“Diana called today. She said Hannah will have her first piano recital on Saturday.” Emma told George as he pulled into their usual parking space, “I’d love to go.”
“I think we could manage that.” George replied genially. The couple made their way through the nearly empty parking lot of Tommy’s Steakhouse.
“What’s the news from Chris?” George asked his wife. “The last I heard he had a big decision to face – did he choose to attend the in-state school?”
A waitress approached the table with menus in hand, but George and Emma were ready to order before she even said hello. George smiled at her, “I’ll have the ‘desperado’ with a baked potato, and ranch dressing for my salad.”
“I’ll have the same dear,” Emma’s voice was warm, “but make mine the petite cut.”
“Chris is considering the military.” Emma got back to George’s question. “I just don’t know what to think. He got really good grades and he seems to take after his father. I wish he would reconsider; he’d make a wonderful physician. I’ve been praying for a good outcome there – we’ll just leave it in God’s hands...”
“As usual.” George finished her sentence. The pair thoughtfully sipped their water glasses for a moment, then George spoke, “I saw the card on the table from Jessica - when is her baby due? I can’t keep track.”
“Six more weeks, at least.” Emma picked up her fork as salads were brought to their table.
“What’s the plan after that? To move back in with her parents?” Now George’s face had a worried look. “It’s sad that so many young girls have to raise children on their own.”
“She says she’s going to keep working and find day care for the baby.” Emma sighed. “I wish I could help, but our house is too far for Jessica to drop by on her way to work.”
“I could meet her at the Park-n-Ride by the highway once a week if that would help.” George offered, slathering butter on his roll.
Emma’s face brightened at the thought, “What a wonderful idea!” She placed a hand on her husband’s arm. “You know, I bet Jessica would go along with that, and it would save her a little money. It would be nice to get to know our new great grand baby too.”
George was glad to help. “I’ll call her when we get home. I haven’t talked to that girl in quite a while.”
Delicious-looking steaks with steaming baked potatoes arrived, and the couple sat in companionable silence enjoying a few bites of their meal.
“Oh, I meant to tell you that I sent off another check to the World Relief fund.” Emma started off on a different track. “You know, I hated to skip the donation last month but Beth needed help with Ethan’s braces. I’m glad we were able to send it this time.”
“Not enough money to go around,” George said philosophically, “but we just have to keep doing what we can with what God gives us.”
“That reminds me.” Emma said, smiling mischievously, “I have a surprise for you.” She reached into her over-large purse and pulled out a picture frame. “It’s for both of us really, but I was in on the secret.”
George wrapped gnarled hands around the frame and tilted his head to align his glasses properly. “What’s this?” he said with a delighted chuckle.
The words at the top of the frame said, “Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, thanks for the great roots!” Inside the frame were memories and words of thanks, all written by their many children and grandchildren – some in a grown-up’s script, others written in haste by a teenager, some careful words scrawled by a pre-schooler’s tiny hand. And down in the corner was a copy of a baby’s ultra-sound. George’s eyes glistened as he pointed to the image and said with a laugh, “Looks like it’s a boy!”
“Oh, and look at the verse they picked out!” Emma scooted close so she could read it properly:
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when the heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV).”
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