Donna Everhart

First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 15

We have spent the last four days preparing for hurricane Florence and we’ve done all we can.  The forecast has been all over the place, which makes decision making hard. I canceled my SIBA trip, and while I know I made the right choice, I’m pretty disappointed.

The words used to describe Florence and the possible destruction have been “historic, staggering, devastating, and life threatening.” By the time this is delivered to your inboxes, we will be feeling the effects of it, and will have a ways to go yet.  Thoughts, prayers, good vibes, whatever is your thing, please do it for those in impacted by Hurricane Florence. We are expecting to lose power – no idea for how long. This is why I did this post well in advance, and will probably do the one for next week too – just in case.

So, on to this week’s sentence . . .

Can you think times in your life when you react differently than you would expect? I can think of several instances for myself personally. Generally I’m pretty low key or even keeled – you know, emotionally I don’t fluctuate too much, I’m sort of like a straight line. (I’d hate to say flat line b/c that makes it sound like I’m dead – I’m not dead.)

But there are times when I act differently than I normally would. An example is I sometimes panic in situations where I need a cool head. Like the time I encountered a shark while snorkeling in the Keys. It was below me, rising up from the bottom. Not a good time to go thrashing about, but thrash I did when I saw it, doing my best to get away. It ignored me pretty much.

Another time was when my little dog, Mister, (who I discovered has an issue with bolting if he gets scared) went part way up my mother’s driveway when she lived in Raleigh. This was something I thought he’d been trained not to do. The driveway is really steep and leads to a five lane road where NC State students drive like they’re in a Nascar race.

Something must have scared him while we were working in the front yard, and when I saw where he was standing, only twenty feet or so from the top of the drive, I said his name in a sharp tone out of fear. He started to bolt, but, then stopped.

I started after him, and I’m sure there was fear in my voice when I spoke sharply again. “No! Mister! No!”

Big mistake. He took off, and I chased after him up the drive. When he got to the top, he was only five feet from the first lane, and the cars were whizzing by so close, his hair blew in the wind from their passing. By now I was already seeing the worst in my head, and my saying “No, Mister, no,” must have seemed like “even keeled Mom” was going nuts. It scared him worse and he started for the road and then all I could do was scream, “No! No! Oh God, Mister, no!”

To this day I don’t know why he did this, but inches from being right in oncoming traffic, he suddenly veered to the left, and ran onto the strip of grass near the curbing, then onto the sidewalk. I realized I couldn’t keep chasing him, yelling at him. I had to calm down, make him hear me. It was the hardest thing to do, to stop, to change my tone of voice when, in my mind, I could so clearly see him making one wrong move, and that would be it. By my actions, I would have been responsible.

I stopped running after him. (it’s amazing how fast a little dog can go). I squatted, and said, “Mister? Is he a good boy? Yes! Yes, he’s a good boy!”

It seemed like a miracle. He too, stopped running. He turned and ran back to me. Simple as that. Lesson learned.

Little guy riding shotgun on recent trip


In THE FORGIVING KIND, Sonny, Ross, Trent and Daniel have a confrontation with Mr. Fowler in front of the barn. It’s a scene where each of them react in a way they wouldn’t have under any other circumstance. Except for Trent. Maybe Trent was the only one true to form.

Now that the incident is over, each of them involved are digesting what took place.


Chapter 15

It was out of character for us to behave the way we had earlier, so everyone was subdued at supper.


8 thoughts on “First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 15”

  1. Interesting question………..I think for me ask how can I respond in a different way to disappoinment……….how do I shift my ego mind so my emotions of feling disappointed are minimized. Feelings are valid but are not facs! That is hard to remember when in the midst of those emotions. In these days, I find similar situations that mimic past experiences, dippointment seems more difficult to navigate.

    1. Ah, disappointments. They are tough for me too, but after I get over my feelings of “but why?” or “why not?” I then become motivated to change the outcome the next time – if I have that opportunity.

  2. You had my heart racing as you going after your precious fur baby. I can see why they run when we are screaming at them they are frighten and want to getaway. But as you spoke softly to it , there it was right by you. Thank God !!!!
    This book looks like it’s going to be a must read for me after running with you to get that baby. You are a new author to me, but one I find interesting. So I’ll be checking out this book as well. Thank you for your story stag safe Prayers are with all that impacted by Florence. Blessings

    1. Welcome to the blog, Amanda!

      It was so scary, and even now as I think back about it, it makes me shiver. He was so close to being under the wheel of a car. My mother later told me, “I’ve never heard your voice like that.” I said, “what do you mean?” She said, “high pitched, just different.”

      I said, “Well, that’s was me freaking out.”

      Thank you for your blessings, Amanda – it’s very much appreciated.

  3. I remember you writing about Mister, the killer-road and you calming down to get him back. It enthralled me then and still does now.
    “Out of character”
    Against the grain is hard sanding but often makes things oh so smooth.

    1. When I asked the question above, it was one of the first things I thought about when I thought of behaving differently. I am like this with all animals, that compassion to save, fix, help, comes out, but particularly so when they’re mine.

      As usual, you have a wonderful analogy. Love that!

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