Gene's Story or How I Gained a Cousin Chapter 69

Ellen and Jinny.jpg
Gene's Story
or How I Gained a Cousin

A novel by Karen Lockhart

Copyright© 2016 Karen Lockhart
All Rights Reserved.


It's funny how things happen to change your life and the way you look at things


I rolled myself onto the sofa to watch the NFL pre-game shows. I again reminded Ginny to call Tina Morales to invite her for Christmas Eve and also dinner on Christmas Day.

She did as I asked and a few minutes later reported back.

“I called Tina and invited her on Christmas Eve. She said she would take care of dinner that night, and help with the next day's dinner. Just what is 'Festa dei sette pesci'?” Ginny asked.
“She said that's what she is bringing.”

I started laughing, “I can't wait, I hope you like fish, because that's what it is. It's the 'Feast of the Seven Fishes'; she'll bring different dishes made with fish,like whiting in lemon sauce, mussels in Mariana sauce, calamari, scallops, shrimp, lobster, and Clams Cassino.

“I've never heard of some of those,” Ginny said, “This sounds interesting, what's calamari?”


Anyway, the Patriots beat the Jets like a drum, winning by four touchdowns, 31 to 3.

The rest of the week flew by and in no time it was Wednesday, Christmas Eve. I always like when New Years Eve and Christmas fall on a Thursday, it's an automatic four day weekend!

For appetizers, Ginny and I decided on marinated mushrooms, crackers with horseradish cheese dip, shrimp with hot ketchup dip, and chunks of sharp cheddar cheese. We'd have those that night and the following day before dinner.

At about 5pm Tina showed up with two gaily wrapped packages. I took her coat, and Ginny took the gifts.

“Thank you guys soo much, I was dreading staying alone in that house just brooding about my father.”

I hugged her, “If we're here, you are never alone.”

Tina glanced at her diamond studded Rolex. “Dinner should start arriving soon, I asked for delivery at about 5.30.”

Ginny heard a van pull up and went to the door; here was dinner as foil-covered pan followed foil-covered pan. Tina directed the caterer to place the pans in the kitchen and a wonderful aroma filled the house.

Tina had us take a little of each of the dishes. One pan was a wonderful Caesar salad. Soon we had a bit from each pan. Some things I closed my eyes before eating, but even the chewy squid was great.

“There is as much left-over as we ate,” I said, and asked Tina, “Should we make a plate for Kevin?”

“I'll be right back,” she said as she ran out to her Mercedes and came back with a shopping bag containing plastic containers. ”I'll make some for you and Ginny too.”

I figured to serve the Caesar Salad with Christmas Dinner. Ginny planned to have roast beef with roasted potatoes, green-bean casserole, and turnip. I had picked up several bottles of wine and a Harvey's Bristol Cream for after dinner.

Kevin had insisted on bring desert, a deep dish apple pie, and a pumpkin pie.

It was decided to open our gifts on Christmas morning, so we sat back and watched a movie on TV, “It's a wonderful Life”. Ever see it?

Tina made up the sofa, and Ginny and I went to bed after removing our make-up. In my case, it was a matter of swiping a cleaning tissue across my lips.

The warm weather had melted all the early snow, leaving dirty snowbanks and brownish grass in everyone's yards. Overnight, Mother Nature gave us a gift, a powdery three inches fell, coating everything in white.

I awoke to a 'Red Barn' Christmas card, missing only a horse and sleigh.

After eating a light breakfast of oatmeal and yogurt, the three of us laid the table for dinner. Ginny removed the roast from the 'fridge, and began rubbing pepper, garlic and spices onto it.

I made the famous Hansen eggnog, using bourbon, and brandy. Tina just watched, her work done last night.

About one o'clock Kevin arrived with gifts and two large pie boxes. He and Ginny began to play 'tonsil tennis', and I broke it up with the threat of a bucket of ice water.

Dinner was wonderful, and over dessert, we handed out gifts.

Tina loved the down jacket from us. She bought each of us a sweater; mine was light blue with a light house embroidered on the front and Ginny's was an Irish cable knit.

Ginny gave Kevin a bottle of Polo cologne, he gave her a beautiful pair of pearl earrings. As a hostess gift he gave me a pair of leather gloves.

Tina left around 7pm, Kevin stayed longer. Ginny was able to bring him up to date on her trip to Thailand. Kevin asked if that meant she could have 'normal' sex. She nodded 'yes' “But not for several months,” she warned, “You just have to wait”.

I went to bed at 11pm, leaving the two love birds to say goodnight on their own.

I hoped they didn't do it on my white sofa!

We sent Kevin home with containers of seafood, and roast beef; he was set for a week now.


While this was going on, the police were sifting through all information, even on Christmas.

A harbour pilot on board a container ship saw a small outboard heading out of the harbour. He saw only one man, but lights were on in the cabin, where someone could be.

On Deer Island, a security guard saw the small boat. He felt it was aimed more to the west and Nahant, rather than due North towards Graves Light. Thus it would make sense that the Coast Guard found the boat on the beach in Plymouth.

Funny how a drifting boat misses untold number of reefs and rocks with no scratches, but a whale watcher runs into the most well-known reef in Boston Harbour on the way home.


On Friday, the malls were crazy with returns, gift certificates, and bargain hunters. It was a good day to stay away, which Ginny and I did. We lit a fire and curled up on the sofa watching old movies on the television.

Can you believe 'Casablanca' was on? We fought over the box of Kleenex. The best scene in the movie was the band playing the Marseillaise, after Rick's okay nod. Ginny preferred the end,
where Rick and Captain Renault watch Elsa's plane take off.

There was no riding lesson on Saturday, so we had to plan something to do with ourselves.

I was happy with reading and watching play-off college football. I think Ginny was going to cuddle up with her laptop computer in the overstuffed armchair. Sunday was pro football day for me with three games from 1pm to midnight.

“Ellen, what am I going to do? Kevin's taking me out dancing on New Years Eve, and I have nothing to wear! I don't know how to dance backwards either!”

Tears were starting to well-up in her eyes. Oh boy, is she a girl!

“Ginny, I can teach you to dance backwards, not a problem. How much do you want to spend on the dress?

“On a gown, not a dress Ellen, on a gown,” Ginny wiped her eyes. “Five or six hundred, I guess and I'll need shoes too.”

“Rather then go to Penny's, we'll go to Bloomingdale's. Bloomie has nice shoes too. I'm sure you can find just what you want. Want to go Saturday morning?”

We spent the next two hours dancing backwards across the living room floor. Good thing the neighbors couldn't see in! I kept calling her Ginger Rogers.

To be continued

Many thanks to Bronwen Welsh for her assistance in correcting typos and punctuation errors

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