Known simply as Mom Starbuck, she took her place behind the lectern. A stickler for faithfulness in Christian duty she let nothing short of pneumonia deny her its privilege. Hugging a Bible to her chest, she closed her eyes. A more sincere opening prayer I never heard. Her eyes opened and met with those of each person in the small gathering.

Beloved, let’s turn to the Book of Luke. We want to hear some things Jesus said. We’ll see him at work and we’ll listen to the counsel he gave some villagers. Timely counsel for us today.

It was the Lord’s Day. And Mom Starbucks Adult Sunday School class – homemakers, technicians, newly-weds, oilfield workers – all paid attention.

By my third Sunday in town I counted the Assembly as my church home. Mom and Pop, each of them aging but spry, approached me following worship, that late-Summer day. Of the pair Pop was the shorter – maybe by two inches. A sustained twinkle highlighted crows-feet about his eyes, giving the impression a frown had never visited his face.  His trademark chuckle – complete with faint shoulder-tremors – endeared Pop to the community. Mom was slightly humpbacked, perhaps from compensating over their height discrepancy. She was the more vocal.  I was both attracted to and unsettled by a conviction-fire  that sometimes visited her eyes.  I had noticed the odd way her closed lips moved about when something important held her thoughts. They moved that way now.

Jerry, Harold and I would like to give you something to consider.


We know that where you live doesn’t allow for any home-cooked meals. So we were wondering.

Pop Starbuck nodded.

Harold and I raised three daughters. They’re all grown now and live at their own places. We’d like you to think about moving in with us – try out some of my cooking. Her smile couldn’t have been more inviting.

We can suggest a room-and-board amount and you can decide.  Do you think you’d be interested?

Entering the bedroom with my bit of luggage I took some seconds to adjust my vision. My eyes felt under assault. With pink.

I’ll need no explanation of  this. Mom and Pop raised girls alright. The grin on my face broadened as I inventoried my new living quarters.


Chest-of-drawers – Pink

Curtains and Drapes – Pink,


Organ music filtered from the living room as I unpacked my suitcase. Afterward I paused at the doorway. My weaker leg wasn’t tired. It just felt good to rest against a wall inside a home. Where family dwelled.

The small organ bench supported a contented Pop Starbuck. Clearly at ease in his musician-role. And with himself.

Aromas of pot roast, simmering carrots, potatoes and who knew what else floated from the modest kitchen.  I felt my mouth moisten.

Shortly Mom Starbuck emerged and sent a smile our way.

Are you two gents ready to take in some food?

I entered the kitchen and approached a dining table set for three. And hummed a closing line I was taking in from another room.

Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.

©2015 Jerry Lout













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