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    The Real Tibette – Thanksgiving special

    Bette steered the Volvo as gently and as smoothly as she could up the moonlit driveway, bringing it to a stop outside the front door. She engaged the handbrake and glanced at the clock on the dash. Just gone eleven-thirty. Outside, the grass glittered with the beginnings of a frost but the porch was edged in copper-coloured fairy lights and the windows were golden squares of warm amber and yellow light.

    A cabin by a lake, at Thanksgiving, in Vermont. Sometimes Bette had to pinch herself that her life had turned into such a syrupy cliché – and yet she loved it. All of it.

    She glanced around her gang of sleepyheads. Beside her, in the passenger seat, was Tina, with her head on a folded up sweater against the window. Behind her was Angie, almost identically asleep, only her head rested on a puffer jacket. Leaning against her arm was Sasha, and on Sasha’s shoulder was Ben, stacked like dominoes, their mouths slack, their necks at angles that defied biology.

    She switched the engine off and braced herself for what was coming. First, the delightful part. She reached out to very gently flick Tina’s earlobe. The blonde jerked her head away from the irritation. Bette smiled and did it again.

    ‘Tee?’ she said softly. ‘Honey, we’re here.’

    Tina drew in a long, slow, deep breath and opened her eyes, frowning and looking adorably lost until she found Bette’s face and then her expression relaxed.

    ‘Mama?’ Sasha’s voice was cracked with sleep.

    ‘Ssh. It’s okay, pumpkin,’ Bette said.

    ‘Mama . . .’ Sasha repeated, a cry threatening now.

    Bette reached back and rubbed her daughter’s knee, telling her again it was okay, that they would get in the cabin in a minute. Angie opened her door and got out. Ben yawned and stretched and stared out the window. Behind him, Solly was standing up in his crate, his breath fogging in the cooling car.

    ‘Who’s in the cabin?’ Ben asked.

    ‘No one,’ Tina replied, her voice muffled by the sweater she was pulling on over her head.

    ‘Ned and Juanita came over earlier to put the heaters on,’ Bette explained.

    Angie went round and opened the hatchback as Solly wuffed and beat his tail wildly against the crate.

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    1. Largo,

      Imagine my surprise when I opened my bleary it’s too early eyes and came across this gem. So glad I did not roll over and opt for more sleep. These are my favorite Bette and Tina stories. Normal family life. True representation jumping off the page. Makes me feel proud. Being from the northeast myself a cabin in Vermont sounds heavenly. So much goodness in this chapter from our couple with three kids and a dog to Kit being alive. And of course they have each other. Walking in the woods looking for leaves. Simple activities. All on my Tibette wishlist. Well written and reads like a dream. Read it twice already. Now time to sneak some pie.

      My favorite passage because it is just so real and easy to visualize: “On it went. The endless jostling of five people’s (and one dog’s) agendas, the give and take policed and orchestrated by Tina and Bette, delegated to Angie sometimes, who tended to accept without demur when she could see her parents were stressed or knackered. The ‘thing’ in the bathroom was an earwig, which Tina trapped in a glass and threw out the window, and then she relieved Angie to help Bette with the car. And finally, almost on the stroke of midnight, the family came back together.” This is the family the fans deserve!

      Happy holidays whatever you do today and thank you for this lovely gift. I will try to post an emoji of a Turkey and a maple leaf but I don’t think they will display. If not, I will still say very well done.


      • Aw, thank you Billy! I hope you’re well and have something nice planned for today? I’m so glad you enjoyed this story. I am so touched that it makes you proud, because that’s what I want more than anything – to see a happy family with two women at its head. I love writing them and hope to do another one for Christmas, if not before.

        Thanks again, my friend. Your support and the pleasure you get from this story makes me so thankful!

        Have a wonderful day over there. :-)

    2. ‘Waves’ to you Largo –

      As Billy said, what a sweet surprise this Thanksgiving morning.

      It’s going to rain all day here in Houston, but your story today will bring so much light & warmth into the holiday. What more could one ask for but to spend part of the day with ‘our fictional family`!!!

      I’ll warm up a hot cup of Apple cider & cozy up in front of my fireplace & let this holiday tale that you have given us unfold.

      Thanks so much for this great gift & my impressions will follow soon.

      Happy thanksgiving to you too from across the pond!!

      • Hey Collins, pal! *waves back* Thanks so much for the comment and for the warm welcome to this story. :-) I hope you have a great day and thank you for the well wishes – we also have rain today, haha. Maybe the first time our weathers have been the same!

        Till later,

      • Billy,
        For me your comments hit the heart of the matter. You speak of this masterpiece as a “fictional family”we all delight in, but for most of us the P-K fam is “ours” sure nuff in so many ways right down to half the family thinking the dog was lost, and all the while Solly was riding shot gun w/Ben knowing Ben need a buddy.

        • Ha, you are so right, Dumplin. :-) Solly is the dog of my dreams, as is this PK clan. Writing is the best way to invent the imaginary world you want. MLR has the budget and the actors but story belongs to all of us.

          • OOOOOhhhh I likes that . . . MLR has the budget & actors (for now) but the story is ours!!!

            Perhaps there is/are another/Others just poised to tell the “real” Tibette family story . . . !!!!!

    3. Very nice chapter… The Bette and Tina we all long for…. something normal…with normal drama of a kid’s trip to the emergency room on a holiday, a missing dog and what to do about not having flowers for the centerpiece. And what could be more surprising than having Shane show up out of the blue. I love the idea of going to a cabin in Vermont just to get away from the hub-bub of the city. Its a time of mandatory closeness which will be remembered for a life-time. Yes, this is what we all need – Bette and Tina and their loving family all together…

      Thanks for this Thanksgiving gift. Happy Turkey Day!

      • Hiya Martha! Thank you, as always, for reading my writing and for leaving a comment. I’m so pleased you enjoyed, as you so rightly put it, the ‘normal drama’. That’s such a good phrase and exactly what I enjoy most about these stories, getting to imagine all the lovely scenes that could happen. I wish I had more time to spend on this atm, but I wanted to get a story done for Thanksgiving because I am truly thankful for the community and support for writing that I’ve found here on LesFan.

        I hope you have a nice day and send you my best wishes.

      • Hello Annie! Thank you so much for reading this story and for leaving a comment. Your time is much appreciated and I am so happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you for the encouragement to continue as well – I will definitely post at Christmas, if not before.

        Have a lovely day

    4. As always great story, thank you!

      I like storyline with Thanksgiving hat and Tina in it. Maybe Bette needs another one for herself? :)

      And of course waiting for Christmas Real Tibette story.

      Take care.

      • Hiya Zhenya! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. :-) I did intend to write a love scene with the turkey hat but I ran out of time!! Very annoying, lol

        Thanks for your support and I hope you are well

    5. Hey Largo,

      My dear I have treated myself to reading this gem not, but twice!!! It was indeed sweet & tender, refreshing & timely.

      I agree with many of the other comments about their Tibette ‘normal life’ – it’s ebbs & flows, joys & challenges. We certainly missed so much of this in OG & GQ – well – that mess has been tempered by this gift you have given us!!!

      I loved Tina’s childhood story – it was so insightful into her background & a great way to weave her history into her present family with Bette.

      Loved their family silliness & doing the mom/kid stuff was great to read.

      This is the Tibette we love & yearn to see on the screen. Shane appearing for dinner was sweet too!!!

      Largo, you make my heart sing with these updates – they are cherished and add to the Tibette legacy as well as your own.

      Very well done & yes, please update at will. That would be marvelous & so well appreciated.

      I look forward to find out all about Tina’s new position, Bette’s mothering tales & the kids adventures of course, it’s a dog’s life!!!!!!

      Thanks my friend. This was a direct HIT!!!!!!


      • Hiya Collins! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this story. I appreciate it especially when it’s a holiday. :-)

        I’m glad you liked Tina’s story. It is an adaptation of something that actually happened in my own family (minus the bear ruse, haha). Our cat called Sandy was a menace at meal times! I also wanted to give Tina a brother in order to put clear water between this Tina and the interrogation tapes. Maybe the brother will appear??? I’ll think about it.

        I’m glad you enjoy the ordinary fluffy family stuff. I find writing Bette in particular as a mother very pleasurable. And we just never got to see them with a young kid enough!!

        Hope you are maybe working away on something? But if not, I hope life is good anyway. Look after yourself and thanks again, my friend

    6. Ohhh this is such a fun series of tributes. Lawddy, doesnt this tempt the memory with the craziness of our personal Thanksgivings right?!! Lots of moving parts! Lost dog, that wasn’t lost at all and one of the children getting hurt. That last minute delay with Tina having to go for a pit stop and all hungry eyes chastising her upon her return.

      Yess to Shane knowing to join her “family” at dinner-time. Brava Largo!!!

      • A ‘pit stop’! Haha, you make me laugh, Dumplin, as ever :-) ‘Moving parts’ is exactly right. Three kids and a dog will do that, and I love to see it, I love to see our dear Tibette having the family they wanted.

    7. Larg,
      Something else U slipped in, but NOT passed me was that little exchange of Bette with our sweet Ben.

      “You’ll be fine, Bette said quietly. “The doctor said it’ll be good as new.” Ben nodded, but suddenly his lip was trembling. Bette studied his beautiful green eyes, so bright with longing. There was no doubt in her mind that the holidays were hard for him. His birth mother never wanted contact, and he knew it, and they always wanted him to know that it was okay to be sad about that- but it didn’t take the sadness away,

      I love how tuned-in Bette is to her family. Here, she knows that everyone experiences “sadness” and it’s best to let that be experienced. I think, the weight of “sadness” eventually looses it’s full gravitational burden with each “experience”, and acknowledgement.

      And Kit . . . . What family doesn’t deserve a “Kit”?!!! So in-tune to matters of the heart. She’s soooo perfect for Angie.

      • Aw, thank you for highlighting that, Dumplin. I do like to put these things in, to try and imagine and portray what happens with open adoptions, how best to manage the children’s relationships with their other parent figures. I learned a bit about this from watching This Is Us, how the adopted son was really rather haunted by the mystery around his birth parents. So I wanted all of ‘my’ PK kids to have less mystery but still a quite natural sadness sometimes. And yes, this version of Tibette are pro-therapy and spend time and effort trying to identify and care for their kids’ emotions. I love your phrase ‘gravitational burden’. I think that’s exactly right. You touch it often and it becomes less tender.

        Hands down, the BEST THING about ignoring GenQ is being able to have Kit back. And yes, she is the one who can just ask things. She doesn’t bother about overstepping the way that B&T would. I love having her in these stories!

        Thank you again, Dumplin. It’s so nice to hear from you and I’m really pleased you liked the story!

        Take care, my friend

        • The unconditional, judgement-free L O V E that Tibette have DETERMINED to pour into and ONTO heir children wth the help of innocent , playful, Solly tangling EVERYBOY up in his mess makes me howl like a badd-ass Mama wolf!!!

          Now that our sweet Sistah-gurl Kit has felt and interpreted Angie’s puppy dog love and encouraged her “talk to her parents”, I’m trying to pre-guess how she’ll do it . . . she may try rollin’ the dialog by Soll 1st who sure to react with whirlwind tail wags and YEP, U Go girl barks of approval !!!!

          • Thank you, Dumplin! Your comments are so lovely and make me laugh. :-) I may well borrow your idea of Angie trying out her parental chat on Solly. That feels like a scene that Id love to write. And yes, every time I write these stories I am just so pleased to have sweet sistah Kit back on the scene!

    8. Hey Largo,

      I can’t believe it took me over a week to read this story. I blame my sweet niece, thanks to her I suffered from a bad cold for over a week. Yet she remains my sweet and cute girl!

      It was so nice to read this, we have nothing with Thanksgiving in our country, except Black Friday that has blown over from the United States and lasts a week with us, really crazy! Anyway, I digress, it’s always a pleasure to read about the family and get a glimpse into their lives.
      It was funny and touching and so nice that Shane has found her home again!

      I hope you might surprise us with a Christmas story.

      Thanks again for this nice story.

      • Hiya Bibi! *waves* Thanks for finding time to read this story and to comment. It is much appreciated and I hope your niece is thriving. I’ve been an auntie for 47 years and now have seven grand-nephews and grand-nieces. It’s a lot of fun. :-)

        I’m in the UK and we don’t have Thanksgiving either, and yes – we have Black Friday, ugh. But I like the Thanksgiving holiday very much and I wanted to enjoy myself imagining what a happy Port-Kennard Thanksgiving might be like. IT’s so much fun to write!

        Christmas story is already being drafted….

        Stay well and thanks again for checking in with this story.
        Take care

        • Hey Largo,*waving back*,

          You live 5 hours away from me by train, i live in the Netherlands. We are almost Neighbours!

          My niece is thriving, i fell in love the minute she was born. I am not sure i will get to be a grand auntie in the future but i love the time i spent with her and give her all my love.

          Black Friday, it’s ridiculous how they try to get us to buy things. I am not familiar with Thanksgiving but love the Holiday season in December.

          I am glad to read you already have the Christmas story drafted.

          Stay well and save too!

          • Oh the Netherlands? I had no idea that’s where you are. Brilliant. I’ve never visited there but I’d like to. I am in Edinburgh. We are, in global terms, quite close!

            Delighted you are enjoying your niece. Babies are wonderful. Hope you have a lovely December and of course Christmas when it comes. :-)


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