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Copyright 2004-2012 Sally Jennings at Speak-Read-Write.com

This is something I wrote just for fun. There are all kinds of "ups" in this, some are part of phrasal verbs, some are prepositions, some are idioms.

Listen to the mp3 audio while you read

Up to Something

by Sally Jennings

"Harry, Harry? Hello up there. Anybody around to greet the day? Harry?" Ten o'clock, and no Harold yet. Julie stomped up three more steps toward the bedrooms on the top floor and yelled again, "Harold, it's already ten!"

"Why did you have to wake me up, Julie? Can't you tell I'm not out of bed yet?" There was a load groan from the room above Julie's head.

Then two loud thumps were followed by the sound of pounding feet, running water, and an electric razor. A blond head appeared at the top of the stair railing. "What's up, anyway? Why don't you let me sleep in. I'll never catch up on my sleep this way!"

Julie sighed. Harry had taken the late night shift at the convenience store only last month, and they were both struggling to adjust to his new schedule. "I'm sorry, but Selina and Gord called a few minutes ago. They want us to come up to their cabin for the weekend. What do you think, can we?"

Harry moved his head back and forth a little bit, thinking. "I don't remember, they have electricity up there, right?"

Julie nodded.

"And Internet?"

Julie grimaced. "You don't have to have that, do you? Can't you give it up for two whole days? Is that too much to ask? You know, like just make up your mind to do it, and stick with it?"

Harry drew back, quick to take offence. "I can't be off for that long. I'll miss too much. The blogs I read will run for pages and pages. Better call them and ask, then I can decide."

She snorted softly, and hurried off to make the call, while he padded down the stairs and wandered into the kitchen. Plugging in the coffee maker, he foraged in the fridge for the cream. Bagels and, there it was, the quince jelly. Spreading butter on the split bagel, he popped it into the toaster oven to heat it up. A fast smear of quince jelly finished it, and half of it was down before Julie interrupted his thoughts again.

"Okay, Selina says they have a dial-up line and a modem. Is that okay? Will you go?"

He groaned. He'd be back in the ice age with the delivery speed. What a pain. A cabin in the pristine forest and look what he would have to sacrifice. How did they end up with these back-to-nature type friends, anyway?

"I guess, if that's the best they can come up with, then I'll have to make do. Just remember that it will take a lot more time than it does here. Don't tell me to put it up after a few minutes, because I can't get done that fast. And all the big sites will just time out."

She nodded. Sometimes he was so hard to put up with. But there was no use getting uptight about it. "Okay, I'll try to hold back on the social requirements, if you will just agree to go. I'll call them back and accept."

After she got off the phone, she swept up the crumbs around the toaster oven and hummed a little under her breath. She hadn't told Harry that Selina had also hinted that Gord might have a business deal going down that would require calls back and forth all weekend. And their cell coverage was spotty, at best. With only one land line, Gord was unlikely to allow Harry much modem use. But Harry could find that out from Gord himself, couldn't he? Once they were up there?

She quickly tossed two decks of playing cards, three candles, matches, two flashlights and four extra batteries from the pantry shelf into the waiting knapsack. As she recalled, Selina had also mentioned a summer storm warning, with thunder, lightning, and the works. She had agreed with Selina that power outages were always so romantic. Well, better keep Harry too busy to get the weather forecast. If he focused on his high-tech vision of the weekend, he would move faster packing.

"Harry, would you come here, dear? I really need you to help me so we can get there in time for lunch. You remember how awful that local diner coffee was last time. Better to get there in time for Selina to feed us. Why don't you go put your laptop in the car before you forget it, and we'll pack a few things and get out of here."

"Okay, my dear," Harry muttered as he brushed by her, kissing her lightly on the back of the head.

She giggled, squeezing his arm. "I can hardly wait to wake up to the sound of birds singing, and the smell of woodsmoke. What about you?"

"I guess, so, if that is what will make you happy this weekend," Harry lamented, "but if I didn't know better, I'd think you were up to something."

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