Friday, March 29, 2013

An Addition?

Good Morning FFFs!
It's raining here right now, but it's not freezing. Yesterday it really felt like spring. It sounds like spring now with the rain pattering on the roof and not hearing the heat running. Spring! I don't know about you all, but I'm ready for spring weather, spring flowers, spring sunshine.

I've been keeping busy this week. Worked on projects and taught my last writing class until fall. I still have to grade their papers they turned in and get the last assignments back from them, but that's not much. I have been writing. After finishing up one story, I got back to work on TCR. One of these days I'll get it finished. :)

On Sunday we had snow and since all the other families at church except one decided not to drive to church, we ate lunch and hung out at Brother's house. Got to see and hold Baby. I even went outside with the kiddos and threw snowballs with them. I didn't stay out very long because I wasn't dressed for the really cold wind. :)
Monday came and I had quite a bit of catch-up to do and I had to draw three pictures for writing class. I know, drawing pictures for writing class seems a little strange, but one of the classes had to write a story about the pictures.
Tuesday was writing class day and we had people over nearly all afternoon.
Wednesday I spent the day in front of my sewing machine. I was working on a project that had to be done as soon as possible. We also were watching Goofball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug.
Yesterday felt like Friday. I kept thinking it was Friday and discovered that one of the ladies at JoAnns thought it was Friday and a radio announcer kept thinking it was Friday. Did any of you think it was Friday?

Biggest NEWS: My book "The Lower Lights and Other Stories" is available for FREE download from Amazon! It's only available today and tomorrow so if you want to download it for free to your kindle, get it soon.

This story was one of the assignments I had given my older girls in writing class. They needed to work on conversation, and since it is easier if you  have a topic already picked for you, I chose one. Then I decided to write the same thing. I know it's short, but enjoy.

An Addition?

    It was family time in the Brown house. The children, Carlin and Owen, never knew what was going to happen during family time. Sometimes they played games, sometimes Mom or Dad would read and sometimes they would just talk. As they hurried into the living room, they noticed Mom was looking in a folder.
    “Hi, Mom,” Carlin grinned, “what are we going to do tonight?”
    Just then Mr. Brown entered the room. “I see everyone is here. Let’s all find seats.” As he spoke he sat down in his favorite chair while the children, Carlin on the couch and Owen in a chair, waited expectantly. “I see you have the folder, Mom,” Mr. Brown smiled as he reached out for it.
    Mom nodded, her eyes twinkling as she handed it to Dad.
    “Children,” Mr. Brown began, “for some time now your mother and I have been discussing the possibilities of adoption. We’ve mentioned it to you several times, but nothing has ever seemed to happen.”
    “Dad,” Carlin leaned forward, “are we going to adopt?”
    Dad grinned. “We hope to.”
    “Oh goody! A boy? A girl? Can we get more than one? Will they be from the U. S. or from another country and how old will they be?”
    “Whoa, Carlin!” Dad laughed. “One thing at a time. We did find out last week that there is a little girl named Melissa who needs a home right now.”
    “A girl!” squealed Carlin, and bounced on the couch.
    “Oh be quiet, Car,” growled Owen, rolling his eyes. “We certainly don’t need another girl.”
    “Are you saying you don’t think we should adopt her, Owen?” Mom asked softly.
    Owen shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I just never thought much about adopting when you mentioned it before. Now . . .” His voice trailed off and, kicking off his shoes, he wiggled around in the chair until his legs were over one of the arms. It was a favorite way for the nine-year-old to sit and think.
    There was a moment of silence. Then Carlin, the eager, vivacious, seven-year-old spoke up. “Tell us more about her, Dad.”
    “Well, here’s a picture.” He pulled out a snap shot of a dark, curly-haired baby who looked to be about ten-months-old.
    “Oh, Mommy, she looks like she’s going to cry! I wish we could get her tonight! But isn’t she cute?”
    Mrs. Brown chuckled. “She sure is, honey.” Then to Mr. Brown she added, “I think Carlin’s sold.”
    “Oh, I am! I’ll share my room and my dolls and things with her. And I’ll help feed and dress her and I’ll play with her, and—” she paused to catch her breath. “When is she coming?”
    There was a moment of hesitation. Mr. Brown was looking at his son who had remained unmoved during Carlin’s excited exhibition. “Owen,” he said at last, “you haven’t said what you think of it all.”
    Owen shrugged, but didn’t say a word.
    “That doesn’t tell me anything,” Mr. Brown observed quietly.
    “Here, Owen,” Carlin bounced up from the couch with the picture in her hand, “look at how cute Mel is.”
    “You already have a nickname for her?” asked Mrs. Brown.
    “Yep.” She shoved the picture before her brother’s face.
    Pushing her hand away, Owen grumbled, “I can’t see anything when you stick it in my face like that. That’s better.”
    “Well?” Carlin persisted as her brother just looked in silence. “Isn’t she just the cutest thing? And don’t you just want to hold her so she won’t cry?”
    “That’s not very nice,” Carlin snapped.
    “You’re the one who asked.”
    “All right, you two, simmer down.” Mr. Brown nodded back to the couch and Carlin returned to her seat. “Okay, Owen, give us your reasons for not wanting to adopt Melissa.”
    “I don’t know if I really have any, Dad. I guess it just came as a surprise and I . . . I guess I’m just not sure. That’s all.”
    “I can understand that. This was rather a surprise. It was to your mom and me too. But Owen, God tells us in His Word to take care of the orphans and that He sets the solitary in families. Have you thought that perhaps we are the family for this little girl?”
    Owen shook his head. “I never thought of that.” With a wink he added, “But she’s a girl.”
    “Maybe we can get a boy soon so you can share your room too,” Carlin giggled.
    Everyone laughed.
    Mr. Brown looked around the room. “Are we all in agreement? Should we adopt Melissa and make her a part of our family?”
    A chorus of “Yes!” was the answer to that question and Mr. and Mrs. Brown exchanged smiles. “Then let’s all spend some time praying about it and for our new family member.”

    Only two weeks later, little Melissa came to join the Brown family. To everyone’s surprise, Mel or Melis, as everyone was soon calling her, attached herself to Owen right from the start. If she was tired or grumpy, Owen was the person she wanted. To him she clung when something frightened her, and the first baby kisses she gave were to Owen. Carlin didn’t mind too much, for Mel liked her to play with her and seemed to enjoy it when Carlin sang her to sleep each night.
    After a few weeks, no one in the Brown family could imagine life without little Melissa. And together they eagerly watched the mail for news of a little boy that needed a home.

What did you think of it?
Would you have been for or against adopting?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 33

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans!
It's the third day of spring and we have sleet and snow on the ground. Not much, but enough to know it doesn't feel like spring outside. It snowed and sleeted quite a bit yesterday afternoon. We were just glad not much of it stuck. How about you? Did you get some late winter weather?

After writing for 10 evenings in a row, I got rather stuck. On everything. One evening I looked at each file on NEO and discovered a problem. I couldn't write on any of the seven stories I had started on it. One story I need to do some research since I've never lived on a ranch or watched a fall round-up. Story 2: I'll probably end up deleting this one since I've decided to change the situation. Story 3: I had a great starting description, but had no idea what what going to happen or why the person was doing what he was doing. Talked it over at the supper table and problem solved. Story 4: About half way through this story, but got stuck because I wasn't sure how to resolve the problem. A little more talking with the right people should fix it. Story 5: This is a Christmas story that I started late in December and just didn't get finished. It might stay on there until this December. :) Story 6: A story for "Project 12" that got stuck because I had other ideas thrown at me, but I realized they won't work, so it's back to the original story and it's now moving along. Story 7: Well, this one has been on for quite some time. I'm kind of stuck because I'm not sure where the story is going. I mean, I can make it just go, but there has to be some sort of plot line and I haven't come up with one yet.
     So there you have my writing update.
As for what I've been doing, not much. The four kiddos are coming over this morning to stay until nap time. I've been checking papers from my writing students, drawing and other little things. Not much going on.

I decided to give you a Triple Creek Ranch today and thought you might like to know what is happening with the story. I've decided that if I were to continue to write this like I had first thought, the book would probably be as large as Home Fires. So, I thought I'd cut it and make two books. But the question arose, how do I cut this book and make each one a "stand alone" book? Each one needs a plot line to string the story on. I wasn't sure I could do it, but after thinking and trying out an idea or two, I've come up with a way. :) That means that I'm working very hard to try to get this first book written and to test readers soon. BUT . . . I won't publish it until I get the second book nearly finished. I don't want to make you readers have to wait a year or two because I got distracted with some other book. :) As far as posting TCR, I'll keep posting it every once in a while. I'd hate to post all the first book but the last two parts. :) If you are wanting to know how long the first TCR is going to be, lets just say that right now is is more than 1/2 of The Unexpected Request and with the unwritten parts still to be done, I'm guessing it might be just a little shorter than that book, but I can't say for sure since I haven't written them. :)

But now, here is Triple Creek Ranch Part 33. Enjoy!

Part 33

    “I suppose you’ll just have to work harder on sewing your new dresses. Jenelle’s dresses don’t seem to have suffered from the care of the chickens.” Norman glanced critically at his wife’s dark blue dress. “Perhaps if you asked politely, Mrs. O’Connor or Jenelle would help you with the sewing. But, the chickens are now your responsibility and,” he added firmly in low tones, “I don’t want to hear of Jenelle having to take care of them because you forgot. Is that understood?”
    His sister’s only answer was a glare. She was learning that an argument with her brother didn’t usually get her what she wanted.

    The next few days were trying ones. More than once Mrs. Mavrich thanked God for her new help and sighed over the problem of her young sister. Orlena, not used to working, not even on such simple things as making her bed and hanging up her clothes, seemed determined to make life as miserable as she could for herself and those around her. She hated the chickens and, on her second day of gathering the eggs, when a hen pecked her hand drawing blood, she shrieked and flung the entire basket of eggs she had already gathered, out the door of the hen house. Of course every egg was smashed and it took some time before the chickens were calm enough to return to eating. Jenelle would have gathered the rest of the eggs that morning had not a grim faced Mrs. O’Connor marched a furious Orlena back outside to finish the job.
    “If she had been a brother instead of a sister—” Norman growled when he learned of it.
    “I know,” Jenelle tried to smile. “You would have taken a trip to the woodshed a long time ago.”
    Not only did Orlena object to the chickens but also to every other chore she was given. She did more complaining, pouting and criticizing then sewing and, had not Jenelle had wonderful patience, all progress on the new clothes would have halted.
    Previously, Jenelle had regularly slipped into Orlena’s room to straighten it up and make her bed; however, after a talk with Mrs. O’Connor, Jenelle carefully avoided Orlena’s room. She knew that if she were to enter it, she wouldn’t be able to leave without tidying up. Only Mrs. O’Connor and Orlena knew what state that room was in, until one morning nearly two weeks after the housekeeper’s arrival.
    Jenelle was in the dining room setting a pitcher of milk on the table when Orlena flung herself into the room.
    “Jenelle Mavrich!” she shouted, “You lazy, irresponsible, good for nothing, sister-in-law! How dare you treat me this way!”
    Opening her eyes in astonishment at the sudden outburst, Jenelle turned to the irate child. Her first thought was, “I hope Norman is still out in the barn,” then aloud she questioned, “What are you talking about, Orlena?”
    “Don’t try to sound so innocent,” Orlena fumed. “You know very well what is wrong. Just look at this dress!”
    Jenelle blinked and gazed with puzzled eyes at the lovely black dress. She didn’t see anything wrong with it except for some wrinkles, except for it being completely out of place on the ranch. With a shake of her head, Jenelle said patiently, “I still don’t know what is wrong. What is it about the dress that you want me to notice?”
    Her quiet voice irritated Orlena still further. “The wrinkles, you dumb person! You—”
    “Orlena Mavrich, what is it you are calling your sweet sister?” Mrs. O’Connor had entered the room and now stood with her hands on her hips and a frown on her face.
    Whirling on this new person, Orlena gave her a scathing look before retorting with fury, “You are just as dumb as my ‘sweet sister’ as you call her. You are both dumb, selfish, ignorant beasts! It’s your fault that I haven’t a decent thing to wear.”
    “What is wrong with the one you are wearing now,” ventured Jenelle.
    “Wrong with it!” Orlena’s voice rose with a shriek. “Wrong with it? It’s wrinkled! I already told you!”
    “If you would pick up your clothes and hang them up instead of leaving them lying around in heaps, they would not be wrinkled.” This calm fact from Mrs. O’Connor was spoken in a normal tone of voice.
    “I leave them? That is not my job. I am a guest and I consider myself insulted!”
    What was she to say to such a child, Jenelle wondered as Orlena’s voice continued. How do I stop her before Norman comes in? She sent up a swift, silent prayer for help and wisdom and then said softly, “Orlena, on this ranch, everyone picks up after themselves.”
    “Well, I don’t! You are just a mean, selfish, horrid, ill-bred—”
    “Orlena Mavrich! That is enough!”
    Instant silence flooded the room. Jenelle quaked inwardly, for she had never heard her husband speak in such a stern, furiously cold voice. The silence went on. No one dared speak. Stealing a quick glance at her husband, she saw his eyes locked with Orlena’s and noticed his clenched jaw. Oh, was there nothing she could do? Suddenly she felt as though she couldn’t breathe and gripping the table she sank onto a chair gasping for air.
    “Darling!” Norman was beside her in an instant. “I’ll carry you to your bed,” he offered, preparing to lift her.
    But Jenelle shook her head and pushed his arm away. “I’m all right, really. I just . . . Oh Norman, what can I do?” And the mistress of Triple Creek Ranch buried her face in her hands and burst into tears.
    For several long minutes Orlena just stood and stared. Never had she seen a grown person cry like that. And to think that Jenelle, of all people— She didn’t know what to think. Slowly, without a word, she turned around, moved past Mrs. O’Connor and made her way back to her own room. Was she the cause of Jenelle’s misery?

What did you think?
Any questions or comments?

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Slip on the Ice - Part 5

Good Morning FFFs,
The title of the last part of this story just doesn't seem to fit the weather right now. :) Here is it lovely outside, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. It was in the 70s yesterday and supposed to be in the 80s today. Spring has come!

It was a more relaxing week than it has been for a while. I have been able to write every evening this week. And I know many of you will be delighted to hear I've been working on TCR. However, there have been serious thinking about new and interesting ideas for this story in general and certain developments with this story that could hinder or enhance it. We'll see. But, more about that later.

The exciting news for this week is that "The Lower Lights and Other Stories" is now published!

It's on Amazon and in Kindle form. I'm not sure if Light of Faith has it up yet or not. We were rather busy yesterday, so it might not be up quite yet. You can also purchase it from my book page on this blog. I'd love to read your reviews of it and my other stories on Amazon or Light of Faith.

And now, the last of

A Slip on the Ice

Last time . . .
    “What did the judge say about coming to see me?” Mr. Ashwell demanded curtly.
    “Only that he thought it would be a good idea for me to come.”
    In thoughtful silence the old man ate the remains of his breakfast and Trenton waited quietly. After a full five minutes had passed, Mr. Ashwell turned to the lad. “Well, go on.”
    “I’m not sure what else to tell you, sir, except that I will work very hard and do my best to please.”
    “Do you smoke?”
    “No sir!”
    “No sir.”
    “I suppose you don’t drink, play cards for fun or swear either?”
    “No sir.”
    Another pause. Then, another question came quickly, sharply, almost as though it came from unwilling lips. “What is your grandfather’s name?”
    Trenton blinked in surprise. He hadn’t expected a question like that though he answered readily enough. “Timothy Thomas, sir.”
    “Why were you named Trenton?”
    Thinking that this was the strangest interview for a job he’d ever heard of, the young man replied, “I was named after my father.”
    “And he?” persisted the questioner.
    “Father was named after my grandfather’s best friend. Grandfather has spoken of him often and always with fondness.”
    “What was his friend’s name?”
    “All I know is that Grandfather always speaks of him as Trenton or Trent and wishes he knew what became of him.”
    Reaching from his bed, Mr. Ashwell furiously rang a bell and when Felix appeared ordered, “Send for Judge Fristoe at once!”
    “Mr. Ashwell—” began the much bewildered and not a little apprehensive assistant.
    “At once, I said,” roared the old man. “And leave the lad with me,” he added as he caught Harrington’s nod to the youth. “Be quick, Harrington! Be quick.”

    Within thirty minutes both Judge Fristoe and Dr. Taylor had arrived. The doctor frowned when he saw his patient, and it was with some difficulty that Mr. Ashwell was at last persuaded to let Trenton leave the room, and this was only done after the young man had promised not to leave the house. Then the doctor and judge were shut up in the old man’s room while Harrington paced the hall outside and frowned at the long conference.
    At last Judge Fristoe came out in the hall. “Mr. Ashwell is resting now, Harrington and Dr. Taylor said he would remain with him for the time being. I have some important business to attend to right away but I shall return at the earliest opportunity.” Hurrying down the curving stairs, he pulled on his heavy coat and slipped out into the snowy morning leaving behind a very confused personal assistant.

    Trenton was coming down the hallway nearly seven hours after his dismissal from the bedroom when there was a knock on the front door. Knowing that Felix was occupied at the time, he hurried to open it. Two men stood on the porch waiting.
    “Judge Fristoe and . . . Grandpa?” Trenton’s surprise and amazement seemed to paralyze his limbs, for he simply stood there before the open door and stared.
    “Come Trent, let us in out of this cold,” his grandfather roused him.
    Still bewildered, Trenton moved aside and shut the door behind the two men who hastily shed their coats and hats and without another word hurried upstairs. Rubbing his eyes and giving his head a shake, Trenton stared at the now empty stairs and muttered, “I must be dreaming!”

    Mr. Ashwell gave a sigh and opened his eyes. It was early evening and there was a rosy light about the room, for the sun, though it had risen among clouds, now set in a clear western sky with a blaze of glory. For a moment he lay still trying to remember why he had been sleeping at this time of day. He felt confused and turned his head. To his surprise, a stranger was seated beside his bed watching him.
    “Who are you?” he demanded somewhat testily.
    The voice sounded strangely familiar and suddenly Mr. Ashwell half sat up. “Tim? Is it really you?”
    Neither man was very coherent for several minutes, but at last Timothy Thomas gently pushed his old friend back among the pillows. “Rest now Trent,” he directed softly wiping his own eyes with his handkerchief.
    “How did you get here?” Mr. Ashwell asked. “I was so afraid the lad was talking about someone else.”
    “It was the efforts of Judge Fristoe and Reverend Sadaro, Trent.” Then he added softly, “And it was an answer to my prayers!”
    “Your prayers?”
    Mr. Thomas nodded. “Yes, Trent. I’ve been praying every day since I last saw you that we would get to see each other once more. I had hoped at first that you might come to America and see me after you had finished your studies, but the years passed and your letters no longer came. I didn’t know what had become of you. Now let us thank God for keeping us all these years and reuniting us. Shall we?”
    For a moment Mr. Ashwell was still, then, with a voice that hesitated, he said, “Tim, I tried to be a Christian after you left. I tried to read my Bible and I even tried to pray, but I guess I never really wanted to. Perhaps I would have had you been there, but maybe not.” He sighed. “With you not there to keep me from them, I joined some of the other fellows at college and . . . well, my life hasn’t been one that a Christian would be proud of.”
    “Oh my friend, now I know why I have felt so often the need to pray for you. But Trent, don’t put off getting right with God any longer. You remember that prayer you made shortly after my father died?”
    Mr. Ashwell nodded.
    “Did you truely mean it?”
    “I thought I did, but—”
    “Trent,” Timothy placed his hard, work-worn hand tenderly on his friend’s arm, “it doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean it then, what matters is if you mean it now.”
    “Oh Tim, pray for me,” the gruff, old voice broke and Mr. Ashwell clasped the hand of his friend. “I want to follow Christ as you did.”
    Slipping to his knees beside the bed, Timothy Thomas poured out a prayer of thanksgiving and then, in slow, often faltering tones, Trenton Ashwell’s voice rose in prayer.

    In the days that followed, Mr. Ashwell soon resumed life in the business world where he found a place for young Trenton in one of his own offices. That young man soon gave evidence of a keen business mind and rapidly advanced to higher positions, being fully trusted by all who came in contact with him.
    Every week for over a year Mr. Ashwell and Mr. Thomas met together, for they had so much to talk over and to tell each other of the years of separation. The change in Mr. Ashwell was noticeable to all who knew him, and Felix Harrington often looked at those front steps of the large house and wondered what would have happened had Mr. Ashwell not slipped that snowy, winter day.

The End
What were your thoughts on the story?
Any questions or comments?

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Slip on the Ice - Part 4

Good Morning FFFs,
Are you sure it is really Friday again? I thought I just posted! I really have to get to writing or I'm going to run out of things to post. I might have gotten 100 words written on Wednesday evening, but that is it!
You see, it has been a very busy and crazy week. Where do I start?
Last Friday I might have mentioned (or maybe I didn't know or forgot), but Sis and I babysat the kiddos that evening so Brother and Sis-i-l could have one last date before Baby came. We had fun and did "school."
Saturday was pretty regular. I was trying to catch up on things and get some preview books read for Light of Faith and then I did write in the evening, but that was last week. :)
Sunday was very relaxed and we even got home from church around 2:00! Almost unheard of for us. You see, we all bring something and share a lunch each Sunday after church and fellowship and visit while my sister teaches the kids Bible verses with hand motions. We usually don't leave until 2:30.
Then came Monday. It started out with usual things and I managed to get some things done before supper. We all headed out after we ate, to the roller skating rink where families from church and other friends had gathered to enjoy the evening. I do like roller skating. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and then we, Brother, Sis-i-l and their kids and Sis-i-l's parents and two sisters (my heart sisters) all went out to Culver's for ice cream for Goofball's birthday. (And Brother's birthday since Goofball was born the day before his Daddy's birthday.)
Tuesday morning the call came. "Can you come get the kids? Baby is coming." Sure enough, Baby Boy came that afternoon! (Sorry, he doesn't have a nickname yet. :) ) We all went over to see Baby that evening and then brought the kids back over here to spend the night.
Had the kids until nap time on Wednesday. I asked Doodle Bug one time if he was my Doodle and he nodded his head and said, "Doodle." :) I've been calling him Doodles, it fits him. He is a comedian. :)
Yesterday I managed to get a few things done, but no writing because my grandparents came down to see Baby and then Grandpa and I went to a concert last evening. It was a Piano and Clarinet duo that we heard. Very pleasant and fun.
Today we clean house and then go bowling this afternoon. Hoping I can write tonight.

I'm still looking for cattle brands for Triple Creek Ranch. Send any you come up with to readanotherpage (at) gmail (dot) com. I've had two neat ones sent, but want to see what the rest of you can come up with.

Now enjoy part 4 of

A Slip on the Ice

Last week . . .
    “I should write to you, old fellow.” Carefully he folded up the letter and replaced it in the envelope. “But not tonight. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll do it. America, perhaps I’ll go there someday too. Wouldn’t that be a lark, to surprise Tim.” And he fell to dreaming until it was quite late.

* * * *

    “How is he doing, Doctor?”
    Dr. Taylor shrugged as he pulled on his heavy coat. “He’s resting, Harrington, but he’s still pretty restless. Keep an eye on him tonight and try to keep him calm. Call me if I’m needed. I have a few other calls to make before heading home.”
    “Very good, sir.” Felix nodded and closed the door on the doctor’s retreating form. The snow was still falling and the ground was covered with a thick blanket while the wind continued to blow.
    “I do hope he will sleep tonight!”
    “Who Mr. Harrington?” queried Trenton.
    “Mr. Ashwell. If he doesn’t, he’ll be almost impossible to live with tomorrow.”
    “I’ll pray for him,” the lad said simply before biding good night and retiring to the room where he was to sleep.
    Turning to the housekeeper after the boy had disappeared, Felix remarked, “That, Mrs. Collins, is a fine lad.”

* * * *

    “Ah, Trenton, welcome home. How was the continent?”
    “Quite pleasant, Father, only there was so much to see and do, I scarcely had a moment to myself.” The young man laughed gaily.
    “What are your plans now that you are home?” Mr. Ashwell leaned back in his chair on the green lawn and smiled on the young man who had just returned. The sun was warm and everywhere birds sang, flowers nodded bright heads and a fountain splashed nearby.
    “Oh, I hadn’t decided, Father. I was thinking about America. I might work on your business over there and let you take care of this end. What do you think?”
    Stroking his chin, the elder Mr. Ashwell nodded. “A good plan. Mr. Claycomb has been conducting the business over there for some time and has, I fear, grown tired of it. It should do well with a capable and younger mind in charge like yours. By the way, Tim is over in America. What do you hear from him?”
    Trent’s voice dropped and his face grew sober. “Nothing for nearly a year, sir. I don’t even know if he still lives in the same place or what has become of him.”
    The father’s keen eyes noticed a flush on his son’s face. “What is it, Trent? Have you two had a quarrel?”
    “No sir. But you know how it is about distance and friendships. And you get busy and . . .”
    “And don’t write as often as you should and in time you quit altogether,” finished Mr. Ashwell. “My son I know it all too well.”

* * * *

    A pale sun was shining feebly through a curtain of misty clouds. The snow had stopped sometime during the night and the wind had died down. However, the bitter, penetrating, intense cold had remained behind when the storm ended. Even the faint rays of the sun failed to warm anything outdoors.
    Inside the large, white house all was warm. Trenton had been up before dawn, had started the fire in the kitchen for Mrs. Collins, who much preferred a wood stove to cook on during the winter than one of those “new fangled gas contraptions,” and was enjoying a hearty breakfast. A bell rang.
    “That’s Mr. Ashwell! Hurry Felix, do!” exclaimed Mrs. Collins, bustling about to get a breakfast tray ready.
    Felix made no reply for he as already half way up the stairs, hoping his employer was in a more agreeable frame of mind.
    “Good morning, sir,” he quietly greeted the man in bed.
    “Is it still snowing, Harrington?” was the unusual response.
    “No sir. It quit during the night.”
    “Then open those curtains!”
    This was done and the faint light of the morning was soon brightening the room. Snow could be seen piled on the branches of the large old tree in the yard. “Humph.” Mr. Ashwell gazed at the snow and then demanded, “Where’s the boy?”
    “In the kitchen eating his breakfast—”
    “Send him to me at once!”
    “But Mr. Ashwell, sir, your own breakfast—”
    “I said at once, Harrington! Oh, you can send breakfast up for both of us if you must, but I want to see that boy, Harrington!”
    “Yes sir,” Felix answered hastily. “I’ll send him and your breakfast up right away.”
    In less than five minutes, Trenton Thomas Jr. arrived carrying a tray with the old man’s breakfast. “Good morning Mr. Ashwell,” was the bright greeting of the young man. “I hope you slept well. Here let me help you,” and setting the tray carefully down, Trenton sprang forward and adjusted the pillows behind the man’s back with a quick and deft hand. “There you are, and here is your breakfast.”
    Finding himself comfortably situated in bed with his breakfast on a tray before him, Mr. Ashwell smiled; the first smile, if Trenton had known it, which had crossed his face since yesterday morning.
    “Sit down, my boy.” Mr. Ashwell waved his hand towards a chair nearby. “Bring the chair closer so we don’t have to shout to each other. That’s better. Have you had your breakfast? Yes? Good, then we can talk.”
    Here Trenton, with another smile, interrupted. “Excuse me, sir, but Mr. Harrington won’t be very pleased with me if you neglect your breakfast. And it is a tasty one, for I saw Mrs. Collins prepare it myself.”
    “Well well. It wouldn’t do to upset Harrington more than one can help, would it? Well then, suppose you tell me about yourself while I eat.”
    “There isn’t much to tell sir. I’m the eldest son of Trenton Thomas Sr. who is ill. Mother works hard, taking in washing and ironing, but with Father ill and five younger brothers and sisters to feed, I had to find work to help out. There wasn’t any place nearby and Grandfather suggested I try the city, and mother’s old paster, Reverend Sadaro, gave me a reference and so did Mr. Clayton and Judge Fristoe when I went to see them.”
    “What did the judge say about coming to see me?” Mr. Ashwell demanded curtly.
    “Only that he thought it would be a good idea for me to come.”
    In thoughtful silence the old man ate the remains of his breakfast and Trenton waited quietly. After a full five minutes had passed, Mr. Ashwell turned to the lad. “Well, go on.”

Will you be back next week for the final part?
Questions or Comments?

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Slip on the Ice - Part 3

Lovely Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
Did you all get snow? We did! And it wasn't ice this time! We still have snow on the ground right now though it is quickly melting and we're ready for a bit of sunshine. :) Of course we didn't get nearly as much snow as those farther north of us got. We ended up with about 3-4 inches. It's been in the 30's most of the week, but it's supposed to warm up over the weekend.

This past week was rather strange.
My grandparents left after lunch on Friday and that evening S & I went to babysit the kiddos. We played "school." Something they love! We put the kids to bed this time as Brother and Sis-i-l weren't expected home until 10:30.
On Saturday, S & I headed over to some friends' to watch their kids. We had fun and everyone enjoyed playing the "new" game we brought over. It was one J, S and I had grown up playing and loving. The game is called "Made for Trade."
Sunday was a welcome day of rest. Princess wasn't there, but Sweetheart was. I got to sit on the floor and talk with Sweetheart's mommy for a while. :)
On Monday evening we were supposed to have Goofball's 5th birthday party here, then go roller-skating with church families and then go out for ice cream. Well, since the weather was supposed to get bad they postponed the skating until next week. We did go over to Goofball's house to have a small party though.
Tuesday we got snow! Went for a lovely hour long walk with best friends.
Wednesday more snow in the morning, but otherwise a normal day.
Yesterday I had writing classes since we couldn't have them on Tuesday.
So, today we clean house and try to think it is Friday.

Writing: As you may have guessed, I didn't get much writing done this week. I had a headache on Tuesday evening so didn't write then. I got some TCR written last night. Now I need some help. As I'm sure most of you know, all cattle ranches had brands for their cattle. Well, I'm looking for a brand for Triple Creek Ranch. Create your own brand and send me a picture of it either to whatever e-mail address you normally use or to readanotherpage(at)gmail(dot)com and let me see what you have created. The chosen brand will be featured in the book of TCR. So, have fun and let me see your brands.

Oh, if you would like to see the new book, just go over to Rebekah's Books page and you can see the cover for it. It is still being proofed, but I'll let you know as soon as it's available for ordering.

And now for part 3 of

A Slip on the Ice

Last week . . .
    It was those words that came from the heart of his friend which brought the tears of healing to the mourning son, and the strong, manly frame shook with silent sobs. The arm about his shoulders tightened and Tim could feel his friend’s wordless love.

    It was several days afterwards as the two friends were strolling across the fields where they had played so often in the years gone by that Trent brought up the subject that had been often in his mind since the accident which had claimed the life of Reverend Thomas. “Tim, you are coming back to college, aren’t you?”
    Silently Tim shook his head.
    “But you can’t just quit. You’re at the head of every class and it’s only one more year. Father said he’d lend you the money if you needed any. Come Tim, don’t say no!” Tim coaxed pleadingly.
    Heaving a sigh, Tim replied, “I can’t, Trent. As much as I’d like to finish college, I just can’t do it right now. I have Mother and the girls to think about. Besides we’re . . . we’re moving.”
    Halting in his tracks, Trent turned incredulous eyes upon his friend. “You’re what? Moving? Where to? You can’t!”
    “We decided last night, Trent. It was a hard decision, but Mother and I have prayed about it ever since, well—” his voice broke and he paused until he could speak again. “Father had been wanting to go to America, but he was waiting until he heard from my uncle. The letter came the day after the funeral and Uncle had sent money for tickets. I know Father would have gone.”
    “But what about your studies?”
    “I would have stayed here to finish and then gone to them, but now . . . Surely you can see it is the right thing to do, Trent?” There was pleading in the young man’s voice as he turned to face his friend. “I couldn’t send Mother and the girls off on such a journey alone!”
    For several minutes Trenton remained silent, scuffing his shoes in the leaves, his hands shoved in his pockets. At last he replied. “Since it is you, Tim, I know it has to be the right thing, but I wish you would stay. How am I supposed to stay right without you? I’ll go to the dogs without you around.”
    “Trent, you don’t need me. You need Jesus Christ. Why won’t you give yourself to Him? You know the way, you know what He did for you. Why do you put it off?”
    “I’ll think about it.”
    Tim sighed. “That’s all you ever say. Just remember that thinking isn’t enough.”
    “Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.”
    “Trent, you might not have tomorrow! Remember my father. Oh, Trent, if you would only do it today, now, I could bid you good bye with peace knowing that whatever happened we would meet again.” The young man’s tones were pleading and at last, Trenton Ashwell yielded and together the two friends knelt in the shelter of an old tree.

* * * *

    A sharp ring of a bell shattered the friendly silence around the supper table in the kitchen. Hurriedly Felix shoved back his chair and dashed for the stairs. Arriving only slightly out of breath in Mr. Ashwell’s room, he saw by the dim light that individual sitting up in bed looking stern.
    “You rang, sir?”
    “Yes, I did, Harrington,” growled the master of the house. “Where is that boy?”
    “Downstairs eating his supper.”
    “Send him up to me.”
    “I’m sorry sir,” Felix replied quietly, “but Dr. Taylor gave instructions that you weren’t to see him tonight.”
    “Oh he did, did he?”
    “Yes sir. And if I were to disregard those orders, he’d have my head.”
    “He’d have mine first,” muttered Mr. Ashwell, sinking back onto his pillows. “Oh very well.” He turned to stare out the window at the still falling snow. “Where is he staying tonight?” The question came quite suddenly and with surprising sharpness as Harrington was about to leave the room.
    “In the room next to mine, sir.”
    “Good, and whatever you do, don’t lose him!”
    “No sir. He’ll be here to see you first thing in the morning. Now why don’t you rest again, Mr. Ashwell. The doctor said he’d come by later.”
    “Come by later indeed,” grumbled the old man to himself. “He’s just trying to make his bill larger.” Listening to the gusts of wind, Mr. Ashwell stared at the opposite wall. “Trenton Thomas Jr.” He muttered thoughtfully.

* * * *

    A steady rain fell and the wind blew rattling the windows. It would be a terrible night to be out and Trent was glad of the roaring fire in the fireplace. He was home for spring vacation and lounged in an easy chair before the bright blaze, an open letter in his hand.
    “Dear Trent,” it read.
    “Winter is about gone and spring is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to plowing and planting the fields of our small farm here in Missouri. Uncle is no farmer and can’t advise me, but there is another farm nearby where I can get help if needed. Mr. and Mrs. Miller are very friendly and their family of seven have become wonderful friends.
    The girls are enjoying school and perhaps in a few years I can take the time to finish my last year of college.
    How are your studies coming along? I know you will graduate with honors, for I am certain that no Ashwell could do less. How is you father these days? The girls and Mother have asked about him more than once.
    It has been difficult adjusting to this new life, but Christ has never failed me. I know He has a plan for my life as He does for yours. Are you walking with Him each day? Oh, Trent, never go through a day without him! . . .”
    Trent let the letter fall into his lap. He had read it through several times. “Tim,” he thought sadly, “if only you had been here to keep me out of that last scrape. That and many others. It’s no good being a Christian without you around.” He stared moodily into the fire for several minutes.
    “I should write to you, old fellow.” Carefully he folded up the letter and replaced it in the envelope. “But not tonight. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll do it. America, perhaps I’ll go there someday too. Wouldn’t that be a lark, to surprise Tim.” And he fell to dreaming until it was quite late.

Will you be back?
Any questions or comments?
Don't forget to create a brand for TCR.