Desert Isle Keeper
One Christmas Knight
originally published on February 7, 1998
Happy holidays to all!
We all dream at one time or another of that handsome knight riding in on a white charger and rescuing us, but did you know that there really are modern day knights out there, just ready to rescue that damsel in distress?
Meet Jimmy Joe Starr, knight of the road and head of Blue Starr Transport. Jimmy Joe is 30ish, Robert-Redford-handsome and a single man with a child to raise on his own. He’s a true southern gentleman, whose mama raised him right, and whether he wants to be or not, he’s about to become a knight in shining armour.
Meet Maribella Waskowitz, single virgin lady, who’s expecting a baby. Yes, that’s right, eight months pregnant, she attempts to drive home for the Christmas holidays from Los Angeles, California to Pensacola, Florida. Maribella is independent, almost 40 and has never had a man. So, how can she be pregnant? Well, seeing her internal clock ticking away, with no man in sight, she gets artificially inseminated. Didn’t I tell you she’s independent?
Meet the Texas Panhandle and the storm that unexpectedly blows in to trap Bella and Jimmy Joe in its clutches along with a thousand other truckers trying to get home on Christmas eve. It’s cold, it’s blowing and Bella is definitely not prepared for any more delays in getting home for Christmas. Of course, it would never cross her mind that there would be any inkling of a possibility that she might go into labour early; that thought didn’t bear dealing with and didn’t figure into the equation.
Bella finds herself in the middle of a treacherous road, alone, when her water breaks, causing her to ditch her car in a snowbank. The truckers get the word out that there’s a lady with a bun in the oven stranded, and Jimmy Joe realizes it’s that feisty little redhead whom he met at the last truck stop. He hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind since he met her and, anyway, he’s not about to leave a pregnant lady out in the snow bank in the cold. Jimmy Joe figures the least he can do is pick her up and get her into Amarillo but that’s before he finds out that she’s in labour. He figured he’d help her out, he didn’t figure he’d end up being her midwife!
Alone, Bella is terrified; with Jimmy Joe, she feels safe and secure and has no idea of the torment Jimmy Joe is going through in trying to give her aid. A real rescue is hours away, the highway’s nothing but bumper to bumper, and that baby’s on the way now. In true trucker style, Jimmy Joe grabs the bull by the horns, rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done. And what I liked best about Jimmy Joe was that regardless of his inner turmoil, he was able to give comfort to Bella when she was in such pain and begin to make her realize that it was all right to depend upon a man. These two strangers were caught up in a nightmare world so unexpectedly, and yet managed to make the best of a bad situation. Somewhere along the line they also managed to fall in love.
Now, if this hasn’t at least intrigued you a little bit, then I don’t think I can intrigue you more without giving away the whole story. This was a wonderful tale of the true meaning of Christmas and Kathleen Creighton wrote a real keeper story for me. Having friends in the trucking business is what attracted me to this story in the first place. We’ve all heard of those brave knights of the road who deliver their goods, rain, shine, snow, sleet. Jimmy Joe is every woman’s dream of a knight errant.
Kathleen Creighton made her readers understand the small community that truckers really are; how they all support each other and do whatever they can to help out. In between all the problems of having Bella in labour, Jimmy Joe falls in love, hook, line and sinker. He doesn’t care that Bella is almost ten years older than he is. He loves her feistiness, her courage and, of course, he loves her little baby. After all, wasn’t he the one to bring that child into this world?
There were sections of this story that brought tears to my eyes; sections that just filled my heart with the wonderful joy of human kindness. If you have only one Christmas story to read, please make it this one. This book is a keeper for me and a grade of “A” just isn’t high enough.