Friday, June 26, 2009

It's My Blogger-versary!: Friday Fiction: Two Singing Sisters

One year ago today, I posted my very first post on this blog! It was Friday Fiction that day, too. Today, in celebration, I'm posting my very FIRST writing attempt for the Faithwriter's Writing Challenge in the spring of 2007.

It came about because I felt the NEED to begin writing again, and it was my Jubilee year (50th birthday year-LOL!). I had made a list of things I wanted to do that year, and entering a writing contest was on that list. I found FW the morning the contest ended, and wrote the story in an hour. It showed, believe me. So here's my edited version and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for helping me celebrate a good year of blogging!

For more great fiction, Sherri is hosting at A Candid Thought.

Two Singing Sisters
By Dee Yoder

This has to be the place," my sister said as we pulled into the vast parking lot.

My sister was driving because she does all the driving and I do all the bookings. We sing. We sing in nursing homes. Some people think that’s funny. When we first started our joint venture, our husbands laughed out loud when we told them our idea.

My husband asked, “How will you make any money doing that?” He emphasized that.

We tried to give them the entire picture, but they kept hooting it up and making jokes, so we quit trying.

I think my husband thought the idea was finished until the day I told him he needed to be home on time because we had our first singing gig. He smiled as he asked me the details. I think he thought it was cute.

“We’ve been invited to sing at the Annadale Center.

“Uh huh.” That’s all he said as he absent-mindedly picked up the mail.

“They’ll pay us, too.”

“Good, good.” It sounded like he was patting the top of my head. That bugged me.

“Well, will you be home on time Thursday or not?” I persisted.

“Sure, honey.” He tossed the mail back into the place he picked it up from and walked away. I knew that unless he checked his palm pilot, he wouldn’t have a clue as to his Thursday schedule. Which meant he didn’t think it would pan out. But it did pan out.

We were scared to death that first gig. After we had sung two songs, we realized the residents were the best audience we could ever have. They were pretty much captive, they were starved for live entertainment, and really didn’t mind when we goofed.They were enthusiastic, and appeared to enjoy every song, every minute.

Our first pay was minuscule, but to us it represented more than mere money. We had finally put action to one of our many income-producing schemes. I came up with the name "Two Singing Sisters" off the top of my head. But it’s perfect for our act. It tells the residents exactly who we are and what to expect. Nothing fancy. Two sisters...who sing.

We were at Annadale for three months when someone there told someone at another nursing home about us and, voila, another gig.

At our second venue, we let the front desk know we had arrived and were led to a large, community room. The residents were lined up at tables. Most were sitting with their mouths open and appeared to be sleeping.

We started with a show tune. No one moved or acknowledged our presence. Even the nursing staff appeared too busy to listen as they hurried to do their duties. After three more songs, some of the residents began to sing with us. Slowly, they mouthed the words they remembered. A couple of residents made requests. They smiled.

We finished our set and they clapped for us. We were packing up our CD’s when a man with a white-haired buzz-cut ambled up. He looked confused.

“Do you know where Amy is?” he asked.

“No, I’m sorry sir, I don’t.” answered my sister.

“She was just here; she said she’d be right back.” He was insistent. We continued packing.

He touched my arm, gently, and his gesture was sad. I turned to face him. Life had slowed for him, nearly stopped. I felt disrespectful ignoring his polite interference with my busy schedule.

“Do you know where I live?” he asked. I patted his arm.

“You live right here.” I answered brightly.

He looked at me and blinked. He shook his head. “No, this isn’t my house.”

He continued to look at me like I was lying to him on purpose and he was trying to figure out why.

He put down his head and shuffled away. My heart broke for him and all the others,and for my future, too. Why did we have to travel this ruthless route to heaven?

Suddenly, I realized Two Singing Sisters was more than another weird scheme to make money. We’re a small part of a big plan; His plan that I’m interpreting on my way toward eternity.

“Sir,” I called, “Can I sit and talk with you?”

He nodded politely. I smiled.


Sherri Ward said...

Dee, it's okay for linking twice, this is worth the double vision! Very good story, and it is rather heartbreaking to be in such places where life is near the end for so many. They do appreciate even the simplest entertainment and attention.

Andrea said...

Congradulations on your blogger anniversary. Moving post!
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Hoomi said...

Terrific story, and congratulations on the milestone!

Has Friday Fiction really been going a year now? Wow!

Patty Wysong said...

Happy Blogaversay! (did I spell that right? LoL) I'm so glad you're blogging!!!

This is your first FW story and you knocked it out in an hour? Wow!

Sara Harricharan said...

This was great! Glad I got to read it. ^_^ (and I STILL can't believe it's been a year!) Yay for Dee!

Lynda Schultz said...

Happy Anniversary, Dee.

Important message here, and so glad the sisters took time to visit as well as sing. These dear folks appreciate it even if they don't remember it afterward.

Joanne Sher said...

This is a WONDERFUL first challenge entry (and in an hour? WOW)! I love this. Such a tender story.

BethL said...

Dee, this was the first time I'd read this. What a touching story. I loved the part about the husband words that were almost a "pat on the head".

Your first FW story was "WAY BETTER" :) than mine!!! Love this!