Madeleine was a very good cook; almost as good as Melora Lassiter, and she'd been thinking for some time of entering into the competition at Sue's Secret Kitchen. Melora had encouraged her to give it a try so Madeleine began making a number of her best recipes to see which one she would use to compete. Crown roast of pork was one of the first ones she made to Shep's great delight; because that was his favorite meal. In fact, she had given the recipe to Lori just before Christmas. Madeleine also grilled often so on various days she prepared Stuffed Golden Trout, Stuffed Rainbow Trout and her special Barbequed Ribs. The ribs recipe had been handed down in her family for three generations--Gillian used it all the time.
She couldn't decide on one recipe so far, but she had narrowed it down to either her barbequed ribs or the crown roast.
"Well, you know which one I'd choose," Shep smiled, "But I'm no expert on cooking competitions."
Madeleine was also considering entering a cake or pie in the dessert competition eventually, after she got the nerve to enter one of her savory dishes. Debbie, too, was more and more interested in learning to cook. She could make grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, but she wanted to learn to make chili and spaghetti and especially double chops the way her mother did.
Madeleine continued to think about it but, for the time being, she didn't feel she was ready to compete at Sue's Secret Kitchen.
Last fall Shep spent a good deal of time raking leaves; a more strenuous job than some might think. Madeleine kept telling him to "take it easy and don't try to do so much in a day, you're not as young as you used to be." This only made him grumpy, of course. Shep was hardly ever in an ill mood, so she tried not to remind him too often. Still, she had read that many seniors had heart attacks while either shoveling snow or raking leaves, so she kept an eye on him when she could.
After some discussion regarding the cramped conditions in the art studio--which had been on the 2nd floor in Nicky's old room for a couple years now--Shep decided Madeleine should have a sewing room of her own on the third floor. It would be in the room that the kids used to use to work out in when they were little and now it just held a second exercise machine. Mostly they used the machine on the 2nd floor in the hall, anyway. So they stored the second exercise machine for the time being in the attic and--with help from Debbie--moved Madeleine's antique sewing machine and table up to the 3rd floor room at the top of the stairs. Madeleine loved the room--there was space for everything she needed. She not only liked sewing clothes from patterns, but designing and making her own patterns and now there was room for both pursuits. Many happy hours would be spent in this room in the future.
On Friday nights Debbie usually spent time with her female friends. Often they'd go cruising or to the movies, or sometimes they went skating or to the Arcade and frequently the next afternoon was spent with them as well. Of course, boys could be counted on to show up during these occasions, but not always. Somehow on this Friday night she'd ended up with no plans. Saturday nights she usually had a date but surprisingly no one had asked her out, either. Feeling glum about the weekend in general and desperate for some socializing she went on up to the Arcade again Friday around 7 pm. When no one was there that was her age she called Jessamyn Blackford to come up to meet her. Jessamyn did so, but no sooner did she come in the door and look around then she muttered she had to go and did just that. Debbie was irritated and headed to Wonderland Skate Rink but there were hardly any teens there either. In fact, there was practically no one there at all. What a dreary Friday night. Debbie went on back home and brooded in her bedroom, writing down her frustration in her diary. An idea occurred to her and she phoned Jessamyn again.
"What was the idea tonight? You came in and then ducked out immediately," before Jessamyn could answer she went on, "Listen, Jess, if you'll pick me up tonight--late tonight--I'll come out and we can go cruising and I'll actually forgive you for being so mean to me at the Arcade. Do not honk the horn."
"I wasn't trying to be mean--it was just that I don't like the manager there, he's too friendly, always trying to joke with me and he creeps me out. I mean, he must be 30! And when I came in he was looking at me weird and I could see he was going to come over to me. I couldn't explain to you then."
"Well, okay, like I said I'll forgive you if you come by here around 1 in the morning when my parents are asleep. I need a little adventure and sneaking out late at night would be way more fun than than an afternoon at the Arcade anyway."
So when Jessamyn arrived Debbie was lurking on the porch in the dark and she sprinted out to the car. Hours later she crept up the walk as quietly as she could and managed to avoid detection. This time.
Jessamyn often came over on Saturday mornings and had breakfast with Debbie while they discussed what their plans should be for the day. Sometimes they went shopping or over to see another of their friends, like Lisa Trottier Goth, or Scotti Lynn Ferguson. Jessamyn's twin sister, Janice, sometimes came along, too, but her part-time job at Le Magnifique usually kept her busy on Saturday afternoons so she mostly went with them at night.
Other times Debbie and Jessamyn just hung around the house, swimming and fishing, or playing games, and sometimes just being plain silly; pillow-fighting or giggling over boys.
More and more, as her senior year went on, Debbie daydreamed about the day she would leave for college. She could see herself getting in the taxi while Madeline waved goodbye sadly. Would her parents miss her much? She knew she would be very homesick at first, and it really wouldn't be too much longer before it was time to go away to school. She hoped to go to Sim State University, the same college Harvey and Holly had graduated from a few years ago. Shep and Madeleine were debating though, if they let her go there they wanted to be sure she did not stay at the dorm where those murders had once occurred. It sounded fascinating to Debbie--at least from this distance--but surely there could not still be strange things going on at Landgraab Dorm? Perhaps she would try Pinenut dorm instead. She had to make up her mind soon...
Link to 1st Murder at Landgraab HERE
Link to 2nd Murder HERE
Next blog update: Shep Ferguson Ch. 9 Gillian Ferguson-Blackford