Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.

The girls decided to come home from their dad’s so they could  have dinner with me. Actually, they did it to see who’d won the “freezer challenge.”

Attract Him Back

Shannon came up with a great idea—after watching too many Top Model shows and Runway Challenges. She and her sister would compete each week, with her cooking on Monday nights and Aislinn cooking on  Thursday nights and  the  winner  getting  to  pick  the  restaurant  of  her choice for Sunday night. The first week (pick the most of the  meal  from  the  freezer)  went  great,  with  Shannon whipping up some turkey meatballs and Aislinn making a fabulous  salmon  skewer dinner. I judged  the dishes on taste,  originality,  presentation,  timeliness, balanced,  and clean-up. Aislinn lost her momentum after dinner, tossed the creamy herbed potatoes into the sink without washing them down, left the dishes on the table, and forgot about the wok on the stove.  That mean  Shannon  won by .6 points.

So we headed over to Pepito’s,  a fast little Mexican place  over  in   Destin—Shannon’s   choice—and   spent most of our time talking about  teen angst, adult angst,

and the Law of Attraction and how you get to that sweet spot where you  know certain things are coming to you and you don’t question it.

On the way home, we dropped by the Publix grocery store to pick  up some  items  for next  week’s  “chicken challenge.” I indulged myself with some fresh raspberries and fresh flowers for the kitchen counter, and we headed back to the car.

As I put the last of the groceries  in the back  seat,  Shannon handed me the bouquet and headed off to replace the cart. I said something to her, but she was out of earshot. Something  about  being  careful  where  I placed the flowers so they didn’t get squished.

Then I heard Daddy say, “Be careful with the flowvers.” Flowvers. With a v. He mis-pronounced it all his life.

It’s been several years since I heard it said that way.

But I heard it clearly and turned around to look behind me. It was just wind and Shannon walking back with an expectant  look on her face,  asking what I’d said, but I knew he’d been there.


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