Sunday, February 26, 2012

Time to Love Again

Rose Asbury is my sister – sorry, was my sister. After I passed away she became a recluse. Not that she doesn’t have reason to, mind you. We lost our parents within months of each other and Rose and I clung to each for support during our grief. Of course our husbands helped, but Rose and I understood each other.

We were just adjusting when Rose’s husband passed away suddenly. Poor Rose fell apart, not that I blame her. I would have reacted the same way if it had been my husband. I was just getting Rose to come out of her shell when bam, I was gone.

That did Rose in. She went to pieces and to make matters worse, her kids moved three thousand miles away. She ignored all of her friends, except for Louise. Louise wasn’t about to let Rose ignore her. But everyone else gave up. Heck, you can only call people so long and have them ignore you, not return your calls and won’t talk to you before you give up. So that’s what everyone did. Louise didn’t give up. She marched right over to Rose’s house and read her the riot act until Rose gave in and at least went to the store.

At least now Rose visited Louise and came to grips with life. Not that she had much of a life. Stephen Daniels the guy next aimed to change that – or so it seemed. Good looking guy, too. Anyway he moved in to take care of his granddaughter while her parents did their tour of duty in the Mideast. He kind of took a shine to Rose.. Rose wouldn’t give the poor guy the time of day. Most she did was nod at him.

Well, that’s all she did until that day. I can’t help but giggle thinking about it. She fell on the ice and splat, groceries went flying everywhere. Stephen came to her aid – or tried to. Rose true to form tried to ignore him. That’s where I come in again. I showed up to talk some sense into Rose. Of course, she tried to ignore me, too, but I wasn’t about to let that happen. It was time Rose started to live again. She was much too young to waste her life away.

Now it seems his granddaughter, Sarah, saw the whole thing and had other ideas. She didn’t care for the way the old lady ignored her grandpa. Yeah, all kids think anyone in their 40s is old. What can I say, we thought the same things.

But I digress. Sarah devised a plan to get Rose to talk to her grandpa. She talked her friends into building a snowman in Rose’s front yard. You’d think that wasn’t a big deal right? I mean what harm could a snowman do?

Of course, Rose, being the neighborhood grouch –at least that’s what the kids pegged her as – had a fit.

After that things got real interesting. If you’d like to find out more about Rose, you’ll have to buy the book available from Amazon at

To learn more about me and my books check out my website at


Rose set her groceries on the counter and rubbed her hip. Gonna be sore as hell

tomorrow. Bet it turned black and blue already. Stupid klutz! Talk about the epitome of
embarrassment. Bad enough she fell, but why did he have to see her. She made a fresh pot of
coffee, picked up the rose and smelled it. Something about the fragrance of the flower made her
think of Frank.

"You could have been nicer to him," a voice whispered.

Rose jumped back. What the hell? "Who's there?" She spun around the small kitchen.
Shivers ran up her spine. She didn't see anyone, yet sensed a presence. Cold air brushed past her
and settled over the room. She gripped the counter. What the hell's going on here? "Who's
there?" she yelled again.

"It's only me." A shadowy figure appeared in front of her.

Rose backed up and bumped the refrigerator. "Ouch, damn it." She hurt badly enough
without making it worse. "Who the hell are you?" Damn, it sounded like ....

"It's me. Don't you recognize me?"

Rose peered at the shadow. "Recognize you, I can hardly see you." She rubbed her eyes. This was ridiculous.

"He did help you, Rose. You could have invited him in," the voice went on.
"I didn't ask for any help. I could have managed on my own. Besides, I don't like the feelings he arouses in me." Somehow she couldn't help answering aloud. Good grief now she was talking to herself.

"Why not? Frank used to stir those same feelings. Quit acting like you're dead. Wake up,
live. You've become a recluse. There's a big world out there that you used to love. You enjoyed
people. The man was only trying to be friendly." The voice didn't let up.

Something about the voice sounded like her sister, Emma. But Emma had been dead for several years. She wished it would leave her alone. She poured a cup of coffee and pulled her sweater tight, trying to block the cold rushing through her.Rose hurried into the living room, set her coffee on the table, and turned on the
television. Winter weather advisories crawled across the screen. She glanced out the window.
Already a thick blanket of white covered the trees and bushes. She used to love snowstorms, but
it seemed like ages ago.

Memory of when her kids were little and she went outside and helped build snowmen or had snowball fights made her smile. Those were the days. They had loved the first big snowfall. But time passed and kids grew up. She sighed. Grew up and moved away. Now snow was nothing more than a nuisance. She hated driving in it, but at least the road crews kept the main roads pretty clear. They even salted and plowed her street more frequently than normal.

A thumping noise against the house interrupted Rose's thoughts. "What in the world?"

She got up and limped to the door, rubbing her hip. Damn, already it hurt. Just as she pulled it open, four little pairs of legs raced around the bushes into the next yard.

"Little monsters," she mumbled. "Go throw snowballs at your own house." Shaking her head, she slammed the door. What's wrong with kids now days? Her kids had been taught to respect people's property. Not that they were saints by any means, but they showed adults proper respect, or she'd know the reason why.
If any neighbor had corrected her kids, they damn well better have listened. Today, kids acted like they owned the world. Don't give a darn about people's privacy. And for God's sake, don't tell their parents. "My little Johnny would never do that," they said. Yeah, right, their little Johnny was usually the ring leader.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Rose," Emma's voice returned. "What's the matter with you? People have been like that for ages. Even back in your day there were a handful of people that believed their kids could do no wrong. You were a teacher, you ran across that all the time. That's not the norm, and you know it. You're not that old. Can't you remember what it was like to be a kid, you certainly were no angel."
Rose jumped at the sound. Where was it coming from? Suddenly a shadowy figure appeared on the chair opposite her.


The shadowy form didn't move. Rose put on her glasses and looked closer. Nothing. Damn, now she was imagining things. No angel, "harrumph". No, she guessed she wasn't. She chuckled at the memory of childhood days. Oh, how she, her sister and brother had prayed for snow so they could earn money to buy Christmas gifts for their parents. They shoveled snow, but they fooled around a lot too.

"And threw snowball at the neighborhood grouch's house," the voice said.

Rose looked at the chair. Again the shadowy form presented itself. It looked sort of like Emma. Rose peered closer, and it disappeared.

"Okay, we did, so what? And if you're going to talk to me, at least have the decency to show yourself."
Dear God, is that what she'd become, the neighborhood grouch? Rose stood up and went to refill her coffee cup. "Well, so what if I am a grouch? I'm not hurting anyone. Why can't everyone just leave me alone? I'd have nothing to bitch about." Rose wanted to get rid of the voice, even if it was Emma. Besides, she didn't believe in ghosts. Her imagination that's all it was.

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