Yeah, I know, I could have said "happy Black Friday" but I didn't want to. :) This morning I woke up to the sound of rain pattering on the roof. Usually I just turn over and go back to sleep until the alarm goes off. But this morning my brain was so busy already that real sound sleep was impossible. I was thinking off all the things I needed to tell you, new decorating ideas for the house, my list of "to-do" projects, projects that I think would be so much fun, things I need to clean up, deadlines for other things, what was going on today . . . and the list went on. So, on that note, I'm going to start my list of what I needed to tell you.
• I posted about a sale of books on Read Another Page, so go check it out. And no, sorry, I don't have my books listed on there this year.
• Since December starts next week, you might want to keep checking this blog because you never know just when I'll post something. And I have plans . . . :)
• If you were hoping for a Black Friday sale of my books, sorry, I didn't get one ready, but December is coming. I'm planning on on some sales and giveaways either here or on my Read Another Page blog between now and Christmas, so stay tuned.
• Perhaps you don't want to wait for a sale, well, I have a special offer for you from Amazon. If you'd like to get a paperback copy of any of my books (or any other books) here is a 30% off any book code.
• My new book "Through the Tunnel" is now published. You can use that 30% off to get it if you just can't wait any longer. :)
Well, I think that was all the list I had to tell you. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy the last part of
“Hey, Brad,” one of the boys asked, “what are we going to do next? I mean, we’ve already had the big game and the parade.”
“Well, when it gets dark we are going to have a bonfire–”
“And roast s’mores!” Cherry put in eagerly.
“But until then,” Brad shrugged. “We could always play some games like monopoly, or freeze tag, or capture the flag.”
“Hey, yeah, let’s play capture the flag! We could use the whole neighborhood and the yards, and maybe some of the older ones would play too!” the boy’s enthusiasm was catching.
With a grin, Brad stood up and picked up his paper plate. “I’ll check with Dad, but I think that’d be fun.”
Mr. Miller had no objection and, after checking with the other adults, gave permission, provided there was to be no going in and out of houses. “And no one is allowed to cross any street but this one. Understood?”
“Yes, sir,” Brad replied, and hurried off to see if Sgt. Crawford and Mr. Hunter would join them. Much to Brad and the other children’s delight, both agreed to play after everything was cleared off the street. Never had a Thanksgiving feast been cleared away so quickly. Trash bags were filled with paper plates, utensils, cups and napkins. The extra food was divided up and taken to houses, tables were wiped off and then folded and returned to houses, though some ended up in the wrong place and had to be switched a day or so later. All the chairs were also put away, and before long the street was back to normal.
It was a lively game that followed. The street was declared “no man’s land,” and the only safe place to cross into “enemy territory” without being certain you were seen, was the empty lot where the parade had been organized. Many were the prisoners caught, the daring prison breaks, and the mad rushes back for the safety of your own side. It was growing dark before Sgt. Crawford, with a few select team members, Brad included, managed to slip across the street one at a time under cover of a diversion farther down the street. Once over, they hid for a little while before creeping stealthily around the houses. The flag was found, but before they could hope to get it, they would have to elude the vigil of the two guards who paced the yard three feet from the swing set where the flag rested in the baby swing.
“If we all rush them together,” Brad whispered, “They’ll just call for help. I think we should try to get closer and then just have two of us appear and try to lead them away.”
“Good plan,” Sgt. Crawford nodded. “Who volunteers?”
Brad and two others did. When he wasn’t chosen, Brad was secretly relieved. He wanted to be in on snatching the flag and taking it to victory.
Before motioning the decoys to leave, Sgt. Crawford gave a few other whispered instructions.
Moments later, the “guards” were drawn farther from the swing set. Not too far, but far enough to give Sgt. Crawford and his companion time to rush for the flag. Tingling with excitement, Brad remained where he was, motionless, hoping that the growing darkness would hide him from the sharp eyes of any opposing team members.
Shouts came from the two guards and Brad wished he dared steal a peek around the corner of the air conditioning unit behind which he crouched. Heavy footsteps were coming closer. Was it–? Brad fairly held his breath until a white cloth dropped almost in his lap and the footsteps turned and darted away. More shouts and footsteps. Brad hid the cloth behind his bent knees and watched as two figures from the other side raced past his place of concealment. When the shouts grew distant, he ventured to lean out and glance about. All was still, even the guards had left their post to chase the two who they thought had their flag. Springing to his feet, Brad raced as quickly as he could towards the street, the white flag clutched firmly in his hand. If he could only make it to the street without being seen, he stood a good chance of winning the game. Just before he ventured from between the two houses, he paused. No one was close. With a burst of speed he dashed for the street waving the white flag and shouting “Victory!”
From everywhere members from both teams seemed to appear, but there was really no contest, for Brad had a head start and crossed the street to safety well ahead of the fastest runner.
There was much laughter, a few groans, and one or two complaints, but no one paid attention to the latter.
By six o’clock darkness had settled over the neighborhood. The promised bonfire had been started and everyone was gathered around. Most of the younger ones begged for hot dogs to roast, for they had run off most of their dinner. After the biggest appetites were satisfied, the s’mores were brought out, and soon sticky fingers and chocolate-adorned mouths, gave proof of their enjoyment.
It was a perfect evening to sit around a fire with friends and family. Mr. Miller started the final event of the day by naming three things he was thankful for. “The Lord Jesus Christ, a wonderful wife and kids, and a neighborhood to enjoy a day with.”
From his seat beside Trenton, Brad looked up at the sky as one by one each person named three things he or she was thankful for. Without the streetlights on, the stars seemed brighter, closer. The moon, a crescent, shone with unusual luster, and there seemed to be a new hush over the homes and yards all around them. This was a Thanksgiving Brad would never forget. He half wished that next year the power would be out again. “But nothing would quite equal this year,” he mused, watching the sparks shooting up as a few more logs were placed on the fire.
Do you like playing Capture the Flag?
What was your favorite part about Thanksgiving this year?
Will you be hanging around in December?