Sweltering Summertime Southern Pines Fun!

Sweltering Summertime Southern Pines Fun!

What Could Go Wrong?

The curtains billow gently from the open windows in the Sanders house on Dogwood Drive this morning.

Big ‘ole fans in the ceiling whirr ‘round and ‘round. Cooler temps and a more serious summer breeze sure would be welcome. It’s gonna be another hot, humid day in Shady Pines.

In the kitchen, Edna Sanders pulls out her latest batch of chocolate chip cookies from the oven. “Perfect for desert later on.” She sorts through her favorite recipes. “Oh, fiddlesticks. It’s hard to come up with ideas for supper when it’s this hot,” Edna mutters under her breath.

Boomerang, the Australian Shepherd dog, lies on the cool tile floor, gently panting.

Edna gets up to put more water in his bowl. “It already feels like the dog days of summer, doesn’t it, Boomer? It’s tough on you with your beautiful thick coat.” 

As she leans down to pat him, Edna thinks about her cat, Halley’s Comet.

“I wonder where she is,” says Edna. “By golly, I know. Edna makes her way down the hall to the bathroom near the front door. She quietly pushes the door open and sees the grey and white cat curled up sleeping in the sink.

“She’s so smart. That’s the coolest place she could find.”

Wait. Edna has one of her ideas. “Ooooh, that just might work. I need to call Harold.”

And So It Begins

Edna’s husband, Harold Sanders, is at work at his Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware store downtown. On Saturday the store closes at noon.

Right now, Harold walks up and down the isles checking supplies. “I can always tell when there’s a heat spell,” he thinks to himself. “We start selling a whole lot of fans, garden hoses, wall thermometers and those sorts of things.”

His cell phone rings. “Hi Honey, what’s up?”

Edna is happy she reached him. “Harold, I have an idea.”

Harold sits down. “Oh, boy. It’s not going to be like the last time, is it?”

Edna frowns. “Harold Sanders. You know perfectly well the bake-off worked out just fine in the end.”

Harold chuckles. “Yes, but the repairs to the stove and the new fire alarm units were a bit – unexpected.”

Edna shrugs. “Yes, well, this is not that. What do you say we get the kiddie pool from the garage and let Boomer and Halley play in the water to cool off?”

“Huh. OK. Except, do you really think Halley will go for this? I mean, she is a cat after all.”

“Don’t you worry. I have a plan, ”Edna says.

Harold shakes his head. “All right. We’ll give it a shot. I’ll be home soon.”

Edna is excited. “Great. I’ll get everything ready. It’ll be fun. You’ll see!”

Harold stares at the phone. “Uh-huh. Love you.”

Edna smiles and says, “Love you, too.”

The Plan Comes Together                  

Oh, boy. There are things to do. Edna makes a list. First, she’ll make some lemonade. Besides water, one can never have too many cold drinks on a day like this.

“What else can I get done ahead of time?” she wonders. “I know. I’ll whip up a pasta salad with vegetables and some of that leftover roast chicken from last night. I can put it in the refrigerator for later.”

She looks at her handsome dog. “Boomer, buddy, I just figured out dinner. Plus, you and Halley can have some of the chicken, too!”

Boomer wags his tail and barks. Sounds good to him.

As soon as the big bowl of pasta salad is finished, Edna moves on to the next step.

She hesitates for a moment. “Maybe I should put on my swim suit. No, I’ll just change into some shorts and a tee-shirt.”

Later, as she heads for the door leading from the kitchen to the back yard, Edna makes sure that the doggie door is open. Halley! Boomer and I are going outside! C’mon Boom.”

Boomer can’t resist shouting. “C’mon, Halley. You snooze you lose!”

Halley is already on her way. The noise and smells from the kitchen had gotten her attention. “Oh, for goodness sakes, you overgrown fur ball, I can hear you.”

Getting Everything Ready

The Sanders fenced backyard is filled with big, beautiful shade trees and lots of grass. Edna is especially proud of her flower garden with its different kinds of roses.

But right now, Edna is looking for the hose. She’ll make sure it’s hooked up and ready to go.

“We’ll need this to fill up the kiddie pool once Harold hauls it out here for us.”

Boomer scouts the backyard, trying to find the bone he buried. Halley watches a squirrel that is eating nuts up on one of the lower branches of the tree near the house.

“Halley, do you remember where I put that bone?” asks Boomer.

“Pipe down will you, Boomer?” hisses Halley. “The bone’s in your mouth. Can’t you see I’ve got a bead on this critter?”

Boomer comes flying. “What critter?” When the squirrel sees the dog running, it races away.

Halley gives him one of her looks. “Really? You didn’t see the squirrel?” Boomer grins at her. “Nope.”

Meanwhile, Edna untangles the hose.

“Oh, good it already has a nozzle on it.”

Bored with Halley, Boomerang wants to see what Edna is doing. “I’m going over there.” Halley will not be left behind. “Me, too.”

Edna holds the nozzle before turning on the water. “OK kids. Let’s make sure it’s working, shall we?” Edna turns the water on just as Boomer arrives and sniffs the nozzle. Halley is close behind.

In a matter of seconds, water is gushing through the hose full force!

Oh, no! Edna didn’t realize the nozzle was locked in the open position.” Before you could yell, “there she blows,” the nozzle darts out of her hand. It snakes through the air like a crazy, whirly, swirly, out of control object.

Look Out Below!

Edna tries to grab the darn thing but misses. Water sprays wildly in every direction. The only thing Edna can do is scurry back and turn off the water.

She remembers hearing is a dog barking like crazy and a cat screaming.

That’s when Harold arrives. He bursts through the back door and surveys the scene. His wife is drenched from head to toe. His dog is sopping wet, cowering in the bushes. Where’s the cat? Oh. She’s up in the tree trying desperately to lick herself dry.

“Edna, honey, are you OK?”

Edna pushes wet hair out of her eyes. Her tee-shirt and shorts drip with water, and her flip flops splish and splosh as she walks towards him. “I don’t think we’ll need the kiddie pool just yet.”

“No. I don’t think we will.” He walks over to Boomerang and puts out his hand. “Boomer. Boy. Come here. You’re OK.”

Two, big, brown eyes blink and look out from the brush. Slowly Boomerang comes out of hiding and puts his head into Harold’s hands.

“Oh, my,” says Harold in a soothing voice. “You’re okay, big boy. You’re fine.”

Halley looks down from her perch. “You’re a mess, Boomer. But you’re not hurt, are you?”

Boomer looks up and sees her way up in the tree. “I’m OK. But this shows you are the ultimate scaredy cat.”

“Am not.”

“Are, too.”

Edna joins in. “Oh Boomer, I’m so sorry I scared you. You, too, Halley,” she calls out. “Harold, we’re gonna need a bunch of towels, and a whole lot of tuna if we expect to get Halley out of that tree!”

All’s Well That End’s With A Meal

It’s late afternoon now and the shadows in the backyard grow longer. Finally, a cooling breeze causes the wind chime made of spoons to sing.

The wooden table with blue and red checkered napkins is set. Here we find Harold and Edna enjoying their pasta salad, crusty bread, and sipping on lemonade.

Two bowls are set out on placemats on the ground. One bowl says, Boomer and the other says, Halley. Both are filled with their regular dry food, plus a few pieces of chicken.

“Mine has more than yours,” says Boomer.

“Does not,” says Halley.

“Does, too.”

Harold is relaxed for the first time. Edna has changed into a short-sleeved summer dress. Harold figures it’s safe to ask. “So, exactly what did happen with the hose?”

“Well, it all started when…,” Edna begins. Boomer is lying in the shade, chewing on a new bone. Halley snoozes in the well worn seat of a lawn chair on a lovely evening in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.

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Boomer and Halley & A Father’s Approach to Mother’s Day

Boomer and Halley & A Father’s Approach to Mother’s Day

A Mother’s Day Surprise

With just days to go until Mother’s Day, dawn breaks gently in Shady Pines Story Town.

A soft breeze flows through the open window and into the kitchen of the house on Dogwood Drive across from Copy Cat Lane.

Birds chirp loudly as they perch in the tall, leafy tree outside. The Sanders’ home hums with activity on this beautiful spring morning.

Harold Sanders is feeding his four-legged children.

He fills the food and water bowls of Boomerang, the Australian Shepherd dog, and Halley’s Comet, a silver streak of a cat.

“There you go kids. Breakfast is served.”

“I love breakfast,” says Boomer.

“Not as much as I do,” says Halley.

Boomer growls. “You’re in my way.”

“Am not,” says Halley.

“Are, too!” yells Boomer

The back-door swings open and Edna Sanders appears with a fistful of colorful flowers. “Wow, the garden has come alive in the past week.”

Harold shakes his head in wonder. “Honey, you have a green thumb. I can’t believe the size of those roses.”

Edna places the cluster of white, dark pink, yellow and peach colored blooms on the kitchen counter. “I know. They’re so much bigger than last year. Will you grab a vase for me? There are several in the top cupboard.”

Harold reaches way up to the top cabinet and brings down a container of cut glass. “What about this one? It should look great with sunlight bouncing off it.”

Edna smiles. “That’s perfect. Oh, my gosh. What time is it?”

Harold looks at the clock on the wall. “It’s 8:30. Are you rushing somewhere?”

“Sorta,” says Edna. “I want to go to Fred’s Corner Grocer before it gets crowded. Thank you for putting the flowers in that vase. They look wonderful. Will you watch the kids while I’m gone?”

Harold sees Boomer looking up and sniffing at the flowers on the kitchen counter. Halley has jumped up on her window seat and is licking her paws.  Harold smiles. “I think I can manage, dear.”

As Edna scurries up the stairs to get dressed, Harold sits at the kitchen table, flips on the TV and clicks through channels. “Let’s see what looks interesting.”

While he tries to decide what program to watch, Harold notices one Mother’s Day commercial after another. “Oh, NO! Mother’s Day is this weekend. Boomer, Halley, we have to do something special for mom!”

Boomer barks. “Halley, what’s going on? Is something wrong with mom? What do we have to do?”

“I have no idea,” says Halley. “She looked okay to me.”

“What’s a Mother’s Day?” asks Boomer.

Edna rushes back in, kisses Harold on the cheek and grabs her car keys. “Bye. See you later!”

“Bye, dear,” says Harold.

Harold turns off the TV. He needs a plan. Boomer wanders over. Harold takes the dog’s head in his hands and looks into his eyes. “What are we going to get her boy?”

Harold stands up and goes over to the kitchen desk where Edna sorts the mail and makes lists of things she wants to get done. Maybe something here will spark an idea. Halley follows him, jumps onto the desk, pushes her head against his arm and demands to be petted.

Harold just laughs. “You like to get into the middle of things don’t you girl? OK, I’ll pet your head and you can help me look for clues.” Harold rummages through bills, junk mail, and an invitation to a party.

“Wait. That’s it. I’ve got it you guys. We won’t buy her a Mother’s Day card, we’ll make her a card. We’ll do it together. Follow me!”

Harold makes a bee line for the den with Boomer right on his heels. Halley trots along bringing up the rear. Harold knows exactly where Edna keeps baskets full of paper and coloring pens and all sorts of craft stuff.

“Here’s everything we need. Wait a minute. Boomer, what’s your chew bone doing in this basket? Halley, isn’t this your squeaky toy?”

Boomer looks at Halley. “Uh-oh. I forgot about the day we played in here even though we weren’t supposed to.”

“Look on the bright side. Dad found Mr. Squeaky,” says Halley. “Do you think he’s mad at us?”

“Hope not,” says Boomer.

Harold chuckles. “You two are something else. Grab your toys, I’ll bring what we need. Let’s head back to the kitchen ’cause Operation Mother’s Day Card is about to begin.”

In minutes the kitchen table is covered with thick paper in a variety of colors, coloring pens, scissors, glue – the works. Boomer crawls under the table and chews his bone. Halley grabs Mr. Squeaky toy with her teeth, throws it up into the air and chases after it.

Harold looks around the room. “We need to add things to the card that will be meaningful to Edna. The flowers! They’re perfect.”  Harold takes out his phone and snaps a picture.

Next he sees the framed picture of the family. “That’ll work.” He snaps another photo.A happy family hugging their pets

After he prints out copies of the flowers and the family, Harold sits at the table and tries to make decisions.

There so many different colors of paper. How will he choose?

“Boomer, Halley, what color should we use?”

Halley jumps up the table and lands in the middle of pile. Boomer stretches up, places his front paws on Harold’s legs and barks.

“Whoa. I did ask for help didn’t I?” Harold looks at Halley’s pink collar and tag. “That’s it, Halley. Pink. It’s your mom’s favorite color.”

“Do you see Boomer? I’m helping and you’re just loud,” says Halley.

“Oh pipe down you little pipsqueak. You didn’t do anything,” says Boomer.

“Did, too.”

“Did not.”

Harold  glues the pictures onto the card. Next, he picks up a coloring pen and starts to write a message. He seems pleased with his message. “You know kids, Mother’s Day is a time when we get to tell Edna just how much we love her and appreciate all that she does for us.”

Before he can finish the sentence, Halley sees a bird perched in the tree right outside the open window. In a flash, she leaps off the table sending papers and pens high up in the air. Before they can hit the floor, Boomer is charging after Halley, running and dodging the flying objects.

“Oh, golly. Boomer, HAY-LLEEE! Come back here,” yells Harold.

The back door opens, and a startled Edna tries to take in the scene. “Harold, what’s going on?”

Harold points towards the window. “Quick. Grab Halley.”

Edna lunges just as her silver streak of a cat is about to launch toward the tree. “Come here girl. I got you. Hang on to my shoulder. That’s good.”

Meanwhile, Harold collars Boomer. “All right boy. Let’s calm down here.”

Closing the window, Edna looks around the kitchen. It was so tidy when she left.

“Are the groceries still in the car?,” asks Harold.

Edna puts her hands on her hips. “They are. But first things first. What in cryin’ out loud happened while I was gone?”

Harold picks up the pink card and turns it around to show his wife the message. “We were trying to surprise you with a Mother’s Day card.”

Edna put both hands over her mouth. “Oh, my goodness. You guys made this for me? It’s beautiful.”

Harold is moved by his wife’s emotional response. “We wanted to give it to you on the actual day, but…”

Edna kneels down and hugs Boomer and Halley. Then she hugs her husband. “Don’t you all understand? Everyday in this family is Mother’s Day to me!”

“I have no idea what that means,” says Boomer.

“Me either,” says Halley. “But I think that pink piece of paper makes her cry.”

“Yea. I wonder what’s up with that?” asks Boomer.

And so we leave the Sanders family on a happy note. Harold and Edna clean up the kitchen mess. Boomer chews his bone and Halley plays with Mr. Squeaky toy.

Just another lovely, eventful morning in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.

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An Act of Kindness on May Day in Shady Pines

An Act of Kindness on May Day in Shady Pines

Let’s Celebrate!

A new month is nearly here. And in Shady Pines Story Town that means new opportunities for fun and kindness. Some May Day traditions date back hundreds – even thousands – of years.

And you know what? They’re still joyous and magical today.

Dancing ’round the Maypole to music is one of the oldest traditions still celebrated. It was the British who brought this idea to Colonial America when they settled here.

Dancing and Singing ‘Round the Maypole

Originally this celebration of Springtime meant the Maypole was a tree or tree trunk. Colorful ribbons were attached to it. The dancers would go ’round and ’round the Maypole.

These days the ribbon-weaving dancers are usually pairs of boys and girls (with girls taking one color of ribbons and boys the other). Sometimes it’s a group of multiple ages where younger dancers take the inside of the circle and older dancers the outside.

Either way, the maypole itself is supposed to be a delightful reminder that the cold days of winter are behind us and spring has sprung. This tradition is also about celebrating the love of friends, family and community.

Since we are all about that in our close knit, small Southern town, this weekend we’ll have a Maypole set up in Stonewall Park next to the Gazebo. And there’ll be musicians playing folk music.

Kids and their parents can join in the dancing. Afterwards we’ll have a giant picnic and free rides on the carousel down by the lake.

May Day Baskets

Another wonderful tradition involves a basketfull of love. Knock, knock. Who’s there? This spring tradition also dates back many generations.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, people would mark the first of May by hanging baskets of flowers or sweets on neighbors’ doorknobs, knocking on the door and dashing away before they get discovered.

If the homeowner did catch the person in the act, they got a kiss.

It’s an overall silly yet nice experience that seems to be fading out.

Kindness Never Goes Out of Style

Nowadays anyone can send a text to check in with friends and neighbors.  It may seem unnecessary to go to such great lengths to create a basket and leave it on a doorstep. You might find it downright ridiculous to dash away.

But the truth may be the opposite. A small act of kindness (like taking time to pull together a gift basket with your own creativity) speaks volumes more than any text message ever could.

Whether you live in a rural part of the country, or an apartment in a big city, we all have neighbors. And, after all, who doesn’t like receiving a gift?

So think about this. However you spend May Day please be inspired to have fun and spread a little kindness where you can. It’s the Shady Pines Way!

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The Legendary Easter Bunny is Set to Visit Shady Pines

The Legendary Easter Bunny is Set to Visit Shady Pines

Easter Fun in Shady Pines

The level of activity has certainly picked up this week. Before you know it, Easter will be here.

“This is one of my favorite holidays in our small Southern town,” says Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs. “Main Street comes alive with gals looking for spring dresses to wear to Easter services; guys look for new shirts and ties to spruce up their looks; and kids search for new oufits along with goodies to fill their Easter baskets.” 

But there’s one story that the good mayor of Shady Pines likes to tell children when he meets with them at the Shady Pines Elementary School. Each year, just before Easter he sits with the kids to tell them about the Legend of the Easter bunny. 

Basically, this is what he tells them:

Why An Easter Bunny?

“Have you ever wondered how the legend of an egg-laying rabbit came to be associated a Christian holiday like Easter? Think about it. Why do we have a rabbit and not a chicken? After all, a chicken actually does lay eggs (even if they typically don’t come out dyed and decorated.)

Well children, it turns out the exact beginings of the Easter Bunny legend is not easy to pin down. But, there is a solid historical reason why the mythical creature is a rabbit.

You see, rabbits have long been associated with springtime celebrations. After all, it’s the season when baby bunnies are born.

Way, way back in time the symbol of the season of renewal was the goddess of dawn and new birth. Her name was Eostre. Sounds like Easter, doesn’t it?

She was typically represented in art by a woman in a flowing gown. The goddess’ name came from the ancient word for spring: “Eastre.” Eostre’s sacred animal was a rabbit. The symbol of the rebirth of life in the springtime was the egg. That’s the connection.

Now, rabbits and eggs have long been associated with Easter. But the egg-laying chocolate-delivering Easter bunny as we know it doesn’t appear in history until sometime in the 1600s.

The Legend Arrives in America

That’s when a rabbit whose name, Osterhas, translates to ‘Easter rabbit’ was said to lay colorful eggs for children to find on Easter Sunday. When the first Europeans arrived in America a hundred years later, the tradition came with them.

That tradition also included having children make their own nests or baskets in the week leading up to Easter, and then the Osterhase would leave eggs for them.

And that’s how the practice of designing and filling Easter baskets was born.

So here’s what you need to remember. Whether you receive an Easter basket on this special spring holiday, or play the role of the Easter bunny this year, keep this in mind.

You can thank that old rabbit ‘Osterhase’ and the long history of the Easter bunny for giving us the excuse to eat a few extra chocolates this season!”

Thank you Mayor Fibbs!


St. Patrick’s Day in Shady Pines has Boomer and Halley looking for Leprechauns

St. Patrick’s Day in Shady Pines has Boomer and Halley looking for Leprechauns

 Everyone’s Seeing Green

It won’t be long now and the excitement is building. The Shady Pines Community Center will soon hold it’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Shenanigans event Friday, March 17th for the kids at the nearby elementary school.

Community Center Director, Rita Mallena, is excited. “Shenanigans means spirited fun with a little mischief mixed in. That’s what I think about when I think of leprechauns and it describes our students as well. So that’s our theme this year,” says Rita.

A lot of folks around town are pitching in to help, including the Sanders family.

Harold and Edna absolutely love this event. It gives Edna a chance to cook up something special in Edna’s Kitchen. Harold dresses up and their four-legged kids like the commotion.A happy family hugging their pets

An Irish Treat

Edna Sanders makes a list of things she wants to get at the store.

“In honor of one of the symbols of this day, I’ll make my special Shamrock Cookies. The batter is easy to whip up. Next, I use my heart shaped cookie cutter to make the shapes, top with green icing and voila! Everyone seems to really like them.”

Harold strides into the kitchen and makes a beeline to the refrigerator. “What do we all like, dear?”


Harold looks in the refrigerator. “Are there any in here?”

Edna shakes her head. “No, I’m going to make some for the Shenanigans Event.”

“Oh, okay,” says Harold. “Guess I’ll just have some fruit. That’s right. St. Paddy’s Day is coming up. Should I wear my leprachaun costume again?”

Boomer and Halley Get Into It

Boomerang, the couple’s Australian Shepherd, wanders in carrying his rawhide bone in his mouth. He drops it upder the window seat where Halley’s Comet is sunning herself. The silver streak of a cat opens one eye and looks down at him. “What do you want?”

“What’s a leprechaun?”

Halley sigh loudly. “Honestly you overgrown fur ball. Everyone knows that.”

Boomer tilts his head. “You don’t know, do you?”

“‘Course I do,” says Halley. “Legend has it they’re little Irish guys who live in the forest among the trees. They make shoes or something. Oh, and they guard their pot of gold.”

“How do you know?” asks Boomer.

“Because mom told the kids all about them at last year’s shin-dig,” says Halley. “Let me guess. You weren’t paying attention.”

Boomer growls at her.  “What if someone finds a leprechaun?”

Halley yawns. “Then they get to keep the gold.”


“Uh-oh.” Halley sits up straight. “Boomer. I know that look. What are you thinking?”

Making Human Connections

“You know dear,” says Edna. “I really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a delightful way to celebrate the country of Ireland – it’s people, art, religion and all the things Irish people like to do.”

Harold sits at the kitchen table eating his apple. “I agree. I think it’s also a good way for kids to learn about people in far away places like the British Isles.”

Edna nods. “We need to remember that even if we live differently, and maybe eat different foods, people everywhere are alike in many ways. That’s something to celebrate.”

Harold looks around the kitchen. “Hey. What happened to Boomer and Halley?”

Can You Dig It?

“Come on Halley. Let’s go!” shouts Boomer as he explodes through the doggie door.

Halley is shocked. But before you know it, she skeedaddles right through the swinging rubber flap and out into the backyard.

“What are we doing?” gasps Halley as she catches her breath.

Boomer is already rooting through the pine straw under the pine trees that rim the fenced in yard.

“We’ll find ’em.”

“Find who?” asks Halley.  

Boomer digs frantically at one spot under the blooming cherry tree. “I’m looking for the leprachauns and their gold!” shouts Boomer.

“You’re doing what?” asks Halley

Boomer stays at his task. “Halley, think about it. We’re going to have the luck of the Irish.”

Halley throws her paws up in despair. “Boomer you nit-wit. The leprachauns are in Ireland. Not here in Shady Pines.”

Boomer stops digging and wheels around to face her. “Huh?”

And that’s where we leave the Sanders family just before St. Patricks Day in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.

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Shady Pines Wonders. Will March Come in like a Lamb or Roar in like a Lion?

Shady Pines Wonders. Will March Come in like a Lamb or Roar in like a Lion?

Marching In To a New Month

Here we are. A new month is right on our doorstep and that leads to questions. As winter gives way to spring, what kind of weather can the folks in Shady Pines Story Town expect?

In the sun drenched kitchen of the house on Dogwood Drive across from Copycat Lane, Edna Sanders is cleaning up the breakfast dishes.

Her husband, Harold, is about ready to leave for work. He owns the Nuts ‘N Bolts hardware store downtown on Main Street. Right now, he’s looking high and low for something.

“Honey, have you seen my keys?” he asks. Edna looks in a couple of drawers. “No,” she answers. “Maybe you should check upstairs on the dresser.”

As Harold heads to the bedroom, the Sanders’ Australian Shepherd dog, Boomerang, is lying under the kitchen table chewing his rawhide bone. Halley’s Comet, their silver streak of a cat, is perched on her pink window seat grooming herself.

Edna glances at her four-legged kids. “Boomer and Halley, where has this month gone? It seems like it was Valentine’s Day just a short while ago. And now the month is over.”

Harold bounds into the room with the keys in his hand. “Found ’em. They were right where you said they’d be.”

Edna places the last clean plate in the upper cupboard. “Harold I just realized tomorrow is a new month. Can you believe that?”

“Gosh, you’re right! I guess the question now is, will March come in like a lion and go out like a lamb? Or, the other way around?”

Edna turns and looks at him. “Where does that saying come from?”

My father told me it’s an old saying straight out of the Farmers’ Almanac.  It’s sorta forklore. Apparently our ancestors believed in balance.”

“What do you mean, balance?” asks Edna as she helps Harold on with his coat.

“It means if the weather at the start of the month is bad like a roaring lion, the month should end with good weather. You know, gentle, like a lamb,” says Harold.

“On the other hand,” wonders Edna, “if March begins mild it could end being wild!”

Harold gasps. “I never thought of that.”

Kindness Matters

Boomer stops chewing and looks over at Halley. “You know what that means don’t you?”

Halley rolls her eyes at him. “Oh, do tell, oh wonder dog. What does this mean?”

Boomer struts over to her. “In this story I am the mighty lion and you are the pitiful little lamb.”

“Oh pah-leez you overgrown bundle of fur,” hisses Halley. “No one would mistake you for a mighty anything!”

“Would too!”

“Would not!”

Boomer is so frustrated with Halley that he starts barking at her.

Harold takes Boomer by the collar and leads him away from the hissing cat. “What has gotten into you, two? Remember all those times we reminded you guys to be kind to one another?”

Edna is startled by the commotion. “In this house it seems March may be coming in like a lion!” she says stroking Halley to calm her down. Harold sits with Boomer and pets his head. “Easy boy. Pretend you’re a lamb.”

Boomer reacts with, “Grrrrr.”

Halley just grins.

And that’s where we leave the Sanders family on a quiet morning in the small Southern town of Shady Pines.

And just so you know, the forecast for Shady Pines the first week of March is supposed to be mild.


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