Hello dear readers!
It's been a long time since we visited Amanda and the rest of the gang in Cherry Hill, our sleepy little prairie town in 1940's Saskatchewan. This is because the story took me in unexpected directions last fall when Amanda's husband, a certain Doctor Paul Fitzpatrick, met his untimely demise in an auto accident - leaving the town of Cherry Hill reeling, and Amanda with many unanswered questions!
Dr. Paul had been acting distant for awhile, spending most of his time at the office, or away at conferences with his nurse, Val Petersen. But when his car went off the road in the early hours of the morning last year, with Val and an array of assorted liquor bottles rattling around inside, there was much speculation!
What were Paul and Val doing at that time of night so close to the Shady Rest Motel in Moosejaw?
Unfortunately, the mystery continues, as Nurse Val developed a startling case of amnesia, claiming she remembers nothing of her life during the previous five years.
She does, however, remember her teenage romance with war hero Jack Wilson and has spent the larger part of her time since the crash trying to re-ignite an old flame - an idea town matriarch, Jack's mother Mrs. Wilson, is none too happy about given the recent scandal.
Amanda, on the other hand, has kept to herself since Paul's death, devoting herself to the children and her part time job teaching cooking and home economics at the local high school.
But with the first spring crocuses showing their faces in the gardens of Cherry Hill, Amanda has begun to feel more like herself again. Because Christmas this year was a sad affair for her and the children, she decided to throw an Easter celebration and egg hunt for her friends and neighbours.
Join us now as Amanda recounts the festivities in a letter to her mother or get caught up by starting from the beginning: The Cherry Hill Series.
March 29, 1948
After a lovely, albeit nerve jangling, Easter Sunday I finally have a moment to sit down and write; and it's such a blessing that the school is on holiday because I need time to recuperate from all that cooking and egg hiding!
I swear, I was up half the night on Saturday hiding coloured eggs and chocolates all over the yard. If it hadn't been for Jack, who just happened to be walking by around 8 pm - right after I sent the children to bed - I don't know that I would have gotten it all done! But he was so clever at coming up with hiding places, the time went by in a jiff.
And I have to confess, it was nice to spend some time with my old friend without the insufferable presence of Val who has, a this point, attached herself to Jack's side, declaring that he is the key to her salvation, or at the very least, her memory. The funny thing is, Mrs. Wilson who was once so enamoured by Val, is none too happy about any potential for romance. Ever since the accident, Val has been painted with quite the scarlet letter by the rest of the town - a conversation I've managed to stay out of, as I still choose to believe the best about my husband and think there has to be some other explanation surrounding the mystery of his death.
Jack, though, is so big-hearted that he continues to grin and bear it as Val hangs onto his every word, and most days, his arm.
Thankfully she was not invited to partake in my Easter celebration and had the good grace not to show up - which, I must admit, had me worried in the days prior. Mother, she acts so wacky sometimes one never knows what she might do!
Cherry Hill's new doctor, Walt Fisher, showed up, though. I invited him on a whim when Bobby's tonsils flared up last week thinking he might appreciate a home cooked meal - what with him being single and new to town. At first I thought it might be awkward having the person who replaced Paul in my back yard searching for Easter eggs, but Walt is so fun and easy going I relaxed right away.
The same cannot be said for Jack, though! For some inexplicable reason he almost seemed hostile toward Walt and barely spoke two words to him the entire evening - especially when I added the lovely rare orchid Walt brought to the bouquet of daffodils Jack picked for the table - it almost felt like there was a flower competition going on!
All was forgotten, however, when it was discovered Mr. Wilson had been tampering once again with the punch. One minute he was having a dandy time by the deviled eggs, and the next he was singing "My Wild Irish Rose" from across the yard to Mrs Wilson.
Mother, I don't say it lightly when I express that Mrs Wilson has a noticeable disdain for public displays of affection.
Jack let go of his flower grudge before the tension in the air got any thicker and set his father onto a lawn chair with a strong cup of coffee and a hot cross bun so that when dinner was served the rest of the day went without incident.
What a meal we had... Glazed Ham with Pineapple and Cherries, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Homemade Chive and Cheese Bread, hot from the oven, and your recipe for Creamy Holiday Coleslaw!
I've attached all of the recipes to this letter in case you would like to try any of them! Easter Dinner Recipes.
In the meantime, I hope all is well with you and Father.
I will write again soon!
Your loving daughter,
To visit the next installment of my popular web series, click here: Amanda Receives a Mysterious Phone Call
Want to learn how to put this Easter dinner together on your own? Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video!
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