Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Justly Story Ch. 6 Justly's New Bed

Ch 6: Justly’s New Bed
By Kristen S. Sandoz

You might remember that I had started to tell you that after Justly took Copper into his care he had to find a new bed to sleep in at night.  Copper was not allowed inside the city gates any longer. He was an Outcaster.  On their first evening as Outcasters Justly came across the little cottage of the Witch Hazel.  Justly could smell the musky scent of oak burning on a hearth.  He followed his nose and carried his new pup to the base of a large walnut tree on the edge of the meadow where the cottage was nestled.    Justly was tired and needed rest.  You can imagine it is hard work carrying a pup through a forest when you are blind.  He had stumbled over a root at the base of this massive tree and decided it was as good a place as any to rest for the night.  He snuggled into a perfect wedge at the base of the walnut tree where he was partially protected from the weather.  Justly began to feel warm and cuddly holding the toasty package of a pup close to his body.  Luckily it was still just the beginning of fall and the weather was unusually warm, as the summer had decided to linger a bit longer this year. 


Just as Justly was beginning to drift off to sleep he heard the loveliest sound he had heard since he was a baby being lulled to sleep by his mother’s voice.  He had vage, albeit precious, memeories of this time. Was he dreaming?  He hoped so.  Justly very seldom could recall his mother or her voice and it was such a comfort when he did, having lost her when he was only two years old.  But that is a story for another night.  The voice that was singing a lullaby to him now was a much younger voice than he recalled his mother’s being.  This was a girls voice and it sang…


Little one let the moon be thy lovely mother

Sleep will comes when you rest your head upon night’s pillow.

Little one let the stars be thy cozy blanket

Feel Moon’s light kiss your head and sweet dreams to follow.


Softly softly mother moon

Sing your babe a lullaby

Whoom la lum dee da doom

Whoom la lum lee doodle lie

Whoom la lum la doodle lum

Softly sing a lullaby



Little could compare with the sweet rich notes of this lullaby.  Soon Justly was fast asleep dreaming of a time when he and his mother would be reunited.  Ahh…he loved this place.  He loved this tree and his new pup.  He loved his mother.  If only he could stay living in this dream forever.


His dream did not last forever.  In the morning Justly was awakened sweetly by this same mysterious voice.  It was not at all an unpleasant way to be woke from his dreaming.  Only this time the sweet and lovely voice had a deep rich voice singing with it and the song of the two voices was more jolly and lively than the night before.  Instantly, Justly discerned that the possessor of the young melodic voice was no ordinary girl but rather the child of royal parentage.  You see Justly made up for his blindness by being able to see into the heart of a person simply by listening to their voice.  It was almost like a special power he possessed and it aided him often in his simple life. 


Can you guess who was singing?  Yes, you are a clever reader and I know you have already began to see how special Pearl really is.  He could not see Pearl with his own eyes but his heart told him that girl was a princess. She was HIS princess.  Justly didn’t need his eyes he could see things better if he looked at them with his heart.  Justly’s heart was a far better judge of character than his eyes would have been and this kept him out of a great many bad friendships.  If truth be told your heart is a much better judge of a person’s character than your eyes are as well.  Only you have been in want of trusting the vision of your heart.


The voice that came from Pearl’s mouth showed Justly what was inside her heart and he could see that her heart was made out of pure gold, complete honesty, utter loyalty, and selfless compassion.  These qualities are hard to come by in ordinary children and he knew instantly that Pearl was a person worthy of his devotion.  She was someone of true royal blood.  He knew that deep in his heart he was willing to serve her even unto death! 


What’s that again?  Justly is going to die!  You know it!  Well we will have to see about that.  He is our hero after all. He’s not?  What ever do you mean?  Not our hero!  He hasn’t done anything to be our hero, you say?  He can’t be a hero because he can’t see?  Well maybe not but just you wait and see what quest our blind friend has before him.  Do you know what the Witch Hazel has to say about heros?  “Heroes often come in the most unlikely packages!”


1…Now my story is done.

2…I love you!

3…Please kiss me.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Jar full of Stories

Through out the year my boys bring me things they find outside that are interesting to them.  They remind me of how cats bring the entrails of their prey or the bodies of dead snakes and lay them on their owner's porches.  It's so endearing.  My boys bring these offerings of love because they are compelled to have their interests justified by the person who means the most to them.  That person is lucky enough to be me!  

I put all of these special little things on the ledge of my kitchen window.  I see them everyday.  Each month the sill fills with more and more fascinating objects.  I LOVE this ledge!  It makes me so happy to look at it.  These are the best gifts my boys could ever give me.  Unfortunately, my window ledge is only so big and pretty much every year in order to make more room for the treasures to come I have to clean off the sill and start with a fresh canvas.  This has always made me so sad.  I remember the year my boys found a bird nest that was like a little sack hanging off of a stick.  It had all kinds of different string woven into it from horse hair to plastic tinsel.  I didn't know what to do with it so I snapped a picture and mournfully threw it away. 

Never again!  This year I figured out the perfect way to keep these beautiful gifts.  I saved a Yankee Candle jar from Christmas thinking it was too good to just throw out.  Surely, there was something I could put in it!  Yes, yes there was.  I cleaned the wax out and then I put the contents of my window ledge in it.  I added a simple tag with the year on it and attached it with twine.  I will keep this jar and all the jars to come in my bed room on a shelf.  It is decorated kind of like a vintage nature book.  Perfect!

The result?  A story in a jar!  A true lifetime treasure that will make me cry when I am 80 years old.  Here is my results.

Can you see what I see?  A heart rock, part of a robin's egg, acorn tops, agates, a beetle, and a dove feather. 

What's your story in a jar?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: Q & A a Day for Kids

"What color of the rainbow do you feel like today?  Why?"

"What does someone else have that you want?"

"What do you think about when you wake up?"

"What silly thing did you do recently?"

These are a few of the questions you'll find in one of my new favorite Healing Story games. This post is for my sister-in-law.  She sent me a text asking what games we play at the dinner table because they needed a little something to direct conversation.  This is a must in our house!  If we don't have something ready for the boys to talk about they will choose the topic themselves.  It always goes one of two ways.  Either poop and body parts are the subjects or a not so friendly debate about who's the best.  Neither of these give us a very fine dining experience. To avoid these dinner talks I've learned to come prepared.  Here is one of my latest tools.

Q&A a Day for Kids by Betsy Franco is a delightful conversation starter that will end up being a cherished keepsake.  It is meant to be a three year journal for one kid but we use it for our whole family.  Each night we answer the question for that day and mark family members answers with their initials.  I have the adult version of this book for myself, which was a gift from my good friend Lanny (thank you friend!) two December's ago.  It has been fun to look back and see what my answers for last year were.  I was in such a different place with a newborn baby on my hands.  I can only imagine how my six year old and nine year old will change in three years.  Even better in three years I'm sure my now one year old will be putting in his two cents.  When I'm 80 years old this little book will make me cry! 

I consider this a Healing Story game because its fun!  But this book also helps our children tell their own stories.  Even more importantly it helps us, as their parents, listen to their stories.  This is HUGE for kids!  Most of the time we are too busy to catch the small things our children are trying to communicate to us.  Sometimes we just don't even realize they have something going on upstairs that is worth listening to.  But they do.  We just need to force ourselves to listen.  Not only are we listening with this book but we are recording their stories, too.  What better way to let our children know they are important?  It is a good way to do a little healing. 

So turn dinner time chaos into something more with this wonderful journal for kids.  It might still be chaotic but at least you'll have a record of it!

Happy Tales!