Sunday we were just the Adamses and the Davises again, but everyone was still rosy and cheery. We were all really sorry to see Grandma and Grandpa go.
Dad and Grandpa even went out for a walk together through the snow to get the paper from the local store. Life was almost good, you know!
Things were going so well that Mom and Dad completely forgot about the book proposal. Mom didn't even think of it until Grandma and Grandpa were getting ready to go.
"Yea, Bill told me about it," Grandpa said as he was hugging Dad good bye.
"Well, Dad, if you'd like to take a look at it..." Dad was smiling. We were all sure Grandpa would go for the idea. Especially now that he and Dad were getting also so well.
"No, that's not necessary, Georgie." Grandpa put his coat on. "I've been thinking about it, and the truth is..."
We all waited in anticipation.
"The truth is the idea stinks."
Our hearts fell. A dark cloud seemed to be flying in over us all.
"What I don't understand," Grandpa continued, "is why you need to borrow for this thing. You both make good money..."
Mom and Dad had never told him about the Sweepstakes Fiasco. As far as Grandpa knew they were doing great financially.
"Well, you know, with the mortgage and all..." Mom put in quickly.
"I still don't know why you bought this dumpy old place. You know I told you not to."
"Dad, that was twenty-six years ago..."
"All that useless land back there, just sitting...Land is worthless unless it's being used!"
"Henry!" Grandma said, giving him a stern glare. "We've had such a good time, Henry, don't start!"
"Yes, dear. But, I can't lie and say I like the idea. I don't think people are interested in books these days. And the only thing that I think of when you mention 'John' is going to the bathroom, a prostitute, and that good-for-nothing son of theirs..."
Oooh, that hurt!
"HENRY!" Grandma gasped, and she let him have it with her pocketbook.
Dad was really crushed. "We just had a misunderstanding, Henry, that's all. He's a good kid."
"Well, I just hope that he and that kid of his have the sense to come home someday."
"HUH?" Mom gasped. "John has a child...Mike, you never said John had a child!"
Mike was beet red. "Didn't I? Well...you felt bad enough not having John around, I didn't want you to feel any worse."
"Yeah, that witch he was married to!" Grandpa moaned. "I don't know how he got mixed up with such an awful woman. I wouldn't have known anything about them either, except she kept calling us asking for money. Of course, I'd send them some, now and then, but never a thanks. They cashed the checks all right, but not one time did they say thank you."
"Henry," Grandma sighed. "I don't think John ever knew you were sending money. I didn't tell you, but the last time we heard from them...SHE showed up on our doorstep with their little boy, demanding money. I gave it to her and she grabbed it, and turned around and left -- she just left the poor little boy standing in the parlor crying, 'Mama.' I called Johnnie, and he flew down for his son. I'm sorry, Mary, but he made me promise not to tell you. I don't know where he is now."
We were all feeling terrible. "Well, it'll work out," Grandpa sighed. "You all look so glum. Cheer up. I've got some good news...I still think it's a horrible idea, mind you, but
Sarah insists I...ouch...I mean, we...give you the money. It's in an envelope on our bed in your spare room..."
He looked over at his wife. "Getting feisty in your old age, eh, Sarah. Hmm...I think I like it," he smiled.
"Oh, thanks, Dad, Mom!" Mom burst out as they had turned to go. "We'll pay you back when the thing takes off."
"No, don't be silly. It's a gift. But when this thing does flop, don't say I didn't tell you so."
Grandma gave him another swing with her pocketbook.
"Well, got to go," he moaned. "Tell Bill, we'll reschedule the get-together when we get back from our trip. Well, so long."
The airport limo was outside waiting. We watched as our grandparents got in and drove away.
"Mrs. Filburn," Mom called.
The old woman turned slowly to face us.
"You look cold. Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?"
"No thanks, dear," Mrs. Filburn smiled. "I'm in a hurry today. Maybe next time."
Mom waved good bye and ran inside to find us in the spare room, where Dad was tearing open the envelope that would finance our future.