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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!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Valley Rise Christmas--Day Ten

Even the most Christmas-spirited among us are subject to a  holiday mood swing or two.  In Offered for Love, Emily experiences her share of highs and, in this scene, lows.


It would be late on Christmas night before they shared another such moment.  By the time they settled in bed at nearly midnight, when the twins finally abandoned their fight against sleep after two days of too much excitement and too little normal routine, Emily admitted that she was for once thankful to see Christmas end. 
“But it was overall a lovely Christmas, and definitely different from any we’ve had so far.”  With a sigh, she rested her head on the pillow next to his and closed her eyes.
“You didn’t overdo, did you?  I know you probably couldn’t nap this afternoon, but you did have a nice long rest.  And it was almost comical the way everyone was falling over themselves to see that you didn’t move off the couch this evening.”  He let out his own sigh.  He had been on the go since six this morning, and both physically and emotionally, he was sure he must be exhausted.
“It was pretty funny.  My cup runneth over, literally.  And my plate never seemed to empty, either.  Someday, when I’m back to normal and this is all behind us, I suppose I may wish for so much attention, but right now, I’d like to do a little more for myself, please.  I am quite capable of pouring my own tea, you know.  And I’m only eating for two this time, not three.”   With a drowsy chuckle, her voice drifted to a whisper.
He lay there holding her, too tired to fall asleep, reliving the highest and lowest of the moments.  Christmas Eve in an ancient candlelit church, observing the solemn, traditional service, opening gifts around the tree, helping his excited sons tear wrapping paper from their first Christmas gift—a rocking horse built for two—seeing Emily’s eyes light at the locket containing two copper curls and the miniature portraits of her “darling baby boys.”  Joy, tinged inevitably with sadness.  The call, placed from the parsonage where everyone had gathered to wish them a collective Merry Christmas, had tipped the balance for a time.  While she had listened to each familiar voice send a personal greeting, holding the phone so that he could listen too, and bravely responded to every one, as soon as the receiver dropped into the cradle, she’d laid her head on his shoulder and sobbed.  He had the sense that all the emotions she’d held so firmly in check were released in that moment, and he was grateful when everyone in the room found some pressing matter requiring their attention, leaving the two of them alone for a time.  “I’m sorry.  I know it’s silly,” she’d whispered.
“Not at all silly.  Cry if it helps.  But I warn you, I’m that close to joining you, love.  I think what did it for me was little Emily.  Can she really be two years old and talking so plainly now?”  The baby girl delivered on Christmas Eve, the child who had such a place in the miracle of their own first Christmas in love, had spoken her soft, sweet greeting so clearly into the telephone that she seemed to be right there in the room with them. 
Emily had smiled then, but the cloud over her spirits had lasted for hours. 

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