She Walks In Confidence 12

She Walks In Confidence 12

She Walks In Confidence 12
The next day Rosie spent the day with Pamela and Robert. They were going to go visit Rupert in hospital. She asked if Naomi could come along to show them where the sights were. Her parents agreed. Robert had rented an auto to get them around town. The only car they had was a jeep and it was a stick drive.
“We will not have a manual drive in until this afternoon.” said the attendant.
“I can drive a stick but I’m too young to have a license. Why not have Rosie drive. You ought to have seen her up on the flats where the plane was stuck! ” piped up Naomi.

Robert sneered “Rosie? You are now called Rosie? My word. How quaint.”

Pamela clapped her hands saying:
“Never mind my husband the stuffed shirt. Rosie I’m very proud of you. Let’s have you drive today. I know we’ll have a fun day.”

Rosie all signed in for one day’s driving took off out of the lot carefully. When she had driven a few miles Robert started in on the lecture of driving too fast, too close. Anything else he could think of to be a backseat pain in the arse.
They were driving in the direction of the hospital when Naomi asked Rosie to take a right turn. They were going down a bumpy dirt road.
Rosie looked at Naomi who gave her the thumbs up. They reached an open field. Two boys were there with an older jeep. Naomi spoke to them. She talked to Rosie. Rosie said yes. She asked Pamela for ten dollars. They paid the boys a total of twenty dollars.

Naomi knew the boys and they gave Pamela and Robert the drag race of their life! Pamela laughed the whole time while Robert turned white as a sheet.

Naomi thanked the boys and they took off gingerly to the hospital.

The story was repeated to Rupert who laughed so robustly the nurses came in to see if he was in any

After seeing Rupert the four went for lunch at a local outside Greek cafe that was suggested by Naomi. The food was delicious. They returned the jeep to the car rental. Robert got himself a Buick and was quite content to drive. He never again complained about Rosie’s driving.
Back at Rosemary’s by the Sea Robert pulled into the parking lot of the unit where they were staying.
He got out and started wiping off the car of dust.
The ladies saw Bill and Jack were busy white washing the fence at the unit next to the office.
Both men donned straw hats.
“Rosemary thinks the two of us are related to Tom Sawyer!” laughed Bill.

“Now hold still. This is so funny. Best thing I’ve seen all day. I have to get a picture of you two.” said Rosie.

“ I rather think the best thing I’ve seen all day is my husband get outmaneuvered by a woman in driving skills.”said Pamela.

The two men looked dumbfounded. Pamela said let’s go sit at the table and let Rosemary and Cynthia in on our adventures of the day. Pamela told the story and embellished and exaggerated on every detail she could at the expense of her dear husband.

Saturday the men cooked lunch all day. It was Bar B Q days. They dressed in their western clothing and some locals they knew would bring their guitars and sing and play all day or their lunches.
Rosemary, Cynthia, Rosie and Naomi took to the yard sales of the day. There were plenty going on. The clothes were cheap. Rosie found some beautiful Pendleton Skirts.
“They are not outdated. Why do people get rid of these skirts. I know this one cost eighty dollars. I have one at home just like it. They are asking two dollars!”

“They want new. The old clothes are sold and out of the way so they go buy new clothes. Not as well made but new for a while. A vicious circle. I have clothes that I bought ten years ago. They are well made and when I tire of them they go in a trunk with Lavender sachets. I reuse my clothes until I tire of them.” said Rosemary.

Rosie said she did the same thing with her clothes.
“I’m going to go through some of my shoes and boots when I get back home. My special diet for gout from Cynthia has made my feet less swollen. Who knows perhaps some of those shoes at home will still fit.
I’ll still show the items to Naomi for the Honeybee closet before I send them to you.” said Rosie with a big smile.

Naomi found some sheet music and the vendor said to take it all for one dollar. Naomi asked Rosie who said to grab it.
The ladies returned home happy with their purchases. Bill was happy he had put a big long rack up on top the Nomad.

She had a vivid imagination and would carry it on for the rest of her life.

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 13

Unplanned Vacation 13

Anika went upstairs and while putting
her folded clothes away listened to the radio.
Pastor John was on with a sermon:
The Christian walk
is a lifetime journey
often the journey may
be a meandering one
We do not listen to God
not listening we ignore
God guides us right
we wander to the left
God says do not sin
We quickly seek it out
Many have these struggles
don’t you are not alone
we are all in this mess
not all are super-saints
lets overcome the mess
seek and find our faith
in the Son of God
who gave himself for us
our lives live by faith
a life of our goodness
based on Christ living
through us by listening
obeying to the voice
​of the Holy Spirit with
our Spiritual Disciplines
prayer, study, and meditation.
Praying in the Spirit
Listening to the Spirit
Resting in the Spirit
How do we gain this kind of peace?
Let’s think about what Jesus said. It is His peace, not ours, which we experience. It is supernatural in nature. But even as we find this peace coming from God, we find that we have a part in incorporating this peace into our lives. We do not allow ourselves to be troubled by the temporary trials of this life. What’s more, we do not allow ourselves to be made afraid.
How do we do this? I believe it only happens as we keep our eyes firmly on Jesus. We make Him our source of joy, of comfort, of security, we in fact, make Him all in all in our lives. That is going to require that we begin to cultivate some important habits.
One of those absolutely essential habits is prayer. We create the habit of being in conversation with the One who promised us our peace. We bring our hurts to Him, and leave them with Him, in prayer.

Anika loved this radio show. With the clothes away she sat down listening more. His sermons had always interested her. She had gone through a lot these past weeks starting with her two friends being very ill and the apartment building burning down. She prayed to God how thankful her friends were better and almost back to normal. She also prayed she was not in that apartment building when the fire struck. Prayed no one was harmed physically in the fire.

“Thank you again God for providing for me a new home, wonderful friends and now even the chance for a new job to help others, amen.”

simple gospel kari jobe lyrics was playing:

I believe that Christ is my Savior
All for love
He plundered my heart from the grave
This is the simple gospel
I believe that Christ is Redeemer
All for love
He settled the payment of sin
This is the simple gospel
It will never ever change
Let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Death is defeated
Jesus is risen
This is our faith
The good news of grace
Oh let the church say amen (amen!)

I believe that Christ is returning
Evermore His Spirit is living in me
This is the simple gospel
It will never ever change
Let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Death is defeated
Jesus is risen
This is our faith
The good news of grace
Oh let the church say amen
The lost will come home
The bound will go free
The weak will be strong
The broken redeemed
The sick will be well
The hungry will feast
The mourning will dance
The blinded will see
The church will arise
With power and love
Our cities will know
The glory of God
The future is bright
There’s nothing to fear
Revival is now
The Kingdom is here
Let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Death is defeated
Jesus is risen
This is our faith
The good news of grace
Oh let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Death is defeated
Jesus is risen
This is our faith
The good news of grace
Oh let the church say amen
Oh let the church say amen
The lost will come home
The bound will go free
The weak will be strong
The broken redeemed
The sick will be well
The hungry will feast
The mourning will dance
The blinded will see
The church will arise
With power and love
Our cities will know
The glory of God
The future is bright
There’s nothing to fear
Revival is now
The Kingdom is here
The lost will come home
The bound will go free
The weak will be strong
The broken redeemed
The sick will be well
The hungry will feast
The mourning will dance
The blinded will see (c’mon)
The church will arise
With power and love
Our cities will know
The glory of God
The future is bright
There’s nothing to fear
Revival is now
The Kingdom is here
Let the church say amen
Let the church say amen
Death is defeated
Jesus is risen
This is our faith
The good news of grace
Oh let the church say amen
Oh let the church say amen
Thank You Jesus
“Thank you again God I will put this mess back on track.” replied Anika.

A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it, A song’s not a song ’til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love ’til you give it away! ~ Oscar Hammerstein II

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 12

Unplanned Vacation 12
Anika stayed in her apartment that night. She did not get much sleep as she was not only arranging her things, setting up her printer and finally researching fruits and vegetables.
The next morning she was downstairs in the laundry room. With her coffee cup filled and a nice chair to sit in she was reading what she had printed on a large index card. It was completely covered front and back. She continued to study. The rhythmic beat of the washer lulled her to sleep.
Arnold and Annette saw the light on in the laundry. There was Anika fast asleep in the easy chair. Her card had slipped from her hands.

Arnold picked it up. He showed it to Annette:
A: Apples, Apricots, Avocados

B: Bananas, Boysenberries, Blueberries, Bing Cherry

C: Cherries, Cantaloupe, Crab apples, Clementine, Cucumbers

D: Damson plum, Dinosaur Eggs (Pluots), Dates, Dewberries, Dragon Fruit

E: Elderberry, Egg-fruit, Evergreen Huckleberry, Entawak

F: Fig, Farkleberry, Finger Lime

G: Grapefruit, Grapes, Gooseberries, Guava

H: Honeydew melon, Hack-berry, Honey-crisp Apples

I: Indian Prune (Plum), Indonesian Lime, Imbe, Indian Fig

J: Jack-fruit, Java Apple, Jambolan

K: Kiwi, Kaffir Lime, Kumquat

L: Lime (Lemon), Logan, Lychee, Loquat

M: Mango, Mandarin Orange, Mulberry, Melon

N: Nectarine, Navel Orange, Nashi Pear (Asian Pear)

O: Olive, Oranges, Ogeechee Limes, Oval Kumquat

P: Papaya, Persimmon, Paw Paw, Prickly Pear, Peach, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Passion Fruit
Q: Quince, Queen Anne Cherry, Quararibea cordata (Chupa Chupa)

R: Rambutan, Raspberries, Rose Hips

S: Star Fruit, Strawberries, Sugar Baby Watermelon

T: Tomato, Tangerine, Tamarind, Tart Cherries

U: Ugli Fruit, Uniq Fruit, Ugni

V: Vanilla Bean, Velvet Pink Banana, Voavanga

W: Watermelon, Wolfberry, White Mulberry

X: Xigua (Chinese Watermelon), Ximenia caffra fruit, Xango Mangosteen Fruit Juice

Y: Yellow Passion Fruit, Yunnan Hackberry, Yangmei

Z: Zig Zag Vine fruit, Zinfandel Grapes, Zucchini (a fruit, like tomatoes)

Annette smiled, placed the card near Anika and motioned Arnold out of the room. They went a few steps into his kitchen for coffee.

“Arnold, leave the door open so we can hear the dryer buzz. This gal is serious about performing her job well. I already know I can depend on her.”

Arnold agreed and poured the coffee. He tried passing her cookies but she said she’d have her usual because she left again with no breakfast. He went to the toaster and put in two bread. He pulled a knife from a drawer. He placed the knife on a napkin next to her. On the table was a small tray with peanut butter, jam, honey and salt & pepper.

“I’m thinking this having an assistant will work well for me. I may get to stay home in the morning and have breakfast with my kids. My time home is not allowing me this pleasure. She certainly looks very serious.” said Annette.
Since the door to Arnold’s apartment was open as usual, they both heart the dryer buzzer go off loudly.

There was mumbling from Anika then after about 10 minutes she passed by the open door.
Arnold offered a “ Hello Anika. When you are finished I would like for you to meet Annette.”

“I am finished. I can put the clothes away when I go up. They are all folded.”

“ If you have time today I would like to show you the ropes of working in the produce department. It is actually quite pleasant for you except of course the picking through the fruit, discarding any very unusable product. I will show you how to stack the fruit and vegetables for display and what it a piece bad for selling but still good to use at home after paring.
We have a place in the backroom for employees only to take these imperfect pieces. You know a potato that is shriving or an onion that has seen better days. Arnold nabs them to make his famous potato soup.
You look pretty sharp and will figure it out as you go along. You will not have to do any ordering or talk with sales reps. They must all be directed to the office. The office only determines if they need to speak to me.”

“ I’m sure I can handle that. I once worked in a fruit and vegetable stand. Of course that was on a small scale an I had to handle money. I have handled money but I do not know the modern cash registers. I am also not shy around people. My fear, well not fear, but concern is that the store might get in a new fruit or vegetable and I would not know what to tell a person if they wanted to cook it or eat it raw.”

“ Anika you are a worry wart. Always been one and always will be.” said Mercedes who just popped into the store.

“Oh, Mercedes I forgot you were coming over.
This is Annette.
This is Mercedes”

Ha Ha Ha We know each other. Todays lesson is over. I will pick out some reading material for you, pass it to Arnold and he’ll see you later. You two have a good day. I have to go to work.” laughed Annette.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad ~ Brian O’Driscoll.

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 11

Unplanned Vacation 11
The next day Greer was at the upstairs apartment with Anika checking any last minute cleaning and take Arnold’s sisters sewing machine down to his apartment. Two stock boys carried the machine. Arnold was pleased to see his Mother’s machine. His sister had used it before she passed.
He asked if Anika wanted the walls painted or curtains changed.
Anika assured him she liked everything the way it was.
Greer reminded them there was clean bedding in the trunk in the back closet.
The two women were happy the apartment was now move in ready.
They went down to see Arnold and have coffee with him.
Anika brought the sewing basket with thread and needles down with her to give to Arnold.
He was already checking the machine and starting to thread the needle. She asked him if he also wanted her to bring the box of yardage down. He said if she could use it it was hers.
“Come on in ladies. Coffee’s on and there’s a great plate of molasses cookies next to the pot.”
Once Arnold finished he came to the table to sit with the ladies.
“ I’ll collect some of my mending out of the laundry and start mending tonight.”
Anika asked Arnold if the laundry would be available for her to use also. He said yes and sorry he forgot to show it to her. Arnold also gave her a set of keys to enter the building when the store was closed.
“The entrance is safe because it is right near your well lit parking area. The other key is for your apartment door. I also gave you my phone number and a card with the store office and a card with the names of all the Wolf brothers and sisters in case you are ever stuck.”
The next day Anika’s storage unit was cleaned out and she was now moved into the building.
Michael and Mercedes brought over a nice casserole and with silverware and plates they invited Arnold up and dinner was served. Greer was asked but she had a previous commitment.
After dinner and dishes washed and put away Arnold and Michael hooked up Anika’s laptop to the store internet and got the small TV all set up just in case she felt like watching TV.
“My sister had an old rotary phone in her bedroom. I think it is now concealed in a dresser. It is still there free for local calls only. She had no use for cell phones. We left it there even though it is not being used. I suggest you leave it there for emergency calls. You probably will never get a call from anyone except, my family or myself and that would ONLY be in a dire emergency.
You may give it to Mercedes and Michael in case they can not reach you on your cell number.
“Thank you so much Arnold. You and your family are so helpful. I need to ask you about my future work so I can plan my schedule.
I will need to know my duties and if I have to study the art of fruit and vegetable tending and any health regulations or tests.”
“ Your duties include organizing fruit and vegetable items in their display areas. Removing expired or spoiled products from displays. If you have to move a large box from the back a stock clerk will lift it for you. That is basically all you have to do.
Annette is the head grocer and she is quite understanding. She will get together with you and show you the things to do plus give you Her husband is a produce driver. They live about twenty miles out of town in country setting. Her parents live with them and care for their four children when they are working.” said Arnold gently.
Anika smiled and shook her head indicating she understood.
Arnold went on saying: “As far as the health regulations we will consult the lawyers that take care of the store business. They will be told of our agreement as to renting free while working a certain amount of hours or just renting at a certain mutual agreement and the insurance coverage for you. They are good and fair and can set it up so you will receive coverage just as if you were being paid so in the future you can add it to your social security check payment. You may take this to a lawyer or show to your good friends Michael and Mercedes.
If for some reason you do not want to do the produce work and would prefer to pay rent we will come to agreements. My family is quite flexible.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 10

Unplanned Vacation 10

Arnold motioned to Michael for the two of them to go back downstairs and look at the parking space Anika would be given.

Arnold was a wise man and sensed the two women would like to be alone. “I’m thinking this little old man and Michael will leave you two ladies to talk over the deal we offered. Michael would like to see that parking space. I need to make another coffee. Take all the time you wish.”

They went back downstairs leaving Anika and Mercedes to look around the apartment and talk privately.

Mercedes went to the kitchen area and saw the stove and appliances were all beautifully kept. There were still dishes and pots and pans in the cupboards. Not a lot of new appliances but what was there was quite usable.

Off the kitchen was a small balcony with a box of clay pots. His sister must have had an herb garden out there at one time.

A well kept folding fire escape ladder was within easy reach. There were sealed inspection tags secured next to the ladder with emergency instructions on how to use them.

In the bathroom was a beautiful claw tub. A small storage room contained some of Arnold’s sister’s fabric and sewing notions.

“Oh, Anika, this place is perfect. If you do not want to take it you can still stay with Michael and I until you find what you like. We love you but we want it to be your decision when and where to move.”

“No, I am seriously thinking of taking this apartment. It is perfect for me and I would have only one neighbor. The space is actually bigger than I had before. I would need to find a bookcase and the kitchen here has a lot of space for my things. I would ask that the sewing machine be replaced by mine or I might be able to place it in the closet. If Michael approves the parking space then I’m going to move in and become a fruit and vegetable worker.”

They went down to Arnold’s. The door was open so they knocked. Arnold called them inside.

Anika told them her decision saying she would move in soon after Mercedes did her cleaning inspection.

“Mercedes is always cleaning. I saw the place as ready to move in. Not even a dust bunny.” laughed Michael.

“Michael approved of your parking space and I will take my sister’s sewing machine into my kitchen. I have a space by the window for it. Our Mother taught us both how to repair our clothes when we were youngsters. When I married my wife attended to that chore then later my sister patched my clothes. It’s about time I start doing the repairs myself.” laughed Arnold.

A wild redhair spunky woman by the name of Greer walked into the kitchen.

“Arnold you’re having a party and I wasn’t invited. I’m sad. Maybe I’ll just keep these molasses cookies and go back to my toadstool.” she started to walk out slowly with a sad face.

“Greer Monroe. You turn around and meet my new neighbor, Anika. I think they want her to be here at the store to keep an eye on me.” laughed Arnold.

“Anika ! I was so worried about you.”

“Greer ! I’m so happy to see you. Mrs. Johnson was visiting her daughter back in Ohio. I’m happy she was safe.”

“Yes, her son and I moved all her memorabilia and favorite furniture pieces to a storage unit right after she went on holiday. They have been trying to get her to move back with family for almost two years. Her younger sister lives in the old family home and will talk her into moving in with her.”

“Well, you two know each other then. That is good. My family hired Greer to do my housekeeping once a week. She complains I don’t have enough work for her. I send her up to my sister’s apartment once a week to keep it dusted.” said Arnold.

“Well, I think Anika will fit in here very well. It’s quiet, the downstairs tenant is also quiet and she probably will get a better parking space than she had at the other place. I didn’t know the upstairs apartment was available to rent.” Greer rambled on.

“Yes, I’m moving in and I have a job very close, within walking distance.” blurted out Anika.

Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.

~ Khalil Gibrin

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 9

Unplanned Vacation 9
The next week Anika went to her storage unit and checked over the things she still had. Mercedes felt strong enough to go with her to help evaluate.
She was glad she had taken over a few extra items from the apartment before it burned down.

Now she had an extra ironing board that was Aunties and a box of photos she had recently scanned. She also had extra pots, pans and mismatched dishes she was considering donating but they had been Aunties. This time the donation was to herself.

Michael called Mercedes and said when they were finished to stop at the Wolf Market.
“Arnold Wolf has a deal you can’t refuse. Of course it is up to Anika.”
“What a curious statement.” said Anika.
“yes. That got my curiosity wondering. Let’s close up and come back tomorrow.” laughed Mercedes.

When they arrived at the market Michael and Arnold were in the back near the scanner.
“ Ah, Mercedes, you’re looking well. Anika you also. I am glad you were not at the apartments on the day of that horrible fire. The fire inspectors will be there for a while. The last I heard they were checking for faulty electrical problems. The owner had been warned several times but did nothing but a few patch jobs over the years.” said Arnold.

“Arnold how do you find out these tidbits of information so quickly?” asked Mercedes.
“Now, now Mercedes you know my answer will be, I heard it through the grapevine or anonymous sources of information.
In other words: A quote from the great writer Ernest Hemingway -I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

The ladies had coffee and chatted a bit with Arnold mostly about the flu that’s going around. Then Michael broke the ice and mentioned that Arnold and his staff would like to make a deal with Anika working for them in exchange for an apartment and parking space. They would only have her work a set of flexible hours as per her and their agreement. She would also receive food for one, utilities and a landline phone. If she had a cell phone she would pay for that.
No lease and if she wanted to terminate working at the store but liked the apartment then a monetary agreement could be agreed upon.

“Truly I think they want her to be here at the store to keep an eye on me.” laughed Arnold.

He then showed them his apartment downstairs. It was comfortable looking, well kept and shelves of neatly labeled rocks,minerals and gems along the long window of his one wall. A very nice apartment with a simple TV in his kitchen and a music system in his sleeping area.
“I watch TV in the morning with my breakfast but in the evening before I retire I listen to mostly bluegrass for about ten minutes. Then I sleep.

They all went to the apartment upstairs. What a difference. It was furnished. The floor was beautifully polished hardwood. The bedroom had an iron bed with a plain white quilt and a small night stand. Between the two shuttered windows that were covered with two panels of curtains, the top almost sheer and the bottom white room darkened. There was a plain long table in the center. Over in one corner was an old Singer sewing machine.

The kitchen was compact and rustic looking with a blue and white color scheme. A small overstuffed loveseat, two side chairs and a small TV on a table. All the furniture was in a small flower mode and doilies were all over the place. All and all quite a feminine looking place.

Beautiful silk flowers were in vases. Anika just stood there with her mouth wide open. Arnold, very perceptive, saw tears in her eyes.

“Dear lady, if the furnishings are too overwhelming we can put them in the attic to store and put in more modern furnishings. I know you are a younger woman. This was my sister’s apartment. She was a seamstress and lived here once my wife and I purchased the store. In fact the offer we made you is exactly what my sister did. She was a shy lady and did not deal with the public. She was a wiz at keeping the produce section always filled perfectly with fresh fruits and vegetables. We will store the furniture if you wish.”
“No, no, I feel like I walked into the Greek sea cottage of my Aunt Adara. She has passed but I speak to her everyday. Well in my thoughts but sometimes my speaking is quietly out loud. I miss her and when I’m sewing and get stumped I look for her guidance. The whole apartment looks like Aunt Aunt Adara.

I love it.

I love it.”

‘Aunts are angels disguised as beautiful persons who are ready to protect their nephews and nieces at any time of the day.’

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 8

Unplanned Vacation 8
 Michael was up early. He left a note saying he was going down to the market to see if Arnold Wolf was still available. He wanted to find out more about  the Shanghai and Beijing flu strains.
 Arnold was there and greeted each other. Arnold went in the back office and started making coffee for the two of them.
Michael and Arnold went out to the side patio and had coffee and an old fashioned doughnut. 
They discussed the flu strain and how lucky Mercedes and he were to have a friend like Anika.
“Your friend was concerned about you both. She carefully selected the right poultry  and lemons to make Greek Avgolemono Soup to make you two better.” said Arnold.
“When I first awoke from my deep sleep I smelled the most wonderful intense smell my nostrils ever encountered.  I went into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, splashed  cool water onto my face, brushed my hair and washed my hands. 
Luckily I was presentable for company. Entering the kitchen I saw Anika wiping counters and polishing the stove. She saw me and I learned about that wonderful soup. I had three small bowls. 
I saw her dish up a bowl, fill a glass with water and make a tray for Mercedes. She said she also wrapped a washed peach in a paper towel and placed it in her pocket.
I do not know what we would have done if she had not been there for us. She is dearly loved by us both.” replied Michael.
Soon they heard the fire engines, their sirens blaring, speeding south of them towards the apartments about ten miles away. Arnold told him to come back into the store and come into his workroom. Arnold had a police/fire scanner there. He turned it on and they both sat at the small table drinking their coffee and listening to the scanner. 
They waited until the dispatcher came on saying
“There had been a horrific fire in the Daphine Street Apartments. All occupants are accounted for except one.”
“Yikes! I have to call home and tell Mercedes to let Anika know what happened. That is where she resides.” replied Michael excitedly.

He called and neither woman knew what had happened. They went down to the apartments and told them Anika Durga was safe and not in the burnt apartment fire. After exchanging phone numbers with the police Mercedes told them Anika would be at their home. Both then went to meet with Michael and Arnold.
“So happy you are safe dear lady. If you need a place to stay There is a small apartment here right on the top floor. I also have one here and actually this is the kitchen area. I will show you the one upstairs anytime the three of you would like to see it. It is small, for one person with a full bath, small kitchen and sitting room. ” said Arnold.
Back at the house reassured Anita that she would be safe at their house as long as it took her to get back on her feet again.
“We can always buy new clothing and dishes. I hope you did not lose anything really precious and valuable in that fire.” said Mercedes with concern.
Anika said her precious books were stored in storage along with a few sentimental things from Aunty including an old female manikin. Also the one thing she really loved was Aunty’s Singer Treadle Sewing machine made in 1925.
“Aunty was a dressmaker and when I visited her she taught me basics. Most of my clothing I made myself. That is why when you and I go to yard sales I take so long to look at items, usually over size for me so I can take them apart and redesign them. Dang now I have to buy a new iron and ironing board!” said Anika.
All three of them laughed.
“Oh, Anika, you just lost your living space and all you think about is an iron and ironing board. We are so happy now that you were at our home when that fire started. You stay here for as long as you need. Tonight I will take us all out for Authentic wood burn oven Napoletana Pizza at Bello’s Outpost.
The three had a wonderful dinner. Michael and Mercedes were so happy their friend, Anika had been at their home. They could have lost her and that would have left them with sadness in their hearts.

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.
©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 7

Unplanned Vacation 7
Anika could not explain why she had such a wild and crazy dream.
Michael insisted they take her blood pressure, temperature and pulse before they sat down to eat.
“It’s just a precautionary caution so you do not get whatever we had. Mercedes got it worse. It knocked me for a loop also.
Anika told them what she had heard from Arnold about the Shanghai and Beijing flu strains . He said that was why the customers were thin in his store. He was glad they were staying home and taking care of themselves.
Sandē strolled by looking at Michael with sad eyes.
“Yes, dear kitty, you will get your treat tonight. You be patient and let us three enjoy our dinner and company. We will be off to our beds soon to sleep and build up our strength.” chuckled Michael.
It was around 11:30 PM when they all went off to their bedrooms.
Sandē started out downstairs and checked Michael then checked out Anika reading the newspaper. Sandē then off to the next room to see Mercedes where Sandē stayed the whole night.
Mercedes was happy to hear the purrs that night. She finally got a good night’s rest after only waking once that night.
Anika was finally catching up on a few newspaper articles she enjoyed. Ann Landers’, an advice columnist, was one of her favorites because she gave good common sense.
“Class never runs scared.
It is sure-footed and confident.
It can handle anything that comes along.
Class has a sense of humor.
It knows a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations.

Class never makes excuses.
It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.
Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small, inconsequential sacrifices.

Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money.
Some wealthy “blue bloods” have no class, while individuals who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it.

Class is real.
It can’t be faked.

Class never tried to build itself by tearing others down.
Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.

Class can “walk with kings and keep it’s virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because that person is comfortable with himself.

If you have class, you’ve got it made.

If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make any difference.”

― Ann Landers
Anika finally caught up on her sleep. She read Ann Landers and immediately turned over and fell asleep.
This time Anika had pleasant dreams. She had been planning an herb garden on the far end of her balcony. She was researching on planting an herb garden. Anika knew it had to be small and in pots. Her space to plant was small and limited. She also enjoyed flowers but unless they were edible they were no good to her. On her small balcony she had and used Nasturtiums and trailing Sugar Pea Pods. Missing fresh herbs she planned to grow:
These were all herbs she used monthly or weekly. If she had an abundance she dried some and shared the others.
Her small one bedroom, one bathroom apartment was sparsely furnished. She had only brought her bed, dresser & sitting chair to the apartment. A few dishes, clothes and shoes. All the rest of her things were in a storage unit. There was not much there either. Caring for her elderly Aunt for the last five years she did not need a lot of items. Her precious books were stored in storage along with a few sentimental things from Aunty including an old female maniquin . The one thing she really loved was Aunty’s Singer Treadle Sewing machine made in 1925.
It actually worked quite well for its age. Anika had learned to sew using this machine. As a child, every summer Anika stayed three months with Aunty where she lived by the seashore in Greece.
Aunty also taught Anika to cook simple and healthy Greek meals.
Her beloved Apricot Spoon sweet was etched into Anika’s head:
Pick a couple of pounds ripe apricots, wash and pit.
Cut into eight wedges.
In a cooking pan add one cup water, one cup honey and one-half cup sugar. Cook on high stirring until it is reduced to two cups. Stir in the Apricots and two Tablespoons lemon. Lower heat to medium low and simmer stirring for about ten minutes.
It was delicious and she had made it for years.

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

©Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 6

Unplanned Vacation 6

Returning back to the house Anika checked the mailbox then carried the groceries into the back door.
The house was quiet.

After putting the groceries away Anika and leaving a note saying the peaches were a get well gift from Arnold Wolf she went upstairs. Sandē had been in the kitchen with Anika so she traipsed up the stairs behind her.

Looking in on Mercedes she saw her sleeping peacefully. The little recorder was still in her hand. Anika felt her head and she seemed cool. She covered her with a light sheet and left the room but kept the door open. Remembering there were several lemons in a bowl she decided to make her own favorite Lemon Pudding recipe. The recipe she had given them was in Mercedes recipe box.

Easy Lemon Pudding
Servings: 6

2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups water
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks

On med-hi heat, bring sugar and water to a boil.
Mix cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon extract.
Stir into boiling mixture.
Beat the egg yolks and stir about 1/4 cup of the hot mixture into them.
Quickly stir this into the hot mix.

Spoon into dessert cups.

By now Anika was a bit tired so took off her shoes and sat on her bed with laptop on a sturdy pillow. She was ready to write.
Bewitching Mists Hovering In
The Valleys And Around The Hills

Something We Scribbled On A Paper

We Have No Clue Why We Scribbled This
On A Random Piece Of Paper,

Paper Table Napkin Or
Corner Of An Old Brown Paper Sack

But It Seemed Important To Us To
Keep It For The Future.

Why Do We Do The Things We Do?
Why Are These Significant At The Time

Then Days Months Or Even Years Later
We Have No Clue Why We Kept It

Tidbits Of Our Puzzled Lives
Seemingly So Important

Only To Wonder Why We Kept Them?
It Is Sweet.

Bewitching Mists Hovering In
The Valleys And Around The Hills.
~ Anika Durga

The mind is a beautiful thing.
It is not there to win a beauty contest.
Asking for understanding is a good step.
Peaceful thoughts sent your way.
~ Anika Durga

Never give up a goal

Continuing on sloughing
Forward with baby steps

Slowly in discouragement
Like a mule in grunt work

Slaving a long difficult
Slow routine often menial

Short laborious strokes
Without being stopped

Problems or opposition
Plowing with a forward

Direct direction forward
Towards the ultimate goal

Never ever give up in the
Chambers of one’s heart

~ Anika Durga

Anika fell asleep and dreamed a
wild crazy dream
Makes no sense to be on the way
going nowhere with no reason
just have to be there unsure of why

traveling with three strangers
one a teen girl glued to phone
toddler boy and 8 year old girl
unknown if any are siblings

they travel in no direction
no one speaks without emotion
we go through many doors
with lots of high and low windows

continuing we plod forward
others pass without speaking
no emotions on any faces no fear
no happiness no sadness nothing

we all travel forward or behind
barely any noises other than steps
hurried steps through this building…walking
fast evenly passed directions to or fro

no one speaks or smiles or frowns
one by one the children drop off
no one meets them they disappear
finally outside where darkness

looks like a park…walking on grass
some Conestoga looking construction
a large building with tall steep stairs
taking twenty minutes reaching the top

knocking on door a meeting finishes up
a smiling white haired man accompanies
back down those steep steps quickly
almost floating down to the grass

asking him for directions to nowhere
he smiles gently air pushing one forward
almost falling from bed awakening cold
a wild crazy dream is awakened unanswered

Sandē was now in her room meowing and howling loudly. Anika was thrashing and talking to herself about Conestoga Wagons and long steep ladders.
Mercedes and Michael entered the room.
“Yikes! I hope Anika has not caught what we have. I think she has been here almost four days caring for us. I hope she has not gotten run down.
Anika woke up and was quite surprised to see the two friends hovering over her.

No dear friends I have not contracted what you two have or had. I was a bit tired and had a bad dream. I’m quite well and my Sandē alarm clock just woke me up.
Glad to see you both up. I’m going down to pull out dinner tonight. I decided on a lovely soup. Do you feel like setting up the TV trays, Michael?
Mercedes helped with three trays and they all sat in front of the TV watching reruns of The Honeymooners.

© Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 5

Unplanned Vacation 5
Anika took her time at the German Market. She noticed there were not many people shopping. Behind the butcher counter was a small gentleman that looked at least 90. He smiled and in broken English asked her if he could help her pick out a piece of meat or poultry. At the very end separated from meat or poultry was a fish and seafood section.
Anika told him she had been there the other day and had purchased a huge chicken.

“I am caring for two friends that are convalescing from flu like symptoms. They both had very high fevers but both are getting better. The soup I made them from that wonderful chicken really did the trick once they woke up after three days. A gentleman of about age 20 suggested and picked out the chicken. It was perfect. In fact one of the friends, Michael, had 3 bowls of broth when he woke up this morning.”

“That was my great grandson Jacob who waited on you. His father is driving him to the train station today. He will be returning to his studies. I told them to all go and I would tend to the store.
My son wanted to close the store but I told them even tho I’m going on 95 I still can run the store. Told them to go have fun and I’d be just fine.”

“Were you the first to start this store? Mercedes really likes your store over the big box stores. I like it here also.”

“Thank you, ah yes sweet Mercedes. I do hope she gets better soon. It looks like you are taking care of both of them. I just got in some fresh peaches. I know she enjoys them. I’ll get a few together and sent them to them as a get well gift. No charge.”

“Oh, my they were on my list. She had one today. Michael preferred the oranges I brought them three days ago. I made them both orange juice. They were both in bad condition. Mercedes received 2 bed baths from me and 2 changes in sheets. Michael only one. He seems to be recovering quicker than her. At least she is not drenched in sweat or having wild dreams anymore. By the way my name is Anika.”

“Anika, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Arnold Wolf.” He placed a clean handkerchief on his hand and shook her hand gently.

“ Wolf, of course, that is the name of the store. There are not many people here today. Last time the place was full of customers.” Said Anika.

“No it’s the influenza epidemic. It is caused by the flu Shanghai and Beijing strains to be exact. The virus is hard to pin down because it can travel around the world and change as it goes.

The strain, historically hard on the elderly, brings high fever, aches, pains and extreme fatigue. It is usually transmitted through the air or by shaking hands. That’s why I have these folded handkerchiefs in my many pockets.” replied Arnold.

“I usually have a strong constitution around illness. My Mother and sister also had this trait. We were very lucky indeed. I think I have everything I needed so I best get back to my two patients. I am sure they will like this sherbet later on. I’ll be back in a few days. Now that I know this flu is bad on people I will stay with them longer. I’ll sleep better tonight. Thank you for all your help, Arnold. I have enjoyed talking to you.” said Anika.

“I will try to be here. My rock hound club has postponed the trip we were going on because everyone was sick. I can go another time.

He rang up the purchases. Gave her a box of six peaches. And asked her if she needed help placing the bags in the car.

“Thank you but I can manage very well. I will let them know about the flu strain going around. I am so happy they both enjoy the soup I make. It is easy to cook for them and their house is quiet. One thing I do not care for is a lot of noise in the home.”

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it. ~ Sai Baba

© Julia A Knaake

Unplanned Vacation 4

Unplanned Vacation 4

Mercedes was getting drowsy but continued speaking into the recorder Michael had given her. He asked her to record her dreams but in reality he wanted her to go back to sleep and get rest. She really needed to get back her strength.
Knowing Mercedes she would stay awake for hours so gave her a chore. It worked because she continued her quest of remembering those wild dreams.

“ Another dream was about picnics. It was the fourth of July. Down in one of the southern states. Tennessee to be exact. I was visiting from our farm in Ohio at age twelve and quite naive and impressionable.

Vacationing with my Aunt and Uncle and their two younger daughters. Oh, the fun I had with the eleven year old Angie. We got into all kinds of clean wholesome mischief.

Hunting for rats to shoot with B-B Guns out by the corn crib and grabbing frogs for Aunty to cook at night. We were fearless.
Uncle even had us up on the roof with him sweeping the rainwater off the shallow spots so the mosquitoes would not breed.

He did not like the product DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane).
It turned out Uncle was correct not wanting to use this product back then. Exposure to high doses, human symptoms can include vomiting, tremors or shakiness, and seizures. Laboratory animal studies showed effects on the liver and reproduction. DDT is considered a possible human carcinogen.

Angie and I captured four chickens when uncle was out back having a smoke and placed them on the roof to eat the bugs!

When Aunty received a phone call from that overly inquisitive neighbor “Blabber Mouth Blanch” that we two girls and four hens were on the roof she had us set the hens free to their chicken yard and take up some corn oil. She instructed us to put a Tablespoon oil into the spot where the water collected.

She said the next time it rained the oil would spread out on the puddle and the mosquitoes would not lay eggs.”

Sunday was very very different.
We girls were clean, properly dressed with knees covered, hats, gloves and polished shoes. Off we went to church that Sunday. My Aunty, ruler of the home, was a strict Southern Baptist. They believe that every word written in the Bible is true, and every passage is without an error.

Well I was so scared when Preacher came barreling down the aisle shouting the Devil was in our bodies and we would all go to hell if we did not follow the bible each day. My eyes were like saucers and my body trembled. I actually fainted. Some big strong man grabbed me and carried me outside, putting me on the seat of a picnic table.
Angie was told to stay with me and have me sip on water.

After the rescuer, who had carried me, saw I was in good hands with Angie went back into the church.
When he was out of hearing distance Angie laughed her head off and said “I almost peed my pants when you fainted. Preacher Jackson scared the shit out of you for at least a week!

Angie continued chattering and I took my hankie and reached inside my undies to see if I was clean.
Angie laughed saying I was so predictable.

She went back inside saying she was going to bring us out some goodies.
She came out with two cartons of milk and two huge pieces of chocolate cake. We had the table to ourselves for about thirty minutes before people came out of the church.

Starting to slur a bit from needing sleep Mercedes continued softly:

”I also remember a poem I wrote.
It was called.

Picnic table

There used to be an old picnic table
out in the side yard where everyone met

at one time or another kids goofing off
sweethearts whispering of their undying

love while stealing kisses from each other
old ladies gossip and drink their spiked coffee

where the menfolk would clean there game and fish
or sit and smoke their pipes telling lies to each other

The picnics we had and celebrations planned
were all decided out there on that old table

today we leave that home and ponder if we shall
leave the table sit there for a new generation

or take it on to our new home. It looks good
there under the trees so it alone decided to stay

I close my eyes, then I drift away, into the magic night I softly say. A silent prayer, like dreamers do, then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you. ~ Roy Orbison

© Julia A Knaake