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Friday, August 5, 2022

Lawrence & Lenexa - Part 1

 Good morning,

We've had some rain this week. Not a lot, but we did get some over the weekend and then some more yesterday morning. It is still getting into the triple digits some, but not everyday. The grass is looking a little greener.

This has been a very busy week!

Saturday– We moved books and bookshelves in the living room. I'm guessing we moved around 1,400 or more books. And I wrote some and got a few other things done.

Sunday– We had a fellowship meal after church which was fun. I spent the afternoon reading. That was nice.

Monday– My brother's 3 youngest kids spent almost all day here, so we read stories, and played, and naps were taken, and more playing. I did manage to get a little written that evening as well as get ready for the next day.

Tuesday– I was up at 4:30, at my polling place by 5:15. We were actually quite steady almost all day with voters. Ended up with 305 people voting. We had a new guy working with us. He'd never worked the polls before, but he did great. Thankfully the day didn't drag.

Wednesday– I woke up with a sore throat. I spend almost all morning with camp stuff. We closed the gates and kicked everyone off. Then we had to get it cleaned up and as ready for the next camp as we can. Took a nap after lunch. I needed one. Still fighting some sort of cold. Sinuses started bothering me. I did write some and practiced the violin that evening.

Thursday– All 8 nieces and nephews were over from 8:30-5:00. Since I was still fighting some sort of sinus cold and sore throat, it made it hard to read many stories or do a lot of talking. Several of the kids were getting over stuff too. I don't know if I caught it from them when we were over there last week, and then some were over on Monday, and then maybe mixed it with something from Election Day, but I'd rather just get over it. :) 

Anyway, I got my proof copy for Don Wood in the mail yesterday. Now it needs read and corrections made so I can publish it. Yes, I am hoping to work on Lawrence & Lenexa now. Went over some things and last night I sat and knitted and thought through it all. Hopefully I can add what is needed soon.

 

 Lawrence & Lenexa
Part 1

    “Mrs. Hamstead will be picking you up today after school, remember?” Mrs. Johnson said, stopping her silver Cadillac in front of Biltmore Preparatory School where her two children attended. “And Dad and I have a dinner tonight.”
    Climbing from the car, Lawrence nodded. “Got it.”
    Lenexa gave a wave. “Bye, Mom.”
    As the silver Cadillac pulled out into traffic, the siblings glanced at each other with a shrug. “I don’t know why she bothered telling us they have a dinner,” Lawrence muttered, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. “They seem to always have a dinner, or a meeting, or something.”
    Beside him, Lenexa nodded and brushed back her light brownish-red hair. “Maybe we can do something then. After orchestra.” She shifted her violin case to the other hand.
    Together they walked up to the front doors of their school. They were almost the same height, although Lenexa was just over a quarter of an inch taller than her twin brother.Her bangs pulled back in a dark ribbon. Both wore their school uniforms with white shirts. Lawrence had on dark slacks while Lenexa wore her dark plaid, pleated skirt. They looked just like the dozens of other students arriving and were soon swallowed up in the crowd and swept into the stuffy, snobbish halls of Biltmore Prep leaving no time for further conversation.

*


    The sun was bright and the afternoon was warm, indicating the approach of summer and the longed for end of the school term. Mrs. Hamstead was waiting in the car when the twins finally emerged at the end of the school day. She was the Johnson’s housekeeper and rarely spoke to the children of the house unless necessity required it, for she didn’t like children. It was only in extreme circumstances that she would condescend to pick up the twins from their school.
    Today had been one of those days. With a grim face, she waited in silence until they had climbed into the back of the car and fastened their seatbelts, and then, still without a word, she pulled away from the curb.
    Sensing tension, Lawrence ventured to roll his eyes, at his sister and Lenexa bit back a giggle. Both knew it would never do to get Mrs. Hamstead in a worse mood than she already was, so they kept silent and watched the landscape flash by the windows.
    The country atmosphere that surrounded the prep school gave way to high office buildings, bustling lanes of traffic, and occasionally the lights and sirens that signaled an accident. Mrs. Hamstead, though she wasn’t an enjoyable companion, was an excellent driver, and before long the majority of the traffic was left behind and the car turned onto a winding residential street. The houses were modest, single story affairs and Lenexa and Lawrence had often privately wondered what it would be like to live in a house that small. As they continued on, the houses grew larger, the lawns more spacious, and finally Mrs. Hamstead turned onto a long driveway and parked before the Johnson’s house.
    Large, grand, three-stories tall, this mansion was the home of Mr. Lawrence Lancaster Johnson III, attorney at law, his wife, Camilia Lenexa Johnson, and their son and daughter. It was also the working place of several “hired help” who cleaned, cooked, tended the yard, washed the cars, and maintained the appearance of the Johnson home in general.
    “See to it that you do your homework before you do anything else,” Mrs. Hamstead ordered, speaking suddenly as she parked the car.
    “Yes, ma’am,” chorused the twins before scrambling out of the car. They wanted to run into the house but knew that would only bring a scolding from the housekeeper, so they contented themselves with a brisk though dignified walk.
    Once inside, however, they dashed up the stairs to the second floor, down the hall and stopped before their rooms gasping for breath.
    “Race you in changing,” Lawrence challenged.
    “You have to let me put my violin down first,” Lenexa said, “or the new string might come loose again. Not that I would care very much, but my teacher would probably scold.”
    “Okay, but then you have to come back into the hall so we can start at the same time.”
    Lenexa grinned and hurring into her room, carefully set her violin case right side up on the plush, cream couch. Then she ran back to the hall. “Ready, go!”
    The race was over in minutes with both children jerking open their bedroom doors within half a second of each other. This brought a laugh.
    “Now homework. Ugh,” Lawrence groaned. “I can’t wait until school is out!”
    “Me too.” Lenexa grabbed her backpack. “Let’s go to the play room and do our work there.”
    Her brother nodded, and they crossed the hall and entered the large room. Windows on two sides let in plenty of light while bookshelves lined most of one wall and the floor was thickly carpeted. This had been the room where the twins had spent much of their time when they were young. Even now the large closet held their favorite childhood toys, remnants of their monotonous life.
    Not thinking about the past, the twins were soon seated at a table near one of the windows with their homework spread out. Almost complete silence filled the large room for some time with only the turning of a page and the scratching of a pencil to disturb the stillness.
    “Lexie,” Lawrence said at last, fiddling with his pencil.
    “What?”
    “Summer’s coming.”
    “Yeah.” Lenexa looked up at her brother expectantly.
    “Where do you think we’ll go to camp?”
    “Same place as always.” Lenexa couldn’t keep back a sigh. “It’ll be boring as usual, and the snobs in the cabin will be just as annoying, and when we come home Mom and Dad will say, ‘Did you have fun?’ but won’t have time to listen to us say more than yes or no.”
    “What if . . .” Lawrence looked out the window, then down at the table, before glancing up at his sister. “What if we went somewhere else.” 

 

How was your week?
Are you excited for Don Wood?
Have you ever gone to summer camp?

Friday, July 29, 2022

Kate & Kylie - Part 3

 Good morning.

I'm going to keep this part short because I'm still trying to catch up on emails and camp stuff. You see, one of my nephews ended up with appendicitis, and my sis and I took the other 7 kids home from church on Wednesday, spent the night and all day yesterday over there. Thankfully Buddy was able to come home last evening, and Sis & I came home too.

On the writing front my tent at camp was "accidentally" challenged to write 50k words OVER our tent goal. Well, as of yesterday we were 61k over it. And camp isn't even over yet. ;) We'll see if we reach 100k. And we have reached our Active Camp Goal! There's been a lot of writing going on.

We got some rain yesterday. Not much, but some. And it was much cooler. I think it probably reached 90º but it didn't feel nearly as hot as it usually does. I guess that means we were getting used to the triple digit temperatures?

Here's the next part of Kate & Kylie. Enjoy!

 

*

    The little pizza restaurant was loud, and crowded with hungry, excited to be back to civilization, teens. Tables had been pushed together in several places as the laughing, chattering youth found seats with friends. The talk was about the trip, the coming school term, and jobs.
    Kylie paused and glanced around. She could join any of the noisy tables, but after a week of playing chaperone, she was ready for some quiet. And peace.
    Spying an empty booth across the room, she wove her way around tables and kids and sat down with a sigh. It was good to sit in a soft seat with the prospect of eating food that wasn’t cooked over a fire.
    “Can I get you a drink?” one of the waitresses asked, stopping by the booth.
    “Please. Just water with lemon. And thank you.”
    As the waitress left, someone else approached the table. “Is this seat taken?”
    Kylie looked up. Mitch Standish stood beside the booth looking hopeful. With a motion of her hand, Kylie said, “Help yourself, unless you want to sit with that rowdy bunch.” Mitch had been one of the chaperones on the trip, but Kylie hadn’t spent much time talking with him.
    “Thanks, but I’d rather have some sane conversation right now.” He sat down across from her and leaned back in his seat. “You wouldn’t believe some of the conversations those kids have!”
    Kylie grinned. “Actually, I probably would. I had some crazy ones too.” The waitress returned with her drink, and after thanking her, Kylie squeezed one of the lemons into her water and then picked up a second slice and proceeded to eat it.
    “How–” Mitch stared at her. “Those things are sour!” He leaned forward, arms crossed on the table. “I can’t believe you can just eat it like that! You’re not even puckering!”
    The waitress returned with Mitch’s drink and took their pizza order before Kylie bothered to reply.
    “My dad gave my sister and me lemons when we were toddlers. I loved ‘em. My twin hated ‘em.” She shrugged. “So much for twins liking the same things.”
    “Well, you are the first person I’ve met who actually eats lemon slices. Do you peel them and eat them too? Like oranges?”
    At that, Kylie began to laugh. “No. But I do keep a lemon in the kitchen for when I get the urge to eat a slice. Sure you don’t want the last one?” She offered the plate.
    Mitch held up his hands. “Positive. I’m not a lemon sort of guy.”
    “Not even lemon cake or lemonade?”
    “Well, I’ll make an exception for those; they have sugar to sweeten them up. But straight lemons? Huh-uh.”
    With a grin, Kylie picked up the last lemon slice, but before it reached her mouth, there was a loud pop, a thump, a scream, and something hard smacked her in the side of the head.
    Dropping the lemon, her hands went instinctively to her head where a throbbing headache had begun to beat. What had just happened? She closed her eyes and fought the pain.
    A stunned silence fell over the entire restaurant.
    “Kylie!”
    Biting her lip, Kylie heard Mitch’s voice, but she wasn’t sure she could answer without crying.
    “Kylie, let me see how bad it is.” His hands gently moved hers, and his fingers probed her head. “I need ice.”
    “Don’t have any,” she mumbled.
    Mitch’s voice held a smile in it. “I wasn’t talking to you. You’ve got a serious knot on your head. Did you black out at all? Lose consciousness?”
    Kylie started to shake her head, but the slightest movement sent more pain radiating through her skull. “I don’t think so. What hit me?”
    “Here’s the ice. Let us know if you need more.” The voice was worried. Something cold was pressed to her head, and though the pressure wasn’t pleasant, the cold brought a slight ease to the pain. “Do we need to call 9-1-1?”
    Before Kylie could say no, she heard Mitch answer.
    “Thanks, I don’t think so, but I haven’t checked for a concussion yet. I’m almost a doctor and will keep an eye on her and can call if we need an ambulance.”
    “Don’t need one,” Kylie mumbled, still keeping her eyes closed and gripping her hands as they rested in her lap. “What hit me?”
    “A potato. Thank God it hit something else first and then ricocheted into you, otherwise–” He let his sentence die and adjusted the ice. “Can you hold this? I want to make sure you don’t have a concussion.”
    “How did a potato–” she whispered, reaching up and letting him guide her hand to the cold bag of ice.
    “Not sure yet. Can you open your eyes and look at me?”
    After a little blinking, Kylie stared across at Mitch as he moved a small pen light back and forth in front of her eyes. For the first time she noticed his hair was about the color of her great aunt’s dresser in the front room–a dark walnut brown. But his eyes were lighter. They were more like caramel, no perhaps honey.
    “Well, I think you do have a concussion,” Mitch said, turning off his light and putting it back in his pocket, “but it’s slight, and I imagine you have a whale of a headache. Do you still feel like eating? I’ll get you some Tylenol for the headache.”
    For a moment Kylie wavered. The pain in her head was bad, but she knew she needed to eat or she’d have a headache from not eating. Besides, she didn’t want to worry the kids. “I’ll eat. But Tylenol would be nice.”
    Mitch rose and said in low tones, “Don’t get up. I’ll get it from the first-aid box. And I’m going to find out where that potato came from.” His last words were low and slightly stern.
    The moment Mitch disappeared, several of the girls from Kylie’s group rushed over. 


Have you had rain?
How was your week?
Did you enjoy this part of the story?

Friday, July 22, 2022

Kate & Kylie - Part 2

 Good morning!

Welcome to another triple digit Friday. Yep, we're heading to the triple digits once again in temperatures. We've reached 107º twice this week and that wasn't counting any heat index. But yesterday the humidity dropped. I think it's because we've had so much heat that it's finally sucked the last of the moisture from the air which can make things even more dangerous when you are outside because you don't realize how hot you are as you do when there is humidity. We did have some clouds, fluffy clouds not rain clouds, last evening and this morning which is nice. But the grasses are pretty much brown. The trees are dropping leaves like it's fall, and we are longing for rain!

But enough about our lovely weather. (I don't want to make you jealous.) ;) 

This week I have gotten in some writing. Not as much as I had hoped, but I did write 2k on Saturday and 2k on Monday, so that was fun. And I wrote 1k yesterday. I've been jumping around from story to story not sure what I should settle on. I think part of that is because I don't know if Lawrence & Lenexa will need more work or not, and part is because I have tried and tried to write this Christmas play for church and nothing has worked. Finally last night I had an idea and I think it will work. Now I just need to write it.

Camp is going well. There's a lot of writing going on and chatting. Hard to believe that it's already the 22nd of July! The days are flying!

Well, I hope you enjoy this next part of Kate & Kylie. I know I've given it to you once before, but you can read it again before you get a new part.

 

Part 2


    “Kate, I’ll reschedule. I can’t just leave you here alone if you’re having contractions.” Kylie stood near the front door, her purse over one shoulder but a frown on her face. “I mean, what if this time it’s real, and the baby decides to come, and I’m not here?”
    “Kylie, I’m fine! These contractions are not even close together. How many other women have been left alone three weeks before their baby is due? I’m not made of glass.”
    “But I told Joe–”
    “Kylie Smith, you are going to go have lunch with Mitch. If you don’t, I’ll text him and tell him you’re sick. That will bring him here.” And Kate rested her hands on her hips.
    “But I’m not sick.”
    “You’ve almost talked yourself into being sick with nervousness. Come on, you’re an extrovert.”
    Kylie sighed. “Kate, just because I’m an extrovert doesn’t mean I never get anxious or nervous. I mean, I haven’t talked to Mitch for two years. We’ve changed.” Her voice dropped. “At least I’ve changed.” She shook her head quickly as though to shake off her thoughts and said somewhat ruefully, “And now we’re having lunch together. I don’t know why I agreed to do this.” She chewed on her lower lip and looked out the front door.
    Her twin placed a hand on her arm. “You’ll be fine, Kylie,” Kate said softly. “If I weren’t so noticeably pregnant, I’d be tempted to trade places with you again.” Her remark brought a smile to Kylie’s face.
    “Somehow I don’t think Joe would like it if you went out to lunch with a strange guy.”
    “Oh, I’d just tell him I was interviewing the man as a possible candidate for brother-in-law.” Kate smiled innocently.
    “Kate!” Kylie clutched her purse strap and glared at her sister. “Don’t ever suggest such things if Mitch is around! I may not even like him anymore.”
    “Well,” Kate said practically, “you won’t know unless you actually meet him. Now, if you aren’t out in that car and backing out of the driveway in two minutes, I’m texting Mitch and telling him you might be coming down with something.”
    “You’re impossible!”
    “I know.”
    Kylie couldn’t help but grin at her sister. Sometimes Kate got under her skin, but she couldn’t do without her. “If you start having contractions closer together or stronger, let me know at once! I’ll come right home.”
    “I’m fine, and I’ll let you know. Now get going!”
    Kylie got. Moments later she was driving toward the local cafe, a place much loved by nearly everyone. “Lord,” she prayed, “I don’t know what I’m doing. Please help me. It would be nice if I still liked Mitch, but it has been so long. And I’m nervous. Why did I run into him on the 4th? Please be with Kate while I’m gone. I don’t know which I’m more nervous about–Kate having her baby or having lunch with Mitch.” She heaved a sigh and pulled into the parking lot of the cafe, glad to find it not too busy. The lunch rush must not have arrived yet. “Well, here we are. Please help me, Father!”
    She could see Mitch standing casually near the front of the quaint building. One hand was shoved into his pants pocket just as he used to stand waiting for her. Pausing before she got out, Kylie studied him, for it had been dark when she had seen him on the 4th. His hair was cut short, and he was watching a mother with three children walk by as a smile spread across his face.
    Letting out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding, Kylie grabbed her purse and reached for the door handle. “He still looks like the Mitch I knew.”
    The air was humid and hot. Mitch saw her and smiled as she approached. “Hi,” he said. “Hungry?”
    Kylie nodded. “It doesn’t look too busy. I think we beat the lunch rush. Thanks.” She stepped through the door Mitch opened for her. “Do you eat here often?”
    “I’ve actually never eaten here before,” admitted Mitch, casting a quick glance around. “Reminds me of Ma’s Kitchen back in Iowa.”
    “Table for two?”
    Kylie nodded and then followed the waitress to a booth near the back of the cafe.
    As Mitch slid into the seat across from her, Kylie wondered for the seventh, or was it the seventieth, time why she had agreed to this plan of having lunch together. Picking up her menu, she scanned it even though she already knew what she wanted.
    “So, what’s the best thing to get?”
    Kylie looked up. “That depends on if you want chicken or beef.”
    “Tell me the best of both and I’ll pick.”
    A smile found its way to Kylie’s lips. That was exactly what Mitch from two years ago would have said. “The grilled chicken sandwich is the best chicken meal. But if you want beef, go with the smothered cow.”
    “Wow, they both sound good.” And Mitch studied both selections with care. “Although a smothered cow sounds a bit–interesting. But I’ll try it. What are you getting? Chicken?”
    Kylie nodded. “Sometimes I get the pasta, but Kate can’t stand the smell of chicken right now, and I’ve been longing for some.”
    “When’s she due?”
    “Three weeks. She’s had some contractions today, so if I get a call or text, I’m leaving.”
    Mitch grinned. “I don’t blame you. Is this the first niece, nephew–?”
    “Yes. Kate and Joe decided not to find out, and I can’t wait!”
    Just then their waitress returned with waters for them and took their order. When she left, Kylie squeezed two lemon slices into her water and then ate another one.
    “I still don’t know how you can stand to eat those things.” And Mitch made face.
    Kylie laughed, remembering his shock the first time she had eaten a lemon slice. 

 

Do you like lemon slices?
Are your temperatures in the triple digits?
 Should I repost the first parts of Lawrence & Lenexa?

Friday, July 15, 2022

Kate & Kylie - Part 1

 Good morning,

Welcome to summer. Oh, wait. I guess it has been summer for a while now, hasn't it? I suppose I could say welcome to the 100º+ temperatures. Last Saturday we had a lovely day! It was so nice out in the morning and it never got beyond the low 90ºs. And my sis and I have gotten to walk 4 mornings this week before it got really hot. Yesterday was 102º. The next five days or so are supposed to be really hot with one day being 106º and that doesn't count the heat index. And things are dry. We got a very little bit of rain Tuesday morning. Very light so that if there were trees it didn't reach the ground. The grass is turning brown. Plants need watering daily, our lilac bush had to be watered because the leaves were starting to curl. We went from a very, very wet spring with so much rain we longed for sunshine, to a very, very hot summer with not much rain at all.

But this week has been good on other fronts. I got some words written on Monday's Mystery, and I was able to format Don Wood so that when I get a synopsis, I can upload it all and order my proof copy. I also reread and edited and fixed and wrote a new part that hopefully ends Lawrence & Lenexa! That was exciting! Many thanks to the girls in my tent who joined me for Motivation Pushes that helped me finish it. I also brain stormed with another friend for ideas for the Christmas Play for church. Now I need to write it.

Today my grandpa and aunt are coming down to visit.

 I decided to give you the first part of Kate & Kylie again. I know you probably read it last year, but since it's been a while and I have more of it written, I decided I'd started over and let you read it all together. Enjoy!

 

Kate & Kylie
Part 1


    Kylie settled herself in a lawn chair beside her sister. “Are you sure you should be out here in this crowd watching fireworks this late in your pregnancy? We could have watched the neighborhood ones and stayed home. Or–”
Mitch    “Oh, Kylie, stop being a spoilsport,” Kate scolded. “I’m not due for three weeks, and the neighborhood fireworks will be lousy compared to this display. You’ve never seen our fireworks.” Kate spoke of “our fireworks” as though she had had a personal hand in the selection and arrangement of them.
    “Well, I did promise Joe I’d take care of you while he was away,” Kylie began. “And this just seems like a crazy idea.”
    Kate laughed. “I’m fine. Even if my water breaks and I go into labor here, we’re closer to the hospital than we would be at home.”
    “Fine. You win. We’ll stay here.” Kylie pushed a few pieces of hair off her face and looked back in the direction their car was parked. The grassy field was filling up quickly, and she couldn’t help wonder how hard it would be to get to the hospital, after they got through the crowd.
    “Ky,” Kate scolded, “stop worrying and enjoy the evening.”
    “I’ll try.” And Kylie smiled at her twin. “We still have half an hour to wait before the fireworks start. We should have brought something to do.”
    “We can talk. Tell me about Mitch.” Leaning back against the back of her chair Kate looked expectantly toward her sister.
    “Mitch? What made you bring him up? I haven’t heard from him in two years.”
    “Has it really been that long?” Kate looked confused. “I thought you sent me a picture of him not long ago.”
    Kylie shook her head. “Couldn’t have. I haven’t seen him or talked with him.”
    With a thoughtful look, Kate began tapping her upper lip, a habit she had when trying to remember something. “I know I saw his picture and not long ago. Where was it? Joe didn’t send it. Are you sure–”
    “Miss Kylie!” A shrill voice made every head in the area turn as a young child raced across the grass and flung herself against Kylie.
    “Hi, Lilly.” Kylie hugged the small girl and looked up for the rest of her family.
    “I love you!” Lilly exclaimed, her arms still around her friend.
    Kylie laughed. “I love you too.”
    “Kylie, I’m so sorry,” Mrs. Matthews said, hurrying over.
    Kylie quickly assured Mrs. Matthews that she loved getting hugs from her exuberant daughter.
    “Are you looking for a place to settle down and watch the fireworks?” Kate asked. “There’s some space right here if you want to join us.”
    “We don’t want to be a bother,” Mrs. Matthews began, but her words were quickly brushed aside by both sisters. And so, in a few minutes, the Matthews family settled themselves beside Kate and Kylie.
    The fireworks began with a glittering display of lights. The crowd exclaimed over the colors and loud explosions.
    Kylie’s attention was often distracted by Lilly’s antics, for the young girl couldn’t sit still. She danced and jumped, tried to turn somersaults, and often tripped over legs.
    During the lull before the grand finale, Kate leaned over and asked softly, “Are you sure you didn’t send me an old picture of Mitch?”
    Kylie nodded. “Positive.”
    “That’s so strange. I know I saw his picture not that long ago.”
    “Maybe it was just someone who looked like Mitch,” Kylie suggested.
    But Kate shook her head. “No, it was Mitch Standish. Either the picture said his name or someone told me who it was. Now it’s going to bug me.”
    Kylie laughed merrily. “Are you sure you didn’t just dream it?”
    There was no time for Kate to reply before the sky was again filled with lights and colors. Red fountains, gold stars, silver, green, blue, and purple exploding one on top of another.
    The crowd was cheering when a sudden, shrill scream of pain pulled everyone’s attention from the fireworks to Lilly. She lay on the ground, crying and holding her arm.
    Instantly forgetting the display above them, Kylie joined Mr. and Mrs. Matthews beside the little girl. “Her arm is hurt.”
    “We need a doctor,” Mrs. Matthews exclaimed.
    “We’ll have to take her to the hospital, but–”
    “Is there something I can do to help?” a new voice asked.
    Kylie looked up. A man stood beside her, his visage hard to distinguish in the kaleidoscope of colors, but the voice. Had she just imagined it?
    Mr. Matthews answered, “I think her arm might be broken.”
    “I’m a doctor, can I check?”
    This time Kylie was sure, but she couldn’t speak. Not then. She doubted he would even know her now.
    “Does anyone have something we can use for a sling?” the man asked after a quick examination. “I don’t think it’s broken, just sprained.
    Kylie pulled off her bandana headband and held it out.
    “Thanks, Kys.” The man smiled at her as he took the offered cloth.
    Only one person had ever called her that.
    After the Matthews family disappeared into the crowd, Kylie looked up to see Mitch watching her.
    “I thought I heard your laugh earlier, Kys,” he said quietly, “but I thought I was mistaken. I’m glad I wasn’t.”
    “Me too.”
    “Do you live here in town?”
    “With my sister for now.” She nodded back to Kate. “Until her husband returns from deployment. You?”
    “Yep. I just got a job at the hospital.”
    Kate’s voice broke in. “That’s where I saw his picture! It was in the paper from the hospital!”
    Kylie had to laugh, and Mitch joined in.
    “Can we have lunch together sometime soon?” Mitch asked, acting ready to give Kate a hand if she needed it as she stiffly rose to her feet, but glancing at Kylie.
    “I’d like that.”
    “Tomorrow?”
    Kylie nodded. This was a fireworks display she wouldn’t soon forget.

 

Have you ever run into someone from your past?
Which story that I mentioned today are you most eager for?
Have you gotten to walk this week?

Friday, July 8, 2022

Cally's Adventure

 Good morning,

Do you ever have a week where you feel like you are starting out the week behind and you never quite seem to catch up? That's sort of how I've felt this week. We had a lot of fun on Saturday at our church picnic for the 4th of July. (I even joined in the adults' baseball game.) And Sunday was busy with orchestra practice then playing and then I taught children's church. On Monday I was tired. I went to a parade with my best friend, and took a nap in the afternoon. Wednesday night I worked nursery at church, last night I attended a political meeting and found out who I was NOT going to vote for. (Hint: If you want my vote, don't spend most of your speech criticizing and tearing down your opponent and the shaking your head and rolling your eyes when he's telling the truth about your accusations.)

Anyway, writing has been slow. I have only gotten just over 3k written all month! Am I going to have to lower my goal? I hope not, but we'll see. I've also been busy with some other needed things for my website or blog, and preparing a cover of that "secret project" I've mentioned here before. Not to mention Camp is going on.

We haven't been walking because it's so hot! When you are under heat warnings and it's 103ºF with a heat index of 107º or more, you don't feel like walking. At least I don't.

Today's story is one I wrote several years ago for some young friends. I changed the names and decided to let you all read it. Just remember, it was written for little children.

 

Cally’s Adventure


    It was a beautiful summer morning. All the birds were awake and singing. The flowers nodded their heads to a small brown, yellow, and white kitten as it slowly walked down the sidewalk. A yellow butterfly flitted in front of the kitten and, Cally, for that was the kitten’s name, scampered after it down the sidewalk until the butterfly floated up into the blue sky. Then Cally sat down and began to wash her face, for she had forgotten to do it before leaving the house.
    It didn’t take Cally long to finish washing, and she once more started off. She was going exploring all by herself. Usually her owners, Emmy, April, and Joel were outside with her, but they had been busy when Cally had slipped out the door that hadn’t been latched.
    Quickly Cally darted across the street and into an empty field. There were so many flowers to stop and sniff, bugs to look at, and butterflies to follow, that Cally didn’t pay any attention to where she was or to where she was going.
    When a sudden movement in the grass near a tiny stream caught her attention, Cally crouched down, hoping it was a mouse and she could catch it. But instead of a mouse, a strange creature that Cally had never seen before jumped out from behind the rock.
    Cally tipped her head and stared at him, and the creature stared back. Slowly she stretched out her head to sniff the small thing, but when her nose came close, the creature jumped away.
    This so startled Cally that she gave a jump backwards. She didn’t know it, but the little creature was a frog.
    Both the kitten and the frog stared at each other again. Then Cally stepped forward cautiously. She didn’t want to frighten her new playmate. “Meow,” she said softly.
    The frog jumped away again and waited.
    Cally followed.
    Again the frog jumped.
    And again Cally followed.
    It became a little game, and Cally never once thought of how late it was getting or where she was. All she was interested in was getting close to that jumping creature.
    Then suddenly, the little frog jumped onto a large rock in the middle of the stream.
    Cally stopped at the edge of the water. “Meow!” she complained to the frog. “Meow!” Cally didn’t think it was very nice for the frog to jump onto a rock in the stream, for Cally, like most cats, didn’t like water. “Meow, meow,” Cally called, trying to coax the frog back to dry land where any sensible creature would want to be.

*


    Back at the house, Emmy, April, and Joel were looking all over for Cally. They called and called, but there was no small kitten anywhere.
    “Perhaps she went outside,” April said.
    “May we go look for her, Mom,” Emmy asked.
    “Me too!” Joel put in quickly.
    Mom looked at the children. “Yes, you may go look in the yard, but if she’s not there, you will need to get someone big to go with you.”
    “Okay.” Quickly the three children ran outside.
    “Cally! Cally!” They called and called, but Cally didn’t answer.
    “I’m hot,” Emmy said, sinking down to rest on one of the swings.
    “Me too,” April agreed. She sat down on the other swing.
    “Not me,” Joel called, running to look under another bush. He didn’t find Cally, but he did find a stick, which he kept, knowing it could be very useful.
    “Meow.” It was a very faint call, but all three children heard it.
    “That’s Cally!” April exclaimed!
    “But she’s not in the yard. Quick!” Emmy jumped from her swing and ran to the house. “Cally’s not in the yard, but we can hear her!” she called.
    Mom sent one of their big sisters to go with them.
    The children followed the sound of Cally’s cries until they came to a street. After looking carefully in both directions, and with Joel holding their sister’s hand, they crossed it. A large and lovely field stretched before them, but April didn’t stop to pick any flowers, and Emmy didn’t try to catch any butterflies. Even Joel forgot to look for bugs.

*


    “Meow!” Cally called to the frog again. But the frog wouldn’t jump back. So Cally decided to be brave and attempt to jump across the nasty water and join the frog. Crouching low, she made a valiant attempt and actually made it to the rock!
    But where had the frog gone? Carefully she sniffed all around the rock. He was nowhere to be found. As she moved to the farthest edge of the rock, it tipped, and Cally’s back feet fell into the water.
    “Meow!” Frantically she tried to scramble back, but the rock wobbled unsteadily. “Meow!” she cried. “Meow. Meow!”
    “There she is!” Emmy and April shouted at once.
    Cally heard the voices and meowed again. A moment later she felt herself lifted up and handed to the safety of Emmy’s arms. Cally gave one more pitiful, “Meow,” and then settled down.
    April stroked the kitten’s head and crooned over her. “You poor kitty. You shouldn’t go out and get lost. What were you doing in the water?”
    “A frog!” Joel, as soon as he had seen the kitten was safe, had begun exploring the water’s edge and poking his stick into the small current. “Look, look! A froggy!” Joel abandoned his stick and started after the frog. Twice he almost had it, but each time the creature hopped just out of his reach.
    “Let’s go home now,” Emmy suggested. “We found Cally.”
    “I want to catch a frog,” Joel said, still chasing the frog. “See, I found a frog!”
    “Yes,” Big Sister said, “but we can’t keep a frog, Joel. He wouldn’t like it at our house. And we need to take Cally home for her breakfast.”
    Cally began to purr. She didn’t know what a frog was, but going home sounded good, and breakfast sounded even better.


How was your week?
Do you like the heat or the cooler weather better?
Did you enjoy this story?

Friday, July 1, 2022

Liberty & Mr. Pickup's Problem

 Good morning!

I'm going to keep this short as I have a lot of things to do today. For one, it's the first official day of camp. That means it's July! Wait, what? I need to clean the house, and send emails, and write, and prepare to teach Children's Church on Sunday since we're heading to a church family picnic tomorrow and I'll be too busy to prepare then.

This week has been good. We had lovely weather at least in the morning since Monday! So nice that we had the windows open and went and walked. Not much writing at all done, but I did reach the end of Don Wood and got it sent off for a synopsis. Yay! One step closer to publishing this story.

I searched and searched for some patriotic story to post, but I had either posted it only a few years ago, or had published it. So I'm giving you a patriotic poem and a short story. Enjoy!

 

 

Liberty

In this great land where Old Glory does fly
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why?
Not even a thought to why we are free
In this great land with all our liberty?

Go ask your neighbors, the man on the street,
Ask your relations, whoever you meet,
Over our heads where Old Glory does wave,
Why does it fly o’re the land of the brave?
Does it display with its red, blue and white,
True freedom and liberty, honor and right?

Watch as our flag bravely snaps in the breeze,
Its colors show best when its not at its ease.
Even in this we can learn a great thing,
From the midst of our struggles bright freedom will ring.


True liberty comes, the price we must pay,
Say thanks to the soldier who fought in the fray.
Remember this price, blood won’t pay it all
For to you and me sweet Liberty calls.
Unto you I’ve given a charge don’t forget,
You’ll lose all your freedom unless you repent.
Stand on your honor, remember to pray,
God heard us before, He’ll hear us today.
Turn to righteousness, dishonor defy,
And with God’s Liberty, Old Glory shall fly!” 



Mr. Pickup’s Problem


Once upon a time, in a small town somewhere in the world, lived a man. His name was Mr. Pickup. Now Mr. Pickup owned a small store in the center of town where he sold many useful and some not so useful things.

One morning as Mr. Pickup walked to his store, he stopped to look at someone moving into the the shop next door. He paused for a few minutes to watch the men working.
“Hmm,” he said to himself, “they seem to have the same things that I sell.”

All during that day, Mr. Pickup wondered about the store next door.

The next morning as Mr. Pickup walked to his store, he stopped and his eyes opened wide as he looked at the shop next to his. It had a large sign over the door which read: “Best Buy.”
“Oh no,” Mr. Pickup thought, “what can I do?”

All that day he thought about that store beside his and wondered what to do.

The next morning as Mr. Pickup walked to his store, he stopped, his eyes opened wide, and he whistled as he looked at someone else moving into the shop on the other side of his store. On looking closely, he realized that they too had the same things he sold in his store.
“Oh no! What am I going to do now? Mr. Pickup thought.
All that day he thought about the new store and wondered what to do about the sign on the first store.

The next morning as Mr. Pickup walked to his store, he stopped, his eyes opened wide, he whistled and shook his head as he looked at the new store. The new store had an even larger sign over it’s door which read: “Lowest Prices.”

All that day Mr. Pickup sat alone in his store and wondered what he could do about the first store. And he wondered what he could do about the second store. And he wondered what he could do about their signs. He thought and thought.

He was still thinking as he walked home to his house. He thought as he ate his dinner. He thought as he got into bed and turned out the light.
Suddenly, a wonderful idea came to him, and he bounced out of bed. Not waiting to get dressed, he ran out to his garage and started working. He worked hard.

In the morning Mr. Pickup walked to his store. He was earlier than he had ever been. He didn’t stop, his eyes didn’t open wide, he didn’t whistle and he didn’t shake his head, but he got out his ladder and put up his own sign. In letters larger than the other signs were the words: “Main Entrance.”
All that day Mr. Pickup didn’t have time to wonder and think about the two other stores. He was very busy all day long. Mr. Pickup had solved his problem.

The End
 
Do you have plans to celebrate the 4th?
Have you read any stories on here from 2019?
Have you had nice weather this week?

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Old Porch Swing

 Good morning!

I wasn't going to give you anything besides a life update today. I hadn't even really thought about trying to find something to post until last night. And then I only had a short time. So you get a short poem.

This week has been hot. We did get clouds on Wednesday and some yesterday. But they weren't thick, heavy clouds except some yesterday. But no rain. I'm glad I don't have to mow this week. The heat is supposed to break on Sunday and at least the beginning of next week is supposed to be in the 80ºs instead of 90ºs+. I'll go for that.

I have been writing pretty steadily this week on Don Wood. I jotted down the last scenes I needed and last night I started on what might be the final scene. So exciting to be almost done!!! Then it will have to be edited, formatted, cover designed, proof copy ordered, read and edited again all before it gets into your hands. But at least you shouldn't have to wait months for it. That's one thing I like about indie publishing instead of traditional. I can finish a story and don't have to wait a year before it becomes available.

Let's see, what else has happened this week? I've worked on getting girls registered for camp, and have gotten some other behind the scenes stuff done. Hard to believe the gates open on Monday! And I can't believe a week from today is July! Wow!

Well, I need to work on other things, so enjoy this short poem and I hope to see you next week.

 

 

The Old Porch Swing

Fondly I gaze
As I swing to and fro,
At the beauty before me
On the flowers that grow.

The warm summer breezes
How gently they blow,
And they sway the old porch swing
As if they did know,

That the memories they bring,
And that over me flow
Are the sweet days of childhood
I spent swinging to and fro.

So I sit here and dream
Of the times long ago
On the dear old porch swing
As I sway to and fro. 

 

Do you have a porch swing?
Have you had a hot week?
What do you enjoy doing on summer days?