Celebrating holidays while living overseas and far from extended family is hard. I come from a large family who once a week regularly sits at my mother’s large table for the Sunday meal. Most holidays everyone is there – it is how I grew up. So, I love hosting get-togethers with other families, especially when they become like family. It makes me feel at home.
Mother’s Day was no exception. We had a potluck lunch after church. People ate between conversations and laughs. Kids splashed in the small pool. It was just a beautiful day.
After everyone left and I had a lovely nap, my husband asked if I’d like to try a new coffee shop nearby. “Bring your writing stuff,” he says.
I grabbed a notebook, my draft of my novel, and the book/handbook PLOT WHISPERER by Martha Alderson (if you are a writer, I highly recommend them). I glanced at my laptop, but decided time was too short for that. I noticed Uwe’s bag bulging, and figured he would work, too.
Oh, well, my Mother’s Day has ended.
I sat at a sidewalk table while he went inside to order. It wasn’t too hot with the shade of the umbrella. It almost seemed like we were in Europe, sort of. We talked about the day and the upcoming things that we were going to be involved in. I wondered when we were going to pull out “work”. Okay, honestly, I was thinking about when would I get to pull out my writing.
Uwe then looked at his watch and mentioned that we should probably go. I looked at my unopened bag and sighed.
“Wait, I think you should see the inside. You want to see this funny/cute French style hotel, don’t you?” he asks.
I followed him in. We checked out the restaurant. We took the elevator, which has a ceiling to floor Eifle Tower painted in it. We got off on the 7th floor. While I looked at the view, he entered an empty room. I peered in nervously because he just entered without knocking as far as I could tell. I mean, who just wanders into hotel rooms without a key?
I stood in the hall peering into the room. “What are you doing?” I yelled in as much as a whisper as I could without actually yelling. My mind told me this was all wrong, but my feet seemed to have a mind of their own and pulled me in.
It isn’t your typical hotel room with one bed, desk, TV, and carpeted floor. This room has wooden walls and flooring. All the furniture had a dark wood, including the tiny wardrobe. It had two beds facing each other, not side-by-side. And to top it off the two windows, one long and narrow and the other short and set low to the ground, had wooden shutters! It was mesmerizing in a cheesy cute sort of way.
Uwe rested his bag on the bed and began empty out the contents. I watched as my toothbrush, toothpaste and brush bounced on the bed. He continued with my clothes and a few other books.
“Did you get us a room?”
“No, I got you a room. You have your writing books. I brought your Bible and journal. One night for you,” he said as he handed me the keys (which had an Eifle tower key chain).
“What?!? Excuse me? Uhh, What? Man, you are good. I had NO idea.”
With a kiss on the cheek he vanished out the door. I’m sat on the bed and stared out the window. I love my family and I love spending time with them – but sometimes as a person, a writer, I need to break away with no distractions. No guilt. Freedom to be creative. My husband knew this – he knew I needed a surprise.
So, that is just what I did. I began deepening my characters and hashing out scenes – all are steps to finishing this novel I started a few years ago.
And that was my Mother’s Day surprise.
Have you ever been surprised by someone? Share your story in the comments below.