It’s a gorgeous Sunday here, and my lilies have buds all over them. My mom had them planted at our mailbox when I was growing up, and the ones in my garden came from her mom’s garden, so when they bloom every year, they make me happy for multiple reasons. I’m watching them daily to see how close mine are to blooming. Probably not quite yet, a week or so, I think, and then happy orange flowers will brighten our side garden for a couple of weeks.
Each month means something different for each of us, good and bad. June here is my youngest son’s birthday (plus some other extended family birthdays), as well as the beginning of my least favorite season (but it does mean my herbs and veggies will be happy). A few years back, it meant a week-long writing retreat with friends; we haven’t done that in a while, and I doubt we will any time soon in this new normal. When we were kids, June was the beginning of summer vacation, which was full of possibilities and always seemed to long at the beginning, but too short by the end of it. Do you remember? The past few years, June has meant updates to my website, and that is true again this year. I’ll have a shiny new design launching in the next week or so.
Many years, June means a trip to our local Ren Faire for their annual Celtic Fling, especially the Friday night concert to kick off the weekend if they bring in one of my favorite bands, Gaelic Storm, which happens with some regularity. Last year one of my girlfriends and I went to see them there, and I am disappointed we won’t get to do that this year. But better safe than sick. So I’ll play a couple of their CDs instead, and pretend later in the month that I’m seeing them onstage again. I actually realized that they are probably the band I’ve seen the most (I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen them, to be honest). Either them or Trans Siberian Orchestra, but I’m pretty sure it’s Gaelic Storm.
Now I feel the need to play some of their music, so I’ll do that, but before I go, I have a little story snippet for you from Light the Way Home.
Hayden waved up at the tower, and Nate glanced over his shoulder to the hazy shape of Micah silhouetted against the window. “Come on, Hayden, Grandma’s waiting for you.”
“’Kay, Daddy, I’m comin’.” His son ran a few steps to him, and he scooped the boy up into his car seat. “Buckle me in!”
He smiled as he did so. “I heard a rumor there might be a surprise waiting for you today.”
“A s’prise?” His son’s eyes rounded. “What kinda s’prise?”
“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, would it?” He ruffled his son’s untidy hair. “You’ll have to wait and see. Hands inside the ride.” He shut the door and rounded the truck to his own seat. As he slid in, he caught a movement from the corner of his eye and looked over at Harry and Mindi’s–Lucie stood at the sink, head down. He started the truck, and she lifted her face, looking first at the truck and then away–toward the lighthouse, where Micah still stood.
When she looked at him again, he saw her frown. He waved, smiling grimly and wondering if Lucie believed in ghosts.
“Bye, Lucie,” Hayden shouted, waving wildly.
Even though she couldn’t possibly hear him, she smiled and waved at Hayden as Nate backed the truck out of the driveway.
When he parked at his parents’ a few minutes later, he was still wondering–not everyone could bring themselves to believe in things like ghosts. Harry and Mindi had lived on the island long enough to have gotten over that, but if Lucie didn’t believe… Well, it didn’t matter, because she wouldn’t be here long. Just curious, he supposed, stopping the truck behind his father’s. It was always an interesting conversation with newcomers, about the lighthouse ghost.
Growing up on the island, he’d known about Micah all his life. His ex had thought it was sad and romantic–until she left, just like Micah’s lost wife had done, escaping the island with a new man and leaving Nate and Hayden behind.
He frowned, pushing open his door. It was better that she’d gone when she did–better for Hayden because he was so young.
“Gram!” Hayden shouted as Nate opened the passenger door.
Nate glanced over his shoulder and saw his mother waving from inside the house. “Let me get you unbuckled, buddy, and then you can go see her.” He unclipped the harness and hefted his son out of the truck, giving him a little bounce just to hear him giggle, before setting the boy on his feet. He followed his son to the back door, noted his dad’s silhouette in the open workshop door out back, then shifted his attention to his mother, who’d opened the screen door to let Hayden inside.
“Take your jacket off, Hayden,” she called as he rushed past her. Her gaze landed on Nate. “I hear you met the house-sitter.”
He blinked. “I don’t think she’s exactly house-sitting.”
“Really?” One of his mother’s eyebrows winged up. “What is she then?”
“Friends with Harry and Mindi.” He shrugged.
“Hm.” She glanced over her shoulder at a thump from the next room. “Hayden?”
Nate repressed a smile. “I can get him in a few hours, maybe before he destroys the place.”
Ida Baxter laughed. “Too late.” She met his gaze again. “Is she pretty?”
Oh hell. He shrugged. “I guess.”
His mother’s eyes narrowed a tiny bit. “Hayden likes her.”
“She played with him.” He lifted one shoulder a little again. “She’ll be gone soon.”
He ignored the speculative look in her eyes. “I have a client appointment before I head back to the shop. I’ll pick up the human wrecking ball by four-thirty. Thanks, Mom.”
She sighed as he turned away. “We’ll see you then.”
Nate didn’t look back–he’d learned a long time ago not to encourage his mother when she started wondering about his love life, or lack of one. And no matter how pretty Lucie was, he wasn’t in the market for a relationship, and she wasn’t staying on the island. Problem solved.
What does June mean to you? Something fun? Birthdays or anniversaries? More yard work? I’d love to hear from you.
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