Friday, August 4, 2017

A Good Summer - Part 1

Good morning FFFs!
It was cloudy when I got up this morning, but now it looks like the clouds might be breaking up. We have windows open and a breeze is stirring the trees. It's been quite a week since last Friday. You want to hear about it? Okay . . .

Friday: Usual stuff like cleaning the house and then working more on organizing and such.
Saturday: My mom and I spent much of the day doing a lot more organizing, moving some shelves around, cleaning out some things, and getting rid of stuff. I went to bed tired.
Sunday: Early Sunday morning the phone rang. My sis-in-law was in labor and could someone come get the kids? It was about 3:00. While Dad went to get the 5 kids (oldest niece got to stay), Mom, Sis and I got beds put together. Thankfully everyone fell right to sleep when they got here. Well, except the adults. I just couldn't get to sleep.
We took the kids to church and everyone was excited about the coming baby. He was born during church. And weighed 9 lbs and 2 oz. We took the kids to our house for naps, and then we went over to see the baby. Brought Sissy home with us. The kids all spent the night.
Monday: Took the kids to the park for at least 2 hours in the morning. My aunt came by right after lunch for an hour or so on her way home. After supper we took the kids home and got to hold Baby.
Tuesday: I was so tired that I could hardly function. I don't do well with not enough sleep.
Wednesday: Much more awake this day and actually got things done. Plans for writing class made. I start teaching next week.
Thursday: I worked on the covers for some of my Christmas stories, wrote, read, and did some other things.
Today: My grandparents are coming down late morning to see their 7th great grandson and visit with us.

And that, my readers, is that. 

As I was looking through my archives trying to find something to post, I saw this story. It is published in "Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories" but I liked it and figured that most of you probably don't have that book. And if you do, oh well. I'm out of "new" short stories and have hardly written. So I hope you enjoy this Summer story.

A Good Summer
Part 1

    Red. It was all around. Wispy clouds blanketing the sky were glowing with it, the fields stretching out behind the ranch were aflame, even the distant hills appeared hazy with a hint of crimson. Only the southwestern horizon relieved the feeling that the world was on fire. There the strip of brilliant white sky, which almost hurt ones eyes to look at, hung suspended beneath the yellow-tinged burning clouds. Black fence posts stood in the foreground like sentinels silently silhouetted against the scarlet pasture. Swaying the grasses, the evening breeze felt warm, bringing no relief from the oppressive summer heat.
    As he turned away from the barn door, Mr. Cutlass sighed and wiped his forehead with his large bandana. “This heat’s enough to suck the life out of anyone or anything. The cattle sure are feeling it, and if we don’t get rain soon the water in that back pasture will dry up and we’ll have to bring the herd closer and pump their water. It’s sure looking like another hot, dull summer.” The lean rancher shook his head drearily at the very thought, glancing towards the pump. Then he looked again.
    “Strange,” he muttered. “Who’s been using the pump?” He had noticed a small mud puddle underneath.
    Slowly, through the red-glow of the sunset, Mr. Cutlass stalked to the ranch house, up the porch steps and into the kitchen. A supper of cold meat and cheese sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon and one of Mrs. Cutlass’s cherry pies, had been eaten earlier and now Mrs. Cutlass, having finished the dishes, was pouring two glasses of lemonade.
    “When do you think this heat will let up?” she asked, setting one glass down beside her husband.
    “I wish I knew.”
    Silence fell as the cold drinks were slowly sipped and the night descended outside. At last Mrs. Cutlass spoke. “Do you remember, Dan, that Mary is sending the twins here for the rest of the summer to escape the heat of the city?”
    Mr. Cutlass snorted. “Escape the heat. Don’t know which will be worse.” He was silent a minute. “When are they coming?”
    When the clock struck eight, the couple rose. It was time to head to bed. As they moved slowly down the dim hallway, Mr. Cutlass remembered the mud puddle.
    “Nancy,” he asked, “were you using the pump out behind the barn this evening?”
    “No, why?”
    “Someone had been, there was mud underneath it that wasn’t dry.”
    “Well, it’s too hot to worry about it and I won’t begrudge water to anyone in this weather.”

    The old pickup truck, covered with dust, rattled to a halt before the small train station and the Cutlasses got out. They were a few minutes late and the train had just pulled out again leaving three children on the platform eagerly looking around.
    Spying the couple approaching, one of the children, with red pigtails flying, suddenly darted forward crying, “Uncle Dan! Aunt Nancy! We’ve come!”
    “So we see, honey,” Mr. Cutlass grinned as the young pixie flung her arms first about one and then the other.
    “But who is with you, Kathleen?”
    The girl looked back at the platform where a boy with equally red hair was trying to urge forward a slight girl of about eight. The girl, evidently of Italian descent with straight black hair, was clinging to a small handbag and looking half frightened and shy. “Sure tis Angelina, the girl Mama asked about sending in the last letter.”
    Mr. and Mrs. Cutlass glanced at each other. What last letter? The last one they had received had said nothing about an extra child. But no matter. There was plenty of room.
    “Come on, Pat,” Kathleen called. “It’s sure Angelina won’t be coming if you push her.”
    At this advice from his sister, Patrick left the small girl and ran over to his uncle and aunt exclaiming, “It’s glad I am to be here just!”
    “Let’s get your bags and head on back to the ranch,” Uncle Dan suggested, clapping his nephew on the shoulder.
    As the two menfolk lifted the bags to the back of the truck, Aunt Nancy stepped over to the shy child still standing alone on the platform. “Your name is Angelina?” she asked gently.
    The girl nodded.
    “Well, I’m Aunt Nancy or Aunt Nan. I’m sure you will have lots of fun out here, but you must be tired from your trip, so lets head over to the truck before they leave without us.”
    Angelina looked up into the kind face, saw the friendly hand held out, and after hesitating a moment, slipped her own small one into it and followed.
    “You kids hop in the back and hang on,” Uncle Dan instructed. “I don’t want you to bounce out and us have to come back looking for you.”
    Patrick and Kathleen laughed gaily as they clambered into the back of the truck.
    “Come on, Lina,” Kathleen reached down for Angelina’s hand, but Uncle Dan lifted her in and set her down beside his niece.
    As the truck began to bounce down the road with the twins laughing and squealing in the back, Mr. Cutlass glanced at his wife. “That girl needs some meat on her bones. Why she doesn’t weigh as much as new born calf!”

Have you ever stayed at a relatives house for the summer?
Has anyone stayed with you for the summer?
 If you lived in a big city, do you think you'd enjoy a summer in the country?

P.S. If you have a blog and had added my button and it now looks strange, copy the code again because I had to change some things.

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