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