Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa at The Polar Bear Express

The little minx was throwing daggers with her eyes. Smiling under the long beard, Seamus eerie eyes twinkled. Always Abigail had all but forced Sabrina to let her use The Polar Bear, after he’d made his suggestion.

She’d kill him for this. This was all his fault. She’d been amused as the women had circled him as he stood fuming dressed in the Santa suit. Just that fast he’d turned the tables or more effectively Always Abigail and her crew on her and now she was playing host to almost the entire town on Christmas Eve.

She’d planned to spend this evening sipping hot peppermint tea with her grandmother and Jasper while the tree wrapped presents. Instead she was stilling at her bar nursing eggnog as Seamus played Santa Claus. Raising her glass to him she hoped one of the little kids pissed on his knee.

“The boss is pissed to.” Sabrina turned to see Iles standing next to her with a wide grin on his face. Looking up at him Sabina watched as he signed Rafe the bartender for another cola.

“I am sure he is IIes. But it serves him right for turning Always Abigail on me.”
“He only did it to get close to you. If you’d just forgive him then he can move on and we can leave this place”.

Sabrina looked at IIes and grimaced. She wanted to explain to him that is was more to it than just forgiving IIes. She’d done that long ago. Seamus was a weakness she could not afford to indulge in. Before she could speak IIes was out of his seat headed towards Courtney Benjamin.

IIes and Courtney were sworn enemies are so the rumor mill aka Always Abigail said. But Sabrina had noticed the two watching each other when no one was watching.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Polar Bear Cafe

“Oh, Seamus you are going to make the perfect Santa. The kids are going to love jus love you.” Clapping her hands again Always Abigail left Seamus standing in the middle of the underground train station while she chatted with the other ladies about preparations for the Christmas party.

“Silver, you have to make your famous gingerbread cookies. I can come over and help decorate them.”

“Always Abigail, I think that you should be in charge of this event.” Silver shouted clapping louder than Always Abigail if that was at all possible.

Seamus frown as a shadow caught his eye. It was Sabrina. Standing next to the underground station office with a grin on her face Sabrina watched the women and Seamus. Waving at him she threw her head back with laughter.

Seamus grinned back at her promising retribution.

Seamus turned to Always Abigail and motioned for her to come closer.
“Always Abigail I think I have the perfect place for Santa to set up. We can use The Polar Bear Café. Sabrina has a beautiful tree already decorated and there is a nice big fireplace. I just saw Sabrina over by the depot office you might want to ask her.

Rushing over to the platform Always Abigail and her crew moved with lightening speed to where Sabrina was talking with friends.

“Sabrina, I have a favor to ask. Zach is ill and can’t play Santa this year. We were going to use

Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

“Seamus, I think it fits perfectly.” Always Abigail exclaimed as she all but poured him into the jacket. Seamus stood still as Always Abigail push, pulled and poked at the jacked.

“Seamus, I think you will make a fine Santa. All we need to do is stuff a few pillows under the jacket and we have our Santa.”

Seamus grimaced as Always Abigail called other ladies over to watch him model the Santa jacket. Murmuring as he stood in the middle of a circle of women Seamus wished he’d never left home this morning.

He’d awoke this morning to the sound of Iles screaming about women’s lib. The rest of his crew was about to go stir after being trapped for two days inside. Dressing they all decided to use the underground train system to go to local stores.

The underground train system was one of the things that he loved about the city. Winters were harsh, in Centralia often they lasted close to nine months. Because the town was located high in the Green Mountains the snow often made it impossible to travel the streets. The Town Founders had installed an underground train system when the town was established. Every house, store or building that was build had to have an entrance in their cellar. As the town had grown so had the train system, it now stretches to other cities on the mountain. The system allowed the town to function even when it was covered for months with snow.

When the local mall was built in the eighties the town council had insisted that apartments be build for residents to use if the winter was especially harsh.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa Baby

“Dude, you look like Santa”

Iles voice served to irritate Seamus as he synched the belt on the Santa suit. It had been three days since he accepted the invitation from the town busybody, Always Abigail. How the woman had talked him into dressing up like Santa was beyond him.

“Seamus, Seamus O’Brian” the voice calling out to him was familiar. It Always Abigail town busy body. Most of the town folk avoided the woman like the plague. He wanted to continue walking but, he also was gentleman enough not to want to hurt her feeling or anger his mother who was one of her friends.

“Ms. Abigail, how are ya.” Tipping his imaginary hat he bowed low as the warmth of the underground train station enveloped him.

Reaching up, Always Abigail hugged him tight. “How is your mother, Seamus? Have you been home lately? How is Siobhan and that handsome father of yours. I saw your Aunt Sophia a couple of days ago.

Seamus stood still as Always Abigail prattled on and on never allowing him to get a word in. The only thing he could do was nod at the appropriate moments and hope she stopped to catch her breath.

“Seamus, Zach is sick, so we need someone to play Santa for the kids this year. I think that you and he are about the same height so his suit should fit you.” Pulling the suit from the large bag she was lugging, Always Abigail all but forced it on him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside

Seamus stood outside for a few minutes debating what he should do next. The winds were shifting as the sun started to hide behind the trees. The cold air was freezing his breath midair. The debated raged in his mind as the war claimed his feet. Shifting back and forth he did stop starts until he was all most a foot away from his destiny. If he went to The Polar Bear what would he do next.

Shifting again he turned and looked down main street and realized all most all the curtains including his own were opened as everyone stared at him. Everyone was watching and wondering if he would cross the street.

Cursing Seamus determined this was not the day or the time to confront Sabrina

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seamus O'Brian

“I have five on the boy”

Laughing Sara Sullivan peaked out the side of the window that was not occupied by her companion. “He’ll never give up. I like that about him. He is determined to tame that spirited granddaughter of mine.”

“I don’t know Sara, Sabrina is a hard case. I think she’s still smarting from that shooting and before that her mother’s death.

Jasper sat in the chair next to the window pulling Sara into his lap.
“You worry too much Sara. Sabrina is going to be fine.”

“You didn’t see her when she first came here Jasper. Her Judd and I were scared that she would never come back to use. There was a sadness there that would not go away.”

Sara sat content in her new lovers’ arms. Thinking of the past..

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seamus O'Brian

The risk was great if he carried through on his plan to walk across the street. For one he knew Sabrina would not open the door. Second the wind chill was so low that he might not make it to her door, more than likely he would freeze to death before he ever made it to the door.

Taking his chances Seamus headed to The Polar Bear in.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seamus O'Brian

Seamus stood at the window watching, waiting on Sabrina to come out again.

“Boss, I don’t think she’d going to like you staring at her place like that”.

Turning, his ice blue eyes towards Iles, Seamus smiled a wicked smile.

“She loves me man she just doesn’t realize it yet” Letting the curtain go Seamus moved from the window picking up his contact lens case.

“I am sure she does, boss. I am sure after she kicks your sorry ass again she’ll realize it.”

Iles was his second in command and also a friend since he joined the CIA. The two had gone through more booze and women then he wanted to count.

“Boss, I think the lady has made it clear she wants not part of you. I think we should leave and find a woman that does want you.”

Popping in his brown contacts, Seamus dismissed the conversation. Iles had been belly aching since they arrived and it wasn’t from lack of companionship. The women in town were head over heels for the six four warrior.

“Come on chocolate thunder” Seamus said smiling at the name the only women in town who’d not fallen under the spell Iles had case on all the others.

“Now boss that is just wrong. That woman is the devils sisters."

Courtney Benjamin was the only woman Seamus had ever met that did not fall in love with Iles. Courtney was six feet tall with shoulder length hair and dark brown eyes.

“Come on Iles the woman is beautiful.”

Frowning, Iles changed the subject back to Seamus.

“Come on Seamus, the woman runs every time you come around. I think you should keep searching. This woman is going to be a problem. She’ll never accept you.”

“Look Iles, she’ll come round once she sees my winning personality”.

Pulling on his cap and coat after making sure his contacts were in place. Seamus moved to the door.

“Where ya going boss?”

“To start charming my mate Iles.”

Slamming the door behind him. Seamus looked across the street and smiled.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seamus O'Brian

Seamus watched the door to The Polar Bear in expectation of Sabrina coming back out and needing help with the plywood that keep blowing off the windows.

The little minx never shied away from work and refused to ask for help, he took that back, she refused to ask for his help. She was still pissed about his interruption of her mission. When he’d gotten the call from his father that something was going on in town and Siobhan had a strange new friend he immediately began to investigate. The terror he felt was overwhelming he was afraid his identity was broken and his family was in danger.

His father had sent him information he’d collected on Sabrina who was going by the name Mara Sullivan. After a background check through the CIA database he realized she did not exist except on paper with a few well placed references. To anyone but an agent, she was who and what she said she was, a recently divorced woman looking to start over.

Leaving his latest mission early, he got on his motorcycle and headed home. He’d arrived the day before Sabrina was shot and pumped his sister for information. After a little recon he thought he had the scam all figured out based on the information he garnered Sabrina and the bank president were counterfeiters using his baby sister to exchange fake bills at the bank.

It was only at the last minute when he arrived at the bank vie a window he’d jimmied that he heard the bank president give the order to kill Sabrina and his entire family. Thank goodness his team had come with him.

He’d left Iles and Cam at his parents’ home. The two would kill anyone that dared try and harm them. His sister Siobhan was in the bank with Sabrina unprotected. He and three of his men, Hart, Danger and Sabin were at the bank ready to rescue his sister. Now the plan changed they need to rescue the two women and neutralize the threat to his family.

Signaling his team outside he prepared to take down the bank president. It was only after he’d kicked the door in did he recognize one of the men standing outside the bank presidents door as Secret Service. It’s was too late to call his plan off as he stormed in determined to rescue the women.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The wind was blowing harder as the earth became A frozen tundra. He watched from the window as the snow fell harder than it ever had. The dusk of night was settling over the tiny town as the arctic water left the lake and pounced into the small village.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Seamus O’ Brian was the older brother of her teller. In all the research she’d done on the teller, Siobhan O’Brian the fact that her older brother was CIA was never revealed. The information had been buried deep. No one outside of the agency or the town knew she had an older sibling or any sibling for that matter. According to the records the teller was an only child with a large extended family of male cousins who watched out for her.

She now knew Seamus was fifteen years older than Siobhan and already out of the house when their family moved outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico. His identity was carefully recreated with the cooperation of his family and the CIA. Now she knew that Seamus posed as one of her cousins when he was in town. That was not the only information that had been buried deep.

Their father was a retired operative also. He’d gotten suspicious when he’d investigated his daughters new friend at the bank. He’d went beyond the information the Secret Service crafted and found that her identify did not exist beyond a few well placed job references. Suspicious he’d called Seamus who’d roared into town to protect his sister thinking his identity had been compromised.

Seamus came roaring into town at the precise moment she was confronting the bank president with his misdeeds. At the precise moment, Seamus used his CIA training to enter the bank and confront her and the bank president thinking she was involved in whatever was going on.

Sitting behind his desk the bank president pulled out a gun and fired, hitting her in the shoulder. As she fell Seamus put a bullet through the bank president’s head. He’d saved her life that night as her team rushed in not knowing if she was friend or foe he’d stopped the bleeding and made a tourniquet that doctors told her saved her life. He’d even given her blood after finding out the small hospital in Las Vegas did not have her type. He’d even sat at her bedside for days afterwards until she came to weeks later.

She’d never forget coming awake to a man over six feet five with shoulder length hair struggling to find comfort in a too tiny chair. His café ole skin was smooth and when he opened his eyes they were a rich brown.

“Are you?” he’d said moving quickly to the bed as she struggled to pull the tube out of her throat.


Rubbing her aching shoulder, Sabrina refill her glass and threw another log on the fire. The shooting was becoming a distant memory except for the ache that would not go away. Sitting at the counter she rolled her neck as the stress of the memory still made her sad.

She’d been with the Secret Service six years back then and this was her first assignment as the agent in charge. A group of amateur counterfeiters were flooding the area with bogus $5.00 dollar bills. The locals had finally asked for help after the local bank was overrun with fake money. After two months of assessing the situation she’d realized the bank was ground zero in the counterfeit operation, one of the tellers was replacing fake bills for real money, so she went undercover as a teller.

She’d befriended the twenty year old female teller who she suspects as being part of the counterfeit operation. She’d soon realized the teller was being used rather than being actually part of counterfeit operation. Her final investigation revealed the president of the bank was ground zero in the operation.

The night they planned to take the counterfeiters down everything went wrong. The blame for the failed operation rested on the shoulders of the innocent teller’s brother Seamus O'Brian.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


She hadn’t grown up in Centralia but she’d spent all her summers there with her grandparents. The most fun she had as a child was in Centralia with both sets of her grandparents

Her father was a career Navy man who moved every four years until she turned thirteen when he became a SEAL trainer at Quantico. Her mother had died when in a car accident when she was 6 weeks old. Refusing to turn her over to either her mother’s or his own parents her father reared her alone.

The year she graduated from college he’d remarried a lieutenant on the base and settled in marital bliss.

Sipping on her float Sabrina relaxed in her chair. The lights flickered again as the wind howled louder.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Seamus watched as Sabrina’s hair tumbled in the wind as she opened the door to The Polar Café. Seamus unlatched the front door of his general store ready to assist her if needed. Rubbing his chin Seamus sighed as the former Secret Service agent took out a hammer and nailed the wood over her windows tighter.

Sabrina cursed as she nailed. She could feel Seamus O’Brian’s eyes on her back. The bastard was watching her as he always did. The former CIA operative was crafty. Hitting the nail one last time Sabrina left the wind propel her to the front door. Letting it slam shut after her she sat at the table closes to the door.

The wind howled louder as she sat and drank her cherry coke float and watched the fireplace flicker. She’s relocated to Centralia after being shot by counterfeiters in Atlanta. The sting had gone bad after a rouge CIA operative recognized her; she ended up with a bullet in her shoulder.

After six months of R&R she decided to tenure her resignation and start over. She’s spent more than a year bouncing around the country until her grandmother invited her to Centralia to run The Polar Bear. The invitation had been a good sent.
She’d been teaching at U of A when grandma Sara had tracked her down. She’d only said two words come home when they first spoke. After she’d ended her day she’d called her back worried she was ill. Instead she found her grandmother as she always had full of energy but needing a break from the café she and Sabrina’s grandfather had started years ago.

With the semester ending in a couple of weeks and unwilling to sign on for another semester, Sabrina notified the university of her decision and packed her bags for Centralia. The moment her little brown convertible cross the state line she knew she was home.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Storm of the Century

The storm of the century blew in with high winds and surging waves, pummeling the small town of Centralia.
The National Guard had ordered evacuations two days ago. Most of the residents had decided to stay except for a scattered few newcomers who’d lived in the town less than 3 years. They were not use to the weather and thought it best to leave rather than brave out the storm. Those who stayed were huddled in their homes praying the storm would leave as swiftly as it came in. State officials warned residents in harm's way to secure home heating fuel tanks in case sea water flooded into communities.
The howling winds sang out as the surging arctic waves came ashore threatening to erode the very ground the town sat on. If the town flood and evacuations became necessary everyone would use the underground subway system.
The weather had been fickled since the start of winter. The town had prayed that shore-fast ice would form before the storm started. It was not to be as the chill in air became came with sub-zero temperature that plunged the town into an ice age. 80 mph winds battered the town slowly with sure fire precision.
The boarded up windows on the buildings began to sway under the weight of the winds. The icy rain hit the sidewalks with stinging drops that shattered on impact.
The sirens at the west end of town began to go off as the full force of the storm came ashore. It was time.
Seamus stood watch out his bedroom window watching as the sky opened and sheets of ice came down. Looking out the window Sabrina watched, praying the shore-fast ice would form soon to protect the town. The windows were boarded up at the Polar Cafe, were holding as the icy rain turned to powder white snow. The Christmas tree in the corner twinkled as the lights all over town flickered.
The storm of the century had made landfall.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Construction is Almost Complete

Always Abigail took the summer off to renovate the cottage house she moved in last winter. While she was away, lots of exciting things happened in Centraila!

With construction almost finished Always Abigail is looking forward to returning, to her favorite town on September 1, to update everyone before the new Fall season begins.

If you enjoy bad grammar, horrible spelling and the charm of a small town then tune in to Always Abigail this fall.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Under Construction

I am currently working on redesigning the blog. That redesign includes a new header with my name and logo.

The new blog should be up September 1, 2011.

So, don’t mind all the hammering, sawing and flying debris.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Town Gossip

Ebb Turner sat in the middle of the mall still observing as people began to make their way to their private apartments or to the courtyard for dinner. Ebb loved it when the food court got busy. It was the best time to get the latest gossip. There was nothing like being stuck in the mall for the evening to loosen the tongues of men. Don’t look so outraged. Men are the biggest gossips in the world. They might not say it but they often gossip.

Tonight it looked like most of the folks in town were stuck in the mall. Looking over to the Ice Cream Parlor Ebb saw Barley, Aiden and Jake. Barley owned a dairy farm on the Outskirts of town and Aiden and Jake worked at the local police station. There should be a whole lot of gossip amongst the men tonight.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Maya: The Spa

Ladies may I have your attention. Due to the excessive snow fall Mayor Fields is requiring everyone to spend the night at the mall. Maya made the announcement over the loud speak.

This was going to be a busy night. Based on the report from the sheriff’s office she and the others might be snowed in the mall for the rest of the week. Thank goodness she and her staff maintained apartments in the mall like the rest of the residents of Centralia.

Picking up her current guest list she called ahead to ensure each ladies keys were brought over and left at the front desk. Looking down the list she noted Always Abigail and Shannon her ex daughter in law were getting a massage as well as her sons current fiancé Meredith. Well this should be interesting. Always Abigail’s apartment adjoined those belonging to both Always Abigail and her son. Since Shannon was a guest in town it would be expected that she stay in either of the apartments. This should be interesting.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Spa

Meredith changed heavy in thought. Bending down to takeoff her shoes she missed the two women coming through the front door. “Shannon, this is just what we need! A nice relaxing massage,a soak, and a facial! I do hope that Sophia is here today. I swear that woman’s hands are magic!” Shannon sighed as Always Abigail prattled on. She loved her ex mother in law but at times the woman could drive her to a distraction. Looking around Shannon was reminded of old times when she and her friends would come to the spa and enjoy a girl’s day out. Smiling she stretched. When she and Zach first married and moved to Centralia those were the best times in their marriage. Rubbing her neck she followed Always Abigail into the massage room. Maybe this was what she needed a little time to get herself together. Besides that Peter would be here soon and she would feel much, much better about meeting Zach and his fiancé. Closing her eyes she continued to listen at Always Abigail as she detailed her list of things to do that afternoon. Always Abigail seemed to slowly quite down to only grunts of pleasure as Sophia began her massage. Reaching over to her left side Sophia turn on what Shannon recognized as Always Abigail favorite musical artist. The music added to the holistic atmosphere as the smell of jasmine began to move in the air. This was surely what she need. Always Abigail was right. Funny the woman always seemed to know what people needed to feel better.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Spa

Meredith called ahead to the spa to ensure she could get in. In a rush she stopped at Tricia’s Dress Shop. No way was she meeting Zach's ex in her ratty old dress and scuffed shoes. A new dress and a sexy pair of shoes were in order. Choosing a sapphire dress and matching strappy sandals she paid the clerk and ask that the clothes be sent over to the spa later. Smiling as she almost skipped across the mall walk way, Meredith was ready to get a massage and relax. That's what she needed to clear her head and prepare to meet her fiancé’s ex.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Meredith watched the women from the upper levels of the mall. So, this was Zach’s ex. The picture he kept in his study did not do her justice. The raven haired, dark chocolate beauty was not the ugly beast Meredith wish she was. She was even more beautiful in person.

Taking a deep breath she studied the woman as she enjoyed her lunch with Always Abigail. Why was she back in Centralia? According to Always Abigail she was happily married and living in Paris. What should she do? Should she speak to her?

Looking down at herself she noticed her shoes seemed a little more scuffed than usual and her dress was not as pretty as she would have liked it to meet Zach’s ex. Darn, what a day to meet the ex. Maybe she should book a room at the spa.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Funny Valentine: The Mall

There are days that life in Centralia resembles a Normal Rockwell painting. Everything on the canvas speaks to the beauty of life in an ideal place to live, work and rear kids. One only has to sit in the middle of the mall to see that Centralia is that town. People move about in a less hurried fashion. Chatting with a neighbor is none negotiable. You see me, we chat, I see you, and we chat.

The people of Centralia enjoy the laid back atmosphere. They never long for times gone by. They are modern and progressive. The take only the good things from the past and bring them forth . People are a most cherished resource. All citizens have value and worth.
Take for instance Always Abigail the meddlesome woman is a transplant from the big city. She came here in a whirlwind at the invitation of her BFF Sophia. Town folk liked her at first until the woman started to interfere in everyone’s love life. She means well but after a while she can kind of grates your nerves with her constant meandering and obsession with match making. But she’s a sweetheart when she smiles. Eveyone loves her.

I see she’s with Shannon former wife of her son Zach. Most folks are wondering why Shannon is back given Zach just got engaged to Meredith. Folks round here are mighty curious as to why Shannon chose this time to visit since she’s not been back to Centralia since she and Zach divorced. Yep, we are a small town of nosey folks you might say.

I see Tricia’s serving sandwiches to Shannon and Always Abigail I ought to stop in and say hi but I want. Wouldn’t want to give Always Abigail the notion that I am single and available next thing you know I am half way down the aisle on my way to wedded bliss. Oh, by the way I am Ebb Turner and I’m single and not looking for a booty call or a hook up. I’ve lived in Centralia since the turn of the century. I’ve seen lots of folks come and go. The best folks is the ones that stay cause they love the small town life. I venture to say everyone in Centralia is here cause they love small town life.

Take poor Jon the manager of the shoe store. He’s a native Centralian been here for as long as I can remember. He opened the shoe store back in ’45. Poor boys is in love with Tricia over at the dress shop. He’s been even more goo-goo eyed then usual behind Tricia since the Christmas Eve ball. Without Always Abigail’s interference I am not sure the boy would ever get the nerve up to ask her out.

That Always Abigail is a hoot. Most folks put up with her because in the end she makes their lives better when she fixes’em up with their perfect match. The woman does have the magic touch. One has to wonder what she is thinking now that her son’s ex is back. I saw Meredith in the mall a few minutes ago and from the look of the snow falling outside, I’d say most of the folks in the mall will be spending the night.

If I was a nosey fella which I am not I’d want to be a fly on the wall when the ex’ Mrs., meets the future Mrs. it should be interesting.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Funny Valentine Lunch

The delicious smorgasbord of sandwiches that Tricia served made Always Abigail and Shannon mouths water. Served on fresh baked bread with to die for homemade mayonnaise the two devoured sandwiches as they giggled and filled their plates with some of everything they saw. The cheeses were robust and scrumptious and the fruit looked fresh picked. The dessert tray held delicious delicate tasty treats for the most discriminating palate.

Plates pilled high Always Abigail and Shannon made their way to the upper covered deck so they could watch the snow while they enjoyed their sandwiches. Not a word was spoken as the meal was eaten. The ladies sighed as they enjoyed watching the people pass by. The beauty of the mall is the people.

Centralia Central Mall is located in the heart of the outskirts. It’s one of the few places on the Outskirts that can be reached by underground tram in winter. Filled with specialty and big name stores lots of folks flock to the mall on the underground tram on snow days. With winters that last almost 9 months the mall is the local hangout for both adults and kids.

Bigger than The Mall of America, Centralia Central Mall could be spread over 10 football field. Along with all the stores there are apartments on the bottom floor in case the winter weather gets so bad the tram can’t run. There is a full service amusement park for the kids, theatre, museum, golf course and a supper club along with chain restaurants. There is also a green house and a deck that is open in the summer and covered in the winter to allow residents to sit and enjoy the falling snow without the cold. Heated by solar panels residents can enjoy the sun all year long.

Still enjoying their sandwiches the ladies watched as the mall began to fill with people. Some shopping, some headed to the second floor to eat. Looking up they notices the snow was coming down harder.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Funny Valentine ~The Dress


The voice over the phone was one she knew well it was her husband, Peter. Peter was the man whose love. He’d saved her soul from wilting and dying. Peter was her, past, present and future. He was the man that she would grow old with.

“Do not cry. my love. I know this is an emotional journey. That is why I am on my way to Centralia. I should be in there by dinner." Peter gave her the details of his arrangements as she tried to calm herself.

Letting the tears fall she listened as Peter talked. That was one of the things that she fell in love with. He always knew when she needed him the most. Unlike Zach he would notice if she moved her clothes out of their closet. He would notice if they were not communicating. He would notice and he would do everything to make it right.

Still sniffing Shannon sat on the toilet and cried for what the happiness she was denied long ago. Her tears were burial tears. Zach was her past, Meredith was his future. Peter was on his way. All was well with the universe. If possible she would delay the meeting with Meredith until Peter was by her side. Wiping her face the door to the ladies room swung open.

“Shannon sweetheart are you all right, it’s me Always Abigail. You know Zach’s mom, the woman you came to the store with. I am about 5’10 or is it 6”0. Oh, darn I do wonder sometimes how tall I am. I have long dark hair, I always wear pink. Shannon?”

“I am ok; I just needed a moment to myself. I was a little overwhelmed for a moment”.

“Oh, dear. I kind of felt that way until I realized that poor salesman, Jon is all alone. I think he and Tricia who owns the dress shop next door would make great couple."

Getting up as Always Abigail prattled Shannon realized she had two options sit and listen to Always Abigail or leave the bathroom and pray the woman found someone else to match make. The woman loved to match make. It always amazed her that in all her match making she never realized the two people she selected were not even remotely interested in finding love.

Laughing she choose option two leave she knew there just way Always Abigail would not find someone else to match make. Unless the poor woman fell dead she would find some poor soul that was a happy bachelor or bachelorette to ruin with her match making skills.

Drying her eyes Shannon exited the stall to Always Abigail’s open arms. There was no need for words. Always Abigail was a nurturer she loved people and people loved her. Ok, kinda sort.

“Oh dear, don’t cry Always Abigail is here! I took care of everything. I shooed Meredith away. What say we shop a little longer and then get something to eat? I am sure you will feel better once you get something delicious in your tummy. But first you must see the most divine dress over at Tricia’s Dress Shop.” Prattling on again Always Abigail waved at the salesman, Jon who seemed to run away as she walked up.

“I suppose Jon is running off to plan his first date with Tricia.” Well, let’s get some of those delicious sandwiches that Tricia serves to her very special customers. I do hope she is in today. I want to talk to her and find out what her ideas are for a successful first date. Maybe I can pass it on to Jon.”

Crossing the mall floor Always Abigail gooshed at the little black dress.

Ever wonder what a blank stare really looks like. After listening to Always Abigail at this moment I know what it is now. *Blank Stare*

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Funny Valentine: Shannon & Always Abigail Shop

Always Abigail put her plan into action over a new pair of spring sandals. First they would shop, then lunch, then dessert at the Chocolate Lady that should get the ball rolling.

“Shannon you and I have to stop by the Chocolate Lady and have dessert. They make the most divine triple chocolate covered peanuts served over ice cream and chocolate cake.” Always Abigail said, her lips curving into a deep smile of remembered happiness at eating the scrumptious dessert. “I had one just yesterday and it was over the top fatting. I am so glad you are here to give me and excuse to get another one today.”

Shannon smiled as Always Abigail continued to prattle on about the Chocolate Lady while trying on shoes. Sighing she realized her motives for coming to Centralia were not as pure as she once thought they were. She was here for more than assurance that Zach was happy. She was here to figure what his fiancée had that she did not. Did she want to see her she wasn’t sure.

When their marriage failed she was as dumbfounded as Zach seemed in his first letter after the divorce. Looking up she watched as Always Abigail laughed and chatted up the male shoe salesman who appeared to be rolling his eyes.

“So, Jon, have you given any thought to taking Tricia out for dinner on Sunday? I think the two of you would make the most adorable couple. She is such a sweet girl. I tell you what. I can arrange a chance meeting for the two of you at the carriage house.” Jon, the sales clerk rolled his eyes again as Always Abigail continued to try and match make.

Out the front window behind her was the woman Shannon recognized from
the newspaper with Zach, his fiancée’ blinking she watched as the woman came toward the store with a smile on her face. Shannon braced herself. She knew in coming back she would meet the woman who took her place. This was the woman who thawed Zach’s heart.

Panicking she wonder what she should do. Should she rush over and introduce herself or should she wait for Always Abigail to introduce her. Hyperventilating Shannon closed her eyes and tried to calm down and get a grip on her emotions.

Oh, NO! A thought crossed her mind quickly. What if Zach was with here? What would this meeting be like? She’d planned to meet with Zach privately at first then maybe his fiancée’. No, true be told she never planned to meet his fiancée’. She wanted to meet Zach and find out what went wrong. Over the years they’d exchanged letters but never in all the years that had passed had the two of them really discussed the disintegration of their marriage.

Though she was happily married now, she still wondered if they could have made. The what if’s bombarded were bombarding her more and more since Zach’s engagement. What it if they had talked more, spent more time together what if he cared enough to not let her go? That was the reason she left Paris the ifs needed answers.

Looking around she bolted for the bathroom and a moment of privacy. Pulling out her cell phone as she moved she called the one man needed assurance form at this moment. Tears falling she punched in the number praying he would answer.


Friday, February 18, 2011

My Funny Valentine: Shannon & Always Abigail

Hugging Shannon a brilliant idea popped into Always Abigail’s head shopping. Shopping always cured what ailed her. Maybe new pair of shoes would help the two of them relax and talk. Turning slightly Always Abigail saw Zach standing at the foot of the courthouse. The emotions flashing crossing his face were vivid.

The best thing to do was to prolong the meeting of he and Shannon until he could figure out what he wanted to do. Besides that she wanted Meredith and Shannon to meet on even footing. It was best to gage the reason Shannon was back before she allowed the two to meet. If her goal was to interfere in Zach’s then it was her duty as a mother to stop her.

“Shannon, how is the hubby and the kids? How long are you going to be here? Why are you here? I love that color on you. Hum, Have you eaten today? I am hungry. What say you we head over the the steakhouse and get something to eat.”

Smiling Shannon hugged Always Abigail tighter. This is what she missed. Always Abigail and her insisted conversations that were on sided. The woman could talk a mile a minute and never come up for air when she was plotting. Letting her go Always Abigail took the lead and lead Shannon to the rail station below the courthouse.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Funny Valentine: War for Zach's Soul

My Funny Valentine: War for Zach’s Soul

Zach watched as his mother walked up the stairs and greeted Shannon his ex-wife. God when did his world change? If he asked Always Abigail she would say the moment he turned his back on the best thing that ever happen to him, Shannon.

He’d made his peace with leaving Shannon long ago. He’d finally moved on with Meredith his fiancée of two months. Looking up at the courthouse he realized his soul would not be at peace until the war with his heart was over. But the war it seemed was just beginning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Always Abigail~My Funny Valentine

All is not happy in Centralia. The ghost of relationships past are all around

Standing outside the courthouse Always Abigail watched as Shannon her ex-daughter in law paced back and forth in front of the window. This was trouble more trouble than even she, Always Abigail, could stir up. Shannon was back and no good could come of this. Why, oh why, did she not stay in Paris with her husband and kids?

“She’s back and I plan to see her mother”

The words still echoed in Always Abigail’s head. Zach never called her mother. Since he was 16 she’d always been Always Abigail. The fact that he called her mother said volumes about his emotional state. Should she interfere? No, she couldn’t. What could go wrong if a mother tried to protect her child?

She loved them both. Zach her son and Shannon the ex-daughter in-law who she still called and talked to regularly. She’d adopted Shannon’s kids as her own grandchildren. They called her Grammy. She visited Paris every Spring for months. Why was she scared now?

Maybe she should leave and go home. No, that would not work. She needed to speak with Shannon and find out why she was here. No matter how much she tried she could not fathom why the woman would show up now just when Zach was getting over her and moving on with his life.

What to do, what to do. Ok, she would stand and stare at Shannon until she figured it out. Today was a good day to stare and figure things out.

Looking out the window Shannon watched as Zach’s mother started at her. The woman was a menace to society. She was always interfering. While she never interfered in her and Zach’s life, she never hesitated to put her two cents into the love lives of everyone else. Despite it all Shannon like the woman. When Shannon left Zach she was devastated. Leave it to Always Abigail to try and cheer her up by sending her a year of fruit. Smiling Shannon remembered all the things Always Abigail did over the years when she first arrived in Paris after she divorced Zach. A year of pasta, French lessons even a big screen TV and satellite TV. The two spoke often never about Zach just about her antics in Centralia.

Always Abigail was the personification of love. The woman lived for happy endings. Staring back could tell Always Abigail was distressed, worried about her visit. She wanted to reassure her that she was not here to cause trouble. She was only here to make sure that the man she once loved was…..what happy…about to marry the right woman…..Shannon was not sure what was at the heart of her visit. Looking down the stairs again Shannon braced herself to greet her ex mother in-law.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day in Centralia and all hearts are aflutter.

I love Valentine's Day. It's that one day of the year when love is on display. I often forget birthdays and anniversaries but like everyone else I can't forget Valentine's Day. I am a great mate. I just forget until the last minute to do somthing for special occasions that should be remembered.

In a perfect world everyday would be Valentine's Day. There would be no need for Valentine's Day because every husband or wife would speak words of love without failure. There would be an acknowledgement of LOVE all the time.

In the real world I live in while it is possible it sometimes does not happen. There are those that get it right 365 days a year without failure. They send flowers and lavish love on their mates making it Valentine's Day everyday of the year. My hats off to them.

Yet, that is not the reality for many lovers. Including myself. I plan a special dinner and a kid gets sick. Date night has to be cancelled because I am too tired. I plan a romantic picnic, evening, or just a few minutes alone in the bathroom and there is pounding at the door "mom"!

Kids, work, LIFE they seem to overshadow everything.

That is why I for one love Valentine's Day. I am so glad that I have one day to lavish love, balloons,candy, hugs and kisses on the one I love. While I should do it everyday I don't. I wish I did. I really wish I did.

I wish that I could stand up and say everyday is like Valentine's in my life. It's not and you know what that's OK. Because once a year I Rock my own world on February 14. I go all out! Hearts, flowers, candy, bubble baths, flowers on the flower on the floor. I plan for weeks! I refuse to let anything stop me!

Love is 365 day a year without failure. Love is a everyday thing or it should be. Love is more than Valentine's Day and should be acknowledged with every breathe we take. That is why I make a pledge to do better each and every year Valentine's Day rolls around.

I pledge to say I love you everyday and do something special for my mate. I want to lavish hugs, kisses and romance on the one I love 364 days year . I want to plan a special dinner or night out a couple of times a month. I want Valentines Day to be just another day of the year nothing special. Will it happen who knows.

If not I'll keep making my pledge every year until I get it right. But until I do Valentine's Day will be my one day a year that I go all out and show love like I wish I did 364 days a year.

Happy Valentines’ Day From Always Abigail

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

The clock chimed 3am. She was in town. The woman Zach spent half his life loving. His wife. No his ex-wife Shannon. The woman he owed so much yet, gave so little of himself too. Shannon. Standing at the window looking out, the falling snow reminded him of the nights he and Shannon spent sharing ice cream sundaes and making snow angels.

Those were the days he longed for when the relationship went sour. They were also the reason he waited so long to commit to Meredith. He’d been happy once and then suddenly one day he woke up and the love was gone. Walking out the door never seemed to be an option. He was a man in a marriage that wanted his freedom. Staying did not make any sense.

He remembered the day he came home and the closet was empty. He was relieved that she was leaving. Relived that she not him had the courage to walk away. Sometimes he thought he knew the day the loved end and sometimes he was not sure. What he knew for sure was the last two years of their marriage it was a struggle just to come home at night. Looking over at the dresser he saw the plague he had made the day after she left “a house divided cannot stand”. Abraham Lincoln was right. Their house was divided before she left. Divided, not standing, but sinking in a river of misery.

It was his fault. He’d insisted on the marriage and moving back to Centralia. Shannon wanted to wait to get married after she finished her masters and start their new life somewhere else. He’d gotten his way and they married a year earlier than expected and she’s finished her masters as his wife in Centralia. Maybe they could have made it if he had been more flexible and listen to her with his heart instead of being hard headed, stubborn or determined to have his way.

It was the reason he sent Jay to the divorce proceedings. He could not face her. He remembered the morning she left. He’d kissed her good bye and never looked back. The divorce was his fault. He’d made their lives miserable. Two years of a miserable existence and he could not even face the woman he’d loved more than life itself at one time.

In an attempt to atone for his failures in the marriage he did what he could to easy Shannon’s way as she started a new life. One night while making snow angels she said it was her dream to live in Paris and teach art to American school children when they retired. That’s why he bought her a house in Paris and pulled a few strings to get her an interview at an American school teaching art. He even hired a PI to keep track of her and make sure she was happy and settling into her new life. He was sure if she made it six months she would stay forever.

He waited 6 months before he started to write her. He was still angry with himself for the way he treated her. His first letter was an apology. She never wrote back. But that never stopped him from writing month after month. Then out of the blue after two years she wrote back. He she said should could never forgive him but she could admit her part in the marriage going sour. They both were responsible in some way for the dissolution of their marriage. They wrote to each other for years by snail mail though they did often use email he still loved to send and receive letters in the mail.

He was glad when she met Peter an American Business living in Paris. He had his PI check him out to make sure he was good guy for his Shannon. The first time he saw Shannon in 5years was when he went to Paris to give her away at her wedding. Unconventional for most but for the two of them it was right. Over the years they’d developed a deep and abiding loved that was more than what they had when they were marriage. This was the real deal friendship they never had while they were married.

Across town

The clock chimed at 3am. This was their time to share. Zach and she use to get up late at night and make ice cream sundaes and talk until sun rise. The first year she spent alone in Paris she would wake up and think of Zach and cry. It took sometime but she was finally able to sleep after she married Peter. They now had their own special time. Mornings were the nectar of the Gods that she and Peter shared.

Zach’s Place

She was worried. The tingle in her back was growing worst and Zach could not sleep. Something wicked was coming their way and she was sure it was directed at she and Zach’s relationship. Pretending she was sleep she rolled over as Zach got back in bed and pulled her close.

There was a problem and she was not sure what it was as she snuggled closed to the man she loved. Listening to his heart beat she smiled. It took 4 years for Zach to finally come around and accept their relationship. Now in one day it seemed something had shaken it to its foundation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

It was less than a month before Valentine’s Day. Meredith wanted to plan something special for Zach. Their engagement had been the talk of the town for weeks. Five years in the making Meredith was ready to settle down and enjoy life with Zach.

The Chocolate Lady opened the day after Christmas and sells were good so far. With only a month until Valentine’s Day Meredith had lots of orders already for special gift baskets, cakes and chocolate fountains that she and her staff of three were working on.

Stringing the Valentines in the window she noticed a raven haired women getting out of her walk crossing the street. The woman must be new in town. Meredith did not recognize her or her car. Besides very few people would walk in the elements when the underground rail system linked all the house and stores in town. The streets of Centralia were empty and had been that way since the Christmas holidays.

Glancing at the woman again as Meredith watched as she was headed to the courthouse. Maybe she was not a new comer at all. Getting off the counter Meredith felt a tingle go up her spine. If she remembered correctly her grandmother would say “something wicked this way comes”. The woman stood for a moment at the courthouse before she walked in. Ensuring she was not caught in the approaching snow storm Meredith was relieved when the woman walked in as the snow began to fall.

Sitting down on the large bench surrounded by gigantic glass windows Shannon watched as the snow began to fall. It has been years since she had enjoyed a lush snow fall. Turning she looked around the centuries old courthouse. The place was always opened for stragglers who got caught in a snow storm or lost their way in the winter. There were signs to direct visitors to the rail system below or the root cellar filled with fresh food each week. There was even a full service hotel under the courthouse for visitors or in case of a town emergency.

The streets were empty she guessed most of the towns people were probably using the underground rail system to stay out of the snow and cold. Smiling Shannon walked over to the newspaper stand and bought a newspaper. It was time to catch up on what she’d missed over the couple of weeks while traveling to Centralia.

Putting her paper under her arm Shannon wondered down to stairs to the hotel under the courthouse where she’d already booked a room. The small lobby was empty except for Taylor the bellhop. Smiling and taking her key Shannon headed down the hall to her suite her only thoughts were on tomorrow.

Flopping on the bed Shannon removed her shoes and hoped Centralia was ready for her.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Funny Valentine

The road to love is never smooth. Witness the visitor that just arrived in Centralia. All lovers due well to remember: A once broken heart is stirred anew when whispers of a new love spark flames afar.

Snow covered most of the town. The beautiful woman stepped out of her rental preferring walking to reacquaint herself with the town she spent much of life in. Looking around not much had changed since she left town years ago. That’s what she liked about Centralia it rejected change.

People came and went most didn’t die but they did leave for centuries or generations only to come back to the place they called home. Centralia was built in the heart of the Republic of Vermont. It was a small town that everyone who ever stepped foot in it never wanted to leave.

She remembered the day she left. It was the hardest thing she ever did. Her marriage was over. The love of her life was distant, unapproachable. She needed more than he was ever going to give her. He did not love her anymore and she refused to continue to try to make the failed relationship work.

The week before she left for good she packed her bags leaving the closet bare of anything that belonged to her. Silently she hoped he would notice the empty closet. Everything she owned was removed from the house. She was not disappointed when he didn’t.

He stopped noticing her 3 years ago. She could almost touch the hour, the minute, the second that his heart untwined from hers. It was Valentine’s Day the same day they meet and the same day they married year later. They sat at dinner never speaking, never touching, and never speaking.

She left a year later on Valentines morning. She kissed him good bye as tears fell from her eyes. He never seemed to notice. He walked out the door never looking back never speaking. They always had plans on Valentines’. This time he never even mentioned it.

Pulling her coat closer she crossed the street. It was time to confront the pass and meet the woman who thawed the ice around Zach’s heart.

The local paper she still subscribed to mentioned he’d become engaged on Christmas. Reading the words hurt but the picture of the happy couple hurt even more. It’d been 15 years since she last saw him. He never bothered to show up for the divorce proceeding. Jay the local divorce attorney showed up with a generous settlement, a plan ticket to Paris, and the keys and the deed to a villa.

She’d spent the night before the divorce proceeding hoping; praying he would show up and proclaim his love for her or at least want to see her one last time. He did neither. She walked out the courthouse that day bitter, angry and not ready to let go of her past.

About 6 months later the first letter came. It was an apology. He’d known things were not good but he never had the courage to leave. Marriage was forever in his book. He stilled loved her but not the way a husband loves a wife or should love a wife. He gave her the option to leave him to find the love she deserved.

A month later another letter came and another month after month he wrote her. It took her some time but after two years she began to write back. Then every year like clockwork he sent her a 3 gifts one for her birthday, one for Christmas and on Valentine’s Day.

The Valentine’s gifts were the first to stop five years ago. That was the day she realized he stopped loving her. She spent Valentine’s Day crying. Her heart was broken in a million pieces. Destroyed by the knowledge that he could love again and she would never get him back.

She’d moved on that April meeting her current husband in a whirl wind affair. She was now married and the mother of two wonderful children but she’d never forget the man who she still loved. She loved her husband but a small part of her needed to know that Zach was happy and love for him had come full circle.

Stopping in front of the courthouse she pulled her hat down lower on her ears. This trip was for her soul. Her soul was the soul of woman that had loved and lost and then recovered in the arms of another man. She needed to see for herself that Zach was happy and whole.

Matthew, her husband of 4 years understood that she needed to come back home to see for herself that he was truly happy.

She remembered the day she received the first letter that mentioned his new fiancée. Are as he called her when they first met “a small irritating fairy in human form”. It was something he’d never done before, mentioned a woman in their correspondence. The letters were about his hopes and dreams and towns people. She knew there had been many women since she left but none that he wrote about. This woman was special.

Through his letters she watched as he fell in love and she suffered another broken heart. The first phone call she received from him in 10 years was about her. He wanted to know if he should be alarmed that she moved her clothes from his closet to the one in the guest bedroom.

He cared. That night she cried. Her sorrow so deep she checked herself into a spa and spent the week drunk and hurt. This woman did what she never could she made him care enough to seek out answers.

Pulling her hand out her pocket she looked at the smiling couple.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine Starts Tomorrow

Meredith and Zach are preparing for Valentine's Day....The Adventure starts tomorrow.