Sylvia Figalilly was enjoying her flight into California. It was like a family pre-reunion when she met up with her parents, her brothers, sister, sister-in-law to be, uncle, and cousin. As usual, despite the fact that they were coming in from various directions, they all managed to get themselves on the same flight into their final destination. The Everett brothers had marveled at the convenience of it. The Figalillys were merely amused. It was always fun to toy a little bit with outsiders, especially those who were wealthy "know-it-alls."
She was sitting beside Emmeline who was softly snoring. She had fallen asleep the minute that they had hit cruising altitude. She usually did. Mum was sitting next to Dad. She had never flown before and was looking around, somewhat bemused by the noise and the occasional bumps in turbulence. Since the jet stream ran from west to east over North America, the going was always a bit rougher in this direction. The return flight would be a lot quicker and smoother.
Liam was sitting beside his Mary Chenoweth, soon to be Figalilly. Unlike the golden-haired Figalillys, she was a saucy redhead. Just what Liam needed to keep him in line. She would keep a good home for him and came from good stock. Her brother was married to their Christabel, who was the only one not present.
She had been there for the birth of the little girl. It was an easy one. It was Christabel's third of course, and that made the difference. An old hand at it now, she had mostly been annoyed throughout the labor because it was taking so long. Davey had just popped out quick as can be.
This one, named Annie for Mum, took her own sweet time. As usual, Christy grumbled about her figure and swore it would be the last. Fat chance, thought Sylvia, she wanted a mob to control. Yes, she was a homely one. It was good for her and Em because it meant that they were not expected to settle down and "produce."
Jimmie and Lewis sat side by side as well. Jimmie, like Em, was sleeping, but Lew had his brief case open and was hard at work. Sylvia and Emmeline were plotting to pinch the brief case and hide it for a few days so that he would be forced to be civil to the rest of the family. The man was a workaholic if there ever was one. Pity, she thought, he would have made a good Dad himself.
Finally, she took a glance across the aisle at Johnny and Uncle Charlie. They had had a scare right before they left that Grandfather James would change his mind and want to come. Sylvia could think of no bigger wet blanket on the festivities than that old bugger. He would drink too much and get all soppy about how little Trelawney Rose was the picture of his dear Rosie. And before they knew it, he would be demanding to take the child back with him.
None of them needed that bother. Young Trelawney Rose was settled at her convent school with the good sisters. She was safe and happy and determined to go back to her Phoebe. Syl was glad, not just for Trelawney Rose, but for Phoebe. She might be thrilled to pieces with her little Maisie, but it was time for the little one to go home. Phoebe had been more torn up a year ago than the child had when they moved her out. Now they could be settled once and for all.
She knew that the Angel wanted to see her when she got in. She didn't know why, but suspected that it was something about Trelawney Rose. Phoebe was happy as could be and the baby was thriving. She inwardly sighed. If it wasn't one thing with the little one, it was another. However, there hadn't been a word from Phoebe about any troubles, so it couldn't be anything too bad.
Christenings were always a nice family time. They brought the family together, but had none of fuss and bother of weddings, not to mention the stress. And they included only the closest of family, not every Tom, Dick, and Harry named Figalilly or Everett. And it would be amusing to see those two Everett brothers again. They were a pip they were. Two old men in their forties chasing the skirts of a pair of girls in their twenties, and neither one of them caring about who got which.
Liam and Lew would look upon it all in amusement no doubt, but brother Jimmie would have something to say about it. He was the family moralist, though not necessarily a do-gooder like herself. He had to have his say about everything they all did to the point where occasionally one of them would just tell him to shut up. He was an evangelist of sorts. He called himself a missionary, and said that it was his "mission" to save the souls of all around him. For or from what was never entirely clear.
He liked to pop in and out of the most unlikely places, usually stirring up a bit of trouble before getting out while the getting was good. It wouldn't be so bad except that he had a tendency to start up conflicts between perfectly good folk by demanding his own puritanical versions of moral reform and then spreading the fervor among the faithful. Her own view of religion was that if one wanted to spread it properly, one should stick to the message of Jesus and leave the doctrines out of it. It was organized religion that was a curse to humanity, not the message of Jesus and the Good Book.
Emmeline and Liam couldn't help needling him every chance that they got. But she personally thought it better to let him be unless he tried to interfere in her business. She believed that all humans were worthy of God's love, not just the select few that adhered to his foolish narrow-mindedness. But that was the way that it was in families. There was never a dull moment among the Figalillys.
At least this week they could all agree on one thing. Phoebe had done well to marry her Professor. He had proven himself to be a good man. And it wasn't just because he had given her the child she had always wanted. He was welcoming back the little one into his home and would make sure that she had a good life. That counted a lot with all of them. It was easy to love their Phoebe and make a beautiful baby with her. But Trelawney was more difficult.
It was Dad's plan that the little one would come home for Christmas. It would be his gift to them both and mean more than anything that he could buy them. Lew had told him that it would take a month to sort out the particulars and Dad had decided that they would wait until the custody was final before moving her back. Yes, Sylvia did love a happy ending. She was very much looking forward to the joyous occasion before them.
And in the next story, the Christening and more of the Figalilly family members to amuse and delight you.