Eli woke up to the alarm on his phone.
He stepped out of bed, then went to relieve himself.
He then walked back to his bed where he sat at the foot and called Hannah over the Chirp service and told her, “Good Morning my baby.”
“Good Morning sweetheart,” She replied.
“What are your plans for today?”
“Shop for school clothes with my mom.”
“I’ll probably shop for some work supplies with my Pappy.”
“When can you come to see me again?”
“How about I come to church with you?”
“Yay! I would really like that.”
“I would too.”
“Maybe we could do something together after church.”
“I would really like that too!”
“Do you want me to kiss you some more?”
“It would be an honor to kiss you!”
“I can’t wait for you to kiss me again. Now I have to empty the teapot.”
“What kind of tea were you drinking?”
“I’m not drinking any tea. When I say that I have to empty the teapot, it’s a nicer way of saying I have to pee.”
“Oh okay. I just did that a few minutes ago. Let’s keep in touch throughout the day, though.”
“Of course, baby. Now, I really need to get to the bathroom before my panty and nightshirt are soaking wet and smelly. I love you!”
“I love you too!”
Afterward, Eli walked down the hall to the kitchen where his grandparents were finishing breakfast.
They quickly handed him a plate of smoked sausage, scrambled eggs, and toast with grape jam.
Eli also served himself some V8 Vegetable Juice from a can in the refrigerator.
He sat and ate as his Pappy read the newspaper and his MeeMaw flipped through the cable channels.
Eli finished breakfast, then washed his dishes.
When the dishes were clean, he asked his Pappy, “Would you bring me to Target so I can buy some white tee and Oxford shirts as well as some shaving supplies for work?”
“Sure. What about pants and shoes?”
“I was going to wear the work pants and work boots you and MeeMaw gave me for my birthday.”
“Good. Those boots have steel toes in them, so they will protect your feet while you work in the kitchen. I picked those out for you. Your MeeMaw picked out the pants and she says they are made of sturdy fabric.”
“I can’t wait to wear them.”
“Hannah would probably think you look good in them too!” MeeMaw Darla said, then continued, “I remember how good your Pappy looked when he put on his work clothes. I always made sure that he appeared in a way that everyone could set their watches to how sharp and dependable he looked!”
“Eli, what time do you want to go to Target?”
“Let me go shower and shave right now.”
“Good idea. I’ll get ready as well,” Pappy Wilson then looked at MeeMaw Darla and asked, “Honey do you need anything while we go shopping?”
“Get us some fresh batteries for our smoke detectors and we will have Eli install them.”
“I need a new flashlight for my purse, the last one I had cracked into many pieces.”
“I know a good brand, MeeMaw,” Eli interjected.
“I’ll also see if I can get some gardening supplies and some cabbage, broccoli, and turnip seeds to plant for the winter.”
“Yes, honey. And see if all medicines are ready as well.”
Eli went to shower and shave while Pappy Wilson put on his going-out clothes.
After Eli was clean he also put on going out clothes, then retrieved his phone, flashlight, scanner, and wallet.
Pappy Wilson retrieved his wallet, keys, and pocket knife, then they entered his vintage Dodge D100 and headed to Target.
“You said you wanted some white Oxford shirts, Eli?”
“Yes sir, Pappy.”
“That brings me back to when I worked in the control room at the chemical plant. We had to wear black pants and a white Oxford shirt. We also had to be clean-shaven and keep our hair very neat. Well by that time I only had a little bit of hair, but I still had to shave.”
“I thought you worked in the raw materials department.”
“I did, but then I was promoted to the control room. It was fine until they started making me operate those dog-gone computers. Those computers make me want to pute.”
“So what did you do?”
“I tried my best to learn the system, but couldn’t. So the company forced me into early retirement. At least they gave me a handsome pension. I get almost as much money to sit at home as I would have if I were to continue working. But, I worked hard for that company and I gave them thirty-nine of my best years. I always did what I was told and carried out my tasks to the best of my ability. And when my tasks were complete, I asked for more tasks so I could make extra money. I took care of the company and now they are taking care of me. Now I have time to work in my garden and be with my family!”
“I know that MeeMaws flashlight that cracked was issued by your company and that y’all were required to use them. Why do they have to be made of plastic though?”
“If you drop a metal flashlight on something hard, it will create a spark. That can be deadly when you are handling flammable material. But sometimes we were working in the middle of the night when the barges delivered the chemicals so we needed light. The company ordered thousands of flashlights that are approved to be used around flammable material.”
“Oh, yes. I think I read something about that a while back on the Internet.”
“The company issued me a bunch of those over the years, and I kept them around the house. Your MeeMaw thought they were bright and rugged enough that she would keep one in her purse. Before you were born, she and I had gone to see a movie. A lady had dropped her purse and all the contents fell out. It was dark and they were using cigarette lighters to find everything that fell under the seats. Your MeeMaw became nervous about them potentially starting a fire, so she lent them her flashlight and they located everything safely.”
“Well, you and MeeMaw told me to always carry a flashlight.”
“Does Target sell the one you carry?”
“I think it does.”
“Good, then I will get one for your MeeMaw’s purse.”
“What about for you?”
“I have plenty of my battery-powered lanterns, for sowing crops at night.”
Eli’s phone then beeped.
Hannah was calling him over the Chirp service.
“Where are you, sweetheart?”
“With my Pappy on the way to Target?”
“Oh okay. Y’all please be careful.”
“We will. My Pappy has a flawless driving record.”
“I’m leaving with my mom right now to buy some school clothes?”
“Y’all be careful as well.”
“What store you are going to?”
“Promise you won’t judge me?”
“We’re going buy them at social concerns.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Most definitely. It doesn’t matter to me where you buy your clothes. You have a wonderful heart and you are the prettiest girl I have ever seen. I’m just glad you’re mine!”
“I love you, Eli!”
“I love you too, Hannah!”
“We just pulled up to the bust stop in front of the thrift store parking lot.”
“Well, we are about a block away from Target.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too!”
Moments later Eli and Pappy Wilson pulled into the Target parking lot. They found a decent spot and then entered the door.
“What should we get first?” Eli asked.
“Let’s get your shaving supplies.”
They walked to the personal care section.
Pappy Wilson said, “I know you use those cheap disposable razors but how about I buy you a good razor?”
“What do you have in mind, Pappy?”
He pointed on the pegboard to a Van Der Hagen safety razor that came with several replacement blades, then said, “I used something like this when I was a young man. I’ll get it for you.”
“Wow! Thank you, Pappy.”
“I’ll also get you some more blades, but please be careful when handling them.”
“Now, did you need some shaving cream or aftershave?”
“Yes. I buy whatever shaving cream is on sale.”
“What aftershave do you like?”
“Excellent choice, young man!” Pappy Wilson said, then whispered, “Your scent will drive Hannah wild, but y’all cannot act on those urges until she is eighteen!”
Eli blushed, then they walked to the men’s clothing department.
Eli selected three white Oxford shirts and a twelve-pack of white tee shirts.
They then walked to housewares where Pappy Wilson said, “Go get a pack of batteries for the smoke detectors, and then we will get a new flashlight for your MeeMaw’s purse.”
“We should get her one as I have but maybe in a different color.”
They walked to the flashlight aisle and Eli picked out a pink 2 AA Mini Maglite.
He then said, “We would need some bulbs as well.”
“Get a pack of bulbs for you and a pack for your MeeMaw.”
“Yes sir, Pappy.”
“Now, to the gardening section!”
“Right behind you, Pappy!”
They walked a few aisles over then Pappy Wilson placed a new shovel and a new ho in his cart. He then placed a packet of cabbage seeds, turnip seeds, and broccoli seeds in his cart.
“Could you plant some potatoes too, Pappy?” Eli asked.
Pappy Wilson then placed a packet of potato seeds in his cart as well.
They then walked to the pharmacy, where a technician told them that it would take thirty minutes to fill the prescriptions.
Pappy Wilson took Eli to the food court where they ate hot dogs and drank soft drinks.
Eli looked at his watch and saw that thirty minutes had passed.
The pharmacist was just done filling the medications and the technician handed them to Pappy Wilson.
They then walked to the registers and paid for their items.
A young man rang them up and Pappy Wilson began cracking jokes that made the young man laugh so hard that tears filled his eyes.
“That’s my Pappy for you,” Eli said also laughing.
They then left the store and loaded their purchased items into the storage box in the bed of Pappy Wilson’s truck.
As they headed home, Eli was listening to his scanner and heard a call come over to the fire department about a city bus in an accident with multiple casualties.
Eli became highly distressed and called Hannah over the Chirp service.
“Baby, are you all right?”
“Yes, sweetheart, why you ask?”
“I heard a call on my scanner about a city bus in an accident and there were multiple casualties.”
“We’re okay. We just got off the bus and are walking in the door right now.”
“Oh, thank God. I was so worried.”
“I’m safe at home now, but thank you for checking up on me. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“Where are you, Eli?”
“Pulling into my grandparents’ subdivision now.”
“Let me know when you’re home.”
“We just pulled in the driveway.”
“Okay, good. I love you, sweetheart.”
“I love you too. Let’s keep in touch throughout the day.
They then unloaded their purchases.
Eli placed his shaving supplies in the medicine cabinet and hung up his Oxford shirts. He then placed the tee shirts in his chest of drawers.
Pappy Wilson placed the packets of seeds in his kitchen junk drawer and his gardening tools in the utility room.
With his pocket knife, he cut open the Mini Maglite for his wife and installed the batteries.
She placed it in her purse, then placed one set of bulbs on the shelf in the broom closet and Pappy Wilson gave the other packet of bulbs to Eli.
Eli then went to his room where he and Hannah lovingly talked over the chirp service for the next few hours…