As we came to the end of writing our second book, we tried to create a warm and inviting Christmas scene as the ladies prepared to open the Compass Rose Tearoom to the villagers of Custer’s Mill. A quiet guest took in the sights in the parlor before everyone arrived, remembering images of Christmas past.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
We wish you peace, joy and happiness in the coming weeks and New Year.
The Mountain’s Secret Epilogue, Dec. 1st
The grandfather clock chimed the quarter hour. Three-fifteen. In forty-five minutes, the Compass Rose Tearoom would open to the public. But right now, the spacious parlor was empty. The evergreen garland that lay across the fireplace mantel swayed in the breeze generated by the vintage Georgian ceiling fan. It infused the room with the fresh smell of the forest. Tiny white lights twinkled around archways and windows. Music box holiday carols chimed in the background. Miniature Christmas trees were centered on each table, and delicate lace ribbons graced the backs of the chairs.
If anyone had come into the tearoom at that moment, they would not have seen the elderly lady standing by the frosty window. They would not have noticed her soft blue eyes or her wistful smile. She looked out over the parlor as if trying to take in every detail. The starched white linen tablecloths, the Royal Doulton china with the hand-painted holly leaves, the sparkling silver spoons, and sprigs of cedar tucked into brass napkin rings.
This was not the time for her to indulge in memories, but she couldn’t help but recall past Christmases in this parlor. The eleven-foot tree that grazed the surface of the plasterwork ceilings, the wrapped packages, the sound of sleigh bells as her brother and father hitched up the wagon to Molly, their old mare, to carry the family to midnight services.