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The Miracle Wish

     Ray and Tandie Weston had moved with their daughter, Kellie,   just before the first winter storm.   On that day, the family stood hand-in-hand  to look at their new home.  They all smiled.   The Westons were proud that their earnings and savings allowed them to buy such a wonderful house.  It was a very large home with room to expand if needed.  Ray was very happy about that. Finally he  had a real work room to  build and paint decor on commission.

    Ray once had a full -time-go-nowhere job which he hated. He also  hated not having anything to do after spending the evenings with Tandie and Kellie. He certainly wasn’t the kind of guy who could sit in front of the television watching sports and drinking beer, still he wasn’t always ready to go to bed with his wife. Tandie enjoyed  reading before retiring and Ray felt like a big blob when she did.

   One day, before he went home from work, Ray had stopped by the hobby store and bought supplies to build a birdhouse. He remembered how to build one from when he was a Cub Scout. Every evening before dinner was ready, Ray worked on the  birdhouse. He kept building on his project until it was no longer an ordinary birdhouse. When he was done, Ray had a beautifully crafted wooden sculpture. It hung on  the west side of the house, and the birds came. It  became the centerpiece of  that part of the yard. As the neighbors saw what Ray had done, they wanted one for themselves. Soon, Ray found that he was actually making money from his “hobby”.  As he added to his creations, that soon included watercolor painting,  Ray was able to leave his daytime job and become a member of the self-employed. Now, in his new home, he was ready to spread his business to the internet.

    Tandie instantly loved the house as soon as she saw it, but, for her, the kitchen was the clincher. She had been cooking and selling her own specialty recipes for brownies, cupcakes, and white chocolate fudge for a little over two years now.    As Ray, she had begun baking first for her family and friends. When she extended baking her delights for parties, or for the school’s bake sales,  it didn’t take long for people to begin to ask for her recipes.  Tandie didn’t want to give out her secrets, but she agreed to sell her bake goods at a reasonable price.

    The word circulated  quickly that Tandie was selling her cupcakes and fudge. Before she knew it, what was just a hobby that brought some extra cash,  was now a  real thriving business. Not only did Tandi continue to sell  directly from her home, but she was also able to take her edibles  to  a few  specialty shops and cafes in the area who sold them for her.

    Now that Tandie had the space, she was going to do what she had wanted to do for a long while; that is, add fruit pies, jams and jellies to her list of treats.

    Kellie was not very happy about the move. It had taken her away from her cousins, and her loving aunts and uncles.  Her mother and father had explained to her that it was best for the family. Kellie simply smiled as the good girl that she was should.  She continued to smile  as it became closer to the day that the truck would arrive to take  all her stuff away. She felt that she was being forced to leave her best friend, her favorite  teacher, and all the others she had become attached to.  Even though she smiled, she was very sad inside.

    “What about, Nana?” Kellie asked Tandie one day. They were in the den and Tandie was putting items into a moving box.  She sat on her knees so that she was at the same height as Kellie.

    “Nana will be okay, sweetie. She has everyone she loves around her, and we’ll visit as often as we can.”

    Kellie smiled. “Okay, Mommy. Can we see her every Christmas?”

    Tandie responded as she continued to pack, “Yes, of course we will. Now, please find something to do while Daddy and I pack.”

    Winter break came, and Kellie wasn’t able  to make a friend in the short time that she had attended  the new  school.  At least, where she used to live, she had her cousins to play with. Now, she played in the snow by herself.

    On the second day of winter break, Kellie found her mother in the kitchen pulling a cherry pie from the oven.

   “Mommy,”she began, “will you play with me?”

    Putting the pie down on the cooling rack, Tandie  turned to look down at her child. “Sweetie, you know that I’m always swamped at Christmas time. I’ll play with you soon, I promise.” She gave  Kellie a  kiss on the forehead, then continued to drizzle dark chocolate on top of the  white chocolate fudge.  Kellie lowered her shoulders and looked at the floor as she exited the kitchen.

    Next, Kellie found her father in his workroom. He was painting the details on a garden gnome, one of a set of five.

    “Daddy, will you play with me?”

    “Kellie, I’ve told you many times, do not come into my workroom…ever!” Ray realized he had snapped at his daughter, so he lowered his voice. “ I’m sorry,” he said lovingly, “ but you know how busy I get at Christmas time, kiddo. After I finish this gnome, I still have a few more orders to complete.” He patted her on the head leaving a little blotch of blue  right above her bangs, then he returned to painting a blue little wooden hat.

    Kellie looked down at one of the garden gnomes. This one had a green coat and hat with a goofy look on his face.  Kellie liked him. “I bet if  you were real, you’d take time to play with me, wouldn’t you Mr. Gnome?”  Kellie’s shoulder dropped a little further when she was leaving her father’s workroom.

    As if it was an afterthought, Ray shouted behind her, “Ask your mother!”

    Not knowing what else to do, Kellie went into her bedroom and closed the door. She laid on her back and began to count the stars that her father had put on her ceiling. She hasn’t counted  them all yet, she would always fall asleep when she tried. Kellie knew this time wouldn’t be different from the other times, so she became comfortable on her bed, ready to take a short nap .

    There was a tentative knock on her door and she heard Mrs. Neeley call out,   “Kellie? May I come in? I need to put your clothes away.” The house helper stood in front of Kellie’s door holding a large basket full of freshly washed and nicely folded clothes.

    “Oh!” Kellie said a little startled. “Of course you can!” She said excitedly as she quickly sat up on the edge of her bed. “Please come in Mrs. Neeley!”

    “Hello, Kellie.” Mrs Neelie had a big loving smile.  She went to the closet and started hanging Kellie’s for “special occasions”  dresses.  “How are you? You shouldn’t be inside on such a nice day.” She looked concerned as she opened the top drawer of Kellie’s chest. “Despite the reports of more snow tomorrow, it’s a nice day today,” she said as she finished her job. “Well, I’m helping your mother start dinner. Her wonderful chicken pot pies! You all are so lucky to have someone who can cook as well as your mom.” She picked up the basket and headed for the door, but Kellie was pulling on her skirt.

   “What is it, child?”

    “Mrs. Neeley” Kellie began, “will you play with  me?”

    “I would love to! But I still have to finish the laundry before I can start chopping vegetables for your mother’s pies.” Kellie looked up at her with her sad eyes. “Go and have some fun outside. It’s such a nice day!”

    Kellie released the skirt, and Mrs. Neeley gave her another big smiled as she went through the door.

    The vintage Barbie in her wide white skirt sat on a small table by Kellie’s bed. She looked exactly has she had that very first day that Kellie unwrapped her package.

    “Ms. Barbie, I know you would play with me if you were real.” She said very sadly. “At least, when I look at you, I always think of Nana.” Kellie fussed at the doll’s head, smoothing out the top and making sure that the pony tail had just the right curl.  Looking at her made Kellie smile.

    One day, Tandie looked  through the kitchen  window and watched Kellie trying to make a snowman by herself.

    “I’m worried about Kellie,” Tandie said to her husband when he entered the kitchen for his  third cup of coffee.

    “Worried about what?” He poured the hot coffee into his favorite mug, even though it was dirty from the first two cups he had earlier.

    “Well, have you’ve noticed how sad she’s been?”

    “She seems alright to me,” Ray said as he took a small sip from his mug.  “Sure, she plays a lot by herself, but that’s only because we’ve got the Christmas rush going. She’ll be fine once school is in session. I know she’ll have a new best friend forever in no time.”  He kissed  his wife on the cheek and promptly left the kitchen.

    Tandie continued to watch Kellie as she rolled a small ball of snow. Kellie  planned on making it the head of the just a bit larger mound of snow that was the body.

    One day, just before Christmas, Tandie decided to take Kellie along on her trip downtown.  They bundled up in their sweaters, coats and caps because the temperature had suddenly dropped, although there had not been any new snow. Kellie chose to wear the new jacket, cap and gloves that her Nana made her as an early Christmas present.

    On the first stop, Kellie looked around the store without much excitement.  “I won’t be long in here”, she promised  Kellie. “I just need to make a delivery to the Shine Cafe. Something was wrong with their original order.” Tandie stopped to rolled her eyes. She knew that her end of the order was correct.  Then she noticed her daughter looking at the ground in a bored trance. “Why don’t you visit  Santa?” She suggested. “The line isn’t long at all right now. I’ll be here by the time you’re done.”

    The longer Kellie stood in the line, the better she began to feel. Who else could she tell her biggest desire for Christmas? Santa, of course!

    As she was placed on Santa’s lap, she smiled brightly up at him.

    “Ho, ho, ho! What would you like for Santa to bring you?”

    “I wish for a new best friend,” she said happily in a matter of fact way.

    “Oh, little girl, I’m afraid that Santa can’t give you that. Best friends must be earned, not given.”

    “But I’ve been a good girl, Santa…” her voiced trailed as the Santa helper elf gave her a candy cane, took her off of Santa’s lap, and sent her on her way with a gentle tap on her back.

    “Merry Christmas!” he called as Kellie, slumped shoulder, went to find her mom.

    “Kellie, I’m here! Kellie!” Kellie heard her mother, but  felt too down to respond. “Sweetie,” Tandy said when she caught up with her. “What’s wrong?”

    “Can we go home now?”  Kellie whined as she looked up hopefully.

    “Well, I only  have one last order to drop off. Let’s find the car. The quicker we get there the quicker we can be home. Mrs. Neeley is cooking tonight. I forgot what it is, but we both know it’s going to be good!”

    The next delivery was to a small restaurant with an eccentric clientele.  Her specialty desserts were on the menu at Salena’s Cafe, and Tandie was having a hard time keeping up with their weekly orders. She was strongly thinking of having Mrs. Neeley work full-time, perhaps to do the footwork for her. Maybe even teach her how to do the “non special” part of her recipes.

  When they arrived, Kellie noticed the large beautiful park adjacent to the restaurant. There was clean white snow everywhere, and everything was very decked out for the holidays.

    “Listen, sweetie, I’ll be end and out of the restaurant in no time, I promise. Would you rather stay out here and enjoy the decorations?”

    “Can I do that Mommy?” Kellie asked.

    “Yes, you’ll be okay. Don’t stray too far and I’ll see you in a flash”.

    As Tandie walked awkwardly down the path with the order of pies and brownies, Kellie began  strolling along the park railing looking up at all of the beautiful ornaments that ran from one post to the next. Everywhere she looked, the silver, gold, red and green sparkled as the sun rays hit them.  Ray and Tandie had not stopped long enough to begin decorating their own home for the holidays, so Kellie really enjoyed this little outing. It reminded her of Christmas with her aunts, uncles, and Nana, and she held those memories dearly.

    Suddenly, Kellie found herself facing a beautiful sculpture made of ice. She stared, in disbelief. It was a fairy. She was tall and stately,  her wings spread out, and she wore a long  dress with a long trail. Her hair was long waves falling over her shoulders and down her back. She looked down kindly at passer byes with her arms in a gesture of kindness.

    “You’re beautiful,” Kellie said out loud. “I just know you’d play with me if you were real”.

    A police woman passing by over heard Kellie speaking to the sculpture. “Hello little girl. I’m officer Gutierrez.  What’s your name?”

    “Oh! You surprised me! I’m Kellie, Kellie Weston.” She said happily taking the officer’s hand in a friendly shake.

    “You must be new to our town, Kellie.”

    “My family and I moved her before the  first storm. I don’t know exactly how long that’s been. I remember moving, then snowing. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen snow!” She said excitedly.

    “I thought you were new or you would have known about our famous Snow Fairy.”

    “Snow Fairy…” Kellie said enthralled.

    “Yes. She’s made by the Lowry family. They were one of the first families to settle here, almost 300 years ago. Jack Lowry and his sons started carving the Snow Fairy every Winter since the dedication of Wrights park in 1901.  The process and pattern of carving the ice is passed on from one family member in one generation to the next.”

    The officer looked down and noticed that Kellie was more interested in looking at the sculpture than listening to what she was saying.

    “The Snow Fairy is not just another ice sculpture.”

    “What do you mean?” Kellie looked up to meet the officer’s smile.

    “Well, they say on Christmas Eve she comes alive for a very special child to grant a wish.”

    “Really?” Kellie asked very excited.

    “Really.” The officer said, still smiling.

    Kellie couldn’t stop smiling herself as she stared at the beauty of  the Snow Fairy. “I wish you would play with me. I know we would have lots of fun.”

    Tandie was coming down the walk and saw the police woman with Kellie. “Oh, no!” She thought for sure that she was in trouble for leaving her daughter by herself.  “Hello officer. I’m Tandie Weston, this little girl’s mother,” she said with a nervous smile. “Kellie, is there something you want to tell me?”

    “Mommy, this is the Snow Fairy! She comes every Winter to grant a special wish to a girl or boy!”

    Tandie was puzzled and looked at the policewoman for an explanation.

    “It’s an local legend. It is said that the Snow Fairy comes to life on Christmas Eve to grant a wish of a special child. I was just telling your daughter the history of the ice sculpture.”

    “See Mommy!  She comes alive to grant wishes!”

    “I understand, Kellie, but we’ve got to head home. Thanks officer…”

    “Gutierrez. Bianca Gutierrez. “

    “Thank you officer Bianca Gutierrez.”

       Kellie could not forget  what the officer  had told her, nor could she forget about the Snow Fairy. “Am I that special child?” She asked her doll. Barbie’s stood  in her place,  wearing her  perfect black eyeliner over bright blue eyes that looked over her right shoulder.   It was her  perfect “kissable”  red lips with the upturned corner that told Kellie that she was.

    On the night before Christmas Eve, the family was finally able to take time to prepare for Christmas day.  Ray had brought home the new artificial tree, which Tandie, with Kellie’s help, began to decorate.  There were some beautiful new trimmings to go around and around the large full cashmere pine, as well as the familiar ornaments that Tandie had been collecting since she was a child.

    Ray was outside with his trusty 20 foot ladder hanging icicles lighting around the eaves of the house.  A  neighbor crossed the street with his 17 footer asking Ray if he could use some help.  Ray accepted with much gratitude, even offering his new friend fresh hot coffee when it was time for a break.

    Slowly but surely, the Weston home took on a festive look, one that made Kellie feel a little better. She still missed everyone from their old neighborhood, but at least the house and yard was looking more festive, more like the holidays with her relatives.

    At night, the family all adjourned to the family room to watched Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” a family favorite.  Kellie loved to stand up and dance with the Oompa Loompas. Again, doing something familiar made Kellie happy, and she genuinely smiled and laughed as she watched the squirrels attack Veruca Salt.  Yes, it was a nice family evening.

   That night after she was dressed for bed, she went down on her knees beside her bed.          “…and I am thankful for my Mommy and Daddy.  And, if it isn’t too much, please have the Snow Fairy pick me as the special child so that I can get my wish for Christmas.”

    Kellie laid in bed still smiling. She hadn’t had a day like that with her family since they had moved into the new house. Also, she couldn’t stop thinking about the Snow Fairy, and she was the last thing on Kellie’s mind as she drifted off to sleep.

    It was finally Christmas Eve and Ray was on a step ladder putting the finishing touches up around the house.  Tandie was in the kitchen already beginning her desert for their own Christmas dinner, when she realized that she had forgotten about a special order for Salena’s Cafe that she had to deliver. The restaurant  was going to be open Christmas day for dinner, and they had ordered her holiday cakes and muffins. Since Kellie had enjoyed their last trip there, Tandie decided to take her along.

    As soon as Tandie dropped her daughter’s  hand at the entrance of the park, Kellie ran to the Snow Fairy sculpture.  She was just as beautiful as she was the first time Kellie saw her. She stood in awe looking up into the sculpture’s eyes. Then something happened that Kellie was not expecting. She clearly heard  the wind saying her name, calling her.  She wasn’t surprised or frightened, and without thinking about what she was doing,  Kellie had stepped over the railing into the thick trees behind the park.

     The wind kept calling her, very softly at first, but a little louder with each step that Kellie took into the forest.

    “Where are you?” Kellie asked just above a whisper.

    “I’m here”, came the wind.

    Kellie kept walking until, through the thickness of the forest, she saw a small clearing. A circle of a bright orange fire was burning in the center. When she entered the clearing, there was a large double swing made of wood with ivy leaves growing around the posts.  The seats were cushioned with a thick golden fabric, it’s brilliance of which Kellie could not look at for long.

    Sitting in the middle of the cushioned seat, swinging lazily back and forth, was a beautiful white fairy. Her skin was as smooth as porcelain, her wings spread out wide behind her, her dress was long with a long train in the back, and her eyes very light blue.  She smiled warmly at Kellie.

    Kellie couldn’t believe her eyes.

    “Wow!  You’re…you’re alive! You’re alive!” Kellie exclaimed. She wanted to jump up and down.

    “Yes, Kellie,” she said, kindly.

    “Am I the child whose wish you have granted?”

    “Yes, Kellie.”

    “You’ll play with me?”


    “Then, tag! You’re it!” Kellie shouted as she began to run.

       The Snow Fairy laughed and  musical notes filled the air. “You forgot that I have wings!”  She said as she ran after Kellie.

         Time seemed to slow down while Kellie was with the Snow Fairy. They played little games together, and the Snow Fairy knew the words to all of Kellie’s  favorite songs. They played and sang , and sang and played together for what could have been hours, Kellie couldn’t tell. She didn’t want to know. She had forgotten all about her mother and going  home to her father the entire time she was with the Fairy.

   “Kellie,” the Snow Fairy suddenly spoke seriously, “my time is almost up.  I must tell you that you will receive your wish, if you have faith.  Miracles do come true, but only through faith.”  The Snow Fairy brought her up close in her arms and kissed her forehead. “And lastly,  I have something for you.” She reached behind her neck and unhooked the chain that was strung through an unusual crystal. She put it on Kellie.    “Wear it always  and you will know that I am near.”

    Kellie held the crystal up to look at it. “It’s so beautiful.  It looks  like you,” she said.

    Kellie continued to stare at the crystal when she heard her name.  She turned her head towards the sound of the voice.

   “Goodbye, my special friend.” The Snow Fairy voice was a whisper.

   “Good…..” but, when Kellie turned around to where the fairy had stood, where the swing was and the fire, she saw only the snow covered forest.

    A voice behind her said, “There you are!” It was the police woman she had met the day when she first saw the sculpture. “You had us all worried! What are you doing out here by yourself? Didn’t your mother warned you about entering the forest.”

    Kellie didn’t respond. She was still looking in the very place where there had be a roaring fire, and the swing with the golden fabric.

    The officer was speaking into her phone, “Yes, yes, I found her. She’s fine. Tell her mother that she’s fine.”

    When Kellie was returned to her mother, Tandie was too overjoyed to be angry with her.   Kellie tried to tell her mother about the Snow Fairy, but Tandie wouldn’t listen.

       On Christmas morning, the Weston family sat around the tree to open their gifts.  Tandie got the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine that she had wanted. She was in the kitchen happily making espresso for the adults, and hot chocolate for her daughter.   Ray was happily sitting in his comfy chair playing Battlefield 4 Deluxe Edition.   Kellie was looking at her Littlest Pet Shop Playtime Park,  and more of the Littlest Pet Shop pets that she did not have already. She liked all of her gifts, but she wasn’t playing with any ot them. She was too  anxious to enjoy them because all she could think about was going to the park.

  “Daddy, Mommy said that you’d take me to the park before church.”

“Okay, kiddo, just give me a few minutes to pass this level in Levolution.”

    Her father told her he would take her, so Kellie brushed her teeth, brushed her hair, and soon was all ready to go. She was wearing her Sunday best pink dress  with white ribbons, and she wore white leggings. . She decided to wear her matching jacket, gloves and cap that her Nana had given her. It was a perfect match for what she was wearing on the inside.

    “Mommy, please, please. Can I go to the park?”  Kellie asked for the fifth time that morning.

     “Yes, Kellie, please stop asking. Your dad is going to take you for a walk in the park before we go to church very soon. That is, if he would stop playing his game long enough to get dressed.”

    “Ray!” Tandie called again. It was obvious that she was irritated.  “It’s getting late and you still have to get dressed. And you promised to take  Kellie to the park today. It was all your idea, and you can’t take away your promise.” Tandie looked at him sternly, like he was a child. Ray barely heard her. He always concentrates and closes off the world around him whenever he’s playing a game.

    “Just a minute, hon. I have to get out of this mess that I got myself into.” Ray explained.

    “I’m going to unplug the console.” Tandie threatened very calmly as she walked towards the outlet.

    “Don’t!” Ray shouted. He immediately saved, then stood up to stretch.  “Okay, I’ll get dressed.”

    Ray wasn’t sure how to get to the Salena’s Cafe, so he had to set his GPS  for the park.. Kellie knew the name, so that helped.

   “Dad, let’s go, please.”

    “Kellie, you need to be patient.” He drove out of the drive way and listened to the voice of the GPS as it lead him to the park. Kellie looked through the window having a hard time  containing herself.

    When they arrived, and Ray picked a parking space near the walk, Kellie jumped out of the car.

    “Kellie, please stay by me. I don’t want you to get lost again” Ray warned.

    But it was too late.   Kellie didn’t listen to her father’s warning  as she ran to the spot where the ice sculpture stood.

   “She’s gone!” Kellie exclaimed.

    “I know.”  A little girl around Kellie’s age stood behind her, slightly to the right,  watching her. “I always come to see her, but never on Christmas Day,” she said. “This year, I just had to come see her.”

    Kellie approached her.
“You’ve  been coming to see the Snow Fairy sculpture?” Kellie asked.

    “Yeah. Since I was very little.” The  girl said.  “Hey! You’ve wearing the same pink cap and gloves like me! Where did you get yours?”

    Kellie didn’t  notice at first, but the little girl did have on a cap and gloves just like hers.

    “My Nana made them.”

    The little girl smiled. “Nana? Is that your grandmother?”

    “Yes, it is”, Kellie said. “Do you have a  Nana?”

    “Yeah, I call my grandmother, grandma. And she made my cap and gloves, too!”

    Both little girls smiled at each other.

   “Hey! How about that?   You  have a necklace just  like my Mom!” the girl said excitedly.  “Hey!  Mom, show her your necklace!” She called to her mother who was not far away as she excitedly pointed at Kellie.

    The mother walked up to her daughter. Like Kellie had done to  her father, the girl had run ahead of her mother to look for the Snow Fairy.

    “Don’t be so rude, dear. It’s not very polite to point.” The mother said, as her daughter continued to point at Kellie. She introduced herself.  “My name is Faith Snow, and this rude little girl  is my daughter, Kara.”

    Kellie stared at the necklace in disbelief. “What did you say?  What’s your name?”

    “Faith Snow.  What’s your name?”

   “My name is Kellie.” Suddenly, Kellie reached around Faith’s waist and  hugged her. Faith, unsettled, reached down and returned the hug.

    “Hey, that’s my mom!” Kara exclaimed.

    “Kara, it’s okay. Be polite.”

     Kellie let go and stood back a few inches to compare her crystal with Faith.

    “What do you know. They are alike,“ Faith said very surprised.  “This is a very rare crystal, and both of us have one.”

    Ray finally caught up with Kellie slightly out of breath.

    “Kellie, what have we’ve told you about running ahead of us like that? I’ve been searching all over the park looking for you. I was afraid that you might have gone into the forest again.”

    “Daddy, Daddy, this is Faith Snow! And she has the same crystal that I have!  I was meant to find her! The Snow Fairy told me so!” Kellie was so excited that the words came out in a rapid speed. .

    “I’m glad that you found someone to talk to.” Ray said, as he continued to catch  his breath. “But, please calm down.”

    Kellie hugged Faith again, and Kara folded her arms in a big “huff”.

    “I’m sorry for Kellie’s behavior. I’ll talk to her later,” Ray said. It was the first time that he had looked at Faith.

   Faith laughed and Kellie noticed how much it sounded like the Snow Fairy’s laugh.

  “She’s not bothering me, honest. I think she’s a very sweet girl. I am Faith Snow, and that’s my daughter Kara. Say hello Kara.”

    Still angry about Kellie hugging her mother, she managed a “Nice to meet you.”

   “My name is Ray. Ray Weston.” He reached out his shake Faith’s hand.  “I suppose you need to get home yourself, and we have church. Come along Kellie.”

    “But, but…” Kellie protested as she pointed at Faith as Ray took her hand.

    “Kara and I have no hurry to go to a restaurant for our Christmas dinner,” Faith said. “My husband couldn’t get home in time for Christmas, so all of his family cancelled on me. Well, Happy Christmas, and enjoy your day.”

    Ray’s grip on Kellie’s hand loosened enough for her to run to Kara.

    “Do you want to play?” She asked Kara.

    “Sure.” Kara’s smile had returned as she touched Kellie. “Tag, you’re it!” And she began running up the walk.

    “Hey! That’s not fair! I’m going to get you!” Kellie called after Kara as she began to chase her.

      Ray and Faith laughed when the girls ran past.  Ray looked at his watch. “I guess I can afford a little bit of time for Kellie to play” Ray said, still smiling.  “She’s been so lonely.” He paused for a moment, then asked,  “Don’t you have family here?”

    “No. When we moved here, it made it closer for Nick’s family, but not mine. And now, if I did want to take a plane trip, I’ll be paying an arm and a leg to get there.”

    Ray laughed. “I haven’t heard anyone say that phrase in years!”

    “I learned a lot old phrases like that from my grandma, and I actually get a kick out of using them now and then.” She smiled.

    “Look,”  Ray started, “why don’t you and your daughter come and eat dinner with us? My wife loves to cook, and she’s used to cooking for a large family, so we’d have food coming out of our ears if we tried to eat it all.”

   Faith laughed. “I like you Ray!” She said as she nodded her head. Then she paused for a moment before she said,  “Why not?” She was smiling as she pulled out a small busines card from her purse. “Here’s my phone number. Call me with your address and what time you’d like for us to be there.”

    “Great! My wife, Tandie, will be  happy that there’re more mouths to feed.” And again, both Ray and Faith laughed.

   “ I don’t know why, but I have this feeling that our two families are going to be good friends.”

    That encounter was the beginning of the Weston’s and the Snow’s friendship.  Faith didn’t need to work, so she was free every day before Kara was home from school. Happy to hear that, Tandie offered her a job. Faith took it without having to take time to think about it. Baking and making other treats everyday was something Faith could get into.  Tandie also put Mrs. Neeley on full time. It was time to  hire someone to create her  website, and before she knew it, there was  ‘Tandie’s Treats’, with the advertisement decal on the back of her window and door.

  Ray and Nick found that they had something in common as well. Video Console  games. They were able to play games that involved more than one player. What Ray didn’t have, Nick did, and vice versa. Both men were very competitive, and as long as Ray kept to his orders, Tandie didn’t worry about having to hide the cables from him.

    After that first Winter break was over,  Kellie discovered that her 3rd class was next door to Kara’s. The two girls saw each other everyday during lunch. Kellie made other friends, good friends that lived in the neighborhood, ones she could play with during the breaks. But her best friend was Karra.  They were together all through middle and secondary school, and they were both accepted at  University Of California in Berkeley. Both of them wanted to get as far away from the snow as possible.  Kellie majored in Graphics Arts which made her father proud. Kara pursued communications and her parents were very proud of her.

    Each holiday, the two families switched off who was going to be the host. The Westons also became friends with all of the Faith’s family. When it was Tandie’s and Ray’s turn to host, the entire Faith family would be there as well.

      Even though Kellie knows that her Snow Fairy is long gone, she still goes to Wright Park to visit every winter, and wonder.