Only the Beginning

Gary Shanley lit a match and threw it onto the pile. He watched as the flames slowly grew, circling the mountain of debris until it had become a blazing mass that nearly singed his eyebrows. Taking a step back, he thought about everything the Shanleys would be leaving behind today — their row of family portraits, one for each heir; the cemetery where generations of Shanleys had been buried; the house that had once been a tiny shack with a grass floor and no wallpaper.

He glanced over at that house, so grand and magnificent now, full of ghosts and memories. Or at least, it had been grand and magnificent once. It was gradually deteriorating, collapsing in on itself with the weight of all those memories. Who knows when it might cave in, or explode in a ball of dust? The Shanleys had to move out if they wanted to survive for 10 more generations.

Gary watches the bonfire

Gary sighed as he turned back to the roaring bonfire. There was nothing valuable in it — merely old items that nobody wanted anymore — but to him it symbolized the end of an era. The Shanleys were going to make a fresh start in brand new surroundings, with nothing to tie them to the past except each other. Gary thought of his great granddaughter Mia. Maybe without the burden of 9 generations weighing down upon her, she could live life to the fullest.

Everyone said goodbye to Shanley Manor, sad to be leaving but eager to see their new house. It wasn’t too far away — just down the street, actually — but since they didn’t leave the house too often, it might as well have been in a different world. It was a little smaller than what they were used to, but that didn’t matter, as long as it felt like home. Gary wished his beloved Tebbany were still alive to see it. He knew she would have loved exploring every nook and cranny.

Shanley Hall

Gary’s son Lennan dubbed it “Shanley Hall” and gave his wife Demi a kiss on the cheek before leading her up the front steps. She had their daughter Aurora, still a toddler, in her arms. Behind her came their son Kyle and his wife Maura, who was cradling her baby daughter Mia. Four generations in one house!

Gary started off the first evening right by grilling burgers for dinner. The grill had been inconveniently located at the old house, so they rarely used it. This would be a special treat.

Gary grills hamburgers

Demi had to work right away, so she flew off to her job as a Captain Hero, and the rest of the adults sat down to dinner. Everyone was unusually quiet as they ate. Perhaps they were still sad about leaving Shanley Manor? Gary tried to break the silence by offering to make sundaes for dessert.

Gary talks about sundaes

Nobody seemed particularly interested in that, so Gary just cleaned up the dishes and went right to the nursery to see his great granddaughter. She reminded him so much of his daughter Scottie, except she had green eyes instead of blue.

Gary holds Mia

On the other side of the nursery, Lennan was having his own fatherly moment as Aurora begged for attention.

“Some things never change,” Demi said with a chuckle as she walked out of the room.

Aurora says daddy

Of course, Lennan just couldn’t say no.

Lennan holds Aurora

Meanwhile Maura and Kyle had retreated upstairs to do some relaxing on their new four-poster bed. They were simply enjoying the space and quiet when Kyle suddenly said, “So…do you think we should have another baby?”

Maura’s eyes got wide. She wanted nothing more than to have another child, but she was surprised that her husband wanted one so soon.

Kyle and Maura relax in bed

“Are you serious?” she asked, excited.

Kyle nodded, completely serious. His sister Aurora would be a child soon, and they would have that extra crib…

Strange whooping and howling sounded throughout the house as he and Maura rolled around under the covers, doing that mysterious ‘woohoo’ thing.

(Continued on Page 2)

19 thoughts on “Only the Beginning

  1. OMG> Another update! I told you I was in LOVE! lol. Jen I dunno how I could complete my week without a few updates from you and Mt Geneva. Anyways, I’m off to play Kollar Island. Keep up the updates! I love the twins! :) CYA.

  2. BTW I love the new house. Will it be available for download soon? And will the updated Shanley Manor be available for download as well? I am planning on a downloading spree in the holidays, so watch out peoples! lol

  3. Oh wow, g. 11 gave you twins eh?

    Good prelude to the new house.

    Gonna test out my dorm that I made so I’m gonna play now :)

  4. Dustyn – Shanley Manor is actually up for download (both furnished and unfurnished) at the Sims 2 Exchange. The new one, Shanley Hall, isn’t there yet, but I can upload it if you want! Hope you’re having fun with Kollar Island.

    Lorna – That’s weird…are you playing a different neighborhood, by any chance, one that has different townies from the usual? I have no idea what could be happening. :-/ Maybe they have something on the BBS or the TSR Forums. I’ll take a looksee.

    Lindsey – Hm, where have I seen the name ‘Stockard’ before? ;-) Great name, though. Thanks for the suggestions!

    PRMami – Actually it’s my 10th generation that had twins — just too late for me to count them for points! Darnit. I hope you’re enjoying University!

  5. Aw, I missed the Shanley family when you didn’t update! It must be weird for you playing them in a brand new house. It should be at least semi-exciting, though, since you have all the cool new “university” furnitures! I think my least favorite part is furnishing houses, I’m glad the Shanley Manor is furnished, I can move one family in there!

    Jen, do you know when the University Legacy Challenge will be posted?

  6. Aww! So cute, if only the twins had come first…

    Oh well, never mind. Great post, I love reading them in more of a story mode, it’s very cool. And I loved the picture of the band! Go Grandpa, go! I want to see some pictures of toddler Mia, I bet she’s adorable! :D

  7. Leslie – Pinstar said he would need a week to playtest the new challenge before he posted the rules, so if he’s on schedule, that would mean the rules come out tomorrow or Wednesday. I can’t wait! Are you going to play it, too?

    Helen – I would post some pics of toddler Mia, but I forgot to take some, and she’s already a child now. Doh. She was pretty cute, though — she looked a lot like her great aunt Scottie.

    BTW, I don’t think I can stand to age Sims with elixir anymore, because it leads to weird things like Mia’s great aunt looking like she’s still 25. I think I like a bit more realism in my game. ;-)

  8. Defitnitely! I know I haven’t been able to post that often but I’ll defitnately do the challenge and hopefully post about it! Does it involve a continuation of the original Legacy challenge? I kinda want to start fresh… ;_; I’m so excited!

  9. I think you can start fresh with a brand new CAS-created Sim. Those who have completed the original Legacy Challenge have the option of sending their 10G heir to college first before having them start their own legacy. I’m excited, too! I’ll post the rules as soon as they’re released. :-)

  10. Man, Kennedy is such a jerk sometimes. >_>; He always was insulting my other sims, even (actually, -especially-) the ones he was friends with. (Demi’s face is funny in that picture, though.)
    When I first saw the fire, and read part of the caption (not all of it, but some of it), I can’t believe how emotional I got. (Something along the lines of “noo! The houuusee! Why?!”)…then I read the rest of the caption and felt kind of silly.
    Wow, nine people?! How lucky! (Call me crazy, but I like having my Sim’s houses super-full. That eight-person limit is a curse!) Is that an expansion pack thing, or just a game glitch? Because if it’s the former, I think I might have to change my mind about the getting that EP. >_>; (Though, if it’s the latter, I’ll just have to work at getting twins with seven people in the house. :D)
    The band is looking good. I like the cello!

  11. Oh, yeah, I forgot to add on to my previous comment: Would it be okay if I tried to start a LiveJournal feed for GfMG (woo, acronym!) using the RSS link? I noticed it down below in the tinytext, and thought it might be neat.

  12. Wow, Jen! 9 people? How stuffed! My game goes slow with 6 or 7 people in the house. Since I don’t have the Expansion yet, I don’t really know what’s different. So, does the expanison let you have more than 8 people in the house? How weird! Anyways…Congrats on the twins! Too bad that they didn’t come first. Even though, Mia is pretty cool! I agree with you, it’s too bad that she didn’t have red hair just like Nia! Well keep up the great work! I can’t wait to read more about the Shanleys and the Townies! ;-)

  13. Hullo! I’ve been following your Legacy and other Sim stories for a while, thought I should finally drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoy them. :D I had to restart my own Legacy, now I’m just about ready to send my 2nd Gen to their University. Thank you for writing all these stories!

  14. Jen- you said that you did a renovation on the Shanley Manor? Is it still furnished like that, etc? Or did that all disappear when the Shanley’s moved out so recently? I love your houses, your blog, and your stories. Keep it up! I’m, for one, an addict.

  15. Whoa… 9 in the house. I did hear somewhere that now maxis allows as many sims as long as the computer has the capability. Congrads tho. And I just LOVE the manor. It’s got a really cool exterior design.

    btw… my brother came back from his trip… so I’ll be back to playign sims and posting at my blog^^ ANd He actually got University for me! Im so happy

  16. Blu – I think my having 9 people in the house is a game glitch (or maybe my computer can handle more than 8 because of my upgraded video card, because I know I couldn’t have more than 8 before). I’m just glad this didn’t happen when the challenge was still going — I would have gone nuts trying to micromanage 9 people. 8 is bad enough! Also, I don’t know too terribly much about RSS feeds, but feel free to do whatever you like with that RSS link! It was just part of my template, so I kept it. :)

    Jessica – Yeah, my game goes slow with more than 6 people in the house as well, but at least the Shanleys aren’t on that buggy lot anymore. It does seem a lot better! (no pun intended)

    Kay – Hi and thanks for your comment! I’m sorry to hear you had to restart your Legacy. Have a good time with University. :)

    Dustyn – You’re right, I did refurbish Shanley Manor one more time after I uploaded it to the Exchange. I didn’t tear down any walls, just redecorated a few rooms. If you want that refurbishing, I can upload it for you. I just have to clean it out — I packaged it just before I moved the Shanleys out, and it’s at 145 MB (!). And thanks as always for your nice comments!

    Janice – I think you’re right about why I can have 9 Sims — I think it’s because I upgraded my video card about a month ago. And yay, you got University! And you’ll be posting again! Will you continue with your Legacy family?

  17. Hey Jen. Yeh I’ll be continueing! I was just checkign out the features in university today, As I said in the comment in the other post. So I’m looking forward to seding my g5/g6 legacy kids to uni^^