Special Family Days

It’s Father’s Day this weekend, which means we have a family dinner in the works, and I had an old photo of our boys when they were little (so little the youngest was newborn!) printed onto canvas as a gift for hubs. I think he will like that. I’ve been thinking about and missing my dad, too, with Father’s Day looming, so I spent some time looking at old photos of him as well recently. Some of the occasions I remembered, some I didn’t, but it is still nice to look at familiar faces, isn’t it? Birthdays, holidays, vacations. If your family is like ours, everyone is spread out all over the country, so there aren’t as many occasions to get everyone together anymore. Even when I was a kid, we had a large chunk of family who lived several hours away in the same state, and another big chunk who lived twice that distance in the next state. I miss getting together for things other than funerals and memorial services, and visits are much too short these days, even when we manage to get a bunch of family together for even one of those sad occasions, but I do look forward to seeing family no matter what the occasion now.

I put beans in the crockpot last night for today’s Father’s Day dinner, and the house smells amazing right now. The only other cooking for the meal, though, will be some sausage on the grill for the guys, because I made a mango and black bean salad yesterday and picked up potato and macaroni salads to minimize how much cooking we needed to do since we’re back in the hot and humid weather. Fitting I guess since the summer solstice occurs later tonight.

Now I’m going to try to sneak in a little writing time before the boys get here, so I’ll leave you with a snippet from Light the Way Home.


Nate schooled his expression to neutrality before turning around. Hayden’s chin jutted stubbornly, and his blue eyes narrowed. “I’m saying Lucie might be busy right now,” Nate said evenly. “Maybe we’ll see her outside tomorrow.”

“I can knock on the door.” His son crossed his arms on his chest, covering the spotted blue dog graphic. “She said we’d play later, and it’s later.”

“We can check, but, buddy, you have to promise not to be upset if she’s busy. Plus it’ll be suppertime soon, so we’ll be busy here, too.”

Hayden’s chin jutted out further.

“Just don’t get your hopes up,” he said, trying to keep his tone from dropping in defeat.

Hayden bolted for the back door.

Nate followed more slowly, picking up his son’s jacket from the chair inside the door. By the time he reached the bottom step, he heard his son’s voice, then Lucie spoke in reply, though he couldn’t hear the words. When he cleared the lilac bushes, he expected to see Hayden’s shoulders droop.

He was a little surprised to see the two of them walking in the middle of the neighboring yard while Lucie bounced the big yellow ball on one hand. Huh. He would’ve bet on her putting Hayden off. He paused at the open gate to watch them. They’d stopped, and she crouched in front of Hayden who chattered a mile a minute. She nodded as she rose.

Hayden jogged backward a few steps, grinning, then held out both hands.

Lucie gave the ball another bounce before she tossed it to him.

His son caught it, giggling. “Too easy,” he shouted. He jumped once, then moved a few more steps away from her. “Ready?”

“Ready!” She leaned forward and held out her hands.

Nate wished he could see her expression.

Hayden lobbed the ball at her, and she caught it before it hit her in the face. He smiled and shook his head when his laughing son danced backward a couple more paces. “Throw it again!”

“You sure you can catch it so far away?” The tease in her voice made Nate relax. Lucie Russo might be a nice woman. Mindi and Harry trusted her, which meant she was okay.

But she seemed to be enjoying his son, genuinely enjoying him. Maybe she had nieces or nephews–she was comfortable, chatting with Hayden as they played catch.

He leaned on the fence to watch.

“Daddy, come play with us!”

Lucie straightened and looked over her shoulder, eyes widening.

Nate felt a little kick in his gut at the appealing image–pink cheeks, green eyes that tipped up at the outer corners, full lower lip dropping a tiny bit. Lucie Russo was pretty.


If you haven’t read Light the Way Home yet, clicking on the title will take you to your favorite online bookseller to grab a copy.

Now it’s time to get some new words on pages so I can make some writing goals happen. What kind of family occasions do you enjoy? Or miss?

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