Final Dinner Prep

Spencer had brought chairs from his place and Kate had taken a couple of odd wooden chairs from John’s apartment back when they had cleared it out. They had enough seats now even if they didn’t match. The table would be crowded, but Kate looked forward to it. She loved entertaining and having company and this was the perfect holiday for it.

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Kate and Spencer Finally Leave Kansas City Behind

“I don’t know about you, but I’m delighted to leave that hotel behind us.” Spencer drove them toward Iowa on I-29. They were headed to a small town north of Sioux City.

“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to leave a place so badly,” Kate agreed. The day was cloudy and so breezy she was glad Spencer kept them in their lane against the strong north wind. But even so, it wasn’t nearly as awful as the blizzard that forced them to stop a few days ago.

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Kate Talks with Jen

Before she left the house, Jen texted Spencer to let him know Kate was coming around. Jen didn’t know if Spencer was back from his TDY yet or maybe sleeping. He and Kate had such crazy schedules all the time. She was glad she had a ‘regular’ day job. At least that’s what she thought Kate was doing when she babbled earlier—coming around. Jen put her phone in her purse and left for the nearest café and ordered the hot drinks through the drive thru window.

A few minutes later Jen was listening to Kate’s story. Kate ended it with, “So, how can I possibly leave her there any longer?”

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Spencer Visits with His Neighbor

Spencer drove home with thoughts of how he could convince Kate to do the right thing by Sarah. He understood her shock and knew she still grieved John’s death and understandably so. It hadn’t been that long ago that he was here and then suddenly not ever returning.

The summer temperature was still hot, but days were already getting shorter with the sun setting earlier. The car’s air conditioner kept his body cool, while his mind worked overtime. Spencer found himself pulling into his driveway, wondering how he got there. Apparently on autopilot. He spotted his neighbor lady walking over to his driveway and stopped to chat with her a few minutes.

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Kate Wails to Jen

Hello Readers,

I’ve been working on the rest of chapter 4 of Heir Force and ran across this section that should have been posted before Spencer Visits with His Neighbor.  I had written that as a new scene and then forgot about this one.  But you’re a forgiving bunch, right?

So this is right after Spencer let Kate know about John’s will and legal guardianship of Sarah.  Kate gets a phone call from Jen and she drives over to Kate’s.  This is where it continues:


The phone rang two hours later, waking her up. She thought at first not answering, but curiosity got the better of her. She looked at the caller ID. It was Jen.

“Hello,” Kate answered.

“Hey, Kate. It’s Jen, how you doing?”

“Awful.” She started to cry and moan.

“Kate? What’s the matter? I know John’s gone, but—“

“I’m a mother,” she wailed.

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A Brief Note

Dear Readers,

I wanted to let you know that I will be working on a couple scenes that come next on Heir Force. These scenes will connect with more of the story already written in rough draft. I am also in the middle of homeschool planning–here in the United States, this time of year is called ‘Back to School’. I always get a little depressed when I get out the school books again…this means less time for writing and more time teaching and doing schoolwork with the kiddos. Which of course, is one of my major roles and very important.

I will get back to Heir Force as soon as I can, but it will be a few days and I wanted to let you know that I’m not quitting or anything. I’m having a blast with the story and hearing things like “keep it coming”, and “your posts are too short”, which means I’m on the right track with novel writing. It’s not perfect, but it’s great practice and ‘on the job training’.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Until then,


Spencer and Kate in a Heated Discussion

Plopping into a chair in Kate’s dining room, Spencer considered what he should do. Ordinarily he knew he was supposed to report Kate’s suicide attempt to their first sergeant, but he didn’t know if it was necessary. He didn’t see Kate as suicidal, just lost. And highly vulnerable. He’d have to keep an eye on her. He slumped down at the dining room table, his head resting on his arms, clenching and unclenching his fists.

Buttons came in, whimpering. Spencer sat up and looked for him.  Buttons eyed Spencer with a nervous look. Spencer slowly lowered his hand and reached down for him. “Sorry, boy. Come here.” Buttons jumped on his lap and shuddered. “Sorry, life’s a little rough right now.” Spencer rubbed the puppy’s back, asking God what he was supposed to do now. If he was going to be any help to Kate, he had to keep himself together. He wiped away moisture from the corners of his eyes with his fingers. He didn’t hear Kate enter.

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Spencer Visits Kate

Several days passed and Spencer hadn’t heard from Kate. He saw her at the office, but she ignored him and many others around her. She refused to join in any kind of banter and she no longer smiled. She focused on her work and left as soon as it was done. Kate seemed like a cardboard cutout of herself, very stiff and wooden.

Finally on Friday, Spencer drove to her apartment and rang the bell. He held the envelope in his hand, ready to pass it on. He felt he better inform Kate personally before some government agency or an attorney did.

But there was no answer. He didn’t hear Buttons barking either, so maybe they were on a walk. He decided to wait a minute. A neighbor came out into the hall from next door and said, “She ain’t home, man. She left yesterday with a bag.” The neighbor was holding an empty laundry basket.

“Oh. Thanks. I’ll come back later.” He wondered where she took off to. He didn’t know she had any leave coming, not that he knew every detail of Kate’s life. So much for getting this over with. He’d have to wait for her return.

For the next several days, Spencer went to work on auto pilot. He did what needed to be done and left early most days. He waited to hear from Kate, but she never called. Jen and Kelly didn’t even know where she took off to. Finally, two weeks later he heard thru the grapevine that she was back. Two Fridays after his first attempt, he drove directly to Kate’s right after work.

This time when he knocked, she opened the door and backed up. She looked awful. Her hair was a mess and her eyes were red. An odor drifted out to the hallway causing Spencer to wrinkle his nose. “Kate, you’ve got to-“

“Don’t preach to me, Spencer. You’re the one who came over uninvited.”

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A Short Story

Dear Readers,

On the blog I share with three writing friends, we are doing a short story in a round robin fashion.  My friend Bev started the story, I posted my part today and two friends will finish it later this week.  Just thought I’d mention it for those who like short stories and to see what our writer’s group is up to.  Find it at


Until next time,