If Not Jam Then … :: CR99 230214

Orson was enjoying the sunroom warmth when his nurse came in. “Good morning, sir. I have your muffin and tea.”

“Thank you, Peggy. What do we have?”

She whispered like she was delivering a secret treasure. “One of your favorites; cornmeal smeared with elderberry jam.”

He forced a smile. She had again forgotten that covid had stolen his sense of taste.

“Anything else sir?”

“Yes, please bring the aloe for the dry patches on my face.”

“Certainly. I’ll be right back.”

I can’t taste jam, he thought, but my skin can still taste the cool, refreshing nectar of  aloe.

CR99 Jam smear 230214

Inspired by Charli Mill’s Carrot Ranch, #99WordStory Challenge
and her prompt of February 13,, 2023: write a story about, “A Smear of Jam”

GW bio card 4

14 thoughts on “If Not Jam Then … :: CR99 230214

    1. Hi Willow. Yea – Once I found the path this story was going I realized the same thing. Like a lot of other things, the stories that surface often come from where someone fails somehow. In this case it set up my closing. For what it’s worth, the 125 word version had more about the caregiver, she was a much bigger part and in a more positive way, but 99 means 99.
      Thanks for giving it a read and pausing to let me know.


      1. Yes there are often underlying reasons for why care staff/ givers don’t always live up to job titles…happily some do . Always a pleasure to read your stories Gary ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Willow.
        There are folks on the coffee share who live in special care facilities and sometimes it’s hard to read their thoughts on their lives because they’ve lost so much to end up there and everyone knows how expensive they are and how little the staff gets paid or how underfunded these places often are. Of course, those who are rich or have some well funded access that most of us would never get – their experience is very different. There must be thousands of heart-breaking stories in this topic. Thanks for stopping by to give it a read.


      3. Agreed.
        I think if seeing someone go without medical help due to money didn’t bother us, that would be an indicator that we’d lost part of our humanity somewhere. The problem is real and I doubt it has an answer.
        The wealthy will always almost enjoy the most comfortable life possible, and I don’t think there is a way to provide the same medications, technology and service to everyone without socializing medical care, which always weakens and maybe even kills the industry.
        Here in the US, we have a lot of folks from Canada come here for help because their system is more socialized and they know that if they have the money to pay for it, much better health care is just beyond their southern border.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. There are two sides to this Gary. And I am not arguing as I do not know the answer.
        There are so many in the US who are struggling to pay and also many who cannot pay at all. It seems so wrong to have a have and have nots health care. Then again our NHS is on its knees and we are all suffering and taking out private insurance plans …. A lot of our problems is that our conservative government is crippling the NHS. I can’t see an answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m almost 68 and have struggled with this question since I was old enough to understand it. My parents were in a terrible car accident when I was just months out of high school. They got great medical care because they had insurance through their jobs. I realized that my dad, who got the worse end of the accident, enjoyed an expensive rebuilding of his forehead thanks to their insurance. I was thankful, but realized I have friends whose parents did not have such insurance. I’ve been trying to find a balance point for these economics, but every time I learn a new slice of the problem, solving it gets harder and harder.
        You’ll get no argument from me, only wishes that I could at least see a path to a solution – but I don’t.


      6. I am two years older than you Gary and I have seen our NHS grow to be the envy of the world only to either and almost die…. It could work but mis management keeps raising it’s evil head.
        I am pleased that your parents had good health insurance it obviously saved them both …and you from being an orphan !
        Like you my head goes dizzy trying to find solutions! Our eldest and youngest son’s work for big American Companies and have health care as part of their jobs where as our middle lad does not he has make do with the NHS as do hubby and I though if we really need urgent care we will pay and go private. ….such is the world.💜

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed – another time I wish I had more than 99 words to tell the story.
      Thanks Deb.

      Hey – quick question. Are you planning to visit Petaluma for our reunion? If yes, I’d have a rock solid reason for attending.


    1. Hello and thanks Nancy,
      This project has proved to pull lots of surprising ideas out of this old gray matter and I’m still thrilled when a respected reader enjoys my results.
      Many thanks

      Liked by 1 person

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