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Friday, April 21, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 6

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans!
It's a rainy morning here. It rained some yesterday, but the sun came out mid afternoon and it was lovely. It's supposed to be in the 50's today and tomorrow, then back to being warmer.

This week has been delightfully empty. :) No weddings, receptions, nursery, elections, or friends from Canada. I've gotten a lot done on my projects and a lot of writing. :)
  • Monday I wrote 1,600+ words. And, for those of you who are interested, I finished writing "Dylan's Story" and now it waits for the editor to read the last of it. (If any of you are interested in being test/beta readers, you can sign up here and I'll be in contact.)
  • On Tuesday I started a little bit early on my writing and with the help of many word sprints, I reached a record breaking total of 3,200+ words!
  • And then came Wednesday. Since I joined Camp NaNo, I have been wanting to spend one day writing. Not all day mind you, but most of it. So Wednesday became the chosen day. I sprinted before breakfast. I wrote and sprinted after breakfast, and then took a brisk walk with Sis before writing some more. After lunch I wrote. After supper I wrote until my brain was so tired I had to say I was done. I had reached a record of 6,030 words!!!!!! Yeah! Crazy! But it was so much fun! And all those words were on "Hymns in the Hills" in case you were interested. :)
  • Yesterday my brain was still tired so I only wrote 1,200+ words.
  • So far this week I've written over 12k words!
We'll see if I write any today since the kids are all coming over after naps and we'll eat supper together before my brother and his wife come and we all go out for ice cream to celebrate my mom's and my birthday (which is tomorrow.)
I should write some tomorrow as my cabin is doing another "cabin sprint" at 9 in the morning. That's fun. :)

Oh, next week there is going to be a party right here on this blog! It starts on Tuesday and ends on Saturday! I hope you all can come! I was going to do it this week, but things weren't working out and we decided that next week would be better.

I hope you'll come join me!

And now that I've taken up a lot more of your time than I usually do, I'll let you read the final part of this story. Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 6
The End

    After the prayer, Kelsey yawned and remarked, “I’m glad my bed isn’t on the top bunk.”
    The other girls laughed and Mrs. McKenzie, reminded of the lateness of the hour, hustled the younger girls off to bed. “Let Lottie and Kelsey have some dinner. I declare I’m so bewildered that I don’t know what I’m about. They should have eaten when they got home!”
    “Don’t worry, Mom,” Lottie called, “I had popcorn at the party and wasn’t very hungry until now. Too much excitement, I guess.”
    “Kels, are you hungry?” Lauren asked.
    Kelsey shook her head. “No, I guess not. I’m just tired. Where are my crutches, Lot? I think I’ll go to bed with the younger ones tonight.”
    Mr. McKenzie stood up. “No crutches tonight for you, Kels. And no stairs either. At least not on your own.” He scratched his chin in puzzlement. “How’re we going to manage it, girls? The stairs are a might narrow, and I don’t think I could manage to carry you up.”
    Lottie stood in the doorway leading into the dining room, a plate of food in her hand, as she listened. “Couldn’t Mike carry her up tonight? The doctor said she could use the crutches tomorrow, if she felt up for it. She could come down then if she wanted.”
    Kelsey looked from her father to her sister’s fiancé. She trusted Mike, but she was puzzled about going down the stairs on her crutches. What if she ended up being stuck up there?
    “What do you say, Kels?”
    Blinking, Kelsey realized she had stopped listening. “What?”
    Mr. McKenzie chuckled. “I was just asking if you wanted Mike to carry you up, or if you’d rather sleep on the couch tonight.”
    An exhausted feeling swept over her right at that moment and she fought to keep her eyes open. “I don’t know,” she mumbled in the midst of a yawn.
    “Maybe she should sleep here tonight, Dad. Then she won’t have to move tomorrow if she wants to be in on the action.” Lauren was good at solving troublesome problems. “I know Mike could carry her up, but the stairs are rather narrow, as you said. She might bump her leg. Besides, if we talk a few more minutes, I think she’ll be asleep right where she is.”
    Kelsey gave a slight smile and let her eyes close. “Night,” she murmured, nestling her head into a more comfortable position on the pillow and relaxing into sleep.

*

    “Kels, guess what?” Belle and Shannon came racing into the room where Kelsey was reclining on the couch with a book.
    She looked up at her eager, excited sisters. “What?”
    “The car is here again!” Belle exclaimed.
    “What car?” Kelsey didn’t bother to attempt to turn and look out the window.
    “You know. The one that was here yesterday to take you and Lot to the party. With Zoe and her brother,” seven-year-old Shannon said.
    “Just the car is here?” questioned Lottie, coming into the room. “My, I didn’t know it was such a remarkable car.”
    “It’s not just the car, it’s them too.”
    Finding her bookmark, Kelsey slipped it between the pages, saying as she did so, “Don’t stand talking, go answer the front door, Lottie.” She wondered if it was both Zoe and Wally or just one of them.
    It turned out to be both, and Lottie ushered them into the living room.
    “Hi,” Kelsey greeted them quietly. “Would you like to sit?”
    “Oh, Kels!” Zoe cried, rushing over to her and carefully hugging her. “I’m so glad you weren’t hurt any worse! How’s the leg? Does it hurt awfully? How long are you going to be laid up?”
    “Hold up a minute, Zoe,” laughed Wally. “You haven’t even given her half a chance to answer. How are you doing, Kelsey?”
    “I’ll be all right. The pain isn’t bad, but the doctor said I was to rest and take it easy for the first week, and then he thought I could get out and about, if I were careful. I just wish I could go see how Mrs. Stuebanks is.”
    “Oh, Kels,” broke in Lottie, perching herself on the arm of a chair since Zoe had seated herself on the couch next to her sister and Wally didn’t seem interested in sitting. “I forgot to tell you, Mair and I went up there this morning and they said she was doing just fine. They said to thank you for saving her life and they’re going to keep a better eye on her.”
    At the news Kelsey relaxed, a happy smile on her face. “Thanks for checking, Lot. And thank you, Zoe.”
    “What for?”
    “For inviting us to your party and for convincing Lauren that we should go. If you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been there to see Mrs. Stuebanks when she needed help.” She gave a little shrug. “What’s a broken bone compared to being killed or at least seriously injured?”
    Zoe had no reply.
    Before the silence had a chance to grow awkward, Lauren entered the room, casually greeted the visitors whom she knew from school, and before long the younger girls, unable to remain away from the action, drifted in and were introduced.
    It was a delightful afternoon, and when Zoe and her brother reluctantly said they must leave, Zoe promised to return again soon.
    “There isn’t any need to,” Kelsey said. “Don’t feel obligated or anything.”
    “I won’t,” Zoe promised gaily. “I like you McKenzies, and I plan to be here as often as you’ll let me. Good bye!”
    The girls, except Kelsey, gathered on the front porch and waved as Wally pulled away from the curb.
    “You know, Wally,” Zoe remarked, when the house with eight girls had disappeared behind them, “I really like them, and Kelsey never once complained about being laid up this summer. All she could think about was the old woman she had saved.”
    “She could be a lesson to us all, couldn’t she?” Wally said thoughtfully. “A lesson in contentment with what God brings into our lives, as well as a reminder to think of others more than ourselves.”

Have you ever known someone who taught you
something without knowing they did?
Did you enjoy this story?
Will you be at my party next week?

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 5

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
It's overcast this morning but not cool. Yesterday was sunny and 80º. Tomorrow is supposed to be the same which is good because we have a wedding to attend. :)
Yesterday I spend most of the day helping decorate for the wedding. It was such fun. :) The colors are navy and white and yellow. And she has daisies for flowers.

It's been another one of those crazy weeks. With a wedding last Saturday, then my best friend #2 and her family were down for a visit from Canada, and I went to the park with them on Monday, went out to lunch with just my best friends on Tuesday and then got to bring her 2 year old down to play on our swings and slide for a while Wednesday morning, I've been busy.

I have almost gotten 5k written. Hopefully I can get the last few hundred words written today and tomorrow morning. "Dylan's Story" is almost done. I'm wrapping things up. :)

There are probably other things I could talk about, but I don't feel like I'm making much sense, and as I have other things to do today, so I'll let you get on with this next part of the story. Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 5

    “Of course we’re not going back,” Zoe exclaimed. “The party was almost over anyway. Wally and I are going to drive you and Lottie to the hospital in his car. Your parents will meet us there. We thought you’d like that better than going in an ambulance.”
    “I don’t need a hospital,” Kelsey scoffed, wincing slightly, but determined. “I’ll be fine after a few days of rest at home.”
    Wally spoke up. “Kelsey, we think your leg is broken.”
    “Who’s we?” Kelsey’s eyes moved from the young man’s face to her leg stretched out before her, and then back to Wally’s face.
    “Mr. Parson, the officer, me and another gentleman. Somethings wrong with it, Kelsey. It needs an x-ray, and a doctor.”
    For a long time Kelsey sat in silence. How could her leg be broken? The car hadn’t hit her, had it? If it was broken, why didn’t it hurt sooner? She didn’t want to ride with Wally and Zoe. It was kind of them to offer, but she’d rather go with Mike and Lauren. If she had only called them sooner– No, then Mrs. Stuebanks would probably have been hit by that car! But there was still time if Lottie would go call Mike–
    “Kels,” Lottie whispered, leaning close to her sister. “I’m going to go get our skates, okay?”
    Kelsey nodded. They should get them even if they waited for Mike. The throbbing in her temples had returned, and she leaned her head back, wishing the back of the chair was higher.

*

    They were home. Kelsey looked wearily out the station wagon windows at the lighted windows of the house. Night had settled around, and Kelsey remembered how long the shadows were becoming when she had sat outside the skating rink. Was it only a few hours ago? The front door was flung open as the car pulled to a stop in the street before it, and her younger sisters rushed out followed by Lauren and Mike. Kelsey glanced at her leg. It was in a plaster cast and lay resting on the backseat, while a pair of crutches was in the back with Lottie. Her leg had been broken. The doctor said it wasn’t a bad break, but she wouldn’t be walking on it for at least six weeks. Six weeks of hobbling about the house. Six weeks of not going up to the home to visit the old folks who had become her friends. Six weeks of–
    The car door opened and five voices all talking at once broke the quiet of the car. Though her leg still ached, and she felt tired, Kelsey couldn’t help smiling. She knew she had become a very important member of the family because she was the only one to have broken any bones. At least so far.
    “Kels,” her dad, after gently pushing aside his younger daughters, leaned in to say, “I’m going to let Mike carry you inside, all right?”
    “Sure, Dad. I’ll take to the crutches later, after I’ve had a bit of a rest.”
    “Good girl. Just wait until tomorrow, like the doctor suggested.” Mr. McKenzie patted her shoulder and moved back to let Mike take his place.
    As he carried her across the yard, Mike grinned down at her. “If you didn’t want to stay at the party, you could have just called me instead of taking such drastic measures,” he teased. “And I thought you were the one who hated to be the center of attention in a crowd.”
    Feeling her cheeks grow warm, Kelsey gave a little laugh. “I really don’t know where all the people came from. There was no one anywhere except me and Mrs. Stuebanks. And then suddenly there were people everywhere. I think people just come out of the woodwork when accidents happen.”
    “It sometimes seems that way. Well, I’ve a feeling you’ll be the center of attention for quite some time now,” and he gently placed her on the worn couch in the living room.
    Instantly her sisters swarmed around her, talking and asking questions, trying to get her a glass of water, a blanket, a pillow, and begging her to tell them all about it.
    “All right now, all of you be quiet,” Mrs. McKenzie ordered firmly. “Give Kels a chance to catch her breath. Mair, fetch her a glass of water. Hand me that pillow, Ell. The rest of you be still.” As she had talked, Mrs. McKenzie had deftly slipped the pillow behind Kelsey’s back while Lauren carefully settled the injured leg on another one and then spread a light blanket over her.
    When the water was brought, Kelsey drank thirstily. “You know,” she remarked, after draining the glass and handing it back to her sister, “I think that was the first water I’ve drunk since I left for the party.”
    “No, it wasn’t,” Lottie laughed. “Mr. Parson gave you a glass of water and you drank some of it.”
    “I did? I don’t remember that. But everything was rather a blur for a time.”
    “Tell the story now, please?” Belle, the youngest sister, begged in a whisper.
    Kelsey was a remarkably good storyteller and, in spite of the pain and exhaustion, she told the tale well. Lottie had to fill in much of what had taken place once Kelsey had been carried to the drugstore, for Kelsey didn’t know everything and wasn’t sure just what had happened.
    When the story was finally told, everyone fell silent until Mr. McKenzie said, “I think we need to take a moment and thank the Lord for His protection this afternoon.”
    Every head bowed as he thanked God for protection and asked for healing for Kelsey and Mrs. Stuebanks, if she was also injured.

Have you ever broken a bone?
Do you like being the center of attention?
Was your week busy, or just normal?

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Lesson in Contentment - Part 4

Dear me! I forgot all about it being Friday. Is it really Friday?
It's been a rather crazy week and next week will be even more crazy. :P It's called "Life." Yeah, I know, it would be nice if things weren't so crazy and I could get a lot written, but it hasn't happened. Yet. Perhaps I can write more today. I sure hope so. Here's a quick look at my week.
Saturday: I actually got a good amount written for the first day of April.
Sunday: I worked in the nursery Sunday School for my mom, and then after church we had choir practice. The rest of the day was relaxing and I got to read. :)
Monday: Preparing and teaching my final writing classes. Then I had to grade papers and get everything ready for the next day. I did get 800+ words written.
Tuesday: Only 368 words written while I sat at the polls. We had a record breaking number of 19 people show up to vote! But we talked a LOT and I learned a lot about the history of the area. (There might even be an idea for a story.)
Wednesday: I was tired. And I was catching up. I did some writing sprints with some of my cabin mates which was fun and I was able to get a little over 1,500 words written.
Thursday: I got more things done and the day was more relaxed, but there wasn't much writing done. One of the girls from church who is getting married next week, came over to try her dress on (my sister was doing some altering for her) and we talked for quite a while. And after supper I had to edit what I had written the day before and then only got 280 words written. Not much. We'll see if I'm able to reach my 5k goal this week. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow afternoon. I feel that I'm so close to the ending of "Dylan's Story" but I could use prayer as I write it.

Here's the next part of this story. It gets more exciting in this part. :) Enjoy!

A Lesson in Contentment
Part 4

    Before she could decide, the old woman started to cross the street. She didn’t look to see if any cars were coming, only stepped down off the curb.
    A horn blared. Kelsey found her heart in her throat as the old woman, startled and evidently bewildered, stumbled, almost lost her balance, and then moved forward right into the path of the oncoming car.
    Without stopping to think, Kelsey flew across the sidewalk, darted into the street and hurled herself at Mrs. Stuebanks.
    She was never quite sure just what happened then, for the next thing she knew she was sitting on the side of the road with the little old lady fairly in her lap.
    “Mercy me!” ejaculated Mrs. Stuebanks. “Whatever are you doing, Child?”
    Kelsey gave a nervous laugh. “I’m not quite sure, Mrs. Stuebanks. Are you all right?”
    A crowd was beginning to gather, though Kelsey couldn’t figure out where they all came from. The driver, white faced and shaking, pushed through to ask, “Is she all right? I didn’t see her until she was almost in front of me! Why didn’t she look? Has someone called for an ambulance?”
    Kelsey didn’t try to answer. She simply sat, bewildered, and thankful that Mrs. Stuebanks was alive.
    “I called for an ambulance,” once person said.
    “Where did the girl come from?”
    “Why, that’s Kelsey. Kelsey, what are you doing here?” It was the owner of the drugstore, and he crouched next to the odd couple sitting in the street.
    “I was at the skating party and saw her. Is she going to be all right, Mr. Parson?”
    The old woman, after her first exclamation, had fallen silent and sat quite still clutching her lavender purse.
    “I hope so.”
    The wail of sirens cut through the muffled chatter of the bystanders, and the crowd parted as a police officer and two medics came forward. Mrs. Stuebanks was soon inside the ambulance while Kelsey informed the officer that the old woman lived at the home.
    “I don’t know what she is doing this far away,” she said, not making any move to rise. “I didn’t see anyone with her. Is she going to be all right?”
    The officer nodded. “I’m sure she will be. Now suppose we move out of the street. It would–” He got no farther, for a new crowd, this time of young people, arrived on the scene and pushed forward.
    “Oh, Kelsey!” It was Lottie, and she flung her arms around her sister’s neck and burst into tears.
    Kelsey hugged her and then laughed somewhat shakily, “Come on, Lot, help me up and let’s get out of the street. How did you all know about the accident?”
    Pulling herself together, Lottie drew back and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. “We didn’t. What happened?”
    Zoe’s face appeared beside Lottie’s. “Someone heard a siren, but by the time the word got around and we realized that it wasn’t just passing by, the ambulance was leaving. What happened?”
    “Zoe, let’s wait until she is out of the street first,” Wally suggested, offering Kelsey his hand.
    Taking it, Kelsey was pulled to her feet, but when she tried to stand, an involuntary cry of pain escaped her lips, and she would have fallen had not a strong arm gone around her and held her up. Her eyes closed with pain and her head dropped forward to rest on a sturdy shoulder as she fought back the waves of dizziness.
    “My leg,” she gasped, in answer to the questions that besieged her from every side. She rested her weight on her right leg, her breathing ragged gasps. It hadn’t hurt before. Nothing had. The medics had asked her if she was all right and she had assured them she was. Nothing had changed since then, had it?
    “Kels,” Lottie was saying when Kelsey could focus on something besides the pain for a moment, “it’s going to be all right.”
    Lifting her head, though she still felt lightheaded, she tried to smile. “Of course I’ll be all right, Lottie,” she whispered. “I probably just twisted my ankle–or something.”
    The policeman was standing beside her giving orders. “Two of you fellows make a chair with your hands and we’ll get her moved.”
    “Bring her into my shop,” Mr. Parson offered quickly.
    Kelsey felt herself being lifted gently by Wally and one of the other boys at the party. The crowd parted and Mr. Parson opened wide his doors. Gritting her teeth against the stabbing pain as she was lowered to a chair and the officer carefully settled her leg on another chair, Kelsey closed her eyes once more.
    Voices swam around her, but she didn’t know what they were saying Her one thought was, “Mrs. Stuebanks is all right. It doesn’t matter about me.” Something cold was settled on her leg and eased the pain.
    “Kelsey.”
    Drawing a deep breath, Kelsey opened her eyes to find Wally and Zoe crouched down before her. It dawned on her suddenly that the accident had interrupted their skating party. “Where’s Lottie?” she asked, not giving either one a chance to speak.
    Her sister’s voice answered. “I’m right here.”
    Forcing her lips to smile, Kelsey glanced over at her. “You should call the house and ask Mike if he’ll come pick us up. You’ll have to get our skates.” She turned back to the brother and sister before her. “Sorry for interrupting the party. We’ll be fine here–until Mike comes. You can all go back. There’s no use waiting–with us.”
Have you ever gotten hurt at a party?
If you were Lottie, what would you do?
Are you eager to read the full book of "Dylan's Story"?