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The Jacksons

Jennifer Jackson stood at the dining room window of the Jackson house gazing out across the yard and up the driveway and down the empty beyond.

“I thought they were going to be here at two o’clock,” she said. “Where the heck are they?”

Andrew looked up from the sports section. “As Winnie the Pooh would say,” he said, “you never can tell with newlyweds.”

“You mean bees,” said Jennifer. “Winnie the Pooh said you never can tell with bees.”

“Bees and newlyweds then,” said Andrew. “And of the two,” he added, “I think newlyweds are less predictable.”

Jennifer heaved a sigh. “One more reason to never be a newlywed,” she said, but just as she spoke the familiar rumble of her brother Brady’s Trans Am could be heard coming up the road.

“Finally! They’re here!” Jennifer was off like a shot, the front door slamming behind her as she raced out into the yard to greet Brady and Amanda. Andrew got up from his own chair to stand at the window. He watched the car pull into the yard and park, and smiled to see Jennifer open the passenger side door from outside, and then give her new sister-in-law a great big hug before the girl even had time to get completely out of the car. Andrew felt a hand on his arm as Rose appeared beside him.

“They look happy,” said Andrew.

“That’s a very good thing,” said Rose, and then turned towards the door as it opened to let the three youngsters in. “Welcome back,” she said giving each of the newlyweds a welcoming hug. “Come and sit! How are you?”

“We’re awesome!” said Amanda seating herself in the chair next to Brady and leaning her head comfortably on his shoulder. Brady nodded in agreement.

“I don’t know if everybody’s honeymoon is as fun as ours,” he said, “but that was pretty amazing! Two weeks of sleeping in, relaxing, eating and having somebody else do all the work. The only thing we had to do was cook, and that was just part of the fun! It was a little like being back in the Garden of Eden.”

“Except in the Garden of Eden nobody had to work or cook,” said Jennifer.

“A small unimportant detail,” said Brady.

“How was the East Coast?” asked Rose. “And where did you stay?”

“The coast is spectacular,” said Brady. “We stayed in a beautiful little house on Cape Breton Island. Just the two of us. And the ghosts of course. The house wasn’t on the coast but on Cape Breton you’re never more than a few minutes from the coast anyway.”

“Ghosts? You and the ghosts?” Rose was both surprised and incredulous.

“The house was haunted,” said Amanda. “Who knew? The brochure didn’t mention that.”

There was a moment of silence while the others pondered this.

“Seriously? You stayed in a haunted house on your honeymoon?” said Jennifer. “How cool is that?”

“Well it was a little bit of a shock at first,” said Amanda, “but it turns out neither of us is afraid of ghosts and the ghosts didn’t seem to care that we were there as long as we stayed out of the second bedroom. Which was fine with us since we didn’t mind sharing a bedroom.”

“Especially a bedroom with a $30,000 antique Victorian four-poster bed in it,” added Brady.

“My goodness,” said Rose. She turned to Andrew. “We’ve never slept in a $30,000 bed.”

“Depends how you look at it,” said Andrew. “If you factor in everything that’s come out of it our bed has cost us a lot more than that!”

“True enough,” said Rose, “though it’s not the same thing at all.”

Brady laughed. “The problem with a $30,000 bed is, if you have one you feel like you need to stay in it most of the time to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.”

“Which is less of a problem when you’re on a honeymoon I suppose,” said Rose. “But you did find other things to do I’m guessing?”

“Oh yes!” said Amanda. “We drove the Cabot Trail, we saw humpback whales and bald eagles and moose and puffins and ate oysters and lobster and mussels and salmon and saw the Rankin Family play at a little pub in Baddeck…”

“And that was just Monday,” said Brady. “Tuesday we didn’t get up till two.”

“I just changed my mind,” said Jennifer. The others turned to look at her. “About getting married,” she said. “I’ve decided I want a honeymoon.”

Amanda laughed. “And you should have one someday,” she said. “But when the time comes don’t forget there’s only one detail that really matters.”

“Really?” said Jennifer. “What’s that?”

Amanda looked up at Brady. “Whom you go with,” she said.

Brady grinned. “You got that right,” he said turning his head to kiss Amanda’s forehead. “You sure got that right!”

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