Between Friends

Jackie, my friend!

Are we ever going to come together in the same place? It seems as though life is playing ping-pong with us. Anyhow, even though you had to cancel your trip to Pierre this time, I decided to keep my scheduled vacation and explore our “home away from home.” I figure I’ll fill you in on my stay. I’m going to write something every day while I’m here—you know, the most exciting things.

You’ll never guess what happened to me as I drove my rental car from the airport to our fabulous cottage. Yep. I got a flat tire. Can you believe that? I wasn’t far from town, and someone stopped to help me change the tire. His name was Nick—sexy Nick, as I’ve now dubbed him. Oh, and his last name is Buckley. Sexy Nick is Mrs. Buckley’s nephew—talk about a small town.

I think he flirted with me. Don’t roll your eyes. I remember you used to tell me that I believe everyone flirts with me. Nevertheless, he did flirt with me, I swear.

Thank you for leaving me some wine, and thank you for buying my favorite. You’re a cool chick—always were.

I am in love with this place. It’s perfect, from the curtains to the view to the wrap-around porch. I am so glad there are books to read. Hey, about that book, To Kill a Mockingbird, do you think Harper Lee ever stayed at one of the Inns in town? I suppose I could ask Mrs. Buckley. I’m kidding, and stop rolling your eyes. If I find time, I’ll check the local library. I’ll be careful with the book, for sure. 17,000 dollars? Good grief, I’m afraid to touch the darn thing. I wonder who the original owner of the book was.

I noticed a pretty flower garden in the backyard, did you? Many of the flowerbeds dried up and died, so I went to a nursery in town. I purchased some beautiful plants and flowers that are native to this part of South Dakota. I am hopeful they’ll survive with very little assistance.

I found something interesting while walking through the garden—the path is lined with pavers. One paver shows the name Richard Sumner, and a second one has the name Elizabeth Sumner carved into it. Where did the name “Strangler” come from? I couldn’t find any evidence of anyone named Strangler ever owning our cottage. It’s probably not a big deal, but you know me. I pay attention to detail.

Now that I’m here, alone, I’m missing your company. We have so much to catch up on. At least you have a husband and children. I was never married. I made horrible choices in men—or did they choose me. Maybe I’m too picky. Either way, my two dogs, Taffy, and Buster, keep me busy. My brother is watching them while I am away.

I hope you like chimes because I found some wooden chimes for the back of the house. Next month when we meet here, we should buy a porch swing. What do you think about that?

I bought two more bottles of wine for next time. Of course, if we both show up, you can read this letter while we toast to friendship.

See you soon, my friend.

Love you,

Jean

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