Everything is wet this morning. Around 5:15 this morning I was awakened by heavy rain on the skylight above my sister's and my bed. I love the sound of rain on the roof! So, I turned over and went back to sleep. :) But, it looks like things are clearing up now.
Okay, so I got my first proof copy of Home Fires. They had somehow gotten the first few pages completely out of line! And mixed up my name and the title on the top of every page so most of the chapters started on the wrong side of the page. Not fun. So, I went back, corrected things (like chapters and then page numbers where they started) and uploaded a new version. My proof for that came yesterday. It looked great . . . except for . . . one chapter. :( Chapter Six started on the LEFT instead of the RIGHT!!!!!! Bother! Now I have to go fix that, and try to make sure all the rest of the chapters are still okay, then upload a new version . . . I certainly didn't have this much trouble with The Unexpected Request.
We celebrated Goof Ball's 4th birthday on Sunday. That was fun. It is hard to believe he can be four! I taught two writing classes on Wednesday and enjoyed it.
My writing is coming along slowly. For some strange reason I can't seem to get much written. Maybe it's this cold I have. I'll keep working though.
Here is part 16 of Triple Creek Ranch. I guess only Anna enjoyed Lost in the Dunes. :} Remember, I can't read your minds. Unless you TELL me, I won't know if you enjoyed my stories or not. And if you didn't, feel free to say so and give a reason for it.
Back in the dining room, Orlena still stood with an expression of mingled feelings; anger, pride, annoyance and surprise all mingled together.
Jenelle too had remained in the room after Norman’s departure. Her voice was low but steady as she remarked, “No truly polite guest would refuse to assist her hostess in any small way possible.” She paused a moment wondering if her words had even reached the ears of the young, thoroughly spoiled girl before her. Seconds ticked by and then she spoke again, this time in her normal, pleasant voice. “Orlena, would you please carry those plates out to the kitchen for me?” And without waiting to hear or see what Orlena’s response would be, Jenelle, having gathered up the remaining dishes, turned and bore them to the kitchen.
Much to her own astonishment, Orlena reached for the plates and followed her sister to the kitchen where she received a gracious thanks.
At the sound of his wife’s voice, Norman turned in the doorway and could hardly contain his start of surprise at the sight of his sister holding three dirty dishes.
Feeling that she had pushed things as far as she dared for one night, Jenelle didn’t offer an apron to Orlena after she had taken the plates from her.
“Will you excuse me now?” Orlena asked in lofty tones, “I am feeling quite worn out with the exertions of the day and wish to retire.”
“Of course,” Jenelle smiled. “Thank you, Dear, for your help; it saved me another trip out to the dining room. Good-night.”
“Good-night,” came the stiff reply and the door to the dining room was shut behind the retreating child.
“Well!” Norman exclaimed, “How did you ever--? But she should stay and help--”
Here he was interrupted. “Don’t push things, Norman,” Jenelle advised. “It was a start. We can’t expect too much from her all at once.”
Picking up a towel, Norman prepared to wipe the dishes as Jenelle washed and rinsed them. Neither one spoke again until the kitchen was clean. Then Norman, taking his wife’s arm, gently let her into the front room, which was much cooler than the hot kitchen, and placed her in a chair.
Giving a weary sigh, Jenelle leaned her head back against the cushions. “I don’t think I’ll want to move again until morning,” she murmured.
“Perhaps I should have taken you to bed then,” Norman smiled a bit anxiously as he pulled up a chair beside his wife once he had placed a foot stool for her feet.
“I’ll be all right once I’ve rested a bit.”
Norman shook his head. “What have you done today,” he questioned, “that has made you so tired? Was it my sister?”
Quickly Jenelle shook her head. “She didn’t do anything but sit and talk. And, Darling, you were right.”
“Orlena talking. The entire time I was unpacking her trunk, she talked about the fabric, the lace, where she first wore the dress and who was at the party she wore the other dress to.”
“You unpacked her trunk?” He knitted his eyebrows together and his face grew stern.
Jenelle bit her lip. She hadn’t meant to mention that part. It was too late now. All she could do was to try to smooth things over. “It wasn’t strenuous, Norman, and I’m sure Orlena never unpacked a trunk before. Would you hand me my mending?” she asked, trying to change the subject.
“No,” he shook his head. “You’re not mending tonight and you’re not knitting either,” he added as she glanced around and moved as though to rise. “You are going to sit in that chair and do nothing more wearing than talking.”
Folding her hands, Jenelle addressed the light, “I suppose Mr. Mavrich doesn’t care if he has buttons on his shirts or not, and as for that new pair of socks I was knitting him, perhaps I should make them for one of the hands. Lloyd might like them.”
A chuckle came from Norman. “That’s still not going to get you either basket,” he told her. “You’ve already worked too hard.” Then his voice changed. “Did Orlena do anything except talk of clothes while you were doing her work?”
“She directed me about some things,” Jenelle replied quietly, wishing Orlena had done something, anything to help unpack that trunk.
“What did you do after the trunk was unpacked?”
“We looked at her black dress which I had rinsed out this morning.”
“And?” Norman pressed, frowning at the thought that here was another thing Jenelle had done for Orlena.
“It doesn’t look very well. The lace is in tatters most places and as for train, it might as well be used for a rag. I can take the dress apart and make another not so fancy, though it will still be out of place for this ranch.”
“Did my sister have anything to say about the state her dress was in?”
“Plenty,” was the somewhat reluctant reply. “But,” she added quickly as Norman was about to speak, “let’s not talk about that. The dress can’t be worn as it is and Orlena knows it.”
“Then tell me what you did after the dress had been examined and its past glories made much of and its destruction blamed on those who had nothing to do with it.”
A smile flickered across Jenelle’s face at Norman’s perception. How well her husband knew his sister even if he hadn’t seen much of her for the past eight years. “Then I went to begin supper and Orlena went her own way. But, Darling,” her voice sparkled as she looked across to her husband, “did you know that Mrs. Stolburg has a dress made out of the very same material as one which hangs this very minute in Orlena’s closet?”
Norman’s face wore a blank expression. “Huh?”
Bursting into rippling laughter, Jenelle didn’t reply right away. “It’s true, Dear,” she assured him at last, “Orlena informed me of that fact this morning.”
Any questions about this Part?