I won't write much extra this morning as I'm at my grandparents. We are heading home this morning having been here since Monday. It has been busy, but fun. I even got to relax and work a logic puzzle. :) Not much writing though. I'm working on a Thanksgiving story, but haven't gotten very far with it.
Since Dr. Morgan only gets harder to wait for the next part, I thought I'd go ahead and post a short story I wrote for a friend some time ago. It isn't one of my favorite stories, but I don't dislike it either. ;) Hopefully I can write more next week! Life is busy, really busy right now. This evening we have to set up our "tents" for Farm Girl Fest. It is Sat. and Sun. It should be lots of fun even if it is supposed to be cold. I'm ready for cold weather. I'm hoping for snow this winter. :D
And I'm off to other things. Enjoy!
At the Lighthouse
Mr. Sullivan sighed and put one rough hand on his back after he shut the door of the stove which he had just lit while he grasped the back of a chair with the other. Straightening up was more of an effort than it used to be and he sank gratefully down in a chair before the stove, as the fresh logs caught fire with a sputter, and closed his tired eyes.
The smell of fresh, hot coffee filled the little kitchen and the ticking of the clock on the shelf gave a happy sound to the peaceful morning scene.
“Papa,” a gentle but sturdy voice sounded softly from the doorway. “Why don’t you go up to bed and get some rest. The others are still sleeping, and I can fix breakfast when they wake up. Please, Papa,” she urged, placing her hand on his rough one.
Looking up into his daughter’s face, Mr. Sullivan smiled. She looked so much like her mother had, the same brown hair that neither curled nor frizzed, the golden brown eyes which showed every emotion in their clear depths, the lovely mouth seemingly curved into a constant smile and the hands and face darkened from hours in the sun. Leigh was her mother all over again and Ira Sullivan felt a lump rise in his throat.
“Please, Papa, go to bed now,” Leigh begged. “The storm is over and the sun is coming up in a clear sky. I can take care of everything. Get some rest.”
“All right,” the older man finally agreed. He was tired. Every muscle seemed to ache and it was with difficulty that he stood up. Gently his daughter helped him from the room and watched his slow progress up the winding stairs of the lighthouse to his room.
“If only Marshall were home,” Leigh mused, opening the windows and breathing in the fresh sea air. “This job as lighthouse keeper is getting too hard for Papa. He isn’t as young as he used to be, before Mama died.” She busied herself about the lower rooms, opening the windows to let in the cool breeze before entering to the kitchen. “What he needs is a vacation,” she muttered, her thoughts returning to her tired father. “If only I could send him to visit Kathryn and John and the children. The rest would do him so much good and I know Kathryn would love to have him. Perhaps it would work. I think I’ll write to her today and send it when the post comes. But--” and here she paused recalling the one problem which had thwarted her plans many times before. Who would take care of the lighthouse? It couldn’t take care of itself nor could you just ask a neighbor to run over and light the lamps each evening. It had to be someone who knew lighthouses, someone who had grown up with one, who knew the responsibilities, the challenges, the dangers as well as the delights and pleasures of such work. Here her thoughts turned once again to her younger brother. Marshall knew all about lighthouses. He had helped alongside his father since he was strong enough to carry a lantern. But Marshall wasn’t there. He was away at college. That had been Mr. Sullivan’s dream: to have his son attend college.
“Now Marshall is gone when Papa needs him the most,” Leigh sighed.
Hearing movement in the room above her, she began to prepare breakfast for the crew of the small fishing vessel wrecked during last night’s storm and rescued by herself and her father. Her own troubled thoughts would have to wait.
It was afternoon, clear, sunny and warm, when Leigh, leaving her father dozing in his favorite chair wandered forth from the lighthouse out into the sunshine, across the rough green grass on the hill down to the beach. The waves rolled in from the deep blue Atlantic ocean leaving white foam along the golden sands as they receded only to rush back the next minute and reclaim it. Washed up by higher tides were sea shells; some were broken but many lovely ones lay half buried on the shore.
Wandering slowly along, stopping now and then to pick up an exceptionally lovely shell, Leigh at last took off her hat, pulled the pins from her hair and let the wind off the sea cool her face. She looked lovely standing there, her brown hair blowing behind her, her long dress simple but well made and fitting her perfectly from the plain collar down to the hem at the top of her boots. So she stood, silent and still, unaware that she was being observed until a manly shout caused her to start in surprise and whirl around.
“Marshall!” she exclaimed, so astonished that she couldn’t have said anything else had she had time.
She had no time, however, for a young man was racing down the slope and the next instant had her in his arms and lifted her off her feet to kiss her and laugh. “I thought I’d never get here. The train seemed to make twenty more stops than were on the schedule and then the stage had to make two other stops before it could drop me off. My luggage is out near the house. I looked in but Father was asleep and then I saw you out here and just had to come see you. You don’t know how good it is to be back again!” How fast the young man talked. “You haven’t got any idea of how lonesome I was for the sea. College was great fun, but I’m glad it’s over with.”
Somehow Leigh managed to put in a few words, “Over with?”
Crossing his arms, Marshall put on an aggrieved air, “Don’t you read anything out here?” he asked. “Fine sister you are not to even know you are looking at a college graduate. One who, I might add, was sixth in his class.”
“Oh Marshall, I’m so proud of you, but why on earth didn’t you write and tell us?” Leigh demanded.
“I didn’t see any letters. Papa wouldn’t have hidden them . . .”
The young man gave a sheepish grin and reached into his pocket. “I forgot to mail them.”
Then the two, the taller, broad shouldered, younger brother and the smaller, sturdy older sister laughed.
“Come to the house now and see Father,” Leigh said at last after the laugh had subsided. “He will be delighted to see you again.” And she led the way across the sandy shore towards the lighthouse.
Come back next week to read the end.