Seems like we’ve been working on our new house forever; I was a baby when they started.  It’s finally done.  We started moving in and I haven’t seen all the rooms yet.


My favorite room is the family room.  There is a wall of windows and I can see squirrels, deer and RABBITS outside.  I love the cushy chair next to the fireplace.  We had a fire last night; I curled up in it while Mom and Dad got all smushy on the loveseat.  I just tune them out when they get all lovey-dovey.


Before we moved in, there was a lot of looking at swatches and paint chips.  I hoped they were like potato chips.  I tried to eat one and was I disappointed.  Mom laughed and said I take after Mart.  I was trying to see what the big deal…oh the garage door’s opening!!


Carrying a shopping bag in each arm, Trixie Belden made her way from the garage to the kitchen, stepping around the dog.  She was followed by her best friend. 


Honey Wheeler placed her canvas shopping bag on the counter.  “Oh, Trix, I love granite.  Wow!  This isn’t a butcher block; it’s an island.  I love it.  That’s going to be perfect for baking.  I saw all the sample boards, but seeing everything really real.  It’s amazing!  Take me on tour.”


“OK, you can be my first guest on the official Ten Acres tour.  Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times,” Trixie teased, linking her arm with Honey’s.  “Come on, Sherlock; let’s show Honey your new home.”


“Sherlock’s home?  Not your home?” Honey teased.


Trixie stopped in mock horror and looked into the face of her dearest ally.  “Madeline, I can’t believe you expect me to live with your brother before we’re married.”


“Excuse me; I forgot you’re the original Vestal Virgin,” Honey said.  “Remember, I stayed at Mead’s Mountain with you two.”


Trixie laughed, pulling Honey into a large room near the front door. “You goof!  This is the library.”


“Golly, I’m surprised the walls of books didn’t give that away,” Honey snickered, sinking onto the leather sofa. 


“Did you know smart-ass doesn’t become you?” Trixie said, sitting across from her.


Honey shook her pixie cut, “Really?  I thought I was getting it just right.”  She smiled brightly, eyes sparkling.  Sherlock jumped on the sofa, settling down.  Honey stroked the dog’s long ears.  “Seriously, how’s everything going?” 


That’s very nice. Ahhh.


“Wedding invitations went out three weeks ago.  Almost everyone has RSVP’d, except for a few business guests.  You know we invited Mr. Carver, didn’t you?  He’s going to make the trip from Williamsburg.  I miss visiting with him.”


“Me, too.  Show me the rest of the house.”  She pulled Trixie up. 


Sherlock hopped down. Let’s get started.  My favorite room is this way.


“OK, we‘ve gotta be quick.  Jim will be home soon and starving.”


Honey smiled, “What’s for dinner, chipped beef with mushroom soup and canned peas?”


Trixie looked puzzled until a dusty memory surfaced.  “You’re on a roll, Shecky.  That was the first meal we made when we went looking for Jim.  Where did that come from?”


“Dr. Miller had me journaling, I did all the time in boarding school.  I stopped when I moved here.  I reread my journals, kind of a self-reflection.  My last entry was about our trip,” Honey said.  


Honey stopped in the hallway and looked at the sunny yellow walls that led up the stairway.  “This color is so warm and happy.”  She walked up the pictures clustered on the walls.


She was looking at the photos, a happy smile across her face.  Trixie sat on the shaker bench watching. 


Sherlock sat next to her and put her furry paw on Trixie’s lap.  Mom, it’s almost time to eat, Dad’s gonna be home soon.  DINNER.


“I love how you’ve grouped the pictures; they tell a story.  This is wonderful.” She turned, expecting to find Trixie there, and was surprised to see her sitting.  “What are you smiling at?”


“You.  I’m so happy that you’re happy and that makes me happy.”


Honey walked down, and gathered Trixie into a hug.  “You’re sounding like me.  I’m happy that you’re happy that I’m happy.”  She kissed Trixie on the cheek.  “I really am happy, feeling safe and normal again.”


Sherlock’s ears pricked up and she ran to the front door, her rear wiggling as she sat impatiently, her tail wagging.


“Jim’s home.” Trixie said.  “Sure you don’t want to stay for dinner?”


“I’m helping Mother.”  Honey laughed as Sherlock thumped the floor with her tail. 


The front door opened and a tall red head came in, putting his keys down and bending to scratch Sherlock’s ears.  “How’s my best girl?”




“Don’t you love that…he’s got a best girl everywhere,” Trixie teased.


Jim stood and kissed Honey on the forehead.  “Hey, Sis, you look wonderful!”  Not missing a beat, he swept Trixie into his arms and kissed her deeply.  “Sherlock is my best girl; you’re my special girl, a marked difference.”  He encircled both girls’ shoulders.  “What’s for dinner?  I’m starving.”


“We’re having stroganoff, but Honey can’t stay,” Trixie said, sticking her hand in Jim’s back pocket.


Reentering the kitchen, Honey kissed them each on the cheek and gave Sherlock scritches.  “I’ll take a rain-check on dinner.  Can’t wait to see the rest of the house.  Love you guys!”


Jim and Trixie stood watching Honey leave. 


“So, Shamus, did you see the additions to the back bedroom upstairs?” Jim asked nonchalantly, running his hand through the curls over her ears.


Trixie looked up through blonde lashes.  “No, I haven’t been upstairs, yet.  Do you want to show me now, or after dinner?”


After dinner…I am starving!!  Sherlock was curled up on the entry rug, waiting.


Jim bent down nipping kisses along Trixie’s jaw.  “Oh, I’m hungry alright.”


Standing on tiptoe, she gently bit Jim’s earlobe.  She led him up the stairs. “Show me.”


The two disappeared as Sherlock lay down on the landing, putting her head on her paws.  Ugh!  Dinner’s going to be late.  They’re at it again!  


The End





Authors Notes:


This is all Joycey’s fault.  She challenged Jo and me to pick a picture and see what we could do with it.  Actually, first, she asked us to pick our favorite photo and she’d write us a little story.  This picture was one of my favorites, reminds me of my grandparent’s house and I was about to send it to Joycey for my story.  THEN I saw the little dog in the corner of the picture and I knew the story. 


After writing and trashing and writing some more…here is a little snippet from the future of our Double Dog Dare You Anthology.


The only character we own is Sherlock, the rest belong to Random House and we use them lovingly.  We’re making no profit from this story, other than sheer enjoyment.


The chipped beef with mushroom soup and canned peas was meal the girls made their first night in the Swan, in The Red Trailer Mystery.


Shecky is a reference to Shecky Green who was a famous comic.  It’s a family phrase we use to say someone is being a smart aleck.


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