“Sure thing, Mrs. K.” He pulled their coats from the closet and they were soon walking along the edge of the woods. The temperature was near 40, and Kate could hear the crunching of their boots on the older snow. The scent of pine was heavy from the trees all around the property. “I have a feeling that she wanted Sarah to herself,” Kate said once they were out of listening distance from the house. Not that she worried about being heard.
For those readers in the United States, Happy 4th of July! I am grateful for our country’s freedom and for those who fought and died for it.
I hope you are celebrating the day with family and friends like I am. We will be grilling outdoors later and enjoying a host of summer favorites like watermelon and potato salad.
Thanks for reading Heir Force and have a great summer!
Sarah was so excited to see the ‘aminals’ at the zoo. She and Kate had read several library books over the last few days in preparation for their outing. They read about the different kinds of animals you might find in a zoo. Kate was excited to show them to Sarah and to spend a relaxing day with Spencer as well.
The day turned out to be perfect for November. It could have been snowy, rainy or windy and cold, but it was going to be in the low-sixties, which Kate thought was a fluke. But they were going to enjoy it.
When they arrived and parked in the zoo parking lot which was pretty sparse, Spencer took out the stroller for Sarah, but she wanted to walk for a while first. Kate held her hand while Spencer pushed the stroller loaded with their jackets, water bottles and a cooler holding their lunch. The stroller was a gift from several of the office gals and Kate had made great use of it so far.
Sarah enjoyed all the animals they saw from the elephants, painted dogs, tigers, lions, giraffes, ostriches and peacocks, snakes (ew, Sarah said), hippos, to the fish and birds. The walking was great exercise and Sarah was ready for the stroller after several stops along their route. They rode the train, which she loved and they enjoyed popcorn during a break, sitting on one of the many benches along the zoo’s walkway.
Clouds starting rolling in and the wind picked up, so they made their way back to the car. The threat of rain had been minimal, but now it looked like the skies could give way to a rain shower. Sarah had fallen asleep in the stroller, so it was just as well they leave. Kate had several snapshots to scrapbook later when she got the photos back.
“That was fun!” Spencer said, unlocking the car.
“Yes, it was,” Kate said, unbuckling a sleepy and heavy Sarah from the stroller. Spencer unloaded their things and folded the stroller to stow in the trunk.
Kate thought about how easy it was to do things with Spencer and Sarah. She had dreaded being a mom, and knew it would be hard. Not all days would be like this. Gazing through the window along I-64, back across the river to Illinois, Kate thought more and more about making the three of them a permanent family.
Until next time,
After Kate took a much needed nap, she and Spencer decided to get out of the hotel for a while and took the hotel shuttle to a nearby mall. Spencer held the door for Kate in his customary fashion and walked in behind her.
Spencer thought part of Kate’s problem was she was going stir crazy stuck at the hotel and her emotions were wrung out after worrying about him getting sick, the blizzard and the other stuff dealing with John’s death and Sarah. The days stuck in the hotel and not being able to get to Sarah had to be excruciating for her. Kate was a do-it-now kind of person and Spencer could tell she was nearly at the end of her rope.
Spencer dug out clean dry clothes and took a quick shower, letting the hot water warm him up before it ran out. He stepped out and dried off in the semi-darkness, towel drying his hair. Good thing it didn’t take long to dry. He put on a t-shirt under his sweatshirt and sweatpants and dry socks. He found an extra blanket in the closet and wrapped himself in that.
“You can come in now,” he tapped on her door.
“Are you okay?” Kate was alarmed. His voice sounded weak and he still looked cold.
I know I am blessed to live in a free country and to use my talents to serve others. I thank all those who have sacrificed their lives for my freedoms, because I know these freedoms didn’t come cheap or free.
Both of my grandpas were in the military, my dad served in the Navy, and my husband is retired from the Air Force. I also have cousins and other relatives who have served our country. Thank you all very much.
God bless America!
I will be having a BBQ later and watching the city’s fireworks. What does your family do to celebrate if you are a reader in America? If you are from a different country, what celebrations do you honor in the summer? I love to learn new things, so let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you.
Previously on Heir Force: Kate and John’s Dinner Date
On Monday morning, Kate had an email in her inbox requesting she see her boss, Sergeant Thompson. She didn’t know what it might be about. She better get it over with if he had bad news. She knocked on his door frame and waited for him to acknowledge her. He chatted on the phone, but he waved her in, gesturing to the chair in front of his desk.
She ignored his conversation as best she could, making it difficult from her perch. The sunlight coming through the windows in the office dimmed as clouds gathered across the sun’s path. She wondered if a storm was brewing in St. Louis. So much of their weather came through the big city first before it headed east toward the base. She hadn’t been stationed here yet when a few years ago a tornado touched down in Fairview Heights, a neighboring town, demolishing a small strip mall. She didn’t remember how many were injured or killed.
Kate tried to keep her legs still, but they jerked up and down. She clasped and unclasped her hands as she glanced around the office. Framed awards and photos adorned the walls and the office was decorated in typical military fashion, which was practical but not very warm. Pale walls, blue plastic molding, industrial carpet in dark blue tones. Inexpensive dark-wood furniture made to look rich.
Sergeant Thompson finally hung up the phone and folded his hands on his desk. “Thanks for coming right away. Wasn’t counting on that,” he pointed to the phone.
“Sure. What did you want to see me about, Sir?” Kate didn’t know what to expect, so she sat forward in the chair, her boots flat on the floor like a pair of tight bookends.
“I’m hearing rumors of a personality conflict in your area. Anything you want to tell me about?” Sergeant Thompson leaned back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head.
“Sir, I…” Kate faltered and looked at the ground. How was she supposed to phrase her answer?
Sergeant Thompson spoke, which made her look up again. “Kate, just tell me what’s going on. I think we’ve known each other long enough that you can just play it straight with me. Agreed?”
Kate studied her superior officer’s face a moment before speaking. She slumped against her chair. “Truthfully, sir, ever since John and I started dating and especially after I got my last stripe, Ruth has been awful. I try not to engage, but it’s getting bad enough everyone in the office is defending me or trying to deflect her from me. It’s embarrassing.” Finished, Kate looked out the window.
I love the music group, Casting Crowns. Their latest album, I mean CD :), includes a song called Thrive. I love it! Part of their song says, “We were made to more than just survive, we were made to thrive.”
Click here to hear it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ71RWJhS_M ( or copy and paste if the link doesn’t show up right)
Writing is my personal thrive, what I’ve been created to do, and I hope you enjoy my story as much as I’ve loved working on it and writing it. Do you have a thrive, something you love to do, have a strong passion for? Something you can’t not do?
What is your thrive? I’d love to hear what your thrive is, let me know!
I know earlier I explained where I got the title for Heir Force– from the base newspaper column at Offutt. But I haven’t shared where I got the story idea.
On the last night of a writing conference a few years back, I had a vivid dream right before waking up. It was the first bit of sleep I’d actually gotten at the conference and the dream was so vivid, it was like watching a movie in my head. I saw John and Kate talking and didn’t understand all of what was going on. But as soon as I woke up, I unpacked my notebook and pen and wrote the scene down. I have been working on Heir Force ever since.
I hope you enjoy it as we go along. I will start posting the actual story in a few days!
Lately, I’ve gotten several notices that people are following this blog. Thank you very much! I’m just confused how you all found me as I’m not a techy and don’t know exactly how all this works. I’m not even sure how this blog is being found as I’m not posting to it regularly. (Yet.)
As soon as I get some details about my character’s backgrounds and how they do their jobs (I’m going to try and be as accurate as possible), then I can start the story. I hope to start posting it by the end of May.
I’m looking forward to it and hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for your patience!