Well, so much for our lovely fall weather that we had last week. :) It's hot! And humid! If you've never been in a place where it was hot and humid, you can't imagine what it's like. We've had the heat index of 105º and I don't know what the humidity has been. Here's what happens, you step out to hang up clothes on the line. By the time you've carried the basket to the clothesline you feel like you're melting. After you get the clothes hung up you are damp with sweat and you feel limp and wilted
But that's outside. :)
Inside I have some fun news. :) The first is the cover of TCR-5! I got my proof copy yesterday. I'm not sure when I'll be able to have the actual book finished since we'll have four little people here most of next week, but hopefully before many weeks you'll be able to get your own copy.
And my other bit of news is a project I've been working off and on for the past several weeks, but wasn't getting much done. This week I was able to focus on it since I had a few other things done. So, if you go up to the top of the page, you will find a new tab next to "Home" that says "Read Another Page." That will take you to my blog/website that I designed. My best friend did the header for me, but the rest is my work. Let me know what you think of it! Yes, I know, some content seems to be missing and there is still a little tweaking to be done, but besides that, the design is done. And feel free to go ahead and grab my button. :)
Now, for those of you who have been wanting to know why Uncle Eli has arrived at Aunt Kate's. Enjoy!
Choices for Max
Uncle Eli peered over his nephew’s shoulder. “Brookfield Sluggers, huh? Did you know your dad used to play with them?” Not taking his eyes off the small picture of the team, Max nodded. They were coming there! The Brookfield Sluggers! Perhaps he would finally get to meet the player he had dreamed about for years, the one he had heard about from his father, and the one he was named after.
Feeling a hand shaking his shoulder, Max lifted startled eyes, heat rising in his face. “Yes sir?” He had been lost in his thoughts and hadn’t heard a word his uncle had said.
Uncle Eli smiled. “Do you know if your sister will be up soon? And when does your aunt usually come down?”
Without answering, Max looked past his uncle and inclined his head toward the stairs. Marcia was just coming down. “Aunt Kate never comes down before nine.”
“Then suppose the three of us have breakfast together. I’d like to talk with you both.”
Seated in the kitchen at the table by the window, Max couldn’t help feel a sense of familiarity as he looked across at his uncle. Uncle Eli had the same blond hair and twinkling blue eyes which were a family trait of the Reeves family.
After several minutes of small talk, Uncle Eli’s face grew sober. “I came all the way out here,” he began, “to take you two home with me. Now I know,” he went on, as Max felt Marcia grab his hand, “that this is rather sudden, and I’m not going to make you come. I wrote to Aunt Kate several weeks ago about it, but she never replied. You see, your aunt Betsy and I don’t have any children, and we want some. When your parents died, we were out of town, and, by some mistake, the letter telling us about it didn’t get forwarded and we missed the funeral. Then Aunt Betsy got sick and I had to be gone on a business trip, but I came as soon as I could get away.”
There was a pause before he went on. “I’m sure your aunt Kate has been good to you.” He smiled. “And I’m sure you must have fun living in a big city like this one. Aunt Betsy and I live in a small town. It would be quite a change, but I hope you will like it. But, though I want you to come with me, I won’t force you,” he added again. “I want you to make up your own minds.”
Max stole a glance at his sister before asking, “What if we don’t like . . .” he paused.
“If you don’t like it and decide you would rather live here, Aunt Kate has agreed to take you back.”
“When would we have to leave?” Max was thinking about the baseball game to be held at the nearby stadium in a week.
“We’d have to leave tomorrow morning.”
A heavy silence fell over the kitchen. The ticking of the clock in the hall could be heard, a neighbor’s dog barked, and the hum of cars driving down the streets came through the open windows. What sounds would a small town have in the early mornings? Would it be more like they had been used to when Mom and Dad were alive? Moving his hand in his lap, Max suddenly felt the bulge of his cherished baseball in his pocket.
“Can we talk about it?” Max asked, meeting the blue eyes across from him that looked so much like his dad’s.
Uncle Eli nodded. “Of course you can. No decision has to be made right away. Why don’t you both take a walk or something. I’ll clear up in here.”
Slipping from their chairs, Max and Marcia stepped through the kitchen door and out into the morning air. Neither one spoke for some time as they wandered the back streets of the city, heading unconsciously toward their favorite park.
“What should we do, Max?” Marcia whispered at last.
With a deep sigh, Max shrugged. “I don’t know. I like Aunt Kate, even if she is more fussy than Mama was and I have to keep clean all the time. I think I like Uncle Eli too, though.”
“He reminds me of Daddy.” Marcia sniffed and brushed away a tear with the back of her hand.
Max put an arm around his sister. “Don’t cry, Marsh,” he said. “Do you want to go live with Uncle Eli and Aunt Betsy or stay here with Aunt Kate?”
“I don’t know.”
The park was deserted when they reached it and Max and Marcia sat down under a tree. Absentmindedly Max pulled the baseball from his pocket and began turning it in his hand. “Did you know the Brookfield Sluggers are going to play a game here next week?”
“Oh, Max!” Marcia turned a bright face to her brother. “Do you think you could meet him? I’m sure Aunt Kate would let us go to the game.”
“If we stay here.”
The sun rose and the air, already warm, grew hot. Thankfully a breeze stirred the branches of the shady tree and offered relief from the heat of the city. “I suppose it would be cooler in a smaller town,” Max remarked, wiping sweat from his face with his handkerchief. “And there might be a creek we could go swimming in.”
“Do you think Aunt Betsy would be like Aunt Kate?”
Max shrugged. He couldn’t remember his aunt at all, except that she had blond hair and her smile was bright.
“Max, what are we going to do?” Marcia wailed. “I think I would like living with Uncle Eli and Aunt Betsy, but I don’t like things to change. And you wouldn’t be able to watch the ball game.”
“I know.” Max gave a long sigh. “I’ve waited and waited to see Maxwell Burton and if we leave . . .” his voice trailed off.
So, will they go or stay?
Do you have any guesses?
Did you go check out Read Another Page?