We've had the windows open most of the week which has been fun. Yesterday we did turn the AC on after we ate our ice cream in the afternoon. :) We might have to turn it on again today, we'll see. Right now it is quite pleasant.
And now for the update on my week: So wonderful to be home! :)
Well Friday and Saturday were busy at the conference which went well. Packing up Saturday evening wasn't too bad. At least some of the ALERT guys helped with taking the boxes over to the trailer and helping load it. My heart-sister and I took lots of empty boxes to the "cardboard collection dumpster." Mom, S and I left for home about 9:30 Sunday morning. It was a long drive, but at least we had something to listen to. Do you all listen to "books on tape" (or CD or MP3) when you travel? We were listening to "A Tale of Two Cities." Having never read the book, and having an excellent reader to listen to has made it very interesting. We haven't gotten it finished yet, so no telling what happens at the end. :)
On Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday we remained at home all day long. There was laundry to do, things to put away, and lots of ironing to do. I did go walking with my best friends Monday and Tuesday evening which was delightful. We saw a hot air balloon and waved to it as it was low. They waved back. :) Have any of my readers been in a hot air balloon? What is it like? Can you hear if people on the ground talk to you? :) You see, we asked for a ride. :D One of these days I'd love to ride in a hot air balloon.
Yesterday I went over to my brother's to play with the kids while Mom priced, my sis-in-law packed and my brother did everything. That was fun.
Today we clean the house! It really needs it! And on Saturday I'll be mowing our yard and doing some yard work and I might end up mowing my brother's yard as well. I mentioned to Pickle Puss that the weeds were high in her yard. Her reply, "Beh Beh (the name she gave me when she was really little and is still used by her and her brothers), those aren't weeds. I call them prairie grass." So there you have it. If the weeds look too high, just call them prairie grass and it will all be okay. :)
Have I been writing? Every night! :) I'm delighted to be back to it for more than one or two evenings a week. I'm working on several things and wanted to start another short story, but all my files on NEO were full or at least occupied so I have to wait until I transfer things to the computer.
But, since you asked for it, here is the next part of Triple Creek Ranch. I hope you enjoy it.
It was while Jenelle was setting the table that Orlena walked in.
“Why are you setting so many places?” Orlena asked. “No one told me there was a party tonight.”
Jenelle continued to lay the napkins carefully at each place as she answered, “It is no party, Orlena. Every Monday night everyone on the ranch eats supper together. It is a tradition your grandmother’s brother started before Norman came to live with him.”
“Humph,” Orlena snorted, and then continued almost under her breath, “no wonder he has such ridiculous notions. Consorting with the hired help during meal times! Well,” she said aloud, not realizing that her low toned remarks had also reached the ears of her sister, “you needn’t set a place for me, for I don’t associate socially with hired help.” Then she brushed past her sister-in-law and swept to the doorway where she paused and looked back. “Have my supper served to me in my room.”
She had nearly reached the top of the stairs when a quiet voice stopped her.
The girl paused and turned her head, looking down to see Jenelle standing below her at the bottom of the stairs. “Yes?” her voice was haughty and annoyed.
“The choice of eating with the rest of us is up to you; however, the choice of serving meals to you in your room is up to me.” Jenelle’s voice was calm, even a bit cool as she went on, “And I say that no meals will be served to you in your room tonight. If you wish to eat, you may come to the dining room.” Then quietly, with no show of haste or display of temper, Jenelle slipped away.
Orlena watched her go with her mouth partway open to reply, but Jenelle’s disappearance gave her no chance to speak. For a moment she remained where she was, then with a “Well! I never!” she continued on to her room where she shoved the door shut with a bang, dropped into her chair with a huff and scowled at the wallpaper as though it were to blame for everything.
To say that Orlena was annoyed at her sister would have been true, she was also annoyed and angry at her brother for letting his wife treat her with such disrespect, seeming to forget the things she had said to Jenelle; she was also confused and astonished. Here she had been at the ranch for six days and never had she heard Jenelle’s voice raised nor seen her act upset about a thing. Also, it was puzzling how this same sister-in-law had a way of saying things and then leaving the room before a fitting retort could be made. “She hasn’t any courage,” Orlena muttered. “If she had she would stay and listen to me.” Suddenly she sat up straighter and her eyes glowed. “That is it,” she announced triumphantly to her reflection in the mirror, “the next time my brother’s wife walks out on me I will follow her and make her listen to what I have to say! No one in proper society would do what she does. It just goes to show what a selfish, ignorant child she is,” and Miss Orlena Mavrich tossed her head making her curls swing and bounce. “And as for Norman,” she snorted her disgust, “he is no gentleman. Expecting me to be happy in the middle of nowhere with no one but a common country housekeeper to talk to! Why Mrs. O’Connor had more manners than Jenelle does!” And so, this poor, spoiled child sat justifying her actions and condemning others until she heard her brother’s footsteps on the stairs. Yes, she was poor. Not poor in the sense that the world counts, for she had money enough waiting for her to come of age, but she was poor because she knew not the love that comes truly from the heart, poor because real happiness had never been known among the riches and spender of her life, poor for her friends had only wanted the wealth she lavished among them and the hint of reflected glory she allowed them to bask in, poor for each thought she had was of and about herself. Have anyone known someone who seemed so intent upon themselves that they shut out all real love and happiness to hold onto the one thing they cherish most, their pride? Orlena’s pride was her most prized possession and thus the enemy of souls used it to rule her life and gave her no peace.
Flinging open her door, she was about to call to her brother and inform him of the impertinence of his wife, but to her utter disgust, Jenelle’s gay laughter sounded in her ears. Silently she pulled the door shut, moved to the window and stood looking out.
When Norman’s voice called to her some fifteen minutes later to ask if she were going down, she replied shortly, “No,” and then added in lower tones, “I won’t eat with hired help like common country people.”
Scowling, Orlena watched the hands striding from the bunk house laughing and talking in the greatest of good humor. “Ignorant nobodies,” she muttered. “This place is worse than the slums of the city and I won’t stay here much longer.” The only things that kept her from packing and walking away right then was her trunk in the attic and the fact that she didn’t know where she would go since school didn’t start for another few months. The only things? There was something else keeping her at Triple Creek Ranch though Orlena Mavrich didn’t know it. Every day earnest prayers had been made for her from nearly every member of the busy ranch. Norman and Jenelle never went to bed without spending time on their knees pleading for this younger sister to find the only Fountain of lasting Joy and the One who is Love. Those prayers, and a Father’s tender plan, kept Orlena at Triple Creek Ranch.