Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Much Ado about Nothing (not about the play) (07/28/11)
TITLE: Conversations, Cookies and Curmudgeons
By Leola Ogle
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“Humph! Last week you said it was too weak!”
“Weak is what the pastor’s sermon was on Sunday.” Miriam pushed her ponderous body up from her chair. “Getting another cookie. Anyone want more?”
“Bring the whole plate, Miriam. Just be careful to not get crumbs on this quilt.” Lois rubbed her fingers over the cross she was stitching, admiring her work. “And I thought the sermon was lovely!”
“Lovely? We’re not describing a dress, Lois. Besides, you slept through most of it.”
“Addie, I did not!” Lois shot a hurtful glance at Addie.
“Don’t talk of sleeping in church, Addie. George snored so loudly, I thought a train was coming,” Myra said, licking crumbs from her fingers.
“Tsk! For your information, my husband was tired from the wild night we’d had.” Addie chuckled.
“You haven’t had a wild night in years, Addie, and you know it! None of us have.” Miriam giggled with the rest of the ladies.
“Good morning, ladies! How’s my favorite Thursday morning quilting group?” Grinning, Pastor Don poked his head in the door. “I’m sure our missionaries in Africa will love that quilt.”
“Good morning, Pastor Don,” the ladies said in unison, as if they’d rehearsed it.
“Lovely sermon on Sunday,” Miriam said, winking at Lois.
“Thank you! We all need to have more compassion and be willing to help those less fortunate. Don’t you agree, ladies?” Pastor Don stepped inside.
“Yes, we certainly do,” Lois bubbled as the other ladies nodded.
“Actually, I just wanted to grab a couple of these delicious cookies, if that’s okay?”
“Of course, Pastor!” Myra held out the plate to him.
“Thanks. I’ll let you get back to your work.” Pastor Don smiled as he bit into a cookie.
As soon as the door closed, Addie leaned over and whispered, “He can afford to buy his own cookies with the salary we pay him.”
“Oh? How much do we pay him?” Lois asked, her eyes widening.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s plenty.” Addie jabbed the needle into her square that would say God Loves You.
“I don’t think Jesus is happy if we talk against our pastor,” Lois said in a timid voice.
“Lois, must you always be so sweet? I just bet you stick your finger into your coffee to sweeten it, don’t you?” Smirking, Miriam patted Lois’ hand.
“What?” Lois looked confused.
“Don’t pick on Lois,” Myra frowned at Miriam. “You know what irked me? It was last Thursday when Pastor Don brought that destitute woman and her little girl in here and offered them some of our cookies.”
“Oh, I agree. It irritates me the way some people think they can just drive up to any church and ask for a handout. Nothing but beggars!”
“I know what you mean, Addie. That little girl was not very clean either. When my children were little, I kept them clean.” Myra nodded smugly.
“I thought she was a cute little girl,” Lois said. “And isn’t that what Pastor Don’s sermon was about? I didn’t mind giving them cookies.”
“Because you hardly ever eat the cookies, Lois.” Miriam shoved another cookie in her mouth. “You’re so tiny, a strong wind could carry you off.”
Addie sighed as she arched her shoulders. “I love making quilts for our missionaries, but my back is killing me. It’s a shame young women nowadays aren’t interested in quilting or making homemade cookies.”
“Most of our young women work,” Lois offered.
“That’s no excuse. They could at least learn to bake cookies.” Miriam grabbed the last cookie. “Anyone want this?” she asked without waiting for a reply.
There was silence for the next several minutes while fingers expertly worked on fabric squares.
“You know,” Myra broke the silence. “Maybe we should all try to be kind and giving like Lois.”
“Don’t be silly! There’s nothing wrong with us,” Addie said.
“Of course there’s nothing wrong with us,” Miriam smiled benignly at her friends. “We should just bring more cookies next week.”
“That’s a good idea. Then there’ll be plenty for Pastor Don and anyone else,” Lois said cheerfully.
“My goodness, Lois, we’re not bringing cookies for everyone else.” Addie glanced at the clock and began gathering her belongings.
“That time already?” Myra stood. “So, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies next week, okay ladies? Now close us in prayer, Lois, dear.”
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