Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Kelsey's Christmas - Part 5

Enjoy this next part!

    Once introductions were over, Mrs. Wittenmyer motioned with her hands. “Sit down everyone, do. It’ll feel more like a friendly visit instead of a duty. Oh, I know,” she added when Kelsey glanced over at Lauren with some anxiety, “you all can’t stay long, but I do hope you’ll tell me a little about the sights in town. Is it too cold riding in the back of the truck?” She looked at Penny as she spoke.
    “No, ma’am! We have straw to sit on and blankets to wrap around us. And we’ve been singing. Well, we were until we got to all the pretty lights and windows in town. But the tree in the park is so beautiful!”
    “Oh, Grandma, it really is,” Zoe added, sitting down cross-legged next to Kelsey. “There are thousands of colored lights on it!”
    “And red, gold, white, blue, and silver balls all over it,” put in Lottie. “And at the very top is a huge star! I’ve never seen the town tree so pretty before. But it would be even better with fresh snow on the ground and on the branches.” She sighed and looked dreamily into the fire.
    Grandma Wittenmyer had many questions about the lights they had seen, about the shop windows and what the displays looked like. It didn’t take long before everyone, even the shyest of the McKenzie girls, had something to say. Finally Kelsey caught Mike’s eye and nodded toward the clock on the mantle.
    With a little cough, Mike interrupted Zoe’s detailed description of one shop window. “It’s starting to grow late, and I promised not to keep the girls out past nine. I’m sorry, but we’re really going to have to leave soon.”
    Zoe sprang up. “But we have to have our hot cocoa and cookies. Mom will be waiting for us. Thanks so much for letting us come visit, Grandma. I’ll tell you all about everything tomorrow.” She kissed her cheek.
    The others had gotten to their feet, and added their own murmured thanks to Zoe’s.
    “Oh, please,” Mrs. Wittenmyer said, “won’t you sing just one Christmas song for me before you leave? I don’t get out, and I would so love to hear some young voices singing again.”
    Kelsey looked at the others. She didn’t mind singing, but what song should they sing? “Do you have a favorite?” she asked at last when everyone remained silent.
    “My favorite is ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’. Do you all know that one?”
    Kelsey nodded.
    “Start it, Kels,” Lauren whispered. “We’ll follow.”
    Though feeling a little shy, Kelsey did, and the others joined right in.
“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold.”

    The young voices filled the dim room with life and cheer as the old carol was sung. When the third verse began, many of the singers, not remembering the words, dropped out to hum along, leaving Kelsey, Lauren, Mike, and Lottie to carry the verse in a quartet.

“O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow:
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.”

    As Kelsey sang those words, she saw two tears roll down Mrs. Wittenmyer’s faded cheeks, though her smile never changed. Was she thinking about her life and the toil and pain she had gone through? A sudden thought struck Kelsey, and though her mouth sang the final verse, her mind was as far from the words she sang as a mind could be.
    The song over, everyone said good bye and followed Wally through halls and rooms to the kitchen where they found Mrs. Wittenmyer, the younger, waiting for them.

Have you ever sung for an older person?


Liberty Bluebelle said...

Yes. It's very rewarding to see their faces light up when they hear the old hymns or carols. =D
I'd like to meet Mrs Wittenmyer, and Mike is a great character too. I like too how Kelsey feels responsible for keeping track of things, even though she isn't the oldest.
I wasn't familiar with that verse. It's beautiful!

Liberty Bluebelle

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

Rebekah said...

I think that verse is the third so it often gets skipped for some reason. I don't like skipping verses in Christmas songs.
Glad you are liking these characters. So do I, and so does my mom. We were even talking that I should write a full novel with them. :) What do you think?