Between the turkey and pie, I hope everyone has to opportunity to take a moment and think about what they are thankful for today and every day. We live in such a wonderful time, where we are very blessed and have so much…
Excerpt from Return to New Parish:
Chapter 13 – Let’s Talk
“That morning as they made their grandmother’s cinnamon rolls Sarah hit on exactly what Hannah had been feeling, “This is it. Day after tomorrow they all go back to Georgia and we go back to normal life,” she sighed.
“Yeah, the time goes by so fast it’s like we just get together, then it’s time to go,” Hannah nodded. “It’s the same every year.”
“I’m going to invite Bren and Beth out for Christmas,” Sarah informed. “Mom and Dad will be on their cruise, Dave and Paul always go to their in-laws, so really they won’t have anyone to hang out with over Christmas. Beth usually goes to Bren’s and they have a big deal with Bren’s in-laws, but she doesn’t have in-laws this year. So, maybe they’ll come out here. Do you think Uncle Alex will help out again?”
“It’s a great idea,” Hannah pondered aloud. “I don’t know, probably. I’ll ask him.”
“Cool,” Sarah smiled. “Thanks.”
Later that day, after the feast had been feasted upon, Hannah found Alex hid away in his man cave. He was resting in his chair. His head was positioned on the back of the chair, his hat covering his face, with his feet stretched out in front, one cowboy boot crossed over the other. Hannah knew this posture well by now, he was resting, but not unapproachable.
“Hi,” she spoke quietly as she entered the room.
Alex moved his hand slowly to push his hat out of his way, “Hi,” he smiled easily at her.
“You tired?” she asked. Moving toward him and taking her usual seat on the arm of his chair.
“No ma’am,” he winked. “I’m stuffed.”
Hannah chuckled, then said, “Hey, can I ask a big favor?”
Alex sat up in an attempt to be more attentive and answered, “Yes.”
Hannah took a deep, steadying breath and began, “So, Sarah is going to invite Bren and her kids, and Beth out for Christmas. They’d be staying over at her place.”
Alex nodded at this information and looked as though he were waiting for the favor to be gotten around to.
“The thing is, Bren might not have much money right now, after her ex-husband harpooned her finances. So, I was wondering if we can get them to come out. Can you help with getting them out here? And, by help, I mean, can you pay for it?”
Alex chuckled softly and nodded, “Yes, ma’am, if they want to come out for Christmas, I’ll pay for it.”
“Thank you!” Hannah said excitedly and leaned in to give him a hug.
He reciprocated and said, “You know, I don’t know if you noticed or not, but it’s getting more and more difficult to think of you in a sisterly way.”
Hannah gave into a total giggle fit and wished he hadn’t. That could have been a moment to move their relationship forward, she lamented later.
The next morning Hannah was busy helping everyone get packed and ready to leave early the next morning. It was a linear procession of, “I can’t find my…” to, “Are you sure everything’s going to fit in there?” But eventually everyone was sitting on ready and sort of spreading out to explore options.
By the afternoon her parents were gone over to visit with Brother Michael, Dave and his family were over at Max’s ranch taking riding lessons, Paul was sequestered in his rooms with his wife who refused to leave them and wanted him to tend their little boy, and all the sisters Sarah, Brenda, and Beth were at Hannah’s apartment to visit and eat leftovers. Brenda’s kids and Liam and Cassie were watching Disney movies, which gave the sisters time to really talk and catch up on what was going on in each other’s lives.
“Liam and Sebastian are becoming really good buddies,” Hannah observed.
“They really are,” Brenda agreed. “Sebastian needs that, he’s never really had friends, mostly he just gets bullied at school.”
“Bummer,” Sarah looked concerned. “What are you doing about it?”
“I’m really thinking about home school,” Brenda sighed. “I don’t know really, I’ve talked to his teacher, but she’s got so many kids in her classroom till it’s hard for her to keep eyes on him all the time. Being out here has been really good for him, and that little Liam is scrumptiously adorable.”
“I agree,” Hannah smiled with a bit of pride in her boy.
“Okay, so,” Sarah began, “I want to invite you and Beth out for Christmas. Hannah’s already talked to Uncle Alex and he’ll pay for you guys to come out. You’ll be staying over at my place. Sebastian and Liam will have loads of time to play, and we’d love to have you guys here for Christmas.”
“Wow, really?” Beth replied, looking shocked.
“Yeah, so what do you say?” Sarah encouraged.
Brenda smiled, now looking very happy, “I’m in!”
“Cool!” Sarah and Hannah chimed.
All the attention turned to Beth, who was doing the Mom thing and trying to ignore the offer.
“Come on Beth, what about it?” Sarah tried to encourage her. “Sisters together for Christmas, it’s been a really long time since that’s happened.”
“Okay,” Beth said softly. “But I’m not going to be the one to tell Mom.””
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