Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa, You Sit On a Throne of Lies

"I see Rudolph in there," the doctor said as she peered into my youngest son's right ear."

"I don't believe in Santa." He stated matter-of-factly.

This was news to me.

I have always skirted the issue of Santa Claus. I would nod and smile, not verbally reinforcing the issue. Sure, he came to the house Christmas Eve. But I tried not to perpetuate the lie. It hadn't so much worked for us over the years.

Yet, every Christmas eve my husband and children would check on Santa on the Norad Santa Tracker. Also, "The Night Before Christmas" was read before bed. And of course, many of the movie favorites we played year after year were Santa-centered.

This year will be different. Santa isn't coming to our house. Having fallen behind on several things, we're struggling to keep up with day to day bills and pay our mortgage.

It's a week before Christmas and no presents have been bought.

My Christmas miracle won't come in the form of Santa. And right now, all I can feel in that regard is that I've stolen something away from my children and from God in perpetuating a lie their entire childhood.

Miracles aren't dressed in a red suit and they don't have a stomach that shakes like a bowl full of jelly.

Christmas isn't about gifts from some imaginary elf who sits on a throne in the north pole.

In our home, we've always told the kids it's Jesus' birthday celebration. But how much have I taken away from that experience by adding this myth or legend to my children's existence these past 8, 10, 12, 16 years (we have five sons).

Santa only brought two gifts and a stocking to my kids each year anyways, right? So what's the big deal? I's not like it broke the bank. 

If I had it all to do over again...I wouldn't lie to my kids. I wouldn't build up some guy in a red suit who doesn't exist. I wouldn't create warm and fuzzy memories around a lie.

I'm a Christian, yet I've pulled the carpet out from under them slowly over the years, not focusing on the true reason for the season (for us).

When Christmas morning comes in our house, I really don't know what's going to be under the tree for our children yet. I'm still waiting for that miracle in many regards.

Yet, part of me is relieved. The lie is over. Between now and then, I'm going to have a talk about Santa with my younger kids and although they know about Jesus and he's a part of our daily lives...we're going to read about the real "First Christmas" in the bible.

We're going to talk about gifts and the "greatest gift" ever given. That's what I want to perpetuate this year.

It's time to start putting "the Word" into our kids instead of "the World".

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake Recipe

For my newsletter subscribers and blog readers, enjoy this family fall favorite! Tip: I usually double the streusel topping recipe.

Also, when I make this recipe, I usually make two or three coffee cakes at one time.


Streusel Topping (Double)

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup Libby's Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9 inch round cake pan.

For streusel topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside.

For coffee cake: Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a separate large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Spoon 1/2 batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup topping over batter. Spoon remaining batter evenly over topping then sprinkle with remaining streusel topping.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center of cake. (My oven tends to take a bit longer, but as I said, I bake several at once).

I'd love to hear if you make the recipe and if you and your family enjoyed it. Please come back and leave a comment.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Couch ~ God's Provision

Several years ago, I was praying about our living room couch. It was old, sagging, and stained from young children. I kept my wants between God and I, not complaining to my husband or aloud. I just kept it in my heart, this desire.

Two weeks later, we stopped at an estate sale. My husband and I used to do this a lot before we had so many mouths to feed and bills to pay. It was unusual for us to even contemplate pausing amidst our busy life to stop and spend money on things we didn't "need".

This particular day, my husband went in and I sat in the car with the kids. He came out a short time later, saying we all should go in. While in the home, we wandered together into each room, looking at antiques and old linens, the remnants of a life. The last room we entered was a screened in porch and there it sat. The couch of my dreams, almost untouched, with a matching chair. I was so blown away that I hesitated and sat down, catching my breath.

I knew our finances and I knew my God. After speaking with my husband, he encouraged me to offer a price I thought we could afford for the two pieces of furniture. The man in charge contemplated this while tending to another customer. I stood and waited, calculating what would be left in our account.

Needless to say, he accepted my lower than average bid and we were the proud owners of the couch and chair! It has sat for several years in our living room. And with climbing boys and wear and tear, it slowly has faded and has a few rips in various places.

As I sit now in the chair, staring at a tangible remnant of God's provision, not for my needs but for my wants, I realize how He always provides. Always! Many times it is not how or what we would expect (usually better!).

I've prayed for clothes for my boys or jeans for me. Such frivolities, you say? Well, when you are down to one pair of jeans...yes, it is still a want...not quite a need, but God listens to the cries of our hearts.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:25-34

I encourage you to seek God first, pray, and connect with the One who loves you above anyone else in your life. 

He will provide for you in times of want, need, sickness, heartache, or distress....above and beyond. 

"Have faith, My child."

He is calling you back to Him.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Standing Firm in the Midst of Unanswered Questions ~ Guest Post by Karen M. "Shelly" Ricci

Another Chapter in My Personal Healing Journey

"(Pain) removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul." --C.S. Lewis
 For almost as far back as I can remember, I have struggled with something physically.  When I was a very young child, it was chronic ear infections.  As an older child, my joints began to hurt.  At age 9, a doctor officially diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis.  At age 26, I became completely paralyzed from both shoulders, down, and spent 8 months in 2 different hospitals and a nursing home, not knowing if feeling would return.  The official 'diagnosis' on that was medicine - induced lupus/ transverse myelitis (spinal cord inflammation) and this has led to peripheral neuropathy (fancy term that, in my case, means nerve damage). 
I don’t know about you but when a problem arises, in my life, my first response is to find out the root cause of the problem.  Because once the root cause, of the problem, is revealed the solution to the problem seems much easier to find.  While it may be somewhat easy to find out, from a medical point of view, what caused the physical struggles I’ve had in my life…some of the answers, from a spiritual point of view still linger. 
Many nights, as a child, were spent crying myself to sleep because of the pain.  Sometimes my mom would hear me crying and come to my room.  I remember one night, in particular, I was crying out in pain and I asked my mom if this (pain) was God putting me through a "test".  Because I knew enough about God, at age 9,  to know that He did, in fact, put some people through tests ...or at the very least, allowed them to be tested.  (see Job, Isaac, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, David, Ruth, Naomi, Peter, Paul, and Christ Jesus just to name a few)

Honestly, I don't know if what I struggle with, physically, is something the LORD has allowed me to go through because He is 'testing' me.  The tests that people went through in the Bible did not seem to last as long as my own struggle, so due to the duration, I am thinking this may not be a 'test'.

Another question that has haunted me, over the years, is "Do I have a lack of faith?"  Many of the healing miracles that Jesus did were because of, or as a result of, the fact that the person who needed the miracle had "faith".

I can attest to the fact that there have been times in my life where my faith was increased.  Over the years, I believe my faith has actually grown.

But I still have not experienced a complete physical healing in my body.

Is it because I don't have enough faith?  Some people would simply say that yes, this must be why I have not been healed, completely.  But I disagree. Is there room for my faith to grow even more?  YES!  However, I do not struggle with disbelief and let’s be honest…there really is nothing that I could ever do, or do enough of, that would help me to 'earn' a healing, anyways.

SO, if God wants to completely heal my body, then what is it that keeps Him from going ahead and doing it?  I don't know. 

Oh, I have experienced partial healings in my lifetime.  The time I was paralyzed from my shoulders down and told I'd never walk or have feeling again......and the feeling came back and I did walk freely without assistance for years.  Or how about the time that I was told that I'd never be able to conceive a child ....but I became pregnant about a year and a half later (without trying) and went on to have a flawless pregnancy and deliver a beautiful baby girl.  Then there was that time when I went in for C-spine fusion surgery and the surgeons discovered, on the operating table, that they would only have to complete 1/3rd of what they thought they'd have to do, to my spine, because in a week's time it had already begun to fuse itself. This list doesn't even include all the miracles I've experienced financially, relationally, in circumstances, etc.
The Lord has clearly had His hand, on my life, and intervened on my behalf over and over again.  But I am still not “whole” in my body…..yet.

So....what's up with the partial miracles?  Why not just go all the way with it?  I don't know.

Right now, I am in need of another surgery.  At the present time, complications are keeping me from being able to even have the surgery.

Wouldn't it be AWESOME if God chose to heal me, completely, of the complications as well as from even needing another surgery?  YES!  But.....what if He chooses not to? 

Is there a specific timing involved here?  Like, does God plan to heal me completely but He has a specific timing planned for it?  Maybe.

I wish that I had the answers....not just for myself but for anyone who may be wondering why they haven't been healed.  But I don't.

What I do know, however, is that :

God STILL heals....whether He heals me now, later or not at all.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Excerpt Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken: Summer


Excitement. That’s what Jaycee has been saving for since high school. With plans to leave rural Twain, Georgia, the “to where” and the “to what” have been the only questions stopping her. Will her intentions change when Dash Matheson pulls her wandering heart in his direction? Feel the summer heat of the Fourth of July in this southern series as Jaycee finds love.
Volume 1, Summer of a four part serial novel under the Faith, Love, and Fried Chicken title.
Volume 2, Fall available now.
Volume 3, Winter available now.
Volume 4, Spring available now.


 Marlene caught Dash eyeing Jaycee. Wiping the spot next to him, she slid a fresh paper placemat and napkin-wrapped silverware in front of the empty stool. 
"Never gonna happen."
He smiled confidently, a plan forming in his head. Turning to face the counter, he gave her a winning smile, "It's only a matter of fried chicken."
Marlene smiled at his answer, then raised an eyebrow.
"What's only a matter of fried chicken?" Jaycee repeated. She came to stand near Dash with her hand on her hip.
He took a long pull on the pop and braced his two hands against the counter, turning and leaning over in his stool so his eyes were level with Jaycee's.
"You and me," he said slowly, letting his lips roll over the words as they carried to her on a breath and sank against the softness of her cheeks. Her beautiful light-green eyes narrowed and her full lashes fell in quick succession as she blinked rapidly. 
"Y-you and me? And fried chicken?"
"That's right, darlin'."
"Don't you darlin' me, Dash. I know what comes after your 'darlin'. Sure enough, I'm in  your sights, but I'm leaving this town, not stayin' and settin' up a Mom and Pop with you."
Marlene had wandered away once she saw Jaycee's temper flare. Jaycee was but three inches from his face. His gaze lazed on her lips and then swiftly found her eyes again.
"Don't let the future overwhelm the moment," he whispered quietly. He reached for her hand, just running his thumb across the top of it and then let it go.     

Available in Paperback on Amazon or in Kindle Form.

Visit Laura's Website HERE.

Friday, May 31, 2013

10,000 Love Songs ~ My Best Marketing Tip

There may be 10,000 songs out there about love, probably more, but they each are unique. Some love songs have a way of assuaging our grief, bringing us back to the precipice of young love, or reminding us of our grandparents and their timeless bond.

The best marketing tip I recall and utilize every day is the one in which I am reminded to have boldness in the message I alone have for the world. There may be a million writers writing on rest, as in my devotional, A Mom's Battle Cry for Rest. However, when faced with someone who walks up to me and asks about my book or inquires after it online, I can have confidence that I am helping that person. I can have assurance that I'm not selling snake oil or sugar pills.

In the Christian Marketplace, we need to believe not only in our convictions, but in our offering to the world and to God. You have a unique voice and if God has called you to write, then believe that what you are marketing is your best effort and that it will help someone. So whether it's transporting the reader along a fictional journey to love, writing to help someone overcome addiction, or sharing how to find the rest that refreshes, market with the same loving intent of why you wrote in the first place…to glorify God.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Black As Night

Black as night she painted her nails,
Like the despair hidden deep in her soul.
It reminded her. 
It mocked her.
She held it close and examined it. 
She awoke at night and fought to not remember, 
But it beckoned and descended like a cloak she bore every waking hour.

The paint chipped and with it, her tears fell,
More so with a kind word or with the spontaneous laugh of a child.
With the laughter and the tears, the hours that seemed like days once again became twenty-four.

Hope took root and the shoots of it grew.
They pierced the pain, the loneliness of sorrow,
And slowly without noticing,
the cloak was replaced with dreams and plans
And laughter and love.

Written in conjunction with an upcoming new release, All The Angels Stood, A YA Novella.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Excerpt of A Heart's Home - Available Now


A Heart's Home, A Novella
by Laura J. Marshall

Back Cover Blurb:

1746, India

Born in England and raised in India by her father after her mother's untimely death, Asyra has been ostracized from her small village most of her life.  News of her impending  marriage arranged by her grandmother back in England only serves to confuse her further about who she is and where she fits in.  When Madras is attacked by the French before Asyra's ship sails, she must pretend to be the wife of her grandmother's agent, who happens to be the elder brother of her intended.  Can she move beyond prejudice to find her place in the world?  


Braddock sat for a long time, his head in his hands. Asyra had cleansed his forehead with the cool water. Her image had wavered as he watched her walk away and spread the blanket on the dirt floor. He heard her praying quietly, wishing he was closer to overhear. He joined her with silent prayers, for them to cast off safely from India…for Asyra…for his brother…and his own entangled heart.
He moved from the chair, almost sliding to the floor and stumbled to the bed. His head hit the hay, sharp ends digging into his face. He flipped to his back and fell into a deep sleep.
When he awoke, all was quiet in the small house. He could hear gentle snoring from Mrs. Campbell. The heat was oppressive, it clung to him and pushed him to his feet. As he straightened, he noticed Asyra awake and seated in a chair by a window at the back of the house. She had the burlap tucked up an inch and her nose stuck out the window. He grinned at the childish gesture, coughing quietly to announce his presence.
She turned, smoothing the burlap with her hand and met his gaze.
Braddock motioned to the blanket on the floor.
“Did you rest at all?”
“Yes, I slept just fine. You?”
“If I had awakened in heaven itself, I wouldn’t be surprised. I slept as if I were among the dead.”
She laughed quietly at his description, a small dimple appearing in her left cheek.  She quickly sobered as she saw Mrs. Campbell roll over.
“It looks to be late afternoon. The heat will ease.”
“We’ll be against the wind most of the way home and wishing for this heat come November.” He spoke quietly, not wishing to break the spell of time with her.
“Do you remember England at all?”
“I was but a babe. My father told me some of mother’s estate…the lush gardens and green pastures. He said there were woods so thick you could get lost.”
“It’s true. There’s an enchanting forest with its fill of plants, trees, and fauna. There’s one spot in particular, just a small path to the south of the estate that leads to a God-made haven, where honeysuckle climbs the trees and carpets the forest.”
Asyra seemed to roll this over in her mind. “It sounds beautiful….a-and what is fauna?”
“Animals native to our region….the migrant cuckoo, the roe deer.”
“I-I’m very interested in your herbs and flowers.”
“I’ll see you have books to study.” As she broke his gaze, he recalled what she had said about reading. Her eyes clouded with worry.
“I have your mother’s bible, in the bag. We’ll teach you to read before we reach England.”
“That’s a high order.”
“We can do it…together.” The word slid over his tongue and his heart responded. It expanded and seemed to hesitate in its beating. Together. He and Asyra. His eyes fell to her white teeth worrying her lip. Her soft pink lips parted. She caught his gaze and fell still.
“Th-thank you for bringing the bible.” She stood and walked to the door, taking the bucket with the white willow over to the basin and placing it on the ground. “And the willow.” She bent her head and he saw a tear fall as she took a small cup, dipped it into the pitcher, and wet its roots.
Braddock felt like the air was being squeezed from his lungs. He crossed the room and stood behind her. She barely stood as tall as his shoulder. He looked down as an ankle skimmed into view, the bells quietly jingling. It was funny how the sound had become so commonplace now, part of his days and his memories.
He touched her arm and she turned, falling forward and against his chest. He could feel her silent sobs being wrenched from her very soul. She gulped a deep breath and put her face back against him so he couldn’t see her.
“I’m here. I won’t leave you.”
“Y-y-you can’t promise me that.”
“I can and I will promise you.”

See Laura's website for links to sale venues including Amazon and Barnes & Noble HERE

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Daily I feel the gentle pressure, fingers of disappointment, hurt, sickness, lack pressing cracks into the surface of my soul until a chink is loosened.
Is this all that I have to give, Lord?  My brokenness?
Tears sting my eyes and blur my vision.
Is this the widow's mite?  I have naught much else.
Is the brokenness my gift to You or Your gift to me?
Like a vase with a chink, humble in its place among the others whole on a shelf.  How can the broken things of this world glorify God? 
But you call me beautiful and choose me, every time.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Scriptures for Summer Learning

Here are nine Scriptures we're incorporating into our summer...the principles and for memorization.

I need two more. I'd love your input.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Be Careful When You Try to Make a Name for Yourself."

My book is free today and tomorrow. Currently it sits at #3 and #11 in it's cozy little categories.

So why am I asking you to share about my book and who really cares...or benefits?

Well, first of all...I think it's a great book. It's the book I looked for for a long time sitting on a bookstore shelf when I would have an occasional Mom's night out. It's the book after my own heart set in romanticized 17th century England in a castle by a cliff. It's been likened to Wuthering Heights and Pride & Prejudice. What can get better than that? I mean, I could possibly live off of those compliments for the rest of my days.

So why am I asking you to download the book...and to share with your friends?

Most authors offer their books for free to gain exposure for their work. Many times they have a series planned and this generates a fan base and a buzz. It also gets their "name out there."

My pastor has warned and it rings in my head, "Be careful when you try to make a name for yourself." (Thanks, Pastor Mark!)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Psalm 115 ~ Compassion

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to your name give glory.

Rivers of ivory eyeshadow cast a shimmery glow down her pale cheeks. She was alone in a sea of women. A retreat suggested by her pastor's wife. Just two short weeks before, at 20 weeks pregnant, she had lost her baby.

Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth, Why should the Gentiles say, "So where is their God?"

She was sharing a room with 3 women from church. One of them, the key speaker. Her eyes were red-rimmed from crying. Bloodshot. Her nose continually running. A yearning inside her cried out for the touch of a consoling hand, a sympathetic word. None was given.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How Shall We Love? by Precarious Yates

     Cornelia Tisdale is on a mission to learn how to love. All this is disrupted by her parent’s divorce, but at least she got to live with Shepherd, her father. Of all the people in her world, she was closest to him. At least she was. Then he asks her to lie for him and gets angry when she begins to investigate the very thing he hates the most.

Below is a scene from the novel. This scene was very fun to write, although I spent more than two days researching the language for it. It’d been a long time since my teen years when I’d used some of this benign slang on a regular basis.

For the first time, thirteen year old Cori sneaks out of her house to investigate the skater park/library courtyard at the local university. She comes on the pretense that she’ll ask questions of boys for her psychology paper. Then she meets Reuel.

Reuel. Something about him captivated me. It wasn’t his brown cords and a plain button-up shirt, or the red, green and yellow beanie with his curly black afro spilling out the sides. It wasn’t his face, since there were a few boys there who were more classically handsome. It was his eyes. Warm brown eyes which lit up whenever he smiled. It was his easy body language, how comfortable he was in his element. He just seemed so…approachable.

Why did it seem like my life would change drastically if I spoke to him? “Why does everyone call me Betty?”

“’Cause you’re pretty, Shorty, and we don’t know your name yet,” he replied.

“Oh. My name’s Cori.” I tried to maintain eye contact and not blush. I didn’t succeed.

“So, how can we help you, Cori?” He jumped off his board and flipped it to his hand.

Straight up honesty always worked best for me before, so I tried it again. “Shepherd Tisdale, that’s my father, won’t let me talk to boys at all, and I need to for a research project, so I figured I’d come here.”

“Your father won’t let you talk to boys, eh? You Christians or something?”

I laughed caustically. “About as far from it as you can get.”

Something like disappointment flickered in Reuel’s eyes, then they flashed to eagerness again. “Jewish?”

“’Fraid not. My father hates religion. He says it’s religion that’s got the world in the mess we’re in today.”

“So it’s because you’re such a Betty that he won’t let you out of his sight.” He gave a half smile.

“What’s she on about?” one of the boys behind me asked Reuel.

“I think she wants to talk to some boys for a school project, but her daddy won’t let her out of his sight.” He turned toward me, and winked again. “That’s my bro, Pete.”

I scrunched my eyebrows, confused by who he was referencing, then nodded my head with a smile when I saw him. Pete was tall and thin, but looked stronger than most of the others. “Hi,” I said with a wave.

“She ain’t gonna gnar our session, is she?” another asked.

“I won’t.” I had no idea what ’gnar’ meant, but I’d promise anyway just for a few more minutes in Reuel’s presence. “I just have a question or two, and I’ll be on my way.”

“Looks like Betty’s a little reporter,” Pete commented.

“It’s Cori,” Reuel defended.

“A’righ’, a’righ’ bro, don’t get all on the heavy on us,” Pete said. “She’s still a Betty if you ask me.”

“Looks like Reuel’s found himself a girlfriend on the lonely,” Garrett said as he skated by.

“I’d say you’d be hittin’ close to the mark with that, Gar,” another said.

Reuel frowned at him. "Mellow, Frankie, and let Shorty ask her questions."

Precarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their mastiff. When she's not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

So Many Valentines!

I wrote this little story when my children were smaller.  I love that I have so many Valentines.  Happy Valentines Day!

                                                         DOWN TO THE BASEMENT

                                                             By Laura J. Marshall

Momma was downstairs, 

in the basement.

Down into the dark she went.

The stairs creaked as she left.

We sat there and waited.

At the top of the stairs.

Smelling wet cobwebs and dust.

And the lingering scent of Momma's perfume.

We looked at each other.

The three of us uncertain.

Would she ever come up from down there?

We had been playing knights with swords and pretend dragons.

Wearing all of our bravery on our sleeves and within moments, we agreed to a rescue.

There was a thrill down our spines with each step we took.

The darkness was really quite thick.

Visions of snakes and scary beasts came into our minds.

We clung to our oldest brother's arm.

"We're coming."     "We will save you!"   "Are you there?"

The whirring of the washer could be heard from the landing.

It drew us closer, as did our dear mother's voice.


When she saw us, she smiled.

"My knights in shining armor!"

With a wave of her arm she neatly folded the warm towels, hot from the dryer.

"Do you think brave knights, with your swords, you could get that spider over there,” she asked, glancing over her shoulder.

One of my brothers let out a holler, Ahhhhhhhhhgggggg!

Of which we all followed suit.

Heading up, up, up away from the smelly smell,

and the dust

and the darkness,


Catching our breath and with a grin to our comrades in arms,

We sat there and waited at the top of the stairs.

Would she ever come up from down there?


Home by Laura J. Marshall

Their weight sinks into the carpet then the floorboards beneath, permeating slowly into the concrete and the earth. Footprints of time and m...