It may be a little earlier for Christmas stories, but if I’m going to have some ready by the holidays, I need to start working on them now. Although, never fear, the Christmas element will be very low key and won’t play a part in the story until towards the end. Join us for Stitching Christmas Memories, a short story set in 1934.
Each week we write to a word prompt, or a picture prompt. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘hardly.’
With few earthly possessions to their name, it didn’t take Sarah long to get their belongings organized the next morning. Now, pumping the water to fill the buckets and lugging them into the house, then back out once the pail was full of a muddy concoction, took longer than anything else. She almost made Faith stay in to help her clean the place from ceiling to floorboards. But after they’d made the trip cooped up in the car for the long trip, she decided to let the children run off their pent up energy dashing about the farm, checking out their new home.
She hardly finished scrubbing every inch of wall, counter, and floor and it was time to start supper preparations. By the time the children wandered home from their exploration, and Frank came in and plopped down on a chair, Sarah ached. “Fried taters for supper tonight. That’s about all I can manage right now.”
The children made a few unpleasant faces, but after one distinct glare from their father, they straightened out their grimaces and didn’t say anything.
Frank nodded and slumped further down in the chair. “Sounds fine by me. Vittles is vittles. Food in our belly all the same. Think I’ll turn in after we eat. Can’t near move a muscle after today. All that time of no work softened me up.”
Sarah dished up plates of crusty diced potatoes and sat them on the table. “Children. Run out back to the pump and wash your hands and faces.”
The pitter patter of three sets of bare feet echoed through the kitchen. Frank dug into his meal with gusto, only pausing when Sarah spoke next.
“You say we’re close to town? Is it in walking distance?”
“I reckon so. I recollect walking to town when I was a lad and we were visiting. Seems that Mom walked with us a few times too. Not too hard. If I remember we just walk down the dirt road to the west until we reach Main Street. Turn left there and it takes you right into Athelstan. I’ll double-check with Uncle Vern in the morning to make sure.”
Bright and early the next morning, Frank confirmed the directions with his uncle. He planted a peck on Sarah’s cheek and dashed out the door, in a hurry to make a good impression. The children had tumbled out of bed and finished their oatmeal, but still sat around the table in their pajamas, Elizabeth still rubbing sleepy eyes.
Sarah clapped her hands. “Come on! Up and at ‘em. Go wash your faces and put on some clean clothes. Let’s go see what’s in town.”
The girls mumbled a bit, not wanting to have a day that started quite so early. But Edward darted out back to splash cold well water on his face, excited to see what other possible adventures lay in this new world.