To Miss Gail Edwards #9

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 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.

Later that evening, after the cleanup was done and the kitchen was back to their mother’s sparkling standards, the girls wandered into the family room. Mother sat in her armchair, knitting a pair of socks. Father sat on his plump upholstered throne, the newspaper spread out in front of him, with the radio on the side table reeling off farm reports. Martha picked up a book and stretched out on the davenport, intent on diving into the world she’d left behind the night before.

Gail stood watching the three of them, unsure of what she really wanted to do. She usually joined them in the evening and either sat and graded some of her pupil’s schoolwork, read her own book, or practiced a few tunes on the piano in the corner. Not feeling like any of her usual activities, she called out to the family. “Good night, everyone. I’m going to head to bed and write George a letter.”

Which she truly intended to do. She tried to write him every evening, but the past two nights she was so exhausted that she’d dropped into bed without writing a single line. Tonight, she planned to correct that and write him a long and proper letter.

Except that she found herself sitting at her desk, quill in hand, without any words flowing from the nib. She didn’t know what was wrong. There was so much she wanted to say. She missed George so much. If he were there in person, she’d be babbling away with a torrent of words. But putting them on paper…it just wasn’t happening these past few days.

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

Trisha’s Website

Miss Gail Edwards #8

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 ‘orange.’

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

All Gail could do was to wrap Martha up in a giant hug and squeeze tight, trying to reassure her and lift her blue mood.

Martha endured the hugs for a short time, then extricated herself from Gail’s embrace. With youthful embarrassment, she reminded her older sister of the task before them. “Come on, we have to get this in the oven before Mother comes back in.”

Once the cake pan rested in the heated oven, the two girls sat at the table and talked more about the war and how their lives were impacted. Gail shared some of the concerns she felt, while still trying to remain cheerful and optimistic to try to minimize the very real fears and possibilities that war time brought to a family.

Gail had just peeked at her watch one more time when the back door flung open, and their mother stepped inside the kitchen. Despite the cotton rag wrapped around her head, she still appeared flushed and filthy, a layer of grime covering her, and smudges smeared all over her clothes.

She stood still for a moment and sniffed the air, like a hound dog catching a scent of tasty prey. “What on earth is that delightful aroma?”

“A cake, Mother. Gail and I made a cake for dessert to surprise you with.” Martha’s exuberance bounced off of her in waves.

Instead of appearing pleased, Mother frowned, and her eyes crinkled with lines of displeasure. “Girls…don’t tell me you used the last of the sugar for this? I’ve been watching what we use. Our sugar rations are all used for the month and this has to last us.”

Seeing how Martha deflated with the prospect of their mother’s disapproval, Martha rushed in with her rebuttal. “No sugar, Mother. It’s a new recipe and we didn’t use a spec of our precious substance.”

Heaving a sigh of relief, Mother moved to the sink and began to wash up. As she scrubbed herself closer to cleanliness, she chattered about the hen house and all she’d accomplished while she was outside.

Curious, Gail asked, “Why’d you decided to do all these repairs now?”

“I’ve been seeing a fox lurking about. There were a few places that weren’t too secure, and I wanted to make sure that I fixed that problem. I do not want a crafty fox getting in with my hens and causing havoc.”

“Is it that old brown fox that limps?” Martha asked.

“No. Not that one. I’m not to worried about him, he’s so slow and old, I don’t think he’d be able to cause much damage. No, it’s a younger one, one with an orange undercoat that I haven’t seen before this week.”

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

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #7

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 ‘picky.’

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

Gail glanced up to see which bowls Martha was trying to pick from. “Whichever one you choose. They’re the same size, so either one would work. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m not picky.”

The Pyrex bowl got plopped down on the table in front of the recipe booklet. “After all, green is my favorite color.”

A frown flashed across Gail’s face. She cocked her head to one side and stared intently at her younger sister. “Since when? I thought blue was your favorite color. Remember when Mother made you that quilt for your bed? You were very specific that you wanted it in all shades of blues – because you simply ‘adored that hue’, as I recall.”

Martha shrugged. “That was last year. Things change. Right now, green is my favored color.”

Gail shook her head and bit back the sharp retort that flashed to mind. She pulled up the calm demeanor that was needed when dealing with difficult pupils and used that teacherly technique to soothe the prickly feelings aimed towards her younger sister at the moment. She took a deep breath and decided to focus their intentions back towards the surprise cake.

For the next little bit, the sisters worked companionably together. Gail took her time and patiently went step by step through the cake mixing process. She called out instructions, trying to balance her tone between that of an older sister without being too bossy, and that of her schoolteacher expertise without being too teacherly. As they went through each ingredient and mixed it all together, Gail kept an ear cocked towards the back door for her mother’s entrance. She hoped that her mother’s task of cleaning out the chicken coop would keep her occupied at least until the cake was in the oven, and hopefully a little longer.

Martha seemed to thrive with the one-on-one attention. She beamed with a radiant glow. She carefully poured the batter into the greased pan. “Won’t Mother be surprised when she comes back in the house and smells a delicious cake baking?”

Gail grinned and patted Martha on the back. “Yes, she will. And I think she’ll be even happier that we didn’t dip into the precious sugar to make it.”

Laying the near empty bowl on the counter, Martha scooped the last bits of batter out with a spoon and plopped it on top of the creamy yellow mix. A tongue darted out and she licked the last spoonful. Gail expected a grin or smirk with that action, but instead a frown settled across her face, like a curtain falling after a scene in the movie house.

She looked up at Gail and it seemed tears would begin pooling at the corners. She opened her mouth, but no words came out at first. Hesitantly, she voiced some of her thoughts.

“Gail? How much longer is this dreadful war going to go on? When will our world get back to normal? Back to the days we don’t hear about friends and neighbors being shot down? Days when we can use sugar without worrying about running out?”

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

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #6

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 ‘glass.’

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

It wasn’t long before Martha rushed in the kitchen to meet Gail, almost bouncing with excitement. “Mother is occupied in the chicken coop. She’s doing a major clean-out, so she’ll be there awhile.”

“Great. That should give us time to at least get this started and in the oven before she comes in.” Gail laid the recipe booklet down on the counter.

“What’s that?”

“It’s a recipe booklet for sugarless recipes, by Rumford Baking Powder. One of the other teachers at school got an extra one last week and she gave it to me. I’ve been wanting to try some of these out but haven’t had time yet.”

Martha giggled and rolled her eyes. “Nope. Because you’ve been too busy mooning your sweethearts’ letters.”

Gail picked up the dish towel hanging on a hook by the sink and flicked it in her sister’s direction. Martha’s eyes widened as she jumped back, and the towel missed her by mere inches. She stuck her tongue out and wagged her fingers in her ears. “Missed me, you missed me…” she sang out.

Biting back a minor flash of irritation, Gail tucked the flour sack dish towel in her waistband and turned her attention to the recipe booklet. She ran her finger down the various tempting options. “Here’s a one egg cake recipe. Seems it uses the fewest ingredients. Why don’t we try that one.”

“You’re the boss. What do we need?”

“Let’s see…flour, baking powder, salt, butter or shortening-“

Martha interrupted, “Mother just churned some fresh butter yesterday.”

“Then, butter it is. What else? Corn syrup, one egg, milk, grated orange rind…we’ll have to skip on that. We haven’t had a fresh orange here for months. And last, vanilla flavoring.”

Martha had been pulling out ingredients one at a time as Gail read her way down the list and lined them all up on the table. “What else?”

Gail paused, deep in thought, and rubbed her fingertips across her forehead. “We’ll need a whisk, probably a fork, the measuring cups, the baking pan, oh, and a mixing bowl.”

Opening the cupboard door next to the stove, Martha peered in, trying to decide which bowl would be best. “Which one? There are several bowls in here. The glass one? Or the green Pyrex bowl?”

********

Rumford One-Egg Cake

Very easy on war-time budgets. Though the fine full flavor doesn’t hint of any economy!

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons Rumford Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or other shortening
1 cup corn syrup
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

SIFT together flour, Rumford Baking Powder and salt. Cream butter or shortening until fluffy; add 1/2 cup of the corn syrup slowly, creaming thoroughly after each addition. Beat egg until lemon colored. Add remaining 1/2 cup corn syrup gradually, beating while adding. Stir in grated orange rind and vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture, mixing thoroughly after each addition and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Bake in two well-greased 8-inch layer cake pans in a moderate oven (375° F.) for 25 minutes. Cool and frost as desired.

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

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #5

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 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. This is the picture I chose to write to.

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

Martha’s eyes flew open wide, and she pulled back in a huff, as if she were offended. It was all an act. At least Gail thought it was pretended. “Hey, what do you mean by that?”

Gail so wanted to harass Martha and stretch on the you’re-such-an-annoying-sister charade. But one look at Martha’s huge eyes, looking up at her with anticipation and Gail had to stop. She ruffled the top of Martha’s head and tucked in some of the stray hairs that had come loose from her auburn pleats.

“Tell you what, my little sis, let’s see if we can make a surprise for Mother. Let me go put George’s letter up. You go do reconnaissance and see what task Mother is occupied with. Meet me in the kitchen in five minutes.”

While Martha scooted away, intent on the mission she was given, Gail stepped into her room and opened her bottom bureau drawer. All the letter’s she’d received from George as he protected the country from far across the seas were tied together with a rosy-hued silk ribbon. As she tucked her newest correspondence into the top of the stack, an ache filled her heart. She missed him so much. But even more than that, every fiber of her being hoped that he’d return safely home. So many families in their Munday community had lost loved ones in the battle for freedom. If George didn’t become a casualty, Gail intended to spend the last of her days married to this fine gentleman.

But, for this afternoon, further thoughts of her beloved would have to wait. It was Saturday. No classes. No pupils to teach. And there was a younger sister desperate for attention from her older sister. If Mother was occupied elsewhere in the house, Gail had a no sugar cake recipe she wanted to try. It would be a great chance for to spend some sisterly time together in the kitchen.

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

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #4

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 ‘bug.’

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

“So, what did he say? Does he missssss you?” Martha drawled the word out as a huge, teasing grin lit up her face.

Gail swatted in her sister’s direction. “Don’t be a bother. It wasn’t anything special. Just the usual chatter.”

Seeing the crestfallen expression on her little sister’s face, Gail decided to throw her a bone and share a bit of George’s letter with her. Leaving out the affectional and heart wrenching ending of course. Those words would be onlyseen by her eyes. And most likely read and re-read many times in the privacy of her room, probably before bed. Until the next letter arrived and became Gail’s next ‘favorite’.

“He mostly talked about his first eight years of life and what it was like growing up in Michigan. Did you know, he has two younger sisters too?”

“Ha! He has the same problem you have. But two of them! How old are they?” Martha danced circles around Gail as they gradually got closer to home, stirring up billows of dust around them.

Gail paused and pulled the pages back out of the ivory envelope embossed with War & Navy Departments V-Mail Service in the upper left corner. She scanned through to find where George had talked of his siblings. “Let’s see..he doesn’t say exactly. He says he has an older sister, Mary, but he doesn’t mention her age. He writes that his sister Myra was born two years after they moved to Michigan, and they moved there when he was just a newborn. I’m twenty-four, so George is twenty-five, which should make Myra twenty-three. And Doris was two years younger still, so she must be about twenty-one.”

A frown puckered around the edges of Martha’s mouth. “Oh, they’re even older than me. They’re not even kids anymore. So, I bet they don’t bug him as much as I pester you.”

Laughter bubbled up from inside and Gail laughed so hard that tears formed at the corners of her eyes. Filled with a rush of compassion and love for her sole sibling, she flung her arms around Martha and gave her a tight hug. “Oh my, yes, you can do that you silly beast. But you know what? If you didn’t annoy me to no end, I’d worry to death about what was wrong with you.”

Gail pulled back and tweaked the blue ribbon at the bottom of Martha’s pigtail. “You know what’s even worse? George says that he had a baby brother that died at birth. His mom’s health after that was so precarious that that’s why they moved to California.  would be so sad. I don’t know what I would have done if that had happened to you.”

But Gail couldn’t stop and leave it there. She had to get one more tease in before the sisterly camaraderie went too far down the nostalgia path. “But…there are days…”

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

Trisha’s Website

To Miss Gail Reynolds #3

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 ‘blue.’

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

Gail’s eyes filled with tears and a melancholy mood threatened to overwhelm her spirits. She missed him so much that her heart felt like it would break. She wished this dreaded war was over and all the men in service could return back home. Of course, it went without saying that she wished to see George in the forefront, leading the brigade of men home.

After all this time away, Gail was pleased that she at least had a photo to gaze upon, to memorize the lines in his face, and the slight curl in his tresses. Without that, she wondered if she’d easily remember what he looked like. It was just over two years since he’d made his way to the recruiting office and disappeared from her life. A wave at the station and he was gone – to places far off and across the seas, to lands he couldn’t report on in his letters home.

Two more years and he’d have served his time and be on his way home. Lord willing, the war would be long over by then. Lord willing that America and its allies were the victorious ones, and that Hitler and his regime weren’t ruling the world by then. How horrible that would be. She shook her head frantically, willing the mere thought of that possibility to leave her brain and disappear.

Please, Lord, let this war end soon. Let our men come back. I’ll admit I’m being selfish, but I most surely would like to see my George return home, safe and sound and in possession of all his limbs. Amen.

Gail turned back towards home and slowly returned. Her scattered thoughts wandered between the families she knew that had lost sons and husbands in the carnage in other countries. Other than the devastation at Pearl Harbor, American soil wasn’t threatened. But the lives of countless soldiers that had been lost to date told a price that the nation paid which some days seemed far too steep. Although, she reasoned, not as high as if our side doesn’t win.

She was happy that she her employment as a teacher filled most of her days with thoughts of the young pupils under her care. Some of the ornery ones kept her hopping, but overall, that was a good thing. It kept her mind occupied and busy and by the time she returned home each day, she was usually too tired to fret too much.

It was the long quiet weekends where she tended to overthink everything. And when Saturday’s post brought a letter from her beloved, why, as much as she loved getting and reading one, it made her feel so blue with missing him.

As she neared the house, the screen door slammed shut and Martha came running down the path to meet her. Gail sighed as she watched her approach. So much for pining away in missing her sweet fiancée. Her younger sister surely had a plan that would spoil the wallowing.

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

Trisha’s Website

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