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Friday, November 25, 2005

Double Take-Girls' Get-Together

Well, here it is...

...my second and probably final 'double take.'

I have to admit, this one asks you to stretch your imagination a bit in order to find 13 changes.

Hope you have fun!

Click on the picture to get a closer look.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now wouldn't you want this man to cook you dinner on Thanksgiving?

Inspired by the quick and easy way to cooking on a major holiday.

Many of you may be wondering what Skeet must be doing today. Will he have another barbeque? have a southern inspired Thanksgiving feast? will he have the kids this holiday or not? Well, wished that we knew.

All I hope is that he'll be well fed and that he'll have many things to be thankful for this holiday just as we, TMoODers, are thankful that he had brought us all together here for the last eight months.

From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving fellow TMoODers. May you have a safe and memorable family gathering this holiday.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nightmare to the Ring--Ch 4

Sunday, December 3, 1944

Morning service was nearly over. Despite the cold and snow outside, prisms of sunlight bending through the amber window panes warmed the sanctuary. As Reverend Case concluded his sermon, Livy fought to keep her eyes open, and leaned a bit on Ray's shoulder. He glanced down at the top of her head, smiling to himself and gave her hand a small squeeze of understanding. He knew she was tired. Lately, she was up three or four times a night, unable to sleep. He slept fitfully himself, worried he wouldn't hear her call out if she needed him. He knew she was uncomfortable, with the baby due in just a few weeks. Well, they wouldn't stay for the potluck today. He would get her home, make sure she had a nice nap in front of the fire. He could see to supper--the ladies of the church had been good about bringing them casseroles, soups and stews (discreetly leaving the recipes behind for Livy's future cooking attempts) so he knew the icebox was well stocked. At the closing prayer, he nudged Livy gently, and helped her to stand. She smiled sheepishly at him, stifling a yawn behind her hand. They bowed their heads...

"Lord, as we close our service and ask for an end to this war, let us remember and honor those brave souls we lost December 7th at Pearl Harbor..." Livy felt Ray stiffen at these words, knowing it was still difficult to think about his brother's tragic death. The minister continued,
"We will forever cherish the memory of our own Daniel Singleton and the courageous sacrifice he made for his country..." Livy could hear Martha sniff quietly into her hankie, and Ray's quick, shallow breathing. When the prayer was over, the congregation filed out, but the family remained in the church. They needed a moment together, as they once again mourned Daniel. Martha hugged Livy and Ray, telling them to go on, she would make their excuses at dinner. She shook her head sadly as they slipped out the side door of the church--she could tell Ray was doing his best to contain his emotions and she wanted to spare him any embarrassment. On the drive home, Livy scooted close to him...it was her turn to offer an understanding touch as she tucked her arm under his.

Monday, December 4, 1944

It was later than usual when Livy woke up, the sun streaming through the sheer curtains. She'd slept much better, thanks to Ray's suggestion of a warm bath before bed. She smiled. The backrubs he now gave her every night did more to help than anything else. She loved that time with Ray, in the quiet and dark, knowing he would stay as long as it took for her to finally fall asleep. She dressed and came down to find the teakettle still warm and biscuits on a covered plate. Ray had left a note saying he was only down at the tree line, and to ring the big bell on the porch if she needed him. Otherwise, he would be back at the house shortly. Livy fixed her tea and sat at the kitchen table. She thought about Ray, and how subdued he'd been after church yesterday. That was only natural, with the third anniversary of Daniel's death looming. She knew how this weighed on him, and wanted to give him her support--they were both too familiar with the pain of loss.

Franklin's bark roused Livy from her thoughts. She looked out to see Ray coming across the yard, pulling a short pallet on runners. It held a small pine tree-- balled and wrapped in burlap, along with branches he had pruned from assorted evergreens. Livy pulled her sweater close and joined him in the lean-to as he began to unload his trimmings. He gave her a shy smile.
"I thought...that is...I figured we might put up a Christmas tree, maybe later this week? I haven't bothered with one since,...well..."
"Ray, that's a great idea...we can string popcorn and cranberries. Maybe make some gingerbread ornaments? Would that be all right?"
"Sure, Livy....and there's boxes of Mama's stuff in the attic. I can get those down...if you want?" she nodded, thinking how thoughtful he was.
Ray began to unroll chicken wire and spread out the branches on the floor. Next he got his pliers, some wire and cutters.
"Maybe you'd like some pine roping for the house? I need to make these up, to take to the cemetery, but..."
"Ray, it's too cold out here! Why don't you get an old blanket, and we can work on the kitchen table," Ray squinted slightly, looking up at Livy with a puzzled look on his face.
"You'd do that? You want to help me?"
"Of course--I've done this since I was little, helping mama. Really, I'd like to."

So they worked that afternoon, first making grave blankets for Ray's parents and brother. Though hesitant at first, with Livy's gently coaxing Ray talked about his family. About good times, about Christmas memories. While Livy made wreaths for the doors, she told Ray about her family and their holiday traditions. As she fashioned bows from red and green fabric remnants, he looped roping around the porch rails. The smell of fresh pine comforted them, and both were glad for the time they had spent together. Both were thinking about the baby...and what the next Christmas might hold for all of them.

Thursday, December 7, 1944
Pearl Harbor Day

Livy called down the steps, just as Ray was getting his coat on.
"Ah, Liv...did I wake you? It's early yet, I'm sorry...." He looked up at her, his hat in his hand, running his fingers over the brim.
"No, no Ray. I just..well, I was hoping you'd wait for me, so I could go with you."
"It's freezing out, you should stay here...stay warm. I won't be long..."
"Ray, Martha told me you'd go to the cemetery first thing this morning. I'd really like to join you...if you don't mind?"
"Of course, Livy...I appreciate it. I'll just get the beet box warmed up for you."

Even though it was cold, it was a beautiful morning. Ray helped her into the truck and they headed out.
"They'll have a military ceremony this afternoon. It's just that...well, I need my own time, y'know?" Livy gave him a small smile.
"Of course, Ray... " Once they got to the cemetery, he made Livy wait in the truck while he staked the grave blankets into the ground. He came back for her, holding her arm firmly in his, making sure she didn't slip. As they stood at Danny's grave, Ray reflected a bit on his memories of that horrible day.
"I'd just come home from church....the radio was on when they broke in with the news. I knew right away...knew Danny was gone--his ship was one of the first ones down. My first thought was to get to Martha, to tell her myself--but, by the time I got to her...they'd heard it at the potluck and come straight home. She..." He paused, swallowing hard.
"She took it hard. We all did...it's still hard. There's days when I turn to say something to Danny, like I expect he's still here with me." Livy hugged him, comforted him.
"I know, Ray...I know..." Ray took a deep breath, then smiled sadly.
"He'd have loved you, Livy...and this new niece or nephew of his, too..."
He bowed his head and offered a prayer. Putting his hat on, he turned to help Livy back to the truck. Only a couple days before she was to leave...how on earth was he going to find the words? Could he convince her to stay, to be his wife, his love?


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Abby and Dot

Abby and Dot
The Day After the Anniversary

The morning after their first anniversary Ray woke first, as usual.  Livy had her back to him, so he put his arm around and nuzzled her neck, and she awoke at his touch. She turned to face him, and they started the morning with a loving kiss.  Livy said it was kind of strange to not be awakened by Daniel, and Ray laughingly agreed.  Abby, Dot and Daniel stayed at Martha and Hank’s to give them a night to themselves for a change.

Ray reluctantly got out of bed and went downstairs to get coffee and breakfast before doing the chores. Livy got up then too because she had a lot to do that day because everyone was coming over for lunch after church. She took her coffee and went out on the veranda to sit in the swing with Ray as he had his morning coffee. It was a pleasant day, and they talked about what they were going to be doing. Ray stood up, bent down and kissed Livy and took his thermos out to the barn and started doing the chores.

Livy went into the house to tidy up and start preparations for the midday meal. Martha was bringing leftovers from last nights supper, so Livy set the table, and got out some serving dishes, and arranged the table and chairs to accommodate everyone.

When they got to the church Livy saw that Martha and Hank were already there, and so were Abby and Dot.  Livy was anxious to see Daniel. He smiled and reached for her when he saw his mom and dad. It was nice to have had the evening alone with Ray, but it is always good for a family to be together.

After church everyone drove over to Ray and Livy’s.  At lunch there was a lot of conversation around the table about the anniversary the day before, but since they had talked about the actual event at Martha and Hank’s the night before, what they talked about most on Sunday was the swing! They all marveled at what a wonderful idea it was, and how good a job it turned out to be. Next they talked about  where to put the extra bench.  It was decided to put it on the other side of the veranda, facing the other bench therefore creating a conversation area.

When lunch was over Martha and Ruth offered to look after Daniel and to do  the dishes while Livy showed Abby and Dot the house. Of course Abby had seen it before on her previous visit, but came along anyway. Abby and Dot were to sleep in the bunkroom, and Ray had already brought their luggage up.  They both were pleased with the improvements that Livy had made to Martha’s old room by turning it into Daniel’s room.  They loved the job that  Ray had done of making the crib for Daniel.  

After the tour they all adjourned to the veranda, and there was lots of lively conversation. The boys had fun running around, or spending time with Uncle Ray and their dad.  Ruth was content to be with the women and help Livy with Daniel.  Livy noticed that Dot seemed to be quiet, but this was the first time she had met Martha and her family so maybe she wasn’t showing her usual lively  personality.  There was enough food left over from lunch so they all stayed for supper, and then Martha’s family left to go home and do their evening chores. A good day was had by all sharing food, conversation, fun and laughter.

Livy sensed that Dot seemed hesitant to converse with her one-on-one, however she thought that it might be because she didn’t know everyone.  Of course there really was not much of a chance to talk at Martha’s on Saturday, or even at Ray and Livy’s on Sunday, too many people for specifics other than general topics. After Martha’s family left Livy, Abby and Dot took their coffee out to the veranda and talked. Ray joined them for a while after his chores were done, but was feeling tired so went to bed.  The three women stayed up and talked and laughed.  Ray could hear them, but soon feel asleep.

On Monday after breakfast Abby and Dot enlisted the help of Ray to bring some boxes into the house while Livy was doing the breakfast dishes. As they carried box after box into the house, Livy became curious and said, ‘What’s all this?’

Abby looked at her sister, smiled and said, ‘I brought you some of your books and clothes.’

Livy looked at Abby quizzically. ‘How did you manage to get these things out of the house? Does dad know?’

Abby said, ‘Yes, he knows. I told him that this is your stuff, and I was coming to see you, and since there was room in the car that I could  bring some of it.  He just has to accept it, that’s all,’ and she shrugged.

Livy started to cry and hugged Abby.  She was pleased that Abby had brought her stuff, and thanked her sincerely, but hoped that it would not drive a further wedge between her and their father.

‘Dot helped me pack your stuff, and we put  as much as we could get into the trunk and the back seat of my car,’ said Abby. It took them about two trips each upstairs to the bunkroom for Ray, Abby, Dot and Livy to take her stuff up.  Livy knew that in the next few days she would have a lot of work, but also a lot of pleasure in rediscovering her belongings.  Livy had made a few changes in Ray’s house to make it more a family home and not a bachelor’s home, but with some of her things placed here and there it would feel more like their home.

After the work of bringing in Livy’s stuff, they all took their coffee out to the veranda and sat and talked. Ray said he had some work to do, but really he wanted to leave so they could catch each other up on the latest news.  Ray turned to Livy and gave her a quick kiss, and then excused himself and went about his work.

Dot was surprised to see that Livy was receptive to Ray’s kisses. She said, ‘Livy, when are you moving back to Denver?’ Dot and Abby had talked frequently in Denver about Livy staying on the farm, and until this weekend Dot thought there might still be a chance of Livy leaving Ray and the farm.

Livy was surprised by Dot’s question. She said, ‘I’m not moving to Denver. My home is here now with Ray and Daniel.’

‘Oh,’ said Dot, sounding a little surprised, ‘Are you happy here?’

‘Very happy,’ said Livy with a huge smile that lit up her whole face.

‘Well, I guess I am happy to hear you say that, Livy, but I miss you,’ Abby said.

‘I know! I miss you, too! But I’m happy here. I love Daniel, and I am so in love with Ray!’

‘I am happy for you, Livy, but sad for me.  I also have to admit that since you left Denver I was reluctant to write you because I didn’t know how you felt about me, you know, ‘cause I was there when you met Edward, and I thought maybe you were upset with me,’ Dot said.

‘No, I wasn’t upset with you, Dot, and in no way feel you were responsible for what happened with Edward and me. But at first when my dad sent me away I was sure I would not be living here forever.  And then I fell in love! Oh, Dot, I have never been so happy in my life! Ray is a wonderful husband and father, and Daniel is his son.’

‘You know, I kind of wondered it Edward might contact you now that the war is over. Maybe he might want to take you and Daniel to Denver and start again,’ said Dot.

Livy looked at her in surprise, and shook her head. But of course they did not know the content of his letter last fall, so Livy told them. Both Abby and Dot were in shock hearing that Edward suggested that the child was not his!  They both came over to Livy and sat on either side of her, put their arms around her and told her that they know what a wonderful person she is, and that she was not the type to run around with men as Edwards letter suggested.

They got up and went into the house to get more coffee, and Livy checked on Daniel. The wee lad was still asleep. He was probably tired from visiting with his cousins. Livy gently stroked his cheek, whispered, ‘I love you, Daniel Singleton,’ and went back out to the veranda with Dot and Abby.  

The conversation switched to Abby and Livy’s dad. Abby told them that Rev Dunne was still putting in many hours at the church and committee meetings to hide his feelings over the loss of his wife and daughter. He never spoke her name, even when Abby tried to talk to him. He still thought she brought shame to the family, and he refused to acknowledge her, or her son and husband.  Livy, again, thanked Abby for all her efforts in bringing her books and clothes to her, and for sending her the money her mother had set aside for her.  And she especially thanked her for keeping in contact with her, she really appreciated that. Abby smiled and said, ‘That’s what sisters do for each other, Livy.’

Just then Ray came up to the house for lunch. The women were enjoying each others company and conversation that they almost forgot about lunch! Ray said he could fix something for himself, and they all said together, ‘Not while there’s three women in the house you won’t!’ at which Ray laughed. There was a flurry of activity while three women put lunch on the table.

At lunch the subject came up of Rev Case’s involvement in bringing Ray and Livy together. They all had a big laugh when Ray said that Rev Case could have married her off to any number of old bachelors in the county!  Dot felt the gravity of the situation. It could have been a lot worse! She was now more able to reconcile her feelings about missing Livy. They could still be friends, just not able to see each other as often as they used to. During this visit Dot got to know that Ray is as good man, and that the two of them are very happy together.

In the afternoon Ray drove Abby and Dot around the farm in the beetbox while Livy stayed in the house with Daniel. While he had his afternoon nap she decided to unpack some of her clothes. It was wonderful to have more choices of dresses, and skirts, and blouses! It felt like a whole new wardrobe! She had not decided where to put her books or trinkets but knew she would have plenty of time to do  that when Abby and Dot went back to Denver.

The rest of the day was spent with lots of laughter and talk. Abby and Dot left for Denver just after lunch the next day. There were tears from the women, and hugs all around, and promises to keep in better contact.  Dot can now see the love they have for each other, and appreciates the magic of their ordinary days.

Later that day Livy was feeling very happy about the visit. She thanked Ray for accepting her into his life sight unseen. And with a big smile on his face Ray said, ‘I was happy to do it.’


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thank you for the warm welcome

I've enjoyed reading your stories and comments. I have been a long time Skeet fan before TMoOD, but it really is one of my favorites. I was very happy to find this blog. I've been around a while; I guess I'm just shy.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Welcoming a TMoODer

We are happy to see more people joining and taking interest in the blog inspite of the lack of current Skeet news!

Welcome to the team!--

  • JannM

We'll keep ourselves entertained while we wait for news from SU.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Skeet Wants to be Like Who?????

We are hearing that Johnny Depp fans are calling Skeet a Johnny wannabe on the message boards over at IMDb.com.

Mmmmmmmmm - not sure where they are getting that idea - which guy would you want to take you to dinner?


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chapter 3: The Meeting

Summer, 1943:

When Livy got out of her car at Rev and Mrs Case's house, she scanned the town. She had visited them some especially in her younger years, but she had not remembered the town as she was seeing it today. Had she made the right decision? Livy has realized in the past few months, she may not know what God has in store for her. So she needs to leave everything open to His will.
Aunt Betty ran out to greet Livy when she pulled up. Livy looked so good. So much better than the last time Mrs. Case had seen her.
They hurried in the house to settle in. Rev. Case came home at lunch to help get Livy's things out of her car and help to settle her in.
"Everyone is eager to meet you, Livy. They want to see who the new teacher is at the school. It's been along time since we've had someone outside of Wilson teaching at our school."
"I hope I don't disappoint them." Livy said earnestly.
"How do you suppose you could disappoint them?" Aunt Betty asked bewilderedly.
"I don't know, I may not be what they want...." Livy said.
"Oh, Livy, you have no idea how much they want you. You are the talk of the town. Everyone wants to meet you. And they will not be disappointed. I know it." Aunt Betty said convincingly.
Livy smiled at her warmly. Livy hoped that Aunt Betty was right . She hoped she had followed God's will.
The rest of the summer Livy was settling in and meeting the towns people.
The first people she met were the Board of Education. They loved Livy and knew she was going to be great at her position.
Livy also attended church every Sunday, as she was accustomed to. She ate at the potluck as often as they had one. Which was usually once a month. Once the harvest was in, they would have potluck every week.
Many young men saw Livy and thought they would ask her on a Sunday afternoon ride or walk. Or a picnic.
One walk was made and no picnics. Livy had not changed.
But one thing had changed. Livy had seen a tall, dark haired man in church. He sat with Mr. Stewart, Livy noticed. She had not dared to ask about him, she didn't want to start some embarrassing talk amongst the ladies in the church. Or at least that's how it would be at her church back in Denver.
This man seldom stayed for the potluck. Livy was never able to find out who he was. She had to find out though. But who would she ask?
School was starting back soon and Livy was busy at work getting things ready. She looked over her books and began to plan. How nice it would be to get back to something she loved. Something that she loved and it loved her too.
On the Sunday before school started, Martha approached Livy.
"Miss Dunne, I'm Martha Stewart, I'm Hank Stewart's wife. This is my daughter, Ruth. She will be in one of your history classes."
"Nice to meet you, Ruth. What grade are you in this fall?" Livy asked.
"7th" Ruth answered shyly.
"Well then, I have you before the end of the day. I have many things planned for us this year."
"I can't wait. I'm just glad you're my teacher. My Uncle Ray had me scared that HIS history teacher might be mine."
"Oh, I see that your Uncle Ray is quite the trickster." Livy and Ruth both giggled.
Little did Livy know that Ruth's Uncle Ray was the one she had noticed at church. There was no potluck that Sunday, so Livy told Ruth she would see her the next day at school. On her way out the door, she saw "tall, dark and handsome" with Mr. Stewart. Livy was stopped by Mr. Stewart.
"You ready for school tomorrow, Miss Dunne?"
"I hope so, Mr. Stewart."
"We've heard you have already been over studying and doing things in your room." Hank added.
Livy blushing said, "I try to stay one step ahead of the kids."
Hank quickly realized that Livy and Ray didn't know each other and had never been introduced. "Miss Dunne, this is my brother-in-law, Ray Singleton."
They extended their arms out for a handshake.
"Livy, everyone calls me Livy."
And they exchanged smiles.
"I need to be going, Aunt Betty may need me to help in the kitchen. The newlyweds are eating with us today."
"Mr. Singleton, so nice to meet you. Have a nice day."
Livy walked ever so fast out of the church.
Hank said,"Hope you have a good first day."
Livy replied over her shoulder, "I'm sure I will. Thank you."
On Livy's walk home.....she kept repeating "have a nice day??? Have a nice day?!?!?!" I'm sure that impressed Mr. Singleton, Livy moaned to herself embarrassingly
But one good thing did happen .... Livy found out who "tall, dark and handsome" was........Ruth's Uncle Ray, Ray Singleton, who seemed to like to have fun.

Summer, 1943
Ray was in Wilson the day Miss Dunne arrived in town. He was at the merchantile stocking up on his monthly groceries. The towns people were all looking in a hustle wondering what she would be like. Ray gave it no thought. He went on about his business for the day. He did notice the unfamiliar car as it passed him on the street heading for the Rev's house. Ray watched as it disappeared in the sunlight. He didn't think of Miss Dunne again.
At church, Ray would see Miss Dunne, sitting up front near where Mrs. Case would sit as soon as she finished playing the organ. After church, boys would be lined up to talk to Miss Dunne. Wanting to take her on a Sunday afternoon ride. To Ray's surprise, Miss Dunne declined most of the offers. Ray had seen Miss Dunne on a drive one Sunday with Rusty Parish. Ray hoped that Miss Dunne knew what she was getting herself into. Rusty courted all the girls, and then would leave them for another girl. Ray chuckled to himself.......Danny would sure to be in that line if he were here today-soon there would be no other competition. Danny would have won her heart. That was the difference in Ray and Danny. Ray was quiet and reserved and only courted a few girls. Danny on the other hand, had a slew of girls bidding him farewell when he left for boot camp. All their hearts had been broken by Danny Singleton.
Ray didn't stay for the potluck during the summer months. The farm had too much work to be done. It was hard for Ray to stay idle when he knew he had much to do at home, He did go to the town socials once a month. He went mostly so no one would bother him about getting out and socializing. The town had worried a lot about Ray when Danny had passed away. They came to see him and visit. The ladies took great care of him with cooking. Always dropping off a casserole, pie or cake.
Each Sunday, Ray sat with his sister Martha and her family. Every Sunday Ray prayed for his own family to sit with in church. He would stay for Potluck if he had a wife to prepare the food. He would stay for potluck if there was hope for someone to love.
On the last Sunday before school started, the church was full of eager students and relieved parents. The sermon was about new beginnings. How you should always embrace the opportunity for a new beginning. Ray heard the words, and closed his eye. He prayed his fervent prayer once again. Knowing God would answer one day.
After the service, Ray was talking with Hank about the crops and what he had to do before harvest. Hank and his boys, Hank, Jr. and Chester, always came over to help to help Ray with his harvest. And Ray did likewise. Ray had Japanese camp workers, but it was not enough for his large farm.
Martha had fixed lunch for all of them back at home that Sunday. Ray was waiting around on the boys, Hank Jr. and Chester, they always rode home with Uncle Ray in the back of his beetbox. Martha was up front talking with the new teacher, Miss. Dunne. Ray thought Martha may be awhile, with all Miss. Dunne's suitors hanging around.
Soon Miss Dunne was walking back down the church aisle towards Ray and Hank. Ray had never been as close to her as he was right now. Her beauty was breathe taking. Hank stopped Miss Dunne and they spoke candidly about school starting. Hank introduced Miss Dunne to Ray, "Miss Dunne this is my brother in law, Ray Singleton." Ray extended his arm out to shake her hand. "Livy, everyone calls me Livy." Ray smiled. And Livy smiled back. She hurried off right after the introduction. Ray watched as she exited the sanctuary. He had never seen such beauty.
Martha walked up and they all walked outside to find the boys, who were playing hide and seek. When they saw their Uncle Ray, they made a bee line to the beetbox. All the way to Martha's, Ray thought about Miss Dunne, Livy, everyone calls her Livy. He could not forget her beauty and her sweet, soft smile. But what was Ray thinking? All he had to offer her was his ordinary days. Something Ray knew Livy was not accustomed to.


Friday, November 11, 2005

Double Take-Dinner at Martha's

And now for something completely different...

No school in Jersey today...so I decided to play around with our favorite movie. Enjoy!

Take a careful look at the two pictures. They may appear the same, but there are ten differences. See if you can spot them all. (Click on the scenario to see a larger image.)

P.S. I know you guys are really sharp, but I thought I'd wait until later to publish the answers.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Chapter 2: Hope

June, 1943
With the passing of Livy's Mother, Livy found it difficult to get up in the mornings. She missed her mother, her friend. Livy's father tried to comfort Livy, but nothing helped. Livy stayed at home and went nowhere but church services on Sunday. She came home immediately after the service. She could not bear to hear one more person say, "We are so sorry for your loss." Livy's father told the church congregation that the passing of her mother was too much for Livy.
Rev. Dunne tried on more than one occasion to talk to Livy. But for once in her life, her father could not make any of the pain go away. The grief that he carried for his love, his wife, and the loss that his daughter felt became too much for him.
In late June, Rev. Dunne was found in the sanctuary after an apparent heart attack. This loss was surely great for the church congregation. But not as great a loss as to Livy. Within a month of each other, she had lost the only two people that she had loved forever. Livy was not seen by anyone after the burial of her father. Even her best friend, Katherine, could not persuade Livy to let her come and visit. The knocks were not answered either.
The congregation didn't know what to do. They felt helpless. The head deacon of the congregation decided to contact the preacher that had performed both funerals of the Dunnes. Rev. Case was his name and he was from Wilson,CO. He was a close and dear friend of Rev and Mrs Dunne. When the phone call was made, Rev Case said he would be more than happy to come see about Livy. He had been contacted by the courts of the reading of Rev. Dunne's will. He had planned to arrive in Denver on Monday for the reading of the Will. He would make plans now to arrive on Sunday, the day after tomorrow.
Rev. Case made arrangements for his own church. Slim, a member of the church, and upstanding citizen would deliver the message on Sunday morning. The congregation would understand Rev. Case's obligation to his friend.
Rev. and Mrs. Case left for Denver early Sunday morning in hopes to arrive by mid-day. Harry Morris, the head deacon of Rev. Dunne's church, met the Cases at the train station. He filled them in on Livy and how hard she is taking her loss, and rightfully so.
In the understanding of counsel, Rev. Dunne told Mr. Morris what he wanted to offer Livy, but had not had time to consult the Board of Education in Wilson. He would do that as soon as he got back home. Mr. Morris was sad, but felt that it maybe a good thing. "God's will, may be at work for Livy. That would thrill us all here. She deserves so much more than she has now."
When Rev. and Mrs. Case arrived at the church parsonage, Livy did not answer the door. Rev Case expected that. But he had a key. The church owned the house, therefore the head deacon had a spare. Mr. Morris respected Livy's desire to be alone, but at this time he realizes that she needs someone. Hopefully Rev Case is the one she needs.
Rev and Mrs Case entered the house carefully and announced themselves to Livy. They made their way to the parlor. There they found someone who was lost and very lonely. Tears had been dropped many times over the past months. When Livy saw Uncle Marion and Aunt Betty, she ran to them. "I miss them so much, I too, want to die." For a long while Rev Case held Livy while she cried. Mrs. Case went to make some hot tea. "Hot tea always made your mother feel better, Livy" Mrs. Case told Livy. Livy nodded in agreement.
Rev. Case said that the congregation was very concerned about her and didn't know what else to do, so they called him. He came as quickly as he could. Livy told Rev and Mrs Case how much it meant to her for them to come. They were dear friends to her parents. Brothers were the best description for Rev Case and Rev Dunne.
Rev Case did not tell Livy about the reading of the will just yet. He would wait until he felt she could handle it. The three of them visited all day. Livy looked so much better by the day's end. And she felt better, too. Rev and Mrs Case were getting ready to leave to go check in to the Denver Inn and Livy asked them to stay. "It would mean the world to me, if you would stay here with me. I get so lonely in this house." So they did. Mrs. Case fixed supper and the three ate. Livy only dabbled at the food, but she was fed with good company.
The next morning, Mr. Morris came by to pick up Rev Case and take him to the reading of the will. Livy knew he had business to take care of.
Mrs. Case and Livy cleaned up the house. They didn't touch her parents room. Only to dust it. Livy cried most of the morning but felt comfort from Mrs. Case.
Rev. Case was back by lunch time. They all spent the afternoon together. Livy laid down for a nap in early afternoon. That is when Rev Case told his wife about the will.
"This house, you know belongs to the church? Not that the church wants Livy out, but they need a preacher to preach. They were not expecting this passing so suddenly." Mrs Case said with a smile, " But , Marion, we have some hope for Livy. I just want it to work out. I want her to come home with us." Rev Case understands and wants it also. But he needs to speak to the Board of Education. He cannot do that until later this week. "Maybe we can convince Livy to come home with us for awhile. Give her a break from all the memories here." Mrs. Case said hopefully.
When Livy woke from her nap. Rev and Mrs Case asked Livy about going home with them for a few days. Livy declined adamantly. Nothing that they said could convince her.
The next day, the Cases boarded the train to Wilson while Livy waved goodbye from the platform.
Later that week, Rev Case met with the Board of Education about Livy beginning work at the school in Wilson, in the fall. The Board went with Rev. Case's recommendation and decided to offer Livy a teaching position at the upper grade class. Rev Case was thrilled and wanted to go back to Denver to ask Livy to come to Wilson to work. This was already in the making before Rev Case heard Rev Dunne's will. Rev Case was asked to see about Livy and make sure all was in order for her. And he did.
When Rev. Case showed back up in Denver at the end of the week, Livy knew he had something up his sleeve.
"Livy, in Wilson one of the teachers has gotten married this summer and will not be returning to the position next year. I have asked the board to consider you. They have and they are offering you the 6th and 7th grade history position. I want you to think about it and consider it. Will you do that for me?" Livy was taken aback by what Rev Case was proposing. She had thought often of leaving Denver. But in the last year with her mother's sickness it had not even crossed her mind. Livy told Rev Case she would think about it and pray about it. Rev Case told her that she could live with him and Mrs Case. The school was within walking distance of his house. He and Aunt Betty would love for her to come and be a part of their family. He had no intentions of replacing her loss, just easing it. Rev. Case had made arrangements to stay at the Denver Inn, so Livy could think without feeling pressure. He left and Livy thought and prayed about the position. Her decision became clear before morning.
Rev. Case came by late in the morning to let Livy know that he would be leaving. Livy let Rev Case know of her decision. It was hard for her to decide what to do. She had always had her parents to help. But in light of her position in Denver-living in the church's house-she knew she needed to move on so that her father's congregation could also. She would be happy to accept the position in Wilson for the upper grades. "I feel this is God's will for me. Maybe not one he intended from the beginning, but from the hand that has been dealt to me, this is His will." Rev Case was relieved to hear Livy's decision. And it was the right one he felt. They decided then when Livy would come to town. She had her own car so she needed to drive it to Wilson and bring as much of her things as she could fit in it. They would send for the rest later. Rev. Case felt better this time waving to Livy on the platform as he boarded the train. She would be in Wilson soon, in God's will.

June, 1943
Ray had prayed often for God to bring him someone to love. That was his constant prayer.
At church that Sunday, Slim was delivering the message. It was announced in church that the Rev and Mrs. Case had to go back to Denver to tend to some personal business.
Ray thought about how Rev Case had just been there twice within months of each other to bury one of his best friends. Ray knew what a loss it was to loose two people you love so much within a short amount of time. And knew even better the loss you feel when you've lost the third. As he sat in church he thought about Rev Case's friend and hoped his family was doing well. It would take time but the loss would not sting so bad, only throb.
At church, Ray spoke to Carl and Jamie Moss. He congratulated them again on their marriage early this summer. Jamie had taught at the school. Ruth, Martha's oldest child, had hoped that Miss Rung would return after getting married but that was not the case. Ruth was worried about who her history teacher would be. Ray teased her about it being his old history teacher Mr. Kroger. Ray said, "He's the perfect history teacher. He is history"
At lunch that day, Ruth asked her father, Hank, if the board had made any decision on a teacher to replace Miss Rung. Hank, who was on the board, said that they had some applications to look at this week. They were hopeful of finding the right one. Ray smiled.
All week as Ray worked, he could not help but feel hope. Was it from his prayers or just adjusting to the way life was going to be. Ray was unsure. But one thing he knew for sure, was he wanted God's will in his life.
At night, when Ray was all alone, he felt hope. When he prayed , he felt hope. When he woke in the mornings, he felt hope. Surely God was at work with His plan.
The next Sunday, Mrs. Case was at church, but Rev Case had to go back to Denver. It was told that the teaching position had been offered to their deceased friend's daughter and she had accepted. Rev. Case was on his way home now. Miss. Dunne was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday. She would be living with the Cases.
Ray felt hope in church that day. He had no idea how hope was coming but only that it was. That day in church Ray prayed silently to himself and God. Thanking God for hope.

On Wednesday of that week, Livy Dunne drove into town. The town that would bring her hope.......Wilson, CO.

To Be Continued
Chapter 3: The Meeting


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Chapter 1: THE LOSS

Fellow addicts of the movie, TMoOD, I have developed a NEW version of the story. This is from countless watching of the original movie and finding myself yelling......"Take the co'cola, Livy", "take a slice of chocolate cake that Ray saved for your wedding day!" "Give Ray a kiss ,Livy." Thinking, Livy, would it hurt you to say yes, to Ray to oblige him in something? So from there I developed the following story.

What if Livy had not come to Wilson because she was pregnant but because she had a great loss. One as great as Ray's. How would that be? So I have virtually rewrote the story. This is the first chapter. I have named each chapter, but not the whole fiction. I am still trying to figure that one out.

I would like your honest opinion of what I've done so far. Some may want me to stop and not ruin the "TMoOD" original, and I understand. But some may be as frustrated as I am wanting it to be a love story from the beginning and not the last 15 minutes.

Hope you enjoy reading as much I enjoyed writing this.

The Loss

May, 1943
Olivia Dunne has always been the daughter that her parents desired. The Rev. and Mrs. Dunne loved their only child as much as any parent could. Livy had the best of everything. When Livy graduated from high school she attended college, unlike many of her friends who married and began a family. Livy wanted to marry and begin a family, but she had not found the man to spend it with.
Being a reverend's daughter didn't make courting easy. Boys were too worried about what Rev. Dunne would do to them had they shown an interest in his daughter. Livy decided in college, maybe there would be someone.....someone who didn't know her daddy. But her hopes were unfulfilled.
Livy graduated from Denver University with a degree in teaching. Livy immediately got a job in Denver teaching 6th and 7th grade geography and history. Livy loved teaching and loved her students. She always took time with them and helped them with their studies. She encouraged them to study hard so they too could go to college and be anything they desired.
Livy had been teaching a few years when her mother became terminally ill. Livy continued teaching and seeing about her mother. She had lived with her parents all of this time, which made it easier to see about her. Livy's father would stay up nights with Mrs. Dunne so Livy could sleep and go to work the next day. One morning when Livy was getting ready for school, there was a light knock at her bedroom door. When Livy opened the door it was her father. With tears welled up in his eyes he told Livy that the end was very near and that she should see her mother before leaving for school.
Livy put on her dress and went to her mother's room. There her mother lay almost a ghostly figure. Very weak. She had become skin and bones. A contrast to what Livy always remembers her mother like.
There in the quiet of her mother's room Livy and her mother talked. They talked about everything. Livy cried mostly. Her mother did not want her being gone to be sad or wasted over by crying. She told Livy that she needed to continue working and to find the man that will make you happy...."happy as I have been with your father"
Livy sobbed at her mother's last request....."Have me a house full of grandchildren Livy, ones I myself could not bear."
Livy did not want to leave her mother's side knowing she would never speak to her again. But Mrs. Dunne insisted that she go to her work. "the students need you, Livy, they need you to teach them."
At that remark, Livy returned to her room to finish getting ready.
It was midday when Livy saw her father's face in the window on the door. Livy immediately began to weep....Not because she feared her mother's death, but feared her life without her mother.
Livy did not return to school that year, she could hardly bear the loss of her mother. Friends were always present and there to help Livy. But they had other obligations. Obligations that Livy had an urgency for, but who......who would she meet, who would be the man that she would love as her mother loved her father? Livy knew of no one that she desired to be with the rest of her life.
This was by far the biggest tragedy that Livy had ever faced.....soon she would have her second.

June, 1943
Wilson, CO

Raymond Singleton was busy around the farm that he had inherited from his family. Ray loved this farm more than anything else. It was his life. He loved plowing the soil, planting the seeds, and harvesting the crops. His farm had become more than his father, Chester Singleton, could have ever imagined. Ray's crops were bartered by the government to use during this time of war. Ray's work was important for something.......just what Ray needed it to be-useful.
Ray had grown up in Wilson, and his family was a dear family to everyone
there. No one had an unkind word to say about the Singletons. So it was natural that the whole community mourned the loss of Chester and Laura Singleton, that winter they passed from influenza they had gotten. Everyone felt even worse for Ray and Daniel. They were left to fend for themselves without the guidance of parents. Ray was left to raise his brother, Daniel. And Ray raised him well. Daniel ended up joining the Navy and being shipped to Pearl Harbor. Ray always said that the land locked his growing up and now he was doing what he loved....sailing the ocean.
However, tragedy struck Ray Singleton one more time.....Danny was killed at Pearl Harbor. It was a loss that the community of Wilson was not sure that Ray would ever recover. After the news of Danny Singleton was known by all, many went to see Ray. They would find him in the barn, in the field, on his porch, in his house sitting in the dark. Martha, Ray's older sister, worried so much for Ray. She asked him, begged him to come and stay at her house with her family until they were all feeling better. Ray refused. He never wanted to be a burden to Martha and Hank and he wasn't going to be now. Martha told many concerned neighbors "When Ray loves someone it's with his whole heart. Losing our baby brother to the war, has nearly killed him." The darkness of the next few years was Ray's life. Though his crops flourished, Ray's life did not. He mourned his brother for many years to come.
It was that June day that Ray prayed to God, "If it's Your will, please send me someone to love. Someone I can share this life with. Someone who will love me forever." It was a prayer that he prayed often. One that he hoped would be fulfilled soon. Ray was tired of being lonely. Tired of eating alone, tired of working alone. Most of all he was tired of the silence that imprisoned his life. He desired someone to be there when he came in from working, someone who would cook his favorite meal, someone who would be the first thing he saw in the morning and the last thing before closing his eyes.
God's will was already at work. At that very moment, someone was feeling the same loss as Ray and having the same prayer.

Chapter 2: New Life In Wilson


Saturday, November 05, 2005

In the making

It's been a while since our last photo shoot.
He could be in scores of up coming movies but...

He must be pooped trick or treating with the twins this week!