A Summer Story: strawberry heads, a mouse, and summer in Virginia

December 17, 2009
Let me tell you a story of strawberry heads, a mouse, and a sun hat in a hot, bleary day in the Northern part of Virginia.

I sighed as I leaned against the doorframe leading to the bathroom with a handful of strawberries. Unlike the rest of Virginia’s population, I loved the top of the strawberries best. Now my mother was painstakingly putting on her lipstick with much more care than needed. She finally put on the last touch when she righted herself from her lean forward and smoothed out the front of her dress with a hint of conceited mind to it. Being a good girl, I rolled my eyes, back turned to my mother, and sent up a prayer for a new mother that was faster than a slug.

Mom put on her high heels that were about 3 inches high and about 1/5 inch thin. I’ve always wondered how you walk in such monsters. We got in the car and drove away with me slumped over in the passenger seat.

“I wish you’d take more care of your hair, honey,” stated my mother adding a touch to my curly red hair that was pulled loosely into a ponytail. Annoyed, I waved her hand away and continued to keep my half-open eyes on the road ahead.

When we stopped at a red-light, she continued to fuss at me about the way I looked. As I snapped at her, “MOM! Stop, I’m not a baby anymore!” she gave me such a look of surprise, I almost laughed. Almost. She immediately put her eyes down and gave me a puppy-dog/sad face. I wasn’t buying it this time. Turning so that my back was to her, I stared out my window. This was going to be a l-o-o-ong day.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After the mysterious outing with my mother, I went upstairs to all the rooms and opened all windows (it was sooo hot). Downstairs, my mother had changed (faster than it takes to get ready, I might add) and had turned on the box fans. I grabbed my book, Little Women, and went upstairs to read in my bedroom.

My favorite character was Jo, who had a sense of humor and loved to read. I loved to read as well, preferably classics. Last year, I had read To Kill a Mockingbird, and fell in love with Boo. The year before that, I read The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Catch-22, The Outsiders, The Invisible Man, The Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies, and War of the Worlds. This year, she was going to tackle the thick ones.

Upstairs in my room, I jumped on my just-made bed, ruining the peaceful flat of the quilt. I rolled onto my stomach and cracked open the book to where my flower-pressed bookmark held my place. From there, I was deeply absorbed in the book as soon as I read the first sentence.

I was jolted just as the girls were saying their goodbye’s. Pretty sure I had heard something, I searched under my bed, then in my bookcase… I couldn’t find the source of this sound that had scared me!!!

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