So, I’m writing this on Saturday and it’s storming like crazy up here at the lake. Wind, rain, thunder, lightning–all the good stuff that make a Midwest summer storm. We’ve had branches down–cleanup is coming as soon as the rain ends and a power outage that happened right at breakfast time and lasted about three hours. We ended up having warm cantaloupe, which I cut up by flashlight, and graham crackers for breakfast because we didn’t want to open the fridge during the outage. I wasn’t able to work because my laptop battery had just started to charge when the power went out… too bad for editor Nan, who does currently have work in hand.
But friend Moe came by, scurrying inside between the raindrops, and we visited for a couple of hours during the power outage while the storm raged on outside. We were cozy with candles for light and each other for comfort. When the power came back up, we celebrated by eating the deviled eggs I’d planned for breakfast. It was a treat and lovely to spend some good catch-up time with Moe. We’d been away from the lake pretty much since Husband’s cancer diagnosis, so we’re absorbing all the lake atmosphere we can, despite the storm.
So, now I’m back to work here in my lake office, which if you don’t already know, is a card table and slipper chair in our bedroom. I set it up by the window so I can watch the birds and feel the breezes and smell the fresh lake air. It’s a good place to work and write. I can even do my early morning writing thing while we’re up here with Husband sleeping peacefully in the bed nearby. It works out just fine.
I’m rambling. That happens sometimes. Would you like a little snippet from my book The Fireman’s Christmas Wish? It releases October 18 and is the last book in the Lange Brothers trilogy from Tule Publishing. (Please note the link–it’s up for pre-order!) Okay, a little snippet.
Setting the scene: Harley convinces Becker to go to the annual town tree-lighting ceremony with her, and he goes along grudgingly, but he’s a curmudgeon about it. When it’s over, she thinks they should go find some something else festive to do, but he’s not fully onboard, so sick of his attitude, she stomps off, leaving him on the street corner, and goes to meet her friends, but she’s feeling guilty for being mad at Beck.
Jo ran her fingers through her hair, rumpling the adorable pixie cut that was her trademark, and waved away Harley’s concern. “I want to know why you’re pouting tonight of all nights. You love the tree-lighting. Your kids were darling, by the way.”
“Thanks. All Kari’s doing this year.” Harley smiled and reached for the bag of cookies—there was one left. She bit into the festive wreath-shaped treat, chewed, and swallowed before answering Jo. “I dragged Becker Lange with me tonight and I shouldn’t have. I mean…he came along nicely enough, but what else was he going to do? I knocked on his door and told him I’d be all alone if he didn’t come with me.” She sighed and took another bite of cookie. “It was a cheap attempt at getting him into the Christmas spirit after I’d promised him just two nights ago that I wouldn’t push him into any town holiday events.”
Jenny shrugged. “He didn’t have to come with you.”
Harley shook her head. “He’s too polite a guy to turn me down flat when I was standing on his front stoop with my sad face on. I was a jerk.” She finished the cookie in one more bite. “That’s not the worst part.”
Jo wrinkled her nose. “I can’t believe you think this is so terrible. What could possibly be worse?” She gave the question a sardonic read.
Jo’s wry reaction eased Harley’s guilt slightly. Maybe she was being silly. “I yelled at him because he wouldn’t stay with me and get hot chocolate.” Harley was glad the cover of darkness hid the flush she could feel creeping into her cheeks. “I told him his people skills sucked and I stomped off and left him in front of the Tea Leaf.”
Jo fluttered her hand in front of her chest in a fake heart palpitation and exchanged a glance with Jenny that told Harley both sisters clearly thought she was way overreacting. “Oh no! How could you be so cruel? How will he ever survive?”
Jenny confirmed it. “Sounds like you’ve taken our gorgeous yet brooding fire chief on as a holiday project. You love Christmas, Harles. Why would you spoil your own enjoyment with him? He’s a grown-up, plus he has a great family to get him through the holidays if it’s a hard time for him.”
Gia opened her purse and pulled out a flask. “Before we get too deep into this, does anyone want some Baileys in their hot chocolate? This story sounds like Harley needs bolstering.” All three women held out their cups and Gia poured. “Okay, I’m new in town; catch me up. What’s wrong with the hot fire chief because frankly, he looks real fine to me.” She waggled her brows. “I mean that guy is…yummy!”
Gratitude for this week: Husband is doing well, getting stronger every day; Got to spend a couple days with Grandboy and oh, we had fun! We’re back at the lake! It’s raining–we need rain here and at the city house. I’m back to work after a brief hiatus. I do love my job!
Stay well, stay safe, wear your mask in a crowd, and most of all, mes amies. stay grateful!