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.”
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.