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If I thought for one miserable minute......
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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,897
    Life sure keeps you hopping. Take care.

  2. #82
    hoping for the best for your mate

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
    Posts
    4,526
    #12
    While Ev tended to Cheryl and her mysterious stomach pain. Evie managed Christy, and Wayne and Sandra broke camp with practiced ease. In twenty five minutes they were creeping down the mountain side, so as not to jostle Cheryl. It was impossible to miss every rut and rock, but Ev was trying hard.

    Christy was giggling about the frying pan her mommy was holding against her stomach. The recently used cast iron pan serving like a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Laying on the front seat, Cheryl smiled weakly at the sound of her daughter's laughter, and fretted about making Evie sit in the back of the bumpy ride.

    "I've spent more time riding in the back of a rig, than in the front," Evie assured the hurting woman. "Don't worry, We will do just fine back here." Evie kept Christy busy listening to stories about the depression when they walked everywhere, and it was a treat to get a lift, even if it meant in the back of a pickup in the dust.

    "Just like now," Christy looked thoughtful. "Granny, I'm going to need a bath. And look at Mr. Bunny, he is sooooo dirty."

    "I think we can arrange a bath, what about we give Mr Bunny a cleaning?" Christy was all primed by the time the group reached the Hanson homestead. She waved goodby to Ev and Cheryl without a tear. Ev smiled his thanks.

    Wayne and Cheryl pulled the camping gear out of the truckbed in record time and Ev rushed to town. After all the hurry, the quiet was a huge letdown. Evie stood looking around at the damage they had left. She wasn't sure Wayne had done them a favor by hustling them up the mountain, if they had been home, she could have done a lot of cleanup by now.

    "Wayne, would you check out the barn. I think we need to re-set the tent inside. Rain is coming." Evie looked to the west, a bank of dark clouds spread like a blackout curtain rising slowing above the horizon.

    During the work they accomplished, Evie kept watching the approaching clouds. "Kids," she interjected as she stood Christy in the washtub, pouring warm water over the clean but shivering child, "I think that is an ash cloud, one like St. Helen's produced. What do you think about hiking over to Ev's and put his stock in the barn. Some fresh eggs would go good with supper."

    Wayne and Sandra raced each other across the pasture. Youthful hijinks, fueled by tension and competitiveness had them playing tag across the pasture. Evie laughed as Sandy dodged a not so gentle looking swat aimed in her direction.

    Wayne had declared the barn structurally sound, and camping gear was set up in record time. A fire pit was made by pulling together cement blocks and a old washing machine tub.

    "Grams, you keep the darnedest things," Wayne teased Evie as he looked over the junk pile behind the barn. He had been putting together a couple of ideas to use as a cooking platform, but darned if Grams wasn't miles ahead of him. For an old lady, she sure kept her thinking sharp.

    He had promised to repair the privy door, and was rewarded with a thankful smile. Wayne thought Evie looked a lot like a apple faced doll he had seen years ago. Bright eyes didn't miss much, and although she didn't hear as well as she used too, he wouldn't want to get caught trying to pass on information under his breath.

    As the day moved toward noon time, the advancing cloud curtain loomed
    more ominous than normal. Evie walked to the barn door and looked to see the wind direction. South west. Pursing her lips, she supposed that a mountain in the Olympics must have exploded. Taking the time, she walked to the back of the barn to look northward. Baker was still blowing steam plumes, but off to the South East there was another ash cloud boiling into the air.

    Brother, she said a couple of Norwegian cuss words under her breath. "That must be Glacier Peak." It was as unstable as Baker, but so remote much less was known about it.

    Well, she dusted her hands off, there wasn't anything she could do about the event, but she could manage her response to the problem.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    1,859
    Glad they are back to their own back yard. Seems you can handle things better on your own turf. Thanks for the additions to the story.

    How is Hubby coming along? Hope all goes well for him as well as Gramma and the kinders at home.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
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    4,526
    #13

    While tuckered out Christy was taking a nap; Evie snuck into the house for a quick inspection. Dammed if her very best bread bowl wasn't broken to smithereens on the floor. The destruction was enough to put her in a real foul mood. Her mama had sent that bowl via railway express as a surprise second anniversary present.

    Evie had to mourn the destruction. There was another matter to take care of, she carefully reconnoitered where Sandy and Wayne were working, Christy was napping and Evie was busy moving the money. At the end of the concrete walk, under the pansy plants, Evie dug in the soft earth. It was easy digging to make a hole the size of a tote. Evie put her back into it and had the deed done by the time voices came floating through the afternoon air announcing that Wayne and Sandy were returning.

    Evie had drug her rocking chair out of the house and was sitting in the sunshine spilling through the barn door. Out of the wind, a quick nap recharged her battery. The wap-wap of the windmill blades increased as the breeze picked up, announcing the impending storm.

    Sandra walked over and pulled the lever down, engaging the pump. The leathers squeaked as they rotated and water came spilling into the long concrete trough at the base of the tower. The huge blades of the ancient AeroMotor swished as they cut the air.

    Ev had found the windmills, three of them in the center of the state. He, Benny, Brett and Wayne had gone on a camping disguised as a scouting trip and come back so tickled with themselves; the ladies had forgiven them for being three days late.

    Several years ago, Brett, Benny, Wayne and their friend Arch had moved into the old Apperton house. An instant bachelor pad. Now, only Wayne was there on a regular basis. Benny was there occasionally, but preferred to sleep in the cot room at the jail. The third windmill had been set up there, but was rarely used.

    On the cooking grill, the familiar #12 Griswold held a mound of potatoes that were sizzling golden brown. Sandy held out a coffee can filled with brown eggs, and Evie smiled her appreciation. Wayne was sniffing the air, his stomach growling. Evie made depressions in the potatoes and cracked the eggs into the cup like holes.

    The lid for the Griswold had been broken years ago, but Hap had used a pizza pan and added a handle. The enclosed heat, cooking the eggs in no time. Wayne was wolfing his meal like a starving man. "What!" he explained. "If you remember, I didn't get a turn at breakfast."

    Christy woke up hungry, and sat eating her lunch. Mr. Bunny hanging by his ears in the drying sun, swinging back and forth in the breeze.

    "You weren't supposed to go in the house, until it had been declared safe," Wayne chided Evie; scolding her for taking such a risk.

    "Yeah," Evie replied with a mouthful. "But I was hungry and needed my cooking tools. It seems most of the house is secure, except for the stove pipe. It is really urgent we try to repair the stovepipe before the oncoming ash storm hits. I would guess we have possibly two more hours and then it will beyond fixing for quite a while."

    Sandra had been extremely quiet since she and Wayne had come back from Ev's. Evie looked her granddaughter over carefully, noting the slight puffiness of her lower lip. Sandy had been well kissed.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West central Georgia
    Posts
    17,558
    Ooooh, Sandy and Wayne. I appreciate your additions to the story! It must be hard on you not to be with your husband, but you can always write more to keep your mind off of him. Just kidding! We'll be praying for him.
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    7,053
    Yes, I appreciate the story too especially with all you have to deal with now. Thank you

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NE Tenn
    Posts
    627
    I agree. Thank you for writing in the midst of all of your chaos. It is so appreciated.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,086
    Wow, these last two chapter were great. Thank you!

  10. #90
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
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    1,313
    Thanks

  11. #91
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    the pacific north west
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    #14

    "Grams," Wayne was shouting from the roof. "I need a length of pipe. It's bad where it goes through the roof."

    "OK," Evie hollered back, "I've got some in the basement, just a minute."

    Sandra hoisted the pipe to Wayne, working in unison they had the stovepipe repaired in a jiffy. Wayne had gone over the chimney and insert carefully, and laid a fire. Cautiously they watched the familiar draw begin and the flames dance.

    Evie was pleased and praised both kids for their work. "I'm sleeping here tonight," Evie said a tad forcefully, daring anyone to object.
    "My hip hurts from sleeping on the ground, and until there's no alternative, here's where I'll be."

    Christy came in, rubbing sleep from her eyes. "It's cold outside," she complained. "Mr Bunny is burry-cold."

    "Come over," Evie invited, "lets get Mr Bunny warm. I'm going to start coffee, would you like some coffee-milk?" A desirable treat, Christy was all for standing near the increasing warmth.

    The black cloud was nearly over them, a light, fine rain of ash falling, swirling like snow. Evie looked out the window, weighing her options. Making up her mind, she reached for a couple of buckets in the pantry and went for extra water. She loaded the house the same as she would a major snowstorm. Water, wood and and closed up outbuildings.

    The Griswold was placed in the position of honor on the counter and beans put on to soak. A pan of water put on to heat for rice, and the perking smell of coffee. These things made Evie's world run right, bringing a contentment. The day darkened, making the early afternoon as murky as last dusk.

    "I'm going to walk into town," Wayne announced, as he dumped the last armload of wood in the box. "I want to see how things fared there. Anyone want to go?"

    Evie didn't, and Christy was waiting impatiently for her coffee milk. Sandra looked at Wayne for a long moment and reached for her coat.

    "You two have bandannas for your noses?" the grandmother inquired, still wanting to mother her chicks.

    Sandra laughed, and patted her hip. "Yes Grandma," she said good naturedly. "We are prepared."

    Evie nodded and waved them out the door. Watching out the window, she checked as they walked right along, but obviously deep in conversation. With deep conviction, she knew that her life and their's had turned a corner towards another fork in the road.

    Now, Evie had Benny and Clora to worry about, but she said a prayer for all of her grands. Christy had stayed with Evie many times and was very comfortable with the way of life in the dark brown sided house. She came to stand by Evie's chair, "Grandma. The coffee's ready."

    The two of them and Mr Bunny had afternoon 'tea' as the daylight faltered and then was swallowed by the oncoming ash cloud.
    Inky scratched at the door and Evie let he and Ruby in to lay by the fire, the temperature plummeting as the sun's heat was obliterated.

    From somewhere Evie produced a plateful of oatmeal cookies, and the ladies shared tea with their friends, real and imaginary in the cozy kitchen. The light from the oil lamp creating a pool of gentle well being and security.



    Wayne and Sandra walked in the clinic as Ev came from the back rooms. He rubbed his face, "Cheryl's pregnant, for now," he amended. "This isn't good; there's something wrong internally," he shrugged. Sitting down heavily, he stared morosely past the newcomers into the night like darkness. "Crap," was all he said.

    "We got your place secured," Wayne reported. "Livestock in the barn, Christy is with Grams; we got her house inspected and they were getting ready for cookies and drinks when we left."

    Ev half smiled and nodded tiredly. Heaving a deep sigh, he leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes.

    Inga slipped in the room and waved silently at the couple. They moved to the end of the waiting room and sat with fresh coffee. Inga had her sad face on, shaking her head in a negative way when Sandra looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

    "Doc can't tell if it's a pregnancy, or the beginnings of a miscarriage," Inga said softly. Both Wayne and Sandra felt so bad for their friends, but unable to effect any change.

    Inga noted a change in the aura around Wayne and her niece. Sharply observing the vibes between the two, she smiled. So it was finally happening. She wondered if her mother knew and then relaxed. Her mother was so far ahead of the curve, there was darned little that escaped her notice.

    "Benny around?" Wayne asked Inga. "I'd like to talk with him."

    "Don't know," Inga replied. "I haven't been out of here for two days. Try the Sheriff's office. He and the new state man have been huddled in there since the quake."

    A look passed between Wayne and Sandra, and he smiled encouragement, leaving to find his friend.

    "Tee Hee," Inga teased in a sing song voice. "I know something about Sandra and Wayne."

    Sandra glared at her aunt, and then burst out laughing. "finally," she said with pent up emotion.

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
    Posts
    12,897
    Thank you very enjoyable.

  13. #93
    Many thanks. Hope hubby is doing ok.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,086
    Warmth, Security, Contentment, Happiness & Love..........................what more could anyone want! Thank you!

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    bol
    Posts
    3,460
    Thank you for continuing the story even with the full plate you have....keeping yall in prayer still.

    She
    Being PC will be the death of us all yet!
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "But we've got to have faith or we have nothing. We have to have faith in our God, our resolve, our cause and our brother patriots."
    Black, Leo - The Last Stand on Earth.

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
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    4,526
    #15
    "What shall we have for supper?" Evie asked Christy. "It can be chili, chicken and dumplings, or beef stew."

    "I like chili, with crackers. Not corm bread," Christy was very definite about her choice.

    "Isn't it corn bread?" Evie chuckled.

    "Yeah, corm bread."

    "I don't have any crackers, now we can make crackers tomorrow; so maybe tonight we should have the chicken?" Evie was walking downstairs while she was talking. Christy skipped downstairs light as a feather, while Evie carefully planted her feet. The bounty of jars were Evie's true wealth, security and comfort.

    "Chicken is OK, I like it." the small girl pointed to the yellow gold jar. Evie grabbed two jars and the duo headed up stairs. It wasn't easy to fix supper with Christy helping, but Evie tied a dish towel apron around the child and patiently instructed her how to set the table.

    They were just finishing eating when Sandra knocked to let them know she was coming in. She walked in and flopped in a chair, the thunderous expression on her face announced unhappy news. Evie didn't bite, not wanting to expose Christy to the angst she could see building. Sandra looked like a mini volcano ready to blow.

    While Evie got Christy ready for bed and finished the story, the drink of water and the flashlight so Mr Bunny didn't get scared in the dark; Sandy stomped around the kitchen.

    Evie secretly wondered if she could climb in bed with Christy, and miss the drama she knew was waiting for her. Taking a deep breath, she kissed Christy good night and walked into the kitchen.

    Sandra was pacing the floor, definitely angry; fuming as she made the circle around the table. Inky squeezed himself in the smallest possible space, to stay out of the path of vengeance.

    "I am so angry," Sandy spoke low and punctuated her words by stabbing her finger in the air. "Wayne went to talk to Benny and to tell him we want to be married. Do you know what that ingrate said. he said NO!" she stomped harder, "HE LOOKED AT HIM AND
    SAID NO!"

    Evie poured herself the last of the coffee, and sat down. She let Sandy rage herself out, and then said quietly, "did Benny give a reason?"

    "I think he did, but Wayne won't tell me what he said," Sandy said tearfully. "Grandma, this just isn't fair. And now Wayne wants to hold off, he wants to see if we can change Benny's mind. He won't come talk to you until Benny approves."

    "Sandy, I'm afraid Benny thinks of you as thirteen. Realistically, he knows you are older, but with the date of your birth so clouded, let's see what we might do to change his mind." Evie patted Sandra's hand.

    "Don't cry and act angry, make a plan. Do all you can to be pro active. Adults think their way through problems, they don't throw tantrums. I have some ideas, but I want you and you and Wayne to work through this by yourselves." Grandmother encouraged granddaughter.

    Sandy looked rebellious, the dark expression almost permanently etched on her pretty face. Tired, Evie went to bed. The previous night's lack of sleep had her feeling very old; that with the love drama was enough to make a girl wish for the comfort of her sheets.

  17. #97
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    West central Georgia
    Posts
    17,558
    Evie is so wise...

    Thanks for the new chapters!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,313
    All caught up. Thank you.

  19. #99
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    State WA
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  20. #100
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
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    #16
    Evie hummed as she started breakfast coffee, the morning as dark as dusk was last night. The ash looked like snow on the ground, dirty, gritty snow.

    Sandy shuffled in from her bedroom, a forlorn, hangdog expression and red rimmed eyes betraying her miserable night. Not much taller than Inga and pencil thin, Sandra had the particular look of a youngster that has arrested development. Truth be told, Evie thought Sandy didn't look like she was thirteen, much less, five or six years older.

    "Sandy, I'm going to write a letter to Benny. Will you take it into town for me this morning?" Sandra's head shot up, and she stared hopefully at Evie. "You may read it when I'm finished, but all I want is for Benny to double check the information about your birth date. Sandy, step outside yourself. Take a good look at your body and the lack of your development. Honey, I don't think your much older than thirteen."

    Sandy looked crushed, tears pooling and lower lip quivering. "But Grandma, that paper said I was."

    "I know," Evie soothed. "But I also have reason to believe that your mother wasn't truthful, on purpose. This is one of those situations that we need to investigate before we get upset."

    "I'll write, you eat," Evie suggested, handing Sandra a bowl of hot rice with butter. The letter went together slowly, Evie wanted to be sure Benny understood exactly what she wanted. Sandra had finished eating, then brushed, primped and powdered herself into older age.

    Evie folded the paper and Sandy put it in her jacket. Evie gave her a short grocery list and a handful of folding money. "Check on everybody, make sure their OK, and find out the latest gossip!" Evie teased her granddaughter. "Look out for tall, dark, handsome strangers."

    "Grandma!" Sandy pretended to be scandalized. "If you feel that way about it, I won't even take candy from a stranger, either." she smirked and danced out the door.

    Evie smiled at the child, understanding in her heart that Sandy was still a little girl.



    Benny and Jennings were gathering information, papers strewn all over the desk. Ev stopped by to mooch a cup of coffee. "Inga makes coffee like her mother," he complained, shuddering at the remembered taste. Ev downed most of the cup and poured another. "Cheryl's better," he remarked, "not out of the woods, but better."

    Benny nodded, only half listening to Ev. The world outside Evergreen had gone to hell in a rapid slide. The tsunami had wiped a good portion of sea level Washington off the map. Human suffering and misery was at the highest toll every recorded. Benny tried to be professional, but he was worried sick about Clora, and the fact they hadn't heard from her.

    Sandy poked her head in the office door, smiling with forced humor. "Hi, can I come in?" she asked her brother.

    "Humm," Benny barely glanced up, "sure," he motioned toward a chair. "Sit down," he looked at the paper in his hand and thumped it on the furthest pile.

    "Grandma sent a letter for you," Sandy held the paper toward Benny. "Don't worry," she sniped, "It won't bite you."

    "Sandy, that's enough," he said sharply. "I'm not going down that road today. I've got a million things going on." He raised up enough to reach over and take the letter Evie sent in.

    Benny flipped open the note and read the short request. "Tell Grandma I will check into this again, but it will be a while. This is a natural disaster of gigantic proportions, so nothing is working."

    Stricken with a bit of remorse, Sandy asked, "is there anything I can do to help. I'm supposed to check on everyone and see if they are OK."

    "Run over and get a sack of sandwiches from Brett, would ya. I haven't had time to make it over there, and I'm starving." Benny mumbled.



    Sandy was out the door, before he finished. She enjoyed Brett and Abby and Trey was adorable.
    Last edited by PacNorWest; 03-05-2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: the 10 millionth typo

  21. #101
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    bol
    Posts
    3,460
    Thank you for the new chapters PNW. I think I want to grow up and be just like Evie!

    She
    Being PC will be the death of us all yet!
    -----------------------------------------------------
    "But we've got to have faith or we have nothing. We have to have faith in our God, our resolve, our cause and our brother patriots."
    Black, Leo - The Last Stand on Earth.

  22. #102
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    W. Georgia
    Posts
    7,053
    Thanks for the new chapter. Eagerly awaiting more all the time. Hope your husband is doing better.

  23. #103
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    State WA
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    Thank you and good luck to Sandy.

  24. #104
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    the pacific north west
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    Hubby is doing well. He had his repair surgery today, is at himself tonight, and I am so grateful.
    Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers, we surely needed them. I can only praise God for keeping us.

  25. #105
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    Feb 2005
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    Dallas, Texas
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    1,313
    Thanks Pac. Glad your husband is doing better.

  26. #106
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    Jul 2011
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    MI
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    624
    Wonderful news about your DH. Still praying so he can be home soon. Take care and thanks for the chapter.

  27. #107
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    W. Georgia
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    Good to hear it.

  28. #108
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    #17
    Sandy let the diner door slam behind her. Trey looked up from his coloring and squealed "Auntie S, Auntie S, come help me," he offered a broken green crayon.

    "OK," Sandy said, sitting down and taking the crayon. "What are we coloring?"

    "Hey Sis," Brett hollered from behind the grill, "What can I for you do," his fractured greeting that he had used for years, a stock in trade 'Brett'ism'. Abby came from the store room wiping her hands. "Sandy, good to see you. How about a tea?"

    Sandy smiled at her favorite, almost brother and his wife. "Benny asked for a sack of sandwiches. You know, it sounds like it's really bad, out there." she waved her hand toward the big city "I sure hope Clora is safe."

    "Yeah, it's kinda spooky not knowing where she might be, but she's smart and the sirens should have sounded. I mean, the earthquake alone should have alerted her to head for higher ground." Brett poured Sandra a tea and filled a water glass for Trey.

    "Hey," the youngster protested, "I want a pop."

    "No," Brett turned stern. "No treats for you until you mind. You are under probation, remember?"

    Sandy looked curiously at Brett for an explanation. "The day of the earthquake , Trey went running into a dog fight. If the State man's oldest boy hadn't soccer kicked a ball into Trey, he would have been mauled. I was coming after him, but wouldn't have made it in time." he said with a touch of exasperation.

    Sandy turned to frown at Trey. "Hey, that was a pretty dumb thing to do, dogs won't stop fighting."

    Trey hung his head, even more sorry for his actions now that Sandy scolded him too. He had been testing Brett for almost a year, some of the other kids said he didn't have to do anything Brett told him to do, Brett wasn't his dad. The punishment Brett was giving him this time, was clear proof to Trey that he'd better start listening. His bottom was still a little sore from the spanking.

    Sandy could see all of Trey's thinking march across the boy's face. She looked at him with an arched eyebrow, trying Grandma's look on the youngster. Trey squirmed. This wasn't fun at all. Even Aunt Sandy had turned against him.

    Abby looked on with maternal concern. It had been so difficult to see Trey get spanked. She knew she hadn't been very strict with him, had let her boy get away with anything he wanted. Heaving a big sigh, she walked over to stand close to Brett. The message to Trey was loud and clear, he had no choice but to mind, mom and dad were united.

    Brett talked about the newcomers while he built a stack of sandwiches. Sandy learned a lot in a short time. In turn, she haltingly told Brett her problem with Benny, Wayne and herself.

    "Sandy, I think of you more like a sister, than Patti." Brett didn't see Abby wince at the mention of the girl that had most likely run away with her ex boyfriend.
    "Sandy, I think Wayne likes you. But you've got to understand, he's,....he's still not himself," Brett finished the sentence the kindest way possible. "I honestly think Wayne isn't as old as he says he is, and you maybe older than we think you are; either way," he looked at Sandy with a kind expression, "Neither one of you is old enough to be deeply involved.

    "If you can cool it, and keep yourself under control; a couple of years is going to make a huge difference. Understand?" older brother counciled younger sister.

    "Have you been talking to Benny," Sandy scowled darkly at Brett, turning her ears off at this point. "You sound just like him."

    "Sandy," Brett looked off in the distance, trying to gather his thoughts as to explain so he wouldn't loose his rappor with Sandy.
    "Will you let me say; perhaps we know things about Wayne that you don't, and there is a reason we tell you, you need to be older to handle Wayne and his problems. Some things love can't handle, or overcome."

    Sandy thought Brett made it sound more reasonable when he put it that way; she didn't like it, Wayne was so wonderful.

    "Can you work with us on this?" Brett questioned Sandy. He didn't have high hopes, Sandy looked like a thundercloud.

    "Boy, you, Benny and Grandma are all yelling the same thing," a little girl whine and pout spilled from the teen.

    "Let me tell you, it's the shit's trying to be an adult," Brett acknowledged sourly. "I couldn't wait to be grown up, and I thought it would be the most carefree time of my life. I'm sitting here to tell you, trying to grow up is way more difficult than you might expect."

    Abby walked over to put her arm around Sandra. Whispering in her sister-in-law's ear, both young ladies blushed.

    Brett looked alarmed, but held his peace. It was also trouble when the two of them ganged up on him, but he was tough. He had his main man Trey there to back him up.

    Brett looked at Trey and winked. That caused the boy to giggle and suddenly Trey felt a lot better.

    Brett wrapped the sandwiches in lengths of wax paper, and bagged them for Benny and J. "Here ya go," he handed the sack to Sandy. "Hurry, if I know Benny, he's starving."

    "That's what he said," Sandy relented and took the ferocious look off her face. "He sure gets grumpy when he's hungry. I think a grizzly would have a sweeter disposition." she gathered the sack and said, "see ya Trey. Your doing a good job coloring. See ya Abby and Brett."

    Not quite stomping in frustration, Sandy kicked at stones on her way back to the sheriff's office. Brett and Benny and Grandma had given her a lot to think about.

  29. #109
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    Good chapter, thank you.

  30. #110
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    Ah, the hard life of being a teenager in love. LOL Great chapter. Thanks!

  31. #111
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    #18

    Cheryl lay half asleep in the clinic. The door opened quietly and Sandy peeked in. She started to withdraw, when Cheryl said "come in Sandy, I need to talk with you." Sandy tiptoed into the dusky room. Gosh Cheryl looked bad.

    "Sandy would you be interested in being a 'mother's helper?' Doc tells me I can't do any work when I get home. Actually, I guess it's more like being a housekeeper. Meals, cleaning, washing, you know, the usual." Cheryl looked hopeful, rubbing her arm with her opposite hand.

    "Well, yeah; I suppose. Benny says there won't be any school for a long time, so I need something to do. I should ask Grandma; I mean, she still thinks I'm a little kid so I need to humor her."

    Cheryl had to cough to keep from laughing out loud. Oh Lordy, she was thinking to herself, this will be a doozy.

    "I think asking Evie would be the right thing to do," Cheryl agreed. "Now, here's the difficult part. Wayne will be working with Ev in the backhoe business. Will that cause any problems for you?"

    Sandy had to hesitate on that thought. "Well," she stalled a bit, "I don't think it will be easy, I mean everyone is telling us to wait, wait, wait." she said in anger. "I don't think they have all the answers."

    "Think it through," Cheryl said softly. "If your still interested, let me know tomorrow. I can't go home until I have help, so I'm sorry to rush you. Ev and Wayne have been 'ordered' to show up down at the Interstate tomorrow, they may not be back for several days to a week. They need to dig graves for people and animals."

    "I'll do it Miz Cheryl. I'm sure Grandma will say OK, especially if Wayne is busy elsewhere." Sandy said sadly. "Is Mr Ev gonna bring you home tomorrow morning?"

    "Yes," Cheryl murmured tiredly.

    "I'll watch and come over when I see your pickup." Sandy promised. "Christy will be excited to have you home."



    Evie and Christy had a good time, making more cookies, cleaning house, taking naps and grooming Inky and Ruby. The ash keeping them indoors. Late in the afternoon Sandy came trudging home, the wet bandanna over her nose, rimmed with white ash where she had been breathing through her mouth.

    "It's really bad out there," Sandy brushed her clothes free from the gritty dirt. "Look, it's only 3pm and it's almost dark outside. Thanks Grandma," Sandy accepted the glass of water and drank thirstily. "Thank you Christy," the five year old handed Sandy a special cookie made especially for her.

    "Every one is OK in town; and Mizz Cheryl wants me to work for her as a housekeeper starting tomorrow morning. She's not supposed to do any work. Wayne is gonna work with Mr Ev, they have to go down and dig graves for Benny and Mr J."

    "Any news of Clora?" Evie asked hurriedly. "I'm awful worried about her."

    "Nobody has heard," Sandy reported. "Brett says she's pretty smart, she would have heard the sirens and gone to higher ground."

    Evie nodded, but she had a license to worry and was going to make full use of the certificate.



    Clora and her friend Lainey had heard the sirens faintly. They had been horseback riding in the hills when the earthquake struck. The horses had acted weird, and then the ground started rolling and undulating. In the forest small trees were uprooted, rocks rolled and crashed the ground. The noise loud and overpowering as the world flounced and rearranged her skirts.

    The horses stood quivering, eyes wide and snot blowing nervously. When the shaking stopped, Clora snapped at Lainey; "Don't get off, we need to go for high ground. We are likely to get a tsunami...." the words were no sooner out of her mouth when they could hear the wailing warbles down in town.

    "My cat," Lainey gasped. "I can't let Sheba die," she started back for the lowland. Clora jumpstarted her horse, blocking Lainey's path. The two sorrels pushing at each other as Clora fought for control.

    "It's your cat or your life," Clora snapped as she grabbed the rein closest to her. "Don't be stupid, let's go, we don't have much time."

    Forcing her gelding around, Clora pulled a protesting Lainey along the trail. A half mile of climbing and they were blocked by a downed tree. The huge fir wedged in between even larger boulders effectively stopping their progress.

    The deafening roar of the wave when it breached land sounded like a freight train rushing by. Turning around in the saddle, Clora watched the unbelieveable destruction unfold below them.

  32. #112
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    Two very good chapters. Thank you.

  33. #113
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    Got home to read 2 chapters thank you.

  34. #114
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    Thank you, thank you!

    Your husband remains in my prayers. How are you holding up?
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  35. #115
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    It's getting exciting, tell us more about what's happening to Clora. I bet Evie has taught all of those children survival skills.

    This story is wonderful.

  36. #116
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    #19
    "OH MY GOD, Clora, look at that!" Lainey barely whispered the words, but Clora heard them loud and clear. The tsunami wave had come inland more than a quarter mile. Vehicles, camp trailers, sheds, fences were bobbing in the tarnished brownish black water.
    From their higher vantage point the girls could see the total annihilation of the narrow ribbon of land between the sea and the foothills of the mountains.

    "I can't believe it," Lainey sounded ready to cry. I have never...." overcome with emotion the slightly pudgy woman couldn't finish her thought.

    Shaken to the core, Clora couldn't take her eyes off the roiling, boiling water as it surged up and then started backward at the same speed. As the water receded, it left lumps and blobs of glistening mud covered wasteland.

    "We need to go help," Lainey whimpered. "There are people down there, OH MY GOD, the people."

    Clora was busy saying a prayer and she almost missed Lainey jerking Sherman around in an attempt to go back down the trail.

    "Stop Lainey," Clora pleaded. "Think, we can't do a thing to help anyone. What would you do if you found injured people. I have four bandaids with me, how many do you have?" Lainey shot a look that would curdle milk, but Clora ignored it.

    Clora had her cantle bag, a mini-mini BOB that she kept permanently tied on her saddle. The pommel bag had two bottles of water and a couple granola bars. The rest of the items she kept on her person, out of sight. Behind the cantle bag she had her rain slicker with a few well chosen articles folded and rolled inside the bright yellow coat.

    Patton stomped his feet, as an aftershock rattled through the ground. Sherman and Patton were two very stocky, overfed quarterhorse geldings that were built like tanks. Equine bulldozers, Clora teased Lainey about her 'boys'. Normally rock solid and imperturbable, the geldings fidgeted nervously as the ground continued to roll.

    "Lainey, we've got to get out of this area, too many rocks and trees." Clora quietly turned Patton around and Sherman followed. Lainey seemed incapable of breaking the trance like fright that gripped her. Clora was scared that at any moment Lainey would order her to head back down. After all, the horses were Lainey's, and she didn't want to think about what she would have to do if Lainey got belligerent.

    Clora had no intention of heading back down the mountain into the maw of the wave caused destruction. What Grandma had repeated over and over, rang in her ears. If you find yourself in a situation, make sure you are observant before you get in trouble. Know where you are, know where you need to go to flee danger, have tools to help you at all times, and don't panic and loose your head.

    Clora smiled thinking about Grandma at a time like this. Grandma used to make cookies and bring them around to eat. But first you had to show her that you had a pocket knife, a bandanna and a match case in your pocket. Cookies were deducted for the items you didn't have, and sometimes you got to stand and watch the rest of the kids get your extras, cause you had forgot.

    Clora didn't think it had ever been necessary to go hungry more than twice, before the required items were loaded in your pockets every morning. She patted her right hand jeans pocket to feel the ultra sharp Gerber folder in it's usual place, beside the match case.

    Her left pocket held a bandanna and a small used mint tin with an assortment of things young ladies normally would not carry. Clora set her jaw in a determined line as she angled out of the timber and into more open ground.

    She looked at the sun, and then her watch. They had gone riding after they had finished teaching for the day, leaving the pickup and trailer about 5pm. Clora estimated they had three hours at the most before it would be too dark to ride, unless they could find the road.

    Her mind was going a thousand miles a minute. Should they go back to the trailer and pickup and retrieve more items, or would they be better off just to head for Evergreen. Another shake and rattle made up Clora's mind for her. They should be closer to the highway by now, than the trailer.

    "There sure as the heck won't be school tomorrow," she told Patton as she patted his neck. He returned the favor by alerting to a rustle in the brush on the uphill side of the trail. Clora caught a glimpse of a small black furry patch as it went scooting through the old slash piles.

    "Lainey," she hissed, "Com'on, we gotta get, that was a cub and you can bet Momma's around here close."

  37. #117
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    Good Clora hasnt forgotten what she was taught.

  38. #118
    thanks for the new chapter

  39. #119
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    Grandma Evie sure is a smart cookie for all she taught those kids. They are much better prepared for the real world because of her. Thanks for more.

  40. #120
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    #20
    Yes indeed, mama bear was very close and down right perturbed that her cub had gone running rather than climb a tree like he had been taught.

    Standing up on her hind legs, the mother black bear signaled with a woof that she wanted her cubs to acknowledge where they were.
    When she swiveled around around, she was close enough to Lainey's horse to fling spittle toward the petrified rider. Sherman made like the tank he was and left the trail at a rapid gait.

    Caught off balance, Lainey made a grab for the saddle horn and nearly unseated herself when Sherman jumped a small tamarack in his path.

    Lainey was screaming in fright, further upsetting the bear and the horses. Clora was of a mind to just ride on, but she supposed Lainey and Sherm might get hurt if the commotion was allowed to proceed. Side passing Patton against Sherm to move the older gelding further down the hill, Clora reached for the reins and pried the right side leather from Lainey's tightly clenched fist.

    Moving directly away from the direction the cub had run, Clora moved through the clearing as fast as sensible for the horses. While she had the upper hand Clora trotted and then loped toward the road she could see in the distance. Lainey was bouncing all over the saddle like a sack of potatoes, and protesting loudly.

    Clora didn't slack up, getting while the getting was good. She pushed on hard, lathering the horses as they picked their way across the rock slides and downed timber.

    Coming in parallel to the road, Clora picked up on angry voices. Good sense and a huge dose of caution, stopped her in a thick scramble of trees and impenetrable buckthorn.

    Lainey heard the voices and brightened considerably. Clora swung down and pulled the woman roughly from the saddle just as she started to speak. "Hush," Clora ordered. "We're in trouble if they find us." She bent down and spoke low into Lainey's ear. "They'll take the horses from us, do you want to loose Sherm and Patton?"

    Lainey's eyes got big, but she shook her head no.

    "Don't say a word," Clora cautioned. "We have to let the horses catch their wind before we can go on." Cautiously, Clora got a bottle of water and shared it with Lainey.

    Listening to the voices, Clora and Lainey could hear that a wreck had closed the road to traffic. A reckless driver had lost his trailer and pickup, straddling the crown of the road, preventing passage. Clora waited patiently, the horses cooling and catching their wind.

    Speaking low to Lainey, Clora told her what they were going to do. "Mount up, and then follow me. Do what I do, don't waste time looking back."

    "I'm scared," Lainey mumbled.

    "Me too, but we gotta do this. Those people are getting wrathy up there, there's gonna be trouble and fighting soon."

    Silently as possible they climbed in the saddle and with a wave of her hand Clora broke to the left and old Patton thundered like the tank he was. Sherman came busting after his pal, not willing to be left behind.

    Lainey heard the shouts behind her, the swearing and the thrown rocks that pelted them. Bravely, she did every thing that Clora told her to do. Clora didn't reign up until they were up the road a half mile, around several corners and out of sight and hearing of the angry mob.

    Darkness was on them, and Clora and Lainey walked the horses steadily toward Evergreen. "Are we gonna stop?" Lainey said tiredly.

    "Not tell we drop out of the saddles," Clora said grimly. "That bunch could follow and surprise us if we slack up now."

    Sherm and Patton walked at their preferred speed, which wasn't fast, but steady. Twice during the darkness, the horses stopped and stood spraddle legged while the ground shook again. "This is really nasty business, have you ever been in an earthquake before?" Lainey was talking to keep herself awake.

    "No, I haven't," Clora said tiredly. "This is a first." It was so tempting to stop, she hurt from riding so long; but the horses plodded on. "Lainey, I see the lights of town, we're almost there. Hang on gal," Clora encouraged her friend.

    Clora rode toward the Sheriff's office and stopped. Hollering for Benny, she attempted to dismount and found her muscles wouldn't obey. Lainey came up seconds later almost bumping into her. The geldings stood still, thankful to be done moving.

    Benny, J and Alan rushed out of the office with guns drawn. In the faint light cast by the oil lamp in the window, Lainey took one look at the men and their weapons and fainted.

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