A Special Snow-Filled Christmas!

Imagine a small village with snow dusted on trees, and on the rooftops of country houses, and small apartment buildings. The sidewalks have snowbanks amongst them, from when snow plows do their morning routine. My house is a small two story home. I live with my family. We are the Jansens. I’m Ana, the oldest Jansen child– I’m 20 years of age. I only have two other sisters. Emily is the second oldest, she is 16, just turned. Melodia just turned ten a few days ago. She’s the Christmas child at our house. Our mother, Tiffani runs the house on her own. She is a single parent, and she does well at it.

It’s also around Christmas here, and we celebrate with each other, plus our Aunts and Uncles come for dinner on Christmas day. It’s a lot of fun.

There’s a snow storm brewing outside, that much I can tell. Mom wants all of us to stay indoors, but of course Emily wants to go out to the mall and go Christmas shopping with her friends. I did offer to drive her, and eventually mom reluctantly agreed. I’m going to be picking her up at 9pm from the mall, just to make sure she makes it home safely.

“Why did you suggest to drive me?” Emily asked while getting into the car. “I could drive too, if you watch.”

“It’s snowing heavily out,” I reminded her. “Most sane people would wait to do their shopping until there is safer weather conditions.”

“True,” Emily agreed. “I promised them though.”

“I know,” I continued. “They could wait for another day, couldn’t they? Well, if your safety depended on it… am I right?”

“You’re right,” Emily sighed. “I just wanted to spend time with them.”

“That’s exactly why I offered to drive,” I reminded her. “You best be thankful, Em. Mom will find out if you aren’t!”

“Oh, all right!” Emily snapped. “Thank you for driving then.”

“I will tell mom if you snap at me too, you know,” I replied firmly. “Here you are. Have fun!”

“Thank you, thank you!” Emily exclaimed excitedly. “I’ll see you at 9pm!”

Once I dropped her off at the mall, I decided to head home. It’s not the nicest weather to be driving in, but it is pretty to look at from inside the warm house. Mom and I decided to get some Christmas baking done, so that’s what I did when I returned.

“Mom,” I began, while looking for the Christmas baking recipe book. “Emily has become very needy, why is that?”

“Ana, my child,” my mother chided. “Emma is still a teenager. You were rather needy at 16. I remember so.”

“Ugh, really?” I asked in disgust. “Thank goodness I’m not like that now. It is irritating me seeing Em like that. I can just imagine how you felt when you saw me like that.”

We started throwing together the ingredients needed for our famous Jansen Christmas cookie recipe.  After a batch of Christmas cookies were in the oven, I decided to make my signature Christmas Candy Snowballs. They’re easy to make, and make great gifts, with assorted other baked goods too. That’s what we do for friends and acquaintances in the village.

After a good batch of baking got done, I went to pick up Emily from the mall. The winter winds were blowing fiercer now, and the snow was blowing. Not good to be out in those weather conditions, but Emily insisted on going out… how ungrateful of her, and it really bothers me.

“Hey Em,” I said as she got into the car. “How was the mall? Probably desolate, since people are smart and are staying out of this winter storm.”

“It was pretty desolate, yeah,” Emily admitted. “Thank you for driving me though, Ana.”

“You realize I might be risking my life here,” I said acidly. “I hope you can show some respect to mom for letting you go.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Emily said in monotone. “What did you do while I was out?”

“Talked with mom, and did some Christmas baking,” I replied. The Christmas Candy Snowballs are in their molds in the freezer hardening.”

“Yum, those are my favourite!” Emily babbled on.

“This batch is for our Christmas gift boxes,” I reminded her. “I will probably make another batch tomorrow, or the next day.”

“Yes!” Emily cheered excitedly. “I can’t wait!”

I parked in the garage when we got back home. The snow was heavier now, and as soon as I entered the house, I started searching the house for candles. I wanted to be prepared in case the wind took down our power line. I also put a cooler with ice in the garage for all our frozen food, and baked goods. I figure I’d prepare the house for mom, just in case we lost our power.

“Mom!” I called from the foyer. “Shall I shovel the walkway?”

“If you wouldn’t mind, Ana,” she responded from the kitchen. “Yes, please!”

Before I headed out to shovel, I thought about bringing my youngest sister, Melodia, with me so she could be outside and play in the snow. She loves the snow, and she loves anything to do with winter. The rest of the family, however, does not. I personally don’t mind it, and she likes that. She likes when I go out with her.

Once outside, I did some shoveling of the driveway, and walkway up to the front porch of the house. My sister decided to jump into the snow mounds as I was shoveling. She loves to do that with anyone who shovels, especially me. She giggled when she revealed herself amongst the snow mound. I couldn’t help but laugh too, although she was creating more work for me.

“Ana, sister,” Mel said. “Come make snow angels with me. Or, better yet, Christmas angels made of snow.”

“After I’m finished, Mel,” I replied, smiling at her. “You love your Christmas angels, don’t you?”

“Christmas snow angels, actually,” Mel corrected me.

“I must shovel more before we head in,” I told her. “Do you want to stay out here with me, or go inside?”

“I’ll stay,” Mel replied enthusiastically. “Why would I want to leave you out here by yourself? That’s not fair, is it?”

“No,” I agreed. “I suppose not. Most of the family I wouldn’t catch being out here with me, except for you, of course.”

“You’re probably right,” Mel agreed, and laughed at the image it created in her mind.

After I finished shoveling, I headed inside with Mel. I thought about making hot chocolate for Mel and I, to warm up from being outside. Mom beat me to it, and offered it to us as soon as we entered the house. It’s amazing how well our mom knows us. She should, considering she raised us all by herself.

“How was shoveling?” Mom asked.

“It was all right,” I said. “Miss Mel tried to jump in the snow mounds I created with the snow I shoveled. She found it quite funny. I couldn’t help but laugh too, though.”

“Oh, silly Mel,” mom chuckled aloud.

“She’s the only winter loving child,” I replied. “I don’t mind winter, but it isn’t my favorite season.”

“Thank you for getting the shoveling done,” mom added.

“No trouble,” I replied back. “It’s getting bad out there. Might have to shovel again in the morning before people leave the house.”

“The plows should come in the morning,” mom told me.

I woke up early the next morning. It was Christmas Eve, and mom was right. The roads were ploughed from last night’s snowfall. When I looked out my window into our front yard, I could still see Mel’s Christmas snow angels, left unscathed. They were indeed pretty to look at. I then realized today was going to be a fairly busy day. We had baked good gift boxes to give to people in our neighbourhood. It’s a tradition we do every year to give back to our neighbourhood. That’s the gift of Christmas, I believe.

“Children!” Mom called from the kitchen. “Breakfast is ready! We have a big day of gift giving and more Christmas baking to get done. Mass is tonight too, don’t forget.”

“Midnight mass?” Emily asked from her bedroom.

“Yes,” I called back from my room. “Of course!”

“Will there be Christmas snow angels?” Mel asked.

“Yes, yes, yes,” mom answered. “Now, hurry up! You mustn’t let your breakfast get cold!”

As I got dressed in my red velvet dress, with white tights and my black shoes, I was thinking about what a wonderful Christmas this would be. Lots of time giving, and spending time with family too. Today is only the start of an awesome Christmas!

Snowed inl

After breakfast, we all headed out with our gift boxes, snowsuits, boots, hatts and mittens to go deliver Christmas sweet boxes to our surrounding neighbourhood. That’s a tradition we’ve always had. When we would arrive at each house, Miss Mel would leave a Christmas snow angel for them on their front lawn, that didn’t change either. She’s been doing that since she was three.

Even when it snows just before Christmas, it is always special. Everyone is so appreciative when we show up on their doorstep with homemade baked goods from our home to theirs, and it doesn’t cost them anything. That’s the wonderful thing about giving. This Christmas, however, seems more special in some way… a wonderful, snow-filled Christmas!



Short Story # 3 – Tough Job with a Marvelous Reward

It was a Thursday morning, in mid June. I sat at my desk staring blankly at the pile of papers before me– several cases I needed to attend to, but I somehow wasn’t with it. My mother had told me several times that I push myself too hard… she even said so this morning before I left for work.

I’m the middle child between all my sisters, 5 in all including me. Jessa and Lacey are twins, they are almost 30. Allison just turned 27 last week. My name is Destiny, I am only 24. Effie is 18, and Kendal is only 13. Jessa and Lacey don’t live at home anymore, and Allie is about to move in with her boyfriend, Kent, and his daughter Payton. My mother’s name is McKelsey, and my father’s name is Paul, that’s my wonderful family.

I am a social worker, and my main focus is putting children into foster homes, or helping people with adoptions. More specifically, I gear towards children with special needs… finding homes for them. The top paper that I apparently was staring at as I was thinking was an adoption process in the works. Hanna is a four month old baby girl, being adopted by the foster family that immediately took care of her since her birth, a young couple, Hayden and Mesa. I had to start organizing her paperwork, but my mind kept wandering. I kept thinking, if only I could adopt a child, and help out with just one, of many children needing a family. Suddenly, the phone rings. It startles me out of my revery.

“Hello?” I said, breathless.

“Destiny,” the receptionist said. “Mesa is on the line, are you available to speak with her?”

“Of course,” I said. “Put her through.”

“Destiny,” Mesa said cheerfully. “How’s the process for our girl, Hanna?”

“I’m working on it now,” I said. “The paperwork will be done, and submitted by this afternoon.”

“Wonderful!” Mesa exclaimed. “I’ll call again in a few days.”

“All right,” I said. “Talk again soon.”

I hung up the phone then, staring at Hanna’s adoption documents in front of me. I suppose it’s time to get this done, I thought almost aloud. I settled down to work, filling out the sections in the paperwork I needed to fill out. Once I got into the groove of my day, I got the paperwork completed.

After lunch, I dropped off the paperwork for Hanna’s adoption. I also had a hospital appointment that afternoon for another new mother, and the baby she wants to put up for adoption. I don’t know much details besides the fact that the mother’s name is Lexis. Lexis is a teen mom, and her child has Spina Bifida. Don’t know if the child has a name yet or not.

I’m meeting up with the hospital’s maternity social worker, Nada Chaucer. She has more information on Lexis’s case, which will be very beneficial for me in finding a good home for Lexis’s child.

“Hello,” Nada said. “Are you Destiny?”

“Yes,” I said. “Thanks for meeting with me.”

“No problem,” Nada added. “So, what do you know about Lexis’s case?”

“Not a whole lot,” I admitted. “I only know that her child has Spina Bifida?”

“Yes,”  Nada assured me. “She has no name presently.”

“I was wondering about that,” I added. As an afterthought, I thought if only I could adopt her.

Nada showed me to Lexis’s room, so I could discuss options with her and her family. Nada knocks on the door.

“Come in!” Lexis said.

“Hello Lexis,” Nada said. “This is Destiny, she will walk you and your family through the adoption process.”

“Nice to meet you, Destiny,” Lexis added. “By the way, this is my mother Renee, and my father Brian.”

“Nice to meet you all,” I said.

“I will leave you all with Destiny now,” Nada continued. “She’s taking over this case from here.”

“Thank you again, Nada,” Lexis’s mother said with gratitude.

“No problem,” Nada assured her.

I talked with Lexis and her family about the various homes that Lexis’s child could go into, until we found a suitable person to adopt. I filled out the papers, and Lexis and her family signed them. Lexis needed to pick a name for the forms, in case her child would be in foster care for awhile.

“I’ll name her Emilie Rose,” Lexis finally said. “Destiny, I have a question.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” I told her. “Ask away!”

“What if I want her after all?” Lexis asked hesitantly. “I don’t want to go through the adoption, and fear never seeing her again. At the same time, I’m only 16 years old.”

“Oh, Lexis,” I comforted. “I totally understand.”

“So, what should I do?” Lexis asked. “What’s your recommendation?”

I had an idea, but I knew it would probably cause issues with conflict of interest. I had the perfect idea… I just didn’t know how to go about it. My perfect idea was to adopt Emilie, and have Lexis as a parent as well, like duel custody.

“I have an idea,” I said. “What if I adopt her?”

“You’d adopt Emilie?” Lexis asked in shock. “Really?”

“I’ve still got to figure it out,” I admitted. “I will figure this out. I promise.”

“Thank you!” Lexis exclaimed with excitement.

I returned to the office with a lot more on my mind than when I left. I had to figure out, 1, how to not lose my job, and 2, to fill out the adoption paperwork for miss Emilie. I will adopt her! I thought to myself. Isabella, the receptionist startled me out of my revery, again… this time by knocking on my door.

“Des,” Isabella said from the doorway. “Annie wants you to go home, and come back tomorrow with a fresh head.”

Annie is our boss, and what she says goes.

“I’m fine, Isabella,” I said. “I’ll go tell Annie that myself if I have to.”

“No Destiny,” Isabella continued. “Go home.”

I packed up Lexis’s work to take home. I need to work on this for Lexis, I don’t care, especially now. I might as well find another job placement just in case I get fired. After this, it just may happen. Oh well.

My mother saw I was thinking when I returned home. My mom and dad owned several apartments that were rented out, all of them were rented, except one. I saw something in my mom’s eyes, she had an idea, a surprise for me.

“Dee!” my mother exclaimed.

“Yes?” I asked.

“Want to go with a drive?” My mom asked. “I have a surprise for you.”

I could tell my mother reads my mind… every, single, thought that goes through it.

“I’d love that!” I exclaimed.

We went out, and we drove to one of the many lots my family owned… this one, however, I didn’t know they had. Mom drove me to a country house in the outskirts of the city.

“Here we are!” My mom almost shouted. “Go take a look!!!”

I looked at a beautifully landscaped lot. I could tell dad worked on it. It had a ramp at the front door. I walked in, to my right was a wheelchair accessible kitchen, with cherry hardwood floors throughout, stainless steal appliances, and an open concept living room/dining room. Off of the kitchen was the living room/dining room, with a wheelchair accessible balcony. To the left of the front entrance, there was a hallway with one wheelchair accessible bathroom and what would be Emilie’s room. At the end of the hall was stairs that led up to the second floor. Up there, there was another room, and the master bedroom with master bath, and another bathroom, adjacent to the other bedroom. Out in the backyard was an awesome deck that Emilie could get off the deck and wheel around. There was also a fenced in pool for Emilie as well… absolutely gorgeous!!! The bonus, a detached three-car garage.

“It’s beautiful!” I exclaimed happily.

“Well, it’s yours,” mom said. “I see you have a tough situation on your hands, and I know you want to adopt a special needs child. So, here, you can.”

“Am I renting it from you?” I asked.

“For now, yes,” mom said. “After you get organized, you’ll own it.”

“Wow,” I said, astonished. “Thank you!!”

“You’re welcome!” Mom said, she hugged me then.

We drove home then, and I started to work on Emilie’s adoption. I filled out that Lexis would also be the mother of her. I signed on the dotted line, and when I’d go to work the next day, I’d submit it.


I woke up to my alarm which beeped at 6:30am. I hit the snooze button, and slept for 10 minutes more. Finally, I woke up at 6:40, and I got dressed in my work outfit, and went to go make breakfast for my family before I left. It’s usually something I do at least one morning during the week.

I fried up some eggs, and then I left them on the stove for when everyone else woke up. I arrived at work around 8:30, and the first thing I did was submit Emilie’s adoption papers.  Isabella and Annie greeted me at my office.

“Good morning, Dee,” Isabella said. “You doing better today?”

I was irritated that Bella and Annie thought I wasn’t yesterday.

“I was fine yesterday!” I snapped. “Why would you think I’m not?”

“Your actions,” Annie added. “That’s what!”

“Yeah,” Bella agreed. “If it wasn’t for the fact that you actually do your job, Annie would have fired you by now.”

“Exactly!” Annie emphasized. “In fact, how’s Lexis’s case going? You finding a home for her daughter?”

“Uh,” I stammered. “It’s going just fine… really, it is. I submitted the paperwork this morning.”

“Hmmmm,” Annie thought aloud. “Did you submit paperwork for someone else to adopt her, or yourself?”

How on earth could they figure me out so well? I asked myself. It’s rather annoying! What do I tell them? Do I lie? Do I tell the truth?

“All right, you’re right,” I said, finally. “I would like to adopt her.”

“Well,” Bella said. “You can’t really do that.”

“Unless you’d like to be without a job,” Annie added. “The only thing, as I said that’s keeping you here is the fact you do great work, when you aren’t in a daze.”

“Well, do what you want,” I finally said. “I am adopting Lexis’s child.”

“All right,” Annie said. “You better apply for EI, because you’re fired! Go home!”

I walked out solemnly from the only workplace I knew. I always found that Bella and Annie treated everyone else better than me anyway, and the other people worked less than I did, and usually did a poorer job. I was furious!!! I went over to my new house to start working out which furniture to buy, and where to put it. As I did this, I was definitely holding back tears of fury!

I then decided to call Lexis at her house, to see if she went home yet. I hoped so, and I hoped Emilie was safe at the hospital. I then dialed her number.

“Hello?” Lexis said, breathless.

“Hey Lexis, it’s me Destiny!” I said. “How is everything?”

“Oh, Destiny!” Lexis merely shouted into the phone. “I’m so glad you called. I am well. Emilie is still in hospital till we know what’s happening, but she is growing every day!”

“Wonderful!” I exclaimed. “How would you like it if you had a room at my house, so you can spend time with Emilie?”

“Really?” Lexis asked, astonished. “You’d do that?”

“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Now I’m just waiting for the paperwork to be completed, and I know whether she’s officially my child.”

“Thank you so much for doing this!” Lexis exclaimed, appreciatively. “My mom and dad aren’t happy that I was pregnant, and they don’t think it was wise of you to adopt her, because of your job. I, however, am very grateful!”

“Would you like to come over and look at your room?” I asked. “I can come pick you up.”

“I’d love to!” Lexis exclaimed. “Will this ruin your job opportunity?”

“It already has,” I said solemnly. “I, however, did this for you.”

“Wow!” Lexis exclaimed in shock. “I’ll tell mom you’re coming over now.”

“I’ll be there soon,” I said.

We hung up then, and I drove over to Lexis’s house. I took her shopping so she could buy things for her room at my house. I never did this with any of my other clients, but Lexis was special. She really wanted Emilie, but her family said she couldn’t. I did, however, understand their side too. That’s why I thought of this compromise.

Lexis picked out a bed, dresser, and desk for her room. The delivery for those items would be delivered the next day. I also bought her sheets for her bed, and a crib and swing for Emilie. Lexis and I slept on air mattresses at the house, and the next morning, after the furniture arrived, and was put together, I went and got groceries for the house. Already, Lexis wanted to live with me, and I sincerely thought about telling her parents she could.


Days later, I got a phone call from Janie, the person who was dealing with the adoption process for Emilie. It was approved, and I just had to tell Lexis about it. I now had a daughter, and Lexis, I decided would be her Godmother. I drove over to the hospital to pick up Emilie and bring her home.

So, this is what happens when a case falls into my lap that I have to respond to on my own. I had to adopt Emilie, I had to. Even though it meant I lost my job. If this were you, what would you do? Probably what I did, and embrace the choice wholeheartedly.


Short Story #2 – Ginny’s First Christmas

It was a rather brisk, cold november. I sat by my window waiting for Jana and Serenity to return home. Jana and Renny are my twin sisters. I’m the oldest, Trinity is my name. I’m almost 26. Yes, I still live at home with my mother Azalea, my step-dad Casey, whom we all called Papa.

Mom’s pregnant again, with her fourth girl. She’s supposed to be born just before Christmas. Mom’s gonna name her Ginette Renee, although she’s already nicknaming her Ginny. Mom also had an appointment for the baby today, and she took Jana and Renny with her.

Papa is overseas serving our country. In fact, so did mom, about a year and a half ago, as a nurse. Papa is a surgeon. They met while working under the same surgical team. I stayed at home with Jana and Renny, who were only 12 then. So, I’ve become the house sitter while mom and Papa were deployed. Now mom’s home, because of Ginny’s birth.

As mom, Jana, and Serenity entered, I went into the kitchen to make dinner for the family.  Renny and Jana went upstairs to do their homework before dinner, and mom came into the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen island.

“Thank you Trinny for making dinner,” mom said. “Can I help with anything?”

“No mom,” I said. “You need to rest. Dr. Peterson said so.”

“I know,” mom continued. “I just like to help.”

“All right,” I sighed. “You can cut the bagels for the garlic bread.”

“That’s fine,” mom seemed satisfied with that.

Jana and Renny came downstairs and into the kitchen then. Dinner was almost done. I had dessert already made in the fridge. I made it earlier in the day.

“That smells wonderful, sis!” Jana exclaimed.

“Thank you,” I said. “It’s almost dinnertime.”

“We can smell it from our room upstairs,” Renny added.  “We couldn’t concentrate on our homework with that smell wafting through the house. It smells delicious!”

After dinner was completed, dishes were done and put away, I took Jana and Renny Christmas shopping to buy something for mom. I also needed to buy something for mom as well. Of course, I told mom to rest, maybe immerse herself in one of many books she has, and I told her I’d be back in awhile.

I drove to this little mall in our town called, Fable’s Marketplace. It had tons of stuff on sale, affordable for our family. I grabbed a basket for my sisters and I, and we all started browsing. I immediately saw something I knew mom would like. It’s an old rustic rocker. It only cost around $30. I figured this rocker would be a wonderful Christmas gift for mom, and baby Ginny. Jana got mom a baby scrapbook for all the memories to be made during Ginny’s first year. Renny took the longest to find something for mom. She ended up getting her a camera, just so she could capture those memories for the scrapbook.

I drove home after, and we put the gifts in the garage. My sisters and I thought about wrapping the gifts while mom would be out, maybe at an appointment for Ginny. Mom rarely went into the garage, so it seemed the perfect place to store her presents for the time being.

We all entered into the living room where mom sat reading her book. She glanced up from her book, for a split second. She returned to her book then, and I went into the kitchen to do some more Christmas baking. Jana and Renny went upstairs to complete the rest of their math homework while I baked. I ended up baking another batch of my nana Chesney’s chocolate chip cookies. My family loves them… plus, we sell them at Jana and Renny’s school Christmas bake sale.


It’s now almost Christmas, and little Ginny isn’t born yet. Mom has to go to Dr. Peterson’s office today, and she asked me to accompany her. So, I ended up calling Nana to look after Jana and Renny, while I took mom to the doctor.

“Thank you Trinny,” mom said.

“For what?” I asked.

“Well, for one, being an amazing daughter,” mom continued. “Also, for taking me to the doc’s office today.”

“Well mom, you are overdue,” I said. “Plus, Nana can’t drive anymore. So, why wouldn’t I drive you? It’s common sense.”

“I thank you anyway,” mom replied.

We arrived at the doctor’s office then. I parked the car and met mom at the reception desk.

“Who are you hear to see?” A blonde haired girl asked.

“I’m here to see Dr. Peterson,” mom replied. “I’m overdue. I was supposed to have my baby girl on Sunday. It’s Friday now. Doc seemed concerned.”

“Oh, right,” the receptionist said. “He’s been expecting you. Come right this way, please.”

We followed her down a long hallway. We reached the end of the hallway, and we were accompanied to the last examining room on the left hand sir of the hall. The receptionist left us then, and mom and I waited for Dr. Peterson to enter.

“So, Azalea,” Dr. Peterson said, while entering the room. “Your little Ginny doesn’t want to come out on her own, does she?”

“As it seems right now, no,” mom replied.

“The next step of action is to induce you,” Dr. Peterson continued. “Head over to Fable’s Crescent Memorial Hospital. I’ll send over the orders for you to get started with the induction.”

We arrived at the hospital, and headed to the Labour and Delivery floor, after being checked in.

“Hello Azalea,” a red hair female nurse said. “My name is Tessa, and I am going to be your nurse today. If you wouldn’t mind getting into this hospital gown, that’d be great.”

Mom got into her hospital gown, and lay down on the hospital bed. She got hooked up to a fetal monitor, and an IV was placed to start the induction process. I called Nana to bring over Jana and Renny to the hospital to see mom. We all wanted to support mom in this process, since Papa wasn’t here.


Mom’s labour didn’t last long, and around 7pm, little Ginny was brought into the world. Now Ginny and mom will be coming back home within the next day or so. Ginny was born weighing in at seven pounds, four ounces, a perfectly healthy baby girl.

Mom ended up writing a letter to Papa describing to him about baby Ginny. It read:

Dearest Casey,

I wanted to write this letter to you after Ginny’s healthy birth. She weighs seven pounds, four ounces. She looks so much like you, it’s unbelievable. Even Jana, Serenity, and Trinity agree. I can’t wait for you to meet her! Her and I will be going home tomorrow. It’ll be nice to see you, hopefully sooner rather than later. I miss you so much!!

With love,



Ginny came home with mom the next day, it was the day before Christmas Eve. I did some more Christmas baking after I brought mom and Ginny home. It is still hard to believe that, even though Ginny won’t remember it, this will be her first Christmas with us.


Our family ended up opening gifts on Christmas Eve. All of us sisters gave Ginny some awesome Christmas/birthday gifts; a blanket, a few toys, clothes and little baby shoes. Mom ended up loving the gifts we got her. I ended up serving the baked goods I made that day after presents were opened. One thing was missing, Papa. So, I wrote my own personal letter to him.

Dear Papa,

Have I ever mentioned how much I miss you? We’re all missing you, especially since it’s Christmas, and you aren’t here with us. When are you returning home? I hope it’s soon. Mom misses you terribly, it shows in her eyes. Can you believe it’s Ginny’s first Christmas? I can’t. 

I will send along some small things to you to remind you of us, and how much we all truly miss you. Just thought I’d write this letter to you, even though mom wrote one too. I miss you, I love you. I hope to see you soon.

With love,

Your Trinny

After dessert, I walked to the mailbox to drop off mom’s, and my letters to Papa. As I was walking there, I thought how perfect this Christmas was. Mom and I wrote letters to Papa, we all enjoyed family time, and lastly, and most importantly, Ginny was brought into this world just in time for her first Christmas.

Short Story # 1! – Ness and Alia – Turning Point

It was summer… hot, quite humid actually. My house wasn’t air conditioned, and my mom hadn’t gotten one of those window air conditioners yet. I’m Vanessa, but my family and friends call me Ness. I’m almost 18, and so is my twin sister Alia. So, anyway, I was cooking lunch in this stifling hot weather, and it was just too hot for the month of June.

My mom came in then, along with Alia.

“Good grief, it’s hot out!” Alia exclaimed as she entered the kitchen.

“You don’t say,” I countered. “I’ve been cooking in this heat for the past two hours… you don’t say!”

“It smells good though, Ness,” my mom complimented.

“Thanks,” I said. “What’s that? Did you actually buy an air conditioner finally?”

“Yes, we had to,” mom said solemnly. “Alia went to Dr. Abbott this morning. We found out  that Alia is suffering from severe asthma.”

“This weather would do that,” I replied. “What is there to do about it, besides cooler temperatures?”

“An assortment of inhalers, multiple times a day,” Alia added.

“Oh,” I sighed. “Want some lunch?”

Mom and Alia sat down at the kitchen table, while I served them spaghetti and garlic bread. Besides mom, I was the other cook in the household. Alia liked baking, but not cooking. I liked cooking, but not baking. We complimented each other in that way. Twins do that, once and awhile. After I served them, I grabbed a plate, and sat down.

“Mom, is it ok if I go hang out with Gina, Lacey, Tess, and Marcus for a bit?” I asked. Marc is my boyfriend, and Gina, Lacey and Tess are some of my closest friends ever!!

“Yes, it’s fine,” mom said. “As long as you’re home by 10.”

“Yes, mom.”

I cleaned up the dishes after we were all done eating, then grabbed the keys from the drawer in the entry hallway cabinet, then headed out. I was meeting them all at the Riverview Terrace Mall. We were going to go shopping, then head to my boyfriend’s house from there. It took about 20 minutes to get to the mall from my house.

“Over here!” Marcus called, and waved at me.

“Hey!” I said, excitedly. I gave him a hug. “How are you?”

“Fine,” he said. “Especially now that you’re here.”

“Awwww!” I said, blushing. “How sweet.”

“Tess and Lacey are on their way. Gina will be meeting up with us later, at my house.”

“Ok,” I said. “So, how was work this morning?”

“Fine, I guess. I had three clients this morning. We were working on reading, speech therapy, and social skills.”

“Sounds fun!”

Marcus is older than me, by three years. He works as a rehabilitation instructor for people with various disabilities. He works with two of my cousins actually, Lucia and Emily. Lucia has Cerebral Palsy, and Emily is autistic. My mom was the one who actually found him the job.

Tess and Lacey arrived shortly after I did. We walked around the mall, looking at various stores. It was air conditioned in the mall, so I couldn’t complain. All of us have one common interest when we go shopping, and that is art. Even Marc likes it, although I think I got him more into that, but you know. After we shopped around for a bit, we all went to the food court, and I bought them all dinner.

“So Ness, how’s looking at colleges?” Tess asked.

“Fine,” I said. “I applied to three; Amir Community College, Lexington College, and Rochelle District College.”

“Wonderful!” Lacey chimed in. “Any luck?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’ll be heading to ACC in September to start my nursing degree.”

“I’m so proud of you, hun,” Marcus beamed.

“I am too!!” Lacey chimed in.

“Seconded,” Tess agreed.

After we finished eating, we all went over to Marc’s house for a few hours, just to hang out. Gina met up with us there, and an added bonus, she’s dating Marc’s roommate, Riley. Riley and Gina have been dating for almost four years now, and Marc and I have only been dating for just over two years. Riley set Marc and I up.

“Hey, you two,” I stated excitedly. “Guess what?”

“What?” Riley and Gina asked in unison.

“I’ve been accepted to ACC in the fall!” I exclaimed. “I am going into the Registered Practical Nursing program!!”

“Congratulations, Ness!!” Riley chimed in. “I knew you’d get accepted!”

“Thanks, Riles,” I said. “I’ll be moving to Amir near the end of this summer.”

“Where is Amir?” Gina asked.

“It’s two hours from here,” I said. We all live in Berkley.

“That’s not too bad,” Tess remarked. “What’s your plan for you and Marcus though, in regards to seeing one another?”

“Her and I are moving to Amir together,” Marc announced. “There’s a job opening up in Amir for a rehabilitation instructor, which is what I am.”

“How wonderful,” Tess said.

“Hey, Tess, Lacey, Gina and Riles, can I talk to you privately for a minute?” Marc asked.

They all agreed. I sat in his living room waiting for everyone to be done their talk. It was almost 9:30, so I had to get home soon anyway. They all came back into the living room about five minutes later.

“I’ve got to get home,” I said. “I will text everyone tomorrow, ok?”

Lacey, Tess, Gina and Riley hugged me at the door and said goodbye to me. Marc ended up walking me to the car. We said goodnight to each other, and I then got into the car and headed home.

Once I got home, Alia greeted me. She seemed to have a worried look on her face. I couldn’t exactly understand why. She looked rather sad, actually.

“Ness,” Alia said, in a solemn tone.

“Yes, what’s wrong?” I asked, worried.

“Mom and I are going to have to move,” Alia said, while starting to cry. “The temperatures here are way too hot, and it’s affecting my health.”

“Where, and when?” I asked, vaguely panicked.

“We are moving to…” Alia hesitated. “Amir!!!! Mom has bought a house that has a basement apartment in it, for you, and Marcus!!!”

“Really?” I practically yelled with excitement. “When are we moving?”

“Next week sometime,” Alia replied with equal enthusiasm.

“Marcus will have to meet us at the end of August,” I said. “He’s gotta wrap up work here, to be transferred to Amir.”


I woke up early the next morning and started to pack. Mom had rented three big moving trucks to get us to Amir. I’m super excited that I won’t have to be away from mom, and of course, my wonderful twin sister. Alia and I shared a room at our current house, but in the new house, I’ll be living with Marcus in the apartment attached to the main house, when we move to Amir.

Marcus came over later that day to help me pack also. Then him and I went out for lunch to cerebrate the fact of our turning point. We went out to lunch at this cooking academy place where students learn cooking, and serving skills. Gina, Tess and Lacey were doing their apprenticeships there, as cooks, and servers. Today they served us, which normally doesn’t happen. I found that rather odd.

First Lacey brought out a special dish for me that had onion rings in it. Strange. It was good though. Secondly, Gina brought out some bread for Marcus and I to share. Tess brought out dessert… the dessert was a vanilla cake with chocolate icing, and lots of sugar lace detail, and the words written in fancy sugar letters, Will You Marry Me.

By this point, Marcus was on his knee.

“Vanessa,” he stated, kind of tripping over his words. “You are the most wonderful person, and the best thing that has happened to me. Since we are moving to Amir with your family, I only find it right that I ask to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

He pulled out this intricately detailed ring box, with an equally intricately detailed ring.

“Yes,” I said, almost crying. “Of course!”

Then Riley came out to join us. Marcus ended up talking to them all the night we all hung out at his house. Wow, and I didn’t catch on.


Later that summer, Marc moved in with us. It was nice to finally be with my fiancee again. Funny to say that I’m engaged to him. We will probably get married next summer, most likely. As for Alia, her health is a lot more stable since we moved to Amir. Amir is our family’s wonderful turning point, for the better!