The drive on Friday night was easy. General rode in the back of the truck. Raife played the crash test dummies and the Goo Goo dolls on his CD player. He mixed in some Eagles and Zepplin for good measure. When he arrived the porch light was on and the key was above the porch light as Chuck had described. The living room was simple but comfortable. Raife lit a fire in the fireplace, put on a pot of coffee and cracked his book. "Drats" thought Raife, "no creamer. I'll have to do something about that in the morning." The writings of C.S. Lewis had always interested him. The author was both very deep and very simple at the same time. Few authors had been able to achieve this beautiful dichotomy in Raifs opinion. This book, the Screwtape letters was one of his favorites. He fell asleep on the couch, General at his feet, the fire still spitting and crackling.
Raife woke to the sound of General barking. He got up, let General outside and watched as he treed a squirrel. Raife shook his head and closed the door. General would be safe outside. Let him look around and do some exploring. Raife started another pot of coffee. One of his guilty pleasures. Whomever invented, or discovered as it were caffeine was a genius in Raifs opinion. He threw on some jeans and a flannel shirt and walked outside to see what General was doing. He had found a nice patch of morning sunlight and was soaking it up with his soft brown coat. "Let's go General", "We need to see if the neighbors have some creamer". The nearest house was about a half mile down the dirt road. It was a good morning for a walk. General didn't mind either. The leaves were absolutely breathtaking. They could hear a brook running to their left. Raife was soaking it in. The smells of the mountains, the sound of the Brook and the smell of the fireplace at the next door cabin were all soaking in and producing a sense of peace within him. As they approached, the sight of the smoke from the chimney confirmed that his nose had been right.
Raife climbed the steps to the front porch of the cabin. He knocked at the door and he and General waited. A couple of minutes passed and then the door slowly opened. Raif was taken back a little by what he saw. He had expected an old codger to answer but instead the occupant was a beautiful woman. She wasn't Hollywood beautiful, she was classically beautiful. She had Short blond hair, nice cheek bones and a subtle smile. The kind of smile that is genuine and not put on. Raife asked for a cup of half and half or milk and she said, "where's your cup". "My cup"? Raife replied. "Well yes, tall man, you see, you have requested a cup of cream. Do you expect me to provide the cup as well or would you prefer that I pour it in your hands for you to carry home" She said this with a slight grin. Oh, he liked her style. She had a sarcastic sense of humor but in a cute kind of way. "Why yes, a cup would be very much appreciated. Thank you" said Raife. She smiled again, turned and went to fetch the cream.