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The Jacksons – for Sep. 24, 2009

They’re calling it August the 43rd, although it’s actually September 12. “If it weren’t for the weather, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about,” Herb Johnson is fond of saying to the crowd at the café in town, and he’s right. And the weather has not only been talk-worthy, it’s the kind of weather one would be inclined to write home about, if one were not already at home, or indeed if one were inclined to write. September, so far has been more like August, but then we’ve been at least a month behind all year, at least since March, which was more like February.

“It’s just cruel,” said Jennifer Jackson, as the Jackson clan sat down to Sunday dinner. “All summer it’s cold and wet, and now that it’s finally hot and sunny I have to sit in school! Gaah!”

“Well, you’re not in school today,” said Andrew.

“I will be tomorrow,” said Jennifer unhappily.

“As Grandpa used to say,” said Andrew, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

“I have no idea what that means,” said Jennifer “but it has the word ‘evil’ in it so I assume it applies to school.”

“It means that having to be in school on Monday is bad enough in itself that you needn’t make it worse by worrying about it on Sunday,” Brady’s girlfriend Amanda chimed in from across the table. Brady, in the chair next to Amanda, looked surprised.

“Wow,” he said. “Good answer Amanda. I had no idea you had such a good grasp of obscure biblical references.”

This time it was Andrew who looked surprised. “Wow yourself, Brady,” he said. “I had no idea you would recognize that as a biblical reference.”

“Aren’t we just all full of surprises today,” said Randy who sat next to his wife Jackie, who was sitting next to Jennifer.

“Our neighbours were Mennonites when I was growing up,” said Amanda. “They took me to Sunday School almost every Sunday for probably five years. So I know quite a bit about the Bible.”

“Do you know all the loopholes?” asked Randy, grinning.

Amanda laughed. “Naturally,” she said. “But if you want them, you’ll have to find them for yourself.”

“Speaking of the weather,” said Andrew, “I heard on the radio today that with all this sunshine, crop quality across the country is zooming up rapidly to near average. Isn’t that exciting?”

“I guess if you’re a crop farmer,” said Randy.

“I’m a crop farmer,” said Andrew, “which means you’re a crop farmer, so cheer up. A month ago I was thinking the only way we’d make any money off the back 40 was if we rented it out for a music festival or something, but now the corn looks pretty dang good. Which is going to be a lifesaver next spring if we have to feed the cows till June again like this year.”

“True enough,” said Randy. There was a pause in the conversation as Rose took her seat at the table and invited everyone to “dig in”. For a few minutes the only sounds were the clink of serving spoons and an occasional “pass the potatoes please” or “you done with the gravy there?” Eventually they settled in to eat.

“So,” said Brady after awhile. “I think I’m going to buy the body shop.”

This time nobody looked surprised. “Yeah,” said Randy. “We know.”

“You know?” said Brady. “How could you know?”

“It’s a small community,” said Randy. “Word gets around.”

“I haven’t told anybody,” said Brady. “Except Amanda.”

“We’re psychic,” said Andrew. “And it’s a small community.”

“If you’re psychic,” said Brady, “what difference does it make that it’s a small community?”

“It just means we have time to read everybody’s mind,” said Andrew, “which is how we know that John Prentiss wants to sell the body shop, even though he hasn’t said anything about it.”

“John might not even know it himself yet,” said Randy. “That’s how good we are.”

“Oh, he knows,” said Brady. “He told me.”

“Well there you go,” said Andrew. “As usual, the proof is in the pudding.”

“Speaking of pudding,” said Rose, “save room for dessert.”

“Dessert eh?” said Randy. “What’d you

make?”

“Chocolate pudding pie with whipped

cream!” said Jennifer suddenly sounding a lot more cheerful. Funny how chocolate pie can have that effect.

“No more talking business,” said Rose. “It’s Sunday dinner. Find something else to talk about.”

Nobody spoke for a long time until finally Andrew broke the silence.

“Can you believe this weather?” he said.

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