The First Day of Spring

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It was the first day of spring, and Mrs. Green had big plans. She tiptoed down the stairs before the sun was up, let Ampersand outside, put the kettle on for tea, and pulled out the floral box from the basement. Ampersand barked at the door, and Mrs. Green hurried over to let him in. She was so excited!

Mrs. Green sat at the dining room table and slowly opened the box.  Inside held treasures that gave her great joy year after year. She carefully pulled out each small package, which were marked with brightly colored markers and kept in brown paper, tied with string ever so carefully. Mrs. Green pulled the tray of pots filled with rich dark soil in front of her and began to plan.

By the time Mr. Green came downstairs for breakfast, Mrs. Green had everything ready. Mr. Green looked over Mrs. Green’s shoulder. “You have everything ready, my dear?” Mrs. Green nodded her head and grinned from ear to ear. “I have almost everything planted, but I have reserved a few packages in case our friends want to help. Mrs. Green’s excitement was contagious. Mr. Green loved how Mrs. Green turned something like a tiny seed and a pot of soil into an event.

As the day went on, the Greens had many visitors. Sylvia and Sam popped in and helped plant tomato seeds, Mrs. May stopped by with muffins and helped plant cucumbers, Julia and her mother visited and offered some celery they had been rooting in water, Carlson and the teenagers from Mrs. Green’s voice class came running in the door after school and helped plant the impatiens from seeds they popped open last fall.

By the time the day was over, the dining room table was filled with pots containing seeds that would grow and flourish over the course of spring. The little seeds were lucky, because Mrs. Green took such great care of them day after day. Once, Julia asked Mrs. Green why she was so careful with her plants; Mrs. Green replied, “All living things need to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be loved in order to thrive.” “What is ‘thrive’?” Julia asked. Mr. Green overheard the little girl’s question and replied, “Thrive is what happens when Mrs. Green notices, appreciates, and loves you.”

 

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Copyright T. Neagle Donaldson 2017

T. Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

The Gift of Time

The Gift Of Time

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Mrs. Green sat in her warm and cozy living room. Her dog Ampersand snuggled close to her as it was a cold Sunday morning. The blades of grass outside her front room window were covered in frost as if to preserve them in time. Mrs. Green pulled out her pocket watch and ran her fingers over the smooth case like she had done so many times before. She listened to the familiar and soothing tick, tick, tick.

Mrs. Green saw things differently. She sat and wondered and wondered and thought. She often heard people say how quickly time goes by, how time flies, or ask where the time had gone. She sat listening to the tick, tick, tick.

Mrs. Green saw each minute as a gift. Each tick representing a moment God gave her. Second by second, hour by hour, day by day, the watch reminded her of the gift. She supposed this idea helped her to slow down and enjoy life. She wondered and sat and sat and wondered. The ticking convinced her more and more with every moment that time was something to be savored not rushed, coming not going, being given not taken away.

Mr. Green came down the stairs and scooped up Ampersand in his arms.  The little dog curled up and buried his nose in Mr. Green’s sleeve. Mr. Green looked at Mrs. Green sitting and wondering. He listened to the tick, tick, ticking of the watch and knew his lovely wife understood things differently than most. He was so thankful for his time with her.

“My dear,” he said, “We have the gift of time. What shall we do with it today?”

 

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2017

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Mrs. Green Surprises Them All

Mrs. Green was delighted with the idea of hosting everyone after the Christmas Eve Service. When Mr. Green told her about the idea she got busy passing the word around church. They were instructed to pick up their favorite Chinese food and head on over to the Green’s house where they would all share the feast.

It seemed to everyone that Mrs. Green had totally forgotten about the kitten. They were all so pleased with themselves and excited to spend the evening with the Greens.

Mrs. Green left church first in order to open the house and make a few preparations. Mr. Green and a large group of friends arrived first. Mrs. Green welcomed them all at the front door with a hearty Merry Christmas!

Mr. Green was the first to notice a soft sound coming from the front room. Mrs. Green was grinning from ear to ear as they all left the kitchen to find out just what everyone was looking at. There on a soft blanket  in the corner of the room was the kitten!

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Mrs. Green was late to church because she went to pick the kitten up herself. Mr. Green laughed out loud and kissed his wife.

 

She smiled at all of her guests and said, “I just had to have that kitten.”

 

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas Disappointment

 

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Mr. Green and Mrs. Green usually spent Christmas Eve at church. There was a lot to do and it was a fun day. This year they had last minute errands to run and so they drove to church separately. When Mr. Green walked in later than he expected he was surprised to find Mrs. Green had not arrived.

Everyone took the opportunity to quickly and quietly ask Mr. Green, “Did you go pick up the kitten? How will you give it to her? Do you think she will be surprised?”

Mr. Green just sighed and shook his head. “When I went pick it up it was gone. Someone adopted it this afternoon.”

This answer was met with looks of disappointment for both Mr. and Mrs. Green. Everyone knew Mr. Green would do anything for Mrs. Green. They also knew that Mrs. Green rarely asked for anything for herself. The kitten would have been a rare and treasured gift that the Greens would always remember. They all smiled and tried hard to pretend it was not a big deal.

Mr. Green thought it would be nice to have some friends over after church to distract Mrs. Green. Soon word spread all around the church and everyone planned to pop in on the Greens after the last service of the evening. They would do anything for the Greens.

 

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Christmas Preparations

 

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Mrs. Green puttered around the kitchen until Mr. Green walked in the door. She felt a familiar feeling deep down in her soul. Christmas was a special time. She pulled out the last of the Christmas cookies from the oven and  took one from the cooling rack and handed it to her husband.

“Mr. Green, I know you have been shopping but you needn’t get me anything this year.” She said casually as she continued to place cookies on the cooling rack.

Mr. Green was used to Mrs. Green.  He had several nice gifts for her wrapped and ready to go, and this statement did not surprise or faze him. “Is that so, my dear? And just why wouldn’t I get you a gift for Christmas?”

Mrs. Green handed him another cookie. “As I was shopping for Ampersand today, I cuddled the most wonderful kitten. It is the last of the litter. He is the same color as Ampersand and as clever, and cute as can be. We have never had a kitten in the house and I just have to bring him home. I don’t need anything else for Christmas.”

Mr. Green played it cool. He looked down at Ampersand waiting patiently for a crumb or nibble to fall on the floor. “And what do you think of this Ampersand?  Mr. Green looked up at his wife. “I already have some lovely things for you for Christmas Mrs. Green. You know I insist you get the perfect thing this time of year. Your gifts are all taken care of. I am sure the kitten will find a nice home.”

Mrs. Green was used to Mr. Green as well and so this statement did not surprise or faze her either.

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Christmas Shopping

Mrs. Green stepped out of the rain and into the store. She had one more Christmas gift to buy. She could not forget her beloved dog Ampersand. All of his squeaky toys were deflated and there was nothing happier than seeing Ampersand with a new squeaky toy, tossing it into air and catching it in his mouth.

She shook out her umbrella and wiped her feet on the mat. Before she even looked up she heard a soft whisper of a meow. Directly in front of her sat a crate with the tiniest kitten she had ever seen.

“Cute isn’t he?” said the sales clerk. “He is the last of the litter from the shelter. All of his brothers and sisters have been adopted. Would you like to hold him?”

Mrs. Green could not resist. The sweet, little kitten curled up in a tiny ball in the crook of her arm and fell into the most gloriously comfortable sleep Mrs. Green had ever seen. He took in a deep sigh of satisfaction with each breath.

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Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving From the Green’s House to Yours

In the wee hours of the morning on Thanksgiving Day Mrs. Green puttered around the kitchen as quiet as a mouse. Ampersand stood at attention close by, hoping to catch a crumb or morsel from the humongous mixing bowl on the counter. Mrs. Green spun the bowl, scraped the sides, stirred the batter and spun the bowl again.

Mr. Green slept in until the heavenly smell of chocolate rose up the stairs and encircled his sleep. He came into the kitchen just in time to help put the last of the cakes in the oven. To some Thanksgiving meant pumpkin and apple pie; however Mr. Green was most thankful for chocolate. So Mrs. Green adapted and the mini chocolate cakes she made every Thanksgiving became a sweet tradition for the Greens and all their family and friends. They filled the cakes with rich, creamy gnash and each one had a curvy chocolate leaf placed gently on top.  Mrs. Green lined her entire counter top and the dining room table with the tiny molds.  It was quite a production.

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One year Mrs. Green decided to calculate the cost of the cakes she delivered to all of the Green’s friends and family on Thanksgiving Day. After all, the Greens lived on a tight budget. Before she finished her calculations the numbers rose higher than she had ever imagined. She stopped what she was doing, put her calculator away, and got out her mixing bowl. Mrs. Green had never counted the cost of her family and friends and she was not about to start now.

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Whatever your Thanksgiving traditions may be, we wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with all the people you are thankful for.

Share a Warm Mug and a Warm Hug With a Friend

It is the first day of fall and Mrs. Green has something up her sleeve. Are you anticipating the change in seasons or dreading it?  Tell us all about it . We would love to hear of your favorite fall traditions, warm recipes, and  how you anticipate the change in the seasons. We hope you enjoy this simple story.

A Warm Mug and a Warm Hug With a Friend

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Very early, before the sun came up, Mrs. Green got out of bed. She dressed in blue jeans and a warm fleece jacket. She was careful not to wake Mr. Green as she tiptoed out of the bedroom and down the stairs.

Sue was visiting with them for the week and she had a few friends sleeping over. There were teenage girls on the living room floor and on the sofa, all sound asleep. Mrs. Green opened the hall closet as quietly as she could. She pulled out a cozy winter hat. It was deep purple and green with a long pointy end and a pom pom on top. She pulled it over her unruly curls and instantly felt the warmth of her good friend who had knitted it for her years ago.

Without turning on the kitchen light she quickly fed Ampersand and gave him fresh water. He looked up at her with sleepy eyes. He was as silent as she was. He seemed to know what day it was and the plan for the morning. Mrs. Green opened the refrigerator and poured two cups of cold milk into her favorite glass mugs with swirly, curly handles. She placed the mugs in the microwave, making sure to stop it before the bell woke everyone up. She placed the warm mugs on the counter, and scooped big spoonfuls of her homemade mocca mix.  She watched as the chocolate rained down into the stark white milk, transforming it into a wirling, cream colored concoction that brought her comfort just looking at it.

She slid on her shoes and slipped out the back door with the two mugs in her hand and Ampersand following closely behind her. The yard was very dark, but Mrs. Green knew the way. She passed by the vegetable garden that was beginning to die back, the weed garden now golden from cool nights, and the two hammocks dripping with dew and ever so slightly swinging in the dark morning breeze. She walked just past the climbing tree and tiptoed onto the sturdy rocks carrying her across the babbling stream and into the May’s farm field.

It was still dark when she saw Mrs. May walking over the high place in the field. They met at the old bench like they had done year after year on this very day. They sat side by side without a word, sipping from the warm mugs and watching. The two friends smiled, clinked mugs, and hugged as the sun reached up over the high spot on the hill and flooded the field with golden light. They laughed out loud at the simple pleasure of welcoming in  the first day of autumn  with a good friend.

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 Mrs. Green is like a warm hug  after a long day, so send this story to a friend. It is our gift to you. Mrs. Green is sure to put a smile on their face and help them anticipate the many simple pleasures of fall.  Enjoy!

Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015

Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.