Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trail Ride

At times the trail was wide enough for us to ride three abreast while at other times I spent my time dodging limbs vowing silently to myself not to ride behind my brother again.  Neshoba, Jake and Speck enjoyed themselves by chasing rabbits and romping in the bay.  Yes, I was jealous. 
            Talking was nearly impossible on the small game trails we had been riding on since we had stopped for dinner.  This had given me much time to think and silently curse my brother.  About that time Nick let a large pine sapling limb loose nearly sending me off the back of Jet.  “That’s it!”  I dropped my reigns.  Nick had stopped and turned around to stare at me. “What?”
 “What?  You idiot!  I have had it with getting swatted and switched by tree limbs.”  He began to laugh but stopped when he saw my eyes glowing a bright yellow.  “Now Claire I really didn’t mean it.”  With one quick dismount I was at the side of his horse.  With another swift jerk he was laying on the ground looking surprised.  “There, it is your turn to ride behind me for awhile, brother!”  Grabbing hold to Jets mane I jumped back up into the saddle.  Smiling down at Nick as I road by.  From behind me I heard Drake chuckling.  “Well, son, I guess she told you.”  Nick gave a low growl before climbing back up on Doc.  Ya know you should really work on your anger issues. I just ignored him, smiling with satisfaction when I turned around to watch him get smacked in the face by a low hanging limb. Drake gave me a wink and a slight smile.
            The sun began to slowly make its decent in the west before we finally stopped to make camp.  Nicholas still was not speaking, which was actually nice.  He cut a piece of cane to make a poll and sulked his way to the bay to catch us fish for supper.  I found a few pieces of dry driftwood to start a fire while Drake watered and feed the horses.  It felt as if this was something we had done often, not for the first time. 
            With camp made I decided to walk to the shore of the bay.  I sensed him before he stepped out behind me.   Finding an ole log that had been stranded on the shore I sat down, stretching my legs out in front of me.  He followed and sat down on the sand next to me leaning back against the log.  I sensed he wanted to talk so I held my tongue and thoughts.
            “Claire, before you start asking questions let me say what I want to say first.  Your grandfather and I have known each other for a very long time.  We have much history together. In order for you to understand more about yourself you must learn more of your family history.  It just so happens that your history and mine intermingle.”  I nodded for him to continue.  He laid his head back against the log and closed his eyes.  I waited patiently.
            “In order for you to understand I guess starting from the beginning would be the best.  I was born to Ellana and William McMurphy.  At my birth my father welcomed me with open arms never questioning why I looked different from my other brothers and sisters.  Were my hair was a dirty yellow color my siblings wore crowns of curly auburn hair.  My eyes were a bright blue but theirs shone like emeralds.  He was a good man and father, never once did I ever question his love for me.  I still knew I was different.  My mother was a handsome woman with brown hair and dark coal eyes.  She loved me but at times I saw a sadness that would cross her face when I would do something dangerous.  She watched as the injuries I sustained healed faster and stronger than my siblings.  She never said a word.  That is until my eighteen summer.  She had become ill and had been confined to her bed for several months.  One morning she called for me to come to her chamber.  When I entered she sent out the servants leaving us alone.  It was then that she told me of my true father.  She had met him one afternoon as she was taking one of her favorite walks along the river.  They met often.  At first they just talked but it then became more.  My father was off at battle and she had become quite lonely.  She said it was wrong but she would not take back anything that had happened because she was given me.  My father had suspected but never asked her about it.  The man that was my father, however, was of a different breed.  He was not a highlander but he was lets just say of the heavenly sort.  I can remember looking at her wondering if she was delirious or maybe not in her right mind.  The look in her eyes told me she was serious in what she said.  From below her pillow she pulled out a letter.   She then proceeded to tell me that he was coming for me and would be at the castle by tomorrow morning.  Then handed me the piece of paper.

I will be at Heather Hills on August 10th.  I look forward to seeing you and meeting your family.  There is much we need to discuss concerning our son.  It is time for him to know of his true father and the life he is expected to lead.  You have done well as I knew you would as also your husband.  I assume he has noticed the differences and knows that Drake is not his.
Sorry for the short notice but many changes are taking place in this land and he is needed.

I can still feel her caress as she stroked my cheek, tears running down her face as she watched me read the letter.   Please don’t be angry with me for not telling you she whispered.  I leaned over and kissed her hand then her forehead.   I loved her too much to be angry.  That night she passed on to the afterworld.  The next day a man by the name of Bartholemew arrived  at the castle.  We stayed for her funeral then I said my good-byes and rode Saint out the castle gates, never looking back.”   “Why did you never return?  Why don’t you go back and find them now?”  “Because they have all long since passed on and the land has been dispersed.  Claire,” turning my head toward him I was startled to see the raw emotion that filled every inch of his face, “that was over seven hundred years ago.”

Friday, May 18, 2012

Maybe I can finish?

The ideas for the next part of my book have been flowing through my head.  Just having a hard time putting them down on paper.  Our summer has officially started so maybe I can find the time.  The goal is to have it finished by the end of the summer.  We will just see :) 

Plan on posting a new excerpt in the upcoming week. Claire and Drake are still fighting the urge to be together but it is in the works.  In fact i am going back and changing a few parts of other chapters to make it a bit mysterious. 

I never new it would take me so long to write this book.  My idea was to just set down and write, how hard could it possibly be?  Well it has been a short three years since I started this project.  Not as easy as I had first thought.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Another Saturday Morning

This morning is one without the cartoons.  The kids spent the night wtih their Me me and Poppy.  So we are watching hunting and fishing programs on the tv.  I, however, did enjoy two cups of coffee.  It is quiet with my name not being spoken every few minutes.  Honestly, I enjoy the quiet but I do miss the little monsters.  There is nothing that could ever replace and "I Love You Mommy", absolutely nothing.  By this afternoon I will be giddy for them to return. 

So have a wonderful Saturday my friends and remember to stop and hug the little monsters in your life.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Captain Fallon - Chapter 1 of book

‘Why had I come?’ Mama had reassured me, even at the dock, “You are going to have a lovely time Claire.  Your Aunt Catherine has wanted you and Sophie to visit for so long.  This will give you a chance to get to know your cousin and have a bit of fun.   You know they do not get many visitors living were they do, unlike you.”  It had taken much pleading and begging before I had ended up on the dock.  I hated to leave.

Escaping from another dinner party had been hard but it seemed that finally I had succeeded.  “Thank God!” maybe I won’t be missed I whispered to myself as  I tip-toed across the barnyard being careful not to get my blue satin shoes dirty,  Aunt Catherine was already going to be angry that I skipped out on the evening get-together.  I had had enough of watching my cousin, Anna Belle, flirting and fawning over Captain Fallon.  Personally the man had an evil sense about him.  The thoughts I received when he kissed my hand made my stomach turn in knots and sent fear coursing through my veins.  His thoughts had not been those of a gentleman.  I did not trust nor did I like him.  Apparently he had only this type of effect on me because as I watched the others they seemed to be unconcerned with our guest in fact they all appeared enamored with his silky words and complements.  He was a handsome man; high angular cheek bones, skin like well oiled leather, strong proud shoulders, brown and green hazel eyes combined with a voice deep and soothing.  I could see how Anna Belle (my cousin) and the others may have fallen immediately in love.  The package may be beautiful but the gift inside was not. 

The Captain had eyes that bore straight through you as if peeling the soul apart like the layers of an onion, layer by layer.  My wall went up blocking out anything I was not willing to share.    Apparently he sensed that I was different and continued showing interest which did not help my situation at all.  Following me from the parlor to the dining table and insisting on sitting by me at dinner.  So when dinner was finished I slipped out the back kitchen door as everyone else retired to the parlor for after dinner drinks and singing. 

 I was of marrying age but had no desire at the time to get hitched, plus I am positive Gran Louie had seen his interest.  Sophie, my sister, was already engaged and Nicholas, my brother, had his eye on Eliza Marie Thompson; a nurse that worked with him at the hospital.  My siblings were doing as expected, finding their true loves.  Me, however, I was running from the suitors.  Not that there had been a large amount.   So, that is why I found myself in La Salle, Louisiana.  Gran Louie thought that a change in scenery and a different group of men might peek my interest or them in me.  I had over heard her praying that I would get lucky and find someone to take me as their adoring wife.  Yeah, right!  She thought wrong!  I was not just a piece of meat to pass around for everyone to taste.  “Claire,” her grating voice carried across the dirt yard in the humid bayou air.  “Claire, darling Captain Fallon is looking for you.”  I hid in the shadows of the gazebo hoping the moonlight did not give me away.  “Claire darling, you are going to regret this in the morning.  He is a lovely specimen of a man”.   I felt like running so far away and would have if Gran Louie had let me bring my Neshoba.  The white wolf given to me when I was born, she was an extension of my being.  I saw through her eyes at times better than I saw through my own.  A part of me was missing and I was lost and frightened.  Gran said that she scared my suitors and that I needed to think about getting rid of her.  So it wasn't until we arrived at the schooner on the Isle of Dauphin that I was told she would not be coming with us the rest of the trip.  This was Gran Louie's idea not my mothers.  We had left her back at the Port of Mobile standing on a pier waving to us.  Being taught to obey and respect my elders I left Nashoba with my Uncle Max and his family.  It was as if a part of me was lost at that moment.   I sighed deeply; lost, lonely, and ready to go home.

Just a few more days of this then I will be running free on the island.  Tomorrow we were to leave for New Orleans to spend several days shopping and visiting the opera, Sophie was ecstatic.  Her fiancĂ© attended Tulane and would be there to show us around.   A deep sigh passed my lips as a breeze rustled my hair reminding me of the gulf breezes that blew across the Isle of Dauphine.  Lost in my own thoughts and feelings I had not noticed the change in my surroundings.

            “There you are Madame.”  I felt the hackles on the back of my neck rise, of all the people to find me it had to be him.  Great!  “Yes, I guess you did Captain… was it Fallon.”  Giving me a strangely evil grin he replied, “Yes it is.  I am glad you remembered.”  I began to slowly edge toward the entrance of the gazebo, something about the way he moved was almost as if he was hunting me.  “I believe Anna Belle is missing your company.  I noticed she was quite fond of you in many ways when I leaned over to pick up my napkin at dinner.  If you are lonely I am positive she would gladly keep you company.”  (I had caught her hand rubbing him in a friendly manner under the table, the little trollip.) My rear hit the railing of the gazebo.  Shoot!  I was still not close enough to the doorway to bolt.  He took a step toward the entrance trying to block my exit.  “Don’t try to escape my dear I have no plans of hurting you yet.  Tell me how you managed to evade me and my advances tonight.”  “Excuse me what exactly do you mean, sir?”  “Don’t play games with me lassie.  You and I both know that there is something different about you.”   “Yes, I am a southern belle and choose to keep my thoughts to myself.” “Ah, so you noticed.”  He smiled a toothy grin and walked to the other side of the gazebo to light a hand rolled cigar leaning back against the railing as he looked me up and down like a hunter surveying his prey before he pounced.  “What are you exactly?  I know you are not one of us and you seem too cultured to be a native.  Who and what are you?”  “Sir, if you will excuse me I think I am ready to retire for the evening.”  Before I could take a step toward the doorway he was so close to my face that my eyes began to cross.  “This is not the last time we will meet Lassie.  I will find out what you are and you will be mine.  I think your Grandmother Louise is very fond of me and actually thinks me to be quite a grand catch.” A chilling grin formed on his lips as he stepped away, bowing deliberately toward the gazebo entrance.  “See you later sweet heart.  Try not to dream about me.”  “My feet wanted to run as far away from here as possible but I put my nose in the air and gracefully slid past him, then high tailed back to the front porch then raced up the stairs to my room.”  There was no way on God’s green earth that I was going to marry such an awful man.  The things I had seen when he brushed my check with his hand made my stomach role.  He had murdered, raped, stole and tortured so many people, a fear like any other began to rise with in my soul.  What did he mean by “one of us” and “you are not a native”?  I was a native by blood and by birth.  Who exactly was he referring to as “one of us” my family was well off.  We had fine homes, owned servants and land.  He on the other hand did not even own a horse.  He scared me that I did know and prayed we would never meet again! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Love of an Aching Heart

 ‘If I do not get up then it will never happen.’ I tried telling myself.  ‘He will just go back to bed.’   Home schooling had crossed my mind every day of the past year even though I had said that I would not teach my own kids.  “Mama” there it is again, the reminder that the day was finally here.  I held my tears and put on my brave face, “yes, sweetheart.”  Realizing I was awake he bounded onto the bed, “get up!” “Get up! Get up! Get up!” he shouted happily as he crawled up beside me and kissed me on the cheek.  I wished I could share in his excitement but at the moment my heart held a soft ache.  “Ok I am up, why are you up already it is 6:00 in the morning. Don’t you know that I need my booty sleep?”   “Mama you are so silly, come on! Come on, we gotta get Bwodie up.”  Dragging myself from the bed I slipped on my emerald green robe groping for the zipper as I followed my youngest to his big brothers room.  Brodie, who did not share in his little brother’s excitement, was buried up to his head in covers and pillows.  Refusing to move or show any sign of being awake as his little brother jumped on him excitedly announcing “It is time to get up, Bwodie”.  Dodging the Lego land mines I fumbled my way to his bed. “Time to get up my handsome man,” I leaned over and patted his thick back rubbing in circles trying to wake him.  He rolled over hiding his head under the cool blue pillow that muffled a low grunt of acknowledgement.  Wrapping my arms around his thick chest I began to kiss him on his exposed cheek and neck.  A grin crossed his plump face; he might act like he is too big for a kiss but the smile told a different story.  Brach, noticing his brother was finally awake, grabbed the covers and stripped them from the bed.  Standing I watched as my semi-lethargic fourth grader reached for covers that were not there.  The time had finally come, “Time to get up! Brach go brush your teeth and you to Brodie.  Breakfast will be ready in a few.  Waffles sound good?”  “No I want a ham sandwich and chips!” “Brach that is what you are getting for lunch this is breakfast son.”  “Oh, then I want that colored cereal.  I like it!”  “Ok, fine!” I turn to look at my semi-slumbering child with one eye peeking out from under a pillow, “Brodie waffles?”  A muffled sound between a grunt and a yes escaped from below the pillow.

                I grudgingly walked toward the kitchen.  This was my babies first day of school.  His daddy and I had decided last year that he was not ready for kindergarten and that one more year home with me would be best for him.  That year had ended and now it was time to tell him good-bye.  I felt like my best friend was leaving and moving away.  Once he crossed over the threshold of this new world he no longer would need me as he had the first six years of his life.  A knot formed in my stomach as we all loaded into the car. 

I listened as my youngest talked about his new class and my husband telling him if he didn’t want to go he didn’t have to and that “Mommy can home school you if you don’t want to go.”  I felt a twinge of guilt as I remembered Brodie's first day in kindergarten and how I had been so excited almost pushing him into the classroom.  Now I begged that Brach would say he wanted to stay home. I would not have argued with him, he would have stayed home. 

                The walk to his classroom door felt like I was taking the walk down the green mile and when I returned he would be gone.  He had the same teacher as his brother and with me being in the PTO for the past two years he was familiar with the school and the students.  So I was not worried about him finding his way around the campus or having trouble making friends.  Still that nagging pain in the bottom of my stomach was there.

We found his cubby together and unpacked his things putting them in places easy for him to find.  Then I stood back and watched as Brach found a seat beside another little boy who looked just as frightened. When my husband placed a reassuring hand on his small shaking shoulder, the tears that began to form where not those of my sons but my husbands and mine, it was not long before the sunglasses were in place. 

An ache formed deep in my stomach that twisted its fingers around my throat as I leaned down and whispered in Brach’s ear, “If you need me, all you have to do is call me.” Silently I prayed that he would.  A sweet smile crossed his shaking lips followed by a quick nod. 

My husband and I paused in the doorway and looked back at our baby taking a step by himself knowing that he was going to be alright.   The ache that grew in the bottom of my stomach brought the realization that this was the first of many steps that my son would take alone and without me.  It was then that I realized how much I truly loved him and how the pain I was feeling was a piece of my heart tearing away.  Tears began to flow freely as my husband grabbed my hand to give it a reassuring squeeze.  It was time to go.

                The ride home was a mixture of sniffles and silence.  The house was even quieter, is this what it was going to feel like when they are grown and living lives away from us.  I remember my father telling me how he had cried after dropping me off at kindergarten.  Just three months after my mother had passed.  As he walked away from my classroom, the principal of the school walked beside him.  I do not feel he meant what he said to be hurtful but truthful, “you have just lost her; she will never be completely yours again.”  Dad said it was all he could do to keep from turning around and taking me home realizing in a period of six months he had not only lost his wife but his oldest daughter as well.  He knew what he had to do for me that was to walk back to his truck and let me go.

                  I understood now why he cried and it made me even more thankful that I was alive and able to finally understand, what I knew to be true, about the undying love a parent can hold for their child.  It was at this moment, in my adult life, I finally learned what it meant to truly love.  You have to let go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cleaning Spree

Christmas decorations are boxed and waiting to be stored, kids are back in school, and I am on a cleaning spree.  It is amazing what we continue to hang on to even if we know we will never use it.  Today I started in my youngest sons room, he is six.  Three black trash bags later and the room is finally livable.  I had wondered where all his uniform pants were, found them.  His idea of cleaning his room is, out of site and it is officially clean.  Tomorrow I plan on tackling my oldest room.  It aught to be an adventure.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turning 40

The day I had imagined in my mind to be the day the wrinkles pop out on my face and the grey hair to sprout from unimaginable places has finally arrived.  Officially I am now a member of the 40 and older club.  Yes, the event occurred on Thanksgiving Day which means that the majority of my family completely forgots my birthday.  Instead I get many "Happy Thanksgivings".  My father, of course to remind me that today was my birthday, calls me at 8:00 in the morning.  I am a late sleeper, yes he woke me up.  I was thankful he did not sing! 

Yesterday, my loving husband took me to see a girlie movie "Breaking Dawn" and out to eat.  We finished off the day with a ride in the country.  I had a wonderful time and would not trade it for anything.

On Thanksgiving you are to be thankful for something, I could say family and friends but I am thankful for them everyday.  The thing I am most thankful for is that I have been given 40 years of life and have been able to watch my children grow to the ages of 9 and 6.  My mother passed at 25 leaving a 4 year old and a newborn.  I pray that God would allow me to live to see my childrens children.  Something my mother was not able to do.

So I am giving thanks today for LIFE and LIVING the life that God has given me.