The bread was doing quite fine, despite Sarah’s forgetfulness. It was time to ramp up on dinner preparations anyway. As she washed her hands Sarah heard a second round of hellos. Peter, Paul, Harold and Henry had obviously been let off early to greet their father. It was becoming apparent that Jason had not accompanied Bear and Griffon home. As Martha began divvying up dinner, Sarah had an inspiration.
“Instead of splitting the group, why don’t we bring the tables outside and all eat together?” It really was a beautiful day, she thought, even if Jay hadn’t come back with Griffon.
Martha paused and set her spoon down. She looked at Sarah then out the window. “I don’t think I’ve brought tables outside before.”
“If it’s too odd an idea,” Sarah started. She’d received some odd looks from Martha and her boys because of her ideas; either that or a thousand questions from Ryan.
“No, no,” Martha said as she continued splitting, “it certainly warrants thinking about. Tonight Bear’ll want to be with the older boys, hearin' how they be progressing and such. The little ones’ll want ta hear Griffon’s tales.”
“Okay,” Sarah began helping to load the food. She picked up a tray and brought it over to Griffon’s. Inside she found Griffon standing over the soup pot, spoon in hand. “Hey!” She set her tray down, hands to her hips.
“I was test’n to see if it be done.” He grinned at her.
“And?” Sarah asked him, glaring, only slightly.
“Seems like it be missing something.”
Sarah snatched the spoon from him and whipped in the last ingredient. “There,” she sighed, “It still won’t be like the field unless I can get my herbs to grow.”
Griffon chuckled, “Ye be getting along alright wi’ Martha?”
“Oh yes, she’s much more tolerant of my lack of knowledge than Rachael was.”
“Mathew’s aunt, I think, lives near Shelby.”
“Ah yes, tha farmah’s wife.” He chuckled. “We scouts see much odder things.”
“What kinda things Unca Gif-on?” Ryan popped from under the table.
“Jesus,” Sarah jumped back, “How many times?” Ryan had developed a habit of following her without her knowing, only to pop up with a question, startling her.
“I’m sorry.” His tone was so mournful that she had to laugh.
“It’s okay,” Sarah tussled his hair and he grinned at her.
“And what do you think of Goodwoman Sarah here?” Griffon asked as he sat down. Ryan climbed up into his lap before answering.
“She says funny things,” he said very seriously, “but I like her.” He leaned in to Griffon and confidentially ‘whispered’, “an’ she’s gonna teach me ‘ow to cook so when I’m a scout I won’t ‘ave to complain about tha food.”
Griffon roared with laughter and Sarah couldn’t help but chuckle as she stirred the soup. She took one last taste, nodded, and moved it away from the fire. She divided it up and took over Martha’s portion. Dinner was called and the group split into two to eat.