Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

Home For The Holiday: A Short Story

The first part of a mini-series.
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Hey, guys, so I'm switching things up, so instead of writing an article, I'm going to start a short story series. I'm doing this for variety and also because of writer's block.

* * *

"I see you've... redecorated..." Chloe smiled. The house looked like it had been frozen in time. Nothing had been moved or touched since her parents first moved in. The house was stuck in the '80s.

"Well, your father and I like the way it looks" Amanda swatted her daughter with the rag in her hand and walked into the kitchen. "Plus you haven't been home in 17 years so you don't have a say." It was true, the day Chloe graduated from college was the last day she stepped foot into her house. The very next day she loaded up her car and went away to college. She kept in touch via Skype, and her parents visited her at least twice, but she had no actual intention of coming back home. But this Christmas was different... This Christmas she...

"Put your things in your room and come help me, sweetie." Chloe rolled her eyes and did as she was told. Her room was laughable. Her parent's hadn't touched it either. Her twin-sized bed was going to be interesting to sleep in. The posters on her wall were off boy bands she no longer listened to. There were still pictures from high school taped around her mirror. She looked at each one, recalling the memories associated with the picture. She got to one that made her pause. She touched it and then took it down.

She made her way back down the hallway. The smell of her mother's cooking and the sound of her singing accompanied her on the walk. Her father stood watching his wife move around the kitchen. His smile was wide and his eyes bright. He loved her with everything inside of him. Watching her parents was worse than watching romantic movies. At least a movie can be called fiction. Some person's made up account of two fictitious people who seem to fall in love effortlessly and perfectly. She hated those movies and made it a point to avoid them. But she couldn't avoid her parents. They were picture perfect and it was completely real.

"Oh, hey, sweetie, I'm glad you're home." Chloe hugged her father. He had been wearing the same cologne for as long as she could remember, like the house, that hadn't changed.

"Glad to be home."

"To what do we owe the pleasure?"

"Clark, don't ask her that. Chloe is always welcome home." Chloe was thankful for her mother's diversion, she didn't want to explain why she had come home. It was honestly the last thing she wanted to do but out of options, she settled. "Now, put an apron on and come help me with this food."

"Momma, you I can't food to save my life."

"Oh honey, I thought you'd grow outta that by now."

"Mom, you can't grow out of being a bad cook."

"Oh well sweetheart, how do you eat?"

"Take out, restaurants... McDonalds" Chloe shrugged, her parent's shared a look and then doubled over with laughter.

"Your husband might want a home cooked meal every once in awhile."

"Well I don't have to worry about that do I, Dad?" Silence filled the room. Chloe regretted sounding so short with her Father but she hated that no matter what the conversation was originally about, it was always brought back to how single she was.

"How about I show you how to make some things and that way you can enjoy them when you go home." Her mom tried to make light of the situation but the tension was still thick in the air.

Instead of picking a fight, she picked up an apron and tied up her hair. There was a knock at the door.

"I'll get it," Clark said. Amanda handed Chloe potholders and nodded towards the oven.

"Take the turkey out and place it on the counter and get the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar out of the cabinet for me."

"Sure" Handing her mom things was something she could do. Amanda smiled at her daughter and went back to singing. Chloe joined in and the two women danced around each other. Chloe handed her mother whatever spices she needed and Amanda did the actual cooking and baking. Clark came around the corner and smiled at the sight.

"Join us, honey," Amanda held out her hand.

"I would love to but Ryan is here and he has a question for you."

The women stopped. Amanda gave Clark a look to kill. Chloe sharply turned towards the kitchen door, and a man came into view. He looked exactly the same as Chloe remembered. His hair was starting to grey and he had a lot more facial hair, but everything else was the same. He was always muscular, always handsome, that hadn't changed. He smiled when he saw her. Her expression didn't move. The moment she heard his name she had this look on her face as if she'd seen a ghost.

"Hey, Chlo- it's good to see you." He stepped towards her. She instinctively took a step back. Then she ripped off her apron and headed out the door.

* * *

I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my short story. To be continued...

Food for Thought: There's a lot of drama in this world... sometimes we need a little fiction
Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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10 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Is Especially Awesome Around The Holidays

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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A date for looking at Christmas lights is on the top of the list, for sure.

1. You have someone to do all of the activities with

He's like your built-in partner for everything. Wanna watch a movie? Take a nap? Need someone to help you clean your room? You've got your person.

2. You can steal his hoodies when its chilly outside

It doesn't even have to be cold for you to want to. Chances are its a size or two bigger than you need and his cologne is all over it.

3. Chances are he's more willing to drive in the snow than you are 

Guys typically have a little more of a heavy duty vehicle. If you've got a good man, he might even rescue you an hour away in a blizzard if you think you're tougher than the weather.

4. Christmas movie partner!!

Do I need to add more?

5. He can always keep you warm

Bear hugs. Cuddles. His trucks dual air 90 degree heat on your side. He'll find a way to keep you warm.

6. Your family holiday events partner

Multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas' are a breeze with your favorite person by your side. Plus, no one to ask you where your plus one is or why you're single.

7. Matching Christmas pajamas

I don't know about you, but my family has matching Christmas jammies every year. You can even get your favorite person in on them too for a cute insta picture.

8. Your errand running partner

He's your built-in Christmas shopping partner so you aren't bored standing in line forever or while you're still shopping and he can act as your place holder.

9. You aren't the only single one in your family on Christmas Eve anymore. 

It's awkward when all of your siblings are taking pictures with their others, but when you've found your person, you can do all the same things, including looking forward to your new year's kiss.

10. Making more memories

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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