Monday, December 10, 2012

My Favorite Christmas with Ruth Hartman

It was Christmas Eve night. It seemed like any other date we’d had up to that evening. Garry picked me up in his old Ford pick-up truck, its brown and tan paint interrupted with small patches of rust. We were going to see a movie, “Reds”, which we both ended up thinking was awful. But since we were young, in love, and liked to kiss during the darkness of the movie, we probably didn’t see much of the movie, anyway J.
I opened the door, now used to the creak of the hinges. When I climbed up into the truck and took my usual place in the passenger seat, I noticed a small, green bag in the plastic cubby between the seats. That’s new. What was he up to? It couldn’t have an engagement ring it. We’d talked about getting engaged on my birthday, more than a month away.
I raised my eyebrows. “What’s this?” I eyed the green bag.
“You weren’t supposed to see that yet.”
I pointed down. “It’s right there. How could I not see it?”
He let out an exaggerated sigh. “Oh all right. Since you saw it, I might as well show you what it is.”
I took a deep breath as he reached for the little bag. Inside, was a tiny green box. Was it…? Could it be…?
As he opened the box, its hinges snapped. I gasped. It really was a ring!
He smiled. “Thought I’d surprise you a little early.” He took it out of the box. The shiny solitaire sparkled as it caught light from the streetlight outside.
Oh, I was surprised, all right. “It’s perfect. Perfect.”
He shrugged. “I paid attention that time we were in the jewelry store.”
“But I never actually picked one out.” I stared at the ring, longing to touch it.
“Still, I watched which ones you looked at the longest.”
I sighed. My Garry. A practical joker by nature, his first impulse is usually to tease me about something. He doesn’t always come right out and say what he’s really feeling. He does it more by his actions. And when he does, it’s always so sweet.
He slipped the ring on my finger. Somehow, it seemed like it belonged there. Like the ring had been made just for me. Just for this very night. The ring fit perfectly. I tried to imagine by big, tall boyfriend going into the jewelry store by himself, not asking for help from the store clerk, just picking out the pretty, dainty diamond ring. I kind of wished I could have seen that, but this way, surprising me, was so much better.
He pulled me close and touched his lips to mine. “I love you. Marry me?”
A tear traveled down my cheek. “I love you, too. You know I’ll marry you.”
We held each other a little while longer. I sighed and put my head under his chin. “Now you know what we have to do.”
He pulled back and looked me. “What?”
“Tell my parents.”
He chuckled. “Yeah. That should be interesting.”
Since I was only eighteen, I didn’t know how they’d react. “I say we wait til tomorrow.”
“Good plan. Everything’s better when you wait til tomorrow.”
“Merry Christmas.”
The kiss we shared sealed our engagement.

Izzy Hodgkin just wants an adventure. Who knew that involved being locked in a closet in 2012, then being transported to 1812 when the door is opened later?

Charles Hamilton Douglas Wade, Duke of Bramblewood Green, thinks he will never find the right woman. When he opens his closet door one day, imagine his surprise to find a woman in there. And she’s from the future!

Will Izzy stick with her plan to return to 2012 America to achieve her goal of financial independence? Or will she and Charles find happiness in 1812?


  1. Ruth!! Your story is beautiful! And beautifully told. I was THERE. Enjoying it with you. :-)

    And your book sounds fabulous! I think I'll need to read that one ASAP.

  2. Thanks, Lisa and April :). And I just read this post to Garry. He said I got it pretty much right ( This did happen in 1981, after all!). He reminded me that when we saw the movie, the reel kept breaking. It happened a bunch of times, and every time they'd turn on all the lights and we'd have to wait. The sad thing was, the movie was awful to begin with!

  3. Great story. And would make a terrific scene in a book, if you haven't already used it somewhere.

  4. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! How sweet -- and yes, perfect for the June story type AP is looking for. :-D

  5. What a lovely memory of a lovely time!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!