Almost immediately, upon my knocking, the door opened to a gentleman dressed in brown corduroy trousers and a brown work shirt. He was also wearing a wool cardigan that looked as though it had seen better days. He looked me up and down as if taking my measure as a man, maybe deciding if he wanted me to be spending any time with his daughter.
"You must be that O'Halloran boy. I knew your father. Are you anything like him?"
Well, I must say I was quite taken aback by his outspoken comment and query, but I recovered quickly and smiled. I started to put out my hand to shake his, but then realized that would be a gaffe with his right hand injured and unusable.
So I simply replied, "I guess you'll have to be the judge of that, sir. I'm very pleased to meet you."
At that time, Glenny came into the room and came over to where we still stood in the open doorway.
"Come on in, Zeb! We need to shut this door and not let all the heat out. Welcome! Dad, why don't you take his coat and hat. I see you have met. "
She looked at me apologetically, but I shook my head to let her know I had taken no offense at her father's attitude. I would no doubt feel the same way about the son of a drunk courting any daughter I would have.
"Yes, thank you."
Just then her mother came bustling into the room, wiping her hands on her apron, her face flushed from cooking.
"Mom, this is Zebulon O'Halloran. Zeb, my mom."
"I am so pleased to see you, Zeb. Why don't we all go on in and have a seat at the table? It is all ready to serve."
I handed her the box of flowers I had been holding and had almost forgotten about.
"These are for you, ma'am."
"Oh, my! Thank you, Zeb. How very thoughtful of you!"
She glanced at Glenny in a meaningful way, and Glenny blushed, giving her head a little negative
shake as if to say, "No, Ma!"
She took the flowers into the kitchen and the rest of us sat at the table. In a few minutes, she brought them back in a vase and thanked me again, placing them on the corner buffet table. Returning to the kitchen, she soon came back into the dining room carrying a bowl with chicken and dumplings that smelled wonderful.
"Where is Jimmy? Is he out running around again? I told him I wanted him here for dinner tonight!"
"I don't know, Ma. He promised, but perhaps he got delayed somewhere. Dad, did he say anything to you?"
"No, he never even talks to me much anymore. "
By now, I was feeling very much in the midst of their family problems - a place I really had no desire to be.
"Er, ah, my goodness! That certainly smells wonderful!" I exclaimed.
"Okay, folks! Dig in. Jim, would you pass the bread, please? "
Immediately, I realized this was a place that did not honor God, and knew why He was cautioning me about getting serious about Glenny. I was remembering the scripture about being unequally yoked. Of course, that didn't mean that she couldn't change, but I would tread lightly. I bowed my head and said a silent prayer for this family and gave thanks for my food.
I looked up to see them looking my way, but just smiled and took the plate of biscuits that had been passed to me. Just about at that time, the front door was flung open and a young man came in, carrying a transistor radio that was blaring out a song that was popular among the teen set.
"What's for supper? Who are you? Some guy Glenny has dragged in to try to snag?"
(To be continued)