It was almost evening. She was frantically running around the house. There was so much left to do and they would be here any minute now. An aroma of rich spices wafted from the kitchen. She hurried in and opened one of the pots on the stove. Giving it a stir, she tasted some of the delicious stew, one of the many dishes she was cooking. ‘Needs more seasoning…’ she thought to herself and opened her ancient spice cabinet that held the most heavenly blends one could think of. Adding some seasoning, she then went about setting the table. She took the lace tablecloth and spread it over the dark ebony tabletop. She had picked some fresh flowers from the garden earlier and they adorned the crystal vase. They still had some drops of dew on them. She set the plates and stood back to admire the beautiful dining room.
Outside the white house, the sun shone against the ivory white walls and glass panes. The hedges were pruned and the red, orange and pink geraniums never looked happier in their pots. The garden smelt of wet earth and sweet flowers. A stone path from the white gate led to the big oak door that was slightly ajar…
Inside the white house lights were turned on and she was in her room getting ready. She chose a pastel patterned dress that she thought looked perfect and a peach coloured sweater over it. Adjusting her beaded bracelets, she stood back and looked at herself in the mirror. The wrinkles on her skin had many stories beneath them. The smile on her face reflected in her kind eyes. Her silver gray hair was worn in a bun with grace.
She was ready when the doorbell rang. Pressing down her dress to remove any creases, she walked to the door and welcomed them.
“Ma, you left the door open again,” her son said, smiling at her.
“I was busy preparing your favourite food, it must have slipped my mind,” she chuckled.
Her daughter gave her a peck on her cheek and said, “So good to see you ma,” and handed her a bunch fresh lilies.
“I’ll get a vase for these.”
Soon there were bright faces coming in through the door– little kids scrambling inside and immediately starting their play and elder ones greeting and telling her about their journey. It was a lively sight. Her eyes twinkled; they were here!
Sounds of tinkling glasses and cutlery filled the hallway. Dishes laden with food were brought to the table. Chairs were pulled back as everyone made themselves comfortable, and the meal she had been preparing for all afternoon began. The chatter, the laughter in the room as siblings shared stories of their lives, now in different places was a delight to her ears. Her bright eyed, naughty grandchildren had requests and complaints, all ready for her to attend to. “It was a beautiful meal, I am so glad they are here,” she thought to herself. After the meal, they settled in the cozy living room to relax and chat.
The setting sun filtered through the translucent blinds, giving the room a soft orange glow. An occasional bird chirped in the garden and as their tradition went, tea was brought to the centre table. She listened to her children talk and her grandchildren squeal in joy as they brought out their toys to play. Her granddaughter brought out her little lamb and placed it in her lap.
“Grandma, Snuggles wants to sit with you.”
The setting sun almost disappeared behind the horizon. She gazed at the shadowy silhouettes swaying gently outside the window. “I am so glad they are here,” she thought to herself. There was a lull in the familiar voices and sounds that were music to her, and a kind of calm began to set in.
The grip on her grandchild’s soft toy loosened. Snuggles fell off Edith’s lap and she closed her eyes, drifting into the most peaceful sleep, so glad that they were here.
This story is written as part of Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa campaign.