I named the character of Katy, who is the heroine’s mother in my book, Echoes At Dawn, in honor of my own mother, Catherine. My mother passed away in early June six years ago. She was eighty-nine at the time and lived a rich and full life. Her quick wit and eloquent charm carried her through tough times and brought a smile to the faces of her beloved friends and family. Katy, the elderly woman in Echoes At Dawn, demonstrates her whimsical spirit and uses her magical powers to help her daughter find true love.
My husband and I, along with my daughter and son in-law have a tradition of visiting Cape May every June. Cape May is a seashore town that draws visitors from all over the world. We love the homes in the historic district that are restored to their original elegance. There are luxurious hotels along Beach Drive, fine dining restaurants and even a sunken ship at Sunset Beach. The bed and breakfast’s are abundant and nick- named The Painted Ladies. The streets are lined with gas lanterns of years gone by and there are authentic horse and carriage rides daily. The tour guide recites the areas history along with a few ghost stories to add to Cape May’s mystical appeal. You can take a trolley to explore some of the famous establishments. My favorite is an old doctor’s house and museum called The Emlem Physick Estate. It is the only Victorian house museum in Cape May.
We had a trip planned to Cape May about a week after my mother died. I thought of canceling but my husband talked me out of it. He reminded me how much my mother loved this town, since it held all the charm of years past and made you feel as if you were transported back in time.
So I packed my bags and we were off. I became melancholy on the first day and wanted to relax in our room, but my husband insisted I venture to the shops at Washington Square Mall. I strolled along the street glancing in the windows admiring the array of gifts and antiques. I caught a glimpse of something unusual in a new shop. I found a beautiful snow glove that had a wintery scene inside. It was mesmerizing, so I gave the tiny key on the base a twist and was surprised to hear White Christmas. I had to purchase it. The tune had a special meaning to me because my mother played Bing Crosby’s version from November until almost Valentine’s Day every year. The beautiful sound of chimes gave the familiar melody an enchanting sound. I thought it was strange to hear a Christmas song in June. Nevertheless, I found comfort in hearing the song that my mother adored. My husband held his mouth open, saying, “Grandma is telling you to relax and have a good time and that she is at peace.” I wanted to believe him, but I shook my head in disbelief.
One of our favorite shops is called Winterwood. Each year we hunt for the perfect gifts for our three grandsons. A wonderfully decorated Christmas tree with hand painted ornaments stood in the corner. I reached for the one that caught my eye. It looked exactly like my grandmother’s old house.
My husband smiled when I took the ornament to the register. The two of us remained silent as we returned to the square. A peaceful feeling of acceptance left me speechless. It seemed strange that I found a snow globe in June that played White Christmas and then found an ornament that looked like a replica of my mother’s childhood home. I wondered if my husband was right in his explanation of the events. I realized that I was being sentimental and looking for anything to make me feel better. Nevertheless, we spend a glorious week in the place where I received an early Christmas gift. I will always treasure the lovely ornament and the memory of the day I found a globe that played White Christmas in Cape May, in June.
Do you have a favorite Christmas ornament?
I hope you all have a memorable holiday season. One of you will receive a beautiful hand painted seashell Christmas ornament from Winterwood, in Cape May. Please include your email address with your comment.