by guest blogger Gail Gaymer Martin
Jinx came to us as a puppy and looked very much like the terrier, I grew up with named Spike. He was a small beige and white terrier and was a faithful friend always staying in the yard. But as he aged, he became more addled and hard of hearing and one day, he followed our Samoyed down the street, and though Teddy returned, Jinx didn’t. We drove around the neighborhood, posted photos, called the dog pound, and received calls from people who said they spotted him, but after two weeks, I looked at his doggy dish and his toys with tears running down my cheeks and knew it was time to put them away.
Before I did, my phone rang. our veterinarian called, whose office was many miles away from us. He asked if we still owned Jinx. I told him our story, and he said, “I think he’s here. The receptionist saw him hanging around outside the building this morning and he’s still here. Do you have his dog license number handy?” My heart pounded as I read him the numbers, then held my breath. “We have him. He’s dirty, but he’s fine. You can come and get him.”
We were amazed that he had wandered that far away and found the one place he would know besides home…the veterinarian’s office, and I could hear him think in his doggie mind all he wanted was to go home.
We jumped in the car and drove the ten miles to the vet’s office and I cried as I held Jinx in my arms. He was filthy and smelled like garbage, and the pads of his feet were raw, but I didn’t care. All I cared was my Jinx had been found. We kept a closer eye on him after that, and he lived with us until age 20 (the same as our cat Waifer). Jinx too died at home and was buried in our backyard.
Wanting to go home reminds me of my older novella, Yuletide Treasures, available again as part of An Old-Fashioned Christmas Collection published by Barbour. The story came to me when I recalled an incident my mom experienced as a child. Mom was the youngest of ten children, and when her mother had a stroke just before Christmas, she was sent to a city many hours away to spend the holidays with affluent relatives. Mom recalled how sad and frightened she was being that far from family, but later in years, she remembered a few events that she enjoyed. One was on Christmas Eve when the formal parlor was opened to display a huge decorated Christmas tree lighted with real candles. She was awed and noticed the pails of water nearby in case a limb caught on fire.
This event triggered a story idea and rather than a girl, I created young Davy who was sent to visited well-to-do relatives at Christmas and he experienced some of the same things my mom did. Yuletide Treasures is a romance with a thread of mystery involving a package Livy, the heroine and the woman who accompanied Davy, is asked to deliver in secret. I loved writing this book in honor of my mom who is now in heaven.
If you would like to read Yuletide Treasures, it is included in An Old-Fashioned Christmas Collection from Barbour Publishing along with nine other Christmas novellas by various novelists.
Read the Back Cover Blurb:
Many of us have a secret picture of Christmases past—a time when windows shimmered with lacy frost and candlelight, fireplaces kept a home warm and snug, ladies’ skirts swirled and gracefully skimmed the floor, and gentlemen were gallant and true. Experience Christmases spanning over one hundred years through nine inspiring historical romances, beautifully and economically packaged for you and all your gift-giving needs.
Look for An Old-Fashioned Christmas Collection at Wal-Mart, Kmart, in bookstores and wherever books are sold, or you can find it online: Click here for more details of authors and purchase price.
And here’s an Amazon link where you can read more about the book, and buy it! Old-Fashioned Christmas Romance Collection: 9 Stories Celebrate Christmas Traditions and Love from Bygone Years