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Taylor's Time!


Hey there, adventurers! Kendra Cassidy here, ready to dive into another touching chapter of "When Our Souls Collide." Today, we're stepping into Chapter Three: Pushpins, where snow days transform into lazy, cozy moments, and the scent of fall fills the air.

Join us in Grace's home, where the warmth of family life and the soft sounds from downstairs create a serene atmosphere. The real magic happens in Grace's room, where a map covered in colorful pushpins sparks dreams and destinations.

Our narrator, Atlas, faithfully by Grace's side, observes as she traces journeys on the map, her eyes lighting up with each story. Grace’s passion for the world’s natural beauty and her infectious spirit remind us of the true gifts that surround us every day.

With each page, you'll be inspired by Grace’s zest for life and Atlas’s unwavering loyalty. So, let’s cherish these moments together and remember to appreciate the world’s wonders. Happy reading!


--Kendra


When Our Souls Collide


Chapter Three

Pushpins


Snow days were lazy days. Grace’s mother lit candles scented with the flavors of fall, pumpkin spice, apple, and cinnamon. I tagged along at her heels before rejoining Grace. Soon, the scents wafted up to where we lay in Grace’s bed. Soft sounds of life trickled to my ears from downstairs, the low hum of Seth's video game, the beep of the oven announcing the doneness of chocolate chip cookies, the gentle clatter of dishes in the sink.


I sighed and rested my head on Grace's hip. She stirred. I paused, resting my head on the bed instead. Above her headband was a map, and on that map was a tangle of pushpins of all colors stuck every which way. They made a crooked trail from our home state up to the top left corner, where multiple pins were stuck over the state's name. I'd watched her stick those pins into the map after last night's supper, looking happy as she did. 


“Attey?” 


I wagged at Grace's voice. It was raspy and tired, but it was here. She wrapped an arm around my neck and kissed my muzzle. 


“What are you looking at?” Tiredly, she propped herself up onto her elbows. “You're looking at the map, huh?” She got up onto her knees, trembling, and knelt on her pillow. She straightened and placed a finger next to the first pin. 


“This is where we are, Attey. Colorado. You see that?”


She walked her fingers over to the next state, saying its name. “That's where Uncle Leo lives.” Her fingers walked from state to state, listing off family members and leading up to the top corner. When she finally reached it, her smile grew wide. She tapped a finger on the state, her voice a silky whisper. 


“That's where I wanna be, Attey. Just picture it. Seeing the aurora borealis, watching it dance across the sky. They're like ribbons, I hear. I've seen pictures and it's true. I'd like to think it's God reminding us that life is a gift to the world, that the world is a gift to us. Earth is such a beautiful place, Attey. It's so sad how many people take it for granted.” 


I nosed her hand. 


You don't… 


Grace loved and admired the beauty of nature. During every walk we shared in the woods, she'd point out the sun spilling through the trees and the snow creating sleeves on the branches. She spoke of the changing leaves and the array of color that brightened the woods. She loved the world and everything in it, taking nothing for granted. She was a lover of life. And she embraced every second of it, drinking it in as if the mere pleasure of living was enough to keep her heart beating. Yes, life was a gift. 


Grace was a gift. 


There was a soft knock, Carolyn's knock, at Grace's door. “Grace, honey?” 


She walked in carrying a small plate of cookies and a glass of milk. I lifted my head at the sweet smell. She laughed fondly.


“Not for you, Atlas. Nice try though.” 


I licked her elbow as she paused to set the plate and glass on Grace's bedside table. She sat on the bed. Grace crossed her legs and leaned against her mother. Carolyn looked at the map, impressed. 

 

“When did you do all this?” 


Grace smiled again. “Last night.” She reached over and touched the fur on the back of my neck, her fingers sliding beneath my collar. My leg twitched. 


“Is that where you wanna go?” Carolyn asked. “Alaska?”


Grace nodded. 







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