What's the weather like at your place? It's chilly here right now. But it was warmer this week and on Wednesday we thought we might blow away because the wind was so strong and it blew nearly all day from the south. After dark it switched around and blew from the north dropping the temperature quite a bit. Right now the sun is coming up and it's pretty calm and still outside. Most of the leaves still on the trees blew off in the wind and the ground is now thickly spread with a crunchy carpet.
Last night my grandpa and I went to a concert. It was lovely except that for some reason they were running the air conditioning! Everyone was freezing most of the first half. We listened to a violin, clarinet and piano trio. The violin was a Stradivarius! I forgot what year she said it was, but the tone was incredible!
I have been writing. Some. On Monday and Tuesday. I was gone to work in the nursery at church Wednesday night and last night was the concert and tonight I'm going to babysit my youngest niece and nephews. So . . . Maybe tomorrow night.
I don't have any update on "Through the Tunnel." I'm still waiting for the proof copy to arrive. Perhaps it will come today. I was hoping for yesterday but forgot the mail didn't run on Wednesday.
If you haven't read my blog post on Read Another Page, you might want to check it out. Especially if you have never read my book "Home Fires of the Great War." If you have read it and you haven't left a review on Amazon, I'd love to read what you think of the book.
And now I will give you the first part of this Thanksgiving story. It's a different kind of story. I can't decide if I like it or not. I'll leave that up for you to decide.
The early pre-dawn light was just beginning to spread across the eastern sky, giving a hint to a beautiful Thanksgiving day. The neighborhood was still shrouded in darkness. Not a light shone in any window, giving the impression that no one was awake or that everyone had left town for the holiday. However, the eerily dark streetlights hinted that something more than late sleepers was causing the darkness.
Inside the Miller home, eleven-year-old Brad shut his Bible and placed it back on the shelf before snapping off his flashlight. It took a minute for his eyes to adjust to the gloom, but when they did, he slipped from his small room and knocked softly on the door across the hall.
It opened in a minute and his sister appeared.
“Are you ready?” Brad whispered.
“Yep.” There was excitement in Rosa’s voice as she turned off her light and tucked it into her pocket.
Together the siblings hurried down the hall to the stairs. A faint light glimmered from the living room, and Brad and Rosa headed towards it.
Looking up from his Bible as the children entered, Mr. Miller smiled. “Is it time already?”
“Yeah, it’s just after six.”
“Is Mom awake yet?” Rosa asked.
Mr. Miller nodded. “Yes. She’s going to let the younger ones sleep as late as they want because I don’t think anyone except Molly is going to take a nap today.” As he spoke, Mr. Miller had risen, set his Bible on the table and picked up a camping lantern. “All right, let’s get coats and get to work. Brad, get the posters, Rosa, the papers.”
The air was brisk as the three figures stepped outside. The soft twitter of a single bird was the only sound to be heard.
“It sure is quiet without the hum of that streetlight,” Brad whispered.
“And dark,” Rosa added, shivering.
The Millers worked quickly, tucking a paper announcing the unusual day’s events, into the front door of each family who was in town. Posters were stapled to light posts. Across the top of these was written in large letters: “Neighborhood Thanksgiving Festival.” Below was a list of events and where they would take place. Though most of the families already knew about the day, the time and place of most of the events hadn’t been announced.
As they returned to their own home, Brad could hardly wait for everyone to get up. He didn’t even think about the sudden power outage which had knocked out all their original plans for a “normal” Thanksgiving; he was just eager for the fun he knew would be coming.
Breakfast was hardly over before the excitement and work began. Arrivals at the front door seemed incessant, and Brad and Rosa were kept busy answering questions or directing people to the kitchen to talk with their mom, as she fed baby Molly, or to the back yard where Dad was working.
At nine o’clock Mr. Miller came inside. “Brad,” he called.
“I think it might be a good idea to head up to the empty lot and start getting ready for the ‘Macy’s Parade.’ It’s going to take quite a while to get everything ready, I imagine.”
Brad pumped his fist in the air. “Yes! Come on, Rosa!” he shouted.
Instantly Cherry and Trenton began to beg to go, and Ryan started crying, “Me too! Me too!”
Turning in despair to his mom, Brad exclaimed, “Mom, I can’t watch the little ones and get a parade ready!”
Mrs. Miller smiled as she stepped over Molly’s scattered toys. “I know you can’t. Miss Elise and Mr. Hunter said they’d come help when the time came. The younger ones can stay with Miss Elise while you and Mr. Hunter get everything ready and organized.”
A flurry of jackets were pulled on, and five Miller children raced out the door and up the street to the empty lot which marked the end of their housing development. From nearby homes other children spilled from doors, some dragging wagons or hopping on bikes, others carrying bags or boxes from which trailed fabric of all sorts.
Everything in the lot was mass confusion for several minutes until Mr. Hunter, a college age young man who was respected by every child in the neighborhood, got everyone’s attention. After that, Brad was able to assign numbers to the various “floats,” and the work of decorating them and dressing up began. There was much laughter over some of the floats, much borrowing of garments, a seemingly constant request for safety pins, and much running back to houses to get thing forgotten or needed.
“Mr. Hunter,” Brad asked, when everyone was busy, “since this is supposed to be a ‘Macy’s Parade,’ and they always end theirs with a Santa Claus, do you think we can too?”
With a laugh, Mr. Hunter shrugged. “We can try. We’d have to find a red coat though, unless someone has a Santa suit.”
“I don’t know of anyone who does. But I’ll ask the kids.” And Brad ran off. He didn’t believe in Santa and knew most of the other kids didn’t either, but the big parade they were copying always had a Santa at the end, and it just wouldn’t be the same without one. There were no Santa suits, but he learned he could get a pair of red snow pants, a red hoodie and a Santa hat. “I still need a black belt, white gloves and black boots,” he panted, running back to Mr. Hunter who had three-year-old Ryan on his shoulders.
“I can get a black belt for you and you should be able to find some black boots.” He turned to his sister. “Hey, Elise, do you have any white gloves Santa can wear?”
“Sure. If you’ll keep Trenton with you, Cherry and I’ll run and get them.”
“And grab my black belt from the closet, will you? Oh, and see if you can locate any black boots,” Mr. Hunter called after her. Then he turned to Brad. “What is Santa going to ride in?”
What would you make "Santa" ride in?
Have you ever made a parade?
Have you ever had a holiday without electricity?