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Some creative minds put their creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. If you enjoy reading their words, please comment to encourage.
The prompts will be on the Elephant's Child blog this month and are provided by Margaret Adamson, and her friend Sue Fulton. They also include photographs taken by Margaret's friend Bill Dodds.
The Rocking Horse Inn was Merribell's first job. After her mother had died she had spent the next four years taking care of her father, and her younger brother, as they all went through different stages of grief. While her mother's death hadn't come as a surprise, it had been a shock when the doctor's told her there was nothing else they could do.
She had been offered a full scholarship to study veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis after high school, but her mother's illness delayed her acceptance. When she finally made the decision to turn down the scholarship, her father was livid.
M'bell! Are you off your rocker? This is an opportunity for you to be more than what your mother or I ever had the chance to be. This has been your dream for your entire life. You cannot turn down this scholarship. I will not allow it."
"Poppa. I cannot go to the other side of the country while Momma is sick. I will not. There will be other opportunities for me to go to college closer to home. I can take classes at community college to become a tech, and go to university later."
Community college kept getting pushed to "next term" as her mother's condition worsened. After the funeral, it was never mentioned again as Merribell began to pick up the pieces of their lives.
The Honeymoon Cake, as she decided to call it, had been a huge success at the Inn, and soon she was baking it three times a week as reservations for the Inn increased. She found comfort in the kitchen, baking and preparing meals with the recipes that had been passed down to her, learning more as she created recipes of her own. The thought of veterinary school slipped farther and farther away. Instead, she began to dream of one day opening her own bistro restaurant.
Coming in one evening after a very full day at the Inn, her father met her at the door.
"M'bell, you are working too hard. Isn't there someone else who can cook so you can take a few days off? You work from sun up to sun down all week long. Why can't the person who cooks on the weekend cook some time during the week for you?"
"No, Poppa, there isn't anyone else. I prepare all the food for the weekend in advance so the owners of the inn can just heat things up. I like to be in the kitchen. It makes me feel close to Momma. I feel sometimes like she is looking over my shoulder."
"But you don't have time for friends, or time to meet anyone special. I worry about you. I don't want you to be alone."
"Poppa, I'm not alone. I have you, and I have Stephan."
"That's not what I'm talking about, and you know it. You cannot spend the rest of your life taking care of your old poppa and your little brother. You have to have a family of your own. A husband. Children."
"I'm too tired to argue with you, Poppa. I will have all those things one day when God puts a special man in my life. Until then, I just want to hit the sack and get some sleep before I need to get up and go back to work. I love you, Poppa. Can we talk about this another time?"
"Yes, of course, M'bell. Go get some sleep. I love you, too."