I can't believe Christmas is a week away, we are excited that our puppy handbags and vintage jewelry arrived today. These are both great gifts for that special girl in your life whether it's your daughter, sister, niece, girlfriend or Mom.
Lots of great stocking stuffers available as well.
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For now here is one more chapter to the story
Open your Heart continued
I was used to getting up so early; I was ready to go by nine, and since I didn’t work until one, I took the bus downtown. Arriving a little after nine thirty most stores weren’t open yet so I decided to go to the drug store and look through the new Teen magazine. Mr. Harper didn’t mind as long as I did not crease the pages.
A little after ten o’clock I headed to the antique store. When I opened the door, I could not believe my ears, was that Christmas music I was hearing? Yes it was and not only that, the store looked brighter then before. I headed to the checkout counter to see Lucy Cole, but instead of being in her usual place I heard a slight laughter coming from the back of the store. Tiptoeing ever so quietly, I stopped behind a big rack of old books. Glancing carefully around the side I couldn’t believe my eyes, Lucy Cole was actually chatting and laughing with who I suspected was a customer.
My mind was racing and in a puzzled state I was wondering how such a transformation could happen in one short week. Coming out of my trance, I heard Mrs. Cole say “excuse me for a minute, I think I heard someone come in.” Not wanting to be caught eavesdropping, I hurried to the other side of the store by the antique dolls which is where Lucy, found me.
“Well hello dear” she said “I was hoping to see you today.” She continued chatting, and I wondered if I had heard half of what she said. “Come with me” guiding me with her hand she led me back to the book area. “I want you to meet someone.” “Katy, this is my niece Gayle she is visiting from North Carolina for a few days.” Without giving me a chance to speak, the young woman replied, “oh how nice it is to meet you Katy, I have heard some very nice things about you.” Thinking to myself, has my brain turned to mush, am I dreaming, no wait, I must have been hit by a bus, heard nice things about me? After I realized I was standing there with my mouth open I finally said “thank you, it’s nice to meet you too.” Speaking for a few more minutes, the ladies finally said their good-byes and Gayle gave me a hug, saying "I hope to see you again before I leave."
The silence that followed was deafening, I was waiting for Lucy to say something and she was waiting for me when all of a sudden we both started at the same time. Laughing, she said “go ahead I have been talking all morning.” Looking up at Lucy for the first time today, I realized she was smiling. The lines in her face were not as deep and her voice was much younger. “I like the Christmas music, and the lights seem brighter.” “Oh that was Bill’s doing, he changes the bulbs for me at least four times a year, by the time he gets to it, it becomes quite dark and ominous in here.” “The Christmas music was just something I needed this year.” Something definitely changed in Lucy Cole, I’m not sure what or when but I knew I liked it and I believe she did too. Since this was all new and wonderful, I decided not to bring up the past, just wanting to start our friendship fresh, I decided to talk only about the present.
“So I hear you work at the bakery, I just love the aroma that wafts down the street.” I started to tell her about my job there and how I came to work at the bakery. She hung on every word I spoke and seemed genuinely interested. I told her about my visits with Bill and how he and I shared a lunch of bagels. She laughed and said “that boy used to eat me out of house and home; I am surprised he didn’t talk you out of your bagel as well.” She told me other stories about Bill when he was younger, and how pleased she was with what a wonderful person he became.
It was almost noon when Lucy looked at her watch. “I don’t want you to be late for work she said, would you like to have lunch with me at the bakery so we can visit until the clock strikes one?” “What about the store” I asked, “oh I think I can close for an hour, don’t you?” I agreed and as we walked together up the street, my heart was bursting with excitement.
I certainly did not expect what happened next, when we came through the door Mrs. Gambino was at the counter and she greeted Lucy by her first name. Had she come in often and I missed her somehow, I wondered? “And what are you doing with my helper, not trying to steal her away are you?” “No not at all Rose,” Lucy said “although it’s not like I wouldn’t try.” We waited in a booth by the window while our sandwiches were made and talked about Christmas.