THE CALLISON HOME -
on, everybody, they're about to leave!" Maggie Callison called out as she
raced into the foyer, quickly followed by all of the party guests.
"Not quite yet, dear," Francis
Callison laughed as she stood at the bottom of the stairs. "The girls
still have one very important thing left to do before they head off on their
sure do!" Jillian spoke up,
Stephanie by her side, as they looked down at
the crowd from their position on the second floor landing. "Now, we
need all the single girls to get together so Steph and I can throw our
you all better stay out of my way because I'm going to catch one of them,"
Maggie warned with a sly grin.
"Maggie!" Francis chastised.
"Don't be so over eager!"
on the count of three," Stephanie said as she and Jillian turned around and
prepared to honor tradition. "One...two...three!"
As soon as the bouquets went airborne, there
was a rush of girls trying to find the exact spot where each one would
land. Of course, each girl was so eager to catch one of the bouquets that
a shoved friend or a stepped-on foot didn't matter. However, in a
matter of moments, the contest was over and the victors held their prized
catches up in the air for all to see.
my gosh, I actually caught it!" Ruby Thomas laughed. "I can't
"And I've got the matching one,"
Janet Stokes grinned as she waved her bouquet at the crowd. "Maybe
there'll be another double wedding."
don't think so," Burt Lamont said softly as he came up behind Janet.
"I want our wedding to be ours and ours alone."
smiled at him and then wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a
kiss. They both knew that with their secret engagement, a wedding for them
wasn't as far off as anyone might expect.
"What...does this mean?" Ruby asked
as she turned to her boyfriend, Dr. Calvin
Jackson. "What does
catching the bouquet mean?"
"It means that whoever catches it is the
next girl to get married." He grinned slyly and pulled her into his
arms. "Doesn't sound like too bad of an idea, does it?"
"M-married?" she stammered
right, girls, come on down here!" Reginald Callison spoke up as he looked
up at the brides who were slowly making their way down the stairs.
"Paddy and I have our cars ready and waiting outside. Let's get this
show on the road."
Steph, I want to get to Davenport before it gets too late." Patterson
greeted his new wife with a kiss as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Stephanie, at least you know where
you're going," Jillian grumbled. "I can't pry our
destination out of him!"
know where you're going," Charles Callison grinned slyly. "And
trust me, Jillian, you're going to love it."
"You know?" Her eyes widened
with surprise and she turned to her new husband. "Darling, why does
your father know and I don't?"
"Because he's not going with us,"
Reginald grinned slyly.
"Oh!" she grumbled in annoyance.
"Now, wait a second!"
spoke up as she quickly walked over to Reginald, her housekeeper and close
Jackson, close behind her. "You can't leave until
you give me a proper good-bye."
"Of course, Nana," Reginald smiled
and then hugged her tightly.
"Now, you take good care of this little
lady." Mary paused and stepped back as she looked at her entire
family, standing together. "And I want you all to know exactly how
much I'm going to miss you."
"Nana, you act like your not going to be
seeing us for a while," Reginald laughed. "Jillian and I are
only going to be gone for a week or so."
"Well...." Mary glanced from
Reginald to Dorothea and took a deep breath. "There's something I've
been meaning to tell you all."
this sounds...serious." Francis took a step towards Mary, a
look of concern on her face.
it's not life or death," Mary laughed. "It's just
that...well...you know that I've spent most of my time traveling since your
father died. I only came to Albanyville for Reginald and Jillian's engagement
party last year, but you starting having some...well...problems...."
Without thinking, her eyes quickly went to Charles. "I only stayed in
town because you needed me. Well, now that everything is back to normal
and this family is back on track, it's time for me and Dottie to go back on the
road. We're due in the Catskills in a few days."
Calvin asked with confusion as he looked at his mother. "Mamma, you
can't just leave!"
Calvin," Dorothea said softly and then grabbed her son's hands.
"My place is by Mary's side. It's not like I'm leaving town
forever. We'll be back for visits."
"I've just gotten use to having you
"Calvin, listen to your mother,"
Mary spoke up. "We're all family. That doesn't change just
because all of us aren't going to be in the same town." She turned to
to the newlyweds. "Now, you folks better get going. You can't
put off the rest of your lives on our account."
"Oh, Nana, I'm going to miss
you." Trevor came over and hugged his grandmother tightly.
"And I'm going to miss you,
too." She took a step back and turned to face the entire
family. "We're going to miss all of you."