Fall Leaves on Rainbow Mountain

This morning my friend Kibbs and I took a hike to see the fall leaves on Rainbow Mountain. Kibbs is a Christian wife and mom, a writer, and a very close friend.  Not only do I enjoy hiking for exercise, I love to see the beautiful fall leaves all over the ground.

Fall Leaves on Rainbow Mountain

What the Fall Leaves Teach us about People

After about an hour of hiking, Kibbs and I started thinking about all those different leaves all over the ground.You know, those leaves on the ground are kind of like people.  You see all sorts of shapes, colors, and textures–and they’re all beautiful in their own way!It’s hard to find a perfect leaf. For example, one leaf may have a bunch of different colors. Some have holes in them. Some have broken points. We’ve all got flaws, and it’s not like we the peeps we see on tv with perfect hair and flawless skin.

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 What the Fall Leaves Teach us about Life

It’s kinda like us, isn’t it?Our lives aren’t perfect, our families aren’t perfect…but everything seems to come together on this one beautiful rock called Earth.

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What I’ve been Taught about Fall Leaves

Here’s one more thing about leaves…If you mow them into tiny bits rather than rake them, you’ve nourished your soil with a great source of nitrogen!  I’m one of the few in my neighborhood that doesn’t rake up all the fall leaves.  First of all, they are fun to toss at other family members, the pups like playing in them, I like the music they make under my boots, and I just think they’re really pretty.  So there’s your excuse for not raking this season.  Mow them instead for the sake of your soil.Happy Fall, Y’all!

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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

The Wild Christmas Picture Piggy Chase

Dr. Pepper & S’mores with Princess Buttercup

I’m a little old-fashioned about that sending Christmas cards, so Lefty, Princess Buttercup, and I went out to our woods to take our Christmas photos.

I wanted to get some pictures of Princess Buttercup by herself but knew she would balk until I told her that I’d let her put her guinea pigs, Dr. Pepper and S’mores, in the shot.

When PB brought out the piggies, Lefty (my left-brained and left-handed husband) commented, “I don’t think this is a good idea.”
At moment Dr. Pepper jumped from PB’s arms and scampered into the woods.

Horrified (it was really cold outside), I dashed after Dr. Pepper.

“Get him!” she yelled as she clutched S’mores closely.

One thing you should know about our guinea pigs: I don’t like having them because they smell bad and the room designated as play room in our new house is now actually called the guinea pig room. But Princess Buttercup loves them, and I was going to catch Dr. Pepper or die trying.

I wasn’t born on a cattle farm for nothing. I knew how to herd animals. Ok, so maybe not so much except for in theory.

The little rodent ran faster than I could imagine.

He ran one way, and I darted in front of him to block his path through the trees. I dove to the ground. I wasn’t sure I had him because he was under a thick bed of sweet gum leaves.

He jumped, I jumped. He turned right, I turned right. Lefty blocked him to the left, and I dropped to the ground and grabbed another handful of leaves and this time Dr. Pepper as well.

Lefty gave me a small box and I put the wayward piggy inside while Princess Buttercup did the same for S’mores. I took their picture and then we all went inside to warm up.

I had already known better than to put Snuggles and wild, man-dog Spike in the photos. Next time I’ll know: absolutely no critters in our next Christmas card pictures!

What about you? Do you like to send out Christmas cards? Do you wrangle your family into a picture that’s good enough to send to Gramma?

Princess Buttercup hides behind Lefty and me.

Communion

wine_communionI stand with the 900+ and raise my voice in song. The voices–a gentle, melodious roar.

Comfort that I’m surrounded by others with the same beliefs, same values as myself and my family. The words of the songs reflect a common goal: praise, worship.

We sit in unison and center our minds to a singular focus: the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

The prayer is said.

Silence. The wail of a child interrupts. Reminds me that somewhere in the gathering are young parents bent on raising their children like I’ve tried to raise mine. Affirmation.

A polished brass plate passes from my husband’s hands to mine. I break a piece of bread between my fingers. All over the world–maybe not at the exact same time–others are doing the same.

I feel the dry wafer in my mouth and consider the significance of this small act. I swallow how many times a day? But this time is different. Holy.

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Silence again. I work to focus my mind.

Another meaningful prayer.

This time a polished brass tray is passed from my right. From my husband, who joins me as we take small plastic cups and lift them in solidarity. The plastic rim presses into my lips. A small taste. Bitter. Sweet. Like the death of our Lord.

It is over too quickly. Too quickly.

The most important moment of our week.

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