Linda’s Surprise 1
Art’s mother was singing as she walked across the yard; “Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need; mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”
Hank went out to walk with her to the truck they exchanged a few words and kissed each other good-by. Art waved from the shop door and Linda drove away.
Hank came into the shop picked up his tools and gestured for Art to bring the shelf. They went into the house and in a few minutes Hank had attached the shelf to the wall. (Art had learned more valuable lessons in home repair and carpentry principles.)
As Hank was arranging the teacups on the new shelf Phyllis and Virginia came into the dining room. They began to exclaim in delight over the shelf and how happy their mom would be with this surprise.
Hank responded to their compliments by saying, “Yes, I think Art had a good idea and did a good job.” The girls were dumb-founded; their little brother had done something useful. It was too late to criticize after they had been so generous with praise thinking it was their dad’s work.
Virginia paid the highest compliment when she asked, “Art, could you make one of those for my room?” Art glanced at his dad who nodded in the affirmative, and he said, “Yes.” Hank then said to Phyllis before she could say anymore, Hank said, “He will make you one too.” Phyllis paused stunned again for the moment then said, “Oh, thank you.”
Hank then said, “We want to surprise your mother, so please don’t spoil it. We hope to keep it quiet until devotions tonight.” Phyllis rejoined, “She will be out here ten times before supper and see it.” Hank said, “She may, but if you girls are helping her with supper maybe you can make those trips. And if not she just gets her surprise without us being here.”
Hank pecked a kiss on each of his girls and walked back to the shop, with Art close behind.
The two girls went out into the kitchen and as they did Virginia asked, “Why don’t we make supper tonight?” Phyllis liked the idea and knew exactly what they should prepare. Phyllis supplied her menu suggestions, just a few of her favorite dishes. Virginia responded, “Those are the things you like. But what would mother do if she knew that Art had made the shelf?” Phyllis understood the question and replied, “She would make something that Art likes.” Phyllis confused by the fact that she had been up-staged by Art. That was bad enough, but that he had been able to do it without even trying gave Phyllis a taste of genuine humility.
The girls agreed on what they would fix and checked to see if all items were available. They made a few adjustments to accommodate the leftovers that their mother had planned to use. Linda was a practical household manager. And taking a chance on wasting food would make her feel more guilty than honored.
They set the table hours before supper-time. They wanted to have that part done and out of the way. Both girls were getting excited about how they were going to be part of a great
Each idea of one led to the refinement of that idea by the other. And when done, the table was set with the best the Allen family had to offer.
Phyllis decided they needed to make a cake and she knew just the one to make. She wondered do we have time? Checking the clock she made the suggestion to Virginia.