New Year Update

January 2012 update: Welcome to a new year and some new posts! I hope to reward my readers with regular updates now that the holidays are over. Keep reading and enjoy! Please leave a comment or two, if you feel inspired ;o)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When the Willow Whispers - Page 9

     "So, I'm not saying I believe you, or anything. Well, not entirely, but what happens if your mom comes out here to see a fully grown tree tomorrow?" Maia asked as she peered into the hole.
     "I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I figured I'd worry about it when it happens." Emmy replied, as she tried to wipe some dirt off her face, but only succeeded in spreading it around her forehead.
     The girls legs were covered in the dirt and dust from digging their hole. They were almost finished and just about to head around to the front to grab the tree. Emmy looked up at the sky. "You don't see stars like these in the city."
     Maia followed Emmy's gaze. "No. No, you don't. You were lucky to grow up out here." She set her shovel to the side. "I've been in a city all my life. I'm not sure I'd know what to do with myself out in the sticks, but I do appreciate its beauty."
    Emmy laughed, "Are you kidding? You'd go mad in 10 minutes without the trains and taxis and people honking their horns in traffic jams!"
     Maia gave Emmy the best hurt expression she could muster before breaking into giggles. "It's true! Where would I be without rude people shoving into me on the pavement, or yelling at one another in the flat next door at 2 am?" She grabbed Emmy's shovel from her and set it down next to her own. "Shall we go get the tree from the truck and finally stick it in the ground?"
     "Yep. Let's hurry. My fingers are starting to go numb." With that, the girls traipsed around the side of the house to the driveway, pulled the tree from the truck-bed, and dragged it slowly back to the hole in the corner of the backyard. Emmy grabbed the tree by its base and pulled. It came easily from the soft soil that she had loosely put into the bucket less than 24 hours ago. She indicated to Maia to hold it in the hole keeping the place where the base and the roots met just a fraction of an inch below ground level, and started piling dirt back into the hole around the root cluster. Every time she accidentally brushed a root she would hear the faint strings of music before it faded into the silence of the countryside. Sometimes she wasn't sure if it was music or just the crescendo of the crickets and frogs. When she was done she patted the earth around the tree, grabbed a bucket of water from the stream and watered the newly planted tree before she and Maia headed back into the warmth of her mother's kitchen.
     Diana was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and a magazine. "Just in time. Dinner was finished cooking a few minutes ago. I was just keeping it warm in the oven til you girls were ready. Tree all planted?"
     The two girls could hear the television in the living room with the new's caster announcing a cold front coming. "All planted, mom. Although, I hope the impending cold won't kill it." Emmy pondered. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the tree did die. At least then there wouldn't be any awkward conversations.
     Maia started giggling. "Maybe we should go wash up before dinner. If I look anything like you do, then we're both a mess!"
     Emmy playfully punched her friend in the shoulder. "Be right back mom!"
     As they passed by the living room, Emmy's step-dad looked up from the tv. "Oh, high honey. Your mother told me you were out back planting a tree. It's kinda cold and dark to be gardening at this hour. Everything go ok?"
     "Hiya, Dave. Yeah. The tree's in the ground and watered. We're just washing some of the dirt off ourselves before we eat." Emmy smiled and the girls continued on to the downstairs bathroom.
     "You know", Maia nudged her friend, "Dave's kinda cute!"
     "Eww! Maia! He may be my step-dad, but he's still my 'dad'!"
     Maia shrugged. "I didn't say I wanted to jump him or anything. Just saying, for an old guy, your mom remarried well."
     "OK. I don't want to talk about this anymore. It's just getting weird. Let's get washed and have dinner. I'm starving!"
     Once everyone was washed and ready to eat, they all sat down to a family meal in the dining room. "Thanks for having us stay for dinner, Di. I enjoy family meals with you guys. I never got to have many with my own family."
     "You're welcome, Maia. There's always enough to go around. I think Dave, here, gets tired of leftovers sometimes. You two are always welcome to come visit us any weekend. I don't get to see my daughter nearly as often as I would like these days.
     "It's true. I don't get out here as often as I would like to either" Emmy thought that was possibly about to change.
     "You two sure you don't want to blow off that hair appointment tomorrow and stay over night?"
     Now that the tree was planted, Emmy was less worried about it growing out of control. She also thought that it might be a good idea to be here and see the fate of her willow first hand, in the morning. "Well, maybe we could. It would be nice to have a family tv night by the fireplace. Can we make hot cocoa and popcorn?"
     Her mother laughed. "Of course! You can make anything you like. The beds are already made up in your room, too"
     "What do you think, Maia. Wanna stay the night, and drive back to the city tomorrow? Or will staying out in the sticks too long make you a little insane?"
     "Ha. Ha. Very funny. I'd love to stay, Di. Thank you."
     When dinner was digested they all had their créme brulée and tea before piling into the living room to curl up and watch some prime time tv before bed.

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