An Excerpt – Chapels Coriander Pie

The following is a short story, from an eBook I’m working on, called The Lady From Landers. I’d love your opinion about Chapel’s Coriander Pie.

Chapel’s Coriander Pie

Great Great Great Grandmother was poor.  Though not from birth.  She was Commodore Chapel’s daughter, and had everything, until she met Bobby Carswell.  The Commodore thought he was a gold digger, and forbid her to marry him.  

Great Great Great, hugged her Daddy, and said goodbye.  Then Bobby was called to war before the wedding.  Before she left the Commodore’s house in anger, he pressed his recipe book into her hand.

She had her recipe book, her Dad’s talent, and was desperate. She sold baked goods to make money, as she rented a room from Uncle Harvey and Aunt June in town.

The Commodore was too proud to give in, and so was GGG. She loved her Dad, but believed he was wrong. Still he loved his daughter, and was at the store everyday.

They didn’t speak at first, yet weakened over time. Eventually, every morning, they spent an hour talking.  The Commodore would visit her booth in her Uncle Harvey’s store, and buy most of the baked goods.

They were on good, if not perfect terms when Bobby came home, his arm injured from the war. The three of them took a stroll, and the Commodore awkwardly started to apologize.  

Great started to cry, but Bobby stopped them.  “It’s me who needs to apologize to you both.  I’ll be honest sir, I did start dating your daughter because of your money. Until the night before I shipped out.”

The Commodore was angry, but he wasn’t going to damage the relationship with his daughter again over an I told you so.  As softly as he could, he asked him what happened.

“She told me a story, about a young, very sick young woman. About the sailor who left a prominent sea career to take care of her, and took a job in a bakery.  How he used any scraps he could to make stuff to sale on the side, including an unexpectedly good oddity, Coriander Pie.  

I saw a person who was the product of love, and I fell in love.  I never had that sir. I didn’t know my parents, had to fight for everything I had.  I saw something beautiful, someone who believed in love, who believed in you, and who believed in me.”

“If she’ll still have me, only with your blessing, I’d like to marry your daughter. Also, I’m marrying her, not your money. We will make our own way.”

The Commodore looked at his daughter, and she smiled. He gave his blessing, and they had Coriander Pie at the Wedding, in a small country Chapel.  One last surprise happened a couple of grandchildren later. 

The couple was surviving, but barely. The Commodore wanted to give the kids some money.  Bobby refused.  Until the Commodore finally pulled his trump card. 

“I’ll respect your wishes Bobby, just one thing. I gave my single daughter a recipe book, and she had it when you married her. It was hers by then, not mine.”

“You know, every page in that recipe book I gave Candace, before the wedding mind you, is valuable. Especially that last page.  Well, I think I’ll head home to bed. Good night loves.” The Commodore laughed all the way home.  

She grabbed the recipe book, then she laughed. Bobby looked, and started laughing. Candace knew what was on the last page, it was Daddy’s Coriander Pie. A recipe she never looked at, because she knew it by heart.

Pinned to the page was a piece of paper, a stock certificate for the majority control of the Commodore’s business empire.  “This deed is bequeathed to the owner of this recipe book, from a proud, and loving Dad.”

Pastel, Porticlese, And Plane Rides

Sometimes we make assumptions. We assume that we know what to expect, and then surprises happen.  This silly little story, and it’s designed to be silly, has a point.  We discover at times, that what we thought was random and unproductive, turns out to be a very specific path to our future.  I hope you enjoy this little farce, and that it gives you a smile to go through your day.  

Lilly Caruthers piloted a blimp. She traveled from New York State to Toronto every November. Once there, she would eat at her favorite restaurant, and shop at all the stores she liked.  

Once finished, she would make the return trip. Upon her arrival home, she would plan next year’s trip. Lilly Caruthers had been doing this since she was 59 years old. 

Lilly was now 83. She also was extremely rich, and tremendously bored. This year, Lily decided to do something totally different. The question was, what would that be? So she consulted her crew.  

Her pet rabbit named Stewart, and her assistant, Porticlese Nova Junior. The nineteen year old took his Dad’s position once he retired last year. He was allergic to rabbits, so Porticlese sneezed a lot.  

Stewart reminded Lilly of a tall man with whiskers, and Porticlese reminded her of a rabbit. His Father hadn’t looked like a rabbit, he had looked like an actor she knew. This made her laugh often for the first six months of Junior’s employment, until it began to bore her.  

Lilly needed a change, but still hadn’t decided what. So she went shopping for a new hat. Hats soothed Lilly, except for gray ones, they just made her angry.  

Lilly didn’t own anything gray, for that reason. All of her clothes, and every other item in her life, was a pastel color. Pastels made her happy, which gave her an idea.
She asked her smart phone to call the nearest person named Pastél. It found a lawyer named George Pastél. Lilly thought of all lawyers as great legal minds, arguers of brilliant cases.

George wasn’t, he spent most of his days reviewing contracts for a television network. He was almost as bored as Lilly was. They met for lunch, Lilly was instantly impressed with the forty five year old. 

This wasn’t because he was entertaining, instead she saw in him a kindred spirit. A fellow member on the S.S. Boredom in need of rescue. Lilly decided to change her life, George’s, and those around her.

She sent a text, rented a car, and bought a private plane. The trip Lilly had planned was to long for her blimp. She was about to attempt something new, and required new transportation.

The next morning, Lilly announced to her new lawyer, old pet, and young assistant, that they were taking a trip. “We are traveling to Calcutta, Monaco, and Okinawa.” “What are we going to do there?” Porticlese asked.

She smiled, “Live my boy, live. We are going to conquer new territory, claim new opportunities, and establish the starting point for future escapades. All while making a fortune. Pack as little as possible.”

George thought she was crazy, but he didn’t care. It was an adventure, and before retirement, he wanted one. He put his house up for rent, quit the television company, and bought a red sport coat.

Porticlese purchased two months worth of allergy medication. He also bought books about the cities they were traveling too. Lilly stocked up on rabbit food for Stewart, hired a pilot, a stewardess, and bought a new dress to match her new hat.

Connie Vance was her pilot. Like George, she was forty five. Lilly had plucked her from flying planes for a freight company. Her nineteen year old daughter Heidi came along as the stewardess.  

Porticlese spent a lot of time talking to Heidi. George caught himself conversing with her Mother every few minutes. Lilly smiled as she read an article on the Prince Of Monaco.

Upon arrival in Kalcutta, Lilly bought a cricket team. They spent a week enjoying the city, and then, cricket team and all, set course for Monaco. That night, Lilly got sick from eating something that didn’t agree with her. She spent the next few days in the hospital.

Connie and George visited every day. Stewart kept her company in his cage beside of her hospital bed. They both enjoyed watching old movies. While there, Lilly had another visitor, the Prince.

The two of them had went to college together. She convinced the Prince to host a charity cricket game between her team and the best team in Monaco. The winner would win a hundred thousand dollars for their favorite charity.

By the time of the game, Lilly was better. It was so successful that each charity received two hundred thousand dollars. On a totally unrelated occurrence, Lilly’s team got so much press that a businessman offered to buy the team.  

She refused, and instead, bought a yacht. Lilly gave the captain instructions to meet them in the harbor near the Okinawa air port, on the day they were scheduled to return home from Japan.

In the mean time, Lilly’s cricket team played another expedition game, this time against a Japanese baseball team. Each attempted to win by playing their own sport. Lilly advertised it as a Sports Battle Royale, selling the rights to the local networks.

George negotiated the contract for her, and she bought Stewart a Japanese rabbit girlfriend, Hattie. Porticlese proposed to Heidi after Lilly’s team won the game. Lilly announced that she would have a press conference the next morning.

That night, she had her little crew come to her hotel room. For the first time since they had met the one woman hurricane, she looked tired. “Hello Dears. Come in, come in.”

George spoke first. “Lilly are you okay?” She took his hand. “Yes dear, I’m just tired. It’s been a long, and grand adventure. I’m 83, I can’t do this every year anymore. It’s time to semi retire.”  

Porticlese smiled. “Well, one thing for sure, this trip may have been unplanned, but it was successful.” Connie laughed. “It wasn’t unplanned though, was it? Lilly smiled. “No dear, it wasn’t.” 

“Everyone assumed that I was an old eccentric who did things with no purpose whatsoever, so I let them. I may be eccentric, but I’m also someone who believes in purpose.”

Lilly went on to explain that her blimp trip every year was part of a charity drive. She raised awareness of local charities along the way. Her shopping sprees were actually purchases for needy children. This ‘vacation’ was just as plotted out.

“George, I have a confession to make, I know your Grandmother. I promised her to help get you out of this rut you’ve worked yourself into. Porticlese, I promised my nephew, your Father, that I would find his son a nice girl to start your life with. Connie and I met on vacation, and she looked as bored as I was. Heidi was a smart entertaining girl who seemed lonely.”

George hugged Connie, as she showed off her own engagement ring. “So you played matchmaker? What about everything else?”  

“I needed someone to run my business enterprises, this was a test. One both George passed with flying colors. He will run the business, while training my great nephew Porticlese to take over one day.”

“What will you do?” “Connie asked. Lilly’s eyes twinkled. “Me, Stewart, Hattie, and the baby rabbits will take the yacht home to New York. I’ve got a blimp to sell, and a motorcycle to buy. I’m 83, I need to lead a slower pace now. I’m thinking a road trip cross country will be more relaxing.”  

After announcing her new CEO, and his VP at the press conference, Lilly hugged her friends. As she set sail on the yacht, they waived goodbye. She yelled to them from the boat. “Remember George Pastél, don’t be gray, be purple, or blue, or any other color, it’s far more exciting!”