Just a couple of notes about the recently-posted Chapter 47. A few readers expressed confusion about the trip to Florida that was Inez's Christmas gift to Pat. That "gift trip" was not the same one that was described later in chapter 47. There are two different Florida visits involved here. The first one was brought up in chapter 46, and was a simple holiday visit. That's the one you read about in the just-posted chapter. The second one - the "gift trip" - will take place a few months from the current point in the story, in March. That's the one where they'll be flying into Tampa, and out of Miami.
I can understand the confusion surrounding this, and I hope I've cleared it up.
On another note, a couple of readers have mentioned the similarity between the clam shell scene in Chapter 47 and another seashell scene in the novel "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I've actually never read "Gift from the Sea", so this is a complete coincidence. After glancing over the chapter in question in "Gift from the Sea", I have to agree, it's an uncanny resemblance, right down to the relationship analogy which Inez mentioned in my story. I've done a slight edit on chapter 47, adding a few lines where Inez mentions having read that particular book.
Anyway ... onward to chapter 48!