It’s early afternoon, Thanksgiving Day.
Leaves, stubbornly clinging to the trees, glow yellow, orange, and red.
A smiling scarecrow perches on a hay bale, his straw bangs flapping in tempo with the “It’s Autumn!” flag that flaps in the brisk breeze.
As friends and family make their way back to the front door, a decades-old Patsy Cline hit plays softly: “Y’all Come!”
The door opens, setting the husks-and-Indian-corn wreath to swinging like a pendulum.
Loree: “Hey, good to see you! Come in, make yourself at home!”
Guests (handing her their coats): “The place looks amazing! Did you hire Martha Stewart do the decorating and the cooking?”
Loree (laughing as she stows their wraps): “Like I could afford her help on my paltry author’s salary!”
She waves them to the family room, to enjoy the fire.
In the kitchen, she puts the finishing touches on the meal and gives thanks …
…for worn-in-places sofas that invite guest to snuggle under cozy afghans.
For the table that hides the scratches and dents of decades of family dinners under a threadbare handed-down-from Grandma tablecloth.
For the galley kitchen that doesn’t bulge despite the dozens of bodies that have crammed into the narrow walkway.
For the tiny guest room that will no doubt “sleep” Uncle Joe, who’ll (no doubt) drink one too many goblets of wine.
One and all are welcome here, as evidenced by the “Failte” doormat. (No, Loree isn’t Irish, but it’s a lovely outlook, all the same!) Why, even those who’ve succumbed to the smoking habit are welcome … once they’ve come to terms with the rules hand-painted on the sign above a copper bucket: “The walk’s not an ashtray, and neither’s the drive; use THIS for your butts if you value your life!”
Loree isn’t a scholar, but she knows how to make friends and family believe that mi casa es en casa.
She isn’t related to Amy Vanderbilt or Emily post, but she’ll treat you like royalty.
She isn’t wealthy, either, but that won’t stop her from praying that you’ll leave her house far richer than when you arrived…in good times and laughter, in memories and friendship.
And as friends and family make their way back to their cars, Loree waves from the porch and does her best to emulate Jed Clampett:
“Y’all come back now, hear?”
At last count, Loree had 73 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults; one novel optioned for a TV movie; and many more slated for release), 63 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her stories have earned dozens of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, college and high school writing programs and more, Loree has encouraged thousands with her comedic approach to ‘learned-the-hard-way’ lessons about the craft and the industry.
Visit the author’s website.