Bunch of Balloons–*based on a third-grade spelling list (StoryADay 2014)

“I want to be a bunch of balloons for Halloween,” Holly announced as she helped her mother wash the lettuce for the night’s supper.

Holly had always been a precocious little girl with creative ideas that challenged her parents’ creativity, too, and Halloween was one holiday when she made them work extra hard. Her mother savored the opportunity. She, too, had a creative streak and loved to sew. You could usually find her at the church rummage sale the first week in October scavenging through a gold-mine selection of old cast-offs looking for materials to Holly’s costume idea a reality. She welcomed the gratification of meeting the challenge to make something from something else.

On weekends, in between grading papers, you could to find her at the dining-room oak table cutting and sewing her rummage-sale finds into costumes of Holly’s and her sister’s choice. So far she had stuffed the “costume basket” with a taxi-cab driver, the puppet Pinocchio, the Gremlin monster from the movie of the same name, a unicorn, and a leprechaun, Little Bo Peep, Gizmo, a dragon, a can of Mountain Dew and others for Holly and her little sister Kelly. While the mother sewed, Holly’s dad put his skills to work, too. He was a whiz with the technical ends of the process like how to keep the Pinocchio nose from falling off, how to turn empty toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil into to devise the taxi-cab driver’s change maker or how to devise a system of straps to hold up the Mountain Dew “Can” a take the pressure off Holly’s shoulders.

Holly, her eyes glistening with possibilities, chattered away about how she would look as a bunch of balloons and what colors she wanted them to be as she and her mother finished the supper’s salad, slicing tomatoes, cutting carrots, and coring green peppers.

As Holly’s dad and Kelly entered the kitchen to grab the items needed to set the table, Holly turned from her salad creation and said like the town crier, “Hey, Dad, Kelly! We’re going to make me into a bunch of balloons for Halloween!”

Immediately, Holly’s dad’s mind began to whirl with ideas. All of them brainstorming together would set the subject of the night’s supper. By the end of it, the family would have a good plan in place for Holly’s costume and some ideas Kelly’s costume, too—maybe an exploding firework or winter fairy.

*based on this third-grade word list: Lettuce, Happen, basket, Winter, Sister, Monster, Supper, Subject, Puppet

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