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June Story Chat: “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree” by Debbie Harris

Friends, I want to welcome both YOU and this month’s author, Debbie Harris, to Story Chat. This month’s Story Chat is a futuristic, Twilight Zone-type family drama.

Debbie’s word this year is BOLD. Being featured on Story Chat is one of her steps towards achieving boldness. When you’re done reading her story, be sure to click on Debbie’s links to visit some of her posts.

Thanks for having me all the way from Australia Marsha. In a time when we can’t travel in person, at least we can move around the world via our blogs.

Debbie
Justify pavlova
Grab a piece of pavlova and enjoy the story.

“The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree”

It felt like yesterday in her heart, but in her head, she knew it was almost fifty years ago. 

The day when everything she knew about life had irrevocably changed – the fateful stormy day she’d become a new mother.

It was a day in late May, with winter setting in. The days were grey and wet, but every now and again a bright clear sunny day was a welcome relief and brightened the whole world. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been one of these bright clear days when it all happened, instead a storm was raging, roiling, thundering, lighting the sky with shards of electricity.  Was it an omen – she often wondered about that.

Becoming a mother hadn’t been high on her bucket list, in fact she’d been sitting on the fence about the whole motherhood thing, but the pressure from the state officials, family, especially her husband, and her friends, had been mounting for the past few years.  They’d been married for 4 years already and people were starting to ask questions, quite probing personal questions in fact – when would they be starting their family, were they trying, did they have fertility issues, were they scared?  

Really, it was no-one else’s business at all – except it was.

The rules stated ‘after 5 years of marriage a baby must have been initiated by the couple, otherwise medical intervention would be implemented’ – such official, impersonal language. Typical of the state!

She’d known she was pregnant the minute it happened, and she was happy when it was confirmed by the medical team assigned to her.  Her only problem throughout the whole nine months was her inability to eat apples, in any way shape or form – apple pie, apple sauce, apple cake, apple juice – apparently, she was one in a million that had this reaction. She was watched carefully as the apple symptoms were considered a throwback to earlier times and were the harbinger of some darkness.

When she finally started feeling the contractions and knew her baby had started on its journey, she and her husband battled the storm to get to the hospital in time.

The labour went well, and she was delivered of a beautiful, healthy baby girl.  She and her husband felt ecstatic. They kissed the baby girl, checked out all her fingers and toes and congratulated themselves on their cleverness. They were now a ‘proper’ family.

The baby was whisked away after a few minutes, and when she questioned this, she was painstakingly ignored by all the medical staff.  

Everything was rosy, until it wasn’t.

She never saw her baby girl again. She was told all sorts of things – reasons why her baby wasn’t able to be returned to her, things were said about her baby’s condition that didn’t make sense to her and they were encouraged to try again for another baby.

It was a fateful day indeed, but here she was fifty years later, ready to meet a strange woman who had made contact with her through the underground network.  She was told it was highly secretive and so she hadn’t told a soul of the meeting.  Her husband had passed away from a broken heart many years ago, and it was just her these days.

She was anticipating some good news, but it was a massive shock to her system when the woman walked in, smiling eyes dancing, her bright red curly hair lighting up the room. It was like looking in a mirror. 

That old saying, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree flashed through her mind and was never truer than in this instance!


Story Chat

Biography

Debbie Harris

A tragic accident at age 17, resulting in a Bravery Award from the Queen, didn’t deter Debbie from travelling the world.  A young retiree,  after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre, she now happily spends her time reading, writing, blogging, riding her ebike, volunteering for a variety of community groups and is a proud Rotarian and enjoys a good cup of tea!  Life is never dull. Debbie has recently turned 60, is a mother of 3 grown up daughters, Granny Debs to 4 grandchildren, married for 41 years, lived in Tumbarumba (NSW Australia) for 30 years and is happy to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Her full bio can be found on her blog. https://debs-world.com/about/

Debbie was also featured as a Woman of Courage on Denyse Whelan’s blog.

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Note From Deb

I would like to draw you and your readers’ attention to a creative writing competition open to anyone over 17 years of age, anywhere in the world. 

On the first Friday of the month is a writing challenge like no other.  It’s called Furious Fiction and is a competition run by the Australian Writers’ Centre.  There is prize money of A$500 but be aware, there are conditions – the story has to be 500 words or less and must use the set conditions for that month.  

The competition opens at 5pm Australian time on the afternoon of the first Friday of the month and closes at midnight on Sunday night, so you essentially have the weekend to compose, draft, edit and submit your story.  It’s well worth entering for many reasons and thousands regularly submit stories.  You can subscribe to the Australian Writers’ Centre to get a reminder about Furious Fiction, so there’s no excuses for missing out. Here’s a link for more information: https://www.writerscentre.com.au/furious-fiction/

104 replies »

  1. Oooh. That is so NOT like I expect from my blogging friend Deb! But, of course, she has been spreading her writing songs and delving into that deep & mysterious field called FICTION. Well done Deb! And thanks Marsha for sharing. Apples hey! Denyse

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Denyse! I’m glad I surprised you with my story. I’ve been writing a few short stories recently and really enjoy it, especially if I can get a twist in somewhere. This one was written around Mother’s Day for the AWC May’s Furious Fiction but I saved it up for Marsha’s Story Chat instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t know that Debbie wrote songs, too. How fun. Now, what are your thoughts about the story? What surprised you? What do you think of the main character? Let’s chat! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Deb,
    I was pleased to see you sharing a story for this chat. It should be fun.

    Okay, I liked the story. You took and kept my attention all the way through. You introduced some kind of mystery and I was anxious to read how you would resolve it.

    You first two paragraphs are strong and great hooks, I offer only that you might want to make them one paragraph as the the message clearly builds and the extra paragraph break, interrupts the tension you’re building.

    I loved how you introduced additional tension with your protagonist, thinking about how the delay in getting pregnant was somehow more of a concern for than it would be for us (outside of the story).

    Question: you did not give her a name. This was a surprise and I did not think it detracted from the story, but I’d like to know if you did this deliberately, perhaps to save words, or were you suggesting that in this slightly off world she lives in, her name is not important, because if this were the case, I think it was brilliant. Clearly, if THEY could just take the baby and get away with such a thing, then parents have certainly been diminished by the world they are enduring.

    I loved your apple paragraph. So many have great and weird stories of what pregnancy did to them that this was an endearing point of your story. My wife and your propagandist could have had a fun chat over this point alone.

    But “they took her baby”. . .

    This felt so wrong, and I bet will outrage some readers (as it should) but you left us knowing that her husband was broken hearted, but was she? You did a neat thing by taking “being a mom” off of her bucket list, but still – that should have cratered her soul. Another sign of this world? Perhaps it was somehow common for babies to be taken. . . .” Ugh!

    Okay, the end. When you mentioned a mystery woman, I wondered if (and hoped) it would be her daughter and was pleased to discover that it was.

    I liked how you told us, “It was like looking in the mirror”. because that locked down what happened and it was a great close to the story, but , but, I think you missed a stronger, cooler possible ending.

    What would you think of your protagonist out growing her aversion to apples, then having her daughter sit down to start their meeting and having her reveal somehow that she hates all things “apple”? It would tie in your wonderful point from mom’s pregnancy, and turn your story title into a subtle clue that goes unresolved until your final scene.

    On the other hand, you could change nothing and still have a story you should be proud of and that I really enjoyed reading.

    Bravo Deb!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks for your insightful comments Gary! I am pleased that you liked my story. It was something I hadn’t really planned but I was using the prompts from the Furious Fiction challenge and so had to incorporate certain words (in italics) and the setting had to be in a storm. It is always fun to write to these types of constraints and although I went over the normal 500 word limit f(or Furious Fiction), it was fine for Marsha’s settings at 601 words. I needed the extra words but didn’t want it to go on for too long.

      Now to your thoughts…I take on board your suggestion about joining the first two paragraphs.
      I deliberately didn’t give anyone any names, it set a scene for me and kept it secretive, and you’re right in the world she lived in maybe names weren’t that important.
      I believe the mother was broken hearted but I think she was more pragmatic about the world they lived in than her husband and she didn’t want to show a weakness, but as a mother she was grieving inside. I also liked your ending suggestion so many thanks for thinking it all through as you have done!

      It was a new experience sharing a story like this and having it open for discussion. I hope everyone else is as generous as you have been! Thanks so much.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Deb's World and commented:
    Another way I’m being ‘bold’ this year, is by joining Marsha in her Story Chat series and saying yes to these types of activities that push me out of my comfort zone!

    I wrote this short story in May, around Mother’s Day and am thrilled to have it shared by Marsha.

    Here’s a sneak preview:

    It felt like yesterday in her heart, but in her head, she knew it was almost fifty years ago. The day when everything she knew about life had irrevocably changed – the fateful story day when she’d become a new mother.

    It was a day in late May, with winter setting in. The days were grey and wet, but every now and again a bright clear sunny day was a welcome relief and brightened the whole world. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been one of these bright clear days when it all happened, instead a storm was raging, roiling, thundering, lighting the sky with shards of electricity. Was it an omen – she often wondered that.

    Becoming a mother hadn’t been high on her bucket list, in fact she’d been sitting on the fence about the whole motherhood thing, but the pressure from the state officials, family, especially her husband, and her friends, had been mounting for the past few years. They’d been married for 4 years already and people were starting to ask questions, quite probing personal questions in fact – when would they be starting their family, were they trying, did they have fertility issues, were they scared?

    Really it was no-one else’s business at all – except it was.

    The rules stated ‘after 5 years of marriage a baby must have been initiated by the couple other-wise medical intervention would be implemented’ – such official, impersonal language. Typical of the state!

    If you want to find out what happens next, and believe me, you really do – then click onto Marsha’s post and join in the conversation.

    Thanks again Marsha.

    Deb 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I loved this story. It had ‘Twilight Zone’ written all over it. I felt I was taken to a parallel world where everything seemed normal but wasn’t. The inclusion of the apple in the story bought the ‘Wicket WItch’ from Snow White into my mind.

    Debbie, you’ve penned an amazing short story that had me hooked and kept me hooked from the first paragraph. It’s not often that happens when I read. Usually, my mind wanders if I lose interest or there are too many names that I have to keep going back to remember who is who. So, I liked the fact that you did not include any names. I was completely drawn in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Hugh, your comments made me smile, especially the Twilight Zone effect. I was going for a parallel world and admit I had watched Snow White recently :).

      I stuck to the the May Furious Fiction conditions and used the words/phrases they had specified had to be used – set in a storm, apple, yesterday, sitting on the fence, mother – so I thought the apple scene of Snow White was perfect! I probably wouldn’t have used that if left to my own devices.

      I’m so glad the lack of names worked for you too, I wanted it to be about the story rather than keeping track of who everyone was and limited to 500/600 words made that quite easy to do and also gave it a grim rawness perhaps.

      As you are a writer I admire, I am so pleased you were drawn into my story and thanks again for your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Debbie, You’re welcome.

        I like the idea of the story being set in a parallel universe where not everything is as it seems. I know others want you to continue the story and are asking questions, but sometimes I think it’s good to allow the reader to make up their own minds. I continued several of my pieces of flash fiction after being asked to but was only ever pleased with the outcome of one of them. That’s why I mention that sometimes stories are best left alone. I compared some of the flashback pieces I continued as a successful TV comedy programme being bought back and not being as good as the original. Sometimes, stories are best left alone to shine in all the glory they already have. But, at the end of the day, it’s up to you as the author to decide whether to continue with the story or not.

        Thank you also for reminding us about the monthly Furious Fiction competition. I’ve signed up and hope to one day see you on the winners’ podium.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Great story, Deb! I would have loved to know more about the horrible circumstances behind that poor (unnamed 🙂 ) woman having her child taken from her. Was it unique to her, or did others have their newborns taken away too… and, if so, how did she not hear about it before giving birth? And, what did her aversion to apples mean? I think you’ve written a terrific story that you could flush out and make into a longer one (even a novel).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Well that was a fascinating insight into the workings of the NSW government… what? It’s fiction? Oh sorry. Right we’ll then, that was disturbingly dystopian. Forced pregnancies, state sanctioned child kidnap. Felt a bit like Ishiguro or JG Ballard with a familiar world with a sinister and grim twist.
    Then there’s the supernatural element around her reaction to the apples and her sense of darkness and foreboding and my mind is spiralling off in the direction of the Omen and a female Damien. Indeed the ending with an apparently healthy possibly glamorous and maybe successful woman appearing as the lost daughter adds to the idea she – mother and daughter – are both ‘other’ even in this weirdest of society.
    I read Gary’s outrage and questioning of the mother’s reaction to her child being stolen and how the father couldn’t cope with the loss. But surely in such a society where one assumes such cruelties are commonplace – let’s face it state sponsored rape after five years to force pregnancies isn’t exactly normal – resilience of the human condition takes over. Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984 would have been one of many suicides if his world wasn’t ‘normal’ for him and the urge ot survive whatever is happening subsumes all other emotions?
    The ending. Now I’m hardly one to baulk at an open ending, am I? That said, I would love something that hinted at the impact of those pesky apples, as per Gary. Maybe Debbie can try Bold 2.0 and give us a follow up on her blog. All in all a great little read. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I tried this once and it seemed to fail so sorry if this is a duplicate…

    Well that was a fascinating insight into the workings of the NSW government… what? It’s fiction? Oh sorry. Right we’ll then, that was disturbingly dystopian. Forced pregnancies, state sanctioned child kidnap. Felt a bit like Ishiguro or JG Ballard with a familiar world with a sinister and grim twist.
    Then there’s the supernatural element around her reaction to the apples and her sense of darkness and foreboding and my mind is spiralling off in the direction of the Omen and a female Damien. Indeed the ending with an apparently healthy possibly glamorous and maybe successful woman appearing as the lost daughter adds to the idea she – mother and daughter – are both ‘other’ even in this weirdest of society.
    I read Gary’s outrage and questioning of the mother’s reaction to her child being stolen and how the father couldn’t cope with the loss. But surely in such a society where one assumes such cruelties are commonplace – let’s face it state sponsored rape after five years to force pregnancies isn’t exactly normal – resilience of the human condition takes over. Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984 would have been one of many suicides if his world wasn’t ‘normal’ for him and  the urge ot survive whatever is happening subsumes all other emotions?
    The ending. Now I’m hardly one to baulk at an open ending, am I? That said, I would love something that hinted at the impact of those pesky apples, as per Gary. Maybe Debbie can try Bold 2.0 and give us a follow up on her blog. All in all a great little read. Well done.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your comment came through just fine, Geoff. Thanks for such a a thoughtful response.

      Reading this comment sent me to Google. I had to to look up. dystopian
      ADJECTIVE
      relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.
      NOUN
      a person who imagines or foresees a state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.

      Is ‘after 5 years of marriage a baby must have been initiated by the couple, otherwise medical intervention would be implemented’ state sponsored rape? What if one member of the couple is infertile? What do they mean by medical intervention? Does that mean state-sponsored rape? Rape isn’t a medical intervention list I knew!!!

      I don’t have any thoughts about the apples. I’m not sure why they might be “the harbinger of some darkness.” I found a post about “Paradise Lost” and found out that the Latin words for evil and apple are the same: malus. Pretty interesting. I didn’t catch the reference to the creation story and Eve and the “forbidden fruit.”
      “As an adjective, malus means bad or evil. As a noun it seems to mean an apple.”
      “But the apple began to dominate Fall artworks in Europe after the German artist Albrecht Dürer’s famous 1504 engraving depicted the First Couple counterpoised beside an apple tree.” This is a great post about the way the apple got it’s reputation for being a “harbinger of darkness.” https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/04/30/526069512/paradise-lost-how-the-apple-became-the-forbidden-fruit

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oh my Marsha! The level of in-depth analysis astounds me! I love a good dystopian story and your link was so interesting, I’m enjoyong all the comments 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Aren’t the comments great, Deb? Geoff’s usage of the word “other” in this sentence gives me the feeling of the Netflix Series Lost (or we watched it through Netflix.
          “Indeed the ending with an apparently healthy possibly glamorous and maybe successful woman appearing as the lost daughter adds to the idea she – mother and daughter – are both ‘other’ even in this weirdest of society.”

          What do you think? One reader suggested that the daughter was a clone and I thought maybe that is the medical intervention. What medical intervention did you have in mind?

          Liked by 1 person

      • The state sponsored rape was me being deliberately provocative! But a state demanding children of couples/women who don’t want to conceive is forcing if not intercourse then insemination in another way… so maybe it is apt. Or maybe I misunderstood the reference. It was nicely ambiguous.
        And isn’t that interesting about the apple and it’s Latin tag…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Geoff you never fail to make me smile! I just love your thoughts and honestly didn’t realise so much could be, or would be, read into my simple story of 601 words!!!!! I have to admit I love a good dystopian story so this may have been why I wrote it in this style. I didn’t think through the whole apple thing apart from using it as a ‘theme of sorts’ and only because it was one of the words or phrases that had to be included, as per the Furious Fiction challenge for May. I really appreciate your kind words and suggestions and also linking other high powered authors in a comment about my story – how bold am I feeling now??

      I can’t stop smiling – honestly 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I could relate to this character’s ambivalence about motherhood. I shared it myself before going on to produce four children. (Well, they do keep each other occupied without the level of adult input my grandchilren seem to require.) We suffered seven years of “When am I going to be a grandmother?” after we married before I had the first.
    It was only when the story mentioned the state’s expectations and “the rules” that I realised we were in a different reality.
    Given the involvement of the state, I wasn’t unduly surprised by the bald statement, “She never saw her baby girl again”, and her seeming acceptance of that. Especially after her pica had been called a possible “throwback to earlier times and … the harbinger of some darkness”. Clearly this was the kind of thing expected of the state.
    “She was anticipating some good news.” We’re not told what kind of news. Given the topic of the story, we can guess it’s about her daughter. Presumably, the nature of the undergound network she’s in contact with gives her a clue, but – like her – I was expecting news of her daughter, not the daughter herself.
    A satisfying ending, although fifty years is quite a gap for a mother-daughter reunion. Maybe people are living longer and ageing more slowly in this alternate reality, although this isn’t suggested by the demise of her husband, who seems to have been more invested in parenthood than she.
    We still have no explanation for the baby’s disappearance… That’s fair enough – fodder for another story, perhaps?. (Come on, Story-chatters!) I agree with a previous comment that a further reference to the apple aversion at the end would round things off nicely (although I have no idea what this might be). The late John Yeoman used to advocate the “rule of three” in his teaching, based on the principle that things repeated three times are inherently more satisfying, or more memorable (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_three).
    .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cathy, we can always depend on your thorough analysis of the story situation. My big question is why take her child only? Did they take all the babies. If so, there must have been an awfully lot of wailing in the hospital. This mother took losing her baby rather nonchalantly, I think. Even in the US, when things were kept quiet about children who were adopted, it sometimes still takes until adulthood to find people.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Indeed. I never met my birhrth mother, although I was able to apply for my original birth certificate in the 1960s when adoption law changed in the UK. I didn’t take it further, not wanting to turn up on the doorstep of someone who had very effecrively hidden my existence. (Apparently she was a twin whose sister covered for her while she was having me.)
        Also my adoptive parents were giving each other grief so I didn’t want to be saddled with another needy parent.
        Re the story, I suspect there may be a hint there in the ‘throwback’ reference which kind of justifies mention of the apple antipathy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • In those years it seemed that girls world-wide faced condemnation for having babies out of wedlock. I remember when teens went away to live with someone, and came back a few months later sans baby. I think it was relatively common. that is one of the themes in my book that I’ve never published. That practice made a huge impression on me even though it did not happen to me or in my family.

          Like

    • Thanks so much Cathy for your thorough analysis of my story. You raise some excellent points and I must admit to not having many answers! I just wrote it and liked the way it fell into place, not thinking too much about the consequences or possible feedback. This experience has been good for me as a fledgling writer, to see how others read a story and break it down and raise questions I hadn’t even considered! I really appreciate this opportunity from Marsha 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Interesting story. There is a mystery around why the mother-to-be couldn’t tolerate apples, why the government separated them, and was the daughter a clone. I’m glad they reunited in the end.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Wow, this story was so unexpected and creepy but SO well written and I want to read more now! Well done. I sort of want to know more about that crazy society, why couples HAVE to have babies, why the baby is taken away… and much more.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, creepy is a good word to describe that society. What did they do with all the babies they took? Babies aren’t that easy to raise, so why steal from Peter (one childless couple) to pay Paul (the state or a different childless couple)? The good news is that she turned out well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So where would you go for the answers? I think that is why there is so much research involved in writing fiction. It can’t all come from our heads unless we have a vast amount of experience in a lot of fields. The author of Still Alice,, Lisa Genova, spoke in a town hall meeting in Fresno, CA that I attended. “Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University.” Yet, she researched for several years, meeting with other top neurologists and with those with Alzheimer’s Disease themselves. She researched for a year and a half. Here’s my review of both the book and the talk. https://alwayswrite.blog/2017/05/18/a-great-book-still-alice/

        Liked by 2 people

    • YES! I too was reminded of the original Handmaids story. I don’t normally enjoy hard dystopian stories. They’re often too dark for my taste, but in Deb’s story, could we not imagine how things would slowly change in our society where what Deb’s character experienced was not quiet new anymore, but it was disturbing and she had no real recourse or remedy and was expected to accept and move on.

      We could make a long list of things in our (US) culture that have crept in and today we find ourselves forced to accept what we never would have years ago if they arrived all of a sudden. I now find myself hoping that among her other talents, Deb is not a harbinger of such a society.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think it could be a harkening back to the past really after reading Cathy Cade’s comment. Twilight Zone still, but based in the past or an alternate universe. Projecting forward from such a universe, what would you find?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Debbie, Well done with your short story! It’s a new mother’s nightmare to have her beautiful newborn taken away. I’m glad the two met at the end. Good luck with the Creative Writing competition. Thank you, Marsha, for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I greatly admire you, Deb, for putting yourself out there. You have always been a writer, yet the challenge is being “Bold” and ready for constructive feedback. I agree with your word in a comment “…pragmatic….grieving inside.” I understand the limit of words you had in this story and you did a wonderful job of conveying the unspoken layers in this society. I also believe it is not necessary to overthink and over discuss the details. A great story!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks Erica for your understanding and encouraging comment. I agree, it’s been an effort to put myself out there in this way and take on potential constructive criticism. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and will take many on board for future. The word limit was ‘limiting’ but I’m proud of my efforts! I’m also glad I decided to be BOLD this year.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Word limits do make a difference, don’t they, Erica. To bring things together in 99 words like Charli Mills does for her challenges is really tough. For Story Chat, the authors have up to 1,000 words, but reworking her story to add 399 words – without all this input would have been more difficult than to turn it in as it was, which fit my requirements of 500-1,000 words. I think she did very well, and the story has collected a lot of chatter. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Well, you know how far up my street this is, Deb! Loved it. And how you slowly introduce the sinister side. Also like very much that you didn’t use names – that’s a style I always like 🙂 Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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Marsha

Marsha

Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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