The Snow Globe

The Snow Globe

A Story by Lea Sheryn
"

Eloise is reunited with her old love, Seth Durham, at Christmas time

"

 The Snow Globe

By Lea Sheryn

 

Prologue

 

Ding Dong, Ding Dong rang out the front doorbell.  Its sound resonated throughout the small condo startling the lone woman who peacefully napped in her rocking chair. 

 

As Eloise Parker slowly rose from her comfortable seat, she faintly heard a male voice call out “UPS”.  Her slow steps leading her to the door, she wondered to herself: “What could it be?”  Even with Christmas right around the corner, she wasn’t expecting anything.  A widow of three years, she lived alone in the senior community condo she and her late husband retired to fifteen years ago.  Since Elmer was gone, she hadn’t passed the holidays with any cheer.  In her heart, she held a quiet celebration, but it was never the same now that she was on her own. 

 

Truly, Eloise told her grown children, she didn’t want anything for Christmas.  She was happy to Skype with them just to see the happily glowing faces of the grandchildren but, as for her, Christmas was a time to silently reflect on the good times of the past--and there were many good times to ponder.  She had been happy with Elmer.  They had prospered in the bakery they had opened together in the early years of their marriage; there were three children to raise in the upstairs apartment and, when the young ones were away at college and the business sold, a home to retire to in Venice, Florida.

 

The first Christmas after Elmer had suffered his fatal heart attack, Helen�"the eldest of the three children�"insisted she return to Cape May, New Jersey to celebrate with the family.  A secret plan would have brought her brother, Lawrence, and sister, Mariam, in for a big surprise gathering with the seven grandchildren as a big part of the celebration.  When she was offered the round-trip ticket, Eloise refused to accept it.  Without her closest companion to enjoy the festivities, there would have been more heartache than joy in the occasion.  Three years later and she still could not face a big family holiday without Elmer. 

 

The UPS package must be from Helen, Eloise concluded as she trudged toward the door.  Well, that’s all right, the elderly woman thought, as she opened the door and reached for the large box with the Amazon smile printed on the side.  Perhaps, instead of dwelling on the ghosts of Christmas past, she did need a little cheering up. 

 

Carrying the hefty box back to her rocker, Eloise sat down to examine it before reaching for her scissors to separate the tape holding the top flaps together.  Extracting a Styrofoam form, she slit that opened also to reveal a beautiful snow globe with the scene of a Victorian couple on a sleigh ride with a gingerbread trimmed house in the background.  It seemed an extravagant gift from her eldest child considering she had asked her not to bother with Christmas presents this year.  Reaching her hand into the box again, she was surprised to find a greeting card had not been included.  No, it hadn’t fallen out onto the floor either.  The gift was a curiosity. 

 

Turning it over in her lap, Eloise slowly twisted the silver key to start of the music box.  What she heard brought a tear into the corner of her eye.  The little tinkling tune brought back a long-hidden memory that tugged at her heart.   

 

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be miles away”

 

Without even realizing it, her mouth formed the name “Seth”. 

 

Leaning back in her rocking chair, Eloise closed her eyes and allowed a small tear to leak from each one of her blue eyes.  Seth Durham, she mused to herself as she set the chair to rocking again.  How many years had it been since she last thought of that particular name? 

 

Long ago and far away, before she married Elmer Parker, Seth Durham had been her beau.  Their time together, however short, had been magical.  They had longed to stay together but time and distance had driven them apart.  When it became apparent they were not meant to be together, she had turned toward her workmate/friend for solace.  The next year, she put her feelings for Seth behind her to become Mrs. Elmer Parker. 

 

Sure, she had made the best of it�"she did love her husband and the children they produced together--but somewhere, lingering in the back of her mind, memories of that magical time with Seth remained. 

 

Chapter One

 

“Pardon me, ma’am,” a voice broke into the silence that surrounded the pretty young woman who sat on a bench facing Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  “Do you happen to have the time?” 

 

Looking up into the face of the sailor who stood before her, Eloise Withers felt a sudden jolt of expectation run through her.  She didn’t know what it was or why but there was an instant connection that brought the two strangers together.  He was a handsome man with brown hair cut in military-style and playful hazel eyes that echoed the cockeyed smile playing across his lips.  Without hesitation, she glanced down at the heart-shaped clock pendant pinned to her jacket’s lapel.  “It’s just twelve-thirty,” she responded as her own soft smile met his.

 

“Plenty of time.  Thank you, ma’am.”  Replacing the Navy Officer’s Cap he had been clutching in his hands onto his head, he turned to leave.  After a minute or two of silence had passed, he turned back to her with a sudden request.  “Ma’am, I was wondering, if you weren’t doing anything just now, if you would like to show a stranger in town around?” 

 

“Perhaps, if I knew a stranger’s name, it could be possible,” Eloise answered with a grin beginning to show at the corners of her lips.  Of course she wanted to show him around but couldn’t resist the urge to tease him just a little bit.  It wasn’t really in her nature to tease but, feeling so comfortable at short acquaintance with this man, she couldn’t help herself. 

 

“Durham, Petty Officer Third Class, ma’am,” he responded, doffing his hat again.  “But I also answer to just plain Seth when I’m in the company of friends and family.”       

 

“In that case, Withers, Eloise and, if you want to get on my right side, you can drop the ‘ma’am’.”  There was a unexpected chuckle in her voice as she gleefully chortled out her introduction.  It wasn’t normal for her to be so forthcoming with a man she had just met but this was certainly an exception to the rule. 

 

It was a golden spring afternoon of exploration.  The city of Brotherly Love had plenty of places to visit.  Eloise chose the historical ones for her unexpected guest.  After Independence Hall, they moved on to The Betsy Ross House, The Benjamin Franklin House, the First Post Office and the Philadelphia Mint.  Sometime during the day, they linked hands as though they were a couple who had been together for more than just a few hours.  By the time they grabbed dinner at a random restaurant with an unrecallable name, they were in love.

 

Discovering a movie theater along their route showing “Meet Me in St. Louis”, they decided on the spur of the moment to step inside.  When Judy Garland began to sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Seth reached out to squeeze Eloise’s hand.  Leaning in toward her ear, he whispered, “This is my all-time favorite Christmas song.”  Tears welled in her eyes as she whispered back that it was hers also.  From that time on, every time she heard the song, her heart pinged in memory of that delightful day.   

 

In the twilight, they stood beside the same bench they had become acquainted at earlier in the day.  Eloise felt a tugging at her heart at the thought of parting from Seth; she hated to say good-bye.  A sudden feeling gripped her telling her that they might never see each other again.  His ship was sailing the next morning�"on it’s way to the Bay of Tonkin.  Would he think of her; would he remember the day he spent in Philadelphia and the woman he met there?  Navy men were worldly men who knew many ports, met many women.  Perhaps she was just another stop in a long line of stops along the coastal waters.  She wanted to hang on to every moment as they stood between togetherness and departure. 

 

The old woman rocked her chair�"back and forth, back and forth�"as old memories came flowing back to life.  The parting had been inevitable.  Durham, Petty Officer Third Class had sailed away in the morning and had gone out of her life.  As the last gleam of twilight faded from the skies, she watched Seth walk away, his footsteps echoing back to her long after the night had engulfed him.  The day ended along with any hope of seeing him again.  With a sad heart, she realized they hadn’t even exchanged addresses. 

 

The snow globe weighed heavy in her lap.  The bittersweet Christmas tune still tinkling.  Again, her lips silently formed the words:        

 

“And here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more

Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow”

 

Chapter Two

 

Nearly a year passed since Eloise Whithers’ encounter with Petty Officer Third Class Durham.  Although she hadn’t seen or heard from him in all that time, the thought of Seth still lingered in her mind.  Quite often, she would find herself thinking about him at odd moments throughout her day.  Her job in a corner delicatessen/bakery kept her busy.  She served at the baked goods counter while her workmate, Elmer Parker took charge of the deli side.  He would smile at her across the way; she would smile back. 

 

When Elmer asked her for a date to the movies or to dinner, she would kindly refuse.  Always, in the very back of her mind was the thought that Seth would return and ask her, in the most romantic way, to run away with him.  It was pure fantasy, but Eloise clung to it.  Seth was her anchor; with him was a feeling of future security.  When she closed her eyes, she could still see his playful hazel eyes and that oh so sweet cockeyed smile.  Elmer, on the other hand; was just Elmer�"a workmate and friend.  Feeling as though she couldn’t think seriously about him, she kept him at arms’ length.  Seth was the love of her life. 

 

Time continued to pass with no word from Seth Durham.  Eloise finally decided to put the fantasy behind her.  It was time to become more serious about life.  Christmas was near at hand and Elmer had asked her to accompany him to New York City to go to the Radio City Music Hall with him.  The thought was enticing; Elmer had been patient for a long time, and she felt as though she could go with him.  When they found a moment alone together in the delicatessen/bakery, he asked her again and she accepted the invitation. 

 

Eloise said “Yes” to Elmer’s proposal of marriage in Time Square on New Year’s Eve and became his bride in May of the following year.  Their first child, Helen Marie, arrived on a snow filled January day of the following year.  They welcome Elmer Lawrence within eleven months and a third child, Mariam Elizabeth four years later.  By that time, they were happily established in their own bakery in Cape May, New Jersey.  The little family thrived; Seth Durham became a name of the past for the happy little mother.

 

The years spend by; their children grew and began lives of their own.  Elmer and Eloise sold their bakery business to begin their life of retirement in Venice, Florida.  There were many happy times ahead of them in the carefree lifestyle of the Sunshine State.  The condo association kept them busy with planned outings, dances, bingo and movie nights.  In the summertime, there were trips back to Cape May to visit their growing family of grandchildren and winters when their offspring would visit to take the little ones to Disney World or Busch Gardens. 

 

Eloise enjoyed the companionship of Elmer.  They had been together for so many years, they could anticipate the other’s thoughts or desires.  Being inseparable, their friends and neighbors never expected to see the one without the other.  Then came the night of her husband’s fatal heart attack.  It had been a day like any other.  They ate breakfast together in the little condo, took a walk along the beach, lunched at the British Open Pub and Restaurant with their regular group of elderly companions, had a nap in the afternoon and shared a light dinner on their lanai facing the golf course.  Retiring before the television to watch Jeopardy!, Eloise called out the questions to the answers Alex Trebek read to the contestants without realizing Elmer wasn’t playing along.  It wasn’t until after the Final Jeopardy! Results were announced that she noticed something was wrong.  Her husband of many years sat slumped in his Lazy Boy recliner in the most unusual position.  When she attempt to wake him, he collapsed forward and fell, face first onto the carpet.

 

Epilogue

 

Slowly the elderly woman brought her rocker to a stop along with her dreams.  The snow globe had to be a gift from her daughter, Helen.  It was just a coincidence that it brought back long buried memories of a love that was never meant to last.  Seth Durham had moved out of her life as quickly as he entered it.  That one sparkling moment of time had been just a twinkling instant best left as a remembrance of the past.  The many years she had spent with Elmer had proven beyond doubt that they had been meant to spend their lives in wedded bliss.  Petty Officer Third Class Durham was just a tease�"something that was never meant to be. 

 

Sighing heavily, the widow of three years rose from her seat to prepare yet another lonely meal in the course of many lonely meals that had become a part of her life.  Swallowing heavily as she contemplated her grilled cheese sandwich and bowl of tomato soup, Eloise contemplated the years ahead of her�"all the days the same from the moment of Elmer’s passing until her own time to leave the mortal coil.  Oh how she wished he could have hung on for just a few more years.

 

Picking up her soup spoon, Eloise was surprised to hear the doorbell ring for a second time.  This time the voice that called out UPS seemed older and deeper than the previous voice.  Rising to her feet, she made her slow way to the door.  Was it another gift from one of her children?  At least the distance between them hadn’t dampened their need to stay in touch, she thought as she reached for the door handle. 

 

Confronted by a man whose face was hidden by a mass of red roses, Eloise stepped back in astonishment.  “What was going on?” she wondered to herself.  Surely this man was at the wrong door.  Perhaps he was searching for one of the other widowed ladies who lived in the complex. 

 

“Merry Christmas!” the man’s voice bellowed out as he moved the long-stemmed flowers away from his face. 

 

The playful hazel eyes and the cockeyed smile were oh so familiar!  “Seth Durham,” Eloise gasped as she received the two dozen roses into her opened arms. 

 

“I came back for you, darling,” the man exclaimed, with tears flooding his eyes, “but you were already married.” 

 

“I waited for you to come back,” Eloise choked as she fell into Seth’s embrace. 

 

“Well, I’m here now,” the Navy veteran exclaimed as he was welcomed into the condo.  Picking up the music box from the table next to the rocker, he twisted the key on the bottom and shook it until the snow began to fall around the couple in on their sleigh ride. 

 

“Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now” the couple sang together as they embraced one more time. 

© 2020 Lea Sheryn


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Featured Review

Okay, so I feel all warm and fuzzy having read this beautiful tale.

You’ve changed the shape,of a love triangle, possibly to a straight line with Eloise in between somehow. The respect and sense of fairness with which you treat the male protagonists are lovely to see. I would argue that there are at least four men in the story, or four male roles. The men themselves, and the ghosts or memories of,those men, all of which are filtered through Eloise’s line of sight. The lady herself feels deep love for both men, and the two mourning periods, for Seth early on and for Elmer, both take time.

If I,haven’t said it already, this read was a magical one!!!

V

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

8 Months Ago

Thank you for your review. You put a perspective on The Snow Globe that I didn't realize was there .. read more



Reviews

Woooow!! Just wow! Wish I had a mind like yours! You're so brilliant to write a story like this.
This story proves that anyone can have a second chance at love. Eloise had found true love again with Seth Durham, her first love. Now I believe that love is sweeter the second time around, because of this. I love it, really love it!
The snow globe reminds me of my favorite singer in her song entitled "You Are In Love". The line is: "And we, two, are dancing in the snow globe round and round." I also love it when Elmer had proposed to Eloise in Time Square, 'cause I dreamed of going to Times Square where Taylor Swift and Harry Styles were kissing on New Year's eve.

Posted 5 Months Ago


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Posted 7 Months Ago


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7 Months Ago

inkgirl.webnode.com/l/the-snow-globe/
Lea Sheryn

7 Months Ago

Thank you so much!
It was good, but I think if you put it into first person people will be drawn more into your story, making her more personable. Let your readers feel her get to know her as she tells the story. it is a nice story though i did enjoy reading it. thanks

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

8 Months Ago

Thank you for your review. I write in both voices, first person and third person omniscient. For f.. read more
I'll just say wow this is beautifully written and all the details and the way it flowed was very good reasons to man this is very good there's a lot of life written in this story by the way I love snow globes

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

8 Months Ago

Thank you! I enjoyed writing about the Snow Globe.
Okay, so I feel all warm and fuzzy having read this beautiful tale.

You’ve changed the shape,of a love triangle, possibly to a straight line with Eloise in between somehow. The respect and sense of fairness with which you treat the male protagonists are lovely to see. I would argue that there are at least four men in the story, or four male roles. The men themselves, and the ghosts or memories of,those men, all of which are filtered through Eloise’s line of sight. The lady herself feels deep love for both men, and the two mourning periods, for Seth early on and for Elmer, both take time.

If I,haven’t said it already, this read was a magical one!!!

V

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

8 Months Ago

Thank you for your review. You put a perspective on The Snow Globe that I didn't realize was there .. read more
great story,loved the globe and the fact she got another spark in her life

Posted 8 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

 wordman

8 Months Ago

they give me candy,that`s why i aint got but 3 teeth
 wordman

8 Months Ago

lol,don`t i just make your day
Lea Sheryn

8 Months Ago

You sure do!

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Added on February 4, 2020
Last Updated on February 4, 2020
Tags: Romance, Reunion, Christmas

Author

Lea Sheryn
Lea Sheryn

Sarasota, FL



About
I love to write! To have the ability to put words together to express myself is an ability that I cherish. Working for years to strengthen my talent, I am a self taught Word Weaver. Up until now, I.. more..

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