To Miss Gail Reynolds #2

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, To Miss Gail Reynolds. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘scout.’

Enjoy the snippet here, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Gail hadn’t even read to the bottom of the first page when a persistent knocking at her bedroom door was followed by Martha’s whiny voice. “You got a letter, didn’t you? What’s your sweetie got to say? Full of sweet nothings?”

“None of your business Miss Nosey-pants.”

“Can I read it too?”

“No! You cannot! Stop being such an annoying little sister.”

Martha opened the door and stuck her head in, sticking out a tongue in retort. “And you stop being such a Big-Pants big sister.”

When Gail started to rise from her perch on the side of the bed, Martha slammed the door shut and ran off, her footsteps stomping down the hallway.

Gail sighed and stuck the letter back in the envelope. She tucked it back in her pocket and eased out of her room, checking the hallway carefully for lurking little sisters. If she was going to have any peace to read George’s letter in peace, she’d need to scout out a nice private place where she could peruse his penned words without the annoying interference of a younger sibling.

Fortunately, while the days were cool, their October was still mild enough to take a walk without freezing. She strolled towards the tree lined path that led to the back side of the property. She enjoyed the way the sunlight danced through the semi-bare branches.

This area of north Texas didn’t have the tall piney woods of east Texas, but this small patch of pines and cedars created enough of a grove that one could almost feel that they were in the midst of a great forest. The lyrical songs drifting from the branches serenaded her. At the height of their cacophony, Gail stood for a moment, closed her eyes and threw her head back, simply listening to the various melodies surrounding her.

After a time, she opened her eyes and retrieved the letter from the depths of her pocket.

Spying a fallen tree trunk, she settled down on the rough bark seat and read the letter quickly. Then, she turned back to the first page and began re-reading – slowly and treasuring each line. She laughed aloud at George’s recount of his earliest years, beginning with a birth he certainly couldn’t recall, but sure created an imagery as if he could.

At the end, his last paragraph switched from humor to sweet sentiment and she sighed at the written declaration of his love.

Darling, I’d certainly give a lot to be there in Munday with you right now. Do you know what I’d do? First, I’d hold you close to me for a moment, kiss you, and then turn my ear to hear you whisper, “I love you”. (My eyes would already have told you of my love for you.) Then I’d ask you to play and sing ‘Holy City’ for me. It has been so long since I’ve heard any good music. I miss it greatly. Finally, we’d go for a long walk, or drive. Doesn’t it sound wonderful, dearest? I think I’ll retire now and dream that this wish came true tonight.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #1

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, To Miss Gail Reynolds. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘deepen.’

To stay on target for 2021 writing plans, we’re starting a new story this week. It’s based on some true-life V-Mail letters to Miss Gail Reynolds, from her suitor George Tweed, during World War II.

What’s unusual about this, is the letters I obtained. I’d gotten two other V-Mail letters from two different antique stores – one in Roanoke and one in Watauga. I’ve heard it said that it’s not a ‘collection’ until you have three items. So, I went to the wild world of Ebay to find my third letter.

There I found a collection of 19 V-mails, all to Miss Gail Reynolds. I wanted those letters! I watched that sale like a hawk and ended up getting them. When the letters arrived, I saw that they were sent to Gail when she lived in Munday, Texas – only 160 miles from where I live.

What’s even stranger is where they’re buried. When I started checking into Gail and George, I found that they’d married and moved to southern California at some time. They’re buried next to one another in Riverside National Cemetery – 22 miles from where I lived in California. And even more bizarre – that’s the same cemetery my ex-MIL and ex-FIL are buried in!

Enjoy the snippet here, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

To Miss Gail Reynolds

Munday, Texas

October 1944

Gail Reynolds sat at the piano, sifting through the stack of sheet music, looking for a tune that caught her attention. She hadn’t played anything for several weeks. She knew she should practice something, but she wasn’t in the mood for any of the songs in front of her.

The rumbling of a raspy truck wheezing down the road came into earshot. Gail froze, cocked her head to one side and listened for a few seconds. In a flash she dropped the pages on the piano bench beside her, jumped up and headed towards the door.

A young, nasally voice called to her from the davenport on the opposite side of the parlor. “Running to see if you have a letter from your beau?”

“Oh, Martha, you shush!” Gail tried to keep her irritation from showing in her voice, but she knew she wasn’t successful at it. Her younger sister annoyed her to distraction sometimes.

As she skipped down the path towards the mailbox, plumes of black billowing smoke rolled from the back of Mr. Blair’s postal truck. Usually, she grumbled about the catastrophe that delivered the daily mail, but for once she didn’t mind. The vehicle did announce its arrival in an unruly manner which made it easy to keep track of when the mailman made his stop.

Before opening the box, Gail paused, closed her eyes and sent a quick prayer up to the heavens. Please, Lord, let there be a letter from George. Let him still be safe and alive.

Opening one eye, she slowly opened the door and retrieved the handful of items that Mr. Blair had dropped in their box. Holding her breath, she sorted through the pile, heaving a sigh of relief when a square tan envelope boasting a return address ‘War & Navy Departments, V-Mail Service’ was sitting behind the advertisement for the local department store.

Gail slid her letter into her cardigan pocket and skipped back to the house, kicking fall leaves hither and yonder as she went. She wasn’t going to announce that she’d received a letter, but she knew that her sister would ferret it out anyway, just from the smug smile on her face.

Inside, she dropped the family mail on the kitchen table and hurried to her room where she could read the tiny, cramped lines without prying eyes around her.

After carefully unsealing the flap that held her precious pages inside, Gail sat down on her bed and proceeded to devour the two copied pages enclosed.

October 10, 1944

Dearest Gail,

This being the autobiography of one George Washington Tweed, it is respectfully suggested by the author that you find a nice soft chair in which to recline: it will prove comfortable when you drift off to sleep.

Gail chuckled as she began reading. When George enlisted and went off to war, she knew she loved him. But as she read his letters her love deepened even more as she saw his humor showing through the lines sent across the miles.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #10

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘anxious.’

This is the last snippet from The Diamond Field Quilt. I need to bump up the pace and finish it up so I can stay on target for my 2021 writing plans. It will be full steam ahead to finish it and type ‘The End’.

Next week we’ll be on to a new story. The next story is based on some true-life letters sent to Miss Gail Reynolds in World War II.

Enjoy the snippet here, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

The two looked at each other, nodded in agreement, and burst into laughter.

Tucking her duster into her apron pocket, Lillie motioned for Emma to follow her towards the kitchen. “Come. Sit down, Cup of coffee? And do tell, I want the details of what Henry got you for your birthday yesterday. Any big celebrating?”

“Ha! About the same as all my other birthdays. I cooked dinner. Made my own dessert. And watched him listen to the radio until he just about fell asleep in the chair. He did bring me a box of chocolates. So, I suppose I’ve forgiven him.”

Lillie sighed as she grabbed two coffee mugs from the cupboard. “How sweet – candy. That would be nice. John is always so level-headed, giving me practical things. This morning he gave me some yardage he’d picked up in Fayetteville for me. Although it is beautiful. A three-yard piece. I’ll show you in a minute.”

Emma peeled off her sweater and draped it on the back of the kitchen chair before plopping down on the oak seat. Before hanging her pocketbook on the chair’s finial, she unlatched it and removed Lillie’s present from its depths.

A spasm of anxiety raced through her midsection as a brief moment of indecision surfaced. Would her friend like the gift as much as she hoped?

Before she could change her mind and slide it back inside, Lillie spied the offering Emma held in her hands.

A flash of joy lit up Lillie’s face. “For me? You brought me something?”

“Naturally. It’s your birthday. You’re my best friend. Would I ever forget it?” Emma handed over the plain wrapped flat package.

Lillie giggled. “Perhaps if it wasn’t the day after yours. If it were months away, you might forget.” She tugged on the knot and worked at it, trying to get it undone. “Lordy, you tied this up tight. I don’t think I can undo it. Glad the scissors are handy.” She sat it down and turned to open a drawer behind her.

After cutting the twine that held the brown paper securely around the object in its fold, Lillie carefully turned back the top layer and began unfolding the many wraps. Several unwraps later finally revealed the hidden treasure.

Lillie gasped when she saw the plate. Her cheeks reddened and her eyes widened in wonderment. “Why, Emma….it’s just…it’s simply…oh my, I just adore it! And with lilies on it – just like my name. Wherever did you find this stunning plate? When did you pick this beauty up and however did you not let me know about it?”

Emma tried to hide a sly grin and glanced down at her lap, hoping that her face didn’t give too much away. “Well, let’s just say that I found it awhile back and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.”

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #9

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘mud.’

This will probably be the last snippet from The Diamond Field Quilt. I need to bump up the pace and finish it so I can stay on target for my 2021 writing plans. It will be full steam ahead this week to finish it and type ‘The End’ Although I may post one more week so you can peek in on Lillie getting her birthday present.

After that it will be on to a new story. The next story is based on some true-life letters sent to Miss Gail Reynolds in World War II.

Enjoy the snippet here, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

The store this plate had come from had higher priced merchandise than the others, so they didn’t usually shop there. That store was for window shopping only. It was much too rich for their pocketbooks at the time. But this plate had been on sale and Emma thought that her grandmother would adore it. Henry cleaned out his wallet to buy it so Emma could give it to Grandma on her next birthday. But Grandma never saw the plate. She’d died a few weeks later and the plate got buried in a drawer.

Lillie would love an elegant plate of painted lilies.

Soon Emma was adorned in her best Sunday-go-to-meeting hosiery and she was ready to head to Lillie’s house. She slid the brown paper wrapped gift in her purse, then hesitated as she thought about taking along her stitchery progress to show Lillie how much progress she’d made the night before.

That idea soon got tossed aside as she thought of hauling it all the way to Goshen and back. Instead, she’d show Lillie next time she stopped in for a visit. She poked her head out the door and decided she’d better grab her yellow cardigan. It was sunny and bright, and might be too much, but she didn’t want to get halfway to town and find out she was chilled. You never could tell with these March days, which way the weather was going to go.

Other than having to jump over a wide mud filled ditch at the end of the drive, the walk to Lillie’s was pleasant. Emma strolled along, taking her time to admire brilliant purple and yellow wildflowers beginning to bloom in the meadows. She stopped to watch a hawk soaring in search of prey. She paused by the Fowler’s fence line to admire the white blossoms scattered across the apple tree nearby. By the time Emma stepped up onto Lillie’s porch, she almost regretted throwing on a sweater. A bead of sweat lined her brow and looked forward to the chance to sit and relax with her pal.

Before she could reach for the doorknob and walk in, calling out her friend’s name – the benefit of being best friends for so many years – the door flew open and a beaming Lillie stood in the doorway. “I saw you coming up the walk. I was dusting the front room and happened to pass the window to see you.”

“Dusting? On your birthday?” Emma joked.

Lillie’s huff of annoyance flew from her lips. “When has that ever been cause to not keep up our housework? Lordy, we can be on our death bed, looking to the heavens for Gabriel, and we’d still be expected to keep a tidy home.”

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘stuck.’

Enjoy the snippet from a new tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Henry finally scraped up the last bite of egg, swallowed the last bit of biscuit, and tossed back the bottom dregs from his coffee cup. Emma stood by, ready to drop the plate, cup, and fork into the sudsy dishpan full of water and shoe him out the door.

She was a lady on a mission.

There were presents to find and deliver.

And then home to embroider more poinsettias.

It was going to be a busy day.

With the dishes washed and placed in the drying rack, including the skillet with the stuck-on bits, Emma dried her hands and removed her apron. She rushed out of the kitchen so fast she never noticed it fall off the peg and onto the floor.

Once in her bedroom, Emma started to drop to the floor in front of the dresser. Her left knee decided otherwise, and she flinched with pain.

“Blasted old joints,” she muttered to herself.

Gingerly she eased down and pulled the drawer halfway out. She pushed aside tattered dresses that she’d stopped wearing long ago but couldn’t bear to part with should she ever find a need for them again.

She examined the few long-forgotten pieces that she’d tucked inside for safekeeping. She held up a frilly, organza apron that a neighbor had given her years ago. It was meant for show only and was useless for daily wear. Lillie was as practical as Emma, if not more so, so this wouldn’t looked upon as a favored gift.

Laying underneath the apron was a set of three delicate handkerchiefs. Emma thought they would be appreciated. Until she saw the initial ‘R’ embroidered in the corner. Those certainly wouldn’t be appropriate.

Lying next to those was a lovely cut glass bottle of perfume. Emma didn’t even recall who’d given her that. She thought that might work. Until she held it up to sniff the scent and discovered that it was half empty. It must have been in the drawer for so many years that it had partly evaporated. Scratch that idea.

Feeling frustrated that her brainstorm hadn’t yielded an item to bail her out of her predicament, Emma started to shove the drawer shut. A soft clinking noise caught her attention and she slowly pulled it back open.

When she pushed aside the worn apparel that filled the drawer, a painted porcelain plate lay underneath. Beautiful golden highlights adorned the scalloped edges reminiscent of earlier Victorian days long gone. Centered in the middle of the plate was an array of bountiful flowers – lilies. Emma couldn’t have found a more perfect choice for her friend Lillie Belle, although Lillie detested being called by her middle name.

She stared at the plate for some time, trying to recall when she’d even gotten it. It took a while for a vague memory to surface. She was much younger, probably in her early thirties. She and Henry gone into Fayetteville for shopping and to see the silent film, Ben Hur, at The Ozark Theater afterwards.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #7

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to a picture prompt. These snippets will be short. Each one is 300 words or less. There are several pictures to choose from and we each pick one to write to.

Enjoy the tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

There was one thing in Emma’s favor. Her Grandma Jeffries had instilled a habit in Emma that came in handy for moments like this. Grandma Jeffries had a small trunk where she kept unused items. It was filled with such items like spare embroidered handkerchiefs, baubles that she received but did not wear, bottles of scent she’d received that she didn’t care for. When she needed a gift, she had a secret stash to pull from that no one else knew about.

Except Emma.

When Emma was being especially good, and they needed something to fill the time on those odd visits where mother was occupied, either with appointments in town, or the days where she canned from sunup to sundown, Grandma let Emma sit and look through the pretties. Her favorite memory was spending the longest time gazing at a primitive styled painting in an emerald painted frame. It always seemed such an odd place for something she thought should have adorned Grandma’s wall.

Emma in turn had continued this habit, although her hiding spot was a corner of the bottom dresser drawer. She didn’t have quite the assortment of nice items that her grandmother had in her leather trunk. But with the times being so difficult in the days after the Crash, that wasn’t anything that was Emma’s fault. Most days now were ‘hand to mouth’ as Emma’s friends liked to say.

It had been so long since she’d retrieved anything from her hiding spot that Emma didn’t rightly remember what was even in the drawer at the moment. She crossed her fingers that there would be something that would be just right for Lillie.

And she vowed that next year her best friend would get something that stitched with loving care.

Now if only Henry would finish and leave.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #6

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘clock.’

Enjoy the snippet from a new tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

The next morning Emma stood in front of the stove pushing strips of bacon around in the skillet, trying to avoid getting popped by hot grease. Poking at the pieces that weren’t as crisp as Henry liked them, she glanced up on the clock on the wall to see how much time remained before he drove off to the factory.

She relaxed when she saw that there was still over thirty minutes before he had to step out the back door. As the meat continued cooking, she moved about the kitchen sitting plates and utensils on the table and pulling four eggs from the ice box. Three for Henry, one for her. She had no idea how that man put away the copious amounts of food he did.

As she caught that thought, she reasoned in turn about how hard he worked at his job. Especially once the tomatoes started ripening and they were in full throttle to get them all canned as many of the crops seemed to ripen at the same time. Right now, there wasn’t as much going on there. A few of the winter crops remained, at least enough to keep them running. March seemed to be the month of spinach.

Tomatoes or spinach – it didn’t matter, as long as Henry had a job to go to every day.

Seeing that the bacon was done, Emma pulled it from the cast iron skillet and placed it on a platter. Cracking the eggs one at a time, she dropped them into the sizzling grease. She sprinkled salt and pepper over them and stood watching the whites turn from transparent to opaque. Her mind wandered as she watched, thinking about the day ahead.

She thought she could rush through her morning cleaning chores and then she’d have most of the day to be able to spend on working on the tablecloth. With any luck, and persistent attention to the project, she might be able to have it completed by the weekend.

Oh, wouldn’t Lillie be so proud when she held it up, displaying the even stitches that reached from one end of the pattern to its beginning.

Lillie! Today is Lillie’s birthday. What in heaven’s name am I going to take her for her present? After she brought me that lovely needle holder yesterday, I have to take her something. Although, it obviously won’t be a gift that I’ve stitched and finished myself.

Emma laughed out loud at her last thought. No, it wouldn’t be a handcrafted gift for her. At least not this year. Maybe next year.

Her mind spun in a flurry, trying to think what to get her. She supposed she could stop at the general store on the way to Lillie’s house. But which one? She didn’t want to have to go to Mayfield’s and then back track into Goshen to deliver the present. But she also didn’t want to go all the way into Goshen to buy something at Tisdale’s. Since Lillie’s brother owned the store, then they’d know that Emma hadn’t thought ahead and was getting something at the last minute.

And Emma knew how fast news like that would travel in this small community.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #5

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘year.’

Enjoy the snippet from a new tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Emma pulled some carrots and onions out of the icebox and sat them on the counter. She traipsed down to the cellar and brought up an apron corner full of potatoes. By the time they were peeled and plopped in the water, bubbles began to simmer up around the edges. She sprinkled salt and pepper into the concoction, stirred it, and stared into its depths as if contemplating the future.

It needed something else. It looked bland and unappealing to her eye. Then she remembered the lone piece of left-over chicken from the night before. She’d packed two pieces in Henry’ lunch pail, but there wasn’t room to add the last piece. She retrieved it from the icebox. As she pulled the meat off the bone and chopped it into small bites, her mind wandered, trying to recall where she’d tucked the red and green floss when she’d stopped working on the tablecloth.

By the time she’d dumped the meat into the soup and washed her hands, she thought she remembered. Off to the bedroom she scurried. It only took opening a few drawers before she discovered the small cloth bag filled with extra embroidery supplies.

The rest of the afternoon Emma spent stitching red lines which gradually began to resemble a fully petaled flower.

By the time Henry got home, they ate, and Emma got the kitchen cleaned up, there wasn’t much left to the rest of the evening. As they did most evenings, Henry sat in his favorite stuffed chair listening to the radio on the table beside him. Usually Emma read, but this night she sat plying her needle and thread. When Henry rose and turned off the radio, signaling it was time for them to retire, she’d completed one flower, and three of the leaves surrounding it.

He stopped by Emma’s chair and glanced down at the work that had occupied her spare evening moments. He gave a grunt. Emma couldn’t tell if it was amusement or disdain. His expression didn’t give any clues.

He arched his shoulders back and stretched before finally commenting. “What in tarnation prompted you to start working on this again?”

Sticking her threaded needle into the taunt fabric contained in the wooden hoop, Emma yelped when the sharp object hit her finger underneath. “I want to finish this up so we can use it at Christmas.”

“Christmas this year?”

A flash of irritation overcame Emma and she started to reply with a sharp retort. Fortunately, she looked up in time to see the grin flash across Henry’ face, contradicting the way she’d first taken his words.

“Yes, Christmas this year. 1932. That’s the plan. Lillie’s going to help spur me on to finish a few of my projects.”

Laughter spewed from Henry as he slapped his thigh. “That’s a good one. I love you to death, my sweet Emma, but you have to admit that completion is not one of your strengths.”

Her eyes narrowed and her mouth tightened. “Well, my dear husband, that may have been me in the past. But I will have this done well before the holidays – along with many others. Just you wait and see.”

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #4

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘holiday.’

Enjoy the snippet from a new tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Lillie lit up at the mention of bossing her friend around. “Oh, yes! I had an idea. The perfect plan to get you to finish something.”

“Pray tell, what is your devious plan?”

“I want you to pick something out that you want to finish.”

Emma hesitated, running her mind through the various half-completed projects that filled her house. Drawers in the bedroom dresser. Partially stitched pieces stashed in a trunk. More work begun and abandoned in the desk drawer. Truthfully, she didn’t even remember all she’s started and tucked away unfinished. To jog her mind, she went to the linen drawer where she kept her finest company napkins. She thought she’d remembered seeing something tucked underneath when she’d placed the freshly washed and ironed napkins in there the week before.

Pulling out a folded cotton square, Emma unfurled the length of white cloth. “I thought so,” she exclaimed with glee. “A Christmas tablecloth I started embroidering one year.” She held it up so her friend could see the red Poinsettias and pinecones that ringed three sides of the tablecloth, the fourth side only boasting the stamped pattern that she’d ironed on who knows how many years ago.

“Perfect! That will do. Now I want you to start working on this again. Only this piece. Don’t touch anything else until this is done.” Lillie wagged a finger in the air. “I’m going to check with you…every time I see you, I’m going to ask how you’re coming along with it.”

Every time?”

“Yes, every single cotton-picking time I see you. Even at church. I’m going to pester you until you finish it just to shut me up. And the best part? You’ll have a completed project. I’ll bet you have it all done by the time the holiday gets here. You’ll be able to use it for your Christmas meal and you’ll be so proud of yourself, you’ll want to start another.” Lillie beamed at the prospect of encouraging her friend to move forward with something positive in her life.

Once Lillie left, Emma sat at the kitchen table for a long stretch of time, examining the tablecloth she held in her lap. She looked at the stitching and picked a fingernail at a few less than perfect areas. Her stitching had improved since she’s first started this. But, overall, she wasn’t too displeased with it. This last side might end up being a mite neater and more precise than the other sides. But once it was placed on a table and the embroidered embellishment was displayed along the edges, she doubted that anyone other than her would ever notice a difference in the stitching.

She thought of all she still needed to do before Henry arrived home from his shift at Keeney’s, the tomato canning factory that employed so many people in the area, most of Mayfield it seemed. Giving supper some thought, she decided to start a pot of soup. While it simmered on the range, she could dive in and get to work on the tablecloth.

If she remembered where she’d tucked the embroidery floss she’d been using on this particular piece.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

The Diamond Field Quilt #3

Step inside the past with a new Vintage Daze Short Story, The Diamond Field Quilt. This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘brazen.’

Enjoy the snippet from a new tale, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Before Lillie completed her statement, Emma interrupted. “You’re not going to get all bossy on me, are you?”

“Of course, I am. What are friends for?”

A soft smirk tweaked the corners of Emma’s mouth. “You’re awfully bold and brazen, trying to tell me what to do. Haven’t you any manners?

Lillie squared her shoulders and pulled herself up, ramrod straight in the chair. “Natch. I do. I reserve them for those I meet in Goshen, when I’m out shopping or attending church services.”

Joyous laughter erupted from Emma and tinkled in the silence surrounding them. “Oh, I see. You save your best behavior for when you’re in Goshen, but not for when you’re in Mayfield?”

“You know how it is. Goshen has the cream of society. Why, we have two general stores there. Mayfield only has one. And all the doctors live in Goshen.”

“All the doctor’s live in Goshen? Or they’re all buried in Goshen Cemetery?”

A huff escaped Lillie’s lips. “Emma Mae Walker, you have no respect, speaking ill of the dead like that.”

“I’m not speaking ill of them. Just stating a fact. There are more doctors buried there than are practicing. Besides, you’re only flaunting the two stores you have in town because your brother owns one of them.”

“He does. And Andrew’s store is the best of the two. But…shhhh!” Lillie held an index finger up against her pursed lips. “Don’t tell that I said so. It is, though. Tisdale’s General Store is a great establishment. He and Alta keep it neat and tidy. Nary a speck of dust I find when I’m in there.”

“I haven’t been in Tisdale’s for a coons age. It’s easier to go to the Mayfield store. A lot less walking on these old, tired legs.”

“Achh! Old, tired legs, nothing. You are starting to sound like an old woman. May as well put you out to pasture the way you’re talking. Now, when you get as old as Mary Griffin, then you have room to grumble. She’s ten years ahead of us. No! When you get to Sarah Mayfield’s age. I believe she’s in her seventies. Then you can complain about being old.”

Unsure how to reply to her friend, Emma sat there in silence. Neither spoke for several moments, each running through their own thoughts. Emma’s contemplations centered on ageing and how old she was starting to feel. Then her observations about her lack of completing projects overtook her mental chatter and she began berating herself for her own perceived lack. She wondered how her friend, just a day younger, always managed to remain so upbeat and positive. She thought back to prior conversations and never recalled hearing Lillie utter a single grievance about age, or aching joints, or any of the other maladies associated with advancing years.

Feeling more depressed by the moment and not wanting to follow that forlorn mental road any longer, Emma shook her head as if to throw the cobwebs out. “Enough of that. You were going to tell me what to do. What was it?”

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