I've been sharing with you sinful snippets from my most recent Secret Cravings book- Forever Love.
TJ and Syn were childhood sweethearts. But TJ let his hormones get in the way of his heart and Syn moves to Chicago after graduation. When Syn's father develops dementia, she returns to her hometown to care for him and meets up with TJ on the beach one day. This time TJ is determined to win back the girl of his heart.
Over the last few weeks, I've shared small scenes from the story of Syn and TJ's romance. Today Syn has something special planned. Come along for the ride!!
~~~~~Seducing a man was outside my range of experience. I’d had only a few simple lovers feeling that my virginity was more of a hindrance than a blessing. After arranging for Dad to have dinner with T.J.’s mom, I ran to the local grocery for the ingredients to my famous chicken piccata. Packing my picnic basket with everything we might need from food to beer, I hoped tonight would be perfect even while I deliberated if I’d be able to go through with my plan.
With the basket in my hands and a smile on my face, I jumped into T.J.’s truck when he arrived after dusk.
“Where to pretty lady?”
“Let’s go back to where it started. Let’s go to the beach.”
Last week, Syn and TJ were at the local VFW hall with her dad and TJ's mom. The double date was TJ's idea and a way of getting Syn out of the house after taking care of her father.
In Amherst, Ohio, the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) hall is a local hang out for the over thirty crowd. Many of the gentlemen from town enjoy going there to have a beer or dinner. They sit around a room which has former war memorabilia or symbols of National pride on the walls. The hall also hosts BINGO night and local events. Many of the wives enjoy a night of dancing or an afternoon at the quilting club meetings.
The VFW hall was even a part of my own growing up. I had my sweet sixteen party at one of the local halls and my wedding reception at another. These places were important to the small town as it brought the community together and gave them a place to hang out, visit and socialize.
They weren't much to look at--just a simple brick building with a drop ceiling, linoleum floor, a kitchen and bar. Some had baseball fields out back or a volleyball court. And while they were a very popular place to belong to, not everyone was welcome in the VFW. I remember when my mom had applied for our membership. She had to show proof that my great-grandfather served in one of the many wars. Grandpa Mori was decorated for his actions in World War 1 and our membership was approved. Today some of his and my uncle's memorabilia sit on the shelves and honor their service. I haven't been back to the hall in over twenty years, yet my own father still goes at least once a week.
While you were growing up, what was an important place for you to spend time or an important part of your community? Did the club accept everyone? What things took place there? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. On Sunday evening, I will draw a name from the people who leave a comment. You have to comment to enter!
Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog hop participants! You could win so much more! http://secretcravingspublishing.blogspot.com/.
5/18/2013 07:10:20 am
Oh golly.....the only place I remember as being 'important' was Church on Sunday. And as a teenager, Youth Group every Sunday night, then Bible Study on Wednesdays. And if the 'rents were okay with it, Dairy Queen afterward with my 'boyfriend'.
5/18/2013 02:45:56 pm
Church was also important but we had so many different ones that you might not be at the same church as all your friends. I went to my family church in the next town over. I had the best times but never had another person from my own school there...always teams we played! Guess that's why I had so many problems on game days. I was always torn!
5/18/2013 01:52:42 pm
We moved constantly as children, every three years without fail and always to a new town. The only constant was my two bratty little brothers and both parents at home since my dad worked from the house! :)
5/18/2013 02:47:00 pm
How wonderful that you could visit so many places and have your father home so often. My family was constant in my life as well but we lived in the same town all my life and my dad and sisters still live in Amherst! For me, it's like going home!
5/18/2013 02:10:07 pm
Our town's crown jewel was Kennedy Park. It had a gazebo for performances and weddings. The city built the pool there. Many picnic shelters dotted the grounds, and picnic tables were plentiful. Once I was old enough to ride my bike there, I spent countless hours of summer there. Everyone was accepted there: our town was a small melting pot of several cultures. We all grew up there. We'd even "park" there when the time came. Kennedy Park will always be a bright spot in my younger years.
5/18/2013 02:48:38 pm
We had a similar place- Lakeview Beach. I got in so much trouble parking there! *wink* Kennedy Park sounds lovely and such an important part of your growing up years!
5/18/2013 05:04:10 pm
The community pool. It was open to all and it was where we spent every moment we could!
5/19/2013 03:34:20 am
The community pool was certainly a place for the kids and teens! Thanks for stopping by!
5/19/2013 04:44:15 am
For me, one of the most impactful places I spent time was at the campground. I met my best friend, had my first boyfriends, my first kiss. It was the perfect place that took me away from life and school.
5/19/2013 05:39:41 am
A campground sounds like a perfect place. Have you gone back to visit it today? I always wonder how things change as we do!
5/19/2013 05:28:01 am
There really wasn't any one place that stood out in my childhood except the neighborhood. Back then all the kids on the block played together all the time.
5/19/2013 05:40:24 am
The world was such much safer. We could stay outside all evening and never worry about anyone hurting us. It was an idyllic time!
5/19/2013 07:23:29 am
I really didn't have a place to hang growing up. I lived in the country and it was miles to anything
5/19/2013 12:59:12 pm
Sometimes living in the middle of nowhere is a blessing in itself! I remember playing hide and seek among the corn stalks!
5/19/2013 01:00:21 pm
Don't make us all jealous! :)
5/19/2013 12:53:11 pm
My parents cottage. I loved being there as a kid - no worries, could be myself, walk, ride my bike to my hearts content, swim, read in the sun - heaven!
5/19/2013 01:01:20 pm
That sounds like a wonderful place to have! My family never had anything like that. It does sound like heaven!
5/19/2013 01:06:40 pm
Hi! Hmm. I really cant say. We never had one. We were more home bodies. My bedroom was my special place. I even put in shelves, dragged in a couch and had my own personal library. Loved it! :) Thanks for sharing and being apart of this great hop!
5/19/2013 01:31:35 pm
Bedrooms are special wonderlands for teens! I had the best one!
5/19/2013 01:55:03 pm
I grew up in a big city--apartments, concrete, and public transportation. BUT, for a few years, through my high school years, my family belonged to a cabana club in the summers. I worked and played and have many fond memories of that club.
5/19/2013 03:54:14 pm
Coney Island will always hold a special play in my heart.
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