Grandpa Mac sat in his usual spot right on the porch of the Cottage by the lake. Dinner was over and Grandma was cleaning up the kitchen with the help of the women of the family, natural, in law, and children of the heart. The men of the family were getting the fire pit on the wide porch deck blazing. This evening would end just like every holiday and family gathering did.
The grandchildren began to gather at Grandpa’s feet, he pretended to just have noticed them. The traditions of the family must be kept, he knew, and this was one of his favorites. “Well now , what do all you young whippersnappers want? Can’t you see an ole man is trying to rest here?”
“Tell us a story Grandpa.” the youngest granddaughter said climbing up in his lap.
“Yeah” came from all the rest who knew the ritual well.
“Oh I don’t know if I have any stories to tell kiddo’s. If you want a story you should go in the house and watch a movie or something. You don’t want to hear some stories from this tired ole man.”
No Grandpa Mac we want one of your stories.” came the shout from the child of one of his “other” kids.
“Now Ava you know I can’t just be giving away my stories. That’s how I make money to keep your Grandma Mac in this beautiful Palacen here.” he pointed at the rugged cabin.
“But Grandpa,” said the littlest reaching up to hold his face in her hands, “Grandma told us you used to give your stories away on the internet. You should be able to give us one. Please?”
With that all the rest of the kids took up the plea. Soon the word Please rang off the mountains around them.
“Go on Dad” came the voice of his eldest son, “they won’t stop till you do, and you know it.”
“Yeah Old Man,” his youngest echoed, “we wont have any peace till you do.”
Acting as if he was giving in against his better judgment, the patriarch of the family pulled his hat off his head and rubbed his bald dome as if trying to make up his mind. “Well what kind of story should I tell you tonight?”
The boys spoke up, “Tell us a Nugget Nate tale, Grandpa.”
Another yelled, “No ,I want to hear about the Preacher.”
“Tell us about the Champion,” shouted still another
He looked at his grand kids and started to laugh when his granddaughters began to get into the game as well. “We want a romantic story Grandpa. Tell us about Princess Rahyia or Grace Hopewell or one of your female hero’s”
Grandpa Mac shushed them all and looked at his littlest princess sitting on his lap “What kind of story do you want to hear princess?”
With wide brown eyes and a gap-toothed grin she said “Tell us a story about you and grandma. Grandpa Mac.”
“Alright you convinced me. Have I ever told you little one how I met your grandma and tricked her into falling in love with me?”
“No,” and all the girls scooted just a little closer.
“No,” all the boys groaned and scooted a little bit further away.
“Don’t worry boys there is lots of trickery and even some fighting. After all this is a Mountaineer love story. “Then getting settled good in his recliner Grandpa propped up his feet, gazed into the fire, and started in the typical way all love stories should begin.—
“Once upon a time, in a land not to far away, there lived a young man. Let’s call him George just for fun. He had just turned sixteen when his dad came to him and told him, ‘It’s time you start earning your own money son. I arranged with Mister Beasley from church for you to start working for him at McDonalds. Your first day is tomorrow after school. He wants you there at three thirty don’t be late.’
That was the beginning for George, he was excited to finally have a job and be making some money of his own. Little did he know that his first day would change his life forever. If he had he might have run as far away as he could. Because we all know Mountain Men resist romantic entanglements when they can.
George went to work and was placed in the kitchen under the direction of a fellow crew member named Chuck. Now, Chuck was a huge bear of a fella. He was six no, seven no, it was eight feet tall if he was an inch. He had a bowl cut on top of his head and looked like a blonde version of Frankenstein’s monster, minus the bolts in his neck.”
A voice from the kitchen interrupted the story “You tell those children the truth Grandpa. He was only around six feet tall and you know it”
With a huff Grandpa fired right back, “Who’s a tellin’ this here story woman? These here kiddies wanted a Grandpa Mac story not some fact based account. If they’d a wanted the facts they’d a asked you.” Then turning back to the kids “Now where was we before the fact machine interrupted me?
Chuck, that’s right. This Chuck was just one eye short of being an ogre but George was not afraid. Chuck seemed like a nice enough ogre and everything was going swimmingly for the first couple of hours. Then everything changed when a true fairytale princess walked through the kitchen on her way to the French Fry station.
Now let me tell ya youngins this here really was a fairytale princess too. She had dark brown hair that wouldda put Snow White to shame. She was dainty as Cinderella and as curvy as princess Jasmine. George got one glimpse of her and his stoney mountain heart just melted into mush right there. He turned to Chuck, pointed at the princess and asked ‘WHO IS THAT??’
So smitten was our hero that he hardly noticed Chuck’s gruff response ‘Why?’
George’s dreamy response was, ‘Because I’m gonna marry her that’s why.’
BAMM!! It felt like a sledge hammer had smacked into George’s chin and his butt hit the kitchen floor. Before he could clear his head enough to know what hit him, Chuck was a leaning over him and growling ‘That’s my fiancé so you better get those thoughts right out of your head.’
George was stunned that such a lovely creature had promised to marry this giant ogre of a beast. Slowly he got to his feet, holding his hands up to placate the monster. ‘No problem man. I didn’t know she belonged to you. I didn’t mean nothing by it.’
Now let me tell you that may be what George said, but inside he was a thinking
‘How in the world did that lovely creature end up promised to this monster. Nope, I can’t let that happen. Go ahead Chuck, claim her, but let’s just see who she ends up with. May the best man win. Which I will.’
Right then and there our hero formulated a plan to win the heart of the beautiful princess. He didn’t know how long it would take, but he knew he wouldn’t give up till she stood beside him in a church and said I do.
George worked and watched. He made friends with the bosses and his coworkers, including the princess who he learned was named Sheri. After about a month of working he was so good at his job he got promoted to Crew trainer.
Then he went to his manager friend and paid him to arrange the schedule so that George worked the exact same times as Sheri. When she got a break he took his break and sat near her in the employee dining area. He began to talk to her when Chuck wasn’t around, and he made sure Chuck was never around.
They became friends, George and Sheri. When she worked on the fry station George would not let her carry the heavy boxes of fries. Instead he would carry them from the freezer to the kitchen for her. When she worked in the drive through he would carry up all her supplies from the downstairs stock room
He even got his coworkers to help him out. The girls he knew talked him up to her every chance they got. They told him what she liked and didn’t like about Chuck. When he learned that Chuck wouldn’t do things he started doing them if he could. Things like complementing her when she looked good. Or offering her a ride when he found out she walked to and from work.
George went so far as to even convince his buddy the manager to put them permanently on the schedule. so he could give her a ride to and from work. Because George was a crafty mountain man he never offered to go by her house and pick her up. He just happened to run across her on the way to work and offer her a ride. He went so far as to show up when she was walking to work when he wasn’t working. He would be headed in that direction just as she was on her way to work. For a year he played the friend , all the while waiting for his chance to make her his girl.
Then, as if God had smiled on George, a miracle happened. Chuck got into some trouble and his mom decided he needed to go live with some relatives out west for a while. Just before he left, Chuck, told Sheri that he didn’t want them to have a long distance relationship. So they broke off their engagement. Sheri was available at last.
George turned up the heat. Now he didn’t sit near her at break, he sat with her. He talked about her all the time. He told her how pretty she was and how special she was. He made sure that she saw him being kind and nice to everyone, but kinder and nicer to her. He set out to keep her thinking about him even when he wasn’t around. He paid some of his coworkers to make sure that the stock she needed got carried when he wasn’t at work. He also made sure she knew he had asked them up to look after her.
Finally one night, one of his closest female friends was working with the princess in the drive thru. George’s friend kept turning the conversation to guys that they would date from school and work. His friend mentioned George favorably every chance she got.
Then towards the end of the night George’s friend came to the kitchen and told him, Sheri had admitted she thought he was handsome. She had said she would love to go on a date with him. George’s heart did a gig inside his chest’ He went to his buddy the manager and got him to give George the golden key- Sheri’s phone number.
The next day George called and started talking to her. They chatted about school for a while and about work. Then George mentioned how there was the thing his youth group at church was doing, and invited her to go. Not as a real date of course but as friends. He explained how his heart had been crushed by a girl in his church and he wasn’t looking for a relationship right now. However he didn’t want to be the only one without a date either. He thought of his friend Sheri, who also went to church. Sheri agreed to go as his friend date.
They went to the event and spent the whole night together. All of George’s church friends kept telling him how perfect she was for him, and he just smiled. Then on the way home that night the car they were riding in was so crowded that Sheri had to sit on his lap. One of his buddies dared him to give her a kiss. Being a true mountaineer he couldn’t let the dare go unchallenged. So he pulled her head down to his and their lips met.
Now in the history of all stories there has never been a kiss like that one. It started in one town and lasted thru two others. George didn’t even realize when they pulled up in front of Sheri’s house until the driver practically pulled them apart to tell them it was time for Sheri to go.
That my little ones is how George won the heart of the Princess Sheri. Six months later they stood in a church in front of their friends and family, and George heard Sheri say I do as she became his wife. To be very honest with you George didn’t even think of Chuck that day. The preacher said “You may kiss your bride” As their lips met our hero’s world became one person everything else just melted away. That as they say was that, our hero had won and the ogre vanished somewhere out west.”
Grandpa Mac looked away from the fire to find the whole family sitting around, listening to his tale. His princess and bride of Fifty years was sitting at his feet looking up into his face, “And then what happened?” She asked with a twinkle in her eye.
“Well what else could happen?” He responded sitting his granddaughter in her mothers lap and reaching down to his princess, “They lived happily ever after, of course.”
As their lips met in a kiss once more ,George’s focus narrowed and his whole world became one person just as it had every day for fifty years and he knew all was right in the world. Just as it should be.
Copywrite 2012 George McVey