Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BUSY (02/02/17)
- TITLE: A Day at Mr. J's
By Francie Snell
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Being the first shopper through the doors, she maneuvered the cart through the aisles constantly checking her list:prunes, apples, oatmeal, pie crust, cinnamon, brown sugar, eggs, toilet paper and dish soap. Quickly through the check-out line and out the door, she made it right on time to her first appointment.
Mr. Jones eyes lit up as she walked in the kitchen door. “Get my prunes? he asked, sipping a steaming cup of coffee.”
“Yep.” She answered cheerfully as she pushed the door shut with her foot.
“And stuff for Apple pie?”
“Ice cream?” he added with a boyish smirk.
“Well of course,” she playfully bantered. “What would hot apple pie be without ice cream?” She set the bag of groceries on the kitchen table and walked across the room to an apron hanging on the wall. She grabbed the flowery printed fabric and tied it firmly around her waist. “How do you want your eggs today, Mr. J?”
“Scrambled with some cheese. And cook the bacon into next week will ya? Crispy…I like it crispy.”
She chuckled as she put the ice cream in the freezer and pulled the eggs and bacon out of the refrigerator. As she whipped the eggs, she remembered the add in the paper: “Wanted. Caregiver. No experience required.”
The job kept her running with its many tasks. She had learned from her mother how to cook and clean, to shop and run errands, and now, thanks to Mr. Jones, she had acquired a new skill: playing a game called Rumikub. Mr. Jones was a widower who always seemed on a mission to make people smile. Time spent with him always seemed to pass too quickly. To Sarah, the job really wasn’t a job at all.
After the dishes were clean, she peeked into the living room to check on Mr. Jones. Usual for that time of the day, he was slouched in his chair,engrossed in his favorite talk show.
“I’ll be down the hall if you need anything”.
He nodded with a little hand wave as his eyes remained focused on the screen.
Down the hall towards his bedroom, she stopped and took some clean sheets, towels, and a vacuum cleaner out of the hall closet. Within minutes his bed was dressed with clean sheets, fresh towels hung on the wall in the bathroom, and the bedroom's orange shag carpet was vacuumed.
She started back down the hallway lugging the heap of dirty laundry. Through the kitchen and out to the garage she went to deposit the pile into the old washing machine. Two hours later, the load would be neatly folded and placed back in the closet.
In the kitchen she began slicing the apples and combined them in a bowl with her secret recipe for baked apple pie. Puffs of thin white powder swirled in the air as she scattered a handful of flour on the pastry board.
Mr. Jones shuffled into the kitchen. “Why, you’re as busy as a bee. Come on, take a load off and play a round of Rumikub with me.”
Sarah smiled as she pressed the rolling pin down into the ball of dough and began rolling it out thinly on the board. “Just as soon as I get this pie in the oven.”
The heavenly aroma of baked apple pie filled the kitchen as they sat at the table playing the game. “How much longer before the pie’s ready?”
Sarah glanced over at the timer on the stove. “Ten minutes.”
He shook his head. “Don’t know what I'd do without you with all your hard work.” He paused. “You’re a real blessing to me.”
She gazed at him with moist eyes and patted his hand. “You’re a blessing to me too.”
After the third game, and generous portions of pie and ice cream were devoured, and the house cleaned and tidy, Sarah put on her coat, ready to leave.
“Tomorrow, same time?” he always asked.
She leaned over and kissed his forehead. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world Mr. J. See ya tomorrow. “
Then she slipped out the kitchen door, and away to her next divine appointment.
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