Not to blow my own horn, but I threw an absolute splash of a party last night! I love my apartment near the harbor and my life with Daniel, yet I do sometimes miss my old home on Beacon Hill with so much space spread over three stories and a view of the Common. Daniel and I have the run of it–with Father and Sally currently in London–and it was lovely to see it teeming with people, all dressed to the hilt in marvellous gowns and dapper suits. I’m simply in love with my gown and felt like British royalty wearing it. Shimmering blue lace bodice with sleeves that fell daintily over my shoulders in loose waves, highlighting my slender creamy white arms. The embroidered lace continued along the low V-line at my bosom, fitting my form perfectly to just above my knees where it blended in with generous layers of blue satin which pooled at my feet. Daniel, my best accessory by far, had dressed in a dark suit with long tails, a white satin bow tie and tall top hat. He was most certainly the handsomest man of all!
It was shoulder to shoulder in the brownstone, with everyone so jolly. Strings of shiny streamers hung from the ceiling. A glossy new gramophone played Sally’s new collection of records (but keep that little bit of new between us). Daniel pulled me into his arms as Chancy Olcott’s hit song When Irish Eyes Are Smiling started to play, and we danced and laughed as we stepped on each other’s toes.
“So long, 1913,” Daniel said. “You were a very good year.”
I smiled in agreement. The year 1913 will always be remembered fondly. Daniel and I became husband and wife, we travelled to London and back, and now Daniel and Father were knee deep in business that kept us all living grandly.
I might even–no, I’m afraid to write it down with this line of dark ink, but I must! I’m so excited and nervous, and well, I can’t bring myself to hope much lest to speak it aloud. It’s best if I write it very quickly here and move on.
I think I’m in the family way.
There, I’ve done it. I’m so full of nerves, but I mustn’t say anything or I’ll get my hopes up and I can’t bear to be disappointed again.
Enough of that. Back to last night. Dancing and drinking and everyone so happy.
Sally had been rather despondent at missing the affair and had one caveat. “I’ve a reputation in this town,” she'd said. “It’s expected that the Hartigans pull off the best New Years celebration in town. I'd planned for fireworks on the roof at midnight.” She sighed at her misfortune. “But alas, you'll have to oversee it now, Ginger.”
I felt a tug on my skirt. “Ginger! I want to do the fireworks now!”
Poor Louisa. She'd had the worst temper tantrum at being left in Boston as her parents went away without her, and it was all that I could to do to reassure her that she'd have heaps of fun with me and Daniel. As the clock inched toward midnight, my little half-sister looked like a wilted flower with tired eyes and a pouty frown. Her party dress had a juice stain on the front and even her ringlets seemed to have lost their bounce.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a bit, darling,” I said. “Either that, or go to bed.”
Surprisingly, Louisa had enough energy left to stamp her small patent leather boot. “I will not go to bed.”
I reached out a hand. “Come and sit with me for a while.” Louisa, with tired red eyes, and a quivering pout, accepted my offer, and I held her close in one of the leather chairs in the sitting room. Louisa relaxed when Daniel seated in the one next to it. He looked distinguished with his hair oiled back and his white collar high about his neck.
Louisa couldn’t stop her eyelids from falling closed and Daniel and I smiled at her.
“She’s got gumption,” Daniel said. “You have to give her that.”
“Most definitely,” I agreed. Daniel sipped a glass of brandy and I asked him, “Are you ready for 1914? Does business look good?”
The joy in his gaze turned dark. “Quite frankly, I’m worried about what’s going on in Europe. Trouble is stirring.”
“Europe is a long ways away from here,” I said. “Surely, whatever is brewing across the Atlantic won’t affect us in America?”
Daniel smiled stiffly. “Let’s save our serious conversations for another day. There will be plenty of time to discuss politics.”
I scooped Louisa into my arms and groaned. “My gosh, she’s almost too big to be carried!”
Louisa automatically wrapped her arms around my neck and her legs around my backside. I worried for my dress, but thankfully, Daniel came to the rescue. I happily handed her over, instructing him to take Louisa to her room. At least in the morning, my dear little sister can express her wrath at missing the fireworks at my husband and not me. He’s far better at bearing it.
The fireworks were as remarkable as Sally had promised. I pushed all thoughts of distant political unrest aside, and cupped a palm over my belly. Nineteen fourteen was sure to be a marvelous year.