Chasing Contentment

Thursday, December 1

The Christmas Card - by Chel
"My brother, Percy, had two of the most defining moments of his life in this lodge. Two moments that changed the course of his life."

Fingering her water glass, Shelby turned to face Mac as he stared into space, talking about his younger brother, Percy. Born to a Southern mother who married what her family took to be a Northerner, both Mac - short for MacAllister - and Percy Lamar were given strong Southern names. Their mother swore they'd know their heritage, and she started from the cradle.

Mac and Shelby were dining at the Great Winged Lodge which was a converted ranch house and property. The Lodge's restaurant boasted both the best food and the best view of the mountains in the region.

Shelby had been engaged to Mac for several weeks, having dated him for several months. Both in their early forties, they didn't want to wait long to get married. Both of their families were thrilled with the impending holiday nuptials, and they were close to one another's siblings.

But Shelby had never quite understood Percy's affection for women who would clearly never be marriage material. She had asked Mac once about Percy's dating choices, but he had only mumbled something about arrogance and missed opportunities and moved on. Shelby was certain it wasn't a topic Mac wanted to revisit.

Which was why it was so odd for him to be talking about Percy in this way when they were gazing out the picture window of the Lodge looking at the vivid landscape of God's autumn handiwork.

But Shelby knew that if Mac wanted to talk about this, it was best for her to simply listen to the story he might tell.

"There was a girl once, a woman, really," Mac began. "And she was beautiful. Not in the gosh-she-could-model way. She wasn't the type men would turn to watch walk by. But she was beautiful because of who she was. She was kind, and she was gentle, and she was amazing when you got to know her."

"And beyond all reason, she loved Percy."

Mac took a long drink of his coffee and paused, looking off into the distance as if seeing the young woman one more time.

"But Percy was arrogant and selfish, and he thought that he could do better. So he dated wildly beautiful women who were no match for him. And she was quiet about it, though we all knew she was hurt."

"Finally, one fall day - a couple of years ago - a bunch of us came up here for dinner, and Percy took her aside. He explained that he knew she loved him but that he could never love her that way. He told her that he had other priorities."

Mac cursed quietly, shaking his head. "He assumed that because she wasn't stunningly beautiful, no other man would be interested in her and that he could play the field for a time and then return to her loving arms, ready to be made whole."

"He was wrong, of course."

The waiter brought their dinners, and they ate in a companionable silence. After the dishes were cleared, they ordered flavored coffees and chocolate desserts, and Mac began again.

"Percy rejoined our group saying that she would be along soon, but she didn't return to us that night. Sitting at the bar nursing a hot toddy, she met a man and spent the evening in conversation."

"We all went about our business - you know how things get - and several weeks later... okay, six weeks later. Six, to be exact. Six weeks later, Percy and I were up here to meet our folks for dinner when she came up to our table looking radiant. She introduced the man with her as her husband."

"She hadn't had much family, and so they had eloped to Las Vegas the previous weekend and got married. Percy was stunned."

Mac had been playing with his chocolate cake while he was talking, and when the waiter took it away, he had hardly eaten any. He seemed genuinely troubled by the story, by the way it had touched his brother.

"Her new husband got a job promotion soon after that, and they were gone by the holidays. She hasn't spent another Christmas here since. Percy spent that holiday season well into the eggnog, always with a new piece of eye candy on his arm."

"Come the first of that next year, Percy changed his ways some. He became more aware of the people around him and less concerned with how things benefited him. He became a better man, even if he does still have lousy taste in women."

The lights in the restaurant were dimming and the music was slowing to a quiet hum. "I'm sorry. Have we stayed too late? We can go on back to town now."

"No, please, Mac. Finish the story. That can't be all of it. Why are you thinking of all of that tonight? We've been here tons of times, so it can't be the place."

"No, it isn't the end. Less than a year into their marriage, her husband was killed by a drunk driver, and she was left alone in a new place. Recently, her one remaining family member passed away, leaving her all alone."

Shelby's eyes misted over thinking of what it must feel like to suffer such loss.

"I'm thinking of all of this now because we'll be seeing her tomorrow for the first time in a long time. Ellie will be here for Gram's funeral."

"Ellie? She was related to Gram?"

"She was Gram's one last descendant. Eleanor Daniels. Ellie. My brother fell in love with - and arrogantly left - the girl next door. And now, she's coming home ... literally, to the house next door ... to bury the grandmother who reared her. And I hurt for her loss, but I can't seem to stop thinking about Percy."

"And wondering if maybe he'll get one more chance at getting things right."


Despite her heavy heart, Ellie seemed to relax when she drove past the city limit signs. This was her town, the home of her childhood and youth. She'd been gone less than two years, and she never quite felt rooted anywhere else.

She'd had quite a long drive to get there, but she'd appreciated the time alone with her thoughts. She'd listened to the radio and let her mind wander, thinking.

Parker had given her so much in the short time they'd been together. He had given her confidence and strength and joy. She had loved Percy for so long that it had become habit, and when he dumped her from the relationship they didn't even have, she had to face a future that was different from what she'd planned.

And Parker was nothing doing with plans. He was a spark - spontaneous energy - and she was caught up in him immediately. He was a Christian, loyal to his family and friends and faith, and she was in love with him so quickly... a very different love than she had for Percy.

Losing Parker so suddenly was a huge blow. She made it through the funeral and legal arrangements, and then she locked herself in their apartment for a week, feeling all of the grief that flooded her.

She had dear friends who flew in to stay with her, who insisted that she come visit them in return, and in time, she began to feel like her life might not actually be over simply because Parker's was.

With the money Parker left her, she traveled the world, went to places she had always wanted to visit. She felt her sadness ebbing as her confidence in her own abilities grew. Parker would have loved to have seen this or that, she thought often on her travels. He always knew I had more in me than I thought.


Tears spilled down Ellie's cheeks as she sat in the car looking at the big white house with the picket fence. Gram's house. Turning away, Ellie glanced quickly at the house next to Gram's before driving down the street and turning at the light.

A few street lights and turns later, she arrived at one of the town's small hotels and checked in for the night. No need rushing into Gram's house when there's no Gram there, she thought as she looked at the city skyline from the small hotel window. Plenty of time for that later.


Everyone in town knew Gram, and most folks called her that. Being from a small town helped in times like these, Ellie thought to herself as she stood in line at the local coffee shop waiting for her chai latte.

Taking care of the arrangements for the funeral had been as easy as those sorts of things can be, and the services were scheduled for following afternoon.

Sipping her tea, she got into her car and drove again to the big white house. She turned the car off this time as she stared at the house where she'd grown up. The tree in the front yard had her initials carved into it, and the front steps still had nicks in them from where she stomped up and down them wearing roller skates. This was her home. In her heart, Ellie knew that.

But she just couldn't open that door without Gram on the other side. Not yet. And so she drove back to the hotel for her second night in town.


People from her childhood spilled into the small room at the funeral home, all wanting to pay their respects to Ellie's Gram. Ellie held up well, having done something similar far too recently.

People shook their heads and spoke in hushed tones about what a pity it was for someone so young to have lost so much. Ellie saw the pity in their eyes when they hugged her, when they spoke their words of comfort.

But despite the whispers, there was something genuinely comforting about the presence of the people from her childhood, from her life, really. Mac and his new fiance, Shelby, were there. Ellie thought how well the two of them fit one another. Percy was there, too, but he didn't speak to Ellie, didn't make eye contact.


"Hi, stranger," Mac said as he opened his front door to welcome Ellie into his home. He gave her a big hug and directed her toward the guest bedroom to change from her funeral clothes.

Closing the door behind her with a soft click, Ellie sat her red leather bag onto the bed. Parker had bought her the bag, dubbing it the 'red bag of courage.' She liked carrying it with her now. The memories of Parker had turned from sad to happy many months ago, and she was pleased to think that she was ready for something new. Her Gram would have liked that.

Ellie changed out of the black skirt and blouse and put on a casual pair of slouchy pants and a long-sleeved tee shirt that skimmed her figure. Her Gram was always calling Ellie to tell her that it was time to put the sadness behind her and that she should move back home to do it. It seemed odd that Gram's wishes might be coming true now that she was gone.


"I'll carry your bag out to the car," Mac said. "We're going to eat out on the back deck. Go on out and get yourself a drink. Did you park in the driveway?"

"Yeah. My driveway," Ellie said, knowing that Mac had seen her driving by Gram's house the last couple of days.

Ellie had first met Mac and Percy when they were all children. Her Gram lived next door to their family, and when her parents died when she was seven, she moved in with her Gram. Mac and Percy's family was as big and boisterous as hers was small and quiet, and she always loved the noise of their home. Aunts and uncles, cousins and friends were always in and out of their home.

Mac and Percy's parents had moved to a smaller place several years ago, and Mac bought the family home and was making it his own. Ellie thought that if she moved back here, it would be nice to still have neighbors who felt like family.

As she made her way onto the deck, she noticed Percy standing at the edge. He turned toward her as she made her way through the doors and into his waiting arms. Her tears fell on his chest, and he held her tight until she gently pulled away.

"Thank you for not speaking to me at the funeral. I knew that if you did, I wouldn't be able to keep my composure any longer."

"I know. I was a little worried, though, that you would think I was..."

"No. I know, Percy, I know."

They both turned as Mac brought a tray of appetizers onto the deck and offered Ellie a drink. "I'm grilling steaks, and Shelby is on her way with dessert."

"Thank you for having me over tonight," Ellie began. "It's been this odd whirlwind of activity since I got the call about Gram, and I feel like I've just been numb. I appreciate being here with ya'll where I feel safe so that when the numbness wears off, it'll be okay. Everyone has been kind, but it's nice to feel this physical presence of family and love."

"You're welcome here always, you know," Mac said as he threw the steaks onto the fire. "You're family to us."

Shelby arrived soon after, and the four of them ate at the table on the deck, with Mac, Percy, and Ellie sharing stories about her Gram. Tears mingled with laughter, and Ellie felt herself relaxing as she hadn't done in ages ... probably longer than she'd like to admit.

When darkness fell, Mac lit the outdoor fireplace, and the four piled into the armchair-like chairs around it. Percy quietly slipped a blanket over Ellie's legs as he went for the hot chocolate and dessert.

"It's different with Gram than with Parker," Ellie said. "Well, obviously, I guess. But Gram wasn't a youngster any more, though she'd be angry with me for saying that. I mean, we all knew that at some point, this would happen. I didn't expect it so suddenly, but dying in her sleep was exactly what she wanted."

"And so I have this peace that I didn't have with Parker's death. There's a sadness, sure. But a peace, too."

"A little fear, too?" Mac asked. "You were Gram's only descendant. You know that house is yours now, but you haven't gone in it yet."

"More like a little terror, I suppose," Ellie replied, sipping on her hot chocolate. "I bounced around after Parker's death, much to Gram's displeasure. And I honestly have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my life now."

"I have no job, no real home, no... " She let the sentence hang, wondering to herself what she would do.

"What would you like to do?" Shelby asked.

"I'm not at all sure," Ellie said honestly. "I say this in no way to be bragg-y, but I have the means to do whatever I please for a time, thanks to Parker's good planning, so I suppose I just need to figure out what it is I want in this life. Easier said than done, though."

"You'll get it. You've always had a knack for knowing exactly what was right for you at each moment in your life," Percy said.

"I hope you're right," Ellie said. "But for now, I think it's time for me to face the house. Do you mind, Mac, if I take the long way home?"

Mac laughed. When they were all children, Mac and Percy's father and uncles had built a giant tree house for the kids on the edge of their property in the strong branches of two trees. One tree was in their yard and the other was in Gram's. The youngsters would tease about taking the long way from one yard to the other, climbing up one tree, through the tree house and down the other tree.

"I'll get you a flashlight. You're too old to be climbing these trees in the dark." Shelby went in with Mac, leaving Percy and Ellie alone again. Percy moved to sit on the table in front of Ellie. He took her hands in his, and they sat for a moment together.

"Let me go with you tonight, El. You don't want to be alone tonight in that house."

Ellie took a deep breath before she spoke.

"You're right. I don't want to be alone, and I do want you to go with me. Which is why you shouldn't." He looked at her quizzically but didn't interrupt. "I love you, Percy. I have always loved you. I don't say that to demean the love I felt for Parker but simply to state a fact. I'm afraid that if you go with me, I'll try to convince you to do something we shouldn't do just so I can feel a little bit of something other than numbness or sadness just for a little while. So, thank you, but no."

The silence that followed seemed as if it actually hurt, Ellie thought as she avoided looking in Percy's eyes. Lots of loss seems to take away my inhibitions and self-respect, too, she thought.

Finally, Percy spoke. Ellie looked up, startled, when she realized his voice was trembling.

"I love you, El. I have always loved you, too. I was just too arrogant and insensitive to tell you."

Ellie smiled. "I think I knew that."

"I love you," he said again. "I am hoping that you decide to keep Gram's house and move here to stay, so that I can repent of all the ways I sinned against your heart and so that I can court you, convince you to fall in love with the me you don't know along with the me you've known forever."

"But that's my hope for tomorrow. For tonight, I want to help you through this first night in your old home. I want to help you say goodbye to Gram and be able to wake up tomorrow morning to something new. I love you, and I won't allow anything to happen between us that would haunt either of us in the morning."

"Can you trust me to do that?"

"Yes," Ellie whispered, tears glistening on her cheeks in the moonlight. "Thank you."

"Stay here and I'll get the flashlight."


Mac and Shelby watched through the window as Percy followed Ellie up the tree ladder into their old tree house. "Quite a speech he gave, huh?" Mac asked. "It's about time he got it all together."


The next morning, Ellie awoke on her Gram's sofa, covered in her favorite quilt. She smiled and stretched, greeting the day slowly. She sat up and pulled her feet up under her, still snuggled under the hand-made quilt.

She and Percy had sat up most of the night talking - crying - about Gram and their lives. After their talk at Mac's, neither of them mentioned anything about any relationship between them, but there was a comfort between them that was only present with old friends.

She hadn't looked around, but she instinctively knew Percy was gone. He sat with her until she fell asleep and then was gone. Ellie wasn't at all sure what - if anything - would happen between them now. But she knew without a doubt that she was supposed to move back into this house, to live in this town and resume the life she knew best.


Peering out the window in the front door, Ellie saw a teenage boy standing on her front porch surrounded by grocery bags.

"Hello?" she asked as she opened the door. "Can I help you? Are you lost?"

"No, ma'am. I'm Mitchell, and I work at Mort's Market. I'm supposed to deliver these to you. I'm also supposed to give you this card," he said as he began to bring the bags into the house. "They said the card would tell you what you need to know."

Ellie stood and watched as the boy carried in bag after bag of groceries and household goods. She tried to tip him as he left but he assured her it had been taken care of already.

Who would send me groceries, she wondered as she sank back into the sofa she spent the night on the night before.

She sat for a moment knowing she should open the card or go put up the groceries or both, but Ellie loved that moment of uncertainty, of anticipation. She felt in an odd way like her future was about to be revealed.

'Of course that's insane,' she said aloud to no one. 'My future cannot be announced like an award show winner by simply reading an envelope. Can it, Lord?'


"Thanks for having me over for dinner. Again. You two have been so kind to me since I moved home, but you've got to stop this. I'm sure you need some time alone to plan your wedding," Ellie said. She was joining Mac and Shelby for dinner for the second time in a week, at their invitation.

"Now you know my mama would have my hide if I didn't invite you over and take care of you," Mac said. "And I like having another girl in the mix," Shelby said. "Some days there's just way too much testosterone around here with Mac and Percy and their buddies."

Ellie laughed, remembering the way Mac and Percy's house had always been full of boys when they were growing up. Their parents had always welcomed one and all.

"Your mama called today, and I'm having dinner at their new house next week. Who knew a death in the family was a ticket to free dinners all over town?"

When neither Mac nor Shelby laughed, Ellie assured them she was fine.

"I've spent the last two weeks going through all of Gram's things. She had mementos of trips and loves that I had no idea she had. She lived this full, rich life, and I'm sure she wouldn't want me to sit in her home and fret or frown. She wouldn't want me to sit here and do that either."

"So I'm making some decisions about how to proceed with my life. I'm praying that God will take me through these choices, shutting doors when necessary and opening others. I'm ready to be living and not just remembering living."

"You've decided, then? What to do?" Shelby asked.

"I believe I have, though I don't want to say just yet. I've still got to do some research. I've taken care of all of the legal issues with Gram's estate, and the house is now mine, along with some other things I wasn't aware of, so I'm looking at some options."

"But what we all want to know," Percy said as he walked into the warm kitchen, "is whether or not you're going to be staying here in town."

"Late and asking none-of-your-business questions again, huh, Perc?" Mac asked. "We were almost going to start dinner without you this time."

"No, you weren't," Percy said, agreeing to the plea in his brother's eye to let things go for now. "You'd never eat without me. Mama would know about it all the way across town."


As they stepped onto Ellie's front porch, Percy opened his mouth to say something and shut it again. Twice he did that. Finally, Ellie asked him inside, figuring she'd rather wait for whatever he wanted to say in front of a fire rather than in the night chill.

"You know Mac and Shelby are getting married on Thanksgiving Day, right?" he began as they settled into the soft sofa.

"Yes. I think that's wonderful. What a lovely thing to spend forever being thankful for," she said.

"Um, yeah," he said uncomfortably. Ellie had never seen him quite so nervous. She leaned over and put her hand on his knee. "What is it you need to say, Percy? Just say it. It's just me... no need to be worried."

"You'd think, wouldn't you?" he asked as he laughed nervously. He took a deep breath and began.

"Ellie, would you do me the honor of being my date for the wedding? I'm in the wedding party, so you would have to sit alone, but we could be at the dinner and reception together. It's all at the Lodge."

Ah, Ellie thought, so that's it. Percy had been a gentleman, holding true to his word to not do anything either of them would regret, that first night or any other night since. He had provided groceries more than once during the first two or three weeks that she'd been at Gram's... those weeks when she lost track of time and did nothing but go through her grandmother's worldly possessions.

He had seen her at dinners at Percy's and at his parents' home and had sat on her pew in church on Sunday mornings. He never sat close enough to be seen as presumptuous but always close enough for her to feel connected to someone. Ellie was reminded of why she loved Percy in the first place, but she was also seeing amazing qualities in him that were new, that she hadn't known before.

"I think I would be the one honored, Percy. I accept."

Percy grinned, and Ellie laughed. Ellie thought about how happy she was to be on this path in life, to be growing closer to the man she had loved for so long.


Later, when Percy was gone and she was ready for bed, Ellie sat in the deep sidechair in the master bedroom and thought about Parker. She knew that had she not loved and married him, she wouldn't be strong enough to be an equal partner in a love with Percy. Parker gave her something at a time that she needed it deeply. Parker gave her independence. Odd, she thought, that one man gave me what I needed to return to another.


The wedding was beautiful with fall colors inside and snow falling outside. Ellie cried as she did at all weddings. The Lodge was the perfect place for a wedding, she thought. Percy looked handsome in his dress clothes standing as Best Man for his brother.

Ellie sat next to Percy at the head table at the wedding dinner. When the toasts were done and the desserts cleared away, he leaned in and whispered in her ear. "Come. Dance with me."

"But you don't dance," Ellie giggled. "I didn't dance," he corrected her. "I do now." And with that, he swept her onto the dance floor where they spent the evening in one another's arms, feeling the music move them, letting their love grow.


Percy had arranged for rooms at the Lodge for both of them knowing that it was supposed to snow that night. He held Ellie's hand as he walked her to her room in the early morning hours when the band had finally packed up for the night.

They stopped in front of her doorway, and he looked deep into her eyes. "Thank you, Ellie, for giving me this chance to get to know you again and for me to show you who I am now." He put his hand on the side of her face and tipped her head back ever so slightly as he leaned in to kiss her.

The kiss was warm and tender, Ellie would later remember as she replayed every moment of the evening as she soaked in the tub in her Lodge room. It was genuine and deep and stirring. It was perfect, she thought as she slipped into sleep.


"What the devil are you doing up there, you crazy woman?" Mac yelled at Ellie as he and Shelby got out of their car.

"Welcome back!" Ellie yelled back. "I hope the honeymoon trip was wonderful."

"Don't ignore my question. What are you doing? Have you lost your mind?" Mac yelled while he was stomping across his yard to hers.

Ellie was, at that moment, lying on her roof stapling twinkle lights to the eaves.

"Surely you remember how I feel about Christmas," Ellie said, reaching for another strand of lights, grinning. "I was busy all last week, and now I've got less than three weeks to enjoy the holiday decorations. Gotta get these up!"

"But surely there's some nice man you could call - my brother for example - to help you with this," Mac said.

"Why? Why would she need a man to do this for her?" his new bride asked, cocking her head to the side and placing her hands on her hips.

"Oh, no. Don't the two of you gang up on me. I'm just saying she could use some help."

"So I'll help her," Shelby said.

"Cool. The ladder's over to the side, and on your way up you could bring another box of staples," Ellie said laughing at Mac. "We'll have the prettiest girly decorations on the block."

"Great. Just what I wanted," Mac grumbled as he walked back to his house and got their luggage out of the car. When he got into the house, he dropped the bags and grabbed his cell phone.

After listening for a couple of rings, he said, "You'll never believe what your crazy girlfriend and my crazy wife are doing."


"I love you, El," Percy whispered into Ellie's ear after he pulled her under the mistletoe at his parent's house. "And I love you... and I love having you tell me that you love me," she whispered back. "But should you be kissing me here?"

"Hell, yes!" came the booming response from Percy's father. "That boy should kiss you whenever and wherever you'll allow. Smartest choice he's made in years."

The whole family laughed as people poured into the small room. "We're glad to have you join us again, Dearie," he said using his pet name for Ellie. Norman had always been like a surrogate father to Ellie, and she was thrilled that he and Mary Catherine were pleased about her relationship with Percy.

"Now, if I could just get Mac and Shelby to start having me some grandbabies, I'd be a happy man," Norman continued. Laughter filled the room, and Ellie was content.

This, she thought, is what home should feel like.


The Saturday before Christmas, Ellie awoke to hear someone knocking insistently on her front door. She stumbled down the staircase in her pajamas and peered out the window.

"Mitchell. What are you doing here at this time of the morning? I didn't order any groceries to be delivered."

"No, ma'am, you didn't, but that doesn't mean I don't have a delivery for you," Mitchell said smiling.

The teenager handed over a small grocery bag, a steaming hot cup, and a card before turning to go. He stopped at the bottom of the porch steps and turned around again. "You've got some great decorations here, Ms. Ellie."

Self-satisfied and curious, Ellie closed the door and crawled onto her beloved sofa. With the quilt pulled around her legs, she stared at yet another envelope. Could her future be revealed in this one, Dear Lord?

Loving the anticipation of the moment, Ellie laid the card on the coffee table and instead opened the grocery bag while sipping her chai latte. Snacking on her favorite sticky buns and loving her favorite drink, she contemplated what secrets the card might hold.


Climbing the tree ladder, Ellie was glad she had chosen the lightest flashlight she owned as it was now clamped between her teeth. When she reached the top rung of the ladder, Percy's hand appeared in the light and helped her into the tree house.

"Thanks for meeting me," he said as she dropped to the floor, taking in her surroundings.

Percy had hung heavy draperies over the windows to ward off the chill and had brought in a special heater to keep the space warm. There was a warm blanket on the floor and huge pillows against one wall. On a platter in the middle of the blanket sat all sorts of crackers and cheeses and steaming mugs of hot tea. Ellie scanned the tree house but couldn't find where the music was coming from.

"Christmas music. My favorite," she sighed. This might be, she thought, the perfect moment in time.

Percy came to sit next to her, and took her hands in his. "I love you, Ellie. I do. Not with the childlike love that you once had for me but with a grown-up, eyes-open love that I expect will last my lifetime through."

His voice was trembling again, ever so slightly. Ellie's eyes misted as she felt her heart catch.

"You make me better. You make me whole. You just make me. I need you with me, Ellie. But I want to make you better, make you whole, too. I don't want to be with you simply because I need you. I want you to need me, too."

As she opened her mouth to respond, he covered it with his. A tender kiss to take away her words.

"And I think you do need me. I want us to be together, Ellie. Forever. Would you do me the honor of marrying me? Be my wife, Ellie. Let me be your husband."

Tears spilled down Ellie's cheeks, momentarily hiding the ones in Percy's eyes. This moment, she thought, really was perfect.

"Yes. Of course. You know I love you. I would love to marry you!"

"When? I want to marry you as soon as possible. When, El?"

Ellie smiled as if the answer were perfectly clear. "Why, Christmas Eve, of course."


Amidst all of the Christmas decorations, Mac and Shelby sat alone at a table at the Lodge. Mac watched as people swirled around the dance floor, laughing, enjoying the moment.

"My brother, Percy, had three of the most defining moments of his life in this lodge. Three moments that changed the course of his life, all relating to one woman. Good thing she's finally his wife."

He grinned as he leaned in to kiss Shelby, delighted at what an amazing day it had been in his family. His brother had married the woman of his dreams, and his wife had whispered to him news of a baby.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

The End

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, December 01, 2005  ]


Thanks for a great story--really enjoyed it! Will there be more?

By Anonymous LynnB, at 7:03 AM  

Why thank you, what a lovely comment! I have lots more in my head. I'll have to work on posting them.

By Blogger Chel, at 1:30 PM  

This is one of my all time favorites! Only you would use Percy ... such a southern name!

By Blogger mdsump, at 10:24 AM  

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