All Grown Up
Hi, there. I’m Jenna, Amy’s mom. I don’t get down here to the Down South Café as often as I’d like to. I’m afraid to leave Aunt Bess alone for too long. Who knows what she’d get into. Aunt Bess is my late mother’s sister. She moved in with Mom a few years after Pop died. Aunt Bess was a widow too, and they decided they’d rather live together than alone. It was a good arrangement for both of them. They took care of each other and, although they bickered almost nonstop, they had fun together. Come to think of it, Aunt Bess and I bicker quite a bit too. The woman’s just a bickerer…what can I say?
My niece Jackie is up at the big house with Aunt Bess now, so I’m visiting the café for a nice change of pace. We call Mom’s house “the big house” because there are two houses on the property. One—the one I lived in with Amy before Mom died, and the one where Amy still lives—was built as a guesthouse for my grandmother. It’s way down the hill from the main house because my dad didn’t particularly care for his mother-in-law.
I can’t help but smile as I watch Amy bustling around the kitchen, serving up orders, and greeting patrons. She’s really come into her own since buying this café. I can remember when she was a toddler working in a plastic kitchen making pretend food for Mom, Pop, and me.
She’d stride over to us with a make-believe notepad and pen. “May I help you?”
Pop always asked for roast beef and gravy.
Amy would hurry back to her little kitchen, bang around a plastic pot or two, and return with an empty plate. Pop would take one look at it and say, “Nope! I need more gravy than that!”
While Mom was slapping Pop on the arm for not accepting his roast beef and loving it, Amy was running back to the kitchen to add more gravy. She’d bring it back, and Pop would say, “Now, that’s more like it!”
I wonder if she even remembers that? I’ll have to remind her about it. Later. And maybe ask her to make roast beef and gravy the special of the day tomorrow. Pop would be so proud.