Abby Wentworth sighed with contentment as she leaned into the soft plush sofa. “I think this was the best Thanksgiving ever.” She smiled happily as her husband set another log on the already crackling fire. “I mean, despite not having any of our family members with us this year, it went really well. Don’t you think so too?”
“I’ll say.” Clayton chuckled as he closed the fireplace door. “In fact, that’s probably why it was so pleasant—no family feuds or old emotional fires to put out.” He brushed off his hands, then sat down next to her. “I’m well aware of how difficult some of my siblings can be during the holidays. Remember how Edith and Dorrie bickered over the cranberry sauce last year?”
“That’s right! Homemade versus store-bought—I almost had to hide the turkey carving knife.” She laughed. “No drama like that today.”
“But I must admit that Grace and Joel seemed a little strained— although they hid it well. Did you notice?”
“Yeah, but I chalked it up to having young adult kids.” Clayton slipped his arm around her shoulders, snuggling her closer to him. “The twins seemed like they were in a snit, like they couldn’t wait to get away from their parents.”
“I’ll bet that’s why Grace asked me to meet her for coffee on Saturday.”
“My little Abby Angel—the constant counselor.” Clayton gave her a squeeze. “What would your book group friends do without you?”
“You know that they’re more than just book group friends,” she reminded him. “Furthermore, what would I do without them? Those girlfriends have gotten me through a lot, Clayton.”
“Believe me, I know.” He leaned over to peck her on the cheek. “And I’m very grateful for them, Abby. I really am.”
She picked up her sewing basket from the coffee table, setting it on her lap as she opened the lid. “That’s how I’ve been feeling lately too. Very thankful for all four of them.” She removed one of the four Christmas ornaments that she’d been working on this past week. “That’s why I made these.”
He studied the ornament hanging from her finger. “I’m married to such a clever woman.” He gave it a twirl. “They’ll love these, Abs.”
“This is the last one. For Louisa.” She took out a needle and spool of white thread. “It’s nearly done. I think I’ll finish it up tonight.”
“Just so you know, I’m on KP. If I see you step one toe in the kitchen, you’re toast. You hear?”
“Thanks, hon.” She grinned as she put on her reading glasses. “Wouldn’t want to be toast . . . although I would like a cup of freshly brewed decaf. But it’s hard to make any if I can’t get into my kitchen.”
“One cup of decaf coming up.” He gave her a mock salute. “How about a little pumpkin pie to go with it?”
She laughed. “And here I thought I’d never be hungry again. Yes, please! Bring on the pie and coffee.”
As Clayton headed for the kitchen, Abby started to hum softly to herself. One of her favorite Christmas carols—and perfect for her sewing project. Before long she was singing the words aloud:
Hark the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn king!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
With angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
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Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops). Her young adult series (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her most recent Amish release is Trading Secrets released October 21st. Her latest release is Once Upon a Summertime.
She’s won a number of awards including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion.
Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.