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Take the Trophy and Run Chapter1

Take the Trophy and Run Chapter1

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Published by: bhpub on Oct 29, 2012
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10/29/2012

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1
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hapter
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A
mber Weathersby stepped back and rested her fists on herhips. “What do you think? Is it too much?”Kathy tilted her head, tapping her finger to her chin as shestudied Amber’s garden gnome standing proudly in the middleof Amber’s kitchen. “I’m not sure. Does my son know why youborrowed his sombrero? He’s had it since he was a child. Areyou sure nothing will happen to it?”Amber bit back a grin, keeping her face turned toward Stan’ssmall sombrero, which sat atop the gnome’s head. He had toldAmber exactly what he wanted to see happen to it, but couldn’ttell his mother. For some reason, his mother considered it muchmore special than he did.Amber pressed one hand over her heart. “I plan to takegood care of it.” At the end of the party, she planned to carryout Stan’s wishes. Someone would either step on it or run overit with their car.“You do such a great job displaying the trophy every year.The ceremony wouldn’t be the same without you. None of ourceremonies would.”
 
TAKE THE TROPHY AND RUN2
Amber smiled. “Creating all the displays for the garden clubis so much fun. I love doing this, no matter what the occasion.”Not only was it fun, it was the difference that kept her busi-ness alive and food on her table. For the last five years she’dloaned her custom-designed garden gnome to the club for thespring celebration. Then, for every other occasion or party, thegarden club purchased a selection of specially designed orna-ments from her, raffling them off when the party was over.As well, with the start of each new growing season, everymember purchased a new Bloomfield Garden Club ornamentfrom Amber, a new design every year. For the garden club, itwas the most important time of the year. When the new growthsprang forth, the garden club celebrated with The Spring Fling.Not only was the Bloomfield Garden Club her best cus-tomer, the prominent members were also good clients, andalmost everyone in the garden club was a good friend.Her membership had nothing to do with her gardeningskills. Whenever she attempted to nurture outdoor plants, hergarden either turned yellow and limp or became an artisticarrangement of petrified sticks. Nothing had the color or vital-ity promised by the little plastic tags that came with the plants.The only plant that had lived a happy and full life was apotato she’d dropped out of her grocery bag. It had bouncedinto the flower bed by the front door, where she’d accidentallystepped on it, sinking it into the soil. Then, being out of sight,she’d forgotten about it until it mysteriously sprouted into aplant that eventually grew cute little white flowers. It was thefirst plant she’d grown successfully from scratch.The only reason she’d been allowed to renew her member-ship at the garden club after killing off her entire garden andpart of her neighbor’s was because Stan found enough spareparts in his auto repair shop to rig a timed sprinkler for her.She’d made him a deathbed promise not to second-guess the
 
GAIL SATTLER3
sprinklers and never manually water anything in her gardenever again. Because of Stan, she’d kept a few hardy plants alive,even if they were a little burned from too much fertilizer.Amber extended her arm and opened her palm toward thegnome, who proudly held the annual trophy. “Pamela says thewinner of the best early garden for The Spring Fling contest isBecky. I think the Mexican look will work well with the colorsthat are blooming in her yard. What do you think?”“I think Becky cheated. She’s gloated for weeks about hersecret formula for some kind of new fertilizer she’s been using. Idon’t know what she’s doing, but it can’t be legal.”“I don’t think there can be such a thing as illegal fertilizer.”Kathy made an undignified snort. “Becky found it, and she’sbeen using it. No one can grow such full roses so early. It’s notright. Not even Libby’s roses are so lush this early in the season.I plan to talk to Libby about that.”Even in the garden club, jealousy still reared its ugly head.Amber patted Kathy on the shoulder. “I thought you and Beckywere friends.”Kathy made a grunt that sounded like a growling dog. “Weare friends. But we’d be better friends if she shared her fertilizer.Amber bit back a grin. “Then figure out your own secretformula and maybe you’ll win next year. But for this year, it’stime to get going. The ceremony can’t start without the trophy.Stan will help me set up everything at Becky’s, and then we’llmeet you at the clubhouse. I’ll see you there.”
“HOW’S THIS?” STAN WILSON
forced himself to smile as hemoved Amber’s gnome for the fifth time, hopefully placing it atthe angle she wanted.

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