“What else is on the list?” Momma asked. Ms. Donna had asked Momma to go to the little grocery store in town and get a couple of things. Jaci had gone along with us.
“She needs ten pounds of carrots,” Jaci said reading the list.
“Ten pounds of carrots,” Momma said picking up two five pounds bags.
“So we’ve already gotten the maple syrup, lettuce, and thirty-five pounds of beef,” Jaci said. “All that’s left on this list is salad dressing.”
Momma pushed her cart off towards the salad dressing aisle.
“Excuse me,” Jaci said taking her purse out of the cart. “There’s something I have to look for.”
Jaci walked down the aisle and Momma just stared at her. After a couple seconds she shrugged.
“How many bottles of salad dressing?” Momma asked.
“Thirteen,” I said. “And that’s just the Cesar. You need twenty ranch and ten Italian.”
“I would never guess that we go through so much salad dressing in a week,” Momma mumbled. She pushed her cart towards to checkout lane.
Momma stopped her cart just in time. Aunt Jane stopped her cart just in time also. Strangely her cart was full of ice cream.
“Why do you have ice cream in your cart?” I asked. Momma gave me a look.
“I’m throwing an ice cream party for my nieces and my nephew,” Aunt Jane said. “They’re coming to live with me for a while.”
“Oh,” Momma said. “Why?”
“Their parents died not too long ago. They’ve been staying with a bunch of my family members down South,” Aunt Jane said. “I volunteered to take them in. I haven’t seen them since they were in diapers.”
“Why are you throwing them an ice cream party when its seventeen degrees outside?” I asked. Aunt Jane looked stumped by this question.
“Well who doesn’t love ice cream?” She finally answered. “Ya’ll are invited. It’s going to happen tomorrow. Their bus gets here around nine so maybe they’ll see their first snow fall!”
A snow shower was forecasted for tonight.
“The party is a surprise so don’t say anything to them,” Aunt Jane said. “I gotta get home and prepare everything.” She smiled at us and pushed her cart towards the checkout counter.
“Not with all that ice cream in your freezer,” I mumbled. My mother must have heard me because she gave a faint chuckle.
We were just finishing checking out when Jaci walked up.
“What’s that?” I asked pointing to the box in her hands.
“It’s a Bible for Timothy-Caleb,” Jaci said handing it to the casher and pulling out her wallet.
“Do you mean Timmy Stewart?” The casher asked as Jaci handed her some cash. “Sorry to break it to you honey but nobody has ever been able to tame a Stewart and nobodies tried for a long time.” Jaci gave the woman a smile.
“I’m not trying to tame Timothy-Caleb. I’m letting God do that,” Jaci smiled. “And I saw with my very own eyes and heard with my very own ears Timothy-Caleb accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I think the young man needs a Bible.”
The casher seemed stunned as she gave Jaci back her change.
“Have a blessed day,” Jaci smiled. She walked to the door and we walked out of the grocery store with her.
“She seemed stunned,” I said.
“With all the things I’ve been hearing about The Stewart family I’m not surprised,” Jaci sighed.
Timmy looked up from his Seafood Salad. He had gone along with his grandfather tonight and Aunt Jane had just walked into the restaurant.
“Timmy Stewart, I have been looking all over Florida for you!” Aunt Jane shouted. “Where have you been?”
“At school,” Timmy said looking at Aunt Jane weirdly. “And at the library.”
“Well when I woke up this morning three of my chickens, Maggie, Brigitta, and Wilma were dead by gunshot wounds,” Aunt Jane said. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
“Aunt Jane, I’m sorry about shooting at your chickens yesterday. Let me replace them,” Timmy said. Aunt Jane looked shocked.
“Yes, um, if that’s how you’d like to repay me,” Aunt Jane said nodding her head. She sat down at a table.
Jaci smiled at Timmy. He smiled back.
“Did you just really offer to pay for Aunt Jane’s chickens? When you killed her prize chicken she had to harass you to get you to replace her chicken,” Regina said surprised.
“I’m trying to….,” Timmy started. “What did you call it, Jaci?”
“Be a new creation,” Jaci smiled. Timmy nodded.
“I want people to know that I’m different now,” Timmy said. “But I think it’s going to take some time and its not going to be easy. Nobody seems to think that a Stewart can be nice and good. I tried to help Mrs. Hardy today and she thought it was a trick. Its only been a couple days and my patience is running thin.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law,” Jaci said. Timmy smiled at her.
“Oh no!” Aunt Jane shouted looking at the clock. “I’ve gotta go pick up my nieces and nephew!”
Aunt Jane ran out the door and the room erupted in laughter.
“That’s Jane Powers for you,” Mr. Rivers laughed.
I laughed wondering what her nieces and nephew would be like.