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Barbara Lynn Terry

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Home Sweet Home - Part I
By Barbara Lynn Terry
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Barbara Lynn Terry
· A Journey Off The Beaten Path
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Jamie is running away from home. What adventures will she find on her to journey to...?

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
by Barbara Lynn Terry

What had actually gone wrong with mom and dad? Why were they so angry with me? Whatever it was, I couldn't take it anymore. So there I was, fourteen years old and on the highway hitchhiking to new adventures. Where would this journey take me, I wondered.

A car was coming. I stuck out my thumb indicating I wanted a ride, but the driver didn't stop. I don't know how long or how far I had walked after that car had passed, but the next thing I knew, I heard a woman's voice telling me it was time to get up.

"Huh?" I managed to say. I didn't know where I was. I opened my eyes, and I saw a woman standing by the bed. I looked up at her, and then realizing I was in a bed, asked her, "Where am I," I said looking at her.

"You are at my home, young lady." She replied.

"I'm not a young lady, ma'am. I am a fourteen year old boy." I said rather stunned at her remarks.

"When I found you, you were asleep by the side of the road, wearing these." She held up the A-line plaid skirt and light blue blouse I was wearing. I looked over to the chair. I looked down and saw that she had left me wearing the bra, panties and slip. I tried to explain that I had put on a disguise in order to run away from home due to the cruelty I had been subjected to at the hands of my parents.

"Did they beat you, physically hurt you, I mean?" She asked.

"No, nothing like that," I replied. "They just wanted me to do everything around the house, such as the cooking and ironing, laundry, cleaning, including the garage. Then I had to mow the lawn and all the while they sat in the house and would make sure I did everything. Then when I got home from school, I had to get supper ready, immediately. After supper of course I had to do my homework. Of course I didn't mind that too bad, because it was the only chore my parents had no real control over. I couldn't watch tv or play any kind of video games, as my parents made sure I was always busy. If I didn't do a chore right I was made to do it over again and then was grounded to my room for that infraction also. If we needed food from the supermarket, I was given a list and the money and dropped off. Then my father would come back in an hour and pick me up but he would not help me load or unload the groceries. I had to put them away and make sure they were in their proper place. In the winter, I had to shovel the sidewalk, and make sure there was enough sand put down so they wouldn't slip. Last year the garage needed painting. Guess who painted it. Yes, ma'am, me. I was their slave and they enjoyed it."

"Oh my, how awful!" She exclaimed. "Tell me something, though. When you were wearing this disguise, weren't you afraid of being kidnapped or mugged or worse yet, raped?"

"Yes, ma'am, but my fear of those things, were less than my fear of my parents. I just wanted to get away."

"I see. Well, since you were wearing these things, you are a young lady in my house and my guest. I promise you that you won't have to do any of those awful things your parents made you do. I have a small but efficient servant staff to see to that. But, I have an idea. How would you like to stay here and be my daughter? I would take very good care of you and teach you everything you need to know to become a very convincing, young lady. I must say, though, that when I found you, I thought that you were a young lady."

"Ok, ma'am. I don't suppose though, that I can have the pack I was carrying."

"Oh, of course. It is over there," she said pointing to a place next to the dresser.

"Now what is your name?"

"Jamie, ma'am."

"Is that your real name?'

"Yes ma'am, it is."

"All right, Jamie, why don't you get dressed, come downstairs into the parlor and we can talk some more."

"Yes, ma'am," was all I could say.

When she left, I got out of bed and went and got my pack. I took it by the bed and opened it. I took out a light red v-neck t-shirt, a pair of white shorts that had a button fly front, instead of the usual zipper, and a red satin bra and panty set. I laid these things out on the bed and went into the adjoining bathroom and took a shower bringing the raspberry shampoo and conditioner I had taken from sister's room as well as the clothes I was wearing. After I washed my hair and put the conditioner in, I looked at my legs and saw they needed a little improvement. I lathered my legs, one at a time and shaved what little hair had grown in the last three days. I didn't have any hair on my chest, and I didn't have any hair on my face. I went back to the bedroom. I put on the clothes I laid out and went down to join the lady in the parlor.

"Well, you are very lovely dear," she said with a pleasing tone. "Come here, girl and sit down so we can talk."

I went and sat down in a chair facing the settee that she was sitting on. She looked me over for what seemed a long time, and then she said, "Jamie, dear, I was serious when I said that I would like you to stay here and be my daughter. You will have privileges that you have never known before, and all because I found you in what I would call dire straits. You know that even with what you have on, you look like a young girl."

"I know what you are saying, ma'am. My parents thought I looked too much like a girl and I think that is why they made me do those awful chores."

"Well, if you were to stay here and be my daughter, I would enroll you in a very exclusive school for young ladies and I would pamper you like the daughter I never had. I would even give you an allowance to spend anyway you wish. A very generous allowance. You would want for nothing. I wish you would at least think about it since you are my guest and I couldn't think of turning you into the street. You never know what will happen to you."

"Yes, ma'am. I will think about it. But, even if I decided to stay and be your daughter, I couldn't go to a girls school. I would be a laughing stock."

"Oh no, my dear. You certainly would not be a laughing stock. There is a school I know of where they accept young males who are feminine enough to pass as girls."

"Well, can I have couple of days to think about it. I mean this would be a drastic step and I want to mull it over in my mind, before making a decision."

"Yes, dear, that would be all right with me. I see that you are wearing girl's shorts, top and underwear. Didn't you pack any of your regular clothes, so that you could change into your regular things when the time came?"

"No, ma'am. These are some of my sister's things and I just threw a bunch of things together in my pack and left when my parents went out to get dinner at a fast food place. My sister's room was the closest to the door and I really was pressed for time. I had to get out of there quick. When I left I changed from my regular clothes into my sister's, then I hid my own clothes and left."

I never wanted to go back home again. I would probably do anything, within limits to stay away from home. But, was being some lady's daughter worth it? I mean, after all, I was a boy and I had only grabbed these things as disguises to get away. I mean, after all, I am fourteen years old, five feet, two inches tall, and skinny for a boy, but my sister's clothes fit almost perfectly. Now, I was being given an opportunity to have things showered on me by this lady who wasn't really that old. In fact, she looked about as old as my mother, but seemed nicer. I would have to really think about this. I should have packed at least one set of my clothes, but time was short and had to get away before my parents came back home. They had only gone out to get some fast food and come right back. So, I went into my sister's room and grabbed some of her things and threw them into my pack and left.

I didn't know where I was going, but I had stayed to the off highways and away from the toll way. Like I said before, after that one car had passed me and didn't stop, which I thought unusual, I must have walked some more and then laid down and fell asleep.

Now I was in this lady's house and she wanted me to be her daughter. I sat on the bed for maybe three hours just pondering this in my mind. Maybe, by being her daughter, my parents would never find me. They certainly wouldn't expect me to be enrolled in an exclusive girls school. I also know they wouldn't look for me on what they disrespectfully called �snob hill'.

I got up from the bed, and went downstairs and found the lady in the dining room having a light lunch.

"Hello, Jamie. Would you like something to eat?"

"Yes, ma'am. I think what you are having will be nice."

"Very well." She rang a bell and a younger woman, in a maid's uniform, came from the kitchen and the lady told her to bring me a salad plate.

We sat there, eating our salads and she was watching me all the time. She noticed that I was taking small bites of my salad, which also had real fruit in it. Not the ones at home with only fruit cocktail. I put my fork down very daintily and looked at the lady and said, "Ma'am, I have thought about what you asked. Now, I want you to know that I have ulterior motives with regard to this. I will accept your kind invitation to stay and be your daughter."

I could see the tears coming from her eyes when I had said this. She got up and came over to me and gave the biggest hug I had ever gotten. Never any hugs from my parents, they weren't the loving kind. But I got hugs from my grandma and aunt, but never like this. She sat down in her chair again and regaining her composure she said, "Jamie, you will not be sorry that you made this decision. Like I said, I will pamper you and bestow upon you gifts that you have never imagined. I will love you, and treat you like a young lady of breeding. I am so happy that you decided to stay. As for you ulterior motives. I understand completely. You feel that if you stayed here under my protection, you could escape the wrath of your parents. Right?"

"Yes, ma'am," I replied.

"Are there any ulterior motives, other than that?"

"No, ma'am."

"Good. I know we are going to have a happy time. As far as that girls school is concerned, it is a day school for you, because it is not far from here and my chauffeur will drop you off and bring you back home each day. Anyway, you can call me mom or mother. You must never call me by my name, unless you are introducing me to someone. Okay?"

"Yes, ma'am. But I don't know your name."

"OH! How careless of me, my child. I am Mrs. Howard MacCreeley. My late husband died in an airplane accident three years ago, and I have been very lonely here since. My first name is Amanda. I want you to know that since you are here, I won't be lonely anymore. Thank you, young lady for making my heart glad again. Now, I will introduce you to the staff."

She rang a bell and the same young woman came out and was told to assemble the staff. When they were all assembled, she looked very stern at them all, and the only guy there, I assumed was the butler, actually gulped.

"Everyone, what I say now, goes no further from this house. Do I make myself understood?"

They all nodded in agreement, and then the butler looked at me.

"This is my daughter, Miss Jamie Anne MacCreeley, I want you to accord her the same respect and dignity as you would me. Also, if anyone should come looking for her, or you happen to see her picture on the news, you are to say you never heard of this young lady and disregard all news bulletins regarding her. I know you want know why she is here, so I will tell you. She has been a slave in her own home, made to do the duties you all were hired to do, only she got no payment for doing them. She has run away from home, and I have offered her sanctuary here as my daughter. Does anyone have anything to say about this?"

"Yes, Madam. Begging Madam's pardon, but I think we will enjoy having a young lady in the house. It will bring back the laughter that we have heard in the past and make this house a home again."

"Thank you Charles. Yes, I agree. This house has been empty of gaiety for too long. Does anyone else have anything to say?"

"Yes, Madam. Hi Jamie, welcome to MacCreeley Manor. It is going to be so nice having a young lady in the house. My name is Donna and I am the downstairs maid. The bell your mother rang for service will bring me to see what you need. Of course, you can always go into the kitchen and get something yourself, if you would like. But, I am at your service, Madam."

"Thank you Donna. That was very nice indeed. Anyone else?"

"Welcome to MacCreeley manor, Jamie. I am Martha and I am the cook. If you have a special taste for something let me know and I will fix it for you. I also, want you to know that now we have a home again, and it is going to be so nice, having you here."

"Thank you, Martha. Simone, would you like to say something?"

"Yes, thank you, Madam. Welcome Jamie, my name is Simone and I am the upstairs made. I am the one who cleans your room, makes your bed, and straightens up when you are a bit messy. I also help Donna with the laundry chores and the ironing. If you have a need for my services, don't hesitate to pull the chord next to your bed, and I will come and see what you need."

"Thank you, everyone," I said and looked at Amanda, oops, I mean mother.

"Yes, thank you everyone for that very warm welcome. She ran away from a wicked house and into a warm home. I know you are going to like it here, Jamie. These people are my friends as well as my staff. And they will do everything they can to make your stay here a nice one. All right, everyone, you are dismissed, except for Martha, I want to find out what Jamie wants for dinner."

The others went about their business and Martha stayed behind.

Martha looked at me and smiled. "Jamie, what would you like for dinner this evening?"

"I would like some chicken with the skin removed and salad, along with some green beans."

"Well done Madam, I shall prepare you a chicken dinner you will tell your friends at school about." Martha went back into the kitchen.

We sat back down in the dining room and mother began telling me about the estate and her late husband.

"Jamie, this vast estate covers a good one hundred acres of land. Half of that is wooded area for the dear and other animals to have a home and to roam. The rest is devoted to the estate itself. The house is the center of the fifty acres outside of the forest area. There are flower beds, walk paths and benches where you can sit down and take in the beauty of the day. When it snows, we are pretty much just inside the house.

"My late husband was involved in stock trading, not as a trader, but as an investor. He was very shrewd in his stock dealings. He knew when to sell, when to hold, and when to buy. This estate is what he has to show for it. I have inherited everything in his portfolio and we continue to do very well. Better than I expected.

"He died at the age of forty seven in a private plane accident while he was flying around one Sunday afternoon. They put it down to pilot error, but I think something actually happened with the plane. But they said the plane should have been functioning normal as there were no defects found. That was three years ago, Jamie, and I have been so sad since. When he was alive, there was always laughter and parties and surprises he would bring me from one of his business trips. When I got the call that my husband's plane had crashed and that a car was coming to get me, I was crushed. My life had ended as I knew it. The staff here was very comforting, and from that moment on, I knew they were more than servants. They were people with feelings who cared about my well being. And now, Jamie, they will also care for yours as well."


"Thank you mother," I said. Then as an afterthought, "Mother, thank you for the nice home and thank you for being so kind and understanding. I love you." I put my arms around her and gave her big hug.

"Jamie, you are very welcome," she said as she hugged me back. "Now, young lady, we need to go into town and get you some clothes."

"All right, mother. Let me use the little girl's room first."

I went up to my room and did what I had to; checking myself in the mirror, making sure I was neat and presentable, then I went down and joined mother in the car. The chauffeur was standing there waiting with the door opened.

"Good afternoon, Miss Jamie. My name is Jeri, and I am the chauffeur. If you ever need to go anywhere, you just call on the intercom. They are located all over the house. Madam has already told me what I need to know about you. Just like the rest of the staff. And I also want to welcome you to MacCreeley manor. It is going to be so nice having you here."

"Thank you, Jeri, I am sure I am going to like it here."

I got into the car and Jeri closed the door. On the ride into town, I asked mother if we were in the same town as my parents and she said no.

"Actually Jamie, we are in another state. We are going into the city and only to the shops that cater to an exclusive crowd. The things we are getting today, will be very pretty and very chic. We will of course get everyday wear at maybe J.C.Penny's or Sears, but the rest of your outfits will be exclusive. I also want to get some nice things other than clothes also. It is going to be so nice buying for a daughter."


"Yes, Jamie?"

"Why did you suggest I remain as your daughter rather than a son?"

"Because, Jamie, dear, when I saw you by the side of the road, I thought you actually were a girl. When I got you home and took off your skirt and blouse and saw you lying there on the bed, still asleep, you looked so beautiful, that I had made up my mind to ask that very question when you woke up. You know Jamie, you do look like a very pretty teenage girl, even without makeup and a skirt or a dress. Do you think you will be comfortable living as a girl all the time?"

"Yes, mother. I will be fine."

"That's good, dear."

We pulled into the mall parking lot and everybody stared at the Lincoln as Jeri pulled up to the front doors of the mall. When Jeri had opened the door for us, everybody stared as if to say why couldn't that be me. We went into the mall and to a very exclusive lingerie shop that only catered to pre-teens and teenagers.

As we entered the shop, a well dressed lady came up to mom and said, "Amanda dahling, it is so good to see you again. Who is this lovely young lady?"

"Jenna, this is Jamie, she is my adopted daughter. Jamie, this is Mrs. Jenna Dowling. She owns this very fine shop."

Mrs. Jenna Dowling was just a little bit taller than me, but not by much, maybe an inch or two. She wore a purple sheath dress, covered by a matching jacket, which was not buttoned. Her shoes were also purple, but had white tips and very fashionable two inch heels. Her hair was flaming red and set on her head in a bun. When she walked it was like Queen Victoria. Very regal and very straight. When she talked, she pronounced some her R's like H's.

"What can we do for you today, Amanda?" Jenna said.

"We came to get Jamie some under things and a few sleep sets. and maybe a very nice robe for lounging in," mom replied.

"Very good, Amanda. Jamie, come this way please and let us see what we can find. Okay?"

"Okay, Mrs. Dowling," I said.

"My, Amanda! What mannahs foh one so young," Jenna exclaimed.

"Well, Jamie. We have a very fine assortment of everything. So let's start with the training bras and panty sets."

We went over to a section along one wall that had bra and panty sets of various different styles and colors. When Jenna saw my hesitation in picking out something, she looked at mom with a puzzled expression, upon which mom said that I was not used to buying my own clothes and this would be a first for me. She wasn't lying, either.

"All right, Jamie, what size do you wear?'

"I--I don't know, Mrs. Dowling, I never had to do this before. My clothes were always bought for me."

She looked me up and down and picked out a white bra and panty set that had lace everywhere, and I mean everywhere. The bra was a size 30aa and the panty was a size 5. When Mrs. Dowling saw that they fit me like a glove, she had me pick out four more sets. We went over to another section that contained foundation garments. I was told by mom to pick out three body shapers, which were like a girdle and a bra together. The crotch either had a snap closure or a Velcro closure. When mom saw that she had me get three of each.

We next went over to where the sleepwear was and I picked out three night gowns, two pajama sets, and a long very plush, velvet crush robe. The robe had crinkles in it that made it look like it was always wrinkled. After I had picked out everything, we took all the items to the counter and paid for them.

"Amanda, dahling, you simply must come back again, and this time don't wait so long." Mrs. Dowling said, as she helped us to the limo with our purchases. Jeri was waiting and took the packages from Mrs. Dowling and put them in the trunk. She went to the curb side door and opened it for us to get in. Once we were inside the limo, mom said, "Oh, Jamie! that was such fun. Did you have fun once you got over your initial surprise?"

"Oh, yes mom!" I replied. "I never knew that shopping, for girls, was this much fun."

"Well dear, this is only the beginning. I know that you are only fourteen, but we need to talk about something I think you just might agree to. However, I will leave that up to you and I won't put any pressure on you to make up your mind about it. But, it is something I was thinking about while we were in the store. What I was thinking, Jamie is, how would like to be girl, I mean without all the boy parts in the way?"

"You mean, like have an operation to make a vagina and hormones to grow real breasts?"

"Why, yeas, Jamie, that is exactly what I mean."

"That would be wonderful. I mean, I have no objections."

"That's good, Jamie. Next week we will start everything moving toward that goal."

She must have seen the gleam in my eye, because then she pressed a button on a console and Jeri answered.

"Yes, Madam?" Jeri's voice questioned.

"Jeri, we'd like to Wendy's Boutique."

"Yes, Madam." Jeri replied.

Jeri, was a young woman, maybe mid twenties. Her hair was not real long, but came to rest on her shoulders. Her blond curls hidden beneath her chauffeur's cap. I could really tell what kind of figure she had, because she was wearing the traditional chauffeur's uniform, with calf high boots that had straps and buckles near the top. But, seeing she was slim I could only imagine what she looked like when she had a day off.

"Jamie, we are now going to an exclusive dress shop that I used to patronize when my late husband was alive. If you thought shopping as a girl in Jenna's was fun, wait till We get to Wendy's. She is just going to love doting on you."

"That sounds like fun, mother. I was just thinking though. Does the school I will be attending require uniforms?"

"Yes Jamie they do. It is so that they can tell who the students are from visitors that come and go. Why was there a reason for asking?"

"No, mother. I was just wondering is all."

We rode the rest of the way, which wasn't far, to Wendy's Boutique For Stylish Young Ladies. Jeri again, pulled up to the front of the store and another well dressed lady came out as soon as she saw the limo. She waited for Jeri to open the door to the limo, and then she said, "Oh! Amanda, dear, it has been too long. I thought that was your limo. It is so nice to see you again. And, my, who is this very pretty young lady with you today?"

"Wendy, this is Jamie, my daughter. She is fourteen years old and has never bought a thing in her life. She needs some drastic repair in the clothing purchasing department." Mother said jokingly and we all giggled. I think Wendy actually tittered.

"Well, that is my specialty, dear. You just come inside and we will get started." Wendy said taking my hand and leading the way.

Inside the store was a beautiful array of the finest dresses I had seen anywhere, and of course, since I wasn't allowed outside when I was home with my parents, except for school and shopping, I could only compare this to what I had seen the girls and women teachers wearing in school and at the supermarket. There were dresses in all sorts of beautiful colors and styles. Some were backless that had a spaghetti strap that went around the neck, some were off the shoulder peasant styles, some were strapless, and backless, others were strapless with a back. They were all so beautiful. It was like a rainbow had come and settled in the store.

Then we went into a changing room. Changing room! My God, this was as big as my bedroom at my parent's house. There was a dressing table, a full-length mirror that took up the whole wall and there were three chairs and one settee. The entire middle of the room was empty space and used for fitting purposes.

"I see you are surprised by the dressing room," Wendy said when she saw my expression.

"Yes, ma'am. I mean this room is about the same size as one of my friend's bedroom."

"Yes, dear. It is all right, Wendy knows I don't have a real daughter. It is all right if you tell her it is your previous bedroom that you are talking about."

"When was she adopted, Amanda?"

"Just yesterday. I thought she should get used to the house first and then we started our little shopping excursion right away today. Now, Jamie, you just wait right here and we will be back shortly. Oh I am going to love this."

They both went out into the store and I just awed over the size of this dressing room. On the dressing table there were cosmetics of all kinds and colors. There were foundations, powders, lipsticks, lip liners, eye shadows and liners, blushes, and all the brushes to go with them in protective cellophane coverings. The mirror on the dressing table had lights all around it. The French Colonial bench in front of the dressing table had a satin skirt with ruffles around it to hide the legs and came all the way to the floor.

The door to the dressing room opened. Mother and Wendy came in with a lot of dresses, and hung them on the hooks. "Now, Jamie dear, I want you to take off those clothes so we can start to see which of these dresses fit you and which we need to make alterations for." Wendy said.

I looked at mother with a concerned look, and Wendy said, "Your mother and I have had a nice long talk out in the store. I will not reveal you to any living soul. Your mother and I have been friends for many years and have shared many a secret. So what do you say young lady, shall we get started?"

"Yes, ma'am," I replied.

I took off my shorts and shirt and stood there in my panties and training bra. Wendy took a dress off of one of the hangars, and held it up to me. She told me to lift my arms and she helped lift it over my head. I found I didn't need a slip with it as it had one built in and about three layers of crinolines under the skirt. It was a light purple and set off my shoulders just a touch for that 'romantic' look. It went down to almost the floor, but Wendy said with the proper heels, it would show my ankles. The dress fit perfectly and wouldn't need any alterations. Next I tried on a knee length semi formal that you could wear to a wedding or to dinner or even to go shopping in as it was that kind of dress. This was pink with lace around the collar. The zipper only came to about mid back, leaving the rest of the back bare from the shoulders. This dress too, fit perfectly. Mother sure had an eye for detail never having had a daughter. There was one dress that I was told was a ball gown. This dress was white silk chiffon. backless from the waist up to the shoulders, and swept out like a fan from the waist to the hem. When you walked in it it made a rustling sound like the first dress I tried on. I was told to take small steps when wearing this or I might step on it and ruin it by ripping and tearing of the silk material.

This dress needed no alterations. We decided on these three for now and then Wendy said, "Jamie, because of your special circumstances, and because you are Amanda's daughter now, I have a special surprise for you. A present really."

We took the dresses out to the counter and laid them down and then Wendy told me to step over to where she was. I saw where she was standing and I must have looked like I was in heaven again, because she was standing by an assorted array of earrings.

"How would you like your ears pierced today, Jamie?"

"Yes, ma'am. I certainly would like that a lot."

"Well then, girl, get over here so we can get started."

She pierced my ears, two holes in each, and I had dangling hoops in the bottom and emerald studs in the top. When we got out to the limo, Jeri took the packages and laid them very gently in the trunk, using both hands to do so.

"Miss Jamie," Jeri said. "You look very nice with your new earrings, ma'am."

I smiled and said, "Thank you, Jeri, that's very nice of you to say so."

"Dear?" Mother began. "It is almost tea time and I don't want miss it today. Besides Martha will skin us both alive if we're late . So why don't we just go home for now, and we can go to J. C. Penneys or Sears tomorrow. Okay?"

"Yes, mother. I'm a little hungry anyway."

She smiled and told Jeri we were going home.

We drove to the front of the house and the staff was already there waiting to help with the packages. They were told to put them in my room and lay them on the bed and we would take care of them later. We went into the house and into the dining room where Donna served a very delicious tea. We ate from our salads, and the half way through mine, I said I was full, and mother just smiled and said, "That's all right, dear. We girls must watch our figures when we are young. Tell you what. Why don't you go out side and look around. Take in the beauty that is MacCreeley Manor."

"Okay. Thanks mom."

I gave her a big hug and a kiss and told her thank you for a very lovely day. She hugged me back and I went outside. I looked around and i saw Jeri over by the garage. I went over and said hi, and Jeri smiled and said hi back.

"There is someone I want you to meet, Miss Jamie."

We went into the garage and there was a man there working on one of the cars. He was grease from head to toe and looked like he had been swimming in it.

"Miss Jamie," Jeri said to me. "This is Doug. He is our mechanic and keeps our little fleet of cars running."

"Nice to meet you Doug," I replied.

"Nice to meet you too, Miss Jamie. I'd offer you my hand but as you can see they are very dirty."

Dirty! That was an understatement.

"Have you met Max, yet, Miss Jamie?" Doug asked.

"Max? No, I haven't. Who's Max?"

"Mister Max, actually. He is the enforcer around here. He keeps everyone in line if they misbehave." He whistled and I saw the most beautiful German Shepherd I had ever seen. Max sauntered out into the garage and sat down in front of me. "Max, boy, this is Jamie. She is a friend and is going to be staying here." Doug said to the dog.

Max then lifted his right paw up and I stooped down and shook it like you would shake hands with a person. Max then licked my face, and sat back down with his right paw up again. I shook it a second time and then I said to Max.

"Max, I'm Jamie and I want to be your friend. Okay?"

Max barked twice, which startled me, and then he licked my face again.

"Now, Miss Jamie, I told he was the enforcer, right. Watch this. Max! Protect Jamie."

Doug held up a wrench in a threatening manner and immediately Max got between Doug and I, looking at Doug and growling.

"Miss Jamie, there are some dog treats in that box on the bench over there. Would you get Max one treat, please?"

I called to Max to come with me, but the dog would not leave his place in front of Doug while he had that wrench in his hand. Doug put the wrench down and Max came to me to get his treat. I gave him one Beggin' Strip dog treat and Max just swallowed it, practically whole, after chomping noisily a couple of times.

"You see, Miss Jamie. You have nothing to worry about here. Max has the complete freedom of the premises, and will chase the deer back into the woods if they stray too far."

"Thanks, Doug. I think I will go and look at some of the flowers now. I will see you later."

"Okay, Miss Jamie. It was nice to meet you."

I smiled at him and left to go and look at the flower beds. I stopped at the Orchids, whose beauty and fragrance just amazed me. I sniffed even more so, and then started going lala lalalala, while skipping back to the house. When I got to the door, I could see Max, Doug and Jeri standing there watching me with smiles, while Max was holding up his right paw. Jeri gave me the thumbs up sign and Max barked twice. I waved back with my fingers instead of the whole hand and smiled. then I went inside the house.

I stopped and looked at myself in the mirror in the foyer. I looked real close. Then I said outloud, "Welcome home, Jamie Anne MacCreeley."

Yes, welcome home, my home. My home sweet home.


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