Amber McConnell, Ashley Hagans, Bilhah, Dan Hagans, Danann McConnell, Dave Knopick, Deb Knopick, Father Chris Cusick, Gersemi McConnell, Greg Courtney, Imani, Jacob Hagans, John Knopick, Joni Knopick, Michelle, Monette Courtney, Payton Hagans, Sean McConnell
The “troop gathering” consisted of Jake, Bilhah, Daniel, Payton and Ashley, all of whom were sitting at a table with Greg and Monette Courtney. Jake looked up, raised his eyebrows and said, “Here’s your hat, here’s your coat, what’s your hurry?”
“Well, not exactly,” Pastor Cusick replied with a smile, “but we do need to clear the all-purpose room so the volunteers can clean up. I know that Imani is skipping school to be here, though I’m sure Tanya will write her an absence excuse. We were just going to collect the flowers from the chapel.”
Rising from the table Greg said to Monette, “I think that’s our cue to leave.” Extending his hand, he added, “Father? It’s been a pleasure. You did a great job.”
Monette seconded Greg’s statement and the Hagans clan all agreed. Chris led the way toward the chapel and as they passed the kitchen alcove Joni called out, “Thank you again, ladies! It is most appreciated!”
Michelle turned and waved. “You’re welcome! Don’t be a stranger!” and the other volunteers murmured support.
As they reached the door for Shekinah Chapel Amber said, “Chris? I’ll take Danann now. The kids are pretty tired. We really should go.” Tapping the largest plant with her foot she said, “Sean? Why don’t you grab that lily? I think we can find room for it somewhere.”
“Sure,” Sean said, shrugging his left shoulder. “Okay Breas, you take Mommy’s hand. Gersemi? Hang on to Gersemi, okay?”
“No! Wait,” Amber said. “Go get the car instead, won’t you? Ashley? Payton? Are you coming with us?”
Ashley looked to Payton who said, “No. We’ll help with clean-up a bit. Jake? You can drive us over to Amber’s, right?”
“Amber?” Joni ventured, “I was going to have everybody over to Mom’s for a minute. You sure you have to go?”
“Hmmm. Yeah, we better go. Danann’s getting kind of cranky. Get the car, Sean.”
As if on cue Danann emitted a squeal of joy which Amber ignored. Sean waved and said, “Deb, Dave. Father,” and lifted the big lily.
“Here,” John said, stepping forward and opening the inner door, “Let me get that.”
“Thanks, John. See ya.”
“I’ll wait here with the kids,” Amber said, entering the vestibule behind her husband. “Hurry, okay? I need to get to work.”
“Yeah,” Sean replied and exited.
“See ya,” John said. Alone in the vestibule with his sister-in-law and her children he added, “Well, thank goodness nobody stole our plants.”