Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 

The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along to read it and add a few encouraging words.

This month the words/prompts are supplied by Wise Web Woman and can be found here

This week's words/prompts are: 

1. canopy 

2. thorn 

3. machine 

4. charity 

5. limp 

6. aisle 

7. nothing 

8. sneak

Here is my story: 

Long ago, every Monday I would sneak down the aisle of Mr Shaw's grocery, pretending to just be looking, then walking out with a small tin of powdered milk and a half loaf of bread in my school bag. I always thought he didn't see, but sitting under the canopy of a giant magnolia tree, I learned from Sister Simon that he had seen, but did nothing, as he knew we had no money.

I'd come to know Sister Simon quite well and was glad I had run to the Sisters of Charity church many years ago. My mother had got a thorn in her hand when "borrowing" cuttings from a neighbours rose bush and it had festered to the point where Mum's hand was beginning to look like one of those "finger squash" pictures I had seen in a gardening book. Mum refused to go to a doctor or to the hospital, saying it would get better soon, but seeing her unable to even do up her own buttons, had me running to the Sisters. 

Sister Simon had been the one to follow me home and was very concerned to see how we had been living. "But Susannah, where is your father?" she had said. Mum clamped her lips tight and turned away from the shame.  I had told Sister Simon, "Dad has gone away to find work and will send money when he can." "How long ago did he leave?" asked Sister. "Just after Christmas," I whispered. It was now July and things had got pretty bad in the last few months. The garden had died, all mum's vegetable seeds had been too old and didn't germinate. I had taken to stealing the milk and bread we survived on, plus a few limp vegetables that were thrown out from the green grocer each week. 

Sister Simon had made us follow her back to their house, next to the Church and another of the Sisters had called a doctor to tend to Mum's hand. Mum had cried, being too proud to accept charity, but the Sisters were very kind, explaining that this was not charity, but instead a helping hand. We were fed well and stayed until Mum's hand was better, then one of the Sisters declared she had "found" a sewing machine and perhaps mum could use it to make things to sell? Another Sister produced a small bolt of fabric with a hopeful smile and mum was wise enough to accept the gifts. 


We began with making aprons, to sell at the monthly Farmer's Market and soon mum had enough money to buy more fabrics and was in the dressmaking business. Of course I went back to school as soon as we went home after mum's hand was better, but our future definitely looked brighter. I even took a few aprons to the Sisters once a year and Sister Simon always took the time to stop and chat for a while.


Comments

  1. I love happy endings - and I love your use of the words.

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    1. Charlotte; thank you, I love happy endings too.

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  2. This is lovely. Hooray for a hand up rather than a hand out.

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    1. Elephant's Child; thank you. Hand up is always better than a hand out.

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  3. So glad the Sister could step in and help out without offending. That rose infection could be quite dangerous and fortunate she got a doctor's care. Mr. Shaw was a pretty good guy also. Pleasure to read about such nice people.

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    1. Arkansas Patti; thank you. I like the Mr Shaw character too. The rose thorn injury could have been nasty, I'm glad the Sisters of Charity were so helpful.

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  4. Such a tender story. Seeing Sister Simon reaching out and helping this precious little girl was a misty eye moment.

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    1. Susan Kane; thank you. I almost had a misty eye moment when I wrote it.

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  5. Beautiful. Yes, the sisters could be strict, but they also knew how to reach out and truly give a helping hand that would get people back on their feet.

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    1. messymimi; thank you. I wish more people were able to give a helping hand and more people willing to accept one.

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  6. Oh that was such a lovely take, River. Such kindness and compassion and the helping hand for a new life. Well done!

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW; thank you, I do like happy endings.

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  7. What a troubling story except for Sister Simon stepping in to provide a joyful ending. You write so well River!

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    1. Granny Annie; thank you. Sometimes it takes a while for the words to sort themselves out, sometimes the stories write themselves.

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  8. I love it! A perfect solution for a thorny problem.

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    1. Val; thank you. I do like it when solutions happen perfectly.

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