Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Lassiters Ch. 5 Back Home Again Pt. 1

It was now the middle of winter and life had gone back to normal but with a few changes; some small, one or two not so small. 

John ordered a massage table and they made over the old nursery downstairs where they could have some quiet time to practice the lessons they’d learned on Swedish massage and hot stone massage. Ah, hedonism.

Melora felt that as a couple she and John were becoming closer than ever. With Grace and David off on their own and the twins in school they had more time together. During the week they had the whole day to themselves, at least up until 3 pm. While they often pursued different interests, they also shared many things like chess, reading and movies.

John’s latest novel, “Manhunt in Paradise” had just been released and was doing very well. He always had Melora read his drafts and let him know what she thought, but when his copy arrived from the publisher it was an especially exciting time. Just to see the story he’d worked so long on right there, in print, hardbound with a dramatic dust cover and his photo and short bio on the back was exhilarating. They always liked to re-read it together, discussing the final product.

John now had nine published books including a children’s book titled "Henry Makes Good". He’d written it when the oldest two children were small and before the twins were even born, so it was dedicated to Grace and David. Lori, the bookworm, dearly loved it and read it all the time. She’d even asked for extra copies so that she could give a book to certain friends for a birthday gift.

Lori read everything and anything, in fact, and had her own bookshelf up in her bedroom.

John had also penned a cookbook "Grilling Fish with Style"; a collection of his best grilled fish recipes--his, not Melora's. That was the only way John cooked: on the grill. Melora was a little jealous when it did so well, but she used the recipes all the time...

Meanwhile Melora was doing her favorite thing, bustling about in the kitchen. She’d done that for years, especially when she had her cooking TV show, but now she had no venue to present her recipes other than to her family. One day, though, Brenda Brecht told her about the cooking competition at the revamped cooking guild. Melora was considering entering the one that was coming up in the spring and the family was the lucky recipient of her newly invented concoctions. Sometimes the twins would balk at the dish if it was too “exotic”, but mostly Melora stuck to making delicious and easy versions of American comfort food so that was fine by them.

She tried out her new cheesecake recipe when the twins are in school. John was working at the computer in the little library. This new recipe was so good that she might just make this her entry in the competition. She just had to get up the courage to actually go down there and see what went on and if she truly wanted to test herself this way.

Cold weather always seemed to contribute to extra cuddling at the end of the day. It was amazing to Melora that she and John never got tired of each other even though they were together so much.

Music was in the air now because John and Melora did, indeed, buy an upright piano and install it in the large dining room. Lori was very excited and hinted broadly that she wanted to try lessons again. 

She did this in rather a theatrical fashion. She would finish a session of stumbling musical numbers the family had heard over and over (she’d learned three or four during her previous few lessons) then give out with a huge, drawn out sigh. No one would say much when she did this, but she continued to sigh each time.  Finally one afternoon when she finished playing, Trey had yelled from upstairs, “Well, I’m sure glad THAT’S over”. Lori only ignored him and exhaled loudly.

“What’s the matter, sweetie?” Melora asked, trying to keep a serious expression on her face. She and John were waiting to see if she would actually ask to take lessons.

“Oh, NOTHING.” Lori said dramatically; then sighed again, “If ONLY I could REALLY play well.”

John smiled to himself. He always claimed that Lori frequently spoke in italics. So John and Melora took pity on her and told her they would give her another chance. They contacted a teacher about lessons. This time they chose a different instructor, to see if it might have been partly a lack of chemistry between the fusty old Mr. Feeney and Lori.

When the second semester had began Lori befriended a new girl at school, Debbie Boyle. They got along very well when they discovered they both loved games of all kinds and books.

Being a very sports-oriented boy, Trey missed shooting hoops and playing soccer in their yard during the winter, but then he became wrapped up in a number of indoor activities. He was able to finish making his train set and now could just enjoy playing with it.

He was getting quite good at golf using his dad’s mini putting green.

 He often played the pinball machine that was in his bedroom.

It had now become so frigid up in the attic craft room, which was unheated, that Melora moved her easel and pottery table down to the kids’ playroom.

She and the twins managed to stay out of each other’s way, but it was sometimes a noisy place to work when the Trey and Lori were home.

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