Taken aback by her sudden sense of awe at what I’d always perceived to be a simple farm in the outskirts of town, I invited Mia inside my grandparents’ home to meet my grandmother. Grams was a spirited 76 year-old woman who till this day ran this farm as if her life depended on it. Despite having saved enough to retire, she and grandpa loved the animals and caring for them had never been an obligation so they stayed in business longer than anyone had anticipated, to take care of them.
She was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I came in, with Mia following closely behind. She seemed to be interested on the outside of the house as much as the inside of it since her eyes kept doing circles trying to take everything in. The sight of it made me half-smile and when grams turned around to look at me she seemed almost surprised I wasn’t my grumpy self.
‘Well, isn’t that a sight for sore eyes? What has got you smiling from ear to ear, dear?’ She asked in surprise, and before I could even try and deny that I wasn’t smiling from ear to ear, she walked past me in a hurry and immediately grabbed Mia by the hands, greeting her enthusiastically.
‘Oh but who is this, darling? You didn’t tell me you brought a guest?’ Mia, although a bit panicked by grams suddenly grabbing her hands, managed to give her a smile and say ‘Oh no, I’m not his guest. I’m just here to get one of the puppies…’ her eyes gazed in my direction, asking for some assistance and I quickly jumped in, taking grams to the side and explaining that ‘She’s just here to see if she can get one of the pups, grams. I’m going to take her out back to meet them, okay?’
Disappointed, she nodded and looked at Mia endearingly, ‘You two go to the garden, I’ll bring you some lemonade in a bit.’ Giving me a look that told me to ‘be nice’ she went to get some glasses and the lemonade to bring out in the garden. I asked Mia to follow me and she did so happily. ‘I’m sorry about that, grams just gets excited when seeing new people. She’s not used to me bringing anyone home.’ She looked at me almost questioning my statement and said ‘Don’t worry, she seems lovely. I’m sorry I looked a bit scared back there, I’m just not used to someone being that excited to see me.’
I wanted to ask why but as we approached the french doors leading us to the puppies I saw Thor rushing towards us happily and Mia opening the door for him to step outside. He met her halfway and led her straight to his and Daisy’s pups, who were just as eager to see her.
She was giggling as the pups climbed on top of her and tickled her with their little paws. Smiling like a little girl, she tried to hold them all and pet each of them, including Daisy -Thor’s companion but most importantly, grams’ best friend.
‘Daisy’s been a bit sensitive since the pups arrived have you noticed? She hasn’t let anyone else touch her except me.’ Grams remarked. Knowing where this was going I turned to look at her, eyebrows raised, and asked ‘And?’. She brushed me off and shrugged ‘And nothing! I just find it curious, that’s all’.
‘I see you brought the good glasses.’ I said, eyeing the small table where her favourite glasses sat, curiously enough, put to a stranger’s disposal when I had barely been allowed to drink from them twice. ‘I see you brought a girl’ she answered, unfazed by my remark. ‘So, who is she? She doesn’t seem to be from around here since this place looks like paradise in her eyes’.
‘I don’t know what to tell you…I only know her name. She’s new in town’. Leaving it at that, I called out to her to come and grab some lemonade, hoping she would decide to take one of Daisy’s pups home since the garden was getting a bit too crowded with the lot of them. She ran towards us, almost out of breath, the excitement on her face hard to contain.
‘So, do you want one?’ I asked, going straight to the point in order to deflect from grams’ earlier comment. ‘Oh, I wish I could take all of them but unfortunately I think I can only host one. That’s of course if you’ll let me take one, Mrs… uhm, sorry I don’t know your name’. Apologetic from the lack of introductions, she extended her hand to grams and asked how she should address her ‘No Mrs. dear. Just Nora, you can call me Nora, Mia’.
Without a second thought she also added, ‘And of course you can have one of the pups to take home, on one condition of course’ she warned, putting her index in the air, ‘Of course, I’ll pay you for it’ Mia immediately agreed but grams waved her off and simply said ‘No dear, you don’t need to pay for the dog. You can just have it.’
I was confused, since grams had been unwilling to give them away until now, refusing neighbours who had offered her more than the fair price for one and yet, now she was giving one away for free to Mia. ‘Then what’s the condition?’ I jumped in, curious to know. ‘That she comes back here to have a coffee with me, sometime. I get lonely, you know? And you’re not much of a company since you spend so much time on this property but none in my house.’
Mia looked amused by grams’ statement, and immediately agreed to come back since she wanted to keep playing with the rest of the pups. She thought hers could maybe grow up with his or her siblings a little while longer. She was so innocent in her thoughts and grams had welcomed her in so fast, I wondered if she wasn’t too good to be true but I suppose when she comes to have coffee with grams we’ll both know.
Note: This is a continuation of Morning brainstorm #1, #2, #3 and #4.