It’s been a week now since Ellie and her mother, Hilda, moved in with Grace and Pearl. Ellie loves the new arrangement. She doesn’t have to go back and forth between her house and the rooms above Sanderson’s Store, anymore.
There seems to be one rub, however. Pearl has some misgivings about Hilda…
“You know, Grace, we didn’t think about the fact that we have never laid eyes on Hsomething before. We didn’t even know her name.”
“You still don’t know her name, Pearl… of course you never have retained names. Why do you suppose that is, Pearl? You might have a missing chromosome. I’ve heard about people missing a chromosome. It usually pertains to serial killers, though.”
“Yes, Grace…I’m a regular Jack the Ripper. I think I hear her coming. Have you started supper yet? I’m about to starve to death.”
“I’ll start cooking as soon as Ellie gets back from the store. I’m making my special meatloaf.”
The door opens and Hilda walks in. She is holding a sack full of groceries.
“I hope everyone here likes fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and corn. I’m going to treat you to the best supper you’ve ever eaten.”
“We can hardly wait. Can we, Grace? Are you okay, Grace? You look like you need one of my air cigarettes.”
“Hi Pearl, hi Grace, I’m home. Mom are you home, too?” I got your groceries, Grace. I’m really hungry. I can’t wait to eat your meatloaf.
Mom? Is that you, cooking? You can’t cook, remember? Someone stop her. She’s libel to burn the house down.”
“Now Ellie…settle down. I got us each a Swanson TV dinner. They’re the best I’ve ever eaten.”
After supper, everyone crowded into the small living room to watch Lawrence Welk.
“You should make those TV dinners sometimes, Grace,” says Pearl. “I thought they were delicious. I think we should buy TV trays, too. We can eat TV dinners on TV trays and watch TV. What other kinds do they have, Hsomething?”
” Well, Pearl, they have roast beef that’s delish, but I like turkey and dressing the best.”
“Mom cooks them good, too. She also makes a mean chicken pot pie. She let’s me make Top Ramen Noodles, sometimes. We usually have oreos for dessert.”
“Now Ellie, you’re making me blush.”
Later that night…
“GRACE! WAKE UP!”
“What is it. Pearl?”
“I need a meatloaf sandwich and is there any of your cherry pie left? That TV food doesn’t stick to your ribs.”
When Pearl and Grace get to the kitchen, they find Essie/Ellie there, too….so are Pearl the dog and Mouse. Grace is smiling ear to ear.
“Meatloaf sandwiches and cherry pie…coming right up!”
“I really don’t like mice,” says Mouse. “I was just getting sick of TV dinners.”
“I get it,” says Pearl the dog. “Can we eat that pink thing for dessert?”
“And I was just beginning to like you,” says Mouse.