“You can make a living doing that kind of thing,” Mary Jo said as she was watching her sister refinish an oak coffee table outside in her back yard.

I suppose I could, but I’ve never thought about it,” Louise said, running the tack rag gently over the sanded finish. “Maybe I’ll consider it now that John’s gone.”

A cardinal in a nearby tree hopped from a lower branch and landed on the other side of the picnic table from where Mary Jo sat.  “Look at how bold that red bird is. Not afraid of people at all.”

Louise dipped her brush into the sanding sealer.  “I wish I could say the same. I don’t even want to talk to anybody except you right now.  I feel like such a fool.”

“But what about that fellow at the market last night —”

“I just asked if the tomatoes seemed ripe. He was only being polite —.”

“But he was seemed nice.”

“No way. Good grief.”

Mary Jo pointed at the cardinal who was now staring intently at her. “Be bold like that bird, Louise. Life’s too short to lament someone else’s bad behavior.”

“He walked out the door with my best friend.  Everyone in town —”

“He’s been a jerk for a long time and Susan is not your best friend.  I am.”

“Yeah, well, that’s true.  Remember how he left the fridge door wide open after he got that call from her saying she needed help fixing her garbage disposal?”

“My point exactly.  Besides, how fitting.”

Louise laughed, then surveyed her work.  “I am pretty good at this, aren’t I?  Maybe I’ll consider taking in a few pieces to refinish.”

The bird flew over to a nearby water bucket, perched on the edge and took a drink.  

“Do what makes you happy, honey,” Mary Jo said.  “You can trust that the rest will follow.”


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