With Eddy comfortable in Kindergarten at Wind Point School four long days a week, Grace crossed off the aimless march of her days on the calendar. Eddy was thoroughly in love with Miss Jones, the pretty teacher in her second year in East Bay. When Ted had not stopped smiling all the way home from the first Open House, she’d felt mildly jealous. It was something she was not proud of. She needed to stick to her resolve not to become too involved with the neighbors. Even if they spent every afternoon at her house.
The time had come to think seriously about a job. Not the gas station, not the school. The library was as staffed as they could afford. Not the café. Not the resale shop. Maybe some volunteer work. Not PTA, though. That would really fuel the fires of gossip. Her fingers tingled.
She sighed. She was fully and properly trained. Everyone wore gloves these days. Maybe it would work. But…how? Who did she talk to, without raising too many eyebrows?
The next afternoon she went to spend some time with Shelby who was more bored than she was.
“Your husband is a doctor, right?” Grace asked. “But not here in town.”
“Davy’s at Bay Bridge. He’s an endocrinologist. It’s not far from here, so Greg sends patients there who need more than he and Matty can offer.”
“Oh, you probably haven’t had any need to go to the clinic,” Shelby said. “Greg Evans is our local GP. If you can believe it, we only have one doctor in town, but at least he’s full time. East Bay’s one and only clinic.” She pulled her afghan around herself again. “Hey, come to think of it, Davy was talking about Greg’s search for help again. Everyone hates waiting in line so long, but we’ve never been able to bring in another GP.” Her voice lowered. “Everyone specializes these days. More money, you know.”
“Greg would probably be grateful for even part-time help.” Shelby hugged a pillow to her middle. “They take in a lot of Medicare patients. He can be a bit gruff, but the kids love him. He’ll do house calls once in a while, and he’s even accepted a casserole in payment. Some of those folks up the valley don’t have much.”
Grace found the casseroles hard to believe and just raised her brows.
Shelby plowed on, excited now. “His nurse, Matty, is a saint, a wonderful person. She’s getting up there in age, though. I bet if you went over there he’d hire you on the spot.”
Grace exhaled. She twitched her lips. Was this an answer? Maybe…maybe not. Was she really ready? “It’s not that easy. I promised Ted I’d take care of Eddy.”
Shelby thumped the pillow. “Yeah, it’s a tough one. But you can’t pass up a good opportunity. Your experience in that clinic where you came from…I’m sure it’s enough. Even another practical nurse would work out. What are your qualifications again? Anyway, Greg would probably work out a deal so you could be home most afternoons.”“I left that life behind. I don’t have a current license for Michigan, and I really can’t…” Grace’s protests might have sounded mild, but inside she was quaking. Could she do it? Go back to work? What if she did something wrong? Hurt someone…again?