Part 2 of 2
Feeling it was my duty to investigate the situation, I went into the kitchen, opened my freezer, and grabbed a loaf of my Blue Ribbon Banana Bread. I always keep some of my banana bread in the freezer because you never know when you might need to cheer up a convalescing friend or greet a new neighbor. My banana bread is famous here as it won the Blue Ribbon at the county fair for three consecutive years. The judging is done by blind taste testing, so I am one hundred percent certain that my membership on the county fair steering committee has no bearing on my prize-winning baked goods. I tied some of my signature royal blue ribbon around the bread and fastened it with a lovely four-loop bow on top. I stopped at the mirror to make sure that my hair was in place, straightened my skirt, and casually strolled across the street to find out what Ms. Purple was up to.
As I walked past her car, I noticed that the license plates were from California. At least that explained the car. Hard to believe that yellow clown car had made the trek over the Rockies and across the country to land here. If she was from California, she was going to have a rude awakening in six months when winter came to Waterton. Good luck to her.
I approached the front door and rang the doorbell. It was odd to be ringing the bell like a perfect stranger when for most of my life I had come and gone through this heavy wooden door without so much as a knock. Liz Carville had been my best friend since the day she moved in when we were 9 years old. Of course, we grew up, went to different colleges, and life took us in different directions. I stayed here in Waterton, and Liz moved to Atlanta where she got a job as an emergency room nurse. She met her husband, Brian, and I was maid of honor at their wedding. Then, I met Gary and she was maid of honor at my wedding. Liz and Brian have three little girls now. They are my virtual nieces. When the whole family would travel back from Atlanta to visit her folks, they would stay in this house across the street from mine. It was almost like when we were 9 and would play Barbies, ride our matching pink, banana-seat, Huffy-brand bicycles, and play the Mystery Date board game. Her parents died within two months of each other last year, though, and that changed everything. Liz, as an only child, had to come take care of the estate. It broke my heart to see her suffering through the loss of her two wonderful parents, but when she said she was selling this home I thought I would die along with them. She was the best friend I’d ever had, and it wasn’t the same here without her. I’d kind of hoped maybe she and her family would have moved into it. But, they both had good careers in Atlanta and they were warm weather people. So, the house went on the market. I took care of the roses. I hired a local kid to mow the lawn and keep the home’s exterior in tip-top shape for Liz. It was on the market for nine months. Every day I looked out of my living room window at this house and imagined who might move into it and become my new best friend.
I rang the bell again. I had no idea what she could be up to that would make it so difficult to answer the door in a timely fashion. I’d seen her go in. I knew she was in there. I rang the bell one last time, just in case she’d been outside or for some other reason had been occupied. Finally, I gave up. There was an old wrought iron plant stand on the porch that had remained behind when Liz sold off her parents’ estate. I used the hem of my skirt to dust it off a bit and left my Blue Ribbon Banana Bread there for her as a welcome gift. I figured even crazy Californians with measled, yellow cars and purple-spotted leopard shoes would appreciate the gesture of a handcrafted, homemade bread delivered by a kind neighbor. I just hoped she wasn’t one of those vegans you hear about because I have no idea what those people eat.