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Missing? No, I Knew Where I Was

( A Story Told From A Dog’s Point Of View )

( Intermediate Level )

” It was Monday morning and Mom had to go to work. Nothing out of the ordinary. She usually gets up early to go through her emails and allows me time to play with her. I admit I can be quite demanding when it comes to having her undivided attention. I throw my toy, of choice, at her feet, picking it up and dropping it over and over until she pays attention to me.”

Let me not get too far ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning. See, I came into her life just before things went crazy in the world and we had strict measures to stay home. My siblings were adopted before me. Many overlooked me sitting in the cage, I guess because I was ninety-nine percent black”

“My brothers and sisters were tri-colored. White with black, and brown patches evenly dispersed over their bodies. I heard people saying they couldn’t decide which of my siblings to pick since they were all so cute.”

“A friend told mom about me and she didn’t hesitate. She told her to go get me. From the moment I came to live with her, I was lavished with love, treats, and toys. Any dog’s dream. This may be is why I wasn’t picked by others. I was destined to be hers. She is my person.”

“While working from home allowed her all the time in the world to be with me, I still was a puppy needing my beauty sleep.”

“This was my life, eating, sleeping, and playing for a year and a half then everything changed. Restrictions finally eased and people returned to their work, including Mom. I surely was not prepared for this. This, as I want to call it, is abandonment.”

“When the day came for her to return to work, I am not sure who was more upset. Me or her. I remember turning my head and thinking, You are what? Where do you think you are going? And without me. This is unacceptable.”

She reassured me she would be back at lunchtime. I was given a few treats, and she rubbed my head, and said goodbye. I watched the door close behind her and I waited, watching the door until she came home. The time moved slowly. Tick. Tick. Tick.”

“She came home and all was forgiven. She hugged me and told me what a good girl I had been. This situation wasn’t bad. Treats before she leaves and hugs for me once she returns. Hmm, I can accept this, for a while.”

Weekends were supposed to be entirely mine but she had her online work to do. I reminded her frequently that I was there and I needed her attention. She’d stop what she was doing, to shower me with her love.”

“We still have this same routine to this day but every now and then I like to spice things up. I may take all of the stuffing out of a toy or harass the parrots, which were minding their own business, I must add, or have insane zoomies around the apartment. Somehow she tolerates me when I do these things. ”

“The next thing I did I regret. Mom was in complete panic. Every day when my person comes home I greet her with my wagging tail and jump around letting her know I was glad she was home. This is my way of showing her how much she was missed. Recently I chose not to greet her in the usual way. I discovered a great hiding place. The wardrobe. The only problem, I soon realized, was once I got myself in there I couldn’t get out.”

Let me tell you what I did. She came home at lunchtime, and I heard the keys rattling at the door. She opened the door and it was completely silent. I wasn’t there to greet her.”

I knew she had to be looking around for me. I heard my name several times. I chose to stay silent. This was the wrong thing for me to do.”

“I could hear her moving about the studio calling my name. I imagine she had looked under the bed, in the bathroom, and in a lot of my usual spots. Then I heard the door close once again. Her voice calls my name and fades into the distance. Knocks on the neighbor’s doors could be heard asking if they had seen her dog. “

“She returned. Now what? I needed her to know where I was since. I couldn’t push the door open to get out. I heard my name again. This time I let out a whimper. She heard me and said my name again. I whimpered a little louder.”

“She followed my voice and found me. Immediately she picked me up and told me how scared she was thinking I was lost then asked how I got in there. This will be my secret. I will let her imagination try to figure it out.”

“I felt guilty. This prank caused my mom to worry so now I greet her in the usual way. Tail wagging then jumping onto her lap.’

“As she works on the computer I simply look over her shoulder staying close so she knows I am not lost. Maybe, one day in the future, I will do something mischievous again but for now, I will stay by her side.

Written By: Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

Dogs are special creatures.

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Nothing out of the ordinary idiom: nothing special or unusual

demanding – adjective: insistent

strict measures – adjective: adhering closely to specified rules

overlooked – verb: failed to notice

dispersed – verb: scattered

hesitate – verb: pause

lavished – verb: give freely

destined – adjective: certainty

restrictions – noun: limitations

eased – verb: relieve, alleviate

abandonment – noun: stranded, neglect

reassured – verb: say or do something to remove the doubts or fears

entirely – adverb: completely

frequently – adverb: regularly

spice things up – phrasal verb: add excitement or interest 

insane – adjective: crazy

tolerates – verb: accept, allow

panic – noun: fear

rattling – adjective: knocking or clinking sounds

whimper – verb: whine, cry

prank – noun: trick

mischievous – adjective: naughty

Question ( s ):

Have you ever owned a pet and spoiled them?

Those Rugged Hands Reached Out

( Advanced Level )

It was a normal Friday afternoon as Megan left work. She was looking forward to the weekend and her Christmas dinner on Sunday. She hadn’t any special plans other than sitting at home watching movies and enjoying turkey and all the trimmings delivered by a local restaurant.

For the past two weeks, it had been tough not only for her but her students. Her students grounded to finish their mid – term exams. With all testing completed the day before the students felt free from all stress leaving classes on Friday in utter chaos.

Megan didn’t mind that the students had been a little naughty. She felt they deserved to blow off steam. She remembers those days of cramming for exams and being elated once they were behind her.

She called for her ride and waited a few minutes until he arrived. She noticed the fees had gone up in recent days due to the holidays. This was the time when the drivers could make upward of half of their monthly salary in two weeks.

Knowing this, the competition amongst the other drivers is fierce. Each wants to make as much money as they can. They drive beyond the boundaries of being tired. Picking up their passengers, dropping them off, and then repeating for hours. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal situation for any passenger.

Megan waited for her ride as she did every day. Her driver quickly responded to her location and she immediately noticed her driver was a larger man leaving a limited seating area for his passengers.

He greeted her as he passed her a helmet which she quickly placed on her head, clicking the chin strap tight. This is a routine that Megan was very familiar with. Her driver verified her destination with her then off they went.

Megan’s thoughts drifted to the upcoming weekend. After two weeks of review and testing, she was looking forward to a relaxing quiet weekend. Instead of her driver turning right, going through a quieter residential area he turned left. This would take them onto a busy street.

She grimaced. One thing Megan hated was traffic, especially being on the back of a motorbike. Her briefcase strap was around her neck and nestled onto the opposite shoulder but she decided to tuck her right hand under the handles, looping the handles over her wrist.

She had already experienced an incident where two men on a motorbike drove by tearing her small bag off her shoulder and driving away with its contents. They had stolen her phone, money and all her identification and she didn’t want to experience this again. She had learned the hard way.

Her driver drove carelessly in and out of traffic. She noticed he repeatedly used his bike’s horn. She wondered if this was to alert drivers he was there or if it was to let others to get out of his way. Either way, she was uncomfortable.

The next thing she remembers was her driver darting around a slower driver then she felt the impact. The impact sent her over her driver’s right shoulder and onto the paved sidewalk. She lay there half on the sidewalk and half in a ditch filled with muddy water.

With the wind knocked out of her she couldn’t move. She heard people around her as she lay there. Once her breath returned she was able to raise her head and she saw a pair of hands. Hands that were rough and showed they had seen a lot of hard work.

She hadn’t looked up past those rugged hands. She was still collecting her bearings and what had just happened in a matter of seconds. She waved off the hands to signify to give her time.

Lifting herself finally to a sitting position. The pain in her chest was almost unbearable. Megan looked around and noticed her driver was standing and trying to get what was left of his motorbike out of the way.

She remembers his head hitting the back doors of the truck. “How could he be standing?” she thought to herself.

Megan was trying to process everything. She saw bystanders pointing and talking. The scavengers hadn’t gone unnoticed either. The opportunists grabbed parts of the motorbike that had fallen off and ran away with them. She assumed it was a way to make a quick buck. Selling to people what they wanted to buy.

Unsure how long she sat there Megan made her way to her feet with the help of her driver. He kept asking if she was ok and she kept shaking her head yes even though the pain in her chest reminded her differently.

As she grabbed his hand she noticed she took notice. They were not the same hands that had reached out to her earlier. Her driver’s hands were large but softer. They hadn’t shown years of hard work. It was shrugged off as she thought it may have been someone in the crowd that had gathered and tried to help her earlier.

Arrangements were made to get her home. Her driver was apologetic but at the time Megan didn’t care. He was negligent with her life. All she wanted to do is get home and get her wet and muddy clothes off, assess her damage, and rest.

That night and the following night it was almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Every time she turned over or tried to move the pain radiated from her ribs causing her to wince.

Megan relived the accident in her mind, remembering as much as she could. One thing she decided was not to report her driver for his reckless driving. She knew he would be immediately terminated and she couldn’t live with that on her mind. Jobs were difficult to find as it was. Hopefully, he had learned his lesson.

Megan spent her days following the accident alternating sitting and lying in her bed. She tried to concentrate on things but she found it very difficult. Maybe it was the lack of a good night’s sleep. Each day the pain subsided a little.

Christmas morning had come and she couldn’t get into the festive mood. Days before, she ordered a Christmas dinner to be delivered at noon. She anticipated eating turkey and stuffing. but under these circumstances her appetite was gone.

Her cell phone rang, It was her Christmas dinner delivery. She told the person on the other end of the phone she would be down shortly. Without an elevator, in her building, she knew it would take a little longer to get down to him than back to her apartment.

Since the accident, taking deep breaths was close to impossible without feeling much discomfort plus she was being more cautious with each step she made. Being alone she could only rely on herself so she couldn’t afford to fall or cause more damage to herself.

She arrived back in her apartment after ten minutes. She stopped a few times to catch her breath. She was annoyed with feeling the way she did. One thing she was not used to, was feeling limited. She prided herself in being active.

She placed the two bags on the table and headed to get a plate and utensils. Once she smelled the aroma of the turkey she found that she couldn’t resist trying a few pieces.

One by one she took the tiny containers out of the bags opening the lids as she did. Gravy. Cranberry sauce. Stuffing and even a piece of pumpkin pie.

She put a few pieces of turkey on her plate along with mashed potatoes and gravy. A spoonful of cranberry sauce topped the meal off. She took her first bite and quickly realized she hadn’t eaten much since the accident.

As she ate her mind drifted back to Christmas meals from the past. They were always at her grandparent’s home, on their tiny farm. Even after everyone grew up and moved away to start their new lives, Christmas was always at her grandparent’s home.

This was where Megan had spent nearly every weekend growing up. She was very close to her grandfather spending most of the time outside with him as he did his chores.

Megan continued eating, enjoying the turkey, still in deep thought, when a strange feeling came over her. She remembered those hands that reached out to her at the scene of the accident.

Then it hit her like a ton of bricks. Megan sat there trying to put the pieces in order as she sat there looking at her half – eaten plate.

When Megan was sixteen her grandfather became ill and ended up in the hospital two days before and subsequently died two days before Christmas. Megan had taken his death very hard.

Megan always believed her grandfather was with her. Even when she traveled the world. In her heart, she now knows he is still by her side. Protecting her. She hadn’t validation but she knew.

Those rugged hands that reached out were those of her grandfather. He was there. She used to hold his hand as they walked around the farm or when they went out to get a vanilla shake that grandma didn’t know about. How could she have forgotten those hands?

By all rights, Megan should have been thrown into the truck as her driver had but instead she hit his right shoulder and ended up where she had.

A sense of peace and warmth came over her. She whispered, “Thank you.” In her heart she knew it was her grandfather who protected her that day.

It would be another few weeks for Megan to fully heal and recover from the accident. She faces each day as they come. She knows she has her guardian angel walking by her side.

Written By: Angel

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Do you believe?

Have you ever felt a breeze go by and no source? Or a noise when you know no one is around to make that noise?

Why is it so difficult for us to believe?

Does our hearts make our mind believe?

Or does our mind make our hearts believe?

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ground – verb: worked hard

utter chaos – collocation: disorder, confusion

blow off steam – idiom: get rid of pent-up energy

cramming – noun: try to learn a lot very quickly before an exam

elated – adjective: happy

fierce – adjective: intense

boundaries – noun: limits

verified – verb: justify its true and accurate

destination – noun: the place to which someone or something is going or being sent

grimaced – verb: frowned

carelessly – adverb: reckless

repeatedly – adverb: over and over again

darting – verb: move suddenly or rapidly

impact – noun: the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another

wind knocked out of (her) – idiom: to knock the air out of a person’s lungs and make him or her unable to breathe normally for a brief time

( collecting ) finding one’s bearings – idiom: to find out one’s position , surroundings

signify – verb: indication

unbearable – adjective: not tolerated

bystanders – noun: a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part

scavengers – noun: a person/ people who searches through and collects items

opportunist – noun: a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage 

assumed – verb: suppose to be the case, without proof

apologetic – adjective: regretfully acknowledging or excusing an offense

negligent – adjective: failing to take proper care in doing something

assess – verb: evaluate

radiated – transitive verb: spread

wince – verb: involuntary grimace

reckless – adjective: without thinking or caring

terminated – verb: bring to an end

festive – adjective: cheerful

anticipated – verb: expect

circumstances – noun: a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action

cautious – adjective: careful

prided – verb: be especially proud of

aroma – noun: smell

couldn’t resist – idiom: did not want something, but did it anyway

(hit her like ) a ton of bricks – idiom: used to show that something happens very suddenly

subsequently – adverb: after a particular thing has happened

validation – noun: proof

Question ( s ):

Let us know how you feel about Megan’s experience?

I Haven’t Forgotten

( Advance Level )

Elizabeth O’Leary was just like all other typical teenagers, trying to fit in with her peers. High school was difficult, especially for a young teenage girl new to the school.

Beth, as her grandparents called her, was no exception to the cruelty of her peers. The first three months, at her new school, were pure hell for her.

Beth’s parents sent her to live with her grandparents in the city, so she would have a better opportunity with her high school career.

Somedays Beth wondered why her parents sent her into the lion’s den when she was with her grandparents. She felt going to high school in her little community would have suited her just fine. She knew everyone and was comfortable with her surroundings, but her dad wanted more for her.

As an only child, her father had great expectations for her to become a lawyer in the future. This wasn’t truly what Elizabeth wanted. Not wanting to disappoint her parents, she reluctantly agreed to focus on becoming a lawyer. They gave her everything she ever wanted growing up so this was the least she could do.

It has been three months of complete turmoil since she started her first year in high school trying to get used to her new teachers and classes. Additionally, it’s been quite lonesome for Elizabeth. She tried to make friends, starting idle conversations with classmates, only to receive a cold shoulder.

“Beth, why such a sad face? You’ve been very quiet for weeks now.” her grandmother asked over dinner. “I have tried to make friends but I just do not fit in with these city girls.”

Her grandmother listened intently, remembering how difficult it had been for her when she arrived, like Beth, to attend the university. “It will get easier. I promise you. In the meantime, just focus on your studies and be yourself.”

Elizabeth looked up at her grandmother and gave her a half smile. She thought how easy it was for her to say this. She had no idea what she faced each day when she went to school.

Elizabeth helped her grandmother clear the dinner table and then retreated to her room to work on homework. She sat quietly at her desk. After thirty minutes she found herself scrolling through social media on her tablet.

Classmate after classmate had tons of pictures. Each with amazing positive comments and likes, adding to her misery. She didn’t understand what they had that she obviously was missing.

Elizabeth turned off her desk lamp and turned in for the evening. With the mood she was in she didn’t want to watch TV. As she drifted off to sleep she thought about changing her outward appearance. Possibly cutting her hair or getting a nose piercing. The latter she knew her parents would not appreciate.

The following morning, Elizabeth woke up in a much better mood. She had decided to change her appearance so she didn’t look like a country girl as she heard others say about her.

After school, she would stop by the corner market to purchase hair dye. Not just any hair dye. She wanted blue or pink or even red. It all depended on what was in the store in stock. Her long locks would also be cut. The ponytail look was definitely out.

Her parents allotted her monthly spending money which she never really had to use until now. The plans were to go shopping for more trendy clothes she has seen others wear on social media.

Was all of this going to help her fit in? She had no idea but she had to try. She is lucky her school allowed such individual expression as long as it was not offensive.

The market had blue and red dye. She looked carefully at each and decided the red would accent the tips of her dark black hair. She walked out of the store, after paying with a smile. For now, this was her secret. She knew her grandmother would try to talk her out of such a change.

When Elizabeth arrived home, her grandfather was watching TV while her grandmother was busy preparing dinner. “Hi grandma.” Her grandmother turned and greeted her.

Well dear, you seem to be in a better mood today.” her grandmother said as she passed a spoon covered with chocolate. She had just finished making pudding for tonight’s dessert.

Elizabeth eagerly licked the chocolate off the spoon. “Yes grandma, I am. I am making some changes.” Her grandmother looked at her quizzically. She knew Beth would tell her soon enough so she didn’t pry for more information.

The remaining days of the week crept by. Elizabeth had checked on the bus schedule so she could go to the mall this Saturday for new clothes.

She could have asked her grandfather for a ride but she didn’t want to impose not have him wait for her. She had no idea what she was going to buy.

As chocolate pudding was served Elizabeth mentioned she would be taking the city bus this weekend to go shopping. Her grandfather looked at her as if it was not a good idea.

“Beth, You do not know the city enough yet. I don’t think this is a good idea. I will be more than willing to drive you anywhere.” Her grandfather furrowed his brow with concern.

“I know grandpa. I want to do this on my own. I will have my cell phone with me so you can check in at any time and I will check in with you also.” This still didn’t appease her grandfather’s concerns.

Elizabeth finished her dessert and excused herself so she could start on her homework. “I could have used a little help dear. Beth shouldn’t be gallivanting the city alone.”

Elizabeth’s grandmother smiled at her husband. “We need to let her do this, honey. She is having a difficult time in school.” Their conversation dropped after each mentioned their side and finally agreed not to agree.

Elizabeth couldn’t wait until the weekend. When the day finally came she was up at seven. Usually, she would try to sleep in but today the excitement didn’t allow her this pleasure.

The mall didn’t open until nine but she was ready by quarter to eight. Her grandmother had prepared eggs and toast for breakfast which she ate quickly. The bus ran every thirty minutes and it would take her about ten minutes to walk to the bus stop.

At eight – thirty Elizabeth was ready to head out. She gave her grandmother a kiss on the cheek and headed to where her grandfather sat. “I will be careful grandpa.” She kissed his cheek also and left, closing the door behind her,

The bus arrived on time and the trip was rather fast. She arrived at the mall a little after nine. She walked in and was immediately amazed at how large this building was. Store after store lined each side.

A promise was made she would be back home no later than three in the afternoon so she started down one side of the mall going into the stores she found interesting.

Elizabeth finished her shopping within an hour and a half. It was still early so she decided to go to the salon that she noticed on the first floor. The salon did everything.

Her intention was just a haircut to chop off that little country girl ponytail for good but she decided to get acrylic nails also. This was such a big step for her but when it was all said and done she looked at herself in the mirror. The girl she saw looking back at her made her gasp.

Elizabeth was pleased with how different she looked. The woman who had finished her nails told her how beautiful she looked. She smiled at her and paid for everything.

She picked up her packages and headed out the door looking back one last time to say thank you to everyone.

On the bus ride home, Elizabeth looked at her cell phone camera. She didn’t look like the little girl who had left in the morning. She wondered what her grandparents would say.

The walk from the bus stop to her home was filled with excitement and apprehension. She loved the new look but will her family? Her grandfather would be the one who would be most critical. As the only grandchild, and a girl, he wanted to keep her young and innocent.

She turned the doorknob and entered. If her instincts were correct, her grandfather would be the first to see her. He, most likely, would be sitting by the TV.

One step, two steps and a deep inhale as she walked through the door. There he was as she expected. Her grandfather looked up. His eyes peered over the top rim of his glasses.

“Oh my. You went shopping hours ago as our Beth and you returned as Elizabeth who grew up over a day of shopping.” Elizabeth looked at her grandfather trying to read his body language.

Her grandmother heard voices and came into the living room from the kitchen. She stood quietly absorbing what she saw. There stood a mini version of her own daughter. “Oh Beth, you look so much like your mother did at your age.”

Her grandmother walked over to her and gave her a hug. “Really grandma? I look like my mom? I always thought I looked like dad.”

Grandpa sat there looking and listening to the two exchange their comments. At this moment he felt older. “You look beautiful,” he said, then turned his attention back to the show he was watching.

Elizabeth and her grandmother made their way to the kitchen. Elizabeth was excited to show her grandmother all the clothes she had bought. She knew grandma would comment on a few.

Over dinner, the three had idle chit – chat. Elizabeth casually mentioned she had planned to dye the tips of her hair dark red. Her grandfather raised his eyebrows, once again.

“Why would you do that?” he asked. “That would be like putting red paint on the Mona Lisa.” Elizabeth chuckled. “Don’t be silly grandpa. It will wash out eventually.”

Shush. I have all the faith in Beth.” her grandmother interrupted the two of them before the conversation went sour.

“Grandma, grandpa. I haven’t forgotten who I am and where I have come from. I wouldn’t change any of this. I just want to express my individuality. Let people know I am not who they think I am. A country bumpkin.”

She sighed as she looked at her grandparents, “Unfortunately. I am not the first girl to feel this way on how others treated me and I will not be the last. The new hair, the clothes and the nails are for me. I initially did all of this to be accepted but now I realized it all was for me. I like who I am.” She kissed each of her grandparents on the cheek and headed to facetime her parents to unveil her new look.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me:

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorning5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

We are all guilty of changing who we are depending on the situation, whether it is in our voice or the vocabulary we use.

With friends and family, we are more casual and relaxed but when we are in a more formal setting our voice pitch elevates and our vocabulary is precise. Wouldn’t you agree?

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I receive 100% of all donations.”


peers – noun: within the same social standing

cruelty – noun: callous indifference

the lion’s den – noun: a place or state of extreme disadvantage

suited – adjective:  appropriate for a particular person, purpose, or situation

surroundings – noun: the things and conditions around a person

great expectations – collocation: the feeling that good things are going to happen 

reluctantly – adverb: unwilling or hesitant

focus on – phrasal verb:  give most of your attention to someone or something

turmoil – noun: confusion, uncertainty

cold shoulder – idiom: cold and unfriendly treatment from a person

intently – adverb: eager attention

half smile – noun: a smile that is uncertain or short-lived

scrolling – noun: the action of moving displayed text or graphics up, down, or across on a computer screen in order to view different parts of them

misery – noun: discomfort or distress

obviously – adverb: easily understood

turned in – phrasal verb: to go to bed for the night

allotted – verb: to give

trendy – adjective: very fashionable

offensive – adjective: causing hurt, upset or angry

eagerly – adverb: expect

quizzically – adverb: in a way to ask a question

pry – verb: inquire

crept – verb: move slowly and carefully

furrowed – adjective: marked with lines or wrinkles

appease – verb: satisfy a feeling

agreed not to agree – idiom:  to agree not to argue anymore about a difference of opinion

gallivanting -verb: go around from one place to another in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment

head out – idiom: to leave or depart

intentions – noun: intended

( when) all said and done – idiom: after considering or doing everything

apprehension – noun: anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen

critical – adjective: expressing comments or judgement

chit – chat – noun: idle talk

casually – adverb: relaxed and informal way

interrupted – verb: to stop something from continuing

went sour – idiom: become unfavorable

unveil – verb: uncover

Question ( s ):

How important is it for you to “fit in” with others?

Would you change yourself to fit in?


“Happy New Year!”

” I wanted to take a moment to say a deep heartfelt Thank You to my followers and those who have read my stories. It is because of you I continue what I am doing.”

I wish all of you health and happiness for 2023!

~ Angel & Bella ~

happy new year text

( Advanced Level )

The last two and a half years were tough for everyone around the world. John and Elizabeth were no exception.

John had lost his job of eighteen years, losing his pension, which he hoped to get in two years. Due to the strict measures put in place and his wife’s long stint in the hospital after testing positive, their future plans abruptly came to a halt. Due to exorbitant hospital bills, their lifelong savings were depleted.

They sat at the kitchen table eating their breakfast in silence. John was busy going through the morning newspaper. Elizabeth stared out the window deep in thought.

The silence broke “Honey, what should we do for New Year’s Eve? It is two days away. The kids are busy with their own plans and our friends have made their own plans.” She looked over at her husband who sat opposite her.

John curled down the edges of the newspaper, and looked up as he answered, “It has been a difficult year for us Lizzy. I think we should stay home and spend a quiet night at home.” with great disappointment, she nodded in affirmation.

This answer is not quite what she wanted to hear. Spending almost a month and a half in the hospital she looks at life differently now. She was lucky. Not all of their friends were as lucky.

On the other hand, John felt disappointed. He lost the job he loved. All his dreams for their retirement years vanished and he had no control over the situation.

“John, we cannot look back at what we had. We cannot change things. Think about it. I would like to at least have a dinner here and invite a few friends over. Then we can tune into the TV as they drop the ball in New York. Promise me you will think about it?”

It was John’s turn to nod. He agreed to consider having dinner with a few friends. “I will.” They finished breakfast in silence. Lizzy cleared the dishes as John retired to the front porch so he could read the rest of the morning paper.

Elizabeth finished the morning dishes and started straightening up the house. John had finished reading the articles in the paper that caught his interest. He sat with the newspaper folded on his lap. His thoughts drifted to his conversation with his wife.

When Lizzy finished what she was doing she joined John on the porch. Living in Florida in December was an advantage. The morning weather was comfortable. She sat on the chair adjacent to her husband admiring the neighbor’s Christmas decorations.

John broke the silence,” Lizzy, it won’t hurt to invite a few couples over for a New Year’s eve dinner. Maybe you can make your famous lasagna and have garlic bread.”

Elizabeth smiled at her husband, “Great! I have to call our friends then and head to the supermarket.” She stood and kissed her husband on the forehead. “Do you need anything while I am out?”

She didn’t wait for his answer. She needed to arrange everything and head to the store. During any holidays stores are a madhouse to navigate around with the crowds of people.

John was watching an old western movie on the TV when Elizabeth returned with groceries. He helped carry them in. “I invited Brett, Marge, Sam, and Linda over for dinner for New Year’s Eve..”

“It will be nice to see Sam. I haven’t seen him in a while. If you don’t need me I think I will take a walk to the park. I need the fresh air.”

Elizabeth was already busy setting out all the ingredients for her lasagna that she didn’t answer. John was used to this. He smiled and headed out the door.

John sat on a park bench watching people pass by. There were mothers with their children, older women exercising along with men like himself filling up their day with idle talk with friends.

He thought how lucky he was to still have his wife in his life. He may have lost her when she was in the hospital. He couldn’t imagine life without her especially after being together for over thirty-two years. This was the deciding factor for the green light to have a few close friends over for dinner.

After thirty minutes or so, John headed home. It was getting close to lunchtime. When he arrived, his wife was busy setting out soup bowls. She had made a simple creamy potato and broccoli soup for dinner.

Great timing. I just finished the soup. I hope you don’t mind since I have a big dinner to cook tomorrow. We can eat what is left for our dinner tonight.” John gave her a quick kiss.”

“Just let me wash my hands and I will be back in a few minutes. “ Lizzy set the soup pot on the table along with a sleeve of crackers. They exchanged small talk as they ate lunch.

The day flew by for Elizabeth. She was preoccupied with making sure tomorrow’s dinner was excellent. She too, had thought about how lucky she was to be able to walk out of the hospital.

There were days when she felt about giving up. Her breathing was labored but John’s words struck a nerve.Honey, I need you. Don’t give up.” She knew he would be lost without her. Somehow she mustered the will not to give up which made her husband pleased.

At dinner that evening the two discussed the next evening’s festivities. Lizzy noticed it was her doing all the talking and her husband listening. She looked up more than once smiling at her husband’s selective hearing as she called it. He listened to what he felt was important and tuned out the unimportant.

They headed to bed around nine that evening. John read a little from the crime novel he had been reading as Elizabeth checked the list she made of things that still needed to be done.

John closed his book. Turned off the bedside lamp and said, “Good night.” Elizabeth gave him a kiss on the cheek and uttered “Good night” back to him.

John woke the next morning to find his wife already busy, in the kitchen, with preparations for the night’s occasion. On the table sat the morning newspaper and his coffee cup. Neither of them liked to eat much in the morning. A couple of pieces of toast each was about all they ate.

“Good morning my love, Is there anything you need me to do today?” His wife quickly said “No. I have it all under control.” She turned and smiled at him. He knew she had everything planned out to a T. She had always had a knack for this.

The guests would be arriving around six or six thirty, depending on the traffic so John and Elizabeth had showered around four. Neither wanted to rush at the last minute.

Brett and Marge were the first to arrive. “It is so good to see the both of you. I think it has been close to two years.” Lizzy hugged Marge as John shook her husband’s hand. Marge chimed in, “We felt like prisoners. Enough of this talk though. Let’s enjoy tonight.”

Sam and Linda arrived shortly after. “Sorry we’re late, the traffic was terrible.” “Nonsense, dinner isn’t for another twenty minutes. It’s perfect timing!” Everyone exchanged hugs and handshakes and headed to the living room.

The night couldn’t be more perfect. The dinner was amazing. Everyone had a second helping of lasagna. After the leftovers were put away in the refrigerator, Elizabeth joined everyone in the living room.

John had turned on the television so everyone could watch the celebration in New York., while they engaged in idle talk. Watching the ball drop at midnight welcoming in the new year, whether you watch from the comfort of your own sofa or in person, signifies a new beginning.

Two minutes to midnight, John opened the bottle of wine. He poured everyone a glass getting ready to toast twenty twenty three.

“Ten, nine, eight, seven. six,” each smiled as they counted. “ five, four, three, two, one. Happy New Year!” Glasses clinked and hugs were exchanged.

John turned to his wife, “Happy New Year, my love. We’ve seen thirty – two New Years together and I want another thirty – two.” He hugged her tight. “Me too, John, me too.”

Written By: Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

Many people focus on the negatives of the past few years. I did too but I realized there were many things to be thankful for including my health. So many people around the world lost their life.

We reconnected with our immediate family. We rediscovered what is really important to us. Is it the nice car? Or the big house that comes with a costly mortgage?

For me, it is the little things that matter. Your child’s smile. Your spouse’s hug. Or simply enjoying a movie together. You cannot change the past. Accept what you cannot change and move forward.

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“Buy me a coffee”

I receive 100% of all donations.


no exception – idiom: inclusion

stint – noun: time

abruptly – adverb: suddenly

halt – verb: stop

exorbitant – adjective: unreasonable, too high/ too large

depleted – verb: use up, diminish

deep in thought – adjective – preoccupied

affirmation -noun: confirmation

vanished – verb: disappeared

tune into – phrasal verb: watch or listen to a television 

straightening up – phrasal verb: organize or tidy

drifted – verb: less focus on what is in front of you

adjacent – adjective: next to or adjoining

madhouse – noun: extreme confusion

navigate – verb: steer

green light – verb: go ahead with

small talk – noun: unimportant conversation

preoccupied – adjective: distracted

labored – adjective: difficult

struck a nerve – idiom: angry, upset

lost without (her) – idiom: helpless

mustered -verb: collect

selective hearing – adjective: selective auditory attention

preparations – noun: make ready

to a T – idiom: perfectly

knack – noun: an acquired or natural skill at performing a task

idle talk – noun: unimportant talk

toast – verb: to drink by raising one’s glass together with others

Question ( s ):

Are you looking at life differently now? Why?

The Lesson

rudolph plush toy

( Intermediate Level )

Christmas was just around the corner and Mrs. Greenfield decided to share Christmas songs and stories that she grew up listening to. Each afternoon just after lunch, a new song or a story was told. The students always looked forward to this. They quieted down and listened with great intent.

This was an excellent exercise for them to sharpen their listening skills and their communication skills, not to mention they loved to sing even if they were not the best.

One of the favorites happened to be Frosty the Snowman who magically came to life once a silk top hat was placed on his head. At first, the class was disappointed that Frosty quickly melted once the temperatures rose.

Mrs. Greenfield had to quickly reassure them that Frosty does come back every year once the snow begins to fall. sharing his laughter and songs with all the boys and girls. This particularly made little Bethany happy. She had cried once Frosty had said goodbye.

At the start of each day, Mrs. Greenfield opens the door to their classroom greeting the children with hugs and smiles. As they sat down ready to start their day she would tell them what song or story was in store for that afternoon.

“Today we will listen to the song “Rudolph”. It is about a young reindeer who was born with a noise that was very different from all the other reindeer. His parents loved him regardless.”

Bethany’s eyes widened with excitement. She hoped the morning would go by quickly so she could eat lunch and she could hear more about this reindeer named Rudolph.

Bethany was the first student in the classroom after lunch was over. She sat quietly as the other students arrived. Some of the boys took their time arriving. They were preoccupied with playing their game of tag.

“Billy, Chris, Nathan hurry up. Mrs. Greenfield will play the song for us as soon as you sit down.” Bethany yelled. Nathan rolled his eyes at her. She gave him a stern look back and he sat down avoiding looking at her again.

Their teacher busied herself connecting her laptop to the monitor on the wall above her desk and cueing up the popular children’s Christmas song. She looked over in Bethany’s direction. She was sitting with her hands folded on her desk with a huge smile on her face.

The music began to play. The animated characters captured all the student’s attention. When the reindeer wouldn’t play with Rudolph anymore Bethany’s smile turned to a frown. She buried her face in her hands with disappointment.

The music continued ” Then one foggy Christmas eve.” and Bethany looked once again at the monitor. Her smile returned. All of his friends returned. Rudolph became a hero and saved Christmas.

As Mrs. Greenfield turned off her laptop, Bethany asked her, “Why was Rudolph judged just because he wasn’t like the other reindeer?” Nathan blurted out, “He has a big nose!” Once again he received that same stern look from Bethany.

Her teacher thought for a minute to find the right words to say, ” Some people are quick to judge others without really getting to know them. All Rudolph wanted was friends to play with. It was when Santa asked for his help that his others wanted to be his friend again.

“Well ,that is silly. I hoped they all learned a lesson.” Mrs. Greenfield closed the lid to her laptop and said, “ I believe they did and maybe all of you have too. Now let’s get busy. Get your math books out and turn to page seventy-two.”

Bethany couldn’t wait until the end of the day and thank her teacher for another wonderful holiday song. She ran all the way home, anxious to share this song with her mom and baby sister.

Written By: Angel

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topenwithangel.com “Deafening Silence”

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Thoughts From Angel:

Children have the purest soles and do not see differences. Their world is seen through rose colored glasses.

If you appreciate what I do and would like to support this website:

I receive 100% of all donations. Your support is greatly appreciated.


just around the corner – idiom : not far away

sharpen – verb: to improve

magically – adverb: in a beautiful way

reassure – verb: say or do something to remove the doubts or fears

in store – phrasal verb: coming in the future; about to happen

regardless – adverb: despite the circumstances

preoccupied – adjective: distracted

stern – adjective: serious

cueing up – verb: set a piece of audio or video equipment in readiness to play 

captured – verb : catch

Question ( s ):

Have you ever listened to a song and try to find it’s true meaning behind it?

Raymond’s Gift

photo of green leafed plant on wicker basket

( Intermediate Level )

Mrs. Margaret Broomfield was known as the most caring teacher at Public School Number Nineteen. She taught second grade for over twenty two years. Each school year, when a student was in need of something, she made it a point to help them without making it a big deal out of it.

For many years she bought backpacks, crayons, winter coats or even shoes for her students using her own money. She was the epitome of what people describe as a kind and generous person.

This year turned out to be a little different. Mrs. Broomfield had come down with pneumonia and she missed a lot of school. It had taken her quite a bit of time to recover.

Her students missed her even though their long term substitute teacher was wonderful. She wasn’t Mrs. Broomfield. Raymond missed her more than anyone had realized. He had lost his grandmother a year ago and he became attached to Mrs. Broomfield’s wonderful motherly demeanor.

Thanksgiving came and went and still Raymond’s teacher hadn’t returned to work. Raymond had become very quiet in class. He had always been very eager to participate and answer questions but now he was quite the opposite.

Miss Sally, the substitute, talked with Mrs. Broomfield often keeping her up to date with her students. She had mentioned Raymond’s behavior and this bothered Mrs. Broomfield. She knew he was a sensitive little one.

“Tell Raymond that I am on the mend and should be back to school soon. Until then I want him to keep an eye on things and to be your helper.”

Sally smiled and thought this was a fantastic idea. Keeping his mind busy would be a great thing especially with Christmas coming up. “I will tell him on Monday morning.” They hung up the phone with one another until Monday evening for a new update.

Monday morning came and Miss Sally had asked to speak to Raymond. His classmates thought for sure he was in trouble and you heard them chant, “Oh, Raymond is in trouble. Raymond is in trouble.” Miss Sally quickly shushed them.

Raymond looked at Miss Sally as she sat at her desk, “I talked with Mrs. Broomfield on Friday and she is asking a special favor from you. She would like you to help me as you had helped her. She is hoping to be back at school very soon until then you will be my special helper.”

Raymond smiled with delight. He accepted the new role as Miss Sally’s helper and he said, “I will do my best. Tell Mrs. Broomfield to hurry back until then I will help you as much as I can.”

That evening Raymond couldn’t wait to tell his parents of his new role in the classroom. “If you think of Miss Sally being the president then I would be the Vice President” His dad chuckled. “This is a very important job, you know. I know you will do good as the Vice President.

For the next few weeks Raymond and his classmates had one thing on their mind. With almost three weeks for their winter break from school and Christmas which was right around the corner, their excitement grew.

Mrs. Broomfield was told by her doctor she would be able to return to work just after the break. Miss Sally had shared the fantastic news with the students.

I will miss all of you,” she said. Especially you Raymond. You have been such a great help to me but I know you are all anxious to have Mrs. Broomfield back.”

Raymond stayed behind as the others headed to the lunch room. He wanted to talk with Miss Sally about his special gift for his teacher.

Miss Sally. Can I ask you for a favor?” Raymond’s face was serious. “Of course you can. What is it Raymond? Raymond drew in his breath and began. “Every year Mrs. Brookfield takes care of us. If we ever need anything then we can ask her. If she is able she gets what we need.” Miss Sally had heard this about his teacher.

“So what exactly do you want me to do? Raymond quickly ran over to his backpack which was on a hook by the door. He pulled out his piggybank and returned to Miss Sally.

“I have been saving my money for a long time and I want you to take it and buy Mrs. Broomfield a Christmas tree. I know she wasn’t able to get her own this year. she cannot have a Christmas without a tree.”

Miss Sally sat there absorbing Raymond’s words. At age eight he showed her the true meaning of Christmas. He could have asked for dozens of things but instead he thought of his teacher.

I think that is a fantastic idea. Let go one step further and the class can make all of the decorations and you can make the special star that sits on the top. I will deliver it on Friday.”

He hugged Miss Sally. “ I will miss you too.” He turned and ran towards the cafeteria with a huge smile on his face. He couldn’t wait to share the news with his classmates and tell his parents what he decided all on his own.

In class the next day the students busied themselves making decorations for their teacher’s tree. Miss Sally would go out that evening to purchase a small tree since Margaret’s apartment was small. She would bring it to class so the children could see it .

Raymond made the star for the top. He carefully glued sparkles all over it so the light on the trees would make it shimmer. He was proud of his masterpiece.

At the end of the day Miss Sally collected all the ornaments the children made. They even made a very long paper garland made of green and red construction paper. They felt it would add the perfect touch.

She promised the students she would deliver everything tonight. It was the last day of school and it was Miss Sally’s last day teaching their class. Each student hugged her as they left for winter break.

Sally knocked on Margaret’s door about six that evening. She carried a box of homemade ornaments in one hand and a small live tree in the other. “What’s all this,?” as she helped Sally with the box..

“All of this is from your students. It was Raymond’s idea. He wanted me to buy you a tree. He said Christmas isn’t Christmas without a tree.”

“He is so kind and I will miss that little one.” Margaret sat down on her sofa going though all the ornaments and reading the messages on the back.

The two women set the tree up and decorated it with all the student’s ornaments. Sally’s contribution was a string of holiday lights that glowed red, green and white.

Margaret stepped back and looked at the final product. She wanted to take pictures so she could show her students after break. “Wait. I have one more special thing from Raymond.” She went to her coat pocket and carefully unwrapped his shiny star for the top.

Sally handed it to Margaret so she had the honors of placing this precious star on the top. Both stood back in admiration. Not only for what the children made but what they did out of love for their teacher.

Tons of pictures were taken by both. Sally, so she could remember the students and Margaret so she can share them once she returned to school. They sat in silence, drinking coffee and eating sugar cookies while they looked at the tree. To each of them the tree stood for something but one thing they both agreed on, the tree stood for more than just a tree.

Written By: Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

Through the years Christmas somehow became commercialized. The true meaning seems to be washed away or hidden behind the frill.

If you appreciate what I do and like to keep this website going, : “Buy me a coffee”

I receive 100% of all donations.


making it a big deal out of it – idiom:  to treat (something) as very important or too important

epitome – noun: a perfect example of a particular quality or type

generous – adjective: showing kindness toward others

demeanor – noun: outward behavior

eager -adjective: wanting to do or have something very much

sensitive – adjective: quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences

on the mend – idiom: improving in health or condition; recovering

delight – noun : great pleasure

fantastic – adjective: extraordinarily good

absorbing – adjective: intensely interesting

cafeteria – noun: dining room in a school or a business

shimmer – verb: shine with a soft light

Question ( s ):

What is the definition of Christmas for you?

The Little Red Truck

models of truck and trees

( Intermediate Level )

Nadine and her son, Vince, had been window shopping all day. Vince spotted a little red truck in the window of the toy shop in the town square. He would love to have it but Vince knew he couldn’t ask his mom. Christmas was just around the corner and would definitely ask Santa for this truck. At his tender young age, he knew things were a little tough this year for them.

Last year Nadine and her husband went through a divorce. She tried to keep things normal for Vince’s sake but it was too difficult.to make ends meet as a single parent. The two ended up moving back to her hometown where she grew up.

Clarksville hadn’t changed much since she was a little girl. Only one thing was missing, her mom. She had passed away two months ago leaving her dad at a loss. Moving back was a no-brainer for all involved. She hoped it would be temporary. She just needs to save enough time to save enough money and get a place of their own.

The first thing was getting a part-time job. She hadn’t worked since she gave birth to Vince. She was determined and talented so she didn’t worry too much. Small towns didn’t offer much in the way of great opportunities. Nadine wasn’t looking for anything special. She just wanted to provide for her son to the best of her abilities.

Her father could watch Vince while she worked and her son would be great company for her father. The loss he had just suffered would soften.

“Did you have fun today in town, Vince?” Grandpa asked as they arrived home. “Yes Grandpa. Mommy and I walked by the toy store and they had many decorations up. There was a sign that said Santa would visit on Sunday. I am going to ask Santa for the red truck I saw in their window. Grandpa, it was the brightest red truck I ever seen!” Little Vince couldn’t contain his excitement.

His grandfather chuckled. “Well maybe you can show it to me someday. I’d love to see this special red truck of yours. Now go upstairs and wash your hands. I heated up some soup for dinner, and I got you those animal shaped saltine crackers you like so much.” Vincent smiled and hurried upstairs to wash up.

Nadine looked at her dad. “I don’t want to disappoint him. I need to find a job dad. At this time of the year it will be difficult to find one. Try not to encourage him. I don’t have the extra money.”

“Santa hears all little boys and little girls wishes, Nadine. You never know.” Her dad smiled, turned and headed to the kitchen. Nadine stood there and shook her head in dismay. He obviously didn’t understand.

Vince talked to his grandfather about the red truck he saw then became preoccupied with the animal saltines in his soup. Nadine ate in silence. She enjoyed hearing her son’s excitement finally. He had taken the break up between her and her husband hard and didn’t quite understand why daddy wasn’t going to be around any longer.

As Nadine tucked her son in bed that night he asked mom if they were going to see Santa on Sunday. “Mom, we are going to see Santa on Sunday right? I want to ask him for that little red truck.”

“Of course we will go but Vince asking Santa for that truck now, so close to Christmas it may be impossible for him to fill the order. His elves work all year to make enough toys for everyone. So don’t get your hopes up ok?”

Vince smiled , “I love you mom.” He turned over and pulled the covers up over his shoulder. “Love you too.” She turned off the lamp by the bedside and headed out the door, closing it quietly behind her.

Nadine’s father was sitting in his favorite chair when she arrived downstairs. He had busied himself reading one of his favorite books, again. “Don’t you ever get tired of reading those books over and over again?”

Her father glanced up and shook his head. “Of course not. Classic books are meant to be read again and again.” He smiled and went back to reading. Nadine spent the remaining part of the evening quietly watching the television.

Today was going to be a big day. Vince and his grandson would head into town to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Vince had woken up earlier than usual and dressed. He bounded downstairs wanting to get an early start.” You ready Grandpa?”

“It’s way too early . We will leave in a few hours. Maybe you can show me that special red truck today.” Vince took off his coat and mittens to sit down to a bowl of oatmeal his grandfather made for him. The sweet smell of brown sugar made Vince’s mouth water. His mom didn’t like him eating so much sugar but what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt.

Finally, Vince and his grandfather headed into town. For Vince it seemed an eternity but it was actually an hour and a half. Vince grabbed his grandfather’s hand and hurried him to the toy store. There in the window sat the infamous red truck. It sat amongst a tiny village and Christmas tree lot.

“See Grandpa, there it is.” Vince’s nose was pressed against the store’s window. “One day, when I grow up, I will own my own red truck. I want it to look just like this one!” Vince’s Grandfather looked down at his grandson. He saw how important this truck was to him. He would need to talk to the shop’s owner before Christmas.

From the toy store the two headed to the tree lot on the edge of town. “I want the tallest and fattest tree ever! “ They both laughed. After running up and down the aisles of trees to choose, Vince picked out the perfect blue spruce. Its needles shimmered the perfect blue green in the morning’s sunlight. It stood nearly ten feet tall.

“I hope we have room for this tree. I think you’ve picked the tallest tree they had here.” Vince was smiling from ear to ear. He couldn’t wait for his mom to see his tree.

After dinner the three decorated the tree. Topping it with Grandma’s favorite angel that grandpa had given her on their first Christmas together. Vince had fallen asleep on the sofa. His day was filled with excitement from the start to the end. Tomorrow will also be an eventful day. Vince would finally get to ask Santa for that little red truck.

Vince and Nadine stood in line to see Santa. Grandpa had told them he couldn’t make it. He had a prior engagement to go to. Of course, Vince was a little upset but he soon forgot as he stood in line with all the other boys and girls.

As they moved closer and closer to the front of the line Vince’s excitement grew. He could hear all the others ask for trains , dolls or a ball. There was something in Santa’s voice that sounded familiar to Vince but he shrugged it off.

He was finally there at the front of the line. He climbed up on Santa’s lap and was asked, “So, what do you want for Christmas, Vince.” Vince looked at Santa in amazement. He knew his name.

Vince looked out at his mom who stood in front with her cell phone recording every moment then at Santa again. ” I want a few things Santa. I want my mom to find a job. I know she worries about this and for my grandpa, I want him not to be so sad anymore. Grandma passed away and he has been very sad. And for me Santa, I want the little red truck I saw in the window at the toy store. Ever since I saw it I have wanted it.

Santa looked out at Vince’s mom and saw tears in her eyes. He thought, what a special young man she raised. “Well Vince, let me see what I can do for you. Merry Christmas.” He hugged Vince and gave him a candy cane as he climbed off of Santa’s lap.

Christmas was in a few days. Vince helped his mom bake sugar cookies and assemble a gingerbread house. The days flew by. Nadine had shown the video to her father of Vince meeting Santa.

“I thought there was something very familiar about this Santa and it wasn’t until I watched it for the second time that I realized you were Santa. I could see it in your eyes. Vince has your eyes.”

Her father looked at her. He smiled and winked. “I have been Santa’s helper for the past six years. It gives me something to do. This year I almost declined until you two came to stay with me.”

Nadine hugged her dad. This Christmas was turning out to be special and surprising. Her own son is selfless, wanting her and grandpa to be happy before him.

Christmas morning Vince had woken early running downstairs to see what Santa had left for him. To his surprise, there on the coffee table sat his little red truck with a tiny Christmas tree wrapped and sitting in its bed.

It wasn’t until years later when Vince headed off to college that he was told his grandfather was Santa that year and that truck signified more to his grandfather then he realized.

His mom told him that he brightened up his grandfather’s life when he most needed it. That one day when he was shown the truck and he picked out the biggest and fattest tree from the lot had given him the will to live on.

To this day, Vince still has that little red truck. Hoping to pass it on to his own son and telling him the story of his own grandfather being Santa’s helper that year.

Written By: Angel

Follow Me:

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Instagram: morningangel847

Twitter: AngelOfTheMorn5

Meta Business Suite: Angel’s Thoughts to Pen

Thoughts From Angel:

Sometimes, the smallest of treasures can hold the most memories.

If you appreciate what I do and would like to support this site:

I receive 100% of all donations


tender young age – idiom:  a time in your life when you are still young and lack experience

sake – noun: out of consideration for or in order to help someone

make ends meet – idiom: earn enough money to live without getting into debt

no-brainer -noun: something that requires or involves little or no mental effort

dismay – noun: surprise

preoccupied – adjective: preoccupied

classic – noun: recognized and established value

bounded – verb: walk or run with leaping strides

what (she) didn’t know wouldn’t hurt -idiom: if someone does not know about something, he or she cannot be damaged by it, blamed for it, etc.

eternity – noun: infinite or unending time

infamous – adjective: well known for some bad quality or deed

amongst – preposition: surrounded by; in the company of

shimmered – verb: shine with a soft tremulous light

shrugged it off – phrasal verb: ignore it or treat it as if it is not really important or serious

declined – verb: politely refuse 

selfless – adjective: concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own; unselfish

Question ( s ):

Do you have any holiday memories that you will share with generations to come?

Thanksgiving Will Not Be The Same

( Intermediate Level )

For years all the boys would make their way back home for Allister’s family Thanksgiving. This year Marge and Glen would have to celebrate without their eldest son, Brandon. He joined the military one year ago and had been stationed overseas after finishing boot camp.

Their other two sons, the twins, Mathew and Eric, were both attending the local university and staying in the dormitory. Each had confirmed they would be home since their school would be on a five-day holiday break.

Eric had asked if he could bring his girlfriend, Bernadette since she is from another state and she wouldn’t have time to go back home. “Of course,” his mom replied, ” No one should be alone for the holidays. Tell your brother he can bring a friend too.

Marge tried to keep her spirits up but this year she would miss Brandon. He chose to join the military instead of going to a university. He felt it was to his advantage for him to see the world while he was young and learn a trade. “There would be plenty of time to further my education, once I get out, Mom.

Reluctantly, and with Bill’s convincing, she felt her son had made a good choice. “Honey, he is grown now and he is making his own choices now. You knew this day would come.”

Shedding a tear, “It doesn’t mean I have to like it.” She smiled up at him as Bill wrapped his arms around her allowing her to cry on his shoulder.

Thanksgiving week was next week and Marge had busied herself with preparing Brandon’s bedroom for Eric’s girlfriend. She was then setting up a spare twin bed in Mathew’s room where the two boys would sleep.

The boys didn’t want her to fuss over them coming home but she wanted to keep her mind busy. They planned on heading home on Wednesday night after their last classes. “We are not sure what time we will be in so don’t hold dinner for us. We will grab something on the way home.”

“Well I will make plenty just in case you get hungry later on“. she told Eric. He shook his head and smiled as he talked with her on the phone. ” I figured as much. We will see you soon!” They hung up and Marge’s spirit was higher. She hadn’t seen her sons since Easter.

On Monday, Marge and Bill headed to the local grocery store to buy last-minute things they needed for their Thanksgiving dinner. Bill was in charge of the wine and eggnog while Marge looked for all the ingredients she needed to start baking.

When Glen caught up to her in one of the aisles he looked in the cart. “I thought you only needed a few things?” as he smiled. “You shush, I want to make a few pies, and a couple of homemade loaves of bread, and the rest of these things are for the dinner itself.”

The boys didn’t want you to fuss. I guess they forgot who you are!” She smiled back and the two headed to the checkout. Third, in line, they had plenty of time to make sure they had found everything they needed. As Marge surveyed the items in the cart she heard, “Hi neighbor.” Marge looked up to see her neighbor Delores and her husband standing in the net line.

I see you are doing the same as us. We had a friend of Craig’s friends come unexpectedly for the holiday. He is home from the Army. He will spend a short time with us and then go see his parents.”

Immediately, Marge thought how lucky that man was to be home for Thanksgiving. “Brandon said he was unable to come home now. He said he may be able to come home after the first of the year.”

Delores quickly changed the subject seeing it was making Marge sad. “It was nice seeing you. If you have time on Thanksgiving stop by for coffee and dessert in the evening.”

The twins will come home on Wednesday with a friend or two. If we have time, Glen and I would love to stop by.

That evening Marge busied herself making a couple of loves of whole grain loaves of bread and dinner rolls for the holiday dinner. She hadn’t given her conversation with Delores a second thought.

Tomorrow she had three pies to make. One apple, one pumpkin, and of course a pecan pie. It was one of Brandon’s favorites. Even though he wasn’t going to be home, a Thanksgiving wouldn’t be without having one of these pies.

Marge hoped all prep work would be done by Wednesday night and would leave her free to visit with her boys and their guests. Glen would want to have a card game for sure.

Everything came into place by Wednesday morning leaving Marge free to welcome her boys home. The smell of freshly baked pecan pies filled the air. She had to get up early to finish the last one.

It seemed senseless to have this particular pie since Brandon was the one who liked it the most. Hopefully, Eric’s girlfriend would, otherwise what it may get thrown away.

The phone rang and Glen answered. “Ok, I know your mom is anxious to see you. See you soon. He hung up and turned to Marge. “That was Mathew. Their classes were shorter today so they will be heading out within the hour. He said to expect them around three this afternoon.”

This put a smile on Marge’s face. She had made reservations at the Italian restaurant in town. Normally you wouldn’t need to make one but since it was the eve of Thanksgiving she wanted to make sure they were able to get a table.

Around three twenty the boys rolled into the driveway. Marge hurried out to greet them and smother them with kisses. Glen followed, allowing Marge to be first.

Eric introduced Bernadette to his parents. She was a beautiful young woman with auburn hair. “Thank you for allowing me to be part of your family’s dinner.”

“Nonsense, we wouldn’t want you to be all alone.” Marge gave her a hug. After mom got all her kisses, Glen made his way to his sons. They each shared a long hug with their dad.

Glen wasn’t one to shower you with pleasantries. Getting a high from him meant everything. You felt his love at that moment.

The rest of the afternoon they exchanged stories and settled in. Being home for five days and eating their mother’s food they would most likely gain a few pounds.

“What’s for dinner?” Marge laughed. It was the same old Mathew she remembers, who was always hungry. “I made reservations at Guido’s. I have a lot of cooking tomorrow and didn’t want to bother cooking tonight. Our reservation is at six so we need to leave here by five.”

That evening at dinner they all had a wonderful time telling stories. Some from the past and some recent. As each course finished the waitress came with a small spoon of sorbet for each to cleanse their palate.

Before they knew it two hours had passed and it was getting late. Marge needed to get up early to start cooking the twenty-seven-pound turkey. They enjoyed eggnog and cookies when they arrived home. Even though they claimed to be full, the boys managed to eat almost all of her homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.

“Good night everyone.” Marge hugged each of her boys and then turned to Bernadette. “If you need anything Glen and I are in the bedroom next to yours.” She gave her a hug too then headed upstairs.

Glen stayed up for another hour then he too bade them a good night. The rest followed within the hour. The boys knew their mother would be busy in the morning and wanted to help as much as possible.

The smell of turkey roasting in the oven woke the boys around nine. Bernadette was already up and in the shower. As they headed downstairs they heard a familiar voice. It was Delores from next door.

She was in a panic. The oven quit working halfway through roasting her turkey. She came over to see if their mom had room in the oven to finish cooking hers.

Of course, Marge made room and invited her and her husband and his friend to dinner. “We have more than enough food. On Monday when everything opens up you can call a repairman. No need to worry about Thanksgiving. You will spend it with us.

“Thank you, Marge. I wouldn’t know what to do without you. Have the boys come over to get the card table out of the garage in an hour. I will clean it up and we will have more area to put food. I had already cooked a lot of things last night.”

“Sounds good. Dinner will be at two.’ Delores hugged Marge and headed home smiling. Everything was working out.

Around one Delores came back to help with last-minute preparations. Potatoes needed to be mashed. Gravy needed to be made and vegetables needed to be steamed.” My husband and his friend will be here shortly. I knew you would need help so I came a little earlier.”

Bernadette and the boys set the tables. Each table had beautiful orange table clothes with burnt orange cloth napkins. The centerpieces were simple- a platter of ornate multi-colored gourds with a few leaves scattered as an accent.

The doorbell rang and Glen answered the door. He stood there in silence. There stood his neighbor and Brandon. For the past few days, Brandon schemed with the neighbors to surprise his parents.

“Marge. You need to come out here.” Glen said with urgency in his voice. “Marge, did you hear me?” “My gosh Glen, I am trying to finish up our dinner. What is so urgent that you insist I come leaving the gravy thickening?”

As Marge came closer to the door where Glen stood, he pushed the door completely open to expose who was on the other side.”Brandon! Oh my God, you made it home! She quickly threw her arms around him.

Mathew and Eric had no idea and came running once they heard their mother’s conversation with the person at the door. Many hugs and smiles followed.

Delores and her husband stood watching the scene unfold. “Happy Thanksgiving you two.” She hugged her husband and held him tight. She was happy to be part of Brandon’s plan to make this Thanksgiving special for his family.

Written By; Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

Of all the holidays we celebrate in America, Thanksgiving is the one I hold close to my heart. I have so many fond memories of our family dinners. Talking, eating, and catching up with one another then ending with a good game of cards. ( Mind you, I had a great aunt who liked to cheat at cards! )

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eldest – adjective : oldest

attending – verb: to be present

dormitory – noun: a room at a school for a student to stay

advantage – noun: favorable condition

reluctantly -adjective: unwilling, hesitant

convincing – adjective: capable of causing someone to believe that something is true or real

cry on (his) shoulder – idiom: to tell one’s troubles to someone in seeking comfort or sympathy

fuss over – phrasal verb : to pay a lot of attention to (someone or something)

spirit – noun: mood

ingredients – noun: contents,makings

shush -verb: a signal to be quiet

surveyed – verb: look carefully and thoroughly at

unexpectantly – adjective: surprising

anxious – adjective: a bundle of nerves

eve – noun: period of time immediately before an event or occasion

sorbet – noun: a dessert consisting of frozen fruit juice

palate – nouns: a person’s appreciation of taste and flavor

gourds – noun: a large round fruit with a hard skin

schemed – verb: make plans, especially in a devious way

Question ( s ):

Do you have a favorite holiday?

How about a memory associated with this holiday?

A Sense Of Peace

red leaf trees near the road

( Advanced Level )

Have you ever thought about the things that bring you the most joy? Or a sense of peace? Malina has. For her, it is walking down the path by her grandparent’s home, with the smell of autumn in the air. The trees are getting ready for the winter months ahead. Their leaves turn brilliant shades of orange and yellow before they fall from the tree leaving the trees barren.

Malina’s grandparents fled Poland to Romania with only a few personal belongings. They, along with thousands of others, walked and boarded ships to any destination as long as it was far away from the invasion. After two years without a country to call home, they settled in upstate New York by 1941.

The trip was arduous, testing every fiber of their being. Some days they felt they wouldn’t make it. Going days without food or rest. Going forward day by day, hour by hour. With the grace of a higher power, they made it.

Malina remembers these stories but at the time she was too young to really understand. It wasn’t until she talked to her mom to great lengths that she began to understand the journey her grandparents made during a time when their own country was in turmoil.

As an adult, Malina fully understands the hardships and sacrifices her grandmother had talked about every time she refused to eat vegetables or drink all her milk at dinner. “We were lucky to have a decent meal when we first came to America and here you want to waste food?

Malina turned to writing to fill her days once she retired. Her first book was about her grandparents. What they did allowed future generations of their family to live without fear of persecution.

If you had the opportunity to meet Martha or Abraham, you would never know that their lives had been in disarray back in Poland leaving them no choice but to leave. They never told others what they had seen or felt. The two were well-loved in the community and were always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

When they passed, a year apart from one another, the community felt a great loss. The two used to volunteer at the local food bank. On many occasions, they cooked meals at their own home for holidays. Making sure no one went without a warm meal. Malina’s mom had told her they didn’t want others to feel what they had felt going days without a warm meal.

Malina remembers her grandparent’s kindness and patience when it came to her. As an only child and spoiled she was used to getting her way but this was another story when it came to them and how she often tried to push their buttons. They never lost their patience insisting she does things as they said.

Despite her grandparent’s past, they had shown much love to everyone and everything around them. Malina was about nine, she thinks,, when she went to the grocery store with her grandmother. As they stood in line to pay for what they put in their cart her grandmother had eavesdropped on the conversation between a mother and her daughter who were ahead of them in line.

“Mommy can I have a candy bar?” the cute little girl with blonde curls had asked. “No honey. Sorry. I only have enough for these few things. Daddy doesn’t get paid until next month. Remember he just started his new job.”

This conversation tugged on her grandmother’s heartstrings and she interrupted and asked the little girl, “Which candy would you like?” The little girl looked up at her mother and saw her nod that it was ok to answer.

Can I have this one?” Martha smiled and gave the girl the candy then quickly handed the cashier money to pay for it. The cashier happily accepted the money and mouthed the words. “Thank You.” and smiled.

Each night Malina sits down at her la top to work on her novel paying homage to her grandparents. With a cup of coffee sitting beside her, the words flow through her fingertips as she remembers all the beautiful memories.

She was finally on her last chapter. Like her grandmother, she didn’t want to go into great detail about her grandparent’s life in Poland during the latter years before they left. Malina felt many knew of this dreadful time and felt there was no need to relive it. Instead, her focus was on Martha and Abraham the immigrants, and the life they created for themselves.

As she typed the last words she thought of her grandparents deboarding the ship and setting foot on American soil for the first time. Absorbing the new surroundings and finally feeling a sense of peace.

Written By: Angel

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Thoughts From Angel:

Remembering our past, whether it is our own personal past or that of our ancestors, gives us a sense of who we are and why.

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brilliant – adjective: very bright and radiant

barren – adjective: lifeless

fled – verb: run away from a place or situation of danger

invasion – noun: an unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain

arduous – adjective: involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring

every fiber of their being – idiom: with all of one’s effort

journey – noun: traveling from one place to another

turmoil – noun: confusion, or uncertainty

hardships – noun: suffering

sacrifices – noun: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

decent – adjective: acceptable

disarray – noun: disorganization

lend a helping hand – idiom:  assistance

spoiled – adjective: allowed to do or have anything that they (child) want

pushed their buttons – idiom: to do or say something just to make someone angry or upset

eavesdropped – verb: secretly listen to a conversation

tugged on (her) grandmother’s) heartstrings – idiom: feel strong emotions, usually sadness or pity

homage – noun: special honor or respect

dreadful – adjective:  involving great suffering, fear, or unhappiness

relive – verb: live through (an experience or feeling, especially an unpleasant one) again

immigrants – noun: a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country

deboarding – verb: to leave a plane, train or ship

Question ( s ):

Do you remember any stories told by your grandparents or great grandparents?