Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Christimas?






Now why decorate Christmas already?
Well because Jesus is the REASON
for EVERY SEASON!  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sample of Short Stories Volume 1

A sample of one of the short stories I'm publishing soon.

Prolog
Winter 1873

    She and her family were walking toward the station door, on their way out, her ticket already paid for and her good bye to Mr. Foster, the station manager, done.
    “You take care now, Vinny. See you later Tom.” He said as Virginia’s father Tom Hampton took the door knob.
    “Yes Mr. Foster, you too!” They smiled as they came out.
    “Vinny!” George, her 23 year old younger brother, said coming up from work, all out of breath. He stared down at her although she was four years older than him, then he grabbed her into his big arms and held her a minute.
    “Oh George!” she said when he let her go, “You act like I was moving away for good!”
    “You might be, don’t you forget how pretty you are. I hope that no good-looking boys live down in Chester, if they did you might go and get married.”
    “Now they’ll have to be good boys too, George, good looks don’t always mean good lives you know.”
    “I just worry you might give up lookin’ for a good man.”
    “George there’s Steve and he’s proposed to me tons and he’s got good looks you know.”
    “George her train will leave her,” Mr. Hampton said.
    “Yah,” he smiled.
    “Oh Becky, don’t let Ma do all my work now, she’ll go mad. And you help too June.” Virginia told her two sisters twenty and eighteen years old.
    “And come home quick, we’ll have a fine Christmas waiting for you.” Jackson, her youngest brother, added.
    “Well don’t have such a fine one without me, bye Pa, Ma, girls!” She quickly kissed them and went up the steps. “Bye,” she waved to them standing there all so nice, Mr. and Mrs. Hampton holding each other, Becky and June waving furiously to the right, Jackson looking off at his friends playing then back up at Virginia and back to his friends and George standing back of Mrs. Hampton on the left, holding his hand up in a wave.
    “Bye, See you for Christmas, Jackson!” she smiled down at her fifteen year old brother.

End Prolog



Chapter 1

    “Class dismissed!” Virginia said on the Tuesday morning before she finished teaching the school, on Friday, in Chester. She had come to know and enjoy the children she taught. She had nine students, her eldest and smartest, always reminded her of her brother Jackson. His name was Timothy Thompson he was seventeen, tall and lean like Jackson but he had light brown hair instead of dark like Jackson.
    “Miss Hampton,” He said coming up to her desk with the other students all gathered around, who usually all raced each other home as soon as school was out. There was Priscilla Simeon sixteen, Laura and Peter the Thompson twins at fifteen, John Tubbs at twelve, then twelve year old Jesse Polk the blondest little girl Virginia had ever seen and Amy and Joe Dodds ages nine and seven.
    “Yes?” She asked alarmed at their unusual silence and solemness.
    “We, we heard this morning that the town of Baker, where you’re from…” His voice cracked away then he swallowed, Laura nudging him, “Miss Hampton it was raided. The Apaches…” His voice was drowned out by the ringing in her ears, her eyes twitched wanting to cry. “…the whole town burned…” she heard him say and she grit her teeth,
    “I…” He continued.
    “Timothy!” She interrupted him, “Thank you for, for telling me.”
    “Ma wanted us to wait and tell you when she and Pa were here, or with us, but they decided it’d be best if we told you ourselves,” Priscilla said.
  
“She’s twenty seven too and she can take it!” Joe Dodds added, “she can take anything.” Virginia wondered if she could take anything else after this.
    “My Pa sadi you can have our extra room however long you want it.” John said, “You won’t pay neither, we just got it finished and its nice!”
    “Thank you John. I’d better stay at my room with Jesse’s folks though.” She looked over to find the little girl but she wasn’t there. “Where’s Jesse?” Virginia jumped up knowing that the little girl never walked home alone, but always waited for Virginia. The boys raced to the door and everyone else too, opening the door they found Jesse seated just outside the door in the foot of snow, crying.
    “Jess!” Virginia went out and lifted her to her feet, “Oh dear, don’t cry! We’ll go home now. But listen, all of you,” She came back in holding Jesse around the arm, “Just pray for me, please? I don’t know if there is a God. But maybe if you pray to your God whoever he is. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

***

    “Where yah goin’?” Jemima asked her little brother Solomon.
    “Ben’s acallin’ meh!” He reached up to unlatch the door.
    “You twos hurry backs here laters, for deh dinner now,”
    “Yehs ma’ams!” Solomon’s big lips spread apart and a straight row of white teeth peeped out, except his two front teeth were gone. Jemima smiled at him as he finally slipped out. He’d been through a lot she realized, as he was her Mammy’s and some white man’s son, because that white raped her Mammy. At that thought Jemima remembered what her Mammy told ‘bout the, ‘God be praised you are free now Jemima. You can resist a white boy!’ Yes she could but that didn’t help Solomon, he had to learn to ignore the other young ones at church makin’ fun of him. It wasn’t like none of them were part white, it was just that he was even whiter then the rest.

   The minutes went by and Jemima had the dinner waiting half an hour now. Mammy was still at Miss Pixie’s sewing, a mile down the road and Pappy was at the Johnson’s three miles the other way.
    “Ben, Solomon!” She called for the third time but then she caught a glimpse of them running from a couple white boys. “Hey!” She waved seeing her brothers loose ground, she untied her apron laid it aside grabbed her over coat and ran out after them. She quickly learned it was no use trying to convince a white boy he was wrong- and two boys that was worse even though they were ten years younger than her Catching up to her brothers, who ran round their barn the white boys coming round in the pursuit, Ben didn’t pause but motioned for her to follow as he yelled out,
    “Jemima, we done founds der cow and we waz on our ways to deh house to tell you we was takin’ her backs when they cames ups and says we bes stealin’ dat fat cow!”
Still running hard Jemima wanted to scream, it was dangerous the way these white folks blamed them for everything! Glancing back she saw about five men join the chase and one was Miss Pixie’s one hundred and eighty pound son, Joel. He was mean to everyone but he acted sweet on Jemima. She had an idea, as she watched her breath freeze on the air.
    “Boys go up to ‘Grandfather’s woods’!” She shouted and almost dreaded telling them to go up into the tree covered hill that folks says was haunted and had been owned by the grandfather of some folks around who no one knew. But as Jemima ran off into ‘Grandfather’s barn’ she noticed only one young stranger come after her, not her plan at all! In the barn she sat looking out.
    “Hello there,” She jumped around to see a young white man with an old horse shoe in his hand, she sighed looking down almost ready to cry at the defeat. “What is it?” He asked concerned taking a step toward her. She didn’t look up but forgot her fright,
    “They’r chasin’ me and my brothers ‘cause they think we stole der cow, but my brothers was comin’ to tell me dat dey were takin’ her back!” She looked outside seeing the white man come closer.
    “They just see your skin. But you are free. I know that.” The man said and she looked up at him afraid his tall dark figure might disappear it was so strange for a white man to understand the struggle of being colored.
    “Tennesse!” the young man coming up yelled out, “They want that girl,”
    “I know but come in Dallas,” The young man holding the horseshoes pitched it toward a whole pile of them. “She didn’t steal the cow. And I tell you something else, how’s Suzi gonna feel when I tell her you and Joel both ran after some poor folks, only because they were colored and you were bored?”
    “But Tennesee, I was gonna tell this girl she could go!”
Jemima blinked at first the tall one with dark hair then at the stocky sandy haired fellow.
    “Well, ma’am, we got to get up to the house. Maybe we’ll meet again.” The dark haired one said.
    “I’m sorry ma’am, I apologize for what a fool I was.” The stocky one said and dark one left. Her eyes grew and she couldn’t swallow.
    “You can stay here as long as you like.” He added with a big smile then followed the other man out.
   She rested for a minute and was still trying to figure if they were real or not. Then at the barn door stood Joel, he smiled real big, “Hey I found them!” He yelled out and she looked around for an escape and diving for an old chicken door she dared not look back, but got stuck and now she knew he’d get her.
    “I found them!” He yelled again.
    “No you didn’ts!” She snapped, “You only founds me!” She tried to get loose and heard his footsteps next to her, but her head was out through the hole.   She felt his hand on her hand, that was still stuck in the little hole, “Stop it!” She shrieked wiggling even more.
    “I’m getting you out!” He shouted, “Feisty as a broodin’ hen but swell!” She heard him mumble while he tried to pull her back, “And anyhow who needs the two snot nosed brats when we got you?” He said louder and she got so mad she pulled herself back and was loose. His smile agonized her as she saw him.
    “Joel McGuire!” she flared, “Then who needs you two yankee spoiled sisters?” She retorted.
    “Well that’s my question, those girls are useless!” He said and she burned within as he took her hand and lifted her, he wasn’t as family oriented as she thought. Then he wouldn’t let go of her hand,
    “Let me go!”
    “We got the boys now where’s that girl?” She heard Mr. Sackel say.
    “Gets your hands off me!” She told Joel.
    “You’re pretty when your mad!” He laughed as he took her out to the others who held Ben and Solomon.
    “Boys!” She fell on one knew and hugged them knowing the punishment would be a lickin’ for each of them.
    “Come on now,” Mr. Sackel said.

***

   Virginia spent her last five days at the Polk’s place, as usual. And Jesse gave her comfort. She had the kindest heard and the most innocent character.

    “I’ll be leaving today, as I said and I don’t want any of you to worry for me. I might find a room to rent in town, or somewhere north of Baker.” Virginia said at dinner.
    “Oh Virginia!” Mrs. Polk said,
    “You would have to go father, since there’s no home for you anymore.” Jesse said.
    “Jess!” Mrs. Polk touched her daughter’s hand.
    “I’ll take you to the station then,” Mr. Polk added and Virginia smiled at Jesse,
    “I’ll miss you all here, but thank you.”
Jesse smiled back, “I’ll miss you too!”

   Virginia was on the train in twenty minutes and her mind wondered over what she used to call home. She had left telling George he was foolish acting like she’d never seen them again and here she was, she realized never to see them again!
    “Ma’am,” The conductor said as he leaned over her,
    “Yes?” she looked up.
    “Your ticket?”    “Oh!” Virginia went to her basket in which she kept her things. But she looked and her ticket was gone! “I must be on your list, I brought my ticket but it’s gone! My names Virginia Hampton.”
    “Hampton, Virginia, Ah but Miss Hampton already gave me her ticket.” He smiled, “And she is the Miss Hampton, I know.”
    “But I am!” Virginia said unaware of how her ticket got lost –or stolen.
    “You must get off girl, you don’t have a ticket.”
    “Where’s this girl who stole my ticket?”
    “You’re the thief here and that lady has no business with you. Now come and be good. Or I’ll get that man –at the front– to carry you out!” He sternly added, his right eye brow raising. She looked ahead to see the large man, he mentioned, with a fearsome face and bushy red beard.
    “Very well,” She stood shivering at the thought of how indecent that large man looked. The worst that could happen would be that she’d end up walking to the next stop, wherever that was, after Baker. She looked up and saw that the large man walk out too, at the signal of the conductor.
    “We’ll let you out here, come on.” The conductor said, “I’m glad you’re telling the truth too.”
    “What? I am Virginia Hampton and you can ask my…” She stopped aware that he couldn’t ask her parents or any neighbor.
    “Who’s you accomplice?”
    “I don’t have one! I was going to say my father, but he died in the raid at Baker!”
    “Oh yes,” He sneered doubtful that she would be telling the truth as everyone had just heard about the raid. The train stopped as they came out of the train car, the bitter cold creeping in at her collar, under her petticoats and up her loose dress sleeves. Then the north wind hit them sending her dark curls in a whirl, back of her shoulders, and all her bangs into her eyes.
    “Thank you for complying.” He added as he helped her down to the ground. “You stay warm now. It isn’t far to the next stop.”
    “Thank you.” She said jerking her hand from his.
    “And say, for the record, what’s your name? I could like you if you stopped your wondering ways.”
    “Well Humpty Dumpty if you like, but I am Virginia Hampton!” She huffed and stepped back from the train. Another icy breeze took her breath away as the train door slammed and the whistle blasted as the breaks let off and blew their steam up in her face. At least it warmed her for a minute.

    She was alone on the tracks in a few minutes, the train had gone in a flash. She only saw a small building far ahead, she had seen the train stop there earlier but no one had got on or off. The sun was almost gone in the west, behind her.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall is Here!

The fall is finally here!  We were busy during the summer singing around with our family band (www.thefullquiver.com) and after a months break in August we started singing again and we know for sure its fall now (as the bluegrass festivals and music venues usually only operate in the spring and fall)!  Also up in Davis, OK at the 12th annual Arbuckle Bluegrass festival it rained and dropped to about 50 degrees!  And we had to play that night,  but that's what great memories are made of and on that outdoor stage our fingers nearly froze- it was so cold.   So thank GOD for rain and COLD weather - I can't wait for more, I'm already playing Christmas music on the computer! :-D

Here's John beside me, all bundled up listening to a band.  In between going back to our bumper pull tailor to warm up with coffee, we would listen to a few songs of each band!

And here's James standing on the other side of me.  The tree was cool too!