Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

Book 41 Vignette – Best Day Ever

Cassidy knocked on Mrs. Agnes’s door before opening it. She stood inside the doorway and called out, “Mrs. Agnes, I’m here!”

Agnes came around the corner from the kitchen with a grin on her face. “Look at you, all prettied up for a day with me. Talk about making an old lady feel special.”

“You aren’t old,” Cassidy said, beaming with joy. She gave her best friend a hug. “What’s the secret thing we’re doing today?”

“If you’ll help me finish cleaning the kitchen, I thought we’d look at knitting patterns. Once you decide what to make for your Mother’s Day gift, we’ll head to Craft Corner and pick out the yarn.

“No one else will make the same thing I’m making for Mommy,” Cassidy said. “That makes it special, right?”

Agnes smiled and put her hand on the girl’s back to guide her into the kitchen. “That does make it special, but remember, when you give someone a gift, you aren’t competing with anyone else. The present is between you and the receiver. And who is the most important person in a gift exchange?”

“The person who receives the gift?” Cassidy asked.

“Right-o, my young friend. Why are you giving this present to your mother?”

“Because I love her and she’s my Mommy and it’s Mother’s Day.” Cassidy paused. “That makes it all about her.”

“Perfect. How do you feel when someone gives you a present?”

“I feel special.”

“We should give each other presents to make them feel special all the time, shouldn’t we,” Agnes said with a laugh.

“That would get really expensive.”

“Not really. Not all presents cost money. Do you know what a gift it is when you spend time with me?”

Cassidy frowned in confusion. “So, time is a gift?”

“One of the most important gifts we can give someone. You love it when you get to play with Missy.”

“She’s not around this week. I miss her.”

Agnes handed Cassidy a dish towel. “You dry. So, think about it. Is the time you get to spend with Missy a gift?”

“I never thought about it that way.” Cassidy looked at the pile of dishes in the sink. “You’re only one person. How could you have so many dirty dishes?”

“I cooked and baked this morning before you got here. What is your favorite meal?”

“I don’t know. I like a lot of things.”

“Do you like my tomato soup?”

“Yes! Did you make tomato soup?”

“We’ll have some for lunch with grilled cheese sandwiches.”

“Your soup is the best. You should give Lexi the recipe.”

“Maybe I should make a whole book of recipes.” Agnes set a plate in the strainer.

“I could help you.” Cassidy turned and spotted the box of recipe cards. She set the towel on the counter and ran over to it. “I love looking through this. We should pick out the best ones. If you made a book, you could sell it. Didn’t you used to run a restaurant? All the people who ate there would buy your book.”

“They’ve all forgotten me by now,” Agnes said, “but I do want you to have my recipes when you grow up.”

“Missy and Lara and Abby and Rose. Everybody will want that book.”

“Then I will give them a copy when we finish it. Let’s finish the dishes first.”

Cassidy dried the plates and neatly stacked things on the counter. When she plucked the muffin tin from the strainer, she held it out. “What did you make in here?”

“Wait and see.”

“I hate waiting and seeing. I want to know now.”

“Patience, my dear girl. Patience.”

“I hear that all the time. Do you think I’ll ever learn?”

“To be patient? Let me tell you, Cass,” Agnes said. “You will have so much practice over your lifetime that by the time you are my age, you will be able to wait for nearly anything. Do you remember that day you and your mother found me on the ground?”

“The first time I met you?”

“That’s the one. I knew that I needed to be patient. Someone would find me and help me. I could have screamed and thrown a fit, but what good would that have done?”

“Maybe somebody else would have heard you.”

“But, what did my patience gain for me?”

“Us.” Cassidy nodded. “Sometimes we have to wait for the best things to happen, right?”

“And if I’d been screaming and throwing a fit, when you found me, I might not have had much of a voice left. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you my name.”

“When do I get to know what you baked in here?” Cassidy asked with a smirk on her lips.

Agnes shook her head. “Do you want a treat right now?”

“I think so.”

“You go on over to the table,” Agnes said. “There is a stack of knitting patterns for you to look through. Find one or two you think you could make before Mother’s Day.”

“How long is it until then?”

“Let’s see. It’s the middle of March right now. Mother’s day is always in the middle of May. How long is that?”

Cassidy had to think through the months one by one, so she said them out loud and tapped her fingertips as she went. “January, February, March, April, May. Two months?”

“That should give you plenty of time.”

A small stack of patterns was at Cassidy’s place at the table. She picked the first one up and looked through the pages, then set it aside. “Do you think Mommy would wear a shawl?”

“Probably not,” Agnes said. “There are more interesting patterns in there. Keep looking.”

Cassidy picked up another and then another. She tried to pay attention both to the patterns and to what Mrs. Agnes was doing, but she’d been given a task and before long was deep into the magazines, pattern books, and printed patterns. “I found one!”

“Find three,” Agnes said as she turned on the mixer.

“What are you doing over there? Can I help?”

“Making frosting. You stay there and keep at it. Find three patterns.”

Cassidy heaved a big sigh and went back to her task. She enjoyed looking through patterns. Mrs. Agnes told her stories about going to the fabric store and sitting at the pattern book counter while her mother looked for something special to sew. She learned about fashion by looking at the clothes and she got ideas for stuffed toys and decorations for her room. 

Mrs. Agnes told her about the catalogs that used to come out from stores Cassidy had never heard of. She called them Christmas wish books. When she moved into her new house, Mrs. Agnes found an old Christmas catalog in a box and let Cassidy and her friends look through it. There were clothes and kitchen appliances, tools and jewelry, and then they found the toys. Cassidy couldn’t stop looking at the dolls. She saw dolls when she went to the store, but these were old-fashioned and she liked them a lot.

One of the patterns Cassidy found in the stack was a wash cloth. Somehow it had a pattern that read, “My Mom, My Friend.” How would she do that?

“Mrs. Agnes? Will you show me how to do this pattern? I think it would be perfect for Mommy.”

Agnes walked over with a plate filled with chocolate cupcakes.


“Would you like a glass of milk?”

“Yes, please. I can get it, though. Would you like one, too?”

“No, honey. I’ll drink my coffee instead. Which pattern are you interested in?”

Cassidy took it from the top of the pile and set it to the side. “This one. How do you do that?”

Agnes smiled. “That will be a perfect pattern for you to learn. You don’t need to do anything other than knit and purl. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of milk.”

Cassidy liked Agnes’s kitchen. She’d asked Henry to paint it a pale green and then had purchased curtains with colorful flowers on them. Her dishes were cream-colored with flowers on the edges and she told the girls that she might ask them to paint pictures of flowers for her to hang up. All of her dish towels and wash clothes were flowery and the old-fashioned set of canisters on the counter had flowers and the sides and a green rim on the lid.

“Is there another pattern you’d like to make for Polly?” Agnes asked when Cassidy returned to the table.

“That one means something,” Cassidy said. “Am I good enough to knit it?”

Agnes flipped the pages. “You certainly are. Look at the instructions. Read it through and tell me what you see.”

Cassidy read through it quickly. “I don’t know what I’m looking for.”

“Look again while glancing at the photograph. Read it out loud, starting at Row 14.”

“Knit-three, purl-two, knit-two, purl-six, knit-two, purl-two, knit-four, purl-two …” Cassidy looked up. “What is it making?”

“What do you think?”

“Oh!” Cassidy said. Her eyes lit up as the lightbulb went off in her mind. “Those are the letters in the words. Because the purl makes a bump in the row.”

“Good girl.” Agnes pushed the plate of cupcakes between them and with a grin, said, “Try one.”

“I love chocolate. Do they have chocolate chips in them?” Cassidy asked.

“Better than chocolate chips.”

“What could be better than chocolate chips?”

“Take a bite and you’ll see.” Agnes slowly peeled away the cupcake wrapper on one, waiting for Cassidy to get to hers first.

Cassidy could hardly wait and once she had the wrapper peeled back halfway, took a bite. When cream filled her mouth, her eyes went wide. She knew better than to talk with her mouth full. Mrs. Agnes always had something to say about that. After swallowing, then licking her lips, she said, “How did you do that? You snuck cream filling in the middle of the cupcake.” She dropped the rest of the wrapper onto the plate, then looked closely at the body of the cake. “You didn’t cut it in half. How did you do that?”

“I left a few for us to finish. That way I could surprise you and show you how to do it at the same time.”

“You gave me a gift!” Cassidy said with a smile. She took another bite. “These are the best. Is that recipe in your box?”

“Yes, it is,” Agnes said. She patted Cassidy’s arm. “I love sharing fun things with you.”

Cassidy looked at the cupcakes and then the stack of patterns. She took a drink of milk and sat back in her chair. “You give me lots of gifts,” she said quietly. “I don’t say thank you enough. Mommy says I need to be better about saying thank you.”

“Your mommy is right, but you know what’s even better?”


“When you tell me that you love me. When you smile at me and I know how much you enjoy spending time with me. When you pick flowers and bring them to me. When you allow me to share my life with you and are interested in the things I talk about. The days that I spend with you are the best days in my life.”

“They’re the best days for me, too,” Cassidy said. “You teach me a lot. Mommy says that she would never be able to teach me how to knit because she doesn’t know how.”

Agnes opened her arms and Cassidy left the chair and walked into them, wrapping her own around Agnes as the two held on to each other.

“Thank you,” Cassidy said. “I love you.”

“Oh, sweet girl. I love you, too.”

When Cassidy sat back down, she picked up the pattern. “What should we do first? Look at recipes, get yarn, or teach me how you made these cupcakes?”

“We have all day,” Agnes said. “We have all day.”


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