The moment she opened her eyes, she knew it was a Saturday. This was Olivia’s very best day of the week since folks were always asking her to do things on Sundays; but not on Saturdays. Olivia couldn’t stop smiling.
“Mornin’ Grandma,” said Olivia as she skipped into the room.
“Why sweetpea, you is sure bouncing today,” said Grandma. “Now you are going to have to eat your breakfast before you do anymore skippin’. You hear me?”
Olivia just nodded, it was easier just to agree with her grandma when she was talking like that.
“Where’s Grandpa?” Asked Olivia.
“Why sweetpea, he’s out in the yard feeling sorry for himself. Real sorry. A few hours in the fresh country air and he’ll be right as rain again.”
When Olivia finished her breakfast and had helped her grandma with the washing, she ran out into the yard to see what was wrong with her best pal.
“What’s up, Grandpa?”
The old man turned and smiled, “Mornin’ best friend, you is looking ready for living,” he said. “Ready for livin’,” and then he chuckled so hard that he nearly fell off his stool.
“Grandma says you’re feeling sorry for something,” said Olivia, helping her grandpa back on the stool.
“It is something and nothin’, sweetpea, something and nothin’,” said Grandpa.
And then Grandpa explained that he had lost some work when the Shanter family, in the next valley, had decided to move on to somewhere nearer the coast.
“Just means we’ll be little poorer for a while, but I tell you sweetpea, something always comes down that road, just when you least expect it.It might not be what you are looking for but it sure will be what you are needing right there and then.”
So Olivia asked her grandpa what it was he was expecting to come down the road, and he just turned to her and said with a smile, “why hope, little one, hope.”
And with that Olivia walked off to where she knew she would find the things she was looking for. The road was just outside of town and was called Old Creek. It had been a turnpike once upon a time, but no one really used it to get anywhere, anymore.
Yet Olivia knew that if anything was going to come past it would be on the Old Creek, so she sat down and made herself real comfortable. Olivia just sat there waiting, and waiting and waiting.
“These thing sure take a long time,” she said to no one in particular. Just then Herbert turned up.
“Thought I’d find you here, Olly,” said Herbert. He was the dog from Asker’s Farm and tended to go walkabouts on a Saturday. The Askers used to try and tie him up but he’d just chew through the rope and go walking. So they eventually gave up and let Herbert do his own thing.
“What cha doing?” Asked Herbert.
“Why you always ask me that, Herbert. Ain’t it obvious?” Asked Olivia.
“Not really,” said Herbert.
“I’m waiting on Hope coming down the road. My Grandpa says he needs some and I thought if I wait here, I could get him some,” she said.
“Mind if I wait with you?” Asked Herbert.
“Don’t mind if you do,” said Olivia.
So they waited and talked, then talked and waited, but Hope seemed to be taking its time.
They were having a real interesting time when Scrimpy the Ass, from the next town over, also happened to be walking past.
“What cha doing?” Asked Scrimpy The Ass.
“Why we’re waiting on Hope coming down the road,” said Herbert.
“Why so?” Asked Scrimpy in his funny way of talking.
“’Cause Olivia’s grandpa needs some real quick,” Herbert replied.
“Mind if I wait with you?” Asked Scrimpy.
“Don’t mind if you do,” said Olivia. “Make yourself comfortable.”
So they sat and talked about this, and that, and everything in between.
Then Herbert looked at Olivia and said,”D’you mind if I ask a question?”
“Sure,” said Olivia and Scrimpy.
“Well, I know this sounds strange but I just wondered what Hope looked like, in case I don’t recognize it.”
“Well, according to my Grandpa, it won’t be what you’re expecting but it’ll be what you need,” said Olivia, wisely.
So Olivia, Herbert and Scrimpy all looked down the road looking for one thing and expecting another. And what they didn’t know, was that each of them was looking for a different type of hope.
By the time it came to sundown, they had wondered if maybe Hope had passed them by while they were talking.
Then Scrimpy said something that had them all thinking:
“Maybe your grandpa, has to sit on the road himself to get his own Hope. Maybe you only find your own. And maybe us talking and being friends was the Hope we needed for today and that is what we got.”
And they all agreed that perhaps you can only look for your own Hope and that it doesn’t ever look like what you were searching for.
“Next Saturday?” Asked Olivia.
“Sure,” said Herbert.
“Wouldn’t miss it,” said Scrimpy.
And each of them headed off in different directions, and each of them with a little Hope inside.
bobby stevenson 2015