The morning bloomed bright with the sun beaming in a blue sky over clear mountain water. Jill stood on her bedroom’s deck sipping her coffee and mentally reviewing the needs of the day. Finally, she nodded, satisfied. “Yup, I’m ready for the deluge. Oh, well, hell, I’ve entertained far more than this. And they’re all friends, so even if something isn’t right, it won’t matter.”
Shortly to arrive were her other three Musketeers: Dory, Robby, and Charlene. Then there was their beloved tow truck operator friend Bear; Robby’s law enforcement mentor Wallace; and Jill’s arts community friend Vittorio. Some would be bringing a plus-one, so she had ordered a large but light spread for lunch. “Should be something for everyone,” she muttered, mentally reviewing the menu: a big, spicy bowl of cold gazpacho soup, Greek and tossed field green salads, and an assortment of meat and veggie morsels to load onto fresh croissants or focaccia. And, of course, cookies, fruit, and any kind of chilled beverage they could desire. Jill was never one to scrimp on food or drink.
Lost in her reverie, she nearly spilled her coffee when a hand landed softly of her shoulder with a cheery “Good morning!”
“Oh, you scared me to death.” Jill rested her cup on the railing and turned to hug the speaker.
“Didn’t mean to startle you,” Vivian said, laughing. “But I should’ve been more careful. You did seem very far away. What could be on your mind on this perfect morning, sweetheart?”
“Oh, the day’s plans, that’s all.” Jill smiled at her lover. “It is perfect, isn’t it? I just love this time of year. Everything is new—fresh green leaves, flowers budding out, birds nesting. It’s perfect. If only we could just stay here forever and ignore the world beyond, which is a mess.” Her faced clouded over with the last thought.
“Oh, take heart, sweetie. You just have to take the long view. The world has certainly been in more of a mess before this, and things will get better. They always do. In the meantime, we just have to hang on and have patience, and do whatever we can to improve things. But it’s too pretty to be thinking of such weighty matters right now, love. How about some breakfast?”
“Yogurt, fruit, and granola sound good? It won’t be that long before I set out the lunch buffet.”
“Sounds perfect. I guess we did lose a little time, umm…canoodling, this morning, didn’t we?”
“Oh, well, that. Yes,” Jill said, sighing. “Such a chore, but you just have to keep up the romance.”
“Chore, is it?” Vivian laughed, giving Jill a swipe on the behind. “Well, I’ll remember that the next time, missy.”
They went downstairs to the kitchen, made coffee, and, while spooning yogurt out, heard a cheery “Hello!” follow the door chime. Jill smiled as she saw Wallace at the door, opening it to welcome her in.
“I’m dreadfully sorry to be so early, but I thought I’d take a ride to my favorite waterfall north of here before coming, and a landslide closed it off. Do you mind? I could just drive around and enjoy the views.”
“Don’t be silly, Wallace. Come in and have some coffee with us. Have you had breakfast? And you can help me set up.”
“Had a good country breakfast, but coffee sounds great,” Wallace said, entering the kitchen and hugging Vivian. “Then, put me to work!”