“Spirit! Behave yourself! Jack, I apologize for my dog. I don’t know what got into him. Please come in.”
“Daddy, why doesn’t Spirit like you? Our dog likes you.” Jack’s twelve year old daughter, Alice, rushed to her father’s side while Vanessa, the fourteen year old, knelt to pet Spirit. He did not like it when Kat was upset with him.
“Not to worry, Kat. He’ll get used to me. Maybe someone in his life who looked like me abused him in some way. Where did you say you got him?”
“I found him at the SPCA. The original owner brought him in. She was getting a divorce and had to move from a house into an apartment that didn’t allow pets. It was a situation that couldn’t be avoided. Anyway, the owner provided all of his paperwork. That’s how I know that today is his birthday.”
“Dinner is served,” Stella announced.
When we all got to the dinning room, we were greeted by Mrs. Claus, herself.
The dining room had been transformed. Stella had outdone herself. She delighted in serving us prime rib with vegetables roasted to perfection, and buttery croissants. For dessert, we had cheesecake, gingerbread cookies, and homemade fudge, served with eggnog, and coffee.
After dinner, we gathered around the tree and Stella passed out gifts to everyone. She was certainly having a good time with her inheritance. Thankfully, I had purchased a gift for her. While we were looking for our gowns for the Thanksgiving dinner party, I had seen her admiring a pearl necklace in a jewelry store window. She was over the top excited when she opened it and immediately put it on.
We ended the evening singing Christmas carols while Stella accompanied us on the piano. She ocassionally hit a right note.
By the time our celebration was over, Spirit was laying at Jack’s feet. The girls were sitting on the floor. Vanessa on one side of Spirit and Alice on the other.
When Jack and the girls were leaving, they invited us to join them for a Cbristmas morning service at their church.
What a magical Christmas by the sea this was turning out to be.