“My smile soon vanished as the couple at the door introduced themselves as the new pastor and his wife from our church, coming to call.  I could easily have dropped dead with no regrets, but that would have been the easy way out. I graciously bade them enter, shoved over some clothes and a drawer for them to sit down, offered them some coffee, forgetting that I had no electricity to make any.  I ended up serving them orange juice and cake, which probably had gone stale.  (This had been my day to bake).  The two of them sat primly, chatting pleasantly, and were the two most tactful people that I had ever met in my life.  They acted as though every home was arranged as mine was that day.  Neither blinked an eye or showed the mildest concern at the havoc.  I had always been taught that the first step in being a good homemaker was to never apologize for the state of the home or the food, or any of the many things that could go wrong.  I was temped to do some explaining, I’ll admit, until the moment passed that it might have done some good.

For, at that dramatic moment, the half-chick awoke from his nap in the bedroom and came out into the living room, stretching and yawning, as only he could do.  He went promptly to the front door to go out and “do his duty”.  By then it was too late to have explained anything to this dear old diplomatic couple.  I watched for some raised eyebrow, open mouth, gulps and so on, but neither gave any kind of reaction to the half-chick coming out of the bedroom, going to the front door to go outside.  There wasn’t even a pause in the conversation.

After a suitable time, they arose with a “thank you” and “we’ll see you in church” preliminaries.  They left and I sat down and wept.  I was still weeping when my husband came home.  He was astonished and asked me what happened.  When I gestured with my sweeping arm at the mess and told him who had come to call, he asked me why I didn’t explain about the fireplace, the electricity going off, etc.  Tearfully I said that I did think about it until half-chick walked in from his nap, and then nothing I said would have made any difference.”

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