We are here on the island! Our shuttle left so early that we still had plenty of time to unpack, change into summer clothes and go to the boardwalk. We always go to the boardwalk right away on the first day.
After that we came home and Gray and Mumma went in the water on our beach. Daddy loves the hammock and he was just reading a new book he bought. He said it was about thrilling politics. Or maybe it was a politics thriller, I can't remember. I started making a sandcastle. We love the beach at the boardwalk or anywhere else we go, but, really, we like our little beach at home the very best.
One night we sat outside under the gazebo and Mumma told us ghost stories. So Gray told the one about a girl at a high school dance and a boy falls in love with her. Then he walks her home and gives her his Letterman sweater to wear when it gets colder. She doesn't talk much except to tell him where she lives. Suddenly he looks over and she has disappeared! When he can't find her he goes to her house and asks to see her and her mother says are you crazy? She died TEN YEARS AGO. And he goes to the cemetery and finds her grave and guess what? There is his Letterman sweater on the gravestone! Finally Daddy told the last ghost story and it was the scariest of all. I can't even write it down because it's so creepy. I held his hand when we walked up to the house because I was looking around just in case ghosts might be there. But Gray wasn't scared at all. He never is. Anyway, since I was kind of nervous Mumma said we could stay up a little later and play games for a while.
I love you and you love me,
Valrae Melora Ferguson
(even though I don't call you "Diary" or "Dear Diary" that's the way I sign all my letters and I have decided this is kind of like a letter to the world so I'm signing it like that. See, I have this feeling I might be famous some day and then my journal will be important to history.)
Narrator (Omniscient and impartial...)
Over the thirty some years they'd owned the Brickstone Chateau improvements, inside and out, had been made. A few years past Lori and her mother, Melora, got into a decorating spree that resulted in changes in almost every room and the hiring of a landscape artist as well.
What was previously a second living room became a game room with a table for poker and one for "Don't Wake the Llama'.
Almost as soon as they arrived Harvey could see Lori beginning to relax. She had contributed to the choices of color and style in the master bedroom. Actually the furniture was set up the same way, even though it was new and still included an area for a massage table. She wanted it to be a soothing, yet cheerful room.
The second bedroom had been decorated specifically for kids since Gray and Valrae were the one using it the most now. The truth was that while Lori's parents, John and Melora had stayed at the house from time in the last few years, it was mainly Harvey and Lori who used it. And since John and Melora's separation Melora was not planning on staying there together for the foreseeable future. Of course, John hoped to change that because he was still trying to convince Melora to reconcile and let him move back in to their home. She was seeing him but remained unconvinced of his sincerity.
At one time John had rented out the chateau whenever they were not using it but since money was no object and frequently he'd wanted to use it when there were renters there he no longer did that. It saved wear and tear on the place as well with no renters. A real estate company that he owned kept tabs on the property and hired a gardener to come three times a week, year in and year out and a cleaning service to come every two weeks. When Harvey and Lori stayed there they did their own cleaning every day.
As for Lori's sisters and two brothers, David, when he was single, was more interested in vacations in Las Vegas and he always had hit New Orleans during Mardi Gras. He'd rarely used Brickstone. Now that he was married he and Barbara preferred to go different places with each vacation although their favorites were cruises to various ports of call.
Grace, Lori's older sister, and her husband, Devon, liked touring vacations where they could learn something as well as enjoy themselves. Until they'd had their new baby girl, Sherrilyn, they took trips to the New England area, specifically Nantucket, Washington D.C., and several times they went to various places out west including South Dakota and Colorado.
Lori's twin brother Trey had always loved the beach, but he and his wife, Chelsea, had been so caught up with their respective businesses, both the Galaxy Arcade and Chelsea's Flowers, that they'd taken precious few vacations until recently. However; even if they decided to stay at Brickstone they had no children yet and would not need the second bedroom anyway. That is, unless they invited friends and then they would just have to live with the very colorful Tiki decor of the kids' room.
The living room was still pink and was still dominated by Lori's beloved white baby grand piano. The furniture was original but the cushions on the chairs and loveseat had been reupholstered and new flooring installed.
The kitchen had new flooring, too, as well as new paint and beadboard and new cupboards and counters. Lori loved working in the bright and airy room.
The upstairs hall was spacious and Harvey surmised that if they had any more children--which was certainly not on the agenda at the moment--they would need to convert the room to a third bedroom somehow.
The master bathroom was something Lori and her mother had fun with, putting in new wallpaper that actual was as close as possible to the old one while adding a sumptuous old-fashioned pink tub, sink, toilet and bidet, but keeping the modern shower at the other end of the room.
Outside the old stucco downstairs had been replaced with a multi-color brick, but the upper level was still stucco that they gave a lighter beige wash.
The landscaper changed a lot of things and even ordered new patio furniture for the decks. The wood deck on the beach had been resurfaced every fall, but last summer they'd rebuilt it using different wood and adding steps. New shrubs and flowers bloomed everywhere and that had mostly been accomplished after the family had been in the summer. Lori had asked for a lot of color and was not disappointed.
Next blog update: Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 21 Vacation Pt. 2