Posts Tagged ‘Ed Bauer’

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 5

August 25, 2017

Republisher’s Note: I have no idea why they bothered to put in a specific address for the Bauer House when it was the wrong one. The Bauer House is located next to the Spaulding Estate on Skyline Drive. The background as Aussie gives it messes with the timeline of the original story making it seem like Manny were dating longer before they got married than they actually were.

Author’s Note at the bottom.

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 5

Michelle removed the egg, cheese and mushroom casserole from the top oven and placed it on a warming tray to keep it warm until the remaining Santos family members arrived for a light breakfast. Danny leaned over to Michelle’s neck to lay a soft kiss on her skin. Giggling at her husband’s attention, “Hey, you are supposed to be entertaining Bethany and Gabby!”

“Honey, I am. They are sitting in their sleds with no place to go. Perfectly content.”

“Danny, you are being cruel to them. They are waiting for us to take them outside for another ride in their sleighs.”

“I’ll let Pilar and Bill have the next honor.” With one arm wrapped on the side of Michelle’s waist, “It is all your fault. I’m dragging my ass this morning because of your naughty ways last night. I bet Bill Lewis would be shocked to see what the prim and proper Michelle Bauer Santos does in the privacy of our bedroom!”

“Sweetie, you promised not to tell anyone. Remember it was in the privacy of our bedroom.”

Sipping his second mug of coffee, “I might have to invite your old boyfriend to look in your lingerie drawer.”

“Danny, I know you to well. You are teasing me. Bill and I are still close friends and we did go skinny dipping when we were ten years old at Laurel Falls. Bill can testify to the fact that there wasn’t much to see back then and it sure discouraged any future interest.”

“So my sister’s fiance has seen the diamond in the rough but lacked the imagination to see the shining diamond.”

Handing Danny the oven mitts, “Can you take the Cinnamon Buns out of the lower oven? I know this is supposed to be a light breakfast but I want be able to make it to Carmen’s for her Christmas Day Brunch.”

“Honey, I told Carmen that you have a shift to cover at the hospital. She is OK with it.”

The banging of the bags of presents on the glass panes diverted the couple to the arrival of Danny’s family. Opening the door for Pilar and Bill, Danny kissed Pilar’s cheek. “Merry Christmas, Peanut! What do you have in all these bags?”

“Presents for my niece and nephew. I couldn’t resist buying for them. Ask Bill I spent one entire afternoon shopping for your two children.”

“Danny, I can vouch for Pilar. Pilar hit every children’s shop in Chicago. Your sister can do some serious damage when turned loose in a store.”

“Oh Danny and Michelle, I found the cutest clothes and I had the hardest time deciding which to buy. You will love the cute pink and purple bathing suits for Bethany Joy and the little sundresses. They make the cutest little boy sun suits to match the sundresses. I actual caught a couple of sales and I purchased clothes for next year as well.”

Michelle counted the bags, “Pilar, are these all clothes?”

Hugging her sister in law, “No, I did buy a few toys. I saw the neatest box of make believe food for Gabby and Bethany Joy to use in their pots and pans. Michelle, the rest are for Danny and you.”

“Why are Gabby and Bethany Joy sitting in the sleighs with their fleece hats on their heads?”

Michelle punched Danny in his side, “Danny, why don’t you tell Pilar and Bill what you have in mind for them to do after we eat breakfast.”

“Peanut, Santa bought the sleighs last night and Michelle and I were out at 6am this morning pulling your niece and nephew on the snow. After we came back inside, Gabby and Bethany kept on crawling back into the sleighs and getting out and walking to the door. I gave them their hats to assure them that they were going outside again soon. They have been waiting patiently for Bill and you to take them for another ride. Did Carmen and Abuell follow you here?”

“They were stopping by to pick up Ray from the church parish. When we left the house, Dietz was packing the car with presents. ”

The front door bell rang twice before Danny opened the door to see two enormous white bears with red scarfs hiding the two small Santos women. “Why didn’t you call me on the cell phone so I could come out and help with the bears.”

“We wanted to see how Gabby and Bethany Joy react to the bears. The bears have big sunken stomachs where Gabby and Bethany can crawl on and rest.”

“Mam, I hope you are planning on keeping them at your house. We are running out of space quickly today.”

“Where is Dietz? He is gathering the remaining gifts after he helped Maria up the walkway and steps. You might want to help him. There are several heavy boxes of antique china boxes and silver serving pieces for Michelle from Maria. I have a nice contemporary painting for Michelle as my gift. The same art dealer in Boston made me a deal that I couldn’t refuse.”

Danny grabbed his navy double-breasted coat from the coat rack and went quickly down the steps to Carmen’s car.

“Dietz, did you check with Jimmy last night?”

“I did. Boss. The Spencer girl spent the evening in Chicago. The neighbor said, She is going back to Australia before New Year’s Day. Right now, the girl is in Chicago and not in Springfield.”

Shaking his head at the good news, Danny lifted one of the boxes. “Michelle has a shift at the hospital from 12noon until 6pm. You can take the rest of the day off.”

“OK, Boss.”

Back inside the house, Danny watched while the ladies opened the Christmas gifts for the twins. Carmen had Gabby sitting on her lap and Maria rocked Bethany Joy in the Boston rocker with Pilar holding the outfits up to each child. Danny poured fresh coffee in all the mugs and prepared another batch of fresh ground beans to brew another flask of coffee. The room was quickly becoming a scene of strewn boxes and colorful wrapping paper with opened gifts piling up on the floor.

Bethany Joy spotted Maria’s string of pearls and pulled the pearls up to her mouth, which prompted Danny to scream “No Bethany.”

The shock of the loud noise had Bethany crying spontaneously.

“Daniel, why did you scream No to Bethany? You have scared my baby.”

“Abuella, she was putting your pearls in her mouth. I didn’t want her to break the string and she needs to learn what No means. Yesterday, Bethany hurt her finger with a sharp needle from the Christmas tree and I was afraid of her swallowing a pearl.”

Michelle laid a present down and reached up to take Bethany from Maria. “Bethany was probably fascinated with the pearls and thought they were a toy. It is fascinating to witness the insatiable curiosity of a child-especially when a forbidden object presents itself. The battle usually begins with a parent’s gentle warning be careful or don’t touch. Initially Bethany Joy is alarmed until the overwhelming urge to see for herself takes over usually resulting in a broken vase, a broken string of Marias pearls or a hurt finger. How many times have we seen Maria and Carmen drape expensive jewelry on Bethany’s neck?”

Abuella supported Michelles statement, “Your wife is right, I have given the pearls to Gabby and Bethany Joy to play with but I watch what they do with them. Curiosity is a normal thing. They have to learn what will hurt and still keep a sense of curiosity. At High Ridge, we have had to do house keeping and put breakables up higher out of their reach.”

Giving Bethany back to Maria, “I’m sorry but I have to leave to go to the hospital. Thank you all for your generosity Please make sure the twins get a good nap this afternoon; they have a long day ahead with dinner at the Bauer House tonight. I put several new books in their activity bag.”

Pilar stood up and hugged Michelle, “I promise to read to Gabby and Bethany. Bill and I can bring you a late lunch this afternoon. We are spending the later part of the afternoon and night at Vanessa and Matt’s lake house home.”

“No, you don’t have to that; I will get a free lunch today at the hospital. Part of the deal of working a holiday.”

Scraping the ice and snow off of the Mercedes together, Danny pulled Michelle in his arm for one last hug and kiss before releasing her to go to work. “I’m going to miss you today. Last Christmas I was sick but we spent all of the day together. This sucks with you leaving to go to work.”

“Danny, there are sick people at the hospital that are never going to have another Christmas.” Flipping the snow from his dark thick curls, “But we will be together looking at the watch on his right wrist in six hours. It has always been this way at the Bauer house. Daddy often missed most of the day.”

Opening the door for Michelle to climb up in the SUV, “Please choose a specialty that will allow you to be home on the holidays.”

“Honey, you married the wrong woman!”

Leaning inside the car,” I married the right woman but she is very determined to be a doctor on call all the time.”

Giving one last kiss to Danny and remembering the odor of her husband’s body before backing the SUV out of the parking place, “One reminder Danny, no meat for Gabby and Bethany until tonight.”

Danny stood and watched Michelle drive away from him. Saluting with his hand at Michelle until the SUV was out of sight, Danny returned to his family and their Christmas celebration. In six hours, the new generation of Santoses would be sitting down to dinner at one of the most respectable families in Springfield for Christmas dinner. Miguel Santos had to like how the family had turned the corner in the social part of society.

The sun had set early in the late afternoon when Meta stood in the Bauer dining room recounting the forks, spoons and knives. She straightened the table-runner before lighting the candles on the table and the sideboard. The increased noise level in the Bauer kitchen was Daniel Santos arriving with Gabby and Bethany Joy for their first Bauer Christmas. The bells on the hallway clock were striking half past the hour, which meant if all was well with Michelle’s schedule; she would be arriving shortly.

Abbey had finished pouring the red wine after placing the last favorite, green bean and onion casserole on the warming plate. “Aunt Meta, this Christmas dinner is special for the Bauer family. We have Michelle’s two children and Rick and I have Freddie. Even Ed seems less restless and he has stayed for more than a year.”

Smiling at the inner peace that was evident in Ed and patting Abby’s graceful hand that showed the evidence of the hard work from her days spent living on the Amish farm, “Yes, we have three new grandchildren and all at once we are getting crowded in the dining room.”

Abbey sighed with the vision of seeing the three highchairs in the dining room and going through her mental checklist again, “To tell you the truth I don’t feel the spirit of adventure as I did early this morning when we invited our extra guest for dinner at the last minute.”

“Abbey, I know what is right and wrong and today, I am correcting a social injustice.”

“Now, we need one of the men to bring in Gabby and Bethany’s highchairs and warming their plates in the microwave.”

In the kitchen, the large turkey sat on the carving tray with Ed doing the carving honors on the cooked bird. “Merry Christmas Danny and Merry Christmas to Bethany Joy and Gabby. Danny, do you think Gabby and Bethany are still too young to chew on a turkey leg? This will be the last year for them to have the honor of claiming chewing rites since Freddie isn’t equipped with a set of teeth.”

Admiring his children’s outfits, “Ed, Gabby and Bethany will pass on the chewing rites. My sister Pilar went a little overboard this year with their outfits and this is their third outfit for the day. I have specific orders from her to make sure that Michelle saw the twins dressed in the red velvet outfits. Bethany’s dress with her white lace underskirt is a sure target for any grease and you saw last night what Gabby does with his hands.”

“Did they get their naps at your mother’s house this afternoon?”

“Yes, they both took nice long naps after brunch but I suspect they are exhausted and might fall asleep at the dining room table. We are fast approaching the hour when the Sandman comes and they fall asleep for the night.
Have you heard from Michelle? I called and left a message on her cell phone but she hasn’t returned my call.”

“Meta heard from Michelle a few minutes before six and she said that she was starving to death- no lunch today and a typical Bauer mode of operation for a holiday.”

The lights from a car pulling in the driveway flashed in the kitchen window. “That’s my girl and she is right on time for a change.”

Flashing her high beam lights twice to call for help, Rick gave Freddie to Danny. “You hold Freddie while I help my sister. She wants help to bring in something.”

“Rick, I can go out, I forgot all about the pile of gifts for the Bauer family.”

“No Danny, Freddie wants to get a close up view of his Uncle Danny. With our schedules, we hardly have time for a nice leisure visit.”

Catching her breath as she ran in the kitchen, “I’m almost on time.”

Danny with his free hand helped her with her coat after she dropped the pile of packages on the loveseat near the door. “Thanks, honey. What can I do to help in the kitchen?”

Meta answered, “Nothing honey, I saved the dishwashing for you, young lady.”

Michelle kissed Danny and then rubbed her cheek on Freddie’s fat chubby cheeks. “Freddie has the cheeks that you want to squeeze.”

“Michelle, did you have the heat on in the Mercedes?”

“I got here before the car warmed up, but I’m not sure if the blower is working properly. I like the car but the diesel engine is very slow in producing heat. Have you feed Gabby and Bethany?”

“Oh my Michelle, I forgot to put their water based plates in the microwave! We have been discussing your children’s wardrobe. Bethany and Gabby are cute as buttons with the matching outfits. I don’t think that I have ever seen small fur boots until today. And may I say that you look pretty nice today as well.”

“Danny gave me the black man made leather mini skirt with the red lamb’s wool sweater. I even got a few cat calls from some teens in the ER today. The clothes caught their eye. I informed them that I was the mother of twins after they called me a Sexy Lady One of the boys said, Then you are one Sexy Mama and I then got my revenge by checking for undescended testicles.” Winking at Danny, “I must show you how this is done.”

“Hey this is enough of medical shop talk, why don’t we all gather in the dining room and I’ll bring in the baby plates with their food.”

“Aunt Meta, you go ahead, I’ll get Bethany and Gabbys food. You have to be tired.”

Danny motioned Meta out of the kitchen, “Michelle and I will take care of the food for our children. Plus I want to talk with Michelle about the lack of heat in the Mercedes….Why didn’t you tell me that the heater wasn’t working in the car?”

“It happened gradually and today was the first day that the blower didn’t function. The heater wasn’t working this morning when I left our home.”

Throwing his hand up in the air, “You go ahead, I’m calling the car dealership. They are going to tow the car tonight and I want the heater fixed before we get back from Puerto Rico or a new loaner in my driveway for you to drive. Come here Michelle, baby you could get a cold or pneumonia driving in subzero weather.”

“Danny, please don’t make a big fuss of all nights. The tow driver has a family too. Did Daddy take Gabby and BJ in the dining room?”

Nodding his head and indicating YES, Danny spoke sternly into his phone in the quick Spanish phrases, which Michelle recognized as curse words.

The sight of their Mother energized the tired toddlers bodies as they almost jumped from their grandfather’s arms to the extended hands of Michelle. Gabby smothered Michelle’s cheek with his wet kisses and locked his hands in Michelle’s thick curls. “How’s my big boy? Mommy missed your beautiful face.” Turning her attention to the small replica of herself, “Miss Princess, your Aunt Pilar must have had this dress under the tree at Granny C’s house.” Bethany hooked her arm and hand tightly around Michelle’s neck. The tiny petite fingers of her left hand touched Michelle’s lips for a kiss. “Danny, you have got to come and see what your daughter has learned!”

“I’m sorry to be holding up dinner but Michelle and I are leaving town early in the morning and I wanted her car towed tonight so that they will have ample time to fix her car while we are away. What’s this with Bethany Joy?”

“Danny, watch where Bethany puts her fingers on her left hand.”

Danny bent down to the eye level of Bethany. “Do you want Mommy or Daddy to kiss your fingers?”

Switching to her Daddy’s lips, “Dada.”

“Oh Bethany, you want Daddy to kiss you!”

Answering Danny in his native language, S, s Shaking his head and laughing at his daughter’s response, “Tell Mommy what No is in Spanish.” Gabby and Bethany, both moved their heads sideways indicating their answers with a physical response and yelling “No” to their audience in the dining room.

Beaming as a proud parent would after seeing Bethany Joy and Gabby respond with their bilingual talents, Michelle asked her brother and sister-in-law, “OK Rick and Abbey, when is my nephew going to display his IQ?”

With his own joy of finally having a child and loving every moment, Rick went into his silly face routine for his son. At the right moment, Freddie smiled and laughed at his Daddy. “Michelle, this is the best that we can do this year but next year Freddie Bauer will be able to keep up with the Santos twins.”

Danny and Michelle sat next to each other with one of their children on the other side to help minimize the confusing sitting arrangement in the dining room. “Did you bring their pajamas?”

“Carmen packed the diaper bag with an extra set of PJs but we shouldn’t stay out tonight very late. We have an early departure in the morning at 10am. And I hate to wake them up transferring them from here to the car and back in the house. If it is possible, I want to leave after we open our gifts. You still have to pack and I know how long that usually takes you……Meta when I went outside to give the keys to Michelle’s car to the tow truck driver, I saw a car attempting to pull in your driveway. I think the driver went down the street to turn around or decided to wait until the tow truck was out of the driveway.”

“Hum, I thought our guest had gotten lost. Ed, will you and Rick go out the front and kitchen door and see if you see any hungry guest wondering in the backyard or out on the side street.”

Ed responded, “I’ll turn the security lights on out front since Meta has invited a lonely and evidently lost Springfield new resident.”

Abbey looked at Michelle, “How can anyone get lost finding 5 Church Street?”

Michelle hunched her shoulders, “Please hurry, I’m starving!”

Outside Ed and Rick walked out to the street. “Dad, did Meta mention to you whom she invited to dinner?”

“Dr. Heidi Rasmussen and one of Michelle’s friends. No doubt, Meta is trying to fix me up with Dr. Rasmussen.”

The tow truck backed into the Bauer driveway blocking the entrance to the driveway forcing Dr. Heidi Rasmussen to choose an alternative-parking place. And after turning at the end of the street, she stopped the car in front of the house with the #5 address.

“Wasn’t that Michelle’s car being towed? Must be urgent to have someone out on Christmas night to pick up a car!”

“Michelle’s husband isn’t exactly the patient or tolerating type of business man. You can bet that he demanded and got immediate service for Michelle’s car.”

“He has a reputation of being totally fixated with Michelle. Do I detect a little bitterness with your friend’s husband?”

“No, not really, it is his arrogant attitude. Michelle had a life and friends before Danny met her but in his mind, everything and everyone is non- existing before the time of Daniel Santos. Michelle’s life started with him and will end with him.”

“Tonight will be interesting and I thought that I was attending a routine dull Christmas dinner. Will there be fire works tonight?”

“NO not at the Bauers. They are genuine good people and have always kept an open door policy. Besides Meta Bauer is known for her reputation of being gracious and an outstanding cook.”

“I’m glad Meta Bauer invited me to dinner. I haven’t made many new friends in Springfield and the holidays can be lonely in a new setting.”

“Oh I know what lonely means and I miss seeing my friend Michelle everyday.”

“Meta told me that you had transferred to a medical school in Australia.”

“Yes, I did transfer and it has been almost two years.”

“If I may ask, why did you transfer?”

Waiting a moment before answering, “I went to Australia to help a friend. A new turn of events suddenly appeared on the horizon one day. I ran with the offer because it was the best offer on the table. Dr. Andersen, the former Medical School Director, that you replaced had ties with the mob. One afternoon, the medical staff and hospital board voted to remove him from the Medical School.”

“Are you saying that the mob had reasons to infiltrate the power base at the medical school? Very unusual activity for the mob to be active in a hospital setting.”

“Dr. Rasmussen, don’t ever underestimate their power! They can find or make friends in high places where ever they need control. They have an uncanny way of finding the right people. For all I know, you might be on their payroll.”

“Aussie, you are bitter and it might be wise for you to learn to hide your true feelings.”

“Dr. Rasmussen, I am well beyond feeling bitter. I have my life back such as it is and I have moved on to a new life in Australia. I like Danny Santos will never forget what he ordered done.”

Waiting on the sidewalk for Dr. Rasmussen to exit and lock her car, Aussie saw the front outside lights shining to light their way in the house where she had first met the single man, that had bounced into her friend’s life so suddenly. Danny Santos had come in Michelles life with the mystery and charm, which had fascinated and won Michelle’s attention. She recalled how Michelle started to disappear for dates with the mystery businessman. For the first time, Michelle took time out from her more than busy schedule to smell the roses of life with a man obviously in love with every ounce of her body and soul.

In her mind, she had replayed the events leading up to when she had connected Pilar Santos and Danny Santos. What for all purposes had seemed a giddy love story had turned sour quickly. The horrifying minutes had grown into hours while she waited for Michelle to reappear at this house. Her imagination had created every possible evil scenario and when she didn’t hear from Michelle, she knew Danny had prevented her friend from contacting anyone outside of his compound. Aussie felt the emotion of fear rising from within her stomach. Aussie wanted to run from the house but the voice of Rick stopped her response.

“Dad and I have circled the front and backyard twice trying to find Meta’s guest. Welcome to the Bauer house Heidi. Aussie, do you mind hanging Heidi and your coat in the closet? You are like family and Michelle will be glad to see you again. The gang is all in the dining room. Heidi follow me and the aromas coming from the dining room.”

Danny swallowed two gulps of wine when he saw the two guests. The last person, which he expected the least was Dr. Heidi Rasmussen with his nemesis Aussie Spencer. Danny stood up to greet Dr. Rasmussen, but ignored Aussie.

“I apologize for being late but I forgot what time it was in my office this afternoon with the early sunsets.”

Meta pointed to the place setting next to her side, “Oh, don’t give it a second thought, we have a history of serving dinner late at the Bauer hospital. Michelle arrived and her new car has a non-functioning fan for the heater. Michelle and her family are going out of town tomorrow so Danny made arrangements for the car to be picked up tonight for repair. I assume the tow truck delayed you parking the car.”

Underneath the tablecloth, Michelle placed her hand on Danny’s upper thigh in an attempt to divert his attention from Aussie’s presence. Whispering in his ear, “Do you want to leave?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Michelle, we have to eat dinner and I’m not going to embarrass you in front of Dr. Rasmussen. We are staying.”

Tapping her fork on the water glass to her right side, “Many Christmas dinners have been enjoyed in this dining room and each year since Maureen’s death, I have chosen to continue Maureen’s tradition of hunting for lonely people to share Christmas dinner. My choice as you can see are Dr. Rasmussen for obvious reasons; she is new in town without family and Aussie is visiting from half-way around the world. It is my gift to Michelle. Alan Spaulding has dropped the Lighthouse Restoration Project in my lap. He suggested having an Art Show with a Masquerade Ball. Alan is one person in Springfield with the taste and desire for fine art. He saw an original Jackson Pollack painting in Heidi’s office and pointed me in her direction. I met Dr. Rasmussen and issued the invitation. If we could all put our best efforts forward in producing a high powered art auction, it would provide funds rather quickly for the restoration. The Bauer family owns the property but we have kept it open for general public use. Even with the historic funding, the project must have matching funds.”

“Danny, this where you come into the equation. Michelle told me about the painting that San Core purchased and donated to the Art Museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Would San Core possibly be interested in co-sponsoring the Art Show with the Spaulding Corporation?”

Meta Bauer had done what no other man in the world had ever done with spreading her spider web to trap him. Had Meta connected his family to Dr. Heidi Rasmussen or how far was she willing to push his button tonight was his first concern. “Aunt Meta, San Core is a diverse company. We are always interested in listening to any good public relations project, but my company doesnt usually buy art. Our subsidiary in Puerto Rico was contacted as a source to purchase a painting that was on loan from a local artist to the Art Museum. The Museum was afraid that the painting was going to be sold on the world market. I made the decision to purchase the painting to keep it in Puerto Rico to be enjoyed by the people of Puerto Rico.”

“I’m sure you are aware that most well known art ends up in private collections and is lost to public viewing. Periodically pieces are loaned to Museums and the pieces of fine art manage to find their way out in a world market where deals are made in secret. And it is not unusual for very good copies of art to appear and the buyer has to be able to identify the fraud or loose good money on a painting worth hardly the cost of the paints. Perhaps, this explains Dr. Rasmussens Pollacks painting in her office in Springfield. I don’t think any insurance company would pay if it was loss or stolen.”

Picking up on his cue, “Mr. Santos, I can assure you that I have it insured. I have a friend in New York City, that fell on hard times and made me a very good deal. The museums staff was aware of my love of Pollack’s procedure of dribbling paint on a canvas to produce a painting instead of a brush or spatula. The painting finally made its way to my office where I think the security of the Medical School keeps it safe. And quoting your words, the painting is in my private collection and I’m sharing the fine art with anyone that visits my office.”

“An interesting point Dr. Rasmussen, I have never seen a Pollack painting. I would love to see yours.”

“I have an open door policy and I invite you to stop by anytime.”

“Michelle and I are leaving tomorrow for Puerto Rico; I’ll call you when I get back in town.”

“Speaking of leaving Aunt Meta, Danny and I must get Gabby and Bethany Joy home early. They have had a long and busy day with all the excitement of enjoying their first Christmas Day.”

Looking over the top of her glasses at her niece, “Sit still Michelle and enjoy the dinner with your family. Gabby and Bethany Joy can’t do anything but fall a sleep and we have your old baby-bed set up in your old bedroom.” Folding her napkin with the embroidered green holly and red berries, “It isn’t just the twins, I will be up most of the night packing for the trip.”

“Honey, Carmen and Pilar packed two bags for Gabby and Bethany Joy this afternoon. We don’t have to leave early. I want to talk with Meta concerning the fundraiser.”

Directing her statement to Michelle, “Your husband and his family are supportive of your career. It is a strong family that unites in a common cause and it must be reassuring to leave your babies at home with family providing care for the twins.”

“Danny has made my life at home to be almost problem free but my family has been by my side all the way.”

The noise of Ed Bauer pushing Gabby in the large orange dump truck on the hardwood floor had Michelle in stitches at the sight of Gabby trying to see who was behind his ride. “Grandpa, I dont know which person is having more fun, the pushier or the one being pushed.”

“I am daughter and Princess Bethany is going to get a ride in her white wicker doll carriage before you leave this house tonight. I’ve been thinking of getting your old doll house down out of the attic and putting a fresh coat of paint on it for next Christmas.”

“Daddy, you are rushing Bethany Joy? I know what I’m doing. Your big brown eyes that Christmas was worth all the work. It was one of our best Christmases. Maureen spent six months making the tiny furniture in secret. Rick and I built the house out in the garage under the pretense of building a table tennis table.”

Hugging her Daddy, Michelle stroked the brownish hair in the early stages of graying. “You aren’t thinking of leaving again are you?”

“Michelle, the agency called last week and I’m going to miss all this here but there are many children over in Africa that need me too. When I leave this time, I will be back. I want to see Gabby, Bethany Joy and Freddie grow up. They change very quickly. I’ll come home when my leave is due this time. Michelle, you have a husband that will be by your side always. He isn’t the man that I would have chosen for you but Danny is your soul mate. You found him and Danny found you.”

Wiping the tears on her cheek with his handkerchief, “Why don’t you stay in here with me while Danny is in the kitchen getting his spanking from Meta?”

Danny stood across from the dishwasher where Meta busied herself waiting for her niece’s husband to begin settling the score. “Aunt Meta, I understand that this is your turf and you are righting an indiscretion in your eyes. I respect your age and wisdom but don’t ever try to do this again if you want Michelle and our children spending time here at the Bauer house. Even in my line of business, the holidays are off limits.”

Closing the dishwasher and punching the start button, Meta smiled her I got you where I want you look at the handsome man standing with his arms crossed in front of her. The noise of the dishwasher hid the increase level of Meta’s voice, “Danny, I did it for Michelle. Michelle is so busy trying to be a super student at the medical school and super mom to your children. What I saw yesterday at your home was scary! Michelle was raised by a woman driven by her passion, compassion and love for her family. Michelle doesnt have a clue how to fight equally with you but I do! Danny, you are smothering Michelle. Don’t you love Michelle enough to let her dance alone occasionally without arranging or manipulating everything in her life? Trust Michelle to do the right thing. Maureen’s spirit lives through Michelle. I promise you, the spirit will be good for the Santos family.”

“You are not use to hearing people talk back to you but I have one more issue to settle with you tonight. You are slick, but I have lived in this city a long time and there are only two families in Springfield with the funds to purchase a Jackson Pollack painting, Alan Spaulding and San Core. When I learned that one of his paintings was underneath our noses in Springfield, I connected the dots from Dr. Rasmussen to your family. Heidi was good tonight in the way that she followed your lead. I don’t how your family did it but Dr. Rasmussen is another Santos stooge just like Dr. Andersen.”

Feeling her heart beating through her clothes, Meta finished her speech. “No doubt, Heidi is there at the medical school to protect your interest or investment as you see it. My niece isnt going to be used like a pawn on your family’s chessboard. Let Michelle find her own way.”

Looking past Meta to Michelle holding Gabby, “I guess we are at a checkmate.”

“Yes, we are.”

“When the right time comes and as much as it will grieve my heart, I want you to take Michelle away from your mother. If and when you do this, I will believe that you are committed to Michelle.”

Danny sat in the darkness at his desk sipping the whiskey. He had long lost count of the refills. The usual sleep hadn’t come after he watched Michelle struggle with her choices of clothing to pack. In bed, Michelle immediately fell asleep while his mind replayed Meta’s life speech. Fearing his restlessness was going to awaken Michelle, Danny left their king-size bed. He picked up the Nursery monitor in his hand and placed the monitor in front of his seat at the desk. Listening to the breathing sounds of his children, he checked the red-lighted numbers on the clock before closing his eyes again. Opening his eyes when he smelled the familiar odor of Michelle’s body, the white shadow standing in front of him sent chills down his back.

“How long have you been standing here?”

“Oh long enough to know that you are far away and something is eating away at you tonight.” Taking the glass of whiskey from his hand, “You are drinking Jack Daniels alone to erase or ease the pain.” Holding Danny’s face in her hands, “I’m your partner in life. Why can’t you share your problems with me? Haven’t you ever heard that two heads are better than one?”

“Seeing Michelle’s warm brown eyes, Why are you awake?”

Kneeling in front of Danny’s legs, “I was dreaming and the dream turned into a nightmare.”

“Michelle, you are shaking like a scared rabbit and I’ve only see you this way once before. Tell me your dream.”

“I was at the hospital and you met me in the cafeteria with a prepaid ticket to Australia. You asked me to decide if I wanted to stay in the Santos family. I was crying and pleading with you but you acted cold and detached.
The dream skipped to the airport where I was late arriving and I saw the Santos jet taking off without me and you were looking out of the window at me. I was forced to take a commercial flight to San Juan and arriving at the villa in a taxi. Everything was wrong at the villa. We shared the same bedroom but you refused to be intimate with me. Late one night, you announced that we were going out to a Casino where you danced with a beautiful Latino woman named Jasmine. Hot salsa dancing. The next night was New Year’s Eve and your family had a large party and Jasmine was there. Carmen told me to enjoy the party that my usefulness was over. I floated around the room attempting to make conversation with the guests. The guests seemed to ignore me and I had every kind of paranoia vision of you having sex with Jasmine in our bedroom. The dream was so real and I was struggling to wake up from the nightmare. When I was finally awake, I realized that I was alone in our bed. The Nursery monitor was gone and I was afraid the dream had become reality.”

Breathing in deeply to absorb Michelle’s pure essence, “Oh baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to disturb your sleep. You were dreaming, but what I have to tell you is worse. I have been awake all night struggling with how to tell you the truth. No that is a lie. I have been fighting my own demons. The truth or another lie.”

“Danny, what truth?”

Barely touching her face with both hands for fear of hurting her face, “Michelle, you know I would use these hands to kill anyone that was the cause of me losing my children or you.” Gritting his teeth, “I have a problem if I lose control. Apparently, I am not programmed like the social acceptable Bauers. To often, my initial response to displeasure or stress is to strike back violently against the source of my frustration.”

Michelle smelled the booze vapors coming from her husband’s mouth. “Hmm, where is this all coming from with your new insight? I haven’t heard any glasses breaking on the stone fireplace. Danny, you are drunk and on a pity-pot. When you sober up in the morning, we can talk.”

Shaking his head, “No, No, tonight Aunt Meta informed me that my lifestyle is smothering and destroying you. His breaking voice continued, I want to be truthful to you because it is a matter of time before Meta tells you what she suspects.” Rubbing both hands through his hair, “You are going to hate me! Dr. Heidi Rasmussen has been doing a job for my family. When Dr. Andersen was released from his position, we searched and found a very qualified candidate to replace him. Heidi agreed to come to Springfield until you finished medical school and in return for her services; Carmen magically arranged for a Lost Pollack Painting to become a priceless possession of Heidi’s.
Unfortunately Heidi’s greed and pride was placed on public display for your friend Alan Spaulding to recognize in her office. Alan is a very astute business man; he had to wonder how a doctor had the painting in her possession. The rest of the story, you heard tonight. Meta, Meta Bauer is one tough lady.”

Moving her head closer to hear Danny’s mutterings, “Yes, she can be tough if the situation calls for her to be tough.”

Touching the tight long curls, Danny pushed the strands back from her face hoping to wipe away the hurt and confusing thoughts showing on Michelle’s face. “Do you understand what I am saying to you?”

“I think that I do.”

“Meta was meddling where she shouldnt have been, just like Aussie! Tonight, Meta and I had a small conference in the kitchen. A light bulb went on in her head after her meeting with Alan and she connected the painting from Heidi to the Santos family.”

“Are you telling me that I’m not really in my third year of Medical School?”

“Honey, you are in your third year. Heidi implemented the process of getting the hours of your volunteering at Ray’s clinic transferred to the hours that you missed with the pregnancy and birth of Bethany Joy and Gabby. The board voted unanimous to credit the hours and they didn’t have a heavy standing behind their backs with a gun at the back of their heads. What I am telling you now has to shake any confidence that you might have had in me. Meta has issued her own ultimatum; she wants our children and you far away from Carmen and her daily influences. I brought you into the family and I am the only one that can let you go without any repercussions from the family. I have struggled with pleasing Carmen and myself and keeping you clean. Meta is right; my family will crush and smother you. There is only one solution; I’m ready to let you take our children and go.”

Standing up from the knelling position, Michelle stomped her foot down hard down on the floor. “Damn-it Danny, it’s not your decision alone to decide. I can’t imagine a day beginning or ending without you. You are my morning, my day and my night. My children aren’t going to grow up without you. And yes, I’m furious with your control issues and I do not understand why you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. I’m here to stay!”

“Michelle, don’t you get it! I can’t ever promise you that I won’t do it again.”

Rubbing the sides of her temples on her head and trying to absorb the words that Danny had said to her, “OK Danny, for the first time, I believe you. I didn’t sign the marriage license with my eyes wired shut. I will fight with every ounce of my body to save our marriage for Gabby and Bethany Joy. Gabby and Bethany Joy are you and I. Life isn’t any fun with only one parent. I know. I’ve lived and done that and it isn’t any fun.”

Danny stood up and wrapped his arms around Michelle’s shaking body. “I don’t deserve you. You are Maureen’s daughter. Together, you and I will escape from my mother’s interference. Michelle, it is going to cost you, also. Long separations from your own family. I’m sure that you have issues with Dr. Rasmussen but she is a top notch administrator. She has suggested the Philadelphia area if you choose to do a residency in a specialty like pediatrics or research but we can go to any city in the world. If we go to Philly, I have to meet with other bosses for us to dwell safely in the city. They have to understand the reason why the Santos family is residing in their territory. They have to be courted. Other than that, we will live a normal life. No attention being drawn to our family. But you have to choose the city.”

“Last night, I listened to Gabby and Bethany’s respirations and they breathe exactly like you do when you are sleeping. Their physical traits lean to the Santos family but they are a true extension of you. I want Gabby and Bethany to grow up and show the world that they are Maureen’s grandchildren. I never met Maureen but she did one hell of a job raising you.”

The twins babbling noise on the monitor interrupted the healing moments for Danny and Michelle. The time had come to refocus on where their family would journey next. Michelle loosened her arms from Danny’s neck. “I have to go to them.”

Catching her hand in his hand, “Can you wait? I have to tell you this before the time slips away and this morning has slipped into the back of our minds. And it won’t be because of the loss of importance of today but we will move on with our dream of finding a place for our family to be the family that you deserve.”

Whispering the words, “I want to believe you, Danny. If we have been given the dream then surely God will provide us a solution to make it happen.”

“Michelle, I have to express in words what you mean to my family and most of all to me. When I was a little boy, I would stay up late at night to watch the full moon shining with its brightness lighting the dark sky. I didn’t know the moon’s light source didn’t come from its own energy source but from the sun shining on it out in space. You bring warmth and light to a fairly cold family that can and has been ruthless in the past. Your inner qualities of goodness and love shine in the darkest corners of the Santos world.”

Touching the new growth of his beard with her soft fingertips, “Once before I had decided to marry you, Father Ray tried to rationalize why I was good for your family. It is hard for me to separate where my Bauerness begins and ends with the Santos family. Your family heritage is powerful and strong. There are times when I am overwhelmed and I’m afraid for Gabby and Bethany Joy. Their heritage, good and bad, comes from both families. Danny, you have always had at least one parent in your life. My father abandoned Rick and me for years; yet he was from a respectable family where this behavior wasn’t expected. Danny, I’ve seen the good side and the bad side of the Bauers.
All I want is for my children to be free of the La Familia. What I fear is down the road that one of my children will be the chosen new leader of the families. I can’t see you designating your power to someone outside of the immediate family. Danny, you and I know the time will come and the ring on your right hand will be passed to the next generation.”

The moment of silence grew from seconds to what seemed as an eternity. Michelle locked her eyes with the dark mystery eyes in front of her face. “Your silence is yes that from our union will come the future leader.”

“Michelle, I didn’t answer because I agreed with you that neither twin would be placed in the position. We are discussing a male child that hasnt been born.”

I really had fun writing this chapter. Nice to have Danny caught in a place where he couldnt escape Aunt Meta. I wanted Danny and Michelle to mature in their relationship. The emotion of fear had to be there in their relationship even with their love always coming to unite and keep the couple together.
Thank you for all the comments and e-mails that I have received from the site where this fiction is being archived.

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Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 4

August 24, 2017
Republisher’s Note: A very nice Christmas with the Santos family.
 Author’s Note: Finally we get to the funny and entertaining section of the twins first Christmas. Christmas has always been a much-anticipated holiday in my youth and older days. Our tree was never decorated until Christmas Eve and the tradition has continued in my family. The activities on Christmas Eve seemed to never finish and this is the background that I have chosen to give the young Santos family. Thank you for all the nice compliments.

Fair Winds and Following Seas Chapter 4 by Phyllis

In his heart, Danny knew how cold the words were to Ray. The words had bounced back to Danny. Michelle and Danny had danced and tipsy toed around Aussie Spencer since Thanksgiving. Less than six hours, he would face the young woman. The christening was the formality for the twins in the Catholic Church, which connected his children to the faith of the Santos family. The 5pm Mass would be filled with children and adults of all ages. They would be eyewitness as Michelle and he dedicated their twins back to God and swore to raise them in the Catholic faith. Instead of Michelle raising Gabby and Bethany Joy outside of the Catholic faith; she was allowing the Catholic Church to become influential in the future twin lives. Strange as it seemed, Danny chuckled at the thought of Aussie being a part of the final push of Gabby and Bethany Joy deeper in the Santos circle.

Danny smirked at the thought of Aussie Spencer being in the room with the very family that if she had had her way would be far today from his grasp. The official christening service had opened a door through which Jimmy and he could monitor Michelle’s communication with Aussie. The hospital with all the staff was the perfect place to hide her communications with Aussie. Michelle maintained her silence with him and never had mentioned the distant medical student till the question of the godparents
had come to be debated in multiple heated discussions.

Starting again with Aussie wasn’t going to happen when Danny heard his name being called from the direction of the end of the snow-covered walkway. “Danny, we are hoping you can use two more sets of hands; we can wrap presents or vacuum.”

Hugging Aunt Meta, then running his hands through his long curls. “I’m so happy to see Ed and you. I promised Michelle to get to the barber shop today and if you can help with the tree, I might be able to make my appointment.”

Taking the metal container from Meta’s hands, “What do you have in the cookie tin?”

“Cookies for Michelle and you. Maureen baked these every Christmas for Michelle and Ed. Today is special with Maureen’s grandbabies being baptized that I thought the cookies might give Michelle the gift of knowing that Maureen is never far from her presence. The distant days are as close as closing her eyes and remembering.”

Kissing Meta’s cheek, “Meta, you are a lady of wisdom.”

Opening the door for the two added visitors, Meta and Ed entered the Santos home. “Merry Christmas Michelle!”

“Daddy and Aunt Meta-I can’t believe you took the time to come here.

“Sweetie, we have another day to finish cooking the famous Bauer Christmas dinner. Rick has taken Abby and Freddie to the mall.” Smiling at Ed, “We were lonely and thought why are we here when we can be with Gabby and Bethany Joy. Plus I baked Maureen’s favorite sugar cookies and,” handing the tin to Michelle,” These are for you.”

“Oh how generous to share with the Santos clan.” Opening the green and red plaid metal tin container, Michelle chose the blue frosted angel cookie. Taking a bite of the soft cookie, “This will be Gabby and Bethany’s first Christmas to eat one of the best ever cookies.”

“I see where my hands can be put to quick use. Meta, you can use your careful interior decorator eye to guide my placement of the light bulbs.” Ed picked up the first set of colored lights and started stringing the lights from the top of the tree. Meta carried the untangled lights from Danny to Ed on the stepladder and pointed to spots on the tree where the lights might be placed. The trio finished the light-stringing job when the knocking of a foot on the outside door alerted the decorating crew that the twins were returning with Father Ray. Michelle ran to the porch door, “I cant wait to see how they react to the tree. Danny grab the cam recorder!”

Michelle opened the frosted glass door and extended her arms to take the twins from Ray. Rubbing her nose into their cheeks, “You have cold faces. Thanks Ray, we are almost ready to add the ornaments and I shopped wisely this year. We have gold mesh ribbon to wrap as garland on the tree and then we can add the two new boxes of non-breakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree.”

First removing his winter coat and gloves, Ray untied the hats and zipped the snowsuits on Gabby and Bethany Joy. “These two really enjoy being out in the cold and today a female cardinal ate seeds from Bethany’s hand. Do you know how unusual that is for a bird to come near an active small child?”

“Oh Ray, the birds know that you are the one bringing the seed.”

“True Michelle but the female cardinal is easily scared; she took a risk and landed on Bethany’s hand.
Michelle, there is a bucket of three eggs outside from the chicken house. While outside, we had to make the rounds and check the chickens. Mr. Rooster and Hinny are safe and cozy in the straw after I raided the nest.”

“Good, I can use them in my egg and cheese casserole for tomorrow morning.”

With one child on each hip, Gabby and Bethany Joy look at the Christmas tree with the lights. Michelle watched the Christmas lights being reflected in their dark glassy eyes. “See the pretty lights. But do not touch!”

Ed came down the stepladder. “Come to Grandpa.”

Switching from their mother’s arms to their grandfather’s large arms, “We are decorating the tree because a magical man dressed in a red suit is coming tonight to bring you presents. By the way are you two going to go along and teach about the Santa Claus myth?”

Danny and Michelle turned to each other. “Ed, I hadn’t thought much either way. I grew up with the idea of Santa existing until my older brother Mick told me otherwise. Michelle, how did your family handle Christmas?”

“We had presents and Dad dressed up in a Santa suit and passed out the presents. I knew Santa was Daddy. Well, I guess we will have to make a decision next year when the twins are older about Santa.”

Michelle broke a cookie in half. Placing the sweet sugar cookie in their left hands. “Hum, a good cookie and Aunt Meta made the cookies for us.”

Taking a bite of the cookie, Bethany moved her cookie to her right hand. The cookie lost its charm to the glowing lights on the tree with her leaning out to touch the tree with her hand. Crying in a sharp squeal from the pain inflicted on her fingers, Bethany Joy laid her head down on Ed’s shoulders and started whimpering.

“No, no Bethany Joy, do not touch the sharp tree needles.” Ed patted her back and kissed her fingers.

“I hope Bethany has learned her lesson and babbles to Gabby to stay away from the tree.” Danny moved immediately to Ed’s side, “Come to Daddy.”

Bethany raised her head from Ed’s shoulders and stretched her hurt fingers to Danny.

“You want Daddy to kiss your fingers and make the boo-boo go away?”

“Danny, I didn’t mean for her to get so close to the tree; it happened too fast to stop her.”

“Ed, it wasn’t your fault, the princess has a reputation of exploring. Bethany likes to check out her surroundings….Bethany, do you want to play with the pots and pans with your wooden spoon in the cabinet drawer?” Sitting Bethany in front of the open drawer, Danny watched his daughter hit the pot with her spoon. Next Bethany was busy trying to fit all the misfit tops on the pans and taking the plastic blocks out of one pan and putting them in the next pot. Michelle placed Gabby in front of his drawer and watched him pull the cabinet door open to gain access to his set of pots. “This is the best toys, they love to spend time with the one cabinet door and drawers where they can open and play with the metal pots and pans. Olga went to a yard sale and came home with various sizes of pans and misfit lids. They are charmed by the noise and the big spoons. The only time that we have trouble with the pots is when one of the twins takes both spoons. They haven’t figured out that you can take it back from the other twin yet but I guess that is good for now.”

Ray was the first to leave the lake house after the ornaments found their special place on the green tree boughs. Ed and Meta followed his exit. The Bauer and Santos family would next meet at the church parish where they would enter the church as a unit.

Bethany Joy and Gabby sat in their highchairs with the warm vegetable soup being spooned into their opened mouths. In between swallowing the soup, they ate the cheese fish crackers on the tray of the highchair. For dessert, they had an individual cup of fruit yogurt. Wiping their faces and hands with the warm washcloth, Michelle removed the bibs, “It is time for a nap and Daddy can run to the barber shop.”

“Oh yea baby, I almost forgot the haircut with Bethany hurting her fingers on the tree. Do you think I really need to get it cut today?”

Kissing her husband on the cheek and running her fingers at the nap of his neck, “Yes but a small trim, I like the curls. The back of your neck needs the haircut more than anything.”

“Michelle, you could do that for me.”

Shaking her head at his newest suggestion, “I don’t think so unless you want it to look like I put a bowl on your head.”

Smacking at her butt with the dishtowel, “I’ll help you put the twins down and then run to the barber shop.”

At 2:30, Michelle had the twins in the bathtub giving them their Christmas Eve baths. “Am I confusing you today by giving you your baths this early? We are going to get dressed up in our pretty new outfits and go to church where the man dressed in red will pour warm water over your hair just like we have been practicing here at home. There will be lots of children in the church with us today and my friend Aussie will be there.”

The four o’clock chime was ringing after Michelle had finished dressing Gabby and Bethany Joy in their white velveteen outfits. Gabby’s white John-Boy pants fastened on the shoulders with single S shaped buttons. The white jacket covered the long sleeve white turtleneck with a monogrammed S on the portion of the turned down collar. Rubbing baby oil in her hands, Michelle applied the oil to the short thick hair curls on her son’s head. “You smell perfect Gabriel Santos and I’m turning you over to your father to finish getting you dressed with the white leather shoes…. Honey, Gabby might keep the shoes on his feet if you put them on today.”

Standing back to admire Gabby, “I love our son with his black curls against the white suit.”

“Well, he finally did get some hair and when it came; it came in a hurry. Michelle, he took after his old man with the color but the curls are yours.”

Switching Bethany Joy back to Michelle’s arms, “Do you think Bethany will keep the hair pins in her hair with the tiny white rosettes?”

“Honey, your guess is as good as mine. I think all the white streamers on the rosettes are going to be the problem. Pull her hair back further with the hairpins and maybe she won’t feel them dangling on her neck or the side of her face.

Michelle brushed the thick long curls around her finger creating rows of curls with the white rosettes holding the curls in place. With a quick squirt of hair spray to the back of the curls, Michelle announced, “I’m finished. Your little daughter is radiant in her first white long dress. The large satin bow tied in the back with the pointed lace on the border makes the dress like a tiny gown. Carmen insisted on the white ballet slippers for Bethany. The dress is a tiny replica of a wedding dress.”

“Michelle, please do not say the words, the time will come too soon for me to give her to another man. Bethany is my little princess and going to be my girl for along time. The guy hasn’t been born that is good enough for my princess. Bethany, your granny has started you out wearing designer dresses early in your life.”

The Santos family started gathering at the Parish house at 4:30 pm. Carmen and Abuella had arrived with their large yellow manilla envelopes for their annual contribution to Father Ray’s church. Inside they sat waiting for Bill Lewis and Pilar to arrive with the gold crosses.

“Carmen, you did tell Pilar to close the shop early today?”

“Yes, for the last time Maria, Pilar is on her way with the crosses.”

The door opened and two young women with wrapped gifts came into the living room. Speaking in Spanish to Carmen, “One must be Aussie Spencer. Do you know which one is the trouble maker?”

Carmen whispered back to Maria, “The one with the Australian accent.”

Ray saw the young women entering the house. Smiling as he approached the two with the gifts, “I’m Father Ray Santos and one of you must be Aussie Spencer, Michelle’s friend.”

The young woman with the green wool suit extended her hand to Ray. “I’m Dr. Aussie Spencer, the Godmother.”

“This is a neat way to meet. I’m the Godfather to the twins. Michelle and Danny should be arriving any minute with Gabriel and Bethany Joy. I believe this will be your first time to see the two in person.”

“Actually, Michelle and I had dinner at Caitlin’s apartment a couple of days ago. I saw Gabby and BJ that night. We watched a lot of videos of the twins and I feel that I’m pretty much caught up with the toddlers. Michelle has done wonders with her career and raising the preemies till now.”

“Carmen, did you hear what that girl said to Ray, she is giving Michelle all the credit for raising Gabby and Bethany Joy! What is this BJ thing?”

“Maria, the letters are Bethany Joy’s initials. Evidently, Michelle calls Bethany Joy BJ.”

Ed Bauer, Aunt Meta and Rick with Abbey rushed inside the house. “There is a wreck at the nearest light and we had to almost bribe the police to let us get here on time. Where are Danny and Michelle?”

“They must be stuck in the traffic.”

Carmen had the cell phone in her hand and dialed the number, which she had on speed dial. “Where are you?”

“I’m parking the car in front of the parish house. We had to go back over the Nickel Bridge but it looks like we made it with a few minutes to spare.”

Carmen closed the phone down to its compact size.” Danny has saved the day again, the Santos family will be entering momentarily.”

Michelle came in holding Gabby and the traveling diaper bag followed by Danny with Bethany Joy. Father Ray gathered the group in a circle. “This is a copy of the service and where the baptism is listed in the program. The Godparents and family will approach the altar where the Cardinal Monahan will perform the baptism.” Ray immediately lined the family up to enter the church. “I forgot to mention it but this service has the young Christmas pageant and if history holds true it can be very entertaining.”

The loud organ music struggled to overcome the sounds of the joyful voices singing “Joy To the World” with the procession of the cross and Bible followed by the small children dressed as shepherds, sheep and angels with wings made of every imaginable material. The littlest angel with stars in her basket stole the show as she dropped gold stars on the floor. When she reached the front of the church, she spotted the two toddlers. Pulling a star from her basket, she handed one of her stars to Bethany Joy. Looking at her empty basket, she ran back down the aisle and picked up a star from the floor. Running back to where she left her last star, she handed the star to Gabby. Gabby and Bethany held the stars in their hands and cautiously watched the strangely dressed children. Michelle whispered in each of her children’s ears, “The angel is the star bringer angel and she is sharing her stars with you.”

Tapping Carmen’s shoulder, “Mam, I’m here with the crosses. The stupid police finally let us through the intersection with the wreck. Michelle and Danny are striking with Gabby and Bethany Joy. The white and black theme is clean and fashion forward. Bethany Joy is going to turn some eyes in the future.”

The Cardinal served as the Celebrant:
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

The people responded: And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen

With the normal responses read until Pilar stood to read the lesson and closing with: The Words of the Lord and the people responding: Thanks be to God. Then, all standing, Ray began the reading of the Christmas birth of Jesus Christ. After the conclusion of his reading, The Gospel of the Lord. The people: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Standing, the Cardinal motioned for Danny and Michelle to come forward with Gabby and Bethany Joy.

Celebrant: The Candidates for Holy Baptism will now be presented.

Danny and Michelle together said: I present Daniel Gabriel to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. I present Bethany Joy to receive the Sacrament of Baptism.

Celebrant: Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?

Danny and Michelle: I will, with God’s help.

Father Ray and Aussie: I will, with God’s help.

After reading the list of renouncing Satan, all spiritual forces of wickedness and the evil powers of this world, Danny and Michelle answered on behalf of their children.

Next the Celebrant moved to the vessel containing the warm water.
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Pouring the water in the basin and touching the water:
Now sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who here are cleansed from sin and born again may continue forever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Savior.
To him, to you, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
Leaning over to whisper to Danny, Please give me Daniel Gabriel. Handing Gabby to the Cardinal, Danny wrapped his arm around Michelle’s waist. The Cardinal held Gabby up for the audience to see and laid the toddler in his arms with his head over the basin. With the ocean shell, he poured the water onto the dark curls. “Daniel Gabriel, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Wiping off the excess water, Gabby was returned to Danny’s arms. Turning his attention to Bethany, the priest took Bethany in his arms. Bethany reached back to Danny and called “Dada.” Puckering her lips to cry after she was lifted up for the audience to see. Bethany cried as the warm water touched her scalp. Drying the excess off quickly, the Priest smiled at the bundle in his arms. “Bethany is mad at me for messing up her curls.” Back in the safety of Michelle’s arms, Bethany cuddled into her mothers neck.

“Bethany Joy, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christs own forever. Amen.” Marking a cross on the forehead of Gabby, “Daniel Gabriel, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christs own forever. Amen.”

“Let us welcome the newly baptized.”

Carmen and Maria stepped forward and placed a gold cross on the necks of Gabby and Bethany.

The priest waited until the families had returned to their seats. “What a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season. We are here to celebrate the birth of a young child over 2000 years ago in a tiny village in a country suffering under the occupation of a foreign nation. It wasn’t until the time when the child was a grown man that we had to learn to deal with our relationship with God’s son. My homily is short tonight and in your program; you will find a poem, which I am giving to you as a present.”

The Word is born this very night:
Hail, Mary, full of grace!
A hanging lantern sheds its light
On Joseph’s anxious face.
The Word must come in human form,
In God’s redemption plan.
A Babe takes every heart by storm,
But who will heed the Man?
The Word is born this very night,
And humble is the place;
The world is dark, but hope is bright
And sinners look for grace.
The Word has come to end the war
Which Adam first began.
O bless the Babe who sleeps on straw.
And listen to the Man!

Words: Fred Pratt Green

The first Adam gave us the bondage of sin, the second Adam offers us freedom from darkness. I ask that each of you listen to the Man. Listen to what he is saying to your hardened hearts and follow the words of the Man.

The final blast from the organ pipes signaled the end of the 5pm. Service. At the different pews, the members greeted each other and many approached the young Santos family. “Mrs. Santos, I remember you reading at the Midnight Mass last year. And to see your children being baptized this year brought tears to my eyes.”

Michelle took the older woman’s hand with her one available hand. “Thank you Bethany Joy is at that stage where she won’t go to strangers. Did you hear her calling for her Daddy?”

“Yes and that was what made it special. It is evident that she is very close to her father.”

Danny spoke with many of the members after Carmen had relieved him of holding Gabby. Reaching down to pick up the diaper bag, Danny spotted Jimmy standing at the door with Aussie and Michelle. “Excuse me but I see a person that I need to speak with this evening.”

Aussie gave the two wrapped presents to Michelle. “The gifts are two Children’s Bible Stories books.”

“Aussie, you didn’t have to buy Gabby and Bethany a gift. But you can come to our home for dinner. You did promise to help bring them up in the Christian faith and life, which includes regular visits.”

“Michelle, we both know that your husband isn’t exactly crazy about me. I think we have tested his endurance.”

“Aussie, there will be a crowd at the house and I’m sure Danny and you can manage to avoid each other.”

Jimmy placed his hand on Michelles white coat. “It is time to wrap up the conversation, the Boss is ready to leave the church.”

Michelle pushed Jimmy’s hand away. “I’ll leave when I’m ready to leave. I’m having a private conversation with my friend.”

“Well Michelle, you can tell it to your husband personally. He is heading in your direction.”

Aussie hugged Michelle goodbye. “I don’t want to get you into trouble with the Boss on Christmas Eve. Caitlin and I are having dinner with her family tonight. ‘Ill see you tomorrow at the hospital when you do your shift. Go before the man in black explodes in church. Bye.”

Michelle dabbed at her eyes with the handkerchief that Jimmy gave her. “Don’t you have something else to do tonight?”

“I just saved your butt from Daniel Santos. He had that evil eye from across the room and you and I know how he can get. Aussie did the right thing by refusing to come to the house. Let’s go.”

“Michelle, we will have hungry guest appearing at the house expecting to be fed and we want be there to greet them.”

Stomping her foot, “You always have an answer and dance around the elephant in the room but I hate the way you have treated my friend Aussie. The priest should give you the poem written in stone that he read to us and make you wear it around your neck. You listen to the man inside the evil side of your heart.”

“Michelle, we aren’t going to get into this tonight. But it is time to deal with the elephant in our lives.”

The ride back to the lake house was silent with Gabby and Bethany sleeping in their car seats. Michelle watched the snowy road through teary eyes and Danny listened to a Spanish Christmas CD. Several of the guest cars had arrived before Danny parked the car in the warm garage. Michelle unsnapped the car seat on her side and carried Bethany Joy up the steps to the back hallway. From the front of the house, the sounds of the music played and the aroma of the mixed spices boiling in a saucepan greeted all entering the house.

The catering service had placed red and white poinsettias on the floor and tables with the bayberry scented candles. Carmen hurried with the help removing the poinsettias from the floor where Gabby and Bethany might crawl and pick up a poison berry.

“Who ordered the poinsettias?”

Danny answered his mother, “I did.”

“Oh Daniel, the flowers are dangerous with toddlers crawling and putting any new fascinating object in their mouths.”

“I’ll have the catering service take the flowers out to the garage. We can let all the guests take one home to add to their decorations.”

“Oh Michelle, your white woolen pant suit went well with Bethany and Gabby’s outfits.”

“Carmen, the suit was another unexpected gift from you. You have to stop all this gift giving.”

Carmen exchanged glances with Danny. “Michelle, the suit isn’t from me.”

“Honey, I had the designer in NYC work up the pant suit. It was one of your Christmas gifts from Gabby and Bethany. You evidently didn’t check the label very closely.”

Clutching Bethany tighter in her arms, “I didn’t. I assumed it was from Carmen since it came with the Christening outfits.”

“Why don’t you help Carmen with the poinsettias and I’ll get Gabby and Bethany in their pajamas.” Taking Gabby in her other arm, Michelle carried the twins into the nursery.

“OK Daniel, what is wrong with your wife? Why is Michelle so bitchy tonight? Can I guess?”

“Mam, Michelle is angry because I didn’t invite Aussie to the dinner tonight or fall at Aussie’s feet. Then again she might be having PMS.”

“Daniel, speak with Michelle in private, her behavior is out of order for tonight. The Sandovals and Machedos are here.”

At the laundry room door, Meta Bauer stood listening to the end of the conversation between Carmen and Danny.

“Where is my niece?”

“Aunt Meta, Michelle is changing the kidos in the nursery.”

“I’ll see if I can help Michelle.” Meta walked down the hallway to the nursery.

Leaving the two Santos in the laundry room, “How much did she hear, Daniel?”

“Meta isn’t the kind of lady that stands and listens for information. Carmen make sure the booze is flowing generously with the guest. Michelle and I are going to talk briefly in the nursery.”

Meta had left with the twins and Michelle was in the closet hanging up the new clothes. “Hey sweetie, you have had a lot on your mind lately. I was wrong to accuse you of not taking the time to check the label.”

“Danny, it isn’t the suit that baffles me, but how easy it is for you to apologize to me when you can’t apologize to Aussie for completely disrupting her life. You had a golden opportunity to offer her a token of peace by inviting her to dinner. Just for your information, Aussie and Caitlin had other plans for dinner and they wouldn’t have soiled your precious house or gangster buddies.”

Turning to leave the nursery, Michelle’s body was suddenly blocked by Danny’s forearm. “No Michelle, you aren’t getting off that easy. I gave you what you requested. You wanted Aussie to be their Godmother. The damn dinner wasn’t included in the deal. It maybe petty to you but it isn’t to me. If she had gotten to you in some other place besides here; I wouldn’t have a wife and two children. It is no doubt in my mind that she and her buddies would have convinced you to have an abortion.” Holding his wifes face tight in his hand, “Do you understand my contempt for Aussie?”

The voice in the room was Meta’s voice speaking, “What is going on in here? Daniel, take your hand off of Michelle’s face. I’m normally not a busybody but I have heard quite enough tonight. You both should be ashamed. This is a dinner in celebration of your children’s Christening and you are choosing to fight over water that has spilled over the dam. Michelle, you are asking Danny to do what he isn’t able to do yet in his heart. Danny, you are asking Michelle to choose you constantly over her friendship with Aussie. Aussie was right to have other plans for dinner even though it is highly irregular. You have guest waiting to see the entire family together not in shifts. I suggest that you attend to that matter.”

At the door, Gabby and Bethany crawled into their nursery to hunt for their parents. “I see Bethany and Gabriel have found their parents and want attention. And Danny, I do not ever want to see you manhandling Michelle again.”

Squatting down to their eye level, “Everything I do, I do for Gabby, Bethany and you.”

Resting her body against the door of the closet waiting to regain her public composure, “Danny, I believe you think you are always right. This is where our worlds collide and clash but it doesn’t have to be a struggle of Bauer power against Santos power. This is how I see my world today; I go to the hospital and play doctor and in our home, Carmen and you make all the major decisions with our children. I find out after when you are ready for Michelle to know even down to buying my clothes. The suit is gorgeous but white would have been the last color that I would have chosen.”

“The designer suggested the color scheme with me dressed in black turtle neck and suit and you in a white sweater and suit. Honey, you have been hunting for a fight since your talk with Aussie at the church. We have had two fights and it is interesting that Aussie has been the root of both. Michelle, what message are you sending me?”

“Danny, I don’t have any message. All I want is for you to treat her as a human being. She isn’t exactly crazy about you either.” Swallowing hard, “I admit that I did get pissed off at the church but I wasn’t hunting for a fight.”

Handing Gabby to Michelle, “Michelle, Carmen and Meta both picked up on your vibes. It was your Aunt Meta that had the nerve to approach you. I rest my case.”

Leaning to kiss Michelle’s forehead, “I don’t know how many times do I have to tell you that I’m sorry.” Checking his watch, “It is time to give Gabby and Bethany Joy solid food before they go to bed. Do you want to breast feed them before or after they eat?”

“After.”

In the kitchen, Danny pulled the highchairs to the counter while Michelle pulled the frozen packages of vegetables from the freezer. Most of the attention went to the guest watching the twins eat and their ability to handle the water in their cups. Alternating between the pureed vegetables and applesauce, Danny shoved the food in their tiny mouths as fast as they opened their mouths. In between the pauses, Bethany and Gabby held the spill proof cups up their mouths for sips of water. With their small plates empty, Danny gave them their spoons to play with and watched how they mimicked eating.

Ed picked up a silver fork and hit the tongs on a crystal glass. “I hate to interrupt my grandchildren’s show but many of you here know that Gabby and Bethany will celebrate their first birthday a week from tomorrow. Danny and Michelle will be in Puerto Rico on their birthday, which makes it impossible to share the special day with Bethany Joy and Gabby. Aunt Meta has made a birthday cake for Gabby and Bethany to share with everyone here tonight.”

Meta and Abbey carried the cakes with a lighted single candle toward the two highchairs. “Everyone with cameras and video equipment get ready! This is a moment to save on film. The cake is chocolate and the icing is a seven minute frosting, which is perfect to make a mess on their faces.”

“Oh Dad and Aunt Meta, I love the cakes and I bet Gabby and Bethany will like the frosting and cake. I don’t think they have ever had cake before tonight.” All joined in singing Happy Birthday to Gabby and then repeated the chorus for Bethany. Michelle made a wish for Bethany and blew out her candle and then Gabby’s candle. Slicing thin servings of the devil food cake, Meta placed the cake on the tray of the highchairs. The tiny fingers touched the new texture of the cake and frosting. With small segments of the cake and frosting in between her thumb and fingers, Bethany tasted the sweet delicacy. Gabby’s two hands mashed the cake into mush before tasting the cake and rubbing his frosted covered hands in his hair.

Laughing at the mess and the chocolate covered faces, Danny and Michelle watched with a lighter weighted spirit and mind. The children had done what had seemed impossible; they had cleared the air of the anger and hurting words. They were back on track with what meant the most to both parents.

The music playing in the background was from a Kenny Rogers CD The Gift. Michelle hummed along with the tunes while wrapping the books that she had carefully selected at the Corner Bookstore. Pressing the edge of the paper down with her fingers, the memories came rushing fast from the past. The special books had always been included in her Christmas gifts from Ed and Maureen. The book covers were removed when Maureen and Michelle curled up in front of the fireplace on a snowy afternoon with hot chocolate and the famous soft sugar cookies. Maureen read the magical words to Michelle and they traveled to distant real and make believe countries.

Today had been nearly perfect in an imperfect world. The empty space in her torn heart reserved for Maureen was slowly healing. The gifts of the cookies from Aunt Meta gave Michelle’s new family a piece of the Maureen history.
Danny sat the glass of red wine down on the counter in front of Michelle. “A penny for what you are thinking.”

Wrinkling her nose at Danny, “How do you know that I was in the process of thinking?”

“You have a distant look in your eyes.”

Letting the past slip back into the past, “I was with Maureen in front of the fireplace with a book. Danny, do you think that I went overboard and bought too may books for Gabby and Bethany Joy?”

Tightening his hold on her body,” You tell me how many books do you have to have to have too many books? The way, which you read to Gabby and Bethany, I would have to say the stack of books will take care of next month.”

Snuggling closer to the area behind Michelle’s ear where Danny hinted his true intentions. “If I was Santa, I would throw all the books in one big box. This year, Gabby and Bethany aren’t going to be counting presents. You can see how I handled the wrapping. I didnt wrap anything at all.”

“Danny, I think Santa purchased the right amount of toys for Gabby and BJ. You bought the action toys and I took care of the intellectual side.”

“Honey, where did you get the idea of the pull sleds with runners and wheels?”

“I saw a young father in the park pulling his son. The two Good Humor trucks were added at the last minute. I saw them at Toys R Us. I wanted to give the twins their first riding wheel toy. They can push the truck with their feet until they learn to peddle with their feet. The storage portion of the truck has make believe ice cream and I bet in the future we might find other toys stored in there. When I was young, Mick and I use to get money from Maria to buy ice cream from the Good Humor man.” Biting the edge of Michelle’s ear, “It is a wonder how we got all the aspects of Santa covered.”

“Michelle, I probably need to give you a heads up alert with Carmen’s gift to Gabby and Bethany Joy. I saw the gift being delivered last week.”

Smiling one of her OK what has the master manipulator done this time looks? “Are you ready to think big?”

“How big?”

“Carmen bought a miniature carousel. You know one of the ones that you see outside of a K-Mart or grocery store where you drop quarters in a box and ride two or three minutes.”

Turning her head to meet Danny’s dark eyes, “You have got to be kidding! Carmen is never going to sit and drop money in a machine.”

“Michelle, you do know Carmen better than I thought. Carmen had it jerry-rigged and the carousel is now Push Button operational.”

“And what is Carmen giving our children for their first birthday? Live ponies with a cart!”

“No, my mother was actually sensible with her birthday gift. An outdoor gym and swing set, which she is having installed in her backyard.”

With the last gift resting in front of her, Michelle held the bright red paper with Santas down on the box for Danny to apply the scotch tape. Pulling a large section of tape from the dispenser, Danny intentionally taped Michelle’s hand with the gift. “I couldn’t resist being a naughty Santa’s helper.”

“Interesting, I have a naughty surprise myself from Santa.”

The cry of mommy from the baby monitor moved Michelle quickly in the direction of the nursery. “It is Bethany Joy calling me. I wonder what is wrong?”

Inside the nursery, Michelle checked her daughter and found her soundly sleeping. Tracing her fingers on Bethany’s hair, Michelle waited to see if the toddler opened her eyes or if there was any indication that Bethany wasn’t feeling well. The monitors were working quietly while the toddlers traveled with the Sandman to sleepy time land.
Satisfied that all was well in the nursery, Michelle turned up the volume on the hand unit of the monitor and returned to the living room where the roaring fire burned perfect in the last minutes of the Christmas Eve.

“Was Bethany awake?”

“No, she and Gabby were sound asleep. It must be a new stage in their growth and development. Dreaming.”

“Bethany did eat a lot of the cake tonight and I’m wondering if the chocolate has affected her. Come sit with me in front of the fire before it burns down for the night.”

Lying on the floor with her feet resting on Danny’s lap, Michelle continued to ponder the mystery call from Bethany. “Danny, it did sound like Bethany and Gabby put most of his cake in his hair.”

“Honey, that is why we have the monitor and it hasn’t failed us yet.”

Danny began to massage Michelle’s feet. “How long have you been wearing the 3 in. heels?”

“Oh, I didn’t take the time to change but my feet are tired and I’m ready for bed myself. Have you ever wondered why the fire glows the best right before you have to go to bed?”

“I haven’t a clue but it is essential to be in the right place at the right time to see the burning logs. Also having good dry maple wood.”

“Danny, I am going to get dressed for bed. Our growing toddlers will be up in less than five hours and we have a busy morning to still face with the Santos family coming for breakfast.”

From behind his back, Danny pulled out an oblong box with a big red bow tied to keep the valuable gift secure until it found its home in Michelle’s jewelry box. “Then, this is the best time to give you my Christmas present.”

“You have got to stop buying me expensive jewelry but I do love the thought of you caring for me to buy them for me.”

The red ribbon fell to the floor when Michelle saw the blue sapphires and green emerald in a heart shaped setting on a gold band bracelet. “Hubby, you never cease to amaze me but my present is one of a more practical sense. I hope that you won’t be disappointed. Do you remember that next semester, I am studying alternative medicine. The use of body massages is highly recommended and I signed you up for free body massages.”

Smiling at the news, Danny winked at Michelle. “Are you going to be my masseur?”

“Certainly, I’m not crazy to allow another woman to touch the gorgeous parts that only my eyes get to enjoy.”

“I might have to classify this Christmas as my best. Actually, I’m ready for bed also.”

Kissing her husband’s wet lips, “I have another present but I have to go get dressed for bed.”

“Michelle, I get your drift. We are moving the action from here to the bedroom.”

“Maybe but Santa’s elf has to take care of business.”

After brushing his teeth, Danny waited in bed underneath the white down comforter for the young woman that increased his heart beat whenever he saw her. Michelle reappeared wearing a new short red robe, which had been tied especially tight. Michelle smiled the sexy smile to Danny. “I’m embarrassed that I thought and even bought this present for you.”

“Oh Michelle, I think we are far from being embarrassed with one another.”

Promise me that you want ever tell anyone that straight Michelle Bauer did this for you.”

Patting the bed with his left hand. “Let me see what you are hiding under the robe.”

Michelle untied the robe and watched Danny’s dark eyes grow larger. “Yea baby, this stays in the family. Where did you buy the red bra and throng?”

“It was a special at Victoria’s Secrets in the downtown mall. I thought you might enjoy seeing what Santa’s reindeer are giving Santa for Christmas. Michelle crawled in the bed beside her nude husband with the red lace bra and tiny reindeer with small buckets on each nipple with the sign Food for Santa. Embroidered on her red throng was the simple message Santa’s toys.”

Smiling with total glee, “Mrs. Santos, you have been bad and a very naughty tonight.”

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 3

August 23, 2017

Republisher’s Note: This is a sequel to Mob’s Cardinal, but takes the form of dropping in scene and stories that fit within the original stories.

Author’s Note: The fun part of adding the more detailed story of the Santos Clan has to be giving time to the characters, which the TV writers didn’t adequately cover. I have taken creative liberties with the characters, which I hope have made them more fun to read. I love all the comments. This chapter is long but what is new! I worked on it before Christmas but I didn’t have the time to get it up before the big day. My son arrived and it became time to play. The next chapter deals with the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Santos home with the twins.

Fair Winds and Following Seas by Phyllis Chapter 3

Danny held the baby-drinking cup up to Gabby’s lips and watched his son struggling with the sips of milk. “Gabby, you can do this for your Mommy. Mommy will be proud of her big boy and you don’t want your sister to get all the glory. Bethany Joy hasn’t had a bottle in three days. This is much easier than sucking the rubber nipples.” The small hands reached up to grab the cup at his lips. Sitting on his father’s lap, Gabby’s legs were kicking in excitement of getting to taste the breast milk.

Danny smiled at his six-month-old son, “This is more fun than going over to the Childcare Center, isn’t it? You can stay home with me and we can play together with Bethany. Your Mommy is one busy lady and this helps with her schedule at the hospital.” Near his legs, Bethany Joy sat in the baby swing listening to her father’s voice. Clapping her hands when hearing her name, Bethany reached out her arms to her father. “Olga, can you hold Bethany Joy? She wants some attention until I finish with Gabby and his training cup.”

“Senor Danny, you are so patient with the babies. You are Mommy and Daddy to them.”

“Olga, you deserve an award yourself. Michelle and I are very appreciative for all that you do for all of us. We have come along way haven’t we since the last of January.”

Nodding her head and speaking more words of praise to her boss, “Senora Michelle misses out on a lot but when she is home; she spoils them more than we do in the daytime.”

Danny asked, “Is that why they have never slept through the night?”

“See, Michelle is determined to spend her time here with them when they are awake. They have adjusted to her schedule. Senor, their little faces light up when they see Michelle.”

“True, Olga.”

The noise from the porch was heard before Danny saw Meta Bauer. “Who’s there?”

“Just me, Danny I was in the neighborhood and had a few minutes. Hope I’m not interrupting you I haven’t been here as often as I would like with Abbey giving birth to Rick’s son. I’m busier than ever and loving every minute. How is Gabriel and Bethany today?” Reaching her arms to take Bethany from Olga, “They are constantly changing Michelle stopped by to see little Freddie yesterday and she said the babies have caught up with their growth charts.”

Smiling at the news, Danny raised both hands. “It is true and in the waiting room at the pediatricians office, Gabby and Bethany Joy are two of the most popular babies there. The way that they interact with each other has been noticed.”

“In other words Danny, they are Santoses genius already!”

“Meta, your niece has them learning the alphabet and counting their toes.”

Pausing for a moment and wiping a tear from her eye, “When I heard that Michelle was pregnant last summer, I want you to know that I cried and they were not tears of joy. Now I’m crying tears because her mother would have given anything to see these two bundles of joy. I never doubted what type of Mother Michelle would be because Maureen was the perfect example to copy. Now can I take Gabby and Bethany Joy out in their carriage for a ride in the backyard? They chatter in their own language at the trees, the bushes, the lake and the squirrels. The last time when I was here, Father Ray took Gabby and Bethany Joy to the birdfeeders where they watched the birds flying and landing at the feeders to eat.” Pointing her finger at each twin, “They do not miss a thing.”

“Oh Aunt Meta, you are sweet. I’ve noticed that they like being outside and the fresh air is good for them. I’ll get the stroller out of the closet.” Opening the closet door in the hallway, Danny pulled and unfolded the double stroller with one hand. “OK Gabby, you and your sister are going for a ride outside in the yard.” Next he placed Bethany in the space next to Gabby. “Aunt Meta, I’ll carry the stroller outside for you. This will give me time to catch up on some business from the office.”

“Michelle did mention that you had moved your office back home and took the twins out of the childcare center.”

Winking at Meta, “I did it to keep Gabby and Bethany out of the germ infected place.”

At the bottom of the steps, Danny watched Meta pushing the twins in the yard and stopping to pause at the rose bushes to smell the fragrance of the blooming buds. Running back up the steps, Danny immediately was on the phone to Carmen. “Hey Carmen, I got a call from Dr. Heidi Rasmussen, she got the last Pollack painting yesterday. This was easier than what I thought it would be. With Dr. Rasmussen keeping her maiden name, she hides her connection to La Familia……. Carmen, we have to be double sure that Dr. Rasmussen’s secret is kept between you and me. We need her for the remaining two years of Michelle’s medical school then she can go back to New York City.”

“Daniel, I told you that Heidi was worth the Pollack painting. The painting was one of Pollacks worst creations and must have been done when he was drunk as a bat. It was easy to pick up on the black market but it had what she wanted. It was signed and now she owns an original Pollack. Heidi got what she wanted and our family got what we needed; we have complete control of Michelle’s career here in Springfield.”

“Now how are my sweet babies doing this morning? Great, Meta is here and is giving them a buggy ride outside. I’m leaving for the downtown office. I have some business with a lawyer from Philadelphia. He has flown into town with some new contracts, which I have to sign. I’ll be back home in less than two hours. Let’s have a late lunch together at the house to celebrate. Michelle and I want eat dinner till late tonight and I’ve pushed my lunch back later in the day to compensate.”

Six hours later, Michelle raced up the porch steps entering the house that she called home. Sitting in their high chairs were the faces that she greeted first before planting a short kiss on Danny’s lips. “I know I’m late but I got caught up in a rather promising case at the hospital and the time passed quickly before I realized how late I was leaving.”

Raising his eyebrows to indicate his understanding, “I figured as much and we went ahead with our back up plan. Gabby and Bethany are almost finished dinner but they are ready for the final course and desert. Are you going to breast feed them on our bed or sofa?”

Michelle unstrapped Bethany first from the highchair while answering Danny. “Our bed is the site tonight. I’m going to feed them both using the u shaped nursing pillow. That way I can put up my feet and rest while spending time with my sweeties.” Bethany smiled when she heard the familiar voice of her Mom and started licking her tongue in the area next to Michelle’s bosom. Michelle lifted the edge of her short sleeve pink sweater and unsnapped the nursing bra where Bethany latched on to her nipple. Danny lowered Gabby down to the other side of the pillow and Gabby was soon receiving his favorite source of nourishment.

Danny knelled beside the edge of the bed and watched the three people that he loved the most. “Michelle, you amaze me more everyday. I should never have doubted that you might master the double feeding feat. This is one time when it is worth seeing to appreciate your talents. I’m going to pour a glass of Sangria for myself and a glass of caffeine free mint tea for you. Dinner is in the warming oven and after you have given the babies their baths and read to them, we can eat out on the porch.

Nodding her head in agreement, “I won’t be long honey.”

An hour and half latter, Michelle appeared in a two piece turquoise bathing suit with a large white scarf wrapped over her hips beside the swimming pool where Danny sat with his tanned legs dangling in the water.

“Did you give up on me?”

Patting the cement with his hand, “Sit with me here for a minute. No, but I wondered if you had started reading a new classic to Bethany and Gabby!”

Kneeling on her knees, Michelle reached out to hug Danny’s head next to her face. Swaying for a moment, “Only if you think The Three Little Bears is a classic. Gabby and Bethany Joy pat the pages and rub their fingers over the brown plush material and I admit to reading the story twice to them. Finally, I laid them down in the pirate bed and they fell asleep without a fuss.”

“Michelle, I want to remind you that the family vacation starts in two weeks and we will celebrate our first anniversary in Puerto Rico.”

“I can’t believe it is a year. I started my third year in medical school and have many responsibilities. I haven’t asked for the time off yet. I missed so much time last fall with the pregnancy that I don’t feel comfortable asking for a vacation. To tell you the truth, I haven’t even looked at my schedule past next week. At this moment, I am more interested in food; I missed lunch today.”

Leaning into Michelle’s face closer, Danny kissed two feather- like kisses on Michelle’s forehead. “Dinner is ready We have Olga’s Spaghetti sauce with noodles tonight, Caesar salad and homemade French bread.”

Lifting his legs out of the pool water, Danny stood up and pulled Michelle to her feet before pretending to loose his balance. The two fell in the pool with a big splash of water hitting the pool deck. Resurfacing to the edge of the pool, Danny encircled his arms around Michelle’s upper body. “I want us to be in San Juan in two weeks. All work and no play make a dull marriage. We deserve a break. We need time to be alone and have some fun. I want to give you nights of making love all night long. Gabby and Bethany have finally gotten to the stage where they can be easily cared for by others and we can go off by ourselves for a romantic rendezvous. We can take the jet and fly to Majorca for a long weekend. Stay in bed for as long as we want and make love without waiting to hear a crying noise in the background. What do you say?”

“Danny, it sounds wonderful and I promise to check my schedule soon.”

“Michelle, soon isn’t good enough, I want you to do it tomorrow.” Ending his words with a kiss where his tongue touched the wetness of Michelle’s tongue. “We can hurry and eat then spend the rest of the evening in the pool or in bed.”

Looking at the nursery monitor, “You are being pretty positive that Gabby and Bethany are going to sleep through the night.”

Danny lit the candles while Michelle gathered the food from the warming oven. Carrying the tray with two bowls of Spaghetti and the Caesar Salad, Michelle sat the tray on the wicker cart near the table. “It is so nice to hear the sound of quietness here at home. I never imagined being able to identify the sound.”

Clicking his glass of Sangria with Michelle’s tea glass, “To quietness May the Sleep Fairy sprinkle Gabby and Bethany Joy with a hefty dose tonight.”

Twirling her fork with the noodles, Michelle lifted her fork to Danny’s mouth. “Thank you for giving me the twins. My world certainly hasn’t been boring since I met you.” Looking out at the lake from her chair, “I haven’t tried to swim across the lake anytime recently.”

Throwing his head back slightly, “What made you think of that night?”

“Oh I don’t know, I think from the moment when I saw you waiting for my appearance outside the bedroom door; I knew to the depths that you would go to keep me in your world. I resented you very much then but I am beginning to understand your world. All of this abundance comes with a price. I haven’t forgotten your position in La Familia.”

“Why are we having this conversation, Michelle?”

“Tonight when I was bathing the babies, I noticed new clothes for Gabby and Bethany Joy. Do you realize that I have never shopped for my own children? Everything is done by Carmen and Abuell. This Saturday, I am going to Kids R Us and shop to my heart’s content.”

Taking Michelle’s hand in his hands, “My mother and grandmother saw what Gabby and Bethany required when you hardly had the time to check their dressers. Their clothes are washed frequently and they have out grown their 6 months size a long time ago. Michelle, do you even know what size they wear?”

“NO!”

“Baby, go shopping and spend whatever but I appreciate Carmen and Abuella taking care of the shopping for the twins; it relieves me or Mrs. Martinez from doing the task. Baby, what is really bothering you tonight?”

Choking on her words, “I almost missed feeding Gabby and Bethany tonight. I’m a horrible mother by putting my profession ahead of their care. I’m missing all the special moments with Gabby and Bethany and evidently I’m even failing on the marriage side of things.”

Wiping her tears with his napkin, “Michelle, you are far from failing. You are incredible but the human body can only accomplish so much in one day. Yes, you are going to miss special moments but there are many that you will see with your own eyes. Gabby and Bethany Joy are going to reserve the best for you.”

Danny and Michelle finished their dinner in the quietness of the summer evening. Clearing the table, Michelle carried the nursery monitor back inside to the kitchen where the music of Ricky Martin played. Danny rinsed the dishes while Michelle rechecked the nursery. Gabby slept on his back with his left hand extended out to Bethany’s right hand. Bethany had scooted close to Gabby and had fallen asleep with her knees drawn up under her body. Covering their bodies with the summer lightweight blanket, Michelle bent over and kissed both goodnight again. Feeling the presence of Danny standing behind her, “I think Bethany is trying to learn to crawl. Look how she has scooted to be near Gabby. I love to stand outside of the door before the Sandman or Sleep Fairy comes and hear then cooing and talking to each other. They make sounds that I have never heard. I don’t know if it is Spanish or a combination of Spanish and English.”

Resting his head on Michelle’s shoulder, “I bet it is a combination. They hear Spanish all day and when you get home the English classes begin. They are the combination of two nationalities and I expect them to be bi-lingual. Come on Mrs. Santos, the music of the Latino culture awaits us. Ready to dance?”

Giggling her answer, “Oh yes Mr. Santos.”

In the morning, Michelle checked her E-mail and quickly viewed what she determined important. The one from Dr. Rasmussen’s office caught her attention. Opening the e-mail, the note from her superior was short. Please stop by my office ASAP. Sighing at the thought of the pending interruption in her schedule for the day, Michelle walked the long hallway to the administration offices. Knocking on Dr. Rasmussen’s open door, Michelle entered after the doctor raised her head acknowledging her knock.

“Good morning Dr. Bauer-Santos. You must have got my message right after I posted it on the Internet. I’ve been wondering how we are going to resolve your leave of absences last year. You exceeded expectations with your class work but the hours of practice falls short. It has been brought to my attention that you volunteer at a church mission downtown and practice your medical skills. After the review of this good news, I am pleased to inform you that the Board of the Medical School has seen to credit those hours to your second year of medical school. You, Dr. Santos, are up to date and on schedule with the rest of your classmates. Matter of fact, the clinic has identified your medical talents as being exceptional in the field of Pediatrics. Have you given much thought of considering the field of pediatrics as a specialty?”

Smiling with the gift of the good news of her standing at the medical school, “Honestly the answer is no; I am interested in research and helping my father find a cure for AIDS. I will give your suggestion some consideration.”
Swallowing before asking the question, which she dreaded. “I know this is highly inappropriate, but I was wondering if I could request one week of vacation in July; I promise to continue working in the clinic to make up for the time away from the hospital.”

“Dr. Santos, I believe all the doctors get a month of leave during the year and you just have to submit the request for vacation. I suggest you check your schedule for July and then put in the request.”

“Thank you Dr. Rasmussen, I will do that and get my request signed today.”

“Good day, doctor.” Waiting for Michelle to leave her office, Dr. Heidi Rasmussen turned her chair around to admire her new painting on her wall. Pulling the cell phone from her white lab coat, she dialed Carmen Santos’s number. “The task is complete and I had the complete support of the entire Medical School. The Pollack painting is worth being in this backward city for two more years. The ground work has been laid for Michelle to continue her studies in Philadelphia; if she chooses to pursue additional studies. This is an easy assignment. My ex- husband sends his respect to the Santos matria.” And in the house on High Ridge Road, Carmen laid the headpiece of her telephone in the cradle. Silently saying to herself, “Give my regards to Miguel’s distant cousin.”

Michelle walked in the hospital cafeteria to grab a large cup of coffee. This was one item, which she still allowed herself to enjoy. Sipping the hot beverage, Michelle chose hot oatmeal with cinnamon toast for breakfast. The day was already looking better. Seeing her favorite table was empty, Michelle carried her small tray to the table. Her thoughts returned to last night and Danny’s suggestion of celebrating their first anniversary in Majorca. Last night, the trip seemed impossible but at this moment it was possible.

Rechecking her watch, Michelle called the lake house number.

“Santos residence.”

“Olga, can I speak to Danny?”

“Senora Michelle, Danny isn’t home. He is having breakfast at Carmen’s house this morning.”

“How are the twins?”

“They are with their father.”

“I guess they are having breakfast with Carmen and Maria also.”

“Oh Michelle, they always go on Wednesday to Carmen’s house.”

“Thanks Olga, I’ll call Danny on his cell phone.”

Dialing the speed dial number, Michelle sat in astonishment. Danny hadn’t shared this part of his schedule with her. She waited for the usual three rings before expecting to hear her husband’s voice.

“Santos.”

“Danny, I called home to give you some exciting news. I spoke with Dr. Rasmussen this morning and because of my volunteering at the clinic; I have received credit and am now an official third year medical student. This is the best news, it looks like we can have the first anniversary in Majorca if you are still interested. I haven’t checked my schedule but I think I can get at least a week off in July.”

“Baby, the news is the greatest! Do you want to say hello to Bethany Joy and Gabby? We are having breakfast with both Grannies.”

“Danny, I didn’t know that you did this with the twins.”

“We started doing this months ago. I used to have breakfast with Carmen and Abuella every Wednesday before I got married to a sexy doc.”

Holding the phone to their ears, Danny heard Michelle’s voice speaking to the babies. He watched the twins reaction to her voice. “Hey Michelle, I wish you could see their response. Carmen is recording Gabby and Bethany listening to the phone. You will love it.”

“Danny, I have to go, I wanted you to hear the good news. Bye sweetie.”

Closing the cell phone shut, “Michelle called to tell me about her good news. Heidi Rasmussen used your information with the clinic to our advantage.” Clicking their cups of coffee together, “Salute.”

Throwing her thick head of hair back against the dining room chair, “Daniel, I was very careful this time. The trail back to Dr. Rasmussen is impossible to trace. The doctor was once married to your father’s distant cousin. Being the professional woman that she is, Heidi Rasmussen never changed her name. There isn’t a name trail. I hit a homerun with this one Daniel, I think I did OK.”

Warning his mother again, “Be careful.”

Refocusing her attention to her two grandchildren, Carmen placed the spoon of baby cereal in Gabby’s mouth, “Sweet Gabby, you are just like your father when he was your age and Bethany, you look like Michelle but you are a Santos to the core. Danny, you are free to leave anytime. Maria and I are going to enjoy the rest of our day with Gabby and Bethany Joy. We have lots of family pictures to look at in the albums and Maria will tell the stories of the Santoses coming to settle in San Juan. Maria bought a new pirate book yesterday with lots of pull out pictures.”

Kissing Carmen on the cheek, “Mam, I trust you are telling only the colorful side of the Santos history.”

“My goodness, it is only the Santos heritage that your children are hearing. Get out of the house, I want to enjoy my grandchildren.”

“Dr. Bauer-Santos can I join you?”

Glancing up to the voice that she recognized, “Dr. Forest Richards I thought you had left Springfield.”

“I’m here to finish the last of my senior residence duties. Tying up unfinished business.”

“I can’t wait till the day comes and I can say those words.”

“Michelle, the time will go faster than you think!”

“My children will be two and a half when I graduate.”

“Michelle, are you still having doubts?”

“I have my moments. Last night wasn’t a good night and Danny was peeved.”

“Michelle, remember I told you that only other doctors that have been in the trenches understand what we give up to become a doctor. I take it that Mr. Bauer-Santos isn’t getting enough action in the bed.”

Michelle’s face turned crimson red. “You hit the hammer on the head of the nail. Truthfully, I give most of my attention to Gabby and Bethany when I am home. By the time I fall in bed, I’m asleep and they still wake up at least once during the night. In the morning, I don’t have the time to have sex before I leave home. Forest, what am I going to do without having you listen to my whoes?”

Pulling his new business card out of his jacket, “This is where I can be reached.”

“You are starting your practice in Seattle, Washington!”

“Yeah The Northwest is a good place to raise children. Oh, I almost forgot. Aussie Spencer sent a letter on my e-mail for you. This will brighten your day. The medical school is allowing me the professional courtesy of keeping my e-mail address here for one year. This is my password and user name; you can continue to communicate with Aussie without your husband ever discovering our secret. My goodbye present to you. I’ll see you before I leave but I know you have to get going for morning rounds.”

Quickly reading the letter from her friend Aussie, Michelle patted her male friend on the top of his hand. “Thank you, I wouldn’t have made it this far if you hadn’t covered for me so many times.”

Dear Michelle,
The pictures of Gabriel and Bethany Joy are so cute. They have grown since the last ones that you sent via the good old scanner. Bethany Joy is the spitting image of you and the olive skin tone shows the Santos blood runs in her veins. Gabriel sounds like a handful and very spoiled. A characteristic, which he inherited from your husband to say the least, because there is no way that a child with Bauer genes, would refuse to drink from a bottle. All Bauers love to eat.
Chelle, I like the medical school here in Australia and what Danny meant as a punishment has benefited me. It will look good on my resume. I do plan on returning to the USA in two years whether Mr. Santos likes it or not. He will surely be over his rage by then; don’t you think? He has the twins and you but we still have our friendship, which he can’t take away.
I talked with Caitlin last week. She says that you are still leading the class. The Bauer power still reigns. I’m tired most of the time myself and there is a hot senior resident here in surgery that keeps my heart pumping. We have had a couple dates but both of us are too busy to get serious. It still amazes me how you managed to find the time to meet Danny, get pregnant, have two weddings and give birth to my godchildren. By the way, when are you going to have the official baptism service? Have you told Danny that his arch enemy was granted this honor?
I miss seeing your happy smile and hearing your contagious giggle but I know others are enjoying your features. We have two more years of this terror from hell. I have to say that being in Medical School isn’t what I would encourage anyone in their right mind to pursue. We must have been crazy to commit to this torture!
Please hug and kiss my godchildren. I have their pictures in my locker at the hospital along side the picture of their mother and yours truly.
Friends Forever,
Aussie

Michelle kissed the letter and placed it inside of her white lab coat. Yes, we are friends forever.

Saturday morning came finally and Michelle was up preparing breakfast for Danny and herself. In one arm, she carried Gabby at her side. He was being extremely fussy and biting the cold teething ring. Michelle had rubbed his red and swollen gums with the topical medication. Gabby’s nose was running and the low grade temperature showed why he was being more demanding than usual. Gabby dropped the teething ring from his mouth and moved his head down to the area where he usually nursed. “Oh Gabby, you will have to wait. Your Daddy and I are hungry.”

From the baby monitor came the cooing noise of Bethany. Michelle lifted her eyes toward the ceiling. God, please give me patience. The knock at the door and the sight of her father and Aunt Meta gave Michelle the assurance of God sending angels to help her. “I’m so glad to see both of you. I can’t seem to calm Gabby down and Bethany is awake now.”

Aunt Meta saw the confusion on Michelle’s face, “Michelle, I’ll get Bethany Joy and Ed can check Gabby. By the way, where is Danny?”

Michelle pointed in the direction of the bedroom, I heard the water from the shower running a few minutes ago; he must be getting dressed.

Ed gently lifted his grandson from Michelle’s arms. “Gabby, will you allow your Grandpa to look in your mouth and see what all this fuss is about today?” Pulling a tongue blade from his coat pocket, he pried Gabby’s mouth open. “I see the problem; Gabby is cutting two bottom teeth. See and one has barely broken the skin surface.” Leaning the baby’s head down to Michelle level, “Can you see the tiny white tooth? Gabby, you win the prize because you beat your sister.”

“What’s going on here? What happened?” Danny stood in the room dressed only in his white boxer shorts.

“Danny, I panicked and called my father a few minutes ago. Gabby was acting strange and I wanted some reassurance. Aunt Meta and Dad came immediately.”

“Is Gabby OK?”

“Yes Danny, his first tooth finally broke the skin surface. Gabby is displaying the symptoms of having a good case of teething. After the first ones are in, you have a better sense of what is going to happen. The Tempra will relieve the low grade fever.”

Gabby reached his arms out for Danny. “Hey little guy! You are lucky to have a Grandfather that is a doctor. Thanks Ed for coming. Why don’t you stay for breakfast?”

“No Danny, Meta and I had breakfast earlier but a hot cup of coffee sounds nice. Meta was going shopping with Michelle this morning anyway. Ladies, is the shopping trip still on?”

Meta waited for Michelle’s reaction. “Aunt Meta, I’ve decided to cancel the trip to Kids R Us. I can go another day. I want to spend the time with Gabby and Bethany; Bethany can’t be far from experiencing the pain.”

An hour later, Meta and Ed were on their way back home. In the Santos house, Michelle had showered, dressed and was resting in her husband’s arms with Gabby and Bethany down in the crib for their morning nap.

“Do we dare think of the Majorca trip?”

Danny thought the consequences of the question over in his mind. “It isn’t fair to Bethany or Gabby. We can go another time or year but the time isn’t right. We can have fun in San Juan and slip away for day trips to have our own sexy rendezvous. Truthfully, I hadn’t considered the twins getting sick. The time is vacation for Carmen and Abuella and I do not want to rain on their parade. They both grew up on the island and they visit old friends. I want them to have the freedom to go and come as they please. Are you disappointed Michelle?”

“Never with you, Danny.”

The jet wheels burned the rubber of the tarmac as it landed in San Juan. At the gate, the tanned skin men waited for their boss and his family to arrive. Danny had increased the security detail with the growth of his family. Everyone knew the rules; the men were to be available and discreet. Low profile at all times especially when Michelle was out with the children. Inside the house, the maid and cook doubled as part of the security. Even in Puerto Rico, the South American wildcard gangsters werent above kidnapping. Danny wanted the word out on the street to be as truthfully as possible. His compound was guarded with the best men in the business. Jimmy still managed the security but his cousin had the responsibility for the Santos villa.

Jimmy emerged first from the plane. Raising his hand, the two black limousines pulled up to the bottom steps of the jet. Danny carried one twin down with a blanket over his head and Michelle came down the steps following the same procedure. The babies’ faces had been hid from the general public. The darkened windows hid their faces inside the car. Outside the gate, the head security car pulled ahead of the two cars and two other cars joined in the convoy behind the black limousines. Michelle had recently been told of Danny’s fear of the twins being kidnapped after the failed kidnapping of their famous music friend. This time Michelle had accepted the hardcore fact that her children were worth millions to those outside of the family.

With everyone settled in the villa, Gabby and Bethany Joy crawled on the marble and tile floors to search out their new surroundings. The fascination of steps occupied their time with Maria and Carmen chasing down the two speedy crawlers. One would move to a different area in the villa and the other twin followed. Any object coming within their grasp was examined and immediately went in the direction of the mouth. Their new favorite toy became their great grandmothers knitting bag where the unraveling balls of different colored yarns magically moved away from their small hands. Their double activity was a challenge to the caretakers and the placement of the twins in the playpen brought out the tears and sad faces. New toys were summoned to take on the challenge of providing a diversion to the limited space in the playpen until their babbles called for Mommy or Daddy.

Outside on the terraced garden, the swimming pool became the playground for Danny and Michelle. They swam in the pool and lounged on the plastic white recliners. Two days passed and Danny’s body was taking on the appearance of a rested man. On day three, Danny watched Michelle swimming in the pool and the twins sleeping under the blue awning. Danny walked over to the portable crib where the two babies dressed in only a diaper slept with their thumbs in their mouths. Michelle’s hand inched up Danny’s back.

“Would you think that I was crazy if I told you that I want to have another baby soon?”

Reaching for her hand on his back, “Crazy isn’t the exact choice of words that I would choose. It isn’t going to happen this year but maybe next year.”

Pressing her body closer to Danny’s chest, “I loved all the attention that I got from you when I was pregnant.”

“Baby, you are lying through your teeth. You were sick! You are not going to have another baby this year. We have two reasons in front of us.”

Tracing her finger down his chest to his belly button, “When next year?”

“Michelle, I don’t know when next year.” Lifting her up in his arms, “But we can practice the act over and over until we make another perfect baby. Speaking of perfection, Ray asked if we wanted to have the twins official baptized here at the church where we were married.”

Breaking suddenly away from Danny. “No never, I considered the baptism at the hospital to be official. If Father Ray wants to do another baptism, it will be done in Springfield where my family and friends can attend.”

Scooping up Michelle in his arms, “I love your feisty attitude. Choose the date and I will tell Ray.”

Out of the blue, the date of December 24 was flashed in her mind. “The date may be problematic but Christmas Eve at the children’s 5pm service at Father Ray’s church is my choice.”

Snuggling in the space between Michelle’s neck and shoulder, “The date is December 24 and I don’t want to hear later on how I pushed this upon you.”

“Have you any ideas of who you would like to ask to be the Godparents?” Danny placed Bill and Pilar’s names on the possible list.

With her sexiest voice, Michelle whispered the name of Aussie Spencer in Danny’s ear. “Wrong name and choice Michelle, you are going to have to come up with another friend!”

“If you have to know in my heart, Aussie Spencer is the twins’s Godmother and I’m not changing my mind.”

Smacking Michelle’s butt for added attention, “We have 5 months to agree to disagree. Aussie will never be welcomed by me to a family event.”

“I didn’t say that you had to welcome her but you can learn to be civil and lay down the hatchet for a evening.”

“After a year Michelle, you still don’t get it. The possibility of me loosing you was there and Aussie Spencer was attempting to get you far from me.”

The five months went fast and each month, Michelle hassled Danny with the Godmother decision. By early fall, Michelle detected a slight softening with Danny’s latest rendition of his refusal to her request. At Thanksgiving, Michelle dropped the news that Aussie was visiting Caitlin at Christmas and the church was a perfect neutral place for Danny and Aussie to meet. The maximum amount of time that the two would encounter each other was two hours. A week later, Michelle heard the words of compliance from Danny. Aussie Spencer was being accepted as the Godmother only because none of the Santos money was paying for her travel to Springfield.

Christmas Eve morning started with the usual activity with the added new tradition of decorating a fresh cut tree from the tree farm. Danny’s day had started with getting the large tree in the stand. Ray had chosen to check in on his cousin with a live appearance and fresh baked cinnamon buns from Sister Rock’s warm oven. “Where are my favorite Godchildren?”

At one end of the dining room table, Danny sat attempting to unwind the strands of lights and checking the bulbs. Michelle moved the boxes of new Christmas decorations from the sofa to an empty space on the kitchen counter after Bethany Joy had spotted the enchanting new toys.

When Gabby heard Father Ray’s voice, he pulled his body up from the knelling position to the standing position at the sofa. Holding onto the edge of the sofa, Gabby walked to the spot occupied by his sister. He stood and stared at Bethany. His movement temporary stalled until he dropped to his knees and crawled to the other side of Bethany. Full speed ahead, Gabby got to the dark pants leg. Ray reached down to lift the littlest male Santos in the air. “Hey buddy, you want an airplane ride? Michelle, did you see how Gabby got around Bethany? He went back to his old form of transportation. Cousin, it looks like I made it here in time to be of some use this morning. Are you two up to having a family dinner here tonight?”

Pouring another mug of coffee for Ray, “How did you know that you were our back up plan? The dinner has been taken care of since it is being catered as a family gift from my Dad. Sweet Olga has the day off. The monstrosity of a tree has to be decorated. Gabby and Bethany Joy resent the playpen with a passion. Aunt Meta is tied up with preparing food for the Bauer Christmas dinner tomorrow night. Abby has last minute shopping and my old friend Bill Lewis is unavailable. That takes care of my family. Carmen and Abuella are wrapping gifts. Yes, we need a spare set of hands to either watch the troops or decorate the tree.”

Ray kissed Michelles cheek and took a sip of coffee. Next Ray bent down and picked up Bethany in his empty arm. “This is what Christmas is all about- Family. I think Christmas Eve is my favorite time of year. Spending time with those that you love. Having strangers meet your eyes on a busy street and wish other strangers Merry Christmas Last minute decorating and singing familiar carols. The tree isn’t as challenging as these two will be. I’ll baby-sit and you two can decorate. Gabby and Bethany can go with me to refill the birdfeeders.”

Danny jumped up from his seat. “The tangled lights can wait. The blanket is the laundry room that I’ve been using to keep them warm.”

Walking from the closet, Michelle held one pink snowsuit in one hand and a dark blue suit in the other hand. “Father Ray is taking you outside to see the birds in the wheel barrel.” Sitting on the sofa, Michelle lifted one of Bethany’s legs and then the other in the snowsuit. Next the mittens tied on with yarn finally covered the two hands and the hands went into the armholes with the zipping completing the task. Kissing Bethany on both cheeks, “You are cute as you can be and you look like a fat Eskimo.”

Michelle carefully placed the white fleece hat on Bethany’s hair, “I know you hate the hat but it will keep your ears warm outside.”

Across the room on the kitchen counter, Danny repeated the same steps with Gabby.

Michelle handed the bundled Bethany to Ray, “Please watch this one. She has managed recently to remove her hat by pulling her mittens off with her teeth.”

With Bethany in Father Ray’s arms, Danny followed his cousin down the steps with Gabby. Inside the shed, Ray set the blanket over the cold plastic surface. In one corner, he placed Bethany Joy and Gabby in the other corner. Danny pulled the jar of white face cream from his coat pocket and applied the cream in generous amounts on the cheeks of his children’s faces. “OK, you are set to be outside with Ray. The peanuts are for the squirrels and the sunflowers for the red cardinals.”

“Hey cuz, where did all the large bags of birdseed come from?”

“Santa made an early delivery this morning and dropped these out of his sleigh for you. A priest is very hard to buy a Christmas present for these days and your dresser has to be full of those ugly sweaters that you wear at the parish house. It was Michelle’s idea.”

“Speaking of Michelle and today, how are you with Aussie Spencer being at the church this afternoon?”

Breathing hard before answering, “Today is Christmas Eve and I’m in the Christmas spirit. I’ll stay clear of Aussie for Michelle’s sake. Aussie will be in your territory today.”

Listening to Danny, “I may be pushing the envelope but are you inviting Aussie here for the reception following the baptism?”

“Ray, I don’t have that much spirit. You are babysitting and the troops can get restless and bored quickly. Danny, you and I have got to discuss Aussie and the reception.”

Danny held the shed door open for Ray and the wheel barrel. “Ray, the subject of Aussie is between Michelle and me. I gave Michelle what she wanted. Two hours of Aussie at the christening service.”

Jeva Custody Case 1996 Feb 12 16 1996

August 7, 2017

I started going through and breaking Bandstand Mike’s episodes into dates. This run started on December 20, 1995. Our last post in the series ended February 9 1996.

Monday, February 12, 1996

I think Amanda is right about Ross being furious and on her side if he would find her or find out about it, but why would he think to look for her? He thinks she left his office to go home. Rick confesses to Annie he doesn’t think she and Josh will make it and that he still loves her. Alan tells Reva give up the custody fight, make a deal, or he’s out of their relationship.

Reva tells Alan that she needs him in her life. Amanda makes a foolish decision and doesn’t ask the guard for help. That’s kind of awesome that Amanda figured how to get out.

Ross: “I waited a lifetime to find you.”

Blake: “And when you did you couldn’t get enough.”

Dinah and Amanda find each other at a bar and commiserate. Hart heads to the bus station.

 

Reva tells Alan she’s choosing her kids, she isn’t pursuing the kids just to keep a link with Josh. He still doesn’t believe her. He gives Reva the house. She says she won’t stay there, but she and Josh later live there. Ross discovers Blake left her birth control in the bathroom despite Ross specifically asking her to use it to take the stress off.

Ross is concerned about Blake. Dinah and Amanda are quickly becoming drinking buddies. Dinah: “If you can unseat the henna head more power to you!” (Henna is used for various things including red hair dye.) Ross believes Josh is devoted to Annie. He’s normally not this stupid.

Nice for Reva to have reached out to Dylan even if it’s off camera. Hawk really looked cold in that coat. Great acting job. Hawk tells Reva that he was staying with a friend and got kicked out when he burned down the coach. Hawk also confesses he blew through all of Miss Sarah’s money on gambling. Josh is supporting Miss Sarah now. Look at Reva and that handkerchief. She genuinely cared for Alan. It makes no sense considering how she treats him later. Good for Amanda not letting Dinah drive drunk.

“All the damage fear has done.” That’s a perfect song for Bloss right now. The quilt on their bed is Flying Geese pattern.

Tuesday, February 13, 1996

It’s a new day in Springfield. Buzz shows up to visit Reva and is ecstatic Reva and Alan have broken up.

Annie and Josh are concerned about the hearing today. That’s too bad that Dinah responded with snark. I think Blake is trying to be nice for once. Matt finally gets to work and finds a truly unconscious Amanda.

Marah is upset that Reva is doing something that has upset Annie and Josh. Hawk (about Jeva not reconciling immediately): “That doesn’t mean it’s open season for every Tom, Dick, or burger flipper.” Buzz and Hawk clash over Reva. Good for Reva to stand up as an independent woman. Reva: “I’m not a little girl anymore and I’m not Snow White waiting for some prince to come save me.” Buzz is indulging in some wishful thinking here.

Hawk turns up to see Marah. He brings her a Barbie like doll with a cowgirl outfit. I agree with Hawk someone should explain things to Marah even if it really isn’t his place. Amanda is rushed to Cedars. It’s a rough day for Alan with two children in the hospital. I’d say 3 months is a couple of months. That was pretty picky. Rick is called to the witness stand. Althea brings up Annie’s alcoholism.

Ross cross examines Rick. Ed is called to the stand. He claims privileged information and refuses to answer even when threatened with a contempt of court charge. I think the counseling stuff should be covered, but having to physically take a bottle out of her hands is direct experience and I do think he should be required to tell about that. Hawk explains Reva’s side to Marah. I’m kind of sorry Dinah outed Amanda. Blake kind of deserves it. Dinah’s right it’s a bit harsh to defend Blake to Amanda when Amanda was in the hospital.

Matt warns Blake and is shocked to hear Amanda was at least telling part of the truth. Ross walks by and over hears.

Wednesday, February 14, 1996

Alex finally shows up at Cedars to see A-M to find Nick and Susan already there this morning. I know it’s not nice what they are saying about Blake who I like, but I’m enjoying Dinah and Amanda as friends. They both need some female and friendly support.

About Blake Dinah: “She’s toast.”

Amanda: “Burnt toast.”

Dinah: “Soon to be turned into crumbs.”

Amanda: “And swept away. Bye-bye Blake.”

Alan shows up very concerned about Amanda. Why do you think Amanda could easily get out, Blake? I mean she Macguyvered her way out, but it wasn’t obvious.

Reva genuinely doesn’t know what Annie is talking about. I don’t blame Ross for being appalled. That is some mustache on the cop. Roger is still playing the distressed husband role. Luckily Dinah isn’t having it.

Nick and Susan are trying to keep prying eyes away from Lucy and Alan-Michael making out. We get a reference to Valentine’s Day. They were originally supposed to get married on that day. Which considering that was VERY close to A-M and Harley’s anniversary, it’s a little tasteless. Great job building up tension about the witness.

I don’t know why Reva objected to her lawyer. I think this is perfectly fair testimony especially because she had done absolutely nothing to help this woman even since marrying big money. Alex informs Nick and Susan who were talking about an impromptu wedding that she plans Alex: “the wedding of MY dreams.” Alan comes in informing the family that he has moved back into the mansion and that Amanda is down in Emergency. Roger continues to try and save his relationship with Dinah. It was Roger’s place originally, I don’t know why Dinah thinks he should leave.

Blake is put in the cell next to Brent Lawrence who is still insisting he’s Marian Crane. Roger is still focusing on how he NEEDS Dinah in his life. Sadly it’s because he’s embezzling her money and doesn’t want it to come out. Roger has a rare gift he can make you like him and hate him within the space of a handful of episodes and then do it all over again. Amanda to Matt about how she couldn’t break out of the construction shack: “Forgive me for never having watched This Old Shack.” That’s a reference to a popular PBS home remodel show This Old House. Annie testifies about her alcoholism and does a great job. (Honestly the only time I ever liked Annie on the show was when she was fighting with Ghost Reva otherwise it always seemed like even when she was happy there was a level of frenzied crazy eye right below the surface, but she did NOT deserve the campaign against her by Jeva which has already began even though Josh doesn’t realize it yet.)

Matt gets Amanda to drop the charges against Blake and is still on her case. Alexandra overhears his threat, but doesn’t know what Matt has on Amanda. Frank is frustrated about getting through to Brent and calls A-M. Dinah tells Roger that she isn’t having any that setting up Marcus and constantly seeing the look of pity in Holly’s eyes is too much she isn’t going back. Again it was Roger’s place Dinah moved in why should he leave?

Hart shows up on Dinah’s door. Blake is released and A-M shows up at the jail to talk to Brent. The judge rules that the kids stay with Josh, but Annie has to move out. I’m pretty positive, but not 100% that this is the tag for Wednesday, but the way it’s put together both the clips and the structure this could possibly be the before the credits of the next day.

 

Thursday, February 15, 1996

Dinah makes a crack about Hart not being the Prize Patrol – she is referencing American Publishing House which sent out a prize patrol with balloons and a giant fake check announcing you won so many million dollars in their drawing which you entered by buying magazine subscriptions. Frank Cooper decides he might be able to crack Brent by bringing in Alan-Michael and Lucy. Amanda is still sick (coughing) when no one is around, but not too bad. Blake shows up at her room to tear into Amanda. I think that Blake is wrong. Sure Amanda could have gotten out, but she easily might not have been able to. It was pretty clever of Amanda to come up with taking the door off the hinges and while she did hide from the guard, a cold night, a slack guard, and he might not have checked. It was a dangerous stunt if she didn’t follow up. Everyone is upset when Annie is ordered out of the house, but I kind of love this judge and I think he’s right. Judge: “It seems to me that Mr. Lewis has been moving JUST A BIT quickly, starting with his petition to this court two years early to have Reva Shayne Lewis declared legally dead….your client brought a new woman into the lives of his children. He encouraged them to call her Mommy. It would almost seem to this court that he wants Reva Shayne Lewis to stay dead to his children.” I think this judge is amazingly right on. Why didn’t Manny get HIM in divorce court so he could tell them to sit down and take a breath when they were rushing to get divorced? Buzz moves in to comfort and make a move on Reva. If the construction shack was so weak what was the point of it existing? It was supposed to be protecting those tools and it’s a semi-permanent set, it wasn’t exactly made of paper. Josh: “This shouldn’t be happening. It’s not fair. We both know who’s responsible.” Actually you’re exactly right, Josh. This shouldn’t be happening and YOU and Reva are responsible. Stand up and let Annie go now cleanly and she might still have a chance. What a great Ross and Ed best friend scene near the end. I just love it when they play that.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Once In A Lifetime by France Chapter 6

April 12, 2017

Author’s Note: Thanks for the feedback everyone. Enjoy!

Once In A Lifetime by France Chapter 6

“Michelle sweetie, Pilar is here,” Ed Bauer called from downstairs. The family had just returned from New York where Michelle taped several interviews with the morning talk shows, when Pilar called to ask if Michelle could sleep over at her house. Ed knew that his daughter needed to unwind and get away from all the hoopla of becoming the youngest US Figure Skating Ladies Champion and a sleep-over with her best friend was the perfect way to do that.

Michelle came running down the stairs and into her best friend arms for a congratulatory hug. Ed stood back listening to the two girls talk excitedly about their sleep-over after a quick mention of Michelle’s win. He couldn’t help but smile, at the conversation. He always knew Michelle was a very down to earth kid, but the kind of media attention Michelle had gotten since her win would make even the most level headed kids big headed, and he was worried the attention would go to Michelle’s head. Thankfully so far it hadn’t, skating was something she loved and the last thing Ed wanted was for her to feel any pressure to live up to hype.

“Hey dad, we’re gonna head over to Pilar’s now, okay?”

“Okay sweetie have fun.”

Michelle kissed her father on his cheek and the girls left for their sleep-over.

The two girls sat in Pilar’s room giggling as Pilar filled Michelle in on everything that went on in school while she was gone. In the middle of their very animated conversation someone knocked on the door.

“Go away, whoever you are, ” Pilar yelled!

“Shut up brat, ” Danny said walking into the room “I just came up here to umm borrow your calculator,” he said scanning the room. “Oh hey Michelle, I didn’t know you were here.”

Pilar rolled her eyes at her brother “Sure you didn’t, you only asked me fifty times what time Michelle would be here,” she reminded him.

Michelle flashed a shy smile at Danny.

“Okay, I just came up to say congratulations,” he conceded.

“And you couldn’t wait till dinner to tell her that? We are having dinner downstairs with everyone else you know.”

“Give me a break here will ya?” a frustrated Danny begged his sister.

“Whatever, I’m going downstairs to get a snack, be gone by the time I get back got it? Hey Michelle you can eat real snacks now right?”

“Huh? yeah a snack would be good,” Michelle answered distracted.

Pilar rolled her eyes at the two of them and headed down to the kitchen for snacks.

They both stood silently, neither knowing what to say, this was the first time they saw each other since admitting they “liked each other” and to say the situation was awkward would be an understatement.

“So, congratulations,” Danny finally said breaking the silence.

“Thanks.”

“Did you bring the medal?”

“No, it’s at home but I did bring some pictures,” she said as she dug into her backpack for the snap shots.
They sat on the floor looking at the pictures “These are great, you look, you look great in these pictures.”

“Thanks.”

“Not that you don’t always look great,” he added

“Thanks..again,” she smiled nervously.

“…..So, you really are back,” Danny said after another long awkward silence.

“I’m really back.”

“Finally,” he said

“Finally.”

Michelle laughed, “This was a lot easier on the phone wasn’t it?”

“Tell me about it,” he laughed.

Talking over each other: “Michelle.” “Danny.”

“You go first,” he said.

“This is so weird, umm how are you?”

He laughed, “Happy you are back.”

“So am I.”

“I think we have established we are both glad you are back,” he smiled.

“I’m sorry. It’s just I’ve never done..this before,” she explained

“Don’t be, it’s pretty new to both of us.”

“Really? Didn’t you do this with Halle already?”

“Halle was just a girl I dated, while I waited for this cute curly haired blonde to grow up and finally notice me.”

“Yeah right, like you even noticed me when Halle was around throwing herself at you,” she half kidded.

“Seriously Michelle, you are not like Halle. You are different from the other girls I know, and that’s not just a line. Michelle, you are special, do you even know how special you are?” he asked gazing at her intently.

They both sat there staring at each other, Danny slowly leaned in and placed a soft kiss on Michelle’s unexpecting lips. It all happened so quickly, Michelle didn’t even realize what happened till it was over.

“I’m umm…” Danny began, before Pilar interrupted.

“I’ve got ice cream, chips, Pepsi and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven,” she said placing the food on her desk.

“I’m sorry,” Danny whispered to Michelle.

“It’s okay,” she whispered back.

“I’m gonna go shot some hoops with Mick in the backyard, have fun at your slumber party.” Danny said as he grabbed a cookie from Pilar’s tray.

Michelle watched as Danny walked out of the room, once he was out of sight, she touched her lips with her index finger. “My first kiss” she whispered to herself smiling.

“Why do you have that silly grin on your face?” Pilar asked

“Huh?..ummm ice cream, I haven’t had ice cream in month?s” she covered.

“What are you waiting for then, dig in.”

Brent Lawrence Bomb in the Lighthouse Part 4

January 3, 2017

Picking up from the last post Brent Lawrence still has Lucy. That’s the major storyline to me in this next section, but it’s interrupted for some more early Dart and kicking up the biggest story ever for the Grant family up a notch. Matt is still threatening Amanda about coming clean about the her escort service. Nola is still having problems with J and Bridget is trying to decide if she should go after Hart or not. Also, sort of tying in with the rescue attempts, but not really, Alan warns Annie that he thinks Jeva are starting to get back together and Buzz is making a move on Reva. Comment blocks below include clip description, quotes, and my comments.

Monday, February 5, 1996

Hart had come to town wanting revenge on Roger for what he did to his grandfather (impregnated and then abandoned his daughter, stole his land, and triggered his death) and how Roger had believed Jenna (Roger’s then wife) over Hart when Jenna accused Hart of aggressively hitting on her. (Jenna had lied to cover her own betrayal of Roger.) Hart rubs Roger’s nose in the fact he had sex with Dinah. Marcus talks sense to Dinah, but she doesn’t want to hear it – so what else is new? Reva tells Frank and Frank calls in the cops to come to the dock. We have an amazingly good section where Alan and Buzz have a great back and forth with Brent. Over the years they have Alan and Buzz be enemies and have them work together. It’s always a lot cooler when they set them up to work together. They are different, but both can pull out the gravitas when needed. They throw in some Jeva-Annie business just to do a check-in on that storyline although it feels off where they stick it in. Of course Reva’s lawyer would try to find stuff against Annie and Josh. What do they think? Lucy and Alan-Michael “marry” each other while waiting for the bomb to go off at about 20 minutes into this clip. I was wondering at the time why they didn’t worry about Brent having a camera recording them. Lucy should have followed Brent into the room and not given him a chance to watch it.

Tuesday, February 6, 1996

It was nice look at Ross’ law office, but I don’t know why he’d take off and leave it unlocked. It’s nice of Alan to talk Buzz down about Frank. Nick McHenry shows up and wants to know what’s going on. Reva had hidden in the back of Brent’s truck and is now sneaking into the lighthouse. Hart brings Dinah to Ross’ office to start the ball rolling on her divorce, but doesn’t want to stick around. I don’t understand though what his issue was. Even if he was completely lying (which I only think he thinks he is right now) why not just say he wants kept out for legal reasons and has to go back to work. Why make the big point about leaving to go to lunch? I kind of feel bad though, for once in his life Frank cracks a crime through brain power & 30 seconds later Reva comes in and steals his glory. I’m with Ross I saw how Roger talked Dinah into signing him her power of attorney and I still can’t believe she was that stupid. It’s also not good to co-mingle all funds even within a good marriage. That exact accounting of Dinah’s funds (which Roger has been embezzling left and right) is why Roger has been making these desperate plays to keep Dinah. I think he did like her, but he liked her money and sticking it to Ross even more. Roger is in love with Holly and despite all the garbage between them (they are both in need of serious pscyh help) I do believe she loves him too. Going for the bomb was truly a brilliant move on Alan-Michael’s part. He is at his smartest in the year or so right before this.

Wednesday, February 7, 1996

Really these are very well done recap half scenes.

Roger: “You know what it’s like to love somebody so much that you’d be willing to do anything to keep them.”

Ross: “Yes, but I don’t think you do.”

Ross is completely wrong here. Roger was willing to deliberately injure himself in a car crash to get another chance with Holly. He just doesn’t feel that way about Dinah. Plus, Ross should see that Roger is legitamately desparate, just over the consequences not losing Dinah per say.  I don’t get Hart being ready to take off either. I don’t think he was ever mature enough to be a good father, but I do think he cared about the kid, at least enough to say goodbye in person. Plus, this is where he gets to stick to Roger. If he takes off Roger might get Dinah back which Hart has spent all this time to set up to keep from happening. Cassie Lawrence shows up and tries to talk Brent down. Ross talks sense to Dinah while Roger waits outside. Maybe he’s trying to get Ross to bust them up hoping he can then reconcile. Bridget reads Hart the riot act. She has started to get emotionally involved again. And if you were starting to think maybe Roger genuinely caring for Dinah note that it was the minute Ross tried to get her to sign the nullification of the Power of Attorney was when he burst in and sadly she leaves without signing. Ross and Roger have a long complicated history an confrontation between them is great. David was in love with Bridget and he was my second choice for her right behind Dylan. They were great friends for a long time – as Bridget and Dylan were – and I think they could have had an incredibly solid marriage, but it never occurred to Bridget to see David that way. The back and forth between Brent, Lucy, and Alan-Michael during the confrontation is great, but it takes like 2 minutes tops to run up the stairs at the lighthouse. Just what is taking Frank and Nick so long? They should have showed them starting later if they didn’t want them up there by now. I’m glad A-M showed he truly was the better person by holding on to Brent, but I can’t blame Lucy for wanting him to let go. This was a good fake out with Bridget and Hart, but it would have been better if they’d cut it in before Dinah arrived. I’ve never heard Miranda read like that, but I think if you have to say “Do you understand?” you need some sort of recognition before you can continue. Full long credits at the end of this one.

Thursday, February 8, 1996

Dinah and Hart talk and you figure out maybe Hart’s decision wasn’t as clear cut as everyone else thought to this point. Blake comes in and hears Ross tell that Hart slept with Dinah to get get even. Blake is on Hart’s side, but Roger tells Blake he still loves her no matter how she feels around him. Roger: “[Amanda] is after your husband and everyone in the whole town knows it…so far this one may have lusted after Amanda only in his heart, but give him time.” [In a very famous interview of former President Jimmy Carter when asked about if he’d ever committed adultery he admitted to having lusted in his heart.]

Alan-Michael: “I’m fine.”

Alan: “I’ll believe that when Ed Bauer tells me. I almost lost you once I’m not taking another chance.”

Dinah is hurt by Hart’s attitude. Ed checks out Lucy and Alan-Michael. They are good, but he wants them both in the hospital overnight for observation. Lucy apologizes for losing the $10 million dollars by hitting Brent with the suitcase.

A-M: “Father….that money in the satchel it wasn’t yours, was it?”

Lucy: “Yea, I’m very sorry for loosing it. I just had to hit him with something.”

Alan: “You were magnificent, Lucy. I couldn’t have put it to better use myself.

Lucy: “Yea, but it was a lot of money.”

A-M: “It WAS yours.”

Alan: “It’s only money, son. The most important thing is that you are safe.”

And he really means it. That right there is while you love Alan despite all the awful crap he pulls. I never really liked Nick except when he was happy with Mindy, but when he truly acts like a cousin to A-M which is rare enough I love him. Brent has terrible mental issues. I don’t think he’s faking, but I don’t remember. Why didn’t they call Amanda? She’s his sister and helped during the crisis. Matt to Vanessa about Dinah: “She doesn’t know you as well as she thinks she does.” Sadly that’s because while she does her best to take care of Dinah, Vanessa never ever opens up to Dinah. They needed that conversation for Vanessa to confess how she was as a young woman and how desperate she is for Dinah not to repeat her mistakes. Another nice Alan-Buzz moment. Buzz to Reva: “You have a choice.” You have a choice? Yea, Reva could choose to be independent and walk away from Alan without having to run to another man for once.

Friday, February 9, 1996

I don’t know why Reva believed Josh’s story and allowed it to color her attitude so completely. Even if Alan did things as worse than Josh said, he just went through that ordeal with his kid. If she had even mild affection for him, she should have felt glad for him.

Blake: “Very smooth.”

Amanda: “I use moisturizer. Everyone should.”

Blake and Amanda who are more alike than either will admit (which is too bad Amanda grew up a lot during her first run on the show she was in a really great place last time we saw her before this recast). Blake locks Amanda in the construction shack which should have a phone so she can call to get out. I hope she can. Blake could have been having supper with Ross instead. It would have better served her cause. Rick is subpoenaed by Reva’s lawyer. Reva’s lawyer, Althea Templeton, warns her that Ross will come after her fitness as a mother. Reva: “I’m their mother. I gave them life and for the last 5 years I’ve lived like a damn saint.”

Marah hears the yelling for some reason assumes it’s about her. Marah is acting odd and Annie and Josh realize it. Reva tries to talk Alan to get it. Reva: “Bud can’t give without taking something back. He’s a Lewis and I’m a Shayne.” Reva describes the terrible thing that is always an issue between them. I think she’s quite right about this Josh doesn’t see it. This reminds me so much of the scene where she was moving out of H.B.’s house to move in with Josh and he made her throw out her clothes because HIS wife wouldn’t wear those things that I think is a defining moment in their relationship even more than the fountain scene.

Reva: “I just can’t be beholden to him anymore and that’s the bottom line. Maybe he just can’t see it. Maybe being born golden blinds you to certain things and being born poor lets you see too much. Bud always knew his place in the world and I spent a lifetime looking for mine and I thought that maybe once I had him I’d have everything I needed in life. I’d finally feel strong and safe and secure and that I could do no wrong. He knew I’d be and do whatever he wanted to get him and he was right. Even when we were kids he’d dangle carrots in front of my face. He’d say you be it Reva or we can’t play or put a prettier dress on or I won’t sit  in church with you. I gave Josh my mind, my body, and my soul and I will NOT give him my children so he can make them feel the way I felt my entire life.”

Alan: “Reva, you can find a middle ground.”

Reva: “No, Alan, with Bud it’s all or nothing and that’s the way it’s going to have to be with me. I’m sorry, but I’m moving out.”

Rick and Ed discuss their supeonas. Rick thinks Ed will be able to claim privileged information and Ed says recent court rulings says that AAA people can be forced to testify about things said in meetings which I think is terrible. I’m going to have to look it up and see if that’s still true. That Ed understands this I totally get, but what does he mean IF? Ed did this same exact thing to protect Michelle from Claire. Rick is exactly right about this. I know Ed thinks Rick is seeing what he wants too, but he’s completely correct. Josh and Reva are getting back together and Annie is just a roadblock. And it’s the not telling Annie that will completely break her.

Annie’s hair is completely gorgeous here. Annie is such a competent nurse. I hate they took that away from her. The old guy’s name isn’t Scottie Hamilton. Scott Hamilton was a very famous Olympic ice skater. I just love it. Amanda is still trapped. Amanda: “Help! Is anyone out that? Help me I’ve been locked inside by a neurotic bimbo!” Now that’s funny. Amanda has an AMAZING fantasy sequence based on Dudley DoRight. Mountie Marler: “What do you expect from the daughter of Snidley Whiplash?” — Amanda: “Now show me while they call you mounties.” Eyebrow arch. LOL

I’m glad that Rick didn’t get his wish about reuniting with Annie, but that is a lovely old married couple squabble. That is a gorgeous wild rose quilt in Marah’s room. That’s terrible lighting in the Alan/Reva scene look at that awful  shadow on Reva’s sweater and then on her face. After Reva poured her heart out about the pain Josh caused how can Alan not get this?

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Just a Happy Christmas by Mommar669

December 24, 2016

REPUBLISHER’S NOTE: This is another really short fanfic and not really one of my favorites, but it’s one about Christmas that I hadn’t republished before. It’s more like an idea from a fanfic than a fully developed one. This is the version after I’ve edited it for clarity. No seriously this is AFTER I edited it, but after awhile I just gave up on a couple of things. Also, I’m really not sure at all when this is supposed to be set. Clearly Robbie has been born previously, but that’s the only really clue. Also, apparently Michelle and Ed have suffered terminal cases of the dumbs. I mean how could Michelle keep Carmen from Danny’s son????? ???? ???? I mean what the what now????? And the winter is even stranger than during the miracle blizzard Christmas year. Oh well, Enjoy!

michelle-and-carmen-maybe-dream

Just a Happy Christmas by Mommar669

 Danny and Michelle has been apart for almost 6 months. Danny was still keeping a eye on his family. He hoped to be able to get back with his family. He had ran into his wife and son a few times. It hurt so much he stayed out of sight. He can hear his son wanting to go find Daddy. Every thing was going wrong and he still has not brought his Mother down. But what Danny did not know was that Carmen was seeing his family. Michelle would not let Carmen be alone with Robbie, but how could she deny Carmen access to Danny’s only son?
It was December 23rd. Michelle was alone when a knock came on the door. It was Carmen bringing presents, “For Robbie, and for you and the rest of your family. Michelle, I know what I have done to you in the past, but I want to try being friends and us being a family. Can we try?”
“Mommy we find Daddy, I have a surprise and Mommy….”
“But first you have to go to bed for Mommy as she is not feeling good, Is it OK?”
“Yes go ahead I will help,” Ed said coming into the kitchen. “Go outside Michelle.”
Danny asked, “What is it, baby, you OK?”
“Danny, can’t we drop this?”
“I can’t.”
“I am tired of you sneaking in my room and all of this. Baby, your mom is here. Don’t worry we are doing OK for now, I know you love her and she loves you.”
Going into the house Ed and Rick are called back the hospital , Carmen comes down, “Danny, your family needs you.”
Michelle, “ouch, my water broke.”
Carmen “Danny, you have to get to the hospital with her.”
“Well we will not be going any where the roads are closed, this snow storm hit and hit hard,”
Ed called they will be staying at Cedars. That he can’t get home.
“Danny, Danny, I need , oh the baby is coming!”
Carmen delivers a beautiful baby girl on Christmas eve morning.
“A daughter, a girl,” Danny says holding his little girl.
Carmen looks on tears in her eyes , “Danny I have a name for, For ?”
“Dad, meet your new granddaughter, Maureen Carmen Santos. How did you make it home?”
“The streets have been plowed.”
“Any one want a cup of coffee?” Carmen asked. As they are having coffee, Ed walks to the window looks out and turns and says, “I cannot believe this I hope we have enough food in the house as we are getting snowed in.”
Rick “What?”
“We are,” Danny says They all go and look out .
Ed, “Carmen, it looks as if you will be staying here for awhile.”
As they get ready for Christmas the next day, Carmen, “Michelle, I know this is your home but go in the other room and rest you have just had a baby.”
“Come on Honey, I want to hold my daughter.”
On the couch Danny sits holding his wife and daughter, when “Mommy!”
“Mama , I will get him.”
“Daddy!”
“Come on, Tiger. We have a surprise for you, Robbie this is your new baby sister.”
As Ed, Carmen, Rick, and Mel look on, Robbie looks at the baby and says “I wanted a puppy, no baby.”
Carmen laughs and looks at Danny, “oh Danny you said that very thing when you saw Pilar.”
Rick “Robbie come with Uncle Rick.”
Soon they hear “SNOW SNOW! we play!”
Danny comes picks up his son, “Well, we can’t now as it is still snowing.”
After they eat and Carmen and Mel wash the dishes, after chasing Danny and Michelle to bed.
“Ed you can stay in Meta’s room, As we will be getting up early,” Carmen says.
In their bedroom Danny burps his daughter after Michelle fed her putting her in the bassinet .He gets in bed , “I want you you look SO sexy, but you need rest so I will just hold you.”
Morning came to fast as they hear laughter and screaming from down stairs, getting dressed they head down. Robbie is under or trying to get under the tree.
“Robert, get out here now!” Michelle said, “You have to eat now. Go with Grandma and Grandpa now.”
Danny “Baby, my old mom is here it is the way she used to be, let’s go eat.”
Later after the presents are opened, and the children are napping, Rick “I wish Jude were here too.”
“Oh it has quit snowing,” Carmen said. A knock at the door
“Who could that be in this weather?… Pilar?” Carmen said and just looked around .
“Surprise!” Pilar said.
“Hi,” Bill said.
“Bill,” Michelle said.
“We are back together,” they both say at once, “Now where is my nephew?”
Sleeping he is tired . hearing a cry, “oh,” Danny said, “Meet your niece.”
Sitting around they talk of Christmases past, the memories, “And we now have future Christmas to look forward to with the new members of both families.” Ed and Carmen say together, “Merry Christmas every one.”

Public Relations by Alisia

November 30, 2016

To make it easier to direct people to this story I wanted to put all the chapter links in a single post, in other words do a link roundup. This story is in the nonmob fanfic category.

Danny in Spaulding Office

“Public Relations” – Michelle had long had a secret crush on her friend Pilar’s older brother Danny. When Pilar and Michelle pledge a sorority together, Danny is Michelle’s date during a pledge dare, but does nothing to help her. Danny knows he was a jerk then, he has a simple explanation, he WAS a jerk in college, but he’d always liked Michelle.

However, the iron had entered her soul and when they both moved back to Springfield (he to CEO SanCorp, she as VP of Public Relations at Spaulding Enterprises) she leaves no doubt that her favorite part of her new job is when Spaulding can one up SanCorp. Fortunately for the dueling pair, fate, in the form of Carmen, Phillip, and Ed, takes a hand and decides the easiest way to get the two family businesses to merge is to marry two of the executives, namely Danny and Michelle. They announce it to the press as a done deal, before they tell Manny. Will they settle for an arranged marriage or will love arise?

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/public-relations-part-1 (Part 1)

https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/public-relations-part-2 (Part 2)

Archived Links Version

http://stenzmania.yuku.com/reply/1599/t/Public-Relations-Wedding-challenge-fic.html http://stenzmania.yuku.com/topic/705/t/Public-Relations-Part-2.html

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Ed’s Thanksgiving Prayer 1986

November 25, 2016

In all the normal strife that is going on around Springfield, the Bauer family gathers friends and family at a Thanksgiving board with Ed and Maureen at the head. I’m going to skip most of the story update which you don’t need to know for this part, except to let you know that Chelsea is blaming Rick for her fiance Jon-Claude’s death (which he isn’t responsible for) and suing him for malpractice and wrongful death. Also, this is when Josh is back so they’re working on dumping Kyle via a long downward spiral involving custody of his and Maeve’s son Ben. Frankly I never believed that Maeve was on the side of the angels in this and knowing as we do that Ben might have grown up one of Michelle’s best friends, but he would also be abandoned, molested, and driven to become a serial killer, I keep thinking if all these do-gooders had kept their mouths shut and let Kyle raise Ben like he wanted things would have turned out better for the kid. To find all the links and the story explaination check out my post.

Now if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m not a big Ed fan. BUT I think he truly DID love Maureen all along he was just terrible at being a husband carrying on all the traits and behaviors that he hated about his own father. Here Ed is at his best as a loving father and husband, serving as the head of an extended family of both relatives and friends. It’s a role that suits him even if he had a hard time keeping it going for more than a few months at a time. So here is Ed’s Thanksgiving prayer.

Thanksgiving Dinner 1986

Thanksgiving Dinner 1986 at the Bauer House

Could we all join hands here?

We’re gathered here on this beautiful afternoon in the season of bounty to remember all our blessings.

So thank you Father for the riches this great land has bestoyed on us.

Thank you for the promise each new day brings,

For the love of family and friends,

And for hope that renews itself with every breath we take

Amen.

Among the guests is Claire who is there with Michelle – I don’t think she’s tried to kill her yet.

Baby Michelle and Claire

Baby Michelle and Claire

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Memorial Service for Bert Bauer

August 29, 2016

This episode originally appeared March 7, 1986.

The main story is the Memorial Service for Bert Bauer. This earlier tribute I think was from the time Charita Bauer who portrayed her died about a year earlier than her death on screen.

The main storyline in this episode is Bert’s funeral, but this is a full episode so other things are going on in this same episode.

Some watchers might be wondering , who are Jessie Matthews and Simon Hall? They disappeared so completely after they left the show without few connections and no later mentions but this is who they are: https://glmanny.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/faq-who-are-simon-and-jesse/

The short version of what you see today is that Simon and India had previously been involved they came to town with a plan to con Alex into thinking he was her half-brother and get him into the Spaulding name and inheritance. Actually he was the son of her ex-husband, Lujack’s father. However, either fortunately or unfortunately for Simon, it turns out with Alex and Jessie around he’s not quite the criminal shark he thought he was.

We open with Maeve and Kyle who have made the best of their for the sake of the child marriage and seem happy. Maeve has been ordered to bed rest because of her pregnancy with the future Ben Reade. India von Halkein is good friends with Maeve and shows up to visit. I absolutely adore Maeve and Kyle’s bedroom furniture set. I would totally buy one of those. India is divorcing Phillip which is a real shame since she is the only other woman besides Beth that I believe he could have really been happy with. India has been involved with Simon and thought he would marry her. Basically though Simon viewed her as more of a partner in crime with benefits and is far more interested in a familial relationship with Alexandra Spaulding and a romantic relationship with Jessie Matthews. This leaves India out in the cold.

Kurt Corday who is running Company has left an untrained Jessie Matthews in charge of Company all on her own when a bus shows up. (This happens in real life too, buses without warning are a real pain.)

Before Bert’s funeral, check out that of Papa Bauer’s Michelle’s great-grandfather’s from about 10 years before.

Bert and Rick

Bert and Rick

Bert’s Memorial Service is held in the Bauer House living room and seems to involve all the major people in town, appropriately dressed in mourning. On the show Bert was kept alive for a little while after Charita Bauer (her actress) died. She was out of town and lived long enough for Ed to bring her namesake Berta Michelle Bauer and for her to hold her. She passed on off screen shortly thereafter. It’s a fairly informal gathering after the actual formal service which was held off screen. They are sitting around eating and drinking with people feeling they are helping.

Attendees include: Henry Chamberlain, H.B. Lewis, Claire Ramsey, Ross Marler, Vanessa Chamberlain, Maureen Reardon Bauer, Roxie Shayne, Reva Shayne, Fletcher Reade, Lillian Raine, hospital guy I can’t remember his name, Warren Andrews, Ed Bauer, Rick Bauer, Billy Lewis, Phillip Spaulding, Kurt Corday, and a friend of Rick’s Amber.

This restored clip from CBS features the taking hands and then the montage with different music. It doesn’t seem to have gotten as much restoration as some of their other clips and isn’t as clear. Sadly it doesn’t include the news story close up or we might have been able to read it.

Rick always had a very special relationship with Bert. His desire to create a similar relationship with a child of his own will be the driving force of the character for the next two decades. He was devastated by Bert’s death.

I think the laughter of the others is realistic though. You remember both the good and the bad at a funeral. Actually Ed’s story about the breakfast he and Mike made is exactly how I like my French Toast. Everyone shares memories of Bert. My favorite is Vanessa saying how Bert was the first woman she’d met who could make the Lewis men cower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjKLCQcxUNg (Part 1)

We go back to Company where Jessie is overwhelmed. Simon helps by doing some magic tricks to keep the crowd from being restless while they waited for Jessie to get their orders. Two unrelated people show up and rob the cash register.

India complains about all of the time Simon is spending with Alex instead of her. Hawk arrives and as much as he wants he can’t dismiss him because of Hawk’s knowledge of his dealings and his being true love Reva’s father.

They did their frequent trick of announcing Mike had to leave after church service to explain why they didn’t pay to have him come back.

Ed: “You know a child has to have security, a feeling of security. It has to have absolute love if it’s going to have confidence in itself when it grows up and I want to give Michelle that kind of childhood. I want her to be part of a strong loving family and I don’t know for the life of me how she’ll get that with Claire.”

Ross is apparently back to dating Calla Matthews, Jessie’s mother. I’m sorry about that. I never really liked them together.

Reva had discovered a strange man in the woods. He’s suffering from a fever, but she’s been taking care of him on her own and hasn’t told anyone.

Fletcher had already dumped Claire which explains their snarky exchange.

Rick talks about his relationship with Bert and how special it was. Then he talks about his frustration with this drug addiction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUSELyeiFjs (Part 2)

Hawk reminds Kyle of what he knows (that Kyle still loves Reva and secretly bought her Reva Bend – neither Reva nor Maeve know) and threatens to tell if Kyle doesn’t pay more blackmail. Kyle calls his bluff, but India hears his threat that eventually both Reva and Maeve will learn about what he’s done and how he feels. India overhears.

The Reardons excuse for not coming is that Bea had to stay out east because Annabelle and Tony are about to have a baby. Sorry they didn’t pay for them to come back, but So glad about the baby news. I love Tony and Annabelle and the news they are having a baby almost makes up for Tony, Annabelle, and Bea not being at the funeral as they should be. I’m so sorry you can’t read the article about Bert. I really can’t believe they didn’t read it out loud. What was the point of just showing a copy not clear and not big enough to read it on screen?

At this time Roxie was dating Rick, but it was a friend he confided in about his drug abuse not Roxie. So she’s feeling cut out and not understanding why. Unfortunately she has an inferiority complex so anything like this sets her off to acting out. The contest Roxie is talking about is the Sampson Girl contest Mindy Lewis won instead.

Rick finds inspiration in wanting Bert to be proud of him to go cold turkey on his pill addiction. Roxie doesn’t know either about the addiction or his decision to go off the drugs.

Fed up with Claire and her treatment of Michelle, Ed and Maureen announce that they are going for full custody and Fletcher tells Claire she should let them have it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U6_Ht_c4aE (Part 3)

The final part is a montage of short scene clips and screen captures through the years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbfB9ZoEaNU (Part 4)

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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