Honey, I'm so proud of all you've done," Flory, looked around the salon, decorated in vibrant red, gold, and green for the holidays. The aroma of cinnamon and vanilla wafted through room, covering up the permanent smells of chemicals, shampoo, and hairspray.
Flory reached out and slid a plate full of sugar cookies, bells and stockings and Christmas trees covered in colored sugar or icing and nonpareils for the ornaments and bell clappers, just slightly to the left. She stepped back examining her handy work, satisfied, she turned to her daughter.
This place looks so festive. Did you make all of this?" She sweeped her hand to include the percolator filled with spice tea, a basket filled with sausage balls and some type of pinwheels. She didn't give her daughter a chance to speak. Adding, "And you've changed your hair," she slid a bang out of the girl's eyes.
"When are you going to let me tell everyone here that you're my mother?"
Baby, you know it's for your own good."
"Mama, the people of Landmark are more accepting than you might think. Look at The Masters' brothers and that girl McKenna."
Flory tried to hide the wistfulness from seeping into her voice. "Some people can get away with more than other's around here. Besides, I don't want to embarrass..."
"Mama, we've been over this. I'm making a good living here. I bought this place from Ms. Martha, turned it into my own." Cally threw her hands wide. "If people accept me with my crazy hair and piercings then I think they'll be all right that I'm Flory's daughter."
"I'll think on it."
The bell over the door jingled, signaling the arrival of well-wishers. Flory moved to the side, trying to stay out of her daughter's way. She guessed it wouldn't be hard, though her daughter stood only an inch above five feet. What she lacked in stature, she made up for in vivacity.
In keeping with the festive mood that struck Landmark this time of year, she had donned red stockings, a green felt hat, and a gold smock with reindeer and Santas littered over it.
Pride swelled in Flory's breast as she cast her gaze toward main street. Holly wreathes lined the vintage lamps along the boardwalk. Lights were strung in windows of shops.
Her daughters were multi-colored led lights that twinkled, faded in and out, became one color, and much more. Other business owners settled in with their own style, some subdued, some with animated blowup characters while some boasted traditional fare.
It was a mishmash of variety, but suited the town's diverseness perfectly.
Her daughter was right the people of Landmark, in their hospitable fashion had welcomed Cally to town. Some of the older women had grumbled about the salon's name change, but none had taken their business elsewhere.
Flory's gaze was drawn to the door as the bell tinkled once more. Jacy strode in with Tamara and Maddie. Flory's eyes narrowed. Danika Davis, their fourth was conspicuously absent, but the woman had been out of pocket since her husband came to town.
Now that was a story. If Dani Davis could keep her ten year long distance relationship a secret and the town welcomed him with open arms, then maybe there was something to Cally's urging.
Flory would think on it.
"Welcome to Main Street's Christmas Open House." Flory heard her daughter say. Flory moved closer. Jacy and Trace Blackwell were married now. Tamara and Jackson Taylor were engaged. "Hmm." Flory hummed lowly. When would the younger girl find her man.
It wasn't her business. But she'd matched up the other couples so well, with a little push to that author. Maybe it after the holidays...