As it happened, both daughters-in-laws had birthdays within two weeks, and they often chose to celebrate together. This year, Vic offered to host so each girl could have a night off.
As she stepped into the guest bathroom to do a quick swish and swipe, the new towels caught her eye. They were almost hidden in a basket near the tub, and Vic wondered if Janie would be hurt not to find them hanging from the towel rods. The thing was, when she put those fancy towels out, the rest of the bathroom began to look…drab. The buttercream walls she’d always loved, the simple green glass soap pump near the sink–suddenly the bathroom almost seemed in need of a makeover. And if it had reflected who she was, but now needed a makeover, what did that say about her?
It was bad enough, having that frilly apron stare her in the face every time she opened the kitchen drawer she’d stuffed it in. She had tried hanging it from a hook in the pantry, but it seemed to mock her, pointing out to everyone who passed by that it didn’t fit…or that she didn’t.
Vic gave herself a mental shake; she didn’t have time to spend pondering frilly towels and lacy aprons. Everyone would arrive in an hour, and she still had to wrap gifts. She’d chosen each gift carefully, trying to pick something that would be meaningful and useful.
For Janie, she had found the first gift at the store Janie worked at. She knew Janie often admired the items for sale, but couldn’t afford the couture prices. With a little help from a sales girl willing to point out a few of Janie’s favorites, and a well-timed sale, Vic had managed to purchase a frothy confection of creamy crochet and lace that the sales girl called a wrap.
The second gift, for Emmie, had been a little harder. She had scoured garden shops, contemplated at nurseries, even wandered into a few home and ranch stores, hoping for something to jump out at her. Finally, she’d found directions online to create a tinkling wind chime and spent hours assembling the thing. She was sure Emmie would love it.
The smell of her famous southwest chilli mac seeped into the craft room where Vic was finishing her wrapping job. She checked the progress of the dish cooking in the dutch oven and started to get the rest of the food on to the table.