Virginia Morgan let her embroidery rest and lifted her wrinkled face. Rain plinked against the windows of the white Cape Cod house. Drops rolled down the glass in colorless stripes. The Minnesota weather had been in a sour mood all week. Yet there was something comforting about an all-day rain, especially when she was tucked away indoors with a dear friend.
"Are you sure this is right?" Ten-year-old Jessie Wise fingered the long threads that stuck out from the edge of the apron she was making. Virginia leaned toward Jessie, who sat on the flowered living room couch. Her bent back ached with the movement. Virginia would be seventy-eight in January, and today she felt every day of it. Jessie lifted the apron so Virginia could inspect it. She placed her glasses on her nose and took the apron from the child’s hands.
"That’s perfect, Jessie." Virginia smiled.
"But it’s all scrunched up. It looks messy."
Virginia patted her knee. "It’s supposed to. That’s the way it looks when you gather. See." She held up the apron they were using as their inspiration. "We gather it and then sew it on the waistband so it looks like this when it’s done." Virginia turned it around so Jessie could appreciate the finished piece.
"It’ll really look that pretty?" Awe tinged her words.
"Of course it will. Especially with this aqua blue and white gingham you picked out. It’ll be lovely."
"But yours has a pocket." Jessie touched the embroidered white-on-white V on the front of the original.
"You can always add a pocket later, if you want," Virginia said.