An excerpt from Chapter Three, A HOME FOR WANDERERS
Charley placed one foot and then the other on the granite step. Facing him, only three short steps away, hung the huge mahogany doors of the orphanage. He felt Minnie’s small cold hand tucked in his. Her hair was bedraggled and knotted in the back like a rat’s nest. Her coat was dirty and frayed at the edges. It was at least two sizes too small. Green goo was running from her nose down her face. He yearned to wipe it, but he didn’t have a rag and didn’t want to sacrifice his own sleeve. Her thin cotton dress hung down long under her coat. Brown, stained stockings, refusing to cling to her skinny legs, slid downward in limp puddles around her ankles. She turned her face up to him and smiled, her brown eyes shining. Charley was taken aback. She didn’t look scared. Instead she looked as if she were going to a birthday party.George raced up the three granite steps and grasped onto the doorknob of the towering door. Charley groaned. Once that big door swung shut behind him, his life would never be the same again. Resentment and anger churned and gurgled with the crusts of bread in his stomach. It was just last night that George talked him into this whole thing. He had laid the guilt on heavy about Minnie and Clarence. “Girls can’t make it on the street like boys can. If they are lucky they become scullery maids, scrubbing someone’s big house and taking care of seven brawling brats at the same time, but that is only if they are lucky . . .” George had a somber look on his face that Charley wished away. “And Clarence is only eight; he’d have a better chance in life if he got a good family. And you too, Charley, a much better chance in life than workin’ in a stinkin’ cold and thankless factory for the rest of it!” His brother’s words ran circles in Charley’s head. He wanted to erase them, chop them up with his penknife and make them disappear. But they were indelibly scribbled in his memory to haunt him. He couldn’t let Clarence and Minnie down. There was nothing to do but go up the stairs and through the door.
Satchi and Little Star
Satchi watches as a herd of eight wild horses trot past her gate! One little horse has a white star on his forehead. She yearns to have a horse of her very own. But, when she asks her mama and papa they both say, "Satchi, wild horses are meant to be wild."
Satchi decides she will catch and tame Little Star all by herself.
Join Satchi in her joys and trials as we follow her down the path that leads her to what true friendship really is.
“Bush medicine? What’s that?” Mia wondered if it was like witch doctors or voodoo.
“We have a wise woman everybody calls Auntie Cecilia. When a body gets sick, she comes and makes them a tea. My Aunt Teeny was sick somethin’ awful. She got real skinny, and couldn’t eat nothin’. When she try to eat, it jus’ come up again. Auntie Cecilia bring her some of her tea. She say for Aunt Teeny to drink it three times a day. And she got right betta’! Aunt Teeny, she be makin’ 90 years this July!”
“Do you think this tea could make my mom feel stronger?”
“Oh, yes, ma’am. This be the tea that cures everythin’!” Neisha placed her hands on her hips. “Yes, ma’am!”
“I’ve got to get me some of that tea!” Mia lit up. “Where do we find Auntie Cecilia?”
50 Cents An Hour or My Life According to Me, A Memoir
An excerpt from 50 CENTS AN HOUR, GRAMMA WAS A REDHEAD
Gramma was a redhead. She was a big woman, and strong too. She always wore a housedress with an apron tied around her middle. She had a whole drawer full of aprons in the kitchen. The aprons and the housedresses often had little printed flowers or patterns on them that didn't necessarily match. Her hair was no longer red but white, and her soft curls stayed close to her head. She wore glasses and her eyes were a soft, twinkly blue. When she smiled her nose crinkled.
Gramma never wore makeup or fancied herself up. She was not a frilly woman, but she was more beautiful to us than the most glamorous of movie stars. She wore sturdy shoes and heavy dark stockings. When she dressed for church or to go out visiting, she would wear one of her fancier dresses. These were remarkably similar to her housedresses, but were a little shinier. For outings she would wear her wool coat with the big buttons and her hat, which looked kind of like an upside-down flowerpot with some netting tucked here and there.