Blueridge Inn, one of the safest and coziest places to visit during the holiday season, and the good folks there sure know how to make each guest feel right at home. Brewford Reynolds, the owner of Blueridge is expecting this year to be its busiest one yet.

Jimmy Rusk, the best mechanic out of Blueridge, AL., backs his truck in. Head leaning out the driver’s window to see, if he was backing the thing in right. Before he unloaded the Christmas tree, to carry it inside the inn, to decorate it. He drew his elbow back and left fist forward. Then used the palm of his left hand, and slammed his pickup truck door shut, which ended up knocking all the feeling out of his hand. Until it was bare numb. Boy, was it funny watching Jimmy jump around in circles, holding his hands inside each other and shaking them. All that action, just to wake the bloody hand.

After regaining life in his hand. He took both his hands and used his truck for a punching bag. Left hand. Then right hand. Another punch. And another. Uh oh. The entire truck trembled, forcing the gear shift out of park into drive. A car heads straight for Jimmy’s pickup truck. The on coming driver blew at Jimmy. “Bump, bump, bump!”

“Hey! Get outta the way. Sandy!” Jimmy screamed.

“Jimmy!” Sandy hollered.

Jimmy ran in behind the truck, with Sandy still sitting inside the truck. Jimmy kicking up a trail of dust. However, Sandy’s strapped in her seatbelt, and the seatbelt wouldn’t budge. Sandy soon began twisting and turning. She yanked the seatbelt seven times but still no cooperation.

Sandy placed her hands above her head and borrowed a bobby pin from her hair, and used it to wiggle in between the seatbelt button. Meanwhile, Jimmy ran alongside the truck.

“Unlock the door, Sandy,” Jimmy instructed her.

“I’m trying but I’m trapped,” Sandy said.

“Relax for me. Can you do that?” Jimmy asked.

“Ok. Tell me what to do,” Sandy replied.

“Push your body forward, like we’re playing tug of war,” Jimmy said.

So, Sandy stretched her body and then hands, and yanked with the strength of a bull. The seatbelt broke and her hands stretched far enough to reach to the other side.

Sandy unlocked the truck and Jimmy jumped in, and placed the darn thing into park.

“I’m sorry!” Jimmy declared.

“Jimmy, how many times have I heard this?” Sandy said, while sobbing.




Sandy greets the customers as they come inside the inn and check them in.

“Hello! Welcome to Blueridge Inn. How many rooms will you need?” Said Sandy.

“Only one,” the customer said.

“Oh, great! If you would sign this,” Sandy said.

The woman wrote her fancy signature on the form and handed it back to Sandy.

“Here is your key. Hope you have a lovely stay here at the Blueridge Inn,” Sandy said.

“I’m sure, I will,” the woman said.

“Mind if I ask you something? Do you have any family here in town, Ms.? Um, Ms. Sweetwater?” Sandy asked.

“No, I’m afraid not. I’m just visiting, I needed to get away for a few days,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Where you from?” Sandy asked.

“Los Angeles, California,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“California? Wow!” Sandy said.

Ms. Sweetwater let out a snicker.

“I take it, you’ve never been?” Ms. Sweetwater asked.

 “No! Of course not. I’ve never left Blueridge. My Jimmy and I have been here since high school. I always considered leaving but never had the guts to do so,” Sandy replied.

“Well, you still got time. Anyway thanks for all your help,” Ms. Sweetwater said.



“Hey, Brew! Any good news?” said Sandy.

“How’s my Sandy?” Brewford asked.

“Happy to see customers walking through those front doors. We can’t take another hit, Brew,” Sandy said.

“There, there. Don’t you worry. I got everything under control,” Brewford said.

“I sure hope so. I really need this job,” Sandy said.

“Any new customers this year?” Brewford asked.

“Yeah, a city girl,” Sandy said.

“City girl?” Brewford asked.

“Yeah, Los Angeles, California to be exact,” Sandy said.

Sandy leaned over the front desk, with her hands balled in fists, and pressed them up to her cheeks.

“Where you been all day?” Sandy asked, rather curious.

“I met with my accountant,” Brewford replied.

“Is there something wrong, Brew?” Sandy asked.

Ms. Sweetwater walks downstairs, and it disintegrates Sandy’s concentration. Sandy seems fascinated by Ms. Sweetwater’s aura. The fact, that she’s a city girl and assuming she has a great career there. Why else would she live in a big city? Isn’t that what folks do in California, live out their dreams?

“Hi, Ms. Sweetwater!” Sandy said.

Ms. Sweetwater glided up to the front desk.

“Hi, Sandy!” Ms. Sweetwater said.

Sandy walks around to the front of the counter, to shake her hand.

 “I would like you to meet someone,” Sandy said.

“Sure,” Ms. Sweetwater replied.

“Brewford Reynolds meet Ms. Sweetwater,” Sandy said.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Sweetwater,” Brewford said, while shaking Ms. Sweetwater’s hand.

“Nice to meet you too, Mr. Reynolds,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Please I insist you call me, Brewford,” Brewford responded.

“ Ok then, Brewford,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Going anywhere special today?” Sandy asked.

“No, just the library,” Ms. Sweetwater responded.

“Enjoy, your stay, Ms. Sweetwater,” Brewford said.

“Thanks, Brewford,” Ms. Sweetwater said.



Brewford escaped to his office in the back, and in the meantime Sandy covered the front desk.

“Doris, do mind you watching the desk while I go get the mail?” Sandy asked.

“Sure, dear!” Doris said.

“Brew, I’ll be back. Going to get the mail,” Sandy hollered.

Brewford didn't hear a word Sandy said.

“Sure, why not.” Brewford replied.

Sandy entered the inn with the mail, while looking through every piece.

“Doris, would you believe Christmas is almost here?” Sandy asked.

“I know what you mean, sweetheart. Seems like the year went by so fast,” Doris said.

Sandy used her teeth to tear open each letter, white crust clinging to the inner part of her mouth, as she read aloud to decide the level of importance.

“Brew, Brew!” Sandy called.

Brewford runs out the office, panicking that something terrible has happened.

“Sandy, what is it?” Brewford asked.

“Why didn’t you tell us you’re over $100,000 in debt?” Sandy asked.

Brewford threw up his hands, placed them still on his head and balled his fists, and hit himself in the chest.

Both Doris and Sandy burned a hole in the carpet, to run over to Brewford.

“If we could only figure out a way to pay it off, then Blueridge can stay open,” Sandy said, and leaned her head on his shoulders.

“Well, no time like the present. Let’s work out a plan,” Doris said.

“I can’t let you do that,” Brewford said.

“Why not? You don’t have to do this alone,” Sandy said.

“There’s more at stake,” Brewford said.

“Like what?” Sandy asked.

“What happens the next time I fall behind?” Brewford asked.

“Who says they'll be a next time? I'm sure if we put our heads together, we'll figure this thing out,” Doris said.



In walk Ms. Sweetwater, face full of distress.

“Are you ok, dear?” Doris asked, Ms. Sweetwater.

“Yes! I mean, no! I just found out some shocking news,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Care to talk about it with a couple of country girls?” Sandy asked.

“Why not?” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“How long for foreclosure, Brew?” Sandy asked.

“Next month. Why?” Brewford said.

“Nothing. Just that there’s still time,” Sandy said.

“Is everything set for decorating the tree tonight?” Brew asked.

“Yes! Everyone will be here,” Sandy said.

Bill looked through the mail, while ignoring Sandy.



Music played in the background, while all the visitors at Blueridge Inn, and the towns people grabbed a different marked box. In fact, Sandy carried a plastic bowl around with numbers inside. There were two numbers of the same kind, each person had to choose a number. Which meant two people would end up with the same number and pair up for decorating the tree and enjoy a little Blueridge fun at the Blueridge Inn.

Ms. Sweetwater and Brewford ended up with the number three.

“Oh, boy! Ms. Sweetwater, this must be my lucky day?” Brewford teased.

“Mine too,” Ms. Sweetwater replied.

Both Brewford and Ms. Sweetwater conversed, as they picked out gold garland for the Blueridge Inn’s Christmas tree.

“So, Brewford. Tell me something. Do you have any kids?” Ms. Sweetwater asked.

“ No! Me and my wife never had any. I always dreamed of having at least one,” Brewford admitted.

“Really? Did you ever consider adopting?” Ms. Sweetwater asked.

“Yeah, we did. When we were close to the finish line of adopting our baby, the parents backed out of the deal, a week before.” Brewford said.

“That must have been heartbreaking?” Ms. Sweetwater asked.

“It was. Dang near tore Ada’s heart in pieces. She never got over it,” Brewford said.

“Where is she now?” Ms. Sweetwater asked.

“She lives in Oklahoma with her sister. We’re divorced,” Brewford said.

“What about your folks?” Brewford asked.

“Oh! Well, my mother was a famous actress. You might have heard of her. Does Molly Sweetwater ring a bell? Or perhaps Livia Saunders will sound more familiar to you. I’m Libby Sweetwater, Brewford. Your daughter.” Ms. Sweetwater said.

Brewford face flushed blue.

“Brewford! Somebody please get him some water!” Ms. Sweetwater said.

The Blueridge Inn became a mad house. People scattered, running upstairs, outside. All around. More people hovered around Brewford. Sandy and Doris ran to Brewford’s rescue, carrying full glasses of water.

“Alright people! Give him some air. Deep breaths for me,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Are you some kind of doctor, Ms. Sweetwater?” Sandy asked.

“Yes!” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Brewford, say something!” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“Livia Saunders is your mother?” Brewford asked.

“Yes and I have pictures to prove it,” Ms. Sweetwater replied.

“Brewford, see you do have a kid,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“I don’t know what to say,” Brewford said.

“How did this happen? Not how but when?” Sandy asked.

“Forty years ago. I was an insurance salesman. I had a bad day and stumbled into Sydney’s Bar with my best friend. Livia came in, stunning as ever that night, we talked and had a few drinks and made beautiful music together. The rest was history,” Brewford said.

“Wonder why she never told me? Although, I never saw her again after that night,” Brewford said.

“Can we start over?” Brewford asked

“Of course!” Ms. Sweetwater said.



“It was so nice meeting all of you. But I’m afraid I must be leaving.” Ms. Sweetwater said, heading for the exit.

“Oh, by the way. Brewford, I have something, I'd like you to have. A check to cover your expenses for the Blueridge Inn,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“I can’t!” Brewford replied.

“Yes, you can and you will,” Ms. Sweetwater said.

“You're Livia's daughter alright. Can I see you again?” Brewford asked.

“Absolutely!” Ms. Sweetwater said.











December 28, 2019 04:57

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