Lucille offered Amos her hand. “Amos, I always hoped I’d meet you again one day to thank you for your kindness. I was so grateful to you for the sandwich you gave Jenney that day when you bought me coffee at that café. That really helped us. I’d just like to know if that was your last dollar you gave us for our trip?”
“I expect it was, since they were few and far between, but I would have hated to see my wife go off without any money at all. I know Russ would have done the same. How is Russ?” he inquired politely.
“We lost Russ about fifteen years ago. Life ain’t never been the same, but I made up my mind to raise my girls and keep on going. A person cain’t just lay down and die when they face hardships. I know you know that. I heard you lost your wife about a year after I last saw you.”
Ben interrupted, “Jenney, come on back here. I want you to meet Jerry, the boy who wants to work with us some. Miss Lucille, Uncle Amos, come on back to my office for coffee when you’ve caught up.” Jenney followed Ben.
“Yeah, I’ve lost two wives now. I married again right after my first wife died, then Lizzie, my second died a few years ago. Me an Lizzie had a us hardware store in Bogata, Texas, but I sold it and divided up with my four girls a few years after Lizzie died. None of my girls wants to run a business, so I took what I had left and threw in with Ben a few months ago. I’ve always been partial to Ben since I ain’t got a boy.”
“I had no idea you were kin to Ben. How come I ain’t never met you before? Seems like we would a’bumped into each other before now.” She was puzzled.
“Lizzie was down in bed and died about seven years ago. I didn’t go nowhere for a long time. About a year ago, I got a letter from Ben and he told me he had some ideas about expanding. It’s kind of like I woke up from a long sleep. I came to see him, and we worked out a deal. I invested a little and agreed to work a little, and took a share. Not much, Ben still runs it but it gives me something t””o do and it’s good for me to be busy again. Sort of makes me feel like I woke up after a long, long sleep.”
“Well, I sure know how that is. After I got the kids raised, I didn’t want to work so hard in the Café, so I sold it and git by with my little savin’s and Old Age Pension. I live in a garage apartment at my girl Shirley’s and keep her kids while she’s teachin’, so I ain’t doing no sleeping. Let’s git on back to the office. I wouldn’t mind gittin’ off my feet an’ I could sure use a cup of coffee.”
“Yes ma’am. Coffee sounds mighty good. Come right on back here.” He led her to the back.
“Mama, I had no idea you knew each other!” said Jenny.
“Well, we really don’t. Amos just gave me and you a ride to town to catch the bus. Then he gave you his breakfast, so he might be mad you don’t remember him.
“I sure don’t, but a appreciate you looking out for me, Uncle Amos. Bet you never dreamed I’d be your niece one day, did you?”
“No, I didn’t, but I couldn’t have found a prettier or sweeter one, could I Ben.?”
“No siree!” Ben beamed. “I’m sure proud you didn’t let her starve!
“Come on and get some of this coffee and some of these brownies. I got ‘em from that bakery shop next door. They sure are good. I hate it, but that place is going to close down. The store-owner’s husband is retiring and they are moving to Florida. They do a great business, but haven’t been able to sell it. I am sure going to miss it. I go over and get a little snack to have with my coffee every day. It’s good business to patronize other local businesses, but it’s kind of bad for my waist, just like your pies, Miss Lucille. If you keep making pies, I’m going have to go down to Townsend’s and get bigger pants.” Laughed Ben.
“My gosh! These are good, but I can’t eat another. Don’t you dare bring the rest of that box home, Ben. Put it out for the customers along a pot of coffee. It’ll be good for business, and your waist.” With that Jenny and Lucille took the baby and left.
“Is that the bakery shop there?” Lucille asked. “That’s a cute little shop. Let’s go in.”
“Sure, Mama.” Jenny followed her right in.
The attendant scurried right over. “Is this your shop?” Yes, ma’am, for just another couple of weeks. Me and my husband will be moving to Florida. What can I get you?”
“How about a two of them sugar cookies. “ Lucille pointed her choice out.
“You picked the best thing. I have one every morning with my coffee.” said the owner, amiably.
“I used to own a café and sell pies.” said Lucille.
“I’ll bet you make a fine pie. Anybody that wears an apron, knows their way around the kitchen. “You see I’m wearing an apron. My mama made this for me.”
“I saw that apron first thing. I knew you were a fine cook then.”