The first two lines of this story came to me a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with them, so I jotted them down and set them aside. At that time, I had no idea who Lolly-Ann was going to be. When I discovered that the first full week of March was Celebrate your Name Week and that there was even a unique names day, I knew that Lolly-Ann had found her place.
I celebrate my name plenty, and Celebrate your Name Week appears to be an opportunity to celebrate names and have a little fun with them. So, as a writer, I’ve decided to celebrate the unique and beautiful name I’ve given to this character.
In honor of learn what your name means day, I researched what Lolly-Ann’s name means. Lolly means laurel, and Ann means grace. I hope you enjoy her story.
Who is Lolly-Ann?
She didn’t want to be like everybody else. She wanted to be Lolly-Ann. It seemed like everywhere she went somebody had an idea of what that should mean. But why should she care what they think? After all, she was Lolly-Ann, not them.
Back in school because she’d had good grades, teachers and her guidance counselor thought she should go to college and make good grades there, too. As a psychiatrist, her father raised her to be true to herself, but he’d always expected her to follow in his footsteps. Her mother, the spoiled sort, had been certain that Lolly-Ann would learn to enjoy being a stay-at-home wife. She’d had dreams of shopping trips and long lunches where they spent too much and ate too little. Even her friends had pulled her every which way.
Really, it was their fault she’d given herself the graduation gift she had. After all, she’d just wanted a bit of time to herself. Some alone time to think. And, who was going to give her that at home? Absolutely nobody. That’s who. So, she’d booked herself a small site on a campground inside a national park.
Every morning had been crisp, and she’d thought the clearest she ever had. She’d crawl out of her tent and draw in a deep breath, filling her lungs with clean nature. After poking the fire to stoke back up the flames, she’d percolate her coffee. You haven’t had coffee until you’ve tasted it percolated over an open flame.
The beautiful views she had enjoyed while she’d sipped her coffee had probably been what had sealed her fate. The trees went on as far as her eye could see. There were paths that led deeper into the forest. The campground was well-kept and nestled just perfectly into the landscape to interfere with nature as little as possible.
Lolly-Ann had fallen in love during that week of camping. She’d fallen in love with the landscape, the sounds and smells of nature, and the quietness of it all. The worst part of the whole trip was when she’d had to pack up and leave.
She’d been in the office to check out from her campsite. The clerk hustled in looking frazzled.
“I’m sorry.” He had truly looked apologetic. “Guy just up and quit on me. Said he’d found love with one of the campers. Then he climbed into a van full of people, and he was gone. I don’t suppose you’d be looking for a job.”
He was probably just teasing, but she’d been curious enough to inquire. It turned out that it was exactly what she was looking for. It came complete with a small cabin and access to the kitchen. The pay wasn’t terrible, but what had won her over was the promise of unlimited nature whenever she wasn’t working, and a lot of the time while she was.
Lolly-Ann had accepted the job right then and there. No haggling over wages, as what he’d offered seemed fair to her. She’d examined the cabin and left some of her camping gear there. With a promise to return in no more than a week, she’d headed home to break the news to everyone who had her future planned out for her.
She’d been a campground clerk, a job that meant taking care of campers as well as the campground, for more than a decade. That clerk who’d hired her on the spot had become her husband. They had a couple of tots in the large family-sized cabin they now resided in. Neither of them could imagine ever leaving nature behind for the crowded towns and bustling cities they came from.
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