It got cold in Texas this week! Oh, we have winter weather, but where I live near the Gulf Coast, it doesn’t often snow. When I was young, I can remember one hard freeze which killed the palm trees at the local mall, but I’ve never seen snow like we had this week. It was incredibly beautiful. My animals were not nearly as thrilled as I was. We had gone to Arkansas a few weeks ago, where I was inspired to write TRUE LOVE’S FIRE and Abby loved the white stuff. She scampered around. Mojo hated it. He is older and fat and he just sunk down in the snow. He was miserable. So, the other morning when we walked out to a winter wonderland – Abby smiled and Mojo said “Son-of-a-bitch!” Now, for those of you who do not know – Abby and Mojo are dachshunds.
I didn’t make a snow man or snow angels, and I had no one to chunk snow balls at, but I did have a good time with the cows. They were confused. Where in the hell did the grass go? I got help and we put out some hay for them, but they still wondered around and mooed their consternation. Which excited the dogs – it was a circus. I’ll show you a couple of pictures. They won’t be exciting to you who get snow all the time, but to this Southern girl, it was a treat.
I’m ashamed to say, I don’t really have clothes to enjoy weather like this. I’m strange I know, but I don’t own a pair of socks. I hate socks. When I was little, my mother would dress me in frilly dresses with full puffy slips, ribbons in my hair, patent leather shoes and little socks with lace around the top. I look back at the pictures and think I resembled one of those big wind-up dolls. But I would cry and cry. And she would say, “What is wrong with you?” And I would sob, “Everything’s okay but the socksies.” I couldn’t stand the feel of that thin material on my feet. Now, I don’t go barefoot except on a clean floor, but I don’t wear anything on my feet – ever. I either get a tan to make my legs look smooth, or if I’m getting a little white, I have been known to use that spray on leg make-up – but no hose for me.
Oh, wait – let me clarify – I do own a couple of those little footsie types to wear with my boots – but that doesn’t really count. Why do I use this column to confess my strangeness to you good people? I don’t know, but I do.
Anyway, I ventured out into the snow, but my feet got cold. And my fingers did too, since I don’t own a pair of gloves. But I did play in the snow and if Mother Nature would give me more of this wonderful stuff, I would give in and buy a coat. But no socks.
Winners from the last TRUE LOVE FIRE’S GIVEAWAY are Suzanne Bischoff and Victoria Zumbrum. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get you that book or any other of mine you’d rather have. Today I’ll give away two more if you’ll tell me your experiences during this last cold spell – anything funny or unusual – (I always need new material for my books).
Here’s an excerpt from TRUE LOVE’S FIRE.
They rarely got out of bed. Every topic either could think of, every childhood memory, every dream or hope which came to mind, they shared. Propped up on pillows, they worked on her Alamo song. He helped her with the bridge, coming up with a phrase that just fit. Now, she just lacked one more verse.
Against all odds, they stood as one; choosing not to go
A line drawn in the sand
Heroes of the Alamo
Scott told her of Renee, how she’d hurt him. He didn’t bring in his philandering past. There was no use to muddy the waters. But in his own way, he was trying to explain his decisions—be they good or bad. She also held him while he worried about his patients. “I hold their lives in my hands. Sometimes the pressure is almost more than I can bear.”
“Remember, someone else holds your hand.” She was speaking of divine guidance, but she placed her palm over his, letting him feel her support, her faith in him.
While they were pouring their hearts out, she buried her face in his neck and told him why she’d doubted herself, why she was so unsure of herself as a woman. “I was foolish and gullible. So lonely, I believed he wanted me, but all he wanted was my songs. After I gave in to him, I found out he was only paying me a fraction of what I was supposed to get.” Cheating her out of money was bad enough, but “when he told me how he felt about me, I wanted to hide.”
Scott hugged her close. “He was a crook. Nothing he said was true. You are beautiful and any man would be proud to be seen with you anywhere.”
“On my honor as a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.” His retort made her giggle.
“I have a good time with you.” She molded herself to his side.
“I enjoy being with you, baby.”
“Wanna go play in the snow?” She paused. “I dare you.”
He realized she was avoiding a conversation again, but Scott was never one to turn down a dare. They bundled up, took the dog, and raced out into the morning air. His ride would be coming in an hour or so, and they were making the most of every moment. They walked, holding hands, telling every silly joke they could think of. “When does a doctor get mad?” she asked.
“When he runs out of patients.”
“Awwww.” He grabbed her up and ran. “You need joke telling lessons.”
“Do not.” She wiggled down and ran off, him chasing her. When she got a few steps away, she scooped up some snow and pelted him one, right upside the shoulder. “Score!”
“Why you little…” He picked up some snow, balled it up, got ready to throw it at her and discovered she’d taken off like a wild deer, laughing all the way. Scott ran after her, only he couldn’t see her. Looking wildly around, he turned to the left, then to the…WHAP! She’d been hiding behind a tree.
“Houston!” he growled as he picked her up, slinging her over his shoulder. With the palm of his hand, he gave her rump a resounding slap.
“Why, I never!” She tried to put her hands over the place that was now deliciously warm.
“Oh yes, you have.” He let her slide down his body. “And you’re going to be doing it again and again—with me.” He framed her face and kissed her voraciously. “I can’t get enough of you. I don’t think I ever will.” She kissed him back, but the overwhelming emotions she was feeling made her break away.
“Let’s make snow angels.” Finding a fluffy patch of deep drift, she lay on the ground and moved her legs and arms, fanning them out to create the form of an angel. “See what I made?”
“That’s nothing.” He was bent to the ground, a stick in hand. “See what I made?”
She rose to look. He had written on the ground and what he’d written made her stop breathing.
I think I love you
Scott looked up at her, waiting for her to say something. Tears welled up in her eyes. He held out his arms, but she couldn’t trust her feelings or his. He was Dr. Scott Walker and she was…she was just Lia. “The snow will melt and the words will disappear, nothing lasts,” she whispered softly. Their eyes locked and she couldn’t stand to see the disappointment in his—so she ran. And this time she wasn’t playing, she ran hard, tears streaming down her face.
But she wasn’t fast enough. He caught her, pulling her up against him. “Whatever you’re thinking—stop. Everything will be okay.”
Lia didn’t answer.
“Let’s talk about it.”
But the roar of the helicopter engine drowned out their thoughts. “You have to go.”
He held her tight. “He can wait a few minutes.”
“Don’t feel anything for me, please. I’ll only mess it up.”
Scott felt helpless. “You still have some misguided notion that you’re less than perfect. You’ve got to stop. You have to trust your feelings. You have to trust me.”
“I’ve enjoyed you being here so much.” That was all she’d allow herself to say.
Was she trying to tell him goodbye? Not on your life. But he’d give her space, even if it killed him. “Think about it, Lia. Think about us. I’d like to show you my world. When you decide you want me, you know where to find me. This time, you come to me.”
For the second time, she watched him leave.
Thank you so much,