Adele looked around the house. If there was gonna be a meetin’, then there had to be a cleanin’ first. “Look a there,” she said to herself, rubbing her hand across the divan. Miss Fuzz had been sneaking around and napping, and that cat knew well that the divan was off limits! That would never do. Especially with company coming. Thank goodness she had the Animal Hog vacuum attachment that worked so well for Persian cats. Speaking of teeth, that thing had some bite to it. It could make all eight feet of the divan look like she had never set eyes on a cat. Jimmy had found out about the vacuum and told her about it. He had a way of finding out about the best products and services since he was so good in the carpentry business. Jimmy had even attempted to persuade her to have the divan reupholstered to make it more modern and had given her the number of a designer: Debbie Does Divans. Adele had shaken her head on that one. First, there wasn’t a thing wrong with the divan and it was, like many things in the house, a family heirloom. When one has a certain type of family, then one keeps their possessions and takes pride in that history. End of story. Jimmy would learn one day. Adele picked up her phone and started placing her calls. She only needed a few people to get the ball rolling on this event. She called Sara Beth and Linda between the three of them, they practically directed the church themselves, plus they had a track record going all the way back to high school.
The next afternoon the visitors arrived for the parlor meeting. Along with Sara Beth and Linda, there was Jimmy, of course, and much to Jimmy’s surprise, there was a rather dapper looking ex-dentist. Jimmy resisted a small laugh which was rather easy as he was still fuming from encountering Ronnie screeching around a corner in his Jesus carpenter truck. Ronnie had added to the numerous painted slogans on the truck with the back window now sporting one of those graphic slogans that read: UN ASHAMED
“Oh, Paul, very nice to see you here. So glad to have such capable assistance as we plan this fundraising party,” said Jimmy shaking Paul’s hand. He looked behind and noticed that both Sara Beth and Linda had joined Aunt Adele. These were Aunt Adele’s long-time friends and they had all gone to high school together. Whew! Jimmy thought to himself. I hope he can hold his own here.
Paul shook his hand. “Jimmy, thanks. It is good to see you. What have you been up to?”
“Well, I’ve been busy. Gonna be putting in a new picture window at the Elvis store next week. Arlene is paying me well, plus I get a 20% discount on merchandise for the entire week.”
Paul shook his head appreciatively. Anyone getting a discount at the Elvis store was getting a good deal.
“Okay boys, you need to get on in here. The meeting is starting,” Aunt Adele smiled graciously holding the front door open. She had outdone herself. The coffee table in front of the divan was heaped with appetizers or Hors’ Doeuvres as Aunt Adele insisted upon calling them. She had also made a massive Italian Cream Cake and those little pies with fruit on top of them. She had her best Wedgwood Daisy tea set out. Jimmy hated those little cups and really preferred a Mason jar filled with sweet iced tea, but it was a social meeting, and it was Aunt Adele.
“I just love those black Carharts,” Aunt Adele smiled at Jimmy. “You look so handsome.”
“Oh yes, he does,” Linda chimed in. They were now all comfortably seated on the green divan.
“Ever body always said I took after my mama. I sure miss her,” said Jimmy.
“Oh, poor dear,” Aunt Adele patted his hand. “I really think you look more like me, though,” she said winking at the dentist.
“He’s a handsome guy for sure,” chimed in Sara Beth rolling her eyes just a bit. Sometimes Adele could be a bit excessive. Looks like her….hmmmph!
“Well, I guess we should get to it,” Linda said. “I have gotta run by Dolores’ Sewing Room before she closes today to pick up my monogrammed towels.”
“Oh yes, by all means,” said Adele. “I thought you picked those up last week?”
“That was my monogrammed sweater. She does excellent work, you know.”
“I know,” Adele replied. Linda was ridiculous like that. She had even figured out how all her kids’ initials would look monogrammed before she had ever named them. “Let’s get to the plan here, then.” Adele smiled as Paul looked from one lady to the next.
They sat on the divan and outlined the fundraiser. Things were falling into place and Paul knew so many influential people who would love to help. They were going to pull out all the stops and send Lila Faye out in style.
“She always loved a good party,” said Linda munching on her slice of Italian Cream cake.
Sara Beth nodded over her slice of cake. Personally, she thought, the cake was a bit dry, but she certainly appreciated all the effort that Adele had put into the meeting. She smiled at Paul over her little teacup. “I sure like your new car, Paul. Did you get it in the city?”
Adele raised her elegantly arched eyebrows at Sara Beth.
“Yes, I decided it was time for a new vehicle. I ride my bike a lot, so they do last a long time,” Paul laughed. “This sofa is something else. It is really long, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.”
“It’s 1950s. A divan, actually. A piece my mother added,” Adele smiled at Paul.
“It’s lovely,” said Sara Beth looking nervously at the side window where Miss Fuzz had made an appearance and was pressing her weird, flat Persian face into the glass. She did not favor cats, especially Miss Fuzz. When Sara Beth had back surgery, Adele had insisted that she stay over and recuperate awhile. She had set her up in the bedroom upstairs where Adele had kept mementos of Uncle Reggie in that thing she called the Chifforobe. His shoes were even in the corner all polished up and waiting in a strange manner. Almost like she expected him to walk in from the great beyond barefoot. Somehow Miss Fuzz had found her there all laid out in the bed, incapable of moving and trying desperately to twitch her toes. That cat had jumped up on the pillow and made cat muffins on her head and scratched her scalp all up all the while Sara Beth couldn’t even move a muscle. Hateful animal!
“So Jimmy, I need to get your card. I’m thinking of building a new house,” said Paul.
“Oh really?” asked Adele giving him a bright look with those perfectly arched brows.
“Oh wow,” said Sara Beth.
“Yes, I’m thinking of something smaller. A little downsizing, you know.”
“Oh,” said Adele. Downsizing really wasn’t in her vocabulary.
“Well, you see, I don’t really need such a large house anymore,” said Paul.
“Oh yes, I wouldn’t want that either, especially if I didn’t have Dale and all his junk,” Linda chimed in.
“Well, Jimmy would be perfect for the job,” Adele smiled but not too big. Those gums.
Business accomplished, Adele walked the guests to the door. Miss Fuzz darted in like an injured hairball. Sara Beth twitched nervously. “I think she needs a good combing. Do you have one of those metal combs? You know, the ones you are supposed to use on Persians?”
“I think those things pull. I don’t think Miss Fuzz would like that,” said Adele.
“But they are made for all that hair. And they really get the tangles out,” said Sara Beth smugly.
Adele waved as the women left and Jimmy got into his truck. She noticed that Jimmy had some artwork done on it and was now sporting: Built Just Right across the side in perfect lettering. But there wasn’t a cross or fish emblem anywhere.
“So Adele,” Paul was saying. “Perhaps you might be free for dinner on Saturday?”
“Oh, well. Let me check my calendar, and I’ll get back to you.” Adele smiled back at him.