Me-Maw’s Last Christmas
A Christmas story by Melton Carr
Four days ‘til Christmas – Entertaining strangers
Rachael, and I struggled from the car to the house; arms loaded with groceries for Christmas Day dinner for the family. We must have spent at least three hours shopping at Bailey Foods Market and at least two hundred dollars. It took us two trips each to get all the stuff in.
“I don’t know where we’re going put all this stuff Thomas!” Rachael stood and stared at all the tabletops and counters that were now covered in bags and cans.
“Yeah, we ended up getting a whole lot more than what was on your list for sure!”
“Thomas, would you see who left us a message on the phone? It’s beeping!” Rachael was taking everything out of the grocery bags and started putting frozen foods in the freezer first, as the frozen vegetables had already started to thaw.
“Okay, I’ll be right back to help you put away the can goods.” I snatched a few of the fresh grapes out of one of the bags as I passed by.
“One message, received at 11:32 AM –‘Hello. This message is for Thomas. Thomas, we would like you to join us Monday afternoon at 4 PM at the church for choir practice. Hope you can make it. We’re looking forward to you joining us. No need to call me back, we’ll see you at church. Blessings, Anita.’”
They’re really serious about this, I realized! A nervous chill ran up the back of my shoulders and neck. “Help me Jesus.” I begged in silence, because for the life of me, I don’t know why I agreed to do this gig!
“Who called?” Rachael asked.
“The church; they want me to come to choir practice on Monday.”
“Well, that’s nice! I think you’ll really enjoy practicing with those folks. You probably already know some of the others who will be joining you.” Rachael is a born encourager. But, I’m not feeling all that convinced about this…not yet anyway.
I grabbed an arm full of can goods off the kitchen counter starting for the pantry on the back porch. As I passed by the window looking out toward the storage shed, I caught a glimpse of a man standing beside the wheelbarrow I had propped against the shed yesterday. “Alright now, who was that?” I asked myself. I worried what the guy could have been up to. Then, visually checking left and right, he was gone! I walked out into yard, and over to the shed. No one was there or anywhere out in the yard! So, how could someone be there one moment and gone the next? No mistaking, I had seen a man standing by the shed! Checking in the shed; my garden tools were all still there…no sign of anything missing or disturbed. What the hell, I’m positive I saw an old guy in coveralls with a blue bandana tied around his neck. He was carrying a small, black backpack. Where did he come from? Where did he go? This was really strange!
Wait a minute…strangers coming up into people’s yards? What’s going on here?
To be continued.