Here I am at another hotel for yet another homeschool convention. This time my brother and his family are with us and Dad stayed home to work. We all like this conference. In fact, this was the first conference we did after my brother gave a ring to my then future sis-in-law. It brings back many memories.
Busy week. Friday I didn't end up going over to watch my my niece and nephews in the morning, but S and I did go babysit them that evening. Doodle Bug and I played music and got the giggles. Well, he did anyway. :)
On Sunday we had a full house at church since everyone was there plus an extra family. It was fun. I got to hold all three little ones again plus Doodle Bug.
My Memorial Day probably wasn't like yours. In the afternoon I drove with Dad up to visit one of my heart-sisters who had just broken her wrist. I surprised her. :) We got to talk for a while before we had to head back home. Then after supper, I called my best friends and the two of them along with one of their "extra special" friends, went to play tennis. Okay, so not one of the three of us had ever played before. Only "ESF" (that's extra special friend) had so he was really nice about just hitting the ball to us and then chasing our wild shots. :P I did start to get the hang of it towards the end and now want to play a real game sometime.
Tuesday was usual things.
Mom, S and I left home Wednesday afternoon. The drive to Wichita was, well, I'd like to say uneventful but considering that we waited under a bridge for 30 minutes for the pouring rain and good sized hail to go away, it wouldn't be true. Many people were pulling over. In fact, at one point we were on the shoulder, another van pulled over into the grass on the right of us and there was a car on the shoulder on the other side of the road and numerous vehicles behind us when a truck decided to stop in the lane of the highway and wait. Not too smart. He didn't stay there for long. At one point on the other side of the highway (it was a divided highway) there were five vehicles all stopped completely blocking the road and stopping all traffic because of the storm. After that we made it to our hotel just fine.
Yesterday was busy setting up. I didn't get to do much as I had the kiddos most of the time. Though at one point SiL (sis-in-law) took the kids and I actually got to put books up instead of just putting shelves together.
Right now J & S are over at the conference. Mom and I are going to go eat breakfast soon and SiL and the kids are hopefully all still sleeping. They need it!
Writing? What's that? :) Okay, I wrote a little on Tuesday evening and that's all. Sorry. :) Oh, and I added a new feature to this post. I added a three little things at the bottom. If you don't have time to comment or never comment, I'd really like it if you'd at least click on the statement that you think fits the story. That way I'd at least get an idea of what people were thinking of it. Enjoy!
Helping Susan up first, Darline mounted quickly after and then pulled Sarah up behind her and they were off. The twins never knew how long that ride was, but it felt like hours. In the front, Susan ducked her head down, for the wind made it difficult to breathe. Behind, Sarah clung to Darline’s shirt and shivered.
As for Darline, without her jacket on she felt the fierce biting wind and longed to race home. She knew, however, that with the load he was carrying, her horse would tire too quickly if he were pushed to a faster pace. At least the Smith ranch was closer than her own if she could head in the right direction.
A distant rumble of thunder sounded and the girls caught of glimpse of a lightning flash off to the south. As if the wind and darkness weren’t enough, it began to rain. Not a torrential downpour, but a steady, soaking, penetrating rain. In a less than five minutes the three girls were soaked.
Trying to keep from shaking, Sarah clung to Darline’s waist with her head ducked and prayed. If only she hadn’t stayed to watch the clouds. She could have watched them from home, but it was too late now. “Please, Dear Jesus,” she prayed, “I’m sorry I wasn’t more careful. Please help us get home and don’t let Ma or Pa or the boys get hurt looking for us. Help Darline’s horse to go right to our house and not get lost, please. Thank you for sending her to help us.”
Up in front, Susan was also praying. “Dear Jesus, I don’t know where we are for sure, but I’m glad you know. Please help Darline and her horse find our home soon. And please, dear Father, Darline doesn’t love you, and I really want her to. She is nice and sweet, but doesn’t know you like Sare and I do. Please bring her safely through this storm and show her that you care about her. I know you make all things work for good to those who love you, and Sare and I do love you. Please help Darline now.”
“Girls!” Darline’s excited cry brought the twins’ heads up. “I see lights up ahead!”
Sure enough, several lights were seen through the rain. These didn’t flash like lightning, but were steadily shining. The wind had abated and they could hear the horse’s shoes striking rocks in the darkness. Onward three girls rode towards those welcoming lights until at last they were close enough for Darline to shout.
There was a return call and in another minute, Mr. Smith rode up. His relief when he saw his girls was so great that for a minute he could only say, “Thank God!” Then he pulled Sarah into the saddle before him and wrapped his coat about her shaking shoulders.
“Darline, can your horse make it to our place with the two of you?” he asked.
“Sure,” Darline replied, her confidence which had been shaken returning now that help was beside her.
“Keep going then,” Mr. Smith directed, “I have to call the boys in.” So saying, he turned his horse and set off at a brisk pace towards the other lights, keeping one arm around his daughter.
The news spread quickly that the girls were found and before long Darline’s horse was circled by the riders from the Smith ranch and a jacket was put about her shoulders. She tried to tell Sam, who had given it to her, that she was fine without it, but he wouldn’t listen.
All of a sudden, seemingly right above them, a blinding flash of lightning appeared followed by the roar of thunder. Most of the horses, spooked by the sudden light and noise, reared and tried to bolt, but their riders kept a tight rein and calmed them.
“Sam!” Mr. Smith, shouted to his eldest son, “Take Susan from Darline so her horse won’t have to carry as heavy as load.”
The transfer was quickly made. Once relieved of both girls, Darline thought to head for her uncle’s ranch but as she started to turn her mount’s head, Scott caught the bridle and urged both horses on.
“Let’s ride!” Mr. Smith hollered as the wind picked back up, the rain came down heavier and lightning lit up the sky while thunder rolled across the heavens, echoing again and again in the mountains until it sounded like one continuous roar.
The horses needed no urging for all wanted to get in out of that storm. The riders stayed low in the saddles and let the horses have their heads trusting that their sense of direction would take them the quickest, most direct route to the stables.
Inside the stables it was warm and dry. Susan and Sarah slid off the horses, tired, cold and hungry. They were home. Darline also dismounted in silence wondering if she should just go on home. She knew her uncle wouldn’t worry about her. He probably didn’t even know she wasn’t home for she had left right after supper for a ride and had forgotten to tell him she was leaving. But she was shivering and, looking at her horse, which she was especially fond of, she knew at a glance that he had gone as far as he could.
“Stan, take care of my mount, too please,” Mr. Smith directed. “Scott, you take Darline’s. I’m going to take the twins in to their mother before she comes out here. Darline, come along, you are as wet as the rest of us.” So saying, Mr. Smith, with an arm about each of his daughters, and followed somewhat reluctantly by Darline, left the stables, hurried across the yard and into the warm, bright, dry kitchen of the ranch.
Mrs. Smith stopped only to kiss the girls, Darline included, before she hustled them all off for hot baths and dry clothes, not pausing to scold or fret.
“It’ll be a wonder if you three girls don’t catch pneumonia,” she murmured as she wrapped blankets around them some time later when they were at last seated before the table with bowls of hot soup and steaming drinks before them.
Never had a meal tasted so good. The men folk had come in from the stables and once they were in dry clothes, had also sat down at the table for hot food. Susan and Sarah ate while telling of their trip home.
To be completed next Friday.
Any thoughts about it so far?