Autumn - My Favorite Time of Year
Howdy, y’all! My name is Abigail DeVries, Miss Abby to just about everyone in Bastrop County, Texas, where my daughter, Laura Beckett owns River Bend Vineyard & Winery. The vineyard is definitely a family affair. My oldest grandchild, Ross, is the financial wizard who keeps us in the black. His younger sister Elise is a horticulturist and in charge of production, with Madison—the baby of the family—being the driving force behind Lodge Merlot, the event facility on the property. And me? I run the family, as well as the Wine Barrel, the vineyard’s retail sales outlet.
This last year has seen its share of trials for our family. In late summer, Laura’s brother-in-law Edmond was murdered on vineyard property, and every single one of us was a suspect for a time. It was a tense few weeks until Deputy Jackson Landry could make an arrest. Jax is near and dear to my heart, as I practically raised him, so it was especially difficult for all of us. He had to be very careful not to treat the family any differently during the investigation.
Then just when we thought we were in the clear, two months later we landed smack-dab in another murder investigation at the Lost Pines Food & Wine Festival, of which River Bend had been a sponsor. Yours truly ended up in the suspect pool, yet again! But, hopefully, all that nasty business is behind us, especially now that we’re coming into the holiday season.
For my part, I’m in love with autumn. It’s my favorite time of year, and Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. The fun and frivolity of carving pumpkins, decorating the house, and all the parties, parties, parties! We even have an afternoon of fun for trick-or-treaters at the Wine Barrel every year. I don’t know about you, but the whole thing has me giddy with anticipation starting around the end of September. Then, once the excitement of All Hallows Eve has passed, we move on to briefly celebrating the blessing of family and friends with Thanksgiving, before steaming full-throttle to our December holiday of choice.
My family celebrates Christmas, and where I love the festive adornments, pageantry, and celebrations that go with it, I can’t help but feel saddened by the fact that poor Thanksgiving, stuck in the middle, seems to get the short end of the stick. In stores, the minute the Halloween candy and costumes are torn through and left behind, the commercialization of Christmas begins. For the love of mud, where on earth does Thanksgiving fit in?
Down on the vineyard, in our neck of the woods, we take family very seriously…even our black sheep are included. After all, family is family. I’ve tried to make sure that my daughter, grandchildren, and extended family members break bread together every Sunday afternoon. Family fellowship is extremely important to me, and I’ve instilled that in each and every one of them. That’s why this November; I’m making sure that we have a Thanksgiving celebration to remember. I’m goin’ all out. Seems like I’ve invited half of Bastrop County, but that’s just fine.
So, my wish for you and yours is hold each other close, enjoy each other, and be very, very grateful. And if you don’t have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving, or family to celebrate
with, you can always come by the vineyard. It’s no bother at all, and we can always put out another place setting at the table.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
Meet the Author:
A native of Oregon, I spent twenty-two years with an airline traveling and moving around the country before settling down near the beautiful Pacific Ocean with my very spoiled cats.
I was lucky enough to find an outlet for my creativity and healthy imagination the moment I stepped out onto my first theater stage. After 20 years of theater, I still enjoy performing, but it doesn’t hold a candle to creating my own worlds and characters on a blank page.
When I’m not spending quality time with the characters I create, I enjoy gardening (though not always as diligent with the flower beds as I should be –damn weeds), crafting (never enough time in the day), and working in local theater (did I mention not having enough time?)
Oh, and I have a terrible shoe fetish. In my opinion, one can never have too many fabulous shoes…
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IMMORTAL RECKONING, AN IMMORTAL PROPHECY SERIES SHORT STORY - July 2014
OF MERLOT & MURDER, A TANGLED VINES MYSTERY - Midnight Ink September 2014
GRAPES OF DEATH, A TANGLED VINES MYSTERY - Midnight Ink September 2013
*Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile