Friday, October 31, 2014

The Arrival of Ria

Good Morning FFFs,
Can you believe it is the last Friday of October already? Where has the year been going? I'm not ready for 2015 yet, but I can't find the brakes. :)

How was your week? Mine was good, busy, not very productive as far as writing goes, but I did get something written for next week. *sigh of relief*
Our weather has turned cold. Tonight we're supposed to get our first frost. Does this mean we are really into fall? Some of the days this past week have felt like spring. I expect the trees will be dropping their leaves very soon. Some in the neighborhood already have, but our trees are still covered.

Well, I was trying to figure out what in the world I was going to post this week. I had thought of telling you all I was going to take a vacation, but I was afraid I'd lose my loyal readers if I tried that. :) Besides, I would ruin my record. I've been posting every Friday for several years now except for one time when I re-posted about a dozen parts of "The Unexpected Request" (known then as Meleah's Western) the story or poem has been new. With that kind of record, I decided not to break it.
The only thing is, I'm not sure if I like this story. This would have been the very first story in "Ria and the Gang." I do hope you will tell me if you like it or not. Of course, if you haven't read "Home Fires of the Great War" you might get confused with all the names. Sorry. I guess you'll have to read the book. :)

The Arrival of Ria

        The dining room was crowded. Nearly all of the family was gathered about the two tables. Lawrence Foster, known to the younger generation as Grandpa, leaned back in his chair with a sigh of pleasure. He always enjoyed having his children all under one roof again. Well, not everyone was there. Carrie had married a year ago and was living in Massachusetts now. The only other ones missing from the noisy group were Emma and her husband Mitch.
        The sudden harsh honking of a car horn outside alerted those at the tables that someone else had arrived.
        “That sounds like Uncle Philip,” Edmund remarked laying his napkin down and pushing back his chair.
        “Daddy, did he bring Phil?” Pete asked.
        Edmund laughed. “I’ll see. Don’t bother getting up, Mama,” he added as she was about to rise. “If it’s Uncle Philip, he’ll come in.”
        That was true, for Uncle Philip Vincent Bartholomew Wallace III, the youngest brother of Helen Foster, adored his big sister and didn’t need an excuse to stop by and see her.
        Edmund only had time to open the front door before Uncle Philip, with eight-year-old Phil right behind him, came in stomping his wet boots on the mat.
        “Ah, Edmund, it is indeed a momentous day, is it not?” Uncle Philip exclaimed, shaking him heartily by the hand.
        Raising his eyebrows in surprise, Edmund hardly had time to blink before the new arrivals were in the dining room.
        A chorus of greetings rose from the tables and Phil quickly joined his second cousins.
        “Ah, lief sister,” Uncle Philip exclaimed, bending down to drop a kiss on Grandma’s cheek, “you must be extremely proud of your daughter.”
        “Which one, Philip?” Grandma asked laughing, “I do have several.”
        “Why, is it possible that . . . methought the news must surely have flown here on wings. Surely there was a pigeon which could have brought the news, but I am fain to be the bearer of such magnificent tidings.”
        “Philip,” Grandpa Lawrence broke in. “Are you talking about Emma or Carrie? They being the only daughters who are not here.”
        “I speak of Emma. Having essayed once more, she has at last triumphed and a petit jeune fille is now a demeurer of the Mitchell castle!”
        Silence and blank faces met this announcement. What in the world was he talking about? It was Phil who clarified his father’s words by saying disgustedly, “Emma has a girl baby.”
        “A girl!” shrieked Evie springing from her chair and clapping her hands ecstatically.
        “A girl!” Grandma breathed in delight, her face aglow with joy at the thought.
        All around the room came exclamations of delight and surprise. Seven years and fourteen grandsons later, a girl had at last arrived among the Foster grandchildren.
        “Eddy,” Uncle David asked, looking across the table at the eldest grandson, Emma and Mitch’s seven-year old son, “what do you think of this?”
        Eddy’s arms were crossed, and he scowled. “What’s Mom want with a girl?”
        “What’s a girl?” Jimmy demanded.
        “Philip,” Grandma was asking, “what is her name?”
        “Her name?” Philip scratched his head. “How perfunctory of me, I cannot recall in this babble of noise. Fain would I tell, could I but gather my perspicacity and bring to mind Jennie’s words. Ah, one moment--” He held up his hand and silence fell on the room.
        “What’s a girl?” Jimmy demanded loudly into the silence.
        Amused glances were exchanged and Rosalie attempted to answer his question. “It’s like me,”
        “And me,” Kirsten added.
        “And me,” burst in Evie, giving him an exuberant kiss.
        Jimmy looked at his twin brother and Johnny looked back at him soberly. Both little boys, were thinking. At last, with almost five-year-old wisdom Johnny declared, “We don’t need it.”
        And Jimmy added, “Grandma can have the girl.”
        “I want the girl,” Albert called out. He was only about two months older than the twins, but he decided a girl must be a good thing because everyone had gotten so excited over the announcement.
        Uncle Edmund laughed. “Somehow I don’t think Emma is going to part with this girl, so Eddy, Jimmy, Johnny and little Chris are going to have to get used to her.”
        Before more could be said on the subject, Uncle Philip smacked his fist into his other hand as he exclaimed, “Eureka! I have at last recalled to my scattered memory the name of this first, and hopefully not last granddaughter.” Everyone looked at him expectantly as he paused for a breath. “Her name is Maria Helen Mitchell.”
        A chorus of exclamations followed this announcement and Karl remarked, “I figured if Emma ever had a girl her name would be Maria.”
        Laughing, Edmund agreed. “Ever since I can remember it’s been ‘Maria this and Maria that.’ Though I must say we did have a great time up in Nova Scotia.”
        “Grandpa!” Peter’s high voice carried the length of the long table.
        “Yes?” Grandpa looked about to see which of his fourteen grandsons had called him.
        Peter stood up on his chair, trying to make himself able to see over his uncles and aunts. “What can Eddy and Jimmy and Johnny and Chris do with a sister?”
        “Now there’s a good question, Dad,” George chuckled, glancing at his own sisters.
        Evie made a face at him and the elder members of the Foster family laughed.
        “I think,” Grandpa replied with a smile, “that you should ask your daddy that question.”
        Upon being asked, Edmund suggested that they all disperse to the porch and he would offer his advice. This the young boys were delighted to do and, leaving the ladies to the task of clearing away the remains of the lunch, the male contingent trooped out to the porch. It was raining lightly and now and then the wind would blow a fine mist onto anyone sitting near or on the railing.
        “Daddy,” Peter began again, “what can they do with a sister?”
        “Well, for one,” Edmund began pulling Davy and Chris onto his lap, “they can love her. Then, no sister can get along without a bit of teasing from her brothers, so . . .”
        “I think Kirsten got along just fine,” Karl remarked.
        “Yep,” Edmund answered with a grin. “That’s because she got teased a bit. And,” he added before Karl could argue the point, “sisters have to be protected.”
        “From what?” Phil wanted to know. He was an only child with only boys to play with.
        “From snakes and bugs that might crawl on her.”
        “Spiders? Tommy asked, remembering how his dad had knocked a spider off his mom’s apron one time and she had called him her hero.
        Edmund nodded. “Also from those who might be mean to her.”
        “What else can we do, Uncle Edmund?” little Edmund asked. Maybe a sister wasn’t such a bad thing after all, not if it meant fighting and squishing bugs.
        “Well, she is just a baby right now, but you can try to keep her happy and can share with her.”
        “Aw,” Eddy grumbled, not sure now that a girl was worth the effort, “I have to share with the boys. Why doesn’t some one share with me?”

        A few days later, the three Mitchell boys were brought back home from their Uncle Edmund’s and were introduced to their new sister. All were hesitant at first, but on seeing how small she was, something inside of them seemed to wake, some protective instinct which God has placed inside of each person, especially the boys and men, for anything helpless and tender. Eddy yielded first to little Maria’s charms and soon the twins followed. Two-year-old Chris didn’t care if there was a girl baby in the house as long as his teddy bear didn’t have to be given to her.
        One day, a few weeks after Maria’s arrival, Emma was down in the kitchen preparing supper when Chris heard his sister crying in her crib. Trotting down the hall he hollered, “Mama, that Ria crying!”
        Emma turned. She had been thinking of something else, so she asked, “What did you say, Chris?”
        “That Ria crying,” Chris repeated.
        “Ria,” Emma murmured softly to herself as she cuddled her baby daughter in her arms. “I like that. What do you think, Little Ria? Do you like the new name your brother gave you?”
        For answer, Maria Helen Mitchell, the first  daughter, granddaughter and girl cousin of the Foster relations, smiled sleepily and yawned.
        It wasn’t long before everyone was calling her Ria and as she grew older she seldom heard the name “Maria,” except from her teachers or when she was in trouble.

So, what did you think?
Was it terrible?

Friday, October 24, 2014

The "Gang" - Part 2

Hello FFFs,
I hope your week has been good. Mine has.

Saturday––I stayed home! I could have gone to walk in a parade, but I'd been gone two Saturdays and I just wanted to stay home. So I did. :)
Sunday––There was a fellowship lunch and a church baby shower after church so we got to visit longer with people. And some home missionaries were there.
Monday––It was finishing day. :) I finished the baby afghan I was working on for my married best friend's baby. I also finished TCR-4. Or at least I reached the end of the book. Now I have to edit it. I also finished grading papers from writing class.
Tuesday––I worked on editing TCR-4 and did some other things. In the evening my grandpa drove down from KC so we could attend a concert together. We got to hear the Escher String Quartet. They were good. They played Bach, Shostakovich and Beethoven. The last was my favorite.
Wednesday––More editing, taught writing classes in the afternoon and then went down the alley to visit with my best friends and hold Baby Asa.
Thursday––Set up my quilt frame and worked on getting a quilt on it for a friend of my grandma. I didn't do much editing. I wanted to just read something, so I did. Around 5:15 the kiddos came over. I read stories and then after supper they played dress-up and, since they were studying the American Revolution, they played it. :) They were pretty cute, but we sure laughed at them. "Martha Washington" chased "George Washington" across the "field" telling him to "Git, George!" And Doodle Bug informed me that he was going to have a "British birthday 'cause he wanted to burn the houses." :P (Be careful what you let a 3-year-old see.)
Today––Obviously I haven't done much yet, but we'll clean house and then I hope to work on some more editing and finish getting that quilt ready to quilt.

Now I hope you all enjoy this last part of last weeks story. :) It is a little longer than the usual 1,000 words, so I hope you won't mind.

The "Gang"
Part 2

    Five-year-old Ria Mitchell, pushed her hands into her pockets and trudged down the side walk. “There’s just too many boys,” she muttered in disgust. “I’m tired of all them boys. They don’t want to play with little girls like me ‘less I play tag with them.” Sighing, the little girl walked on. “Wish I could find a girl to play with me.” Rubbing her eyes with her dirty fist, she sniffed. “Don’t like to play tag no more.”
    The noise of the boyish voices grew fainter and still Ria tramped on. She didn’t really have any place she wanted to go just to get away from the boys.
    Suddenly, up ahead she spied someone sitting on a porch in a rocking chair. Coming closer, Ria saw it was a grandmotherly person with silver hair. Perhaps, oh perhaps she would like to play with her! Quickening her tired feet, Ria ran down the sidewalk, and scampered up the porch steps to halt before the astonished eyes of the little lady.
    “Does you like to play with little girls?” demanded Ria.
    A smile crept across the lady’s face at the little sprite before her and her strange question. “Yes, I do like to play with little girls, Dear. Why do you ask?”
    Giving a relieved sigh, Ria climbed up on a chair and said, swinging her feet and trying to push her hair off her hot face, “‘Cause I need someone to play with me. The boys all want me to play with them, but I want to play with me!”
    “Oh, I see. And how many boys are there?” inquired the lady kindly.
    Ria wrinkled up her forehead in thought. “Oh, five, six, nine, ‘leven, twenty-eight, seven, forty. An’ they’re all bigger’n me.”
    “How can I play with you if I don’t know your name?” was the next question and Ria was eager to answer it.
    “Ria. My brother named me that. What’s yours?”
    The small woman smiled. “Mrs. Lainingsburg.”
    Puzzled eyes looked out of the child’s flushed face. For a moment she sat still, even her feet stopped swinging. Then, with a bright smile and slipping off the chair, she leaned against her new friend. “Hello Mrs. Ladybug.”
    A silvery laugh rippled across the air and Ria felt herself enveloped in a warm hug. “What a sweet child. What would you like to play, Ria?” And another little chuckle fell on Ria’s ears as Mrs. “Ladybug” rose.
    Ria liked laughter and most of all, she liked this new friend who liked to play with little girls. So, giving a happy little skip she replied, “Somethin’ that little girls like to play.”
    Mrs. Lainingsburg smiled. “How about we play paper dolls?”
    Clasping her hands in ecstasy, Ria gave a squeal of delight. “Oh, yes, yes!”
    “Very well, then,” and the small lady moved towards the door. “We will just go in and get them and then we can come play with them here on the porch, won’t that be nice?” She wasn’t sure where Ria lived, and thought it best to keep the child out where she could be seen by anyone looking for her.

    To Ria, the minutes that slipped by were full of one delight after another. Not only were there lovely dolls to dress and undress, but her new friend brought out her scrap bag and helped her made new dresses and hats for the dolls. The constant chatter Ria kept up was of great amusement to Mrs. “Ladybug”, as Ria kept calling her.
    It was while Ria was in the middle of making a fine dress for one of the dolls that a loud shout made her look up. There were Johnny and Jack coming towards the porch!
    “Ria!” Johnny exclaimed, “What are you doing? Mama was looking for you.”
    And Jack added. “We had to stop our game of tag to look for you.”
    Ria remained where she was sitting. “You can go tell Mama I’m playing with Mrs. Ladybug. She likes to play with little girls.” With a wave of her hand she dismissed them, but they refused to leave.
    “You have to come home with us, Ria,” Johnny said, climbing onto the porch. “Sorry she bothered you, Ma’am.”
    “She was no bother at all. In fact she helped cheer my day. But,” she added, looking first at Johnny and then at Jack, “are you her brothers?”
    “He is,” Jack nodded at his cousin. “I’m one of her cousins.”
    Mrs. Ladybug nodded. “I see.”
    “I’m goin’ to go tell Phil we found her,” Jack declared, eager to get back to the game, for he had been ‘it’.
    “Come on, Ria.”
    “No,” her dark pigtails swished back and forth as she shook her head. “I don’t like playing with all you boys. I’m goin’ to play with me an’ Mrs. Ladybug. Go away, Johnny.”
    From the look on his sister’s face, Johnny knew he wouldn’t be able to bring her home by himself.
    “Johnny,” Mrs. Ladybug asked, “just how many boys are there that Ria is referring to?”
    “Fifteen.” The answer was prompt. “And we’re all cousins,” he added proudly.
    “My goodness!” Mrs. Ladybug leaned back in her chair. “Are there no girl cousins?” She found this to be quite a fascinating family.
    Leaning against a pillar on the porch, Johnny shook his head. “Just Ria. And there are eight boys younger than her too.”
    Mrs. Ladybug was too astonished to speak and sat watching Ria.
    A shrill whistle sounded and Johnny turned. “Come on Ria,” he ordered, “Phil is calling us.”
    Ria didn’t move. She was not going to go home to play with all those boys again. She liked playing paper dolls much better. So it was that she didn’t see Johnny run down the sidewalk and talk to Phil a moment before dashing off for home with the other boys, leaving Phil to come up to the porch.
    “Good afternoon, Ma’am,” Phil said brightly. “I’m Phil, Ria’s cousin. I guess Ria likes playing girl things better than she does rowdy games with us boys.”
    “Pleased to meet you, Phil,” was the cheerful answer. “I’m Mrs. Lainingsburg—”
    “But I call her Mrs. Ladybug,” Ria interrupted without looking up.
    The little woman laughed her silvery laugh as she told Phil he had a charming little cousin.

    Before very long, Emma Mitchell arrived looking much relieved to find her daughter safe and quite happy.
    “I’m so sorry if she bothered you.”
    “She didn’t. Don’t you worry about that. She has such winning ways and never once asked for anything. She has brightened my day and I hope you will let her come back to visit again.”
    Before her mother could reply, Ria skipped over to say, leaning against Mrs. Lainingsburg’s knee, “I’ll come back, Mrs. Ladybug. When I want to play with me, an’ you want to play with little girls.”
    Giving Ria a hug, Mrs. Lainingsburg said, “Bring your mama with you next time, Dear.”
    “All right,” Ria agreed.
    “Now, we must go home, Ria,” Mrs. Mitchell held out her hand. “The rest of the gang want to finish their game of tag before they have to go home.”
    As Mrs. Mitchell, Ria and Phil started down the walk, Phil turned to Emma who really was his first cousin, “So we’re a gang now, are we, Aunt Emma?”
    Emma Mitchell laughed. Since Phil was only a few months older than her oldest son, he had begun calling her “Aunt” as the other boys did, and she enjoyed it. “That is what Edmund called you all,” she replied and clasped her small daughter’s hand. “A gang of boys and one little girl.”

Did you like it?
Would you enjoy reading more stories of Ria?
Will you be back next week for . . .
I don't know what I'm going to post. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The "Gang" - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
How was your week? Mine was good, busy, fun, difficult, enjoyable, tiring and noisy. :)
We babysat all 5 of my niece and nephews from Wed. morning until last night. We were glad the weather was so nice because that meant we could let them play outside. They roller skated in the parking lot across the alley from us (were we used to skate, ride bikes, play soccer and other things), play on the tree house, swing, kick balls around the yard and use up some energy. It was fun to have them over, but I didn't get any writing done while they were here.

I've been trying to get TCR-4 finished. But I got stuck. First it was on the name of a puppy. But that's figured out now. Then one thing wasn't working and I was trying something else and that wasn't right either. What I was writing was dull and boring and I needed something different. I came up with the idea Wednesday morning, but haven't had a chance to write it. I'm looking forward to later today when I can actually sit down and start putting the action on NEO. :) Prayers would be appreciated. :)
Last night about 9:00, panic began to set in. My breathing became rapid, my tired brain refused to focus and I turned to my sister in distress. "What am I going to post tomorrow?!" Yep, I had forgotten that today was Friday and I had to post something. But what? I don't have any more parts of Dr. Morgan written. The short stories I was going to have written so I could post them have not been written because I've been focused on TCR-4. I was even too tired to write a poem last night. But then I remembered. I do have a story or two that I had written for "Ria and the Gang" which you haven't read. I'll give you one of them. Or, at least I'll give you a part of one of the stories. I hope you enjoy it!

The Gang
Summer - 1933
    Emma Mitchell hummed a happy tune as she swept the floor of the living room. The noise of many children’s voices came through the open windows and now and then the sweeper would pause to listen. “I wonder what Ria is doing with all the boys here?” Emma mused. “It isn’t often I have them all over at once.” She gave a little laugh as she thought about the expression on her twin brother’s face when he brought his own sons over and discovered the rest of the boys.
    “You’re asking for trouble, Sis,” he grinned, though he shook his head. “That is quite a gang when they’re all together.”
    “I know,” Emma had told him, “but I like it. And it keeps my own lads occupied and there are plenty of people to keep an eye on Ria for me.”

    Putting the broom away in the closet, Mrs. Mitchell decided to go check on the children, not that she was worried, for Eddy was twelve now and Phil was thirteen and they were the undisputed leaders of “the gang” as Edmund had called them.
    “As long as they are a good gang,” Emma murmured, pausing beside the sink to get a drink before heading to the back door.
    The back yard, though large when compared with most other yards in Codell, didn’t seem large enough for the swarm of boys racing about it, intent upon a very lively and noisy game of tag. They seemed to be everywhere at once and Emma stood on the back step trying to count them. It was difficult and at last she gave up, deciding that looking for her little daughter would be easier. Quickly she scanned the yard, eyes searching for a small child in a yellow playsuit with two dark ponytails. Not finding her, she looked about a little more closely. Once she thought she spied her, but discovered after a second glance that it was little Walt hiding in the bush. Where was Ria? She had never disappeared before.
    “She is probably here, but I’d feel better if I knew for sure,” she told herself. Then, catching the arm of the tallest lad, she leaned down and spoke to him. “Phil, can you get everyone’s attention, please?”
    Hardly pausing to catch his breath, Philip Vincent Bartholomew Wallace IV put his fingers to his lips and gave a whistle. There was almost instant silence and Phil’s shouted, “Freeze!” was hardly needed. “Wow!” he exclaimed, “Why didn’t I think of doing that when I was ‘it’? I could have tagged them all that way.”
    A chorus of protests came from across the yard.
    Mrs. Mitchell laughed. “Thanks, Phil,” she told her young cousin. “I just want to count heads,” Aunt Emma told the upturned faces before her, “but you all move so quickly that at one count there are twenty of you and in another thirty. “I was afraid if I counted for a third time you would have multiplied to forty or even fifty!”
    “We’re not rabbits, Mom,” Ed, as he was starting to be called by his cousins, called out from the farthest corner of the yard.
    His mother merely smiled as her eyes moved from one head to another. At last she spoke. “Well, you boys are all here, but where is Ria?”
    A hush fell as the boys looked at one another. It only lasted a moment before they began to talk.
    “I thought I just saw her.”
    “I know I tagged her when I was ‘it,’” insisted one of them.
    “What was she wearing, Aunt Emma?”
    “She was in red.”
    “No, it was green.”
    The boys started to mingle, arguing about what color Ria was wearing and had they tagged her or not. Only Ed and Phil were quiet. Ed jogged over to the porch steps and stood beside Phil. “Is she inside?” he asked?”
    Mrs. Mitchell shrugged. “I was cleaning, but I didn’t see her,” she replied, not too worried, for what five-year-old girl could hide long from fifteen lads if they started looking for her?
    “Divide and conquer,” Phil suggested.
    “Yeah, lets get a detail to search the house and one to search the yard,” Ed agreed. “I’ll take the house.”
    Again Phil’s whistle brought quiet to the yard. “We are going to split into two details. Everyone in your usual group. Hurry now.”
    So accustomed were the boys to being split up into two groups, whether it was to play ball or to do any number of things, that in no time at all the house and yard were undergoing thorough searches while Emma sat down on the steps and waited.
    A quarter of an hour passed before Phil and Ed came back with the rest of the “gang” and told her they had found no sign of Ria.
    Emma frowned thoughtfully. This was the first time her daughter had ever disappeared. “Where could she be?” she wondered half aloud. Then she turned to her eldest, “Are you sure you searched everywhere in the house, Eddy?”
    Ed nodded solemnly. “We checked every room, every closet and even under beds and behind the couch.”
    “And we looked all over the yard, Mama,” Johnny added. “Even under the porch.”
    “I suppose she could have gone for a walk,” Mrs. Mitchell mused, not quite believing such a thing was possible but anxious to leave nothing to chance. Looking about her at the sober faces of the boys, she knew she had to think of something. “I’m going to have you boys go around the neighborhood and look for her. Phil, keep Dave with you. Ed, you take Chris and Tom, Walt is your charge. If any of you find Ria, let Phil or Ed know so they can whistle and alert the rest.”
    “Then we all come back here?” Pete wanted to know.
    His aunt nodded and then let them go.
    Knowing she had to remain behind, in case Ria had been hiding someplace and been overlooked, or came home by herself, Emma rose and moved to the front porch where her eyes followed the boyish figures down the street. She stood there, leaning on the railing and waited. The grandfather clock in the living room ticked away ten minutes. Then fifteen, . . . twenty . . . Would they ever find her? They were making a thorough search of it for she could still hear their voices.

What do you think of this part?
Do you think you know where Ria is?
Will you be back next week to find out what happens?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dr. Morgan - Part 21

Rainy Greetings Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
The sound of a steady rain pattering on the roof and skylight have been so delightful this morning. There is a bluejay somewhere outside in the dark greeting the morning, but I can't hear any other birds. :) The temperature has dropped and it looks like we're going to have some cooler weather today. Yay! I am ready to put on long sleeves.

It was a good week. Hope you enjoy this glimpse of it. :)
Saturday––I didn't go out early to set up at Farm Girl Fest since I was fighting a bad cough and cold. But later that morning I did go out and spent the rest of the day there. It was so much fun! I got to spend hours with my "Baby Doll" who is now three. She was so excited to see me. We headed home around 5:30.
Sunday––We went to Sunday School, but I had to leave before it was over because I couldn't keep from coughing. I don't know about you, but when I have a cough, it always is worse if I'm trying not to cough. :P As soon as I got outside it was much better. My sister and I had to go out to Farm Girls and set up our booth before noon, so we didn't get to stay for church. The weather was much warmer than on Saturday and we got to visit with some friends we hardly get to see. :)
Oh, yes, some of my books did sell and so did some of the bags we had made. My sister sold quite a few flexie clips.
Monday––It was nice to stay home again. I did a lot of catching up on things and wrote in the afternoon/evening.
Tuesday––I worked on a knitting project and wrote. (Yes, I did do other things, but those were the main things.) I was able to get 4 parts of TCR-4 put together. You see, I already had some written. It was fun to see so many more parts suddenly ready to be proofed. :)
Wednesday––I began working on the layout for "The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers." The goal is to have this book published before Christmas along with TCR-4. I've never published two books so close together. Should be fun! Writing wasn't working so well on Wednesday. I only got a little more than a hundred words written. :P
Thursday––Much better day for writing though I was beginning to wonder if I'd get more than the 500 I got done before supper. I couldn't think of anything! After talking to my sister, who didn't have a clue what I could write, I tried again and the words came. I think some of my readers were praying too. :) I was able to get 2,000 words written yesterday! Now I only have 10-12 parts left to write!

Okay, okay, here is what you have been waiting for. Well, hold on just a minute more. This is the last part of Dr. Morgan that I have written. So, I am open for any and all ideas! If you have ideas, suggestions, things you want to know, possible things to happen, let me know! You can leave a comment or send them to me using the Contact Author forum on the side bar. I'm planning on taking the month of January to work on this story. I know, I know, you are all going "January! That's months away!" Yep, it is, but I don't see how I can fit it in before then. Not with finishing up TCR-4, writing enough short stories to last until next year, writing my annual Christmas story, and perhaps a Thanksgiving one. Also January is the month I've written most of Dr. Morgan in, so I thought it was appropriate.
So send me your ideas so they can simmer in my brain for a while. :) And now enjoy!

Dr. Morgan
Part 21

    “The second thing you can do is to keep cheerful. Giving way to despair and anxiety is not going to help you at all. Another thing is to eat.” He frowned sternly though his eyes smiled. “I heard that you failed to eat a good breakfast this morning or much of a supper last night. That will never do. If I had wanted you on a starvation diet, I certainly wouldn’t have sent you up here!”
    Amy blushed slightly. “I—I’ll try to do better,” she promised.
    “Good. Have you tried any of those cookies yet?” When Amy shook her head, Justin sprang to his feet. “I’ll be right back. Stay where you are.”
    From the couch, Amy watched him disappear into the dining room and heard a low murmur of voices and some laughter. She didn’t have time to wonder what he was doing for in another moment he was back with several warm cookies on a plate.
    “There you are!” Justin grinned, handing her the plate. “A sample of each one. You enjoy those while I have a look at your leg.” His voice suddenly changed to that of Dr. Morgan and he asked, “Has it been bothering you at all?”

    Later, after a hearty lunch was enjoyed, Justin leaned back in his chair and remarked, “Well, I’d better be heading back to town. Thanks for lunch, Mom.” He stood up, hesitated, and then said, “On second thought, if you’re planning on making more cookies this afternoon, I could stick around here and taste test some more.”
    Mrs. Morgan laughed. “If you stick around, you’ll eat all the cookies.”
    “Can I help it if you make the best cookies anywhere?”
    At that Sara straightened in her chair and retorted, “I’ll have you know that I made the cookies this morning.”
    “But they were from Mom’s recipes,” countered Justin with a grin.
    “They were from a cookbook.”
    “Well, then I’d better have a few more just to make sure they really are good,” he teased.
    “Justin Morgan, you stay away from those cookies!” Sara called, jumping up to give chase as her older brother disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Morgan laughing behind them.
    “I thought those two had grown up,” Mr. Morgan chuckled. “But apparently it was only a show.”
    Amy had watched in silence. This was certainly a strange family.

    After Jenny and Danny were put down for their afternoon naps, Danny going reluctantly and insisting in the midst of his yawns that he wasn’t tired, Sara mixed up the icing and brought the cookies out to the dining room table. Amy looked at the piles of gingerbread men and gingerbread ladies in amazement.
    “What will you do with all those cookies?” she asked.
    “We’ll give many away, but you’d be surprised at how many Adam and Justin can devour. And when Heather and Timothy come over, well, let’s just say we may have to make more before Christmas.”
    Amy blinked in wonder and reached for an icing bag.
    “Do you mind if we put some Christmas music on?” Sara asked a moment later.
    “No.” Amy had filled her bag and placed a gingerbread man on the table before her. Still thinking about how many cookies there were, she gently squeezed the bag and began to ice. Finishing the first one, she reached for a gingerbread lady and quickly gave her a face, an apron and shoes.
    “Oh, Amy!” Sara’s gasp of surprise caused Amy to look up startled. “Those are so cute! I never can make mine look like anything but a mess.”
    Amy looked down at the two cookies. “I wasn’t even thinking about them,” she admitted. “I don’t know where I learned to do anything like that, but I think I can do it again.”
    Sara watched as Amy bent over another cookie and soon had it transformed into a gingerbread man. “Do you like doing it?” she asked as Amy started on the second girl. When she nodded, Sara asked, hesitantly, “Would you mind working on them while I mix up a different kind of cookie? I’d help, but mine never look good and . . .” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “To tell you the truth, I hate icing cookies.”
    There was a smile on Amy’s face as she replied, “I don’t mind. I think this is fun.”
    With a sigh of relief, Sara hurried back into the kitchen, humming along with the Christmas song.
    Left to her task, Amy became absorbed in each cookie. After doing a few exactly like the first ones she had done, she grew more adventuresome, adding a pocket on that one, a necklace on the next, cowboy boots and a collared shirt on another. She made some in nightclothes with their eyes shut, a few with funny expressions. On finding one with an arm broken off, Amy stuck it on with icing and finished it by making the arm look like it was in a sling. Thus inspired, she did a few others with bandages and chuckled softly at the result. When Sara saw them, she burst into a merry peal of laughter.
    “Oh, Amy!” she giggled, “we’ll have to save those and take them to the hospital staff.” She laughed again. “Won’t Justin and the others enjoy them!”
    The afternoon passed quickly, and Amy was surprised when Mrs. Morgan brought the little ones downstairs after their naps. By then the gingerbread men were all finished, and Amy was washing dishes for Sara as she finished the last of the cookies.
    “Well, it looks like you two have been busy,” Mrs. Morgan smiled, looking into the kitchen.
    Sara glanced up. “Go look at the cookies on the table.” She nodded towards the dining room. “Amy did them all.”
    A sound of amazement came from the next room and then Mrs. Morgan exclaimed, “Amy, you are a wonder. How ever did you make them?”
    Slightly embarrassed, Amy shrugged. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “But it was fun.”

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Dr. Morgan - Part 20

Hello FFFs,
I hope you all are feeling better than I am right now. I'm fighting one of the worst colds I ever remember having. And I am supposed to be out at Farm Girl Fest this weekend. We'll see if I end up making it there.

In spite of my cough and earache and general congestion, I have gotten some written of TCR-4. I ended up having to re-figure some parts and put them in a different order and I still have to finish going back through and adding some things, but it's coming along. :)

Yesterday it rained nearly all day and today it's supposed to be sunny with a high of 61ยบ! Yay! We really haven't had much fall weather. At least not for a while.

Okay, I'm going to give you Dr. Morgan this week and I have one more part written. Would you like that part next week or would you rather wait longer? Let me know because I don't know what I'm going to post next. I could post part of "Ria and the Gang." The sequel to "Home Fires" which never gotten written. Well, some stories got written, just not all.

So, Enjoy!

Dr. Morgan - Part 20

    It was late morning, and the winter sun was peeking through a partially overcast sky at the snowy world. A bitterly cold wind was blowing in fitful gusts, as though complaining that the sun had come out, as Justin brought his truck to a stop before the Morgan home and climbed out. Attuned as he was to details, he noticed at once that his dad’s truck was gone and wondered if Adam had taken it, since he had just gotten off the phone with his dad before heading up. Coming up the cleared walk, Justin glanced around. “Captain must be inside or Adam took him with him,” he mused, not seeing the family dog anywhere. When he opened the door, the mouthwatering smell of Christmas cookies caused him to sniff with delight.
    “I’m hungry already,” he called, hanging up his coat and taking off his overshoes. It was a familiar call, one which he used to say every time he entered the house and something smelled good.
    A laugh sounded from the kitchen and his mother’s voice invited, “Come and taste one.”
    Justin wasted no time in accepting the invitation and, after his third cookie, asked, “Where is Amy?”
    After shutting the oven door on another sheet of cookies, Sara swung Jenny up onto her hip as she answered, “She was reading in the living room the last I checked. She said she’d help ice and decorate the gingerbread men later.”
    “I help too,” Danny grinned up at Justin before popping a piece of cookie dough into his mouth.
    Justin laughed. “Well, surely you don’t need me to taste test for you with such a willing and irrepressible one right here.”
    “Oh, Danny!” Sara and Mrs. Morgan groaned together, as Justin slipped from the room.
    Finding Amy was easy. She was sitting on the couch before the fire with a book in her hand, but she wasn’t reading.
    “Good morning, Amy,” Justin greeted his patient, sitting down in a nearby chair and eyeing her keenly.
    Slowly Amy looked up, her face sober, her eyes somewhat red. She didn’t reply, but dropped her eyes back to the floor.
    “How do you like it up here?” Justin asked casually.
    “It’s not working. I can’t remember anything!” And Amy pressed her trembling lips together.
    Leaning forward, Justin shook his head. “Amy,” he chided, “you haven’t even been out of the hospital for a week. You can’t expect instant results.”
    “But I can’t remember.”
    “I know. But you can live each day as it comes and move forward in life.”
    “Why can’t I remember?” She looked up with pleading eyes brimming with tears. “Why?”
    Dr. Morgan felt a deep sympathy for the girl and hesitated in his answer. He could sense she was fighting the urge to panic, and he knew sympathy would only make things worse. Therefore, his voice was light as he replied, “You don’t want the scientific name for your condition, I hope! In plain English, something happens to the person, most likely a blow to the head of some sort, causing a temporary block in the part of the brain affecting memory. Some times this block only lasts a short time, say a few days to a few weeks. The person can remember things before that time and then there is a blank. Other times the block, like yours, shuts off all former memory leaving you with a ‘clean slate’ so to speak.”
    “When will it come back?” whispered Amy tearfully.
    “That is a question the experts are still puzzling their brains over. No one is quite sure. Sometimes these things last only a few hours, sometimes days, and sometimes years.”
    Amy gave a gasp. “I can’t live like this for years! You’ve got to do something to fix it!”
    “Amy,” Justin’s voice was quiet but steady, “if there was a way to bring it back for sure, believe me, I would do it. But that’s another mystery about the human brain. Sometimes it’s a tiny thing that triggers a memory and suddenly the person remembers everything. Other times it is a slow, gradual process with bits of memory coming now and then. But no matter what happens with you,” he paused and looked directly at the girl, “if your memory returns soon or if it takes a few years or if it never returns, you aren’t alone. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to decide that you won’t give up. Jesus Christ is ready to help you each day, if you will let Him.”
    For a few minutes Amy was silent.
    Justin, watching her somewhat anxiously, saw her shoulders droop and the book fall unheeded from her hand. Just as he was about to speak, Amy stirred.
    “Isn’t there any medicine that might help me remember?”
    “Isn’t there anything I can do to make my memory come back faster?” There was a desperate pleading in the tones.
    “Perhaps. I don’t know if it will bring back your memory any quicker, but I do know it will affect you for good if you will do it.”
    Quickly Amy straightened. “Tell me, Doctor, what is it? I’ll do anything!”
    “First off, you are to keep yourself busy and fill your mind with good things so there isn’t much time to sit around and wonder and worry and grow upset. Help around the house when you are a little stronger, read, play with Danny and Jenny. There are probably many things you know how to do, if you stop trying to remember how to do them.”
    Amy shook her head. “I didn’t even know how to set a table last night.”
    “That’s probably because you stopped to think and then let yourself panic instead of asking for a little help. My mom and sister want to help you if you need it, Amy. And so do the rest of the family. But you have to be willing to receive help.” He paused to let his words sink in before going on.

What did you think?
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And what do you want next week?