I hope you are enjoying some lovely tastes of fall. The weather has been cooler this week, but the mosquitoes are so bad we hardly dare go outside! I'll be glad when we hit a really cold spell and those pesky, villainous creatures die.
I have gotten more writing on TCR-4 done this week, but not as much as I had hoped. But I am over half way done and I have a rough plan for the rest of the book. Of course I'm not sure just when I'll have to wrap things up since I don't know how long different events will take, but I have two places I can stop. If I have to end the book sooner, then I can save the other parts for a Book 5. :) You wouldn't mind, would you?
This week I've been doing a bit of sewing, which you might know, is not a favorite activity. But I'm sewing bags this time so I really don't mind. My sister had boxes of denim scraps from sewing projects she had done for people, so we decided to turn those scraps into bags. They are the "ragged" bags and are pretty cute. We will try to sell them at a "Farm Girls Fest" next month.
I hope you all enjoy this next part of
Thank you. Oh, Carlee?”
Carlee turned in the doorway.
“If you want to use more of the china dishes, you just go right ahead.”
The young lady nodded and gave a slight smile. “Poor Miss Retter,” she thought. “She’s lonely and there’s no one to do special things for her. I’ll just make a tea party for her. I’d much rather do that than go someplace and have another argument with Kevin.” And she busied herself with china dishes, cookies, and hot chocolate.
Back in the living room, Kevin, having taken off his coat and draped it over the back of a chair where Carlee had flung hers, asked, “Miss Retter, do you have a first-aid kit around here somewhere so that ankle can be taken care of?”
“Oh my, yes. I forgot about it. Over in the right hand closet in the hall; it’s on the middle shelf. Did you find it?”
“Sure did. Now let me see if we can get your shoe off.”
“Are you a doctor?” Miss Retter inquired in astonishment as her shoe was taken off with capable hands and her visitor began to gently massage the injured ankle before bandaging it.
“No, just a rancher. But we have to know how to take care of all kinds of things. It’s not the first time I’ve treated a sprained ankle.”
“You sure know how to do it well. I declare, that feels much better all ready.” Miss Retter smiled as, her ankle firmly bandaged, a footstool was placed before her chair with a cushion for her injured limb. “Now, do sit down - Kevin, isn’t it? Carlee has told me quite a bit about you though I haven’t seen her for a few weeks. Oh, do you suppose you should go out and help her in the kitchen?”
From the couch where he had seated himself, Kevin shook his head. “No, I’m sure she doesn’t want to see me now. I’d only get in her way,” he added hastily as a questioning look flashed across Miss Retter’s face. “I’m not much good messing around with china and dainty things like that.”
“More at home with a grill and steaks or a pot of stew?”
Kevin laughed. It was his first laugh all day and it felt good. “That’s it. I’m rather a clumsy chap with breakable things.”
“How are you with hearts?”
“Ma’am?” Kevin looked startled and flushed.
“Human hearts are breakable too, especially a woman’s heart. I know for I am one. They must be handled with care, Kevin.”
There was no time for Kevin to make a reply for Carlee entered the room a moment later bearing a tray loaded with a silver tea pot, three china cups and saucers and a plate of chocolate-chip cookies. This was carefully set down on the coffee table and Carlee began pouring steaming cocoa into the cups.
“Here, Miss Retter,” she said, handing a cup to the older woman and then offering the plate of cookies.
“Why Carlee, this is quite delightful. I haven’t had anyone over for tea or chocolate in ages! Now you just sit down there on the couch with your suitor and join us.”
Carlee did as she was requested but didn’t give an adoring glance at Kevin as Miss Retter expected. She simply poured him a cup of cocoa and then one for herself before settling in a corner of the couch.
Silence fell on the trio for a full five minutes until the old, ornate, grandfather clock chimed the hour of two.
“I suppose we should go,” Carlee suggested drearily.
“Nonsense!” Miss Retter chided. “We haven’t visited yet and neither one of you has finished your chocolate. Besides,” she added briskly, “I want to know what the trouble is between you two. Oh, don’t try to tell me there’s no trouble, Carlee. Don’t forget I’ve known you since you were five-years-old. And I may be an old maid, but I’ve been around long enough to know when young folks have problems. Now,” Miss Retter set her cup down on the table beside her, picked up her crocheting and nodded. “Which of you is going to begin?”
Kevin glanced at the girl whose heart he had worked so hard to win. What was wrong? He wasn’t quite sure he knew except in a general way.
Keeping her eyes on her cup of chocolate, Carlee frowned. Did she dare tell Miss Retter about their quarrel?
“Come on, one of you had better get to talking,” Miss Retter ordered briskly. “I’ll keep you here all night if you don’t up and out with it, as my brother and I used to say when we were small.”
“He just doesn’t care about how I feel!” Carlee burst forth with feeling.
“How you feel about what?” Kevin demanded.
“Everything!” she retorted. “Ever since that day when—”
“Oh, not that again!”
“If you’d just get off your high horse and listen to my feelings for once maybe we could drop it, but no, your way is the only way and—”
Kevin interrupted her. “Good grief, Car. That was almost three weeks ago! Can’t you get over it?”
“Get over it?” Carlee placed her unfinished cup down, tucked her legs under her and crossed her arms. “How can I when you won’t apologize or admit that you might be wrong! It’s probably a good thing we aren’t engaged.”
“Why?” Kevin sat up straight and stared at the girl beside him.
Carlee’s voice sank to almost a whisper. “So it won’t cause a commotion when we break up.”
“What!” It was almost a shout and Carlee hid her face in the back of the couch to avoid the eyes that stared at her.
“Now wait a minute you two,” Miss Retter put in before another word could be said by either of her guests. “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, but I do know a solution besides breaking up. That would only fix the outside, but not the real hurt. Kevin, could you hand me that Bible beside you?”
It was silently handed over.
Turning the leaves of the well worn book, Miss Retter went on, “You are both followers of Christ, are you not?”
Both heads nodded.
“Then listen to this verse in Hebrews. ‘But to do good and communicate forget not.’” Miss Retter looked up with a smile. “It sounds to me as though you two haven’t communicated enough.”
“How can I when he won’t listen to me?” Carlee sniffed.
“I’ve listened to you, Car, but you never listen to me,” argued Kevin. “All you do is complain when I mention it.”
“I do not!” Carlee snapped through her tears.
What will happen?
Have you ever needed to communicate?
Will you be back for the last part next week?