True life story- Two plastic sacks

No words could be formed,nor could any make their way past her lips. She simply stood motionless, gripping two plastic bags that now threatened to expose items she had haphazardly thrown onto the grocery store counter and then into plastic sacks.  A new era was about to unfold, one that would hurl them even further into the alternate reality where they had sunken deeper with each passing year. It had been three grueling days of heat and sheer boredom for 8 children and their weary mother, sitting in a hotel room waiting for the evening meal to be purchased and delivered. Hours were spent looking out the window, listening to engaging clatter from the street below. Workers sold colorful scarves, books and toys, women and men heeded the call to prayer and walked towards the holy mosque. He lay sleeping in the second room, napping throughout the day, waking only to use the restroom, walk to prayer  and issue reminders that this trip was for worship, not frivolous play.

The 7 hour trip was spent speeding through the desert, from Riyadh to Medina, stopping at bathrooms only when necessity warranted. Feces, soiled diapers and urine lined the stalls, each of the children entered and then made a hasty retreat back to the car, unable to use the facilities. Desert tents, camels and an occasional shrub caught her eye as the vehicle followed a path to the holy city of Medina. A warm anticipation filled her heart and soul as they traveled on this sacred path. But now she stood, staring into the crowd, a booming voice broke through the click clack of ship ships (sandals) that hurriedly marked steps made through the crowded thoroughfare. He marched forward, boldly raising his voice to a level that had been hidden from the public until this time. His arms flailed and waved as he stormed, ranting and raging.  People stopped momentarily to ascertain the situation that appeared out of nowhere and gained momentum and force with each piercing word.   A small crowd formed and then dispersed upon seeing her, salty sweat dripped through her black, tattered abaya, lingering long enough to leave faded stains where she wiped away the constant drip drip of humiliation and fear. She stood steadfast, gripping the coveted treats that would bring a meager but much needed relief to the stagnant living quarters.

 

102 thoughts on “True life story- Two plastic sacks

  1. Oh! As much as I have loved the amazing photos of the Palouse and of course those darling grand babies of yours, it is when you write your heart Lynn that I am most deeply touched. Your words are gold. ❤️

    Liked by 9 people

  2. OH my…he brings being an a-hole to a hole new level….my heart aches for what you have been through., but for every word you write, its one more string unattached from your soul…keep writing, I can’t wait for the book…I hope I will get a signed copy…LOL I will come get it in fact!!! forever sisters at heart….kat

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  3. Now THAT is your voice dearest most heartbreaking most heart-inspiring Lynn. Screaming almost imperceptibly in the mire. I did ring you Friday and left a message …. Happy to chat anytime 💫

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      • Don’t worry yourself … I was concerned you might be away. Hope Disney was fun for Les enfants 🙂 Actually today I have my new neighbours coming over for the afternoon and tomorrow morning I’m at the hospital but tomorrow afternoon or anytime Tuesday would be super 🙂 xxx

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  4. I am struck though by how happy your children look in the picture but I can visualize with the words you use what is the reality. I do wonder if I had accepted the job in Riyadh what I would have seen…but I am glad not to have gone. Thanks for sharing.

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      • As I read your blog, I realize that it would have been impossible for me to keep my thoughts to myself in Saudi. I would have gotten into trouble without trying. Last semester, I accepted a part time job at a nearby University language academy (British based). Unfortunately, I had some very challenging students from Saudi who complained about grades, etc. homework. …I took the job to finish the last 6 weeks out for a teacher who left suddenly. It was unpleasant for me and then despite my hard work, the scheduler told me, “Yes, you did a good job but unfortunately I cannot give you a recommendation because the students evals were low and our policy is not to hire if you below a certain grade. But I hope to work with you again.” Huh….

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  5. A thought – for your book, it might be a good idea to stick with the “I” versus “she.” Nevertheless, this part of your story is as compelling and well written as everything you’ve shared. Keep telling your story.

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  6. The trip from hell… I can’t even imagine what it was like stuck in the hotel room with all the kids. And the journey… And those toilets… But good luck with starting the book! Have you decided if it’s going to be first or third person?

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  7. As always your story is riveting, Lynn. You write with such emotion and the sensory detail transports me to the scene – the heat, the smells, the sounds of the sandals, the call to prayer, the screaming and turned heads, the sweat. And always those children that you are trying to protect and give a good life. I noticed that you wrote this in third person. Are you experimenting for the up and coming book?

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    • I just did it for fun, it seemed like the right move for some reason when I got to the end to describe how people maybe felt seeing me. So, then I felt it was weird to switch it to third person. I am not experienced at writing so just went to third person all through it haha. thanks so much, coming from such a gifted writer that means so much to me xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to admit liking the first person better, it feels more personal to see it through your eyes. But then, I’m probably just used to it too. In first person, you can show what other people might be seeing simply by imagining it, or by describing their reactions and how you interpret them. Your writing is absolutely superb, so I know it will be a great read either way. 🙂 I couldn’t be more pleased that you are writing a book!

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  8. Interesting angle from the third person, because I’m so used to your writings it almost seems like an out of body experience. Like you considered how others might perceive the situation for the first time. So sorry Lynn, and so thankful you are out of it. It would be interesting to hear what your children thought about it sometime. I know your boys don’t like to talk about it, but maybe one of your girls could add to one of your stories from their point of view?

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