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Frederick Road

By Marilyn (LaraOct7/MWL1367)

I was puzzled one dark winter evening when I heard a knock on my front door.
Who could it be? I wondered. I wasn't expecting company.
Nor was it the kind of night for a neighbor to drop by.
It had been snowing all day and the temperature was hovering near zero.

I shuddered when it struck me that I was alone. My husband had gone to
Frederick early that morning to buy a truckload of wood and
wouldn't return until late.
Uneasy, I glanced at Mercedes, my big Tabby cat, and wished for a loud barking dog.

When the knocking came again, I stiffened my spine and headed for the door.
I wasn't an alarmist, I reminded myself.
I wasn't like my neighbors who claimed they never opened their door to strangers.

I hesitated a moment, then gathered my courage and flipped on the porch light.
I reached for the doorknob.


I peered into the face of a tall, wide-shouldered man.
He was well-dressed, I noticed, as my eyes took in his dark,
heavy coat and shiny leather boots.

"Please allow me to introduce myself." He tipped his hat.

His neat appearance and his deep, solemn voice soothed my fears.

"I'm Tom McKennon, special agent assigned to protect the President of the United States."
As he spoke, he offered credentials.

I leaned forward and peered at the print.

"The President is on his way to the White House after a week-end at Camp David."
He paused and glanced back.
"Unfortunately, the limousine skidded off the road back there and landed in a ditch."

"Oh!" My hands flew to my mouth. "The....The President's limousine?" My heart raced.
"Is..is he okay? The President. He isn't hurt, is he?"

"The President is fine, ma'am."

The agent smiled briefly, but I could see that his composure was somewhat shaken.

"No serious harm was done. It's just that....." He shifted his stance.
"I.....I'm in need of a phone. I'm wondering if I might use yours?"
His brow furrowed and he glanced at his cellular phone.
"Of all times........" He grimmaced and rapped the phone on his knee.

"Oh!" I looked past his shoulder, toward the steps, where blowing snow had created man-tall heaps.
"Oh my!" I nervously wrung my hands. "I would like to help,
but my phone doesn't work either. The line has been down since early morning."

His eyes widened. "You're sure?"

I stepped back. "You're welcome to come inside and try if you want."

The agent raked his fingers through his dark, curly hair. He looked at his watch.

I felt as confused as he appeared to be and wracked my brain for a solution.

He looked up, finally, and met my eye. "I realize I shouldn't be telling you this,
but quite frankly, I'm stumped. I don't know what to do.
The President is scheduled to have dinner with the Ambassador of Latvia
this evening and he isn't going to make it.
What's worse is the fact that he's going to miss his meal.
It'll be a while before I can get a chopper to come and fly us out of here."

I couldn't help but smile over the thought of our President having to skip a meal,
especially since it was common knowledge that he had the appetite of a bear.
Then I remembered the pot of soup I had simmering on the back of the stove, and the buttermilk pie
I had baked that afternoon. Should I offer to share my supper with the
President of the United States? And if I did, would there be enough for him
plus his agents? How many agents were there? I wondered. I worried my lip as I puzzled.
On the other hand, I thought, it wasn't every day that a common housewife
got an opportunity to invite the President of the United States
into her home for a meal.

The agent scuffed his shoe and I came to my senses. I decided to be daring.

"Do you think the President would like to come inside where it's warm?
I have a pot of soup simmering. Plus I baked a buttermilk pie this afternoon.
If you don't think I'm being presumptuous, I would like to invite
the President to share my meal."

The agent's eyes gleamed in child-like fashion. "You baked a buttermilk pie?"

I was almost smug as I nodded.

A wide grin spread over his face and he turned on his heel. "I'll go speak to the President right now.
And between us...." He looked back, friendly like. "I hope it's a yes.
I also hope that I'm invited. I haven't eaten buttermilk pie since I was a kid."

"Well of course you're invited. And if there are others, invite them, too.
If there isn't enough soup to go 'round, I'll find something else to serve.
I haven't had it said yet that I sent someone away hungry."

After he left, I closed the door and hurried to the kitchen.
I got out my blue-checked tablecloth, the best I had, and went in search of my nicest blue dinner napkins.
And while I set the table and filled the water glasses,
I took in the aromas of beef broth, vegetables, and bay.
My kitchen might not be modern, I thought, glancing
around, but it was warm and cozy. When I heard a tap on the door, I quietly pulled off my apron
and drew a deep breath. I wiped my hands and headed for the hallway.

I paused briefly when I reached the door. Then I put my trembly hand on the
doorknob and turned it.

"I thank you Ma'am, for being so friendly. My agent tells me you invited us
to supper."

I was speechless and merely nodded.

"Well, I want to say that we accept your invitation and that
I, personally, look forward to the opportunity of dining at your table."

Oh my. I found myself gazing into a pair of the most
incredibly blue eyes I had ever seen.

"A bowl of hot soup and a slice of your buttermilk pie
sounds heavenly to a man who hasn't eaten since noontime."

I gulped and nearly swooned when I realized I was standing before
the President Of The United States!


Buttermilk Pie

1 baked pie shell 4 Tablespoons flour
2 eggs 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk 1/4 cup sugar for meringue
3 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar

Separate eggs. Beat yolks and add buttermilk and lemon juice.
Mix sugar with salt and flour and add to previous mixture.
Cook over hot water until thick, stirring constantly.
Pour into baked pie shell and cover with meringue
made of the 2 egg whites stiffly beaten with the 1/4 cup sugar.
Brown in 350 oven for about 10-12 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Move On To More Of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

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All Things Pass

Winter At Marilyn's Place

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The Child Within Us

Marilyn's Place
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