TALES FROM HOME - Chapter Twelve B and Thirteen
Are you confused about the 12B? Sorry! When I started writing 13 I realized I had more to say after the houses little moment...so this is just a continuation of that chapter!
Julia had taken down the tattered red and white checkered curtain above the sink and now the very last of the golden sunlight shone through the sparkling clean kitchen window.
She reached for a bar of soap under the newly tidied sink and told her sisters to wash their hands.
Julia pretended not to notice their eye rolling as she busied herself taking out clean plates and blue speckled metal mugs.
The two younger sisters checked on the baby chipmunks. The mother must have gone out searching for food since there was no irritated chattering, so they crouched in front of the cupboard. Four inquisitive blue eyes stared into ten shiny, black eyes for a long moment. Then they closed the cupboard door carefully so they didn’t startle their furry little friends.
Riley climbed up on a chair and filled each of the blue speckled metal mugs to the brim with sweet, fresh water from the pump.
Morgan carefully carried the little stack of plates over to the newly scrubbed white metal table.
The girls each took a seat on a red kitchen chair. In the clean little kitchen inside the happy little house, the girls joined their hands and said a blessing.
And then together they feasted on fresh spring peas, asparagus and the last of the apples from Julia’s backpack.
After the dishes were rinsed and dried, the three little girls decided to explore the little living room. The golden light that had made the kitchen glow tried hard to work its way through the grime on the large front window.
Julia sent Riley to the kitchen for a pile of rags and bucket of water with a little white vinegar in it. With six busy little hands scrubbing and polishing, the window was sparkling clean in no time at all. It was fun to stand on the weathered and worn front porch and watch the living room emerge like a picture as the outside grime melted away.
When the sheets covering the living room furniture were pulled away, small clouds of dust caused the girls to cough and sputter; yet nothing could dim the excitement of each new discovery.
The room got darker along with the sky, so Julia lit the lantern and placed it high up on the mantel of the gray stone fireplace. The old fashioned, dark green couch elicited giggles from all the girls when a cloud of dust rose up as they sat on it! Two tall backed reading chairs caused a small argument over who go to sit in them first. In the lantern light, the yellow and pink roses on the chairs looked soft and beautiful…like a garden at twilight. A low bookcase between the chairs held stacks of books. Riley spotted a children’s book of poetry and clapped her hands in delight. Morgan saw picture books with dull, golden spines and jumped up and down with glee. Julia noticed cookbooks and history books and story books and gave a sigh of contentment.
This happy little house was starting to feel like a home to the girls.
It took little imagination to envision the yard outside the big front window drifted with sparkling snow, a fire crackling in the fireplace, a stack of books and a little huddle of sisters keeping you company.
The girls worked for a while longer dusting the furniture with damp rags and taking cushions into the firefly filled evening air to pound their dusty surfaces against the porch posts.
Riley began taking the books off the shelves to dust them and gave a loud yawn.
A small table with drawers beside the green couch caught Morgan’s eye, and she started to pull the drawers out. Instead of exploring the contents, though, she wilted onto the floor, wiping her drooping eyes with little fists. “Julia, Riley, I’m tired,” she said, in a soft, low-pitched voice.
Gathering the exhausted little girl into her thin, freckled arms, Julia said, “C’mon, Morgan, I’ll carry you up to bed.”
Riley carefully carried the glowing lantern and the little procession of tired out girls went up the stairs and climbed into bed. Within moments of the sleepily mumbled “amen” at the end of their little prayer, the room was filled with the steady, even breathing of sleeping children.
No night’s sleep can be more peaceful than that following a busy day spent accomplishing wonderful things.
And there is no more peaceful sight than that of small children in slumber: little fists curl up under eyelash shadowed cheeks; sweet rosebud lips open just a bit with each exhaled breath; the boneless, curve of sturdy, small bodies curled together in comfort.
As the night sky deepened into diamond studded black velvet, the happy little house watched over the peacefully sleeping angels.
To be continued on Tuesday, July 20.
(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.