Today we have a special story from Leigh Smith, aka Sunny Girl. She will respond to your comments and choose a lucky person to win her latest book or the the new Christmas collection from the Library of Spanking Fiction. Sunny posts stories weekly on her blog, Aimless Ramblings, and has recently started an author blog as well. She’s also a granny with an attitude, so watch out if you feel like sassing her! :)
I looked out the window and saw the snowflakes just beginning to drift down from the leaden sky. I was forecast to be a terrible storm but seeing the first flakes reaching the ground reminded me of another snowstorm long ago.
Until I was twelve years old, my parents, siblings and I lived in a big city. We had no need of a car, or even public transportation for that matter, everything was within walking distance. The promise of a snowstorm was thrilling for us kids. Although we rarely had a school snow day, we didn’t mind having to wait until after school. Our spirits were always high as we dragged our sleds over to the city park to barrel down what seemed like large mountains to us, taking life and limb in hand. We came home with rosy cheeks, frozen noses, toes and fingers, but happy hearts.
The day life changed for us happened during a snowstorm. My dad was helping a neighbor shovel out his car when he suffered a heart attack and died. It was a terrible time and for years, I hated snow. Snowstorms were events to be weathered, not enjoyed.
Soon after my father’s death, we left the city and moved to our grandparent’s farm. It was supposed to be a temporary move until my mother got back on her feet; it didn’t turn out that way. We left our old life and friends behind as we learned a completely new way of life. No longer available were the things we took for granted but new adventures awaited.
Years passed, my older siblings left to start their own lives, my mother remarried and I stayed behind to help my now aging grandparents. It was the Christmas season of my twenty-first year that I started to like snow again. The rest of our family was coming to spend the holidays with us and so there was lots of activity and anticipation. Gran began baking cookies and Gramps decided he wanted to cut down a big Christmas tree. We finally convinced Gramps he couldn’t do it alone so he hired a neighbor’s grandson, who was home for the holidays, to help. When I saw Jesse dragging that tree down the hill toward the house, my heart leapt. He was tall, well over six feet, and looked even larger bundled up in that heavy plaid jacket, a woolen cap pulled down over his ears, gloves and big boots. The snowflakes covering his shoulders and sticking to his eyebrows made him look like as if he was on a Currier & Ives Christmas card. I sat there at the window watching Gramps and Jesse drag the tree to the porch. That is one handsome hunk of man, I thought. He and Gramps shook the snow out of the tree and leaned it against the house. They both stomped their feet, brushed the snow off their clothing and entered the house.
“Is anybody home?” we heard Gramps yell.
“In the kitchen,” Gram answered back.
Both men shed their jackets in the mudroom and walked into the kitchen. Jesse was even more handsome without the jacket and ski cap. He was wearing a plaid flannel shirt tucked into well-worn jeans that fit in all the right places and big woolen socks. His shiny brown hair that was about two weeks past needing a haircut, and blue eyes hooded by eyelashes so long, it was a crime.
“Jesse, this is my wife, Becky and my granddaughter, Jenny.”
He extended his hand and I felt the spark when our fingers touched. We both pulled back and I watched a look pass between my grandparents that I remember to this day.
“Jesse is Nate’s grandson. He’s visiting for the holidays and thinking of joining Doc Martin’s Veterinary practice when he finishes his internship this summer,” Gramps explained.
“How is it we’ve not seen you around these parts before?” Gram asked.
“Well, I’m actually Nate’s step grandson. Nate’s daughter, Beth married my dad a couple of years ago. I mostly lived with my mom so it wasn’t until then I even knew Nate and Connie,” he explained.
“So you here alone or did Beth come too?”
“No, I’m not alone, everyone is coming for the holidays. I have a little longer time since our school break coincides with the holidays.”
“Well, I am sure glad you are here and were able to help my husband. He thinks he is still 26. Our family is coming home for the holidays too. We’ll have to get everyone together.”
Looking at Jenny, Jesse asked if she was home for the holidays too. She explained that she lived here with her grandparents and taught first grade at the local school.
“You’ll have to tell me all about life here in this area. I’ve always lived in a suburban area so rural life will be quite different.”
“Rural life is nice, a little dull sometime compared to city life,” she told him.
Gram had set out a plate of cookies and offered a hot beverage. Gramps and Jesse sat down and Gram handed out mugs of steaming coffee. Gramps took a sip.
“What’s this? We men need something to warm up our insides, it’s cold out there.” He got up, went over to the cupboard, and brought over a bottle of brandy, pouring some into his mug and offering the bottle to Jesse.
As I sat there listening to the chatter between my grandparents and Jesse, I realized that for the first time I was falling in love. It didn’t make sense, I had just met him, knew nothing about him but it didn’t seem to matter. It left me tongue-tied and I don’t think I spoke twenty words the whole time. When he finally got up to leave, I found my voice. I was afraid if I didn’t speak up, I wouldn’t get another opportunity.
“Gramps has an old-fashioned sleigh out in the shed. It’s been a while since it was used but it is a wonderful way to see the area. What do you think?”
“An old-fashioned sleigh ride,” he laughed. “That could be fun,” his blue eyes twinkled.
More years passed. Gram and Gramps are gone and now I live in this old house with my husband and three children. I’m baking cookies in anticipation of a full house over the holidays. I hear the jingle of bells and look out the window again. What should I see but an old-fashioned sleigh being driven by a handsome hunk of a man wearing a heavy plaid jacket with a woolen cap pulled down low, and three rosy-cheeked laughing children and holding onto a giant Christmas tree.
A few seconds later, the door opens.
“Is anybody home?” Jesse asks.
“In the kitchen,” I answer back.