Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-seven - How is everyone? (part four)
Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-seven - How is everyone? (part six)

Chapter Six Hundred and Forty-seven - How is everyone? (part five)


(part five)

Delphie hugged Jill for a moment and let go. Jill continued into the house, and Delphie continued out to her greenhouses.

They’d used the greenhouses to start seedlings for all of the gardens. Once the seedlings were planted, they had moved tropical plants into the greenhouses. Delphie needed to mist the grapevines and the pineapples. She had no idea what they would do with the space over the winter.

She and Valerie were supposed to sit down and sort it out.

Tanesha had said that the doctors expected a lot of Covid cases this fall — and a lot of death due to this horrible virus. She knew that meant that the economy was going to drop and a lot of people were going to suffer. They needed to dig deep and share the wealth that they had.

She sighed.

This pandemic has asked her to stretch in every direction. It was wonderful, and it was really hard. Some days, it seemed like every single person she knew wanted something from her. She fell into bed completely exhausted.

She loved it, and, sometimes, she longed for the days when she spent all day in her quiet chapel or simply sitting in her backyard watching the birds.

Truth be told, she’d never felt so alive.

She shook her head at herself. How could one person feel so many contradictory things at once?

“Are you okay?” Valerie’s voice came from behind Delphie.

“Of course,” Delphie said, turning around.

Valerie was carrying her infant daughter. They’d continued their pirate names by naming her “Grace” for the historic pirate Grace O’Malley, who had once begged Queen Elizabeth I for the return of her ships only to return to pirating until her death in 1603.

“Gracie was looking for you,” Valerie said of the four month old.

Delphie held out her arms, and Valerie set the baby in them.

“Where shall we go?” Delphie asked.

“I set up a quiet spot by the chickens,” Valerie said.

“Nice,” Delphie said. “How are you feeling?”

“Good,” Valerie said. “Before you ask — I don’t feel any of that depression or sadness. I feel happy.”

“Good,” Delphie said.

Valerie hooked her arm with Delphie’s and they walked across the backyard to the quiet chicken yard. The teenagers kept the chicken coop clean enough so that Jacob had put a small metal table with two metal chairs over here. Valerie had set a pot of tea and some iced lemon cookies. Delphie sat down nearest the garden and Valerie sat on the other side of the table. Since they were outside and not too close, they both took off their facemasks.

“How do you feel about the kids going back to school?” Delphie asked.

“I’m excited,” Valerie said. “I mean, it would be harder if they weren’t begging to go back.”

Delphie grinned.

“It’s a little insulting, really,” Valerie said. “We’ve had so fun being together. Now they are like: ‘Don’t you have a movie?’”

Valerie laughed, and Delphie smiled.

“You know that they don’t mean anything by it,” Delphie said.

“I do,” Valerie said. She started pouring the tea into china cups that matched the teapot. “I guess. . .”

Valerie shrugged.

“It was hard to adjust to the pandemic,” Valerie said. “Now, after all of these months, it feels like ‘real life.’ You know?”

“I do,” Delphie said. “I was just thinking that I have felt more alive during this time than almost any other.”

“Me, too,” Valerie said.

“You’ve worked so hard to get the Marlowe School ready for the students to return,” Delphie said.

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...


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