“Everything happens at the perfect time.”
Angie settled back into her new oak porch swing and looked out over her newly purchased land. She was a farmer now. She didn’t even know what that meant, but she felt contentment and peace about it and that was what mattered. She could figure out the rest.
This land had once belonged to Angie’s beloved Grandfather, Warren Toombs. He was the one who talked to her about timing. In fact, he talked to her about a lot of things. Angie grinned as she remembered the way his voice would go up an octave when he got excited about things – marigolds, iced coffee, the way pancake batter would bubble up while it cooked.
They were fast friends, Grandfather and Angie. Even as a little girl, he made her feel seen, appreciated, and loved in a way she figured only grandfathers could do. In his life before Angie, Warren had been a teacher, a preacher, and a decorated World War II hero. Angie wondered if she’d ever know another man as great as he was.
When he died, he left this big farm to Angie and her husband, Crew. Some months later Crew and Angie split up and this big hunk of dirt with brown grass and a few cows on it was just about the only thing he didn’t try to fight her for. She was thankful. She would have killed him over it, they both knew, and this beautiful morning looking at this beautiful sunrise, Angie was plenty grateful she wasn’t gazing out from behind metal prison bars.
Little Angie was 8 years old when her father went away. She had been sitting out on her grandmothers’ screened-in porch, coloring a picture, when she felt the energy shift. It was almost dinner time, and normally there would be pots clanging and music playing inside the house, people chatting about their work or about Angie and her big brother, Duke. But this day, the house was silent, save for the monotone murmur she could barely make out coming from the den.
Angie walked inside the house and towards the humming noise. As she approached it, she realized it wasn’t humming at all, but a man talking very seriously into a microphone. She didn’t understand most of what he was saying, but she heard words like “guns” and “narcotics”. She wasn’t totally sure what narcotics were, but she knew by the reporter’s tone of voice that they were bad. Just then, the man stopped talking and stepped out of view. When he did, Angie saw a house she recognized. A two-tone brown split-level with a big, sloping front yard and an Asian garden, complete with cement pagoda.
“Daddy?” She wasn’t sure if she screamed it or whispered it. Angie looked on, eyes bulging, as two mean-faced cops held on to either side of her father, marching him slowly down the driveway and into a waiting police car. Angie was frantic, but she stood there quietly. She surveyed the den, searching Grandfather’s face, then Grandmother’s, then Duke’s, hoping that someone would explain to her what was happening – and how she should feel about it. No one met her gaze. No one said anything at all.