I hope you've had a wonderful week. Has it been really hot where you live? It sure has here! Though yesterday was nice. I walked down to my best friend's house to deliver empty milk jars and then walked home and didn't even break into a sweat!
After having my four very energetic and lively nephews here last week, I've been trying to catch up on things and get back into the rhythm of getting things done. (That is sometimes harder than it sounds.) If you go to Read Another Page, you can read my "About Me" page and the page about "Read Another Page Publishing." I'm hoping to start posting regularly on Read Another Page, but what should I post? I have many different ideas, such as how I write, tips on writing, what I'm working on now, and other things. If you have anything you'd like to know, please, send your ideas, questions or suggestions my way and I'll see what I can do. :)
As for this blog, I may make some changes to it. What do you think? Should I update some things? Should I keep changing the backgrounds like I have been doing? Should I make it all the same as Read Another Page? Should I change the font on the header? Should I create a "grab my button" for this blog? Let me know in the poll on the sidebar.
I was debating with myself for a while this week. Should I post the long story or the really short one? "Oh, I should do the short one."
"No, I should do the long one."
"But they might like the short one now."
"If I post the long one, I won't have to think about what to post for a while."
"True, and then I can post the short one next to give them a break from really long stories since the one I'm writing right now is already 11 parts long and I don't know when it's going to end."
That decided, I'm going to let you read the first part of another Ria and the Gang story. I hope you all enjoy! :)
To the Farm - Part 1
Early Summer 1940
It was Saturday morning and, early though it was, the living room of the Mitchell home swarmed with boys. Ed and Phil had called an early meeting for the gang and the last ones had just arrived.
“Let’s have some order around here,” Ed called out over the buzz of voices in the front room. As everyone settled down, Dave slyly shoved Chris off the ottoman they were sharing.
“You!” Chris exclaimed, picking himself off the floor and glowering at his cousin.
Ed sighed and glanced at Pete with a “Can’t you do anything with him?” look before saying, “Dave, if you can behave yourself long enough to listen for five minutes, you can walk off your excess energy.”
Looking innocently up at his oldest cousin and then at Chris, Dave remarked with exaggerated care, “Chris, you really should settle down. I know it is hard for such a little fellow, but maybe you can hold someone’s hand. Poor boy, just too little to sit still.”
There was an explosion of laughter at this and only Dave caught Chris’s muttered words: “Just you wait!”
During the laughter, Ria strolled in, looking curious. There was almost always something amusing when Dave and Chris were together. Perching herself on the arm of Phil’s chair instead of taking the seat he offered, she waited.
At last order was somewhat restored, though many were the fidgets, and Ed knew if he wasn’t quick, there would be another explosion.
“Now that we are here and–Dave!” he warned just in time to save another interruption. “We will be leaving in a few minutes to walk to Grandpa Foster’s farm. He gave me a list of things that need done: the porch needs re-painted, the smokehouse needs a new roof, Grandma wants the storm windows taken down and stored in the barn, and,” here he looked at Jason and Tom, “the tractor needs fixed.”
Both boys nodded. They were the mechanics of the gang and could fix almost anything with an engine.
“I hope you are all ready?”
“Ed,” Ria spoke up, “I want to go too.”
Ed looked a little doubtfully at his sister. “It’s a long walk, Ria,” he began.
“You’d never make it,” added Walt.
“Besides,” Johnny put in, “we’ll be there all day. It will be dark before we get home, most likely.”
“Please!” Ria begged. “I don’t have anything to do here, and I want to go. I can walk that far, and I’ll bet I can get there before most of you.”
“Oh, let her come, Ed,” Winston grinned at his cousin. “Grandma might enjoy having a female around to keep her company. You know we can be a little overwhelming at times.”
“Put it to a vote,” Jack called out, winking at Ria.
A vote was taken and to her delight Ria was accepted.
“Go check with Mom to make sure it’s okay, Sis,” directed Ed, and Ria disappeared.
In a moment she came back beaming. “Mom said I could go!”
“All right then. Is everyone ready?”
A loud shout answered the question and there was a scrambling of good natured pushing and shoving as the twenty lads made a rush for the door, Dave taking care to stay out of Chris’s way.
“We’re off, Mom!” Ed called before he, Al, Phil and Ria departed.
Mrs. Mitchell hurried into the room. Ed kissed her. “Take care of Ria, boys,” she said smiling.
“We will,” promised the three lads at once.
“Bye, Mom,” Ria waved as she and the gang moved off down the street. “I’ll tell you all about it when we get home!” she called back over her shoulder to her mother who was waving from the porch.
It was a beautiful day for a walk. The air was calm and slightly cool, and the sun, rising from the only clouds to be seen in the sky, gave promise of lovely weather.
They were out of Plainville and headed down the road towards Codell. It was a lively group. Dave, the most mischievous and youngest member of the gang, was full of extra energy, but tried to stay out of his cousin’s way, for he well knew that given the opportunity, Chris would, in good natured fun, retaliate his earlier teasing. It was some surprise to all the gang, however, that they had left Plainville with Chris showing no signs of even remembering Dave’s remarks and the shove off the ottoman.
Watching closely, Ria noticed Chris say something in low tones to Walt before they both stooped and picked something up from the grass along the side of the road. She had a suspicion of what it was, but she didn’t say a word. Moving quietly towards Dave, Chris suddenly grabbed the back of his shirt and he and Walt dropped something down it!
“What? Oh, ah! Get it out!” Dave shouted, trying to untuck his shirt from his overalls. He began jumping up and down in the dusty road jerking his shirt and overalls in such a ridiculous fashion that the rest of the gang roared with laughter, and Chris and Walt could hardly stand up. It was a full minute at least before Pete came to his brother’s rescue and assisted him by extracting two large grasshoppers from his shirt.
Once free from the insects, Dave made a dash for Chris, who, turning to run, bumped into Walt and in another minute, the three lads were rolling in the dust in a wrestling match.
“All right you three,” Ed ordered at last, “break it up.” He pulled Chris to his feet and nudged Walt with the toe of his boot. “Save some of your energy for real work.”
Getting to their feet, covered in dust but grinning broadly, Walt, Chris and Dave started off once more at a rapid pace towards their grandparents’ farm, the others following behind.
Do you have any cousin like Dave?
What would you do if two grasshoppers were dropped down your shirt?
Will you be back for part 2?