In INN BY THE LAKE, which launches later this month, I must’ve been thirsty a lot. One of my favorite characters (I admit I love them all), Chef Henri loves to serve cocktails on the porch while his guests and family watch the sun set.
Tyrone said, “Mama had a silver tree covered with red and green balls. Oh, and candy canes. She had this big old light that shone on the tree with a wheel that changed the colors from red to blue to green to yellow. You should’ve seen it. On Christmas morning, we’d come downstairs and there’s be a present or two for us underneath it. That was cool.”
Pyotr took my hand and we walked slowly back to our shelf to witness the family’s holiday. At the dining room doorway, he stopped and looked up.
“Do you know what that is?” he asked.
All I could see was a sprig of greenery with a red bow. “Holly? Ivy?”
“No, it’s mistletoe.”
The room glowed brighter as music filled the air. I could feel the excitement growing in the room from the music, our being together and knowing that it was Christmas Eve, the night when the real angels sang out the news for the very first time. I could hardly breathe.
Choir of Angels: Part III It was just as well when the pretty angel rebuffed my attempt at small talk. Ernst and I had gotten out of the habit of conversation. And when was the last time I talked to a girl? For that matter, this was the very first time I’d ever even imagined…
“Why, little lamb, you’re right. There’s a giant tree right there, covered in bows and balls and lights.”
“What you looking at, nutcracker?” Addressing me was a smaller snowman, this one in a top hat with a carrot for a nose, poor fellow. I do admit I was staring. He had impossibly pink cheeks that made him look so merry. But as happy as the other snowman was, he was miserable.
When I need to time travel, I head to New Castle, Delaware. With Colonial architecture, well-planned gardens, interesting shops and delicious eateries, it’s a quiet getaway near Wilmington, Delaware’s largest city.
I race up to her and follow her into the kitchen. “What are we having?”
“This.” She pulls on my t-shirt and I wrap my arms around her and lean in for a kiss. Sweet as the chocolate chip cookies packed in a plastic bag on the table. Warm as the summer sun. Necessary as air.
I pulled him close, took off his mask—brazen woman that I am. And kissed him.
And I’ll do it again. I’m sure of it. I sit beside him as his gaze takes me in inch by inch. He’s studied my hair, badly in need of a cut, and he’s gone over every inch of my face and my body. On a normal day, I’d feel self-conscious. But today, it’s wonderful to be the center of attention.