Here I sit, pondering what to say. I could grow eloquent about it being Sep. 11 and how that day changed America. I remember it, and the days which followed. It seemed almost like a second Pearl Harbor, only this time the attack wasn't just against a military base, this was against everyday Americans. How many of you, dear readers remember that day and what you were doing?
But, I am going to leave the thoughtful, emotional posts for those others who want to write about it. We are facing a new day, the past is behind us. No, we shall never forget, but we cannot dwell too long on the troubling past lest we become too depressed and sad to face life today with a smile. :)
Last night was a grand night. My story "Through the Tunnel" which was going to be a short story for the blog, reached novel proportions! That means, to those of you who are staring with a confused expression at the screen, that the "short story" is now 40,000 words long! (That would be 40 weeks of posting!) No, I haven't reached the end of this novel yet, but it's coming. Some time. :) We'll see if I end up getting it finished before Christmas. Not published you understand, just written. I probably will, but I'm not sure I'll have time to actually get it published. And yes, I will let you all read the first few parts here on the blog.
That is my big news. It's been a busy week of working on my many projects. I've gotten a good bit done, but since most of these projects aren't small ones, they are going to take a while to finish.
Oh, and by the way, if you would like to read another interview with me, just hop on over to LeAnne's blog. I'm sure she would love to have a few new readers and comments. :)
So, until next Friday, enjoy this part of:
To the Farm
The afternoon was quiet. Ria slept some and played seven games of Chinese checkers with her brothers and dad. She read for a while and wished she could get up and move about. The week seemed long and endless, and she dreaded it. Everyone would be busy. The boys had meetings and plans and she would be left out. Perhaps Lydia could come over one day. She sighed.
Her father looked up from his paper. “Would you like to go to bed, Ria?” he asked.
She nodded. “Yes, I am tired,” she admitted.
Ed, Jimmy and Johnny all rose and came over, willing to carry her up, but Mr. Mitchell motioned them away. “Nope, this is my little girl, and I’ll carry her up to bed. You fellows will doubtless have opportunity to transport Ria when I’m at work.”
Ria couldn’t help smiling. It felt good to have so many brothers willing to wait on her. Her mother followed them up and, after Mr. Mitchell had kissed his daughter good night and retired, Ria soon had herself settled in her bed with her injured leg on a pillow.
“How does your ankle feel, Dear?” Mrs. Mitchell asked, brushing Ria’s dark hair off her forehead.
“It’s not too bad now, Mama. Only when I move it by accident does it really hurt.” She yawned.
“I’ll come in later and see how you are doing,” her mother promised before leaving her with a kiss.
True to his word, Uncle Frank stopped by for a long visit with Ria and his sister the next day.
“Where are Grandma and Grandpa?” Ria asked after greeting her uncle affectionately, though with less enthusiasm than she had on Saturday.
“They’ll be along later,” Uncle Frank said, pulling up a chair near the couch where Ria lay. “They had some shopping to do first and, as I have always detested shopping, I thought I’d walk down here and wait for them.”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I was laid up with a broken leg?”
Ria shook her head. She enjoyed talking with her youngest uncle. He was a good story teller and also a great listener when she needed to talk.
Turning his head as his sister walked into the room, Frank asked, “Emma, do you remember the time I broke my leg?”
“How could I forget!”
“Tell me, Uncle Frank, please!” begged Ria.
“All right.” And Frank launched into a story of when he was young.
The days passed by much faster than Ria thought was possible, for Lydia came over every day and members of the gang were always stopping by. “Aunt Emma’s” was a favorite place for the lads to gather and now that Ria was laid up, they came more often. As much as she enjoyed all the visits, Ria was heartily glad when Uncle Earl allowed her to be up on crutches and move about at will. It took her some time to manage the stairs, but she soon had no trouble.
“At least I won’t be stuck on a couch in the living room at the farm on Saturday,” she told her mom, hobbling into the kitchen Thursday afternoon.
“Oh, I’m sure any number of your cousins or uncles would have carried you and the couch outside, had you been stuck on one.” Emma Mitchell turned from the stove. “Would you snap some beans for me, please?”
Saturday arrived and the entire Mitchell family set off to join the rest of the clan out at “the farm.” Even if most of Ria’s uncles and aunts lived on farms, there was only one place which was called “the farm” by everyone,and that was Grandma and Grandpa’s place. True, Grandpa didn’t farm quite as many acres as he used to, but that didn’t matter.
Uncle Karl’s family were the only ones who had arrived when the Mitchells piled out of their car, but the others weren’t far behind.
“I just wish Millie was here,” Ria sighed, gazing around at the crowd of boys of all sizes. She hobbled over on her crutches to the shade of a tree and gazed about. When the entire family gathered, the farm seemed to swarm with men and boys.
“Ria, do you want to go play dress up with us?”
Looking down, Ria saw her younger girl cousins gathering in a cluster. There were seven of them all around the same age. “No, not right now,” she told them. Watching them turn and skip off to the house, she frowned and wished, as she often had before, that some of them had been born sooner, so she could have a girl cousin her age here at home.
“What’s that frown for, Ria,” a friendly voice asked. “Are you bemoaning the fact that you couldn’t walk here and follow that secret way?”
“No,” Ria laughed, looking up at Fred. “I was just wishing . . . for something to do besides playing dress up with the little girls.” And she looked towards the house with a sigh.
“What would you like to do?”
“Climb a tree or go swing on the barn swing.”
It was Fred’s turn to laugh. “Ria, Ria. You always have wanted to do what you couldn’t. Don’t you want to do anything else?”
Before Ria had a chance to think of something, Al strolled over. “What plans are being made here in the shade?”
“Nothing yet. Ria hasn’t thought of something that is workable for her ankle. She wants to climb a tree.”
Ria grinned. “I know what I don’t want.”
Her cousins looked at her expectantly. “I don’t want to be treated like an invalid! I’m tired of it.”
“Just don’t overdo anything,” Al told her.
“Or Earl will have our heads,” Fred smiled. “And yours too.”
“Is this the French Revolution, and are you in danger of losing your heads?” A new voice asked as Phil joined the small group. “Do we need someone to rescue you?”
“No. It’s just me wanting to do something!” Ria shifted her weight on her crutches. She hated to admit it, but her ankle was starting to ache. “I’m tired of sitting around all day.”
The three lads exchanged glances. Surely someone could think of something she could do.
If you were one of Ria's cousins, could you think of something she could do?
What would you suggest?
What would you want to do if you were Ria?