Title: Further Preparations for Claudias Departure.
Mother Barber, Claudia, Teddy, and Cliff seek what little relief from the heat they can in the shade. Though food shortages are the buzz topic across the nation, life on the ranch provides plenty of food from the vegetable garden, and they sit, snapping their beans. Cliff tells how the Marines transferred John once they found out he was a married man with kids. Will he be kept for duty in the country instead of being shipped overseas? Margret checks in with the adults before she goes out with Skippy on a doodle bug hunt.
Discussion returns to the food shortages, and how this new generation has been eating food out of cans for so long, thehy forgot the work that goes into putting food into cans, and where it comes from to begin with. Cliff lets it slip that there’s more to Claudia going away than she had let on. It makes Ma Barber weep to think of all her children who have left for the war, or are going away to start their own lives, and maybe never return home. After Ma steps away, Claudia claims she’s only leaving to reunite with her husband, Nick who is in the military on the East coast.
Hazel is in the kitchen, giving lessons in canning preserves to her boys Pinky and Hank. There’s more than just cooking, a good homemaker washes the dishes as she goes to keep the clean up work at a minimum. Someday those boys’ll make some girl a good wife. Still, a job well done is satisfying whether you’re a boy or a girl, as Pinky learns when the preserves come out just right.
Hazel leaves Pinky to do the final clean up and she finds Paul Barber relaxing in his own cool place. As he reads a pamphlet on minimum wage law, he’s distracted by the questions of his 7 year old niece, Margret. about growing older. Dan enters after Margret leaves to talk to Paul about his chances with Hazel. Is he a fool to build up his hopes? Will Dan’s patience wear thin before she can decide?