Mrs. P and Sarah were having a great time, listening to Christmas carols and making a card for Kate. Then Mrs. P brought out the sugar cookies she made at home and the items needed to frost and decorate them. Sarah had fun eating as many decorations as those that made it on the cookies. Buttons made himself useful by eating the crumbs off the floor.
That night’s dinner had been by candle light and very simple. Kate had made a meatloaf and baked potatoes while Spencer made a Romaine salad. Now relaxing by the fire, they sat close, lost in their own thoughts.
Kate tried not to worry about leaving the safety and security of her beloved country, but found it difficult to say the least. She had to leave Sarah behind with Spencer, Mrs. P and other friends. She sat in front of the movie, but her thoughts and worries played around in her head.
The fireplace glowed tangerine orange and crackled like miniature firecrackers. The night outside was cold and black as ink. Northern winds blew against the windows, but inside the log cabin, Kate and Spencer kept warm.
They nestled under a blanket on the sofa and watched a Christmas movie. It was just as Kate imagined the other day when she took the tour of the cabin. The two of them were comfy and it was quiet. She was wearing blue flannel pajamas with a miniature snowflakes pattern and her new robe Spencer gave her for her birthday.
Occasionally, I will post something fun on Fridays. This is the first. I hope you enjoy it!
Seven Fun Questions with Author Michelle Connell
Just for fun, I thought I’d make up a fan, and name him Arthur Fan (a fun take on author) and let him ask me questions that readers might like to know the answers to. So here is what he asked:
1. Arthur Fan (AF): What is your favorite movie?
MC: My favorite movie is Charade, starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. It’s part mystery, part romance with music by the great Henry Mancini. A more modern favorite is You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
2. AF: Who are your favorite authors?
MC: Some of them are Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Rhys Bowen, James Scott Bell, Emily Brightwell, David Rosenfelt, Jacqueline Winspear, Mindy S Clark, Dorothy Gilman, Sarah Sundin, Susan MacNeal, Margaret Truman and Mignon Ballard.
3. AF: What other activities do you enjoy besides writing?
MC: I love to travel, I read a lot, bake, scrapbook, bowl and occasionally play racquetball, though it has been a while.
4. How long have you been writing?
MC: A long time! All my life really. I sold my first article 17 years ago and have kept going ever since. I didn’t try novels though until November of 2006.
5. What are some of your favorite things?
MC: Colorful pens and folders; school supplies (especially good pencils, and fun notebooks); dark chocolate; English/Victorian things, including tea, antiques; Pink Panther, James Bond and Alfred Hitchcock movies; documentaries and movies about WW II.
- What is your writing schedule?
MC: Schedule?! Is that a thing? Seriously, whenever I can get to it around four children and homeschooling. In the summers, I can usually get away a couple mornings or afternoons. Otherwise, I try to escape to the nearest library or St. Louis Bread Company (perhaps Panera where you are) for a couple hours.
- What is one of your quirks?
MC: One? I cannot-for the life of me-read Alice in Wonderland. I can’t ever get past page 1. I just can’t.
Arthur would like to know if you have any questions for Michelle. If so, leave them in the comments and she’ll answer them in future posts.
I hope you enjoyed this ‘mock interview’ with myself. Let me know if you have any questions of your own, I’d love to answer them!
That night, Timothy and Judy joined them for dinner. It was good to see Judy again, and Sarah remembered her when she and Lauren cleared out John’s apartment. Sarah chatted away about her first time playing in the snow, talking about the snowman she and her grandpa and Spencer made together.
“Sure thing, Mrs. K.” He pulled their coats from the closet and they were soon walking along the edge of the woods. The temperature was near 40, and Kate could hear the crunching of their boots on the older snow. The scent of pine was heavy from the trees all around the property. “I have a feeling that she wanted Sarah to herself,” Kate said once they were out of listening distance from the house. Not that she worried about being heard.
Spencer drove down a rocky driveway and pulled in front of a sprawling ranch home with pine trees on three sides and smoke coming from a chimney. Kate didn’t think it would take her long to settle in. Just the setting was peaceful to look at. A long porch ran along the front of the house where a porch swing and several chairs with flowered cushions made it look inviting, even in winter.
A few days after getting their tree decorated with popcorn strings, courtesy of Mrs. P, and the other decorations Kate had, she made the decision that they would travel north since Spencer offered to go with them. Kate didn’t want to deny Sarah or the Kern’s the chance to visit. They would be gone for five days and when they got back, they would still be some time to prepare for their early Christmas before Kate had to deploy. There was no way Kate would have made the trip with Sarah by herself at that time of year, in that kind of weather otherwise.
Kate drove to the mall glad for a few hours by herself. Decorations hung from street lights throughout the area, different themes for the various towns on her route. The mall was also decked out, with huge displays inside, including a Santa for parents to get pictures with their kids while sharing what they wanted for Christmas, if they weren’t too shy. Kate stood watching a few minutes, thinking the parents were more embarrassing than the kids.
Kate left the rest of the decorations in the box, so that Sarah could help her put them out later when they had time. The remaining ornaments were made of wood or felt and Sarah wouldn’t be able to hurt them. Kate made a list of items she’d like to buy including some lights, stockings and gift wrap.