May 27, 2014 – I slept in this morning. The delivery last night dropping off several cases of our Summer Artisan Beer to Miss Verna Spruce of Rolling Mile Motorhome Sales went off without a hitch; sort of.
We hit the road shortly after 10:00 PM. The roads were nearly barren. Charlotte plugged the address into the GPS and Tim called out mile markers from the side window. He didn’t need to with the navigation system in place, but it gave him something to do. The four of us fit nicely in the bench seat. Having the dealership install pedal extenders has made all the difference. Now Sawyer doesn’t have to sit under the dashboard any more.
Two hours later and we were pulling into our stop. A street lamp in front of Rolling Mile Motorhome Sales cast a friendly shadow on the trailer marked office. I pulled up to the door and Verna stepped out with a big smile waving hello. She wore an apron over her clothes decorated with red apples and bluebirds.
“Howdy doo! Howdy doo!” she called, holding the railing, taking each step one at a time.
“You must be Pauline’s friends. I’m Verna! Welcome to my home and business. Come on in, I was just taking an apple pie out of the oven.”
Being the business minded crew that we are, we first asked Verna where she would like us to place the cases of beer.
“My goodness me! Set them right here inside the door if you don’t mind. I’ll have one of the guys from the office move them over to our warehouse tomorrow. Now come in and take a load off.”
“Thank you so much, Miss Verna Spruce,” Charlotte said taking a seat by the window. “How very kind of you to offer us refreshments.”
Charlotte is our most sophisticated hen and a stickler for proper manners.
“Oh, this? It’s nothing,” Verna replied. “Please, help yourself to the tea kettle while I slice the pie.”
Sawyer leaned into the steam that rose from the pot.
“It’s lavender,” Verna commented. “I hope you like it.”
“It’s one of our favorites,” Sawyer replied pouring each one of us a cup.
“Don’t mind me,” Verna chuckled reaching for the cabinet next to her refrigerator. “I like mine with a little zing.”
She unscrewed the top of a bourbon bottle and let it splash into her tea. Then she offered the bottle to us.
“Oh, no thank you,” I answered graciously. “We like the calming effect of the lavender as is, and we have a long ride home tonight.”
“Yes, I suppose so,” Verna sighed. “Suit yourself. So… which one of you is the rooster?”
What an odd question, we thought. Isn’t it obvious?
“That would be me,” Tim replied sitting up straight in his chair.
“You?” Verna laughed. “Why, you’re just a little bitty of a thing!”
At the time, I didn’t think it was meant as an insult, but her comment didn’t settle well.
“Tim is a fine rooster,” I said.
“The best,” said Sawyer.
“An officer and a gentlemen,” Charlotte added.
“I’m hearing you, but I don’t believe it,” Verna chuckled sizing up Tim over the brim of her glasses. “Why, I baked two hens yesterday for dinner that weren’t any bigger than you!”
We didn’t stay for pie. Sawyer faked an instant stomach ache and told Verna it must be a case of the swine flu (apologies to our friends at Mrs. Turner’s farm.)
We ran to the truck and jumped in.
“What about our money?” Tim cried slamming shut the passenger door.
“We’ll bill her!” I said in a fluster and yanked the gear shift into drive.
Charlotte let out a yelp as I tore out of the parking lot of Rolling Mile Motorhome Sales.
“Happy – let me buckle up first!”
“No can do, Lottie Loo! I am not hanging around long enough for one of us to be in Miss Verna’s next recipe!”
I pulled over a few miles down the road so we could settle down and fasten ourselves in.
“Can you believe her,” said Sawyer, visibly upset.
“I know,” Charlotte said holding out a wing. “Look at me! I’m still shaking!”
“Thanks for having my back,” Tim said tilting his head. “I think she was going to fatten us up and stuff us in a pie plate!”
“We are definitely adding a surcharge to her bill,” Charlotte spat. “What nerve! Ply us with kindness and then, WHACK! I bet she was going to include us in the employee appreciation barbecue! She was probably going to serve us with our own beer!”
The thought gave us the shivers. Then we got angry. Could she not tell by the fact that we were talking and drinking tea that we are not ordinary chickens? Goodness gracious!
We made it back home without any further disruptions. We opted not to tell the others for fear it would give them nightmares. Tomorrow is a brand new day and we are home safe and sound.
This vacation can’t come soon enough!