"I'm glad you had a fun time on your date," I say. I fold a scrap of hedgehog fabric into a triangle and stack it in the bookshelf next to other triangles.
"I really did," Jane says. Fresh home, in black and white stripe skirt, she skips down the last basement step. I brush fuzzies off the sewing desk into my palm.
"It's always a treat to spend time with Daddy," I say.
"It is." She staccatos each word, nods, the wide curve of a grin the defining feature of her face. "And he actually asked me some really challenging questions," she says
"Like, What has God been teaching you lately?"
"Yeah?" I say. She leans on the desk corner, all conversation around my clean-up.
"And I was like, To love the other kids more and not be irritated by them. I prayed for that, and then God gave me A LOT of chances to practice it. I was like, WOW." She pauses and lowers her voice, "I kinda wondered if I shoulda even asked for it."
"Huh, yep," I say. "'Course that's the only way to get good at something." I stop, meet her eyes in a comma of a grin, water blue eyes.
"Yeah," she says. We blink and the moment courses on.
The basement sembled back to order we follow the evening upstairs. Craig barbecues. The children chop carrots. We find seats around the table, the liturgy of dinner. One communion leads to the next.
5577. "Mom, ya might just want to take a few deep breaths before you come out here," Jane calls from the open car door. "Don't freak out. It's kinda a mess."
5578. We count down the bittersweet days before Olivia leaves for England.
5579. We close another summer with a small group barbecue. Another stride of friendship leaves us all standing a little taller.
5580. Pete and Rosie throw a garage sale. By sheer charm alone, they sell an old dresser for us.
5581. The girls and I have a sewing bonanza, the basement split open. I cross the finish line baby quilt in hand for sweet baby girl.
5582. Sweet and sour beets.
5583. Two batches of biscuits. Jane saves dinner. Twice.
5584. A new biscuit cutter and other treasures from Great-Grammie.
5585. Old sheet music.
5586. Gramma's cradle, the one from when she was a girl.
5587. Fried chicken, homemade -- on the farm of course. Joe helps Grampa clear the dishes.
5588. A friend passes on pink cloth diapers for our new baby. Hooray!
5589. Craig brings running water to our basement. A new era begins.
5590. We weave another week back to Sunday morning and begin again.