As she drove along the road, the scenes by the side began to be more and more familiar. It was a treat! It made her smile.
Stacy Wilson was coming home for Thanksgiving. It would be home to Momma June and her sister, Emily, a late life baby for June Wilson. Emily was currently an irrepressible 13 year old, all energy and plans.
This was truly pleasant for Stacy. It was a treat that she gave herself time and again, this coming 'home'.
It also gave her a quite different perspective on the small town. Before, when she was beyond Emily's age a bit, she began to get the idea that the town was going to smother her. She conceived of it all as a trap for her: a boyfriend and a baby by the time she was out of high school. A number of her girlfriends had certainly gone that way and Stacy was constantly promising herself that it wouldn't be her 'fate' at all.
She kept her promise. She made her decision, early on, that education would be the key to her getting more of a life for herself, instead of having one chosen by the town, its limitations and the rattle-brained guys that seemed to be spawned here.
Stacy was a worker. It didn't matter if it was school work or just work, while she pursued her goals, she was a worker. She attacked problems and found ways to defeat them, to get around them. Slowly but surely, she became really good at that.
That kind of attitude and outlook got her into and through college. It took her longer than just the four years but it was because she was working and paying her way, as she went.
It was Stacy's way; the way that she had adopted and she dedicated herself to that.
It also caused her to have a different view of the home town. It was always a matter now of coming home to Momma and Emily. She didn't feel bound by the limitations of the town any more. It was a more nostalgic, if you will, view of the place and she just enjoyed coming home to it now.
That as what she was doing. It was coming to Thanksgiving and she'd cleared her schedule and was bound for home. She'd talked to her Momma and was being watched for by her Momma June and by Emily, who idolized Stacy.
She sang along with music on the radio, as she entered the outskirts of town, passing by the high school. Memories, it all caused memories for her.
She was thin, in those days. As she reflected now, she realized that she was so goal driven that she didn't really take care of herself. She smiled and thought to herself: 'I wasn't thin at all, I was skinny. A skinny, black babe, always left on the back burner."
While it was true that to some young teens, that kind of situation would have been distressing, Stacy Wilson had been all about her goals and those goals led her to the future.
She'd been popular, a treat to be around, and certainly had friends and the lack of romance was not so big a thing to her at all. That much she knew. It never affected her attitude. It never made her morose.
Stacy Wilson was simply goal driven! And here she was driving slowly through town on the way to Momma's for Thanksgiving.
She gave herself time and permission then to smile and be happy about it.
With the accomplishing of her goals, as the time went on, she took herself in hand. She realized that, if she were really going to be successful, as she wanted, she also had to develop herself and stop neglecting herself physically.
Her physical development, her health and image became part of her long term success goals.
It went well for her. During that time, she'd grown about another inch and a half and worked on a kind of diet that allowed her to blossom.
At her present age of 31, Stacy Wilson was a stunner. She was fairly tall, 5'11" and never shed the look of a kind of runner. She did work out and had used that, and over the past five years or so, used a personal trainer to help 'mold' herself.
She wore her hair fashionably tight to her head, and very curly. And for anyone that bothered to look, and there were more and more of those these days for sure, Stacy was very pleasantly built.
As she met success, she allowed herself to dress in a very fashionable way. These things were all part of the kind of world that she'd tried for and had gotten for herself.
It was always, had been always a matter of finding herself or maybe reinventing herself.
At her current age, she simply liked her life.
She'd done sufficiently well in her studies and the way that she pursued knowledge and experience that she'd not only gotten a good job, out of college at age 23 but had risen fairly quickly through the ranks of the company to the position that she held currently: COO at a subdivision of a major industrial giant.
She was respected at the office and well liked. She was certainly one of the 'people to go to' with any kind of problem or situation. She had that kind of reputation.
All of this, she knew, as she reflected on it, helped to make home coming for Thanksgiving that much sweeter.
At an early time in her career with the company, when she started to rise in the estimation and esteem of the company, she'd begun to also fulfill one of her dreams: that of helping her Momma and Emily.
She'd worked with them to buy a small but nice home for the two of them, and made sure that they had the kind of support that they needed.
This was the street now! She drove slowly and, with a happy grin on her face, pulled into the driveway. As soon as she did, the front door swung open and out bounded Emily, already calling to her big sister: "Stacy! Stacy! Momma, it's Stacy!"
Her Momma came to the door next and stood on the porch smiling. It was a bit chilly with the November weather.
Then Stacy had Emily in her arms.
"Oh, Em," she said softly. "How lovely you're growing to be!"
"Like my beautiful sister!" Emily said.
That got Emily a grin from Stacy and a kiss on the cheek.
Then it was up to the porch, with Emily holding Stacy's hand and she had her arms around her Momma.
"Momma, Momma!" Stacy said with unfeigned love.
"Oh, my sweet, sweet girl!" June Wilson answered. "Welcome home! Welcome home for Thanksgiving!"
They exchanged cheek kisses then, and June said: "You look so lovely, my dear! So lovely!"
"Oh, doesn't she," Emily said, joining the group hug. "My big sister's a stunner!"
Stacy grinned then and said: "Okay, my things in the car to bring in."
They went to the car and took her things inside.Emily helped with it all, carrying Stacy's bag.Emily took Stacy's bag to 'her room'. It was always there for her.
A CALL FOR STACY:
Stacy came back from her room and her Momma was waiting.
"Sweetie," June said, "There's been a call for you. It's from a Mr Gainsborough."
"Gainsborough?" Stacy said, "Arthur Gainsborough?"
"Yes," June said, "That was the name."
"Oh," Stacy said then, "He's the owner of the conglomerate. The big boss. What did he say?"
"Well," June went on, "He apologized for calling at the holiday and asked if I'd have you call him back."
"Oh, Momma," she said, "I'd better do that. I mean, if he's calling on a holiday, it must be important."
"My sister the corporate big shot!" Emily said, and grinned at Stacy, who hugged her in return.
"So will you be one day," Stacy said and then it was Emily's turn to grin.
Stacy made the call, it was to his private number.
"Mr. Gainsborough!" she said, "This is Stacy Wilson."
"Oh, Stacy!" he said, "Thanks for calling me back."
"Yes, sir," she said.
"Hey," he broke in then and said: "No 'sirs', and no 'Mr Gainsboroughs for us! It's Art."
Stacy smiled and said: "Thanks, Art. What can I do for you?"
"It's about the Polish manufacturing scheme," he said. "I want ... we at corporate want you to take over on it. I think it'll be our best strategy. It's a huge opportunity for us, with facilities and all in place already, without those upstart costs. And I know that they're hungry to move on to a relationship."
"Thank you, ... um Art," she said, stumbling a little due to the magnitude of the opportunity. "How shall we proceed?"
"I've taken the liberty to fly into your home area, and if you don't mind, I'll stop off for a bit and give you the material."
"And," he went on right away, "I apologize for doing this the day before a holiday."
"Well," Stacy said then, "You'll have to stay to have Thanksgiving with us! Unless you have plans!"
"No plans," he said, "That's so extremely kind of you to offer. Need to run it by the family?"
"Don't think so," she said, "I'll talk to Momma. It'll be her and me and my sister Emily and you!"
"What a treat! What a kindness!" he said. "It's difficult to know how to thank you for this."
"It'll be our pleasure," she said.
She gave him directions then and he said that he wouldn't be too long in getting there. He asked about accommodations locally and she told him of the best places to try. (He ended up at a local, lovely B & B for his stay.)
She went to the kitchen where her Momma and Emily was.
"What was it?" Emily asked.
"Emily Wilson!" June exploded, and got a 'sorry, Momma, Stacy."
"It's fine," Stacy said. "That was the head of our corporate group. He's the founder and boss of the whole conglomerate. He has a special project that Corporate has been working on and he wants me to take it over for them. It's a great opportunity for me!"
"Good for you, love!" June said. "How will it work out?"
.... There is more of this story ...