Can you believe it is spring already? On Monday it was in the 80s and wonderful outside! We got ice cream with my brother and his family in the afternoon. And I spend nearly all morning and part of the afternoon outside playing with the kiddos. I even got my first sunburn of the year! It must be spring. :) Our flowers are shooting up and blooming and I love seeing everything starting to turn so green. The past three days it has been dreary and rainy. But I hear we are supposed to get sun again later today and tomorrow! And the Cardinals are singing and singing. There are Robins are everywhere pulling worms from the moist ground like they were noodles and snapping up bugs.
All these spring things and I'm writing about the coming of fall. :P I just can't seem to get TCR to match with the season I'm writing it in. Oh well. You won't mind, will you? I'm now over a third of the way done with this book. I've greatly enjoyed being able to write so quickly and I figured out something rather shocking. Don't expect it to happen, but . . . I figured out that if I were to write 8k words a week for 45 weeks this year, I'd have written enough for 6 TCR books!!!!! Yeah, that's kind of what I did. :) I think if I tried that my illustrator would resign. :) And I'd run out of things to post on here.
I am waiting for my proof copy of "Gift from the Storm" to arrive! I am very much looking forward to getting it completed and into your hands.
I hope you are enjoying this story because there is still more of it. And yes, the "gang" does come in on another part.
Millie Comes to Visit
After breakfast had been eaten, Mrs. Mitchell waved off the offer to wash the dishes. “Not this morning, Millie. But I do thank you for the offer. I know Ria is longing to go do some girl thing with you and Allie, so run along all of you.” Giving the girls each a kiss, she watched them skip outside to the porch.
“What should we do first?” Millie asked, wiggling her bare toes in the warm summer sun.
“Let’s take a walk and talk things over,” Ria suggested, jumping off the porch railing where she had been perched. “Maybe some of the neighbors will be out and—oh! I just had a lovely thought!”
Two pairs of brown eyes looked expectantly at her, waiting for her next sentence.
“We’ll visit Mrs. Ladybug.”
“Mrs. Ladybug!” Allie giggled. “Who is that? Is she really a bug?”
“No, she’s a sweet old lady who likes to play with little girls,” explained Ria. “She told me so many years ago when I was small and was tired of playing boy things.”
Together the three girls started down the sidewalk, chattering, arms linked together in a friendly fashion. How Ria enjoyed having some girls to spend time with.
Arriving at the small, yellow home of Mrs. Lainingsburg, Ria led her cousins up to the porch and knocked.
“Why Ria, what a pleasant surprise,” a sweet voice exclaimed, and a moment later the screen door was opened and a small woman with silvery hair was motioning them to come inside. “Do come in, all of you.”
“Mrs. Ladybug, these are my cousins, Millie and Allie.”
“How do you do, girls? I’m delighted Ria brought you over this morning. But, Ria dear, I thought you didn’t have any girl cousins?”
A bright laugh came from Ria before she replied, “I don’t around here. Millie and Allie are from Massachusetts and only arrived for a visit yesterday. We are going to do as many girl things as we can, and I thought the first thing we ought to do was visit you.” Her words ended with a little bounce that reminded Mrs. Laningsburg of the three-year-old sprite who had so suddenly appeared on her porch several years ago.
“Well! I must say I feel quite honored by this call. Now, what shall we do?” She tipped her head to one side and looked at the girls a moment. “How would a tea party suit you, out in the back yard?”
Ria’s face lit up. “Oh, Mrs. Ladybug!” She gave her old friend a warm hug. “That will be such fun, won’t it, girls?” She whirled around to see her cousins nodding eagerly.
“Then it is settled, but my dears, some things must be done before the party can begin.”
“Just tell us what to do and we’ll do it.” Ria gave another bounce and hugged herself.
“I will take care of the tea and dishes, but you can’t come to a tea party in those clothes.” Mrs. Lainingsburg’s eyes twinkled. “I have two old trunks up in the attic with lots of old clothes and things. And Ria, you know where all my hats are, don’t you? I thought so. Now, you three go up and find the prettiest things to wear, and don’t forget your hats. And I’ll get everything else ready.”
These instructions were received with squeals of delight from all three girls and moments later they were climbing the stairs to the attic. Ria had been up to dig in Mrs. Laningsburg’s chests before, but never had she been as interested as this time. There were dresses of almost every color. And the styles! Long trailing gowns, dresses with lace, and others with large puffed sleeves. There were also gloves, strings of beads, hand bags, and other items which would delight the heart of any girl. After the dresses had been examined and each girl had, with much difficulty and many changes of mind, had at last decided on the one they would wear, Ria led them downstairs and showed them the hats. These were numerous, and Mrs. Laningsburg came to help them try them on.
“Since you have your dresses all picked out,” she said, “why don’t you put them on and then we’ll find each of you a hat to go with your outfit.”
At last everyone was ready and, with the help of their hostess, each girl wore a hat at the correct angle. They surveyed each other proudly.
“We are elegant ladies coming to take tea with the president’s mother,” Ria said primly, admiring herself in the long mirror.
“Oh, that is a wonderful idea, Ria!” Millie beamed at her cousin before turning to Mrs. Laningsburg. “Mrs. Ladybug, would you like to pretend you are the president’s mother?”
“Why, I would be delighted, Miss Mildred,” that lady replied, pinning on her own hat. “Now, if you ladies are ready, we will retire to the garden.”
With many soft giggles, Ria, Millie and Allie lifted their skirts and swept down the hall and out the back door to the garden. There, in the shade of a large tree, stood the table covered with a white cloth. A cake stand held an assortment of cookies while real china tea cups sat waiting on saucers. A small bouquet of flowers rested before each place and the girls, after catching sight of the lovely things, gave one surprised, “Oh!”
The tea party was a great success, for Mrs. Laningsburg served lemonade instead of tea and they sat and talked, pretending they were fine ladies. It was with difficulty at times that “the president’s mother” kept from smiling over the talk going on. Every topic of conversation they could invent was discussed, and even the subject of politics was introduced and many bits of advice were given “to be passed on to the president” about how to run the country. These were nearly all given by Ria who, having listened to the gang discuss such topics, had had her own opinions formed by the their talks.
Could you offer advice to our president?
Are you waiting patiently or impatiently for my new book?
What is your favorite of my published books?