Issue 13 – Cookies

Using a fork and spoon, Hazel carefully maneuvered the little ball of dough from the bowl to her tray. It had been a while since she had made cookies, what with Charlie’s health and all. But with Catherine and the boys coming for a visit, cookies were a must. As she spooned another lump onto the tray, she recalled watching her mum make these same cookies when she was a little girl. Although it had been many years since she had passed, Hazel could still remember as clearly as if it was yesterday her mum’s delicate hands covered in cookie dough, shaping perfectly round balls.

She was interrupted from her reverie by Charlie swiping a mouthful of dough with his fingers. Hazel neatly smacked him in return. “You know that’s not good for your heart. They’re for Catherine and the kids!” Charlie laughed. “I’ve worked hard this morning. I need it to keep me going!” Hazel shook her head. She smiled at Charlie’s antics, but she was worried. He had insisted on climbing onto the roof that morning to clean out their eavestroughs, even though just climbing the ladder put him a bit out of breath. The kids would not be impressed when they heard that he’d been on the roof again. But ever since they had decided to slow down and do a bit more research before making a decision to move, it was as if Charlie was in a rush to get the house in selling condition. Maybe Catherine would be able to talk some sense into him.

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Hours later, the cookies had been devoured by the boys, as only teenagers could do, and they were now outside tossing a football back and forth in the street. It had thus far been a very pleasant afternoon. But Catherine was on the warpath, and it was frightening to behold.

“You seem to be managing just fine. And if you’re not really sure, then I just don’t want you to make a decision you’re going to regret in a year. There’s no going back!” Hazel was equally adamant. “I’m worried about your dad’s health! There’s just too much work to be done for just the two of us to live here. This house was perfect for raising a family, but maybe it’s time to move on!”

Charlie sat back and shook his head. Like mother, like daughter; they were so similar when they got an idea in their head.

“If you’re concerned about the work, we could probably hire someone to come and help out. I know it’s hard with John and James living so far away, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind pitching in.”

Hazel wasn’t sure. It wasn’t just about the work, it was the comfort of knowing that someone would be keeping an eye on Charlie’s health. And the community. It would be great to have a people to get together with again. But maybe Catherine was right. This was a big decision, and perhaps it would be best to wait a bit longer.

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Catherine was frustrated. She wished her parents could see just how much she had going on. With soccer and basketball practices for the boys and Jared out of town so often, it was hard to keep up with everything already, let alone adding on the stress of moving her parents into a new place. Catherine’s coworker Shelley had moved her dad into a home last year, and now she and her husband were attending monthly ‘care plan’ meetings. Catherine didn’t have time for that! It was easy for John to call and tell her she should be doing more to help out, but Catherine didn’t understand how they couldn’t see the unfair pressure this was putting on her. Why couldn’t they fly out every once and while?!

Catherine also wasn’t sure she was ready to say goodbye to her childhood home. When John had called her a few weeks ago to let her know what was going on with Mom and Dad, she had immediately made plans to come over and put an end to the nonsense. But she was surprised by how resolute her dad was. He hadn’t said much, but then again, he didn’t have to. She knew him well enough to know when he had made up his mind about something. Her mom, however, was a different story. She knew how much her mom loved this house, and Catherine had trouble believing that her mom actually wanted to move.

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What should happen next? Do you think that Charlie and Hazel should do more research into finding a new home? Or is Catherine right, and they should wait a bit longer before making this decision?

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