The front door opened into the hall and to the right was the elevated front living room that they thought was charming and unique.
There was an eat-in kitchen, but no dining room. Since they didn't really care for formal entertaining, this was not an issue for Mike and Lucy.
Also on the ground floor was the master bedroom; an en suite bathroom that was also accessible from the nursery. There was a second full bath for the guests. Upstairs were two more bedrooms and a bathroom, but the the time being they did not even worry about decorating them. In fact, for the moment they were using them for storage and Mike's exercise machine.
Mike had been encouraging Lucy to give up her career in journalism so that they could have more time together and on the hope that she might conceive in the next two or three years. His working hours were much shorter than hers. Now that they had their own place they had definitely changed their views about waiting five years more to start a family.
Lucy knew that Mike sincerely believed she should write another book and it would be much easier if she wasn't working full time. Her first published book had been a thinly veiled semi-biographical fiction that was completely based on her father. It was titled "My Dad's a Kook". Her father, Josh Burb, never even seemed to know it was about him. She loved him but his behavior had always been so random and mystifying at times that she had grown up knowing that she could get affection from her father--when he was not distracted with grandiose ideas and schemes--but her mother was the one she could count on. Like the time he showed up at her wedding where everyone was dressed formally wearing a pair of sloppy cargo pants and a sport shirt. Or when he quite his respectable day job to work as a DJ at the Club Dante when she was in high school. He wore shiny pants, a scarf around his neck and tight shirts that were unbuttoned halfway down. It was embarrassing at the time.
The book had sold quite well and so now she gave up her job at the newspaper and began to work seriously on her writing, trying to complete a certain number of pages each morning.Sometimes, when Mike was at work and she got writer’s block or was just a little lonesome and bored, she’d go over to the Good Eats Café and talk with her father-in-law, Larry Max. He was becoming more of a father to her than Josh was. The food there was delicious—just like the meals Larry Max had cooked when they all lived at the big house—and she was getting in the habit of having a late lunch there every day. She liked the warm atmosphere of the little restaurant and, when it wasn’t too busy in the late afternoon, she sometimes brought her notes and sat at a table in the corner and wrote. It was a good place to people-watch too, and that was important to her writing.
Of course, Lucy wrote at home, too. Often at night while Mike got online and gave financial advice, she sat in the living room and wrestled with her muse. Mike was the one to go to for financial advice since he was at the top of the heap now in the business field, and he was making quite a bit of money as an online advisor. The helicoptor still picked him up four days a week and took him to his office in the big city, then returned him to their new home at 6 pm. The neighbors hated the noise, but they were impressed with his obvious importance, so they didn’t complain too much.For some reason Lucy had found that she could not seem to write as well on the computer as she did by hand.
As for their free time, Mike and Lucy still loved gaming and were very competitive with each other.
With more time now for just traipsing about Pleasantview and Bluewater Village Lucy frequently went shopping for clothes or books and then always ended the morning or afternoon with a visit to the cafe. Occasionally she ran into not only friends, but family members while she was out and about. She had been checking out the latest sale at Amelia's Closet when two of her in-laws walked in, Andy and Holly. She was happy to see Holly especially; they'd become close when they were all living at the big house. Of course Andy and Holly were still living there with the twins. It was crazy how they hadn't seen each other much since Mike and Lucy moved to the new house, but they were so busy with their babies they didn't get out very often. When she and Holly began to reminisce about their university days, they suddenly remembered the school cheer and--feeling like schoolgirls again for a moment--they lost all propriety and did the cheer right there in the store. Andy just kept going through the clothing racks pretending they were complete strangers to him. That just made them laugh even more.
Mentioning that she'd probably be having lunch at the Good Eats Cafe, Lucy asked if they could join her. They had a new live-in nanny and so she hoped they would, but they had just finished a late breakfast of pancakes cooked by Holly so they weren't hungry at all and, in fact, were headed to the mini-mall. They had recently finished redoing some of the rooms at the house, even knocking out walls, and needed to get a few last items for decor.
So Lucy went on to the cafe and speculated that if she didn't start eating at home a little more she would lose what cooking abilities she had. Holly had been the one who cooked most of the meals when they were all living together, and Lucy had done the dishes and cleaned up things, but her long hours had kept her from doing much cooking.The meal at the cafe was enjoyable as always and she could see that the service was getting better as Larry Max learned the restaurant business the hard way, but she determined that she would start working on her culinary skills at home. She loved visiting with her father-in-law but, after all, he had things to do."Maybe eating there two or three times a week would be okay instead of almost every day," she admitted. But she knew that going there and writing at that little corner table was just one of those guilty pleasures that was hard to give up. Maybe she could learn to enjoy the library just as much, but she doubted it. If only there was friendly book store in town with plenty of seating and a coffee bar. "Oh, well," she thought, "The thing for me to do now is to get back to that oven and see if I can make something to eat without burning it."