She could hear her father puttering down in the kitchen. Still a bit groggy from the full day of hiking she had the day before with Anders and Paign, Freida realized it must be Sunday, because she could smell pancakes. Her father always made pancakes on Sunday morning. It had been a tradition for as long as she could remember.
She cracked open her bedroom window to let the fresh and very cold air help wake her up. The flannel curtains her mother sewed fluttered gently in the breeze coming from outside. She watched the clouds of fog roiling slowly around, with light dancing at the edges and the sun momentarily beaming through, unfiltered. Her rooster, Grumpy, was angrily crowing at the dawn of the new day. He was probably hungry, she realized. She’d been staring at the ebb and flow of the fog for almost half an hour!
Hastily, she threw on her work clothes and woolen socks and hurried down the steep stairs that led to the first floor from her room and the “guest room” that never had a guest in it. That’s why the other room might just as well have been her room, too, because it was where she played and kept her games and playthings.
Giving her father a quick peck on the cheek, she took three fast steps and then slid in her stocking feet across the hardwood kitchen floor into the mudroom and, with the perfected timing that comes from months of practice, stopped directly in front of her farm boots. Plopping down on the narrow bench, she thrust her feet into her muck-crusted boots without paying heed to what fell off, jumped up, grabbed her heavy woolen coat and ran outside onto the porch. Just as she closed the mudroom door, she heard her father call out, “I’ll keep the pancakes warm for you, dear.”
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