Selected Excerpt from The House Guest

Anna remembered Lee’s mother, Elizabeth Osborne as a tall, buxom woman that carried herself with an aura of invincibility. Reserved and firm in her opinions, she neither indulged the frivolous nor tolerated what she considered to be foolhardy. Although personable to a point, she did little to encourage familiarity. Truth be told, she was so deathly afraid of germs that she always wore black gloves to town and church, regardless of the season – more from disdain of making skin contact than for fashion purposes. Her conversations were always peppered with aphorisms that she dished out as the occasion demanded, one of her favorites being, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Frugality defined Elizabeth Osborne. Even her funeral services were on the cheap – all according to her pre-planned, penny-pinching wishes.

“I do recall that she was quite the cook, but whereas Lee is far more gracious and apt to share culinary secrets, her mother guarded family recipes like a scandalous affair.” Anna smiled at the recollection while she poured a little more coffee in Maggie’s cup and then sat down across the table from her.

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