Grandma's Little Helper
"Let me get that for you," Harry said while reaching for the coffee shop door. Being in just the right place to give help came in handy as the arrival of baked goods always blessed his morning with the aroma of fresh bread. The danish he received for lending a hand was an added bonus.
"Why thank you, Harry," Kaylee, the normal delivery person for Peach-tree Bakers, grinned as she handed over a rack of rolls. "Strange how you show up at the right time."
"Humm, it is at that," his wide smile gained a laugh as Caroline stepped out from behind the counter.
"Harold of Morning," she called out. "You know the routine, put them on the table in back."
Delivery days were a blessing for the youth, as the new bread coming in for the shop's sandwiches meant the old was removed. Harry always made a point to get there first thing, even though he knew they kept it for him. He preferred to bag it himself and save Kaylee the extra work.
"How's you grandmother doing?" Caroline asked as he went passed for a second rack of rolls.
"She's ok, I guess," the boy replied, you could hear the worry in his words. "I think the rain is getting to her, hate to think what the winter will do."
A short while later he walked off down the street, a half full trash bag thrown over one shoulder and a smaller sack held carefully in his left hand. Carol watched with wonder for the young boy as the clouds begun to grow dark once more from the threat of rain. . .
"Such a good kid," Kay commented as she set empty bread racks beside the door. "What does he do with that bread anyway?"
"Harry's my little delivery boy," Caroline leaned against the counter sipping her tea. "He takes it down to the Mission for me. He is a wonder, that’s for sure."
"He lives near here then?"
"No," she replied sadly. “His parents died in a wreck a couple years ago, and now he stays with his grandmother. He said she has a place for them down below 32nd Street somewhere. That's why I give him the fresh loaf for all his help."
A heavy drizzle started to fall before Harry even made it to the mission, his load of bread was always so welcome and helped to feed many at the little soup kitchen they held each day at noon. By the time he reach the 32nd Street bridge, only a matter of a half hour later, it was coming down rather hard. As he got to the place his grandmother normally sat, and found her missing, he began to worry.
"Mema," he shouted as he looked around for the elderly woman, his sudden fear only changing to relief when he heard her calling.
"Over here, Harry," she called as she walked slowly toward him.
"Mema, you know how I worry when you change places like that without telling me."
"Don't you worry son," the old woman smiled as she sat back against a bridge piling, "I ain't given up my place. Benny found some old crates and broke 'em up for a fire. Been over there to chase the chill, and gab some with the boys."
"Just be careful." Harry pulled and extra blanket from the rusty shopping cart his grandmother kept their things in and draped it around her shoulders. "Miss Caroline sends her love, and gave me a fresh loaf of bread."
"That girl's such a sweetheart ." She slowly opened the foil wrapped French-bread, savoring the aroma. "Why it's even still warm. I am gonna have to meet her sometime and thank her."
"Now Mema, that's too far for you to walk."
"I know sweetie," she replied as she stretch to get comfortable. "And this cold air is killing my old hip."
The roar of traffic and weather died down as the rain slowed to a drizzle once more. Harry took a piece of the bread from her hand, and said a quiet prayer for his grandmother and all those he had met through the day. As the sky grew lighter, he smiled.
"Look Mema," he almost laughed, "The suns coming out. Maybe we can make it to the Kitchen for lunch."
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