© 2008 Teri B Clark

I can’t believe I waited all year for this. Watching this stupid ceiling fan go round and round just makes me dizzy. However, the choices are rather limited. It’s either that or read another romance novel.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to read, especially when the heroine in the book falls in love with someone who doesn’t even know she exists. Finally, he realizes that she is the one and they live happily ever after. It gives me some hope about Kyle and me.

Or, at least it used to. Now it is just one more thing to prove that I am a nobody doing nothing.

Meg and I had big plans for the summer. Meg is my best friend ever. I’ve known her ever since we started school. We have so much in common, except that she hates all sports – well, except for horseback riding and neither one of us think of that as a sport. It is totally fun and the instructor is so cute. I like tennis and swimming and have made the team 2 years in a row. But I don’t like soccer or basketball. I worry too much about the way I look when I’m all hot and sweaty. Meg’s thing is art. She makes the best drawings I’ve ever seen – except in books, of course. But I figure that one day Meg will be in a book – she’s that good!

Like I said, Meg and I had big plans. This was going to be the best summer of our lives. We were finally going to be high schoolers! No more junior high. No more Mr. Mounce and his incredibly boring English class. Honestly, who really wants to read Of Mice and Men? No more Ms. Doyle and her health class. She was very unimpressed when I said that sugar was a main food group. In fact, my mom had to sign a note from school over that one. No more anything that was even remotely babyish. I had even convinced my mom to let me wear mascara!

Now, that may not sound like much, but you’d have to understand my mom. Her idea of fun is having family time. Playing board games or going to the pool as a family is just lame. No one wants to spend that much time with their family, especially when it is my family. Between my controlling mom, out of touch dad, and annoying brother…certainly you get the picture.

But let’s get back to my mom. She can’t seem to understand why I want to spend time with my friends instead of family. And she hates the cell phone. She is soooo controlling about the phone. I can only talk to my friends at night and on weekends. And for mom, night means 7 to 8 because “it is impolite to make phone calls after 8 pm.” Gaww…we don’t live in the 90’s anymore. The way she acts, you’d think that cell minutes were gold. Oh, and her taste in clothes…it is a wonder that I was not the laughing stock of Taft Jr. High.

That is why it is a miracle about the mascara. She wouldn’t even let me wear lip-gloss with a tint last year! She said, “Callie, girls your age wearing lipstick were always considered loose when I was growing up.” Loose? What kind of word is loose? So, when I said, “Are you saying that if I wear lipstick I will be a slut?” I thought she would die of apoplexy (that’s one of my summer vocabulary words for high school English next year). I thought it was pretty funny at the time, but the week spent grounded in my room with no phone wasn’t funny at all.

But now, she said that since I am starting high school that I can wear mascara. I know that it is only mascara, but it is a start!

Yep, it was going to be a great summer. Being a freshman and wearing make-up was only going to be the beginning. Both Meg and I were going to have a big party – with boys! And we both planned on spending as much time at the pool as possible – without family, of course. We were both signed up for horseback riding lessons and I was taking tennis, too. She was taking a pastel class taught by Ms. Whitelaw. Ms. Whitelaw lives right here in our town and is famous! She’s had some of her work in a gallery.

Dawn – I only call her that to Meg because it wouldn’t be polite to call her anything but Ms Whitelaw to her face – is the only famous person I’ve ever met.

Anyway, we had the whole summer planned. Had.

Then parents came in and ruined everything. Meg’s parents, to be exact. One month before school was out, they decided to move. Not just to a house on the other side of town, but to a whole other state. The moving van would be there the day after school ended!

I thought living in nowhere Iowa was bad, but Meg had to move to North Dakota! You might be wondering, “Why North Dakota?” I know I was, so it is a good question.

See, Meg’s grandma lives in North Dakota on a really big ranch. But she’s gotten sick and needs someone to help. Meg’s dad is no rancher, that’s for sure, but mom says he is really good at business and that the ranch was getting into some financial trouble. Mom was trying to help me understand why they had to move away. It didn’t work at all. Why couldn’t she just hold me while I cried instead of trying to reason it all away? I couldn’t see a good reason for Meg to move. Not then and not now. Especially not now.

Now there was no fun for the summer. None at all. Mom said I could still go to the pool. But why? I’d have to take my brother along because mom says it isn’t safe for me to go all by myself. I’d rather watch the ceiling fan than spend the whole summer with my brother. The problem is that I said so to my mom. And I got my wish. I’m grounded. Right here to my room “until I get a better attitude.” She didn’t even set a time! Just until I get a better attitude. I’m liable to be grounded well into my sophomore year in high school! So much for riding lessons, tennis, or summer parties.

To make matters even worse, I got a letter from Meg yesterday. She wasn’t happy to leave here. Just like me, she couldn’t see a good reason to go. She even begged her parents to let her stay with me for the summer. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten mom to agree to it and Meg figured it would be better to spend time with my family than be hauled all the way to North Dakota. However, her parents didn’t agree. They said she had to go with them. Period. I think her parents are almost as controlling as mine.

But her letter made me sit up straight up on my bed. Can you believe that she really loves the ranch now? Her grandma gave her a horse. Her very own horse. It is a chestnut with white socks. She says it looks like the one our horse-riding instructor has. He has such dreamy eyes. The instructor, not the horse, of course! But she isn’t worried at all about missing Mr. Dreamy Eyes. She says that her grandma has lots of teenage boys working in the stables, especially in the summer, and that several are really cute.

She doesn’t even miss the pool. Grandma has her own pool – right there on the ranch. Meg has met lots of people and they go swimming every evening. Her grandma is even throwing her a “welcome to North Dakota” party – with boys. All she’s missing is a famous art teacher, but the way things are going for her, I’m sure she’ll find one of those, too. How is she ever going to convince her parents to move back here if she actually likes the ranch? She is ruining everything – my summer and my life. So much for being a best friend….

She has cute boys, a horse, a pool, and a party. She has everything we had planned for the summer. I have a ceiling fan, a stack of romance novels, a bad attitude, and 6 more long weeks of summer.

© 2008 Teri B Clark

Why I Don't Insist

Teri B. Clark © 2009

I have my ideas
Of things I want in my life
And there are times
When I want to insist I get them.

My ideas.
My things.
My plans.
My timing.

And then
When I least expect it
I get something I hadn't considered
Or even dared to hope for.
Perfectly now.

When I leave it in His hands
Allowing Him to work
Miracles in my life
I always get far more.

His timing.
His gifts.
His love.
His vision.

(Created from a writing prompt)

Young Love

This writing prompt came from Writer's Digest: Write a 26-line poem using all the letters of the alphabet, where the first line starts with the letter "A," the second "B," the third "C," etc., culminating with the final line starting with "Z."

Young Love
By Teri B. Clark

A little
Boy and little girl
Came to love one another at the tender age of 5.
“Doesn’t that make you laugh?”
Everyone said,
Forgetting that even such young children could love.

Growing up each year, their love changed from one of teddy bears to the love of a teen
Heart to heart
Instead of growing farther apart as the years went on, they grew closer,
Just like they always
Knew it would. Still, the adults
Laughed for they knew that certainly such childish love
Not last forever. “They are just children. Barely
Out of the crib.”

Perhaps if they had listened, their love would have
Quelled and they would have moved on
Realizing what the world knew. But
Still they went on loving
Through thick and thin, and there was thick and thin, as you would expect with such young love.

Until one day the young man got down on his knee and proposed to his
Very lovely bride-to-be. And
Wedding plans were made. And the adults stopped laughing and marveled.
“’xtra special,” they said, “This love of theirs. How they did it, we don’t understand. And
Yet, it has been done.” And they marveled at the beauty and the
Zeal of young love.

Copyright 2009 Teri B. Clark