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Prompts for 2013-12-28:

1. There was nothing on the clipboard, just a few empty sheets.
2. The judge wants to see you in chambers.
3. Sounds pretty far-fetched to me.

**BEGIN WRITING

Even in sunny southern California, Christmas week isn’t usually the time to find hundreds of bikini-clad bodies on the beaches, but this had been an unusual year from the start.

“I can’t believe it’s 85 degrees out there,” John moaned. John moaned a lot, especially if I demanded help with the yard work. It seemed that the weather would be the excuse this time. I wasn’t about to back down, though.

“Come off it, John. I’ve been doing the lawns every week for three years in worse weather than this. Besides, you promised! Remember last Thursday night? You swore you’d do all the chores I had for you this weekend if I’d just agree to…”

“Okay, okay! I remember. But I think it’s a dirty trick to play on a guy when he was counting on rain. I’m going to have a bone to pick with that weatherman on Channel 8.”

I just smiled sweetly and thanked my lucky stars that John hadn’t yet realized that I kept a stock of pecan pies in the garage freezr. Every time he begged for me to bake him something special, I hauled one out and made a big show of burning my poor fingers taking it from the oven. That man would promise anything for a pecan pie.

“I’ll tel you what,” I told him now. “If you want to hold off on the yard work until tomorrow—a solemn promise, mind you—I’ll pack a lunch and we can go spend the day at Sandy Cove. It’s warm enough for you to mess around with your Boodle board, or whatever it is, and I can take along the new Sue Grafton I haven’t read yet.”

John leapt at the plan, as I knew he would. It was okay, I’d get him tomorrow. And, if truth be told, I didn’t much care for the idea of yanking out all those pomegranate bushes in the heat, either.

I packed ham sandwiches, the meat sweet and mustard-covered, left over from a Christmas dinner with way too many dishes already on the table before we even got the Honeybaked unwrapped. Olives went into the basket, and carrot sticks with a chipotle ranch dip, and tucked into a spare corner I’d put some of the fruitcake Aunt Eloise had sent us. Too bad if it got sandy and had to be dumped later.

We loaded the car, both eager to be on our way to Sandy Cove. The place had memories for us, going back to the days before we became a “we” and it was our destination over the years any time we felt an urge to celebrate our together state, or to reclaim it after one of the infrequest dustups.

PENCILS DOWN

Once again I didn’t manage to fit in the prompts. I had high hopes, and another ten minutes would have done it. Gotta stick to the rules, though, right?

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