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.
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. :)