Welcome to the Paranormal Cozy Club!

Sheriff Erick Harper’s mother, Gracie, agreed to sit down with us and dish on her secretive son. Oh, the things we’ll learn!

“Thank you for agreeing to chat with us today Ms. Harper.”
“Oh, please, call me Gracie.”
“Gracie it is. We’d love to learn a little more about your son, and you know he’s not one to toot his own horn.”
“Well, he’s as handsome as he is humble. And don’t you worry, I’m happy to toot that horn on his behalf. Ricky’s always been a special boy. Wasn’t easy raising him on my own, but I never regretted my decision. Not for one second.”
“Was Erick always a rule follower?”
Gracie Harper chuckles wildly. “Oh, heavens no. He was an absolute handful. Things were running smooth ’til about fifth grade. Then he fell in with a few troublemakers. Tried skipping school. Tried a little shoplifting. And even thought he could pull the wool over my eyes with a fake sleepover.”
“And how did that work out for our future sheriff?”
“I had to come down hard and fast. A mother’s love only goes so far. Eventually, discipline has to fill in the gaps. By the time Ricky reached high school, he’d learned to stay out of trouble. I’ll tell you what, though, our picket fence was the most freshly painted in all of Pin Cherry Harbor!”
“Painting the fence was one of his chores?”
“It was one of his consequences.” She chuckles and shakes her grey bob. “To this day, he’s not a fan of painting.”
“So once he graduated high school, he was on the straight and narrow?”
Well, mostly. Although, once the girl trouble started, I wished for the days of shoplifting.”
“Girl trouble?”
“You know, Ricky is a handsome fellow. And that’s not just a mom’s opinion. I see the way ladies look at him, even when he’s not wearing the sheriff’s uniform. In high school, he was relatively popular, but not quite confident. He was quiet. Somehow girls thought that meant he was playing hard to get, and they went for it.”
“Did he have any serious girlfriends?”
She shakes her head, but stops abruptly and sighs heavily. “I thought I had kept him safe . . . Until all that hoopla went down in college.”
“Was this girl-related hoopla?”
“You betcha. Ricky and some buddies snuck off to Las Vegas for spring break. I’m not sure I ever got the full story, but somehow one thing led to another and he wound up marrying some girl in a less than sober dare.”
“Oh boy. How did that turn out?”
“As bad as it could have. That girl was trouble from the get go. I had to get a lawyer involved . . . It was a big mess. And I’ll tell you what, Ricky never looked at girls the same after that. He realized how dangerous it was to play with feelings. He always kept a cool distance — ’til he met Mitzy that is.”
“And how do you feel about the way things have turned out with your son and Mitzy?”
Her whole face lights up. “Nothing makes a mom feel better than to see her son truly happy. The way he looks at Mitzy — the way she looks at him — I don’t think I could ask for anything more.”
“Is it safe to say you’re excited for the wedding?”
“Oh, you bet your bippy! It’s more than safe. I’m sure the whole town will turn out. My Ricky has been a popular Sheriff, and Mitzy does so much for the community — it oughta be the event of the year, if not the decade!”
“I’m sure you’re right. Sounds wonderful. I understand you recently moved to Florida, with your younger sister. Can you tell us what influenced you to make that decision?”
“I told Ricky it was the cold weather. That I was getting tired of long snowy winters and such. But that was only partially true.”
“Are you willing to tell us the whole truth?”
Gracie places a hand over her heart and nods. “It was really sweet of him to buy me a house when he got back from his second tour in Afghanistan. I felt just awful when I was diagnosed with macular degeneration and couldn’t safely live on my own.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. It must’ve been tough on both of you. What did you do?”
“He’s a good son, and he moved back home in a flash. He’s never complained about having to look after me a day in his life. But I knew that sense of responsibility was holding him back. I knew he’d never take the next step with Mitzy . . . Unless I relieved him of that burden. My sister, Hope, is younger than me, and full of energy. She was happy as a clam when I mentioned moving in with her. Her husband passed away about five years ago, and I think she’s real happy to have some company.”
“That’s a lovely thing you did for your son. Will you still be visiting Pin Cherry?”
“Oh, of course! Both Erick and Mitzy have offered to fly me up anytime I want. Although, now that I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather for a few months, I’m not sure I’ll visit during winter. And you know what they say about Pin Cherry Harbor!”
“No. What do they say?”
“Nine months of winter and three months of poor sledding weather.”
We share a chuckle.
“Thank you for talking to us today, Gracie. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about Erick?”
“Only that he has another big surprise planned for Mitzy. Seems like he’ll do just about anything for her. And I think it’s safe to say she’d do the same for him. I wish them both the best.”
“Well, you’ve certainly piqued our curiosity. We can’t wait to find out what he has planned. Thanks again for visiting with us today, Gracie.”
“The pleasure was all mine.” She beams from ear-to-ear. “I never get tired of talking about my Ricky.”