Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Big Foot -- A Visitor

Dee Anna’s watch beeped insistently. Fumbling under the pillow, she slowly realized it was still on her wrist. Without checking the time, she turned off the alarm. Dimly realizing she was a little chilly she pulled up the blanket. A front must have moved through after she fell asleep.

Where was Charlie?

Suddenly she started awake. “Oh no! What time is it?” Looking at her wrist, she was relieved to see that it was only 7:30 a.m. Sighing with weariness, she laid back quietly, wondering if she dared set her watch again so that she could manage another half hour of sleep. What a long night it had been.

The morning air was pleasantly cool. Yesterday’s humid haze was replaced by a clear blue sky. Dee Anna could see part of the upper branches of a large maple tree outside the window. Birds were chirping. It looked like the beginning of a beautiful day.

Yesterday she had noticed that someone had left a coffee pot on the kitchen counter, along with a package of muffins. Ugh. She wondered if she could manage to shower, dress and still fit in a breakfast at the diner she had found the previous evening. She was hungry, she realized, as her stomach growled loudly. Maybe she could go to Lumberjack Shanty. The portable sign on the lawn out front had advertised large Sunday breakfasts. No, better be on the safe side. One late entrance was enough! Besides, it would be no fun eating alone. She felt a little lonely, she realized. Well, she would soon be headed home.

Rising, she glanced out the window. Enjoying a sudden pleasant breeze, she said aloud, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. All right, Lord, this day you made has started with a lovely morning. Thank you for birds and blue sky. I ask you to be with me today, and help me to be a blessing. Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I pray that you will bring the right minister to this town. You know what person will be best for these people. Someone with...” Her thoughts were abruptly interrupted by loud knocking on the front door.

Pulling on her robe, she called out the open window. “Be right down.” Who was knocking on the door of an empty house? Well, empty except for her.

Down the turquoise stairway, across the pizza carpet, and to the door she went, suddenly realizing there was no way to view the front steps. “Well, I hope whoever is out there is friendly” she thought as she opened the door a bit cautiously.

On the doorstep stood a small woman dressed in a simple blue pantsuit. She was lovely, Dee Anna noted, with dark hair and eyes, and an olive complexion. She appeared about forty. “Good morning!” she said, with a wide smile. “Are you the lady preacher? “

Stepping in before Dee Anna could reply, the visitor headed for the kitchen. “Foolish question! Who else would you be, a woman standing in her robe in our empty parsonage?” She laughed and placed a basket on the counter. Dee Anna hadn’t noticed it till now.

“Oh,” Dee Anna said quickly, “Excuse me! Please come in and…” She stopped and they grinned at one another. “Uh, I guess you are in. Well, yes, I am Rev. Dee Anna Hanson. What can I do for you?”

“Yesterday when I was mopping the kitchen floor I saw the muffins from the Kwik Trip.” She wrinkled her nose. “Who could preach a decent sermon with that junk food for breakfast? I baked some real muffins last night.” She gestured toward the basket. “They’re in there, along with some fresh squeezed orange juice and a hard boiled egg. I put some jam in too. I hope you like pineapple apricot jam.”

She headed toward the door. “I won’t stay. I know you have to get ready. I will see you at the church.” As she stepped lightly out the door she turned back and said, “Oh, I think I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Marla. Marla Whitewater. Dennis Whitewater is my husband. You know, he’s one of the deacons.”

“Indian Chief,” thought Dee Anna as she extended her hand and found her voice. “Oh, yes. I met him yesterday. I’m afraid I made them all wait.”

Marla laughed again, a sound that would make anyone smile. “Ha, serves them all right for not callin’ you themselves. Susan always does mess stuff up that way. Yep, I heard, and I said, ‘I bet it wasn’t the preacher’s fault.’” She moved down from the small porch. “See you soon. I’m looking forward to today. I haven’t heard a woman preacher before. I thought only Methodists had lady preachers.”

She waved as she closed the door of a blue Toyota truck parked in front of the house. “Bye!” Dee Anna waved back, feeling a bit overwhelmed.

In the kitchen she opened the basket. Inside she found the items Marla had mentioned. She also found a cross stitched cloth napkin, a plate made of blue glass, a small knife, a fork, butter, a tiny set of salt and pepper shakers, a sturdy blue mug, a tiny Mason jar with cream inside, two packets of sugar, and two packets of Sweet ‘n Low.

The coffee pot was already full of water, and fresh grounds were in the basket. Turning it on, the preacher of the day headed for a shower.

By eight thirty Dee Anna had fixed her hair, dressed in her underwear and a pretty slip, and applied her make up. She was sitting in her robe on the chair she had left in the living room. She finished the last of the two muffins, and brushed the crumbs from her lap.

Maybe she would still have a few minutes to read her Bible and collect her thoughts. After all, the church was right next door.

Heading up the stairs to find her clothes for the church service, she remembered that her garment bag was hanging in the closet that looked like Hell. She chuckled a little. Then she smiled, thinking of her cheerful visitor. What a charming woman. She obviously had packed her basket with consideration and care. A nice surprise.

“What other surprises might be in store for me today?” Dee Anna wondered as she opened the closet door.

8 comments:

zorra said...

This is fun!

Gayle A. Brostowski said...

Very good....

truth said...

I am very much enjoying this story. Can't wait to hear more.

Rev Kim said...

I love this story! Can't wait for the next installment!

Chuck said...

Is this going to be a book?

Betsy said...

I'm hooked!

Kris said...

Nice mom

much2ponder said...

I like muffins too! but not if they come from Kwik Trip. I look forward to the next installment.