… “When you know the notes to sing … ” Congrats to Julie Andrews for winning a Lifetime Achievement Award … The Sound of Music has warmed my heart ever since I been a child and it was fun to see the children from the movie come to honor Julie Andrews …
Talking about warming the heart … holding my great-niece yesterday and watching my parent’s hold her was one of my favorite things. What was a heart warming moment for you this past week?
When you see a news article that says, “New research shows that a Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of dementia…” and you tell yourself, what do they know … as you think about booking a 3 month trip to the Caribbean this winter … to lay in the sun!
Her heart flowed out as she painted. With one more brush stroke she was finished. Standing back Joanna admired her work.
Many times when standing back she would find flaws in her art, but this time it all came together so perfectly. Yes, she was ready. She allowed herself to exhale. It was finished, her painting for the art show was ready.
“Oh Joanna, its amazing.” She turned at the sound of Madison’s voice.
“Thanks. I can’t believe I let you talk me into participating in this contest.”
“Just remember who to thank when you are handed the big check for first place!” Madison flashed her a teasing grin.
“I dare say that you have enough confidence and optimism for both of us.”
“That is fine with me. You keep painting and I will keep being your biggest fan. After all it comes with so many perks.”
Joanna gave her a questioning look. “Perks?”
“Absolutely! I have always wanted to go to NYC. Stroll through Central Park and see a Broadway show.”
Joanna was cleaning up her painting supplies as she spoke. “What does that have to do with being my biggest fan?”
“Welll….” there was a pause and Joanna looked up.
“What did you do?”
Looking sheepish, Madison confessed. “I may have signed you up for an Art show there. Think of all the publicity!”
“I am going to be such a fabulous agent for you. You only need to have ten paintings for the show. Its a whole month away.”
Madison started quickly walking away,as Joanna wished she had something to throw at her.
One month for ten paintings! She groaned. Madison believed too much in her! But Joanna did love her best friend. She was Lucy, and Joanna was Ethel. Oh the crazy times they have had.
“Sit back and enjoy the ride my ladies.” It was a gorgeous day for a horse and carriage ride through Central Park.
“I have to thank you Madison. Look at what you pushed me to do and look how it has turned out! I won the Art show back home and now here we are in New York. If it wasn’t for you I may never have entered these Art shows. In fact I know I wouldn’t have. But you believed in me.” She squeezed Madison’s hand. “Thank you, my precious friend!”
“You don’t know how glad I am to hear that, for did you know that there will be an upcoming show at the Louvre!
“The Louvre! You mean the one in Paris?” she shrieked.
“That is the only one I know of, sooo….Yes!”
Joanna was speechless for a moment. “You are too much!”
“I am counting on walking in your gallery someday and maybe way into the future the children will study about you, the famous artist in their history books.”
Joanna burst out laughing. “Now I know you are crazy!”
“Just please don’t cut off your ear, like Van Gogh, don’t stop bathing like Michelangelo(or we could have a problem!)” Joanna made a face. “No worries there!”
Don’t paint in your car, like Georgia O’Keefe. You will need a much bigger car for that. Bigger than your VW punchbug.
Also I recommend that you don’t take 14 years to finish a painting! Though if there is a chance of it becoming as popular as the Mona Lisa, you may want to try that.
Here is a fact that you can admire, don’t let anything stand in your way. For 20 years Renoir suffered from crippling arthritis, but he kept painting. Shoot for the moon, Joanna, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
“Hmmm… how interesting, what particular,unique trait should I have?”
“I will get busy on making a list, don’t you worry. ”
Shaking her head and smiling, Joanna closed her eyes as she laid her head back, listening to Madison prattle on about her unique traits. Oh, the blessing of friendship!
Looked like the gardener missed some weeds again. Marcus was one of the best gardeners around, so Tiffany could overlook his minor faults. She really did love the color of the deep pink color of the flowers this year that he had planted.
“Good Morning Miss Tiffany! Out for your morning stroll. I trust the garden meets your expectations?”
“You have given it your magic touch Marcus, but there are some weeds that you missed back there.” She pointed behind her.
“I would have pulled them, but I had no gloves and one can’t expect me to use my bare hands to pull up dreadful weeds.”Disgust crossed her face.
“I will see to it right away Miss.”
He turned around and muttered as he walked. “One can’t expect you to do anything with your bare hands, Miss Fancy pants!”
Marcus should be more careful with what he said out loud, even if the words were true. If Miss Tiffany would hear him, he would be without a job and with a baby on the way, he had to keep working for sure. Cyndi, his wife, was counting on his paycheck.
Marcus pulled the tiny weeds and was headed back inside for a refreshing, cold drink when he noticed something else on the ground. A rather large rock. He bent down to pick it up, before Miss Tiffany tripped over it and twisted her ankle.
He was going to throw it out of the garden when he saw the writing on the bottom of the rock. Someone had taken a black marker to it. He read the words twice and pondered what they might mean, if anything.
“X marks the spot” The spot for what? It was probably nothing, just Miss Tiffany’s nephews playing a game. They had been here for a few weeks and played outside a lot. He tossed the rock out of the garden.
“Watch out Chester!” His wife yelled.
SPLAT! Sadly it was too late for Chester. Since when did they have to worry about flying rocks! It was tough being a slow caterpillar. All the caterpillars were in shock at the death of their friend.
Marcus walked through the rest of the garden double checking everything. Miss Tiffany’s guests were coming tomorrow. Things had to be perfect and he smiled, for it looked like they were.
Walking back to the house he passed the rock that he had thrown. Wow! It was covered with caterpillars. He didn’t know if he had ever seen so many caterpillars at one place before.
Miss Tiffany’s party the next day was a grand success. She was thrilled that her garden was chosen to be pictured in next month’s edition of Beautiful Gardens.
A few weeks later Marcus was on the way to the garden and he saw it. He saw the X. It was partially hidden but he saw it. Was there anything under it? Should he start digging under the bush? He figured why not, what did he have to lose?
Sweat was pouring from him. He had to finish digging soon. Miss Tiffany was due back and she would wonder what he was doing. This had all been a waste of time, he should have….Oh he saw a gold glint! Marcus couldn’t believe what he was looking at. He had found gold!! Gold coins!
“Marcus! Oh Marcus where are you?”
That was Miss Tiffany, she must be back early. He didn’t want her to see the gold.
“I will be right there Miss Tiffany, I am coming.” He hurried off to see what she wanted.
That was him, the man who threw the rock that smashed poor Chester. Something had to be done! Dennis watched the man leave and he called an emergency meeting of all the garden critters.
Marcus was getting nervous, he wanted to get back out to his gold. Miss Tiffany though had other plans. She had him rearranging her furniture! He was a gardener not an interior decorator, but here he was hanging pictures as well.
He was in her house for the rest of the evening. By the time he came outside it was dark. Thankfully she had garden lights and he had a high powered flashlight. Excitement was rising up in him. Cyndi, would be ecstatic about the gold!
Finding the bush he …. Wait, where was the hole? This had to be the bush. The X was there and so was the shovel. Panic seized him. He wanted that gold.
Grabbing the shovel he started to dig and he kept digging everywhere, like a madman. When he couldn’t dig anymore due to exhaustion he hung his head in despair. The gold was gone. One moment of ecstacy and then it was gone! He headed home, he could barely keep his eyes open. Tomorrow he would cover up all the holes before Miss Tiffany was awake. She was a late riser.
Excitement stirred in the burrow. The caterpillars, bunnies, squirrels and chipmunks were having a party. They were all friends at Miss Tiffany’s garden and Chester had been a well respected caterpillar. He was loved by everyone. So they all were more than happy to help the caterpillars get revenge.
They took all of the gold into the rabbit’s burrow and the squirrels buried some. The chipmunks weren’t really sure what to do with it. They tried to eat it, but it wasn’t tasty at all. The main thing was that they had taken it from the man. “Hip hip hooray!” They all cheered, as a few tears spilled out of the eyes of Chester’s family.
Why was photography equipment set up? Marcus felt a a feeling of dread when he pulled into Miss Tiffany’s driveway. She was standing on the porch looking none too happy. He knew he was late, he had overslept, but…. Then it hit him. He had totally forgotten. They were taking photos today of Miss Tiffany’s garden for the magazine!
She was at his car as soon as he opened the door and her face was beet red!
“You are late and why are there holes everywhere?,” she shrieked!
Amanda stared in the mirror, wondering who that stunning woman looking back at her was. Could it really be her? Was she really getting married?
Everything had been such a whirlwind, since the letter had arrived. One moment she was sobbing on Cara’s shoulder and the next moment they were planning a wedding.
Here she was minutes away from getting married in Old man Fuzzywhistle’s meadow.
“You look absolutely gorgeous.” Cara was standing on one side of her.and Sara on the other.
Amanda couldn’t stop smiling, she was beyond happy that she was getting married to the most eligible bachelor in town. Out of all the other single ladies, he only had eyes for her.
She knew he would still be the heartthrob of Bittersweet Creek, and that was fine. It made her feel proud. After all, the old ladies needed someone to dream about.
“You have stars in those eyes girl. Starry eyed over Mason, you obviously need help,” Cara teased.
“Thank you both so much! How you ladies managed to plan this in such a short time. Maybe you both should be wedding planners?”
“Hmmm….what do you think Cara?”
“We could start a side business perhaps. You already have a flower shop and we know that Mason would be lost without me to run the coffee shop. I dread the thought of what the coffee would taste like.”
They laughed, made the finishing touches to Amanda’s hair and waited for the music to start.
Her childhood dreams were about to come true. The prince with the luxurious hair had come for her and nothing was going to stop their wedding. To think that she had been so upset at first about the letter, thinking she shouldn’t get married.
The letter was from her crazy uncle! She barely even knew him but he came out when he heard about the castle being left to her. Funny how many people claimed the castle should be their’s instead. A while back Mason was kidnapped by that one crazy imposter, but he had been long gone since Jenny worked her magic spell! All he did was Quack now.
This was her actual Uncle, not an imposter. But Amanda still wasn’t about to let her have the castle that her precious grandparent’s had left to her. He threatened Mason which had scared her at first. But … something mysteriously happened to her uncle.
Amanda remembered how shocked she had been to hear from her aunt. Her Aunt Tina was so kind and apologized profusely for her uncle’s letter. Then she had proceeded to tell her that her uncle couldn’t be found. He was working in the fields one day and when she walked out to bring him a drink he was gone! Strangely enough there was some silvery cowbell where he had been.
“Thanks Betsy” breathed Amanda but she hadn’t attempted to explain about Betsy to her aunt. At least her aunt wasn’t upset! Aunt Tina had said that if he hadn’t left she would have. “Good riddance!”
Amanda had many calls with her aunt. She was enjoying getting to know her. Felt wonderful to find a relative, and how thankful she was that her aunt made it for the wedding.
The music… Amanda was so lost in her thoughts she almost didn’t catch the cue. Her moment had arrived! Everyone was standing and smiling at her, but the only person Amanda focused on was the man who painted her sky.
This was only the beginning of a lifetime of the most enchanting adventure of all!
“And now I pronounce you husband and wife. Mason you may kiss the bride … Mason!”
He was flat out on the floor. The most eligible, confident bachelor of the town had simply fainted. Apparently love had him so twitterpated, that he had fainted dead away.
He wasn’t out for too long, and he was a little shaky as he stood to his feet. The guests sighed with relief tbat he was okay.
“Shall we try again?’ the minister said, with a smile, “Mason you may kiss the bride.”
The wedding was the talk of the town and everyone agreed on one thing. When Mason and Amanda kissed, and the doves were released into the sky, it would have made the perfect ending to a Hallmark movie.
The kitchen was filled with the mouth watering smell of lobster bisque in the oven, along with au gratin potatoes and baked corn. The fresh rolls were wrapped up and covered to keep them warm.
Julie smiled, everything was turning out perfect. All she needed to do was light the candles, turn on the soft music … and Bang!
What was that? Was Eric awake and banging on the wall? She knew he had wanted to stay up and see Daddy, but it was going to be too late until he got home. There had been a big meeting at work.
After watching his Bob the Builder DVD he had seemed content. Julie had tucked him into bed after reading three stories. Bang! There it was again. Perhaps if she ignored his banging on the wall, he would go back to sleep.
She poured the wine and checked her phone and saw a text from Lee. “Running late. Will be home in a half hour.”
Sighing, she kept the oven on warm so the food wouldn’t get too cold. At least Eric wasn’t banging anymore. Grabbing a book she got comfortable on the couch. Opened up the book and bang,bang,bang!
Throwing down her book she marched back to Eric’s room. Opened up the door. “You need to stop…” Words left her, as she saw the expression of pure happiness on little Eric’s face.
“Look Mommy! I am Bob the Builder! Can he fix it? Yes he can!” Bang! Eric pounded the wall again with the little hammer that Grandpa had bought him. The little hammer that Julie had meant to put away until Eric was a little older. Now she could only stare at the dents and chipped paint on the wall, shaking her head.
“Can he fix it? Yes …” julie grabbed the hammer out of Eric’s hand before he swung again.
“Okay little Bob…you really must go to bed.”
He was rubbing his eyes. It was without complaint that he laid down. “I fixed the wall Mommy, Daddy will be proud.” His eyes closed with a smile on his lips julie kissed him on the cheek. He looked so angelic while sleeping.
Twenty years later Julie was beaming at her little grandson’s birthday party. Hard to believe that Eric was all grown up with a son of his own now. It was Father’s Day and little Caleb’s fourth birthday!
“What dear?” she looked at him with a mischievous glint in her eyes. Eric had come and sat down beside her. They were watching Caleb, who was over by the swingset, open an extra special gift from Grandpa.
The storm clouds were hovering. Dexter watched the bison from a safe distance away. If it wasn’t for the real storm clouds brewing in his life Dexter would be better able to enjoy the view.
What was he going to do? When Lester had first asked him to partner with him in business he had been thrilled. If he had only known what a bumpy ride it was going to be. He wished he could go back in time. Never would he have signed the papers, but it was too late now.
His twin brother, who he had trusted, was involved in shady business dealings. Dexter tried to get out but it was too late. He had only been a scapegoat. That was why his crooked brother had wanted him to partner with him. Dexter had taken the fall for his brother, who was now vacationing at some Swiss chalet, with money that he had transferred to a Swiss bank account.
Raindrops started to fall. Dexter better start hiking back, before got soaked. He made it back right before the storm clouds opened up. Perhaps that was a good sign? His lawyer Saul told him not to worry that he would see to it that his brother would be held accountable. Dexter wished he had half the confidence of Saul.
He stayed in the truck watching the sky throw a tantrum. The thunder roared as tears fell from the angry clouds.
It was quite the storm but fortunately the sky’s temper had subdued itself rather quickly.
Dexter laughed. He wished his three year old son’s temper tantrums would be as short. He sighed. The thought of jail devastated him for one main reason and that reason was his world. His three year old son! To not get those sticky kisses any more, or feel his pudgy, short arms around his neck. The thought was unbearable!
Saul better be as good as his ads said he was, Dexter was counting on him, and more importantly so was an adorable little boy, who needed his Daddy.
Well, no more pity party, he was going to push back his fears now and enjoy the rest of the day. The sun had come out, time to explore.
Oh, the ground was muddy now, after the rain. It was a good thing that he had bought another pair of shoes along to change into once he was finished hiking. His socks would be soaked.
Wow! All Dexter could do was stare back. How cool, the bison was looking right at him!
Now Dexter wasn’t an emotional guy usually but he felt moved by the bison and how beautiful everything was. He loved nature. The thought of not being able to enjoy nature, but to be surrounded by four walls instead was just too much and weighing him down. His eyes filled up with water.
He walked around some more trying to breathe. Maybe jail wouldn’t be so bad. He would get three meals a day and …and … he couldn’t come up with a second thing.
Dexter used to pride himself on being able to look on the bright side. But … instead he kept hearing his little boy’s voice in his head. “Daddy, look at me! Daddy come play!”
Dexter looked at his watch, he needed to get home. This evening he was taking his son out for ice cream and then they would go to the park. If his days were numbered with his little boy, they were going to be the best days possible!
When back in his truck he looked at his phone. There was a missed call from Saul. His heart dropped. Was it bad news?
“Its about time you call! Are you sitting down?”
“Yes.” Dexter felt the pressure rising in his chest.
“You are free! Your brother turned himself in. He shocked everyone by just showing up at the police station, out of the blue. That Swiss air must have done him some good! Lester claimed full responsibility, telling them of your innocence.”
Dexter couldn’t speak. Unashamed, he let the tears roll down his cheeks. Everything was going to be alright!
Three months later he visited his brother in prison. His brother was trying hard to make amends. Dexter was in shock, what had made the change in his brother? He had asked him but he always hesitated and would change the subject. Today he would try once more.
“What happened Lester? Why can’t you tell me?”
Lester looked down at the table between them.
“You won’t believe it!”
“Try me. I am used to hearing your crazy stories.” He smiled.
“Well one day I was sitting outside, at my fancy chalet and suddenly there was this cow. It was right in front of me … and around her neck she wore a silver, shiny cowbell…”
*For my new followers who haven’t met Betsy yet, she is an extra special cow. She shows up at unexpected times in my stories due to her magical cow bell. And sometimes the magical cow bell shows up without her. When there is trouble, Betsy does her best to fix things. The magical cow bell can whisk people away just by ringing it three times.*
Staring at the clock Janessa let her mind wander. All her life she had lived in tbis small town. As a little girl she would stare at the clock in awe. When it chimed on the hour her face would light up with the brightest of smiles. It must be a magical clock, she had thought.
Then she grew up. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy all lost their magic appeal. But there was something about the old town clock that continued to speak magic to her.
Janessa remembered fondly the night of the Spring Dance long ago. She was wearing a yellow dress, that came just a little bit above her knee. It swirled around when Asher spun her. She turned, turned, turned, as they danced the night away. The chimes rang out when Asher leaned in and kissed her “sweet sixteen” lips.
That summer of 69′, they spent many night’s fishing in the dark, waiting for the final chime. The midnight hour. Walking at midnight, holding hands, one could feel the magic around them.
“Do you believe in magic?” She once asked Asher, when they were sitting under the swaying pines.
“Every day when I meet you at our tree I get to kiss an angel good morning. Do I believe in magic? Oh yes, you can absolutely bet that I do.”
Janessa felt her body flood with warmth as she recalled the precious memories. Feeling eager to make so many more.
Tomorrow the chimes would ring out once more, like every day before. But right now, at this very moment in time, Janessa was enjoying the sound of silence, no ringing of the chimes.
The night was still and the air was filled with magic. Janessa’s heart was full. This moment in time would not be forgotten. For an instant she believed in the magic of fairies. Perhaps they were flying through the air sprinkling fairy dust all around.
For tomorrow she would be standing on a mountain of love with the love of her life. Janessa knew that tomorrow her life would be forever changed. Forever changed, thanks to one special moment in time. Her wedding day, where she and Asher would be united as one.