Posts tagged ‘Bridge’

Beyond the Bridge

A fictional story based on the picture prompt

 

By: Rebecca Taylor

 

                As children living in a small town, it was always a treat when our parents rented a cottage and we got to go swimming and canoeing in the river. We often canoed under the bridge but our trip to Gold’s Lake meant that we didn’t cross over the bridge by car. My sister and I used to play games of what was beyond the bridge – was it a giant city or a magic village, maybe there was royalty that lived there in a castle, or a gold refinery or…and the list went on. Now, that I’m an adult and I had a chance to get out and see for myself what was beyond the bridge, it makes me kind of sad because while there is a city, there isn’t really anything that unique about it, unless you think that the house down the street from where I live is special in its fluorescent pink paint with the bright yellow trim. Being in the city is like being in most places, there are people, some are nicer than others, there are coffee shops and restaurants, some I’d rather eat at than others, there are office politics and ladders to try and climb to get better opportunities. There are places of truth and justice, of good and evil, of right and wrong, but this is life and I am happy making my place in it, even if being beyond the bridge didn’t hold the same allure as it did when I was a child. And, the most amazing thing might still be on this new side of the bridge, a wonderful man who I recently met and who has asked me out on a date, this evening. I’m getting ready and am hoping to not be too nervous but whatever happens, I’ll know that I took a chance just like I did in coming to work on this side. I know too that if ever I want my small town life back all I have to do is get in my car and make the drive back across the bridge. Knowing it can go both ways is a very freeing experience. 

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Bridges

Bridge

Writing Prompt: Sometimes bridges are crossed, never to be un-crossed.

The Metaphor

Inspired by the bridge prompt

By: Rebecca Taylor

I, Jenny Monroe have a story to tell and you dear reader is who I am going to tell it to. I grew up in a tiny town which wasn’t even visible on most maps. I knew everyone in my town because they either went to the same school as me, were my teachers, or the grocery checkout girl, or they had known my parents and grandparents. It’s funny because some people complain about how old fashioned and nosy their little towns are but I liked Elm Ridge. It was small; it was peaceful in its own way and most of all it was home. When I say peaceful in its own way, I mean that you could hear bingo being called on Friday nights from anywhere on Main Street and when it rained you could hear the train’s whistle in the next town fifteen miles away.  Small towns have a way of teaching you things and for me most of my lessons were learned on the outskirts of town at the old train bridge. You see our town was too small to have regular deliveries or passenger cars going through. That stopped shortly after I was born thirty-five years ago.

The old train bridge overlooked a beautiful meadow. Everyone in town loved that spot and would often take their families on picnics there especially on Saturday afternoons. My teenage years weren’t easy ones. When I was fourteen I decided I wanted to be grown-up. In my family, I was the oldest child; I had two younger brothers, both just little kids at the time. They were twins, ten years younger than me from my father’s second marriage. Before he met my stepmom when I was nine, he was a widower and had been since I was six. He was lonely but I never understood that, at least not then, he had me, right, why would he be lonely? My grand-daddy said he was lonely for adult companionship, I didn’t know what that meant back then either. When my stepmom came along, it was okay in the beginning, she has always been nice to me but when I reached my teen years I felt like she was trying to replace me in my dad’s life. She was the one who made his coffee in the morning, the one he laughed with, the one he wanted to go for a walk with in the apple orchard at night while I stayed in the house and minded my brothers. My brothers were taking up a lot of time in my dad’s life, after all they were young and craved attention, and they were boys and cared more about playing sports than I ever had. Long story short, in order to get out of the family picnics, I got a job working at the grocery store as an errand girl on weekends. The pay was okay and I was gaining my independence because I was working and that was an adult thing to do.

On nights in the summertime, I would often stay at my friend Sarah’s and we would take a flashlight and walk down to the train bridge. It had a wood and metal structure that showed its age. It was solid but the paint was peeling and the rust showed. If you looked closely, you might even see initials carved into the wood, a symbol of some of Elm Ridge’s relationships. Some which still last today, some which have moved on with the times similar to the train’s traffic. It was here on the bridge that I talked about what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I flirted with boys and even fell in love. It was also here that the boy I loved and who I thought might even love me told me that he was leaving for a more exciting life in the city. He was going off to get a business degree. I still had a year left of high school and as much as I asked him to wait for me to come to him, he said he couldn’t. It was on that bridge that I realized how unfair life can be. I wondered there hadn’t I been through enough in my life losing my mother, battling for my father to notice me once he had other children and now losing a person who was so important to me to his dreams. I wondered what about my dreams? I felt stuck between the town where I had always lived and the outside world. At the time I felt left out, cast aside and forgotten, but I pulled up my boot straps and kept working. I studied hard and kept earning money at the grocery store. I even got a scholarship and wouldn’t you know that took me out of town. I studied to become a nurse and when my schooling was done I knew that I could work anywhere in the world and for a while I took a good job at a hospital in a city. It was busy and the city was noisy but I had to prove to myself that I could do it. Some days were a struggle but little by little I put one foot in front of the other and did my job.

After I had been at the hospital for a few years, I met a male nurse and we got married. He wanted somewhere peaceful to raise our future children and my town had managed to grow while I was gone. We both got jobs working at the clinic there and before I knew it I was taking Jim to the bridge that had been a metaphor for my life growing up –rough, sturdy but prevalent. Looking back now I realize how much my dad loved our family and I’m catching up on my time with him, if I can make it I don’t miss a picnic in the meadow near the bridge and neither do my husband and our beautiful daughters now four and six. Life really does come full circle, sometimes we just don’t know it when we’re fighting it.

Crossing the Bridge

*Prompt based off the picture from Monday

There are places, all over the world, that signal a change. These places might be train stations, retail centers or simply a landmark such as a big oak tree. Everyone has one of these places; people make decisions and life goes on.

I remember my first place that I felt signaled a change in my life.

It was when I entered Victoria Secret and bought something for the first time. Victoria Secret is a store mainly centered around the older girls who needed fancy lingerie. But it also has really comfortable clothes like yoga pants and higher end bras.

When I left that store, I felt older and more sophisticated. The world looked just a bit different.

The thing about Victoria Secret was that I wanted that change because I knew it was something I was ready to experience. I wanted to wear bras that felt good and were higher quality than the one’s I had previously been buying.

Time has passed and the bridge looming through my windshield is not as nice looking as Victoria Secret was all those years ago. It is the bridge that signals that I’m finally moving on with my life and taking a path that I want to go on. It means I’m taking a semester off of school to go and work for my Aunt and Uncle at a good paying job but nothing to what I should probably be trying for.

The bridge means that I left the beaten track of my friends and my original future plans. And the bridge is getting closer.

I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I’ve never been the type of girl to do something that won’t necessarily better my future. I’ve always been the ambitious type who does as she is told.

I am crossing the bridge now. And it hits me. This is a place of mine that signals a change. It’s me, making my own choices and possibly my own mistakes.

To everyone else, it probably just looks like an average bridge, just another place.

But it is more than that to me. It’s a bridge I’m done crossing but I will never forget.

Perspectives

Inspired by the bridge picture prompt

I would imagine that most people living in Wolf Springs couldn’t wait for a chance to escape. It was most people’s exact definition of a hick town. With the nearest Wal-Mart over an hour away, the town’s only claim to fame was having the only gas station in a ten mile radius. Most people, particularly the younger crowd, probably couldn’t wait to leave their small town life – you know, get out on their own, see new things, and feel the wind in their hair.

But that wasn’t me. I had never even lived there. I was born and raised in the hood of Detroit, Michigan, where I’d lived for the last twenty-some years of my life. After high school, I even stayed in my hometown to attend eight years of vet school. Yet I knew that I couldn’t stay in my hometown to do what I loved. Turns out no one in my neighborhood, one of the toughest inner city neighborhoods in America, needed a large animal vet. I applied to a job hundreds of miles away, in a small town off of an interstate I’d never heard. When I found out I’d been selected to fill in the retiring vet’s place, I packed up what little I had – I’d been waiting for this moment all my life, and so I’d been careful not to accumulate to many things. For the last day and a half I’d been driving, arriving closer with each tire rotation to my job and to my new life. No more rude drivers, no more fear of gunshots, no more hectic traffic. My life would now consist of birthing cows, helping horses through colic, and listening to small town gossip.

That’s why it was such a big moment when I saw the bridge into Wolf Springs, Colorado. It was the bridge into the reward that I had looked towards. Daydreaming about the bridge was what kept me going during college, when I worked two jobs and still survived finals week. The bridge gave me the tunnel vision I needed, and now it gave me the career I’d longed for.

As I neared the entrance of the bridge, I accelerated as fast as my elderly pick-up truck would allow me to. I entered the bridge over the river, and another car zoomed in the other direction. The words “just graduated” were written in large gold letters across the sides of the car. A handful of hyper teenagers were screaming and laughing inside, the noise fading as the car sped past me.

I grinned and shook my head. Bridges were all about perspectives.

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