CHAPTER ONE - DRAFT
Amanda yelled down from the top railing of the beautiful oak staircase, "Mom, where are the boxes from my bedroom?" Her mom was in kitchen in the back of the house. With the dishwasher running she couldn't hear her daughter.
Amanda screamed louder, "Mom!" Still no answer. She stomped angrily down the stairs, stopping at the landing to yell again! This time with all the pent up anger she felt about moving, "Mother, where are my belongings?"
Without waiting for an answer she turned and ran down the last set of stairs to the entry hall. She randomly started opening boxes and as she rummaged through them the contents began spilling out onto the floor. Her mom had heard the last yell and as she walked into the long entry hall to see what was wrong she gasped, "What are you doing, Amanda Jane? Don't start pulling things out of boxes, right here in the front hall!"
Tempers were short. Moving day was taking its toll. Amanda started crying as she said, "I want to find the boxes for my room. I NEED to find my journal. It's a matter of life or death!"
Upstairs in the nursery, the baby started crying. Her mom was tired and cranky and just didn't have time for drama. She pleaded, "Please Amanda, go get Timmy, change his diaper and then feed him some cereal." Amanda stomped back up the stairs grumbling to herself, "Oh sure, Timmy, Timmy, Timmy, it is always Timmy." He was the stupid reason they had to move. When he was born there weren't enough bedrooms in their real home.
Amanda loved her old home. She had a gazillion friends, she could run the neighborhood for hours using all the shortcuts through the blocks. This new house meant a new school filled with strangers instead of friends. She felt stranded at the house because she didn't even know where she was and was afraid she would get lost.
The front screen door slammed behind six year old Joanna. She ran into the house, out of breath. JoJo took a deep gulp of air and exclaimed excitedly, "Mommy, we're here with more boxes." She loved moving day! It was such an exciting time!
Her mom's voice sounded like she was going to cry when she said, "Go tell Daddy, I need help in here before he brings another box into this house." Then as she began picking up the items and putting them back into the correct boxes she added her own touch of drama, "I am about to have a nervous breakdown!" JoJo ran back out onto the porch yelling loudly, "Daddy come quick, Mommy is having another nervous breakdown."
Amanda put Timmy in his high chair, tossing Cheerios on his tray. She felt something wet on her toes! She looked over by the sink and screamed, "Aaahhh! Mom, the dishwasher's leaking!" Timmy jumped at her scream and started crying! Her Mom ran into the kitchen, past the startled baby, and ran down the stairs to the basement to turn off the water supply. She ran back up the stairs yelling, "Amanda, don't just stand there grab some towels and help me clean this water up!"
There was an angry yell from the bathroom, next to the kitchen. The oldest boy, Larry, came out of the bathroom with shampoo dripping from his hair with just a towel around his waist. He exclaimed, "What kind of house did you buy? The water just stopped coming out of the faucet!"
A pretty lady, JoJo didn't know, was walking up the stairs to the front porch. She had a big plate of chocolate chip cookies in her hands. She laughed as she said, "Well Little Miss, I think you better take me to your mother so I can give her chocolate. That cures a nervous breakdown every time!" As she eyed the plate of cookies JoJo asked the stranger, "Can I have a nervous breakdown, too?" The stranger laughed as she handed Joanna a cookie and said, "You don't need to have a nervous breakdown to get a cookie, you are so cute you get one without all the drama!"
"Joanna, who is your new friend?" her daddy asked as he carried a box to the porch. The lady introduced herself, " I'm Sissy Castor, I live next door. He said, "Glad to meet you, I'm Sean Maxum. Come in and meet my wife." They walked through the house into the kitchen. He said, "Noreen, we have a visitor, this is Sissy Castor. She lives next door. She brought us cookies!"
Noreen was mortified. The woman coming into the kitchen with her husband was perfect. Perfect hair. Perfect nails. Even perfect chocolate chip cookies. JoJo noticed the big cardboard box in her dad's hands and said, "Ooh Daddy, Mama is having a nervous breakdown, no more boxes allowed!" Her mom self consciously patted her hair as she stood up. She wiped her sopping wet hands on her jeans and with a shy smile said, "Oh my goodness, those look wonderful. I'm Noreen Maxum and I really am having a nervous breakdown!" Sissy took in the wet floor, the four children, which included the dripping teenager, and boxes piled high on every flat surface. She said, "Of course you are, it's moving day!"
Within minutes the wonderful neighbor had helped clean up the water from the dishwasher and made a pot of coffee. She then directed Noreen onto the front porch where they sat on the stairs drinking coffee and eating chocolate chip cookies for a much deserved twenty minute break. Within minutes they were friends, laughing, sharing chocolate and moving day disaster stories.