Thursday, March 17, 2016

Stepping Up (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

When I was still in my 40s, the first steps were taken in a new movement to use the unique skills of retired persons. "The greatest generation" certainly deserved their retirementbut many, it became clear, did not want to lay down the tools they had honed and perfected throughout their careers.

They sought a platform to continue contributing. Mentoring, advising, lending their experience to those in need, they volunteered or worked part-time at a far smaller salary than they had commanded before retirement. By the time the baby-boomers, my generation, began to retire, this was an accepted practice.

I think sometimes (often as I prepare for my own senior volunteer job) about those first volunteers, whose age did not stop them from stepping up to fill the need they saw.

Charli Mills talked about the first person to step up in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge this week, and prompted us to write about it:

March 16, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about the idea of “just one.” If all it takes is just one, what is the story? Explore what comes to mind and go where the prompt takes you. Bonus challenge: eat cake while you write, or include cake in your flash.

Yes, it takes just one person to step up. But far more important is the response of others who also step up, giving support to that brave first volunteer. Never far from my heart is the topic of libraries, books and librarians, the seed for my response to the prompt this week.

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Stepping Up

Late! Myrna ignored the glares from the group of retired librarians, hitting the restaurant buffet first for tea and a slice of cake.

"Sorry!" she breathed, sinking into place at the large table. "What did I miss?"

Her fork halted halfway between plate and mouth at the answer. "The city voted last night to defund the neighborhood libraries program. They don't have enough money to staff them AND the Metro library downtown."

Myrna ate her bite of cake, said, "We'll be staffing the neighborhood libraries, of course."

One member looked at another, startled. Several seconds passed, then, "Of course!"