Happiness Key: Alice’s Story, Part Three

Thumbnail image for Alice.jpgToday marks the end of both Alice’s story and all the character blogs for the women of Happiness Key.  Thanks so much to all of you who let me know you’ve looked forward to them.  Remember, if you’re tantalized by these sneak peeks, my publisher is offering a coupon good until the end of July.  Not all booksellers take them, so make sure to ask.  And if you’ve fallen behind here, you can easily access all the character blogs from my archives

Don’t forget, too, that if you comment on any blog with “Happiness” in the title, and tell us what makes you happy, you’ll be entered in my beach bag giveaway, stuffed with goodies by the women you’ve met here over the past month.  For details, prizes and requirements, go to my contest page

Because I bet you’d like to know, my fabulous assistant Marna is compiling your answers, and at the contest’s end, we’ll tell you what makes the readers of Emilie Richards happy. 

And now, the final portion of Alice’s story.

Afterwards it was even harder for me to manage alone. Grief, I suppose, and old age, loneliness and possibly another stroke. I’m not sure what I would have done if Lee hadn’t stepped in. He knew how much Karen had done for me, and he knew I couldn’t go on without help. He also knew how much I loved Olivia. So Lee proposed that he and Olivia move in and take care of me until I was ready to move elsewhere. He didn’t want to live in the house he and Karen had shared because there were too many memories there. This way we could all help each other.

I don’t know why I even hesitated. Maybe it’s natural not to want someone to assume responsibility for you, no matter what your condition. Maybe I was afraid that if we all lived together, there would be arguments or trouble. But my choices were few, and I wasn’t ready to give up my cottage.

Now I wonder if I made the right choices. I am so confused some times, I’m just not sure of anything. But I suppose I did the right thing. Lee says because of the economy, without his contribution to our expenses, I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet. Karen didn’t tell me because she never wanted me to worry.

I am glad to have Olivia so close, glad to be able to spend time every day with her. I try hard to please Lee and thank him for his sacrifice in moving here with me. I don’t want to move into assisted living, not when I can have Olivia living with me. I know they are here to help, but sometimes I think that I’m the one helping my granddaughter. She seems happiest when I’m in the room, and afraid to lose me. So for now, we are together.

I’m not as happy as I should be. I have my music.  I have the pineapple tablecloth I am crocheting for Olivia’s hope chest, but I miss Fred and Karen more than I can say, and I miss the friends I left behind. Even worse, I feel anxious and sad, except when I’m alone with my granddaughter. Lee says this is part of getting older and that I should take the medications my doctor has prescribed. I guess I have to put my faith in him.

I just wish I weren’t so easily confused.  And I wish I had a good woman friend to talk to.  I think friends would make all the difference. 


  1. April on July 17, 2009 at 6:53 am

    Happiness is watching my little girls discover the joy of reading. My 8 year old has lost herself in the Anne of Green Gables books this summer. My younger 2 have been hooked on Curious George. It makes me so happy to have the four of us sitting outside on a blanket all enjoying our books! Thank you for such a wonderful book and contest!

  2. Deborah Tyson on July 17, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Happiness for me has been the last 35 years spent with my husband and best friend, raising our family together, and now enjoying our four special grandchildren.

  3. Cathy on July 17, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Happiness is a beautiful summer day spent with my family. We go to the beach and my husband pampers me with the chance to sit and read a great book while watching my daughter and husband play in the water. Happiness is a great book that you just can’t put down.

  4. Penney Wilfort on July 17, 2009 at 8:34 am

    What is that you’re crocheting? I like it, I also like to knit

  5. Marj Coldiron on July 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I loved meeting your book characters from Happiness Key on your blog. I bought the book and have finished reading it. Now I will be patiently waiting for their next adventure. When I am not reading, the other thing that makes me HAPPY is sewing quilts.

  6. Rebecca Booth on July 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Happiness is reading books and discussing the books with my friends at a luncheon.

  7. Emilie Richards on July 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Penney, It’s Alice the character crocheting, and not me. But I actually do crochet, although nothing as elaborate as Alice’s pineapple tablecloth in Happiness Key. I’m more the simple afghan type, and knit my more elaborate patterns.

  8. Peggy on July 19, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Happiness is getting to know interesting characters in books. Happiness is watching my children and grandchildren. Happiness is quilting and contributing.
    Thanks for sharing the blogs. I’ve just started the book and enjoy the insight…especially about Alice.

  9. Cathy Norton on July 19, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Happiness for me is spending time with my family and always finding a new Emilie Richards book. If I’m not with my family or reading, quilting is my passion.

  10. Emilie Richards on July 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blogs and my books. It’s a pleasure to write both.

  11. Karin Tillotson on July 25, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Happiness is family – although I don’t know if I really like Lee???
    According to the quiz, I am most like Alice, but I don’t know the Alice before her stroke, so…

  12. Jackie on July 25, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    There are soooo many things that make me happy that it is hard to pick one thing but I am very happy when I have a good book to read sitting in my comfy chair with my dog Sandy sitting by my side.

  13. Alice Laidlaw on July 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Happiness is waking up each morning to see the beautiful St. Clair River out of my windows.

  14. lois hess on July 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Happiness is sitting on the patio on a cool afternoon with coffee and reading a good book.I love all books with a quilt theme to them and light mysteries as many of Emilie;s are. Keep up the good work Emilie.

  15. LELIA STERNITZKY on August 3, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Happiness to me is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who has seen me through some really dark time. Happiness is my family and friends. Happiness is reading good books and sharing them with others, taking a walk and enjoying all God’s creation. Happiness is reaping a harvest from my garden or flower beds. Happiness is crocheting a baby afghan, or making a card to cheer someone up. Happiness is watching my grandchildren play and giving me kisses and loving me for me.

  16. Linda on August 4, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Happiness… is sharing special moments with family and friends….a cup of tea,chocolates and a good book to read in front of the fire on a cold night…the cat purring curled up on your lap…cuddles from my grandchildren…a call from a friend that you have not heard from for a long time…meeting friends for coffee…enjoying the sunset on a summers night with my dear hubby….life is special..what more can I say ….hugs to all … Linda B

  17. Patricia Poriz on August 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Happiness … when I walk in the room and my grandchildren see me, yell out “Nana”, and come running into my arms.

  18. Zara on August 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Happiness is looking at my children and seeing smiles that light up their whole faces. Happiness is never missing the chance to run through the rain laughing. Happiness is really living in each moment, not living what ifs, but what is.

  19. Allison on August 24, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I’m happy that Hurricane Bill passed us by & we were able to go to the beach & look at the HUGE waves

  20. Patricia Barraclough on September 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    She is so right, friends do make all the difference. We will be going to a reunion of our Air Force unit the first of October. We will both be so happy to see these great people that we get together with every 2 years. The military community is special and you will never make the same kind of friends anywhere else.

  21. Sue Goodin on September 9, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Happiness is being with friends and family with whom I can be me and say what I want without fear of judgement.

  22. Lynda Green on September 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I have just returned from Amazon and ordering Happiness Key – so have a limited period of time before it arrives. For me, happiness is the arrival of the Amazon package and my challenge to savor my read rather than devour the book in a day. Thanks for the many enjoyable hours with your characters and for your contest.

  23. Lisa Kopka on September 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Happiness comes in a number of ways. Of course, happiness is being together with my family and children. However, nothing makes me happier than a comfy, cozy chair, with a large, non-fat, extra-hot chai and a good book to read especially when it’s by Emilie Richards.

  24. Lisa Kopka on September 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Happiness comes in many different ways, of course it’s being with my family and two children. Dining out with my daugter or watching my son wrestle brings me great joy and happiness. But nothing makes me happier than a comfy, cozy chair with a large, non-fat chai and a good book especially when it’s by Emilie Richards. Happiness Key is a terrific read!!!!!

  25. Emilie Richards on September 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    And I’m delighted you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for Fortunate Harbor.

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