Thanksgiving Feast

 Ruthorford Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in Ruthorford is a very special time. It is a time for the blending of cultures and the sharing of traditions. From the earliest times, when the surrounding tribes allowed a chosen few to settle the sacred area, these families have looked after one another, protected one another, respected one another and enjoyed the fruits of their friendship.

In remembrance, it is at this time that the Tribes and the Townfold come together at the Abbott Bed and Breakfast for the traditional Groaning Board Feast. The foods are a blend of Native American, Scottish, and what they like to call the traditional/transitional fare of the South.

It is a “By Invitation Only” affair, so consider yourselves lucky to have a peek at what’s on the menu.

Come One, Come All!

It’s Time for the Ruthorford Thanksgiving!

The Abbott Bed and Breakfast, its Groaning Board laden with sumptuous fare, will begin serving at noon, Thursday, November 26, 2015. Munchies and beverages will be available starting at 11.

If you are planning a contribution to the Groaning Board, please contact Teresa so she can ensure the proper setting is available.

The Back Room will have the big screen on for all you football fans.

Of course, the back lawn will see its fill of games as well.

We have so much to be thankful for this year, please come and share in the festivities.

Don’t forget the Ruthorford Black Friday extravaganza: Snacks and beverages will be available all day at the Abbott Bed and Breakfast, as well as free gift wrapping. Start the day off with a light breakfast fare available from 6 am til 9.


What’s on the Groaning Board at the Abbott Bed and Breakfast:

Of course, the traditional turkey, prepared by the new chef on site, Sandra, who is also doing the giblet gravy.

Dressing and herb rolls by none other than Teresa Abbott Ruthorford.

Roasted Pork with Gooseberry Sauce by Rowe Davis, as well as his famous stuffed trout.

Roasted root vegetables, Baked Acorn Squash, and Three Sisters Soup by Brenda Garrett.

There will also be Clapshot, Haggis, Black Pudding, and Apple Butterscotch Pie, provided by the Caldwells.

And of course there will be the traditional butternut squash soup, black cherry gelatin salad, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, and many more delicacies.

Relishes and raw veggies abound for munching.

Don’t forget the beverages are flowing in the parlor manned by none other than Sassy.

Pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, buttermilk, pecan, chocolate coconut, peanut butter, cranberry/raisin, and lemon pies by Misses Alice and Grace.

~ From Ruthorford to you ~

May your blessings be as bountiful as your table!

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Trick or Treating in Ruthorford

Teresa took one last look around. The bed and breakfast was, by far, the hauntingest AbbottVictorian around, and that was saying a lot, given the Abbott Bed and Breakfast sat in the middle of Ruthorford. With help from “the boys,” Dorian and Eryk, though they were far from being boys, the bed and breakfast had been transformed into quite the haunt. Of course, Eryk had contributed all sorts of special effects from his Magic Shop, which was now in Merlyn’s Roost, not far from Ruthorford. She’d had no idea how much technology went into an illusionist’s performance, even when that illusionist had magic of his own.

She stepped forward and looked out the double doors, getting ready to flip a switch, which would turn on a light show across the front of the old painted lady. Main Street was dressed all in her Halloween finest, from the tiny Victorian Cottage post office across from the bed and breakfast all the way down the fountain1street. The median burst forth with vapor rising from the fountain, which had been scrubbed and filled with fresh crisp apples bobbing in the frothing water. Jasmine was manning the median, with her cousins, Bonnie and Claire, in charge of the boutique and the goodies they were handing out. All the shops were outfitted for the night, for kids and adults alike.

Chapters, the bookstore, had gone all out in their window decor and was showing continuous runs of the old scary movies from the set-up they’d had Dorian and Eryk fix from the second story over the shop. Chairs dotted the median so people could stop and watch, taking a themed break as they made their way down Main Street.

The art gallery wasn’t quite up to opening its doors to sticky fingers, so they were serving treats and apple cider out front and had decorated their windows with some of the scariest art she’d ever seen, the lighting casting just the right amount of eerie light across the masters’ works.

Elements, the Native American shop, had the perfect contribution, fashioning treat bags, masks, and noisemakers so fine that they would be saved to hand down for another generation of trick or treaters.

The old sisters, Alice and Grace, were as enthusiastic as anyone, dressing in witches’ costumes, with grand hats, adorned with purple and green veils and feathers. Capessisters billowed out around them as they stirred the giant cauldron in front of their decorated Victorian. Thanks to Eryk, eerie music floated from speakers on the porch. For the kids, they had bags of candy, candy apples, and trinkets. For the adults, they offered fresh fruit tarts and homemade fudge, along with their own special witches’ brew.

However, the greatest treat of all, for young and old alike, was The Shoppe of Spells. The downstairs had been transformed into stations of eerie meesharactivities, from talking heads to a fierce beast from beyond, safely restrained by a golden chain. Everyone wondered how Dorian had trained Meesha, the sweetest of border collies, to play the role. But, for Halloween, she was all in—as long as you didn’t see the wagging tail. If the guests didn’t flee in fright, they made their way through a very dark corridor of uneven floors and spooky moans and groans, out the back, and along hand sparka path where zombies popped up and giant spiders leaped, until they reached the cottage, where the Dutch door stood half-open in invitation. Who else was there to give out treats but the beautiful witch with the glowing green eyes, Morgana. Of course, having received their reward, the visitors would turn only to be surprised by Dorian and spiderhalloweenEryk, displaying their magic at its finest—green and purple lightning shooting over the visitors’ heads. Squeals, screams, and laughter erupted as they ran around the side of the old mansion, right into spider webs and fog.

By the time they reached the bed and breakfast, they were ready for a respite and something wholesome to eat, unaware of what Teresa had in store for them. I’d tell, but that would spoil the fun ~

From all of Ruthorford to all of you ~ HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Happy Halloween

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~ Haunted ~

Even with the fan running, it was stifling upstairs, especially for the end of October. I stepped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, letting the droplets of water offer what cooling they could. That’s when I heard it. A scratching sound, then a scraping, a loud crunch, and squeals and scrapes of metal on metal, followed by a door slamming. Ifan2 ran into the large upstairs hallway of the townhouse. All three bedrooms and the one bath opened onto it. One bedroom door was closed. It was the bedroom where I’d put the big window fan because it was so noisy. It wedged into the lower half of the double-hung window perfectly, except for a little space on either side. I opened the door and stared at the open, empty window. The fan was in the middle of the floor, crushed in on either side, the blades bent, as though giant hands had squeezed it like an accordion.

I backed out of the bedroom and ran to the steps, which turned 90 degrees on a landing halfway down. As I reached the landing and turned to go down the long run of steps, I felt pressure hit my back pushing me and down I went, headfirst. As I watched the wall at the legsbottom coming at me, I knew I was dead. Suddenly, a force was under me, like a pillow of dense air, lifting my body up and over the half-wall railing beside me. I wish I could say it set me gently down, but it didn’t. As soon as I was over the railing, it dropped me like a stone on the other side, knocking the wind out of me.

Somewhere between the second floor landing and my ungraceful deposit on the floor, I lost the towel and my modesty. Dizzy and nauseous, I crawled to the laundry room and got some clothes, dressed, and called my best friend, the owner of the townhouse. It took several tried before I could cough out what had just happened to me. I told her I’d be waiting outside.

As she got out of the car, she said, with more nonchalance than I wanted, “It’s haunted.”

“Haunted,” I squeaked.


I grabbed her hand and dragged her up the stairs to show her the crumpled window fan.

She studied it for a moment. “This is worse than I thought.”

“And the stove? That wasn’t faulty wiring, was it?” I’d had issues with the stove from the beginning. I’d come into the kitchen to find the coils glowing red when all the knobs were in the off position. I finally resorted to cutting off the stove at the circuit breaker to fix the problem.

“Honestly, I don’t know. Could be a wiring issue,” she said with a look that told me she didn’t believe that herself.

She hung around until I felt better, even offering to let me stay at her place. Being out of work and out of funds thanks to an aggressive, abusive boss, I was already taking advantage of her good graces, so I declined her offer and shut my mouth.

I took to sleeping during the day and writing at night. When nothing happened for a month and a new writing assignment began putting money in my pocket, I started to feel comfortable once more, putting the phenomena in the past and convincing myself that nothing out of the normal had occurred at all. Cognitive dissonance at its best.

One morning, after a particularly hard, all-night assignment, I curled up on the couch in the sitting area I’d created in the oversized kitchen and went to sleep. A thud woke me up. “Oh God, no” came out of my mouth as I sat up. I walked through the living room to go upstairs and stopped. I turned and looked at my now empty living room. Every piece of furniture I owned was gone. My eyes immediately went to the front door. It was locked and chained, just as I’d left it.

I fled and ran to the neighbors. After a frantic call to my friend, she arrived shortly after, bringing along the police. We went in together.

They looked at the living room and I told them what was missing.

“Anything else?”

“I don’t know. I ran out.”

One of the officers checked the back door and found it locked.

“Stay here.” They went upstairs.

“Miss. Can you come up?” an officer called from the landing.

My friend and I joined them in the upstairs hallway. He was looking in one of the rooms.

I looked in. All of my furniture was stacked haphazardly in the middle of the room.

“Miss, this isn’t funny.”

“Officer, I swear to you, it’s not a joke. I didn’t move it.”

“Maybe some friends are playing a practical joke on you.” His eyes landed on my friend.

She held up her hands. “I was at work.”

“Does it look like something I could move?” I asked, looking at the heap in front of me.

The officer walked into the room, among and around the two seven-foot bookcases, love furnseat, tables, wing-back chairs, and hutch before returning, pushing his hat back and scratching his head. The books, lamps, and nick-knacks were strewn about the room. “Well, lady, I don’t know what’s going on, but, if you want my advice, I’d leave it right where it is. Whoever or whatever moved it apparently wanted it this way.”

I found a new place and moved within a week.

Turns out, I had it pretty mild. I understand the people after me came downstairs one morning to find maggots covering all of the surfaces in the kitchen.

To this day, I have no idea what any of it meant. I can say one thing, when I hear other people tell stories of hauntings, I listen with a very sympathetic ear.

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Lunchtime Meet & Greet and Book Signing

Magicwbks1It’s a lunchtime Meet & Greet and Book Signing at Newnan Healthmart Pharmacy, 15 Baker Road, Newnan, Georgia! Come by and meet the authors, Shanon Grey and Sid Brown. Start your fall with some good stories!

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Happy Labor Day!

As I sit here sipping my coffee….wait, where’d I put my coffee…. That’s better! I am Happy Fallreflecting on all the jobs I’ve had, all the careers, on all levels and am truly grateful to have this day. For many, it comes hard earned. For some, not at all. On many jobs, I’ve worked so others could enjoy their day. (And truth be told, probably the only reason I’m not working today is because I’m between the end of one job and the beginning of another.) So, everyone, thank you for working all those hours, leaving your families, and providing all those goods and services I take for granted! You labor is appreciated! Have a fun and safe Labor Day!

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July 4th in Ruthorford!

A Ruthorford 4th!


“No, no, no!” Teresa waved the hand-tatted handkerchief at the boys toting a picnic tablepicnic table across the slopping lawn of the bed and breakfast. “Not too close to the creek. We want plenty of room for the quilts to be set up for everyone to pierchildsee the fireworks.” She used the dainty handkerchief to dab at the light sheen of sweat on her neck, then tucked it back into the waistband of her khakis. That handkerchief or one similarly pretty, had become a symbol. It bespoke more to her inner feminine side hidden beneath her customary attire of a crisp shirt tucked into a pair of khaki pants. As owner of Abbott Bed & Breakfast, it wasn’t often that she donned more than a serviceable costume—one fit for helping strip and remake a room in a hurry, or shoulder a tray of food from the kitchen.

She felt the arm around her shoulder before Morgan’s soft voice touched her ears. “Why ice teadon’t you slow down for a second? It looks fabulous.” Morgan squeezed her friend’s shoulder and placed a tall glass of sweet tea in her hand, the outside of the glass already wet with cold beads of water.

“Thanks,” Teresa smiled at the sun-kissed face of the redhead standing next to her. She never stopped being awed by the natural beauty of the young woman still considered new to their town, even after becoming such a part of it.

Looking almost identical to her deceased birth mother, Morgan’s emerald green eyes sparkled in merriment as she twisted the mass of red curls atop her head, fastening it with a clasp. “Have you seen Dorian?”

Distracted, Teresa’s gaze moved over the lawn and the bevy of people setting it up for the 4th of Julypicnic crowd get together. “I haven’t seen him since this morning. He got a call from Miss Alice and Miss Grace. Maybe he’s still at their place.” She raised the glass and took a sip before resting the cold glass against her forehead. picnic table family“That really helped.” She pulled out the handkerchief once more to wipe the beads of moisture from her forehead.

“That’s right,” Morgan said. When Dorian had told her about the ceremony involving Ruthorford’s legendary birds carrying sparkling streamers, she knew she’d see something few outsiders ever saw. At her flurry of questions, Dorian merely shrugged, adding, “The owl2owls and falcons are the purview of the sisters. I remember sneaking over there as a kid, having heard stories. I’d just managed to step into the barn when a huge owl swooped past me, knocking me to the ground. Miss Alice appeared out of nowhere, lecturing me about trespassing and then feeding me so much pie that I completely forgot why I was there. Some things are meant to remain a mystery, I guess.” Morgan figured with him working with them, he knew more than he was telling, but she let him distract her with a kiss. She now smiled at that memory.

“No,” Teresa called to several girls, her voice bringing Morgan back to the present. “Spread those quilts further apart and closer to the bank. Has anyone seen Rowe?”

“He’s down by the creek giving last-minute instructions to his cousins,” a young voice called from the side of the building, where wisps of smoke carried the aroma of the roastinggrilled meats pork, beef, and chicken drifted across the lawn, promising another bountiful BBQ, this time by Eryk, a last-minute replacement for Teresa’s recently deceased husband.

“Good,” Teresa called back. “Make sure Eryk gets some tea.”

Morgan noticed the frown etching Teresa’s brow. “You okay?” she asked.

Teresa patted Morgan’s hand. “I will be.”

Teresa burst out with a laugh as she turned and watched Mike Yancy stop a tray from slipping off the shoulder of Sandra, who’d been helping run the Abbott Bed & Breakfast since Bill became ill. For all his juggling, Dr. Yancy still managed to get a glass of ice water down the front of him and, almost a second one, when Sandra spun around to apologize. Still smiling, he walked over and handed Teresa a flower. “Good thing I brought a change of clothes,” he laughed heading up to the bed and breakfast to change.

Teresa glanced down at the flower and called to Mike’s retreating back, “You didsingle flowern’t get this out of my side garden, Mike Yancy, now did you?” But the smile on her face told Morgan she wasn’t all that upset if he had.

Sandra smiled sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders, almost upsetting the tray once more. Others carted trays of plates, napkins, knives and forks to the buffet line near the building. Over the years, the arrangement had changed little, the bed and breakfast having perfected the best way to serve large amounts of food to the horde of residents that would soon descend upon the annual cookout and fireworks celebration.

“I almost forgot,” Morgan said, pulling a picture out of her pocket, “I found this in myold sisters mother’s things. Do you think it’s Miss Alice and Miss Grace?” She handed Teresa the picture.

Teresa studied it. “I wouldn’t be surprised. I heard they were quite the athletes in their day.” She laughed, looking at the picture. “What would this make them, a hundred and something?” She glanced over at the two women directing traffic around they buffet. They looked to be in their seventies, maybe. But, hadn’t they always, she thought to herself and looked once more at the picture before handing it back. “You can ask them if it’s them. I’m sure not going to.”

Morgan pocketed the picture. “I don’t think so.” She laughed.

lakeTeresa took another sip of tea. “You know, I can’t remember when it’s been this hot in Ruthorford. Or dry.” She looked across the wide creek that had narrowed from lack of rain.

“Bask made sure the new fire engine was delivered this morning. We have two already in position,” Morgan reassured Teresa, knowing Teresa would find it in herself to worry about things easily left to others.

Teresa nodded, reassured. After all, Bask was Ruthorford. He single handedly ran the Abbott House, the foundation that owned Ruthorford, and ensured that what went on in Ruthorford, stayed in Ruthorford.

“Why don’t you take a break and cool off,” Morgan suggested, lightly touching her arm and giving a low-level push. “I’ve got things covered here. I think I saw Mike come back out couple under treeand head over to the buffet table,” she added. “People are starting to find their spots.” It was one of her greatest hopes that Mike and Teresa would one day resume the friendship they’d had before Bill had returned to Ruthorford and become match-mated to Teresa.

Teresa looked around once more before answering, “I think I will,” she said and smiled at Morgan, “after I check on Eryk.” As she turned and headed across the lawn toward the side of the old Victorian, she called over her shoulder, “…and not because of any push you did.”

She heard Morgan’s laugh as she rounded the corner and saw Eryk taking a long swig of tea. “I’m glad to see you’re hydrating.”

He turned and looked at Teresa, his eyes crinkling. “If my magic was any good, I’d make it a Long Island Iced Tea.”

She rose on tiptoe and planted a kiss on his cheek, still awed by Dorian’s twin. “Hmm. I’ve heard of water into wine, but never tea into liquor.”

“Have you seen Jasmine?” he asked, laughing and eying his glass.hawkj

“I think she’s with Dorian. She is keeping an eye on Brinn,” Teresa supplied. Brinn was the hawk that had attached herself to Jasmine and followed her back to Ruthorford.

Teresa strolled down the backside of the buffet, taking inventory as she moved. “We’ll fried chickenneed more potato salad in about ten minutes. Make room for Miss Grace’s pies. And bring more napkins,” she called after the young woman who took off to do her bidding.

Teresa let her gaze travel from the chatting residents heaping potato salad onto their already food-laden plates, across the lawn, to the table where Becky and Talbot Briscoe sat with Morgan, their adopted daughter, and the twins. Dorian now sat next to Morgan, his arm slung possessively across the back of her chair. Miss Alice stepped up, planted a loud kiss on Dorian’s cheek and offered the pie she was serving. Teresa smiled as she watched Miss Alice serve, not one, but two hefty pieslices of pie onto Dorian’s raised plate. She was glad he was taking the opportunity to share a bite with his family before he and Eryk manned the fireworks station across the water. They were the obvious choice to set off the impressive fireworks display, since they could do it from a distance. With their natural abilities, they could probably set them eveningwaitoff from this side of the creek. However, Bask insisted they be set up and managed from the other side of the water. As if thinking up the devil, she saw the tall, lean man making his way to Dorian, stopping to say hello as he went. He caught her eye and waved.

jasAt the table near the old willow tree, Brenda Garrett had joined Kateri Chance and Rowe Davis. Kat’s latest showing had been awoman and cat huge success at the Gallery in town. Rowe scooted down to make room for Dink, who’d better not be discussing business today. She managed Elements, the Native American store, and was a pit bull when it came to merchandising. Not to worry, Teresa saw Brenna and David McKenzie join the group and knew the young owners of Chapters, Ruthorford’s bookstore, would keep the table lively and steered away from shop talk.

The sound of children running drew her attention and she allowed herself one moment ofchildrenrunning concern as she watched them race under the willow toward the water. As if materializing from thin air, Rowe’s cousins stopped the youngsters before they could fall into the rock-strewn creek.

Yes, from what she could see, most of Ruthorford was here. And water melonthey all were enjoying themselves, in spite of the heat. With the large fans positioned in the ancient trees, the warm air kept moving, so no one seemed bothered by the temperature.

She watched Dorian give Morgan a quick kiss before heading off to set up the fireworks show. Most everyone had filled their plates and found a spot, either at a table or on one ofpicnic couple2the quilts. The heat sensitive foods were already being moved inside and desserts were taking their place. She reached over and grabbed a cold kabob of strawberries, melons, and peaches, plucking a ripe Georgia peach from the end and popping it into her mouth. She smiled at the cold sweetness.

She felt Mike Yancy’s hand on her back as he managed two loaded plates with the other.

“Think you got enough food?” she teased.

“One’s for you. I know you won’t eat and I can’t have you wasting away,” he teased bapicnic in the treesck.

“Stop that,” she chuckled and swatted at him, letting him lead her to their table, set aways off to the side but with a clear view. Tradition had it that for the next few moments, the staff watched the buffet, letting Teresa enjoy a few moments of “down time.” While she and Mike were munching on the final bits of BBQ and discussing the success of the day’s sparklersevents, the lights, strung throughout the trees to illuminate nighttime dining, blinked out, the only light from the sparklers children waved in the air. Within moments, the night sky burst into an explosion of red, blues, and yellows, to gasps and squeals of appreciation . Pinwheels, star-bursts, giant red fireworkchrysanthemums, purple comets, willows, and serpents filled the sky. Oooh’s and aaah’s rose from the crowd as display after display filled the night.

When the sky finally darkened, no one moved. Everyone waited in anticipation. In the owldistance, the silence was broken by owls screeching, and hawks screaming. The sound of beating wings grew louder. From the bend in the river, above the trees, streamers of sparkling light appeared, moving like long serpents, following the course of the river. Astreamers collective ahh rose from the crowd, as the large birds flew over the lawn, carrying streamers of shimmering iridescent colors. As they passed the creek, they released their burdens. The ribbons of light dropped downward, caught in the breeze, twisting and undulated, at last coming to rest on the water, setting it afire with sparkling colors, created from energy infused crushed gems painted on woven sheaths purple nightof grass. As the ribbons absorbed the water and sank, the lights floated downward, given the moving water a multidimensional quality. All of the birds slipped off into the distance, except one lone hawk, who circled until she found Jasmine and lightly landed on the woman’s gloved arm.  Jasmine turned and lifted her arm so Brinn could stretch her wings and, with a flourish, thpuppyey bowed. The crowd offered light applause, not wanting to frighten Brinn. As the light from the gems winked out, the trees, once again sparkled from hidden lights. Quietly, the Ruthorford descendants rose and bade their farewells, feeling the connection, the unity, and the magic they shared.


MK FINALlrgkEnjoyShoppeOfSpells DigitalCover112311NNversion the stories of Ruthorford’s descendants. Meet Morgan and Dorian in THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS and Jasmine and Eryk in MEADOW’S KEEP. Don’t forget Kat and Rowe in PENNYROYAL CHRISTMAS. All are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. GLYNDA’S DARE is coming soon!

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Memorial Day!

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial 2015a

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A Mother’s a Mother ~ Even When She’s a Ghost
by Shanon Grey

        I’m going to tell you a different kind of ghost story. I am not referring to the ghosts we tell stories about while sitting around campfires or, in the dead of night, when a gaggle of girls squeal in fright during a slumber party. Yes, I am talking about real ghosts.
Bah, you say. Well, have you never walked into a different part of a house and felt a chill in the air? Have you never felt that someone was watching you, but no one was there? Have you left something in one place and found it in another, totally unexpected, place? Or, seen things out of the corner of your eye, yet, no matter how fast your movements, you can’t catch a glimpse of it. Unexplained phenomena, every one. Some, one, or all could have been instigated by ghosts.
I, myself, have a plethora of ghostly experiences from which to choose; however, I momanddadthink I will share the one about my mother. It is the one experience that taught me to be open to all possibilities. You see, my mother died of cancer right after I turned 9 years old. I don’t remember a lot about her except that she had been ill for a long time and, being a little kid, I went about my life, thinking this was the way it was supposed to be, since no one told me how sick she was. Or, if they did, I had no concept of grave illness and death. So, when she died, I was devastated. To be more accurate, I was traumatized, so much so, that I don’t have a memory of the following year. In fact, I didn’t know I’d lost a year of my life until I was almost an adult.
My experiences with the paranormal didn’t start until I was a bit older, after my father remarried, and I found myself at odds with my new stepmother. I know what you are thinking—“She was probably resentful and acting out”—which is what most thought. And yes, eventually, I suppose I did become that snarky rebellious teenager. But it took quite a while because, you see, I wanted a mother in the worse way. I won’t go into the details of why she wasn’t receptive of my efforts. I will just leave it at the fact that she wasn’t. After one of our more vicious bouts, I was restricted to my bedroom and threw myself across my bed, crying, my heart broken. I remember being cold and miserable when I drifted off. The feel of an arm going around me, holding me close, woke me. I reached up but felt no arm or hand, yet the sensation of being held continued. My nose felt cold, yet my body, even outside of the covers, felt warm. Being a bit of a burgeoning sleuth (having devoured more than my fair share of Nancy Drew stories), I remained motionless, while employing all my senses, the first one not to run screaming from the room. Listening, I heard no one breathing. There was a faint floral scent, but too faint to pinpoint. The room was too dark to see anything and I was afraid that, if I moved, whatever it was would go away and I would lose the feeling of comfort I felt. I realized that I wasn’t afraid and lay there, still as a stick, savoring the comfort, taking in the details so I would remember it. The next thing I knew it was morning and I was lying on top of my bed, fully clothed with no evidence of the other side of the bed having been disturbed.
That experience occurred several times over the years, usually when I would go through a particularly rough patch with my stepmother or stepsister. Never once did I find any evidence of it being real. After a while, I didn’t care. In those moments, I felt comforted and loved.
Eventually, I was removed from the household and ended up living with my aunt, which gave me a wonderfully “normal” high school experience, which I would later learn, never would have happened had I stayed with my family. As soon as I was out of the house and with my aunt, the visitations stopped. And later, around the time I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a dream about my ghostly visitor. In the dream—I assume it was a dream—I opened the door into the garage at my stepmother’s house to find a group of individuals sitting around in a circle on the floor. There was one open place and I went and took my position in the circle. My real mother was sitting next to me, looking lovely and well, something I don’t recall when she was alive. I don’t remember hearing her voice, but, somehow, she let me know that this was the last time she would be with me, unless I really needed her, and that I would be fine. Everyone began to fade and, as the panic began to overcome me, I felt that same sense of comfort I’d felt every time the arms had been around me and I knew, without a doubt, that it had been her spirit that had held me. I woke and she was gone.
Many years later, when my then boyfriend and I had come back from night classes at the university, I had my next experience. He had just told me that he had made a decision to move overseas. Shocked, I pretended to be thrilled for him, it being his dream to return to a place he’d been happiest, but inside I was hurting. With a smile and a stiff upper lip, I listened to his plans and his excitement until I couldn’t take it anymore and fled to my bedroom. As I stepped through the doorway, there, lying on my bed, was my mother, looking to be peacefully asleep. Either I squeaked or my boyfriend had come after me, because he ran right into the back of me, grabbing my arms to steady us. In my ear, he whispered, “Who’s that?” I turned my head, looked up at him and whispered, “My mother.” When I turned back, she was gone. We had both seen her, appearing as corporal as any living being. Suddenly the memory of all those years past came flooding back and, instead of being afraid, I knew I would be all right. Not only did I encourage him to find his dream, I helped him pack to leave.
It would be wonderful to say I was fine, but I wasn’t. I was absolutely miserable. I took a second job and worked myself to the bone, alternately crying that I’d sent him away and cursing him that he’d left me. I didn’t understand the vision we’d seen. I’d felt the comfort, yet he’d still left. I even got mad at the ghost, yelling into nothingness that she was wrong. But, she wasn’t, I just didn’t know it at the time.
As it turned out, the woman that hired me that summer turned out to be more of a mother to me than I’d ever known. We developed a friendship that lasted thirty-five years, until she passed away from cancer. During all those wonderful years, she encouraged me to pursue my dreams and be the woman I am today.
And the boyfriend? He came back that fall. He never made it to Europe because, as he told me when he took me in his arms, he knew as soon as he’d left that he didn’t want to be without me. My husband and I have been ecstatically happy for over three decades.

Mary & Jerry

Mary & Jerry

Mary, my surrogate mother and best friend, proved to be the best grandmother my kids could ever want. So, when her ghost appeared one night sitting on my bed, awakening me to tell me how proud she was of me for accomplishing my dream of being an author, I calmly sat up in bed and told her how much I loved her and missed her. When I woke the next morning, I was still sitting up against the pillows I’d piled against the headboard of the bed.

I’ve never seen my mother again. Nevertheless, I will be eternally grateful for the comfort and love she offered me when I needed it the most.


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Meet & Greet & Booksigning

Leaf & Bean PosterIf you’re near Newnan, GA, I sure would love it if you’d drop by! I’ll be at the Leaf & Bean with some of my writing friends. There’s something for everyone! If you can’t make it by, you can still enjoy Shanon Grey in:
Ruthorford ~ where magic is as natural as breathing ~
Both are on sale on Amazon right now ~ enjoy!
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~

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Skating in a Storm

A Skating PartyIt’s difficult, but necessary, to be a full-time tech writer and a full-time author. Sadly, promoting my books takes the hit. So, I can’t tell you how happy I am that, in the 3 days, both books received a total of five 5-star ratings. First and foremost, I am thrilled that I am pleasing my readers. Second, I want my readers to know how much they please me by taking the time to, not only find and read my books, but to let me know how much they like them. Thank you!

Ruthorford ~ where magic is as natural as breathing ~
Both are on sale on Amazon right now ~ enjoy!
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:
Please stop by and visit, like and friend me ~

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