Two days after delivering her baked goods Haddie still had no idea what to do. The lawyer was right, as much as she hated to admit it. All she was going to do was to leave her grand-daughter in debt. Poor Morgan would have a hard enough time fending for herself, let alone trying to keep the farm. In the end Haddie knew that it would get sold soon after she was gone. She did not want to let that happen, but she had no clue how to stop it.
A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. It was Pete and quite a few other villagers. “This is an intervention Mrs. B.” Pete and the other villagers crowded into the house and just about forced her into the living room. Haddie sat down in her chair and crossed her arms, but before she got a word out Pete began talking again.
“You’re a highly respected member of this community Mrs. B, there isn’t one of us who hasn’t in one time or other stayed at your house. You’re a second mother to most of us, and we’re not going to let you run yourself or Morgan into financial ruin. All we’re asking is that you listen and hear us as you used to do when we were teens. What do you say Mrs. B?”
Haddie looked at all the faces of the grown children that had one time or another passed through her doors. Their parents too had appreciated her openness to their children. They looked at her pleading. Haddie felt ghostly hands rest upon her shoulders. In her ear the voices of her long passed husband and her more recently passed daughter whispering “listen without judgment as you used to.”
Haddie took a deep breath and slowly uncrossed her arms. “Alright I’ll listen.” She wasn’t sure they’d come up with anything worth listening too, but she owed it to them and Morgan.
The group sighed with relief and they all made themselves comfortable. Pete took Old Man B’s chair. Others sat on the couch, but most sat on the floor. There were twelve in all. Count Mrs. B and that was a Baker’s dozen.
As Pete talked, Mrs. B began to smile. What they came up with was a brilliant idea. It left Morgan with a place of her own, should she choose to accept it. Land would be sold, but with stipulations so that it wouldn’t be split up into postage stamp lots with huge houses. Five acres would stay with the house. It would include the apple orchard and the horse paddock. Haddie’s home would become an oasis, a museum to the history of the land, for anyone to enjoy, the way she’d welcomed anyone into her home.
When the villagers left Haddie was full of hope. As she closed the door she heard the laughter of children echoing in her halls. She saw the house expanded by two wings, the kitchen expanded to feed the kids who came here for summer camp. Haddie smiled. She knew it would come to pass. For once in her life her premonition was joyous.
Without thinking of anything else she called Morgan. She had been having lunch with Ash. He was doing much better and would be up in a few days. Her dad was teaching her lots of things. Her work in the Maternity ward was going well, though all she was doing was supply runs. Haddie smiled. It was good to hear Morgan so cheerful. Then at last she asked how Haddie was doing.
Haddie explained to Morgan the plan the villagers. Morgan nearly squealed with delight.
“That sounds like a really good idea Grandma B.”
“Well it still has to get all written out and stuff, but you don’t mind it?”
“No, of course not, why in the world would I mind?” Haddie didn’t get a chance to respond, since Morgan spoke again. “Oh I gotta go Grandma B. Dad doesn’t like it if I’m late for my lessons.”
“Well you give everyone my regards and thanks.”
“Of course. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
Haddie hung up and baked an apple fritter. Pete would be back soon with the lawyer. She might not apologize for throwing him out of her house, but she could bake him something.