Jacqueline Coleman First Chapters

The Yellow Cottage

yellow cottage

In the middle of the bustling city, tucked between cookie cutter skyscrapers, sat a bright yellow cottage. It’s five wooden steps, placed perfectly in a row and flawlessly crafted so that a child could run fingers across the grains of wood and not gain a splinter, ended in a cozy front porch decked with several wooden rocking chairs in a myriad of colors that invited passersby to sit for just a moment.

The front railing was wrapped with beautiful green ivy that, over time, had learned to climb all the way to the roof. In front of each of the two front windows hung window boxes laden with perfectly manicured lupines. The owner had selected lupines because they didn’t take much time to tend and would extend a sense of peace to those who caught notice as they bustled by. The two front windows looked out on the world, beckoning to people to slow down for a bit, inviting them in to take a breath.

The owner was an odd sort. On any given day, rain, shine, or come what may, she could be found rocking on her porch, or, better yet, standing down at the end of her short cobblestone walkway where the white picket fence met the sidewalk, talking with anyone who would give her the time of day. Children loved her; seniors often wondered why she took the time. Parents trusted her to watch their children while they ran into the store and the young people actually cared to hear what she had to say.

It might have been the fresh baked smell of cookies, or brownies, or muffins, or sometimes even donuts, wafting in the air that called to people. It may have been the genuine smile that invited them in. Perhaps it was weariness from carrying heavy burdens that they just wanted to set aside for a while. Maybe the thick and comfy cushions in the rocking chairs looked like they might offer a body rest.

Or was it the good coffee? Miss Daisy did know how to brew a good cup. She could make it hot or cold, depending on the season. And she always had freshly squeezed lemonade or mouthwatering hot chocolate for the children.

Oh, and the stories she could tell. If one would just take the time to sit on her porch and listen for a spell, he or she would be regaled with fascinating tales of history, politics, friendship, war, education, and the antics of the old days, just to name a few. She knew the founders of the city and how they came to be in power. She knew when each school was built and the battles that went on to get proper education for the children. She remembered those who had given their lives to keep this city great. She kept alive those who had sacrificed so that others could grow closer to having equal rights.

She could tell about the neighbor’s cat who ran away only to be found in the next city over and returned to his distraught owner. She could always calm a colicky baby. She knew who ran the gangs and she knew who ran the churches. She had a sharp mind and a keen way of using words that caused those who took a moment with her to end up spending hours and never regretting a moment or calling it lost time. She told people who asked her how she came know so much about the people and that great city that it was because she listened. She heard the conversations that people had with each other as they passed by her gate, and she took it all on in order to keep it alive.

Those who visited even once always came back for more.