Merry and bright
Dani was determined to get the Christmas lights up. But a power outage interrupted her long enough to have chicken soup with her handsome neighbor . . .
Dani dragged the stepladder in front of the garage to hang the strings of Christmas lights she’d found in the basement that morning. She planned to do anything that needed doing herself, with the help of the Internet. She’d expected to be living here with Ben, but their engagement hadn’t survived the wedding planning. Instead of wedding vows, she’d made a vow to herself not to wait for happiness but to find joy in every day.
As she attached the lights, she ran through her plans for Christmas dinner. With her parents and her brother’s family, there’d be six at her large new table.
clinging to his dark curls
She was concentrating so much, she didn’t notice it had started snowing. She stepped carefully down from the ladder. As she connected the last light string to the extension cord, a car pulled into Mrs. Black’s driveway next door.
A young man got out and waved, then headed toward her. “Do you need a hand?”
“I’ve just finished, but thanks.”
He reached her side, and she noticed snowflakes clinging to the dark curls that had escaped from his hat. A hand-knitted Christmas hat with a pompom, exactly like the one she was wearing.
“I’m Rick Black, and I see from your hat that you’ve already met my mother.”
“Yes,” she said. “I’m Dani.”
“Looks like you’re ready to light things.”
She plugged the extension cord into the outlet, and the lights shone brightly. Then, seconds later, they
Crossword puzzle solution
Itwas just before Christmas, and I was at the optician’s picking out new frames for the holidays when a young woman came over to the clerk helping me. “Would you excuse me just a moment?” the clerk said, stepping away to help the young woman. When the clerk returned, I asked if everything was okay. Nodding, she explained, “That girl comes in every Saturday to put five dollars toward her glasses. She still has a balance of about $35 to go.” My heart ached for that young woman, who was barely more than a teenager. And it was the holidays . . . So, reaching into my purse, I handed the clerk $35. “Next time she comes in, please tell her that Mrs. Santa was here,” I said—then smiled the whole way home!