Friday, October 30, 2015

No Greater Love--Part 8

Hey Everyone! Really, so sorry about missing the post last week, but better late then never. . .right? ;) I honestly did mean to get it up and it slipped my mind.
I'll try to post a general update about how my writing is going sometime this weekend, but until then enjoy!

“December 24th, 1961. . .”
Dear Richard,
I hope this letter finds you well. Life has been so different here with you gone. Well, okay, not horribly different since you have been gone for the past year at the base, but it’s different all the same. It’s Christmas eve and the smells of Christmas are everywhere. The cider you love is bubbling away on the stove, the fire is blazing in the hearth, the Christmas tree is decorated with all the usual ornaments. The presents are stacked beneath the tree in all the normal wrapping and papa is almost ready to read the Christmas story.
The only thing missing is you. Normally all four of us would be here sitting together. You would be teasing me and mom and dad would be laughing. We would have the Christmas carols on in the background and everything would seem perfect
But I’d better stop. This is making me feel like crying. It snowed a little to day. Just a small dusting, but it will be a white Christmas after all. I miss the snowy days when we were children. Making snow angels and building forts and snowmen.Although since we've moved to Texas, we haven't done it very often due to the lack of snow. There I go again, trying to make myself cry and you homesick.
Papa is settling in the old rocker with a mug of cider in his hand and the family Bible on his knee. Mama has been on her feet all day, preparing for Christmas dinner and making sure the house is perfect. But now she's seated beside me and we’re sipping cider with papa.
I miss you so much, Richard. And I think of you and pray for you everyday. May God keep you safe from all harm, give you a blessed Christmas, and bring you home soon.
Merry Christmas! Love, Rachel
There was silence in the room for a while after Grandpa finished. Eva’s eyes were on the old fireplace and she could almost imagine the warmth from the flames, the Christmas songs, and her Aunt Rachel sitting at a chair with a book on her lap as she wrote the letter.
She was startled from her reverie when Grandpa folded the later, placed it back in the envelope, then handed it to here. “Can you get me the next one, Eva?”

Eva nodded and carefully placed the letter back in its place at the front of the chest. Then, reaching behind, she pulled out the second envelope and handed it to Grandpa.
He opened it, glanced at the date and frowned, “Eva, this letter isn’t until nearly four years later.”
Eva’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Really? It was the next one.”
“Well here.” He handed back to her. “Let me see the third one. Maybe they got mixed up.”
Eve obeyed and handed yet another folded envelope to her grandpa.
He opened it, glanced at the date and shook his head. “Nope, this comes directly after the second one.” A puzzled look crossed his face. “Rachel was always very careful about keeping things in order.”
“Why don’t we just read the next one?” Nate asked impatiently
“No, we can’t do that!” Eva exclaimed. “Just think about all we would miss!” .
“Well, I’ll tell you what.” Grandpa sat back in her chair. “Rachel will be here this weekend and we can ask her about it the. Would that work?”
A look of disappointment crossed Eva’s face, but she quickly replaced it with a smile. “Yes, then we can hear about it from her side too!”
Grandpa smiled, “I know she’d love to share it with you.” He paused and glanced at the clock, “And it’s almost noon, so you two had better hurry home!”
“Almost noon? Wow, time sure seems to pass so much faster when we’re over here!” Eva said with a laugh.
“Yeah,” Nate remarked. “I wish it would pass just as fast during school.”
There was a general chuckle and then they gave Grandpa a hug goodbye and left.

As their footsteps faded and the door closed behind them, Grandpa sighed as he was left alone with his memories that carried him to another time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I know I missed the story post on Friday. . .really sorry about that! I'm working on getting post up for (hopefully) tomorrow, but for now I have a beautiful cover for a soon-to-be-published book to show you all!
Rebekah Morris's Through the Tunnel! 

“I hate being a foster kid!” Fourteen-year-old Lissa had thought those words dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the last twelve years. She and her twin brother, Leigh, had been foster kids for as long as they could remember. Naturally shy, this life of bouncing around from one foster home to another, of changing schools mid-term, and of never having a real place they could call home had left Lissa with feelings of insecurity and doubt. Would they ever have a real home? Why didn’t anyone want them? Then one cold, winter afternoon, Lissa persuades her brother to make believe that a tunnel under a snow covered bridge is the entrance to a new world and a new life; together they walk through it, and it changes their lives forever.

Rebekah A. Morris

Isn't it a beautiful cover?! And doesn't the synopsis sound intriguing? I can't wait for it to be published so I can get a copy of it in my hands! :D
Thanks for letting me share it, Rebekah! :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

No Greater Love--Part 7

The next morning Eva and Nate hurried through their breakfast.
Mom laughed as Eva nearly spilled her glass of milk. “Alright, settle down.” she reached out and steadied the glass. “I’ve never seen you two in such a hurry to do school work.”
“Grandpa’s never told us stories before either,” Eva pointed out.
“True. Well, you two have fun. And be home before lunch!” she called after them as they hurried out the front door.
“Come on, Eva. Hurry!” Nate’s tone was impatient as he waited for.
“Nate,” Eva protested as she bent down beneath the bike. “The chain came off and I can’t get it back on!”
Nate propped up the kickstand on his bike and walked over to her, “how did the chain come off to begin with?”
Eva wiped her hands on her jeans as she took a step back and let Nate take the bike. “I’m not sure. It was on when I left it last night.”
“Eva, a chain doesn’t just fall off. Was it loose?”
Eve nodded, then realized he wouldn’t see her, “yes. It’s been needing tightened for a while, but I kept forgetting to ask you to do it.”
“Alright, well it’s on now and ready to go.” He stood and handed her the bike.
“Eva grinned, “thanks.”
“Welcome. Now can we please get over to Grandpa's?” Nate said in a sarcastic tone as he winked at his sister.
Eve grinned, “let’s go!”
Nate led the way down and driveway and in no time at all the siblings had propped their bikes up against the garage door.
“Nate, Eva, is that you?” Grandpa’s voice called out as Eve closed the door behind them
“Yes, Grandpa. We’re back for another story,” Nate smiled as they walked into the living room.
“Well, the story is going to have to wait--” Grandpa stopped at at the crestfallen looks on their faces and chuckled. “Well, it’s not quite that bad. Your Grandma’s at the church, but before she left she reminded me that up in the attic is a trunk of letters. Why we’ve kept them I have no idea, but they’re the letters Rachel and I sent back and forth while I was in Vietnam. I kept all her letters and she kept mine. When I got back she filed them all and put them in a trunk, which is where they’ve stayed ever since. Would you two like to go and take a look?”
Eva sighed, “would I ever! Just think, a trunk full of letters from the Vietnam war era. How positively enchanting!”
Grandpa chuckled as he led the way up the stairs, “I’m glad you think so. I have been up here for years so I have no idea where to find them. We’ll just have look till we find them I guess.
“Oh, a treasure hunt!” Eva squealed. “This is the best school assignment ever!”
Nate rolled his eyes, “girls. How can you get so excited over letters?”
Before Eva could reply, Grandpa took a key from his pocket and opened the attic door. “Well, here we are.”
The door groaned in protest as it opened, revealing a small room crowded with old furniture.
Nate groaned, “We’re going to be here all day!”
Grandpa smiled, “well, not quite all day I hope. Last I remember the trunk was pushed up against the window at the back. All we have to do is get over there and get it out.”
Eve eyed him doubtfully. “do we have to move all the furniture?”
“Nope!” Nate exclaimed as he started climbing the furniture, making his way toward the window. “I’ll just climb over and get it.”
“Well. . .” Grandpa looked as though he was going to call Nate back, then changed his mind. “Alright, but be careful.”
“Ahh, is it a cherry trunk with the initial "R" on the front?” Nate called, his voice echoing against the vaulted ceilings of the old house.
“Yes, that’d be it,” Grandpa replied. “Just please, be careful with it, Nate.”
Nate shoved around the furniture at the back, then let out an exclamation of surprise. “Grandpa, in the trunk. There must be at least a hundred letters in here! And there more than just letters, there a whole bunch of other stuff in the back.”
“Oh, come on, Nate. Hurry and bring it!” Eve said excitedly.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Nate lugged the trunk up over the other furniture and set it down with a thud.
Eva dropped down to her knees and opened the trunk. Row upon row of letters lay neatly inside.
“They should be organized by date,” Grandpa said. “Grab the first one and we’ll read it.”
Eve nodded and pulled out the first letter and handed it to Grandpa.
“Alright, Nate, bring the chest down to the living room. Then we can sit and read.” Grandpa started down the stairs and Nate and Eva followed.
They were soon seated in the living room and Grandpa looked down at the letter in his hand. “This letter is one Rachel wrote to me.” He broke the seal and pulled out two pieces of stationary. Glancing at the top, he read the date.
“December 24th, 1961. . .”

Friday, October 9, 2015

No Greater Love--part 6

“Wait, Grandpa,” Nate frowned as he interrupted the story. “We want to hear your part of the story, not Aunt Rachel’s.”
“Besides, Grandpa. If you already left, how did you know what happened with Aunt Rachel?” Eva questioned.
Grandpa chuckled, “just because I was gone didn’t mean I was left out of what happened at home. Your Aunt made sure of that.”
“So can you tell us more about you, Grandpa?” Nate asked helping himself to a second cookie. “Where did you go after you left?”
Before Grandpa could answer, Grandma stood, “It’s nearly suppertime. I think you two need to get on home.” She smiled, “I don’t believe your mom wanted you ruining your appetite with all those cookies.”
“Aww, just one more story, please, Grandpa?” Eva begged.
“No, I think your Grandma is right. But you be sure and come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you some more, okay?”
Nate stood and pushed back his chair from the table, “alright, Grandpa. Come on, Eva.”
Eva nodded as she finished the milk in her glass and stood,” see you tomorrow, Grandma.”
“Ahh, no you don’t! You’re not going anywhere until you give me a hug.”
Eva laughed and turned, “sorry, Grandma.”
“Now, you two have a goodnight. We’ll see you tomorrow,” Grandpa called after them as they left.
“Was it as bad as you thought it would be?” Eva asked as she raised the kickstand on her bike.
“What are you talking about? I never said it’d be bad.”
Eva laughed, “right. You just said it would be boring.”
“No,” Nate shook his head, ‘I believe my exact words were “it wasn’t an important war.”
Eva followed Nate as they pedaled toward their house, “has Grandpa changed your mind?”
Nate glanced over at her and grinned, “maybe.”
They rode up the driveway and parked their bikes in the garage.
“Mom, we’re home!” Eva called out.
Mom smiled at them as they came in the door, “how did y’all enjoy the time with your Grandpa?”
“It was interesting! We didn’t want to leave, but Grandma thought we’d better come home,” Eva said with a sigh.
“And you, Nate? I know you weren’t looking forward to the assignment.”
Nate grinned, “I might be enjoying it more than I thought I would.”

“Good. I know Grandpa’s stories are amazing. He used to tell me them when I was a little girl,” Mom smiled wistfully. “Well, you two go wash up and get up to the table. Supper is ready.”
They both hurried toward the hallway, but Eva turned back in the doorway, "any word from Dad, Mom?"
Mom shook her head, "No. But he's halfway around the world. I hardly think he'll be able to call very often."
Eva sighed, "I miss him when he's deployed. You know, sometimes I wish he wasn't in the military."
Mom smiled, "but he is and we can't change that. Now go wash up so we can eat."

Friday, October 2, 2015

No Greater Love- Part 5

Rachel stood off to the side as her parents told Richard goodbye. She knew putting it off wouldn’t make her feel any better. But it does make me feel like I get a little more time with him. Even though that may sound completely ridiculous.
She turned around so she was facing the rest of the base. Although it was early, the place was already buzzing with activity.  “You knew I wouldn’t leave without telling you goodbyes, right?” A voice whispered while a hand reached out and tucked the loose strands of hair behind her ear.
Rachel smiled and turned, “yes, I knew you wouldn’t, but putting it off made it seem as though you were here just a little longer.”
Richard glanced at her quizzically, “You do know that’s not actually possible, right?”
“Of course I knew! But still.”
Richard glanced around, “I really need to go. Are you going to tell me goodbye or not?”
Rachel tried to smile, “of course I am. But please, Richard, don’t say goodbye. Tell me I’ll see you later. It sounds much less final than a goodbye.”
Richard grinned, “alright, sis.” He leaned down and gave her a hug and Rachel held onto him. The thought that this may be the last time she ever saw her twin threatened to overwhelm her. “I love you, Richard.”
“And I love you.” He stood then began walking away, then paused and glanced back, tipping his hat, “I’ll see you later, Rachel.”
Rachel waved and did her best to smile as Richard disappeared down a different hallway.
Mom came and wrapped her arm around Rachel, “don’t worry, sweetheart. We’ll see him again.”
Rachel nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
They turned and walked out into the chilly, winter morning. Less than an half an hour ago, Richard was with us when we walked here. The thought crossed Rachel’s mind. Without Richard, everything seemed different. 
She glanced across the road, then stopped in surprise. “Mom, is that Alison Martin?”
Mom glanced over to where Rachel was pointing. “Yes, I do believe it is.”
“But what is she doing here?” Rachel wondered. “Mom, Dad, do you mind getting the car while I talk to her?”
Dad nodded, “that would be just fine. I’ll pull the car around front to pick you up.”
Rachel smiled her thanks then left her parents and hurried over to where Alison was standing.
“Alison. What are you doing here?”
Alison turned, traces of tears on her cheeks, “Oh, Rachel!” She burst into tears.
Rachel gave her a concerned look, “Are you okay?”
Alison nodded, wiping her eyes, “yes, but Marshal has been sent to Vietnam with the first detachment of troops. Oh, Rachel, you have got to be so grateful that Richard is still home! But why are you here?”
Rachel bit her lip, “Richard was sent as well. We saw him off this morning.”
Alison glanced up at her in surprise, “really?”
Rachel nodded, “yeah. I have an idea, would your parents mind if you came over to my house for a while? We could talk and try to cheer each other up.”And it might help keep my mind off Richard.
Alison chuckled, “that might work.”
“It already is already working; you actually smiled!” Rachel exclaimed.
Alison laughed, “alright. I don’t think they would mind. Mom is still home; she wasn’t feeling good this morning. I can ask dad. He’s--” She turned as a car pulled up, “there he is now. Dad, can I spend the day with Rachel?”
Brian, Alison’s dad, smiled at her, “that would be fine. Just call me whenever you want me to come and pick you up.”
“Oh, I’m sure my dad wouldn’t mind driving her home, Mr. Martin,” Rachel said, entering the conversation.
“That might actually work better. Thank’s for the offer Rachel. Say,” he glanced around the parking lot, “why are you here?”
“Richard been sent to Vietnam as well. He left this morning.”
"Really? Then it’ll be good for you two to get together and talk. Have fun!”
“Bye dad,” Alison called as he drove away.
He waved as the car turned and sped out of sight.
Rachel turned as another car pulled up. “Okay, here are my parents. Let’s go.”