Star-spangled News

Deborah Hendrick on Sunday, January 21st, 2007

Dear Readers,

I’ve been away from and the Glove Box Stories because I have been working on another project. This week my husband, Larry, and I took the wraps off our new internet business—FLAGS BAY. We started a flag store!

The part of FLAGS BAY that has been keeping me busy is the blog that opens our website: The Daily Flag. Larry and I are both writing and posting each day, with original content and links to stories in the news about flags, and anything else we think is interesting.

If I were as organized as my husband, I would offer you a list of The Daily Flag articles I intend to write over the next few months. All I can promise is that I will try very hard to make them something that you will want to come read each day.

Now that I can catch my breath, I’ll soon be back with a variety of Glovebox Stories too. I’m ready to tell you more about Badger Creek and the people who live there.

Remember FLAGS if you need a U.S. or state flag, and stop by for the news at The Daily Flag.

Topics: Blog | 4 Comments »

The Mission: I Ginny, take thee Elijah (part 19 and The End)

Deborah Hendrick on Monday, January 1st, 2007

Wedding receptions normally come after the ceremony. In the event of Ginny and Elijah’s wedding, it came first. It was after all, a New Year’s Eve party too.

The ball room sparkled with snowy white linens and flowers, touched in silver and gold. Tall candelabra stood on each table surrounded by mounds of white flowers. There was no decorating theme but for the fragile dragonflies, reproduced in deep jewel colors of ruby, sapphire and emerald, that rested here and there upon the flowers.

The buffet was opulent and delicious, the jazz band was hot and swinging, and the wedding guests were thoughtful and lovely. Ginny was wearing a vintage flapper wedding dress, white-beaded, pin-tucked silk over slipper satin in palest pink. Elijah wore black, an elegant ageless tuxedo.

They ate sparingly, danced a little, and greeted each guest with delight. At eleven-thirty, they and others in the wedding party quietly slipped away to prepare for the ceremony.

The band slowly shifted the mood with a set of increasingly romantic melodies until midnight when the bandleader led them in “Auld Lang Syne.” As the cheering and kissing slowed, the sounds of a string quartet filled the air, and the ushers deftly moved the crowd through previously unnoticed double doors to the wedding chapel, brilliantly lit by candles alone, and festooned in Air Force blue.

The string quartet played until all the guests were seated. Ginny’s brother Cmdr. Gregg walked their mother down the aisle, and when she was in place, he took up a position left of center and turned to face the back. Soon it became apparent that he was Ginny’s sole attendant.

Elijah and his wingman—the Best Man— clad in Mess Dress, entered from the right. The minister, a V.I.P. from Amarillo, nodded to the musicians and single violinist took up the opening notes of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” The music swelled and the minister invited all to stand. The doors opened and there stood the Admiral, resplendent in Navy blue and gold braid, and Ginny.

So beautiful was Ginny, that a hush of awe swept across those who watched her. She stood regally, her hand on her father’s arm. Her red hair was drawn to the back of her head, and fell in an tumble of curls behind a tall Edwardian tiara, a golden cobweb of flowers, leaves, and darting dragonflies, misted with diamonds and seed pearls.

From just below her jawline, to her wrist bones and toes, she was gowned in a slim column of aged ivory lace, cut by a visionary for another bride in an era long past, but perfectly right for Ginny more than seventy-five years later. She wore Elijah’s great-grandmother’s pearls, and she carried a white bouquet of ginger, jasmine, and roses.

For the first time in her life, Ginny failed to see the whole scene. She saw only Elijah, heard only his voice. She managed to say her vows, in a voice so low that only Elijah and God could hear them. And then Eli was kissing her. On her forehead, her cheeks, softly—barely touching them—her lips.

Once again, the strings began to play the Mendelssohn, but used his opening notes as the bridge to The Air Force Song, arranged by the Admiral as a special surprise for his new son-in-law. Off we go, into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun.

The string quartet continued to play while the wedding party slipped aside for photographs. When they returned, it was time for cake and champagne, dancing and singing. Finally, Eli sat at the piano and beckoned Ginny to sit beside him. The room fell quiet as he sang When I fall it love, it will be forever … and Ginny leaned her head onto his shoulder.

Soon it was time for them to go. Amid hugs and tears, shouts of laughter and a shower of rice, the newlyweds departed in a limousine that carried them way down on the west end of the island where a cozy honeymoon cottage and their new life waited.

Elijah was amazed and dismayed to discover that Ginny’s wedding dress featured sixty-three tiny covered buttons down the back. “Why are there so many buttons?” he asked.

“It is a mystery,” Ginny said, “but if you start at the top and undo them all, I’m sure you’ll discover the answer.”

What Santa Knows

Deborah Hendrick on Monday, December 25th, 2006

Corporal Cameron Daniels bought the bicycle in St. Louis. Maybe it was the last one in town and maybe he paid too much for it, but what he had in his pocket was too much money. Better to spend it all, he thought, than to get rolled in the alley. The only thing he’d bought for himself since he’d been the Army was a dress cap, so he could have a formal portrait taken. It was in his duffel bag, a gift for his mother.

Cam bought perfume for his older sister Edie, and an armload of piano music for his little sister Millie. He also bought, and it wasn’t easy, ten yards of white batiste. It was for his mother, although he knew she’d turn it into nightgowns and slips for his sisters, but maybe she’d sew something for herself, too.

He was tempted to buy their presents for next year, since he would surely be overseas by then, but realized it was a terrible idea and would make his mother cry. Christmas was going to be awash in tears anyway, without him making it worse.

For his father, he bought a fine silver pocketknife, a gentleman’s knife to carry in his pocket on Sundays, and a bottle of whiskey. His mother would frown over the whiskey, but Pop would make it last until the war was over.

Cam balanced his duffel bag across the bicycle, and pushed it to the train station. Along the way two men tried to buy it from him. One woman wanted to know if the Army was issuing bikes to the GIs now. She didn’t mean it of course. She was only looking for an excuse to talk to him because her own son was already far away, and it was comforting to talk to a soldier who looked like her boy. That happened a lot, Cam discovered—strangers calling him Son.

From St. Louis he rode the train to Dallas, then Sweetwater, and from there a short ride on the Doodlebug brought him on home. He was the only passenger, along with some freight, and the sun wasn’t up yet.

He wanted coffee, but more than that, he wanted to get home and get the bicycle beside the tree before his little brother Jack woke up. He knew there’d be a tree—green and pungent—a misshapen scrub juniper decorated with strings of popcorn and delicate paper chains made by Millie.

A mile out of town, Dub Leldon drove past Cameron, then stopped in the middle of the road. Dub had been out early, to bust up the ice on the cow tanks in his pastures on the other side of town. He grinned and danced back and forth, pumped Cam’s hand and pounded him on the back. “Boy Howdy for sure!” he shouted. “That brother of yours is gonna bust his buttons when he sees that bike!”

Dub spread out a pile of tow sacks and carefully laid the bicycle in the back of his pickup, then he and Cam climbed into the warm cab. Cam stopped Dub before he could turn down the road to the farm house. “The whole family will hear your pickup, Dub, and the surprise will be lost.” They unloaded the bike, and Cam once again balanced his heavy duffel bag across the seat and handlebars, and quietly pushed it up to the house.

The kitchen light was on, and he watched his mother moving in and out of view through the window. The door to the barn was closed, but it unlatched so he knew Pop was in there milking. “Oh fresh milk,’ he said. “I’ll make myself sick on milk.” Cam stood by the side of the back porch, waiting for his father to come out of the barn. He didn’t see his son at first; he had his head down watching his steps so he didn’t step in a patch of ice and slosh the milk pail.

Cameron watched his father, with the sun coming up pink and gold, gilding his father’s face, and turning the frost and ice to glittering diamonds. When his father saw him, he stood there in shock for a moment. Then he set the pail down so fast it almost tipped over. They met halfway and Cam found himself in a crushing hug. In only one year, his father had aged five, it seemed to Cam, but the eyes were still bright blue and clear.

“Your mother won’t believe this. Good thing I insisted on the goose for dinner! That Jack, every day he’s trying to figure out what you’re doing,” he said, patting the seat of the bicycle. “Oh Son, it’s so good to see you. Why didn’t you let us know you were coming? I would have met you at the station.”

“I didn”t know Pop, until the last minute. Seemed easiest just to get on the train.”

“Let’s go surprise your mother,” he said. Wilson Daniels picked up his milk bucket and started up the steps, holding a finger to his lips in a conspiratorial gesture. “Ma! Ma! You’ll never guess what I found in the barn just now. Santy’s been here.”

“Now Wil,” she said, “You stop your foolishness. What have you gone and done?” Cameron matched his steps to his father’s footsteps, and followed him into the kitchen. His mother stood at the table, with her back to the door, rubbing butter on the goose.

Look Ma! Doesn’t Santa always know what you want?”

Badger Creek

Deborah Hendrick on Friday, December 15th, 2006

Badger Creek, in happy geographic serendipity, lies on a nearly-perfect north–south axis atop a gentle rising mound near the edge of the caprock. It’s a split in the earth—a closed canyon—but more like the crack in a cake that rose too fast from baking in a too-hot oven.

At the north end of the split, a spring trickles out. The resulting creek forms a series of narrow, shallow pools, that break and drop, with little foot-high waterfalls. At the south end, the water quietly disappears back into the earth.

The treacherous sides of the canyon discouraged casual exploration, but for the willing, the unexpectedly beautiful canyon held another surprise: a badger, who defended his territory with extraordinary fierceness.

Indians, explorers, soldiers, and settlers, each in their age met the badger and his descendants. But the settlers stayed, mostly Polish immigrants, but some Scots, too. And when they surveyed and staked out the lines of their little community, they carefully circumscribed a large boundary for Badger Creek, to be a park someday they thought, at the northern-most end of town.

Each generation of Badger Creek boys, in a rite of passage, climbed and slid down the steep and rocky sides of the canyon, to pay homage to the badger and sit fully clothed in his creek. That was the proof. If you climbed out soaking wet, it meant you made it to the creek. As for meeting the badger—that was a matter of personal honesty.

But enough honest boys, admitted that they had not seen the badger or his sign in a long time. Some folks in the community wondered if after seventy years, maybe it was time to think about the park.

Franciszek Timoteusz Marcinkiewicz, who was three months shy of his sixteenth birthday, and casting about for an Eagle Scout project, asked if he and the troop could survey the canyon and creek, and create some working maps and drawings, to explore the possibilities of a park on Badger Creek. Since his father was an engineer for the state highway department and would oversee the project, permission was granted by all parties.

Zeezy, so named by his friends, though his mother called him Tim, asked to camp out on the rim for three nights to observe the canyon. “To see what?” his mother asked.

“I don’t know, but this is the way I want to begin.” And so he did.

The Superintendent of Badger Creek ISD

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Orlando Bara was tired and getting impatient, waiting on the wooden bench outside the superintendent’s office. He stood up and walked around a bit, looking at the school photos on the walls and watching the secretary, as she watched him back. On the counter he saw a newspaper. “Can I see this?” he asked.

“You surely may.”

So Lando sat, like he’d seen the men do, with his elbows on his knees, and held The Mesquite Country Shopper between his outstretched hands, and slowly turned the pages.

It didn’t have stories or funnies, just things for sale. Useful stuff like tractors and irrigation equipment. Bales of hay and firewood. Roasted and Salted Goobers, said one ad. Mr. Wilson’s Finest Valencia Peanuts. Lando wondered how much it would cost to send a 20 lb. bag of peanuts to his brother Leonardo, a soldier in Iraq. More than he had saved up, probably. He laughed out loud, picturing the image of Nardo sharing a big o’ sack of peanuts with his buddies.

In a small boxed advertisement, Lando’s eye fell on the word

Started 5 month old
Pointer bird dog, too
many dogs and not
enough Quail.
912 Addison St.
Griven TX

Lando said, Oh Boy!” and jumped up. “Tell Captain Marcinkiewicz I gotta go. He can punish me double tomorrow. But I can’t wait.” He took off and was almost out of the school building when an ear-piercing whistle rent the air and stopped him in his tracks. Busted.

“Captain, I can’t wait. I gotta go. I’ll come see you first thing in the morning.”

“You will wait, Orlando Bara, and tell me what’s going on.

“Here,” Lando said, showing the Superintendent of Badger Creek ISD the ad in the paper. “I want that dog. It’s free, so I gotta move fast, Captain.”

“Son, that dog is twenty-five miles away in Griven. How are you going to get there?”

Lando stuck out both his thumbs, pointed up, and gave the Captain a raised-eyebrows look that said, “See!”

“Oh no—you are not hitch-hiking to Griven. Do you have any idea how dangerous that it?”

“Yes Sir, I do know. And begging your pardon Captain, you were an astronaut. You should understand why this chance means I have to take the risk.”

The Captain looked at Lando, then looked at his watch. “You go wait for me in my pickup. I need to find someone to take my bus route this afternoon. But I’ll drive you to Griven to see about the dog.

They rode for a few miles without speaking, then the Captain looked across at his young rider, and asked him why he’d been sent to the office, for the second time in a month.

“Pat Hicks said something wrong,” said Lando, “and I asked him to take it back.”


“It don’t matter, but to me and him, Sir. You gotta believe me. I know since the teacher sent me to the office, you have to do something about it. I don’t mind.”

“Why do you want this dog so badly—that you’d risk even more trouble by ditching school?”

Lando stared straight ahead, and the late afternoon sun hit him from the side, lighting his head so that his white-blond hair glowed like a halo.

“My brother Nardo had a bird dog, but the dog was old, and died after Nardo went to Iraq. He’ll be home by February. That leaves me the rest of December and all of January to get this pup ready for when Nardo gets home, so we can hunt together again.

“Do you know how to train a bird dog?”

“Nardo says the dog wants to please the man. Says you train the dog to trust you, to use lots of love and firm discipline. That the dog does best when you make it mind.”

“Is that so?” asked the Captain.

“Yes, Sir,” said the boy, “Lots of love and a firm hand.

Soon they were in Griven, and found the house they were looking for. The owner of the dog was surprised to meet the Superintendent of Badger Creek ISD and his student Orlando Bara, but he knew of the Bara boy’s family and knew Captain Marcinkiewicz by reputation.

The dog, a sweet-tempered and lively lemon pointer, squirmed and wriggled and headed right to Lando.

“What’s her name Mister,” he asked.

“Topaz,” he said. “My wife named her Topaz because she has golden eyes.”

On the ride home, Topaz quickly settled down, and laid her head across Lando’s thigh. He stroked her back and head, and called her a good girl.

“We need to talk about what you did wrong, Lando. You can’t go around punching people you disagree with.”

“No Captain. Yes Sir, I mean.”

“So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to check out three books from the library on training dogs. If we don’t have the ones you need then you ask the librarian to get some through inter-library loan. I want you to write me a paper on training bird dogs. Not a book report, but a scholarly paper. At least two pages. You’re eleven now, that’s old enough to read the books, form an outline of ideas, and put it down on paper. I want it one month from today. Do you understand?”

“Yes Sir.”

“And when your brother comes home, I’d appreciate an invitation to go hunting with you and him.

“Yes Sir. I think he’d like that.”

“Now you and Topaz wait for me here in the pickup, while I go talk to your parents.”

“Yes, Captain. I think that’s a good idea too.”


Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Finally, he stopped reading her magazines. It wasn’t worth the aggravation. She had no respect for his bookmarks, and she didn’t even read the articles in order anyway. She skipped around willy-nilly, refusing to start at the front and read through to the back. How on earth she ever read a book was a mystery to him. Maybe she did it the same way, for all he knew.

Worse, she liked to read his magazines too. Voracious, that’s what she was. If she weren’t so gorgeous, so smart, and so much fun, he’d cancel all his subscriptions.

The Mission: Homecoming (part 18)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Larry Gregg brought home two surprises for Ginny. The first was Elijah, who hitched a ride with the Admiral on a transport out of Langley AFB to Ellington Field. Ginny didn’t spot Elijah right away; she was busy hugging her father, who spun her round and round, then stopped her right in front of Elijah and gently turned her around to face him. She promptly burst into tears.

Then the Admiral hugged and kissed his wife, who looked tanned and rested and more beautiful than ever, with tears running down her cheeks. Never in his life had he missed her more than over the past six weeks.

They took Elijah to his parents house, where he surprised his mother who was busy baking pies for Thanksgiving. Soon all three women were crying.

“Do you suppose, Sir,” said Elijah to the Admiral, “that the entire holiday will be awash in tears? Do you go through this every time?”

“It is not usually this soggy, Cap. Madden,” said the Admiral, “but these are unusual times. However, I learned a long time ago to always carry a handkerchief, and it’s a good thing,” as he handed the hankie to his wife, while Ginny and Sandy shared a dish towel.


When things settled down that evening, and Ginny was dressed up, waiting for Elijah to arrive for their date, her father called to her, “Ginny? Have you thought about how you’re going to wear your hair at your wedding ceremony?”

“I haven’t decided on a veil or not, so no, I don’t know how I’ll wear my hair. Why?” said Ginny.

“This is for you,” he said, handing her a very old, small leather chest. She opened it, and there nestled inside the pale blue silk, was a diamond and pearl tiara.

“Dad! she gasped, “Where did you find such a thing, It’s beautiful. Mom—it’s covered in dragonflies. Was it made by fairies? I’ve never seen anything so delicate and beautiful.

Larry smiled and winked at his wife. “Here Ginny,” said her mother, “Let me put it on you so your Dad can see.”

“Oh this is perfect Dad. It must have cost a fortune—you shouldn’t have,” said Ginny.

“Ah. I am reliably informed by your mother that you saved me a small fortune when you bought your own wedding dress some years ago. But I didn’t start out looking for a tiara. I went into the shop to find these for your mother.” With that, he conjured another box and gave it to Georgina.

“Larry! Oh Larry, What beautiful rubies. Let me put them on.” So Georgina pulled the diamond studs out of her ears, and tried on the large deep red ruby drops, encircled with seed pearls and set into rich filigreed gold. “Ginny!” she shouted with a laugh, “let’s check the rest of his pockets.”

“No no. That’s all. But I promise to take you back to the jewelry store, Georgina. It’s like a candy shop for women. All vintage and estate jewelry, with a little vintage proprietor. His English was not so good, and my French is deplorable, but we managed. He’d only recently acquired the earrings and the tiara. If I’d waited a day, I’d probably have missed them.”

Power Trip

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

If Delano hadn’t been so tired, maybe it would have worked out differently. But the clerk was rude to all the customers in front of her, and then when he rang up her gallon jug of milk and loaf of bread, dish-washing soap, can of automatic transmission fluid, and two Butterfingers, the total was wrong. Politely, she said, “Oh, but you can’t charge tax on the bread and milk, only on snack-size foods, or one serving size.” She spoke clearly, and smiled at the man.

The clerk, tired from a long day of cheating the state and short-changing his customers, became enraged and told her she could pay the price or leave the store. So Delano tried again, because some times new clerks didn’t understand the regulations. “How long have you worked here Sir? Maybe you don’t understand what things are taxed and what is exempt.”

“Get out of my store, woman.” He cursed at her, and his skillful blending of English, Spanish, and some other eastern European language was far more lyrical that Delano would have imagined.

“Please,” she tried a third time, “Would you ring up everything again?” But he swore at her again, berating Delano and her mother, for daring to tell him how to run his business.

“Here, Lady,” said the tired man behind her, “Let me pay the tax so we can all go home.”

“You are very kind, Sir,” said Delano, with an old-world cadence of her own, “and I thank you for your offer, but no.” So Delano stepped away from the counter and went outside. When the suit-clad man who’d offered to buy her groceries came out, she asked him for his business card, and offered him one of her own. “And save your receipt, please, until you hear from me again.”

Delano left, and drove across the parking lot to the restaurant next door. She leaned against the fender of her car where the clerk could see her, and stood there in the slushy remains of an early season snow, except she was unaccountably hot and had unbuttoned her down-filled coat, revealing her well-advanced state of pregnancy.

The clerk watched and cursed some more, while she made a series of phone calls on her cell phone. If she was calling her husband—well, he’d throw him out too, when he showed up.

When he looked up from his register again, he found three County Sheriff’s cars blocking the parking lot, and a white car with a state emblem on the side parked next to the woman’s car. Two deputies were padlocking his gas pumps, and a third one was barring the door, to keep anyone else from coming in. Soon a very enthusiastic young man, who looked all of twenty-three, and the pregnant woman walked back into his store.

She opened a thick leather wallet, and showed him her badge and identification from the state comptroller’s office, while murmuring something about suspicion of tax fraud. The young man introduced himself as Jonas Frank, and then displayed his bona fides to the angry clerk, who now appeared to be gargling in some mythological tongue, but it didn’t matter anymore. As for the deputy standing with them, he was wearing his credentials on his chest and hip.

About an hour later, as Delano and Jonas were well into the lock-down process, she gasped and clutched her belly, and grabbed Jonas’s arm so hard that her fingers left five little bruises. She felt a rush of water. The deputy guarding her carefully helped her into his cruiser and drove her to the hospital, staying with her until her husband arrived.

It was three months later that Delano stopped by the little store again, on her way home from work. The parking lot was pristine, and inside the walls were freshly painted and bright, and the whole place gleamed. Into a small basket she gathered bread and milk, Pampers, a can of spray starch, and two Butterfingers.

When her turn arrived at the counter she was relieved to see that the cashier’s total agreed with hers. Because Delano’s secret, occasionally troublesome gift, was the ability to calculate percentages and sums in her head as quickly and correctly as others could look at a digital clock and tell the time. Then her heart soared with delight as the shy young girl behind the cash register counted back Delano’s change, out loud and into her hand.

“Thank you,” said Delano, and “welcome to the neighborhood.”

The Mission: Oh What a Night (part 17)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

The clock on the microwave said 2:14, and Georgina Gregg stood barefooted in the dark kitchen, wolfing down a banana and drinking a glass of cold water. She debated over a handful of cookies, and just after compromising on two cookies, the front door shattered and a man kicked his way into the living room.

On the end of the counter stood two wine bottles, an empty waiting to be put into the recycling tub downstairs, and the other unopened. Georgina picked up the empty, gauging its heft, and quietly put it down. She picked up the full bottle, and stepped around the corner of the kitchen.

The man had his back to her. She took a long sliding step, and swung the bottle, aiming for a spot just above his right ear. He went down in a thud, and Georgina uttered something vulgar in French. Then the light came on, and Ginny stood in the doorway from the hall with a gun in her hand.

“Excellent work, Mom. Let’s hope he’s still breathing.” Ginny handed the gun to her mother, “But shoot him, if you need to.”

Ginny checked his breathing and pulse, and used the man’s own mini-Mag flashlight to examine his pupils. All good. She flipped him over on his face, and wasted an extraordinary amount of duct tape securing his hands and feet.

“You ok, Mom?” ask Ginny.

“Angry, very very angry, but ok, she said. “Now would you please take this cannon so I can call 911?”

When the sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found one simmering Georgina waiting on the deck, and one resolute Ginny aiming a Desert Eagle a mere six feet from the chest of one terrified burglar who had wet his pants.


“So I held a gun on him until the deputies arrived,” she said.

“What gun?” asked Eli.

“The first one I could reach, my Desert Eagle.”

“You own a Desert Eagle. Bummer. Whatever shall I get you for a wedding present?”

“Oh well,” she laughed, “you could get me a new shotgun. I don’t like the Eagle much—the thing’s ridiculous. The lawmen liked it though. But it was a mistake. After last night, I’ve decided to sell it.”

“Hold on there, Sparky—don’t be hasty. You said the first one you could reach. What else is in your private armory? Apparently you have an old shotgun?”

“Uh huh. A Springfield .410 that was my father’s when he was a youngster. All four of us learned to shoot with it, but since I was the last child I kept it. But I’d like something with a bit more knock-down, say a .20 gauge.”

“What else?”

“A Colt .38 Special. It’s the first one I bought and my favorite. And a Sig Sauer 9mm that Ace gave me.”

“Is that all?”

“Another .410—a sawed-off Mossberg.”

“Ginny! You have a sawed-off shotgun?”

“It’s an inch over legal! For killing snakes. The island’s thick with rattlesnakes, and I don’t like to miss.”

“No rifles?”

“I don’t eat venison, so I don’t need a rifle. I do like quail.”

“But you don’t like snakes,” he said with a laugh.

“Not at all, especially the two-legged ones.”

“So what was Mom packin’?” he asked.

“Ah—a lovely Llano Estacado Cabernet Sauvignon. I suppose she’ll want to buy stock in the company now. She can be awfully sentimental.”

The Mission: Honeymoon Plans (part 16)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

“Ginny sweetheart,” started Elijah, “Where would you like to go for a honeymoon? I’ve been visiting with travel agents, and none of their suggestions seem quite right.”

“I have a little travel trailer. We could take it anywhere. It’s a shame we can’t pull it with the Dragonfly!” Ginny laughed. “If my parents weren’t staying in the beach house, we could just stay here.”

“Don’t you want to go somewhere exotic? Where you can wear a flimsy little excuse of a bathing suit, and add to your freckle collection?” he asked.

“Why don’t we just rent a little honeymoon cottage on my beach? All I care about is being with you. I don’t want to waste a minute on currency exchanges, passports, or luggage. And traveling over the holidays is always difficult. We can hide out for a week then surprise everybody.”

“It would give me chance to get acquainted with your father. Are you sure? I don’t want to cheat you out of a real honeymoon,” said Eli.

“Darling, we’re going to Alaska! We’ll take a honeymoon every time you’re free. It’s a beautiful state and I want to explore every part of it. I’m going to cost you a fortune in paint and paper.”

“Actually I was sorta hoping you’d make us a fortune with your paint and paper,” he laughed.

“Well I was saving this news for a wedding surprise,” said Ginny, “but when I told my book editor that I was getting married and moving to Alaska, she suggested that after I finish the book on Texas animals, that I do a book on animals in Alaska. Birds, bears, fish. Sea otters and seals. It won’t earn a fortune, but it will contribute nicely to the family exchequer.”

“Ginny! That’s wonderful news. We’ll get a house where you can have a studio.”

“I can paint anywhere. Temperamental I am not,” she said. “But I do look forward to playing house with you, Eli.”

“Oh, me too, Lamb Chop. Me too.”