Writing Challenge Chapter 7 Snippet

A ceiling fan rotated slowly in the family room even though Mom hated them.

Chapter Seven snippet: Terri’s point of view, Ohio summer 1975

I pulled myself up and hobbled to the couch in the front room. Even though a large picture window looked out onto the front porch and the yard, the light was dim enough for Mom to turn on a lamp. The windows to the side of the large one were open and tree frogs sang in the falling dark. Overhead a ceiling fan cooled the stuffy room.

“Are you sure you want to sleep on the couch?” she asked. “The morning sun floods this room and it will wake you bright and early. You aren’t an early riser.”

I pulled the coffee table closer and rested my foot on it. “I am now.”


“Chelsea used to get up early when she was a baby; 5:30 or so. She would usually go back to sleep by 6:30 and I got in the habit of starting my day then; I could get a lot done while she slept. Now, it’s a habit. And I still get a lot done.”

“Oh, well. That’s a change I didn’t know about.”

I realized then there were a lot of habits, beliefs, food preferences that had changed since I lived here; most of them unknown to my mom. I was also sure there was much about her that had changed as well, and I felt some regret at not keeping in closer touch these last few years.

I pointed toward the ceiling. “A fan?”

“Yes,” she replied. “A friend suggested I get one to cool off the room in the warm evenings. It’s worked well.”

“Must be a friend of some influence,” I said.


“You don’t like ceiling fans. You also said they collect too much dust and dirt.”

“They do.” Mom strode over to an ottoman tucked away in a corner, ending my line of inquest. She pulled it clear, stepped behind it, and began to shove it my way.

“Let me help Grandma D!”

Together they pushed the round, worn ottoman to me and I lifted my foot off the coffee table, holding it suspended until the coffee table was shoved back and the ottoman took it’s place.

“The coffee table isn’t for feet,” Mom said. Some habits from my childhood were still very much intact.