Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
The girls decided to come home from their dadâ€™s so they could Â have dinner with me. Actually, they did it to see whoâ€™d won the â€œfreezer challenge.â€
Shannon came up with a great ideaâ€”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 Â Thursday nights and Â the Â winner Â getting Â to Â pick Â the Â restaurant Â of Â her choice for Sunday night. The first week (pick the most of the Â meal Â from Â the Â freezer) Â went Â great, Â with Â Shannon whipping up some turkey meatballs and Aislinn making a fabulous Â salmon Â skewer dinner. I judged Â the dishes on taste, Â originality, Â presentation, Â timeliness, balanced, Â 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. Â That mean Â Shannon Â won by .6 points.
So we headed over to Pepitoâ€™s, Â a fast little Mexican place Â over Â inÂ Â Destinâ€”Shannonâ€™sÂ Â choiceâ€”andÂ Â spent most of our time talking about Â teen angst, adult angst,
and the Law of Attraction and how you get to that sweet spot where you Â know certain things are coming to you and you donâ€™t question it.
On the way home, we dropped by the Publix grocery store to pick Â up some Â items Â for next Â weekâ€™s Â â€œchicken challenge.â€ 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 Â in the back Â seat,Â Shannon handed me the bouquet and headed off to replace the cart. I said something to her, but she was out of earshot. Something Â about Â being Â careful Â where Â I placed the flowers so they didnâ€™t get squished.
Then I heard Daddy say, â€œBe careful with the flowvers.â€ Flowvers. With a v. He mis-pronounced it all his life.
Itâ€™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 Â look on her face, Â asking what Iâ€™d said, but I knew heâ€™d been there.