A Life in Sound Bytes – Friday Fictioneers, February 2016


Copyright The Reclining Gentleman


Each December, we’d unpack the tree decorations, laughing as we sang “Well hello, how are you…?”

And when we put them away in January, we’d croon “I’ll be seeing you…

When the first bulb-tips pierced the winter-packed soil, you’d sing “When it’s spring again…” and as we later tied down the drooping leaves, I’d rock out “See you later, alligator…”

Every summer, we’d drive from the log-cabin, punching each other in the ribs, screeching “Another one bites the dust…”

Deep inside, unspoken, I’d wonder what would have changed when these milestones came around again.

You’ve gone.

I wasn’t expecting that…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-lI_tgQMMk –  (Jamie Lawson)

Thanks to The Reclining Gentleman for his photo of my favourite spring flower – daffodils have been on my mind for several weeks now, but not on sale here sadly, where I’m still nursing a Poinsettia that refuses to be killed off.  Thanks also to Rochelle, the multi-talented leader of our accomplished band of Friday Fictioneers, and congratulations to Margaret Leggatt, our Australian member, on her recent success.


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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77 Responses to A Life in Sound Bytes – Friday Fictioneers, February 2016

  1. Oh Sandra,

    That last line was a punch in the gut. I love the idea of singing to greet and bid farewell to the seasons. Not to mention I could hear the songs. 😉




  2. ceayr says:

    Very different from you, Sandra, but cleverly woven and powerfully poignant.
    I never follow links but, because it is you, I did.
    Never again, I am wrecked now!
    Quite a song, I didn’t know it, so thank you for that too.


  3. Oh how touching. We’re both emotional this week! The daffodil should inspire some joy I hope.


  4. mscwhyte says:

    A powerful collision of happy memories and sad realities.


  5. Dale says:

    I loved this and now wish I hadn’t read it before writing my own (I usually try to avoid it) as I was sort of going to go down the same path. That song and video were gorgeous, thanks for sharing.


  6. What a moving story, Sandra! I loved how a soundless soundtrack accompanies your main character’s familiar and joyful events through the seasons. Lovely memories with her/his loved one. And that ending! (I actually expected that, but dreaded it.)
    Nice song! Thanks for sharing.


  7. mickwynn2013 says:

    I love the idea of a song for every occasion, so sad what life throws at you in the end though.


  8. MythRider says:

    Ah. A life filled with love now all alone. May there another to sing new songs and bring new love.


  9. Such a sad tale beautifully told.
    I love the song.


  10. From the earth and to the earth, so live and yet so sad.


  11. The cycle of life – it keeps turning. The certainty of milestones take our eyes off the uncertainty of what may be.


  12. There is a sense of refrains repeated over and over… and then suddenly the record is broken.. what a great way to select those tunes to weave a story.


  13. lillian says:

    Ah the memories….disrupted by the loss of someone….forever changed. I enjoyed this very much.


  14. Penny L Howe says:

    expressively eloquent and sadly true, Sandra. So well written, my friend.


  15. storydivamg says:

    I too am still contemplating the implications of that final poinsettia that simply refuses to “bite the dust.” As we haven’t had much cold weather here to date, I’m not particularly chomping at the bit for spring to come. I did thoroughly enjoy your story–although I expected the ending. Sometimes the expected ending still works.

    All my best,


  16. A bit straightforward for you, but powerful as always. I think life always seems to turn out to be what “I wasn’t expecting” …


  17. ansumani says:

    What can I say…I wasn’t expecting that 🙂

    Well done Sandra.


  18. i b arora says:

    but in the end we always manage to move on and wait for the new flowers to bloom


  19. liz young says:

    Oh Lord! That’s just how I felt when Pa died – never to be able to share those moments again.


  20. draliman says:

    Such a sad ending to a happy joyful piece. The possibility that this might be the last time rarely occurs to people.


  21. gahlearner says:

    Lovely how you tie happy lives to songs. But the end–that song is played up and down in the radio where I live (and I can’t hear it any more, sorry). Great punchline for your story though.


  22. elmowrites says:

    Something about the everyday nature of this story makes the last line a stronger punch, Sandra. I like it!

    No daffs here either, and our poinsettia is putting out a bunch of new growth too. I always saw them as a sort of extended life cut flower arrangement, but this one is determined to live beyond its season!


    • Sandra says:

      I was saying to MG above, that I still have one from the Christmas before last! Not exactly a pretty sight but I feel obliged to keep up with it. I’m really soft like that. Thanks for reading Jen.


  23. Beautiful, poignant and very resonant for me this year. It’s just as well that we never know what changes the year will bring.
    ‘I wasn’t expecting that’ gets a lot of airplay here in Ireland and it gets me every time, even before it took on such a personal meaning.
    A beautifully written piece as always


  24. Sandra,
    you did a beautiful job tying this together with songs, especially with the little details, like “punching each other in the ribs” that make it so much more vivid. Hopefully she’ll keep singing or maybe the songs will keep going in her head.


  25. Amy Reese says:

    Like Rochelle said, that last line was a real punch in the gut. It really got me. I could just hear all the songs and feel the joy between them as they shared them. What a way to bring in the seasons and experience the passing of time. I would feel pretty lost if that went away all of sudden. Very well done, Sandra.


  26. Depth is your forte and so are the twists in the end! 🙂


  27. Indira says:

    Sad ending but beautifully written as usual.


  28. rgayer55 says:

    All things must pass they say, but boy, how we hate to let some of them go.


  29. So many shared memories, a lifetime packed in just few words. Such a poignant story, told in the most simple way, as is the way of a true love.


  30. It is a sad ending but she has all those great memories.


  31. plaridel says:

    i guess in life the only constant is change.


  32. Lori Carlson says:

    Beautifully told… love how the cheeriness goes to somber by the end, creating a powerful ending!


  33. Margaret says:

    Oh. That was a shock ending – but brilliantly set up and delivered. I love how you used the songs.


  34. I don’t think we can ever fully prepare ourselves.


  35. Great story, Sandra, with a hard-hitting twist at the end. It’s a lovely and original idea to sing at each event. Well done as always. —- Suzanne


  36. This is a wonderful weeper Sandra. It stirred something deep at my own losses and changes over the years.


  37. Colline says:

    A sad ending to a paragraph that ended with such joy. Unexpected.


  38. rogershipp says:

    Always having a song in one’s heart… awesome. Then the emptiness at the end! Well done!!!!


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