February 22nd, 1954

"He really let you take a week off even with everything starting to go downhill?"

Hawkeye nodded, "Thankfully, yeah."

After the Pierce and Ainsworth family spent a cheery holiday season together... things started to go downhill pretty fast.

Unfortunately, just after the new year, Ms. Withers did something that everyone in Crabapple Cove thought she'd never do; die.

Despite the fact she could easily be described as "ancient" no one really thought they'd live to see the day old Lucille Withers would kick the bucket. Hawkeye was relieved to know that at least the old woman passed away peacefully in her sleep. It was unfortunate though, as both Hawkeye and Eliza had gotten to befriend and grow close to her during the time she watched over the girls. At least Mr. Miller was kind enough to let the girls stay at the diner (so long as they didn't wander back into the kitchen) until their parents could find someone else to watch them.

Speaking of Mr. Miller, he too was subject to this rash of bad luck.

The winter weather seemed to only get worse, and the middle of January saw a nasty snowstorm. This of course put a smile on all the school children in town, but not for Miller. Business was usually slow this time of year as it were, but the snowstorm really slowed things down.

It wasn't rock bottom for the business, it was getting bad again, but at least it wasn't rock bottom.

And it wasn't until the end of January when Hawkeye heard from BJ again.

He wouldn't be getting any visit that month, or for February after BJ explained that a conflict with work came up. In the end; however, the two agreed on the visit being set on the first week of March.

At least Hawkeye had one good thing to look forward to.

"So I'm guessing I'll be all alone that week, huh?"

"Aww, c'mon, Eliza. He's my best friend, and it'll only be a week."

Eliza smiled, "Work is going to be awful boring without a certain someone to whistle tunes back in the kitchen..."

"Well, if you're going to miss me that much," he said with a chuckle, "why don't you stop by for dinner while I'm off work?"

"Do you think your guests will mind?"

"Not at all, I think they'd love to meet you."