Millie Richardson has a dream. A lovely dream about renovating an old home and turning it into a B&B.
Al Richardson also has a dream. A lovely dream about relaxing every day of his retirement.
Whose dream will reign supreme? Meet Millie and Al from The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade by Virginia Smith!
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Millie sat in bed, leaning against fluffy pillows and paging through the Better Homes and Gardens she’d picked up at the Save-A-Lot that morning. This month was a special issue devoted entirely to old home renovations, which she and Violet agreed must be the Lord giving a divine nod to her plans for the Updyke house. So many beautiful pictures of country kitchens, updated bathrooms, and cozy bedrooms. Already the image of the entry hall she would create loomed clearly in her mind’s eye. Comfortable and welcoming, something that would set people at ease the moment they stepped through the doorway. Not too much furniture, or it would feel crowded. A simple runner on the floor, a few old-fashiony pictures on the walls. A small table, a coat rack, and maybe an antique wooden bench. She’d always admired those. The handrail on the stairway would take on a regal gleam with a little polish and a lot of work.
When Albert came out of the bathroom in his pajamas, she casually set the magazine face-down on her nightstand.
“That yard is mammoth,” he announced as he slid beneath the comforter beside her. “Do you know how long it would take to mow it?” He pounded his pillow, a tad more violently than necessary, and settled his head into the indentation.
“You could buy a riding mower.” The moment the suggestion left her mouth, she realized her mistake.
Albert sat straight up. “Do you know how much those things cost?” Accusation sparked in the glare he turned on her. “I’m not made of money, you know. I’m retiring in three years. Three years, Millie. We need to start tightening our belts. Saving our pennies. Stretching every dime.”
“You sound like Violet,” she remarked mildly.
Momentarily distracted, his mouth snapped shut. Violet’s constant use of clichés drove her husband insane.
“In this case, it’s justified. Mildred Richardson, you’ve gotten an idea in that head of yours and it’s addled your brains. You’re not thinking clearly. We need to be on the same page, now more than ever.” He warmed visibly to his topic. “Retirement looms, Millie. It looms over us like clouds on the horizon. Those clouds can be white and fluffy”—the heavy creases on his brow deepened—“or they can be dark and threatening.”
Oh, dear. His voice had taken on the dramatic tone of a bad Shakespearian actor. Never a good sign.
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Find out who will claim victory in The Most Famous Illegal Goose Creek Parade!