Posted in Farm Girl, Highlight & Contest, Natalie

Highlight & Contest: Will You Be My Valentine HINTS

First I would like to apologize. I didn’t know how hard this contest would be. So, I’ve decided to give out hints!


Jaci and Timmy– Hint: Scripture

Abby and Zach– Hint: Proposal

Natalie and Darcy– Hint: Pride and Prejudice

Virginia and Leo– Hint: Roses are Red

Nelson and Emily- Hint: Crushed

photo 1

Also the person who sent the Valentine they receive, they sent a Valentine to. The original post can be found here. Please contact me if the contest is still too hard. The winner and PRIZE will be annouced on Valentine’s Day! Good Luck!

Posted in Farm Girl, Highlight & Contest, Natalie

Highlight & Contest: Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day is coming soon and I decided that this is the perfect time to have our first ever contest!

Contest Info:Valentine’s Day is about two weeks away and love is in the air in Florida, Massachusetts! But a couple of people are too afraid to tell their feelings to the person they like so they sent anonymous Valentines! Who likes who? Its up to you to find out!

So what you have to do is figure out who sent the Valentine and to who. Comment your answers but chose wisely you only get one chance! It should look like this: Valentine X was given to Blank from Blank.

photo 1

All of the Valentines!

photo 1 (2)

Valentine A

My heads in the clouds

My heart’s in my throat

I’m walking on air

Handing you this note!

photo 2 (3)

Valentine B

Love is patient.

Love does not envy or boast.

Love is not arrogant or rude.

Love never fails.

Love never rejoices at wrongdoing.

Not irritable or resentful.

Love does not insist on its own way.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love is kind so be my Valentine!

photo 3 (1)

Valentine C

Take all my love.

Take all my kisses.

But there better be a ring.

If you want me to be your Mrs.! 

photo 4 (1)

Valentine D

I have just one Valentine’s Day wish.

That you’ll be my Darcy and I’ll be your Elizabeth!

So what do you say?

Will you make my Valentine’s Day?

photo 1 (1)

Valentine E

Roses are Red.

Violets are blue.

I never know what to say around you!

I’d like to convince myself there’s no one left to ask.

But the truth is I only want you!

photo 2 (2)

Valentine F

I know we’re young.

I know its soon.

But I think I’m in love with you!

There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear.

So I’m just going to say it.

Please be my Valentine till the end of time!

photo 4

Valentine G (two people receive this Valentine)

You’re amazing.

Did you know?

I’ve crushed on you.

Since long ago.

So here’s my heart.

And here’s my soul.

I think its time you should know.

Will you be?

Can you be?

Could you think of me?

That way?

photo 3

Valentine H

Roses are Red.

Violets are blue.

I never know what to say around you!

I don’t want to blurt it but since its Valentine’s Day.

I think I should tell you that I like you in that special kind of way!

photo 2

Valentine I

Left you once.

Lost you twice.

Now its the third time.

So I’m not going to take any chances.

Please be my Valentine and my wife.

Who ever gets them all right (or gets the most right) wins the contest! I will announce the winner and PRIZE on Valentine’s Day! Good Luck!

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Thirteen


I stumbled out of the car. I touched the snowflake earrings dangling from my ears (I found them at my feet this morning).

“Let’s just get this over with,” I grumbled.

“Why does everybody in town dislike the Stewarts? I had a delightful time sledding with Timmy,” Jaci said.

“You’ll figure out soon enough,” Abby said rolling her eyes.

Mr. Steve rang the doorbell and straightened his tie. Darcy answered the door.

“Darcy? What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Emily invited me over for dinner,” Darcy said. He opened the door wide enough for us to walk in.

“Welcome! Welcome!” Mrs. Stewart smiled as we poured into her family room. “I’m so glad you could come.”

“Thanks for inviting us,” Momma said. I wonder how hard it was to say that.

“It’s the least I could do after what my Emily has done to your Natalie,” Mrs. Stewart said. “But don’t worry. I am working on her.”

I didn’t know what ‘working on her’ meant but I hoped it worked.

“Oh, I love your dress! Did you make it yourself?” Jaci asked overlooking Mrs. Stewart.

Mrs. Stewart was wearing a plain looking pink dress. She didn’t have on her glasses today. A smile managed to creep into her face.

“Yes. Yes, I did. I love making clothes but Emily will only let me make her Sunday dress,” Mrs. Stewart said.

“I don’t see why. Your work is very good. Even mother wasn’t this good,” Jaci said kneeling to admire the hem.

“Are you a coach?” Megan asked. I felt like laughing. Mrs. Stewart did have a voice of authority.

“Why do you ask, child?” Mrs. Stewart asked.

“Whistle,” Megan said pointing to Mrs. Stewart’s chest.

“Oh. This? I use this to communicate with my grandchildren and sometimes my husband,” Mrs. Stewart said holding up the whistle. I hadn’t even noticed she had been wearing it. Come to think of it I think she was wearing it the day she burst into the school and at The Hill.

“Speaking of those children, where are they?” Mrs. Stewart asked. She blew her whistle five times.

A sound that sounded like elephants stomping rang through the house. Momma tried to hide the horrified look on her face. Mr. Steve seemed unfazed. Jaci stared at Mrs. Stewart in amazement. Megan covered her ears. Darcy (I almost forgot he was there) stood like he was in the army.

Timmy and Emily ran down the steps and got in line with Darcy.

“State your full name and age for our guest please,” Mrs. Stewart said in a stern voice. She blew her whistle once.

“Timothy-Caleb Jeffery Stewart. Age sixteen,” Timmy said. He looked at Jaci.

“But I’ll be seventeen on April 3rd,” Timmy added not taking his eyes off Jaci.

“Thank you for that extra and unasked for information,” Mrs. Stewart said. She blew her whistle twice.

“Emily Elizabeth Stewart. Age twelve,” Emily said. Emily looked at Darcy.

“But I’ll be thirteen on July 27th,” Emily said looking at Darcy. Mrs. Stewart rolled her eyes and blew her whistle three times.

“Darcy Chadwick Edwards. Age thirteen,” Darcy said. He looked at me.

“But I’ll be fourteen on August 10th,” Darcy said still looking at me.

“At ease children,” Mrs. Stewart said. “And next time please just give what I ask for.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Timmy, Emily, and Darcy said. Timmy and Emily ran upstairs. Darcy reluctantly followed.

“I’m so sorry about them,” Mrs. Stewart said shaking her head. “Dinner will be in a minute. My husband has not returned from Pittsfield yet.”

“May I go upstairs?” Jaci asked.

“Oh of course!” Mrs. Stewart said. “You, Natalie, Abby, and Megan can all go upstairs. Six whistle blows means dinner.”

Jaci took her time going up the stairs. That wouldn’t be a problem if she wasn’t ahead of Abby, Megan, and me.

“Move it, slow poke,” Abby said walking past her. Jaci looked hurt but she continued to walk up the steps. Abby slammed a door upstairs.

“Take my hand,” Megan said to Jaci. Jaci took Megan’s hand and they finished walking up the steps.

“Oh! I wonder what room is what,” Jaci said looking at the five doors along the hall.

Timmy walked out of the third door.

“I’m just going to assume that the third door leads to Timmy’s room,” I said. Jaci nodded.

“Hey, Jaci,” Timmy said smiling.

“You have a nice house,” Jaci said.

“Thanks,” Timmy said.

“Can you please tell me what’s behind these doors?” Jaci asked.

“Oh sure,” Timmy shrugged. “The first door is Grandma and Grandpa’s room. The second room is Emily’s. The third room is mine but sometimes I have to share it with Darcy. The fourth room is the upstairs bathroom. I think Abby’s in there. And the fifth room is Grandma’s sewing room.”

“I would like to see the sewing room,” Jaci said. Timmy looked like he didn’t want to show us the sewing room but one look at Jaci made him do it.

“This is where Grandma does all of her sewing,” Timmy said opening the door.

“Oh my goodness! I must have some of this fabric!” Jaci said holding up a roll of pink fabric. Jaci went around the room showing things to Timmy, Megan, and I that had to do with sewing. I don’t think Timmy was really listening thou.

Six whistles went through the air. Timmy offered his arm for Jaci and Jaci took it. She gave Megan a look that said follow her.

When we got out to the hall, Darcy took one look at Timmy and offered me his arm.

Let me get this straight. I did NOT want to take his arm but I did NOT want to be rude. So I let Darcy escort me downstairs.

“My lady,” Mr. Steve said to Momma when he saw Darcy and Timmy escorting Jaci and me. Momma giggled and took his arm. Mr. Steve offered his arm for Abby and she took it. Mr. Steve looked at Timmy and Jaci. If you ask me he looked a little upset to see Timmy escorting Jaci.

“Such gentlemen!” Mrs. Stewart gushed. Emily just pouted. Mr. Stewart looked at Timmy but Timmy didn’t notice.

There were little pieces of paper at different spots. I sat at my spot across from Darcy.

For once I felt bad for Emily. Her spot was the edge of the table between Mrs. Stewart and Timmy. I almost actually offered her my spot.

But Abby had a spot wedged between Mr. Steve and Mrs. Stewart so that was just as bad.

“Let’s eat,” Mr. Stewart said. Worry crept into Jaci’s face.

“Aren’t we forgetting to say the blessing?” Jaci asked. Mrs. Stewart looked at Mr. Stewart.

“Why don’t you say it, Ms. Matthews?” Mr. Stewart asked. Jaci nodded.

“Dear Lord. Thank you the food on the table. I’m sure Mrs. Stewart worked hard on it. Thank you for the chance to have dinner with the Stewarts. Lord, please bless the food we are about to receive for our nourishment, body, and soul in Christ’s name, Amen,” Jaci prayed.

“Thank you,” Mr. Stewart said reaching for a roll.

“So, Riley and Steve, when do you think the wedding will take place?” Mrs. Stewart asked reaching for the green beans.

“I’ve always wanted a spring wedding,” Momma said.

“Springtime is a wonderful time of year! It gets so pretty out here. You just have to take a walk on the Mohawk trail in the summer. My husband takes Timmy, Darcy, and Emily camping during the summer,” Mrs. Stewart gushed.

“I walked a little through the Mohawk Trail coming here. It’s surely a beauty in God’s creation,” Jaci said. Mrs. Stewart nodded.

“Did you just say walk? You didn’t walk here from Maine did you?” Timmy asked.

“Oh, heavens, no!” Jaci laughed. “I walked from Pittsfield to Florida.”

“You did what!” Mr. Steve, Darcy, Timmy, Momma, and Abby shouted at the same time. Jaci looked shocked.

“Are your ears troubling you?” Jaci asked speaking louder. “I said I walked from Pittsfield to Florida. It took me two days but I did it. I could have been here in one but I got a little tired along the way and took a nap in the woods. I lost track of time I guess.”

Mr. Steve looked horrified. Abby looked like she wished Jaci had just stayed in the woods.

“Why did you walk from Pittsfield to Florida? You could have gotten a cab,” Mr. Steve said.

“A man did pull up to me when I was in Pittsfield. He said he was a cab driver and said he could take me to the place I needed to go. But Mother always told me never to get in a car with a stranger so I didn’t,” Jaci said. Mr. Steve shook his head.

“I don’t think I want to hear anymore,” Mr. Steve said stuffing pot roast into his mouth. Jaci looked confused but she didn’t say anything.

“Abby, How’s Boston?” Mrs. Stewart asked.

“It’s good,” Abby said. “I just finished the Smith Project.”

“I heard about that. The building looks gorgeous!” Mrs. Stewart smiled. Abby nodded.

And that’s the way dinner went. We had scattered conversations about this and that. I was just glad nobody was fighting.

Emily got up from the table leaving her dirty plate and Mrs. Stewart gave one long whistle.

“Emily Elizabeth Stewart! How many times am I going to have to tell you to scrap off your plate after dinner and ask for permission to leave?” Mrs. Stewart said. Emily rolled her eyes.

“Did you roll your eyes at me?!” Mrs. Stewart shouted. “Get on your knees!”

“May I say something?” Jaci asked as Emily got on her knees. Mrs. Stewart looked at her but didn’t say anything.

“Mrs. Stewart, it’s easy to see that you love and care about your grandchildren but don’t you think it’s rather harsh making them kneel to the ground in front of people and make halfhearted apologizes? If there not truly sorry for what they do what good is all this? By the way you treat them with the whistles and kneeling apologizes I wouldn’t be surprised if Emily and Timothy-Caleb leave the minute they turn eighteen and I wouldn’t blame them if they did. I would find it a little hard to believe I was loved if I was treated like that. Mother didn’t always make it easy to see that she loved me but she wasn’t as bad as this. All thou she wouldn’t let me learn how to drive. She just said that she had her reason. That always meant that the discussion was to go no further but I’m getting off course. Now please don’t think I’m criticizing you but isn’t there a better way to punish your grandkids?” Jaci asked.

Mr. Steve looked like he wanted to disappear. Timmy looked shocked and fearful. Emily looked at Jaci with wonder. Abby looked at Jaci with wonder and amazement. All eyes were on Mrs. Stewart to see how she would react.

“Miss Jaci Matthews, I like you,” Mrs. Stewart finally said smiling. “You remind me of me when I was your age. Always speaking my mind. If you had blonde hair you could be a spitting image of me.”

Jaci smiled. Relief seemed to wash over Timmy’s face.

“I like you too, Mrs. Stewart. I think we’re going to be good friends,” Jaci smiled.

Mr. Steve, Abby, and Darcy just looked at Mrs. Stewart and Jaci in wonder.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Twelve


When I awoke fresh snow was on the ground and snow was falling from the sky. The thunderstorm must have turned into snow in the middle of the night.

“It looks like today is going to be a good snow day,” Mr. Steve said at breakfast.

“Will you take us to The Hill?” Darcy asked putting Mr. Steve’s breakfast in front of him.

“I don’t know, Darcy. Do you think you’re knee will be all right?” Mr. Steve asked. “And what about Natalie’s broken foot?”

Darcy looked at me. His glance was a little hurtful but I kept eating my eggs.

“We’ll be fine,” Darcy said.

“But The Hill is rather steep,” Mr. Steve said.

“Me want to go in the snow! Me want to go in the snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I turned to see Megan running into the restaurant with Momma not far behind.

“Not until you have eaten your breakfast,” Momma said sliding into the booth and holding her hand out for Megan.

“Ok, Mommy,” Megan said crawling into her lap.

“What can I get for you?” Darcy asked.

“Two orders of toast, bacon, and eggs,” Momma said. “Make on kids.” Darcy nodded and walked towards the kitchen.

“I want to go to The Hill,” I said.

“What’s The Hill?” Momma asked.

“It’s this steep hill that all the kids go to when it snows. Darcy wants me to take him and the rest,” Mr. Steve said.

“Me want to play in the snow!” Megan shouted.

“Look at me, honey,” Momma said. “I want to play in the snow.”

“Yes! Me too want to play in the snow,” Megan said. Momma shook her head and laughed.

“Are you sure you’ll be ok?” Mr. Steve asked me.

“How steep can it be?” I shrugged.



“I told you it was steep,” Mr. Steve said handing me a sled.

I stood for a minute looking down the hill but that was a mistake.


I turned around the find Darcy and his sled racing towards me. And for some reason I froze. The sled, Darcy, and I collided. Darcy pulled me up into the sled.

“I got you,” He said as we went down the hill but he was so focused on making sure I didn’t fall off that we ended up crashing. The sled went on as we flew through the air.

Darcy landed on top of me and I started laughing.

“You know I’ve never been sledding before,” I laughed. Darcy started to laugh too.

I stopped laughing because I was looking into his eyes. Then for a moment I forgot that I didn’t really like Darcy. He seemed to forget too.

Then (maybe I imagined it) Darcy started to lean towards me. The memories of being tripped (purposely or accidently) and how Emily Stewart stuck to him like glue flooded into my mind. I felt fear and coldness going through my body. His cold nose touched my cold nose.

“You call that sledding?”

Darcy got off of me and helped me up. Timmy had Darcy’s sled in his hand.

“I told her to get out of the way,” Darcy huffed.

“I’m sorry,” I snapped. “I froze!”

“No need to get defensive about it,” Darcy mumbled. I huffed.

“Timmy,” Darcy snarled.

“What!” Timmy snapped.

“Thanks for getting the sled,” Darcy said taking the sled and walking up The Hill. Emily ran past us running towads ugh whatever Darcy was to her.

“Hi, Natalie!” Megan screamed. She was coming down the hill in a sled with Mr. Steve and Jaci. Jaci was screaming and had her eyes closed. Mr. Steve was laughing.

“How do I stop this thing?!” Momma screamed as the sled holding her and Abby flew by the sled with Mr. Steve, Jaci, and Megan.

“Come on,” Timmy said taking my hand. “Grandpa has an extra sled in the back of the truck. I didn’t want to sled with Emily anyway.”

“Um um,” I said as Timmy pulled me up the hill.

“Where’s Emily?” Mrs. Stewart snapped.

“Sledding with Darcy,” Timmy said opening the truck of their car.

“Natalie, is your mother here?” Mrs. Stewart asked me.

“Yeah, she’s here. I believe she’s sledding with Abby. She may be at the bottom of The Hill by now,” I said.

“Thank you my dear. I have to find out if we’re still on for Sunday dinner tomorrow,” Mrs. Stewart said starting to walk down The Hill.

“You ready?” Timmy asked dropping the sled on the ground.

I didn’t know if I’d ever be ready to go down The Hill with Timmy Stewart.

“I um,” I started.

“Natalie, I’m harmless,” Timmy said. He held out his hand. I didn’t take it but I sat in the sled.

My heart pounded as the sled started to move. Why was I so scared to go down The Hill with Timmy Stewart?

“NATALIE BALDWIN!” Abby screamed as we past her. She dropped the sled in her hand and started sledding.

Her sled bumped our sled hard and all three of us crashed.

“What is this? Extreme Sledding?” Timmy cried outraged.

“Natalie, what are you doing sledding with Timmy Stewart?! I thought you were sledding with Darcy!” Abby shouted.

“I’m not sledding with anyone,” I mumbled.

“Natalie!” Megan shouted running to me.

“OW!” Timmy shouted as Megan ran over him. He was still sitting in the snow. Abby laughed. I snickered.

“You sledding with me!” Megan shouted grabbing my arm. I hobbled up The Hill with a two year old pulling me.

“There you are,” Jaci said. She gave Megan a hug.

“Natalie sledding with me,” Megan said.

“You, Natalie, and Daddy go ahead,” Jaci said. “I don’t think I’m sledding material.”

“Then we’ll just have to make you sledding material,” Abby said. Mr. Steve gave a little chuckle thinking it was a joke but I didn’t find it very funny.

“Ready girls?” Mr. Steve asked sitting in the sled. I got in and Megan followed.

“Faster! Faster!” Megan shouted as we went down The Hill really really fast.

“I’m going as fast as I can go, sweetie pie!” Mr. Steve shouted.

“Boo!” Megan screamed. “Me want to go faster! Faster!”

She didn’t stop screaming faster until we stopped.

“Again! Again!” Megan shouted. Mr. Steve laughed.

“Ok, again,” He said getting out of the sled.

As we walked up The Hill a sled with Jaci and Timmy came down.

“Hold me tighter! Tighter!” Jaci screamed.

“I’m not holding you tight enough?! I don’t even know how can breathe! Yes, I’m holding you that tight!” Timmy shouted.

“Tighter! Tighter!” Jaci screamed.

Mr. Steve laughed but something in his face told me that he was disturbed that Jaci was on a sled with Timmy and that Timmy was holding on to her tight.

“I want to go home!” Emily screamed.

“Emily Stewart! Get down on your knees and apologize for speaking to me that way!” Mrs. Stewart shouted.

Everyone at the top of The Hill stopped what they were doing. Emily dropped to her knees.

“I’m sorry, Grandma. Its rude to be disrespectful and I’m sorry if I embarrassed you,” Emily apologized.

“You may get up now,” Mrs. Stewart said. Emily got up and ran into their car.

“You coming this time, Natalie?” Mr. Steve asked sitting in the sled.

“I think I’ll wait for the one with Mom and Abby,” I said. Mr. Steve nodded and looked at Megan.

“Do you think it will go faster with only two persons?” Megan asked. Mr. Steve laughed.

“Let’s see,” Mr. Steve said as she got in the sled.

“Faster! Faster!” Megan screamed as the sled went down.


“Timmy,” I started as I turned around. But it wasn’t Timmy. It was Darcy.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Sorry for being a little rude after we crashed. I just can’t stand Timmy Stewart,” Darcy said.

“Well you seem to stomach his sister pretty well,” I said. Darcy rolled his eyes.

“She has her moments,” Darcy sighed. “Emily doesn’t want to sled with me and Regina is sledding with her brothers so do you want to sled with me?”

I saw my mother walking up The Hill with Abby. Momma looked worn out. She probably wouldn’t sled for a little while but Abby probably would.

“If you rather sled with your mom,” Darcy said catching my gaze. “I understand.”

“She looks tired,” I said. “I’ll sled with her later.”

I let Darcy take my hand and hold onto me as we sled down The Hill.

“You know that Christmas song Marshmallow World?” Darcy asked as we walked up The Hill after our fourth time going down it.

I wanted to say “Duh.” or “Of course.” But instead I said, “Yeah.”

“It’s days like this where I truly believe I’m trapped in a Marshmallow World. So what if spring is late? I can’t think of anything better than sledding on a cold winter day and having a snowball fight with my friends,” Darcy said.

“Darcy, are we friends?” I blurted.

“I’m walking with you aren’t I?” Darcy asked. When he said this his cheeks got pink.

You see in the song Marshmallow World there’s a part about taking a walk with your favorite girl.

“Race you to the top!” I screamed running up The Hill. Darcy quickly followed.


My whole body ached but I didn’t care. Today was one of the best days of my life. I actually had fun with Darcy. Nelson, Regina, Megan, Abby, Jaci, and I had a massive snowball fight when we got back from sledding.

“I hate sledding but I had so much fun,” Jaci said as she sipped on hot chocolate.

“I know,” I sighed. “I wish my life could be as sweet as this day was even thou I got knocked down.”

Jaci laughed. Megan ran into the room with a sippy cup full of hot chocolate and snuggled in her lap.

I sighed and barely uttered this short prayer, “God, all I want is for my life to go back to being sweet.”

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Nine


When I woke up I convinced myself that last night was all just a dream and that my mother didn’t really get engaged to Mr. Steve last night.

But my happiness was only for a moment. My mother handed me my plate with breakfast on it with a ring on her ring finger.

“Morning Natalie,” Momma said. “Did you sleep well last night?”

“No,” I mumbled.

“Is something bothering you?”  Momma asked.

Was something bothering me? Was she kidding? My mother was getting married to a man I hardly knew!

“Is the restaurant open for breakfast?” Mr. Hank asked walking in.

“Yes, sir!” Momma said. She looked at me.

“We will continue this discussion later,” Momma whispered. I hobbled to a booth and sat down.

I tried to pray over my food. I really did try but I wasn’t thankful. I was mad, upset, and UGH!

“Sugar, are you all right?” Mr. Hank asked. I looked on the ground were bacon and eggs laid scattered.

“I’m having a hard time praying over my food,” I sighed.

Mr. Hank gave me a weird look.

“I know it seems silly but I just don’t feel thankful. I’m a little mad at God right now,” I said.

“Why are you mad, sugar?” Mr. Hank asked.

“I don’t know,” I lied. I knew why I was mad.

“That’s a lie,’ Mr. Hank said seeing through me.

“I know it is but I don’t like Mr. Steve,” I said.

“Ah,” Mr. Hank said. “Why don’t you like him?”

“I’ve barely known him a month,” I said.

“Your mother has known him since high school or maybe even before that,” Mr. Hank said.

“I know but I miss my daddy,” I sniffled.

“I know you do, sugar. I know you do,” Mr. Hank said rubbing my back.

Emily Stewart walked through the restaurant door and looked at me.

“Is Clumsy crying? Did she hurt herself again?” Emily said pouting.

“Emily Zendaya Stewart!” Mr. Hank shouted. Emily crossed her arms.

“Look Natalie, nobody here wants you to be here. It’s the same old game. The town is nice because they feel like they have to be nice to you not because they want to be. ‘Natalie Baldwin broke her foot’. ‘Oh it serves her right but I’ll send her a present anyway’. Get the picture?” Emily asked.

“Emily Stewart, when I am finished with my breakfast I am personally going down to the library to have a talk with your grandmother,” Mr. Hank said.

Fear crept into Emily’s face.

“Go ahead. Grandma doesn’t scare me,” Emily lied. It was clear by the look on her face and the way her voice squeaked that she was scared of her Grandmother.

Darcy walked into the restaurant and frowned.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“The bus is coming,” He mumbled walking out the door. Emily smiled at me and walked out the restaurant. I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t let her get to you,” Mr. Hank whispered in my ear. He winked at me.

I walked out the door and onto the bus wondering what in the world Mr. Hank was talking about.


“EMILY STEWART!!!!!!!!!!!”

It was lunch time when a voice so loud it made me drop my sandwich on the floor burst through the noisy cafeteria. When everybody heard this voice they stopped talking and the cafeteria was very silent.

An older looking woman marched towards Emily’s table. She had on a floral print dress and thick red classes. She had on black boots that clicked when she walked.

“Yes, Grandma?” Emily squeaked.

“Apologize,” Mrs. Stewart said flatly.

“I’m sorry, Grandma for whatever I did!” Emily cried.

“Not to me. To Natalie Baldwin. Apologize NOW!” Mrs. Stewart shouted. Emily walked up to the table where I was sitting with Nelson and Regina.

“I am sorry for being so rude to you this morning. Please forgive me,” Emily said. Mrs. Stewart shook her head.

“No. No. That will not do! Get on your knees, child!” Mrs. Stewart said. Emily dropped to her knees.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain I have caused you. This morning I spoke without think of how my words could hurt you. Please, I beg of you to forgive me for the wrong I have done you!” Emily cried.

“Sure,” I shrugged. I felt like laughing which was what most of the cafeteria was doing.

“Miss Emily Stewart, I will have a word with you when I get home from work. I must be going now. Good day,” Mrs. Stewart said. She looked at me.

“I would like to personally invite you, your mother, and your mother’s fiancé to dinner Sunday night. Please give me the chance to make up my granddaughter’s poor behavior. I will make the arrangements with your mother,” Mrs. Stewart said. She then walked out of the room. After about five minutes Emily walked up to me.

“You will pay for this,” Emily whispered. “Big time!”

And I knew that she meant it.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Six


“Welcome back class,” Ms. Ross said. I tried not to drop my pencil. It was my first day in a new school and I was getting ready to freak out.

I looked at Regina. She gave me a thumbs up. I looked at Emily. She gave me a smirk.

“Now class we have a new student and I’m pretty sure you all know her. Her name is Natalie and I would ask her to stand but she has a broken foot so I won’t,” Ms. Ross said. I smiled.

“Hi. My name is Natalie Baldwin and I just moved here from Miami, Florida,” I said.

“We welcome you to our class and too Florida,” Ms. Ross smiled. “Take out her Pre-Algebra books.” Most of the class groaned. I smiled. Math was my favorite subject.

I could easily get lost in Math. In Math if it’s wrong, it’s wrong. If it’s right, it’s right. There are no two answers just the one.

I was the first one done with today’s math lesson and Ms. Ross looked impressed.

“You got them all right, Natalie. I’m impressed,” Ms. Ross said.

Next was English and that wasn’t exactly my subject.

“I know you all know this but what part of speech is the word He?” Ms. Ross asked.

I quickly thought of a sentence. He ran down the street.

“He is a noun?” I guessed. Emily burst out laughing.

“He is a pronoun. You learn that like in the first grade,” Emily laughed. I looked at my cast. Nope. Her name wasn’t on it.

“It’s not funny, Emily,” Ms. Ross said. “It’s a very common mistake. Today we’re going to study pronouns.”

“Pay good attention, Clumsy,” Emily said. She gave me a smile. I wanted to D-I-S-A-P-E-A-R.

Next was History. I liked history but just don’t ask me any dates.

“Which history would the class like to do first? American or World?” Ms. Ross asked.

American history was chosen to go first.

“How long was the Revolutionary War, class?” Ms. Ross asked. I breathed this was one I knew.

“Regina,” Ms. Ross said. Regina looked scared.

“Ten years?” Regina asked.

Emily laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world.

“No you dummy. It lasted for seven years,” Emily said.

“Actually it lasted for eight years, Princess,” I said rolling my eyes.

Thankfully the lunch bell rang.

“We’ll continue this after lunch,” Ms. Ross said. “Natalie, wait a second.”

Emily gave me a smile that told me this would be all over Florida before lunch was over.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

“Natalie, tomorrow I want you to go to Algebra class with the seventh graders. I think you’re ready for it,” Ms. Ross said.

I smiled.

“So I’m not in trouble?” I asked.

“Of course not sweetie. Now go to lunch,” Ms. Ross said. I ran out the classroom.


The rest of my first day of school was incredible. The second Emily heard that I was moving up a grade in Math she shut up mighty fast.

“Momma!” I called running (well as fast as you can with a cast) into the B&B.

I saw that there was a gift on my pillow. It had no name on it. I ripped it open.

Nerds!” I shouted. I smiled but my smile dropped when Ms. Donna walked into the family room with Mr. Steve and a police officer.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Why in the world would a police officer be here?

“Natalie, your mother is missing,” Ms. Donna said.

(Note: This post was posted on January 7. The wordpress clock is several hours ahead)

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Five


Momma was shaking me. Where was I? I opened my eyes and memories of Grandma Shirley stopping by flooded into my mind.

“Wake up, Natalie. We are so out of here,” Momma whispered.

“We’re leaving the hospital?” I yawned.

“We’re leaving the country,” Momma said.

“What!” I shouted sitting up. “What do you mean the country?”

“We’re going to England. If we show up in your father’s parents’ door they won’t be able to turn us away,” Momma said.

“They might. Probably not me but you maybe,” I said trying to think of how to put some sense in my mother’s head.

“That’s a risk I’ll just have to take,” Momma said throwing my clothes at me. “Put them on.”

“But Momma…..,” I started.

“Don’t but Momma me! We are leaving because I want to leave and that’s final!” Momma screamed. I had never heard my mother scream like that. Her eyes kinda bulged out and I was terrified of my mother for the first time in my life.

“I. Just. Can’t. Take. This. Anymore.” Momma sighed.

“Momma, I thought you wanted to do God’s will. If you feel like God is telling you to run away from your problems and past then go ahead but if He’s told you to stay then I think you need to stay,” I said.

“Natalie Zoey Baldwin, you have no right to talk to me like that!” Momma shouted. She threw one of my shoes at me.

“Come on, Natalie,” Momma said walking out the door. What could I do but obey? As I walked out the door I prayed. If I couldn’t talk some sense into Momma only God could.

“I’m checking out Miss Natalie Baldwin,” Momma said picking up a pin.

“But her doctor hasn’t given her her final checkup yet,” The nurse said looking at my sheet.

“I don’t care,” Momma said. She placed the pin down, grabbed my hand, and walked towards the exit.

“Momma!” I cried. “We don’t have our stuff.”

“I’ll send for it when we get to England,” Momma said. She tried to find her car keys. Then I saw something. Mr. Steve’s car was coming up the ramp.

Momma stopped trying to find her keys. If Mr. Steve could stop Momma from taking us to England then I’ll forget all the bad thoughts about him and make him a hero.

“Natalie, get in the car,” Mr. Steve said nice and firm. I hobbled toward the car.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Mr. Steve and Momma shouted at the same time.

If I had known that Darcy and the ever present Emily Stewart we’re going to be in the car I wouldn’t have gotten in.

“What are you doing here?” I asked Emily.

“Can’t I come and visit the sick?” Emily asked.

“I’m not sick,” I said putting my seatbelt on.

“Where you just going home?” Darcy asked.

“Not quite,” I sighed.

I saw my Momma crying in Mr. Steve’s arms and rolled my eyes. Ugh. Maybe I’ll reconsider that hero thing.

“Mr. Matthews seems quite taken with your mother,” Emily said.

“So what? They dated when they were like in high school,” I shrugged trying to act like it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Momma and Mr. Steve walked towards the car and Momma got in.

“Who’s hungry?” Momma asked like nothing had happened.


“I call it The Presents Pyramid,” Nelson said. I looked at the pyramid he made out of all my presents.

“I couldn’t find a space for this one thou,” Nelson said. He handed me a box with no name on it.

“Secret Santa strikes again!” Regina shouted.

“Who’s Secret Santa?” Darcy asked hobbling up.

“That’s none of your business Darcy Chadwick Edwards,” Regina said before I could respond. Darcy looked embarrassed. I started to snicker.

“Your middle name is Chadwick?” I snickered. Darcy sighed.

“So what if it is?” Darcy asked.

Regina and I burst out laughing. Darcy shook his head and hobbled away.

I opened the present and found a Christmas ribbon that was used to tie hair.

“I think Secret Santa is trying to tell you that your hair is messy,” Regina said as I tied my hair up.

“Ha. Ha,” I said. I hobbled off towards the kitchen.

“So, Natalie, are you ready for school to start tomorrow?” Ms. Donna asked when I walked into the restaurant.

“I guess but I’m worried about my mother,” I said.

“Why should you be worried about your mother?” Ms. Donna asked. “She’s supposed to worry about you.”

“Well today she almost ran away to England. If Mr. Steve didn’t show up when he did,” I started.

“Natalie, don’t you worry about a thing,” Ms. Donna said. “In no time your mother will be tied to Florida.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” Ms. Donna winked. I hobbled to a chair and sat down.

What did Ms. Donna mean by ‘tied’?

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 2- Marshmallow World Installment Two

I sat there speechless. What did she mean it was no accident? How could a car accident not be well not an accident?

“What do you mean?” I asked slowly. Momma didn’t answer me.

“How can you just tell me my father’s death wasn’t an accident and then not tell me anymore?” I asked a couple minutes later outraged.

“I’m sorry, Natalie,” Momma said getting up. She turned back and looked at me.

“I truly am sorry.”

And with that, she walked out the room.


When I woke up it was a new year. They had kept me over night as a ‘precaution’ which might have been a good idea since I almost had a panic attack just thinking about what my mother had told me.

“Morning Natalie. I would say good but by the look on your face it doesn’t seem to be going too well,” The doctor (whose name was Dr. Charles Walters) said.

He had that right.

“You’re still a little unstable I assume but I think you could go home later this afternoon,” Dr. Walters said.

“Why do you have to keep me here?” I asked.

“Because I want to make sure this doesn’t become a habit with you,” Dr. Walters said. He looked at my foot.

“Trust me. I don’t want to end up in the hospital every few weeks,” I huffed.

“Good,” Dr. Walters said walking out the door.


I quickly sat up recognizing the voice. Regina ran into my room.

“New Year’s Eve was torture! Torture I tell you!” Regina cried.

“Why?” I asked. Then I saw why. Darcy, Nelson, Timmy, and Emily (who was still wearing cupcake pajamas) walked into the room.

“I thought you were Clumsy not Panicky,” Emily laughed.

“A panic attack is no laughing matter,” Darcy said putting his hands in his pockets.

“Why are you wearing cupcake pajamas?” I asked trying not to laugh.

“Grandpa has three flat tires,” Timmy mumbled.

“And they couldn’t leave cause the only tow truck in Florida was closed and Grandpa doesn’t trust no Monroe people,” Emily said. Timmy kicked her.

“That’s not why. It was so late that nobody in Berkshire County was open,” Timmy said.

“What are you doing here?” I asked. “And that doesn’t answer the pajama question.”

“Grandpa is off getting our tires fixed and I was forced to come along,” Emily said rolling her eyes.

“And you didn’t have time to change?” I asked. Emily rolled her eyes.

“Mrs. Walters has my clothes,” Emily said walking out the room.

“So what happened?’ Regina asked sitting at the foot of my bed.

I wondered if I should tell them what happened. I thought against it.

A nurse walked into my room with a big needle in her hand.

“Whoa. What are you doing with that thing?” I asked.

“It says here that you need a flu shot,” The nurse said.

“What? Where’s my mother?” I asked.

“I’ll go find her,” Nelson said walking out the door. Darcy followed.

Regina stared at the nurse with cold eyes.

“I never get a flu shot ma’am. I’m here because of a panic attack,” I said.

“Miss Baldwin, I’m just trying to follow orders. Dr. Walters wrote to give you an influenza shot and I’m gonna give it to you,” The nurse said.

“MRS.BALDWIN!” Regina screamed running out the room.

“Get away from me,” I barked at the nurse as she put the needle in my arm.

Everything instantly went hazy.

“Daddy?” I asked before I everything went black.


“Stop!” I screamed sitting up. I was in a different hospital room. I tried to breathe. Why would I be in a DIFFERENT hospital room? Oh, yeah. That crazy nurse who tried to give me a flu shot.

“Natalie, you’re up. They thought you were going to sleep the New Year away,” Momma said. I knew she was trying to joke but there was no sparkle in her eyes.

“What happened?” I asked.

“A nurse at the other hospital mixed up flu shot with a huge douse of sleeping medicine. They airlifted you to Pittsfield to make sure it wouldn’t over power your system,” Momma said.

“I’ve always wanted to ride in a helicopter,” I said.

“You must still be sleepy,” Momma said getting up. She walked towards the door but Ms. Donna walked into the room.

“I hate to add to your troubles, Riley, but,” Ms. Donna started. She pulled my tin from behind her back and showed that the tin was empty.

All the money I’ve ever had. Gone.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie:Part 1-Christmas Dreams Installment Six

“Great. You kids stay here. I’m going back to the B&B for help,” Mr. Steve said getting out of the car.

When he was out of sight I opened the door. I was hit with cold air.

“What are you doing?” Darcy asked me as I tried to get out with my crutches.

“I’m doing what I got in this car to do,” I said slamming the door.

“But Mr. Matthew said to stay in the car!” Darcy tried to scream over the howling wind. I hobbled off into the woods and then I realized this was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. Why should I be out here looking for the Stewarts in unfamiliar woods during a blizzard?

Cause it’s the Christian thing to do My mom’s voice rung through my head. Once but when I was young this boy pulled my hair. I wanted to never speak to him again but my mother told me that that was not Christ like.

I sighed and watched my breath in the wind. I started to shout over the wind but that seemed nearly impossible. Then I heard gunshots.

I almost fell over but I realized that the Stewarts might have heard me calling them and were signaling that they were there.

I walked closer to the gunshots and found Emily sitting in the snow with three coats on. Timmy and Mr. Stewart were holding guns and had no coats on. They looked freezing.

“Oh, great! It’s just her!” Emily shouted.

“Do you know where we are?” Timmy asked me.


“Did you make markers?”


“So, you’re lost?”

“I wouldn’t say lost.”

“Ugh! Why don’t you just go back to Florida?” Emily shouted.

“I think we’re still in Florida,” I said.

“UGH!” Emily screamed. She pushed me. I fell into the snow. I gave just a loud of a scream as I had when Ryan grabbed me.


“DARCY!” Emily screamed back. That was the last thing I remember before everything went dark.


                  “THAT’S HOT!” I screamed. I found myself in my Momma’s room on her bed. There was a washcloth on my arm.

“Glad you’re up,” Momma said startled. I tried to breathe.

“What happened?” I asked.

“Word in this house is that you’re a hero,” Momma said putting another washcloth on my arm.

“Hero?” I asked.

“They say you gave a horrible scream and that they found where you were when you screamed,” Momma said.

I was surprised Emily didn’t take the credit.

“Now about you getting out of the car,” Momma said. I gave a weak smile.

“Well I guess since you’ve saved some lives it’s ok,” Momma smiled. I gave her a hug.

“Why are putting super-hot washcloths on my arm?” I asked.

“You got your first ever case of frost nip,” Momma said. “Donna said to just put some hot washcloths on your arms and it would go away.”

I sighed.

“You never told me what you wanted for Christmas,” Momma said. “And Christmas is Tuesday.”

“What I want for Christmas is a place to call home,” I mumbled.

“You want a Barbie home?” Momma asked surprised.

“Never mind,” I said.

“There’s nothing you want?” Momma asked surprised.

“Not that I can think of,” I said.

“I know our sudden move has been difficult for you,” Momma said. “And I know you want to go back to Miami and I know you wish you’ve never come here but we’re here now and there’s no turning back.”

Momma got up and left the room. I put my head on the pillow. Why can’t we just go back to Miami and pretend like this never happened?

“Why God?” I asked and then I cried.


                 “There she is!” Mr. Rivers shouted as Mr. Steve carried me back downstairs.  Just about everyone in the town was down there and they were clapping for me.

“What you did today was very brave,” Mrs. Rivers said giving me a hug. I smiled.

“Who’s hungry?” Ms. Donna asked. Everyone walked into the restaurant and sat down. As I tried to eat my beef carrot stew just about everyone came up to me and told me how ‘brave’ I was.

“Hi Natalie,” Timmy said walking up to me.

“Hi Timmy,” I smiled.

“Thanks for what you did today,” Timmy said. “Most people in this town wouldn’t risk their lives for a Stewart.”

“Oh, I can’t believe that,” I kinda sorta lied. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did want to go save Mr. Stewart and Natalie. Timmy seemed different.

“Believe it,” Timmy said sitting down at the table where I was sitting with Regina and Erin.

“Well it was the right and Christian thing to do,” I said. Timmy smiled.

“My family doesn’t have a reputation for doing the Christian thing,” Timmy said. “Everyone in my family is stubborn and does what they want even if it’s wrong. So I just want to say thank you for actually caring enough to do the right thing.”

“It’s not a problem,” I shrugged. Timmy smiled.

“So how was it out in that blizzard?” Erin asked.

“Cold especially since Princess Emily kept complaining how cold she was and Grandpa made me give her my coat,” Timmy laughed.

I laughed too and let my eyes wonder over to the table where Darcy and Emily were sitting. Emily seemed to catch my glance and eyed me.

I turned back to Timmy who was telling the story of how Emily kept complaining how cold the snow was and that she didn’t want to stand.

I then started to think about Christmas this year. What would it be like? I looked out the window. My first white Christmas was also the first time I wished Christmas wouldn’t come.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie:Part 1-Christmas Dreams Installment Five


“Sorry, Grandpa!” A boy around Paige’s age said. Mr. Stewart was the man he was calling Grandpa. And oh great, Emily was with them.

Mr. Stewart walled into The Treasure Chest and Timmy followed. I saw Emily walk up to the door but she didn’t come in. Darcy saw her standing at the door and walked out the shop.

“I’m sorry about my grandson,” Mr. Stewart said. “We’re going hunting today and he fired his gun by accident,” Mr. Stewart said. Paige nodded.

“My dad went to Monroe on business,” Paige said. “I’m in charge of the store.”

“I’m sorry this had to happen while you were watching the store,” Mr. Stewart said. “But I promised the grandkids I take them hunting.”

“Let me call my dad,” Paige said. She picked up the phone. I looked at Nelson. He just shrugged.

Soon Paige was in a conversation with a man I assumed was her dad. She told him that the damage wasn’t that bad but they needed a new window. Then Mr. Stewart talked to him and apologized for Timmy.

“Grandpa, this is why we shouldn’t go hunting,” Emily said walking into the shop after Mr. Stewart got off the phone. “Timmy doesn’t know how to handle a gun!”

“It was an accident, lil sis,” Timmy said. Emily looked mad.

“Come on kids, I’ve worked it out with Mr. Chadwick. Let’s get a move on,” Mr. Stewart said walking out the shop. Emily and Timmy followed.

“Now what is it that you wanted?” Paige asked me.

“The perfume,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” Paige said. “Christmas Dreams right?” I nodded.

She took the perfume from the glass case and put it in a bag.

“Twenty-Five dollars and fifteen cents please,” Paige said ringing me up. I gave her the money.

“Got an iron for these?” Paige joked as she tried to flatten the money. She gave me a receipt and I took my bag.
“Have a merry Christmas,” Paige smiled. I nodded and Nelson followed me towards the door.

“Are you coming, Darcy?” I asked. Darcy was looking into a glass case.

“I’ll be right there,” Darcy snarled. Nelson and I walked out the door. Soon Darcy walked out the store with a bag in his hand.

“You buy your little girlfriend a Christmas present?” I teased. Darcy didn’t answer.

Snow started to come down and I lost my footing. The perfume flew through the air.

“NO!” I screamed. Darcy dropped his crutches and caught it before Nelson could even move.

“Thanks,” I said as Nelson helped me up.

“You’re welcome,” Darcy grumbled. He hobbled along. What a strange boy.

“I was about to worry about you kids,” Ms. Donna said when we got back to the B&B. “They say a real bad snow storm is coming.”

“The roads are not good for crutches,” I said remembering my fall.

“Looks like you’ll have your first ever white Christmas,” Momma said smiling. I smiled back. This was not how I imagined my first white Christmas would be.

“What’s in the bag?” Momma asked.

“Oh, nothing,” I smiled. Momma winked at me.

I sat on the couch and watched the weather. Then there was a knock on the door.

I got up wondering what fool would come out here in this weather. A blizzard was going on!

“Tom! Joan!” Ms. Donna shouted. “What are you doing out in this weather?”

“Our power is out,” Mr. Rivers said. “We went looking for someone who had power.”

“Come in,” Ms. Donna said. “Get warm. It’s freezing out there!”

“Hopefully they can get out here and fix the power,” Mrs. Rivers said taking her coat off.

An hour later there was another knock on the door.

“Carlson clan!” Ms. Donna shouted.

“Our power went out thirty minutes ago. It got so cold in our house that we had to go and find somewhere with power,” Mrs. Carlson said.

“Come in,” Ms. Donna said.

Five minutes later Erin and her family were at the door.

“Our power is out,” Mrs. Cooper shivered.

“Natalie, meet my two little brothers Brandon and Toby,” Erin huffed as she walked through the door.

Brandon stuck his tongue out at me and I stuck mine out at him. Toby laughed.

“Your power out too?” Mrs. Rivers asked the Cooper’s. They nodded.

Ten minutes later Victoria and her parent’s showed up at the door.

“Our house is so cold!” Victoria cried. “Feel my hands.” I felt them. Coldness rushed through my hands.

It went on like this for about an hour. Everyone in town lost their power and came to the Sunshine B&B.

“I guess since I’m not exactly in Florida I might be on a different power circuit,” Ms. Donna said when I asked her why our power wasn’t out.

“How many people are here?” I asked as Mr. Steve moved the couch to make more room for people to sleep.

“All most the entire town!” Regina said. “There’s the Young’s, the Hardy’s, the Clark’s…………”

“Have any of you seen Emily?” Darcy asked hobbling over to us.

“No,” I said. “Why?”

“Cause she, her brother, and Mr. Stewart went hunting and then it started to snow,” Darcy said.

“Do you think they’re stuck in the snowstorm?” Victoria asked. Darcy nodded.

“Ms. Donna!” I shouted. Ms. Donna walked over.

“Yes?” Ms. Donna asked. She had a bunch of blankets in her hands.

“Mom, are the Stewart’s here?” Darcy asked.

“No. Maybe they have power,” Ms. Donna said.

“They went hunting today,” I said.

“I better call Mr. Stewart to make sure they’re all right,” Ms. Donna said. She dialed their number but there was no answer.

“If you want Donna, I’ll go out and look for them,” Mr. Steve said. Ms. Dona sighed.

“I don’t want to think about what could happen if we don’t find them soon,” Ms. Donna said. “Let me go boil some water and make coco.”

“I want to go too,” Darcy said.

“I also want to go,” I said.

“Why do you want to go? You don’t care about the Stewart’s,” Darcy snarled.

“I want to go because I want to help,” I said. “Sure I don’t like Emily too much but I don’t want her to die.”

Darcy looked at me like he didn’t believe me. I hobbled to the closet to get my coat and when I put it on my mother stopped me.

“Where do you think you’re going in this blizzard?” Momma asked.

“I want to help find the Stewart’s,” I said. Momma got a worried look on her face.

“I promise to stay in the car,” I said. Momma sighed.

“Fine but stay in the car,” Momma commanded. I nodded.

I walked outside to find Darcy and Mr. Steve ready to go. I got in the back seat and Mr. Steve started to drive.

“Where does Mr. Stewart like to hunt?” Mr. Steve asked Darcy.

“He always takes me to this place behind town,” Darcy said. Mr. Steve nodded.

The snow was coming down hard now and I had no idea how Mr. Steve could see. The windshield wipers weren’t working too well now.

“Mr. Matthews, you’re about to fall into a ditch!” Darcy screamed but it was too late. We were already stuck in the ditch.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 1- Christmas Dreams Installment 4


               “Good morning, Natalie,” Momma said to me with a smile. I nodded. Maybe what happened last night was all a really bad Christmas dream.

But it wasn’t. Darcy hobbled into the family room on his crutches. His knee cap was broken. He looked at me with an evil eye and hobbled into the kitchen.

“It wasn’t your fault, honey,” Momma said. Did she think I felt sorry? I didn’t feel sorry one bit for that Darcy. Ok maybe just a little. It was rotten having a broken foot but a broken knee?

“Can you hand me my crutches?” I asked. Momma nodded and handed them to me. I started to hobble into the restaurant.

“Look, who’s up,” Mr. Steve said to me. His face lightened up and then I saw that my Momma was behind me. Momma smiled back at him. I hobbled away not wanting to even think about my Momma liking Steve Matthews.

“Good morning, Miss Natalie,” Ms. Donna said to me. She smiled and put a plate of waffles on the table where Darcy was sitting.

“Good morning, Ms. Donna,” I said sitting at an empty chair at the table. Darcy gave me a look that clearly said I wasn’t welcome but I didn’t get up.

The door to the restaurant banged open and Emily Stewart walked into the restaurant with her grandfather not far behind.

“Mr. Stewart,” Ms. Donna started walking up to him. Emily walked to the table were Darcy and I were sitting.

“Move, clumsy,” Emily said. I got up. Not because I was afraid of this girl but because I really didn’t feel like fighting.

“My granddaughter would like an apology from both Natalie and Regina,” Mr. Stewart said. “We’ve already taken care of Erin.”

“What did Natalie do?” Momma asked. “Your granddaughter pulled her hair!”

“I did not! She told a lie about me in front of the entire school!” Emily cried.

“It wasn’t in front of the entire school,” Regina said. “Claire wasn’t there.” Emily balled up her fist.

“You! You assaulted me!” Emily shouted.

“Look, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be apologizing for but I’m sorry for whatever I did,” I said. I took one look at her before I walked out the door and hobbled down the road.

The log cabin was the first thing that caught my eye when I got close to town. Christmas lights hung from it and Mr. Rivers was on top of the roof trying to put a snowman on top of it. He waved and I smiled.

“Hello, Natalie,” Mrs. Rivers said. She had a box full of lights under her arm. “How’s the foot?”

“Still broken,” I sighed. Mrs. Rivers smiled.

“So what brings you down the road?” Mrs. Rivers asked.

“I don’t know,” I sighed. “I bet you heard about what happened at the Christmas party.”

“It’s all over town,” Mrs. Rivers said. “How Ms. Ross let things get so out of hand surprises me.”

“It was all Emily Stewarts fault. She pulled my hair in front of everybody and then denied it,” I said.

“A Stewart will do that to you,” Mrs. Rivers said taking some tinsel out of the box.

“And she came by today asking Regina and I to apologize. I understand Regina but what did I do?” I asked.

“From what Erin told me, you did nothing wrong but if you dig deeper into Emily Stewart’s past you might figure out why she feels like you should apologize,” Mrs. Rivers said putting the tinsel on the mail box.

There was no way I was digging into that girl’s past.

“I should probably go back home,” I huffed. “My mother doesn’t know I’m here.”

“Do you need a ride?” Mrs. Rivers asked me. I shook my head no and hobbled down the road.

When I got back to the B&B Emily and her grandfather were gone. I hobbled back to the couch in the family room and found a note.

If you know what’s best for you. You’ll stay away from Florida(especially Darcy!!)!!!!!!!!!!!!

No one needed to tell me who this was from.


    “Nelson,” I said all serious.

“Yeah, Natalie,” Nelson said.

“I have a mission for you,” I whispered.

Nelson looked at me like I was crazy.

“Nelson, I need you to sneak into my mother’s room and get the catalog sitting on her dresser,” I whispered. “I would do it myself but my foot.”

“Why are you whispering?” Nelson asked.

“Haven’t you ever watched spy movies?” I asked.

“Sure,” Nelson shrugged.

“I’m pretending to be the Christmas Spy,” I said. Nelson nodded.

“I will get that catalog, sir. I mean ma’am,” Nelson said. He tiptoed up the stairs in a dramatic way. Boy, did he look funny.

After what seemed like forever, Nelson came back down with the catalog I wanted.

“What do you need this for?” Nelson asked.

“I need to find out what my mom wants for Christmas,” I said turning to the page with an index card stuck in it.

“Why don’t you just ask her?” Nelson asked.

“Cause that’s not how Baldwin’s do it,” I said. There was only one thing on the page. It was an ad for perfume. The perfume was called Christmas Dreams.

Perfume? Why in the world would my mother want perfume?

She wants to smell good for Steve a voice in my head said. No way. That was NOT the reason.

“How do you know if she wants perfume or this book,” Nelson said looking at the two pages.

The page where the lines of the index card touched was what she wanted and I knew she didn’t want the book. The book was called, How to Enjoy Christmas.

                    “This page had the side of the card with the lines,” I said. “And my mother could enjoy Christmas with all the bones in her body broken.”

Nelson nodded.

“I need to go to the store,” I said. “Where’s the closet Wal-Mart?” Nelson laughed.

“There’s a little shop in town. I believe they sell perfume,” Nelson said. That would have to do.

“Will you take me?” I asked. Nelson shrugged. I hobbled off towards the family room where Ms. Donna was watching TV.

“Ms. Donna, I’m going out to go get my mom a Christmas present. Don’t worry, Nelson is coming with me,” I said. Ms. Donna nodded.

“Take Darcy with you,” Ms. Donna said. “DARCY!”

Darcy hobbled into the family room.

“Nelson and Natalie are going to town to get Christmas presents,” Ms. Donna said. “I want you to accompany them.”

Darcy groaned and then looked at me as if I had something to do with. I went through my suitcase and found my green fudge tin my dad had given me. It was where I kept my money.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” Darcy said as we walked down the road. He started to hobble ahead of Nelson and me. That boy is fast on crutches.

“Do you hear that?” Nelson asked me. It sounded like an engine. I was about to say yes but Nelson didn’t give me the chance. He pushed me into a ditch and hid along with me.

“What did you………” I started but then a car drove by real fast. It drove right on the ground I had just when walking on.

“People don’t know how to drive these days,” Nelson muttered helping me out of the ditch.

“Hurry up!” Darcy called from far down the road.

When Nelson and I got to the shop Darcy was already there looking around. A girl around fifteen was standing at the counter.

“Welcome to The Treasure Chest. My name is Paige,” The girl said. “And you must be Natalie.” I nodded.

“Darcy said you were looking for a perfume called Christmas Dreams. You’re in luck. We have one bottle left,” Paige said. Darcy had told her that? Funny, I didn’t even think he was listening.

Just as Paige reached under the counter to get the perfume the sound of glass ringed through my ears.

Posted in Natalie

Natalie: Part 1-Christmas Dreams Installment 3 Part 2


                                      My mother agreed to let me go to the party. She said it would help me get to know my new classmates better. Mr. Drew would be driving us kids to the party and at six we got into his car.

“There are so many people for you to meet!” Regina shouted. “Let me see there’s Claire, Erin, Victoria……….”

The drive to the school wasn’t long and soon we were at the school. The Memorial School was a one story brick building that I thought looked more like a church than a school.

Darcy climbed over me to get out of the car. What a gentleman.

As Mr. Drew was helping me get out the car, Regina screamed and another car hit the other side of Mr. Drew’s car.

“Mr. Stewart, are you all right?” Darcy asked running to the other car.

“I’m just fine, son,” Mr. Stewart said getting out of his car. “I’m sorry, Samuel, for hitting your car.”

“What happened?” Mr. Drew asked. He didn’t look too mad but there was a little bit of annoyance in his voice.

“Some kid ran out in front of me and I swerved,” Mr. Stewart muttered. He sounded mad. “Don’t worry, Samuel, I’ll fix your car.”

“That would be nice since it was your fault,” Mr. Drew said. He finished helping me out of the car.

“You kids go in while I sort this out with Mr. Stewart,” Mr. Drew said. Darcy ran into the school but Nelson and Regina walked at my pace as I hobbled into the school.

“I didn’t see any kid,” Regina said when we were inside the school.

“Neither did I,” Nelson said. “To me it looked like he was trying to hit the car.”

“But why would Mr. Stewart do that?” Regina asked.

“Cause he’s a Grinch,” I joked. That made them laugh.

“He really kinda is. I mean look at Darcy. Mr. Stewart is the father figure in his life!” Regina laughed.

I wanted to ask what happened to Darcy’s dad but I thought it might be rude to ask. And anyway Regina might not even know.

When we walked into the gym there were decorations and a large tree. Christmas music was playing. A bunch of children were dancing. Darcy and some girl walked up to us.

“You must be Natalie. I’m Emily Stewart,” The girl said offering her hand. I couldn’t shake her hand because if I took my hand off my crutch I would fall.

“Nice to meet you,” I said with my polite smile (a smile I was using a lot lately).

“When will you start attending our school?” Emily asked.

“In January,” I answered. Emily smiled.

“Well, welcome,” Emily said. She and Darcy walked away.

“Just in case you didn’t make the connection, Emily Stewart is Mr. Stewart’s granddaughter,” Regina said. I actually hadn’t made that connection.

“I guess that makes since,” I said. Emily’s niceness seemed kinda fake to me.

“Hello, you must be Natalie,” A woman said walking up to me.

“Did the cast tip you off?” I asked. The woman laughed.

“I’m Ms. Ross and I’m the sixth grade teacher aka your teacher,” The woman said. I smiled.

“Nice to meet you Ms. Ross,” I smiled.

“I look forward to having you in my class this year,” Ms. Ross said. “I will see all three of you in class a couple weeks from now.”

She smiled and walked away.

“You’ll really like Ms. Ross,” Regina said walking over to the refreshment table. “She’s nice and the best art teacher.”

I nodded. Someone tapped on my shoulder.

“Hi! I’m Erin Cooper!” The red haired girl said to me.

“And I’m Victoria,” A dark skinned girl said to me. I smiled at them.

“These are my best friends, Natalie,” Regina said.

“Hi,” I said.

“Where’s Claire?” Regina asked.

“I thought she told you. Because she got a C on the spelling test today her mother wouldn’t let her come to the party,” Victoria said.

“EVERYBODY PLEASE COME DOWN TO THE DANCE FLOOR EVEN IF YOUR FOOT IS IN A CAST. WE’RE GOING TO PLAY FREEZE DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Ms. Ross screamed through a microphone. I hobbled to get in line. Just to be mean I stood next to Darcy which forced Emily to find someone else to stand next too.

Christmas music started to play and I hobbled in a circle. I noticed that Emily was making her way over to me. The music stopped.

“Erin, you moved!” Ms. Ross shouted. Erin groaned and stood next to Ms. Ross. The music started up and what happened, happened all too fast.

Emily pulled on my hair and I fell and while I fell I heard the worst scream in my life.

“What’s wrong?” Mr. Drew asked running into the gym.

“Clumsy hit my knee with her cast,” Darcy groaned. He sounded like he was in some serious pain.

“Your girlfriend pulled my hair!” I screamed.

“What a lie,” Emily said rolling her eyes.

“I saw you!” Nelson shouted. Emily gasped.

“Why would I do such a thing?” Emily asked.

“Cause your jealous,” Regina snapped. Emily laughed.

“Why would I be jealous of her? She probably just tripped like she did the first time she tried to break Darcy’s knee,” Emily said.

“That’s crazy! Darcy tripped her the first time!” Regina shouted. Emily laughed again. Regina snapped and jumped on Emily. They started to scream and pull each other’s hair.

I turned my head and saw that Darcy’s knee was out of place.

“That’s gross,” I laughed. Darcy gave me an evil look.

“Girls!” Ms. Ross shouted separating them.

“She assaulted me!” Emily cried. Darcy laughed.

“Darcy!” Emily screamed. She started to walk towards the door but Erin pulled her hair.

“That’s what she did,” Erin said.

“I’m being attacked!” Emily cried. She ran out the door.

What a wonderful debut, right? Who am I kidding? What a mess.