Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Short Story Chapter III

The three days past slowly and uneventful with the fellow travelers getting to know one another and last minute preparations being made. Supplies were checked and rechecked horses were groomed and allowed to rest and fatten up a little. Kindling was gathered in large baskets and fire wood was loaded into every wagon. Water containers were filled and hung on the wagons and then a few more water containers were filled and put in each wagon. When the travelers questioned Joe about all the extra wood and water, the weight it would create in the wagon, Joe’s reply was simple ” If you think your wagon is to heavy remove some of the furniture you brought along, we will be needing that extra wood and water when we are out on  the  the parts of the trail where there aint none. All the travelers walked back to their wagons deep in thought as they settled in for their last night in a civilized town.
With the rising of the sun the wagons rolled west through town. The travelers in their wagons watched curiously as the towns people began walking down the street in the opposite direction. A ritual the towns people do when Joe rolls his wagon train out of town. A quick look back gave Lily Mea and her fellow travelers their answer. All the furniture and family heirlooms that had been left behind was being carried off to be put to good use in someones home or store. looking away with a little sadness in their souls the travelers head to their bright new future out west. No one  but Lily Mea noticed the lone man standing in the street watching the strange band of travelers leave town.
The wagon train was a mixed batch of travelers alright.  A Jewish couple Mr and Mrs Levinson from New York expecting a child in 3 months hoping to make a go of it as farmers, 4 brothers all with fiery red hair, speaking an english that no one really understood, broad of shoulder but not very tall, they like their beer and their strange songs that make them laugh out loud at the end.The brothers are headed west to make their fortune as trappers and miners. The obviously upper crust Walker  family traveling with 3 young sons  Bobby, Billy, and Benjamin, a baby girl named Bonnie and a french maid. Then There was Lily with all that yellow hair just flying in the breeze. Joe also hired a few hands to help on the trail and this time he hired only 2 figuring the maid or Lily could do the cooking.
Joe should have hired a cook. Back in England Lily Mea was indeed a maid but she never stepped foot in the kitchen unless it was to fetch something for the Mistress. The french, maid well her job really didn’t include any real maid duties and she couldn’t cook either. Mrs Levinson was in too fragile of a state to be lugging heavy pans around. That left Mrs Walker and she was only a bit better. At least she was willing and the food was passable they wouldn’t starve at any rate. Their first meal had Joe wishing he had hired a cook.
In the beginning the days were exciting and new, everyone happily chatted with one another as they traveled but as the days wore on the chatter died down and the happy group began to get weary. Long hours riding in the wagons or walking was beginning to take its toll bringing aches and pains they never felt before. Lily Mea was sure she wasn’t going to live to see her dreams come true as they made their way over the mountains. There was more walking than riding and a good portion of the time she had to push and pull her wagon to get it up the steep and narrow passage ways. It took weeks but at last the tiny wagon train made it over the mountains onto a flatter plain and they began to make better time getting farther west each day. 
 Summer was in full swing when this band of travelers reached the plains. Lily Mea had never seen anything like this nothing but flat land for miles and miles not a single tree to be seen. ” Gosh it is hot.” Mrs Walker nodded her head in agreement as she swatted at her boys trying to get them to settle down and not wake the baby she had finally gotten to sleep. Just as Lily Mea spoke Joe happen to ride up to the wagon, ” You think it is hot now you just wait another week its gonna get even hotter. Your are going to wish you had gotten a different dress.” I told you Joe don’t you be worrying about what I am wearing it aint none of your business.” Lily Mea retorted. She was hoping he hadn’t noticed she already had removed 1 petticoat from under her dress. The dress was so stained and dirty there was nothing fancy about it anymore but Lily Mea’s pride wouldn’t let her admit Joe or anyone else for that matter was right she should have gotten a more practical dress, 2 for that matter so she could wash one once in a while. The last time they had stopped near water while Mrs Levinson and Mrs Walker changed into their clean dresses and washed the dirty one Lily Mea just went in the water fully dressed and washed herself as well as the dress, and than sat in the sun to dry, that was more then a week and miles of hot dusty dirty trail ago. Yep Lily Mea thought ” Not a fancy dress any more.” Bumping along the trail in a sort of daze Lily Mea was dreaming of the next water hole and the cool clear water on her skin, when the wagons came to a sudden stop. Jolted into awareness by the unexpected stop Lily Mea all most fell off her seat. All the men quickly rode to the front where Joe is standing looking off into the horizon.  They have a quick conference with everyone talking at once and pointing here and there. Disgusted Joe walks away from the men and heads back towards the wagon where all the women have gathered. ” Whats going on Joe? Is something wrong?” Lily nervously ask as the other women eagerly wait for his answer. Joe thinks about it a moment looking towards the front of the wagon train where the men are still babbling like babies and decides what the heck. ” Well ladies we have  been being trailed since we left Philadelphia. I didn’t think to much of it because he was alone.” Lily Mea vaguely remembers the man standing in the street watching so intently as the wagon train was leaving. ” Well why is it bothering you now? Has something changed?” Joe looked at Lily Mea and answered ” Now he has friends with him and he is no longer trailing us they travel right along with us, they have for a few days now.” ” Friends?” Lily Mea ask. ” yes friends Indian friends.” With the word Indians Mrs Levinson gasped and Mrs Walker called the boys closer to the wagon. The french maid understood little to no English and had up to this point been happily rocking baby Bonnie to sleep, seeing the alarmed looks on the other women’s faces and sensing the tension in the conversation stopped rocking and looked at everyone expectantly. Not really understanding she tried to follow along anyway as Joe explained ” I figured the way he was tracking us he was Indian but figured he was no threat as long as he was alone. The other night I noticed he wasn’t tracking us and I just thought he had lost interest or found something better to follow. It never occurred to me he was just going to get company. Ladies we have to assume they aint here to make nice with us. You all need to stick close keep the children in the wagons and keep a loaded rifle with you at all times. Do not wander from the wagons for any reason. Is that clear?” Every women including the french maid answered with a resounding YES.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A walk in the city and More New Jersey Barns.

 I am almost completely mobil again. I have limitations like I still can't bend my knee to get up and down stairs, I can't carry any kind of weight, and worst of all I can't sit indian style which is my favorite way to sit. If the hubby or dogs bump it in the night I wake up crying a little and turning to fast in the wrong direction can still knock me to the ground in sheer pain, but really I am doing so much better. Good enough in fact that I took a driving picture tour into the country looking for barns on Saturday. 

Not a barn but the old farm house to the white barns below. 

Then on Sunday I took my camera into the city and walked from 7th to 11th street and then walked from Market street to Walnut St. Thats 3 blocks, on Walnut I made the left and walked back to 7th St, another left there and I headed back to Market St and my parked car. It was slow going and at times tiring but  invigorating as well. 

I came home exhausted and happy.

  Yesterday was a Murphy's Law kind of day. Getty was suppose to go to the groomers but ended at the vet instead. He is now wearing the cone of shame because he has chewed a spot raw on his hinny. 

While waiting for my vet appointment I decide to back up the computer and then do the updates that needed doing. The back up went fine the first update went fine and then the second update seemed to get stuck. I don't panic, not yet anyway. I take Getty to the vet, pick up lunch for Mom and come back home, there is no change to the computer. I call Apple care it is over a 3hr wait time and you are being urged to go to Apple . com for help. Well now I can't do that. While I am on the phone listening to my options, I look at the vet bill and realize I was charged twice for an expensive prescription. I hang up from Apple, (I am not waiting 3 hours on the phone) and I call the vet, this is the first problem all day that has been an easy fix. I am now starting to panic and suffer withdrawal like symptoms, after all it has been 3 and 1/2 hours with out my computer. I pack my baby up and head to the Apple store where no matter how much I  insisted, and stomped my foot the first available appointment was 4 hours away. Unhappy but resigned I drive back home. I get dinner ready and head back to the Apple Store my normal 20 minute ride takes 45 minutes due to rush hour, It should be called Slow Hour because you get no where fast. Any way I planned for traffic and left early only to be 5 minutes late. They don't hold this kind of appointment if your not on time you lose your spot. I walk in scared I had lost my spot and was told all was good, I start to smile only to have the check in girl wipe the smile right off again. She asked me for my email conformation for the appointment. I am sorry to say for a minute I lost control of my composure. I was less then polite when I explained to her once again that I could not access my computer it would not turn on or off therefore I could not get to my email. I was in tears and frustrated beyond words at that point, so afraid they weren't going to honor the appointment. In the end they did honor the appointment and about a 1/2 hour later the Apple Genius had me up and running and had even run a few test to make sure it wouldn't happen again. I looked for the check in girl to say I was sorry but I couldn't find her so the next time I see her I will be sure to apologize. Murphy's Law, what can I say I am not a fan of those days, I am just happy that it is over.

  As you can see I am back to living life and telling you about it, but that won't stop me from continuing on with my Short Story. I have a beginning which you have read, I have a middle that you will read soon enough and hopefully by then I will have figured out the end. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Short Story Chapter II

The next morning bright and early Lily Mea was out scouring the town for what she would be needing. ” Lets see I will need a wagon and horses to pull them and I suppose I will need pots pans and a plate to eat off. What else will I need on a wagon train?” Lily Mea asked herself.  By the end of the day she had gotten a wagon, horses to pull it, feed to feed the horses, hard tact, flour and other ingredients to feed herself, bedding, and all the fixings for cooking as well as bathing. What Lily Mea didn’t do was get a different style of clothing. ” I spent almost a months earnings on this dress and petticoats, I will be danged if I am going to let a complete stranger a man at that tell me how to dress, wagon master or not.” Satisfied with her days accomplishments Lily Mea slept soundly smiling ever so slightly as she dreamed of the fancy life she was going to live, no more maiding for me she dreamt from now on someone will be emptying my chamber pot.
Lily Mea did just as Joe suggested and asked around about him his wagon train and where exactly could she find him.  Everyone in town did indeed know Joe and thought he was an okay guy. He had been taking folks west for more than 10 years and never had he had a problem. The towns people said he was smart in ways that others weren’t when it came to riding the trail. He knew when to leave early to beat the snow and other weather disasters, he had a way of avoiding the indians and he always knew where water was. Reassured and ready to go Lily Mea headed to the east end of town towards what she was sure was going to be a bright new future.
With a hand blocking the sun Joe watched Lily Mea come riding in on her new wagon, not just a wagon Lily Mea had splurged and got the covered one so she wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground or out in the open. Lily felt that if your aiming to live a life of grandeur then you need to start out right. ” Now what on earth is he scowling about I wonder.? Lily Mea asked herself as she got nearer to Joe. ” Damn fool woman is still wearing that dress. Don’t she got any better sense?” And that is exactly what Joe asked Lily Mea as he helped her  off the wagon. Indigent that once again this total stranger felt compelled to comment on her wardrobe Lily Mea replied in a huffy voice ” I spent a whole months wages for this dress and I am going to wear it until I can get myself something even finer. Besides I spent all most all my money paying my passage and  on my supplies and if I spend any more I won’t have anything to get started with when we get to Montana. So don’t you be worrying about my cloths, I can take care of myself just fine.” ” Suit yourself it aint no worry to me how you dress, your going to get mighty uncomfortable in that thing you just wait and see.” Joe turned around and began to walk away over his shoulder he hollered back ” Park your wagon at the end of the line and care for your horses. Since your almost broke I guess you’ll be wanting to eat here, might as well save some more money and check out of that hotel your staying in and sleep in your wagon. You won’t be alone out here the Walker family and Mr And Mrs Levinson are saving money the same way.”  Lily Mea replied back her thanks but Joe didn’t hear her, he was already busy planning the trip that would begin in three days time. He had a real bad feeling about this trip and he wanted to leave nothing to chance. Normally he like the other wagon masters would’t take a single woman on the trail, this time however Joe felt it didn’t matter any way, he had a newborn and a 6 month pregnant women on this trip all ready. He was hoping that an extra pair of female hands might be helpful along the way. Now he wondered just how much help those fancy hands of hers could possibly be.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Short Story Chapter I

 The trail was dry and dusty and the day was hot, she sat up on the seat of the wagon in the long cumbersome dress of English style with corset and too many petticoats under it, wishing for some shade. Wishing she had listened to the wagon master before they set out on this dirty old trail.
Lily Mea came to this new land in hopes of securing a better life than she had been living in England. Her long full hair was the prettiest yellow you had ever seen, so bright it glittered in the sun light.  Her blue eyes were light and intelligent , and she is as tall as the day is long maybe a little thin, but still she is a pretty thing. Heads turn as she walks by.That beautiful yellow hair is Lily Mea’s pride, she just loves to swish it from side to side as she walks. She is a sight to see for sure walking along the walkway with those light eyes, that happy smile and all that hair playing in the sun.
The first thing Lily Mea did when getting off the boat in the new land was find a wagon master and reserve space on the next wagon train going west. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds Lily Mea found more resistance than acceptance. Most of the wagon masters took one look at her and flat out said no and wouldn’t say no more. The wagon masters that did answer Lily Mea’s pleas as to why they wouldn’t let  her join their train, simply said No single women on the trail and that is all they would say. After a long exhausting day of searching Lily Mea was about to give up and find a meal and a room, when a tall dark man stepped in Lily Mea’s path. As light in hair and eye color as Lily Mea is this man is the exact opposite. He’s  tall,  much taller than Lily Mea, his hair so black it almost looked blue, his eyes are jet black , there was no smile on that strong and rigid face. His face wasn’t all that friendly but it wasn’t threatening either and after the initial shock of having a stranger step in her path Lily relaxed and let the fear slip away. She still kept up her guard and watched wearily as the stranger continued to approach. ” Excuse me mam, I understand your looking to join a wagon train west.” “Yes sir I am, only so far all the wagon masters have  turned me down. So I guess tomorrow I will go in to the next town and see what I can get.” ” Well Mam my name is Joe, Joe Johnson and I got a small wagon train gathering together and we are fixing to pull out of here in a weeks time. Do you have a wagon?” ” Well not yet, I was planning on buying my supplies after I secured My passage.” Joe grunted and then in his deep baritone voice he  told Lily Mea ” Well once you have your supplies you come talk to me, oh and Mam get a different dress one not so frilly without all the under garments.” Lily Mea blushed  to have a man talk about her under garments so freely. ” This man is so very forward Lily thought. Before she could answer Joe tipped his hat and said ” Mam I will be on my way, you will find me and my wagon train on the east end of town. You can ask around everyone knows me and will point you in the right direction.” It was to his retreating back that Lily yelled out ” Thanks Mister I will see you tomorrow, oh and my name is Lily Mea.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

Too Frustrated


   I wrote a nice post all about my weekend starting with my injured knee and ending with all the fun we had with Madeline even if I was unable to walk and play too. Well due to operator error my entire post just vanished off my screen. I am to frustrated  and uncomfortable to try and re-write my post so I am going to let the pictures tell the story. After Domino body slammed my knee all I could do was take pictures of the fun. Not to worry I am on the mend and will be walking normally before the week is over. All in all injury aside it was a great weekend and I am sure my  pictures will say it better then I can. The nature shots are from earlier in the day  when I could still walk.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Is it Really March?

       Time is just flying by. It is March and for more than one reason I find it hard to believe that to be true. Number one it was January 1st just a minute ago. I blinked and it was March. Number two March means the coming of spring and flowers, well if you live anywhere but the north and mid east coast that is. My state is expecting a foot of snow over night tonight. On top of the ice and sleet that March saw fit to deliver her first 3 days of being. In like lion out like a lamb. One can only hope.
   The ice storm gave me a chance to get some real nice pictures.  Ice is so beautiful, so dangerous, and at times even fun, it is hard not to be intrigued by it. Walking out back to play with my camera was a little more than dicy and convinced me to stay close to home. That was just fine because there was no shortage of sights to see.

  The pine tree actually had to lay some of it's branches on the ground to rest from the weight of the ice. No branches broke much to my happiness and when the ice had melted the tree was able to lift it's branches back proudly in the air.

 Another type of pine tree had a bald spot in the middle where the weight of the ice just laid branches down. It took two days but the tree has resumed it normal beauty and is standing tall as always.

  Ice incased everything it touched. I am sure the plants and trees weren't loving it, but to my eye everything the ice touched became even more beautiful. There is something mysteries and spellbinding when the sun reflects off the leaves, pinecones, and berries all covered in ice.

    Even the exposed wood in our wood pile found itself coated in ice.  So sleek and smooth and then after the melt it was just wet.

  After the ice melted and the sun was shining bright for a few hours the bird and squirrels came out to play. This little fellow found an orange slice to nosh on. Much  to my pleasure he found a seat right in my camera range.

    It has been raining all day today and will continue until late tonight, when temperatures will change and then its going to snow for about 6 to 8 hours giving us with any luck a foot of snow. My computer photography trainer today helped me find a few new,Old Red Barns to photograph and once the roads are clear I will be off to enjoy 1 foot snow red barns and my camera.
    I entered a photo in a small contest that only had bragging rights and a day of your photo on their web site front page. I didn't win  not even close I suspect but I got my feet wet and the photo that did win was indeed spectacular.

 I feel pretty good about the photo I submitted, Madeline always makes a good subject.