With a raised eyebrow, Emma looked at the seemly never ending stacks of bank statements, ledger sheets, and quarterly reports. She shrugged as she studied the clear plastic boxes lining her desk filled with even more work. Bookkeeping certainly kept her busy and gave her a modest income, but somehow she felt life had passed her by. She had friends or rather business acquaintances, but no one with whom she truly felt a connection; certainly no soul mate like people talked about these days. She decided coffee might be just the ticket to help her get through at least a part of the mound she was working on while she pondered her life. She lived a simple but good life; a widow’s life. She raised her only child to be a successful accountant. She’d always been proud of her son. He’d built a successful accounting business. Although she wished he was more successful as a husband and father. She wondered if she had taught him how to love. She wondered if anyone truly knew how to love. Finally, she decided she had quite enough contemplating life for one day. She was relieved to see two familiar smiling faces looking through her glass door.
The doorbell jangled as Janie and Julie entered with a plastic container of receipts for their flower shop, Hot Biscuits. They had used Emma’s services for several years. With Emma’s help their books were always current.
“Thanks for all your hard work Emma; you’ll never know how much we appreciate you keeping our books in such good order.”
“That’s right; we never worry about a thing.”
“Oh it is my pleasure, I like to stay busy. Can I get you girls some coffee? I was just about to make some fresh. You know you’re always more than welcome to help yourselves. I do have some freshly baked banana nut bread too, scratchy.”
“My son, Stephen always called made from scratch, scratchy.”
“That sounds great Emma we’ll have a little of both.”
Emma served the sweet bread while Janie made fresh coffee. She smiled as she watched the young florist fill the coffee maker with the gourmet stuff her daughter-in-law gave her for Christmas. She secretly hoped it was still in date.
“Girls, I’ve been curious why your flower shop is called Hot Biscuits?”
“Oh, that’s a great story. Our mother had been trying to raise hibiscus out in the front yard when we were little. They were new to everyone around here and quite exotic.”
“Daddy liked to fix things. He’d been trying to get an old weed eater running for quite some time. He finally got it going; he then weed-eated everything in both the front and back yards. After Mama came home, he was so proud of himself he kept talking about the yard and how nice it looked trimmed and all. Mama tried to be kind and appreciative, but then she couldn’t take it any longer and asked him what happened to the hibiscus?”
“Daddy said hot biscuits! I didn’t see any hot biscuits; so hibiscus flowers have been hot biscuits in our family since.”
All three ladies joined in the laughter. Emma had been acquainted with Janie and Julie’s parents and could tell they probably had dozens more wonderful stories.
After finishing their consultation and dessert; the two ladies excused themselves to their next appointment.
“We’ll be back at the end of the week to pick everything up for our appointment with our accountant, Ron Jenkins.”
“Oh don’t worry I’ll have everything ready.”
“Well, Jules did we forget anything?”
“We do need to stop by the store to pick up some things for the Sunday school party.”
Emma laughed as she watched the two sisters walk animatedly down her driveway like carefree butterflies. Janie and Julie’s lively personalities were always a bright spot to Emma’s week. She looked forward to being part of the fun the two young ladies brought with them everywhere they went. It was no wonder their flower shop was successful. They seemed to be social magnets and brought cheer to everyone they met.
Emma went back to the kitchen to prepare her lunch. She was thankful she decided so many years ago to buy a home that could accommodate her small bookkeeping business in the front and provide her a living area in the back. It was also a great perk that she was located on a main street in town for her customer’s easy access. Another day of eating alone; how she wished her son lived closer. It just never seemed like she and Stephen had much to say to one another. They just didn’t seem to have a lot in common, she guessed.
Emma thought about her grandson, Braden. He would be attending the local college in the fall. Perhaps he could be persuaded with an occasional home-cooked meal and visit her. Oh how she would love spending time with him. Emma always wanted to get to know him better.
She did have her business. Nevertheless, there were still a lot of lonely times; television and crossword puzzles just wasn’t enough to fill her mind or her heart. She thought she would dream about a vacation, maybe a cruise. She shook her head and laughed to herself thinking about the girls’ story, hot biscuits. She knew she wanted an adventure! Maybe some type of Club Med for seniors. Perhaps she would just take on another client or two; she could certainly use the money. For some reason, she just didn’t feel settled. She wanted something more, but she just didn’t know what that something was.