A Hodgepodge Hello

Hi! Remember me? My name is Kara and I have a blog. I also have a full time job and four kids so it should surprise no one that I’ve fallen off the face of the digital earth in the last few months. Consider this a feeble wave from one of the many black holes out here in crazy land. I come in disheveled peace.

First, an update on the small humans.

Savannah. Six years old, nearly finished with kindergarten. Driven, passionate, crazy brilliant. Enjoys touch screens and being bossy. Third parent status in zealot force. Recently taken with Harry Potter and the backyard raspberry bush. Possible green thumb in the making. Refuses bows and trendy shoes. Loves PE, hates music class. Can outrun dad and gloat accordingly. Voracious sweet tooth. Expert laundry folder.

Molly. Four years old, on the verge of preschool. Kind, goofy, all-around charmer. Wicked grin, knows how to use it. Enjoys shopping and everything elephant. Regularly tries large words on for size. Knows dandelions are weeds and will tell bouquet-clenching peers free of charge. Can out-chug dad and gloat accordingly. Possible collegiate freshman in the making. Loves dancing, hates bedtime. Wild people pleaser. Obstinate finger sucker.

Caroline. Ten months old, graduating to single digits. Dainty, sweet, downright baby perfection. Enjoys off-key renditions of “You Are My Sunshine” and whiplashed jigs in her jumper. Seasoned roller and soon-to-be crawler. Prefers humans of the furry variety and sports sunglasses like a boss. Loves dad, hates loud noises. Proud owner of five pebble teeth. Fart noises: level expert. Tiniest Overton cherub.

Piper. Ten months old, also graduating to single digits. Serious, contemplative, boldly assertive. Enjoys books and food that isn’t green. Keeper of toys and resident storyteller. Introvert in progress. Puffs and mom are life. Smiles sparingly but worth the wait. Loves spoons, hates strangers. Champion cuddle bug and permanent WTF face. Rocks the post-bath mohawk. Bonus baby is 100% bruiser.

I’m also trying to write a novel because navigating these wild personalities just isn’t enough chaos for me on the daily. (Gluttony is my specialty.) Here’s a peek, mostly to prove that while I may be absent from here, writing is still very a part of my day-to-day world. It’s my first crack at historical fiction and I’m 25,000 words with about 25,000 more to go. At this rate, I should be finished by the time I’m eighty-seven.

// St. Louis, 1925 //

She peered through the glass, her pallid eyes soft and alert. She lived on Olive Street in a flat above Mr. Mason’s flower shop. It wasn’t much in the way of luxury, but it was a significant improvement from the the boarding houses delegated to most girls of her status. Plus, it offered a bird’s eye view of one of the city’s most frequented speakeasies, a hidden basement protected by the upstairs’ guise of a family-owned book store. The joint’s password, Lois Margaret, was a tribute to the owner’s late mother-in-law, a staunch Catholic who, according to popular legend, spent the better half of her life openly despising two things: her Protestant son-in-law and alcohol.

June herself had whispered the name many times, her t-strap heels tapping the soft, dusty carpet while the checker punched a series of indecipherable numbers into the register and turned to undo a hidden lock. She missed those days – the days of feathers and raccoon fur and Southside cocktails, of fringe and freedom and the foxtrot – but missing something, of course, was not enough to bring it back.

There were two of them, a woman perched alongside the street with her head buried in her hands and a man wearing a panama straw hat crouched at her side. He was rubbing her back, his fingers catching the beads of her dress, and whispering something into her ear. It was how most people left the bookstore (which someone had aptly named The Escape), disoriented from the sudden overlap of the spoken and the secret, two worlds kept separated by the delicate divider of a windowless door and dead woman’s name. That, and the Algonquin martinis.

The last few days had been miserably hot and sweat beads ran down the man’s shaved face, his cleft chin dotted with moisture that glistened in the streetlight. June could see that he was nervous – a young, determined charmer whose slurred words gave him away. The girl looked up, her painted cheeks wet, and snarled something through gritted teeth. She was angry, and June’s imagination buckled under all the possible reasons why.

They both stood then, the girl shaky on her feet, and looked at one another with the fearful stares of two people just discovering they were strangers. He reached for her, still trying, but she shoved him back, her mind made up. It was sort of sad, the way his face tightened as she walked away, her charcoal bob bouncing.

Silently, so as not to draw attention to herself, June closed the curtains and tiptoed into the living room, leaving Boomer alone in the empty sheets.

//

As always, thanks for reading. I hope you and yours have a lovely weekend.

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