All week after school, Sweetie Belle has to go to the theater and practice with the crew. They're working on lighting, timing, and other things. It's going to be a long couple of weeks for her, I bet. She's in good spirits, though. She has definitely become more comfortable, again. She even came outside for recess. We talked about our ideas for crusading. She said she can't wait to get back to getting her cutie mark.
Apple Bloom and I walked Sweetie Belle to the Carousel Boutique to drop off her stuff and then I meant to take her to the Community Center. I was happy to hear Rarity saying that her sister was doing "a simply marvelous job" as the narrator. Sweetie Belle was even with me when she said it. However, Rarity yanked me inside and started taking my measurements. I asked her what the big idea was and she said something about missing filly pegasus outfit, and that she needed it fast. I told Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom to go on without me.
After I got done being wrapped in tape measures, cloth, and hearing "tsk tsk tsk, no, that just simply will not do," and "Ah! Marvelous! Rarity you are a genius!" I ran before she came up with any other things to put in my head or back and headed home. When I got there, I came into the funniest scene. Mom and Dad were all cuddled up until Mom saw me. She tried to deny it, but I know what I saw. It's no secret that Mom hates being seen as a softy. Dad thought it was hilarious. He even teased her for getting so embarrassed. I guess I get why she'd be so upset. I am always uncomfortable cuddling up with Featherweight in public. I have an image, too! (I still do, from time to time, though...)
I caught up with Apple Bloom downtown. She said she was having trouble thinking of what to get me and Sweetie Belle other than the usual things. I told her that she didn't need to get me anything. She said that wouldn't do. I helped her convince Rarity to go to the Crystal Empire and get Sweetie Belle one of the snow globes we saw. I still never let her know how we knew about them. Apple Bloom and I said we'd pay her back. I have a bit of money saved up, but now I don't know what to get Apple Bloom! I still have to get Featherweight his gift, too! I may have to talk to Applejack about what to get Apple Bloom. Why are all my friends so hard to shop for?
I lucked out. After Apple Bloom left with Ocean Breeze for dinner, I ran into Zecora, and told her what was on my mind.She told me to follow her to her hut. When we got there, she gave me a potion making kit for Apple Bloom. She said I could have it to give to her. I tried to offer her payment, but she said "A gift is not about money, like happiness, a gift is best free." I thanked her, and she led me back to town before it got dark. I just have to get to Port Mane, now.
[Tucked into the page is a Hearth's Warming Day card stamped with a CANTERLOT POST stamp, and two Canterlot postcards, one of the castle, and one labelled "The Famous Starswirl Boulevard" with a picture of a statue of an old pony with a long beard.]
"Hey, you! Long time no chat! Life been busy?
I remember you saying that Hearth's Warming Day was your favorite holiday, so I figured I'd send you a little something! I know it's not much, but sending big packages costs a lot! A medium box is five bits! I could fly to Ponyville and eat for that! Anyway, no plans to return any time, soon. I will let you know if things change! Happy holidays, pal! Be ready to race next time!
When I left this morning, Dad said he'd take me to Port Mane after school.
Miss Cheerilee gave everypony a Hearth's Warming Day gift today. She said we'd be able to make use of it next semester. We all got a really nice set of pens and stationery. I'm going to make use of it tonight. I am going to write all my friends out of town holiday letters.
Looks like Blazemane beat me to letter writing. Figures. I got a couple of nice postcards, too! I'll have to find something from town to send her. Man, this money thing is tough! If it really costs five bits to send a box in the mail, then I'll have to send something small, because that's a lot just to send something!
At least I have Featherweight's gift card. I hate to buy a gift card, but I can't ever tell what he wants! It's so frustrating. I'm sure he'll love it. He'd love it if I got him a goofy hat. He always takes gifts well. I just hope it's enough. I'd love to get him more, but I only saved up so much money this year. Dad said he'd take the card home with him.
I went to help out Featherweight and Pipsqueak work on setting up Shutter Speed's gallery. Pipsqueak wasn't able to put up pictures, but he did sweep up the building, and help move the tables for the snacks. He may be small, but he isn't weak (I mean, he's not super strong, either, but for his size, he's tough!)
Whew! That took a long time. I got letters for Wild Wisp, Blazemane, Babs, and Miss Winter Winds. All I could afford was a postcard from Ponyville for everypony, and I'm all out of money, now, but it's worth it! I got everypony a gift, all on my own! (Well, kind of.)
I got Miss Cheerilee a "#1 Teacher" mug and a box of flavored hot chocolate. She said it was sweet, but that I didn't need to get her anything. I told her she has been so good to me (to all of us, really) that I didn't see why she didn't deserve a little something.
Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were picking on Sweetie Belle, saying she would mess up the play. Sweetie Belle just responded by reciting the entire first part. I thought it was pretty funny. Apple Bloom and I said she did a good job, and the class cheered her on. Featherweight and I moved a cloud over everypony and made it snow. We played around in the new snow until recess was over. It was a lot of fun! I always forget that I can move around clouds.
Featherweight and I went to Shutter Speed's gallery. He put up more pictures after we left. I didn't know he had a picture of us! I'll hear about this if Diamond Tiara comes to the gallery. It's a nice picture, but I don't know how I feel about everypony seeing me cuddled up to Featherweight. Featherweight said he liked the picture, and like I said, I did, too. I just don't know about everypony seeing it! Mom was cracking up. I told her I'd let everypony know that I saw her cuddled up with Dad the other evening and she shut right up. I guess I'll just deal with it. It is a cute picture. (I hate being called cute.)
Featherweight told me he could talk to his dad about the picture if I wanted. I told him it was fine. He said he didn't want me to be uncomfortable. I'll get over it. I'm tough enough to deal with that. It's not like it was anything really embarrassing. The other pictures were amazing. I love the icicles and snow covered trees. There are a few others of ponies in town. Some I know, some I don't. Pipsqueak and Applejack were both in pictures, too. His picture of Pipsqueak is so cute, all wrapped up in a scarf, laying in the snow. Applejack's is a more traditional winter picture. I think she must have posed for it, since it's at Sweet Apple Acres. She's seated on some hay, next to a lantern, looking out of the barn at the snowy trees. It's a really peaceful looking picture.
The gallery went well, too! Shutter Speed already sold ten pictures! He said he has enough for groceries for a couple months, now. I was right that Diamond Tiara would pick on me. She tried to get her dad to buy the picture, but he bought one of a fence covered in snow, instead. Mr. Rich bought a really big print, he paid 100 bits for it!
I'm happy it's time for the holiday break. I like Miss Cheerilee, but school still bores me a lot.
[Tucked into the page are two letters, one stamped "FORT BURNING HOOF POST", and one stamped "MANEHATTAN POST"
Happy holidays, to you, too! I am doing well. It's good I received this when I did, because my family and I leave tomorrow afternoon for a family reunion just outside of Fort Bridle. Dad is a third generation Sky Stallion, and he has been based here as a flight trainer. He hasn't actually been able to see his father in a couple of years, so he's very excited to go back home. I hope the cold weather treats you well. I will hopefully get to see you when Mom and Dad have vacation. I'd love to meet your friends!
Thank you for writing me!
You think it's cold down there, you should feel the weather up here! Somepony downstairs had to move out of their apartment, because ice froze in a crack in the window and broke the window open! They're living next door for now, until the landmare can take care of the window, but nopony wants to deliver in this weather. There's so much snow that some ponies can't open their doors!
We're doing fine though. Me and my big sis have been wrapped in blankets and snacking on winter treats. Ma and Pops are both out of the house. They are trying to get extra money to help out with their friend. They have a friend who just lost her job, and can't afford to pay for heat and groceries, so they're both doing double shifts. I can't imagine being stuck without heat! Poor mare. I don't know why she doesn't just move in with us for now (I mean, I guess it'd be really cramped, but we could make it work.)
Anyways, hope the weather is treating you better than that! Hope to see you soon!
I hung around at the gallery with Featherweight, today. We helped Shutter Speed by getting snacks for him whenever he ran out. It only happened a couple of times, but we figured as busy as the gallery has been, that he could use some extra help. Even with us there, he still has this forced smile like he's just a few seconds from losing his mind. On the bright side, he's made a lot of sales. We have a lot of ponies here from Canterlot, coming to meet Princess Luna after the show. It worked out well for Shutter Speed (except that he doesn't necessarily want this much attention.)
We actually had to close down the gallery for lunch so Shutter Speed could go get something to eat. We went to the Community Center and brought Sweetie Belle a piece of cheesecake from Sugarcube Corner. We had to keep an eye on the clock, so we could be back to help Shutter Speed open back up. Sweetie Belle was happy to see us, though. She introduced us to Hawkwing, who was playing Commander Hurricane. She is a mailmare who delivers between here and Phillydelphia in the summer, and during the winter she is part of several plays around here, Canterlot, and Port Mane. She's a bit older than Mom, and graduated from Flight Academy before Mom was in Cloudsdale. She seems nice, I just bet Mom did a better job. (She IS the coolest pony in the Equestria, after all!)
We had to wake Shutter Speed up, he was passed out on the couch at the house. We told him if it was too much, he could always take the day off. He said he couldn't. The gallery was too important. We may have to keep watch on him through the day of the show. Everypony leaves after that, and it should calm down. He took Hearth's Warming Eve and Day off, though, so that should be a nice break, too.
We talked with Apple Bloom after the gallery closed for the night. She said she'd see if Applejack could help. She has a lot of experience selling things, and Shutter Speed is too soft spoken to do something this busy on his own, I think. We went with her to talk with Applejack. Applejack said she'd be happy to. She was looking for a reason to get away from farm work for a couple of days. Big Mac said he could take care of the things on the farm for now. We went to Featherweight's house, but Shutter Speed wasn't there, so we'll have to see about talking with him, tomorrow.
[Tucked into the page is a letter postmarked "CLOUDSDALE POST"
How's your technique coming along? I urge you not to push yourself too hard, this winter. It's scheduled to be very cold. We overstocked snowflakes, and need to clear out space. Expect it to be really cold.
Flying too much in cold weather can cause pretty bad aches. Even so, I do love to fly in the winter, myself.
How are you and Featherweight? I hope all is well. And Rainbow Dash and Lucky Buck? Your friends? Be sure to spend this special time with all of them. It is the meaning of the season, after all.
Be sure to visit if you are ever in Cloudsdale!
I went home and passed out last night. It was a busy, busy day!
Shutter Speed was very happy that Applejack was helping. He told her the minimum prices for different pictures and she had it all down and ready in no time. It went a lot better, this morning. We still had to go get snacks more than once, but Applejack was helping handle sales instead of us having to distract ponies for long enough that Shutter Speed could actually talk. Shutter Speed said he is giving Applejack twenty percent of sales for helping out.
We took Sweetie Belle a treat again. Pipsqueak was watching the practice from the audience. We didn't know he was going to be there, or we would have got him something, too. Sweetie Belle didn't have long to talk, because Center Stage was going through lines with her. He changed the wording on her. I hope she can remember the changes. Pipsqueak says she's been doing pretty well with the changes, so far.
Applejack was on lunch when we got back, so we had to help Shutter Speed out, again. At least it was a lot slower, since most ponies went to eat, too. It's been crowded all over town. It may happen here more than other places, but it's still pretty special to have a princess in town. Especially for the Hearth's Warming Eve play. She actually comes into town tomorrow. She's staying in the library (which Twilight is closing off with a barrier.) I hope I get to meet her, again, but if she's busy, she's busy.
Featherweight and I took a break for the evening and sat in the clouds (until we got too cold) and watched the stars. We went to Dad's house and had some hot cocoa. Dad said I need to get a warmer coat. I don't know. I hate having something bulky on. It's hard to fly! We played with Tank for a while. He doesn't seem to mind not having his propeller. I know I'd hate not being able to fly, at all. I remember how embarrassed I used to be that I couldn't fly like Mom. I'm still not on her level, but I can at least do it!
During the holidays I seem to have a lot of memories. Mom says that's pretty common, but it's still strange, to me. I wish I could remember the fun times I've had with my friends like this, all the time. I guess I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.