The Sleigh: Annie’s Inventory Notes — Features from Atonement, TN

Welcome back to Atonement, TN!
I hope everyone has had a wonder-filled week.  I’m delighted that you’re spending a moment from the holiday weekend here.

1940-Dec Womans Day Sleigh SnowSometimes I get a few posts prepared ahead of time (and that’s nice for me). However, that hasn’t been the case for awhile. Anyway, just as I was wondering what I could possibly do for this weekend’s post, I got a lovely holiday wish from the very talented Inese.  So I went to her beautiful photography blog looking for inspiration.  I found so many things to trigger my imagination that I couldn’t decide.

Then I remembered something about a joke Hugh had made about a sleigh ride in Atonement, and I had replied with a James Bond-like idea-joke.  Well, one of Inese’s photos had a sleigh in it… But we don’t have to worry about how Mr. Bond likes his martinis. I don’t think it will play out like that. At least not this time.

If you’ll recall, I’m using these blog “features” to give you bits of lore, back-stories, and even secrets that might never appear in one of the novels. Inese’s sleigh photo inspired one such edition of “Annie’s Inventory Notes.”  I hope you enjoy it.  Also, here’s a link to the magical moment Inese captured with her camera.

Annie’s Inventory Notes — the Sleigh

1908-Jan Success mag Sleigh CoupleTiny white holiday lights reflected in the windows of Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop.  Annie absently watched the lights.  The twinkling reminded her of ice crystals, despite the unnaturally warm December.  With thoughts of ice and snow she glanced toward the sleigh.  It was another of the “secret” items on her ancient inventory list.

The sleigh was hidden in plain sight.  She used it as a large display stand for various antiques.  At that moment the sleigh held two bedside lamps and a collection of quilts.  All the quilts were sewn over generations in Atonement, Tennessee.

Annie walked to the sleigh and caressed wood smoothed by centuries.  Her tale of the sleigh was a favorite bedtime story of her sons when they were small.1905 Horseman mag Sleigh horses couple

She told them of how it could glide over hill and dale with magical speed.  Once the sleigh had been pulled by a team of magnificent matched horses.  The shaggy white hair at their feet and their flowing white manes glowed in the night with the enchantment of the sleigh.

The sleigh could go places no other vehicle could reach.  Any where.  Any when.

When Annie told her boys the stories they always begged for more.  Sometimes she gave them tales of amazing places where the sleigh had taken her and their aunt Adelle.  Her sons giggled and gasped at the stories of their mother and her sister.  There was one thing Annie did not tell her sons.  The tales were true.

***

Now that I’ve given you a wintry tidbit, I hope you’re in the mood for a lovely hot drink.  My search of WordPress led me to this treat at blog called “Milliemirepoix,” so check out the intriguing recipes at this site.

Hot Milk, Honey & Nutmeg

Hot milk honey nutmeg

Click the picture for the recipe

I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to Atonement, TN. Leave a comment to say hello.  I’ll look forward to seeing you again next time.

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72 thoughts on “The Sleigh: Annie’s Inventory Notes — Features from Atonement, TN

    • LOL, as long as it is a magic sleigh that needs no snow, I’m all for it! The only white ground cover I want to see is white desert sands! 😀
      Thanks for dropping by Hugh. I know there were challenges, but I hope you had a lovely holiday. Happy end of 2015!

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  1. Thanks for sharing this seasonally appropriate tale with us Teag. I hope you had yourself a magical Christmas? Mmmm the hot milk and honey nutmeg looks inviting! xo ❤

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    • Dear David, it the hot milk and nutmeg is not to your liking, certainly we’ll have tea. 🙂
      It sounded like you are feeling better? I surely hope so. Every day I watch for a post announcing the new grandbaby — sending best wishes for that.
      Thank you so very much for taking a moment to read and comment. Please take good care of you. Mega hugs ❤ 🙂 ⭐ 🐻

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    • Hi Mary. LOL, the sleigh had one immediate problem when I chose to use it — where the heck would Annie put it? A garage or storage warehouse just didn’t work for me. Then I imagined the creative displays she might have inside the shop.
      Wishing you the very best in 2016 as well. Mega hugs!

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  2. Hope the holidays are treating you well, Teagan. 🙂
    While I love these delightful Atonement interludes, they just leave me wanting more…luckily you’re kind enough to provide them. 😉
    This was another wonder-filled gift. 🙂
    Megahugs and all the magical best in 2016, dear one. 🙂

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    • Hi Donna! Thank you so much for taking a moment away from your Christmas weekend to visit me here. And thanks for these encouraging words. I hope the holiday has been and that the New Year will be filled with every kind of good magic for you too. Mega hugs right back! 😀 ⭐

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  3. The photo of the sleigh that inspired this post is absolutely beautiful! And I can only imagine the stories that were told about the two sisters and where they went on the sleigh. You mentioned you might have thought this was a boring post, but it was anything but that! Complete imagination abounds with the tidbits shared here! I hope you had a magical Christmas and best wishes for a joyous New Year, Teagan! XOXOXO

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    • Kathryn — thank you SOOO much! Yes, I was worried that this was a boring scene. That’s where this kind of feed back is so valuable — Especially because I felt the same way about what I wrote in the novel this afternoon. I almost deleted half a chapter as being unnecessary and boring. Then I decided to hold off until I can do another “re-read” of the entire book — because sometimes the reader needs reminders. Particularly since it’s looking like “Bloom” might be considerably longer than book-1 (which was not very long however). Thank you for helping me not doubt myself as much. 🙂 🙄 🙂 I hope your Christmas was wonderful too, KR. Wishing the new year brings you everything you want. Hugs to your parents too. I hope they are healing well. ❤

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  4. Sleighs are so much a part of classic literature, but they are completely foreign to me growing up in a land where snow melts away before vespers.

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    • Hey Tim — it’s good to see you. I call New Mexico snow “polite snow” because it doesn’t tend to wear out its welcome! But I can relate; they’re like a thing of legend to me. Growing up in the deep south, it was rare for us to have enough snow to be able to make a snowman… LOL and when we did, half the yard would be cleared of snow. (But the little bit of snow always had a thick layer of ice, treacherously hiding beneath.) Thanks for taking a moment to read and comment. I’m still chuckling about the pictures of Spunk the cat today. 🐱

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  5. I love Inese’s blog and I think they are a source of much inspiration. I love your snippet and I’ve always wanted to ride in a proper sleigh… I love antiques so here is to hoping that Annie’s features prominently in your next book, or in the one after that!

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    • LOL…”Or the one after that” Thank you Olga for believing in me! I’ve done such a pitiful job of accomplishing my writing this fall/winter. But there are more stories in the “Atonement universe” waiting to be written. I was chatting with Suzanne D. and suddenly there was another Atonement book in my head — and yes, most likely for Annie and her sister Adelle to be featured, now that Adelle will be introduced in book-2. Not sure yet, but they don’t seem to have a large presence in “Bloom.” Perhaps that’s best — to let them/their roles grow gradually.
      I’ve never ridden in a sleigh either, or even a child’s sled. It does look fun! But I hate snow and ice, so I don’t feel too bad about it. 😀 Huge hugs, Olga — and wishing you much success with your new blog format/site.

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  6. Inese — what a wonderful thing to say! Thank you from my heart. Your blog never fails to be inspiring. But I feel the photos and words tell such a full story! I still think often of the post with all the photos of the older gent and the little girls who were your model/characters. There were so many wonderful stories told there. But that is just a personal favorite — it is true of all your posts. More hugs!

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  7. ‘The tales were true! ‘ It is exactly what I believe when I read your Atonement.
    Thank you for looking for inspiration in my humble blog, and for sharing the tidbits! A special thanks for the recipe – I will try it right now!
    Have a wonderful end of the year!
    Hugs!!!

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  8. I know I’ve said this before Teagan but I love your artful descriptions. I was in that antique store, or at least an antique store. Actually, I was picturing a store in Vermont but that’s what you do so well. You paint very detailed starting points and then let our minds wander. Well, that’s what happens to me. Thanks for sharing more of the back story. Have a great last week of 2015.

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    • Dan, thank you. That really does mean a lot to me. And you can’t say it too much! 😀
      I was actually really afraid this one was downright boring. So thanks again. Your words really do help.
      What you said about Vermont is something that also is wonderful to hear. I like to know that readers put themselves and their own world into my stories. In the Atonement stories I’ve intentionally been a little vague by leaving race/skin coloring out of the descriptions, because I hope that helps people see the characters in a relatable way they can personalize however they want.
      I actually got that idea from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. She never named the heroine, and for the first time, I “cast” myself in the part when I read the story. I went back and studied that book several times after I realized that. Thanks very much for visiting! Huge hugs.

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        • I’ve been using up a lot of leave/vacation days this month (else they are lost), and the more I’m home the more needy Crystal is. I’m sure the neighbors can hear my caterwauling cat! Calling me go come to wherever she is (usually the basement room, where I hate to be). She just wants attention (her “big brother” died this spring), but she sounds like something is horridly wrong. 🐱 But with her IBD, I know she’d be far too stressed with a new animal companion. She’s actually doing better, just needy. Hugs to kitty too. 🙂

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          • Oh no carry over vacay/personal days?! Sorry you lost one-sad. This lil’ fellow hid most of the day in our master bedroom closet (He loves that space?). I think all the company and noise rattled him-he is only 4 y.o. and since I adopted him at 9 weeks old he ought to be use to the noise factor? I gave him extra hugs this a.m. and at last check he was playing with some toys amongst my shoes aka flip flops! LOL Bigger hugs back to you!

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            • LOL re the flip flops! Mine are scardey cats too. I had to just accept that part of their personality. Other cats I’ve had were very friendly to guests. Just like people, they are all different. Glad your kitty is feeling playful. 🙂
              (Oh… I get to carry over a lot of vacation days, but there is a limit. I keep them like an extra bank account. Usually I use them during November for novel writing month. But the system had a glitch this year, and I had a week that it didn’t display until December. It’s all good. But will be hard to return to a normal schedule in January! Painful!!! 😀 )

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    • Many thanks for reblogging, Suzanne! Oh yes… an Atonement Christmas would surely be like no other. Some of the characters are in for surprises — though they may or may not like them! I hope you’ve had a lovely holiday. Mega hugs!

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  9. I enjoyed this so much Teagan. The sleigh transports to a magical time, the vision of the sleigh pulled by the beautiful horses in the snow is just so beautiful. I do enjoy your tidbits and I love this recipe, hot milk is a personal favorite of mine. I hope you have a great weekend, this was just what I needed.

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    • Hi Suzanne! Wow you’re up early. (I guess. Maybe you’re like me and sleeping until 5 AM is sleeping late. 😀 ) Thank you very much for making my blog a part of your holiday weekend morning! Also thanks for helping me see what kind of “label” i could put on this post. Not a story, or even much of a scene. Rather it’s imagery! 😀 ⭐
      You must have a busy day ahead. Be sure to do something just for *you* too. Mega hugs!

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      • I am still in bed but wide awake, making some coffee and starting my day. Yesterday was so busy and exhausting your posts are relaxing and take me to a very good place away from all the goings on of the holidays. Have a great day and lovely weekend!!

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    • Hi Sally. Thank you so much for taking a moment away from magical Ireland to reblog this little ditty. I’m very happy to know you feel these posts add something to the story. Mega hugs my friend. Enjoy your vacation. ❤ 🙂

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