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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Party Day 1 Join the Fun!

It's party time!!!!!!
I'm so glad you all could come to my very first party. I've never hosted a party like this before so please stick with me and enjoy yourself. :)
When I first heard of Magnabilities, I wasn't quite sure I was interested. I mean, after all, I didn't wear a lot of necklaces. But my sister got me a Magnabilities necklace and two inserts for Christmas that year. They were more fun than I had thought. And then earlier this year, Hannah held a Magnabilities Open House and got to play with them, try them out, and even win an new insert! I loved them! And I hope you do too!
Now I'll let Hannah have the floor. Hannah?

Hello! My name is Hannah Covington and I am your Magnabilities consultant for this party!  I am a homeschool graduate, interested in all things books, gardens and fashion! Having grown up not far from Rebekah, we’ve always been close so it seemed only natural to get with her to share this fun jewelry!
http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736

   When I first heard about Magnabilities jewelry almost 2 years ago I was enthralled. My sister and I were at a vendor event and stopped at a booth with all sorts of fun inserts and pendants. I am a fashion lover so I naturally fell in love with it. My sister tends to care more for comfort than styles and so rarely wore jewelry but even she was very interested in the new concept of interchangeable jewelry and now, 2 years later she wears Magnabilities frequently.

http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736


 Magnabilities is interchangeable, customizable, magnetic jewelry that can transform any woman’s jewelry collection! It’s a simple concept really: choose a pendant and necklace and add the insert of your choice!
http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736


With only a few pieces you can match almost any outfit and occasion you need! Plus, we have matching earrings for many of the sets! Like I said, any outfit, any occasion. 

http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736
http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736
http://hannahgrace.magnabilities.com/party/15736

  I hope you’ll join Rebekah and I over the next few days as we share Magnabilities unique new jewelry with you! Check out my site through her special party link and don't hesitate to ask any questions in the comments!

 Also, be sure to enter to win our awesome door prize! I’ll be giving away this lovely set at the end of the party! You won't want to miss out on this one! 

"So many books, So little time" insert, pendent and ribbon necklace! I just love this one!  And if you are a book lover, enter! And if you know someone else who loves books, share this party with them!
(Sorry, we can't ship outside the US and Canada.)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for more delightful things!
Which of these is your favorite?

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 6

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans!
It's a rainy morning here. It rained some yesterday, but the sun came out mid afternoon and it was lovely. It's supposed to be in the 50's today and tomorrow, then back to being warmer.

This week has been delightfully empty. :) No weddings, receptions, nursery, elections, or friends from Canada. I've gotten a lot done on my projects and a lot of writing. :)
  • Monday I wrote 1,600+ words. And, for those of you who are interested, I finished writing "Dylan's Story" and now it waits for the editor to read the last of it. (If any of you are interested in being test/beta readers, you can sign up here and I'll be in contact.)
  • On Tuesday I started a little bit early on my writing and with the help of many word sprints, I reached a record breaking total of 3,200+ words!
  • And then came Wednesday. Since I joined Camp NaNo, I have been wanting to spend one day writing. Not all day mind you, but most of it. So Wednesday became the chosen day. I sprinted before breakfast. I wrote and sprinted after breakfast, and then took a brisk walk with Sis before writing some more. After lunch I wrote. After supper I wrote until my brain was so tired I had to say I was done. I had reached a record of 6,030 words!!!!!! Yeah! Crazy! But it was so much fun! And all those words were on "Hymns in the Hills" in case you were interested. :)
  • Yesterday my brain was still tired so I only wrote 1,200+ words.
  • So far this week I've written over 12k words!
We'll see if I write any today since the kids are all coming over after naps and we'll eat supper together before my brother and his wife come and we all go out for ice cream to celebrate my mom's and my birthday (which is tomorrow.)
I should write some tomorrow as my cabin is doing another "cabin sprint" at 9 in the morning. That's fun. :)

Oh, next week there is going to be a party right here on this blog! It starts on Tuesday and ends on Saturday! I hope you all can come! I was going to do it this week, but things weren't working out and we decided that next week would be better.

I hope you'll come join me!

And now that I've taken up a lot more of your time than I usually do, I'll let you read the final part of this story. Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 6
The End

    After the prayer, Kelsey yawned and remarked, “I’m glad my bed isn’t on the top bunk.”
    The other girls laughed and Mrs. McKenzie, reminded of the lateness of the hour, hustled the younger girls off to bed. “Let Lottie and Kelsey have some dinner. I declare I’m so bewildered that I don’t know what I’m about. They should have eaten when they got home!”
    “Don’t worry, Mom,” Lottie called, “I had popcorn at the party and wasn’t very hungry until now. Too much excitement, I guess.”
    “Kels, are you hungry?” Lauren asked.
    Kelsey shook her head. “No, I guess not. I’m just tired. Where are my crutches, Lot? I think I’ll go to bed with the younger ones tonight.”
    Mr. McKenzie stood up. “No crutches tonight for you, Kels. And no stairs either. At least not on your own.” He scratched his chin in puzzlement. “How’re we going to manage it, girls? The stairs are a might narrow, and I don’t think I could manage to carry you up.”
    Lottie stood in the doorway leading into the dining room, a plate of food in her hand, as she listened. “Couldn’t Mike carry her up tonight? The doctor said she could use the crutches tomorrow, if she felt up for it. She could come down then if she wanted.”
    Kelsey looked from her father to her sister’s fiancé. She trusted Mike, but she was puzzled about going down the stairs on her crutches. What if she ended up being stuck up there?
    “What do you say, Kels?”
    Blinking, Kelsey realized she had stopped listening. “What?”
    Mr. McKenzie chuckled. “I was just asking if you wanted Mike to carry you up, or if you’d rather sleep on the couch tonight.”
    An exhausted feeling swept over her right at that moment and she fought to keep her eyes open. “I don’t know,” she mumbled in the midst of a yawn.
    “Maybe she should sleep here tonight, Dad. Then she won’t have to move tomorrow if she wants to be in on the action.” Lauren was good at solving troublesome problems. “I know Mike could carry her up, but the stairs are rather narrow, as you said. She might bump her leg. Besides, if we talk a few more minutes, I think she’ll be asleep right where she is.”
    Kelsey gave a slight smile and let her eyes close. “Night,” she murmured, nestling her head into a more comfortable position on the pillow and relaxing into sleep.

*

    “Kels, guess what?” Belle and Shannon came racing into the room where Kelsey was reclining on the couch with a book.
    She looked up at her eager, excited sisters. “What?”
    “The car is here again!” Belle exclaimed.
    “What car?” Kelsey didn’t bother to attempt to turn and look out the window.
    “You know. The one that was here yesterday to take you and Lot to the party. With Zoe and her brother,” seven-year-old Shannon said.
    “Just the car is here?” questioned Lottie, coming into the room. “My, I didn’t know it was such a remarkable car.”
    “It’s not just the car, it’s them too.”
    Finding her bookmark, Kelsey slipped it between the pages, saying as she did so, “Don’t stand talking, go answer the front door, Lottie.” She wondered if it was both Zoe and Wally or just one of them.
    It turned out to be both, and Lottie ushered them into the living room.
    “Hi,” Kelsey greeted them quietly. “Would you like to sit?”
    “Oh, Kels!” Zoe cried, rushing over to her and carefully hugging her. “I’m so glad you weren’t hurt any worse! How’s the leg? Does it hurt awfully? How long are you going to be laid up?”
    “Hold up a minute, Zoe,” laughed Wally. “You haven’t even given her half a chance to answer. How are you doing, Kelsey?”
    “I’ll be all right. The pain isn’t bad, but the doctor said I was to rest and take it easy for the first week, and then he thought I could get out and about, if I were careful. I just wish I could go see how Mrs. Stuebanks is.”
    “Oh, Kels,” broke in Lottie, perching herself on the arm of a chair since Zoe had seated herself on the couch next to her sister and Wally didn’t seem interested in sitting. “I forgot to tell you, Mair and I went up there this morning and they said she was doing just fine. They said to thank you for saving her life and they’re going to keep a better eye on her.”
    At the news Kelsey relaxed, a happy smile on her face. “Thanks for checking, Lot. And thank you, Zoe.”
    “What for?”
    “For inviting us to your party and for convincing Lauren that we should go. If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been there to see Mrs. Stuebanks when she needed help.” She gave a little shrug. “What’s a broken bone compared to being killed or at least seriously injured?”
    Zoe had no reply.
    Before the silence had a chance to grow awkward, Lauren entered the room, casually greeted the visitors whom she knew from school, and before long the younger girls, unable to remain away from the action, drifted in and were introduced.
    It was a delightful afternoon, and when Zoe and her brother reluctantly said they must leave, Zoe promised to return again soon.
    “There isn’t any need to,” Kelsey said. “Don’t feel obligated or anything.”
    “I won’t,” Zoe promised gaily. “I like you McKenzies, and I plan to be here as often as you’ll let me. Good bye!”
    The girls, except Kelsey, gathered on the front porch and waved as Wally pulled away from the curb.
    “You know, Wally,” Zoe remarked, when the house with eight girls had disappeared behind them, “I really like them, and Kelsey never once complained about being laid up this summer. All she could think about was the old woman she had saved.”
    “She could be a lesson to us all, couldn’t she?” Wally said thoughtfully. “A lesson in contentment with what God brings into our lives, as well as a reminder to think of others more than ourselves.”

Have you ever known someone who taught you
something without knowing they did?
Did you enjoy this story?
Will you be at my party next week?

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 5

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
It's overcast this morning but not cool. Yesterday was sunny and 80º. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same which is good because we have a wedding to attend. :)
Yesterday I spend most of the day helping decorate for the wedding. It was such fun. :) The colors are navy and white and yellow. And she has daisies for flowers.

It's been another one of those crazy weeks. With a wedding last Saturday, then my best friend #2 and her family were down for a visit from Canada, and I went to the park with them on Monday, went out to lunch with just my best friends on Tuesday and then got to bring her 2 year old down to play on our swings and slide for a while Wednesday morning, I've been busy.

I have almost gotten 5k written. Hopefully I can get the last few hundred words written today and tomorrow morning. "Dylan's Story" is almost done. I'm wrapping things up. :)

There are probably other things I could talk about, but I don't feel like I'm making much sense, and as I have other things to do today, so I'll let you get on with this next part of the story. Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 5

    “Of course we’re not going back,” Zoe exclaimed. “The party was almost over anyway. Wally and I are going to drive you and Lottie to the hospital in his car. Your parents will meet us there. We thought you’d like that better than going in an ambulance.”
    “I don’t need a hospital,” Kelsey scoffed, wincing slightly, but determined. “I’ll be fine after a few days of rest at home.”
    Wally spoke up. “Kelsey, we think your leg is broken.”
    “Who’s we?” Kelsey’s eyes moved from the young man’s face to her leg stretched out before her, and then back to Wally’s face.
    “Mr. Parson, the officer, me and another gentleman. Somethings wrong with it, Kelsey. It needs an x-ray, and a doctor.”
    For a long time Kelsey sat in silence. How could her leg be broken? The car hadn’t hit her, had it? If it was broken, why didn’t it hurt sooner? She didn’t want to ride with Wally and Zoe. It was kind of them to offer, but she’d rather go with Mike and Lauren. If she had only called them sooner– No, then Mrs. Stuebanks would probably have been hit by that car! But there was still time if Lottie would go call Mike–
    “Kels,” Lottie whispered, leaning close to her sister. “I’m going to go get our skates, okay?”
    Kelsey nodded. They should get them even if they waited for Mike. The throbbing in her temples had returned, and she leaned her head back, wishing the back of the chair was higher.

*

    They were home. Kelsey looked wearily out the station wagon windows at the lighted windows of the house. Night had settled around, and Kelsey remembered how long the shadows were becoming when she had sat outside the skating rink. Was it only a few hours ago? The front door was flung open as the car pulled to a stop in the street before it, and her younger sisters rushed out followed by Lauren and Mike. Kelsey glanced at her leg. It was in a plaster cast and lay resting on the backseat, while a pair of crutches was in the back with Lottie. Her leg had been broken. The doctor said it wasn’t a bad break, but she wouldn’t be walking on it for at least six weeks. Six weeks of hobbling about the house. Six weeks of not going up to the home to visit the old folks who had become her friends. Six weeks of–
    The car door opened and five voices all talking at once broke the quiet of the car. Though her leg still ached, and she felt tired, Kelsey couldn’t help smiling. She knew she had become a very important member of the family because she was the only one to have broken any bones. At least so far.
    “Kels,” her dad, after gently pushing aside his younger daughters, leaned in to say, “I’m going to let Mike carry you inside, all right?”
    “Sure, Dad. I’ll take to the crutches later, after I’ve had a bit of a rest.”
    “Good girl. Just wait until tomorrow, like the doctor suggested.” Mr. McKenzie patted her shoulder and moved back to let Mike take his place.
    As he carried her across the yard, Mike grinned down at her. “If you didn’t want to stay at the party, you could have just called me instead of taking such drastic measures,” he teased. “And I thought you were the one who hated to be the center of attention in a crowd.”
    Feeling her cheeks grow warm, Kelsey gave a little laugh. “I really don’t know where all the people came from. There was no one anywhere except me and Mrs. Stuebanks. And then suddenly there were people everywhere. I think people just come out of the woodwork when accidents happen.”
    “It sometimes seems that way. Well, I’ve a feeling you’ll be the center of attention for quite some time now,” and he gently placed her on the worn couch in the living room.
    Instantly her sisters swarmed around her, talking and asking questions, trying to get her a glass of water, a blanket, a pillow, and begging her to tell them all about it.
    “All right now, all of you be quiet,” Mrs. McKenzie ordered firmly. “Give Kels a chance to catch her breath. Mair, fetch her a glass of water. Hand me that pillow, Ell. The rest of you be still.” As she had talked, Mrs. McKenzie had deftly slipped the pillow behind Kelsey’s back while Lauren carefully settled the injured leg on another one and then spread a light blanket over her.
    When the water was brought, Kelsey drank thirstily. “You know,” she remarked, after draining the glass and handing it back to her sister, “I think that was the first water I’ve drunk since I left for the party.”
    “No, it wasn’t,” Lottie laughed. “Mr. Parson gave you a glass of water and you drank some of it.”
    “I did? I don’t remember that. But everything was rather a blur for a time.”
    “Tell the story now, please?” Belle, the youngest sister, begged in a whisper.
    Kelsey was a remarkably good storyteller and, in spite of the pain and exhaustion, she told the tale well. Lottie had to fill in much of what had taken place once Kelsey had been carried to the drugstore, for Kelsey didn’t know everything and wasn’t sure just what had happened.
    When the story was finally told, everyone fell silent until Mr. McKenzie said, “I think we need to take a moment and thank the Lord for His protection this afternoon.”
    Every head bowed as he thanked God for protection and asked for healing for Kelsey and Mrs. Stuebanks, if she was also injured.

Have you ever broken a bone?
Do you like being the center of attention?
Was your week busy, or just normal?

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 4

Dear me! I forgot all about it being Friday. Is it really Friday?
It's been a rather crazy week and next week will be even more crazy. :P It's called "Life." Yeah, I know, it would be nice if things weren't so crazy and I could get a lot written, but it hasn't happened. Yet. Perhaps I can write more today. I sure hope so. Here's a quick look at my week.
Saturday: I actually got a good amount written for the first day of April.
Sunday: I worked in the nursery Sunday School for my mom, and then after church we had choir practice. The rest of the day was relaxing and I got to read. :)
Monday: Preparing and teaching my final writing classes. Then I had to grade papers and get everything ready for the next day. I did get 800+ words written.
Tuesday: Only 368 words written while I sat at the polls. We had a record breaking number of 19 people show up to vote! But we talked a LOT and I learned a lot about the history of the area. (There might even be an idea for a story.)
Wednesday: I was tired. And I was catching up. I did some writing sprints with some of my cabin mates which was fun and I was able to get a little over 1,500 words written.
Thursday: I got more things done and the day was more relaxed, but there wasn't much writing done. One of the girls from church who is getting married next week, came over to try her dress on (my sister was doing some altering for her) and we talked for quite a while. And after supper I had to edit what I had written the day before and then only got 280 words written. Not much. We'll see if I'm able to reach my 5k goal this week. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon. I feel that I'm so close to the ending of "Dylan's Story" but I could use prayer as I write it.

Here's the next part of this story. It gets more exciting in this part. :) Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 4

    Before she could decide, the old woman started to cross the street. She didn’t look to see if any cars were coming, only stepped down off the curb.
    A horn blared. Kelsey found her heart in her throat as the old woman, startled and evidently bewildered, stumbled, almost lost her balance, and then moved forward right into the path of the oncoming car.
    Without stopping to think, Kelsey flew across the sidewalk, darted into the street and hurled herself at Mrs. Stuebanks.
    She was never quite sure just what happened then, for the next thing she knew she was sitting on the side of the road with the little old lady fairly in her lap.
    “Mercy me!” ejaculated Mrs. Stuebanks. “Whatever are you doing, Child?”
    Kelsey gave a nervous laugh. “I’m not quite sure, Mrs. Stuebanks. Are you all right?”
    A crowd was beginning to gather, though Kelsey couldn’t figure out where they all came from. The driver, white faced and shaking, pushed through to ask, “Is she all right? I didn’t see her until she was almost in front of me! Why didn’t she look? Has someone called for an ambulance?”
    Kelsey didn’t try to answer. She simply sat, bewildered, and thankful that Mrs. Stuebanks was alive.
    “I called for an ambulance,” once person said.
    “Where did the girl come from?”
    “Why, that’s Kelsey. Kelsey, what are you doing here?” It was the owner of the drugstore, and he crouched next to the odd couple sitting in the street.
    “I was at the skating party and saw her. Is she going to be all right, Mr. Parson?”
    The old woman, after her first exclamation, had fallen silent and sat quite still clutching her lavender purse.
    “I hope so.”
    The wail of sirens cut through the muffled chatter of the bystanders, and the crowd parted as a police officer and two medics came forward. Mrs. Stuebanks was soon inside the ambulance while Kelsey informed the officer that the old woman lived at the home.
    “I don’t know what she is doing this far away,” she said, not making any move to rise. “I didn’t see anyone with her. Is she going to be all right?”
    The officer nodded. “I’m sure she will be. Now suppose we move out of the street. It would–” He got no farther, for a new crowd, this time of young people, arrived on the scene and pushed forward.
    “Oh, Kelsey!” It was Lottie, and she flung her arms around her sister’s neck and burst into tears.
    Kelsey hugged her and then laughed somewhat shakily, “Come on, Lot, help me up and let’s get out of the street. How did you all know about the accident?”
    Pulling herself together, Lottie drew back and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. “We didn’t. What happened?”
    Zoe’s face appeared beside Lottie’s. “Someone heard a siren, but by the time the word got around and we realized that it wasn’t just passing by, the ambulance was leaving. What happened?”
    “Zoe, let’s wait until she is out of the street first,” Wally suggested, offering Kelsey his hand.
    Taking it, Kelsey was pulled to her feet, but when she tried to stand, an involuntary cry of pain escaped her lips, and she would have fallen had not a strong arm gone around her and held her up. Her eyes closed with pain and her head dropped forward to rest on a sturdy shoulder as she fought back the waves of dizziness.
    “My leg,” she gasped, in answer to the questions that besieged her from every side. She rested her weight on her right leg, her breathing ragged gasps. It hadn’t hurt before. Nothing had. The medics had asked her if she was all right and she had assured them she was. Nothing had changed since then, had it?
    “Kels,” Lottie was saying when Kelsey could focus on something besides the pain for a moment, “it’s going to be all right.”
    Lifting her head, though she still felt lightheaded, she tried to smile. “Of course I’ll be all right, Lottie,” she whispered. “I probably just twisted my ankle–or something.”
    The policeman was standing beside her giving orders. “Two of you fellows make a chair with your hands and we’ll get her moved.”
    “Bring her into my shop,” Mr. Parson offered quickly.
    Kelsey felt herself being lifted gently by Wally and one of the other boys at the party. The crowd parted and Mr. Parson opened wide his doors. Gritting her teeth against the stabbing pain as she was lowered to a chair and the officer carefully settled her leg on another chair, Kelsey closed her eyes once more.
    Voices swam around her, but she didn’t know what they were saying Her one thought was, “Mrs. Stuebanks is all right. It doesn’t matter about me.” Something cold was settled on her leg and eased the pain.
    “Kelsey.”
    Drawing a deep breath, Kelsey opened her eyes to find Wally and Zoe crouched down before her. It dawned on her suddenly that the accident had interrupted their skating party. “Where’s Lottie?” she asked, not giving either one a chance to speak.
    Her sister’s voice answered. “I’m right here.”
    Forcing her lips to smile, Kelsey glanced over at her. “You should call the house and ask Mike if he’ll come pick us up. You’ll have to get our skates.” She turned back to the brother and sister before her. “Sorry for interrupting the party. We’ll be fine here–until Mike comes. You can all go back. There’s no use waiting–with us.”
Have you ever gotten hurt at a party?
If you were Lottie, what would you do?
Are you eager to read the full book of "Dylan's Story"?

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 3

Hello Friday Fiction Fans,
It's cloudy this morning and damp. It rained off and on all day yesterday. I think the sun is supposed to appear later today which would be very nice. We've had a lot of cool cloudy days. I think our weather has the hiccups. First it's sunny and warm, then it gets cold and rains, then it's really warm, then it's cold. It just can't decide if it should be spring or summer or winter. The Tulips have bloomed, the Irises are blooming in some yards, and it looks like it should be later in the year. We even get the joys of elm seeds early. :P

Anyway, enough about weather. Since I ended up working in the nursery again (third time in a row), I didn't write anything that day. But I have been working on "Dylan's Story." It's coming along. Though I've about reached a part that I really don't know what happens. Prayers would be appreciated.

Speaking of writing, this year marks a first. I decided to join Camp NaNo for April. My goal right now is to write 20,000 words. It could be interesting since I also have two weddings, a wedding reception, a wedding rehearsal, an election, my birthday, a party on here (stay tuned for more details), and the AWANA closing program at church. Not to mention other things that just come up. Hopefully I'll be able to reach my goal.

Here's the next part of this story. Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 3

    “Wow, you two are good,” Sharon’s praise was genuine.
    “Only because of practice,” Lottie laughed. “If you’d skated as much as we have, you’d be good too.”
    “I think I’ll go outside for a little while, Lottie,” Kelsey said as Lottie dropped down onto the bench beside her. “I’m getting a headache.”
    A worried frown crossed Lottie’s face. “Do you want to go home?”
    Though she really did, Kelsey shook her head and began unlacing her skates. “I’ll just get some quiet and fresh air. Have fun and don’t worry about me.”
    Lottie nodded. “But Kels, if you do want to go home, I don’t mind. I’ve been skating a lot and have had fun already. I won’t mind leaving.”
    Kelsey smiled. “Thanks, Lot, but I think I’ll be fine after some quiet.” She stood up and slipped her feet into her shoes leaving her skates next to Lottie’s shoes. Walking to the door, she skirted several kids she didn’t know, thankful that no one had said anything to her. Her feet felt strange, almost as though they no longer belonged to her. “They always do after I’ve skated,” she murmured, pushing open the door and blinking in the bright sunshine.
    Quiet. Blessed quietness settled over her as the door shut behind her. Only the noise of an occasional car driving past disturbed the lazy summer afternoon. Sitting down in the green grass, Kelsey leaned her head against the brick of the skating rink and shut her eyes. The pounding in her head dulled to a low but persistent ache. At least that was more manageable than the throbbing had been.
    Childish laughter made her open her eyes, and a smile brightened her face. Across the street a family was entering the drugstore, the children excited and eager, the parents laughing at some remark made no doubt by one of their children.
    “I wonder who they are,” she thought, her eyes resting on the door that had shut after the family. “I think I would like them.”
    From her shady spot she let her eyes roam around, and for some time she watched a busy little bird across the street.
    “Kels!”
    So busy had her thoughts been, that she started. “Zoe? What are you doing out here?”
    “I came to find you. I saw you leave, but you didn’t come back in. Are you all right?”
    “Yes, I’m fine. It was just too crowded and noisy inside.” She shrugged. “I’m all right, really. You can go back to your party. I’m not running away.” She smiled.
    Instead of leaving, Zoe sat down beside her. “It does get rather noisy with everyone talking at once and music playing. You probably wish you had gone to visit your elderly friends at the home instead of coming here.”
    “No, I’m glad I came. I know Lottie is having a wonderful time, and we’ll have stories to tell the other girls at home when we get back.”
    “But what about you?”
    Kelsey looked surprised. “What about me?”
    “You aren’t having fun.”
    Pushing back a red curl from her face, Kelsey laughed. “How do you know?” Then without waiting for a reply, she went on, “I just watched a family go into the drugstore laughing together over something. I think they are getting ice cream, and I was imagining what flavor they would each choose. And do you see that bird up there on the flag pole?” She pointed. “Well, he’s been snatching bugs and things from the sidewalk and going to a little hole in the awning over the barber shop and coming back with an empty beak. I think he has a family in there. Who says I’m not having fun?”
    Zoe didn’t look convinced. “It doesn’t sound like a very fun way to spend your afternoon.”
    “I haven’t been sitting here all afternoon.”
    “Don’t you want something to eat? Or drink?”
    Kelsey shook her head. “I already had a coke and I’m not hungry. If I get tired of sitting out here, I’ll come in. Don’t worry about me, Zoe.”
    Reluctantly Zoe stood back up. “I don’t feel right about just leaving you,” she admitted, “but–”
    A light laugh interrupted her. “If you lived in a house with seven other girls, you might enjoy some quiet time alone too. Now go on before they all come looking for you.” It hadn’t escaped Kelsey’s notice that Zoe was the life of the party.
    “All right.”

    The afternoon shadows were lengthening and still Kelsey sat outside. No one else had come to bother her, and she found herself growing sleepy just sitting there. The family had left the drugstore and only a few other people had been seen on the sidewalks. It seemed that most folks had either left for summer vacation, or were too busy getting ready to leave, to come get ice cream or a haircut.
    “I wonder what time it is,” Kelsey wondered at last, squinting toward the western sky. “I would have thought the party would be over by now.” She gave a little sigh. In spite of the things she had told Zoe, she did feel a little left out, but the thought of returning only made her head ache again. It was so crowded and noisy!
    At that moment her attention was drawn to a slightly stooped figure trotting down the sidewalk in a green dress. Her hair was white and she carried a lavender purse in one hand.
    Kelsey stood up. “Why, that looks like Mrs. Stuebanks from the home. I wonder what she is doing so far? I thought most of the residents weren’t allowed out alone. Oh, I wonder if she wandered off! Should I go to her, or call the home first?”

What would you do? Call the home or talk to Mrs. S. first?
Have you ever felt the need to just get outside at a party?
Have you ever done Camp NaNo?

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 2

Hello FFFs!
Here I sit with 4 of my nieces and nephews on the floor behind me. They just got up (at 7). We had a very busy day yesterday exploring the "forest" and the "river." (Translated: some trees and a creek.) It's been a crazy week.
Sunday evening my youngest nephew had to get 5 stitches in the middle of his forehead from running into the corner of the wall. (Dad and I went to stay with the other kids and didn't get home and to bed until after mid-night.
Monday a girl from church came over for sewing lessons.
Tuesday I taught writing classes. Wednesday my dad and I had election training and then I worked in the nursery again.
Yesterday I already mentioned. Last night my grandparents, oldest niece and nephew, Sis and I all went to a concert to listen to "The Academy of St Martin in the Fields." It was wonderful!
Today we'll have the kids all day and then take them home for bed. And then Saturday. Saturday we have nothing planned! :) Lovely.

And that's all I have to say right now. I hope you enjoy this next part of the story.

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 2

    Half a dozen voices from her younger sisters who were peering out the windows, shouted, “They’re here!” “Hurry, Kels, they’re waiting!”
    With skates over their arms, smiles on their faces, and many waves to the excited girls watching, Kelsey and Lottie left the house, crossed the yard and climbed into the waiting car.
    Kelsey was silent on the ride. Zoe introduced herself and her brother and chatted with Lottie all the way there, for Lottie wasn’t the least bit shy.

    There wasn’t a large crowd when they arrived, only a few schoolmates who welcomed the sisters with smiles and hellos. Once she was out on the floor with skates on, Kelsey was able, for a time, to push aside the thought that she didn’t belong. She skated with Lottie for a little while, getting the feel of the floor and warming up. Music played over the speakers, and the noise level rose as more and more kids arrived. Feeling warm and uncomfortably out of place, Kelsey skated to the side and stepped off the rink to sit on a bench and watch.
    “Get tired?” a voice asked loudly.
    Glancing up, she saw Wally standing beside her bench. “A little.”
    He sat down beside her. “I’ve never seen a kid skate like your sister can. Does she practice every day?”
    Kelsey’s eyes followed her sister’s path across the skate floor. She never wobbled, or bumped into anyone. Her turns were graceful, she could skate just as well backwards as forward, and she never seemed to tire. “Just about. She comes here every chance she can get and helps clean up after parties, so the owner lets her skate any time it’s not booked.”
    “Do you ever go with her?”
    Kelsey merely nodded.
    “Want a coke or some popcorn?”
    “A coke would be nice. Thank you.”
    When Wally had disappeared, Kelsey scooted to the end of the bench. It was a strange feeling, but she wanted to be able to slip away should many others come to join them on the bench, as she guessed they would if Wally stuck around. He was popular in school.
    “Here you are.” Wally appeared beside her once again and handed her a cold glass before taking the seat beside her.
    “Thanks.” Kelsey took a sip. It tasted good and the cold was refreshing. She looked out over the skaters and soon found her light haired sister among the crowd. Lottie had slowed her pace and was skating beside a girl Kelsey didn’t know, but who looked like she was having trouble getting used to the skates. “That’s just like her,” she remarked.
    “What is?” Wally turned questioning eyes on her.
    “Lottie. She’s found someone to help. Just watch, she’ll skate with her until she’s sure she can do it alone a few minutes.”
    “Then what?”
    “Then she’ll zip around the rink once just because she loves it, and then will come back to the girl’s side and help her some more.” Kelsey had had to speak loudly, for the music and chatter of the crowd made normal conversation impossible.
    Her predictions were right, and she smiled as her younger sister once more reached the hesitant skater, linked her arm with hers and pulled her on, somehow keeping both of them balanced even when one of the wilder skaters nearly crashed into them.
    Wally was soon called away from the bench by some of the guys, and Kelsey was left alone. She didn’t mind.
    Just then Lottie and her partner skated up. “There’s a bench you can sit on if you want, Sharon,” Lottie said to her new friend. “After a rest you can try it again. You’re really getting the hang of it, you know.”
    The other girl sank onto the bench gratefully. “Thank you for helping me,” she said. “I don’t know what possessed me to come to this party. I’ve never skated more than a handful of times in my life, and those times always ended up making me black and blue.”
    With a laugh Lottie reached for Kelsey’s drink and took a long swallow. “Now you have to come skate with me,” she ordered her sister.
    Kelsey shook her head. Just the thought of getting back into that crowd set her heart to racing and made her hands clammy.
    “Please,” Lottie begged. “They’re going to do the couples skating in just a few minutes, and,” she leaned down and said in lower tones, “I won’t skate with some boy!”
    Feeling torn, but not wanting to make her sister become a spectator for something they had always enjoyed doing together, she reluctantly agreed. Besides, she realized, spying Wally heading in their direction, if she didn’t accept Lottie, Wally would ask, and she had no intention of skating with him.
    “All right.”
    “Just forget about all the others,” advised Lottie as the girls crossed arms and began skating in step.
    Kelsey tried, but there was no shutting out the loud music, the constant babble of voices, or the rumble made by dozens of skates on the smooth floor. To Lottie the noise might have been intoxicating, but to Kelsey it was torture. “One, two, three. One two, side,” she began counting in her head as she tried to concentrate on the routine she and her sister had worked out over a year ago. Hanging on to Lottie’s hands, she guided her sister who was skating backwards. Around, down, backwards, forwards. Arms crossed, hands linked, one-handed–it all came together somehow, leaving Kelsey rather breathless when the music ended and she found herself once more on the sidelines.

Does the skating party sound fun?
Do you like to skate with someone else?
Have you ever been "exploring"?

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 1

Fond felicitations to my few faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
I hope your weekend is looking promising. Mine is. The weather has cast aside the cold frosts and cloudy days of winter (again!) and has welcomed the warmer days of spring with a mixture of sunshine and lovely rain. Well, I think the rain will be lovely. It's suppose to rain today, but be sunny the next few days and almost 80º. After it snowed most of the morning and into the afternoon on Tuesday (nothing stuck), we are glad to be back to warmer temperatures and balmy sunshine.

I was going to tell you about my week, but it was mostly a blur. Except Wednesday. Wednesday was one of those days. Things that you thought would hardly take any time took two or three times as long to do. I ran into some major problems with my big "Bike Trip book" project, and then I got called and asked if I could please work nursery at church and help out in "Puggles" since our pastor's wife wasn't going to be there. So, no writing that day. But I did get a little research done for "Dylan's Story." Do you want to know what I had to look up? Let me know in a comment or by email if you do.

Yesterday was my best writing day so far this week. 1,500+ words written. If you haven't checked the Progress bar on the Home Page of Read Another Page, you might want to go check it. :) 

Anyway, that's that and this is this. I wrote this story mostly last week after someone suggested that these characters might have some more interesting stories. She was right. And I hope you enjoy the first part of it today.

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 1

    “Come on, Kels,” Zoe begged. “Say you’ll come.”
    It was a warm, sunny afternoon. School had ended for the summer, and a group of friends were getting together at the skating rink for a party to celebrate their release from the confines of the classroom.
    Shifting the bag of groceries from one arm to the other, Kelsey hesitated. She liked roller skating well enough but didn’t feel like she fit in with the rest of her classmates. “I don’t know,” she began slowly. “I’d feel kind of mean going off to a party and leaving all my sisters at home.”
    “Bring them along,” Zoe invited impulsively.
    Kelsey laughed and tossed her red hair back from her face. “Your group wouldn’t want all eight of us there! Imagine how shocked everyone would be to find the rink full of girls from the other side of the tracks.” She shook her head. “That wouldn’t work, Zoe. Besides, Mama wouldn’t want the younger ones out late.”
    “Then couldn’t you and, who’s the girl right under you?”
    “Lottie.”
    “That’s it–Couldn’t you and Lottie come?”
    Before Kelsey could think of another excuse, a car pulled up before the supermarket where the girls were standing and a horn honked. “Oh, there’s Lauren and Mike. They said they’d pick me up. I’ll have to go now, Zoe. See you later!”
    But Zoe wasn’t to be dissuaded from her purpose and followed her friend out to the car. She had met Lauren before, and even Lauren’s boyfriend, Mike, so she folded her arms on the front window and leaned in to plead her cause. “Lauren, I’m having a party at the skating rink on Friday afternoon, and I want Kelsey to come. Don’t you think she can?”
    Lauren glanced into the back seat where the younger girl had climbed. “Did she say she didn’t want to?”
    Zoe shook her head. “No, she just said she didn’t think it would be fair to go off and have fun without the rest of the girls. I told her Lottie could come too.”
    Kelsey leaned forward and laughed. “After she had invited the whole bunch of us.”
    At that Lauren, and even Zoe, laughed while Mike chuckled.
    “I don’t see why she couldn’t go. Lottie too, if you want her,” Lauren said at last, “if we can get them there.”
    “Oh, don’t worry about that. Wally and I can pick them up,” Zoe said hastily. “And we can bring them home again too. Thanks, Lauren, I knew you’d help me.” Then, not giving Kelsey any chance to back out or come up with another excuse, she called as she stepped away from the car with a wave, “Remember, Kels, three-thirty on Friday. You and Lottie both.”
    Kelsey waved one hand and smiled. The next minute she was leaning forward again as the car pulled away from the curb. “Why on earth did you tell her we could go, Lauren?” she demanded. “We don’t even know if Lottie wants to go!”
    Without turning in her seat, Lauren answered, “Of course Lottie will want to go. You know how much she loves roller skating. Why the two of you can probably skate better than anyone else who will be there.”
    “That’s not the point,” Kelsey sighed.
    “Then what is? Zoe wanted you, and there really isn’t any reason for you not to go. Mother and Dad won’t mind, and you can tell us all about it when you get home. I thought you said you liked Zoe.”
    “I do.” There was a long pause. “It’s just–”
    “Just what?” Lauren prodded, half turning in her seat to look at her younger sister.
    A long sigh preceded the answer. “It’s just that I don’t really know most of the gang she does things with. Yeah, I know some of them, and most of us are in the same class at school, but–” Again she paused.
    “But we live on the other side of the tracks?” Lauren finished for her.
    “Yeah,” Kelsey mumbled. “And,” she added in lower tones, “I don’t like noisy crowds.”
    “Look, Kels,” Mike spoke up for the first time, “I’ll tell you what. You and Lottie go to that party, and I’ll stick around your house. If you can’t stand it after a little while, give the house a ring and I’ll come pick you up.”
    Kelsey’s face brightened. “Really?”
    “Sure thing.”
    “Thanks. I guess we’ll go then, if Lottie wants to. I don’t really want to, but Zoe seems set on us being there for some reason.”

    There was no need to ask Lottie a second time. As soon as she heard about the party, she was wild with excitement. Skating was her passion, and last summer she had talked the owner of the rink into letting her help clean up after parties in exchange for time to skate. Now she could do just about anything on a pair of roller skates.
    “Is Zoe the one who walked in the rain with you the day you went to Miss Olive’s?” she questioned Kelsey.
    Kelsey nodded. She had told the entire story of that visit a dozen times to her sisters.
    “Oh, good, then I know I’ll like her.”

    Friday arrived, and Kelsey began to wish Lauren hadn’t said they could go. Her mother and dad had given their consent right away, especially with Mike’s promise to stick around and pick them up should the party grow too much for them. As Kelsey watched Lottie’s excitement, however, she began to be glad of the invitation, if only to give Lottie a treat. She seldom got to skate with a crowd, and it would be fun to watch her. But when a car horn honked outside, she wished Lottie could go alone.

Have you ever gone to a skating party?
Do you like to roller skate?
Would you be more like Kelsey or Lottie when it comes to crowds?
(Oh, do you want to know what I had to research?)