Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales. I’ve been away on vacation and this is the first post since my return. It’s also the first post from my new novel, a paranormal romance entitled Same Time Next Year.
Where did I get the idea for this one? Back in 1980, probably before some of you were even born, I watched a movie that has stayed with me all these years. It starred Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve and was called Somewhere in Time. Here’s the link to one of its trailers. http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3649306905
The story is about two people deeply in love who are separated by time. I decided I wanted to do something similar. So, here is my attempt at star-crossed lovers separated by time and reunited.
Here’s this week’s post:
Twyla Wilson sat at the butcher block table, sipping her cup of Earl Grey tea, waiting for her daughter to settle down. As expected, Billie wasn’t taking her decision well. She paced the kitchen, wringing her hands hard enough to peel off a layer of that sinfully expensive hand cream she preferred.
“You can’t be serious,” she all but shouted, glaring at her. “I know you claim to need ‘alone-time’ as you put it, but really? Why in Heaven’s name do you want to drive 400 miles to a resort in the middle of nowhere? It’s only been two months since your surgery. If you insist on a holiday away from us, why not that Panama cruise Edythe suggested?”
Closing her eyes and counting to ten, Twyla took a deep breath. Arguing with her only child was never pleasant. Looking into her worried blue eyes didn’t make this small show of defiance any easier, but it did increase her determination to follow through with her plans.
“Honey, your father, bless his soul, and I went on every cruise imaginable, but this year I want to do something different, something just for me. Ever since I got out of the hospital, you’ve been watching me so closely that I’m beginning to think I should be getting measured for a shroud rather than a dress for Edythe’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Your cousin means well, and I’m sure the cruise would be relaxing, but I’ve got my heart set on going back to The Colonel’s Inn. I’ll only be gone a month.”
“A month! Seriously, Mom, that place is over a hundred years old. Wouldn’t you prefer something more modern? I mean will you even be able to write there?”
“It has been renovated since it was built, you know,” she answered, rolling her eyes. Had Billie always been so melodramatic? “They have electricity and everything, but if I have to, I can use a notebook and a pencil. Caprice thinks it’s a great idea. She’s even offered to come up and check on me.”
“Caprice is your agent,” Billie answered through clenched teeth. She closed her eyes and huffed out a frustrated breath. “Of course she thinks it’s a great idea. You haven’t written anything in over six months. Your books buy those Malone Souliers she’s hooked on.”
“Don’t be crass, Billie. I saw the price tag on those Jimmy Choo’s you ordered last week.” Twyla shook her head. “I did discuss the idea with Doctor Rainier. The resort is just over an hour from Ottawa and one of the best heart institutes in the world. The weather in Ontario in the summertime can be erratic, but for the most part, they have moderate temperatures and tons of sunshine. My pacemaker is working well, blood is flowing through my stents, and the bypass was a success. In short, I’m as good as new, and if I want to stay this way, I have to take a stand. I can’t roll over and play dead. You’ve been mollycoddling me long enough. I appreciate your concern and I love you for it, but you have to let me breathe. I’m only sixty-seven years old. There’s plenty of life in this old girl yet, but if I just sit around waiting to die that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
Billie ran her hand through her short, spiked, brown hair. “That’s not what I meant. I know you aren’t dying although you did give us all a hell of a scare, but why there? If you want to rent a rustic cottage, why not look for something in the Poconos or upstate New York? You haven’t been to Canada in what—fifty years? That place could be closed for all you know.”
“Sweetheart, despite what you may think, I’m not stupid. I did my research. While it’s true the resort closed a few years ago, it’s just reopened under new management and from what I’ve read in the papers, the new owner has renovated and restored the place to the glory of its heyday, while adding a few modern touches including Wi-Fi. Not only will I be able to write, I can blog and message as much as I want.” She reached out and touched her daughter’s arm, holding her in place. “I always intended to return, but things never worked out for me. If it makes you feel better, I can ask Judy to come with me. We can share the driving.”
“Mother of God! Are you trying to drive me crazy?” Billie’s eyes were the size of silver dollars in her pale face. “She’s ten years older than you are and blind as a bat.”
Twyla smothered her laughter. This was the reaction she’d expected. On cue, her granddaughter entered the kitchen and opened the fridge door. After grabbing a can of cola, she closed it.
“What’s going on?” She popped the tab on the can. “I could hear you two arguing from my room. Gramma’s not supposed to get upset, Mom. It can mess with her blood pressure.” She thrust out her chin.
“We aren’t arguing, sweetie,” Twyla said, trying to keep her excitement hidden. “I want to take a writing vacation up north, and your mother doesn’t like the idea.”
“A vacation, I have no problem with,” Billie mumbled, her arms crossed over her chest with her infamous ‘don’t go there, Mom’ look firmly in place. “What your grandmother wants to do is revisit some old resort where she went as a kid. She thinks it’ll inspire her, but …”
Lana rolled her eyes and pulled her Smartphone out of the back pocket of her cut-off jean shorts.
“What’s the place called, Gramma?” she asked, ignoring her mother.
“It used to be called The Colonel’s Inn,” Billie answered for her.
Fingers flying, Lana input the name and searched the Internet. “It looks good to me.” She held up the screen for her mother to see. “It’s called Colonel By’s Resort now. Looks pretty cool.”
Twyla could see the picture of the two-story, red-trimmed, white clapboard lodge with its verandas and red wooden rocking chairs. In her mind’s eye, she added the cherry red Adirondack chairs dotting the property and the front of each of the fifteen individual cabins there, the pool, the garden, and of course, in the background, the sun silvering the surface of Sand Lake.
Boats of every size and shape would line up waiting their turn in Davis Lock, one of the forty-seven locks in the Rideau Canal System.
That was where she’d first seen Michael. He’d been one of the summer students hired as a lockmaster. His usual job was to crank open and operate the lock enabling boats to pass between Sand Lake and Lake Opinicon. That day, he’d been dressed in the red serge jacket, white pants, and Pill Box hat with the white pompom on top, worn by the Rideau Canal Guards after its opening in 1832. He’d smiled at her and she’d melted into those blue eyes of his.
“I don’t have to be at Harvard until the middle of August,” Lana said, bringing Twyla back to the present. “If Gramma wants to take a trip down Memory Lane, I’ll go with her. I’ve got tons of studying to do for my entrance exams. Maybe a little peace and quiet would be good for me, too.”
“Sweetie, that’s kind of you,” Twyla said, tamping down her enthusiasm. “But wouldn’t you be bored with only an old lady for company?”
“I’m never bored when I’m with you,” she said, encircling Twyla’s shoulders. “If you haven’t been there in fifty years, then you must’ve been my age. It’ll be fun.”
Billie raised her hands in the air and shook her head. “I’ve been had, haven’t I? This was your plan all along.”
Twyla looked at Lana, smiled, and turned to her daughter. “Maybe.”
That’s it for this week! Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on Tuesday Tales.