Sally Stackhouse | Stories

THANKFUL by Sally Stackhouse

Eliza, poised by the window, a cup of coffee warming her hands, gazed out to the back garden looking at the rubble and debris left behind by the builders.  She didn’t want to spoil her husband’s enthusiasm for his new project, the one that’s taking forever and ever to complete but it wouldn’t take a lot for her to throw a few choice words at him with his procrastination in certain areas.

Eliza realised she’d better get her skates on, she needed to get to the supermarket and do the weekly shop otherwise they’d be no food in the house.  Well, that was an exaggeration, her cupboards were never bare, she always had lots of stock, cans of soup, peas, rice, noodles, herbs, beans, spaghetti, tomatoes, you name it and she could make a meal from scratch just with what was in her larder at the moment.  

It was a continuation of her mother’s legacy.  Her grand-mother was nine years old when WWII broke out and living in the South East of England, they were right in the path of the German bombers making it necessary to be evacuated to Somerset.  When the war was over but rationing was still being enforced, she would listen to the stories of how they had to make do and mend and never throw anything away. 

As the years past her grand-mother never forgot the deprivations of those years and as a consequence always kept a good store cupboard.  Eliza found she like the continuation of that legacy, and she would always, as far as funds permitted, keep a good store cupboard as well. 

That didn’t solve the problem of fresh produce though.  As she came back from the store, loaded bags in her hands, she looked up at her house.  It was so pretty she thought. She would never tire of looking at the sweet home she and Tim had bought when they first married.  They painted the front door a lovely duck egg blue and added a few flowers along the border of the front path.  As she opened the door, the smell of home greeted her, their own special brand of love and contentment wafted out to her.

Unpacking the shopping Eliza realised there was more to life than getting cross when things weren’t quite finished in a timely manner.  The pandemic made a lot of people take stock of their lives and realise that love and family were so important, thank goodness for modern day technology.  They couldn’t see anybody physically, no hugs or kisses but they could still keep in contact.  

Eliza threw up a little gratitude prayer of thanks for what she did have and vowed she would stop moaning about what wasn’t right. 

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