Monday, December 23, 2013

A New Friend - 5.20

The night before Snowflake Day, not a thing has been done,
instead of work, this family had nothing but fun.
The washers unused, the dishes stayed dirty,

no one sweeping leaves dust bunnies quite sturdy.
Footprints all over, show a carpet uncleaned,
things add up in a house that's not preened.
But no one cares, it is time for glee,
No one can wait, for gifts under the tree.

A wreath on the door and lights just hanging,
snow fall outside makes a night most enchanting.
Cars are covered by the gleaming white stuff,
but it keeps coming down, no sign of rebuff.
A snowman watches the house as he stands,
he holds a fake broom with sticks for his hands.
Windows fogged over and doors almost iced,
but the warmth inside makes all feel nice.


Early on snowflake morning the household became a-buzz with motion. The triplets emerged from their small room with smiles on their faces.  Brenna and Dayna remained in their pajamas, but it seemed that Caylin had thrown on an outfit for the occasion. Or perhaps she had slept in her daytime clothes. To the girls' delight, they spotted Rylan coming out of his room as well.

Rylan, fresh into his teen years, threw them a sideways glance, "Think you girls could giggle any louder?" He rolled his eyes mockingly, he smiled in spite of himself.

"Mom and dad up yet?" Dayna asked. Caylin giggled and bounced up and down behind her sister. Brenna smiled bright and was wringing her hands together.

Just as Rylan was shrugging his shoulders in reply, the four of them heard a 'Yeees' from the other side of the wall. David pulled the bedroom door open and walked out as he buttoned his shirt, Rosetta following close behind him.

"Morning! Happy Snowflake day." Rosetta said. "Who wants breakfast?" After only a second, she laughed all the frowning faces staring back at her, including her own husband's. "Okay okay, we can do presents first."

Caylin clapped her hands and bounded toward the stairs, she placed her rump on the rail and slid all the way to the bottom. Using the actual steps, Brenna was right behind her. Then came Rylan and Rosetta, Brenna then David came down bringing the tail end of the train. 

The six of them sat in the den, having turned the couch around so it would face their tree, and exchanged gifts. Rylan finally got the guitar he'd been waiting for, and couldn't wait to play. Rosetta was promised to be shown hers later. She had a pretty good idea of what it was, David had a really hard time hiding the construction from someone who also lived in the house, but was very antsy to see the finished product. Caylin got a Panda piggy bank and a blue butterfly carpet. Brenna received a dollhouse as well as some new books to read. Dayna got a football and a few other outdoor toys. David a few new items to do tricks for his magic show and some new outfits.

For a while the whole family enjoyed each others company. It wasn't long though, before each member went on their own way to play with their new things. This was Rosetta's chance to see her gift.

A backdoor had been installed at the rear end of the den, where the Dominoes table used to be. Walking through that and turning right would lead you to the new greenhouse that would have Rosetta gardening year round. David even managed to transplant a few of his wife's dear plants into the new garden without killing them. After being in the warmth and under Rosetta's constant loving care, they'd be back to blooming before the week was over.

Rosetta loved the new addition immediately. The digital fish tank-wall set it off nicely, it made the atmosphere quite serene. Also, the moment you walked through the chilled glass door your body warmed quickly to match the perfect temperature inside. During the nicer months of the year, windows would open for a fresh breeze. In the Summer though, a cooling system would prevent the plants getting too hot. Rosetta ended up spending the majority of the morning in there with her greenery and getting used to the new digs. 

When sun came up a bit more, everyone went out to play in the snow. Most everyone anyway. David was in the front gathering up snow and packing into a ball. Two more large snowballs made a snowman and once he added an old hockey helmet and stick with some of his old gloves, it was the perfect sporty snowman. Caylin and Dayna had made a few snow angels, but after seeing their fathers handy work they decided to make their own snowman. The two of them ran off to the old garden area so they could have room. David laughed and fell face first into the snow, making a snow angel.

Rylan had been busy playing his guitar in his room and hadn't joined the others in their outdoor play. He'd barely even heard the peeling laughter because he was in the zone, trying to learn everything he could about his new instrument.

Upstairs, Brenna was playing with another present. This one didn't fit under the tree so it was set up in the den for everyone to enjoy. Taking up most of the floor space in the upper family room was a large electronic train set. As she usually does, when she plays with anything else, she set up her doll to watch and play with her. She stood and watched the train go around, stopping whenever she pushed the correct button. Brenna made sounds of people loading on the passenger cars. She was a great train engineer. Suddenly she saw sparkles around her doll and soon after, it sprung to life.

Walking over, wide eyed, Brenna asked her toy "What in the world? Are you real?"

Pam, the toy, laughed and nodded. "I am! You've loved me so much, I wanted to be big like you so we can play all day!"

Brenna smiled wide. "Awesome!" She said, then the two laughed. They started to talk, mostly about what they wanted to play and their favorite games.

Brenna was asking about Pams favorite room in the house when, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Caylin come up the stairs.

"We've been looking for you!" Caylin put one hand on her hip and tapped her foot impatiently. "Are you going to come join the family?"

Brenna ignored her. To Caylin, it appeared that her sister was just staring at nothing with a smile on her face. To Brenna, she was listening to her new friends opinions about their dwelling.

"Hellooooo!" Caylin tried to get her attention but failed. After a few seconds of nothing, she turned around, sighed and trotted down the stairs saying "Guess not."

It was only a moment later that Brenna realized Caylin had left. She followed down the steps looking to see what she wanted and to as what she thought of the toy coming to life. At the bottom of the stair though, was not Caylin, but rather Dayna and Rylan both doing a small exercise.

"Dayna, Dayna check this out!" Brenna said excitedly. "Look look, My old toy is my new friend! This is awesome."

"What are you talking about Brenna? I swear sometimes you're a bit nutty." Dayna said, eyeing her sister skeptically.

"Oh come on, don't look at me like that, she's right here behind me!"

Dayna leaned to the right a little and, seeing nothing, rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Whatever. Your a nutter."

Even Rylan glanced in the way of his sisters. He was slightly confused about what was going on, but definitely saw no one behind Brenna.

"Well, that went well. Wanna go play tag outside?" Pam asked.

Brenna sighed as she watched Dayna leave the room shaking her head and muttering something about 'lunacy'. "Um. Sure, yeah let's do that."

Rylan watched Brenna talking to no one and making no sense, then leave. He shook his head a little and thought I'll never understand girls. Especially those girls. He finished his workout and joined the family for lunch, all but Brenna who had gone outside.

The holidays were over, winter was coming to an end. The sun broke through the clouds more often and the blanket of snow over Hidden Springs began to melt. Spring was approaching, and a new season of outdoor activities was beginning...

To be continued...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Auntie's Surprise - 5.19

*** Previously in the Fuller Family: An Autumn festival brings the family holidays to a start. Rosetta has a peek at what a ghosts life could be like if they decided to stick around after death. The kids filled their bellies in a pie eating contest before carving pumpkins and going out trick or treating on Spooky Night. Temperatures are dropping fast as winter approaches, bringing more holidays with it.


I've been working on the upstairs den. Finally put up some shelving for all of our family photos. We've got a million of them I swear - and I love every one. Though I have to say, my favorite is the recent Halloween shot of all four kids in their costumes. I did notice though that David seems to be the one taking most of the pictures... he's not in any of them! I'll have to remedy that.

Rylan is finally entering his teen years. His birthday is this Monday. We're not having a big party for him, apparently no one from school could come. That's okay though, I don't think he's big on crowds much. Kinda like myself at that age

The family gathered around in the kitchen to celebrate Rylan's birthday. His mom and dad stood behind him and cheered for him as he blew out his candles. His wish had been to acquire, at some point in his teen years, a guitar. He'd not seen a guitar box shaped gift among his birthday presents and so assumed that there wasn't one here. Not to be discouraged, he promised himself he'd save any money he came by, until one could be purchased.

Rylan happily and proudly made a presentation of himself entering his new age group. Rosetta watched as all of her children, lovingly referred to as her 'band of moppets', and her husband grab slices of cake and sit down to enjoy them. Afterward, the birthday boy opened his gifts which included a new cell phone. A few of the other things were items to add to his phone for personalizing, new clothes, and a new small TV set for his room. After helping bring Rylan's new things upstairs, the other three kids of the family played some video games in the den while he set up his room.

All the children were allowed to stay up a little later this night, in order to burn off the sugar high that comes after ingesting so much icing. Rylan spent much of his time trying on his new outfits, or trying to hook the new television up to the cable. Brenna went off to play with her doll while Caylin and Dayna played hide and seek until bedtime.

The next few days went by smoothly. Rylan adjusted well to high school even though the didn't know anyone in his classes yet. The girls were doing good in school as well, though did miss seeing their brother in the halls between periods or on breaks. David went to the park each day and earned tips with his free performances.

One day, just after work, Rosetta dropped by her best friends house. Sonia had married Steve and a few months later they moved into a new house closer to town. It had been quite a while since the two ladies had gotten together. When Rosetta knocked on the door no on answered. Slightly disappointed, she pulled out her phone and called her friend as she walked away. It rang only two times before Rosetta looked up to hail a cab and saw Sonia clambering out of one. Rosetta smiled, ended the call and slipped her phone into her pocket.

Sonia gained her footing and, upon standing, noticed Rosetta waving to her from her own yard. Happily she waved back. Also in that moment Sonia realized that she hadn't seen her friend in a very long time. She didn't even know about the pregnancy.

"Wow!" Rosetta said, "You and Steve have been busy I see."

Sonia smiled and the two of them embraced. "Yes, I can't believe I haven't talked to you in so long. I'm actually not that far from the due date. We know it's a boy, we've named him Nicholas. Come on inside and we'll catch up."

"Actually I need to get home, have to cook a quick dinner. I just wanted to drop by for a second. I'm so glad to see you though, and very happy to see that you're having a baby! You will call me won't you? When the time comes?"

Sonia laughed and said that she would call. The two hugged again and Rosetta left for home.

It was not even a full month when Rosetta got that call. Sonia had told her to come over whenever, she and her new babe had been home for a day and night. Rosetta told her she'd be over in a few minutes, seeing as how she wasn't busy.

Rosetta pulled up to Sonia's house and sunk into shin deep snow when she climbed out of the car. The temperature had been dropping all week. By the end of it there was snow flurries. The previous night had enough snowfall for school to be canceled this day. Sonia opened the door just before Rosetta got to it and was ushered inside.

Sonia talked her friends ear off as she walked them both up the stairs to see her son. Rosetta smiled and let her talk, enjoying the new baby fever. Hearing about Sonia's infant forced memories to be recalled from her own mind and brought about fresh smiles. She remembered all the things Sonia talked about fondly, but was actually thankful that those times were in the past and moving into new and undiscovered territories.

Rosetta held Nicholas and cuddled with him while Sonia watched and talked. She wondered if her friend would have more after this one. Thoughts about when she had decided to have another rang through her mind and she chuckled at the memory of ending up with three more instead of just one. What a surprise there.

Back at home, Brenna, Rylan and their father sat at the table together talking and eating a small lunch of macaroni and cheese.

"So it must kind of suck to have your birthday so close to Snowflake day." David said to his son. "I mean, you get all these presents in one month sure, but you basically have to wait a whole year to get any presents!"

Brenna laughed as she left her seat, taking her bowl and setting it in the sink. She announced that she was going to her room to play when she left.

Rylan laughed too. "Yeah I can see what you mean. I guess you'll just have to fit some kind of gift giving holiday for me somewhere in the middle, huh?"

It was Davids turn to laugh. "Yeaaahh. I wouldn't expect that one kid. Speaking of gifts, what do you think your mom would want for the holidays?"

"Probably a guitar."

David's eyes narrowed in his sons direction. "Ya think? You really want one don't you?" He laughed again before giving a window of hope. "We'll see."

Rylan sighed a little and rolled his eyes. He picked up his bowl and set it in the sink before leaving the kitchen. On his way out he looked back and said, "Honestly the only thing I think mom would want is garden immune to winter. Since she's really missing her plants. I don't think she likes that she has to stop gardening during the cold season."

David nodded. At first he blew that thought off, but it as he cleaned the kitchen it crept back. While loading the dishwasher he found himself making plans to give her exactly that. His son had shared the perfect gift idea, and probably didn't even realize it.

.....To be continued.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finally Fall - 5.18

**Previously in the Fuller family: A visit to the local pool for the day nicely topped off a perfect summer.  Rosetta's concern for her daughters increasing desire to be alone deepens, but she seems the only one with these worries. David is hoping it's a phase, or something she'll get over eventually, wanting to think that she's just a shy, gentle girl. Rosetta has become Mayor of Hidden Springs and has the full support of her family to move forward with her new career.**

Autumn has come and the weather has gotten colder. More of the family activities were contained indoors and, unfortunately, the kids seemed to argue more often. Over the few weeks of being cooped up, Dayna's worked out every day, increasing her desire to be athletic. Brenna is withdrawn as usual and spends most times playing with the doll she'd gotten as a baby, but has also taken a great interest in space and watching the stars. Caylin has followed in her fathers footsteps as much as she can and even dreams of doing her own magic shows, and also shows an interest in Science like her mother. Rylan still dreams of having a guitar, or maybe a keyboard, of course any instrument would do. In the meantime he's thrown himself into chess. David has cut a lot of his free performances in the park, and sticks mostly to his weekly shows at the Flying V or Mike's Master Karaoke. Rosetta worked daily at learning the rules of being the mayor, so far doing marvelously and looking forward to her first fund raiser

It was finally Spooky Day in Hidden Springs. Since, during holidays, there was no school - nor work for either Rosetta or David - the family decided to make a full day of it and go to the festival. Rylan, Dayna and Caylin were truly excited but Brenna held reserves. As usual, with going out to the park, she worried there were going to be many people. Mysteriously there weren't very many people at all. Rosetta was starting to wonder if they were the only family in this town that liked going out.

The first thing the kids did, aside from Brenna, was run to the haunted house. David wasn't far behind them either, since it was always a favorite of his as well. He and Caylin were the first two inside. Browsing through the passageways they saw wonders a plenty, until the two louder kids entered in behind them. Rylan and Dayna had come as well and were very rambunctious, their voices echoed through the spooky halls distracting the other lookers.

Rosetta fully planned on visiting the haunted shack, never having been in one before, but there was a pumpkin patch with ripe pumpkins ready to be harvested. She thought maybe she could get a few of them for the kids to carve this afternoon, and wanted to do it before anyone else might pluck them. She was also thinking that she'd have to stop by the bookstore and pick up a cooking book with a good pumpkin pie recipe for her to learn.

While the rest of the family was off tending to their own businesses, Brenna wandered around smelling, picking and enjoying the last wildflowers of the year. Pretty soon it would be too cold and no more flowers would be sprouting. Brenna finds things about her world even more special since she's been looking out at the vast emptiness that is space. While she gathers her flowers, she thinks about saving her allowances up to get her own telescope.

Brenna is being watched by Rosetta as she picks off pumpkins and loads them into the car. She had found six good pumpkins, once for each member of the family. Unfortunately that didn't leave an extra one for pumpkin pie making. After loading all of them in the car Rosetta glanced around the park. She saw Brenna smelling flowers still, and the other three kids were running in and out of the Haunted House. She spotted David by the Apple bobbing trough and smiled. That sounded fun.

I just love this holiday. It's always been my favorite, but it's even more awesome now that I have my own family to spend it with. I don't know what I'd do without them. I can't imagine that going places, like this, would be as fun or fulfilling. Honestly I'd have another one if I was young enough. The more the merrier right?

David smiled at the approach of his wife and motioned her to join in the dunking. He and a few others were going to have a contest. Rosetta nodded said "Sure!" Everyone assumed their positions while David counted down. A moment after his count down to one he, Rosetta and an acquaintance by the name of Paula splashed their faces into the water. After a few seconds of fishing and fumbling around, Rosetta was the first to snag an apple. She spit it on the ground next to her and dived in for more. The race was to see how many each could get before the time was up. David snorted and bit, but failed to get any apples before the ding was heard to end the contest. He brushed the water from his face and looked at Rosetta, who was grinning and showing off her four red wet apples. A small pout came across his face but was quickly replaced by a big smile.

"Well well, someones got a big mouth!" He teased.

Rosetta gave him a secret smile. She tossed him an apple. "I'll share my spoils. Hey, you guys looked like you had a bunch of fun at the Haunted Shack, I think  I'll take a trip through. Want to come?"

David shook his head, "Nah, I'm going to see what the kids are up to. You have fun though, tell me what you like best, and watch out for falling spiders!" He winked and turned to find their children.

David found the kids just about to start a pie eating contest against each other. David had to smile at the four of them all line up and braced to dig in. David heard a bell go off and saw all the kids slam their faces into the berry pies. Caylin was the first to start chowing down, followed closely by Brenna, then Rylan. Dayna was the last start eating.

David laughed aloud as he watched them spoon out berries with their tongues and shove things about with their noses, working it up to eat it easier. In addition to the laughter the sounds of snorting and chomping filled the air.

Rosetta made her way into the Haunted house and was surprised at how large it seemed inside. The external view of the shack made it look smaller. She smiled at the hanging ghosts, and the coffins with hands sticking out. She made her way through the hallways while random items jumped out at her. Only a few of them actually startled the woman.

Surprisingly, Dayna was the first to finish the contest. She brought her head up for a deep breath and spotted her father. He was doubled over with laughter having seen his daughters face covered in berry juice. Even though she didn't really know why he was laughing, it was contagious so she smiled with him. Rylan finished second, when he looked up though he let out a squeal.

"Mom! What happened to you! You're ... you're dead!!"

Instantly the laughter stopped and the contest ended. Caylin and Brenna jerked their heads up and David spun  around so fast that he nearly fell over. There, standing behind him was a ghost very much resembling his wife. He backed up a few feet and started looking around for his real - live - wife.

Rosetta smiled. "Yeah, right." Then she looked down at her hands and the grin left her face as quickly as it had come. "Oh."

There was a pause during which no sound was heard. Then Rosetta spit out a nervous laugh. "No way, this can't be real." She stopped laughing but tried to maintain a smile. She was actually getting worried that she was dead and tried frantically to remember what else happened in that Haunted House. Nothing stood out in her mind. David ran up to her then.

"What happened? What happened! Dear spirits what happened to you?" He awkwardly reached out to touch her, but stopped just before contact. He didn't know what would happen if he did. He stared at her, unable to say anything more.

A festival worker had noticed the commotion with the family and walked over to offer any assistance. He was shocked when David near jumped on him to find out what was going on with his wife. David, though he was near raging, registered a slight smile on the mans face. As if he was trying not to smile, but not doing a good job. David stopped and stared, anger starting to grow.

The man put out his hands, trying to assure David and said, "It's okay. It happens in the Haunted Shack. The effect is temporary and it's just an illusion. She's not a real ghost. You can touch her and everything. It's all fine. It only lasts a few hours, five tops but most people stay that way for about three."

David let out a breath. Due to the chill in the air and the anger on his face, it looked like smoke from a dragons mouth. He took another deep breath as if he was breathing this information in. Letting out again he looked at Rosetta, who was still nervous.

Rylan burst out laughing. "Oh that's awesome!! I wanna go in there again!" Dayna chimed in with a joyful nod and a grin saying that she would go too. Unfortunately their father shook his head. He said that it was time to go home.

"It's getting too cold to be out, and it's getting dark. Besides, we have things to do before you go out trick or treating." He looked at each messy faced child in turn before his gaze fell back to Rosetta. "Geesh, you scared the crap out of me woman!"

Rosetta smiled, "Yeah, scared me too. I thought maybe that one thing that did spook me in there scared me to 'death'!" Then she laughed. Since she seemed okay with it, David let a little more anxiety go. He wanted to kiss her but was not sure how he would feel about smooching on a spirit. Even if it was an illusion - something he knew quite a bit about since he was a magician.

Grumbling, the kids piled into the car. Rylan commented on the weird smell. Rosetta told him that it was the pumpkins she had picked.

When they got home, each person grabbed a pumpkin and headed to the living room. Rosetta had told them that they were all going to carve their own pumpkins to set out for Spooky night. The kids were really excited about it. The filed in the living room and positioned themselves on the floor to get started working.

David decided he would rather have pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice cookies instead of a jack-o-lantern and said he would pass on the carving. He would be glad to stay there and watch though.

Soon, the living room had the noises of squishing and scraping. Not to mention the sounds of children groaning in mock disgust even though they loved every bit of the gooeyness. Dayna laughed every time she had to pull a scoop of slick seeds out. Caylin and Rylan had already emptied their pumpkins and were starting to cut out shapes on the front. Brenna was trying to carve a cat on her orange canvas, but it wasn't going as well as she had hoped.

Rosetta, still carrying her ghostly illusion, emptied her pumpkin and carved a spooky ghost into it. In honor of her recent 'demise'. David laughed when he noticed what she had been making and said it was the perfect idea.

When finished, Rylan sat back to enjoy his work. Unfortunately it was horrid. It looked nothing like the idea he had in his mind. He shrugged thinking it still looked cool and would work and went to checking out the others' carvings. Caylin had done a classic jack-o-lantern design and it had turned out well, Dayna had done a cat face and it appeared to have come out great. His mothers looked wonderful too. Just his and Brenna's turned out wrong but neither were upset about it. It was their first time after all.

Everyone finished up and carried their jack-o-lanterns to the front yard. They lined them up side by side while their mother got candles to light them up. The family stood and admired them for a few minutes before going inside to wash up.

Each of the kids still had berry pie all over their faces. Rosetta laid out their costumes while they each showered, then help them get dressed up for trick or treating. She would have loved to go out with them, but she had a really early work day the next day and needed to get to sleep. After her kids were dressed, she snapped a picture and watched as David led them all outside.

Rylan the Tiger was the first out, followed closely by Brenna the Gnome. Dayna was dressed as a mouse and Caylin as a cow plant. The four children and their chaperon decided to use the car, since the houses were pretty spaced out and walking would take a long time.

Dayna was the first to ring house number one, unfortunately there was no answer there. The next ones though were good scores, even though sometimes they were given something other than candy. Rylan came home with a new stuffed animal, and Caylin got a corn dog instead of a candy bar from one house. Dayna admitted that someone seemed to have given her a small space rock.

David spoke up, "Well I guess some people just couldn't buy candy, or maybe they were dentists or something. Figuring candy was bad for you, so gives toys instead." His children glared at him with skeptical faces. He laughed. "Well sorry you didn't get as many sweets as you wanted, but you did have fun and that's what matters."

The evening being over everyone dressed in pajamas and crawled into bed. Each slept soundly though the night was filled with odd dreams.

To be continued...