Ellen sat at the kitchen table peeling an apple, the goal, as always, was to peel it in one continuous strip. She was the champion apple-peeler in the family, but today she was off her game. Her sisters, Elaine and Maria were doing a better job today.
“I can’t believe Luther is bringing some total stranger here for dinner!” Ellen finally said, no longer able to contain her annoyance with her brother.
“He’s not a stranger to Luther,” Elaine stated, smiling at the long curl of apple peel she had just completed.
“Well he is to the rest of us! I really resent being expected to bake a pie for someone I don’t know, and probably won’t even like.”
The girl’s mother, Suzanne, walked into the kitchen just in time to hear Ellen’s grumbling.
“Now, now, Ellen, you’re far too old to be acting so childish, a friend of your brother’s is a friend to us all. We taught you better than that, where’s your Christian charity?”
Ellen rolled her eyes, but kept a still tongue. Even though she was 25, with a daughter of her own, she knew better than to back-talk her mother. Since she was in the process of divorcing her husband, she was currently enjoying her parent’s Christian charity living under their roof.
“We will welcome Roy into our home as we do any visitor. Besides, you love baking pies, why such a fuss, do you have some other pressing business to attend to?” Suzanne asked.
“I suppose not, but it isn’t just one pie, it’s two.”
Leah, Ellen’s two year old daughter came bounding into the kitchen, as always, a ball of energy.
“I swear,” said Maria, “that child never sits still.”
Ellen put the apple she was working on down and picked up Leah.
“She’s excited about Luther coming home; she misses him since he moved up north.”
She stood and carried the child upstairs. “Come along, Leah, you should have a nap before Uncle Luther gets home”
Once Leah was settled down for her nap, Ellen started down the stairs to finish the pie baking.
“Ellen, you’ll be glad to know that Luther and his friend won’t be here tonight. They got delayed and won’t arrive till tomorrow afternoon.” Suzanne said.
“Well that’s just great,” moaned Ellen. “Tomorrow is the only day it suits daddy to lay the new linoleum in the room next to the kitchen, and I promised him I would help. We’ll probably still be in the middle of it when they get here!”
“Calm down, Ellen.” Her father, John said as he walked through the back door. “If we get an early start, we can have it finished in plenty of time.”
John was a quiet man, the calming force in the Schmidt family.
“I guess the pies will keep, we might as well finish them now.” Ellen said. I’ll make sure I get to bed early tonight so I am ready to work in the morning.