Home Plays

The people started sitting down on the other side of the curtain as the director rushed around frantically making sure all of the cast was ready.

“Okay, so is the house prop out on stage?” she asked one actor. “Is your hat fixed?” she asked another. The youngest actor stood shyly against the backstage wall looking fearful. “You stay back here until scene two, then come out. After she’s finished talking, come backstage until scene four. Do not worry, you will be fine. You will do wonderfully!” Then she turned toward the curtain manager and called, “Open the curtain!” the curtain opened and the show began.

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Okay, so you are probably wondering what I am talking about. I was talking about myself, the busy director, before a home play. Today I am going to share about home plays, something that I really enjoy. This is how I do them.

1. Find a cast
You can not do a play if you do not have actors, period. You have to have people to play the parts. Usually my cast is my siblings and a friend.

2. Find a story
The next step in a home play in getting a good story. I use stories from movies, podcasts, or my own imagination. Stories from books also could work, if you have enough people in your cast to do it.

3. Characters
Now it is time to decide who gets each part. This is tricky, but here are some steps I use.
a. Is she the same age as the character?
b. Is she as tall or short as the character?
c. Does she act like the character?
Once you have found a good fit for each character, it is time for the next step.

4. Lines
I am the director because I love to take command. I am in charge of delivering scripts to the cast, so I carefully write down each line for every character. (Some might find this task boring, but I find it fun. I love every aspect of plays and acting.) Once carefully copied and edited, I give the lines to the cast for them to practice.

5. Costumes
Have you ever done costuming? It is so fun! I raid all of my sister’s closets searching for the perfect clothes for each character. Not only does the outfit have to look right, it has to fit right as well. It would not look good if all of the actors were on stage in oversized clothes! You also need to decide how each actor’s hair will be styled at showtime. Once you have completed this challenge, it is time for…

6. Props
Now it is time to get all of the props you will need onstage. There is no telling what all you will need, maybe a house, a bush, a shelf, or anything under the sun! There also is no telling what you will make the props out of either. I have used hard paper, soft paper, a dry erase board and markers, blankets, and much more. Props are so very fun to make, especially when they turn out looking very realistic.

7. Timing/Scheduling
Once all of the actors have their lines memorized, it is time to get a date for your show. The sooner the better in my opinion! Sometimes it is hard working around lots of schedules, but it is well worth it! Decide exactly what time of the day the play will begin and invite any guests you want to come.

8. Showtime!
Make sure you have all the props in place and costumes on by showtime! Oh, and remember, when it comes to plays, never give up. After all,

The Show Must Go On!

Ta Ta,

Faith

Behind The Curtain

Here is the first chapter of another story of mine titled Behind The Curtain. Please tell me how you like it!

Oh, before I start I want to let you all know that this is set in modern time. I love history so much that this is my first story set in modern time! It is set in Madison, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Now, without further adieu, let the story begin!

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Chapter 1 ~ The Trip

I woke up to the sound of my sister Della’s voice calling, “Maddie! Maddie! It is finally time! Wake up!” I laid there for only one more treasured second, then my eyes popped open and I leaped out of my bed. The day is finally here! I thought. We are going to go see Grandpa and Gigi! I had been to my grandparent’s house before, but I was so young I did not remember it well. Daddy had started his own business and we hadn’t been able to travel at all. Daddy hired someone to help him this past year, so Daddy decided we could make the trip to North Carolina to see Grandpa and Gigi.

Della, only four years old, was prancing happily around our pretty green bedroom. Our beds are on the sides of the room, with a window on the back wall. We have one tall white dresser by the door. I pulled open our lacy white curtains. The sun was beginning to rise over the rolling hills in brilliant colors and shone over Madison, our Virginia city. It was a beautiful sight, but I did not have any time to enjoy the scenery. “Maddie, hurry!” Della prompted me, pointing at our matching blue dresses dotted with flowers that Mama had left draped over the dresser. I quickly helped Della dress and then I got dressed. We both ran down the hallway, down the stairs, and through the living room to the kitchen where Mama stood making sandwiches for lunch. Mama is pretty, with dark brown hair and big brown eyes. I look exactly like her, just younger. Some people say that if we were the same age, no one would be able to tell us apart.

“Good morning, girls! Are you all packed and ready to go to Gigi and Grandpa’s?”

“Yes, Mama,” we quickly answered.

“You want just peanut butter. Right, Maddie?” Mama asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” I nodded. I detest eating jelly.

“And I want strawberry jelly!” Della yelled.

“Okay, okay. Not so loud,” Mama said with her beautiful smile. “Now go get some breakfast. Daddy is outside loading the SUV, and he wants to leave very soon.” Della went to the pantry and got out a box of Cheerios while I got two bowls. We sat down at the table with our brother James. We ate our food and hurried outside. Mama and Daddy were loading the final bags into our brown SUV.

“Here is the bag, Maddie,” Mama said, handing me a big black bag full of toys for the trip. Mama buckled Ryan, our baby brother, into his car seat as I buckled myself into the seat beside him. Della was on my other side. James was in the back. Soon we were off to spend a week at Gigi and Grandpa’s. We were all very excited.

Five hours later we arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina, the city where our grandparents live. We enjoyed looking at the tall buildings that rose to the sky of North Carolina’s capital. We drove through the narrow streets until we pulled up in front of a large two-story brick house.

“We’re here!” Daddy called. We all stared at the impressive house. I did not at all remember the house was so big! I grabbed the bag of toys as we all rushed to climb out of the van and ran up the concrete walkway to a long front porch of dark wood spanning the entire length of the house. I boldly rang the bell beside the big front door with narrow windows on each side. I heard footsteps in the house and then the door opened. Gigi stood in the doorway and said happily,

“Welcome, welcome, dears! Come on in.” As we entered the foyer of the house, Grandpa, a very kind gray-haired man with a big smile, entered. We all, including Mama and Daddy who had entered behind us, gave our hugs and hellos to Gigi and Grandpa. It was so very wonderful to see them again! Then we all left the foyer and entered a spacious living room. We sat down on the two low couches at the end of the room. Gigi and Grandpa sat in their recliners and we all discussed what was happening in Virginia and among our relatives. As the adults got into more boring subjects, we children explored the house. There was a short hallway that led to a large bedroom and a nice screen porch at the side of the house. There were definitely more rooms in the big house, but none of us kids knew where they were. When we went back to the living room, Gigi left to make some dinner.

“You must be hungry after the long trip,” she insisted.

“We all ate sandwiches,” Mama said, but Gigi continued to make dinner. We played a game with Grandpa until it was time to eat. The dining room was right next to the living room. Gigi had the wooden table laden with chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was all so delicious! As the meal ended, I looked at Grandpa who was seated at the head of the table and asked,

“Grandpa, where is the rest of the house?”

Grandpa laughed heartily and answered, “Behind the curtain.”

God Has Shown Me

God has shown me
That I need to let go
Of the things I can’t see
Of the things I can’t know

God has shown me
That I need to trust Him
In the shadows, in the darkness
In the place where it’s dim

God has shown me
That if Him I pursue
He’ll light my way
And show me what to do

God has shown me
That I need to understand
His ways aren’t my ways
His plan’s aren’t my plans

A New Beginning Chapter 1

Nina Jameson stirred restlessly in her bed trying to get some sleep as two ten-year-old orphans argued in the bed beside her. They were pulling at the blanket on the bed they shared. One of them called loudly, “You have more of the blanket than I do.”

“Not true!” the other girl retorted. “You have all of the blanket; I have none! You pulled it all away!”

Nina yanked her own plain white cotton blanket over her head. Under the blanket she felt safe and secure, away from the mess of the orphan asylum. She had been at the asylum for a few months, and she found it very lonely and miserable, especially since she was not supposed to be there.

When her parents had become deathly sick that summer, they asked Nina’s uncle, Humphrey Jameson, to raise her after they were gone. Her uncle had said he would do as they asked, but after they died he sent her to the orphan asylum immediately. Nina knew she should forgive her uncle, and she tried her best to forgive, but she was still very angry at him for sending her to the awful asylum.

The girls continued to squabble in the bed beside her. Nina thought of the past few months at the asylum. She missed her parents. Tears started rolling down her face.

“Nina Jameson!” said a stern voice as the blanket was thrown off her. The teary-eyed girl turned to see Mrs. Bingham, one of the two ladies running the asylum, glare down at her. Mrs. Bingham had a bun of shiny brown hair, much like Nina’s own, and a a navy blue dress with buttons all the way down the front. Buttons were the fashion all ladies must have in those days. Two ladies, Mrs. Bingham and Mrs. Frank, took shifts watching the girls. Mrs. Frank was a very kind and tender-hearted woman, but Mrs. Bingham was a strict woman, not standing for disobedience or what she would consider ridiculous behavior. She wasn’t mean, necessarily, but she was demanding. “Why are you hiding?” Mrs. Bingham asked. “And why in the world is a grown girl like you crying?” Nina sat up quickly, her hazel eyes blazing.

“Mrs. Bingham,” Nina said with an authoritative voice, “I know that you are in charge of me and these other children, and that you are my elder, thus I must treat you with respect, but I am coming to a point where I cannot hide my feelings and be a hypocrite anymore! I feel absolutely no respect for you, even though I should. I think you are overly demanding and strict, and  you do not understand us at all! Do you not know that we have feelings, and that we are all orphans who have lost our parents? If you lost both of your parents would you not cry? Not only have I lost my parents, I was sent here by my uncle who is supposed to be raising me! Now you know why I was crying.”  Then Nina teared up and charged toward the old wooden door at the side of the dark room, but Mrs. Bingham caught her.

“You are not going anywhere, young lady,” she said through gritted teeth, her brown eyes staring angrily at Nina. “You will receive a sound thrashing for the thrashing your tongue let out. Mary, go get the strap,” she said to a little towhead girl sitting on a bed nearby.

“Yes, ma’am,” the frightened girl said, returning a little bit later with the strap in her hand. Mrs. Bingham took it and gave Nina’s hand four sound whacks. Nina’s eyes watered from the pain. She felt like spewing out more nasty words, but she knew it would only cause more trouble.

“Now answer my question,” she said. “Why were you hiding?”

“I was trying to get some sleep,” Nina replied, then she slipped back into bed.

“Good enough,” Mrs. Bingham said as she left. “Now get some sleep, all of you!” Nina buried herself in her blanket again. Never had her her hand hurt so badly and never had she felt so lonely. She suddenly realized what to do. She was done with this orphan asylum. She had to escape! But how would she? She then got an idea. She would unlock the window and climb down to the ground using a rope. It seemed like a good idea, except that she did not have a rope. I could make a rope out of bed sheets, she realized. I will leave in the morning, she thought, and fell asleep.

The next morning Nina woke up early. She made sure everyone was asleep, then she slipped out of bed and pulled on her torn purple shawl. She crept over to  a basket of dirty laundry. Then she quietly took two sheets out of the basket and tied them together. The sun was just starting to rise as she took her plain white pillowcase and put into it everything she owned–her old blue gingham dress that did not fit her any more, and some small gifts from her uncle which included sixty-eight cents. (She was certain her uncle had given the gifts to her in order to relieve his conscience after what he had done.) She used her red hair ribbon to tie her blanket around the pillowcase. She unlocked the window, opened it, and gently dropped the bundle to the ground. Then she tied the rope of dirty sheets to the leg of a heavy bureau and let the sheets down through the window. Finally she lowered herself to the ground. She grabbed her bundle and ran from the orphan asylum as quickly as she could. I am a fugitive now, she thought. Mrs. Bingham is probably awake and searching for me! She slowed down as she entered Dayton’s downtown district. She stopped to pull off her rather noticeable shawl, and crumpled it into her pillowcase. She  noticed a supply store at the corner of Franklin and Main Street, and decided to hide in a nearby alley until the supply store opened.

An hour later, she left the alley and walked across the street. Then she noticed a hair pin on the ground before her. She picked up the pin, wiped it clean, and used it to put her hair up like a lady. It was hard using just one pin, but she managed anyhow. She grabbed her bundle with her right hand, stuck her head up as proudly as possible, and strode into the small supply store like a grown woman.

“What would you like, miss?” the clerk asked.

“I would like to sell you some things I do not need anymore,” she said as she pulled the gifts from her uncle out of her pillowcase. “A doll, a bracelet, two books, and a few doll dresses.”

“Let me see,” the clerk said as he pulled his wire-rimmed spectacles from a small drawer to his right. He examined her belongings and found them to be in impeccable shape because Nina had hardly touched them. Meanwhile her hair pin started to fall out and half of her hair fell onto her shoulders. The other half was soon to follow, and she struggled to pin her hair up again. As soon as her bun was secure, the clerk looked up and handed her a generous sum of money for her belongings. She shoved her blanket into her pillowcase and then she left. She headed three blocks up Main Street to the Cincinnati-Hamilton & Dayton Rail Road station. She was planning to go far away, really far away. She entered the large, white-walled station and looked at the list of train departures. The next train was going to Cincinnati. She planned to get another ticket from there.

“One ticket to Cincinnati, please,” she said to the man at the booth. Her sweaty hand pushed the money toward him.

“Here, miss,” the man said as he gave her a ticket. She took it and sat down on one of the little wooden seats in the station. But as soon as she sat down, she realized she was hungry. She went to the bakery across the busy street and bought a loaf of bread. About fifteen minutes later, after Nina had eaten some of her bread, a train came chugging into the station.

After some passengers disembarked, the conductor stepped off the train and called, “Eight o’clock train to Cincinnati!” Nina stood up swiftly and handed her ticket to the conductor. Then she stepped into the dirty, dim passenger car and sat down on one of the rough wooden benches. She set her pillowcase beside her on the bench. There were many people on the train. The women wore a variety of deep colors. Many had plain skirts and bodices while others displayed ruffles, flounces, and other stylish frills. Some of the men wore three-piece suits and had carpet bags in hand. Then the train started with a jolt. She felt so lonely and nervous. She had never left Dayton before, and she had never ridden in a train.  Every town looked similar, every field the same, until the conductor announced that Cincinnati was their next stop. She suddenly felt a strange sensation. She felt like she was slowly falling backward, but she knew she was not. As she looked ahead, she saw the land rising. She realized she was going up a hill for the first time in her life. Excitement overcame any trace of anxiety as she entered Cincinnati.  She got off the train and purchased a ticket to Ashland, Kentucky. She figured that no one would find her there, in another state. As they left the station, the sky started to turn red and yellow. And before it turned completely dark, Nina was fast asleep.

She woke early the next morning and rubbed her sleepy eyes. She stretched her cramped neck and then looked out the window.  It was still dark out. She tried to get more sleep, but she was unable to. We must be near Ashland now, she thought as she lifted her bread to her mouth and looked outside again. What she saw took her breath away. The eastern sky was like a rainbow, with stripes of red, pink, green, and blue. Higher in the sky was a violet and blue mixture. Thin, sleek clouds lined the sky. Sycamores and poplars stood erect on either side of the railway. A long bridge lay before her. Excitement swelled within her as they crossed the Ohio River. Then the train took an immediate right, heading northwest along the river. Nina stared out the window at the city. Then the train stopped and the conductor called, “Ashland, Kentucky!” Nina quickly grabbed her pillowcase and headed out the door. She walked across the platform and into the train station. There were wooden benches by the big glass windows. A few men sat by the ticket booth. She quickly walked through the station and out into the bright sunlight. The fresh air bore a tiny chill.

“Whatcha doin’ here, little girl?” asked an old man with a southern drawl as she started to head down Eighth Street. “Are you meetin’ your father at the coal yard?” Oh, how she wished she was!

“No, sir,” she said. “I just arrived on the train.”

“Who is watchin’ you?” he asked.

“I’m on my own,” she replied simply.

“Ain’t you too young to be alone?” he queried.

“No, I am not. I am older than I look,” said Nina as confidently as she could.

“Well, be careful, girly. It’s a dangerous world out there,” he said as he walked away.

Nina was tempted to run, but she didn’t want to draw attention. She walked down Eighth Street hauling her pillowcase as if she had business to do. At the end of Eighth Street and across Railway Avenue the city came to an abrupt halt. Before her lay beautiful wooded acreage. She slipped in and found a tiny clearing in which to make a shelter. She started looking around for some large branches. All day long she leaned the branches against a big tree and piled small leafy branches on top. She only stopped once to eat some bread.  By suppertime, her scratched hands were screaming, as well as her hungry stomach. She went inside her shelter, finished her loaf of  bread, made herself a pine needle bed, and lay down. Kentucky is gorgeous, she thought as she fell asleep.

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Here is a historical map of Dayton from 1872, three years before this story is set.

Below you’ll find a historical map of Ashland, Kentucky.

How do you like the story so far? What do you think will happen to Nina? Please comment below and tell me what you think!

~Faith

A Good Ol’ Southern Post

‘Kay, all y’ subscribers! It’s time for a good ol’ Southern post! As y’all probably know, since I live in Al’bama, I c’n talk (and type) Southern-like when I want to, but I’m usually corrected whenever I do. I love the way all the Southern people talk. I’m here to share a few poems and facts ’bout Dixieland.

1. My state, ‘Bama, was in the Confederate Union of States from January 11, 1861 ’til June 25, 1868.

2. I’ve lived in Dixieland since I was three. I hardly remember living in any other place. Bama’s my favorite state, but I do like some others as well, including North Carolina (I got t’go there once and it was fantastic! I’ve got to go back soon!), Georgia, and ol’ Kentuk’. There are many states I’d love to visit, but I have not been able to yet.

3. Here’s a poem I wrote ’bout the Heart of Dixie:
I’ve got a place in my heart for the Heart of Dixie
It pumps Southern blood through my veins
There’s no place quite like the Heart of Dixie
Island, mountain, or main

I was born in another place
Of palm trees, dunes, and sands
But pretty Dixie is where I was raised
And my home’s in Dixieland

Do y’ like it?

4. Alabama’s motto is, in Latin, “Andumus jura nostra defendere”, which means “We dare defend our rights.” Seems to describe us Alabamians very well.

5. I said before that I like Georgia as well. As y’all know, my cat’s named Georgia. Here is a poem that I wrote ’bout Georgia:
Georgia, a place often in my mind
Georgia, a place of trees and countryside

Georgia, a place of dreams come true
Georgia, a place of skies so blue

Georgia, a place special to me
Georgia, you make me so happy

6. ‘Nother Alabama poem I wrote:
With rolling hills and fertile dales
Tall oaks and swinging pines
With cliffs of red Alabama clay
And clouds across the blue skies

With green grass and brick churches
With warm, bright  summer days
Wherever I go in the US of A
Alabama is where I’ll stay

^^^^^^^^

I hope y’ enjoyed this!

~Faith

 

The Outdoors Are Calling Me

The outdoors are calling me
A call I can’t refuse
So I run out
And dash about
Whichever way I choose

The outdoors are calling me
Saying, “Come outside and play!”
So I play in the dirt
And listen to the birds
To every word they say

The outdoors are calling me
To come out and breathe fresh air
So I go and feel the breeze
Blowing through the trees
Oh, how I love it out there

The outdoors are calling me
They have called to me since old
They call to me
With the sky and the trees
I love the outdoors more than gold.

Coming December 2017…

Guess what, everyone! I am about to release a new story that has been a secret until now. Are you all excited? Well you should be, because if I am correct, this story might be one of my best stories! I will not be telling you too much, because that would ruin all of the surprises!
The title of the story is…..

A New Beginning

The main character is….

“Nina” Jameson

You can not know Nina’s full name until you read the book. Nina is a teen-aged girl with brown hair and hazel eyes. She is bold and outgoing.
The story is set in….

Dayton, Ohio and Ashland, Kentucky

The year is…

1875

Now for a little teaser on the story…

Nina Jameson is an orphan who lives at an orphanage, despite the fact that her uncle is supposed to be caring for her, not the orphanage. Don’t we all like stories about orphans? I sure do! Anyway, needless to say, Nina runs into lots of adventure as she tries to make a better life for herself, and she meets some very special people along the way (who I will keep anonymous so you will be surprised later). In the end it is not Nina making a better life for herself, it is the special people that she learns to trust and love who help Nina get out of the mess she is in. It is an interesting story that you will not want to miss. Oh, and I forgot to say…

This is a fictional story!

I will be posting all of it on this blog. The first chapter will hopefully be on here in a week or two! Bye for now!

~Faith

Snow

A gentle wind blows
Outside my window
But it is all forgotten
Because the snow
Lies below
Just waiting to be trodden

I pull on my coat
Hardly any skin shows
I stomp across the floor
I gaze out
I look about
Then I dash out the door

White and clean
Rarely seen
I cannot help but run
The snow I greet
Crunches under my feet
Snow days are so fun

The snow I see
Makes me so happy
Cold air greets my face
I let out a shout
As I run about
Across the field I race

Every snow dune untouched
I enjoy so much
Hardly any is left alone
Thank you, Yahweh
For this wonderful day
Thank you, Yah, for snow.

Snow Day!

Yes, we Alabamians got snow! Yesterday I heard snow was coming across the Southeast. “Will we get some snow?” I asked my dad.

“Maybe,” he said. I hoped we would. When I woke up this morning I had forgotten all about it until I saw the snowy scene outside. We got about five inches of snow, the most we have ever received since we moved to Alabama. My sister and I ran outside before we even ate breakfast! We took a walk with the family that lives next door and then we all made a snowman! We had so much fun. Now for some pictures!

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The pictures above are of our backyard, and my neighbors’ houses. 🙂 Isn’t the snow gorgeous? Below is a picture of my little black kitten Texas playing in the snow on our back porch, cute as can be. Can you see the little kitty paw prints? If you want to see a picture of my calico cat Georgia, look at my profile picture at the top of the blog.

Above is the snowman. He is nearly seven feet tall, honest! Below is a picture of all of the snowman builders, my family and my neighbors, by our work of art. I am the second from the right in the red hat.

All in all, it has been a delightful snow day!

-Faith

 

The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 3 “Sundays, Songs, and Surprises”

The trumpeter and the crowd held out the last note of a hymn, and the Saturday night street service came to a finish. Five-year-old Marilyn was used to all of the noise, for she went to the street services every week. Dad held them on Main Street in Greensburg, right outside McCurry’s Five and Ten Cent store. Many people were shopping because the stores were open late on Saturday night. Some shoppers would stop and listen to Dad preach. Marilyn looked around at the swarm of people. Suddenly she saw her friend Delores with her family at the other side of the crowd.

“I am going to go see Delores, Mother!” she called, and ran through the crowd. “Delores!” she called.

“Hello, Marilyn,” Delores said. “Are you excited for tomorrow? I am!”

“Oh, yes!” Marilyn said happily. A few weeks previous, Dad had agreed for Marilyn and Delores to sing a duet one Sunday. Tomorrow was the day it would happen.

Then Marilyn heard Dad call, “Marilyn, it is time to go home!”

Marilyn’s family had moved from the storefront apartment to a basement apartment. It was nice, but damp. Marilyn was constantly sick with asthma there, so they had moved yet again to another apartment. Marilyn fared much better in this one.

When they arrived home, Dad turned to her and said, “Marilyn, something very sad has happened.”
“What happened, Dad?” Marilyn asked.
“Your Uncle Bill and Aunt Vivian are divorced.”
“Oh, that is not good,” Marilyn said, her blue eyes looking into his. She did not know what divorce meant, but she could tell by Dad’s expression that it was bad. Thinking about singing in church the next day with Delores made her feel better though.

The next night Marilyn and Delores were ready to sing. Once everyone had filled the pews, Dad went to the pulpit and said, “We have a special song by Delores Gray and my daughter Marilyn. They are going to sing ‘You’ll Never Know Real Peace ‘Til You Know Jesus.'” Marilyn and Delores went up to the front. Then they started to sing in harmony–Marilyn soprano and Delores alto.

You’ll never know real peace till you know Jesus,
No matter how or where you try;
For life is but loss without Him–
Jesus, Jesus.
He died on Calv’ry’s cross to win our pardon,
He rose to justify;
He is coming soon to take us,
to reign with Him on high.

When they finished, everyone clapped. The girls went back to their seats and the service continued. The girls were so happy and proud of how well they had done.

Finally, after a full day, Marilyn and her parents went back to their apartment. She rocked her doll while Dad turned on the radio. News of the war crackled into the room. They had been listening to news of the war ever since one sad day back in December.

On that sad day, Sunday, December 7, Marilyn and her parents were at her grandparents’ house after the morning service at church. Marilyn had lain down to take a nap on the couch in the big dining room. The phone had rung and Grandma Black had picked it up. She talked briefly in hushed tones to the caller, but when she hung up, she told everyone, “We are at war.” Marilyn’s life was different once World War ll had begun.

Now, as Marilyn sat in the living room rocking her doll, Mother came in with a worried expression on her face. “Charles, I just got a call,” she said to Dad. “Aunt Eva and her children are coming to visit next week!”

Aunt Eva (Evelyn McWilliams) was Mother’s aunt. She had two girls and three quite destructive boys. Whenever they came to visit, Mother would hide all of the toys because the boys would break things and tear things apart. Mother was an immaculate homemaker, so it was always quite a challenge for her to have them visit.

The next week, all of the toys were hidden when a knock sounded at the door. Mother went to the wooden front door and opened it. The three rowdy boys ran into the house. Then Aunt Eva and the two girls entered. Aunt Eva was a  very short, plump lady with a big smile and a loose brown bun. She was wearing a frilly cotton dress colored yellow and orange. Marilyn thought it looked like an outfit a clown would wear, but of course, she did not say so. “Hello Mabel, hello Marilyn,” she said. “Oh, and you too, Charles,” she added as Dad entered the room.

“Hello,” they all replied.

“Oh, Mabel,” Aunt Eva said. “You will not believe what happened two nights ago!”

“What, Aunt Eva?” Mother asked.

“Two nights ago I went to town and I told my husband James to keep an eye on the boys. Well, when I came home, I got stuck to the floor of the kitchen. Those boys had had a jelly fight! I managed to get upstairs to their room, and when I came in, they all sat up in their beds with their hair sticking up on end from the jelly! I was so angry at the mess the house was in. James said he was too. So he had dealt with it by sending them to bed.”

Thus it was every time Aunt Eva came. The boys would run around, the girls would do as they pleased, and Aunt Eva would talk. There was always cleaning to be done after they left.