A Second Chance, Part III -- Life Must Go On
(Copyrighted by the author)
Co-Author & Editor: Radio Rancher


Well the next few days were pretty hectic, but everyone was getting ready for Christmas and the twins were just about as excited as anyone could imagine. The Christmas tree had so many presents all wrapped in pretty paper and bows under it, that there was no room for any more; there were so many that over half the living room was covered with them. The twins were trying hard to get sneak peeks at who's present belonged to whom. It was cute as hell though, and all the adults were having a blast at the twin's expense.

The day everyone was waiting for had arrived though, here it was the 24th of December and Santa was due to come tonight, Colt and Matt, I think were more excited about what was going to happen than anyone else. Mike and Andrew weren't far behind, as proud grandpas. Julie and Jo were busy in the kitchen, making some special cookies for Santa, and the twins had to stay in the kitchen to make sure they were done just exactly right. For they didn't want Santa not to like them and not leave them any goodies. You can't take chances when it comes to Santa, you know.

Ben came in and said, "Hey guys, I think you all need to come out to the barn and see what happened this morning." He had a huge grin on his face, then he continued, "I think someone very special has dropped a present for someone." Ben was grinning a very excited grin. Trying to hurry up Colt and Matt, without letting the twins in on it.

Matt sensed it himself, and motioned for Mike, Andrew, and Colt to follow them into the barn. He didn't say anything for fear of the twins hearing them. Earl and Jack noticed too, and followed them out. Once they were in the barn, they spotted what could only have been one of the cutest little filly's you could picture, she was a twin to Dotty in ever respect, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Star was the proud poppa once again. He was standing right next to the stall, pacing back and forth. Moreover, he had been doing that all night, according to Ben. Lady's little one, who was now just barely standing on her own, came up and nuzzled Colt.

Colt just smiled and said, "What a fitting present for Mark. Now the twins have almost a set of twin ponies. That was a gift from our guardian angel." He exclaimed with a sigh, then looked up and said, "Thank you pop, wherever you are!" Then looked at Andrew and said, "I hope you don't mind me giving that filly to Mark?" He was a very happy and proud dad right then.

Before Andrew could answer, Lady nickered, "I'm happy, I wanted Mark to have her. Now Dotty and Luke have play mates too!" Matt told the others what Lady had just said.

Andrew smiled and said, "That filly was not mine to give, that was JC's present to Mark." He had tears in his eyes, and now everyone else had them running down their faces as well.

Mike asked, "Do either of you know if Mark or Luke is the oldest of the pair?" He giggled at the thought, knowing they were identical twins, but knowing also that one of them was born first.

Matt said, "Yes, Luke was born first by 12 minutes, according to their birth certificates." He paused thinking, `Why did pop ask that question.' Then said, "We won't have new ones for a while yet, it takes the county about four weeks to issue new ones." He then looked at Mike and said, "Why did you ask that pop?" Giving his dad a quick smile.

"Easy, now we know who has what horse. Dotty is the oldest and belongs to Luke, and Dawn belongs to Mark, the youngest." Mike said, then began laughing so hard. Then asked another question of the boys, "How close to the time you and Colt were born, seems I remember you and Colt were born at the exact same time, exactly one year apart."

Matt said, "Beautiful name dad, I love it!" then he paused and said, "Not close at all, pop, only Colt and I share the time as well as the day. Our son's only share the day with us. Thank god, for that would be too much to comprehend." He laughed.

Mike then asked, "Do you want to keep this a secret until tomorrow, boys?" He was now as excited as were Colt and Matt. It was really funny how things were turning out.

Colt said, "I love that name too, Dawn fits her well for she was born at dawn today!" Then he smiled his 'Colt smile of approval', then continued, "Let's keep it a secret, if we can." He looked at Mike, Andrew, Matt, Earl, and Jack with a don't you give the secret away type of expression. Then Matt just smiled his 'cute Matt smile'.

Earl just shook his head and said, "What a wonderful surprise this is going to be, for our nephews." You would have thought he and Jack were the twin's daddies, with the proud looks on their faces.

Colt said, "Let's get back inside before the twins miss us, or they'll be out here in a flash." He chuckled and motioned for everyone to go back into the house, where it was much warmer.

JC looked down and had a huge smile on his face, and then looked at me and said, "Charlie, I just wish I could be there, one last time tonight; I know I can't be seen, but I will be there in spirit. Right?" I shook my head yes, and told him he would indeed have the pleasure of seeing the family happy tonight, and for many years to come.

Everyone returned to the house, and split off into their own rooms for almost everyone had more gifts to wrap, and the twins were still in the kitchen with their grandma, helping her, by tasting each kind of cookie or candy. Julie and Jo were more or less babysitting for the little guys, but she loved doing it so much that it was a real treat instead of a chore. Jo enjoyed it as well; in fact, she felt more like part of the family, the longer she was on the ranch. The twins thought they were helping bake cookies and make candy. On the other hand, should I say eating the cookies and candy as fast as grandma and Jo could make them. Julie of course was hiding more than the boys saw her make, and she wasn't going to let them get sick. Not on Christmas Eve, no way was that going to happen.

Julie just said, "I think we have made enough cookies and candies for an army. I think now we need to get lunch ready, and then start on the dinner, Jo." She was kind of sad as she said the word dinner, for tonight was a family tradition of baked ham, which was JC's and Richard's favorite meal on Christmas eve, and Colt and Matt didn't want to change the family tradition. Mike also agreed and that's what dinner was going to be.

Luke and Mark left the kitchen after Julie and Jo had put all the homemade cookies and candies away, knowing they weren't going to get anymore. They looked kinda' dejected at not getting to eat more, so they took off looking for someone in the living room. They just found more gifts stretching even further out into the living area. Their eye's were as big as saucers just thinking about all the goodies that were there.

Matt and Colt walked in with even more gifts that they had just wrapped, and saw the twins standing there. So they put down the packages carefully, then Colt grabbed Luke under the arms quickly, at the same time, Matt grabbed Mark in the same manner, and simultaneously they picked them up and began to swing them back and forth. Both boys began to giggle out loud, which caught the attention of Mike and Andrew.

Mike just looked at his two sons, with their own sons playing, and then said, "That is such a wonderful sight. I really love seeing all of you having so much fun." He was grinning with a big toothy grin.

Andrew was cracking up with laughter at the sight, when Colt tripped and fell on the couch with Luke in his arms. He said, "Watch it, graceful, someone might get hurt." Matt saw it too and began laughing at his lover and brother.

Colt said, "They're bigger than you think, when you get them swinging!" He laughed, as Luke crawled out from under him.

"Daddy fell, didn't he! Luke giggled with the cutest little smile.

Mark screamed, "My daddy is better then yours!" How funny that sounded to everyone. 'Typical kids' was all the rest thought. Matt even had to look at Colt with a wicked grin on his face.

Julie came out and said, "How about you guys rounding up the family for lunch, if you can find them all. It looks like you could lose someone in this living room with all those gifts." She joked with Colt and Matt, at whom she had directed that statement.

"Okay, we will!" Colt and Matt said in unison, then gave her a funny little look, and then Colt said, "Well, I'm sure there are many presents over there for you too Grandma!" He joked back.

It wasn't long before the dining room was filled almost to overflowing, with the extended family, and everyone seated. The lunch consisted of assorted sliced cheeses, assorted sliced meats, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and condiments of all types, along with soft drinks, milk, and of course hot coffee. But the bread was homemade Sourdough Rye with Caraway Seeds, and Extra Sourdough French, the smell of which had everyone's mouths watering, even ours. James, JC, Richard and I all managed to sneak a couple of slices each. God they were wonderful. I swear I saw Mark look right at me, as I grabbed the piece of bread. His face lit up and he grinned. I'm pretty sure he winked at me. The breads were also a holiday specialty of Julie's and now Jo's as well. Julie found that Jo was just as good a cook as she was, but didn't want to admit it.

Everyone started fixin' their own plates and before long, the meal was gone, and the bread plates didn't even have as much as a few crumbs on them. All Julie and Jo knew was, the next time, they would have to make twice as much, Julie said, "Glad you all enjoyed that bread so much, next time, I will use a cement mixer to make more!" She grinned with that grandmotherly smile that only Julie could give. Everyone in the room just busted out laughing at her joke.

Earl and Jack got up and hugged Julie and Jo, then they each kissed them, saying, "That bread was great, no matter who made it!" Then they helped clear the table, telling everyone else that it was their turn. It was nice of them, and the other's really appreciated it very much.

Mike and Andrew excused themselves and headed off into the office, 'to get some things done,' they said. But the office door was soon closed and locked. I knew what was going on in there, of course, but I'm not saying, for the surprise would be spoiled.

Joel, Aaron, Kevin, and Jerry all asked if they could take one of the vehicles and go into town, one last time, since they all had some last minute Christmas shopping to do.

Matt simply said, "No problem, guys, just take one of them. It doesn't matter which one; Just make sure that you have enough gas is all I ask. I Don't want to have to send out the dogs for you!" He joked, then got up and headed for the living room, where he was going to find a place to sit, if at all possible.

Julie heard them, and asked, "Would you guys mind doing me a favor? I forgot something, and I really need a new set of guitar strings. Or I won't be able to play Christmas Carols tonight." She had a real worried look on her face.

Joel walked up, hugged her, and said, "I would love to, Julie, where would we find them?" Aaron took out his notepad and wrote down the information that Julie provided.

Julie just glanced back at them with a warm loving smile, and said, "Thanks so much, I was going to have to ask one of the boys to do that for me. So Colt or Matt should also thank you for saving them a trip into town." She joked, with a grin, then she disappeared back into the kitchen, finding Jo working with one of the salads for the next day's Christmas Dinner. Yes, of course they were making preparations for the sizable Christmas Dinner the following day. It would be another family tradition of Roast Goose.

Colt and Matt talked about how to keep the twins busy that afternoon, because they were so excited and boisterous, that they almost had everyone pulling their hair out. But God love them, they were so damn cute, that no one would have said anything about it. Colt simply said to Matt and the twins, "Why don't we all go into town and see the park decorations for a while this afternoon?" He wanted Matt's approval, the twins, of course, as soon as he said that, were up out of their seats, and heading for the front door, grabbing their coats on the way out.

Matt smiled at his sons and said, "Hold on a second, guys, your dads need to get ready first." Both he and Colt wanted to change into something a little more on the order of the `go to town' look.

Mark stopped and put his hands on his hips with a `come on now' cute little smile. While Luke just poked him, saying, "It's okay, we'll wait right here, for you!" God they are so excitable and damn cute too.

The afternoon moved on smoothly, and soon the extended family started showing back up at the ranch, from all the different trips the various folks had taken into town. Earl and Jack had been in their room most of the afternoon, watching a football game. Since the living room was so over crowded with gifts. Mike and Andrew spent most of the afternoon in the office doing the same thing. Of course, there were other things they did, but that's for them to tell, not me.

Dinner was ready, and everyone was now home and seated comfortably in the dining room, when Colt, Jack, Julie, and Jo began bringing in the fabulous meal. The ham was huge and had an orange glaze sauce dripping all over it, and the smell would have melted the coldest hearted person in the world. The table was decorated with a special Christmas holly design tablecloth. There were beautiful red candles, lit and glowing cheerily, all the way down the middle of the long table.

Mike just said, "Thank you both." He was looking directly at Julie and Jo, and then he continued, "The table is gorgeous, and the meal smells so scrumptious, I can hardly wait to taste it, but I would like everyone to just simply bow your heads, and say a silent grace. If you would, please?" He smiled as he looked around the table at everyone that was sitting there. The twins were sitting between their dads, and their eyes told you how totally happy they were. I know in my own heart, those beloved little boys still missed their Mother, but their new dads were making that loss a lot more bearable.

Everyone, including the twins, bowed their heads and before long there were "Amen's" coming from everyone around the table, also, there were some with tears rolling down their cheeks. James, JC, Richard, and I, also had tears in our own eyes, for we all heard the private prayers of those we left behind.

The honor of carving the ham rested on Mike's shoulders, for he was now considered the head of the household, by Colt, Matt, and Andrew, anyway, and they were the only other ones there that mattered, when it came to that honor. Mike had tears in his eyes, as he began carving the ham. The meal was truly wonderful, everyone was overstuffed, and it was agreed upon, that dessert would be served quite a bit later, after everyone had a chance to digest the wonderful meal. The twins kind of frowned, just a bit, but even they were too full to have eaten the homemade pumpkin bread pudding, with whipped cream. God that sounds sooo gooood to me...

Colt looked at Julie and Jo with a warm smile and said, "You two just sit there, while the rest of us clean up the dinner dishes." He looked around the table, and saw that everyone was willing to help. So they all pitched in, and in no time the place was spic and span.

Julie looked over at Mike and said, "I think Jo and I need to run over to our place for a bit, to get ready for tonight, I have to put my guitar strings on, and we have our gifts to bring back over, yet." They walked toward the door.

Mike smiled back and said, "You two didn't have to get us gifts, you know that?" Colt and Matt also shook their heads in agreement with Mike.

"Of course, we know that! But we also know that we really wanted to! So there!!!" Julie joked back. Jo smiled and nodded in agreement with Julie, as they put on their coats and left for a little while.

My goodness, it was again Christmas Eve, there was now a beautiful roaring fire, in the huge fireplace, the Christmas tree and all the decorations were lit, and the smell of Christmas was in the air, with snow falling outside. It was going to be a white Christmas for sure, on the Lazy L, this year. The family and friends were all gathered around in the living room, wherever they could find a place to sit; many just sat on the floor, and the twins were in their dads' laps lovingly looking into the eyes of the one who was holding them, when Julie and Jo came back over. Their gifts had been brought over a little earlier, and added to the mounds of gifts which were scattered all over the living room. Nevertheless, everyone was there, and enjoying themselves.

Julie was sitting in the old overstuffed gray chair that use to be mine, and believe it or not it was almost in the same condition as I remembered it. She began playing Christmas Carols, and everyone joined in by singing them the best they could. The twins didn't want to sit still for all that long, so they climbed down from their dad's laps, and started roaming around the room again, but the little guys were doing their best at singing their favorite songs; like Jingle Bells, and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

Colt got up, for some reason, walked up to the fireplace, and took JC's hat down. Everyone just stared at him, with a look of wonderment. He messed with it a bit; fixing the brim a little nicer than it was, then he put in on; he looked so handsome wearing it. Mike and Matt just gasped at the sight, while Julie smiled and said, "That reminds me of a song I like to play, would you all like to hear it? I can sing it too, if you like?" She paused and waited for some sort of response.

Mike looked, first at Colt, than at Matt then said, "I would like very much to hear it. You have a beautiful voice Julie. how about you guys?" He wasn't sure what the song was, but he knew he wanted to hear it.

Matt grinned and said, "I would love to hear it Julie, go ahead." Everyone's attention was now riveted on Julie.

Colt, still wearing JC's hat, said, "Go on grandma, play and sing it for us, please!"

She started playing it, then began to sing as well, some in the room knew the song, and joined her as she played on.

[I Still Cant Say Goodbye, by Merle Haggard, originally a Chet Atkins song]

When I was young, my Dad would say
Come on Son let's go out and play
Seems like only yesterday

When I was all by my-self
And I'd climb up the closet shelf
Find his hat and fix the brim
Pretending I was him

No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say good-bye

He took care of Mom and me.
We all cut down a Christmas tree
He always had some time for me

Wind blows through the trees
Street lights, they still shine bright
Most things are still the same
But I miss my Dad to-night

I walked by a Salvation Army store
Saw a hat like my daddy wore
Tried it on fixed the brim
Still trying to be like him

No matter how hard I try
No matter how many years go by
No matter how many tears I cry
I still can't say good-bye

When the song ended, Matt and Colt simply said in unison, "We love you dad!" Colt was crying, and so were the rest of the family. He turned around, took the hat off, and placed it back on the horns, saying, "There you go, Dad, we miss you so very much, tonight." Then he looked at Andrew, sitting there with tears in his eyes as well, and continued saying, "And you two Richard, but there is someone sitting here right now, that misses you even more than we do."

Andrew wiped the tears from his eyes and said, "Thank you Colt, that was nice of you, but I can feel there presence here right now, and God, I do love them both so very much." He looked around the room and saw everyone else just staring at the family. No one wanted to break the moment of reverence that was so evident in that room right then. I watched as Richard walked over to Andrew and kissed him gently on the cheek. Andrew reached up and touched his cheek. Smiled and said "Thank you Richard. I knew you were here. I still love you and I always will."

Time was moving on, and finally everyone's stomaches had settled enough that it became time for dessert, Mike stood up and said, "I think it's dessert time, and maybe we should all go into the dining room. It's not comfortable in here with all these gifts laying around." He motioned at all the presents scattered around the room.

Luke giggled and said, "We can open the presents now!" He was looking at his dads with a mischievous look in his dark brown eyes.

Mark laughed and said, "You're gonna' make Santa mad at us, Luke!" He frowned at his brother.

Everyone broke into laughter and headed into the dining room for a wonderful dessert. After the gang had finished their desserts, the extended family began filtering back into the living room, where Julie had started playing her guitar once again, and more Christmas Carols were being sung.

Mike, after hearing the twins making little remarks about opening their presents, gave in a little bit, and said, "Okay boys, you each can open only one present tonight, before you go to bed. But your daddies get to pick out which one it will be."

Colt and Matt each knew exactly which present to give them. So they got them out from under the tree and handed one to each boy. The presents were the same, one in blue and the other one in red.

Luke jumped up and ran to Colt grabbed the present and began ripping off the paper that took someone a lot of time to wrap. Nevertheless, like most kids, it came off a hundred times faster then it went on.

Mark got up, got his present from Matt, and did as his brother was doing. And in no time both boys were wearing stocking knit pull over hats. It was actually hard to believe, but they were excited, even though it was just clothes as Luke said.

Mike said with a smile, "Those really look nice on you, and it will make it easier to tell you guys apart."

"We can fix that though," Mark said, as they traded their hats and giggled, "See, Now you don't know which is which, again."

Then Mike laughed so deep it almost sounded like Santa Claus. He then continued saying, "I think it's time for my grandsons to go to bed, cause Santa won't come, if little boys aren't asleep."

Both the twins said in unison, "Aw do we have to go to bed now?" It was so cute seeing them all excited and being told to go to bed, something no self-respecting little boy, or girl for that matter, would want to do on Christmas Eve.

The twins were going to sleep with their uncle Earl and Jack again, for a very good reasons. But the cute little guys just thought it was because their uncles wanted them to sleep with them. Of course, that was truly the case, but tonight Colt and Matt needed some time later, for someone special to come.

Not too long after the twins had gone to bed, everyone else began drifting off into their own rooms. Julie and Jo excused themselves, and promised to be back before the twins got up, so they could have breakfast ready.

Joel, Aaron, Kevin, and Jerry all left for their rooms, said their goodnights and wished everyone a Merry Christmas, for it was now a little after midnight.

Mike, Andrew, and Matt headed off to the master bedroom, while Colt did his nightly chores of locking up the place and making sure everything was safely away from the fireplace that was still joyfully warming the living room.

Once Colt was finished, he headed back into the bedroom to find the others in the shower, so he quickly joined them, where they made very good use of the precious alone time together, once more. Each of them helping the other with their standing manhood. It didn't take long at all before there were four men completely drained, not only of energy but of their loving man juices as well.

Colt got out of the shower and pulled Andrew with him, as they helped each other dry off, while Matt pulled Mike out and did the same thing. Then they went into the bedroom, where Colt set the alarm for four thirty, so they could put together all the things the guy in the red suit was going to bring to their little angels, who were supposed to be asleep with their uncles, across the hall.

Mike and Andrew got in the middle, the boys got in behind them, and each said in turn. "Merry Christmas, I love you!" Then they drifted off to sleep, in each other's arms.

Meanwhile, in the uncles' room, two little devils were very quietly sneaking out, to see if Santa was there yet. As they started into the living room, they stopped dead in their tracks at what they saw.

James said, "Do you know who is watching us, my love?" He was looking at me with the most beautiful smile.

"Yes I do! A couple of very cute little boys, that have sneaked out here, thinking they would see Santa, coming down the chimney." I looked over my shoulder to see Luke and Mark, peeking around the corner of the hallway, dressed only in their Mickey Mouse briefs. They were so damn cute, I just wanted to hug them to death, and so did James. They were so innocent, they could see both James and me, although not completely, we were slightly transparent to them, but they could clearly see who we were. I smiled at them, and said, "Come here boys, I'm your Great Grandpa Charlie, and this here is your Great Grandpa James. We promise we won't hurt either of you, so come here, and let us take a good look at you." The twins seemed to be so calm and collected, not a worry in the world that night. As soon as they got close enough for me to reach out, I gave each a hug, and kissed them both on their cute little rosy cheeks. James also hugged them and kissed them.

James just smiled and said, "You do know that Santa won't come here tonight, if you two don't get to sleep don't you?! I think we saw him, not too far away from here, either." The twins eyes got as big as saucers, and a somewhat scared look swept across their angelic faces, then they pulled away from us, but before they left they said.

"I love you Grandpa Charlie and you too Grandpa James."

Mark locked eyes with me and said, "I saw you eat some bread. Don't you want more than Just bread?"

I Pulled him to me and said, "No mark, we don't really need food anymore. Sometimes, though, when Julie makes some of her special dishes, We like to taste them so we can remember how wonderful they are. Even Heaven doesn't have anything quite as good as Julie's sour dough bread."

Mark grinned and said, "Yeah, I know it is real good food."

Luke said, with the sweetest little grin, as he pulled his brother with him, "Come on, Mark, we don't want Santa mad at us, and besides Great Grandpa Charlie and Great Grandpa James want to kiss like our Daddies do when they think we aren't watching." Both boys giggled.

Then Mark said, "Good by grandpas, Marry Cristmas!" As he and his brother turned the corner of the hallway and headed back into the bedroom, where they found Earl and Jack, still asleep.

James and I were still kneeling in the exact same spot in the living room that we were, on that very first night, oh so many years ago; the night after we got home from college, on our Christmas break. It brought back so many memories, good ones and some not so good ones, for that was only a few days after I had lost my parents, in that horrible accident.

James said with a tender smile, "Yes love, I do remember how hard that night was for you, as it was for me as well. For I was so in love with you, that I hurt as much as you did. How long ago that seems now, but look at what has happened over the years. God, I am so proud of you, and what you did with your life." He pulled me into a warm loving embrace, and kissed me passionately.

"Oh God, yes, do I ever remember that night, and it still haunts me to think about it. Nevertheless, you were there for me when I needed you the most, and I love you for that and much much more. And thank God, you're still here for me, along with the entire family, God, how it has grown." No sooner had I said that than James looked up at the Christmas tree, and saw two figures shimmer and begin to appear, right in front of our eyes.

"Hello my sons'." My father Shaun said, as he looked at us, then at my mother Mary, who was standing there by his side, right in front of the Christmas Tree. James and I were shocked, seeing them standing there.

Mary smiled at James and me, saying, "You both have made us so very proud!" As she come up beside James and me, then hugged James and kissed him, then took me in her arms, gave me a big hug and kissed me, as well. God, did that ever feel good; I couldn't remember it feeling so nice before.

My father then looked at my mother Mary, and said, "Look at what our sons have done with their lives. The love in this house is so great that you can feel it deep in your being. Can you feel it, love?"

"Yes, and it's wonderful!" My mother said, with a warm loving smile directed at both James and me.

As my father and mother departed on that wonderful Christmas Eve, he lovingly said, "My sons ... you have raised a truly wonderful family, and you have made both of us -- your mother and me -- so very proud of you both! When all is said and done, you did very well, indeed ... by your selves ... and ... with God's help.

And now, I, Tickie, ask you who are reading this, this question: "Don't you all think so, too?"



Author's note:

In ending this work, I am kind of saddened, for it has been a truly great adventure for me and the friends I have made in editors, and my readership over the progression of this story. Remember life is not always what we would like it to be, all we can do is hope we leave a little mark on life as we pass though it.

Again thank you all for reading my scribbles.

Now I want to thank Radio Rancher for all his hard work in keeping my comas, periods, and exclamation marks all in order, along with the other problems he found along the way. Thank you my dear friend, for all you did for me. I now turn the reins over to you, be good to them, I know you will!  Just stay tuned for more adventures of the Andersens the continuation of this story will continue to be hosted on my website http://tickiestories.us/  by Radio Rancher. I do not think it will appear on Nifty sorry to say.


Editor's Note:

I am really happy to have played a part in writing this story. I have come to love the characters and I somehow feel that they are part of my family. I cried for a long time when certain events took place, possibly most notably, when Richard and JC died. It was very hard on me when I read about James dieing, and then when Charles died, I cried again. I must have used a case of Kleenex while reading and editing this story, but then again there were a lot of wonderful happy times in the story as will. I only hope that I can keep the story as fresh and interesting as Tickie has done in the first three books. I feel like I have been given a great responsibility, by being given the story to tell from now on. I know I will receive a lot of help from Charlie and the rest of the Andersen family, though.

I should tell you that there won't be a lot of changes in the way the story is going to be written. I have a few ideas on some things that are going to happen, but nothing major will happen. There will be a lot more of the story that will take place at the lodge in CA. And of course we will have some things that will eventually happen at Crazy Horse School, once the twins get old enough to go to school, but I am getting ahead of myself.

All I Ask is that you give me a chance, and see how the story goes. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for book four which will follow shortly.

AKA Radio Rancher