I did however forget to note down which pages the quote came from!
Christmas wouldn't be the same without Mikhail.
The room swirled with laughter and music, Peter and his brother Matt, the stockmen, were singing a drunken goodbye song, Lucy was jumping up and down near the Christmas tree demanding to know what the 'big green present' was. And Mikhail stood by the empty fireplace with his arm around his fiancee, grinning as widely as he had for the entire six months since he'd met her. Mikhail was marrying Catherine - a widow with two grown children - and they were moving to Launceston to be near her elderly parents. And Beattie would just have to learn to manage without him.
"Come on," Beattie said, flipping up the lid of the piano. "Rosella, will you play us a song to stop those men singing so terribly out of time?"
Rosella was her new neighbour. She and her husband had leased Jimmy Farquhar's farm at the start of the year, and become good friends to Beattie. Their daughter Lizzie was the same age as Lucy, and they spent every moment of the holidays together, racing around in the paddocks, building cubbies and making mud pies.
As Rosella sat and started playing 'Jingle Bells' and everyone joined in, Beattie curled her arm around Lucy and her eyes moved from face to face, counting her Christmas blessings. Two fabulous wool clips and growing side business in designing women's work wear had brought her the financial security she had long dreamed of. The piano, the little utility truck, the glass Christmas decorations.