Tuesday 24 April 2012

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012 U is for Umpteen

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012
The next story in this sequence of short stories of 250 words or fewer starts with U. All the stories are about the life and times of a fictional character called Alice.

Oops! My chronology went a bit wrong!! Emily is married the year of Ivy's birthday and has four small children immediately . . . Ted's twins, born the same year, have mysteriously had babies themselves . . . oh dear - and it was all going so well;-)

Ivy’s 90th birthday was an excuse for a family get-together. Their house was too small to accommodate everyone so Alice and Norman booked a hotel and reserved rooms for all the family.

Ivy thought she was going out for lunch and then to a matinee so when she walked into the hotel restaurant and saw her entire family clapping and smiling she was speechless. Lunch ensued with much laughter and chatter. Ivy was delighted to see Emily with her four small grandchildren, three girls and a baby boy. She didn’t see her or her family very often as she lived in France. The little girls spoke French to her and she spoke English to them and they all got along splendidly.

After lunch the head chef brought Ivy a beautiful cake decorated with fresh flowers. He helped her cut the cake and complimented her on her beautiful family.  

‘You have so many daughters and granddaughters,’ he said.

‘Granddaughters and great-granddaughters,’ she corrected with a smile. ‘Umpteen of them.’

She sat with Alice and Ruth and her older granddaughters and their babies and watched as the younger cousins played together. She noted the similarities between them as well as the differences and recognised gestures that reminded her of John or Charles. The newest baby boy, just a few months old, resembled Daniel. She sighed. Poor Daniel.

‘Enough of that,’ she scolded herself. ‘You are a very lucky woman.’

She turned to Alice. ‘Thank you so much,’ she said. ‘This is perfect.’


  1. Ahh, I love these happy posts! Family occasions are always very special!

  2. Oh Janice, you're making me cry. I just had a family reunion last summer with my 90-something year old aunt.

  3. For me these family reunions are the spice of life. Good to hear about this one.

  4. Nice that Ivy is having some happy moments before her time comes.

  5. What a lovely family and very special family celebration!

  6. I envy your ability to write a story every day.

  7. Umpteen! Great word! Is it actually a real word? I wonder of the origin...but like how you linked it to family. Nice post.

  8. I've always loved the word "umpteen" — Mom used it a lot, and I even remember her saying "umpty-four, umpty-five"!
    A fun word with many memories attached.

  9. Oh! I'd love to be someone's Umteenth granddaughter!

    Great story!


  10. Umpteen does sound like a very descriptive number for all those grand babies.

  11. Hi Janice .. I've been loving this story .. and now I can read the rest - and see where your story is taking us.

    These sorts of parties are always lovely aren't they .. no wonder Ivy was so happy ... and Umpteen is a great U word ...

    Cheers Hilary


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