It was a beautiful morning. A bluebird sat on a small branch in the flowering cherry tree and swayed gently back and forth. A crocus pushed his golden head through the tender green grass and blinked in the sudden sunlight. Mrs. Carmody hummed as she laid slices of bacon in the black iron skillet. “Spring is my favorite time of year” she said to Mandy the dog who was lying in the kitchen doorway scratching a flea and waiting to trip somebody.
Mrs. Carmody plugged in the toaster, got out the raspberry jam then went to the front hall and called up stairs to her husband, “Jordan, breakfast!” and to her little boy “Phillip, are you up?”
Phillip who was ten years old and still under the covers, called out sleepily, “Practically all dressed, Mom. Be right down.”
Constance, his sister who was eleven and three quarters, yelled from the bathroom where she was testing how lipstick would look when she was thirteen, “Phillip isn’t even up, Mom. He won’t be down for about ten hours.”
Phillip shouted, “Old spy. Tattletale.”
Constance said, “Be quiet, little boy. You bore me.”
Mrs. Carmody called again louder, “Phillip get out of bed this instant. Connie, wipe off that lipstick. Hurry, Jordan, dear, while the toast is hot.”
She went back to the kitchen and gave the percolateor a little shake to hurry it up. Then she walked over and stood by the open back door breathing deeply of the fragrant early morning air. Her pleasant reverie was suddenly broken by Mr. Carmody who came grumpily into the kitchen, tripped over Mandy and stepped heavily into her water bowl which was on the floor beside the stove.
Mrs. Carmody grabbed the sink sponge and began wiping up the water.
Mr. Carmody growled, “Well, that’s certainly a nice morning greeting”
Mrs. Carmody said, “Oh, Jordan, dear, I’m so sorry. Did you get wet?”
“It doesn’t matter,” said Mr. Carmody mournfully. “Nothing matters any more.”
“’What do you mean ‘nothing matters any more’?” said Mrs. Carmody as she squeezed out the sponge.
“Just that,” said Mr. Carmody sadly pouring almost the whole pitcher of cream on his shredded wheat biscuit.
Mrs. Carmody buttered the toast, put the plates in to warm, stirred the eggs, lifted the bacon on to a paper towel to drain, checked the color of the coffee, refilled Mandy’s water bowl, then said, “What in the world are you talking about, Jordan? You don’t make sense.”