As far as Fantasy Friday goes though it's a big weekend. We have a two part story and and the next part will be up tomorrow. Not that's a full weekend! Today we have Sunnygirl to thank for this fantastic story! Please enjoy...
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE, part one
Ginny was playing cards with her usual group of friends. All of a sudden she was hit with a flash She saw myself ten years from now. She had been doing this same thing with these same people for longer than she could remember. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy the people or the activity but she was BORED senseless and decided some changes had to be made before it was too late.
Once home, she poured a glass of wine, sat in her favorite chair and thought about what she wanted to do with the remainder of her life. Her husband Steve had passed away two years ago and since then she had just continued to do the things she had always done. Their son, Adam was married and had two sons. He had a successful insurance business and between that and his own family he didn’t have very much free time for me. Their daughter had moved to California four years ago and was not coming back to Castle Pines except for the infrequent visits. So the very first thing she decided was that the house was going up for sale. She wasn’t sure what she would do after that but it was a start.
Three days later the For Sale sign was posted in the front yard. The realtor suggested decluttering and repainting some of the rooms for a quick sale. She wasn’t sure that’s what she wanted because; some major decisions had to be made about what to do with the rest of her life. But, whatever she decided thirty years worth of accumulated possessions had to be dealt with now. Thirty years, it didn’t seem possible that she had lived in this house that long. So many memories occurred here. She remembered the first time she had seen it. Driving by on her way to some club meeting and noticed the for sale sign. She called Steve and told him to call the realtor and make an appointment to see the house. They saw the house that very afternoon and fell in love. It was just the kind of house in which they wanted to raise their family. And that they did. Adam was born ten months after they moved in and Carolyn was born eighteen months after that.
When Ginny called Adam and Carolyn to tell them of her decision to sell the house she got mixed reactions. Adam thought of himself as her protector – a job he assumed when his dad has passed away. He thought his mother was making a very foolish decision. Carolyn, on the other hand, was thrilled and gave her mom lots of encouragement to start living again. She even volunteered to come and help sort through the thirty years worth of accumulation. Ginny took her up on her offer and to come whenever she could make arrangements to do so.
Carolyn arrived the next week. By then, Ginny had been through the closets in her bedroom, the spare bedrooms, the kitchen pantry, and the linen closets in the three bathrooms. The local charitable organization was the recipient of a truckload of recyclable goods that was no longer of use to her. The first night Carolyn arrived; they were invited to Adam’s for dinner. Up to this point neither Carolyn nor Adam had asked their mother’s plans once the house was sold. Ginny figured they both thought I would just move to one of the new condo’s being built just outside of town. But that wasn’t Ginny’s attention so when her daughter in law Cathy said:
“So Mom what are your plans once the house is sold?”
“I’m moving to Arizona” said Ginny.
Both of her children were stunned. Adam was the first to recover:
“What”, Adam said. “You mean to tell me you are moving two thousand miles from here to a place you’ve never lived and only visited a couple of times”. “Why?”
“It’s just something I have always wanted to do. Your father and I talked about it when he was alive but then he got sick and plans changed. I just decided I’m going to do it before I get any older. It’s an adventure and I need to shake up my life. I’m too stagnant here and if I wait much longer, I will never do it”.
Carolyn said “Good for you Mom”. She understood her mother’s reasoning. She had felt the same way when she decided to move to California. It was the best thing she had done to date. Although she loved Castle Pines, it was a small town and nothing much changed from one year to another. Carolyn knew she wanted something more. She was happy for her mother and gave her a lot of credit for being willing to take the chance and move forward with her life.
Adam continued to grouse that he thought Ginny was being foolhardy. “You will be so far away”. “When will we see you?”
“Well, said Ginny, “Arizona is not that far from California. And, Adam, you live across town and we see each other about once a month. That’s not a slam against you. You have your own life and it’s a busy one. Look at it this way, when you come to visit, we will be spending quality time because you will have carved that time out of your schedule. Arizona has some great golf courses. California has the beach and all those resort/amusement parks the kids would enjoy.”
SIX MONTHS LATER
Ginny settled down in the living room of her new condo in Tucson, Arizona. It had been a busy six months. The house and all of her furniture had been either sold or donated to Goodwill. Adam and Carolyn had gone through the house and taken whatever they wanted because the only thing that Ginny was going to take to Arizona was her clothes and very few of those. She wanted a completely fresh start.
Ginny was glad that part was over. Now she just wanted to just sit back and relax for the next couple of days before the next phase of her life began. The doorbell rang. Dang, who could that be? Ginny wasn’t sure she had the energy to get up to answer it right now. The only person she really knew was the realtor who sold her the condo.
She looked through the peephole and standing there was this gorgeous man. Because this was a secured complex she didn’t hesitate to open the door. The gentleman said hello and handed her a card while introducing himself as Ken Vandenberg. Looking at the card she noticed he was an insurance agent. She explained that her son was an insurance agent and he took care of all her needs. He laughed and said he wasn’t there to sell her insurance but it was good to know her insurance needs were being met. He said he lived three condos down and was looking for his kitty. Princess had run out the door when a delivery was being made and he was canvassing the neighbors to see if anyone had seen her. Ginny introduced herself and explained she had just moved in a few days ago and hadn’t seen any kitty. Ken said “Well, welcome to the neighborhood.”
“Thank you and I will be sure to keep an eye out for a kitty” Ginny said and started closing her door. Going back to her recliner she thought about the handsome man just leaving her door. He was about 6 tall with silver hair which was set off by his deeply tanned face. She couldn’t help but notice his muscular build. Wow, I wonder if he’s married.
Ginny picked up her e-reader and must have nodded off because the next thing she knew she was hearing a noise from the storage area off her patio. She got up to investigate and when she opened the door a tortoise colored kitty came running out. The kitty must have gotten in there while I was putting away some of her recent purchases. The kitty ran into the house and Ginny immediately closed the door to prevent further escape. This had to be Ken’s kitty. Picking up the card off the counter she called his number. He answered right away. Ginny explained who she was and told him that she thought she may have found his kitty.
“Great” he said. “I’ll be right over if that’s okay with you.”
Ginny said that was fine with her. It seemed like only seconds went by when the doorbell rang. She closed the kitty in the bedroom so it couldn’t run out the door when Ken arrived. She answered the door and thought Lord, he was a good looking guy, and she actually had butterflies in her tummy and thought she was too old to be feeling like this.
“Come on in” “I heard a strange noise in the storage closet and went to investigate. I was in there earlier and the kitty must have gotten in then. I didn’t even see her.”
“Her name is Princess and she is a little stinker. Quick as a flash of light. I didn’t even see her get out of my place. Princess is always finding hiding places so I didn’t think anything of it until a couple of hours ago. When she didn't come out of hiding at the sound of the can opener, I knew she wasn’t anywhere in the condo. Thank you so much for finding her.”
” I didn’t find her, she found me. I closed her in the bedroom so she couldn’t run out the door. Do you want to go get her?”
“Are you asking me into your bedroom.” He chuckled and his eyes twinkled.
“Yes, as a matter of fact I am.” Ginny couldn’t believe she was being so bold.
“Well, then let’s go.”
Ginny led the way down the hall and opened the door. There was Princess all curled up in the middle of the bed. Ken went to scoop her up. While doing so he noticed this was a pretty feminine bedroom – no signs of a man. Good, he thought. I would like to get to know her better and Princess might have just provided the perfect opportunity.
“I would love to take you to dinner as a thank you for rescuing Princess” “I realize you just moved in and are probably tired, so how about if we do it tomorrow. “Would that be okay with you?”
“Yes, I would like that.”
“Good. I’ll see you tomorrow at 7:00.”
Ken and Princess left. Ginny just leaned against the door. Was this dinner an actual date? I hope so: I’m practically drooling over this man and I don’t even know him.
7:00 the next evening couldn’t come soon enough. All day long, Ginny couldn’t get her mind off of how taken she was with Ken. She hadn’t had feelings like this since Steve all those years ago. Now at 65 I am feeling and acting like a young girl.
At sixty five, Ginny still was attractive. Her salt and pepper hair was cut in a stylish way that flattered her face. There were wrinkles, of course, but not so many that it was the only thing you saw. She was neither thin nor heavy, but of course gravity had taken over and things were rearranged differently than they were in her twenties and thirties. All in all, not too bad.
Not being sure of what to wear because Ken had not mentioned where he would be taking her to dinner, she decided on a casual pair of white pants and a long turquoise tunic. With white heeled sandals and her silver jewelry it wouldn’t matter if the place was casual or a little more formal. The closer it got to 7:00 the more nervous she became. My last first date was forty years ago. – Things had changed a lot during that time. What were Ken’s expectations? He invited me as a thank you so she knew they wouldn’t be splitting the bill. Did he expect to get any return on his investment?
When the doorbell rang, Ken stood there in white slacks and a turquoise golf shirt. They laughed and it really broke the ice. Ginny invited him in and asked if he would like to have a glass of wine before heading out.
“No”, let’s save the cocktails for the restaurant. The place we’re going is not far and we can sit on the patio and enjoy the beautiful October in Tucson weather.”
“Great, I’ll just get my purse and we can be off.”
Ken had a white BMW convertible and the top was down. “Do you mind”, he asked. “If so, I can put the top up but it’s such a beautiful evening it seems a shame to waste it.”
“No, I love a convertible and why own one if you don’t put the top down. Actually, I have the same car. I bought it when I knew I was moving here. I wanted one my whole life so now seemed the perfect time to indulge my fantasy.”
He laughed and said “you’re kidding”. Not only do we dress alike but we have the same car” “Is there a message in here somewhere?”
When they arrived at the restaurant they were seated out on the patio. The waitress came to take their order and Ginny ordered a Lemon Drop Martini. Ken wasn’t familiar with that drink and asked what it was. Ginny answered that her daughter had suggested she try one and she loved them. “However, to date my limit had been two. I’m not sure if I could handle more than that.”
Ken ordered a Vodka Martini and said “he knew his limit was two, especially if he was the designated driver”. Ginny giggled and her eyes crinkled up. He was enjoying her company. He was really glad that Princess had escaped yesterday.
Over dinner they talked about their lives and how they had ended up in Tucson. He had been born and raised in California and moved to Tucson after his wife passed away fifteen years ago. Much like Ginny he wanted a fresh start. During that time, he had dated off and on but nothing serious. He had two children also, a boy and a girl. But in his case, the girl was the first born. Heather was married and had children and still lived in northern California. Josh was married and divorced and had a place in Phoenix but traveled extensively for his job so Ken didn’t get to see either of his children much.
After dinner, they retired to the lounge area where they had coffee and an after dinner drink. The piano player had started to play as they entered and Ken asked if Ginny would be willing to take a chance on his two left feet. Ginny couldn’t imagine Ken being anything but a great dancer. She was completely mesmerized by this man. There must be something wrong with him but if there was she hadn’t discovered it. Along with being drop dead gorgeous, he had courtly manners which Ginny thought had gone out of style. He loved animals, had been devoted to his wife. Ginny heard the love in his voice when he mentioned her. He seemed to have a great self deprecating sense of humor. Nobody could be that perfect and not have been snatched up before now. While they were on the dance floor, Ginny couldn’t help but ask:
“So Ken why hasn’t some lovely lady laid claim to you yet?
He actually blushed and responded that “I could say the same thing to you.”
Ginny replied, “I don’t usually attract ladies.”
He laughed and said “touché.”
He loved the repartee they exchanged all evening and decided he wanted to spend more time with this woman. “What are you doing this weekend?” he asked.
Ginny replied that she had planned on taking a drive to Tubac. Her realtor told her it was a growing artist colony and had a nice inn not too far out of town. Ginny thought it might be fun and she would be getting to know something of her new surroundings. Ken replied “well, if I am not being too presumptuous, I would love to join you.” I think I know the inn you are referring to and it has a great two bedroom casita that might be available. Are you game?”
Ginny thought it sounded great but she was a little hesitant. After all, she had just met this man and now he was asking her to spend the weekend with him. Her mind wandered to what Adam would say if he should find out about this. Oh hell, she thought. She liked this man and she was wanted a fresh start on life so why not take a chance.
“Okay, Ken. I am game."
"Shall I call the inn or will you?"
Sunnygirl, thank you so much for this story. I love it. Everyone, don't forget to come back tomorrow for the second part. And if you have a story to share please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org