Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Lady of the Lake

It's time for November's Portrait of Words challenge and I'm happy to participate once again. Please click on the link and go to Jeff's site to learn the rules and see the posted portrait credits. He works hard to give our minds a workout! I hope you enjoy my contribution...The Lady of the Lake.



It was so late into fall he worried that after all his promises they had left a trip to the lake to late. Snow would be flying soon, but he had promised her they'd make the trip as soon as business slowed down. Well, it had slowed down, no doubt about that. Their talks of retirement had ground to a halt, but now that scheme was wrapping itself around his brain again. It was no longer when, but how soon. He worried about her lately. He was home more and could see that she just wasn't the pep squad girl he'd claimed as his own thirty years ago. She wasn't depressed, he decided, just disappearing little by little. Day by day. She wasn't her normal effervescent laughing self. When had that changed? Why was he just noticing it now? He walked into the kitchen where she was doing the mundane...clipping coupons, storing them in the little nylon wallet made for that purpose. She had that little frown on her face that meant she was concentrating, tip of her tongue caught between her teeth. He remembered how after they had first married she loved to sit on the edge of the bathtub and watch him shave. It entranced her no end, and her bubbly self would overflow with questions about what they were going to do each day because it would map the rest of their lives. That was at the lake, he remembered. She had wanted to live there, it was after all where she had grown up. She was the "townie" and he was one of the "summer people". He had dragged her kicking and screaming into his world and he had thought she'd settled. Maybe that was the problem. She had settled. Settled for him, his way of life. Walking up behind her, he put his arms around her, clasped them at her waist and breathed into her ear..."pack a bag, we're heading for the lake. Today." He felt her relax against him and if possible he felt the joy fill her body. Turning into him, she laughed like a little girl. "Oh goody," she said. And her eyes were brimming with a sparkle of tears.

It had taken her all of half an hour to pack a bag. She had packed this bag so many times in her mind that it was just rote work now. Granted it was a large bag and half was filled with her clothes and half with his. In her nightmares it only contained room for hers. She had packed his shaving kit and her makeup bag, grabbed shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and brushes and put those into a separate carrier. Food they could shop for at the lake. She felt years lift off her shoulders, knowing that they would be at the lake soon. They never spent that much time up there these days. Maybe a weekend or two in some distant summer, but other than that the cabin was rented out to "summer people." Wasn't that what she herself was, now? A Summer Person. She had chosen to follow Matt into his world. She had thought she could be happy there, as long as she was with him. For the most part she was, but sometimes, in the depths of winter, her soul longed for the woods and the water, the wind and the fire. A shiver went through her body and she hugged her sweater around her. Taking a deep breath, she opened her lingerie drawer and reaching into the froth pulled out the key to the cabin and tied the ribbon holding it around her neck.

The old Mercedes convertible hummed up the highway and Sheila was humming along with it. He looked over at her, sunglasses on, scarf covering her hair a smile teasing the corner of her lips. The car began to climb the mountain roadway, and she sat on her heels and spent a great deal of time watching the scenery. Her scarf was whipping in the wind and she grinned, pulling it from her hair and holding it with the tips of two fingers, let the road current drag it from her and fly along the wind stream. He couldn't believe the change in her. She seemed years younger, but then happiness had a way of wiping the fatigue of age away like an eraser on a chalk board. At the top of the peak, he pulled over and they sat in the curve of the Scenic View and watched the most spectacular sunset he'd ever seen. He felt her fingers along his jaw line. She was smiling. "I think you're actually happy to be back," she said, in wonderment. He didn't know if he was happy or not, but he kept that bit of information to himself.














They pulled back onto the highway and finally took the turn on Valentine Road. That had been her maiden name and he took it as an omen the first time he had met her. Sheila Valentine. He had even asked her on their first date if she'd be his Valentine. Corny. But he meant for life. He unloaded the car while she took the old key and unlocked the door. She glided happily through the house, the one she had grown up in, and walked out onto the large deck. She could see the lake from there, the huge expanse of water, the boathouse. She stretched out her arms, as if to capture the entire view and hold it close and never let it go. It had been three years since they'd been here. In Matt's mind, it had only been yesterday, but she had died a little each year they stayed away. She had to come here to revitalize herself, to embrace the compromise her life had become. Wandering back inside, she went into kitchen and opened the pantry door. Her eyes caught the blue tinted glass of the canning jars her mother had used. Pickled peaches...the memory of the taste caused her mouth to water and she smilingly grimaced and swallowed. She could taste them.
















They had slept like two contented cats, the window lakeside open and the cool breeze blowing through. He reached across and discovered that her side of the bed was empty. Not bothering with a robe, pulling his pajama bottoms more snugly about his waist he grabbed the shirt he had worn the night before. He wandered through the cabin looking for her. Going out onto the deck, as his eyes wandered to the lake, and he saw her. She was dancing. Twirling. Barefooted. She still had on her old blue flannel nightgown. She looked about eighteen. Surely she was cold. He called her name and started down the steps to the path. She saw him, raised her hand in welcome and ran to him. Throwing herself into his arms, she kissed him like she had when they were in love. When had they fallen out of love, he wondered. He didn't wonder long, he was just to glad to fall back in.


52 comments:

Jeff B said...

Ahhhh, you went with a love story too. Very sweet indeed.

The imagery of her dancing and twirling about in the morning brought yet another smile to my face.

Your story is very reminiscent of how life can be. If we're not careful to pay attention to why we fell in love in the first place we can slowly drift.

Thanks for a great addition Sandi!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Oh Sandi! I just loved that story. Of course I am a sucker for happy endings, but I could really relate to her....great job!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

That was such a true to life story Sandi, wonderful. You made it real.

I popped in to say there is an award awaiting you at my place if you would like it.

A x

Maggie May said...

Really enjoyed reading that and so glad there was a happy ending!
The kind of story that could really happen!
Its good fun this fiction writing, isn't it?

Dr.John said...

A great story. You do such a good job at character development that I could feel her frustration. I love happy endings.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

This was on the edge of your seat wonderful story...Hugs..m..

bettygram said...

I was feeling so sad for her,and was so glad that it had a happy ending.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh you just know that I love this one. I loved the scarf floating being held by just the tips of her fingers...and so much more. Wonderful job, my friend!

Cherie said...

That was lovely and sweet.

The Phoenix said...

Lovely..........

The phoenix

Lib said...

Hi Sandi,
Girl, YOU ARE GOOD!
You ask if I had a fruit cake recipe,I don't.Sorru I can't help!
HAve a great wk.
Blessins',Lib

Merisi said...

Dearest Sandi,
what a beautiful story you created,
or plucked from life,
and written so well,
I almost stopped breathing
until I had reached the end.
More power to you,
story teller par excellence! :-)

cheshire wife said...

Very romantic! What a lovely story.

Brenda said...

Thanks for the kind words about my tree. I have been called alot, but never glam =)

joan said...

Hi Sandi,

Great story! I love ones with a happy endings! You need to write a book of short stories!

Kori said...

Wow. You are truly talented. thank you for stopping by my blog; I followed you here and lo and behold, I am smitten.

Veggie Mom said...

What an amazing concoction! You're quite a Creative Gal, Sandi! Listen, I spoke to Uncle Lynn, and the Pop'rs Plant has back-ordered a couple of flavors. Sorry this is taking so long! He's got T-shirts in the works, too. Please shoot me an e-mail when you get your gift!

B. Roan said...

I'm a sucker for a good love story, and this one is. You paint a fantastic mental picture.

Sally said...

Love, love, love your story. Beautiful!! :)

SandyCarlson said...

I am going to hold these images in my imagination before I drift off to sleep. I love your stories.

Lavinia said...

What a sweet and unexpected ending! I'll admit it, I was a little nervous there for a moment....the whole motivation for going to the lake was mysterious.....

Good suspense in this story and again, I love this ending.....because it really isn't an ending, its a new beginning!

Lee said...

That was exquisite, Sandi! Wish you'd turn that into something a bit longer, say a short story.

Hugs!
Lee

Theresa said...

You can definitely weave a story weather it be fact or fiction. Liked that you opted for a happy ending:)

Lee said...

Sandi, I forgot to tell you, I love the new banner picture. It's a keeper!

Hugs!
Lee

Jamie Dawn said...

A perfectly wonderful read!
I so enjoy your stories!!!
You have a way of drawing the reader in with clear visual imagery and the desire to want to know what will happen next.
I pictured Sheila Valentine as she became more and more filled with joy as the story continued. Ending with her dancing simply made me happy.
:-)

Lawstude said...

you are great both in words and in pictures. great job.

i beati said...

outstnading and the header - perfect Sandy

Anonymous said...

Who are you. Really?

Cheffie-Mom said...

Sandy, this is such a beautiful story. Loved the ending!

The Phoenix said...

Hate to put good news, at the bottom of an older post, but...

Just when we thought there were no same voices in Congress...
Please find that there is a Sane Voice in Congress! And we need to back him up.

The Phoenix

Anonymous said...

That was very sweet - and a nicely rounded story, too!

I must get back to writing! You make me feel lazy and ashamed. LOL!

Jay said...

Anon is me. *Sigh* I did it again... hit enter too soon!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Love the photo at the top of your blog, Sandi, and enjoyed the unfolding story. More please!

david mcmahon said...

Beautiful work, Sandi

Moannie said...

Lovely, really lovely. Well done on POTD

Hilary said...

Very sweet. You brought a tear to my eye. Congrats on the POTD mention too. :)

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Wonderful Sandi!
I'm a sucker for a love story!
and congratulations on Post Of The Day over at David's!! x

Akelamalu said...

Oh Sandi that was just beautiful! I felt myself getting younger as I read, the imagery was so real. :)

French Fancy said...

I popped over to see you and discovered you were a Writer - yes, it does deserve a capital letter. Good - another blog I will return to.

granny grimble said...

That was a lovely story Sandi with such a romantic ending. I felt it might have a sort of scary or sad ending down by the lake, but it ended perfectly. This looks like an interesting project, and I might just have a go myself next time!

bj said...

OMGosh...Sandi..I love that story...You did a fabulous job...you made it seem so real.
love, bj

SandyCarlson said...

thanks for stopping by, Sandi!

Louise said...

What a great story. I was immediately pulled in! I am sure everyone will be able to see a little bit of themselves in it. We all give up something for the life we choose to lead. Maybe not becasue of our spouse, but just because.

Denise said...

It is a beautiful story and you made it come alive! I love to read stories such as this and by the time I get to the end I am in the story.. Involved with the characters.. I need to give this writing a go.... I think I will be good at it... You are great !

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Get a load of you Mrs Creative Pants! That was wonderful and really uplifting, plus great piccies.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I was fine about joining when it was one prompt, but wow, I'd be lost if I tried to incorporate all of those things. Great story and I loved the ending!

Raven said...

Beautiful story. Wonderfully written.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

PS: Thank you for the kind words on my post. My son insists on seeing your little blog photo of the lady with the red bus...he loves it!

Mima said...

What a wonderful story Sandi - really enjoyed it!

justabeachkat said...

Oh sweet friend! What a writer you are. I loved it! Big time.

Hugs!
Kat

ed said...

情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品.情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,視訊聊天室

麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,遊戲,線上遊戲,cs online,搓麻將,矽谷麻將,明星三缺一, 橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,電玩快打

情趣用品,情趣,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色文學,色情,寄情竹園小遊戲,色情遊戲,AIO交友愛情館,色情影片,情趣內衣,情趣睡衣,性感睡衣,情趣商品,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室 ,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080苗栗人聊天室,080聊天室,視訊交友網,視訊

借錢,黃金,黃金回收,黃金價格,黃金買賣,當舖

A片,A片,成人網站,成人影片,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人

a片,色情影片,情色電影,a片,色情,情色網,情色,av,av女優,成人影城,成人,色情a片,日本av,免費成人影片,成人影片,情色a片,sex,免費a片,a片下載,免費a片下載,成人網站,做愛,自拍

小貓咪 said...

哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風,伊莉,伊莉討論區,伊莉論壇,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,plus,痴漢論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性愛,性感影片,校園正妹牆,正妹,AV,AV女優,SEX,走光,a片,a片免費看,A漫,h漫,成人漫畫,免費A片,色情網站,色情遊戲,情色文學,麗的色遊戲,色情,色情影片,同志色教館,色色網,色遊戲,自拍,本土自拍,kk俱樂部,後宮電影院,後宮電影,85cc免費影城,85cc免費影片,免費影片,免費小遊戲,免費遊戲,小遊戲,遊戲,好玩遊戲,好玩遊戲區,A片,情趣用品,遊戲區,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆,遊戲基地,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,遊戲口袋,我的遊戲口袋,小遊戲區,手機遊戲