Garden Peace

Red bench with blue arms and legs, sitting against a fence covered in climbing vines.

Willow stepped back and gazed around at the back garden. It was starting to come together. There were flowers and other ornamental plants around the edges, and climbing roses at the two corners of the fence. The arch over the path leading into the woods behind the house would soon hold morning glories. She forgot the specific variety, but the nice guy at the nursery had said it was a native to the area, so that’s what she’d gone with.

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Unexpected Date Night

Late sunset view across water to low mountains.

“Mama! Mama! Loh-en’s toys!” Melia’s high, piping voice soared above the general din of the marketplace.

“I know sweetie. We’ll stop by and visit with Loren after we do our shopping, okay? We just need a couple more things for dinner.” Serena did her best to keep the exasperation and fatigue out of her voice. Normally, market days with Melia were a fun outing, with lots of exploring, questions, and sneaking in educational bits (well, those were fun for Serena). Today, however, Serena was exhausted from too little sleep, worry over Jake who was two days overdue with no word, and the usual, ongoing stress provided by the university with its never-ending requests for forms, details, and justifications.

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