Just Folks Getting By Part 15

The mail ran just as Lucille finished up the dishes.  “Mama, you got a letter from Shirley.”

Lucille dried her hands on her apron, poured a cup of coffee and sat down to read it.   “Here Jenny, sit with me.”

Dear Mama and Jenny.

Thanks so much for the baby’s christening picture.  She looks like an angel.  Jenny, you are sure getting your figure back.  I’m still carrying ten pounds from when I had Marty.  I hate that.  Seems like it gets harder after it every baby.  Martin’s brother Perry is talking about getting married again.  You remember his wife left him and Judy for the doctor she was working with and they moved off to Henderson.  Well, he’s been going with a widowed schoolteacher with a little boy and they’re talking about getting married at Christmas.  Mama Benson’s been living with Perry and Judy ever since Fran left.  You remember she said she was tired of keeping up this big, old house, just for herself, so we bought it. I don’t know where she’ll live after Perry marries.  It’s our house now.  You live in the garage apartment, and I’m not about to put you out.  She’s not an easy woman to live with.

The kids sure are enjoying their summer, but not as much as I am.  I wish I didn’t ever have to go back.  Kids don’t know teachers are as happy about summer as they are.  P I’ve got plenty here to keep me busy.  The oldest two are taking swimming lessons.  Better close and get this in the mail.

Love, Shirley

“Oh, Jenny!  What if Mrs. Benson decides she wants to move in with them?  It was her house to start with. I should have never put my three thousand dollars in fixing that nice apartment in the garage.  That’s ’bout all I had left.  I can’t afford to buy a house or pay rent.  I am sixty-eight years old, way too old to be trying to go back to work.  If Martin feels like he has to move his mama in there, I won’t have no place to go.”  Lucille felt like she’d hit bottom.

“Now Mama, don’t go borrowing trouble.  Nobody’s said a word about Mrs. Benson moving in with Shirley.  You don’t even know for sure she won’t stay on with Perry after he marries.  Martin and Shirley bought her house.  She has no claim on it.  Whatever happens, none of your kids will let you do without.  You know that.”

“I do know that, Jenny, but I thought I was settled and don’t want to move again.  I’m gittin’ to old to worry like this.  Sometimes, I just wish I could go on and be with Russ. I think I’ll go lay down awhile.  I’ll do them dishes later.”  Lucille trudged back to her bedroom.