Those 7oish girls…A story to tell..part 7


Holly Reading was born on Christmas eve of 1914. Her father served in WWI and was in Belgium at the time of the 1914 Christmas Eve one day truce. On November 11, 1918, after more than four years of terrible fighting and the loss of millions of lives, the guns on the western front fell silent. The reaction of the world was that of relief, celebration, and a profound sense of loss.

Holly’s father was one of the soldiers who didn’t come home. He never got the chance to hold his baby daughter.

Holly and her mother were living with her father’s parents when the war ended. Mr. and Mrs. Reading built the house in Pleasant Run in 1920. Aunt Marti eventually bought it in 1963. It had been vacant for 20 years.

The house in Pleasant Run


Holly was six when her grandparents, she and her mother moved into the newly built house. The year was 1920.

Mary Francis with her Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson. The relationships between grandparents and grandkids can be so special.

“Holly, please get down out of that tree. You still have your Sunday dress on. Nana has lunch ready and you must wash up and change quickly.”

“Momma, I kept my dress on because it’s the same color as the tree leaves and I can hide here where that man can’t see me.”

“Sweet Holly. my child. Your imagination goes wild sometimes. Pretending can often times create unbelievable stories.”

“It’s not a story,” Holly insisted as she climbed down from the tree. “A man with a black hat on has walked down this street three times. Well, maybe only two. He wants to talk to you. He asked if you were home and I said you were working at the hospital. I told him my Grandpa and Nana were here, but he said he had to talk to you. I told him we didn’t talk to strangers.” He laughed, Momma, and said he would be back when you were home. He said he knew my daddy.”

“Sweetheart, if this is the truth, you are doing the right thing by telling him you aren’t allowed to talk to strangers. Next time, tell the man to knock on the door and talk to me or your grandparents. That’s what someone who knew your father would most likely do, anyway.”

Two days later, when Holly went out to play, she was careful to choose clothes that would match the tree.


I couldn’t wait for all of my cousins to leave so that I could go back up to the attic and look at the remainder of the contents inside the old trunk and whatever was inside the lockbox that the attorney had given me the key to. Two days ago I had been busy minding my own business and now I was suddenly the owner of a monstrosity of a house and embroiled in a mystery…and I had a dog. Mr. B followed me everywhere I went.

When I opened the strong box, there was a note on top that said, “Dee, Holly was born 9 years before me. That has nothing to do with anything, but I need to know where she went. I need to know she and her mother’s story had a happy ending. At the bottom of this box, you will find a note written in a child’s handwriting. It was written with a crayon, and it took me a while to decipher what I believe it says. Holly wrote, “The man talked to Momma. She cried happy tears. I lived here, but now I’m going away.”  It’s dated 12/15/1923

9 thoughts on “Those 7oish girls…A story to tell..part 7

  1. lifelessons May 22, 2023 / 12:46 am

    Love the photo of you and Loretta. Where is this house, really? I love it.


    • Mary Francis McNinch May 22, 2023 / 3:46 pm

      The house is a photo I purloined from the web. It’s interesting isn’t it? I love that picture, too!


  2. Valerie Halla May 21, 2023 / 10:43 pm

    I’m glad your character has such lovely relatives. Your grandparents look familiar. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. scoper07 May 21, 2023 / 10:12 pm

    Holly, er, Mary, er MG. I thought you were my age…if you were 6 in 1920 then you are a lot older than me! What a beautiful house you have inherited. I would like to see it sometime. Anyway…great tale!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch May 22, 2023 / 3:49 pm

      It’s purely fiction….and for the record, I’m only 11 days older than you are. I like MG


      • scoper07 May 22, 2023 / 3:52 pm

        Just joshing! I was going by the pictures. Trying to add humor. I like your story MG!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Vik May 21, 2023 / 7:02 pm

    If this was a book I wouldn’t/couldn’t go to bed ….

    You weave a great tale!!


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