Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

Tuesday TalesIt’s TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘bells’.

In Fat and Sassy, the Jones’ moved back to California, despite the broken axle in New Mexico, and find themselves in a new home, one that they can call their own.

Return to TUESDAY TALES for more story snippets using ‘bells’.

christmas paper garland216 Leadora. Their new home. Bea and Casey wouldn’t move again for thirty years.

They got moved in and settled just in time for Mae to start to school. First grade. She was excited. She was scared. A lot had happened since the short time she’d attended kindergarten in California before. There’d been lots of moves and another baby sister added to the family.

Bea had conflicting feelings also about Mae going to school. Yes, one child was out of the house for part of the day, which should have been a source of relief. Yet, this child was the little caretaker of the younger ones, so now Bea had to keep track of the four younger children, and get the ironing done before the ladies stopped by to pick up their pressed clothes.

One night after she’d gotten all the children off the bed, Bea slipped inside beside Casey and gave him some unexpected news. “Yore gonna be a Daddy again.”

“Again! Maybe it will be another boy, then we’ll have three of each.”

Mae turned seven on November 10th. Twenty days later, on November 30th, her newest little brother, Evan Lee, entered the world. Now they were six, six Jones children, ages from newborn to seven years old.

With another little one in the family, Mae unofficially became the second mother. Bea started taking in laundry for extra money and needed more and more help with the children. Especially since as the kids got older, they were more active and not as confined to the small spaces babies occupy.

After the newest baby was born, Mae would run home after school. She’d stand over the basinet and talk to Evan Lee and make faces at him. One day she bounced in the house. She hurried over to the corner where the baby lay, talking to him and wiggling her fingers in front of his face. Turning to her mother stationed behind the ironing board, she asked, “Mama, we’re going to have a Christmas program at school this Friday. Can you come watch?”

“I can’t git to the school,” Bea replied. “Your brother is only three weeks old. Yore daddy is working. There’s no way I can walk to the school with all your brothers and sisters.”

Disappoint flashed across Mae’s face. “It’s going to be good. We’ve been practicing songs and everything. And we made chains of red and green colored paper and we get to bring them home afterwards, to decorate the house.”

“Do you have a part to say?”

“No. I don’t have any lines. The teacher wouldn’t give me anything to say. She says I don’t say all my words right. But I do get to ring some bells.”

“What does she mean that you don’t say words right?”

“She says I say warsh, but it’s really wash, that there’s no ‘r’. And she says I don’t say wabbit right.”

“I won’t be able to git to the program Ona Mae. But it looks like I’ll have to make a trip to the school when yore Daddy can drive me to have a little chat with yore teacher.”

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Comments on: "Fat and Sassy – New house, new baby, new life" (16)

  1. Great story. It’s like stepping back in time. I feel like a fly on the wall in Bea’s house. I feel her cheerful struggle to care for her growing family and her quiet devotion to Mae. That teacher had better watch out! Beautifully written.

    • Thank you Jean. I know that sometimes the story is so ingrained in my brain that I don’t know if I’m conveying the scene to others or not. Thanks for your feedback.

  2. What a lovely story. I am truly enjoying it. That teacher best watch out!

    • Thanks Vicki. It’s not the romances that most of TT writes, but its the story that’s in me that needs to be written. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

  3. As always I love your dialogue and can hear the disappointment in the little girl’s voice

  4. Tell me about your research. Have you been eaves dropping on my family? I say warsh and grandma took in ironing and mending for the rich folks. This is why I know it has the ring of realism. 🙂

    • Ha, Morgan. You just thought it was a fly on your wall, didn’t you?
      You know that ‘using from real life’ thing we writers like so much? Bea is largely my Arkie grandma, who took in ironing – and warshed everything, passing that lovely language down to her daughter and granddaughters lol

  5. Lovely story. I liked it how you went into details with the birthdays. Nice touch!

  6. So much info in here and like the others I felt I was there.

  7. very nice! I love it. I wouldn’t want to have that many kids that close together but your character seems to be able to handle it!

    • Thanks Jillian. Oh my, me neither. My two boys were enough for me. Although I find I love to read and write about the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, I’m glad I’m living now and not then.

  8. Oh, no, I know Mae is sad that her momma can’t make the program. I kept imagining what a child feels in disappointment. You captured the conversation well.

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