Clara and Hank are Malcolm’s neighbors. Wonderful neighbors and friends who have known him since he was a child and treated him like their own. When I started working for him, they embraced me as their own, too. Clara’s one of those amazing women who makes everything from scratch with ingredients she’s mostly sourced from her land. She has a firm belief that pie can fix just about anything.
Within a couple of days, they’d invited me to dinner at their place. I’d stuffed myself with Clara’s fried chicken—one that had been alive and pecking that morning. There’d been green beans from last year’s garden, scalloped potatoes, salad from this year’s garden, iced tea, and some kind of pie so gooey sweet it set my teeth on edge. I ate a piece to be polite. There was no coffee to wash it down, but I managed with the tea. I usually skip dessert, but she insisted.
“What do you mean, you don’t want pie?”
The look on her face had been pure astonishment, like I’d landed from another planet. Disappointment and determination twisted her mouth, and there’d been a knife in her hand. She held it loosely, almost carelessly, but I didn’t doubt she knew how to use it, or would hesitate, if the need arose. I don’t think anyone messes with Clara, especially when it comes to pie.
Clara and her pie are a bright spot in my existence. They do not make me cranky. Join me tomorrow for Q is for Quarrel.
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