Monday, 31 March 2014

Margaret and Pete is finally home!

Pete pressed the doorbell of the door to Beechwood Hall. He felt a great sense of relief to be "home" again and he could tell that Margaret felt the same. Pete has only been living in Sugarbush Valley for over a year now, but no other place on earth felt more like home than this small village.

The door was opened by Mayor Hugo Trunk
Hugo: Pete, finally! You are home, with the lovely Margaret, you must be exhausted. Do come in!
Pete: Yes, we are quite tired but glad to be home. Thank you, sir!
Margaret: Good evening Mr Mayor and thank you for having us.
Hugo: No problem, no problem. Come in!

Savannah was awaitig them in the living room. Out of the corner of her eye Margaret could see a laid table, and she realised just how hungry she is. Pete on the otherhand noticed Mayor Hugo's desk in the corner of the living room. A very quilty feeling passed over him.
Savannah: The newlyweds, welcome! Let me take you to your room, before we have dinner.
Pete: Our room, but ...
Savannah: No "buts" Pete! Follow me.

Margaret and Pete followed Savannah obediently upstairs. At the door of the old study Savannah stopped and showed them inside.
Savannah: It is not much, but at least you will have some privacy.
Pete: Savannah, you cannot do this, where will Mayor Trunk to his work and have his important meetings and you need a place to write.
Savannah: Well you need a place to stay and that is much more important than having a study. We had the extra room and the last couple of weeks Hugo did most of the work on the dining room table. During the day the house is quiet as both sets of twins are in school or the nursery. When Hugo has a meeting Emily and I go to the park or we play in the children's room. The study was a luxury that we want to share with you, let's say it is a small wedding gift.

Pete: Savannah, this is extremely kind of you. Then we take it that you are not mad about us eloping, as you obviously are giving your blessing for this marriage?
Savannah (laughing): Mad? Are you crazy! Me and Hugo thought about eloping ourselves, especially when our mothers try to take over our wedding arrangements.
Margaret: That was probably what my mother wanted to do and turn it into one of her big elaborate and expensive charity events. Once more Savannah, thank you for you kindness and sharing your beautiful house with us.
Savannah: It is our pleasure and this will be your house until you someday find a place of your own.

Savannah left the two alone to freshen up, as she still had to warm up dinner. While Pete went into the bathroom, Margaret had a look around. She was surprised by the kindness of the Trunks. Obviously they were well-off for a family living in Sugarbush, but nothing compared to her parents, but still as near strangers they were willing to share their house with her, whereas her parents couldn't be bothered about where she and Pete will live. She even doubt if she will ever see them again. She just wish she could share this happy moment with Nanny Timbertop. She felt tears pricking behind her eyes, but could hear everyone laughing downstairs and decided to join them.

Meantime, Pete was doing some catching up with Hugo. It seems as if they haven't missed much, but Hugo did warn them that the small mail room at the back of the house was a mess. Apparently Maurice (Chantilly) wasn't as diligent in delivering the mail. 

While the men talked about the happenings in the village, Margaret sat down with Nellie and Ivor. The 3 babies were already asleep. They had to colour a picture for school about their favorite activity and were having a big argument of what to choose. Margaret loved the Trunk kids, especially Nellie.

Soon dinner was ready and they sat down to eat. They had a wonderful time. Again Margaret's thoughts drifted back to her own family. She don't think they sat down once around a dining room table to have a meal together. Her mother was always busy entertaining and her father was on one of his many business trips. It was mostly her and Nanny Timbertop.

Soon after dinner they called it a night. Pete and Margaret was exhausted and Pete had to start sorting and delivering the mail early the next morning. Before falling asleep, Margaret once more allowed herself to enjoy her surroundings which were filled with unconditional love and truly wonderful people.

After what felt like 5 minutes and in the middle of a very romantic candle lit dinner, Margaret was softly woken up by Pete.
Pete: Maggie, honey.
Margaret: No leave me alone I want to finish my dream
Pete: Sorry, but I have to get up and go to work. But you can have a lay in. Here is some coffee if you like.
Margaret: What is the time, it feels like I have barely slept.
Pete: Just after 6, but if I don't start my day now, I will never finish the backlog of work and then tomorrow will be even worse.
Margaret: I understand, but I'm going to stay in bed a little while longer.
Pete: That is fine, Hugo is doing some work downstairs and Savannah is packing lunch for the kids but the kids are all still asleep. See you later then.
Margaret. Till later, love of my life (and Margaret drifted back to sleep)

Margaret sat upright in bed and felt a bit confused. Then the events of the previous day came back to her and she smiled. She was so happy. She did however felt less happy when she looked at the clock. It was just before 9:00, what will the Trunks think of her, sleeping until almost midday. She sprang out of bed, got dressed, wiped her face and ran downstairs. She was just about to relax and think that no-one will know about her laziness when she was startled by Mayor Trunk who was working quietly at his desk.

Hugo (smiling): Morning Margaret, feeling rested?
Margaret: Oh Mayor Hugo, I feel so ashamed. I totally overslept.
Hugo (laughing out loud): Why on earth would you feel that way, you are on your honeymoon, well sort of, and why should you get up at dawn.
Margaret: But you will think I'm lazy and that I'm here to take advantage of you.
Hugo: Nonsense, you had an exhausting trip and I'm sure if you had something to do, you would have been up at dawn to. Be a dear and pour us some coffee. Savannah also baked some biscuits this morning. Butter some for us.
Margaret relaxed instantly and after serving Hugo sat down to have a nice chat with him. They talked about her past, what her plans is for the future, and they also discussed the small dinner party that Savannah has organised for them that evening.
Hugo: It will only be a few guests, people we know that is dear to Pete. We don't want to scare you away.
Margaret: Thanks, everyone is so friendly but yes crowds of people do scare me.

Hugo had to attend a meeting with Sydney Hazelnut and left Margaret on her own. She quickly cleared the table and did the dishes, after which she decided to bake a few dishes for the party, at least that will keep her busy and she will feel like she is pulling her wait. Savannah did say it was her house too, but she was worried that she might be overstepping the line.

The day passed quickly and just as she was about to put the last raspberry on her berry pie, Savannah came home.
Margaret (a bit startled): Oh hi Savannah, I hope you don't mind...
Savannah: Margaret what have you done. Wow, it looks like you have some hidden talents. I must warn Pippa that she might have some competition soon.
Margaret: So, you don't mind?
Savannah: Mind? Why would I mind, this looks delicious. Where have you learned to make this?
Margaret: Nanny Timbertop taught me most of it, but the berry pie is my own creation.
Savannah: Well good for you, and thank you, our guests will be impressed. I assume Hugo told you about the party.

Just as Savannah was leaving to go and fetch the babies, Nellie and Ivor came home with Pete. 
Ivor: Ooooh Margaret, can I taste, can I taste.
Margaret: You'll have to wait for tonite my dear, sorry.
Ivor: Ok, I will try. Come Nellie, let's go and play before Peanut and Nana is home and destroy our toys again.
Pete: Are you okay with having this party tonite, honey? I tried my best, but they wouldn't listen.
Margaret: Guess what, I'm actually looking forward to it, and it will be a good time to break the news?
Pete: I'm so glad you feel that way and yes and excellent idea.

Margaret went upstairs to have a quick bath, just as Mayor Hugo returned home.
Pete: Hugo, let me help you.
Hugo: I borrowed the table from Alex Periwinkle (glancing at the food) I just knew the woman will go all out and that we will need something to display the food on.

The men shifted the furniture aside to fit the table. Margaret was glad about the extra table as she was just wondering where they will put all the food that Savannah bought at Pippa's delicatessen.

Margaret moved everything at a better angle as men just don't understand angles, when Savannah returned with the babies.
Savannah: Good, glad to see we have an extra table.
Margaret: Hugo just brought it. How does everything look?
Savannah: It looks fantastic. Let me quickly help you to set out the other food.

The ladies got to work and quickly realised that they had way to much food for the few guests, but at least no one will go hungry.
Margaret was getting more and more excited to meet her fellow villagers. She knew many of them by name, but haven't really interacted with any of them much. Her thoughts were interrupted by the doorbell.

It was the Honeybear family. Margaret knew Tamsie well enough, and she knew that Pete was very fond of Tamsie too. He always referred to her as his big sister.

Katy ran straight upstairs to go and find Nellie. Katy and Nellie where best friends and they were delighted to see that they were wearing the same dress as discussed that morning at school. 

The adults greeted each other and while catching up, the Periwinkles also arrived. It was only Alex, Kate and Hannah. Oliver and Rebecca where staying with their grandparents who will look after them for the evening. Savannah immediately sensed that Kate was not herself and decided to prompt her friend later, on about what is going on.

The girls settled in upstairs and was just eager to babysit the two babies. Lumy was entertaining them with her version of "Twinkle twinkle little star".

The ladies got comfortable and just as Savannah was about to comment on Margaret preferring juice over a glass of wine the doorbell rang.
Savannah: That should be the Chocolate family. They are all we are waiting for.

It was indeed the Chocolate family. Hugo was glad they accepted the invitation as they were also relatively new to the village and he wanted to make them feel welcome too. He invited them in.

Pete was really glad to see Teri and Frasier, as they were also some of the close friends he made in the short time he has lived in  Sugarbush Valley. 

Everyone had a lovely evening. The food was delicious and the togetherness was just what Margaret needed. After a short welcoming speech from Hugo, Pete thanked everyone for their kindness and friendship, and made the official announcement.

He and Margaret was expecting their first baby!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Happiness is... home, family, friends and surprises!

Mae Mulberry had a quick look around her cosy log cabin and felt very satisfied. She and Elmar have been saving up for a while now to redecorate their home, and she has just finished putting the final things into place. 

Most of the furniture remained, as they couldn't afford to buy everything new. Like the small wood-burning stove, which Mae loves as it doubles as a fireplace. They did however replace the fridge as the old one stopped keeping things fresh a long time ago.

The other new piece of furniture was the beautiful bookcase that was a wedding anniversary gift from Elmar. It was designed and made by Aaron Cottontail and Mae absolutely adored it. It was ideal for books and displaying knickknacks, but the handy drawer was ideal for stowing clothes and blankets.

Mae also treated herself with a new crockery set. The ones she has been using was mismatched, cracked and chipped.

The biggest and most expensive addition was the small attic room that was converted into a nursery for Pumpkin. 

At first Mae was worried that her other two children might have an issue with the fact that their little sister gets her own room, but she has clearly underestimated their unselfishness. Ike assured her that he will never give up his hammock for a room, especially not as small as Pumpkin's.

Candy made it clear to her mother that if she needs private time and personal space she will go into the forest or to her friend, Freya's house, and doesn't mind at all that her cute baby sister has her own room. Candy afterall spends just as much time there, playing with her sister.

Outside the house Elmar also made changes. A shower was added to the bathing area as well as some toilets and a basin. No need to go deep into the forest to do one's private business anymore.

While admiring all the new additions to their home, there was a knock on the cabin door. Mae hurried inside as it must be their friends, the Renards, who they have invited over for dinner. Mae and Roxy has been best friends since school, but they hardly get some time these days to have a chat.
Elmar: Welcome Roxy, Eric and Baden.
Eric: Thanks for inviting us, this visit has been long overdue
The Renards stepped inside, Baden and Ike felt awkward for a few seconds for wearing the same pants and gave each other the once over and the evil eye, after which they burst out laughing.
Ike: Come on Badie, let me show you my baby sister's cool new room.
Baden: Cool, ok!

While the boys climbed upstairs the men headed out, with a beer each. Elmar wanted to show off his handy work to Eric.

Roxy: Wow Mae, your cabin looks stunning. I think you did a great job with making it comfortable for a family of five.
Mae: Yes it took some planning, but we are all settled in and are living together in harmony.
Roxy: I especially love that bookcase.
Mae: Thank you, yes that must be my favorite too. It was an anniversary gift from Elmar, desigend and made by Aaron.

Roxy: Oh my, look at this! Is this what I think it is?
Mae (laughing): I was wondering if you would recognise it. Yes, it is our old sleeper couch. We really debated the fact if we should rather substitute it with a daybed that can double as sofa, but then all the memories it hold, came flooding back and we decided to just refurbish it. I decided to go bold, and I'm very happy with the final product.
Roxy: You should be, it looks fabulous and is most certainly the most modern looking piece of furniture in all of Sugarbush Valley.
The friends burst out laughing.

Roxy settled on the couch, while Mae had to finish dinner. Candy came down with little Pumpkin, to help her mother. Roxy adored Pumpkin and loved spending time with her, especially because Roxy had given up all hope on having another baby.

Soon it was bedtime for little Pumpkin and Candy offerd to pu her sister to bed. Just as they were about to have dinner, there was another knock on the door.
Elmar: Mae, are we expecting more company?
Mae: Not that I'm aware of.
Elmar opened the door and to everyone's surprise it was Pete Petite and his girlfriend, Margaret.
Elmar: Pete, glad to see you, come in.
Pete: Hi all, hope we are not intruding.
Mae: Not at all, do come in.

Pete: Actually we can't stay. Mayor Hugo is expecting us and I'm sure Savannah cooked up a storm, to welcome us with.
Mae: I guess you are right, but what about a quick glass of wine then?
Pete: Uhm... rather not, especially not for Margaret, but I have an important announcement everyone... I would like to introduce you to ...
Mae: Pete, don't be silly we have met Margaret the previous time she came to visit and I'm sure we all remember each other.
Pete (blushing): Yes Mae, I know that, but what I wanted to say was ... introduce you to my wife, Mrs Margaret Petite.

Roxy: What? Did you elope?
Mae: Nooooo, tell me you didn't?
Margaret: Sorry to disappoint you all, but we couldn't wait. We just know it was meant to be and saw no reason to delay the inevitable.
Pete: Don't worry ladies, we will have a small celebration soon, we just first want to find our feet.
Roxy: Of course and that is good to know.
There were congratulations all round and everyone was truly happy and excited about the wonderful news.

Pete: Mae the other reason we stopped buy is that I have a parcel here from your sister in Mystique Valley.
Mae: Oh really, thank you.

Pete (thinking back): It must be something really special as your sister came to deliver it personally at my brother's home.

Pete: She insisted that I put it in my bag while she was watching, as she was afraid that I will forget to pack it later.

Pete: She described in great lenght how she had to manuver the busy streets of the Village to deliver the package and that it will be a great dissapointment if I had to forget it.

Mae had to laugh at Pete's description of her sister, it sounded exactly like her. Mae took the parcel and placed it on the bookcase to be opened later. The Petites wished them all a good evening and left.

After a hearty dinner of freshly baked bread and Mae's famous stew, the men settled in the living area while Mae quickly did the dishes and Roxy prepared coffee. They continued to discuss the news they have just heard.
Roxy: Poor Pete, I'm so glad he finally found his special person.
Mae: Yes me too, it felt like yesterday he came to Sugarbush all alone and new.
Roxy: Now he is just as part of the village as me and you, and I know Margaret will fit right in.
Mae: Yes, she looks really nice. I wonder what she will do? Pete once mentioned she is a qualified beautician.
Roxy: It will be wonderful if she opens a beauty salon, we all need some pampering.

After they had several cups of coffee the Renards left. They thanked their friends for a wonderful evening and promised each other to do it soon again.

Mae washed the cups and took the parcel from the shelf. She was really curious of what it could be.

As Mae began to open the package she envisioned her sister in her kitchen in Mystique Valley. Instantly Mae became teary, she missed her sister so much.

The parcel was filled with surprises. Inside was a soft toy for Pumpkin, whose birthday is due soon, some sweets for Ike and Candy. Then also for Elmar and Mae an anniversary gift, an antique clock. Mae immediately recognised it as the one they saw at a shop in Mystique Valley over a year ago when they visited there.

Mae put the sweets in a bowl, the kids will have it when they wake up in the morning. The beautiful notecard she placed on her new fridge door. Then she went to the bookcase to put the clock in the empty space on the shelf, it was as if it belonged there. Mae couldn't wait to show Elmar, who went for a quick shower before bed. They both wanted the clock, but didn't have the money to buy it then. It was indeed a thoughtful gift from her sister.

Thanks again to Sigrun for the beautiful photos of her vilage. I requested one and she send me 7, so I was forced to alter the story a bit to accomodate at least 5. Most of the decorative items came with the cosy living room set, but thanks also to Candace for the miniature scrabble box she send me, that the kids were playing with.