Letter from a farm kid

This is the best.

bluebird of bitterness

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. I hope you are too.

Tell Walt and Elmer that the U.S. Army beats working for old man Doggett by a mile. They oughta join up quick before all of the places are taken.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. All you got to do before breakfast is straighten up your bunk and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay … practically nothing.

We go on “route marches,” which the sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A route march is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city boys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

I keep getting medals…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Kim Cox and Bette A. Stevens

More great books and authors for all to enjoy. Thank you, Sally. ☺

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

The first update is for romantic suspense author Kim Cox whose latest release Before We Wed (Style and Profile Series Book 2)  is on pre-order from Amazon for July 27th.

About the book

Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.

When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon-Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.

Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and…

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THE HAYES SISTERS PART–18

Clara returned to the table. Gloria and Lena were enjoying the meal and chatting about what a beautiful day it was going to be. “Well, ladies looks like I did a good job with breakfast. Gloria was the first to reply. “Everything is delicious Clara, you are a wonderful cook”.

“Thank you, Gloria”. Lena noticed that Clara looked a bit pale.

“Are you feeling alright Clara”?

“Yes, I’m fine Lena, why do you ask”?

“You look a bit pale”.

“Nonsense. I’m just hungry”. She sat down and started eating. When all three were done and were enjoying another cup of tea Clara looked at Gloria and asked.

“Gloria, why didn’t you tell us that Clem was your father”? Gloria’s face turned red and Lena looked shocked.

“Clara”! Lena said. The three of them sat there looking at each other in silence.

“How did you find out”? Gloria asked. “Did Clem tell you”?

“No, he didn’t. We sort of found out on our own. Clara replied. Then Clem knew before he died that you were his daughter”?

“Yes. I told him”.

“When”? Tears welled up in Gloria’s eyes.

“I wasn’t really sure if my mother was telling me the truth so I sent a napkin that he used hoping there was some DNA on it and a swab with my DNA to a laboratory for analysis. I didn’t know if I would get any results but it came back positive. I told him about it when I got the positive results. He was shocked, to say the least. He didn’t know because my mother never told him about me. He wanted another test done so we went to a lab together and the results were positive again”.

“Well that’s quite interesting”, replied Clara. “Do you know if he told Jeffery”?

“No, I don’t think so he passed a few days later and Jeffery never mentioned anything to me. I assume he doesn’t know. The only thing I wanted was for him to add his name to my birth certificate. You can’t imagine what it was like growing up with unknown typed in the space where it asks for Father’s name”.

“Was he willing to do it”?

“Yes, but it does take a while and now it will never happen because he’s gone”.

“You do realize that Jeffery is your half-brother I’m sure. Have you spoken to him about this”?

“No Lena I haven’t. I don’t know if Clem told him or not, he never brought it up so I assumed he doesn’t know”.

“What about this? Clara put a copy of the blank prescription pad on the table.

“Where did you get that? What were you snooping in my belongings? Is that why you offered me a room here rent free so you could snoop around and dig up information that is none of your business? I thought you both really were sweet and kind ladies but I guess I was wrong”.

“Not true Gloria”, replied Clara.

“We do like you and I found this information quite by accident while cleaning your room as we were waiting for the plumber”.

“Are you going to tell me it just fell out of the dresser drawer by accident, I wasn’t born yesterday Clara”.

“You have every right to be upset, Gloria”. Replied Lena.

“But Clara feels that Clem was murdered and we are trying to find out if we are right or wrong. Maybe Clem did die of a heart attack or maybe someone had a motive to kill him”.

“Well, it wasn’t me! Why would I want to kill my own father? He didn’t even know I existed. I couldn’t hold that against him”.

“Can you explain why you have a blank prescription pad sheet”?

“Yes, I can, not that it’s any of your business but the doctor left it there one day after he came to see my mother, and I never returned it to him because my mother passed shortly after and then I just kept it for sentimental reasons”. Lena and Clara looked at each other. “I believe her Clara”.

“So do I, the question now is who killed Clem”? The sisters apologized to Gloria for snooping and told her they truly liked her and this was all a coincidental misunderstanding. Gloria was crying, she took the prescription paper and went up to her room. Lena got up to follow her but Clara told her to leave Gloria alone for a while. They could talk to her later. “That phone call I received was from Jack, there was a needle hole in Clem’s jugular vein”.

The 1940’s through the eyes of a child – Swimming and fishing

Robbie's inspiration

The little girl trailed along behind her older brothers and sisters. They were going to swim in the shallow water of the river Waveney which ran along the bottom of the farm where the little girl lived. There was a part of the river which was free from the thick reeds that grew in the river where the children liked to swim. Further out in the middle of the river was a place the children called “the hole”. The river bed suddenly took a deep dip and the water went from being fairly shallow to very deep. The children were all warned not to wade too deeply in the water for fear of falling into the hole.

The little girl slid down the mud into the water. It was freezing cold and made her gasp with shock. She was quite determined to keep up with her brothers and sisters and…

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THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 17

https://the-italian-thing.com/2017/06/18/the-hayes-sisters-part-17/

Thursday night Gloria found the note that Lena and Clara left inviting her to have breakfast with them. She showered and fell into her warm comfortable bed happy to have such a beautiful room. She fell asleep almost instantly, she had a long day at work as the Tea Room was busy and she was exhausted.

Clara rose early as usual and headed to the kitchen to start baking biscuits and muffins. She would also have bacon, eggs and hash brown potatoes, coffee and tea for her and Lena. As she was preparing everything she couldn’t help thinking about the conversation she had with Jack Peterson on Thursday afternoon. She saw him as she was driving past the Beauty Bar and pulled over to speak to him. He was dropping his wife Millie off for her appointment as she didn’t drive since she had a heart attack last year. It was not that she couldn’t drive but she was quite frail and was afraid to get behind the wheel for fear something would happen. So Jack or one of her friends drove her where ever she wanted to go. Clara greeted Millie before she entered the salon. “Hi, Millie going for some relaxation I see”.

“Oh, Hi Clara and they hugged, yes, I have to keep my man happy you know, don’t want any young chicken catching his eye”. They both laughed and Millie entered the salon. Jack was just starting to leave when Clara called out to him to wait a minute. He stopped and she walked over to the driver side window. “Hi, Jack, do you have a few minutes to spare”?

“Hi, Clara. Yes, but I’m heading to work. Is everything alright”?

“Yes, yes, Lena and I are fine. But, I need to inquire about something and I need your expertise, do you mind”?

“No, not at all as long as it doesn’t take too long”.

“If someone was given an injection in the jugular vein would you be able to tell while doing the autopsy”?

“Probably, why”?

“Did you check Clem’s jugular vein carefully and if you didn’t could you”?

“I could but what reason would I have to do that”?

“I think he was given a shot of Potassium Chloride and that’s what killed him. You said there was a small cut on his neck. If someone gave him a shot in the vein and then scraped the needle on his neck wouldn’t it look like a slight cut”?

“Well, yes, but that’s pretty far-fetched, Clara”.

“Could you please check it before you release his body to Jeffery. If you don’t find anything then my gut feeling is wrong and I can lay this to rest.

“Clara, Clem was an elderly man, a heart attack is not unusual”.

“I know Jack, please do this one thing for me. I knew Clem for many years and I just have a bad feeling about this. You know I have been right in the past, please. You can call me and if I am right it’s a kudos to you, and if I’m wrong we can lay him to rest in peace”. Jack agreed. That was yesterday Clara thought and Jack hadn’t called her yet. She heard Lena and Gloria coming down the stairs to the kitchen. “It smells delicious from here”. Gloria said as they headed into the kitchen.

“Yes, it does, Clara is an excellent cook”, replied Lena.

“Come and sit down you two before everything gets cold”.

“All of a sudden I’m starving”. Gloria replied. Just then the phone rang, Clara said; “You two start eating, I’ll get it”. It was Jack.

FATHER’S DAY

FATHER’S DAYThe photo is of my brother August (Augie) and my dad William (Willie) they are together in the photo and are together again, my brother passed in 2003 at the age of 57, he was also a wonderful dad.

There are many ways we remember our fathers. My dad was a quiet man who along with my mom raised six children, five girls, and one boy. My oldest sister born in 1939 my youngest sister in 1958. Life was not easy for my parents, yet they managed to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table and made sure we all attended school. My dad was a truck driver, my mom a homemaker. I used to think she didn’t work, boy was I wrong. What we did have an abundance of in our home were love and guidance. My parents were not educated beyond the eighth or ninth grade but had many talents. Daddy could fix or build anything from painting to building a house and my mom who was of Italian decent (Neopolitan) was a great cook and baker.

Today, however, we are celebrating Father’s Day and although my dad passed at a relatively young age (67) he left a legacy of love, respect, honesty, joy, loyalty, unity, and fun. I have dedicated the following for him on this special day and know that he is smiling down upon us all. Happy Father’s Day daddy, you may not be here but will never be forgotten. We will always remember.

DAD                                                                                                                                                            By: Patricia Kruck-Salamone  PATTI (2)

A quiet man but very wise, hair like silver and gray-blue eyes.

His stature small but very strong, he taught us all right from wrong.

He labored hard throughout the years, this quiet man shed so few tears.

Through all the hard times he stood tall, working and teaching and loving us all.

He taught us to hold our heads up high and do our very best, to think for ourselves not follow the rest.

He never complained that his life was tough, he never complained about not having enough.

He made me feel safe and happy and free, he made me feel I’d be all I could be.

If I could just see him one more time, I’d say “Dad you did great we all turned out fine.”

With much love from your third daughter Patti. xoxo

THE HAYES SISTERS—PART 16

“It’s a doctor’s prescription pad but it’s blank”.

“I see that Lena but what is Gloria doing with a blank prescription paper.

Is this the only one she has or could she have had more than one”?

“Don’t jump to any conclusions Clara.”

“I am not jumping to conclusions Lena, but, there is something fishy going on here and I intend to find out what it is. I wonder if Gloria confronted Clem about their relationship and if Jeffery knows he has a half sister. I left a note on her dresser that if she is off on Friday we would enjoy her company for breakfast”.

“Clara, she seems like such a sweet girl, don’t go giving her the third degree while we’re eating”.

“I won’t, I’ll wait until she is finished, smiling at Lena. I also just remembered something that is bothering me”.

“What is that”, replied Lena.

“Isn’t Marcus’s wife a nurse at the hospital”? In a sarcastic like tone, Lena said,

“Yes she is, has been for over twenty years, why? Do you think she could have killed Clem too”?

“Not really but, there might be some sort of a connection there”.

“You do beat all Clara, you have a twisted mind, did you know that”?

“It’s not twisted Lena, I am just inquisitive, always have been”.

“You don’t have to tell me that Clara, I live with you remember”. Just then the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it”. Lena said. It was Jeffery Bristol. “Why Jeffery, what a pleasant surprise, do come in”.

“Thank you, Miss Lena but I’m on my way to the airport, I will be gone for a few days and was wondering if you ladies would just keep an eye on my house while I’m gone. I should be back by Saturday”.

“Yes, of course, Jeffery, have a safe trip and we’ll see you soon”.

“Thank you, the house is all locked up but it’s always nice to know someone is keeping an eye on it. And, if you see anything just call the police don’t take any chances I would hate to see you or Miss Clara get hurt”.

“Alright, we’ll be careful, I promise”. With that, he left.

“Who was it, Lena”?

“It was Jeffery, he asked us to keep an eye on his house, he is going out of town for a few days”.

“Really. Did you tell him Clem had given us a key to the place years ago in case anything happened while he was away”?

“No, I forgot about the key”.

“Well, I didn’t”. Clara replied with a smile.

“Gloria” On The Playground

A post to give us all something to think about. Beautiful.

A Teacher's Reflections

Gloria is a dear classroom friend.  Well, that’s an understatement.  I have a hard time making my fingers type that she is a puppet, because she is the best thing that ever happened to my classroom.  She is the kind one, the shy one, and the one who is… well, different and not pretty.  She is real.  She is the best friend.  Gloria spends most weekends with children and their families.  From decorating Christmas trees, to attending graduations, going out to dinner… the long list is a testament to Gloria.

This is what happened today:

“Can we bring Gloria outside to play?”

Long pause…

Gloria has never played outside at school.  It hadn’t occurred to me to include her on the playground.  When the question was posed, I thought this was a good idea.  Leave it to children to think outside of the box.  They know Gloria far better than…

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