Lori Thatcher

Writing and Thinking about writing

Far Away


The doorbell rang, but Louise ignored it.  There was no one she wanted to see in the entire state of Florida, no one she even knew except her landlady, a wrinkled, crabby old woman.

After her last fall on an icy doorstep, her husband Alan had insisted they spend the winter in a warm climate, and she felt she had to comply, but she missed  her Vermont home and family members who visited often. Now it was Christmastime.

 The doorbell rang again. “Wait,” she called, opening the door, sporting her own wrinkled, crabby-old-woman face. The young man’s smile wavered as he swayed on the doorstep balancing a big cardboard box.

“Hi, I’m Jeff, your daughter told you I’d be coming.” At Louise’s confused look, he continued. “Mrs. Alan Webster? I’m delivering a Christmas present from Sally.”

She held out her arms to take the box, but he said, “I need to set up this computer, so you can video chat.” He came in before Louise realized she had stepped back.

She woke Alan from his recliner-nap and told him to watch the boy while she called Sally.

“Mom, I forgot to tell you.” Sally apologized. “It’s our Christmas present. Everyone is coming for super tonight and I know you’re sad you can’t be here. ”

Before long the young man was showing Alan how to connect. Like magic, their daughter Sally was right there on the screen in the living room, and at suppertime, Louise and Alan grinned and waved into the screen as they spoke to each grand child.

When Sally returned to the screen, Louise had tears in her eyes. “This is the best present ever,” she said.

“Look Mom.” Sally turned the camera toward the lighted front yard, and the snow began to fall.

Red Writing Hood

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood December calendars are filling up, notes about what to cook and who to see; some of the obligations traced lovingly with a smile and some met with a frown.

This week we asked you to use the holiday season to inspire you to write a piece beginning with “The doorbell rang” and ending with “snow began to fall.”


17 thoughts on “Far Away

  1. This was absolutely wonderful and sweet.

  2. What a brilliant idea, I love how technology can be a positive thing, connecting faraway loved ones rather than disconnecting and distracting. 🙂

  3. Ok, sniffle sniffle! (Those are good tears.) That would, indeed, be a lovely gift. I also like that the daughter forgot to tell her parents. 😉 That sounds like something I would do. Heh.

  4. What a lovely gift for a grandmother, especially one who is desperately missing her family!

  5. OH, how perfect! I love this. I loved everything about it.

  6. Lovely story, Lori!!! ❤

  7. So sweet, and as a New Englander I completely sympathize with the need for snow, and the disconnect of trying to spend a winter holiday in a warm climate.

  8. Oh, I loved this story!! Especially how you had the character turn the computer around to show the snow had started!

    Really sweet!

  9. Awww…this was so sweet. I really enjoyed this!

  10. Nicely done! And the opening and closing lines were totally woven into the piece —
    (I love the two wrinkled crabby-old-women faces!)

  11. What a sweet and unique way to use the prompt. Great work.

    How did I miss you and this the first time.

    well written

    Hope your family had a merry christmas

  12. Enjoyed reading this, I emotionally connected to the story. But the other side of the coin is, don’t pity people in the past for what they didn’t have, pity us for what we’ve lost. I see too many people today staring at their i-phones and other devices, ignoring everyone around them. Too much staring today and not enough face-to-face interaction, real conversation.

    • Thanks Steve,
      Yeah, I get ya. How do kids learn to get along if most of their interactions are digital?
      I’ve seen couples at a restaurant — each interacting with their own electronic devise instead of each other. Sad.

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