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The Flint Riggins Story Pt. 2

Pt. 2 The winter of 1998 was particularly tough on all of us. The roads were plowed continuously yet never clear, the drifts rose so high we drove through tunnels and walkways and driveways were a never ending job. If you planned on getting out of the house in the morning, you shoveled last thing in the evening. Of course, we were used to it, living in this part of the country demands preparation for the seasons and most of us loved it. I had come to occupy the family lake house full time while I attempted to put the fragments of my life back together: not at all like they used to be, yet mended back together in a way that would allow me to continue living on my own. Discovering that my best friend and husband of twenty six years had a secret life which included a young lover and a child stomped out the fairy tale of happily ever after. I’ve learned it was all a mirage unfortunately. And now, for the second part of my life; a true one, an honest one. I will never let me down, I decided. I will take good care of…

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The Flint Riggins Story, Pt. 1

  Hi! I’m sorry my blog is late getting out this week. Life just gets in the way doesn’t it? I received so much positive feedback from the Cammie Orton series I decided to do it again. So, here we go! I hope you enjoy it. Mary Ann The Story of Flint Riggins Part 1 Flint Riggins was a friend of a friend of a friend of mine. I never really wanted to get to know the guy, but as it turned out, I had no choice. Destiny is a curious thing. Total confusion along the way and then suddenly, there you are, face to face with it. I’ll never know how it all came about. Just that it did and sometimes that has to be good enough. Acceptance I guess: simple acceptance. It was 1998 when I first met him. He had a dog named Vern. I’ll never forget how hard I laughed over a dog named Vern. I mean seriously, can’t you just hear it. “Vernon!”  Flint would holler. “Vern you come on now.” I’m not the only one who cracked up over that name. The dog lived to obey. His adoration for his master was evident in…

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Pt. 6 (and the end) of The Cammie Orton Story

Pt. 6 Ann clamored down the stairs as quickly as she could, grasping the pealing metal railing, flecks of paint fleeing her hands like snow in the wind. Maddy and I froze at the top of the stairs. Our eyes locked. “Let’s give her minute,” she muttered. I nodded understanding the possible need for a private moment as Ann passed under the crumbling door frame. There was nothing but silence. I could hear my heart pounding. We waited a couple of minutes before hearing Ann’s soft voice strangled in tears. “Who…how could she…how long?” Maddy and I slowly descended the steep stairs and peaked cautiously into the cellar. Odors crept our way, invading our sense of smell with that chilling dampness and old mold cellars are famous for. But what we beheld defied the odor. The room, no larger than a prison cell, was the definition of a desperate attempt at survival with dignity. An old wooden crate turned on it’s side served as a night stand next to a cot. The cot was tiny and metal, like an old army cot. Although it obviously lacked a mattress, it was piled with old quilts and pillows of all sizes and…

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Pt. 5 of the Cammie Orton Story

  Part 5 “Come on Maddy,” I tugged on her arm. “What are you doing?” She stood glued to the ground staring at the Orton’s back door. “Did you not see the backpack right there?” Maddy nodded toward the porch as she reluctantly began following me up the driveway. “Yes, I saw it.” “I think she’s planning on leaving, that’s what I think. We need to call Kathy immediately.” She shifted into her speed walk mode, unable to get a foot through her own front door fast enough. I let myself in behind Maddy, heading straight for her kitchen and a cup of coffee I knew was waiting in the thermos. Maddy came in with her cell phone and placed the call to Kathy Orton, a noticeable unsteadiness in her voice. I got the cream out of the refrigerator and put it on the table with a spoon. “Sit down Maddy,” I said and nodded toward her chair. She took a seat with a heavy sigh as she waited for an answer while I poured her a cup and stirred in a little cream. “Kathy? Hi! It’s Magdalene at the beach.” Magdalene dove right in, telling Kathy all about the…

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Pt. 4 of the Cammie Orton Story

Part 4 About a week later Magdalene was back and she and I planned an early morning walk.  “Hey Magdalene,” I called and waved as I approached her. “It’s good to have you back. How was the trip?” “Good,” she flashed her famous impish grin, “I can’t get enough of those grandkids.” We hugged then headed down the beach toward the cove, our customary walk. “I know what you mean. Tell me what’s new with them.” As much as I wanted to dive right in on the whole Orton mystery, I needed to let Magdalene fill me in on the little ones, all of whom I’ve met over the years. “They’re not so little anymore, Maddy,” I said when she finished. “You need to talk someone into having another baby.” She laughed. “So, tell me what’s been going on since I’ve been gone. Anything new with you sand fleas?” She nodded down the beach toward the row of beach homes and cabins. “Not really. But I think there’s something new with you hill people.” I looked up at the houses on the hill and nodded. “Oh, what’s that?” “Have you ever met Cammie Orton? She’s apparently a niece of the…

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Pt. 3 of the Cammie Orton Story

Part 3 In the following weeks, Cammie and I ran into each other regularly, usually walking the beach early in the mornings. She offered nothing more than a weak smile and a wave, so it came as quite a surprise when one morning she stood on the beach in front of my house and called my name. “Hey,” I stepped outside and waved from my deck, “good morning.” “Hi,” she looked down at her feet then back up at me, shading her eyes with one hand, the other fluttering about as if it had nowhere to land. “I hate to bother you, but you wouldn’t happen to have an extra cup of coffee would you?” I was so shocked, I was slow to reply. “Sorry,” she stammered looking back down at her feet, “I shouldn’t…” “Of course I do,” I interrupted. “Come up. A little company this morning would be nice.” The dogs were wagging their tails, excited by the idea of more hands to pet them, I’m sure. Cammie climbed the stairs, opened the gate at the landing then continued up to my deck. The t-shirt she was wearing had seen better days. It was sky blue by default,…

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Pt. 2 of the Cammie Orton Story

Pt. 2 Not long after our first encounter I spotted her about a block down the beach from my house, wading out into the water with a rake and a bucket. Crabs, I thought. It’s an easy was to catch crabs if you’re without a boat and/or pots. Yet there was something odd about the whole scene. I snatched the binoculars from the basket on the deck table and quickly discovered what was troubling me. She was in the same clothes she’d worn the first time we’d run into each other; the billowy long white pants, tank top, old slip on sneakers. Now the pants appeared to drag her down as they became soaked up to her thighs. She seemed to struggle while putting one foot in front of the other, sternly concentrating on the sandy bottom. I wondered why she hadn’t put on shorts or a bathing suit if she’d planned to wade so far into the bay. It wasn’t long before she had a crab in her rake, pinchers snapping as it struggled to get free. The bucket was under the teeth of the rake in a second as she shook the crustacean off. Then she turned towards…

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The Story of Cammie Orton (again)

For those of you who have already read this story’s beginning, I apologize. Summer got in the way of writing, so I’m starting over. It’s been so long, you probably can’t remember it anyway! My blog postings over the next few weeks will be an ongoing story I’ve wanted to share for quite some time. It occurred to me the other day that I could do it as long as I break it up into as many blogs as it takes to relay the whole adventure without wearing my readers out in any one sitting. So, here goes…I hope you enjoy it. The Story of Cammie Orton  Cammie Orton was the only name I ever knew her by although it’s doubtful that was really her name. We first met one day about five years ago in the early morning while I was walking the beach with my dogs and she was combing for treasures, tossing shells and beach glass into an old worn duffel bag slung over her shoulder. She was tiny in stature; probably just under five feet tall, maybe ninety pounds. Her hair was bigger than life, gold streaks intertwined with mahogany and nearly reaching her waist. Her…

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The Story of Cammie Orton

 My blog postings over the next few weeks will be an ongoing story I’ve wanted to share for quite some time. It occurred to me the other day that I could do it as long as I break it up into as many blogs as it takes to relay the whole adventure without wearing my readers out in any one sitting. So, here goes…I hope you enjoy it. The Story of Cammie Orton Cammie Orton was the only name I ever knew her by although it’s doubtful that was really her name. We first met one day about five years ago in the early morning while I was walking the beach with my dogs and she was combing for treasures, tossing shells and beach glass into an old worn duffle bag slung over her shoulder. She was tiny in stature; probably just under five feet tall, maybe ninety pounds. Her hair was bigger than life, gold streaks intertwined with mahogany and nearly reaching her waist. Her wild curls dwarfed perfect features. I was instantly struck by her appearance. She had the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen and lashes thick as feathers. Her smile made me feel as though we were…

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Beauty in a Bottle

After years of insisting that one mascara is not just as good as any other, my daughter has won the debate. We conducted a test and the high end mascara’s costing three times the average price are indeed, much better. Now that my lifetime search for the best products out there is down by one, I’m excited to continue on. There is an infinite array of beauty products available these days, each touted to be the product that will change my life. I have fallen hard and fast for so many, like a flash flood careening down a mountain side, taking out trees and boulders and millions of pounds of earth as it goes. These products have promised a newness in me that compares only with starting over from birth. As that isn’t going to happen, I’ve opted to believe in serums formulated to ease the wrinkles from the creases around my eyes, from the corners of my mouth, from the crevices in my forehead. I have been convinced over and over again that this product, this one and only product, this new discovery, after centuries of laboratory research, will be the one truly offering the fountain of youth. All…

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