Enough to Miss Christmas (Chapter One, page 1 of 16)


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I searched the faces of several hundred wedding guests scattered across the ballroom floor, but I couldn't spot her. How could I not recognize someone who was one of the three dearest people to me for the first twenty years of my life? Because twenty more years passed by without any contact with my sister that didn't have Hallmark and gold crown printed on the back.

My search was interrupted when a bubbly little woman wrapped me in pudgy arms muttering, "Sarah Jeanne Blanding, I declare!" I'd never seen her rouge-colored face in my life but I gave a great-to-see-you smile and escaped, wallowing in my guilt by the punch bowl as soon as she turned away. Why was I here? I should have taken the advice of my luggage. My one suitcase was off to god knows where, leaving me so late to arrive I missed the wedding ceremony, grand march and a couple of desperately needed drinks. Here I stood, dressed in a borrowed and inappropriate outfit, thanks to a friend of a friend of niece Maureen. My benefactress was obviously taller, wider and had much larger feet than mine.

I knew a total of four people out of the multitude, only three of whom were pleased to see me. My nephew Mike was the groom. My last look at him was his bare butt when I was changing his diaper. His sister Maureen was a year behind him in age, and I have some vague recollection of her breast feeding, and wishing my sister would cover up her bosom more prudently. Ben, their father and my brother-in-law liked everyone and acted as if my twenty-year absence had never happened. Sister Suzanne was another matter. While I hadn't spotted her yet, my stomach wasn't sure it wanted me to. I fully deserved her ire.

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