Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.
If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/
I am delighted to share the first post from the archives of D.Avery who is the author of three short story and poetry collections. I have selected a wonderful serial that I am sharing across four posts… Part three can be found here:
The Fold – Final Part by D.Avery
“Hey. I’ve got dinner warmed in the oven. You’ve been haying since before sun-up till after sunset. You must be exhausted.”
“No, just tired.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Hmm. Well, this is good work that matters. It had to be done, especially with the rain forecast. Luciene helped us then I helped him. Our cows are provided for and our families. I’m sore and tired but it feels good. Especially coming into this kitchen seeing you, knowing our Hope’s asleep upstairs, safe and sound.”
“Hmm. Are you too tired? For more good work?”
“Heck no. Never too tired for you.”
Star of the Show
Hope made her guess. When her mother had incorrectly guessed Mary, Joseph, wise man, sheep, donkey, cow, inn keeper, and even baby Jesus, Hope finally told her what part she had in the Christmas pageant.
“It was my idea, Mommy! I got them to let me do my idea!”
“What Hope? What role can possibly be left?”
Hope smiled broadly, her eyes radiating her pleasure. “The star! I’m going to be up on a ladder behind the stable dressed up like the star!”
“Do you have lines to memorize?”
“Nope. I just have to shine.”
“Oh, Hope, you do. You’re a natural.”
“Yup, our Hope is the star of the pageant.”
They hadn’t noticed him enter the kitchen, still in his boots, still dressed for outdoors.
“You girls get your boots on, let’s go snowshoeing.”
“What? Now? It’s so dark out.”
“Maybe I have a surprise for you.”
“Ok. Let’s go, Hope. I’d rather tramp after him in the snow and dark than have to go through guessing again.”
He led them behind the house and up to the top of the meadow where the sugar woods began. Lights from neighboring farms and houses twinkled from the rolling hills that framed the frozen lake that was now an empty blackness in the moonless dark.
Below them they could see the glow from their own kitchen window.
Suddenly the cupola of their high barn lit up, beaming out over the bare trees and snow covered fields. The beams reached across to where they stood in the snowy meadow.
“Daddy! You put a star in the cupola for Christmas!”
“Think I’ll leave it throughout the long dark winter, Hope. We’ll shine our light every night.”
He found them outside, each with shovels, each pink cheeked, strands of black hair stuck to damp foreheads. “What are you two up to?”
“Come see what Mommy and me made Daddy!”
Hope led him around the mound of plowed snow where the bank dropped away. Once he’d crawled through the entrance tunnel he could almost stand up.
“Is that a skylight?”
“No Daddy, just a vent. Mommy’s gonna build a fire and we’ll cook dinner.”
While his wife and child continued carving out their snug snow house he stacked snowballs and shaped two elegant colonnades at the entryway.
“Yes, Hope, a fellow who fell deathly in love with his own reflection.”
“Mommy, that’s silly.”
“Then we’ll call them paper whites. Do the blooms seem papery to you?”
“Yes, and they stink.”
“Ha! Kinda, Hope. And I kinda like the smell. I don’t know why.”
“I like the way they stand in their pots, Mommy.”
“Me too, Hope. So bold and defiant on the cold windowsill, trying so hard to be spring. But they reflect winter.”
“If Winter falls in love with his reflection, he’ll pine away.”
“Then Hope, we’d best start ordering seed packets for spring.”
“La grange aussi? Totalement? Tres bon. Merci.”
He and Hope looked on as she set the phone down. “What’s the news?”
Startled, she brought them into focus. “Oh. Do you think Luciene would mind the animals? I want to go across the border in the morning. I want you and Hope to go with me.”
The next day he and Hope stood back while she walked among the silent ashes, all that remained of her past. Embers of memory flashed fire in her eyes. “There’s nothing left.” She smiled at them. “It’s all gone. We can go home now.”
“That must have been one hell of a hot fire, to leave nothing behind like that.”
“Oui. The neighbor said the firemen came but just watched it burn, there was no point in putting it out, an empty abandoned house, nothing around it to catch fire except the barn and when that caught they let it go too. It ended a lot of mess.”
“Mom, do you wish you’d seen the actual fire?”
He raised an eyebrow at Hope in the rearview. She’d asked what he’d been wondering.
“Not really, Hope. I saw exactly what I needed to see.”
Books by D.Avery
One of the recent reviews for Chicken Shift on Goodreads
Made me giggle. A whole poetry book, crammed with verses about chickens crossing roads!
Loved this one:
A chicken crossed the road, as happens now and then
Philosophers and passersby
Did their bit and wondered why
But the farmer wondered how it escaped the pen.
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Avery/e/B00IXZIX3U
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Avery/e/B00IXZIX3U
Follow D.Avery on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/410086.D_Avery
About D. Avery
D. Avery (196?-20??) has long been a compulsive poet. Despite a very important day job educating public school children, she is often distracted by this compulsion, as well as by life’s great questions, such as “Kayak, or bike?”. Though she has come to realize that nothing difficult is ever easy, she believes that it’s all good.
From the author
I live on an island off the coast of Massachusetts with a husband and a cat. I am a teacher of middle school mathematics. I enjoy kayaking, yard-saling and reading. I sometimes write. People sometimes read what I write. ShiftnShake is a place for you to read some of my writing.
Connect to D. Avery
Thank you for dropping in today and please join D. Avery again next Saturday for the final installment.