The Last Hurrah

Rosemary Vaughan with Penny for your ThoughtsI started writing as an author late in life so thought with my debut book Love on the Misty Isles I would be “one and done.” My supportive readers, however, urged me for a second book, and Penny for Your Thoughts became the sequel/prequel for my debut novel. I’ve been given the impression that a third book would be welcome, but I had decided that it really was time to retire from this late-phased short career. My grandchildren had always thought throughout this short career that I should write a children’s Chapter book for them, and I thought if I did create one more novel, it would be for them and their generation. I had an idea for it based on the adages my mother had raised me on. The main characters would include a sister and brother, Lucy and Sammy, and their Mummy. Each chapter would be events in their lives that would demonstrate an adage which Mummy would always conclude that it was what her mother Grammy used to say. The title of the novel would have been Grammy Used to Say. Since I wasn’t getting younger, I decided that it probably was not a good idea to try to accomplish this final goal. Since I had written the introductory chapter, I thought that I would at least share it as a short story with you, my readers as a last hurrah of my authorship. Thank you for your support during the late experimental phase in my life.

Grammy Used to Say

“Let’s go make an airport!” called nine-year-old Sammy to his sister as he ran into the Family Room.

“Okay, Sammy,” agreed Lucy, walking slowly behind her little brother. “Did Daddy get you a new Lego set?”

“Yeah. It’s on the coffee table. I’ll get it, but where should we set it up?” asked Sammy, turning around to look at his ten-year-old sister while tipping his frowning face with a question in his blue eyes.

“How about in front of the fireplace?” Lucy suggested, tossing her head with blond braided pigtails toward the brick fireplace.

“No! No! No!” Sammy shouted, shaking his brown curls. “A spark could flip out and burn us or the airport. Let’s go over there,” he said, pointing to the sliding glass doors that open onto the patio.

“Really?” Lucy asked, her eyebrows twisting together over her brown eyes. “When people are going onto the patio, they might wreck the airport or trip on it and fall down.”

“Okay, Miss know-it-all. Where will we build it? Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re smarter.”

“Just because you’re a boy doesn’t mean you’re smarter. Let’s do it in front of that window,” she suggested, pointing at the bay window near the front door. “Folks can still look out, and the open view of the sky would be great for an airport.”

Sammy broke into a grin, and smiling at his sister, he said, “Wow! Maybe you are smarter. Let’s go for it!”

Laughing and patting Sammy’s shoulder, Lucy walked beside her little brother carrying the Lego box to the rug in front of the bay window.

Looking down at the brightly colored patterned rug, Sammy exclaimed, “Hey! This will make a great land area for our airport.”

“Just get the box open, so we can get started!” Lucy said, giving Sammy a little shove.

“Knock it off!” Sammy reacted. “Who asked you to help anyway?”

“You did dimwit. You said I had a good sense of fitting things into places. Besides, we have a day off school today, so we both need something to do,” Lucy explained.

“OK. The kit’s open. Let’s get started.”

After each spent time picking a building or vehicle to put together, it was time to set it up as an airport. Sammy started putting things where he wanted. Lucy grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “That doesn’t work!” she said firmly.

“How do you know what works?” Shrugging, Sammy continued, “Okay. You set up the buildings. I’m going to make the airplane.”

“Why can’t I make the airplane?” Lucy asked, attempting to pull it out of his hands.

“Because it’s my Lego set!” Sammy shouted, shoving his sister backwards.

Falling on the airport which fell apart, Lucy cried out, “You hurt me, you little brat!”

“And you wrecked the airport, you big brat!” Sammy responded loudly.

Wondering what all the noise was about, Mummy walked into the Family Room. Seeing the mess, and Lucy holding back tears, Mummy asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the shouting about?”

“It’s his fault,” Lucy said. “He pushed me.”

“No. It’s her fault! She tried to take my airplane and was bossy about putting the airport together.”

“Well, look what happened,” said Mummy. “You’re both upset, and you’ve wrecked the airport. Just like Grammy used to say, ‘Two wrongs never make a right’.”

Both looking at Mummy with questions in their eyes, they asked together, “What did Grammy mean by that?”

“Well, you were both wrong in the way you were fighting instead of working together. The result was the airport wasn’t made right. It was wrecked.”

“Why did Grammy say it the way she did, and how did you learn it?” asked Lucy.

“It’s a saying,” Mummy explained. “Sayings like that are called adages, and Grammy raised me by using them. Maybe I’ll start using them to raise you two.”

Lucy and Sammy looked at one another still with questions in their eyes. Deciding they’d need to stick together while growing up with Grammy’s adages, they hugged one another, then worked together fixing the airport.

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