throwing stones to the valley floor.  There were thousands and thousands of rocks on the valley floor that I could feel were thrown by others before me.

Later that night from far above us on the mountain three flares of light eerily descended towards us sending chills up our spines as they got closer and closer to our camp. Two scruffy bearded men dressed in sport coats and baggy harem pants walked right into camp as if they owned it. The third man stayed in the shadows but it was clear that he was armed with a rifle or a shotgun.


Mountain (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

We offered they guys at the fire a shot of vodka to be hospitable and break the ice. They pointed to the third man and wagged their hands in a way that made clear that we shouldn’t give the third man anything to drink. One man spun his finger by his head in the international sign for crazy.

We naturally came to an impasse because of the language barrier but with a few shots we figured out that they were really concerned with the size of our fire.  As the time passed the third man came in closer to the fire and there was a gigantic scar in the middle of his forehead that looked like a fissure or an aged crack in a boulder. The long gun he carried in his hand looked like an ancient blunderbuss and he had a curved knife in his belt.

We waded though the language barrier and tamped down our fire without giving the crazy man a drink.  However, the other two went through our duffle bags and helped themselves to a couple cartons of cigarettes and three more half gallons of liquor.  Needless to say we were shocked and our spirits were dampened like the fire so we turned in early. When I woke up the next morning I realized that I was far far away from home.


Posted July 16, 2013 by Balvah in Post a Day

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour   6 comments

Dear BJ,

A new batch of sea oats just emerged at the 8th Ave. N. beach access and I was lucky enough to be there in the “Golden Hour”. There is always something to catch my eye as I start or finish my walk Surfside.


Yours Sincerely,


P.S. I used my Samsung Galaxy Precedent to catch these images.

P. P. S.  Just so happens WordPress posted this weekly challenge:

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

Posted July 12, 2013 by Balvah in Post a Day, Sightings

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Post it   13 comments




Three words describing my writing process for Trifextra: Week Seventy-Six.


Scribble (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted July 12, 2013 by Balvah in Uncategorized

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Been There Done That   2 comments

Dear BJ,

This prompt was made for me.

I’ve been there, done that and worn out the T-shirts. I am settled down now and have started this blog to pay homage to my Aunt who I sent post cards to over the years.  I welcome you all back as I recount those times and add the simple pleasures I experience around here.

I do remember telling my father in law Gunnar, “Hvar sem hann lagði höfuð hans var heimili hans.”   That is translated into Icelandic by Google from Norman Whitfeld’s and Barrett Strong’s hit song performed by the Temptations, “Papa was a Rolling Stone.”   Something like, “Wherever he laid his hat was his home.”

I think I’ll hang my hat on the beach chair and watch the Grand Strand for a while and let the other Nomads chase the moss.

English: Chris Benham's Tyrolean Hat

English: Chris Benham’s Tyrolean Hat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


P.S.  This is in response to the Word Press Daily prompt: Rolling Stone.

P.P.S.  Big thanks to Zemanta and Chris Benham for a perfectly pinned Tyrolen hat.

Posted July 7, 2013 by Balvah in Postcards

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Invisible Connection   20 comments

Raven’s call stirs a an invisible summer breeze lifting a feather that twists and floats magically for a time that can’t be counted. Raven dances around a blue glass bead and calls again.


Ravens (Photo credit: Sergey Yeliseev)

Dear BJ,

I remembered some ravens playing in a field that Sif and I watched while we were waiting for the ferry in Haines, Alaska.  One in particular had a blue glass bead that that it picked up and carried around then talked to.  Earlier that morning I was on the balcony of our hotel overlooking the sound and a feather floated past the balcony .  I was so mesmerized I couldn’t stop watching long enough to call Sif to watch.  I was working on the open prompt for Trifextra Week-Seventy Three and I started with hot air and got here.  Somehow I find them connected.

With Love,


Posted July 6, 2013 by Balvah in Trifecta

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Friday Night at The Why Not   13 comments


Dear BJ,

I present this account for Trifecta’s Week:Eighty Four writing challenge.  Just like the last challenge my first attempt wasn’t quite what I wanted.  For this one we had to use the third definition of the word CRUDE from the Merriam Webster’s on-line dictionary.  My first story didn’t fit that quite as well so I decided to have a beer with an old friend.  Submission follows the jukebox.

Yours Truly


P.S.  Here is the jukebox photo credit. 

P.P.S. Trifecta.



You could hear the music thumping from two blocks away and the red neon y of the bar’s sign was flickering in time to old reliable southern rock and roll.  I felt a great and familiar Friday night vibe in the club.  The work week was over, everyone’s pockets were lined with money and there was still hope.  Of course it was still early.   I told Jim, “Hey look  Jolene is behind the bar.”  Apparently everyone else wanted to look at Jolene in her florescent green tank top and cut of blue jean shorts, because there wasn’t an inch of space at the bar.

I started eyeing Jolene myself trying to catch her attention so we could get a drink.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jim pull out his money clip and ease towards the jukebox. Suddenly there was a silence in the bar as the juke box died.  I thought what in the hell is he doing. Suddenly the Starship’s,  “We Built this City on Rock and Roll”  caterwauled from the speakers and pierced my ear drums.  Jim looked over at me and gave me the old John Belushi eye brow wiggle and I chuckled to myself.

John Belushi

John Belushi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We tapped bottles and had a shot as the Starship song ranked #1 in “Run for Your Life! It’s the 50 Worst Songs Ever!” in Blender Magazine started playing again.  I looked over at Jim and said “Dude, your’e rude, crude and socially unacceptable.”    Laughingly he said “Yeah, you’re right and that’s why you drink with me.”

The third time “We Built this City” started playing we magically found a place at the bar and Jim even copped a bar stool.  He was chatting up a cute blond to his right when Chris, the owner showed up and said, “I know what you guys did and I swear if you ever pull that crap in here again I’ll kick you out.”  We both laughed and started singing the refrain along with the Starship.

Posted July 4, 2013 by Balvah in Trifecta

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Stonefish   2 comments

IMG_20130623_195514                                      Work pic

Dear BJ,

I thought I would pass on some gems from from the dispatch floor.  I can’t even imagine how many 911 calls I have taken over the 11 plus years I have worked for Horry county as a dispatcher.  I can tell you that you never know what is waiting on the end of the line.  Of course not all the action happens on the phone, we have to be in tune with the rest of the call center.  I liken it to the original movie MASH, with the zingers coming out of the air on the PA system.  Never a dull moment.

Me “Hey Nick,” I yelled across the room.

Nick “What do you need Bill?’ he replied.

Me “What’s for lunch?”

Nick “I don’t know, who’s day is it?’

Me “I think it’s Nancy’s.”

Nick “I’m thinking Skip’s, I want a blue cheese burger.”

Me “Oh, I was thinking of the Pully Bones, they deliver.”

911 line rings.

Me “911 what’s your emergency.”

Him “Anthrax, you got to tell em, you know Stone fish.”

Me “Where are you sir?”

Him “I’m telling you it’s Stone fish man.”

Me “Do you need police, fire, or EMS?”

Him “Your not listening man.”

Me “What’s your name.”

Him “You’ve got to tell them  that Stone fish is the only antidote to Anthrax.”

Me “Tell who.”

Him “Man aren’t you listening to me Stone fish is the only way to cure them.”

Nick “Pully Bones it is, what are you having?”

Me With the mouthpiece covered, “Who’s got the list?”

Me “Sir, I am trying to help you. You have to tell me where you are?”

Him “I am at the pier, that doesn’t matter though, you are not listening.  Stone fish is the cure.”

Nick “Sue has the list, she is calling it in.  What do you want?’

Me “Stewed beef, collard greens, macaroni and cheese and unsweetened tea.”

Me “Are they running sir?”

Him “Are what running, have you been listening to me?”  “You have to tell them now!” ” Stone fish!” ” Now I tell you.”

Me “Are the Stone fish running, you know have you caught any?”

Him “I’m not fishing man, it’s just that Stone fish is the only known cure for Anthrax and they have to know that.”

Me  “I want to help you man, what pier are you on.”

Him “I’m at the 2nd Ave pier.”

Me  “2nd Ave in Myrtle Beach.”

Him “Yes in Myrtle Beach.”

Nick in the background “Hey the Stone fish are running at the 2nd Ave pier in Myrtle Beach.”

Me “Sir, hold on for Myrtle Beach police and fire.”

MB “Myrtle Beach 911, where is your emergency?”

Me “Myrtle Beach this is County, 10-96, he’s at the 2nd Ave pier.”tinkernoonoo_tinfoil_hat

MB “What is your emergency sir?”


Nick “What the hell is a Stone fish Bill?” “Can you eat them?”

Me “I’m not sure Nick, he was saying they are only the cure for Anthrax.”  Why don’y you Google it.” “Where is lunch, I’m hungry?”

So you see BJ you never know what you are going to hear hear at 911.  There is a priority system though, 911 first, location second and lunch or dinner ranks right up there.

More Later,


P.S. 10-96 in our approved 10 code system is reserved for the mentally challenged folk that have the answers for the unasked questions.

P.P.S.  Photo credit: evenews24.com

Posted July 1, 2013 by Balvah in Dispatch Diary

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