🙂 Tuesday = #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. She has changed things up a little bit. Now the word and the genre is provided. This will definitely stretch my creative muscles as I attempt to write other types of stories.
Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This Week’s Word: Shine
Genre: Folklore – the songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth
This is my Hail Mary pass 😉
Your Time to Shine
My mom and grandma are coming by to see my new house. They were so happy that we decided to move closer to them, it will be nice to visit with them, it’s been awhile.
My grandma comes in carrying her famous coffee cake, and a Ziplock bag full of assorted teas. I take them and put them in the kitchen. After I give them the grand tour of the house, we sit down in the living room. Mom and grandma fill me in on who’s doing what in the family.
As if she could sense what time it was, Grandma looks at her watch and says, “Oh, Natalie, it’s almost time for tea, can you put the kettle on?”
“Sure Grandma.” I say, as I continue talking to my mom. But she interrupts me, and says, “I’ll help you in the kitchen, we can talk in there.”
Nearly dragging me in here, “Mom? What’s the rush with the tea? I was going to do it.”
“I know hon, Grandma likes to have her tea at the same time. It’s what she has always done, and her mother before her, just indulge her.” My mom leaves the kitchen to let Grandma know it’s ready.
Once they sit down, Grandma starts preparing her tea and says, “Natalie, would you like to know why we have tea promptly at 1:30?”
“Sure Grandma. Do you really do this every day?”
“Of course dear, it’s a habit now. But I can remember how my mother would do it every day, even if she was in the middle of something, she would stop and have her tea. It wasn’t until I had a home of my own, that she told me why she did it, so this is why I am telling you.”
I look over to my mom with eyes questioning, with a smile on her face she nods her head slightly letting me know I need to listen.
“Well, I know you don’t remember your great grandfather,” she starts then says, “God rest his soul” as she makes the sign of the cross. “You see, he was a very wealthy man. Shortly after he married my mother, they moved into a beautiful home that backed up to a forest. She didn’t have to work, so she took care of the house, then us kids. She had 5 kids within 6 years, so she was very busy. She didn’t believe in asking for any help, this was her job, and she was going to do it. Well, one day after she put us all down for a nap, she decided to make a cup of tea and relax for a moment before she cleaned the house. But the tea relaxed her so much so that she fell asleep. But when she awoke, the whole house was clean.”
“Wait…what? How?” I question, looking at my mom and then at my Grandma as they both casually drink their tea.
“It took a while for her to figure out what was going on, but after that first time, she decided to have tea the same time every day, and every day she would fall asleep and the house was clean when she awoke. She felt that there could possibly be something in the tea that made her sleep. So, one day she pretended to drink the tea so that she could stay awake, and see who or what was responsible for this. As she pretended to be asleep, she could hear movement in the kitchen, so she quietly got up and peeked into the kitchen to see who was in there. What she saw, she couldn’t believe her eyes.”
Another pause as Grandma cuts herself another slice of cake. Are you kidding me? “What? What did she see?”
“More tea honey?” My mom asks.
“Mom,” I whine not unlike an impatient child.
Grandma laughs quietly before she continues, “What she saw in her kitchen were a half dozen elves, cleaning with an efficiency and quickness that was unearthly.”
I almost spit out my tea, “Elves.”
“Oh, not like Christmas Elves with pointed shoes and funny costumes. She described them as beautiful creatures, with fair skin and long flowing hair, the females and males, both with piercing green eyes, though they did have the pointed ears, and were small, yet looked very human. Boy, could these elves clean, the floor had such a lustrous shine you could see your reflection in it. That day when they were done, she followed them into the forest to see where they lived. As she approached the tree they called home, an aroma of sweet goodness filled the air. Not only could these small beings clean, they could bake too. That explained the freshly baked cookies she found a couple of times sitting on the kitchen counter. After her discovery, she contemplated telling my father about what she discovered, but then she feared he would not believe her, and send her away. So instead she decided to make that her daily routine. The elves eventually stopped coming once she didn’t need the help anymore.”
We were all quiet for a moment as I absorbed this tale, until finally I say, “So you both believe that actually happened?”
Grandma spoke first, “You see Natalie, the way my mother told the story, you couldn’t help but to believe. Now, whether it was true or not, only she knows, God rest her soul. But I know because of it, I found the importance of taking time for myself each and every day. It helped me be a better mother, a better wife, and just a better person.”
“But mom I don’t remember you doing this, did you?”
Before she answers she nods her head back and forth, “Yes, and no.”
“What does that mean?” My Grandma inquires.
“I’m more flexible in not making it a set time, and my beverage of choice is coffee. You never saw me do it Natalie, because I always did it while you were in school. Grandma is right though, when she told the story you couldn’t help but believe it. So, as I took my break each day and sipped my coffee, I thought of the story, and the possibility of things that we can’t explain. That time has served me well over the years too.”
“So, you see dear, we share this story with you so that you can apply it to your life, however you see fit. Because it’s in those fleeting silent moments where you’ll find what makes your soul shine.”
© 2017 Carrie Ann
A delightful story. Had no one thought to ask the great grandmother what brand of tea she drank? I’d like to order a truckload so those elves will visit me. 😀 😀 😀
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If only I could order some elves from Oriental Trading or something….sigh
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Very nice! We have similar folklore here pertaining to brownies, so this really hit home for me.
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My sweet Girl! I love this so much. I love the magic in it – but I my favorite is the loving dialogue between these generation of women. And I especially love the lesson – and the ending where you used your “shine”. On the card I made – which is on my blog header – it says “let your beautiful soul shine”. Hhmmm – now I’m wondering was it coincidence? Or did I maybe help inspire another perfect short story?
Doesn’t matter – all that does is I loved it and please keep up the great work!! 😉
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