Traveling in a Bus
Abigail Taylor was seven years old and her brother, Nathan was 5 years old.
They lived with their mama, in a big city, in the hot desert of Arizona.
All around, the cactus and mesquite trees grew out of the sandy dirt, and it all looked more brown than green.
One day, Mama said “We are going to visit Grandpa and Grandma Taylor, in Oklahoma”.
Abigail and Nathan were full of questions about the trip.
“Where is Oklahoma?” Nathan asked.
“Oklahoma is very far from Arizona.” Mama answered.
“How will we get there?” Abigail asked.
“We will ride in a bus for 2 days to get there.” Mama said.
“It will be a long ride, but there are comfortable seats, and even a restroom, right on the bus. We will see all kinds of new places on the way, and you will have fun riding the bus.”
One morning, they all had a big breakfast and then started their trip.
At the bus station, Mama bought three tickets from a man at the counter.
Then Mama put their big suitcase in a cabinet at the bottom of the bus.
Mama and Abigail and Nathan climbed into the bus. “Watch your step.” said the bus driver.
They went all the way to the back seat. It was like a nice long sofa with room for all three of them.
And they were right next to the restroom on the bus. They thought that was a good thing, too.
The bus driver drove the bus for a long, long time.
Abigail and Nathan looked out of the windows as they left the city and rode through the dry desert and rolling grasslands of Arizona and New Mexico.
They passed many high purple mountains along the way.
They watched the cars on the highway and played games, like counting cows and windmills.
They also said hello to other people on the bus, when they came to use the restroom.
It seemed like they would be riding in the bus forever!
“When will we get there?” Nathan asked.
Mama said “Tomorrow, at lunchtime.”
A lady on the bus said she was going very far, to Boston, and wouldn’t get there for three or four MORE days.
“Wow, that’s a long trip.” said Abigail.
Finally, they stopped for a quick lunch. They had peanut butter sandwiches and milk at a lunch counter in the bus station.
Then, they went back into the bus and they were on the road again.
Abigail and Nathan were tired and took a nap.
When they woke up, Mama gave them some crayons and coloring books.
They colored pictures until the bus stopped for supper.
Supper was fun. Abigail and Nathan had hot dogs and French fries with mustard and ketchup.
There was orange soda to drink, and ice cream cones for desert.
Then they went back to the bus, where a new driver waited to take them on another long ride.
Soon the sun went down and Mama said it was time to sleep.
“On the bus?” Nathan asked.
Mama said “Yes. The driver will keep driving while we sleep, so we can get to Oklahoma quicker.”
So Abigail and Nathan went to sleep next to the window, while Mama dozed next to them.
They dreamed of cows and cactus, of windmills and mountains, of hotdogs and orange soda, and of people in buses and cars on the long highway.
Mama woke Abigail and Nathan early in the morning. The sun was just coming up, and they were stopped for breakfast.
The bus station had a restaurant, and the smells of coffee and bacon made them all hungry.
The nice waitress brought glasses of milk, stacks of pancakes, lots of butter, and six different kinds of syrup!
When they finished the feast, they hurried to the restroom to brush their teeth.
Then, they got on the bus for the last part of the trip.
In the bright morning sunshine, Abigail and Nathan looked out of the bus windows and noticed the desert and tall mountains were gone.
There were bright green plants everywhere – tall trees and grass and bushes and flowers!
It was very different from the desert where they lived.
When the bus pulled into another bus station, it was almost lunchtime, and they had arrived in Oklahoma!
Mama and Abigail and Nathan climbed down out of the bus.
“Have a nice visit!” said the bus driver. “Thank you.” answered Mama.
A pretty lady and a big, smiling man hugged Mama and called her Emma.
The pretty lady looked at Abigail and Nathan and said “I’m your Aunt Bella and this is your Uncle Cole. Your mama is our sister. We came to take you to your grandma’s house. You are going to have so much fun!”
Uncle Cole fetched their suitcase, and then drove the car out of the city, up and down hills on a long road, and finally, through a wide pair of gates.
Grandma and Grandpa Taylor came out of the house.
Grandma was very round and smiling, with white curly hair. Her dress looked like a flower garden.
Grandpa had bushy gray eyebrows and wore an old cowboy hat and overalls over a long-sleeved shirt.
They both had trouble hearing, so they talked very loudly.
“Come on in!” they said as they gave hugs all around.
The grownups went in and sat in the living room, but Abigail and Nathan stayed outside in the yard.
There was so much to see!
The wooden house was really old with brown sides and white window frames.
There was a screened porch on the front, and another porch on the back.
Grandpa Taylor had a BIG barn where he worked fixing machines, welding, and building things.
At one side of the house there were chickens and cats and dogs, all in a really big yard.
There was a big vegetable garden and some apple trees at the other side.
There was a forest of really big, bright green trees behind the house.
Abigail and Nathan were learning how different Grandma and Grandpa Taylor’s home was from theirs.
They lived in a city in the desert, while their grandparents live on a small farm, out in the woods.
After they had been exploring outside for a while, Grandma called out “You kids come in the house. I have a surprise for you.”
When Abigail and Nathan went into the house, Grandma said “You just go look on the kitchen table. There are glasses of milk, apples, and some fresh gingerbread that your grandma made just for you!”
YUMMY! Abigail and Nathan had apples and gingerbread and milk for lunch!
After lunch, they ran around the farm doing all kinds of new things.
They petted the dogs and cats.
They watched Grandpa Taylor and Uncle Cole working on a car in the big barn.
They watched Grandma Taylor crocheting a rug, while she visited with Aunt Bella and Mama.
It was a very interesting afternoon!
Supper and Story Telling
When supper time came, Aunt Bella and Mama went to the kitchen with Grandma.
Soon the smells of fried chicken and gravy filled the air.
Abigail and Nathan sat in chairs at the big table in the dining room.
Grandma Taylor stuck her head out of the kitchen door. “Harold!” she called, in a very loud voice, “Supper!”
“Alright, Ginny!” Grandpa called in return.
Abigail whispered to Nathan “Harold and Ginny must be Grandpa’s and Grandma’s real names.”
Supper was so good! They ate chicken and potatoes with gravy and green beans and corn and biscuits with butter and jam, until they thought they would POP!
Then they all sat back in their chairs, relaxing around the table.
The grownups told stories about the adventures they had when they were kids while Abigail and Nathan listened with their eyes big and round.
Abigail wondered if she would ever have adventure stories to tell.
Soon, the sun was going down, but there was still time for dessert.
Grandma Taylor’s homemade apple pie was perfect!
By the time they finished their pie, the crickets were chirping and it was dark outside.
Mama said “Ok, it’s bedtime for my little ones.”
Grandma Taylor said “Emma, your old room is ready for you.”
Then she smiled and told Abigail and Nathan “You kids can sleep on the sofa-bed in the screened porch.”
Oh boy! That sounded like fun!
Noises in the Dark
Aunt Bella and Uncle Cole went with Mama to the back porch to tell more stories.
Grandpa went to his room, and Grandma went to hers.
Abigail and Nathan went to the screened porch at the front of the house.
They had forgotten to bring pajamas, so they just wore their shorts and t-shirts.
They stretched out on the sofa-bed, enjoying the warm summer air.
They were so excited that they couldn’t get sleepy.
They whispered about deserts and forests, about bus drivers and waitresses, about chickens and cats, about gingerbread and apple pie, and about the adventures of long-ago kids named Harold and Ginny, Emma, and Bella, and Cole.
Suddenly they heard a noise! It was a scary, growling kind of noise.
Their eyes grew big in the darkness of the screen porch.
“The noise was coming from the inside house!
Is there a monster in Grandma’s house?” whispered Nathan.
“Maybe we better look.” Answered Abigail.
So, creeping very quietly on the tips of their toes, they went in search of the monster.
They crept through the door into the dim living room.
No one was there.
To one side of the living room, they saw Grandpa reading a book in his room.
No monster there.
Then, on they went, tip toe, tip toe, through the door into the dining room and kitchen.
The noise was much louder, but still they saw no one.
A light was coming from Grandma’s room, so they crept closer.
The noise grew louder.
With pale faces and wide eyes, they peeked around the door into the room, and saw Grandma lying on her bed.
There was the noise again, very loud!
Abigail and Nathan watched as they saw Grandma breathing, her round body puffing up with a breath – just as the noise came again, LOUD!
There was no monster, Grandma was SNORING!
Abigail started to giggle and put her hand over her mouth.
Nathan grinned and covered his mouth too.
They both scampered as quietly as they could, back to the sofa-bed, on the screen porch, where they jumped into bed and giggled until they got sleepy.
In a few days, they would ride the bus back to their home.
Abigail knew that someday, her children, and grandchildren would enjoy her funny adventure story, about the monster in Grandma’s house.