Monday, August 19, 2013

Summertime Scribblings -- Round Two

Did I mention my love for this story and its characters? :) I still haven't decided what they should name their cat though. Suggestions?  

***

I lost my books. Or rather, Mama took them away when I admitted to breakin’ ole’ Clarence’s jawbone. I didn’t know a little punch would snap a jawbone in half. I really didn’t hit him that hard and he deserves all he got.
 When Myra tried to explain to Mama that it was all Clarence O’Dell’s stupid fault she believed her, but still took my books away ‘cause a young lady isn’t supposed to be messin’ around with any boys like that. I guess she’s right, but I’m pretty sore about those stories. What’s a body to do when there are no books around?
We met our uncle Gregory for the first time today. He has the biggest, rattiest beard I ever done saw and smells like oak leaves, bug spray, and campfire wood all at the same time. He came to our door with a gallon sized backpack strapped across his shoulders and all around his belly in a sticky vinyl spider web. After staring at me for a few seconds, he caught sight of Mama standing in the kitchen. He opened his big, bear-like arms that were just about as hairy as his face and with a voice to match the excessive hair he shouted, “Well, if it isn’t my favorite sister!”
“I’m your only sister,” Mama flung back her curls and laughed. Then she ran into his arms. “I can’t believe you’re finally here,” she cried.
He puffed out his chest, stood straight as a board, and grinned, flashing a gap between his two front teeth. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss seein’ you for the world!”
They stood there for a while, talking like boring ole’ grown-ups. Mama was so excited that she forgot to invite him in for cookies and tea, which is something Mama never ever forgets. After talking casually for a while about life, Uncle Gregory turned to me. “Now who’s this?” he said.
Mama pursed her lips. Uncle Gregory must have been something, because Mama never purses her lips when she introduces me. “Gregory, this is my daughter, Riley.”
His eyes grew wide under all that hair. “Why,” he glanced over at Mama with knowing surprise and slapped his knee with a gleeful smile. “I don’t believe it!”
Mama beamed. “Well, now that you’ve seen it, you have to believe it!”
“I reckon I do, eh?” He said. “I reckon I do.”
I looked from one to the other, not understanding what they were talking about or how they could possibly come from the same family. Mama and Uncle Gregory look about as much alike as a tree frog and a raccoon.
“Well, aren’t you going to give me a hug?” He asked, extending his arms.
I took a step forward and drowned in a pile of sweaty hiking gear and even more hair. The vinyl strapped to Uncle Gregory’s belly rubbed my nose raw and I sneezed.
“Bless ya, little darlin’!” he chuckled and hugged me again like he’d waited forever to meet me. “There’s another one?” He finally let me go and turned to Myra, who’d finally come out of her hiding place behind the couch. “Who’s this chipper little lady?”
Myra giggled softly behind her hand and skipped over to Uncle Gregory. I could tell she liked him right away. He got on his knees to hug Myra, as she is still too small for a proper hug--especially from someone as massive as Uncle Gregory.
After Myra was introduced and given a good dosage of hugs, Mama finally remembered the cookies and tea. We sat around the table listening to Mama and her brother talk back and forth about past and present times.
“I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail all the way up to Maine where I’ll take a bus ride to Vancouver, Canada where I live with my wife and seven kids,” he explained, leaving Myra and me wide-eyed.
He says he’s hiking the trail just for an excuse to check up on Mama and meet us, but I don’t believe him. He looks like he’s having too much fun just to come see us.
Uncle Gregory is nice and all, but not nearly as nice as Mama. He’s got a funny accent for a body, too, and says “eh?” a whole darn lot.  

***

Oh, and since I know you've been wondering...I took an award-winning portrait of a Llama this week. Isn't he cute? 



For the Kingdom, 

Stephanie

        

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