Thursday, December 24, 2015

12 Days of Christmas--Day 11--I'll be Home for Christmas--part 4

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing well. I can't believe it's already Christmas eve!!! Can you? Are you all ready for Christmas? I also can't believe that there is only one day left in the "12 Day's of Christmas" blog series. I've had so much fun with you all that I don't want it to end.:( 
But anyway, Merry Christmas eve!! We have a busy day of baking ahead and then we're headed off to Church and our Grandparents house tonight! What are your plans for today?
Here's the 4th part of my story. I hope you all are enjoying it. :) Let me know what you think!

Christmas Day
“Let me see! I want to see what I got!” Levi exclaimed as he clapped his hands impatiently and waited for Uncle Mark to hand him his stocking.
Mark’s eyes twinkled. “Alright, here it is.”
The children all exclaimed in delight over their gifts. Mary looked around the room. From the oldest to the youngest, everyone wore a smile. The adults were happy to see the children happy, and of course the children were ecstatic over their gifts. Each stocking contained candy, an orange, two wooden cars for the boys, and for the girls a small doll.
Mary wandered into the kitchen. “anything I can do to help?”
Aunt Josie smiled, “Nope. Just call everyone in; we’re ready to eat.”
Mary nodded and headed back into the living room. “Everyone come on and make your way into the kitchen. There’s fruitcake on the table.”
***
“Can you come help us with the snowball fight,  Mary?” Sadie asked when the meal was finished.
Mary glanced up from where she was washing the dishes. Before she could answer, Aunt Nettie smiled.  “Now you go right along and have some fun.” Aunt Nettie playfully shoved her away from the soapy water and took the dishrag from her hand. “Besides, that’ll get the little ones out of our hair for the moment.” she winked conspiratorially at Maey.
“Oh, I see.” Mary chuckled as she relinquished her claim to the dishrag. ‘I’m just a babysitter.”
“No, you’re more then that,” Aunt Nettie said as she squeezed Mary’s shoulders. “But I think we all will admit it can be nice to have someone else watch them sometimes.”
Mary returned her hug, “I know, and I was only teasing. I’m happy to help and I love spending time with them. Plus, the break I get from doing dishes is a good advantage anyways.”
Aunt Josie laughed. “Yeah, I’ll say. Well, I think we’re about finished with the cleanup from breakfast. While Mary takes the children outside, we need to get the pies in the oven so they’ll be cooled in time for the meal tonight.”
Mary left the kitchen and pulled on her boots, mittens, scarf and jacket before making sure everyone else was warmly dressed.
“Mind if we join you?”
Mary turned to see Uncle Mark and Uncle Baxter standing in the entryway, both dressed for the snow.
Mary laughed, I would have thought you two would want a break from all the noise. Also. . .” her gaze traveled down to Baker’s stump of a leg and the crutch that was nestled under his arm.
He caught her meaning and the teasing smile left his eyes. “Just because I may not be perfect doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with my children.”
Mary nodded, turning so he wouldn't see how his cold tone of voice had hurt her. “I didn’t mean to imply anything, Uncle Baker. I know we’d all love to have you come out with us.”
She opened the door and stepped outside, standing still for a moment while her eyes adjusted to the brilliant glare of the sun on the white snow.
“Got you!”
Mary gasped as a cold snowball hit her in the face. Levi’s cheeky grin told her exactly who had done it.
“Oh, I’ll get you for this!” she exclaimed as she bent down and scooped up a handful of snow.
“She said she’d play, she’ll do a snowball fight!” Levi ran squealed to the other. “Come on, I want boys against girls!”
“Now that’s not fair,” protested Mary. “That would mean that you get both Uncle Baker and Uncle Mark.”
Mark grinned, “Sorry, Mary. I guess that’s the way it’s going to have to be.”
“If Nate was here, he’d play with me.”
Baker grunted. “Then it’s a good things he’s not. Or we would lose. Alright, come on boys. We get the back of the yard and the girls can get the front.”
As the boys retreated to the back, Mary motioned for Sadie and Esther to come closer. “Alright, they have five against three, though Joseph probably won’t be too much help. We can use the car as our fortress since technically they can’t go over there. Now come on, let’s start making the snowballs. We’ll get some ammunition stocked up, and then Sadie you can continue to make them, Esther, you hand them to me, and I’ll fire them at our enemy. Sound good?”
The little girls nodded, their eyes sparkling.
The game continued on for nearly an hour. Neither side advanced, and the boys finally called a truce when Aunt Josie appeared outside with cups of hot cider.
Mary sent Sadie and Esther to the porch while she took off her scarf and shook out the powdery snow. Her black curls tumbled down and spilled over her shoulders.
“Lovely hair, Mary.”
Mary turned as Baker gently pulled at one of the curls. “Oh, Uncle Baker, don’t tease me.” She pulled her hair away from him.
He raised his eyebrows. “And do you mean my teasing by saying your hair is pretty? That can’t be teasing because it’s true. If you’re saying my pulling it was teasing. . “ he smiled with a suspicious twinkle in his eye. “You might be right.”
“I can see just where Levi gets his mischievousness,” Mary said with a smile as she wrapped the scarf around her head.
“Mary,” Baker turned serious. “I wanted to apologize for how I spoke to you earlier. It wasn’t right.”
Mary shrugged. “It’s okay. I knew better than to mention it.”
“No, that's just it, Mary. My injury isn’t something you should have to avoid talking about. It’s as much a part of me as the war was, and the way I spoke to you is never how a guy should speak to a lady. Never. And especially not his own niece.”
“Well, I forgive you. And thank you for playing with us. It was a lot of fun.”
“Even is Nate wasn’t here to help you?” he winked at her.
“Even if Nate wasn’t here.” The smile faded from her face. “I just hope he’s alright.”
“Listen, Mary. I know how things are over there. It’s hard. Hard to survive, hard to see. Hard to even imagine you’ve been there when you're back home. But Mary, when he does come home, things will have changed. With him and with you. Don’t expect everything to be exactly the same.”
Mary bit her lip, “That’s what I’m afraid of. How can anything be the same after this? Things will never be normal again, will they?”
Baker hesitated, then gave her a hug. “There will be a new normal, Mary. And God will help all of us adjust to it. Now come on, let’s go and get some cider before it’s all gone.”

4 comments:

  1. This is such a lovely story! I can't wait to see how it all turns out! :) Oooh, you're baking too? What are you making? I'm baking today too, sugar cookies with Snow White! :D

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying it! :D
      Haha, we're making sugar cookies too!!! We're making a huge batch because we're planning on taking some around to our neighbors and then we're bringing a couple dozen to our Grandparents tonight as well. :)
      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I just caught up on reading this story! I'm really enjoying it :D Can't wait to read more.

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  3. I love this story!! The part with Uncle Baker and Mary is probably my favorite....well, this far into the story anyway. B-)

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The Tomb is . . . empty.

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