I don't know about your area of the country, but here it is wet. And not only is it wet, but Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday felt like autumn. Tuesday got to 69º in the morning and then dropped to 65º for the rest of the day. Since when does Missouri have temperatures in the 60s in July! We've had the air off and the windows open for the past few days.
This week has been busy. We babysat all my nieces and nephews on Tuesday all day. Well, okay, we only had Sugar Bug (my 5 1/2 month old niece) for a few hours in the morning and then an hour or so in the evening. Needless to say, I didn't get anything done on TCR-5. And yesterday we had 5 girls come over most of the afternoon for sewing, so I didn't work then either.
But, I am making progress on TCR-5. There are still some things I need to do before I can upload the inside of the book. But the front cover is done. I think you're going to like it. I know I do.
As far as other writings, well, I've been trying. I have many ideas and I really want to write, but my brain is either clogged with too many ideas, on vacation, or pouting because I took so long of a break. :) Oh, well. I'm sure it will get back into the writing groove once I get some of these projects done and out of my way. (At least I hope so!)
I hope you enjoy this next part of
Choices for Max
“Maxwell Burton Reeves,” she exclaimed, turning from the stove to face the children. “What have you been doing?”
“I’m sorry, Aunt Kate,” Max began. “I forgot, and my ball went into the creek and . . .” his voice trailed off as his aunt shook her head.
“What am I going to do with you? That was your last clean shirt.” Aunt Kate put one hand on her hip and frowned. “I don’t have time to wash your clothes every day, Maxwell, nor do I have money to pay someone to wash them each day.”
Max knew he was in trouble, for his aunt had used his full name twice. Hanging his head, he stood silently.
“Aunt Kate,” the timid voice of Marcia broke the growing stillness, “it was my fault.”
Startled, Max stole a glance at his younger sister. What was she talking about?
“I was pitching the ball, and I would have hit Max if his bat hadn’t been there instead. That’s what made it go into the creek, and,” her words came faster, “and Max couldn’t lose that ball, you know. It was Daddy’s last gift to him and . . .”
Aunt Kate sighed. “It wasn’t your fault, Marcia. Max, go on up to your room and see if you can find something presentable to wear to the table. Hurry now. I’m almost ready to take supper up. Marcia, wash your hands and then set the table. And set an extra place.”
Max paused in the doorway and looked back. “Who is coming tonight, Aunt Kate?”
Turning back to the stove, Aunt Kate replied, “I don’t know if anyone is coming for sure, but your uncle Eli wrote that he hoped to come this week.” Her voice dropped as though she was talking to herself. “It would be just like him to show up today when everything isn’t perfect.”
Turning, Max slowly made his way up the stairs and down the hall to his own room, his mind on what Aunt Kate had just said. Uncle Eli was his father and Aunt Kate’s middle brother. Aunt Kate was the youngest in the family of three. Max only remembered meeting this uncle once before when the whole family had attended his wedding several years ago. “I wonder why he’s coming now,” he thought, mechanically peeling off his wet shirt and pulling on the one he had worn the day before. “What will he be like? I wonder if he looks like Dad? What did Aunt Kate mean about him showing up when everything wasn’t perfect?” The sharp ringing of the doorbell interrupted his musings and hastened his movements. Was that Uncle Eli?
During supper, Uncle Eli, for it had been him, entertained them all with stories and asked dozens of questions of his niece and nephew, most of which were answered by Max. But, when Marcia was helping Aunt Kate clear off the table, Uncle Eli pushed back his chair and, draping one arm over the back of it, remarked, “Kate, I suppose you’ve told the children why I’ve come?”
“No,” Aunt Kate’s voice came back from the kitchen. “I haven’t had a chance to say anything.” There was a tone in her voice that Max couldn’t quite understand.
Max looked from his uncle’s thoughtful frown, to his aunt’s flushed face in the kitchen doorway. What was going on? He could feel the tension starting to rise.
“Max, go help your sister with the dishes and then both of you go up to bed.”
Reluctantly Max rose from the table. He wanted to protest that it was too early for bed, but there was something in his aunt’s tone that made him swallow his argument. It wasn’t that he really minded doing the dishes, or even going up to his room, but something was going on and he wanted to know what. The door to the sitting room shut firmly behind Uncle Eli and Aunt Kate leaving the children staring at each other in the kitchen. Neither one said a word as the dishes were washed, dried and put away.
The murmur of voices was heard in the sitting room, but Max couldn’t catch a single word as he and Marcia made their way on tiptoe to the hall. Slowly, quietly, Max followed his sister up the stairs, pausing on each step hoping to hear something that would explain the situation. It was no use. Reaching the upper hall, Max motioned to Marcia.
“Come to my room so we can talk.”
“But Max, Aunt Kate said we were to go up to bed,” protested Marcia in a whisper.
“She didn’t say we couldn’t talk first. Besides, it’s too early for bed, the sun is still up. Please.” Max put on his most pleading look, for he knew that was more likely to win his sister’s acceptance than demanding something.
“Shouldn’t we at least get ready for bed first?”
Max nodded and the two parted.
The house was still quiet when Max slipped from his room the following morning. Early dawn was streaking the sky with pink, though Max couldn’t see much of it with all the houses around. Tiptoing downstairs, he brought the milk bottles inside and then waited for the boy to bring the newspaper. Standing by the screen door, Max gave a sigh. He had often wished he could have a paper route, but Aunt Kate had said no.
“You’re up bright and early, Nephew,” a hearty voice said, and Max turned quickly.
“Good morning Uncle Eli.” His voice was quiet. “I always get up early.”
Uncle Eli joined him at the door and looked out at the still sleeping city. “Not much to see this time of morning in a city, unless you’ve a paper route.” This remark came as a boy on a shiny bicycle rode by and expertly tossed a rolled paper onto the porch.
Slipping out the door, Max quickly brought it back, staring at one of the smaller headlines.
“Brookfield Sluggers to play the Bentenville Indians.”
Why did Uncle Eli come?
Why was Max staring at the headlines?
Will you be back for Part 3 next week?