Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Lassiters Ch. 4 Grace On Her Own

Grace Elaine Lassiter had moved out on her own with the good wishes of her parents, John and Melora. They knew now that she would be a success in the medical world and encouraged her in this move. John and Melora also let her know that should anything go wrong, she was always welcome to come home for a bit and lick her wounds, but to remember at some point she must get back out there to try again. Grace vowed that would not happen to her; she was on her own and she would stay on her own.  Besides, they’d already redecorated her old bedroom for Lori, her younger sister, for heaven’s sake.

She had lived at home for far longer than most of her other friends, but it had saved money that would have been spent on a dorm room and meals away from home while she went to college and then on to med school. Fortunately her parents had the means to pay for her complete education, yet Grace thought she should be economical where and when she could. Now she was 28 years old, working regularly, schooling done, so she felt that it was high time she got out on her own.

Checking in with Daddy the first night:

Her brother, David, and her Dad had moved all her stuff in to the house (and moved David’s things to his new place, too) over the course of two days. She’d thought she’d be a little nervous the first night, never having lived alone or even been alone much in her life, but she wasn’t really. However; Grace definitely had to call her dad that first night she was staying there, even though she’d just left the house after having dinner with him and the family only hours before. She just needed to hear his quiet, calm voice. In fact, she was bubbling over with enthusiasm as she recalled the day and told John all that had happened just since dinner and she could hear him grinning right through the phone as he relayed what she was saying to her mom. She was happy being on her own, she hoped her father could tell. 

Still, she reflected, every night for the last 28 years she’d been surrounded by her parents and 3 siblings so it was very strange to be alone. Why, she and David had shared the same bedroom until they were nearly 8 and 9. They’d wanted separate rooms; then cried at being down the hall from each other. When the twins, Trey and Lori, came along they moved upstairs when they were old enough and their bedroom was adjacent to Grace’s. It was just that she had always been sheltered and enveloped by her family. Sometimes, when she was a teenager, she had frequently wanted to get away from her family, but never for long and not really very often. Now she had her own home yet she could visit her family really whenever she wanted, they were only across town. Even David was only a block and a half away. Grace was content.

It was late Fall when she moved in and getting colder every day it seemed. But nothing dimmed Grace’s spirits, she was happy all the time, looking forward to her work at the hospital and the day she would finish her residency and become a full-fledged doctor.

She was neighbors with many people who were already her friends. Evidently some stopped by the first day after she moved in, but she was at work and missed them. But Katharine Burb came walking by that evening and Grace hurried out to chat and joke with her.

Once winter truly began it seemed to Grace that the skies dumped a ton of snow, mostly on Pleasantview. One evening after working all day, and even though she was tired, Grace looked out her window to see that it was snowing just as it had been for a couple hours. It was definitely a winter wonderland out there. She bundled up and went out to make the first snowman of the year. It was so much fun, but she got thoroughly chilled before she was done. She had to come in and guzzle some hot cocoa she’d made and then go back out and put the finishing touches on the snowman. She came in and prepared for bed then. Later she heard some chatter going on and looked out to see a penguin just pouring his heart out to the snowman. Grace had not seen a penguin since she was a child and petted one on their front walk. And then it had peed on the sidewalk. The Snowman seemed to listen to this Penguin’s lament but said not a word. Grace hoped the penguin just needed to vent and did not require any answers. Eventually he waddled off and Grace went back to sleep.

Grace and the penguin of her childhood:

The next morning her throat felt a little scratchy, but she thought it must be due to having the heat on higher than usual because of the frigid weather. Grace went on to work, but by the time she came home at 4 in the afternoon it was evident she had a bad cold. She decided to gargle a little salt water and get into a hot tub. Then she took a couple of Tylenol and headed to bed to rest. She actually did fall asleep for a couple hours. 

When she woke up she put on her slippers and warm robe instead of her usual pajamas and bare feet, and went to the freezer. She was so glad she had thought to prepare a big pot of her Grandma Statler’s Chicken Soup earlier in the week. She defrosted a serving and heated it up. She could just feel it helping to cure her cold. Reading a good book in a warm armchair while the snow fell and the wind blew outside was comforting. Then she went to bed early and by morning she was fine. She had heard the penguin out in front again last night but she didn’t get up to look. As Grace went to work it was sunny and the snow glittered and she noticed the snowman was down to a hill of mush with the hat sliding down into a puddle. Poor little penguin, she thought, will he be lonesome now?

With all the snow Grace gave up on jogging through the picturesque neighborhood and used her indoor exercise equipment. Jogging would have to wait until spring, she decided.

She knew now that she absolutely loved the home she’d found. It was a good location, close to Pleasantview Medical Center where she worked. David had found a swanky singles home with a place to party on the rooftop over on Professional Row, but Grace loved her snug little house. It was relatively small; just one bedroom, living room, and office (she made it into her studio) and handily there were two bathrooms. Almost the best part to Grace was that there was a large eat-in kitchen. She thought it had so much character, probably because it was built about 40 years ago; it just seemed to welcome her in when the agent showed it to her. There was practically no back yard to speak of, but both side yards were huge; one was empty with a big weeping willow at the back and the other side held a large built-in pool.

The bedroom:

Living room:


The studio/sewing room:

Grace, like her mother, loved baking but now she had the chance to do more cooking because, frankly, there was no one else to do so. If she wanted to eat nutritiously and not exist on fast food all the time, she had to cook. She felt her skills were improving immensely, right now; however, her main accomplishments in the kitchen were omelets, pork chops, hamburgers and her grandmother's chicken soup. When it came to baking, however; she was quite accomplished.

Since she was inside most of the time with the weather, Grace also began to brush up on her pottery and painting. She loved sewing, too. With her mother’s help and guidance, she had learned to be an excellent seamstress and could sew just about anything except commercial upholstery. She made a lot of her own clothes. She also made quilts from time to time and had sold them for up to $900. But she’d let her pottery and painting slide, so she would have to practice again.

She wrote one blog about her arts and crafts and had a second blog about her adventures in cooking. She tried to work on those at least one or two evenings a week, but she still worked long hours at the hospital so sometimes she missed a week.

Grace felt things were going really well in her life. But she wouldn't have minded meeting a really wonderful man...

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