Considering we had only lived here three days we were certainly well up on the neighborhood news.
Mama and Mrs Myers had a lot in common – namely both had a passion for knitting and crochet. Mama taught me but I never got very good and never really fell in love with it like she is. Mrs. Myers, on the other hand, didn’t seem to ever not be crocheting or knitting something. She and her husband lived in Jack’s building with their little daughter Grace. He is in insurance, I think, and she’s staying home for another year until Grace starts kindergarten.
Mrs. Myers came by Sunday evening. She and Mama sat in the living room knitting and talking for hours. Daddy was in his study, hiding, though he denies it. I curled up on the window seat with my computer catching up on my Facebook and listening to them gab.
Naturally enough, Mrs. Myers mentioned a lot about Mr Jenkins and the upcoming funeral. She described him as a fine man and I felt a twinge of regret. Not guilt, I was coming to accept that I can’t be everywhere, but I wished once again that I’d been here when I needed to be. She went on to say that the funeral would be tomorrow morning and that most of the neighborhood would likely attend. Mama asked about the particulars, I guess to be polite since we weren’t going. Mrs Myers answered her and they started talking about whatever a slip stitch is and how hard it is on the project Mama was doing.
The next morning Daddy knocked at my door, "Pumpkin? You up?"
I was now, I thought as I groped for the bedside lamp, "Yes, Daddy?"
"Bob sent that album over by courier this morning. It’s on the kitchen table when you want it."
"’Kay, Daddy…" I answered and flopped back into my bed. Then it hit me, "Wait, a courier?!?!" Visions of my entire weekly allowance going away danced unpleasantly in my head.
I could hear him chuckle through the door, "Don’t worry about that. He wanted to send me some samples as well so you don’t owe anything for the shipping."
I sighed in relief. Couriers are expensive! I tried going back to sleep but I was fully awake now. I got up and dressed then went to the kitchen. Mama had found some nice wrapping paper and had already laid it out for me the night before. Still early, she hadn’t started breakfast yet. I wrapped the little gift and peeked out the window at the street.
People were already milling about. I noticed a few of Jack’s brothers and sisters outside with other people. They had several cars pulled around and were attending to various preparations.
Mama came in just then, "What are you looking at so early, Honey?"
"The neighbors – getting ready to go to the funeral, I guess." I left the window, "Mama, I’m gonna run across the street for a minute and give this to Jack, okay?"
She nodded, "Don’t be too long. You want scrambled eggs?"
I went to her and kissed her cheek, "Yes, thanks. Be right back!"
With that I hurried out.
I didn’t get back for an hour and a half. Jack wasn’t up yet and his mother insisted I join them for breakfast. It was a madhouse, very unlike breakfast at our house. But it was also nice, in a crowded sort of way. Jack finally came in and sat beside me – and promptly started flirting. Mind you, I flirted right back at him.
I gave him the gift after we finished the dishes. Any hopes I had of getting to talk were promptly dashed by his little sister but Jack invited my family to the reception. He swore that it would be okay with the family so I said yes. Only half way home did it dawn on me my parents might not be thrilled.
But they were okay about it, even though I’d missed breakfast. Mama fretted over what to make – that she would bring something was never in question. It was too late to make a decent banana pudding – it wouldn’t have enough time to rest. She finally opted for cookies. I was dispatched to the grocery for ingredients and we spent the morning baking.