Of Nieces, Nonsense, and Newspapers


The day was dull, dreary, and oh-so-ordinary! I had a hundred errands to run…shopping to do…and articles to write—but my grandnieces were raring for Adventure! To them, even ordinary days should be ‘Funtastic!’

“Auntie?” said little Katy as we headed into the Grocery Store together. “Can you be ‘Mary Poppins’ today?”

“Indeed!” I said, grabbing a shopping cart.  “I’m guess I’ll have to be ‘Auntie Poppins’ to get through this shopping trip!”

Resolutely, I pushed the shopping cart past the bins of gum, pop and candy—hurrying the girls along.  But then we passed a Newspaper rack, and I paused.  My brain was thinking fast.

“Look here,” I said to Katy and Avri as I handed them a Newspaper.  “If you’ll behave yourselves today, you might find yourself in the Newspaper, soon.”

Their mouths dropped open.  “How?” said the girls, looking intrigued and excited.  “How will it happen?

The little Darlings had no idea that their ‘Auntie Poppins’ wrote a column for the local newspaper….And they didn’t know that she was pushing a deadline.  Auntie didn’t enlighten them, either!

The girls spent the next half-hour chattering happily—pondering the mystery of the Newspaper in their hands.  They scarcely noticed all the goodies on display throughout the store.

We made quick work of our shopping trip with a minimum of distractions.  I was congratulating myself, when suddenly Katy tripped and fell down in the bakery aisle.  Her smiles turned to tears, and she started to cry loudly.

Heads swiveled as other shoppers turned to stare.

I cringed.  If ever there was a time for gum, pop, and candy it might be now!  But then I reconsidered.

“Be brave, Katy!” I said.  “You’ll want to look like a hero in the Newspaper…Right?”

Her tears dried up immediately, and she gave me a wondering smile. “This will be in the Newspaper?” Katy said.  “How I fell down in the Grocery Store?”

“Absolutely, my little Katydid!…because you are so brave!”

Katy beamed.  She got up from the floor and dusted herself off.             .

“But how is this going to happen, Auntie?”  Avri said.  “I don’t get it!”

“It’s a mystery for you to solve!” I said.  “Now, you stand right here and study the Newspaper while I go check on the fruit aisle.”

Minutes later, I returned to find the dimpled Darlings smiling triumphantly.  They were waving their copy of “Your Country Neighbor” in my face.  “We found you in the Newspaper, Auntie!”  Avri said. “You write articles!”
“Fancy that!” I said.  “And now we need to get out of here!  Time’s a wasting!…We’ve got more adventures awaiting us outside!”

We headed for the Cashier, and were about to check out when we saw a boy sitting on the floor throwing a tantrum.  He was giving his helpless Mom the ‘What-For!’  He wanted gum…pop…candy!  He wanted everything! .

We paused, gazing at the spoiled child and his frustrated Mother.  “Well,” I said.  “I hope this boy and his Mama will recognize themselves in the Newspaper next month!”

My nieces looked at me wide-eyed.  “Auntie!” they said. “Do you mean…?”

“Ah yes!  This bit of nonsense will be in the Newspaper, too,”  I said.  The girls giggled.

“If only he knew how silly he looks!” Avri said, brushing past the pouting child.
We paid for our groceries and sashayed out into the parking lot, leaving behind the pitiful pouter and his helpless Mama.

The sun had emerged and the day was glorious!   We felt exuberant in the sunshine.  We’d turned a dull shopping trip into an Adventure and we hadn’t wasted a penny on foolishness, either!

Little Katy and Avri would soon be ‘famous’ among their peers at school…And best of all, their ‘Auntie Poppins’ had a story for next month’s column!

We’d conquered our little world and had accomplished a great deal!   It was all in a day’s work!

The girls smiled, laughed and twirled in the sunshine while their Auntie unloaded the shopping cart with unmitigated satisfaction.  The day was no longer dull, dreary, or oh-so-ordinary!

It had turned out to be a wonderful afternoon….A splendid day, indeed!
So you see, my Country Neighbor—it’s not hard to turn an ordinary day into a magical one.

You just need a touch of drama and a whole lot of imagination.
It is all up to you!



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