Tag Archives: comfort

#blogchallenge: Fortune Cookie #8

by Lillian Csernica on May 8, 2018


Today’s fortune says:

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.

Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Tanya sat on a bench outside the courthouse. The spring sunshine shone down through the new green leaves. Tanya huddled in her blue wool dress and gray cardigan. It might have been winter, her body stiff with cold and fatigue. She dabbed at her eyes with a tissue. Her mother sat beside her and smoothed one thin hand over Tanya’s tightly braided blonde hair.

“I know this is hard, honey. It’s for the best. Really, it is.”

“So many years….” Tanya blew her nose. “I wish I’d had the sense to do this sooner.”

“You were ready. That made this the right time.”

“How could I not see David wasn’t the person he kept pretending to be?”

“His kind can pass for normal. All the charm, all the money, all the right signals.” Her mother’s kind expression hardened. “That’s the bait. Once you’re good and hooked, then they drag you into the boat and make sure you never touch water again.”

Tanya nodded. “Being married to him was a lot like being marooned for ten years.”

“You’re free now, honey. And you got the settlement you deserved.”

Fresh tears gushed down Tanya’s cheeks. “I don’t want the money. I want the time back, all the time he stole from my life.”

“You’re making sure he can’t take anything else from you. Not time, and especially not a child.”

Tanya flinched. “It will be harder now, won’t it?”

“You’re only in your thirties, honey.” Her mother opened a fresh packet of tissues and handed it to Tanya. “Now he has to start over again. Imagine how much he’ll hate being forced to act all sweet and charming.”

“He’ll love it. You heard him. I’m stupid, useless, frigid–”

“Stop that. You won. You waited until the remodeling was finished. Now the house is worth twice what you paid for it.”

“Are you saying living well is the best revenge?”

“I’m saying he’s always in a hurry to get whatever he wants, but you were smart enough to wait for the right moment.”

Tanya looked up at the sun shining through the new spring leaves. She took a deep breath, willing herself to breathe in the warmth and the light. Spring. The time of new beginnings.







Filed under Blog challenges, creativity, Family, Fiction, Lillian Csernica, marriage, mother, nature, parenting, perspective, worry, Writing

C is for Crossing the Pacific

by Lillian Csernica on April 4, 2016


Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, CA

I have now crossed the Pacific Ocean a total of four times.  The first time, I was on my way to Nippon 2007 in Yokohama, Japan.  The second time, I was making a literary pilgrimage to Kiyomizudera in Kyoto, Japan.  In the course of these four flights, I learned a lot about preparation, comfort, and protection.


Chewing Gum — If you’re like me, you want your ears to pop during take off.  Chewing gum helps balance out the pressure in the Eustachian tubes and keeps you from having a sharp pain in the side of the head until the plane begins to descend.  Be sure to chew a fresh piece or two on descent as well.

Ear Plugs — If you plan to sleep, ear plugs are a good idea.  Try a few different brands out ahead of time so you know which one suits your ears the best.  (Click here to see my favorites.)  The materials ear plugs are made of do vary, so the amount of noise they filter out also varies.

Neck pillowHere are some important points to consider when choosing the right neck pillow for you.

Ear buds — Bring your own.  Airline ear buds tend to be lower quality and won’t fit your ears as well as those you’ve bought for yourself.

Snacks — Nippon Airways does a good job of keeping passengers supplied with food and drink at regular intervals during the flight.  Your mileage may vary, so be sure to keep some TSA-approved goodies in your carry-on bag.


Book your flight well ahead of time so you have the luxury of choosing your seat assignment.  I recommend the aisle seat because that gives you the most breathing room.  Also, in the event that your seatmates are unpleasant, you can make a quick getaway when you’ve hit your limit.  We’re talking ten to twelve hours in the air.  That is a very long time to be stuck in what amounts to a small, narrow room.


Hand sanitizer — A lot of people pass through planes in the course of a working day.  I recommend using this even after washing your hands in the restroom.  You just can’t be too careful these days.

Face mask — There’s no thrill like being stuck in an airplane next to or even nearby somebody who keeps coughing and/or sneezing.  In Asia it’s considered courteous to wear a face mask when you’re sick.  When you’re on a plane breathing recirculated air, Heaven only knows what bugs might be lurking in the air system.  Have no fear, fashionistas!  These face masks allow you to accessorize with style!

Zinc supplements — People have told me taking these ahead of time bolsters the immune system.  I haven’t take them myself, but now that I’ve done the research for this blog post, it sounds like a good idea.

Benadryl or whatever works for you — Please consult your doctor before taking any medications, especially those that may have side effects.  Some people are afraid to fly and rely on Benadryl’s sedative effect.  Again, I don’t use it, but many people I know have done so with good effects.  Ask your doctor.

Bon voyage!



Filed under Blog challenges, Conventions, doctors, Food, history, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, research, travel, worry, Writing