It's Sunday, early afternoon, the day after Parker's and Ember's second date. Erwyn is not home yet and Ember is in her living room watching television and enjoying a glass of red wine. She has just finished her first glass and is about to get up to get another one when her cell phone rings.
Ember looks at her phone and sees it is Dane, her brother-in-law (her deceased husband Evan's brother). He told her a couple of weeks ago to expect presents, but they haven't arrived yet. She figures he is calling to check or just to say hello and check on her and Erwyn as usual. She picks up the phone.
Dane: Hi, Ember. I'm great. How are you?
Ember: Good. Just sitting here enjoying some time alone and sipping on some good red wine and watching mindless tv. I figure it will keep me warm and toasty.
Dane: I'm glad you're keeping warm. We miss you and we'd love to see you.
Ember: I know. You say that every time you call. You know Erwyn and I miss you all too. I absolutely need to make plans to come visit.
Dane: You sure do. But for now, can you come open the door? We're here!
Ember: What? You're here? You came all the way out here to see us?!
Dane (laughing): Yes. And unlike you, we're not warm and toasty while we're standing at the door.
Ember is very excited. What a surprise! She hurries to the door and opens it. She is so happy to see Dane and his family, she lets them in and they all exchanges hugs and kisses. They all take off their coats and hang them in the hallway closet. Ember still wants her wine so says she is going to get another glass and offers them something to drink. They decline because they aren't staying long.
Ember shows her guests to the living room, goes to the kitchen to fill up her glass, then comes back to talk to everyone. She walks over to Dane, so happy to see him.
Dane: We wanted to surprise you. But we don't want to stay long right now for two reasons. First, you weren't expecting us, so we don't want to impose too long. Second, we have an appointment, we're going to take some holiday photos.
Ember: Oh. So how long are you visiting?
Dane: We're staying for two weeks. We want to make plans to visit with you and Erwyn. Where is she?
Ember: She's with my mother. But I'm sure she'll be happy to see you. We have to make plans. Can you come on Christmas Day? Then maybe we can make more plans for that week since you'll still be here. I don't have any meetings or business to handle. Well maybe minor things, but I can work around those. I'm on a sort of vacation since Erwyn has winter break.
Ember: Speaking of which, I sent yours. already. How will you open presents on Christmas Day?
Taren: We had a special opening for the kids before we left. We brought a few with us, and there will be a few more when we get home. We thought that would be fun since we won't be home on Christmas Day.
Ember: Paisley and Queron are getting so big. Let's have a seat and chat for a few minutes.
Ember picks up her nephew, Queron, and places him on her lap when she sits down.
Dane: He got that for Halloween and he thinks he is a real prince in it. He begged to be photographed in it.
Taren: Yes, he gave us a hard time about any other outfit we suggested. We figured, what the heck? Let him feel good about what he's wearing.
Ember: Well, Queron, you look absolutely adorable. Just like a little prince.
Queron: Thank you.
Taren: Ember, we're so excited about being here. We're going to have a great time.
Taren: It sure would. Syren always makes me laugh. I hope we can see them while we're here.
Ember: Yes, I'm sure you will see them.
Dane: We're planning to see some holiday things while we're here. Go to Baltimore, New York some local PA things. So much to do. Maybe you and Erwyn can join us while you're both off.
Ember: That would be nice. It would also be nice if Paisley could come spend the night with Erwyn. You know, a girl's sleepover. Would you like that Paisley?
Paisley: Yes. I want to see Erwyn. We can play.
Ember: Good. We can do that after Christmas.
Dane: Okay. Let's head out in a minute. Maybe I can run to the store afterwards and get a little shopping done.
Ember: Sure. In the afternoon would be best. Erwyn will be home and I can wrap up work early.
Taren: Great. I would like to see the rest of your house. So maybe I can get a tour tomorrow?
Ember: Of course.
Dane: We'll call you in the morning to confirm a time. I'll drop Taren and the kids off and then come pick them up.
Ember: Okay. We can talk and let the kids play and just enjoy being together. This is a great surprise. Erwyn will be so excited. I'll make dinner.
Taren: I'll help you. I'm looking forward to it.
Dane: Me too.
Dane, Taren, Paisley and Queron go get their coats on and then leave to make their photo appointment in time. Ember is happy they came. Erwyn hasn't seen her father's side of the family in a while, although Dane and Taren do call often enough to check on how they are and to stay in touch.
THE SPECIAL NEW RESIDENT
In case you hadn't guessed, and since there is more than one resident introduced in this story, Queron is the special new resident. Queron 1:1 has made his debut in 1:6 form. Mind you, he did not take one photo for his own introduction. After he took photos of Zenia, Jye and Seiko for the last post, he disappeared on me. So I went on without him.
Happy Dollidays to You and Yours! ~ Jaye and Queron