Before I share Chapter One, I just want to remind my readers that Clayton (my husband) and I joke that we’re still on our honeymoon. We are having a fantastic time on our seventy-hour journey across the country and have mostly concluded the research gathering portion of our trip. Although a lot of things about our characters are similar to us, this story (Silver Threads Series Book One: Road Trip) is NOT autobiographical. We also do not argue the way the characters seem to. They have to argue at the beginning of the story or they wouldn’t have any growth and maturity. Because this is a romance novel, there will be a happy ending. I promise. This is meant to be a romantic comedy. When I read this first chapter out loud to Clayton, he laughed at all the right parts. That’s a good sign. I hope you laugh too. -Julie
Chapter One: One week before leaving…
“I won’t have time to think about that until after school gets out,” Chandler said, frustrated that Janette had interrupted him again. Couldn’t she see the stack of tests he still needed to grade and get into the computer? “You are perfectly capable of setting up hotel rooms for our trip.”
“Broyce is your brother, not mine,” Janette snapped at him. “This should be your responsibility.” She glared at him from where she stood in front of his desk with her arms folded across her chest. In the amount of time she’d argued with him about this over the past two weeks she could have had the project done by now.
“He needs both of our help. One person to drive the U-Haul, one person to drive his Solstice, and then you can drive our car back.” Chandler tossed his red pen onto the pile of tests and sat back in his chair, using her intrusion as an excuse to stretch.
“Why can’t we just fly to Arizona and drive back?” Janette should already know the answer to that question and her whining was grating on his last nerves. “There is no way we can spend seventy hours together in a car.”
“We won’t be in the car together on the way back because I’ll be driving the U-Haul,” Chandler said. “Besides this way we can go see Asher and Blayke.”
They hadn’t seen their son, Asher since he’d left for college at Oklahoma State University, and hadn’t seen their daughter, Blayke since she moved out to Las Vegas for an apprenticeship with a make-up artist who caters to high-end clients and celebrities. Their kids were all grown up, and this was Chandler and Janette’s only chance to drive out west. They’d never had an excuse before now.
“Plus, didn’t you have some internet friend you wanted to meet in person? We can stop by so you can fangirl and meet your idol.”
“I do not idolize Angelina,” Janette said. “And she is way more than just an internet friend. She is my mentor.”
“Your mentor for your nonexistent career as an author?” Chandler was tempted to hold up air quotes but already sounded insensitive to his own ears. She’d probably spent more money than she’d made selling her little romance novels. Money she refers to as investing in her business. “Is she also, what did you call it? A midlist author?”
“No, she is a bestselling author and makes a lot of money.” Janette’s voice cracked. Now he’d offended her. Again. Oops. Maybe he needed to soften his tone, but he was still aggravated.
“Good, maybe spending time with her, some of her success will rub off onto you.” Chandler picked up his red pen and sat forward again, hoping to convey the message that he was done with this discussion and ready to get back to work.
“Let’s hope so,” Janette said. “I need all the help I can get.” She turned on her heel and walked out of his home office.
“Let me know how much these hotels are going to cost us so I can transfer enough money from the savings account,” Chandler called after her.
She spun back around, vitriol in her eyes. “Maybe you should have your brother pay for our hotel rooms. Since this is his family we’re helping move across the country.”
“That’s pretty insensitive,” Chandler said, feeling like she’d slapped him across the face. “His wife died less than a year ago. This is really hard for him to uproot his kids just so he can be closer to his parents and siblings. He needs our help.”
“Who’s the one being insensitive?” Janette didn’t move from her position of leaning against the doorframe of his office. “You’re the one forcing me from my work and making me come with you on this trip.”
“Don’t you want to see our kids? They’re spread out across the country now. When else are we going to see them?”
“If they wanted to see me they’d come home to visit,” Janette said. “They don’t even like me anymore or they wouldn’t have hightailed it out of town the minute they were old enough. I’m the witch who made them eat broccoli and get up for school.”
“They love your broccoli, school was their only chance to socialize with their friends, and the only thing they didn’t like about you was that you enforced their curfew. They left because they didn’t like our rules, not because they didn’t like us.”
“Whatever.” She chuckle-snorted and Chandler would have laughed if he wasn’t still annoyed that she’d interrupted his work.
“Just think of this as a grand adventure,” he said. “You could write a romance novel about our trip.” He leaned over his stack of tests and purposely rustled the top paper, trying once again to give her the hint to leave him alone.
“Who would want to read a romance novel about an elderly couple who can’t stand to be in the same room together much less stuck in a car together for seventy hours?”
“Forty-nine is not elderly,” he grumbled. “And who would want to read any of your stupid romance novels?”
“What was that?”
“Nothing.” He looked up at her sheepishly. “Could you close the door to my office on your way out?”
“Gladly.” Instead of closing the door like a sane person, Janette slammed the door, shaking the glass panes in the window. One of these days he would have to replace the windows. That or stop offending his wife.
Hello, this is Aubrey. I am one of many Julie's nieces. I am currently 13 turning 14 next month. I love my aunt's books! She is going to put me in one of her new books. Not only that, I'm helping her write the book myself with her. I LOVE MY AUNT! To all who read this post you must read her books they will blow your mind and away. Things about me - I love nature, I love anything water based, Love familia, I love movies, trying to collect the books of the movies, Harry Potter. Roses are Red Violets are Blue hope you enjoy reading this post. Adios fellow followers... Signed by Julie's niece, Aubrey Spencer
(posted with permission from her father!)
Greetings my friends, the past few days have been so busy that I haven’t had time to write at all. Thank you for your patience. I’ve shared a bunch of pictures but I’ve never really had time to myself where I could gather my thoughts. I’m now in my car again with my hubby and we have about four hours left until we reach the Grand Canyon.
We’ll be stopping at the South Rim and we’re basically staying long enough to take a few pictures and just to say we’ve been there.
We just passed by Hoover Dam again as we’re travelling back east from Las Vegas. Other than spending time with my daughter, Chelsea, and my friend Trina, the Hoover Dam was the highlight of our trip so far. I wish we had time to stop again. I wish we had time to spend a couple of days at the Hoover Dam. I had no idea its majesty would affect me the way it did.
Other than that, the trip has been rather peaceful. We’ve slept well notwithstanding the need to switch hotels from our original reservations two times so far, and we’ll have switched two more times on the way home.
The mountains here are breathtaking, but brown and desolate. I’m used to green. Even the mountains out east are green and lush with rock outcroppings. These are basically just rocks. Not much lives out here in this desolate and dry climate. I’m sure the people who have chosen to live here enjoy living here but I can’t imagine wanting to live here. I’m ready to go home to my beautiful green Michigan with thousands of lakes and water in every direction.
But first, we will spend a few days at my brother-in-law’s house in Mesa, Arizona. Another place we’ve never been. This is the trip of a lifetime and I’m pretty sure this is the only time we’ll drive all the way out here and back.
Clayton and I travel well together and are very compatible in most aspects of life but I think we’re happiest at home. I wish I could gather all my friends and family around me so we could all visit each other and still go home and sleep in our own beds.
We just stopped at a Shell gas station because I drink too much water and Diet Coke and they had the cleanest bathroom I’ve seen so far on this whole trip, other than our hotels and Trina’s house. I can’t even express how much I appreciate that. Silly thing to be happy about maybe, but sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference in the enjoyment of your experience. Thank you, Shell station on 93 South an hour & a half south of Las Vegas. You are to be commended.
Backtracking to what we’ve done so far on our trip, in a previous blog post I told you about our nightmare hotel in St. Charles, Missouri, so I won’t talk more about that. The following day we arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma to hang out with our son, C.J. and I’m pretty sure I haven’t shared those pictures with you. I’ll include that picture at the bottom of this blog post. We also had a relatively uneventful stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico just stopping through on our way from Tulsa to Las Vegas. We’ll be doing the same thing on our way through from Mesa to Oklahoma City on our way home.
Okay, I’m going to pause my commentary for now until after we go to the Grand Canyon. I’ll get some other work done for now. See you on the other side.
Greetings from the other side. The Grand Canyon was incredible but I still think the Hoover Dam was the highlight of the trip so far, and probably will remain since we don’t have much else that we’re going to be doing for the rest of the trip.
I was just telling Clayton that I’ll probably lock myself in a room at his brother’s house and let him hang out with his brother while I get some writing done. I’d like to actually get this book outlined and maybe be able to actually start sharing real chapters instead of just research and pre-writing. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that.
On that note, I’ll start working on that now while I’m driving. Goodbye for now. -Julie
Another busy day, this time on the strip in Las Vegas with our daughter! Tomorrow we're going to the Grand Canyon and on to Mesa, Arizona to visit my husband's brother. In a couple days I'll have time to actually start writing this book! -Julie
Four time zones in five days. I'm too tired to think and am having trouble fully processing everything I saw today. The Hoover Dam is indescribable. I'll have to take some time to write down some thoughts soon but for now I'll just share some pictures and collapse for the night. It's 11:30 here in Nevada which means it's 3:30 in Michigan. Goodnight for now. Or good morning. Whenever you see this. -Julie
As a way of conducting research, Jeanette and Chandler spent some time in the car discussing everything they loved about each other and about the two of them as a couple!
Here’s the list they came up with:
Things we love about each other:
We’re both easy to travel with.
Even the things that annoy us are still endearing.
She likes his short hair.
He likes her long hair.
He likes to hold her hand when they’re walking.
He’s a great singer.
Sometimes she takes charge and sometimes steps back to let him take charge.
We’re both flexible.
We’re both confident.
We give each other space and don’t have to do everything together.
We support each other’s hobbies and have independent hobbies.
We rarely use passive-aggressive influence.
She’s good at navigating.
He’s willing to drive all day so she can write in the car.
We’re physically compatible.
We’re polite to each other.
We rarely fight or even raise our voices at each other.
We’ve never even considered separating or gotten so angry that the subject would even present itself.
We don’t talk down to each other.
We both love God and church.
We both love nature and the environment. We were both into recycling before we even met.
She likes that he is devoted to his church callings and priesthood commitments.
Our eyes have never strayed from one another. We never have had to question our commitment to each other.
She like that he comes home to her every evening and sleeps in her bed every night. He never goes to bars or stays out late with friends.
She like it that he doesn’t drink alcohol, like, ever.
He loved her daughter right away and saw her as a wonderful addition to his life rather than baggage that came along with the woman he fell in love with.
He loved our children and rarely yelled at them or criticized them.
He provided for us.
He would have rather worked two jobs than to have her leave our home to work and hire a day care or babysitter.
We love to sing along to music together while driving in the car.
As a way of conducting research, Jeanette and Chandler spent some time in the car discussing everything they found annoying about each other!
Here’s the list they came up with:
He falls asleep while watching television with all the lights on and the television too loud for her to work in the next room then complains if she wants to read in bed with the tiny little light from her Kindle.
That little bit of light penetrates the dark like a spotlight.
He can’t sleep without the fan on.
He snores too but she’s the only one who has gone to the doctor about her snoring.
She’s a hypochondriac and goes to the doctor about everything.
He refuses to go to the doctor, even when it’s something serious. Something that could negatively affect their marriage.
She’s too needy.
She takes way too many bathroom breaks.
He likes to change the subject.
She’s addicted to her cat as if he’s a child. She takes more pictures of her cat than anything else.
He keeps the television volume too low while she’s watching with him but too high when she’s trying to work in the next room.
She has to wear headphones to block out everything in order to get anything done.
He interrupts her when she’s trying to write to tell her trivial things like what vegetables are on sale at Kroger.
She’s constantly writing.
He has to have the television on constantly whenever he’s home and he watches some of the most annoying television shows of all time, and we’re talking all time, as in from the nineteen sixties. Reruns of black and white sitcoms.
She can’t watch television unless she’s riding that loud exercise bike.
He changes the channel on the commercials and doesn’t go back to the original channel in time, or he’ll even leave the room to go get a snack and leaves it on the wrong channel.
She leaves the lights on when she leaves the room.
He turns off the lights in the kitchen and dining room whenever she steps out of the room and she has to walk to the other side of the room in order to turn it back on.
She can’t hear very well and doesn’t hear things he tells her.
He won’t listen to her and walks away in the middle of a conversation.
She won’t stop talking and goes on and on.
He has to have the bathmat always facing the same way so it doesn’t get his feet dirty.
She paints her nails all the time.
He hates the smell of nail polish remover.
She sings all the time and gets obsessed with one or two kinds of music and won’t change CDs for months or years at a time.
He itches his nose all the time.
She uses too many Kleenexes.
He wipes his hands on his pants after eating.
She brushes her teeth constantly, like seven times a day.
He gardens constantly.
She won’t can the food he grows.
He wants her to spend seven hours canning to provide the equivalent of $10 worth of canned green beans. Her time is worth more than that.
But you don’t get fresh vegetables that way.
If he wants them canned, he should can them himself.
She obsessively has to have her car spotless.
He drives too slow.
She drives too fast.
He won’t look at the map and takes wrong turns.
She has to take her glasses off in order to look closely at the map.
He needs reading glasses but won’t go to the eye doctor.
She won’t drink water out of the faucet, won’t eat meat or anything that’s been sitting out for any length of time.
He leaves food just sitting out on the counter and then thinks it’s safe to eat.
She drinks too much Diet Coke and has to drink fountain Diet Coke while travelling.
He throws her cup away before she’s had a chance to refill the cup.
She flips out about that.
She doesn’t pack light.
He… let’s see… I can’t think of anything else.
I could go on.
And he says I’m the one who goes on and on…
Maybe tomorrow we could come up with a list of all the things we love about each other.
Do you think the list will be as long?
Our main characters, Jeanette and Chandler, have already had exciting adventures. On Day One they got to switch hotels because someone had already been using their hotel room. Someone's been sitting on their bed.
Someone's been using their toilet!
The hotel staff must have thought two people staying in a hotel room would only need one disheveled towel.
There was a bare footprint on the bedside table.
Yes, an actual footprint!
The floors were filthy and had holes in the carpeting.
The floors were filthy and had holes in the carpeting.
The whirlpool tub was cracked and filthy.
Many things were held together by tape, including a table.
Electric tape covered one outlet.
The door jam had been broken.
Thankfully, Jeanette and Chandler found another hotel nearby and drove there. Theu got their money back for this one!
Today I struggle to write fiction. My sweet dog, Sasha has taken her last breath and has gone to live with her daughter, Sophie, who passed at the age of eleven weeks. Rather than attempt to write a chapter, I’ll just take a moment to share with you the most adorable dog to ever grace my life.
Sasha was born on my son’s tenth birthday so we could always remember her birthday. Since he is now twenty-two, she was twelve, and will be forevermore.
She was a princess to the end. When she walked down the street (blind as a bat and no idea where she was going), she lifted her head with dignity and held her fluffy tail high. People asked us all the time, “How old is your puppy?” and we would tell them her age and they would be surprised. She was so youthful.
In a way, she chose the time in her life when she was ready to leave this world because she stopped eating about six days ago. Two days ago, she stopped drinking water also. Dogs aren’t supposed to live more than three to five days without food, and way less than that without water so we have no idea how she stayed alive.
We felt kind of silly bringing an otherwise healthy dog into a veterinary hospital with her tail wagging and her held lifted, almost a smile on her little muzzle. I would have loved for her to take her last breath lying in her bed here in our home but we just couldn’t watch her starve to death. We gave her permission to join her baby and said a tearful goodbye.
Love you forever Sasha.
Love, Clayton, Julie, Virginia, C.J. and Chelsea
Names of Characters – Main male and female characters (empty nesters) Chandler and Janette Morgan
Adult son: Asher Morgan
Adult daughter: Blayke Morgan
Adult son’s college roommates (three guys): Dmitri, Luca, and Joey
Adult daughter’s boyfriend: Vincent
Best friend who lives in Vegas and her husband (also empty nesters): Glenn and Angeline
Brother of main male character: Broyce Morgan
Pre-teen son and daughter of brother: Ryan and Cecelia Morgan
Thank you to Morgan Elizabeth Coldwell for her excellent insight into my characters' names!
Tomorrow is Day One of Chandler and Janette's road trip! Tonight they are packing and exhausted! How do you like the names?
Over the next few weeks, Chapter-A-Day posts will feature all the background information going into writing Book One in the Silver Threads Series, appropriately titled Road Trip. You, my dear readers, will have a hand in writing the book!
Here are some of the things we need:
Names of Characters – Main male and female characters (empty nesters), one adult son, one adult daughter, adult son’s college roommates (three guys), adult daughter’s boyfriend, best friend who lives in Vegas and her husband (also empty nesters), brother-in-law of main male character, pre-teen son and daughter of brother-in-law.
Places of Interest and Fun Things to Do – Along the planned route, fun places for them to stop, either touristy, historical, sentimental, haunted house, old friend from high school, cool little city that they simply must drive an hour out of their way to go see, etc.
Happy Things that Happen – If you have any suggestions of things you’d like me to include in the story, let me know.
Tragic Things that Happen – If you have any suggestions of things you’d like me to include in the story, let me know.
Hilarious Things that Happen – If you have any suggestions of things you’d like me to include in the story, let me know.
If you contribute to the story in any way, your name will be featured in the acknowledgements section of the book! Heck, I might even name a character after you.
Here’s the basic itinerary for their car trip. If you’ve been to any of these places or along the route, or have suggestions or ideas, let me know!
They will leave Michigan and travel to Saint Charles, Missouri, a total of 8 hours, 13 minutes’ drive time.
Saint Charles, Missouri at a hotel
They will drive from Saint Charles, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma—5 hours, 48 minutes’ drive time—where they will visit with their son and stay two nights.
Night Two & Night Three
At a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma
They will go to church with their son and enjoy a day of rest hanging out with him.
They will travel from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a total of 9 hours, 25 minutes’ drive time.
At a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico
They will drive 8 hours, 39 minutes from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Las Vegas, Nevada where they will stay for two nights with their friend, and hang out with their daughter.
At their friend’s house in Las Vegas, Nevada
They will spend the day hanging out with their friend, her family and their daughter in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At their friend’s house in Las Vegas, Nevada
They will drive from Las Vegas to Mesa, Arizona, stopping briefly to gaze upon the Grand Canyon just so they can say they’ve been there and to take photos. That day they will have a total of 8 hours, 23 minutes’ drive time.
They will stay with his brother in Mesa, Arizona.
They will stay with his brother in Mesa, Arizona.
They will stay with his brother in Mesa, Arizona.
They will drive 6 hours, 53 minutes from Mesa, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico where we will stay for the night, just passing through.
At a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico
They will drive 7 hours, 55 minutes from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where we will stay for the night, just passing through.
At a hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
They will drive 7 hours, 30 minutes from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Saint Charles, Missouri where we will stay for the night, just passing through.
They will stay at a hotel in Saint Charles, Missouri
They will drive 8 hours, 18 minutes from Saint Charles, Missouri to their home in Michigan.
Here’s a map of their itinerary. What should our hypothetical couple do as they’re travelling along this route?
Dennis stepped off the curb and almost crushed the late model cellphone with a pink, sparkly case. He bent down to pick it off the pavement. There wasn’t a scratch on the thing. “Thank goodness for Otterbox!”
“Whatchu got, buddy?” Kurt leaned over Dennis’s shoulder.
“Some chick lost her phone.” Dennis turned it over, trying to find some identification or clue to the owner.
The phone pinged a notification and Dennis pushed the button on the side. Part of a text from “Mom” popped up on the screen, then was hidden behind a request for a password.
“How am I supposed to know the password?” Dennis mumbled.
“Try one, two, three, four,” Kurt said. “That’s my girlfriend’s password.”
“Why would you tell me your girlfriend’s password?” Dennis shook his head and crinkled his forehead. “Not only that, but who would be stupid enough to… never mind.” Dennis punched in the four-digit code suggested by the second stupidest person he knew. He was kind of glad it didn’t work. The girl with the expensive, sparkly phone wouldn’t be that stupid.
“What do we do with it?” Kurt asked.
“I dunno. Try to find the owner, I guess.” Dennis raised his head and scanned the busy sidewalks and cars coming and going. “It’s going to be impossible.”
The phone pinged again. Another text from the girl’s mom, then a request for the password.
“Maybe someone will call the number. We can answer and ask them whose phone they’re calling,” Kurt said.
“Nobody calls each other anymore,” Dennis said. “They text and Tweet and Snap and Insta-photo-thingy.”
“You mean Instagram?” Kurt asked.
“Yeah, whatever it’s called.” Dennis turned in a circle. “Guess we could start by inquiring at these local businesses.”
“Let’s start with the donut shop,” Kurt suggested.
“No way, man. If I go in there, I’m going to want a donut. I didn’t spend an hour in the gym to waste my daily allotment of calories on empty carbs. The Army won’t want me if I get fat.”
“How about the hardware store across the street?”
Dennis turned and gaped at his friend. “Do you honestly think that pink-sparkly-phone girl spent the morning at the hardware store?”
“Yeah, yer probably right.” Kurt took a deep breath and looked around again.
“We could try the Verizon store,” Dennis said, walking in that direction. “It’s only a mile down the road.”
“A mile? We can’t walk that far.” Kurt hurried to catch up. “There’s no way we’ll make it to get your haircut, then back to the recruiting office in time.”
“We’ll make it.” Two more texts came through as they walked.
Linda, the smiling clerk at the Verizon store couldn’t give out any information about the owner of the phone.
“I just need a cord so I can plug it into my computer.”
“You’re still trying to access her information.” Linda shook her head, still smiling sweetly as if trained to never stop smiling, no matter how angry the customer.
“Look, lady, I’m trying to find the girl who owns this phone so I can return it to her.”
“How do you know it’s owned by a girl?” Linda was still smiling.
“It’s pink,” Dennis spoke through clenched teeth. “And sparkly.”
“Lots of guys buy pink, sparkly phone cases.” Still smiling.
Dennis reached into his wallet, pulled out a fifty-dollar bill, and slapped it onto the countertop. “Sell me a cord and you can keep the change.”
It was amazing how quickly Linda located the correct phone charger. She handed it to Dennis with an even bigger smile. “Thank you for choosing Verizon. Have a nice day.”
Dennis rushed from the store and sat on a nearby bench. He opened his laptop, plugged the USB port into his computer and the charging end into the phone. A little screen popped up that read “Brooklyn’s iPhone.” There was also a prompt for a password. Kurt started laughing.
“What is so funny?” Dennis wanted to scream.
“You just spent fifty bucks to learn that pink-sparkly-phone-girl’s name is Brooklyn.”
Dennis’s shoulders fell and his lower lip jutted out. Another text popped up.
“Come on, man, let’s go get those locks chopped off so you can enlist.”
“The Army’s not going to want a depressed guy pining after a girl named Brooklyn who once owned a pink, sparkly phone.” Dennis unplugged the cord, shoved it and his laptop into his backpack, and trudged after his friend.
Walking into the salon Dennis’s nose was assaulted by acetone and neutralizers mixed with something sweet. The smell reminded him of donuts. The lady at the counter asked for his name and he sat on a chair next to Kurt.
A young stylist with an unnatural blondish-green hair came rushing up to the counter, whispering frantically.
“So distraught… crying… she says her life is over.”
“Well, she has a client waiting. Tell her to suck it up and get out here.”
“She can’t remember his name. The appointment was on her Google calendar.”
“His name is Dennis.” She pointed and Dennis waved. “Now tell her to get her pretty little self out here and cut his hair or she’ll be looking for a new job and a new phone.”
A new phone? Dennis’s ears perked up. The green-haired stylist left and a minute later a young lady with natural-colored hair and designer clothes came out. Her eyes were red, and she sniffed. Dennis felt compassion for her.
“Hi, Dennis,” she whispered. “I can take you back now.”
He followed her to her station and sat in the swivel chair, watching her sad eyes as she draped the black cape around his shoulders and snapped it into place. “Are you okay?”
She shook her head. Another lady came up behind her and spoke softly. “Brooklyn, your mom just called. Said she’s been texting all morning but you’re not answering.”
“I can’t find my phone.” A single tear fell down Brooklyn’s cheek.
“Did it have a pink, sparkly case?” Dennis asked, holding up his lucky find.
“Hey Google, what time is it?”
“The time is five-thirty-four a.m.”
Ugh, my alarm is scheduled to ring in twenty-six minutes. Brooklyn rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. It was no use. A million tasks ran through her head. Might as well get up.
Brooklyn felt around in the dark to turn off her alarm clock, knocking her glasses to the floor. She grabbed her phone to use it as a flashlight and fumbled through the carpet hoping she didn’t crush them.
There was nothing in Brooklyn’s life more important than those glasses. If she ever lost them, she wouldn’t be able to see to find them. She’d put her contact lenses in after her workout. The cold frames pinched her finger when she grabbed them backward. She slid them onto her face and stretched.
Early workout. A soft pair of socks and her sturdy running shoes. She checked the workout app on her phone and clipped it to her belt. Plugging in the earbuds and raising the volume, she started her favorite playlist and pulled her hoodie close over her head.
The frosty morning air awakened her senses and Brooklyn set the starting timer on her Track-My-Run app, letting technology assist her in counting the number of miles so she could just enjoy the pull of her muscles and the pounding of the pavement.
The steam from the shower was a welcome break from the chill and sweat. Brooklyn changed her playlist to enjoy hymns while she showered. She always read scriptures with breakfast and listening to hymns put her in the right mindset.
What was that smoothie recipe my sister made when I was visiting last week? Brooklyn sent a quick text to her sister to ask what her special ingredient was while she gathered milk and bananas and yogurt and strawberries next to the blender. A text notification pinged, and she picked up her phone. Frozen yogurt? Okay.
She slid the regular yogurt back into the fridge and opened the freezer. Pushing aside that bag of frozen peas she’d been avoiding for months, Brooklyn grabbed the tub of frozen yogurt, spooning as much into her mouth as she did into the blender.
No time to sit at the table, Brooklyn opened her Kindle app and read from the Old Testament. She’d uploaded the scriptures for days like these when she didn’t want to haul out her big leather-bound book full of red marks where she’d highlighted her favorite passages.
Brooklyn sucked the last of her smoothie through the straw as she trudged up the stairs to her bedroom closet. Too much to choose from, and yet not enough.
“Hey Google, what will the weather be like today?”
“Today’s forecast for Lansing is 79 degrees with a thunderstorm.”
“Ugh, how do I even dress for that?” She shoved aside her favorite silk blouse knowing it would be too hot and could get ruined if she were caught out in the rain. She pulled a nice poly-cotton blend off a hanger and made a mental note to grab her raincoat on the way out of the house.
While straightening her hair, Brooklyn watched YouTube videos of makeup tutorials, justifying they would help with her long-term career plans.
As she was slipping on her shoes a video chat rang into her phone and her mom’s face popped up. “How’s the new job?”
“Mom, you’re too cheery this early in the morning.” Brooklyn picked her purse up off the floor and dug for her keys. “The salon is great. The girls are really nice and I’m starting to get some regular clients. I had this really cute college guy come in for a haircut, and he’s coming back today. He requested me as his stylist. Everybody’s been teasing me about him ever since.”
“Ooh, I wanna hear all about him.”
“Later, mom. I gotta go.” As Brooklyn was inserting her key into the house door, she remembered her raincoat and opened it back up. Her phone vibrated. “Mom, I have a call coming in. Talk to you this evening.”
She didn’t even give her mom a chance to say goodbye before she had the cell phone to her ear and the high-pitched voice of her co-worker came ringing through the line.
“Can you pick up donuts on your way into the salon?” her friend asked.
“Sure…” Brooklyn asked for a general order of what everyone wanted as she opened her car door and slid into the seat.
Pulling up Google Maps, she found the nearest donut shop and hit ‘start’ for the annoying recorded voice to tell her to turn left out of her driveway.
Following the navigation perfectly, Brooklyn made it to the donut shop and purchased a big box of assorted donuts. It was so big she couldn’t open the car door with it in her arms. She set it on top of her car along with her purse and phone as she fumbled with her keys. She carefully lifted the box and placed it onto the passenger seat. Grabbing her purse from on top of her car, she slid into the driver’s seat and clicked her seatbelt on.
“Okay, just one donut on the drive. No one will know.” She licked the icing off her finger and shoved a bite into her mouth as she put the car in gear.
Brooklyn carefully checked for traffic before pulling out into the lane. Her radio was cranked so loud she didn’t even hear her phone slide off the top of her car, bounce along the trunk, and crash to the pavement.
Click here to read the sequel to Something Lost, appropriately named Something Found.