Friday, September 30, 2016

Katie's War--Part 3

Hi people!
I apologize for not getting this posted yesterday. :P 
But now, Part 3 of Katie's War coming your way! :D

Lillian gasped and gathered Katie into a hug.  “Katie I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed, tears entering her eyes.  
Katie leaned against Lillian and cried softly.  “I thought it would be so wonderful to have Jerry home.  But he’s not the same!  And I’ll never see Dad again.  I hate this war, every bit of it!”  
Lillian was silent, her heart aching for her friend.  Finally she said, “Katie, you will see your father again in heaven.  Be thankful for that promise.  And how can you say you hate everything about the war?  Just think of all the Jews Hitler is persecuting.  And remember France, Katie.  Your father sacrificed his life for the freedom of his country, as well as others.  He did what he felt God calling him to do; am I wrong?”
Katie didn’t say anything, but her sobs lessened.  
Lillian stood up.  “I’ll leave you alone for a while.”  She quietly left the room, shutting the door behind her.  Katie raised her head and stared at the closed door, her thoughts in a whirl.  
“God, thank You for friends who help me see the good in a terrible war like this,” she whispered a prayer.  She sat there for a few more minutes, then stood up and walked back to the living room, where Lillian’s family sat in subdued silence.
Lillian’s mom came forward and gave Katie a hug when the girl entered the room.  “I’m sorry, Katie.  Is there anything we can do?”  She asked with genuine concern.
Katie gave her a small smile.  “I’ll let you know.  Thank you, Mrs. Osborne.”  
The rest of Lillian’s family had their turns at comforting the girl.  Matt was last.  He gave Katie a big hug and whispered in her ear,  “Katie, only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American soldier.  One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.  Your father died for the freedom of you as well as many others.  He did it because of the One who died for your soul.”
Tears came to Katie’s eyes once again, and she couldn’t speak, but the look on her face was the only reply Matt needed.  Katie wiped her eyes and turned to the door.  “I’d better go,” she managed to say.  She walked out the door and slowly down the sidewalk towards her home.  Home, she thought.  Jerry’s home.  Mom’s home.  Joey’s home.  Thank You, God, for a home here on earth; even if I no longer have a father to share it with.


After a few weeks, Katie got used to having a one-armed Jerry around the house.  He went out every day to find a job, but came home each time discouraged.  Finally one night Katie was walking by the living room when she heard Mom’s voice.  
“Jerry, it’s time for you to tell us what happened.”
Jerry blanched.  “Mom, I-”
Mom held up her hand.  “Jerry, I know it’s been tough for you.  And I so wish that this didn’t have to hurt you.”  Gentler, she went on, “But son, you can’t live in the past.  You’ve had nightmares almost every night, and still you won’t talk about it.  But don’t you think that talking about it will help?”
Jerry shook his head and rubbed his hand over his eyes.  “I don’t know.”
Katie bit her lip, unsure of whether to leave or continue listening.  Her curiosity won over and she decided on the latter.
“How long has it been since you prayed?”  Mom asked.
Jerry blinked.  “I-I guess it’s been a while.  I just don’t seem to know what to say.”
“Jerry, you’re a 19-year-old.  I can’t tell you what to do about these things.  But I can tell you that you can’t make it through this on your own.  You need help.”
Jerry sighed.  “All right, Mom.  I’ll tell you what happened.”
Katie held her breath.  She was torn between staying to listen, and letting Mom and Jerry talk in privacy.  She began to back up and turn away, but her arm brushed against an umbrella standing in the corner and it fell with a crash.
“Joey?”  Mom called.
Katie sheepishly walked into the room.  “Sorry, Mom.  I... I couldn’t help listening.”
Mom raised an eyebrow.  “Couldn’t help it, eh?  Katie, you need to curb your curiosity.”
“Yes, Mom.”
Jerry chuckled.  “All right, Miss Curiosity, you can listen in.  Joey!”  He raised his voice, and his twin soon appeared in the doorway.  “You may as well listen in too.”  He waved his arm, and Joey curiously entered the room.
Jerry sighed.  “Where should I start?”
“Start where you were missing in action,” Katie suggested.
Jerry’s face clouded over.  “All right.  We were fighting the dir- er, the Germans in Norway.  We were short on supplies-- food, clothes, ammunition; everything.  Living in trenches didn’t do good for anyone’s health or morale, either.”  He closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair.  “One night, during a battle, a bullet caught Dad in the shoulder.  I peeked over the trench just enough to see; what I saw almost made my heart stop.”  
He shuddered.  “A battalion of Germans were charging like at us like madmen.  They were excellent marksmen and I saw soldiers fall all around me, including our commander.  I had just been promoted to lieutenant, and Dad brought me in close and whispered in my ear, ‘Jerry, we’ve got to get the men out of here before it’s too late.’  I helped him stand up, and together we led the rest of the men in retreat, with Dad leaning on me.”  Jerry swallowed and licked his lips, face pale.  
“I had almost thought that we were safe when Dad took another bullet to the leg.  I tried to help him up, but it was no use; I was dog-tired, and Dad couldn’t stand, much less walk, on his own.  I wasn’t going to leave him, but Dad insisted that I had to get the men out of there before the Germans caught us.  Oh, I never should have left him!  I looked back just in time to see a German standing over Dad, pointing a gun at his head.”
“Oh, Jerry,” Mom murmured.  “How awful.”
Jerry continued, “I ran back, but it was too late.  The dirty Nazi pulled the trigger, and when he saw me charging, raised his gun and fired.  The bullet hit me in the shoulder, and I was flung to the ground.  The Nazi was about to finish me off too, when one of my fellow soldiers came and shot him.  He was already shot though, and fell down dead after he shot that German.  I headed back to where my regiment was, but keeled over from loss of blood.  
“The next thing I remember is waking up to see an old farmer standing over me.  He took me to his home, where his wife nursed me back to health.  I had the farmer take me back to camp as soon as I could walk, where they admitted me to the hospital.  My arm had been hurting something fierce, and they had to amputate it due to infection.  Not a day went by, lying in that hospital, that the scene of that Nazi killing Dad didn’t reply itself in my mind over and over.  I can still hear the boom of the gun, the hatred in that German’s eyes...” Jerry shuddered.  “Oh, I just wish I could have stopped it!”  Tears fell from his eyes.  Katie was taken by surprise; she hadn’t seen Jerry cry in years.
Jerry composed himself.  “I was sent back home; I came back on a merchant’s ship.  There were lots of things for a one-armed man to do there, even if it was only washing dishes in the galley.  Many times we were spotted  by German ships, and it was only by the grace of God that I made it back home alive.”  He smiled and shook his head.  “I’ll never forget the look on Kate’s face when I walked up behind her.”  He turned his eyes to his sister.  “I missed seeing that smile.”
Katie returned his gaze fondly, then walked over to give him a hug.  “I missed you so much, Jerry.  We all missed you.”  Joey and Mom nodded in agreement.
Mom stood.  “Well, it’s time to get ready for bed.  Katie, are you finished with your homework?”
“Yes, Mom.”
“Good, then off to bed with you.”  Mom pointed to the stairs.
Katie stood slowly.  “Mom, you expect me to sleep after hearing a story like that?”
“Bed, Kathryn Saige.”  Mom smirked at the face Katie made at hearing her full name.
Katie climbed the stairs, pausing at the top when she heard Joey’s voice.
“I prayed for you every day, Jerry.”
There was a moment of silence, then Jerry’s voice replied huskily, “Thanks, brother.  I needed it.”


A week later after school, Lillian and Katie were walking to Lillian’s house together.  Matt had recovered completely, and his family was hosting a farewell party 
“You’ve been awfully quiet, Lillian,” Katie said.  “Are you worried about Matt leaving?”
Lillian sniffed and nodded.  “I’m just so afraid I’ll never see him again until I die; I’ve had this feeling ever since he first went off to war, but now that he’s been home again...” her voice trailed off.
Katie put an arm around her friend comfortingly.  “Lillian, Matt is going where he believes God has led him; if it’s his time to die, God will take him; if not, then he’ll come home after the war.  No one can change God’s plan for us.”
Lillian stopped and stared at Katie.  “That’s the most profound thing I’ve ever heard you say.”
They arrived at Lillian’s house, where a small crowd had already gathered, and Katie quickly spotted her family.  My family... minus Dad, she thought with a twinge of sadness.  Tears once again entered her eyes, but she quickly brushed them away.  There was no use in making this farewell party a sad one.
Later, Katie and Lillian were sipping glasses of lemonade when a loud “Excuse me!” rang above the chattering crowd, and Katie turned to see Matt standing on the second step of the stairs at the back of the room.  Curious, she walked closer along with many other guests.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beautiful People--September 2016: Joey Judson

Hi people!
Beautiful People is a monthly link-up to help writers learn more about their characters, and to help others learn about the characters. ;)  So, today, I will be doing Josiah (Joey) Judson.

How did you come up with this character?
Umm… good question. ;P  It's hard to tell how you come up with characters; it's like you get the story idea, and suddenly there they are!  Josiah was named after a cousin of mine. :)

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?
Um, not that I know of. ;)

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?
Oh yes, he's the fastest wheelchair racer in town. B-)
He'll race Katie while she's on foot, and can win at least half the time.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.
1. Bullying.  Joey will always stand up for kids that are bullied, and sometimes he says things that he later regrets.
2.  Discrediting; it drives Joey nuts when people seem to think that he can't do as much or that he isn't as intelligent as "normal" people because he's wheelchair-bound.
3. Jerry (Thanks to Faith P. for suggesting!).  They're siblings; need I say more? B-)

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?
Favorite is… cold, fresh air that is almost cold enough to make your lungs burn.
Least favorite: hot and muggy; the kind of weather that after you get sweaty, you can't dry off without a towel.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?
I had to look up what a Hogwarts House is. ;P  Joey's Hogwarts House is… 

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?
Present problems.  One day at a time; otherwise, how would he have handled polio?

What is their favourite thing to drink?
Orange juice. He's loved it ever since he was little. ;)

What is their favourite color? Least favorite?
Favorite: Green.
Least favorite: Orange.  I know, his favorite drink is orange juice, but that doesn't mean he likes the color.  Thankfully, that's never changed his tastes. ;P

What is a book that changed their life?

The Bible, of course! ;)
That wraps up September's Beautiful People!  I don't know about you, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  What say you?  Shall I do October's?
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Katie's War--Part 2

Hi people!
Happy fall y'all!!
Can you believe summer's gone already???  I used to not believe adults when they told me time goes by faster the older you get, but now I'm seeing just how true that statement is. ;P
Anyway, here's part 2 of Katie's War!

Josiah quickly wheeled his chair over to his sister, who held the door open for him as he entered the house.  Together they made their way to Mom, who sat motionless in the living room, staring into space.
“Mom.”  Josiah waved his hand to get his mother’s attention.  “What does it say?”
Mom didn’t say anything, but handed him the telegram.  After scanning its contents, Joey paled.  
“What is it?”  Katie demanded.
Joey swallowed.  “It- it’s Dad and Jerry.  They’re missing in action.”
Katie felt like someone had punched her in the stomach.  She quickly sat down in a nearby chair.  No, God, please, no, no, no!   This can’t be happening!  Both of them, missing in action?  It- it can’t be!  No, God, no!  Why are You letting this happen?  Tears entered her eyes and spilled over, and her breath came in gasps.  We prayed for them so much.  God, we trusted You.  Dad himself said that You would take care of them.  What now?  For all we know, Dad and Jerry are dead.  “I hate this war!” She exclaimed.  “I hate it, hate it, hate it!”  She jumped from her chair and dashed up the stairs, furiously wiping away tears.  
Entering her room, she flung herself on her bed, sobbing.  “God, why, why?  Why is this happening?  You were supposed to take care of them.  You were going to protect them!”  There she lay, uncomforted, heartbroken, and cried herself to sleep.


Months passed, and whatever hope Katie had of ever seeing her father and brother again vanished.  One day in November, Katie was on the front porch, studying for a history test when she heard her name called.
“Katie, Katie!”  Lillian ran up to her and grabbed her hand.  “You’ll never guess!” She squealed.  Without waiting for an answer, she went on, “Matt is coming home today!”  She plopped down on the porch swing next to her friend.  “We got a telegram.  We were so afraid that he was dead, or missing in action, but it was Matt himself.  He’s injured, but he’s coming in on the train today!”  She jumped up.  “I just wanted to come invite you to go with us to meet him.”  She looked expectantly at Katie.  
Katie bit her lip.  “I don’t know, Lillian.  I think your family would like to be alone with Matt; it’s his homecoming.  Aren’t you guys going to want to have a private reunion?” 
“Katie, Matt is almost as much your brother as he is mine.  I know he’ll want to see you again.  Please?”
Katie sighed.  She didn’t particularly want to go, but the pleading look on Lillian’s face convinced her.  She closed her history book and stood up.  “All right, let’s go.”  She let Lillian lead her down the sunny sidewalk to Lillian’s home, where she piled into the car along with Lillian’s family, and they headed to the depot.
Katie stood beside Lillian, who was bouncing on her toes, on the platform next to the railroad station. 
“Here it comes!” Lillian squealed.  She pointed down the tracks to a cloud of black smoke rapidly coming closer.  This soon took the shape of a train, and Lillian grabbed Katie’s arm in anticipation, now jumping up and down.  “It’s coming, it’s coming!”  
The train pulled to a stop in front of the waiting group, and passengers disembarked.  Lillian eagerly scanned the crowd, sucking in a sharp breath when her brother finally stepped off the iron horse.  Katie almost did the same when she saw Matt: thin, pale, haggard, walking slowly with crutches, wincing as if every step was a struggle.  When he saw the people waiting for him, however, his face immediately lit up.
Katie hung back while the Osborne family greeted their son and brother.  Finally Matt turned to Katie.  “Hello, Katydid,” he said, using his nickname for her while pulling her into a hug.  “It’s good to see you again.”
“It’s good to see you too, Matt.”  Katie gave him a smile and stepped back as his family once again surrounded him.  A stab of envy for her friend made her all the more anxious for news from her father and brother.  Tears entered her eyes as she thought of all the fond memories she had before the war.  I hate this war!  She thought of all the times Jeremiah and Josiah, the twins, had come to her rescue, whether it was from bullies or something as simple as a spider.  And Dad? He had always been there, always ready to comfort her and listen when she had a problem.  But where was he now?  Where was the man-
“Hello, Kate.”
Katie stiffened and slowly turned, for the first time in months daring to believe.  Daring to hope.  She knew that voice; the voice that had for so long been one of the two voices she longed to hear.  She looked up into the face that she had dreamed to see for so long.  Tears entered her eyes and spilled over.
“Jerry, Jerry!” She cried, flinging her arms around him.  One of his muscular arms surrounded her and pulled her close.
“I’m home, Kate.  Home for good,” he whispered into her hair.
Katie pulled back and looked at him confusedly.  “Home for good?  What-” she broke off when she saw why and gasped.  “Oh, Jerry.”
Jeremiah “Jerry” gave her a small smile.  “What?  My missing arm surprise you?”  He lost his smile and rubbed his hand across his eyes.  “Boy, am I tired.”
Katie turned to Lillian’s family, who had stopped talking to watch the small reunion.  “Mr. Osborne, is there room in your car for one more?”
Mr. Osborne grinned.  “I think we can all squeeze in.  Come on, let’s go; I think there are some other people that would like to see Jerry.”
Katie turned to her brother.  “That reminds me, Jerry, how come you never wrote to say you were coming?”
Jerry put his arm around her and steered her to the Osborne’s car.  “I wanted to surprise you; besides, I wasn’t sure when I’d get here.  I didn’t even know I was coming,”  he muttered this last part under his breath, but Katie heard it.  Jerry opened the car door for her, then swung in behind her and shut the door.
“213 Walnut street, if you please, driver,” Jerry said in a British accent to Mr. Osborne.  
The man chuckled and replied, “Cheerio, my good man.  On our way, then.”  They pulled away from the depot and headed to the Judson home.  Once there, Katie jumped out of the car before it stopped and ran up the porch steps.  As soon as she opened the door she was yelling, “Mom, Mom, come quick!  Joey!  You’ll never believe this!”
Mom appeared from the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel.  “What’s wrong, Katie?” She asked. 
Joey appeared in the doorway beside her.  “Yeah, what’s going on, Kate?”
Katie grinned.  She glanced behind her to make sure that Jerry was in place, then announced, “I present to you, Jeremiah Judson, fresh from Norway!”
Mom gasped and grasped the back of a nearby chair as the form of her son filled the doorway.  “Oh, Jerry!” She sobbed, rushing forward and flinging her arms around Jerry.  She clung to him as if she would never let him go, but finally Jerry peeled her arms off as well as he could with one hand.  “You don’t want me to ignore my own twin, do you?” He asked playfully.  He went and knelt beside his brother, giving him a bear hug.
Joey’s eyes were moist.  “I knew you weren’t dead, Jerry,” he whispered.  “In my heart I knew you weren’t gone yet.”
Jerry’s eyes clouded over.  “Yes, I made it.  But Dad-”  He broke off and rubbed his hand over his eyes.  
Fear gripped Katie’s heart, and her stomach knotted.  “Dad?  Is he- is he-”
Jerry looked at her with wet, sorrow-filled eyes.  “Yes, Katie, he’s dead; I saw it happen myself.”
Mom closed her eyes and sat down hard into a chair.  “Don, oh Don,” she whispered.  She raised a tear-streaked face to Jerry.  “How did it happen?”
Jerry swallowed and stood up.  “I’d rather not talk about it.  I’d like to be alone in my room, if you don’t mind.”  Without waiting for an answer, he slowly climbed the stairs, leaving Katie, Mom and Joey alone.
“I can’t believe he’s gone.”  Joey’s voice cracked, his face was pale and drawn, and he stared straight ahead while tears streamed unchecked down his face.  Katie bit her lip as her brother spoke, blinking back tears.  “When I had polio, he would come straight to my room after work.  He would eat with me, tell me stories.  Even when I was left a cripple, he would remind me of God’s grace.” He smiled fondly through his tears at the memory.  “Dad was the man that brought me closer to God.”
Katie sobbed silently, her own memories of Dad playing in her mind.  Mom stood up on shaky legs.  “I’m going out to the garden for a while,” she announced quietly.  “Call if you need me.”  
“I... I’m going to Lillian’s house.”  Katie stood up in a daze, and made her way out of the house.  She briskly walked down the sidewalk, one goal in mind: talk to Lillian.  When she finally walked up to Lillian’s house, she was about to knock on the door when the sound of laughter came from inside.  I don’t want to spoil their fun, she thought to herself.  She turned and began walking away when the door opened.  
“Katie?  Is everything all right?”  Lillian’s voice called out to her.  Katie turned around, raising her tear-stained face to meet Lillian’s gaze.
“No, Lillian, everything is not all right!”  She ran, sobbing, into her friend’s open arms.
Lillian gently turned Katie toward the house.  “Come on, let’s go inside and you can tell me all about it.”  They entered the house, and Katie suddenly felt self-conscious as Lillian’s parents, two sisters and three brothers stared at her.
“Lillian, I should go,” she whispered.
“Nonsense.” Lillian led her through the living room and to her bedroom, leading Katie to the bed and sitting down beside her.  “Now, what’s wrong?”
Katie bit her lip, unsure of what to say.  Finally she blurted, “Oh Lillian, he’s dead, he’s dead!”
Lillian looked confused.  “Who’s dead, Katie?”

Part 3 coming next week! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Katie's War--Part 1

Hi people!
Today, I will be posting something a little different.
You get to read the first part of a story that I wrote.
What story, you ask?  Katie's War.  It's the story that contains the excerpt I shared with you in The Rising Authors Tag.
Katie's War won 3rd place in the 2016 Writer's Unite contest, so although some of you have already read this, I will be posting it anyway, as I know some of you haven't read it.
Like Wooton Bassett from Adventures in Odyssey said, "It's hard to put your writing out for the world to like, or hate, or feel indifferent about."  But I'd love to hear any feedback y'all have for me. :D
So, without further ado, I present part 1 of Katie's War!

Katie’s War

April 1942
Crack! The baseball hit the bat and went sailing into the outfield.  Katie ran to first base, second, and then third.  After a split-second decision, she dashed for home plate.  She was nearing the base.  Twenty feet... fifteen... ten... suddenly she saw the ball come sailing towards the catcher’s mitt.  
“Slide, Katie, slide!” Her teammates yelled from the sideline.  Katie’s reaction was almost immediate, and she slid for home just under the catcher’s mitt.  “Safe!” The umpire shouted, and Katie’s team cheered.
“Kathryn?  Kathryn!”  Katie looked up to see Mrs. Harris, her history teacher, staring at her over the top of her wire-rimmed glasses.
“I-I’m sorry, Mrs. Harris, I guess I wasn’t paying attention.  What did you say?”
Mrs. Harris frowned.  “Kathryn, this daydreaming must stop.” She turned back to the book on her desk.  “Now, the question I asked was, can you tell me when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln?”
Katie stood up, racking her brain for an answer.  “Um... February 1st... 1820?”
Mrs. Harris closed her eyes with a sigh in a gesture of obvious frustration and sat down into her straight-backed wooden chair.  “That is incorrect, Kathryn.”  She opened her eyes and they roved across the room.  “Does anyone know the answer?  Yes, Lillian.”  She pointed to a raised hand near the back of the room.
Lillian stood up.  “The Emancipation Proclamation was announced by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862.  It was put into action January 1, 1863.”  She sat back down and sent an apologetic smile to Katie.  Katie returned her friend’s smile, inwardly groaning.  Her grades were failing, and she dreaded having to take home her report card that afternoon; her mother was very strict about keeping up her grades, despite the war.

After school, Katie was walking home with Lillian.  “I don’t see how you can remember all that history!” She exclaimed.  “I mixed up the date of the Emancipation Proclamation with my great-great grandpa’s birthday.”
Lillian giggled.  “Kathryn Judson, you can’t remember history but you remember what day your great-great grandfather was born?”  She shook her head.  “You have a strange mind, girl.”
Katie grinned.  “Yep, but I’d rather be strange than normal, if normal is remembering all the important dates in history!”
Lillian rolled her eyes.  “At least I don’t have to worry about my mother’s wrath when she learns about my grades when I get home.”  This instantly sobered Katie, and Lillian immediately apologized.  “I’m sorry, Katie.  I wasn’t thinking.”
Katie gave Lillian a small smile.  “It’s all right; I know I should quit daydreaming, but sometimes I can’t help myself.”
Lillian nodded sympathetically, then changed the subject.  “Have you heard from your dad and Jerry lately?”
Katie shook her head sadly.  Her father and brother had enlisted in the military as soon as the news came that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor last December.  “God’s calling us to serve,” her father had stated.  “What can we do but obey?”  When the day came that they had to leave, Dad had pulled her in close and whispered in her ear as she clung to him, “God can take care of us, Kat.  Trust in Him and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”  Jerry came up and gave her a squeeze.  “Hang in there, Sis.  I’ll be back.”  He winked, and together they stepped on the train, and were gone.
“Katie, watch out!”  Lillian shouted.
Katie looked up from her daydreaming just in time to see a car racing down the road, heading straight toward her. She froze, unable to move.  
“Run, Katie, run!” Lillian cried from the sidewalk; yet Katie still couldn’t move.  Finally Lillian dashed to Katie and shoved her out of the way just as the driver of the oncoming car saw her at the last minute and swerved; but it was too late.  The corner of the front bumper caught Lillian’s shin and she was flung to the pavement.
“Lillian!” Katie screamed.  Ignoring her skinned knees and elbows from falling to the pavement, she raced to the fourteen-year-old girl and gasped at what she saw.  Blood seeped slowly from her skinned arms and face, and her shin gushed freely from the impact of the car’s bumper.
The driver of the car appeared beside Katie and frowned worriedly as she peered into Lillian’s face.  “I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed.  “I didn’t see you until it was too late.  I’m so sorry!”  Lillian obviously hurt too much to give the woman an answer, and she closed her eyes.  Her head, which had hit the concrete hard when she fell, was also bleeding slightly. 
“Lillian!  Can you hear me?”  Katie practically screamed at her friend, placing her hands on Lillian’s shoulders.  Lillian opened her eyes, and with effort said, “I... hear you... Katie.”  Her head dropped back, and she slipped into unconsciousness.
“Oh Lillian, this is all my fault,” Katie cried, tears running freely down her face and dripping onto Lillian’s blood-stained dress.  “If I hadn’t been daydreaming, this wouldn’t have happened.”


Katie’s whole body ached.  Opening her eyes with a groan, she looked up to her own familiar bedroom’s ceiling.  Why do I hurt so much?  She wondered silently.  Suddenly the events of the previous day came flooding back.  Oh, my fall on the street.  She slowly sat up and placed her bare feet on the floor.  She sat there for awhile, willing herself to stand.  Finally she shoved off with her arms, wincing at the pain this brought to her elbows, and slowly dressed.  
Smelling the aroma of oatmeal, Katie wrinkled her nose as she descended the stairs.  “Oatmeal again,” she muttered to herself.  She entered the kitchen, where her mom and brother sat at the table.  
“Morning, Katie,” Mom greeted, standing to dish up a bowl of oatmeal for her daughter.  “How do you feel?”
Katie slowly sank into a chair and picked up her spoon.  “I hurt all over.”  
Mom chuckled.  “No wonder; that little tumble didn’t do any good for you.”
“Have you heard anything from Lillian?”
Mom nodded.  “Her mom called early this morning.  Lillian’s leg is broken, Katie.  And the doctor thinks that she has a concussion, among all the bruises and raw skin she has.”
Katie frowned.  “A broken bone just from the corner of a car bumper?”
Mom nodded.  “Yes, it’s a clean break though, and it will heal quickly.”
Katie’s brother, Josiah, added his own thoughts.  “It’s a good thing she was there, Kate.  You might have ended up with worse than a broken bone and concussion if she hadn’t.”  
Katie sighed.  She pushed back her bowl of oatmeal.  “I’m not very hungry.  I’m going to go get ready for school.”  With that she shoved back her chair and walked out the room.

Through the next days, Lillian slowly recovered her strength.  After staying in the hospital for a couple of days, she was sent home, where Katie was one of the first to greet her; but war news put a damper on everyone’s spirits.  The beginning of food rationing didn’t help, either.  Each day when Mom came home from work, she came with the news that there was still nothing from Dad and Jerry.  Finally, after a week had passed, Mom was in the kitchen working on supper.  Katie was working on homework in her room when there was a knock at the door.  
“I’ll get it!” Mom called.  Katie made her way to the top of the stairs.  From where she was, Katie could see Mom open the door.  A young woman handed her a small yellow envelope; Mom thanked her and closed the door, leaning against it for support as she stared at the telegram in her hands.
“Mom, open it.  What does it say?”  Katie demanded, hurrying down the stairs.
Mom looked up in surprise.  “Katie, I thought you were doing homework in your room.”
“I finished it.  Now, what does the telegram say?”
Mom slowly opened the telegram, unfolded the paper inside, and her face blanched.  “I-I have to sit down,” she said faintly.
Katie’s eyes widened with fright.  Something’s happened.  Dad or Jerry are dead.  Oh, God, please, no, no!  She squeezed her eyes shut to keep the tears in, placing her hand on the back of her mother’s chair.  “Shall I get Joey?”  
Mom nodded absently.  “I believe he’s in the backyard studying.”
Katie walked quickly through the house and opened the backdoor.  “Joey,” she called.
Josiah looked up with a smile that quickly vanished at the look on Katie’s face.  “What’s wrong, Kate?”

Katie bit her lip and swallowed hard.  “We... just got a telegram.  Mom didn’t tell me what it says, but Joey, a telegram...”

That's all for now, folks!  Part 2 coming next week. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Corn Harvest 2016

Hi people!
Corn harvest is in full swing, and, living on a farm, I get multiple opportunities to ride and/or take pictures.

The corn goes into the combine through the header and into the bin:
Picture courtesy of my sister
Then, once the bin is full, the grain cart goes to meet the combine,
The rides can get quite bumpy in the field!
 And the combine dumps on the grain cart without stopping.

The grain cart then heads over to the truck and unloads, then heads back out to meet the combine again...

While the truck, once full, heads off to unload.

But before he does, it's always fun to play in the grain. :)
Photo courtesy of my sister
Every once in awhile, the combine will come unload on the grain cart while the grain cart is unloading on the truck:

Or, at the end of the field, the combine will just head straight to the truck instead of unloading on the grain cart.

And, of course, every vehicle needs to refuel sometime.

So while the tractor's driver is doing that, I hop from the buddy seat into the much more comfortable driver's seat. ;)

Also, what would harvest be without food?
So that the guys don't have to stop and come home to eat, we pack their food and take it to them for them to eat on the go. :)
Mmmmm… ham & cheese roll-ups with tomatoes, onions, peppers, cream cheese and lettuce. :D
Bacon cheeseburgers are delicious.
And, last but not least, here are some pics that I just think are cool. ;)
Photo courtesy of my sister
I love the sky here :D
Combine auger unloading
Courtesy of my brother
So there's corn harvest, folks!
Thanks for stopping by!