The strangest coincidences turn up in my Facebook news feed sometimes. Yesterday, a friend shared a post by Bushmills Black Bush whiskey accompanied by the image below. I don’t drink BBB, but my protagonist’s grandmother has a special tea she prepares sometimes when Riley seeks out Gram’s advice. I was particularly intrigued by the “lost tiara” in the photo and thought this unexpected Message from the Universe might be telling me it’s time to publish another little snippet from the book. So here you go.
So I went to the one place I knew I could get some advice. Grandmom Carrie’s house.
Tea and sympathy. Tea and whiskey, if need be.
I tried the handle and smiled to myself when the door wouldn’t budge. Used to be I could just open the door and walk in, but my warnings about leaving her door unlocked seemed to have finally hit home when her neighbor Betty’s house had been broken into a couple of months back.
I pressed the doorbell and waited. She opened the door and smiled wide at the sight of me. Her short blonde hair was perfectly coiffed, her makeup flawless, with lips a shade of coral only she could pull off. It was all I could do not to break into a grin myself. But I held it in check and stared an extra beat before speaking, for effect.
“Gram, how many times have I told you to ask who it is before opening the door?
“But, sweetie, it was you. No harm done. Besides, you worry too much.”
“Ugh. You’re going to be the death of me yet.” I stepped inside and gave her a big hug. I was instantly enveloped in the familiar and comforting cherry-almond fragrance of Jergen’s hand cream and her softly scented face powder. “Why did you have that chain lock installed if you’re never going to use it?”
“Well, you need to get in the habit of using it.”
“I know, I know. Tea, dear?”
While Gram busied herself in the kitchen, I fell backward into the overstuffed sofa and kicked my shoes off. I tucked my feet under me and picked up the TV Guide from the end table. As I absentmindedly flipped through the pages, I had to smile. Gram might be the sole surviving subscriber.
“Here we are,” she said as she toddled in with a tray containing teapot, cups on saucers, and a plate of almond biscotti. The aroma of Bushmill’s Black Bush whiskey and good old Lipton tea, Gram’s signature brew, danced in the air between us. She set the tray down on the coffee table and settled onto the sofa next to me.
“Gram, you do spoil me.”
“Well, on the phone you sounded like you’d lost your best friend, and we can’t have that, now can we? So tell me,” she said as she poured, “why so blue?”
Like the amber liquid in the little Japanese teapot, the whole sorry story came pouring out of me.