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Friday, December 6, 2013

Dec. 6th - Christmas Eve at the Backdoor - Pt. 1

Hello Friday Fiction Fans!
Guess what! It's snowing! For those of you readers who live where snow in winter is a common sight, where it takes many inches of snow to cancel schools and where weather in the 20s or below is usual, then you'll have to excuse my southern excitement for the first snowfall of the season. :) It started snowing yesterday. Just lazy, scattered flurries when we first saw it after lunch. It grew a little harder and since it had been in the 20s all day, soon the sidewalks, the bare places in the yard, the porch and swing set soon had a dusting on them. It was really pretty. It was snowing a little more when we went to bed and now it's still snowing! Of course it hasn't even covered all the leaves in the yard yet, but the schools were canceled for today because of the weather (windchill in the single digits or below).  There's not enough snow to go sledding even if the city hadn't ruined our sledding hill by planting trees all over it. But it does look pretty. I love watching the flakes swirling, falling, chasing each other and covering the drab ground and bare branches!

But enough about snow. It's been another busy week and I don't feel like I got a whole lot done. I did get a little writing done, but the house still isn't decorated completely. Tomorrow we're supposed to get our tree and then maybe my sis-in-law will help us finish the decorating. I have gotten more done, so there isn't a whole lot left.

Yesterday S and I babysat the kiddos and we made the 3D snowflakes that I posted instructions for on Monday. They loved them and they look so cute hanging on the arch between the living room and dining room.

I started this story last December but didn't get very far. Perhaps that was because it ended up being a 6 part story and it was nearly the end of the month when I started it. But, be that as it may, I did get it finished for this Christmas and I hope you enjoy it. :)

Christmas Eve at the Backdoor
Part 1

    No one used the front door in Clydesdale. Well, no one that is except for a visiting minister, a traveling salesman or perhaps a stranger. Mrs. Patton even moved her sofa in front of her front door because it was so seldom used. Each house had a well worn path leading around to the back door and most people in town forgot there even was such a thing as a “front door.” The kids ran in and out of the back doors in the summer letting the screens slam; neighbors came to the backdoor to borrow or return things in all seasons; friends seldom knocked, for, during the warmer months, the storm doors were kept wide open and someone was nearly always in the kitchen. If news of any sort needed passed along, the housewives of Clydesdale didn’t bother with the telephone, for most families couldn’t afford one anyway, instead they hurried across yards to their neighbor’s backdoor.
    “Yoo hoo, have you heard?” was the usual greeting at such times, often called before the visitor had even opened the backdoor.
    Yes, the most important part of Clydesdale were the backdoors. Every person went through them a dozen times a day. To hang up the wash one must go through the backdoor; to go to school the children left by the backdoor; chores meant tramping through the backdoor; a trip to town for shopping or church began and ended with the backdoor; to pay a social call one had to leave by a backdoor and enter a friend’s backdoor; even a trip to the woodshed, whether for wood for the fireplace or to teach a lesson to a willful child, started at the backdoor. They were slammed when angry, shut quietly when sad, flung back against the house with a crash during moments of great excitement, swung on, pushed, jerked about; their hinges creaked and were oiled now and then; they were left standing open or pulled firmly shut but seldom, very seldom were they locked. Some were kept well painted, others had peeling paint and torn screens, some looked tired, while others swung on well oiled hinges. If there had been a museum in town featuring old, well worn things, no doubt an entire room would have been devoted to those sturdy, dependable, reliable backdoors.

    Mrs. Kabrick turned from the stove and called into the front room, “Jody, Roger, Cindy and Cedric, stop squabbling over that tree or I’ll come and do it all myself.”
    The noise in the other room stopped and Mrs. Kabrick turned back to her stove shaking her head. It was evening before Christmas Eve, and Mr. Ditty had brought a tree for them that morning. Since school was out until after Christmas, the children had begged to be allowed to decorate it all themselves. Wondering what the tree would look like after her four children were finished with it, Mrs. Kabrick gave a sigh and stirred the soup. She was tired. It was good to be home after a long day of work.
    “Mama,” Cindy’s voice interrupted the quiet of the kitchen. “The tree is ready. Come and see it.”
    And Ceddy’s voice chimed in, “Yes, Mama, come see!”
    “All right.” Mrs. Kabrick turned off the heat under the bubbling soup and allowed herself to be dragged away by the eager children.
    The tree really was quite lovely considering the diversity of personalities which had contributed to it. There were a few bare places and some where the lights hadn’t been spread out enough, but if the children liked it, what did it matter?
    “Isn’t it perfect, Mama?” Cindy hopped up and down. “Just perfect?”
    Mrs. Kabrick nodded with a smile. “Just perfect,” she echoed. “But,” she added, “if you want to eat tonight, you all need to go wash up.”
    A rush of flying feet faded down the hall. The soup had been filling the house with enticing smells for the last hour and everyone was hungry.
    It was a pleasant meal, the children chattering about Christmas and hoping for more snow. Thankful she didn’t have to work tomorrow, Mrs. Kabrick was looking forward to a day at home with her children. Giving a small sigh, she pushed back a lock of her still brown hair and looked about the table. It had been eight years since her husband had died when the twins were just over a year old. How long ago, yet how short, it seemed. The oldest child, Jody, now thirteen, was a very dependable helper most of the time, even if she was inclined to be rather bossy with the younger ones. She was the only one of the children who looked like their daddy, with black hair and dark eyes.
    Being eleven, Roger considered himself nearly a man and had delivered papers faithfully every morning since he was ten. After school hours he often ran errands for Mr. Conway down at the grocery store or helped out with the chores on his uncle’s farm.
    As for the twins, they were much alike, from their short, straight brown hair, though Cindy’s was longer than Ceddy’s, and brown eyes, to their bubbling personality. They were almost inseparable and often into some predicament or other. Their mother wondered at times if she was too strict and at others if she was not strict enough.
    The meal over, dishes were washed and after singing a few Christmas carols around the tree, the Kabrick family retired to their beds.

    There was no new snow on the ground when Mrs. Kabrick came down to the kitchen to begin breakfast. It didn’t even look like snow for the sky was clear. It was before she had even called the children that a knock on the door was heard.
    “Oh, Mrs. Kabrick,” Timmy sighed with relief as she opened the backdoor. “Please, could you spare a few matches? We used up the last one this morning and the fire in the stove just won’t light and if it won’t light, Mama can’t cook breakfast and if Papa doesn’t get breakfast, well—” he paused for breath.
    “Of course you may borrow some matches, Timmy. Here.” Mrs. Kabrick took a box from a high shelf and said, “Now run along and start your fire. And Merry Christmas!”
    “Merry Christmas!” Timmy flung back over his shoulder as he dashed across lots to his own kitchen door.
    Smiling, Mrs. Kabrick closed the door and went to call her children. It was good to be able to stay home today.

What do you think so far?
Any thoughts or comments?

2 comments:

Audrey French said...

This is a very interesting start!

Rebekah said...

I hope you like the rest of the story.