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Posts tagged ‘California’

Fat and Sassy: Finkbiner’s Market

Welcome to TUESDAY TALES. This week, we’re writing to the prompt ‘pale’. Check out the story snippets and see the wide variety of how the different genres have used ‘pale’.

In Fat and Sassy, Bea and Casey are living an ordinary life in the 1940’s, raising children and living in a small suburban southern California town, trying to keep the family fed, clothed, and sheltered. Little did they know then, that the places they spent their time would end up being “historic sites” in the future. Then, they were simply places to shop and worship.

Summer 1948

glendora_old picBea slipped a fried egg onto Casey’s plate. “When’s yore next paycheck? We need some things from the store.”

“This Friday. It’s going to be short though.”

“That’s right. All that rain the past two weeks. Its shore messed things up for a lot of people.”

“Sure has,” Casey agreed. “I’m just glad our house isn’t one of those at the base of the foothills. A lot of them are plumb messed up from the mud slides.”

“Worst it’s ever been since we’ve lived here. Those wild fires last year didn’t help, burning out all the undergrowth we usually have.” The toaster popped and Bea pulled two pieces of slightly charred toast from it. Picking up a knife, she scraped some of the charred surface into the sink before buttering the toast and handing it to her husband.

“The foothills shore are a pretty sight to see every morning, especially in winter when the top of Mt. Baldy is covered in snow. We can be thankful for our view, even if we don’t have enough money all the time.”

“A nice view doesn’t put food in our belly though,” Bea said.

“True enough. True enough.” Casey ate a few bites of toast before asking, “So, are you a wantin’ to run downtown for shopping? Or just over to the little green store?”

“I’d like to go downtown to trade,” Bea answered. “Bolton’s Market is fine for a loaf of bread or some bologna. The odd items here and there. They’re a little dear sometimes, price wise. Finkbiner’s Market has much better prices.”

“All righty then, Finkbiner’s it is. I’ll stop at the bank on the way home Friday and we’ll go shopping Saturday.”

Saturday morning, just as promised, Casey and Bea headed out. “Keep an eye on yore brothers and sisters,” Bea reminded Mae. “Papa’s in back iffin’ you need anything.

Casey eased the car around the corner and headed south on Vista Bonita. Passing the back side of the Church of the Brethren on their way downtown, he said, “This afternoon I need head on down to the church and mow. Brother Ernest is sick and I said I’d fill in for him and get the lawns mowed and tidied up for church tomorrow.”

Two blocks further he turned right on Meda, then right on Glendora Avenue. He pulled up in a parking space across the street from Finkbiner’s.

finkbiners market“The store shore does look purty, after the work they did a year or so ago.” Bea picked up her pocketbook and stepped out onto the sidewalk. “I like the new plastered front. But I kind of miss the old stone walls. I think that’s one reason I like going to the Brethren Church. I like the way the building is made out of all those large gray stones.”

They stepped inside the familiar market and headed to get basket. “Hi ya, Joe,” Casey called to the owner, who was pacing the produce area, surveying the offerings and making notes on a small pad.

Joe waved. “Hello Casey. Hello Bea. How are you doing this fine sunny Saturday morning?”

“Oh, I’m just fat and sassy, as usual,” Bea answered.

“Where are all the little ones?”

“They’re home with Mae,” Casey said. “And with Papa. He’ll keep ‘em outta trouble.”

“I have no doubt he will,” Joe said, laughing and shaking his head. “Now, you let me know if you need anything. Or, one of the girls. I think Bernadette is up on the register right now.”

“Will do, will do,” Casey said. Turning to Bea, he asked, “Now Mother, what is it you needed while we’re here.”

Bea opened her pocketbook and rummaged around. “My list is here somewhere.” Not finding it she started naming off what she could remember, “Potatoes, maybe a few onions, coffee, we’re low on sugar … flour we’re good on … I’ll make some biscuits for supper … Oh! Green beans. I want to cook up a mess of green beans tomorrow …”

Casey leaned over a display of shiny tomatoes. “You want some tomatoes too? Some sliced tomatoes would be awful tasty with those green beans.”

“I suppose we could get one or two. If they’re not too dear.” She leaned in close to whisper, “They shore look pale compared to what we used to grow back home, don’t they?”

“Now Mother, they don’t have that good ole’ Ozark dirt you grew up with. We’re not back home anymore. We’re in Cali-for-ny-a,” he reminded Bea.

A wistful sigh escaped Bea’s lips. “I know. I’m happy here in Glendora, but some days the Midwest just tugs at my heart and I miss it.”

“Maybe someday we’ll go back,” Casey said. “C’mon. Let’s finish up the shopping and get out of here before we run out of money.”

They wandered through the aisles, picking up the necessities and eyeing a few luxuries that would remain sitting on the shelves. Bea darted around a corner and returned holding a small cellophane bag fill with orange colored pieces. “Here, we need a bag of your favorite candy,” she held up the marshmallow peanuts.

Casey’s eyes brightened. “Now, I won’t turn those down. I do enjoy one or two of those in the evening.”

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Fat and Sassy – New house, new baby, new life

Tuesday TalesIt’s TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘bells’.

In Fat and Sassy, the Jones’ moved back to California, despite the broken axle in New Mexico, and find themselves in a new home, one that they can call their own.

Return to TUESDAY TALES for more story snippets using ‘bells’.

christmas paper garland216 Leadora. Their new home. Bea and Casey wouldn’t move again for thirty years.

They got moved in and settled just in time for Mae to start to school. First grade. She was excited. She was scared. A lot had happened since the short time she’d attended kindergarten in California before. There’d been lots of moves and another baby sister added to the family.

Bea had conflicting feelings also about Mae going to school. Yes, one child was out of the house for part of the day, which should have been a source of relief. Yet, this child was the little caretaker of the younger ones, so now Bea had to keep track of the four younger children, and get the ironing done before the ladies stopped by to pick up their pressed clothes.

One night after she’d gotten all the children off the bed, Bea slipped inside beside Casey and gave him some unexpected news. “Yore gonna be a Daddy again.”

“Again! Maybe it will be another boy, then we’ll have three of each.”

Mae turned seven on November 10th. Twenty days later, on November 30th, her newest little brother, Evan Lee, entered the world. Now they were six, six Jones children, ages from newborn to seven years old.

With another little one in the family, Mae unofficially became the second mother. Bea started taking in laundry for extra money and needed more and more help with the children. Especially since as the kids got older, they were more active and not as confined to the small spaces babies occupy.

After the newest baby was born, Mae would run home after school. She’d stand over the basinet and talk to Evan Lee and make faces at him. One day she bounced in the house. She hurried over to the corner where the baby lay, talking to him and wiggling her fingers in front of his face. Turning to her mother stationed behind the ironing board, she asked, “Mama, we’re going to have a Christmas program at school this Friday. Can you come watch?”

“I can’t git to the school,” Bea replied. “Your brother is only three weeks old. Yore daddy is working. There’s no way I can walk to the school with all your brothers and sisters.”

Disappoint flashed across Mae’s face. “It’s going to be good. We’ve been practicing songs and everything. And we made chains of red and green colored paper and we get to bring them home afterwards, to decorate the house.”

“Do you have a part to say?”

“No. I don’t have any lines. The teacher wouldn’t give me anything to say. She says I don’t say all my words right. But I do get to ring some bells.”

“What does she mean that you don’t say words right?”

“She says I say warsh, but it’s really wash, that there’s no ‘r’. And she says I don’t say wabbit right.”

“I won’t be able to git to the program Ona Mae. But it looks like I’ll have to make a trip to the school when yore Daddy can drive me to have a little chat with yore teacher.”

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