The Williams House; Chapter 6: Winter Wonder; Pgs. 134-137
. The day was to be a break from school. Many families were to come over for a declared “snow day” to whet the appetite for the coming Christmas vacation in a few weeks. It was also a badly needed break from exercising the mind so much and using the cramped muscles that had been kept indoors so often over the last several weeks. The Williams children had to hustle through their morning chores before heading outdoors. Lilly and Ann helped dress the youngers, and their mother made sure they were all suited warm enough before they all headed outside.
. “Now,” said Will, “everyone line up, and follow me around to the back of the yard.” He paused as he took on quite a different air. Then he began narrating. “The general is leading his unruly subordinates out to the battlefield.”
. “Unruly subordinates?!” repeated Johnathon and Timothy in distain, but there was a gleam in their eyes.
. Will pretended to take no notice of them. “He marches bravely forward,” he continued, “and the lazy soldiers behind him could hardly keep up.”
. “Lazy?!” exclaimed Johnathon and Timothy, and at the same time, Lilly and Ann shouted “Soldiers?!”
. “We’re the queens of this castle,” said Lilly.
. “And anyway,” said Johnathon, “subordinates or no, the soldiers do not take kindly to the label of laziness.” He picked up a snowball and casually tossed it into the back of Will’s head before anyone could say “knife!”
. Will laughed. “It’s just for fun,” he said, “and you both can be the generals tomorrow and call me whatever you like. So remember to play along for today. All right girls, you can be the ‘Molly Pitchers’ if you will. Come along, everyone!” And he flung himself forward.
. Everyone started pushing a lot of snow with their hands and arms, making a sort of wall. “It’s hard, Will,” said Maria as she collapsed after about five minutes of hard pushing.
. “You can rest,” said Will. “The Bentleys will probably be here in another ten minutes. Let’s try to build another barricade for the snow wars we will be having shortly.”
. “Come along, Susan,” said Ann. “Don’t drag so— isn’t this fun? It’s the first big time we’ve had out in the snow this season, with the exception of the cousins. But that was only a few inches.”
. Will led the group around to a slight slope. Sunlight was beaming down on all eight of them as they pushed several loads of snow with their coat-covered forms. Soon, several of them were taking off some of their snow gear, and just about that time, other voices were heard yelling at them, and they could see that the Bentleys had arrived.
. The day went splendidly. There is nothing like several rounds of snow fights in the morning to stir ones blood and bring health and liveliness to one’s face. Several families soon arrived after the Bentleys, and the children greeted them all in turn with a snowball barrage. Boys were laughing heartily and girls were cheering merrily, the sound of dozens of voices in perfect harmony rising around the little hillside.
. At about 11:00, some of the girls went in to rest, with some of the younger boys. (Timothy stayed out.) Hot cocoa was served to those who entered, and those who stayed outside called themselves the “hardy stock,” refusing to acquire their warm drinks until lunch time. It had been ages since the Williamses had used their muscles so hard, and it was badly needed, for Johnathon could not remember using his energy so much since they had cleared the leaves away, which had been close to a month ago.
. When lunch was served, everyone else traipsed indoors, and the Williams’s house became filled with snow suits, waterproof coveralls, hats, mittens, and gloves, ski masks, large boots still dripping with slush, and many, many hot faces that were red from the hard play outdoors. The meal, in keeping with the winter season, was the best chili that you could possibly imagine, with steaming hot meat pies, and warm chocolate fudge and sugar bread cookies for dessert. The “hardy stock” now enjoyed their hot mugs of cocoa, and the conversation buzzed for an hour or so as everyone filled themselves after their morning excursions.
Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 137-138
Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!