Title : The Summer of 79
Author :pipilj
Word Count: ~700
Summary : Peter summer vacation when he 12

Spoiler :None Set pre series
Author's note: Written for aragarnafor the collarcornerFest

Twelve-year-old Peter knew he was being unreasonable. His grandmother had been just sent him to the room he shared with his brothers during the long summer vacation. Peter and his brother Patrick and Thomas usually lived with his grandparents during their school break in summer. His father who worked in construction put in longer shifts. His mother worked extra shifts at the inn during the tourist season. His injury could not be more ill-timed. A fractured foot meant missed baseball matches, swimming, and riding a host of things he and his brothers did during the summer, his foot still hurt. He still needed help navigating his way with his crutch. The doctor had asked him to stay indoors as much as possible.

"How long do you think Peter should stay in his room?" Peter grandmother Felicity asked her husband Christopher as they took their coffee break.

"Let him stew for a while. But we have to find a way to keep the boy busy. Why don't you ask Gloria for some pointers? "

A Sheepish Peter promised to be on his best behavior after his grandfather's lecture "You are right gramps sulking is not going to help. I might as make best of the situation".

Peter kept his promise to his grandpa. He did small errands around the house.

Christopher usually organized a camping trip in the woods during their stay. He was an amateur astronomer and had taught them the basics - the difference between stars, planets. They learned about meteors, meteorite, and comets, consolations. Each year he gave them some fun tit bits about the night sky. This year they had their camp in the meadows since Peter immobile. This year Christopher told them captains in ships to chart their voyage across the seas tracking the relative position of stars and planets. Peter imagined Columbus navigating oceans charting his voyage till he discovered America. They were lucky to see some shooting star streaking across the sky on a clear summer sky.

Mrs. Gloria Roberts was a retired English teacher who lived close to the Burke's. They had been friends for years. Gloria promised to help. She dropped in after a few days with a few books, a dictionary, and a crossword puzzle.

"Grandma Gloria, what is a crossword puzzle?"

"You see this grid Peter. We fill in words vertically and horizontally according to the clues. I used to make these when I taught. It a game of pure logic one word leads to another. It helped to improve my student's vocabulary and knowledge. Your dad was good at these puzzles. Do you know the first crossword appeared in 1913 in a newspaper called New York World? I have given you some books to help you solve the crossword puzzle. How about I drop in after two days and we see how you are doing."

Peter was soon engrossed in the puzzle. There was something oddly satisfying about gradually filling the clues – one word leads to another soon the entire grid was filled. Two days later Peter proudly handed over a completed crossword to Gloria.

The crosswords kept Peter busy by first recycled some of the crosswords made by Gloria while teaching and then making some new ones. She almost had trouble keeping up with him Peter had a marvelous time Gloria she choose a different theme for each crossword – Astronomy, history, science, Art. Gloria asked him to list out the new words and facts he had learned after every puzzle. Peter knew he had found a new love.

Peter's flexed his leg enjoying the mobility when the cast was finally removed. The school would be reopening soon. He would spend a few days outdoors before summer holidays, something he was looking forward to before heading back home. Grandpa had already promised Peter he would help him to make Grandma Gloria a new bird house, her old one was broken. It was his way of thanking her for introducing him to the beautiful world of crosswords.