A Clue for Adrianna (Captain’s Point Stories) The first novel in the Captain’s Point series. A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit novel written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.
Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
Ah, Easter, the keynote of spring in the home of my youth! It marked the time for a new hat and dress, a pair of white gloves and, let’s not forget, some new patent leather Mary Janes! Regaled in such finery, one couldn’t possibly miss that this was a special day.
Even though my paternal grandmother and great-aunt lived in the other side of our family’s duplex in Columbus, Ohio, we always spent Easter with my maternal grandmother and my uncle in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
I found this particular holiday to be rather confusing as a small child, as some years it came when the sun shone quite warmly and other years it was freezing. And why were all of the tiny chicks suddenly bright yellow or pink, green or blue? I had been around chickens all of my life, and they were white or rusty red for the most part. Like I said, there was much that I couldn’t quite comprehend, although I was too busy with Easter preparations to worry about them. [EASTER PREPARATIONS]
Two things, though, never changed and provided a layer of comfortable stability. We always spent Easter morning in the church that our great-grandparents had helped build, attending both Sunday School and the church service, and after dinner, we would be allowed to run barefoot around Grandma’s double lot as we searched for colored Easter eggs that had been hidden.
Even though the eggs, too, had suddenly morphed into strange colors, it was the latter tradition that I relished. My mother never and I mean NEVER allowed us to go barefoot outside. That she picked my Grandmother’s lot on which to let our toes loose seemed to me a bit cruel, because Grandma had a small orchard and there were plum pits and cherry seeds strewn about everywhere.
Still, I had become quite adept at finding clear places, and the feel of the soft, cool grass beneath my feet seemed to me really quite special. Usually, the egg hunt would end just in time for the train to pass by, and a quilt would be spread beneath the large maple at the back of the lot on which we were allowed to sit quietly and count the train cars as they rolled past.
Here my imagination would run wild, as I envisioned the lives of those glimpsed behind the tiny train windows as they sped by. Once, miracle of miracles, the train actually ground to a stop and an elderly man disembarked as we watched spellbound. We waved, but he didn’t notice as he sauntered out of sight along a nearby alley.
The year I was six and she was four, my sister sinned unforgivably. Dressed in her new Easter finery, she sat down on the dusty front porch and commenced bawling, the first step in her adamant refusal to attend church with the rest of us.
Father looked down upon her as if she, too, had morphed into a small violet chick. Mother, embarrassed, rushed over and tried unsuccessfully to convince her that a Sunday School class full of strange children represented the next best thing to being in Heaven.
Grandma calmly stepped forward. “Let the child stay here with me.” She took matters in hand, as she slipped both my sister’s and my dimes for the collection plate between my left white lace glove and the palm of my hand.
Given over to the gigantic proportions of this new HUGE responsibility, I walked off with my parents, never giving my poor doomed sister a second glance. More than a half century later, my grandmother and the lace glove are both gone, but I can still remember setting both of those dimes in the collection plate as clear as a bell.
After the last “Amen” had been said, we all shook hands on the lawn with other extended family members and worshippers before heading back to my grandmother’s small house where it sat on its large double lot. As we approached, everything looked to be quite normal, but then suddenly, the front storm door swung wide open with a screech, and my sister headed straight for my mother, tears streaming, her legs a blur she was running so fast.
“Make her stop! Make her stop!” she pleaded, but then gasped for breath, the effort of her mad dash having caught up with her.
In the meantime, my grandmother had come onto the porch, her Easter finery having been replaced by a plain cotton house dress. It was then that I noticed my sister now wore a simple shorts and top outfit, adorned only by a large dust bunny stuck in the blonde curls on the side of her head.
“She’s a monster! I hate her!” My sister had at last found her breath, although she appeared to be quite unrepentant.
Grandma remained completely nonplussed. “You know the rules,” she addressed her words to my mother, ignoring my poor sister who had now glued her arms around Father’s right kneecap. “In this house, there are only two reasons that allow one to miss church. Either you are ill, which this child isn’t, or you have too much work to do. We have worked on my spring cleaning ever since you three left.” And with that, my grandmother returned to her house.
My father gave me an extra pat on the head as he walked by, and I was sure, at least for the moment, that I was his favorite.
My sister was fed a light lunch and placed on her cot for a nap, and the rest of us tiptoed around within the small house so as not to disturb her.
Sadly, my sister slept through Easter dinner, the egg hunt, and the train passing that year, but I am pleased to report that she had indeed learned her lesson from our grandmother well. To this day she regularly attends church each Sunday morning.
And as for me and my dreams?
Well, Mother never allowed us to go barefoot outside anywhere else but on Grandma’s pit and seed strewn lot. Father never had a favorite daughter for longer than a moment. And each Easter morning, I still put two dimes in the church collection plate as it passes in loving memory of my Grandmother.
A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn
Murder With My Darling (Bonnie Lou Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn
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