Day Ten, Wednesday
The knock on the door made her jump. Morgan was lost in the world of Winter Solstice and Elfrida.
She recognized the mom from across the street. “Come in. We haven’t officially met. I am Morgan Butler.”
“Nancy Murphy, nice to meet you, finally.” They shook hands. “We have waved, but I’m sure you don’t appreciate all the noise my kids make.”
“No problem. I live alone. Some noise is refreshing. Sounds like life. Please, come sit down. Would you like some coffee or ice tea?”
“Thank you, but not this time. Maybe another time. I have a favor to ask. A quick question.” She held her hands tightly in her lap. “You may have noticed, my husband is not around. He is deployed, in the military, in Afghanistan.”
“Oh, I am sorry for you and your children. But, know that I have complete respect for the guys over there, the difficult job they have, the sacrifices they make. One of my sons is over there.”
“Thank you, then you understand. I think he actually enjoys it. But, anyway, I just got word his term has been extended another four months. We were hoping to have him home before Thanksgiving. Now, it will be February, or maybe even March before he gets back.” She sighed, then drew a long, slow breath. “My favor, and I am even embarrassed to ask this…”She paused.
“It’s okay. Tell me, I’ll listen,” said Morgan.
“Would you be willing, or do you know of anyone who could clean house for me one morning a week? I have to go back to my work. I’ve been on leave of absence, for our move to this house, here, but now, especially with John not coming home, I have to get back to work. I work every morning, Tuesday through Friday, and I just can’t keep up with all the cleaning and getting the kids to school.”
Morgan, surprised, sat silent.
“I’ll pay. I’m not asking you to do it for free. I know the kids make a mess and it’s probably the last thing you…”
“Of course, of course. I’m sorry, yes, I actually would love to do it. I’ve been thinking of some sort of work to do, not too much, one morning a week would be perfect. And I do enjoy cleaning.”
Nancy, relieved, sat back in her chair. “I was afraid you were offended.”
“No, not at all. I am glad you asked me.”
“We are not completely organized yet, still have some boxes and stuff around. I won’t ask you to do that, but if the cleaning was done, I would have time to finish all that up. The puppy will be in her crate, she won’t bother you.”
“Would you like me to start this week?” said Morgan.
“Tomorrow?” If you could come over now, I will show you around, give you the key, then you could start tomorrow. Would it work for you to make Thursdays the cleaning day?”
“Tomorrow I go to a convalescent home in the afternoon, maybe Tuesday would be better as the regular cleaning day? But I could still start tomorrow.” Morgan laughed at herself. Am I saying this will be a regular routine? Did I really say that?
“Do you work there?”
“No, just started volunteering, talking to the people. I didn’t think I would like it, but the people are interesting, and they really do need someone to talk to.”
“Yes, I could imagine that. I have wanted to do something like that, but with the kids…”
“You are plenty busy now. You have your hands full.”
“Let’s go over to my house. I’ll show you where stuff is, then let you get back to whatever you were doing when I interrupted.”
“I am glad you did. I was reading, it can wait.” Morgan grabbed her sweater off the hook and slipped on her shoes. “Ready.”