Well, we got some winter. The ground is covered with 1-2 inches of tiny ice balls. I would have preferred snow instead of sleet, but at least it wasn't an ice storm! I went "sledding" yesterday with my best friends and most of their siblings. We only went down once since we didn't really want to end up in the creek which is at the bottom of the hill since we were sledding on ice not snow. This morning there are faint patches of blue sky showing through the thinning clouds and the sun is supposed to shine. It still isn't supposed to get very warm, but the sun will sure make things pretty!
This is a very busy weekend for us. It really started on Wednesday when my Grandparents came down. We had my brother and his family over for supper that night and those kiddos sure made Grandpa tired. :) Yesterday it was just Grandma & Grandpa over and I went sledding. Today we are going out for breakfast, then to my brother's house so Grandma & Grandpa can see the kiddos once more before they head back up to KC (KC got 10 inches of snow!). Then this evening S & I go over to Brother's to babysit the kids while J & M go to a shower for one of her sisters. It will be late so we'll be putting the kids to bed. Then tomorrow evening we'll be babysitting for some friends from church and it will be another late day. On Sunday it will be a welcome day of rest. Monday brings Goofball's birthday party at our house and going roller-skating which he loves, and then out for ice cream to finish the "party." And on Tuesday I have writing classes. Told you I was busy.
I wrote all of the "April" story for "Project 12" in two days. "February"'s story is not going so well. I haven't worked on TCR or anything else. Haven't had much time to write. Hopefully next week I'll have more time.
The proof copy of my newest book came! Right now it is at my friend's so she and her mom can read and proof the proof copy for me. :)
I think since it is cold and slippery, this story is quite appropriate. Enjoy!
Last week . . .
“Trenton!” The voice rang out across the fields startling a flock of crows and causing several of the cows to look up. Nothing else moved. “Trenton Ashwell!” The voice came again, more sternly this time. “I know you are there. You had better start home this minute before I tell your father!”
On the shed roof near the house two young boys crouched, suppressing their merriment as the young woman moved closer to the fields. “Come on, Tim,” whispered the darker haired lad, “let’s slip down and be sitting at the table when she comes.”
The other nodded and quickly the two lads slipped off the far side of the shed and hurried into the kitchen. Never had hands been washed more quickly before they slid into their seats; two innocent boys hungry for their supper.
“I wonder where Father is?” the shorter of the two boys whispered. “Aunt Isabel may have to wait until after supper.” His grin was wide.
Hardly had he quit speaking than his aunt’s voice was heard in the hall. “Really Mason, you must do something with that boy!”
A deep voice asked with a sigh, “What’s he done this time?”
“Done? Refused to come home from his play for dinner. I rang the bell and when he didn’t come, I went out and called him.”
“Where is he?”
“Out in the field with that preacher’s boy.”
“I gave Trenton permission to play with the boy. Timothy Thomas is a good lad, Isabel, and I’d rather have him my son’s friend than some others.”
“I didn’t say he wasn’t good,” came the somewhat heated reply. “I simply was telling you that your son is out there playing when he was told to come in! If he were my son—”
The deep voice interrupted and moved closer to the dining room. “I know, Isabel. But he is not your son. I’ll go out to the fields and fetch him home after dinner.”
“And he can go without his dinner if he chooses to skip it.”
Whether or not the conversation would have continued, Trenton didn’t wait to find out. “Father, aren’t we going to eat?”
Mr. Ashwell stepped quickly into the dining room with the aunt closely behind him. “Did you come in while we were talking?”
“No sir,” Trenton grinned. “We were here while Aunt was still calling us.”
“How— What—” blustered the aunt in confusion.
“We weren’t in the fields, Aunty,” grinned Trenton. “But Father, may we eat now?”
* * * *
The older man blinked and turned to glare at his assistant. “I’m not deaf, Harrington. Now who is that boy?”
“Mr. Ashwell,” the doctor interjected firmly, “You must calm down or I shall send everyone from the room and give you a sedative so that you will rest.”
“Humph! Nonsense, Taylor. I’m not excited, I simply want to know who that boy is and what he’s doing here.”
“Be as quick as you can, lad,” Dr. Taylor said quietly to the young man. “Mr. Ashwell needs rest.”
Nodding with complete understanding, Trenton Thomas moved beside the bed. When he spoke his voice was clear, his words concise. “My name is Trenton Thomas Jr., Sir, and I’ve come to see if you might be able to help me find work. I have several references and I’m willing to do just about anything.”
“Why did you come to me?”
“I was told to, Sir.”
“By whom?” Mr. Ashwell demanded.
“Reverend Sadaro, Mr. Clayton and Judge Fristoe.”
For a moment Mr. Ashwell lay back among the pillows with a frown of thought on his face. The others about the bed watched him and hoped he would rest.
Pushing himself up on one elbow, the old man peered into the boy’s face and questioned, “Why did they send you to me?”
With a slight laugh the young man shrugged. “I’m not sure, Sir. I think you would have to ask them. But,” he added hastily as Mr. Ashwell was about to speak, “I can come back another day when you are feeling better, if you wish.”
Then the doctor moved closer. “That would be a good idea, Mr. Ashwell.”
But the man on the bed didn’t appear to hear him. “Harrington,” he ordered, falling back onto his pillows, “feed the boy and make sure he has a place to sleep. I want to see him first thing in the morning!”
“Yes sir, I’ll attend to it.” Felix made haste to answer as he motioned the boy to leave the room.
In a few minutes more, Mr. Ashwell was sleeping.
Promising to stop by in the evening, Dr. Taylor took his leave. Mrs. Collins returned to her kitchen and Felix turned to Trenton. “Have you a place to sleep tonight?”
“No sir. But I can go find a place. I’ll be back here before it is light out.” The youth’s sure manner in spite of the bitter weather outside raised the assistant’s opinion of him. Nevertheless, he refused to allow it.
“There is no need for that, lad. You are to sleep in the room next to mine. Mrs. Collins will be expecting you for supper and Mr. Ashwell said to have you ready for him first thing in the morning. I couldn’t do that very well if you were off who knows where. Now, you go out to the kitchen and see if Mrs. Collins can find work for you to do while I go park the car in the garage.”
* * * *
The young man standing beside the newly made grave turned slowly around, his eyes were dull, his face haggard by the sudden tragic event.
Trenton Ashwell bit his lip. The words he wanted to say seemed so hollow and cold. Instead he simply put out his hand and gripped that of his friend with both of his. They were alone beside the grave now. All was still except for a few acorns falling from the nearby oak tree. Sunshine filtered through the leaves which were changing color.
“He’s gone, Trent.” Tim moaned. “Gone.” His lips trembled and his eyes filled.
Suddenly Trent pulled his friend close and put his arm about his shoulders. “Let it out, Tim. You can’t keep going like this.” Looking down at the flowers on the grave, Trent felt his own eyes fill with tears and he whispered hoarsely, “He was a good man! A God-fearing man.”
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.
Questions or Comments?
Will you be back for Part 3?