"I just hate snow, don't you? The radio says we might have six inches by midnight, but you can never trust them, you know. Do you remember last winter when they predicted four inches, and we had twenty-one? Twenty-one! And they said we'd have a mild winter this year. Ha! I don't think it's been over zero in weeks. Do you know my oil bill was $263 last month? For my little house!"
Sophie was only half-listening. She had remembered the roses suddenly and was turning hot with shame. The empty flower box was behind her on the kitchen table. What would she say to Mrs. Mason?
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"I don't know how much longer I can keep paying
the bills. If only Alfred, God bless him, had been
as careful with money as your Joseph. Joseph! Oh,
good heavens! I almost forgot about the roses."
"Oh, good," Mrs. Mason interrupted.
But Sophie had stopped listening. Her heart was pounding as she picked up the small white envelope she had missed earlier. It had been lying beside the flower box all this time. With trembling hands, she removed the card.
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"To my sunshine," it said.
By Alicia von Stamwitz
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