Friday, August 28, 2015

To the Farm - Part 5

Hello FFFs!
I had to keep reminding myself that I had to post today. You see, I'm on "vacation" (of sorts) at my grandparents' house. I'll be home over the weekend and then back here for another few days. That's why there hasn't been a post on Read Another Page. I was too busy to get it ready before and couldn't think of a thing to post on Tuesday. :)

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful! We've had the house open day and night since we got up here. It's even been cool enough that Grandma and I were wearing sweaters. :) And, we have been eating on the screened in back porch! Except for the supper when we went out to eat, that's where we've eaten in the evenings. It's been so delightful!

I haven't been writing while I've been here, but boy, have I been working on a project! I'm compiling all the bike trips (as in bicycle trips) that my Grandpa, Grandma and uncles have gone on since 1974! They wanted them put together in a book with maps, pictures and diaries. It's lots of fun, but also a lot of work. So, if I don't get any other book published this year, you'll know why. :)

But it's about time for breakfast so I think I'll let you just read the next part of

To the Farm
Part 5

    Louise looked over. “Oh, Ria,” she sighed in relief, “if you would only go and look at whatever it is, it would be such a help! They have been begging and teasing me to go see since they woke up from their naps, but I am too busy today.”
    Before Ria could reply, Frank asked, “where is it?”
    “Only in the shed.”
    Frank looked questioningly at Ria but she was already moving away, towed by two eager little cousins.
    In the shed Ria was treated to the sight of five baby possums. They were small and they hissed. Ria gently pulled the little girls out of the shed and shut the door. “Tell Daddy about them when he comes back from the field,” she began, but was interrupted.
    “Tell me what?” and Uncle Edmund stood behind her with Larry.
    “Baby possums in the shed.”
    Edmund raised his eyebrows, “Must have been the mother I killed this morning. I’ll take care of them. What are you doing here?”
    “I came with Uncle Frank,” Ria replied, grinning as Larry suddenly tore away shouting in great excitement.
    “Frank?” Edmund exclaimed. “I didn’t know he was back! Come on, girls,” and with the three girls trailing behind him, he set off for the front of the house.
    All was talk then for several minutes until Ria interrupted, “Uncle Frank, we won’t beat the gang back unless we leave.”
    “She’s right. See you tomorrow at church, Ed,” and Frank hurried after Ria towards the truck.
    The ride to town was quiet. Ria’s ankle pained her more than she cared to admit. Several times Frank glanced over at her and noticed her almost grim expression. Once he asked her if she was all right, to which she nodded.
    Stopping quickly at Rosalie’s, Frank discovered no one home, so, leaving a note in the door, he returned to the truck and remarked, “Now one more stop and then you’ll be home. Do you want to come in at Evie’s?”
    “No.” Ria’s answer was so quick that Frank gave a little smile.
    He couldn’t resist a little teasing. “Is it because you think we’ll stay too long or because Earl might be there?”
    “Both.” And Ria grinned, until a sudden rut in the road jolted her and she winced in pain.
    “I’ll be out in a jiffy,” Frank told her as he opened his door. Sprinting up the sidewalk, he rapped on the door sharply. It opened and Evie flung her arms around him with a cry of delight.
    Waiting in the truck, Ria gingerly rubbed her ankle. The walk to the shed back at Edmund’s probably hadn’t been such a good idea. She half wished Earl would come and do something for it, but she was afraid it might mean she would have to sit around all day tomorrow. She might even have to stay home from church! And she wouldn’t be able to do anything if she was stuck in a chair or on the sofa next Saturday, not to mention the teasing the gang would do. Perhaps a good rest would make her ankle better. Here her thoughts were interrupted by Frank’s return.
    “That was quick,” she said.
    “Yep,” he replied, starting the truck. “I figured I’d better get you home before the boys returned and told your mom a wild story of your disappearance.”
    Ria gave a small smile but said nothing.
    Pulling into the Mitchell driveway, Frank parked and was out and beside Ria before she could put her feet on the ground. “You’re not walking on that ankle again for a little while,” he told her, picking her up and shutting the door. Then, striding up the walk, he reached the screen door. This Ria was able to open and he stepped inside with his burden.
    “I’m home, Mom,” Ria called. Then added, “And I brought someone with me!”
    Mrs. Mitchell stepped from the kitchen wiping her hands on her apron. “Ria, what happened to you? And where are the boys--” she began as she noticed her daughter being placed on the couch.
    Frank turned around. “Hi Emma!”
    Mrs. Mitchell gasped. “Frank! What–How–”
    Grinning, Frank bent his tall frame to kiss his sister before he replied, “Yep, and everything else too. I’m home on leave. Dinner at the farm next Saturday. You don’t have any plans do you?” Frank talked fast.
    Slowly, in a bewildered way, Emma shook her head. “I don’t think so, but can’t you stay for supper?”
    “Nope, promised Mom I’d eat at home. But,” he added with a twinkle in his eyes, “if you happen to have any ginger cookies . . .”
    Laughing, Mrs. Mitchell led the way into the kitchen.
    Once there, Frank lowered his voice, “You might want to get Earl to take a look at Ria’s ankle. She didn’t talk much on the way to town from Edmund’s.”
    “What happened to her?”
    Glancing quickly at his watch, Frank realized he’d have to leave. “I’ve got to run, Emma. Thanks for the cookies; I think I can make it home now. Ria will tell you all about the day, and the boys ought to be here soon.” As he talked, Frank had moved back to the living room. Now he stood with a hand on the screen door. “Take care of that ankle, Ria! Tell Mitch I said hi. See you ladies later!” And with that he dashed out to the truck and drove away.
    “Well,” Mrs. Mitchell, shook her head in a bewildered way, “that was quick.” Then she turned to her daughter who was rubbing her ankle. “What happened to you?”
    Ria told her in a few words, but the arrival of Ed, Chris, the twins and Mr. Mitchell cut the story short, and Mrs. Mitchell hurried away to finish the supper.
    Though she insisted she could walk to the dining room, Ed carried her in while Jimmy brought a footstool and Johnny a pillow for her injured foot. The meal was enlivened by stories from Chris about the day. Ria, however, was quiet, the pain of her ankle and her tiredness keeping her tongue still.

What do you think will happen next?
Have you ever seen baby possums?

Friday, August 21, 2015

To the Farm - Part 4

Welcome back, Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
Have you had a good week? I did. The weather was incredible! It got into the low 50s one night and the following day was only in the 60s! What is this, fall-come-early? But it's nice. :)

It's been a week of trying to get a lot done. And I've actually felt like I've gotten things done. Writing especially. The new "book" is over half the length of a TCR book. (Or Gift from the Storm) and it's still going. Yes, I am planning on telling you more about it soon. I just don't have the time right now to come up with what to tell you. :) I will tell you this though, this is a modern story. And it has just ONE POV. Most of my books have multiple points of view, so this has been different.

But I'm busy, so I'll let you get on with this next part of

To the Farm
Part 4

    “Maybe we should take a look and see if it needs bandaged.”
    Ria shook her head and glanced about the room. No one appeared to be paying the slightest notice to them and she relaxed. She didn’t feel like being the center of attention right then. Raising pleading eyes to her cousin’s face, she waited for him to speak.
    After a moment he grinned. “All right. I won’t say or do anything now, but . . .” and he tugged one of her braids again. Jack was a tease but he could also be as sweet and gentle as his father.
    Just then the door opened and Ed, Al, Sam, Jason and Tom came in with Frank.
    “Lemonade?” Will asked, holding up the pitcher.
    “Do you have to ask?” Tom laughed.
    William grinned, “No, I could have just told you we drank it all.”
    Sam gave him a slight, friendly shove and everyone laughed.
    When the glasses were drained, Ed stood up, remarking, “Well, we should be getting on, we’ve still got to walk back to town. Ria, you ready?”
    A slight frown wrinkled Ria’s forehead as she looked at her brother. “Not quite,” she murmured almost sheepishly.
    Ed raised an eyebrow and waited.
    “I turned my ankle a little when I was playing with Patriot. I’m sure it will be fine if I can rest it a few more minutes.” Her eyes looked pleadingly into her brother’s brown ones.
    For answer he came over and dropped down before her. After running his hands lightly over her swollen ankle, he looked up. “There’s no way you’re walking home on this foot, Sis,” he stated flatly.
    “I knew she’d never be able to walk here and back home again,” Dave whispered to Chris. Pete silenced his younger brother with a look.
    Before more could be said, Frank spoke up. “I’ll tell you what, just let me have Ria. I’m going to take the truck and make a quick round of calls, and I can leave her at home.”
    Ed looked relieved at this suggestion and stood up. “That’ll work just fine. Come on gang, let’s go! Thanks for the lemonade, Grandma!”
    “You’re all welcome,” Grandma replied with a smile, as all the lads echoed their leader’s thanks before swarming out the door to set off on their return walk home.
    “Let’s go the short cut,” Ria heard Dave call.
    And Fred replied, “Can’t, don’t know the way.”
    Ria grinned. It was fun having a secret with just her mom and Uncle Edmund.
    “You ready to go, Ria?” Frank asked. “I’ve got a lot of stops to make.”
    “Yes,” and Ria started to stand up, carefully keeping her weight off her wrenched ankle.
    “Do allow me, my lady,” her uncle bowed and the next minute had her in his arms.
    With a laugh and a blush, Ria said good bye to Grandma and Grandpa and was soon seated in the old farm truck beside Frank.
    Frank honked the horn as they passed the gang and Ria waved. This was going to be more fun than walking home, even if her ankle did give her twinges of pain when she moved it.
    As Frank pulled into the first farm, he turned to his niece. “I won’t be more than a few minutes. I’m just going to run in and tell them dinner’s at the farm next Saturday.
    Ria couldn’t help laughing at this idea. “Only a few minutes,” she giggled. “Only if everyone is out.”
    “All right,” Frank laughed too. “I give you permission to honk the horn if I’m not back in five minutes.” With that he jumped out of the truck and bounded up the porch steps to disappear inside moments later.
    To her immense surprise, Frank did appear within five minutes, while Kirsten, with baby Ruth in her arms and little Rose beside her, waved.
    At George’s and Vincent’s farms, it was the same, for the men were out in the fields. When they reached Karl’s they discovered him out in the front with the two younger boys. These greeted Frank with great excitement and all began to talk. Finally Ria honked the horn and with much laughter, Frank tore himself away.
    “It’s a good thing I brought you along,” he told Ria as they once more bounced over the dirt roads towards David’s farm. “I probably would have stayed there until dark. At least until Karen called them in for supper.”
    “Oh, you would have been invited to eat,” Ria assured him with a smile.
    On the porch, Henry and Anna were playing with Donny, or were supposed to be. Instead they were arguing over something while Donny cried.
    “Oh, I’ll get out with you,” Ria exclaimed as the truck stopped. And before Frank could reply, she had slipped out and was hobbling to the porch. There she comforted her little cousin while Henry and Anna, forgetting their quarrel, hung on to their uncle in great glee.
    The stop there lasted longer than the allotted five minutes as Frank played with his young relatives. Finally they were on their way again.
    “Only one more stop to make before town,” Frank remarked, glancing over at his niece. “Think Ed will be in?”
    Ria shrugged.
    As they pulled up beside the white farm house, Emma and Lucy came bouncing out of the door shouting and shrieking.
    Frank stepped from the truck at the same time that Louise came out on the porch with flour covered hands, looking tired.
    “Frank!” she exclaimed, “What are you doing home?”
    “I’m on leave,” Frank replied giving her a hug while the two little girls hung onto his legs and squealed, talked and giggled all at once.
    Ria had thought she would remain in the truck, but on seeing her aunt’s tired face, she climbed out.
    Instantly the twins made a rush for her as she was their favorite older cousin.
    “Ria! Ria!” they cried in glee. “Come see, come see!” they begged, pulling on her hands and trying to drag her along.

What did Emma and Lucy want Ria to see?
How many of you put my button on your blog?
Do you also read my Read Another Page blog?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


 Several weeks ago (or was it longer), I was awarded this "Sisterhood" award. At the time I was too busy to answer the questions. But now here it is. Enjoy!

1. Do you know who the Willis Clan is? If you do, who told you or where did you find them?
Yes, at least sort of. I saw something about them online sometime.
2. Would you prefer to take care of a herd of 100 chickens, a herd of 20 wild horses, or a herd of 10 baby elephants?
Now wait a minute. I've never heard of a "herd of chickens." I may have grown up in the city, but I've always been taught that feathered things were called "flocks." :) But anyway, I'd pick 20 wild horses. They would be easy to take care of. I'd just leave them where they were and let them live like they have for hundreds of years. It would also give me an excuse to disappear into the wilderness every so often to "check on them." 
3. If someone gave you a bow and a quiver of arrows and told you to shoot three arrows into one tight cluster on a board, do you think you would be able to do it? 
Sure. I'd just have to get close enough to do it. :)
4. Have you ever dropped a watermelon?
Someone did, but I don't think it was me . . .

5. How many siblings do you have? Are you the oldest, the youngest, or right smack in the middle?
I have two siblings and am the baby of the family.

6. What is one tradition that you do (or try to do) during family birthdays? 
Um, tell the birthday person "Happy birthday." :P

7. Say it was your birthday. Would you prefer to wake up and find 1. a new horse standing above you (yeah, I know, a horse in your room?!?), 2. a huge bouquet of your favourite flowers,  or 3. a stack of books that you've wanted to read for a loooong time? 
It's my birthday. Now what?
Well, if I woke up and saw a horse, I'd wonder if they carried me in my bed down the stairs and out to some barn or if they were able to get the horse up the flight of stairs. Both seem highly unlikely, besides, the poor horse wouldn't like it in the city.
Now the flowers. Hmm, that might be nice, but I'd get a little suspicious about where they came from.
Books on the other hand. Yeah, that's what I'd want.
8. What is your favourite movie of the year?
Do you mean the movie had to come out this year? If so, none. If it was any movie, then, um, I don't know.
9. Do you have a book or a series of books that you wish was made into a movie? If so, what is the name of the book(s)?
Oh, wow, I don't know. 

10. What is the craziest thing that you've done recently?
Well, the only thing I can think of is deciding to go wade in a large puddle of water in a park in the middle of the city with my best friend for her birthday. (It was her idea, not mine.)


11. How and when did you get involved with blogging? It was way back in January of 2009. I was tired of e-mailing my stories to my friends and then wondering if they were even interested in reading them. So, I decided a blog would be better. That way they could read the stories if they wanted to, or not. I've been blogging ever since.

Do you think of actors by their real name or by their movie name? (e.g. Do you say Laura Ingalls or Melissa Gilbert from the movie Little House on the Prairie?
Depends on the actor and what they played. Usually it's by their screen name.

There you are. I hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

To the Farm - Part 3

Hello Friday Fiction Fans,
It's a beautiful morning! It's in the 60s right now and the windows are open. We've actually had the windows open for the last three mornings because it's been so nice. By late afternoon it has been hot enough to shut the house and turn the AC on again. But these mornings with the windows open (in August!) have been delightful. What about you? Have you had cooler weather or are you still sweltering in summer's heat?

Well, I'm not sure where the week went. My computer says it is Friday, but it feels like Friday was just the other day. Does anyone else feel that way? (Maybe this past week had fewer days than usual.) In spite of the "short" week, I have managed to get quite a bit done. As I'm sure you've noticed, I designed a new header for the blog, changed the fonts and created a button as well as putting a new background on. Do you like the new look?

Writing. Yep, I'm still doing that. In fact, I think I'm writing a new book right now. Oops. I wasn't going to work on any new book until I had gotten some other projects done. I set aside the new Graham Quartet mystery, and have made myself not even think about TCR so I wouldn't want to work on it. I was just going to write a few short stories for this blog. Ha! So much for that idea. I was having a hard time writing one of my short stories and grabbed a calendar to write a description just to get my brain going. (I really enjoy describing things with words.) Well, to make a long story short (Is that even possible?), the description turned into a "short" story which has now grown to over 24,000 words. (That translates into 24 weeks of posting! Yeah, crazy.) And the story still isn't finished.

I hope you are ready for this next part of the Ria and the Gang story. Enjoy!

To the Farm
Part 3

    “From the base,” Frank grinned. “I didn’t tell anyone I was coming. Wanted to surprise Mom and Dad,” and he turned a bright look on his parents who were standing in the doorway watching.
    “He certainly succeeded,” Grandma Foster laughed. “We were still sitting down to breakfast when in he walked and asked if he could have a bite as well.”
    “Did you feed him, Grandma?” Fred questioned with a grin, already knowing the answer.
    After a few moments of chatter, Grandpa looked about. “Hey where are the rest of the gang? I thought everyone was coming out?”
    “I was about to ask about them, too, Dad,” Frank put in.
    “The others will be along some time. Ria took us on a shortcut.”
    “I didn’t know there was one,” and Frank looked interested.
    Perching on a chair, Ria smiled and told about how she knew of the secret path, though she wouldn’t tell any of the rhyme for finding it.
    No sooner had she finished than the sound of boyish voices and the tramping of many feet on the porch was heard. The kitchen door was opened and in crowded the gang. When they saw the three missing ones calming sitting or standing before them, questions began to fly, and for several minutes no one noticed Frank. So noisy did the tumult of tongues become that Phil put his fingers to his lips and whistled for silence.
    “Now,” he began when the room was hushed. “How did you three get here? Did you walk the whole way?”
    Ria giggled. “Nope, we ran part of it. It was a short-cut. And I’m not going to tell you all about it because Uncle Edmund and Mom said it was a secret. Now aren’t you going to say hi to Uncle Frank?”
    As she expected, the moment she mentioned his name and looked over at her uncle, the crowd of boys suddenly forgot her and rushed at the newcomer.

    It was later than Ed had planned before they actually got started on the work, but Frank pitched in to help. The storm windows were soon down and carried to the barn for summer storage. A few of the lads tackled the smokehouse roof while Jason and Tom took apart the tractor. Ria helped outside for a while and then joined Grandma in the kitchen to prepare lunch for the gang. This was eaten outside with great relish, for the walk as well as the work had created keen appetites in everyone. There was much talking and laughing during the meal, but at last it was over and the lads returned to work, leaving Ria the task of helping Grandma clean up.
    Perhaps thirty minutes later, Grandma and Ria, who were finishing the last of the dishes, heard Winston shout something and then came Jack’s call, “Ria!”
    “You had better go see what is wanted, Dear,” Grandma told her. “I can finish the last few things.”
    Nothing loathe, Ria dashed outside to see Jack trying to hold a wiggly puppy in one arm while keeping his paintbrush out of reach in his other hand. When he saw Ria a look of relief came over his face.
    “Here’s a job for you,” he said. “Take Patriot somewhere else and keep him occupied before his name becomes Paintriot!”
    With a laugh, Ria took the squirming ball of fur.
    “Don’t put him down until you’re well away from here,” Winston warned from his perch on the ladder where he was painting.
    “Come on, Patriot,” Ria crooned, “we’ll go play by ourselves and have fun just us two, won’t we?”
    For answer, the puppy licked her chin vigorously while his tail wagged so hard, it seemed as though it must fall off.

    For several hours the only sounds about the house were hammering, sawing and the calls of the gang. Back behind the barn Ria and Patriot played happily until, during a game, Ria caught her toe in a small hole and tripped over the puppy who dashed in front of her at that moment. Patriot gave a sharp little yelp as Ria fell.
    “Oh, I’m sorry, Patriot,” Ria soothed the frightened puppy while rubbing her ankle with her hands.
    Patriot came up and whimpered, wagging his tail as though saying he was sorry he had caused her to fall.
    “I know you didn’t mean to run in front of me, but now,” and Ria winced as she moved her foot, “I can’t play with you any more. Besides,” she went on as the puppy stretched out with his head on his paws, “you really should take a nap.”
    Carefully standing up, Ria slowly began to make her way towards the house only stopping long enough to shut Patriot in the barn for his nap. She hoped the gang would all be elsewhere, but instead she found almost the entire group gathered in the kitchen with glasses of lemonade.
    Jack glanced up, “Did you wear that puppy out?” he asked as she came in.
    She nodded.
    “Where did you leave him?” Winston asked. “Not running loose, I hope?” and he pretended to look worried.
    Ria shook her head. “No, I shut him in the barn.” Moving slowly away from the door, she tried not to limp. Ray pulled out a chair for her and she sat down with a small sigh.
    The boys resumed their conversation which her entrance had paused. All except for Jack. Crossing his arms on the back of her chair, he leaned over his cousin and asked in low tones, “What did you do to cause you to limp?”
    Ria looked up, startled. She had thought that no one had noticed since Ed and Al weren’t there. Jack gently pulled one of her braids while regarding her with his dark eyes.
    “Well?” he pressed when she didn’t reply.
    Attempting to frown, she answered. “I tripped over Patriot and twisted my ankle a little. But I’ll be all right in just a little bit,” she hastened to add as she saw he was about to speak.

Have you ever twisted your ankle?
What do you think of the new blog look?
Will you be back next week?

Friday, August 7, 2015

To the Farm - Part 2

Good morning FFFs,
Thanks for sharing what you thought I should do on this blog. I'll see what I can do. :)

This week has been a good one for getting a lot of writing done. I've already written 5,200+ words this week and I still have this evening and tomorrow. It's been such a delight to sit down and have this story just keep going. I'm not sure how long it will be. It is already 19 parts long and still going. My mom asked me if it was going to become another book. I told her I didn't know. All I know is that it keeps going and I want to know how it turns out.

If you haven't read the announcement on Read Another Page, take a look. Triple Creek Ranch - Set Free is now available! And . . . the kindle version is on sale for only 99 cents right now. But it won't last long. And the other TCR books are also on sale. Take a look.

I'm very glad you all seem to enjoy reading the stories about Ria and the Gang because this one is long. I hope you enjoy this next part just as much.

To the Farm
Part 2

    Though she had laughed with the rest, Ria had been glancing around and now began to lag behind, stopping to smell some flowers or examine a rock or to watch a butterfly. Al and Fred stopped when she did, though they urged her to quicken her pace. Ria apparently didn’t hear them or chose not to listen for her steps grew slower and slower.
    At last Ed called back from up ahead, “Ria, pick up your feet!”
    “Yeah, I thought you were going to beat us there,” Jason hollered back.
    For answer Ria yelled in reply, “I am!”
    “Not at that pace, you’re not,” Fred told her as she once again stopped in the road.
    “I want them to get far ahead.”
    Al and Fred exchanged glances. What was Ria planning? From the look on her face they were sure she had something up her sleeve.
    After the last of the gang before them had disappeared over the hill, Ria said softly, eyes sparkling, “Hurry! Over here. Don’t let anyone see us!” Giggling, she had slipped off the road and hidden behind some trees which bordered a creek.
    “Ria,” Al began questioningly, “what are you up to?”
    “I know a short-cut to the farm,” she whispered.
    “How did you find a short-cut?”
    “From Mom and Uncle Edmund.”
    Fred looked quizzically at his cousin. “Dad never told me about any short-cut.”
    “Shh. That’s because it’s a secret. If you don’t follow the directions exactly right, you will pass the farm. Now,” she directed with another little laugh, “we will start, as long as you both promise never to reveal the secret to the rest of the gang unless it is absolutely necessary.”
    Both Al and Fred promised, each wondering where they would end up.
    Muttering some rhyme or poem half aloud, Ria set off confidently with the two boys following. Crossing the creek half a dozen times as it twisted and turned, Ria kept walking. At last, leaving the creek and turning left, Ria led her cousins out of the woods and into a field.
    “This is the back field!” she exclaimed excitedly. “Come on!” and she began to race towards the far end of the field.
    “I don’t know how she did it,” Al remarked to Fred. “But I’d say we’ll reach the house before the others.”
    Fred laughed. “I’d say. Let’s go catch up with her!”

    Back on the road, Ed called a halt when he noticed that his sister, Al, and Fred hadn’t come up over the hill. “We’ll give them a few minutes to catch up,” he told the others glancing at his watch.
    Most of the boys dropped down beside the road, but Tom, Pete and Phil joined Ed.
    “Do you think Ria can make it all the way there?” Tom asked doubtfully.
    “I thought she could,” Ed sighed. “Now I’m beginning to wonder.”
    “Maybe we should have left her at home,” Phil was watching the hill for signs of the laggards. After a pause he went on, “I would have thought they’d be at least to the top of the hill by now.”
    At that point, Will, Jack and the twins came up.
    “Ed,” Johnny said, “the four of us volunteer to go back and find the others. I think Jimmy and I can hurry Ria along. If not, we can always take her back home and then walk out to the farm.”
    Ed frowned. “Then you’d be late getting there.”
    “Yep,” Jimmy shrugged. “It’s better to have two of us late than everyone.”
    Glancing at the the gang’s other leaders and seeing them nod, Ed sighed. “I suppose so. If I had known that she was going to be so slow, I would have vetoed the plan. Dad could probably have driven her out.”
    Without waiting to hear any reply, the twins, with Will and Jack, started off at a dogtrot back the way they had come. When they reached the top of the hill, however, they saw no one in sight.
    “That’s funny,” Will commented scratching his head. “They were so slow that they just vanished.”
    “I didn’t think it was hot enough to evaporate them,” Jack said, pretending a look of astonishment at which his three cousins laughed.
    “But really, where did they go? Did Al and Fred take her home?”
    “That’s what I’m wondering, Jim,” and Johnny stared at the road stretching out before them. No one was in sight. “But I don’t see any sign of them.”
    “They couldn’t have hitched a ride because no one has passed us.”
    After several minutes of wondering and talking, the four boys were interrupted by a shrill whistle.
    “I guess we’d better head back,” Johnny said recognizing Phil’s signal. “If they’ve taken her home, there’s no need for any of us to go too.”

    “There’s the barn,” panted Ria, after a wild race down the last hill. “I . . . don’t . . . think . . . I can run . . . any . . . more.”
    “I certainly don’t want to,” Fred gasped beside her while Al nodded, too out of breath to speak at the moment.
    The three cousins walked slowly towards the farmhouse, enjoying the warm sun and the quiet of the morning. Ria especially enjoyed the stillness for, unlike most of the gang who lived on farms, the Mitchells lived in the city, and though Plainville was small, it was always a treat to Ria to get away from its noise.
    No sign of the rest of the gang could be seen or heard, and Al, Fred and Ria mounted the steps to the back porch and opened the door.
    “Grandma!” Ria called, “some of us are here.”
    There was no one in the kitchen, but a second later someone strolled through the doorway from the living room. “Uncle Frank!” squealed Ria, running to fling herself into his arms and let him whirl her around the kitchen.
    “Where did you come from?” Al demanded as soon as the young man in army fatigues released Ria and turned to greet the two boys.

Have you ever learned or created a rhyme to lead you to a secret place?
Does it sound like fun?
Have you ever taken a short cut no one else knew about?

P.S. Do you like the new look of this blog? And yes, I am planning on getting a button up for you all. :)