Shelby’s Thanksgiving Intervention — A Short Story

Today I wrote a short story from a Thanksgiving writer’s prompt at Writer’s Digest:  Shelby’s Thanksgiving Intervention — Short Story.  I found the turkey craft here at “11 Best Turkey Crafts for Kids.”

Hope you enjoy!

Thanksgiving paper turkey craft
Shelby’s Thanksgiving Intervention
(Or, Now Who’s the Turkey??)

By: Stephanie L. Robertson

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year with its beautiful fall leaves and sumptuous feasting.  I was looking forward to another Thanksgiving feast à la Mom.

“We’ll just go ahead,” said my husband, Ben, as he stepped from the car and grabbed the hands of my two younger kids.

“Ouch, Dad, that hurts,” cried my seven-year-old, Wendy.

“Sh!” said Ben as he let go Wendy’s hand and pushed her and Pete inside Mom and Dad’s house without the usual courtesy of knocking.

“Now that was just weird,” I said to my older son, Jesse.  “Do you want to help me carry in one of the casseroles? Looks like Dad isn’t going to help.”

Jesse looked at me from the corner of his eyes.  His voice shook a little.  “Uh, Mom, I’ve got to go!”

Then he sprinted toward large brick house without a second glance.

I shrugged and juggled all three casserole dishes, shutting the hatch of our SUV with my left foot.

With the assortment of cars and trucks parked in the driveway, it looked as though all the family was there.

I teetered up the steps of the house and yelled through my parents’ heavy mahogany door, “Hey!  Can someone lend a hand?”

The door swung open.

The entire family was sitting in the living room, all eyes were on me.

But instead of a Thanksgiving turkey, there was a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle.

“Shelby,” said my mother quietly, “We’ve got to talk.”

I felt all three casserole dishes fall to the hardwood floor as I stared back in shock.

“Shelby, you have spent entirely too much time writing for that NANOWRIMO, to the detriment of your family,” said Ben.

“Instead of having Thanksgiving this year, we’re asking that you admit yourself to Writer’s Recovery in Tucson, Arizona,” said Dad.

“Shelby, we want you to come back to us—the way you used to be!” sobbed my sister, Jane.

“You’ll take a flight to Tucson and spend two weeks at the Three Points Resort and Spa for the duration of your recovery,” said my cousin Fred.  “The brochure says the resort features pool-side light therapy, Jungian horseback-riding counseling, and massage transaction analysis.”

Please, Shelby, we want you to come home completely intervened.  No work for two weeks, dear. We’re begging you.”

Shelby didn’t think twice.  “Okay.  I’m in!”

Thanksgiving text with fall letters: Now Who's the Turkey??

Writing prompt source:  http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/thanksgiving-intervention

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Texas Church Massacre — How do We Deal?

How do we deal with mass shootings such as yesterday’s Texas church massacre?

Like countless other Christians, yesterday I dressed up and went to church to worship God. With no thought to my safety, I went to offer thanks for Jesus’ saving grace and for everything that God has blessed me with.

So did the members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Again, I ask: how do we deal with it all?

I don’t have the answers, so I look to some suggestions of others.

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).”
According Fox News Insider, one of the older witnesses referred to this Bible verse:

This is going to be my verse of the week. I’m going to meditate on it every day because this is my life’s goal. We who love the Lord will seek to be ambassadors of love and peace. That’s what we’re all about.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
We can pray for intense healing of emotions. Not only for those who were injured and the victims’ families, but for those who seek to do harm to others. We can pray that they will get the mental help that they need. And we can pray for our country.

On Oct 02, 2017, Dr. Melanie Greenberg posted on the Psychology Today website, “Coping with the Psychological Trauma of a Mass Shooting: How to cope psychologically when the world no longer feels safe.”

She starts out by explaining that a mass shooting can shake your belief that our world is safe, most people are generally good, and good things happen to good people.

To counter the dissonance forced at us from yesterday’s massacre, Dr. Greenberg suggests that we acknowledge our feelings of outrage, distress, and sadnessTry to do something good for others, like volunteering.  Accept that the world isn’t always a safe place, and we can’t always protect ourselves and our families.  Let your kids know that this type of thing (for all the media attention) is very rare and unlikely to happen to them.  Talk to someone like a friend, minister, or counselor if you need to work through your feelings.

I’ll add a couple of ideas that I’ve read at other sources–Sometimes writing about terrible events helps to put them into perspective.  At least, it’s helping me (some) to share with you all about ways to cope.  Second, there does seem to be more good people in the world than bad.  Otherwise, so many people wouldn’t be as horrified about the evil that occurred yesterday.

Most important, trust in God.  God didn’t cause the evil to happen.  The evil one did.  I hope that makes us even more determined to follow the Source of all love, beauty, and goodness.  The One who ultimately will bring the whole world to justice.  If you want to know more about Him, please send me an email.

peaceful creek at sunset

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain

My Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Big balanced rock

Big Balanced Rock. Probably got this way from the upheaval of the Flood.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Big balanced rock marker

Yesterday, I hiked Balanced Rock Trail. There’s a little balanced rock and a big one.

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday I took my little Nikon d7000 out when I was hiking on the Rainbow Mountain trails.

My purpose was 3-fold:

  1. Get exercise doing something fun–hiking
  2. Gather photos for a blogging about the trail
  3. Learn how to use my camera better

The exercise is pretty obvious.  I get a nice workout walking and climbing over the boulders on the upward steep.  It’s a wonderful time of year to hike because the temperatures are lower, so I don’t have to worry about the stifling humidity.

I just love taking photos for my blog.  I probably like that part of blogging more than writing.  Writing takes work.  Photographic people, landscapes, and old houses is just play.  I’d love to be a photographer for Nat’l Geographic or Southern Living.

Speaking of photography, it’s a wonderful time of year for taking photos on the trail.  The leaves are just now beginning to change, but the foliage is still pretty and lush for the most part.

My favorite part of photography is composition.  I’ve had enough art classes to be confident in my use of composition and color, but my DSLR camera still has been baffled.  I understand that the three major points of photography are aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.  However, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around aperture.  It seems so confusing that the lower the f-stop, the larger the aperture.  Yesterday, I took 3 pictures of the same object using 3 different f-stops (Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens):  22, 10, and 4.  Now, I think I get it.  An f-stop of 4 let in wayyyyyyyyy too much light.  22 left my shots underexposed, and 10 was just about right for clicking in the woods.

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Madison park bench

Park bench with “M” that stands for the town and county of Madison.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; forest leaves

Pretty leaves reflect God’s intricate design.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Balanced Rock, boulder

Pretty forest berries. I don’t know if they are edible and don’t plan to find out.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Tree with Rainbow Mountain Balanced Rock marker

These are poke berries. Now, I know these guys aren’t edible. You can boil the leaves, however, to make a poke berry salad.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Second tree with Rainbow Mountain Balanced Rock marker

The leaves are just barely changing colors.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; View of Huntsville, Alabama

Pretty view toward Huntsville.

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; View of Madison County

 

 

Photo Hike on Rainbow Mountain; Forest leaves

When the Train Whistle Blows — Short, Spooky Story

When the Train Whistle Blows
By: Stephanie L. Robertson

Folks ‘round here say there’s a ghost that haunts the tracks running through the middle of Athens.

Do you believe them?

I do.

I seen her.

They say it’s the ghost of Perlie Gunn, waitin’ for her beau, Gilbert McCall.

And waitin’.

And waitin’.

Ever time you hear the train whistle on a dark, drizzling night.

1935 and Perlie was the purtiest gal of all at the ol’ wood school house. Just past her eighteenth birthday. Blue eyes and pert nose. Always wearing that blue flour-sack dress. A trip to town for her daddy to get something at that hardware store right over there.

Passed the ol’ Jefferson Street diner, where Gilbert McCall sat at his breakfast of sausage, eggs, and grits. Couldn’t recall ever seeing her before. Jumped right up from his table, fork and knife falling from his high-born hands. Left it to go meet the yeller-haired gal.

Wait!

Was that little ol’ Perlie Gunn, all growed up?

Diner owner, Buzz Henshaw, just shook his head, wondering if McCall would remember to pay the check, but knowing the feller would fergit. There was no stopping true love.
Folks say Gilbert jogged after Perlie and they fell for each other like a fish for a worm, the minute their eyes met.

But Perlie stood no chance with a McCall.

Oh, no ma’me.

She was from the wrong side of the tracks.

Ol’ Judge McCall forbade their courtship, and her folks knew it would end bad. They knew a grimy-faced pig farmer’s daughter couldn’t land a high-falutin McCall.

But folks saw them two sneaking to meet for picnics or out and about Athens. They saw Gilbert, looking all moony-eyed, slipping out of the courthouse where he clerked that summer he was home from law school down in Tuscaloosa. They’d steal a kiss behind the drug store, when ol’ Judge was inside, fannin’ hisself from the summer heat.

Story goes that they were s’posed to meet down by the tracks at dusk. Run off an’ marry, they was, in McCall’s fine, red Ford coupe.

Something put Gilbert late. He heard that train come flying down them tracks and saw her standing and waitin’ on t’other side, her clothes in a beat up ol’ box. Musta slipped in them heels she borrowed from her Cousin Maylene. Ankle stuck fast in a gap twix the metal rail and wooden tie.

Train man near ripped the town apart with the sound of his brakes sliding towards Perlie. It was too late. They say that train drug her nigh forty feet afore Gilbert could blink a eye.
I heard tell Gilbert never went back to Tuscaloosa after that. Ended up somewheres over in Georgia. I never seen him since.

But I seen her walkin’.

Still wearing that blue flour sack dress.

Still looking for Gilbert after all these years.

On wet, foggy nights.

Walkin’ on the tracks when the train whistle blows.