Comfort in Unexpected Places
by Amanda Cabot
It was January of 2000, and the last thing I wanted to be doing was driving from New Jersey to Western New York. Oh, it wasn’t the threat of bad weather that made me so reluctant to be on the road. It was what waited at the end. My mother had developed Alzheimer’s, and as the oldest child, I had the responsibility for some tough decisions. The goal of this trip was to select an assisted living facility for her. To say the least, I wasn’t looking forward to anything about the visit.
Halfway along the route was the Welcome to New York visitor’s center on Interstate 81 near Binghamton. My husband and I had stopped there a number of times over the years, but since we were only passing through, we’d never gone into the small room filled with tourist information. This time, though, as I was riding down the escalator, I noticed a carousel horse inside that room. Intrigued, I went over to it, looked at it for a few seconds, then picked up a brochure.
That was the beginning of what became a full-fledged case of carousel fever. As I read about the six carousels in the Binghamton area and how they had been commissioned by George F. Johnson, my mind began to whirl. Although I’d heard of Endicott-Johnson shoes, I hadn’t known that George F., as he was referred to, had grown up poor. When he made his fortune, he was determined to make life a little happier for other children, and so when he donated the carousels, it was with the stipulation that the towns could never charge for a ride.
That story both touched my heart and sparked my imagination. I started thinking about a poor boy staring through the iron fence that separated him from a carousel, wishing he could ride it. I began to imagine the men who carved those beautiful painted ponies and what their lives had been like before they started carving carousel animals. My thoughts leapt forward to modern times, and I pictured the men and women who painstakingly restored the antique horses to their former glory. And, all the time I was thinking about them, I wasn’t dwelling on the real reason for the trip.
I know it was no coincidence that although the carousel horse had been in that room for years, that was the first time I saw it. We’ve heard so often that God’s timing is perfect, and it was. He knew I needed comfort on that particular trip, and He gave it to me. He also led me to a wonderful church-run assisted living facility that was able to give my mother the 24/7 care she needed.
That chance encounter with a carousel horse is the reason the hero of “One Little Word,” my novella in the Sincerely Yours novella collection, is a carousel carver.
A Novella CollectionJane Kirkpatrick, Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, and Ann Shorey
Spanning a century and a continent, these romantic novellas will lead you on a journey through the landscapeof love. Four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver’s workshop to a remote hospital, you’ll be swept into the lives of women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.
Moonlight Promise by Laurie Alice Eakes
Camilla Renfrew is a highborn English lady fleeing false accusations when she runs smack into love on a steamboat bound for the new Erie Canal. But can this unexpected attraction survive the treacherous journey?
Lessons in Love by Ann Shorey
Marigold Montgomery Bentley writes marriage advice for Kipler’s Home Weekly even though she is single. Everyone assumes from the initials that “M. M.” is a man. When the editor asks to meet Mr. Bentley, can Merrie come up with a ruse to keep her writing job?
One Little Word by Amanda Cabot
Lorraine Caldwell will lose her family fortune to a reckless cousin if she doesn’t marry quickly. When she learns her long lost brother is alive, she hopes she’s found the answer to her problems. What she finds instead is a mysterious carousel carver who turns her life upside down.
A Saving Grace by Jane Kirkpatrick
Grace Hathaway must rescue a dear friend from a remote and notorious clinic that promises healing but delivers only heartache. In a place laced with deceit, where lives hang in the balance, whom can she trust to help her?
You can find out more about Amanda at the following sites:
My review of Sincerely Yours.
Sincerely Yours is available at Amazon and other fine retailers.
Thanks for joining me today, Amanda.
Thanks for joining me today, Amanda.