“Ma, what did you do?”

Stacks of boxes cluttered the front porch. Each box was sealing with Tiffany blue packing tape with the brand, Wish, emblazoned across it. Sabrina looked horrified. Sabrina gave a friendly job to Mrs. Ortega who was staring at her mother’s porch and watering her lantana next door. The neighbor lady shook her head sadly at her.

Climbing over packages, Sabrina fought her way around the screen door. Max was sitting in Dad’s recliner with a mug of coffee. More boxes were scattered around the living room. Sabrina shot her brother a “what the hell” look and he answered with a shrug. Ma came in the living room with a tray of sliced oranges, blueberries, an Entenman’s coffee cake and powdered donuts.

“Max, I’ve brought you out a little something. I know you’re not—Sabrina what are you doing here?”

“Nice to see you too,” Sabrina said.

She weaved around the packages and gave her mother a kiss. Sabrina took the pastries from her mother. Pushing her brother’s feet off the coffee table she set down the platter.

“What’s all this?” Sabrina said.

“Put some cake in your mouth,” Max said shoving the platter in Sabrina’s direction. “We were just checking in, Ma. Seeing how you’re doing?”

“Aunt Mary said—“

“Sabrina for the love of God eat cake.”

Ma stamped her foot. “Mary is a gosh darn busybody and always has been. I’ve been managing my money since I was sixteen years—sixteen, working as a clerk—and I don’t need anybody telling what I can or cannot do. You listen here I am the parent. I’ve been taking care of myself without your father and it is not your job to tell me how to live!”

“Of course Ma,” the siblings said in unison.

Sabrina nibbled some cake. Max put an entire donut in his mouth. With hands on hips, Ma glared until her anger seeped away. The sea of cardboard boxes waited.

“My friend Linda, you know I met her on that bus ride to the wool and yarn fair that was so much fun I tell you, anyway she told me about this wonderful website that sells everything you want. You can get it on your phone, you pick out amazing stuff, then you wait and in a few weeks you don’t know what will arrive. Sometimes it’s crap but everything is so cheap, nearly free.”

Max smiled at his mother and shot Sabrina a look that said you should visit more often. She answered with a look that said we should visit more often.

“I’ve heard of that and I love a bargain,” Sabrina said.

“Show us what’cha got.”

Ma whipped a Swiss Army knife out of her frilly apron pocket. Soon they were surrounded by treasures, a ceramic cat eating a garden gnome, knitting needles, dangly earrings, 28 kitchen sponges, many rather colorful cheaply made dresses, scrapbook papers, a set of watercolors, and a massager that Ma hurriedly carried to her bedroom. Ma had also gotten Sabrina a set of silky scarves and Max a tee shirt with cowgirls. While finishing the rest of the cake, Max and Sabrina watched Ma show off her new outfits.