“I thought age was just a number,” Mrs. Langford said. “Everybody fibs. I’ve changed my date of birth on everything from my mother’s Bible to the beautifully framed family tree my cousin gave to me. Even I began to wonder if I was looking young or old for my age. One day I realized it had to stop.”
Annie: I was lying by the stove in the kitchen while listening to Miss Bessie and Jamie’s mother, Mrs. Langford, visit over coffee. I wanted to tell them they should count their blessings that they didn’t have to multiply their age by seven like we dogs do.
“What made you realize you had to quit lowering your age?” Miss Bessie asked. “By the way, whatever your age is, you certainly don’t look it.”
“Why thank you…I think. It finally dawned on me that I was about to be younger than my daughter and that’s just not right.”
Annie: Good grief…this is just weird. I would never tell Arf this, but I miss him a bunch. Everytime I see one of his beat-up frisbees lying around, I start to slobber. (I whine a little bit when I’m really upset, but dogs don’t cry like humans.)
Here comes Brad. He looks happy.
“Good morning, ladies. Mrs. Langford…what a nice surprise. You aren’t usually up and around this early. Will Mr. Langford be joining you?”
“Not right away, I hope. He only speaks in riddles and cliches, you know. I love the man, but one more cliche might break the camel’s back.”
“Well, I just got some great news,” Brad informed them as he poured himself a cup of coffee. “Jamie and Clark don’t even know yet, but they’ll be excited.”
Brad walked over to the table, put his coffee cup down, and picked up the paper.
“Brad Humboldt, you tell us right now what you’re talking about.” Miss Bessie was not going to be left hanging.
“I don’t think it would be very nice of me to spill the beans before I talk with Jamie and Clark. I’ll just say this. Be here for dinner tonight….Right now I’ve got to go help my wife run this ranch.”
“I’m sure Mrs. Langford doesn’t appreciate your saying, ‘spill the beans,’ and as for being here for dinner, I cook your dinner. Be careful Mr. Humboldt, I just might ‘cook your goose.’ Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself.” Miss Bessie quickly poured Brad another cup of coffee. He grinned from ear to ear before heading out to find Jamie and Jake.
Annie: This bit of news or should I say lack thereof really put a scowl on Miss Bessie’s face. Even Mrs. Langford struggled to let the awkward moment pass. The phone rang and saved us. Miss Bessie jumped up to catch it. She loves to answer the phone.
When she hung up, she asked me.to go find Dina. Apparently it was Katie’s school who called to tell Dina she must come to the school at once. Katie said she couldn’t get up from her desk without falling. She refused to even try.
“I talked with Dina earlier,” Mrs. Langford said. “She planned to run some errands after taking Katie to school. She’s not here.”
“We’ll, since Brad and Jamie are off doing chores somewhere, I guess I’ll just have to dust off the old car and go get Katie myself. Come on! You two are going with me!” Miss Bessie grabbed her hat and off she went with Mrs. Langford and Annie right behind her.”