This morning, I taunted you with the news that I’d started writing Book 23. Yeah … I’m a meanie. I can hardly help myself sometimes.
I grew up in a family that loved a long, lingering tease. And we weren’t really the type to just let people off the hook once we had them there. Torture, sweet torture, was much more fun. No one was exempt.
When the three of us were just small kids, Mom would pack us up and the family would head to Burlington with Dad. It wasn’t a long trip, by any means, but small town life, you know … going to the big city was special. Anyway, while he was visiting parishioners in the hospital, we’d go shopping or maybe see a movie … anything for a little excitement.
Once Dad was finished, we’d go to McDonalds for dinner. The drive-thru, because Dad was tired and wanted to get home. That was pretty big-time, let me tell you. I don’t know that I ever realized just how little money my Dad made. Somehow he and Mom made a trip to McDonalds (this was the sixties – even before you could feed a family for five dollars and get change back) seem like we’d been given the world.
Cheeseburgers and french fries were on the menu. French fries. Those stupid and amazingly perfect McDonalds french fries.
Jamie and I would eat our sandwiches and french fries like any normal person. It was McDonalds for heaven’s sake. But Carol? She’d watch us and deliberately slow down her intake so that she still had half of her fries in front of her when we were completely done. We’d try to cajole her into sharing. She wasn’t going to do anything of the sort. They were hers. How could we complain about it not being fair? We’d gotten the same amount. She was just smarter than we were about it. Man, she loved those moments.
Then there was Carol and the UPS boxes that came into the shop when we owned a business together. I’d come up to her desk from the back and discover four or five of them stacked beside her – all unopened. She knew exactly how crazy that made me and left them there on purpose. When I planted myself in front of her desk, she just grinned at me. Carol had a pretty good idea what was in those boxes and it was never anything terribly interesting. Or was it?
Of course, that was the girl who secretly ruined Christmas for herself one year by opening her gifts. She never did that again – it wasn’t any fun in the long run.
We learned this from my parents. Christmas morning was the worst from our perspective, but Dad wanted to draw out the fun of the morning. So we’d read the Christmas story, sing a few carols as a family, and then if he was feeling particularly ornery, he’d insist on breakfast before gifts. But you know what? I don’t remember the gifts, I remember the mornings. He won.
Dad was the one who would tie the end of a skein of yarn to a gift (the first time was my first bike) and then walk through the entire house over and over leaving yarn behind him. I had to gather it all up into a ball until I finally made it to the bicycle. It was fun and the anticipation was incredible. He won again.
Book 22 – Lessons of Hope will be here before you know it and not long after that, you’ll be finished reading the story and impatiently waiting for Book 23. There is always something going on in Bellingwood. Lives change, people come and go, and Diane keeps writing. June 25th is coming. I promise.
June 15th – Bellingwood Trivia Night. See, there’s something between now and the book release to look forward to.
I will never stop teasing you … it’s really just been driven down into my DNA by now. LOL.