I wish you could have seen the sky just a few minutes ago. The eastern horizon was a flaming peach changing into pink clouds. At the very edges of these they turned purple before melting into a lovely shade of baby blue. Now the color has faded except for a thin strip on the very bottom of the horizon which is glowing. I wonder how cold it is? We did finally get cold. :) Yay! No snow, just cold. It didn't last long for real cold, but at least it has only gotten up to 60 for an hour or two the last few days.
I had a most wonderful week! On Monday there was nothing I HAD to do, so I worked on those little things that don't get done because you have other things to keep you busy. It was relaxing. I edited a story for a young friend who desperately needs to make sure his next story has all names capitalized and punctuation in it.
On Tuesday I actually went down and listened to a Christmas story on audio while I knitted! I haven't done that for months!
Wednesday came and it was another delightful day of nothing I HAD to do. I checked another story for another student. This one was so much easier. :) I knitted again in the afternoon, and we watched a Christmas movie in the evening while we ate supper. My favorite Christmas movie is coming up! I can't wait to watch it again! (Hmm, maybe I should write a review of it for you? Anyone interested?)
Yesterday I really had nothing to do so turned on the Christmas music while Mom and S were at JoAnns, and looked through some craft books. I would have loved to get started on making some journals, but we were supposed to babysit in the afternoon, so I didn't. Another time. We actually didn't babysit for there had been a change of plans. So instead, we took some neighbors and went to Andy's for ice cream cones. We wouldn't have gone except they were giving them away for free! I wonder how many they gave away?
I was thinking and realized that the last time I had several days where I had nothing I HAD to do was back before conference season! No wonder I enjoyed it so much! :D
And now today gets busy again. :) We have to practice music with friends for our "Christmas specials over dessert" Sunday. :) Then we get Pickle Puss, Goofball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug this afternoon and spending the night so their parents can go make gingerbread houses at their other grandparents with their aunts, uncle and friends. :) I think we'll make Christmas cookies here.
But enough of that. Here is Part 5! Enjoy!
A Christmas Disaster
When Friday afternoon came, Mr. Sheets, as tradition decreed, handed over his papers to his assistant director, Don Summers, another senior, while Mr. Hocker passed his baton to Lydia Beshmyer. On Friday night the Story-Time Playhouse was packed with guests eager to watch the play directed now by the students themselves. The two tour buses pulled into the parking lot and discharged their crowds to swell the numbers. Nothing that Bennett had feared happened and the play went off without a glitch.
“The only difference I could see,” Mr. Marley remarked on the drive home that evening, “was that Mr. Sheets and Mr. Hocker were sitting in the row before us and looking mighty nervous.”
“I’d think they’d be so sick of the whole thing that they’d stay home and read a book,” Mia exclaimed. “I would.”
“Well, there’s only one more night left,” Derek consoled. “Then you can forget the whole thing.”
“Hey, Bennett, Mia,” Derek stuck his head into the living room. “I have to run into town to do some shopping,” and he winked at them. “You two want to come along?”
Bouncing out of her chair, Mia answered, “Sure!” I can’t focus on my book anyway.”
“Yeah, I’ll come.”
“Good. I have to pick up a few new light bulbs and I need to stop by the theater to double check on the size. It shouldn’t take long and it’s only a little after nine.”
Before long the three Marley children were pulling up in front of Story-Time Playhouse.
Derek climbed from the truck and hurried to the front door and unlocked it. Stepping in, he flipped a switch and then listened. What was that noise? Then he heard a few barks. “Don’t tell me the puppies got left here last night!” he muttered, striding from the lobby into the hall. There he stopped short and stared. “What in the world?”
Wheeling, he dashed back to the front door, flung it open and yelled, “Ben! Mia! Get in here, now!”
In great wonderment and with a sudden feeling of dread, Bennett and Mia tumbled from the truck, scarcely stopping to slam the door shut behind them, and raced inside. Gasping for breath, they came to a halt beside Derek.
“Look,” he said grimly, pointing towards the stage.
They looked and caught their breath. Disaster had struck. The large Christmas tree so carefully decorated and lighted, the one in the center of their town, had fallen over smashing half the town and knocking over most of the other building facades, as well as pulling the scarlet curtains down. From somewhere came the short, sharp barks of at least one puppy.
For several minutes no one spoke. Then Mia found her voice. “Oh, what a mess! If it was those puppies that did it, I’m changing their names! But what are they doing in here anyway? I thought someone was taking them home? What are we going to do? Can we fix it, Derek? Bennett, why is that puppy still barking? Do you suppose he’s stuck someplace? She started forward. “Or is it another dog?” At that last idea she halted to wait for her brothers.
“What are we going to do, Derek?” Bennett said slowly. “We didn’t plan for this disaster.”
“Well, first off, I guess we should go see how bad it really is.”
“And we should find the puppies,” Mia put in, as they advanced down the aisle still in shock at the mess on stage.
Tres came to meet them as they approached the stage. Then, following the sound of the barking, Bennett discovered Uno tangled up in a string of Christmas lights pulled from the small tree in the house. But it was Derek who found Dos. He had fallen into the box of coats used by the extras in the outside scenes. The coats were chewed up, had dog hair all over them and smelled terrible.
“Mia!” Derek called as he picked up the excited puppy. “Where is the crate you keep them in when they aren’t wanted on stage?”
Mia quickly found it and the puppies were placed inside with some food and water.
“Now,” Derek sighed, “what other damage do we have?”
It was bad. Nearly the entire village square was ruined. The shop was chewed up and pulled apart. The only things left with minimal damage was the Gary’s living room, the backdrop of mountains and trees, and any costumes in the costume room.
Bennett looked around at all the mess and wondered where to start, what to do and how they were going to get everything ready by the seven o’clock performance. Derek’s mind, however, was working. He knew it would be impossible to recreate the village or even repair the shop in time. But he wasn’t about to give up and call the whole thing off.
“Mia,” he wheeled suddenly and pointed his finger at his younger sister. “Run to the office and call the president of each class. Tell them that we need every students here five minutes ago! Oh, and Mia!” he hollered after her, “Don’t tell them what happened, and be sure you say we don’t want any parents or teachers!”
Mia’s reply, which came floating back faintly, was unnoticed.
“Derek,” Bennett looked up from fingering one of the chewed ropes that had held the tree up, “why did you say we didn’t want any parents or teachers?”
Derek sighed. “This is our problem, Ben. In a way, we are responsible for it. But also this is the last performance, which is our responsibility. We can’t go asking the teachers and parents for help when we haven’t even tried to fix things ourselves.”
“This doesn’t even look fixable.” Bennet moved over to the tree and stared down at the broken branches and shattered lightbulbs.
Was this the disaster you had imagined?
What would you have done?
Will you be back on Wednesday for the next part?