Playing in the Snow

The Williams House; Chapter 6: Winter Wonder; Pgs. 136-138

.     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.
.     The outdoors was now covered with footprints and many boot tracks. Many chains of snow angels lay along the ground, with some of them marred by thrown snowballs and tracks. Several snowmen were scattered throughout, and a couple rather large snow walls now formed a sort of embankment.
.     Several of the boys and girls then decided to stay indoors, the grand meal having something to do with it. The little old cottage (which we all know by now was not quite so little) was just as interesting to most as the outside, and it is harder to put on snow gear after it has already been used a lot in a day and is still dripping from its prior use. In fact, that was how the fight began.
.     It all started in one of the guest rooms on the second floor, when some had just decided to stay indoors the remainder of the day. Others were more restless, and someone (I shall not put the name down here) decided to throw a pillow at someone else. A small kerfuffle immediately started, which soon grew. Timothy joined within the first sixty seconds and was at the heart and center of it all. It was a marvelous way to exercise the remainder of one’s energy without having to face the cold wind in one’s face. Will and Johnathon made the game organized, with everyone holding their own pillow and having their own corner in which they could retreat to at any time.
.     “My face must be beet red,” said Johnathon after a while. “Why not go outdoors for a little bit to cool off?”
.     With that, Will and Johnathon decided to go outdoors once more for the day. “It will probably be a while before we get this chance again,” said Will as he put on his snow boots.
.     Both of them took two machetes (which had been dulled so as not to be too dangerous) and walked back outdoors. A cloud cover had taken over the sky, and the sun was now well hidden among them, making the snow look more like well-packed sand among the trees. Margaret, Susan, and Maria followed the boys out among the snowmen. Then Will and Johnathon began making large balls, as though to make another snowman. When the balls became large enough, they started carving them, until they had two magnificent looking chairs, with armrests each.
.     “You see,” said Will. “Now we can sit in the snow and enjoy the outdoors in peaceful observance.”
.     Susan and Maria had the privilege of sitting in the first chairs until the boys had more made. And soon, there were a great many chairs with many people sitting among them, looking up at the snow-covered trees and gazing at the work they had so heartily engaged in throughout the day.

First Snow

The Williams House; Chapter 5: Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, and Nieces; Pgs. 126-130

.     It was a long time later when several people started to file into their bedrooms. The uncles and aunts did a good job at tracking down their own children and preparing them for sleep. As for the Williams children, they were soon directed for sleep themselves, only the boys could not seem to settle down at first.
.     “Let’s talk for a little while,” whispered Will. “Everyone will probably sleep in, anyway.”
.     “No one can hear us, that’s for sure,” said Johnathon. “Do you think it’s snowing yet?”
.     “I think it is,” said Will. “This will probably be the first time Oliver, Tabitha, Orla, or Isaac have seen and felt this much snow.”
.     “You mean they’ve never been sledding?” asked Timothy.
.     “Neither had you till we moved here,” said Will.
.     “I say,” said Johnathon, “it is great to sleep in the attic. What an adventure!”
.     “Isn’t it, though,” said Will and Timothy.
.     “I ate too much sugar to go to sleep, though,” continued Will. “What books do we have up here?”
.     A lamp was turned on, and the boys shuffled around a little. The dim light shined murkily out and shone on several books on a shelf and scattered elsewhere throughout the attic.
.     “What about on the shelf by the chimney,” said Will who was still in bed.
.     Johnathon walked over to the shelf, putting his hand on the warm stone that was radiating heat into the room. “Several good titles here,” he said as he started going through them one at a time. Then he started listing them by author to save time. “We have Burnett, Nesbit, Dickens, Dodge, Stephenson, Lewis, Henty—”
.     Will interrupted and suggested one of the titles, and soon Johnathon had brought over the book.
.     “Do you think it’s all right?” asked Timothy.
.     “We might as well do something if we’re already wide awake,” said Will, “and it could help us to fall asleep.”
.     Johnathon and Timothy slunk back to their makeshift beds and rolled themselves up in their covers, exchanging excited glances with one another. The wind continued to blow against the side of the house, and they could tell it was definitely sleeting now, yet the attic was warm from the chimney and furnace vent, and the murky light of the lamp cast a dim light about the long expanse of the room.
.     Will started reading, imitating perfectly an old British accent, as though telling his life’s long tale. It was nearly an hour later when the murky glow of the lamp shone down upon three sleeping forms, Will still holding the book in his hands.
.     “Wake up, wake up!” whispered a voice, shaking Will from side to side.
.     Will sat up with a jerk, looking about the room in a single glance. A dim grayness was lighting up a little of the outside. “What time is it?” he said as he looked for the clock.
.     “Seven,” said Timothy, “and you left the light on last night. I just switched it off.”
.     “Oh, thank you, Cap!” said Will. “But why wake me? Everyone will probably be asleep for a couple more hours.”
.     “Look outside,” said Timothy. “It’s white.”
.     “So it is,” said Will strangely as he rose from bed. “Just look at it shine.” Then Will looked over at Johnathon and saw him still sleeping. A mischievous gleam entered Will’s eye, and he mouthed and motioned to Timothy. They both crept over to the window and opened it. Then they reached out to the short ledge and took some of the snow off from it, quickly closing the window with a slight squeak. Both cringed, but Jonathon only stirred slightly and then resumed his normal breathing.
.     Will crept over to Johnathon’s bed, raising his hand and throwing the snowball plop onto Johnathon’s face. Yes I know, this is the second time that Johnathon has woken up coughing and spluttering in this story. Let us hope it is the last. In any case, after the laughter and explanations, all three boys moved over to the window and looked out, gathering as much snow on the outer sill as possible.
.     “Should we all go downstairs now?” asked Timothy after a while.
.     “I suppose so,” said Will, “though not many people will be up yet.”
.     All three of them traipsed down the attic stairs and down the other flights to the kitchen, where they found their mother just stirring.
.     I sadly cannot go through all the events of the day, as there were so many things that happened that it would be impossible to write them all down. The large feast happened around noon, and before then, all the families spent a lot of time out in the snow, throwing snowballs and even treading barefoot through it for a few moments. There was not a large amount of it, perhaps three inches or so, but what was there was used well. All the meals were scrumptious, and the conversation cheering. Many of the foods were traditional for Thanksgiving, with turkey, bread and butter, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and many, many, many pies for dessert. However, there were also a few English foods such as pigeon pie and English tea for drink. Hot cocoa was also served in good cheer of the cold outside.
.     The extended family stayed over the weekend and some of them then left. The boys were able to move back to their room, much to their disappointment. Then others left, and finally, after a couple weeks, the rest left, having used up all of their vacation time.
.     “They will be missed,” said Will one late afternoon, “but it is good to have one’s house to oneself again. I say, isn’t it extra quiet?”
.     “Yes,” said Lilly, “like old times.”

Christmas, Winter, and Good Cheer

The Williams House; Chapter 7: Christmas; Pgs. 145-148

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say: throw cares away
Christmas is here bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, ding, ding, dong, that is their song
With joyful ring all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere filling the air
Oh how they pound, raising the sound
O’er hill and dale, telling their tale
Gaily they ring while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home

.     Maria and Susan were skating near their driveway, using their boots to glide along as they held each other’s hands. Moonlight was dancing around their hair as they turned and flipped along the ice. Both were laughing, not only at their clumsy attempts to skate, but also with sheer glee at the evening and the coming day. Yet their eyes were expectant, eagerly radiant and quiet at the same time.
.     ’Twas in the evening of Christmas Eve, and all were about to embark for a Christmas Eve service. Snow was in the air, and it was falling with a gentle rush upon the ground. It was a cold night. Shadows of the trees were cast on the small skating rank, webbing out with their gnarled branches as though reaching for something.
.     “Come along, girls,” Mrs. Williams was calling from their driveway. “It is time to go.”
.     Susan and Maria saw everyone else filing out of the front door. They quickly did a last skate upon the rink before gliding off, trudging along the shoveled path to the Flying Carpet, which seemed to be waiting for them.
.     “Watch your step,” called Johnathon. “The ice is slick.”
.     After filing in, Maria could hear and feel their father start up the vehicle, making a long rumble beneath her seat. She could see the moon in full blaze out her window, and wondered if it ever became lonely way up there in the sky. Then soon, the vehicle was rolling down the old country road, lines of trees blocking most of the moonlight and casting the bus in darkness.
.     During the ride, Margaret suggested that they sing, and she began speaking the words, “Tis the season to be jolly.” Everyone soon joined her in song, and carols of voices were heard whizzing past to anyone who was out by the road at that time. Then Lilly led them into a Christmas hymn. When completed, their hearts were well prepared for the service that evening.
.     And a grand service it was! The carol hymns rang up from the sanctuary, and it spread into all the hearts and souls of those who heard it. A snow ploughman was ploughing his sidewalk a block away, and his strokes became firmer and his countenance brightened upon hearing the angelic anthems. His work was completed the sooner, and he entered the church building to hear the latter half of the sermon. Others were passing by under the shadow of the moon, and some stepped in to gladden their hearts. Those who didn’t, but turned away in fear or anger, were the worse for doing so.
.     The church sanctuary was soon filled to the brim, and still more people came, many members and many guests. When a troop of smaller children came in who had apparently been having a large nightly snowball fight in the churchyard, the Williamses stood up and gave them their seats. Then Mr. Williams led Mrs. Williams and children to a balcony area where they still might attend the service. The children carried their Bibles up with several hymnals, though they had most of the hymns memorized by heart.
.     After the service, there was a very loud ruckus as the congregation broke out in discourse. Many walked up to thank the pastor. Some left in a quick bustle, anxious to get back for their Christmas festivities. Others talked long with either friends or family, new acquaintances or old acquaintances that had not been seen for a long time. The Williamses and Bentleys talked long and eventually broke out in song with many other families, determined not to have their spirits of good cheer hindered. Those who drove or walked away could still hear the voices, both young and old, singing merrily to them from within the halls of the church. Much was done to thrill the hearts of many that night.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 148-150

Snow Melting in the Park

The Williams House; Chapter 9: The First Hints of Spring; Pgs. 166-167

.     All the children bounded out of the bus the moment it parked. The ground was still covered with snow except for several snaking trails that had been cleared. But it wasn’t a very cold snow, and many trudged through it with the warm sun at their backs. Several whoops and shouts rang through the air in their delight. Then everyone stood and thought of what game they could play.
.     “We really can’t play any of our usual running games,” said Ann, “because there’s still so much snow on the ground.”
.     “And how slushy it is, too,” said Timothy as he took a step off the cleared concrete path into a snow bank. “I wonder why it hasn’t all melted.”
.     “It’s melting,” said Will, “but it will take a while to melt yet. And all the water will turn to ice during the nighttime.”
.     “I say,” said Ann, “isn’t this perfect tree tapping weather?”
.     “Yes,” said Lilly, “we’re going to start tomorrow; I heard Mum say so. We normally start sooner, but the long winter will probably throw everything off schedule.”
.     “Wait! I have an idea,” said Johnathon. “Why not try to fly a kite? We should have the makings for several in the Flying Carpet, and the breeze should be enough, don’t you think?”
.     “It’s only a slight breeze,” said Lilly, “but it might work.”
.     Will went back to the bus to carry out the makings, and he was put in charge of constructing them. Some of the other olders helped, with the younger girls playing on the path and looking at the process every now and then. Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams was reading a book as she paced the paths, looking back and forth from the landscape to the words on the pages in front of her. She could hear Johnathon shouting “Pull harder!” as she saw all the children running in the distance and trying to make a kite fly.
.     “I am,” said Timothy in earnest. “It’s not working.”
.     “Let me have a look,” said Will. “Perhaps I didn’t put it together right.” He tried a go, but all the kite did was flop around a little before skidding along the ground.
.     Several attempts were made without success, and Lilly was about to suggest giving up the idea and playing something else. Johnathon was just trying as she was speaking, and before she finished her sentence, a sudden gust of wind swept over the land.
.     “Run, run!” everyone shouted to Johnathon, and he ran with all his might, the kite flying up into the sky with a leap and a bound.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 168-170

Snow Melt

The Williams House; Chapter 9: The First Hints of Spring; Pgs.161-163

.     “Look!” cried Johnathon one morning as he gazed out the boys’ room window.
.     Will and Timothy started from bed, nearly jumping from their covers. “What is it, John,” said Will. He used the name John instead of Johnathon whenever he was shocked, irritated, or still bleary from sleep (and he was probably a mixture of all three at the moment).
.     “Don’t you see the water dripping from the roof,” said Johnathon. His satin pajamas were reflecting the bright beams of sunlight around the room. “And don’t you hear all the crackling and drizzling?”
.     Will and Timothy stumbled towards the window, blinking in the bright light. “Why,” said Will in wonder, “it’s melting. It’s all melting away!”
.     And so it was. Sunlight was beaming its rays of heat down on the snow in full force. There was not a cloud in the sky. Many of the icicles on the roof had broken off and shattered in a million pieces down below, and the ones still on the roof overhang were dripping water drops down through the air. The snow and ice on the ground seemed to be erupting with crackles and popping, many pools of water and slush spreading over the driveway.
.     “And listen to that,” said Will. “I haven’t heard the sound of a bird in several months.” There were only a few of them, chirping sporadically as they appeared to be relating their tales of their southern journeys. “Come along,” said Will, “let’s get dressed quickly and surprise the girls with the awakening spring.”
.     Johnathon went over to his day calendar on his nightstand and flipped the sheet, and it read the thirteenth of March. He then hurried over to his dresser and reached for his clothes.
.     Meanwhile, the girls had already wakened, and they were congregating in Lilly and Ann’s room, marveling at the shining brightness of the sun upon the land. When the boys entered their room, they found many of the girls pressing their hands against the glass to feel the warmth of the sun.
.     “It’s spring!” shouted Timothy.
.     “I know!” said Margaret. “Just listen to all the sounds!” She and Timothy started jumping around the room.
.     “It shouldn’t be long now before the frogs start croaking in the pond,” said Will, “though we still have some more cold days and nights ahead. The fingers of winter are just finally relinquishing their hold.”
.     Just then, a large icicle dropped from above the girls’ window and plummeted to the ground below, as if in response to Will’s statement. Everyone watched it stick fast into a melting snow bank. Then they looked straight out and around them. The trees still looked dead, and the land was still buried in white. Yet life was bursting within the wood and under the snow and in the air as the few birds continued to sweep through the sky. Sunlight continued to beam in vehemence, as if saying to the snow, “Go away, you cold wet sand, and don’t come back till next winter season.”
.     “Come along, everyone,” said Lilly at last. “The sooner we eat breakfast and do the morning chores, the sooner we may play outdoors before school.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 163-164

A Cold Attic Discussion

The Williams House; Chapter 8: The Cold Days of February; Pgs. 153-157

.     Once the holiday season ended, snow continued to fly and the days continued to become colder and colder. School resumed, and the days of January tolled slowly by. Timothy found that his Latin much improved, and Will found he could now recite the entire Declaration of Independence. Lilly and Ann found the higher math and sciences to be challenging, but they studied it with new found rigor and interest. Johnathon could play the piano better than any of his siblings (and even Will eventually had to admit it), and Margaret was improving much on her spelling and grammar. Susan was learning a lot too, and would have qualified for a first grader—and Maria for kindergarten.
.     The days and nights passed into February, and still the temperature dropped. It was now so cold that the children were very seldom let out, and when they were, it was normally to shovel the driveway or the sidewalk leading to their barn. A snow plough would every once in a while come along the road and dig it out. And of course, when this would happen, the plough would fling a lot of snow back onto the Williamses’ driveway, and the children would have to shovel some of it again. And so, with all the hard work outdoors and in school, the month of February became one of those months that just slowly lumbered by.
.     One of these days, Will was sitting by the back door with textbook, paper and pencil in hand. It was mid-afternoon, and the house smelled mostly of stale food, schoolwork, and wood burning from their fireplace. (I can’t describe how a house can smell of schoolwork, and you will have to imagine it unless you do school often in your house too—then you will know what I mean.) Gray clouds had completely covered the sky, and everything was relatively quiet. The grandfather clock in the upstairs hall could be heard ticking as its pendulum swung. It was altogether a very dull day.
.     “Is there going to be another blizzard, Mother,” Will asked as he looked at the clouds.
.     “Whatever you say, dear,” Mrs. Williams answered haphazardly from the schoolroom. Will could hear her teaching someone, though he didn’t know who. He sighed and ploughed back into his schoolwork, though he was thinking all the time, How slow the time can go these days.
.     The evenings seemed to be the great relief during these times. All the children would go up to the attic, schoolwork being completely done for the day, and spend hours and hours holding meetings together, playing, reading, and telling stories. The warm stone chimney and furnace did wonders to keep the large room warm, and only if they put their hands on the window glass could they feel the cold of the outdoors.
.     This particular evening, chaos seemed to be erupting, everyone feeling tired and rowdy after the school day. Timothy was going back and forth from pounding on the piano to chasing the youngers and making them scream. Lilly and Ann were trying to manage the situation, but it was clear that they were quite put out themselves and not engaging fully. Johnathon was doing his best to ignore and was playing the same song on the flute over and over again.
.     “Attention, everyone,” said Will. He was the only one sitting on one of the sofas, and his head was bowed to his chest and his fingers laced on his lap as his fedora was pushed down to his eyebrows.
.     Everyone paused and looked at him, eager for any change.
.     “I propose we hold a discussion,” said Will. “We could have it right here, as usual, with me presiding as moderator.”
.     “Yes, let’s,” said Lilly in a relieved voice.
.     “Very well, then,” said Will. “Gather around.”
.     The youngers perked up now that something was really happening, and they crowded around the sofas and cushioned chairs, waiting for the meeting to begin. The windows were dark, but they knew that snow was falling and could see several white flakes come up to some of the windows in the wind. It was a soft wind, though, and they couldn’t hear it. Everything seemed to be quiet and still, their breathing being the only audible noises until Will spoke.
.     “We all know of the trials these days are,” said Will, “and I think, personally, that we have done a very good job at trudging through them. But I say let’s take stock and see where we are.” He paused to gain affirmations from the others.
.     “Very well,” said Lilly and Johnathon. And after a moment, everyone started nodding their heads and saying “yes,” “good idea,” and even a “hear, hear!” from Timothy. Ann added, “Proceed.”
.     “So ordered,” said Will. “It seems as though this bitter weather could continue for several more weeks, even though it has lasted for several already. We have come up with many ideas over these past weeks, reading stories and playing exploration and writing poems and songs. Many thanks to everyone for the brilliant work we have all done in selling several of the poems and short stories we have made. But now, where from here? I propose that we do something with the money we will hopefully gain from our work—I mean something that will actually help Father and Mother somehow.”
.     Everyone thought this a splendid idea, and there were many remarks about how good it would be to surprise their parents. “But how?” Johnathon finally asked.
.     “Well,” said Will, “Perhaps we should just give it to them, and then they can decide what to do with it.”
.     “Do we know when the money is coming?” asked Margaret.
.     “The check for the stories should have been sent out by now,” said Lilly. “It might even be in today’s mail, though poor Mother is too covered up with our school papers to have checked yet.”
.     “Well then,” said Will, “is it decided? We shall give the money to them, keeping none for ourselves. They’re sure to do something grand with it, whatever that might be, and it might even surprise us when we find out.”
.     “Let’s vote,” said Johnathon. “I’m in favor.”
.     “Aye,” said everyone simultaneously.
.     “Good,” said Will, “then that’s settled.”
.     “Perhaps we could read a story now,” said Margaret.
.     “Or perhaps Mother could,” said Susan.
.     “She can’t,” said Lilly. “And anyway, she already read to us late this afternoon.”
.     Will cleared his throat, looking sharply as though the discourse was out of order.
.     “Then how about Lilly and Ann read,” said Margaret. “They have great reading voices, and I’m in the mood to listen.”
.     “Attend, everyone,” said Will, clapping his hands. “The meeting has not come to a close yet. Is there any other business?”
.     No one had any, and so Will was forced to close the meeting, calling out “adjourned.”
.     “Now Lilly and Ann can read to us,” he added.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 157-160

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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A Night in the Attic Before Thanksgiving

The Williams House; Chapter 5: Uncles, Aunts, Nephews, and Nieces; Pgs. 126-129

.     It was a long time later when several people started to file into their bedrooms. The uncles and aunts did a good job at tracking down their own children and preparing them for sleep. As for the Williams children, they were soon directed for sleep themselves, only the boys could not seem to settle down at first.
.     “Let’s talk for a little while,” whispered Will. “Everyone will probably sleep in, anyway.”
.     “No one can hear us, that’s for sure,” said Johnathon. “Do you think it’s snowing yet?”
.     “I think it is,” said Will. “This will probably be the first time Oliver, Tabitha, Orla, or Isaac have seen and felt this much snow.”
.     “You mean they’ve never been sledding?” asked Timothy.
.     “Neither had you till we moved here,” said Will.
.     “I say,” said Johnathon, “it is great to sleep in the attic. What an adventure!”
.     “Isn’t it, though,” said Will and Timothy.
.     “I ate too much sugar to go to sleep, though,” continued Will. “What books do we have up here?”
.     A lamp was turned on, and the boys shuffled around a little. The dim light shined murkily out and shone on several books on a shelf and scattered elsewhere throughout the attic.
.     “What about on the shelf by the chimney,” said Will who was still in bed.
.     Johnathon walked over to the shelf, putting his hand on the warm stone that was radiating heat into the room. “Several good titles here,” he said as he started going through them one at a time. Then he started listing them by author to save time. “We have Burnett, Nesbit, Dickens, Dodge, Stephenson, Lewis, Henty—”
.     Will interrupted and suggested one of the titles, and soon Johnathon had brought over the book.
.     “Do you think it’s all right?” asked Timothy.
.     “We might as well do something if we’re already wide awake,” said Will, “and it could help us to fall asleep.”
.     Johnathon and Timothy slunk back to their makeshift beds and rolled themselves up in their covers, exchanging excited glances with one another. The wind continued to blow against the side of the house, and they could tell it was definitely sleeting now, yet the attic was warm from the chimney and furnace vent, and the murky light of the lamp cast a dim light about the long expanse of the room.
.     Will started reading, imitating perfectly an old British accent, as though telling his life’s long tale. It was nearly an hour later when the murky glow of the lamp shone down upon three sleeping forms, Will still holding the book in his hands.
.     “Wake up, wake up!” whispered a voice, shaking Will from side to side.
.     Will sat up with a jerk, looking about the room in a single glance. A dim grayness was lighting up a little of the outside. “What time is it?” he said as he looked for the clock.
.     “Seven,” said Timothy, “and you left the light on last night. I just switched it off.”
.     “Oh, thank you, Cap!” said Will. “But why wake me? Everyone will probably be asleep for a couple more hours.”
.     “Look outside,” said Timothy. “It’s white.”
.     “So it is,” said Will strangely as he rose from bed. “Just look at it shine.” Then Will looked over at Johnathon and saw him still sleeping. A mischievous gleam entered Will’s eye, and he mouthed and motioned to Timothy. They both crept over to the window and opened it. Then they reached out to the short ledge and took some of the snow off from it, quickly closing the window with a slight squeak. Both cringed, but Jonathon only stirred slightly and then resumed his normal breathing.
.     Will crept over to Johnathon’s bed, raising his hand and throwing the snowball plop onto Johnathon’s face. Yes I know, this is the second time that Johnathon has woken up coughing and spluttering in this story. Let us hope it is the last. In any case, after the laughter and explanations, all three boys moved over to the window and looked out, gathering as much snow on the outer sill as possible.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 129-130

You may purchase The Williams House here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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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!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!

Winter Wonder – Book Scene

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!