/ / Penelope by Sally Stackhouse

Penelope by Sally Stackhouse


28 March 2021

Prompt:  use these random words in your story:

*admiration* *stumble* *chord* *determine* *communication* *favour*


Penelope sat in the corner of the café looking out on the bustling street.  She loved this time spent by herself, to sit and watch the world go by.  She poured a cup of Earl Grey tea into her cup, stirred it slightly to mix the milk with the flavoured tea.  

As she watched the people rushing by, she noticed an elderly man and woman making their way to the pedestrian crossing.  As the lights turned red to stop the cars and green for them to traverse the busy road, she saw the elderly man stumble but quick as a flash, a young man grabbed his arm and steadied the gentleman and, much to Penelope’s admiration, stayed by the couple’s side until they had reached the safety of the pavement on the other side.  With a smile and a nod, they parted and went their separate ways.

It really struck a chord in Penelope’s mind that although people were always busy and seemed to rush here and there, there were still observant, kind and helpful young people in the world today.

Penelope finished her drink, paid her bill and gathered her belongings ready to return home remembering to do the favour her neighbour had requested.  Stopping in the supermarket she made the purchases requested by Doreen, aged 84 and still in isolation from Covid as a vulnerable elderly person, although you would never think it to see her, sprightly as she was with all her marbles still firing on all cylinders.

She also picked up a beautiful card with such lovely words that she immediately thought of her friend that she hadn’t been able to see for a year.  Communication was so important and although they talked at least once a week on the phone, a little note from her to Sheila would be most appreciated.  It would be a little keepsake for her friend to show that she cared and couldn’t wait to meet again in person.

Back home she pondered on her life.  She really must determine whether to stay in the big, old rambling house or downsize to something smaller, easier to heat and consequently cheaper on the heating bills and maintenance. 

It was rather daunting.  Just the thought deciding what to keep and what to give away, discard or sell made her heart beat so very fast.  All her memories were tied up in this home.  She really couldn’t bear to leave it. 

Perhaps when the world was a safer place, she might consider a move again until then it was wait and see what would become of the world that they now lived in.


Should I stay or should I go

God only knows

My path is unknown to me

I wish and wish I could see

What comes next

So, I can take the step

Without any regret

I’ll plod along with hope

And perhaps just enough rope

To save myself from drowning

To ease my face from frowning

Not knowing is the hardest part

The leap of faith to start my heart

To begin to live again free from worry

Perhaps I should go and hug a tree.

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