In all honesty, due to the circumstances in our world today, I haven’t felt much like blogging.
So, today I thought I’d share a clip from my finished novel that I’m shopping around. Okay, so it’s still trite in comparison to the tension in the world, but what I’d give for the days of just simple, good old family dysfunction.
Since Thanksgiving is this week, the below excerpt from my novel Whit’s End shows the Whitaker family dysfunction regarding that holiday. Perhaps some people can relate.
Ava turned her attention toward the window to check out the weather. The emerging sunlight revealed a clear, coral sky. “Looks like a beautiful morning. Why don’t we sit out on the patio? I want to talk to you about something.”
“Well, alright, for a little bit.” Her sister-in-law, Jocelyn, seemed stiff and caught off guard by the suggestion. Once at the patio table, she relaxed her demeanor. “Oh, it’s gorgeous outside. The robins are singing and everything is still green. I’m glad you suggested it. You have the best ideas.”
Ava didn’t care about singing birds, green grass, or about giving heed to the condescending compliment. She drew in a deep breath of dewy morning air to strengthen her resolve. “Alex and I drove here [120 miles] for Christmas Eve, Easter and all the summer holidays … Memorial Day, 4th of July … now Labor Day, too—”
“Well, I’m sorry we’re such trouble.” Jocelyn frowned and turned her head away.
Clawing the coffee cup in her hand, Ava remained focused. “That’s not what I meant. I thought maybe we can come to some sort of compromise about the upcoming holidays.”
“Like what?” Jocelyn tilted her head and raised a brow.
“Taking turns traveling would be a nice. I’d love you to come to our house for Thanksgiving this year.”
Jocelyn sighed. “What about Gramps and Grammy?”
“They’re invited, of course. My grandmothers will be there too.” Ava hoped her cheerful attitude made it sound fun.
“That’s a lot of people to have for your first Thanksgiving.” Jocelyn flashed a squinting, wary eye.
Ava anticipated her husband’s sister would try to come up with reasons to turn down the invitation, and she strengthened her resolve with a firm tone. “I was raised with a lot of people in our home for special occasions. We’ll have a great time.”
After a pause, Jocelyn said, “It would be nice to see your family again. Yes, we can be there.”
Those few months flew by after the Labor Day discussion, and Ava hated to admit Jocelyn was right. On Thanksgiving-eve, Ava almost buckled under the pressure of hosting sixteen people for the first time. With nerves frayed and mind jumbled, she wrote out a to-do list to focus her thoughts, when the phone rang. “Can you answer it, hon? I’m too busy to talk right now.”
Alex answered, then peeked around the corner. “Joss wants to talk to you.”
Ava whispered, “Can’t you talk to her?”
“She says it’s about the meal.”
Snarling, she held out her palm for the phone. “Hey, Jocelyn. What’s up?”
“Hi. How’re you doing for tomorrow? Besides the salad and turkey, is there anything else you need?”
“Turkey?” Ava tilted her head sideways.
“Jocelyn, why would you do that? I have a turkey.” Ava paced across the ceramic tile floor in their spotless, new kitchen.
“We always cook our Thanksgiving turkey in Dad’s smoker. I thought you knew.”
Ava pressed her fingers to her left temple feeling a headache coming on. “I thought you knew that the host supplies the turkey. I’m not going to discard my twenty-pounder because you want to bring your own.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do with mine?”
Ava resisted the first response that came to her mind and then felt cruel for thinking it. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how we miscommunicated and ended up with two turkeys. But, I’m serving this one I have tomorrow.”