Friday, May 26, 2017

The Emancipation . . . - Part 2

Good morning FFFs,
It's a lovely morning here. The windows are open, the birds chirping and singing. It's a little cloudy and there is a chance of rain later today, but right now it is perfect. Not too warm or too chilly. It makes me want to go for a walk or go camping.

Okay, so let's get past the dreaming. 
I have finally gotten to the point in "Finding Joy" when I can just write again! After cutting 9,700+ words out of the story, perhaps I can actually get it finished. Wouldn't that be fun. But don't stop praying. I'm not sure when it ends. But it feels more on track. :) And it's nice to be able to write without having to stop and re-read, and cut and write a little more, and do some editing, and then a little more writing.

Now, in case you read this blog and not my Read Another Page blog, I'm doing a giveaway for an audio copy of "Gift from the Storm" if you want to head over and enter.

I hope you enjoy the second part of this story. I laughed quite a bit when I wrote it, and I still chuckle over parts of it.

The Emancipation of
Chester Reginald Donavan; Esquire
Part 2

    After thinking hard for several minutes, Chester suddenly let out a groan. “No! I left it in my new, black 2009 Hummer! How could I be so stupid! I had called Michael and must have forgotten to put it back. Great! And if anything happens to me way out here in the middle of no where, no one is going to be able to contact anyone!”
    “Can’t someone just get it out of your car when we get back? Not that anything is going to happen,” the little man hastened to add.
    “Get something out of it? Yeah right! Hey man, this is a brand new 2009 Hummer! Man, no one can get in that thing unless they know the right stuff!” Chester rolled his eyes at the ignorance of his companion. Doesn’t the guy know anything except E-bay? Suddenly a new and to him dreadful thought struck him, and he slapped his head with a cry that made the little man beside him turn in a hurry and stare.
    “This is just great. Just great! Now what am I supposed to do. Everything was on that iPhone. How am I supposed to get internet access without it? I can’t get on facebook, or on twitter. I can’t even work on the case I’ve got now. Ugh!” Growing frantic Chester grasped his blonde hair with both hands and growled. He stomped his foot in vexation. “This is not a vacation, this is . . . is . . . plain torture! I’ve got to have that phone!”
    The other man tried to encourage him. “Well, it is only for a few days. Why don’t you just relax and try to enjoy this break?”
    “Look, E-bay, you obviously have no clue what that iPhone was. I mean it had everything on it!”
    “Your gear wasn’t on there.” The logical statement only seemed to make Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., more disgusted than before, for he answered sarcastically,
    “Okay, so my gear wasn’t on there. Big deal. I suppose I should be glad I have water in my canteen.”
    His companion nodded. “That’s an important part of camping out.”
    Chester fought to get his temper under control before he said, “E-bay, or whatever your name is, I know you probably think I’m nuts, but really, I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I’ll be bored stiff if I have to go for three days without the internet!” He shrugged as he tried to express himself in words that maybe his companion could understand. “It’s my life. Everything is online. Even all my files and research for this case I have coming up.” He sighed.
    “Well, no use crying over spilled milk,” the little E-bay man remarked sagely. “Shall we continue on and try to find a good spot to settle down for the night?”
    “Might as well.” There was no spirit in Chester’s words; indeed he hardly seemed to notice as they set off down the other side of the mountain. His mind was still raging over his stupidity, his idiocy, his dumbness. He called himself all kinds of names, many of which it wouldn’t do to repeat. Finally he began to lecture and chide himself, saying this ought to teach him a good lesson to never leave his iPhone anywhere but in his pocket or pouch again. So busy was he with his thoughts that, had his companion not grabbed his arm, he would have continued walking, right off the edge of a cliff!
    “Wake up, Chester! Bring your mind back to earth or you’ll wind up trying to fly.”
    Chester started and stared in horror at the yawning chasm before him. “Hey thanks, E-bay! Yeah, I guess you’re right. I should pay attention.” He gave a shudder and turned away. “So what do we do?”
    “Well, first thing is to find a place to pitch our tents.”
    “Right. Uh, where would that be?” Chester was expecting, when he signed up for this trip, to find their campsite like those he had seen as a boy. Of course he had always stayed in a camper and never in a tent, but still, he had seen the places for tents.
    The little E-bay man spoke again. “First we need to find a good source of water. I think we should head up this direction as I’ve been hearing a stream for several minutes.”
    Chester merely nodded. He didn’t voice his thoughts. Why did they need to find a stream? Didn’t all campsites have water? At least a pump if not faucets.

    It was a good fifteen minutes at least by Chester Donavon's watch before his companion halted and, looking about him with a satisfied air, declared, “I think this is a perfect spot.”
    Gazing around, Chester looked in vain for the water pump. At last he asked, “How are we going to get water, there is no pump?”
    “Pump? Of course there is no pump. This is the wilderness up here, Chester. It isn’t some local camping site for city folks. This is the real thing. We get water from the stream. Of course we’ll have to boil or filter it before we use it, but who cares, right?”
    The young lawyer’s mouth dropped open, but for perhaps the first time in his life, he was speechless. In silence he followed his companion’s directions about getting a fire ring set up so that they could start a fire. Then digging in his gear to pull out his tent, he noticed for the two dozenth time that his feet were killing him.
    “How about I go get some water while you set up your tent?” E-bay called over to him after his own tent was set up.
    “Sure.” Chester was shaking his head. Now how in the world was he supposed to get all these pieces together to make his tent work? After messing with it all for several minutes, he finally pulled out the directions. “Hmmm,” he muttered. “Okay, doesn’t seem too hard. Here goes.” So saying, he set the paper down and began to push and pull, tug and tighten the poles, loops, knots and so forth that comprised his tent. So intent was he that he didn’t notice the mischievous wind begin to play with the instructions. First it blew it a little to the side, then it tossed it up to let if fall back down and finally with a sudden gust it carried it completely away never to be found again.

Is your life on your phone? 
Have you ever been camping?
Do you like sleeping in a tent or a camper?

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Emancipation . . . - Part 1

Good morning FFFs,
It's a chilly, rainy morning. Not cold, but when the breeze blows in through the open window, it's got a coolness to it that hasn't been there the last few days. Yesterday afternoon we actually turned on the AC for the first time this year. It's off again now. We've had a lot of warm, sunny days.

I'm trying to get back into working on "Finding Joy" but it is difficult. Probably partly because I have to go back and rewrite things because the story got off track. But it needs done. I've also been working on planning and preparing for  . . .
Another blog party! With other bloggers, and a giveaway, and lots of fun. Only it will be on my Read Another Page blog, not this one. And it has to do with writing. Stay tuned.

Today is the homeschool convention in Springfield, but I won't be there. We'll be watching all but two of the kids all day today. I'm sure it will be a busy day.

I got up this morning and was doing my usual things and all of a sudden it hit me. I didn't have anything ready to post! (I like to have the stories on my posts ahead of time.) Was it really Friday? It didn't seem possible. So I grabbed a story I had thought about posting, and here it is. I know this story was posted on here about 7 years ago, and it's also published in "The Lower Lights" but, as that is not a popular seller, I thought no one would mind if I posted it again. Besides, I rather like it. 😄 And I hope you enjoy it too.

The Emancipation of
Chester Reginald Donavan; Esquire
Part 1

    “Hey, um, do you know where we are?”
    “Well,” there was a slight laugh. “I know we are on a mountain in the Mosquito Range in Colorado, but just where, I’m not sure.”
    “That’s what I was afraid of.” Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., hitched up the straps on his gear and frowned. This vacation was not turning out to be what he had planned. Here he was separated from the rest of the group with this guy whose name he never could remember. If only his best friend and lawyer buddy hadn’t broken his leg last week! Chester was a tall and well built young man who looked to be in his late twenties, having about him a definite high class air in spite of or maybe enhanced by his top-of-the-line outdoor clothes and gear.
    “Aren’t you coming too?”
    Chester jerked out of his misery to notice his companion had begun to climb some more. Taking a deep breath he set off after him.
    It was slightly chilly even with his windbreaker on, and Chester glanced at the little man before him. He didn’t seem to be bothered by cold, and his jacket looked warm. The man was only about five feet three with dark hair streaked here and there with gray. Slight in build though he was, the man walked briskly with no apparent fatigue.
    Chester was soon gasping for breath, and it was all he could do to keep his aching feet and legs moving at all. His shoulders sagged, and he bent his head against the wind staring at the ground beneath his feet.
    “Say, why don’t we take a breather. You look just about done in.”
    Unclasping his pack Chester lowered it to the ground and sank down beside it with a sigh. For several minutes he didn’t say anything. He couldn’t talk, for he was still trying to catch his breath. Finally he managed to ask,
    “Hey, what is your name again? I don’t recall.”
    “Oh yeah.”
    Silence again fell. Chester eyed his companion rather as he would have eyed a strange, little dog. He certainly didn’t look like his other friends. He wondered what he was like. Chester found the silence oppressing and sought for some way to break it. He blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.
    “So, where did you get your jacket?”
    The little man turned his eyes away from the mountain peaks before them. “On E-bay.”
    “Oh sure. You do know what E-bay is?”
    Chester nodded with a look of surprised skepticism. Who would ever buy something like that on E-bay?”
    The little man went on, not seeming to notice Chester’s look. “It is a great jacket, warm yet lightweight. I got it for a great deal. I think it was only $10.00 counting shipping.”
    Chester stared. “You spent $10.00 on a jacket?” his tone implied that that was absurd.
    “Where did you get yours?”
    “New from the online store, 60 Degrees North. Probably never heard of it. It was top of the line Edlgja and only $332.00 not counting shipping.”
    “Oh.” The monosyllable was full of disbelief.
    Once more silence fell on the two men. Chester was thinking of all the money he had spent on getting ready for this trip. Of how he and Michael had discussed different brands and prices. It was only the top of the line, high dollar brand items that would last the rigors of such trips, Michael had assured him. And after all, Michael should know, for he had been on such trips all his life. What would he have said to the little man about his E-bay jacket?
    “If you have recovered your wind, we might want to head on. Who knows, we could catch a glimpse of the others at the top.” The little man had stood up and was waiting for Chester.
    “What? Oh yeah, sure.”
    Struggling up the side of that mountain was the hardest thing Chester had ever done. His feet were killing him, for his boots, high dollar though they were, hadn’t been broken in and his feet felt covered in blisters. The thin air was making breathing difficult for him, and he wondered for the seventh time that day why he had ever agreed to this hike in the first place. He knew why; it was because he had worked and pushed himself so hard that his doctor told him to take a few days off or he would break down. So, when his friend had mentioned this trip, he had agreed.
    At last the summit was reached. Though this was one of the lower mountains, they could still see for miles. The clouds hung low to the south and west while a cold wind from the north bit at their faces and fingers.
    “Wow! Quite a sight, isn’t it? I never get tired of looking out over the mountains. Everything is so quiet and peaceful here. Of course in the summer things are even more lovely with the flowers blooming, but I couldn’t get away then, so this late camp out was perfect. I wonder if we’ll get snow while we are here?” The little man gazed in delight at all he saw.
    “Hey, why don’t we call the other group and um, find out where they are?” Chester asked, adding with a mutter to himself,. “Why didn’t I think of that sooner?”
    The other man gave a little laugh. “That’s not a bad idea, but I can’t get reception up here with my phone.” He drew a rather old looking cell phone from its pouch and looked at it.
    Chester’s lip curled at the sight of it. He couldn’t help asking “Where did you get that?”
    “On E-bay. It was a package deal.” The man laughed again. “I know it isn’t the newest phone, but it works for me. And it was cheap.”
    “I’ll bet,” Chester mumbled. “I’ll just use mine,” and he reached for the side of his belt where he kept his iPhone. The pouch was empty! “What!” Chester gasped “How could it have gotten lost? I mean this pouch was latched!”
    “Are you sure you didn’t use it and set it down some place before we set off?” his companion was trying to be helpful.

Have you ever gone hiking in the mountains before?
Have you ever lost your phone?
Where do you think Chester's phone is?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dylan's Story - Part 9

Good morning FFFs,
It's cloudy right now. I think there's a slight chance of rain this morning and then it's supposed to clear up. Yesterday was rather strange because now and then the sun would come out and it would look like it was clearing up only to have the clouds gather even darker and hide the sun.

We babysat Doodle Bug, Lukesters, and Ti-K yesterday for a few hours while my brother helped my dad on a roof and my sis-in-law is laid up with a sprained ankle. Please pray for her. She's pregnant, has 6 kids to take care of (with little miss Ti-K being a handful by herself. 😛), and now has a sprained ankle.

This has not been a "lot of words written" week. I have written some, but not a whole lot. Part of it I'm blaming on the weather because when it get's just a little too warm upstairs in my room, I don't feel like writing. I'm also blaming it on other distractions, and the fact that I was doing quite a bit of editing. But, you will no doubt be happy to hear that "Dylan's Story" is now waiting for the first of my beta readers (my sister) to start reading it! And yes, I will be contacting other beta readers later.

And, just because I'm nice, I thought I'd let you all read one more part of "Dylan's Story" before you have to wait for it to be published. I wasn't going to give you more, but the story ended up being 12k words longer than I had hoped it would be. I hope you don't mind. 😉

Dylan's Story
Part 9

    “There he is,” Aunt Autumn smiled as he entered the dining room. “We can–Why, Dylan, where are your socks? It’s too cold to be going around barefoot.”
    “I don’t have any more clean ones,” Dylan mumbled, staring down at the floor and feeling his face growing warm.
    “I have a pair of socks that shrank in the wash,” Scott began. “They don’t fit me, but I kept them anyway. After we pray, I’ll run up and get them. They’ll at least be warmer than nothing.”
    Without a word, Dylan slid into his chair. At least Fern hadn’t said anything.
    The socks were an almost perfect fit, and Dylan nodded when asked if they would keep his feet warm. With warm feet, hot food, and the soothing sound of rain pattering against the window, Dylan relaxed and the dismal thoughts of earlier melted.

    After lunch was finished, Autumn stood up and remarked, “I think I’ll do some laundry this afternoon. Dylan and Fern, find all of your clothes that need washed and, . . .” She frowned thoughtfully a moment. “Scott, could you get the laundry basket and set it in the hall upstairs? If they just brought their clothes down, we’d probably end up with a trail of things they dropped.” She cast a quick wink at Dylan.
    “Sure thing.”
    Then Fern piped up. “I don’t do laundry. Dylan does it.”
    Autumn couldn’t refrain a slight chuckle. “Well, I’m doing the laundry this time; all you have to do is get your dirty clothes in the basket.”
    “That’s Dylan’s job.” Fern slid from her chair and carried her dishes to the kitchen, her dark hair swinging loose about her shoulders.
    “Just take care of your things, Dylan,” Autumn said quietly. “Fern is old enough to carry her own dirty clothes to a laundry basket.”
    However, Fern didn’t think so. She didn’t get angry but shook her head innocently and repeated her statement each time Autumn told her she was to get her own dirty clothes to the basket. At last Autumn grew tired of trying to persuade her to change her mind. Crouching down in the kitchen so she could look right into the little girl’s dark eyes, Autumn said, “Fern, I’m not asking you to take care of your clothes, I’m telling you to. And I’m not going to listen to any more excuses. You are old enough to know which of your clothes have been worn and which haven’t. Now go upstairs to your room, collect all your dirty clothes, and put them in the basket.”
    Bursting into tears, Fern turned and fled from the room.
    After she had left, Autumn stood up and leaned on the counter. “This may be more of a challenge than I had first thought.”
    “What is Fern crying about?”
    Glancing over at her husband as he stepped into the kitchen, Autumn gave a small smile. “I told her she had to put her dirty clothes in the basket herself.”
    Scott raised his eyebrows. “She’s crying over that?”
    “Uh huh.”
    For a minute Scott didn’t speak, and Autumn wondered what he was thinking. At last he spoke. “I think I’ll just go upstairs and see how Dylan is coming along. I was thinking we might play a game or something, if he was interested. And I’ll bring the laundry basket to you in ten minutes.”
    “Thank you. Fern seems to respond better to your authority than mine.”
    “We’ll work on it.”
    Autumn had finished cleaning up the kitchen before the laundry basket was brought down. “Did she do it?”
    Scott nodded. “Yes, but only after I told her that she couldn’t go play a game or do anything else until her clothes were in the basket. I don’t know if she actually knew which ones were dirty, or if she just grabbed everything off the floor. But it’s there.” He nodded towards the basket.
    “That’s it?”
    “Yep, Dylan’s suitcase, at least, was empty. I told him we’d put their suitcases in the closet and he could use the dresser now.” Scott turned as though to go.
    “They really don’t have anything else?” Autumn looked up from the basket of clothes to her husband with a troubled face.
    “Not that I know of. Unless–”
    Hesitating a moment, Scott’s eyebrows drew together thoughtfully. “Their mom’s car was packed with boxes and things. I wonder if they have more clothes in there. I think I’ll call the sheriff later and see if the car, or at least what’s in it, can be brought over and unloaded. It can’t be good for everything to stay in there.” He glanced out the window. The rain had stopped, but it was still dreary and the wind continued to blow. “Maybe I’ll make a quick call before we start the game.”
    “I wish you would. If it continues to grow colder, the kids are going to need warm coats and warmer clothes than they have been wearing.”
    After seeing her husband nod, Autumn started the washing machine. Several times she shook her head as she saw the few items of clothing Dylan and Fern each had. “Only enough clean clothes for about six days. However did they manage it?”

    Scott and Dylan were in the middle of an intense game of Monopoly when the doorbell rang. Dylan paused with the dice in his hands and looked questioningly at the player opposite.
    “Let’s pause the game for a few minutes, Dylan,” Scott suggested. “I think that might be the sheriff with your car.”
    “Our car? Why would it be here? Is Mom here too?” Dropping the dice, Dylan sprang to his feet.
    “No,” Uncle Scott shook his head. “Your mom isn’t here. But we thought it might be a good idea to unload the car so that nothing got ruined from being in it too long. We’ll put everything in the mud room unless it’s needed.”
Do you do your own laundry?
Could you fit all your clothes in one suitcase?
Do you enjoy playing Monopoly?

Friday, May 5, 2017

At the Foot of the Falls

Good morning FFFs,
It's already a crazy morning. Almost all of the kids were awake and wanting to get up before 6:30. But we kept them in their room until almost 7. (Why don't they sleep in as much as their mother thinks they will? :P )

Anyway. Pickle Puss and I are going to an Author Symposium today. The rest of the kids will be here.

Sorry I don't have a new story for you today. I haven't had time to get anything. I hardly had time to get this picked and posted. It's the first short story I ever posted on this blog. I hope you enjoy it.

At the Foot of the Falls

    “Come on you guys, hurry up!” Kelly hollered racing to the middle of the green meadow, her eyes on the cascading water which fell with a thunderous roar down the cliff before her. Never in all her ten years had she seen anything like it. It was fascinating, incredible!
    “Kelly, wait for us!”
    Kelly stopped, her eyes never leaving those falls for an instant as she waited for her brothers. Kyle, though faster than his sister when it came to running, was now going slowly, helping Kerry carefully across the grass towards the open meadow were Kelly now stood.
    “Oh,” Kerry breathed, when at last the two boys had reached their sister. “How ... how... I can’t describe it! Can’t we sit down right here? It makes me dizzy looking up so far at it.”
    With great care and gentleness Kyle assisted Kerry to a seat on the sun warmed earth. For several minutes the children sat without saying a word as they stared mesmerized at the beautiful Yosemite Falls. All three children looked more or less alike: nut brown hair, brown eyes and a sprinkling of freckles. They were all the same height but while the other two looked robust and full of life, Kerry was thin and pale. He had just spent the last five months in a hospital recovering from a serious illness and had only been released a few days ago.
    “Kyle,” Kelly broke the stillness. “What do you think of it?”
    Kyle shook his head. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Can you imagine what the first white man who saw this thought? Maybe he camped right here.”
    “He would have had plenty of water,” chuckled Kerry. “Just listen to it roar.”
    “Sounds kind of like the trains back home.”
    Kelly giggled. “Only this one doesn’t have a whistle.”
    Kerry looked sober “I don’t remember what a train sounds like really. All I got to hear were the sirens, beeping monitors, squeaky shoes on the hard white tiles and voices of strangers. I’m more than ready to go home.” He looked at his thin white hands which he knew were so weak that he couldn’t even hold a full water bottle for long.
    All three fell silent. Birds twittered and sang in the trees, and a bee buzzed around the few flowers in the grass. Kerry picked a small yellow flower absently and looked at it, thinking of all the hot house flowers he had in the hospital and his longing for something real, something that had grown out in the sun and wind, even a dandelion. The bee buzzed closer and alighted on his flower. Kerry didn’t move as the bee crawled around the flower and at last flew away.
    “We missed you,” Kelly whispered softly remembering the ache she had felt each meal time when Kerry’s seat was empty.
    “I wonder,” Kyle began when the stillness had become almost unbearable. “Does that waterfall ever stop? I mean does the river or wherever that water is coming from ever dry up?”
    “I don’t know. Let’s ask Dad when he comes back.”
    Quietness once again descended on the triplets, each one busy with his or her own thoughts. This was the first time they had been alone together for more than fifteen minutes since Kerry had become sick. Now together, they didn’t seem to know what to say. They felt different now, older, more grown up and, though no one would have admitted it for the world, they all felt just a little shy of each other.
    Kerry was beginning to get tired from all the excitement and lay back in the grass. He squinted and finally shut his eyes as the sun’s bright rays shone in his face. Kyle at once moved so that his shadow would fall on his brother’s face. Kerry opened his eyes and smiled.
    “I didn’t think I would get this tired of sitting so soon.”
    “Do you want to go back?” Kyle asked anxiously. “We can if you want to.”
    Kerry shook his head. “No, I like it here.” He paused and looked at the towering cliffs. “Do you think,” he began slowly, his eyes moving to his brother’s and then to his sister’s face, “that I will ever be strong enough to climb something like that?”
    Kelly and Kyle looked at each other. What should they say? They didn’t know what the doctor had told Mom and Dad before they left the hospital.
    Kerry was watching their faces. “Do you?” he asked again.
    Kyle spoke then, “I don’t know. Maybe you will.”
    “You are already climbing mountains,” Kelly said softly. “We all are. Mom said each year has many mountains. Some are higher than others and more rugged. I guess kind of like those right by the falls. You know, where it looks impossible to ever get up. And others are gentle with good, well worn trails. Like the ones we used to climb back home. She said the harder the mountain looks, the more we learn to lean on Jesus for help to climb it. And the higher the mountain top is, the closer we become to God on the top. She told me this one day when... when...” her voice choked a little, and she blinked back the tears. “Well, it was when you were so sick. At the first I mean, and I... I asked Mom why... it all happened, and she said it was a mountain range.” Kelly looked away from her brothers and fought back the tears that threatened to spill.
    Kerry reached out and gently squeezed her hand.
    “Dad told me the same thing,” Kyle added. “Only he also said that there were valleys after each mountain. Some, he said, were dry and like a desert and took a lot of courage to go through, and some were green, like this meadow, and were given so we could rest and gain strength for the next mountain ahead. I think we are in a green valley now.” He smiled at Kerry.
    Kerry smiled back and after a few minutes spoke. “Well, we will rest then in our green valley and then together, with God’s help, we’ll climb the next mountain. Who knows, maybe there will be a thirst refreshing waterfall on it.”
    The three children smiled at one another and then gazed once more at the magnificent scene before them. Though they were young, they were learning to face each mountain before them with faith and trust in their Savior and Guide. Knowing that if He went with them, there was nothing to fear, and they could climb the highest mountain and cross the driest valley, for the river of life would be there when most needed.

What do you want next week?
Have you ever been to a big waterfall?
Would you like to go?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Magnabilities Party Extended!

Hi Everyone!
In case you were thinking about placing an order with Magnabilities but hadn't done so yet, we are keeping the party open a little longer as well as the chance to win a FREE insert. It closes tomorrow night at mid-night.

Oh, and did you get to watch the video? I'd love to know what you thought of it. Did it give you a better feel for the jewelry? Did it help you decide what to buy?

When you place your order, it might ask you if you have a Party Code. If it does use this one: 15736 That is the number for my party so your order will be placed under my hostess account. Thanks.

So, go order and then, if you've spent $25.00 or more, be sure to enter the giveaway! 
And don't forget to request your FREE insert with gift code: Happy Mother's Day
And, all orders of $50.00 receive FREE shipping!