Portland, Maine, December 22, 1955
Margaret Houlihan sat in the living room of her sister's house as she watched her daughter play with her cousin. Margaret couldn't believe that her little girl was already nineteen months old. Charlotte looked so much like her, except for one detail. Charlotte had her father's eyes. As Margaret sat watching Charlotte play with her older cousin, her sister Katie walked in.
"What are you looking at?"
"Okay, guess what you know that thing I have to go to on Christmas Eve?"
"Well I got you a date, and a sitter."
"I can't leave Charlotte."
"Yes you can. Come on, he works with Jake."
"That's right. He's chief of general surgery at Portland General."
"Oh?" Margaret asked less then enthused.
"Yes, he lives in Crabapple Cove, Jake took us there in August. Is absolutely beautiful."
"Crabapple Cove?" Margaret asked looking at her sister.
"That's right, have you heard about it?"
"Yes actually. One of the doctors that was in Korea with me, was from there."
"Well maybe he knows him. The town isn't the big."
"So come on," Katie said then whispered. "We might even find Charlotte's father." Margaret smiled and nodded.
"Fine, Charlotte baby, come here." The chubby blonde got up and ran to her mother, Margaret smiled as the little girl jumped onto her mother's lap.
"Mommy." She smiled hugging her.
"Are you having fun?"
"Yup. Mommy 'en kissmas?"
"In 3 sleeps."
"Ready for a bath?"
"Yup!" Charlotte clapped. Margaret laughed and stood up. "Wif bubbles?"
"With Bubbles, come on. Kate you want Anna to have a bath too?"
"She can have a shower in the morning. But I think its time she get her jamies on."
"Kay mom." Anna said standing up. "Auntie Maggie, can I help with Charlotte?"
"Of course Anna." Margaret smiled, as the three girls walked down the hall.
"Well Michael, it's just you and me." Katie laughed as her son walked in.
"I'm gonna go read, can you help me?"
"Of course. Let's go." Katie smiled as she and her son walked off.