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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Valley Rise Christmas Blog--Day Eleven

And finally we come to Christmas at Valley Rise--which takes place in 2012 and features three generations of the Moss family as they gather for the holiday.  As always, there's music, laughter, family, and fun, and of course, a little romance! 

And there was Staci, her eyes glittering with laughter, sitting by the fire with his grandmother.  In spite of himself he grinned, as he freed his hair from Aiden’s grasp and set him on the floor.  “Hi!  I didn’t expect to see you back here tonight.” 
“Uncle Rob insisted.  Come here, Aiden.  Your cousin Carter has your overalls all in a twist.  Really, Carter, you shouldn’t be so rough with him.  You’re supposed to set an example for the little ones, aren’t you?”  She scowled up at him, as she settled the little boy on her lap, and Carter tried to look suitably contrite. 
“He started it.  Besides, I was outnumbered.  I had to defend myself, you know.”  Taking a seat on the floor beside her, he found it hard not to smile again.  “Give a guy a break, Staci.  It’s Christmas, after all.”
“What do you think, Aiden?  Should we let Carter act like a little kid, just because it’s Christmas.”
Aiden seemed to consider his answer.  “Uh-huh.”  He nodded solemnly.  “Staci, Phoebe says Carter has a crunch on you.”
Staci blushed, soft color blossoming in her cheeks.  “A crunch?  Aiden, I don’t even know what that is.  Carter is my friend.  Or at least I hope he is.” 
When she looked up to meet his eyes, Carter nodded with the same solemnity.  “Sure.  At least as much as a guy can be.  Friends with a girl, I mean.”  Now he felt the blood rising in his own face.  He knew his grandmother was watching them, one of those wise little smiles in her eyes.  Even Aiden gave him a doubtful stare, before snuggling more comfortably in Staci’s lap.  
It was magical, sitting there on the carpet with Staci beside him, kids all around, the adults occupying every available seat, as they munched popcorn and listened to the well-known story.  Stani’s voice was deep and warm, his distinctive accent perfectly suited to the phrasing of Dickens’ work.  Each year, the story had become richer to Carter, as he understood better the symbolism of those ghostly visitations.  Now he watched the faces of his cousins as they too listened, mesmerized, to their grandfather.  When he stole a glance at Staci, her cheek resting on Aiden’s coppery curls, her eyes gleaming in the firelight, a lump rose in his throat.  This was the best part of his life, this time with his family, and now with the girl he loved.  This Christmas, as never before, there was no room in his heart for hurt or resentment.  Nearby, on the couch, his father sat with a protective arm draped around the shoulders of his tiny wife, staring contentedly into the fire.  Gloria wore a sweet little smile on her lips, as she slowly ran her hands over the roundness of her belly, seeming to soothe her unborn child as she listened.  All around the room, there was a feeling of peace and unity. 

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