It was late fall when Jenny bought the cottage. After the last debacle with the writer guy who’d taken the Vanagon and all the wine when he left, she deliberately chose a house too small for two people.

“The last sale fell through because a double bed wouldn’t fit in the bedroom,” the chatty realtor admitted, secure now that the sale was finalized.

“Perfect.” With a flourish, Jenny signed the final papers, “I’m 76, I’m a hermit. A single bed will do me fine.” It had taken her a lifetime to learn how much better off she was alone.

She had her pension; she could still write romance even though she failed at living it. And she was healthy and robust.

She’d inherited her father’s Scot’s genes. He’d lived, hale and hearty, to 97 and then died when he fell off a ladder while cleaning the gutters.

She was in her prime, and she avoided ladders. And men, that chapter was over. The End!

Everything about the cottage was perfect, Jenny decided that fall as she planted hyacinth bulbs that would bloom in the spring, decided where to hang the bird feeders, and divided the hostas to fill in the space under the enormous Elm.

Then, in late November, it snowed over a foot in one night, and then more came down every single day, and she received a notice from the city.

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