Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part VIII

 
Jill appreciated Uncle Jake's patience as she plied him with questions about the old farmhouse and it's previous occupants.  "What happened to the cabin in the woods where Catherine and the neighbor boy used to meet?" she asked him.  
 
"It mysteriously burned to the ground shortly after Catherine's death, most folks suspected that her father did it," Uncle Jake replied.
 
Jill, still sad about the way Catherine had been exiled by her father, located the cabin site and planted a small flower garden.  Seth made a bench for it,  and Jill swore that sometimes when she was walking through the woods she could hear the laughter of a young couple there.
 
One day as she approached the garden, Jill saw the shadowy figure an older woman sitting on the bench who she immediately recognized from pictures as Catherine's mother; the woman looked up at Jill and smiled, and then faded away before her eyes.
 
(To be continued) 
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 I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "patient"
Come and read some other great stories and share one of your own!

Acceptance

Thought for the Day
 
 

Hallelujah Choruses

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Released from school for Christmas break eager children rushing to catch their bus shout "hallelujah!"
 
Moms finish with Christmas decorating and baking, with a weary collective sigh say "hallelujah!"
 
Christmas shopping done at last, dads tally up the charges, with relief they utter "hallelujah!"
 
Tree lit and table ready, grandparents wait anxiously for arrivals, learning that the roads are being cleared for travel they whisper "hallelujah!"
 
Long ago on a holy night we have nearly lost sight of, angels gathered at a humble stable to sing their praises "hallelujah!"
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This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word
hallelujah - noun; a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude,
an expression of relief or a similar emotion


  
 Come and share your five lines  with us!

2 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day
 

 

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part VII


 
As Jill and Seth prepared to celebrate their first Christmas in the old farmhouse the tragic lives of Catherine and her son weighed heavily on Jill's heart.  Uncle Jake had told them that while Joseph was alive his grandparents had been able to cope with the loss of Catherine by caring for him and watching him grow, but when Joseph got sick and died his grandmother lost all desire to live, seldom speaking to anyone and moving silently about the house like one already dead.  Joseph's grandfather bitterly decreed that Catherine's sin had left its mark on them all, and that she and her son were never to be spoken of again.  
 
Jill and Seth decided that they wanted the farmhouse to become a place of reconciliation, a place where past sorrows could be released and everyone remembered with love.  To that end they had silver star-shaped ornaments made for their Christmas tree, each one engraved with the name of a family member who had lived in the house, including Catherine and Joseph.  As they hung the shiny new stars on the tree that Christmas Eve, Jill and Seth whispered a prayer for each of them, and all on it's own the music box which once belonged to Catherine's mother began softly playing Silent Night.
 
(To be continued) 
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 I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "mark"
Come and read some other great stories and share one of your own!
 

3 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day

 

Christmas Memories

 
Who can forget the anticipation of childhood
as Christmastime finally drew near
At long last came all the fun and festivities
you'd waited for most of the year
What remains with us now is the memories held dear

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This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word anticipation
 
 
 Come and share five lines about a anticipation with us!

9 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day
 
 

Secrets of The Old Farmhouse - Part VI

 
 
Uncle Jake continued sharing Catherine's story with Jill and Seth, saying that Catherine and her mother Naomi exchanged letters while she was away, but her father would not permit Naomi to visit their daughter no matter how much she begged him.  "Catherine needs to learn that disobedience comes at a cost," he decreed staunchly. 
 
When the time finally came for the baby to be born, Catherine had a very difficult labor and delivery, and although the doctor who was summoned did all he could, he was unable to save Catherine; she died shortly after her son was born, never having had a chance to hold him in her arms.  When the telegram came to Catherine's parents informing them of her passing, they were devastated; Catherine's father could not refuse Naomi's pleas that they raise Catherine's son as their own. 
  
On a warm day in Spring, Catherine's uncle drove his horse-drawn wagon slowly into the farmyard, bringing Catherine's body home in the pine box he had made in addition to the cradle he had lovingly crafted for her son who was bundled snugly in a quilt and held close by Catherine's aunt. 
 
When news of the tragedy reached the neighbors, Catherine's boyfriend was overcome with guilt and sorrow; slipping quietly into the barn he hung himself.
 
(To be continued) 
 
Disclaimer: I apologize for the sometimes somber tone of  this story, but there is no way to sugar-coat how it unfolded.  The events that occurred in this family left an imprint on the farmhouse that will remain as long as it is standing.
 
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 I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "pine"
Come and read some other great stories and share one of your own!

10 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day

 

Special Delivery

 
I saw this posted on Facebook today
And thought to myself what a wonderful way
To share a sercy with those on their route
At this time of year when they're so busy out
Show a bit of kindness, brighten someone's day
 
Note: My family does most of our shopping and gift exchange via Amazon.com, and I couldn't begin to count the number of small packages being sent back and forth between us via UPS.  Delivery drivers work long hours this season, and I found this such a wonderful idea... something we all could do as a way of showing our appreciation. 
 
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This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word
sercy: noun, (of Southern origin)
small unexpected gift, surprise “just because” gift
 
 
 Come and share five lines about a sercy with us!
 

12 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day
 
 

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part V

 
"One thing led to another," Uncle Jake continued, "and it wasn't long before Catherine found herself in a family way.  She was afraid to tell her father because she knew he would be furious, so her mother had to do it; she pleaded with him to allow the two young people to marry." 
 
"No child of mine is going to marry outside the church," her father had roared in anger, "I told her to stay away from that boy.  Send her away to your family, I don't want to talk to her or even see her, she is a disgrace."
 
So Catherine had no choice but to leave home... heartbroken, distraught, and afraid.  Her father had no idea how deeply he would come to regret his words.
 
(To be continued) 
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 I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "home"
Come and share your story with us!

17 Days Until Christmas

Advent Thought for the Day
 
 

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part IV

 
Now that Jill knew the story of little Joseph and his tragic death, she was curious to know more about his mother Catherine, who was just sixteen when she died giving birth to him; she couldn't help but think about how difficult it had been for Catherine to be sent away in shame, and how sad and lonely she must have been while awaiting the birth of the child she knew her parents would not allow her to keep.
 
Once again Jill turned to her Uncle Jake to find out what more he knew about his Aunt Catherine. 
From him she learned that Catherine had been the youngest of five children,  and being the only daughter she was the apple of her father's eye.  When he learned that the neighbor boy was paying attention to his daughter he was furious, even though his family and the neighbors had gotten along fine until then. 
 
"Back in those days people didn't marry outside the church they belonged too," Uncle Jake explained to Jill, "it was considered to be a sure ticket to damnation,  so when my grandfather forbid her to have anything more to do with him, Catherine and the boy crafted plans to meet up with each other at times and places where they wouldn't be found out.  She would go out berry-picking or take a book to read underneath a shady tree by the creek on a warm afternoon, and they would meet at the small abandoned cabin in the woods that bordered their farms." 
 
(To be continued) 
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I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "craft"
Come and share your story with us!