Saturday, September 8, 2012
Saturday morning the sky was grey. Not the nice, crisp blue skies Jordyn had gradually started to get used to, but it was grey, gloomy and depressing. But tonight was Jordyn’s date with Cole, so even these ugly skies lingering above couldn’t spoil her attitude and take the smile off her face.
So at 9:30, even with the promise of rain soon, Jordyn dressed, strapped on her running Nikes, and went out for her morning run while everyone else was still sleeping.
The five miles to town had gotten easier the more Jordyn ran it, and by now, it was her routine run. She knew Alice would be at the book store today, so she jogged there, and walked into the store to find Alice behind the counter, looking tired and bored as she usually did. But when she saw Jordyn walk in, she perked up.
“Hey!” she said. “Just on time. I was getting ready to fall asleep over here.”
Jordyn chuckled, sitting behind the counter beside Alice, where she saw her going through a bag of butterscotch candies. “Butterscotch?”
“Yes, these are delicious!” Alice said, unwrapping one and popping it into her mouth. She offered the bag to Jordyn, who graciously took one.
“Yeah, I know,” Jordyn said. “I haven’t had these in forever.”
“Well, welcome to Pennsylvania, then. Haven’t you been in Milton’s?”
A month here in this tiny town and Jordyn thought she’d learned all about Cedarwood. Guess she was wrong.
She shook her head. “No. What’s that?”
“It’s a store,” Alice said. “Really old fashioned, sells candies no one hardly eats anymore, sells brands no one has ever heard of before, but everything is really delicious. It’s by the Farmer’s Market on Lake Road.”
See. Jordyn hadn’t even heard of the Farmer’s Market.
“You don’t know what that is either, do you,” Alice said with a sigh. “I can tell by that blank expression you’ve got on your face.”
“Ok, Dr. Phil, what’s the Farmer’s Market,” Jordyn said.
“I could take you.”
“Why don’t you tell me, first.”
Alice sighed impatiently. “Jordyn, you’re in Pennsylvania. We grow things here. A lot of things.”
“We? You live in a subdivision.”
Alice held up her middle finger and kept talking. “We have apple orchards, dairy farms, and our maple syrup is boss. But nothing, I mean, nothing, tops our goat’s milk fudge.”
“It’d delicious,” Alice said. “Don’t give me that look. Everyone around here likes it.”
“So, when you say Farmer’s Market, you mean, it’s really a market?”
“Yep. All locally grown fruits and veggies. They’re so much better than in the grocery stores, too. My mom and I go every weekend. We’re going after we close up shop here today. You’re welcome to join us.”
Jordyn thought about how fun that would be. Then she wanted to slap herself.
Fun, Jordyn? She told herself. Fun going grocery shopping?
Crazy, she knew. But honestly, it did sound really fun.
“What time?” Jordyn asked. “I have that date with Cole tonight, you know.”
“We’ll be back at 3:00. No later than that. You’ll have plenty of time. And you’ll be glad you did. Once you taste one of Miss Riley’s fresh-picked apples, you will never go back to Winn Dixie.”
“I’m sure I won’t,” Jordyn said. “Considering I’ve never been to a Winn Dixie in my life.”
“Smart ass. Anyway. We’re leaving at 1:00. Want us to pick you up?”
Jordyn shrugged. “Sure. Why not.” She snatched another butterscotch, and started on her run back home.
When she got back, Ty was up, dressed, and about to go see Natalie.
“Hey,” she said, passing him on his way out of the house as she made her way up the driveway.
“Hey,” Ty said. Then he smiled. “So. Tonight’s the big night, huh? Big date with Cole?”
Jordyn rolled her eyes. “Make fun all you want, Ty. You won’t spoil my evening.”
“In all seriousness, though. You have my blessing and all that shit. Just know, if he puts his hands on you, I’ll kill him. Best friend or not.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, Ty,” Jordyn said. “Really. But I’m not gonna even tell you if he tries to hold my hand.”
“Oh, he’s gonna hold your hand,” Ty said. “I’m sure of it. That’s not the kind of touching I’m talking about. And don’t worry. I reminded him yesterday.”
Jordyn scoffed. “May I remind you you’re only a year older than me?”
“Older is the key word in that sentence, Jordie. You’re still my little sister, and don’t make me embarrass you to remind you.”
“I hope you’re not home when Cole comes to pick me up.”
“Oh I will be. See you later, kiddo.”
He bumped her as he walked by, and she headed on into the house. Inside, she could hear her mother rapidly speaking Swedish in the kitchen.
Following her voice, Jordyn found Zara at the kitchen table, still in her pajamas, on her cell phone, beaming as she laughed into the phone. She spotted Jordyn, and waved, but continued to talk into the phone. Jordyn just went straight to the refrigerator for a bottle of water.
"Jag älskar dig mamma," Zara was saying. "Hej då,"
Jordyn didn’t know a lot of Swedish, but she knew Zara had told her mother she loved her and goodbye before hanging up the phone.
“Good morning, sweetheart,” she said, picking her coffee cup up and taking a sip from it. “Have a good run?”
“Yes,” Jordyn said. “Was that grandma?”
Zara smiled and nodded. “Yes, dear. She sends her love. So. What have you got planned today?”
“Uhm, actually, Alice invited me to go with her and her mother to the Farmer’s Market at 1:00.”
Zara looked impressed. “Wow. That sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market myself ever since Judy Moore told me about it.”
Jordyn didn’t know who Judy Moore was. Probably a friend Zara had made at yoga.
“I hadn’t heard of it before Alice mentioned it. Apparently it’s pretty popular.”
“Oh yes, it is. As soon as I get my catering up and running, which will hopefully happen in the next couple of weeks or so, I plan to go to that Farmer’s Market and do some shopping for my business. Local fresh fruit is the best you can ask for.”
So Zara was fitting in in Pennsylvania almost better than the rest of the family. She’d rented out a space on Main Street after they’d arrived, and had spent pretty much every waking hour setting up for Country Cookin’ Caterin' Service—yes, that was the name her mother was going with. You’d think she’d lived here her whole life by the way she was acting.
God help her, but just yesterday, Jordyn had seen her in overalls to clean the house. Yes, overalls!
“Why don’t you pick out something good, Jordyn,” Zara suggested. “Bring us home something we can make a pie out of tonight. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?”
Tonight. So, now was a good time, probably, to tell Zara she already had plans tonight.
“What’s wrong, honey?” Zara asked, apparently noting the thoughtful look on Jordyn’s face as she stared at the water bottle.
Jordyn put a smile on. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, just, well, I sort of have plans tonight.”
“Oh, that’s fine. With who? Alice and the girls?”
“No. Not them.”
Zara shrugged. “Well, with who, then?”
“Uhm, you know Ty’s friend? The quarterback, Cole Anderson?”
Zara perked up and smiled. Like, a big, genuine, “I’m happy for you,” smile. “Jordyn. You have a date? Why didn’t you tell us?”
“I didn’t want dad to scare him out of going,” Jordyn admitted.
Zara laughed. “When has your father ever been anything but laid back, Jordyn? Knowing Jack, he’ll be in his chair when Cole gets here, and he’ll just say, ‘You two be careful, don’t stay out late.’”
Jordyn chuckled. Her mother’s heavily accented interpretation of her father was quite hilarious. If only Jordyn believed it was accurate.
“You’re not gonna tell him, though, are you?” Jordyn asked.
Zara nodded. “Yes, Jordyn, of course I’m going to tell him.”
“Mom, he’s going make this my only date with Cole.”
“Oh, Jordyn don’t be silly. He will not. Your father is very understanding. He knows Cole already anyway. He likes him.”
Jordyn didn’t argue. She knew Jack liked Cole. But she knew he liked the Cole that was friends with Ty, not the Cole who was taking his daughter out on a date.
Jordyn checked the clock. It was 10:30 already. Oh well. She was gonna have to find out in eight more hours when Cole came to pick her up.